20 Sep 2006

The Third Senator From New York

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Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has got to be an idiot. AP reports that Graham said:

If it‘s seen that our country is trying to redefine the Geneva Convention to meet the needs of the CIA, why can‘t every other country redefine the Geneva Convention to meet the needs of their secret police?” Graham asked.

The entire point of the Geneva Conventions is reciprocity. A signatory only promises to take prisoners, treat them decently, not use germ warfare or poison gas, not because they are trying to prove who is more humanitarian than whom, but merely so that their own troops will enjoy the decent treatment and the enemy’s restraint.
But our enemies, in recent years, have rarely been civilized European states, like Germany, who are signatories. Our enemies lately have been terrorists and illegal combatants, who simply torture, murder, and mutilate the remains of any Americans so unfortunate as to fall alive into their hands.

It is the misapplication of the Geneva Convention, and the unwarranted extension of its privileges to latrunculi (pirates and brigands), which jeopardizes US troops, by preventing just punishment for violation of the customs and usages of war. Obviously, the way you protect your own troops is to deny Geneva Convention protections to those who do not live up to its prescriptions, not by giving away Geneva Convention status to to our adversaries, however they choose to behave.

“Oh, I say, old boy, go right ahead and kill every prisoner out of hand. Use poison gas and germ warfare, if you like. Butcher all the non-combatants you please. But we Americans are simply too good, and fine, and pure to stoop to mistreating you. Keep the secret of the location of the diabolical device which will blow up one of our major cities, and kill a hundred thousand Americans. We certainly won’t beat it out of you.”

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