Thursday, September 14, 2006

Learn To Read, goddamn!

So, according to all sort of news sources, there is a big fight going on between the Senate and the Whitehouse. The issue concerns the cruel and inhuman treatment of detainees, who are caught up in the ridiculous 'War on Terrorism'. The Supreme Court has ruled that detainees must be treated in a manner consistent with Article III of the Geneva Conventions.

This situation has lead the Whitehouse to ask the Senate to "clarify" certain aspects of the Geneva Conventions. Of course, what the Whitehouse really wants is to be able to torture prisoners. Amazingly, even the Republican dominated Senate is a little concerned about this.

There are a bunch of spurious justifications being offered on both sides. On one side stupid W is playing the 'protect the nation' card to justify torture. There are other concerns too. Might the torturers be subject to suit, under international law? {D'ugh yes, of course!). On the other side are people like McCain (who at least knows a bit about being a prisoner of war, and didn't skive his duty whilst doing Cocaine, like stupid W). These folks point out that 'reinterpreting' the Geneva convention might be bad for US soldiers, if other oppressive regimes went in for analogous 'reinterpretations'.

Stupid W and his supporters claim that the Geneva Convention is vague. What is 'cruel and unusual'? [How about force feeding prisoners, sexual humiliation and using dogs]. What kind of treatment counts as being 'inhumane'? [How about loud rock music and no sleep for days on end]. The really sad part about all this is that it seems to be clear that nobody in the Whitehouse has actually read Article III of the Geneva Convention. There it is clearly stated that,

"An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict."

Given this language, why not let the International Committee of the Red Cross decide these issues. You know, Red Cross representatives could be stationed in the Gulags and be allowed to rule and report on activities there. Would this not be a simple (and legal) solution to the 'vague language' problem?

Of course, Stupid W is not really interested in the vague language issue anyhow. He and his psychotic henchmen just want the Senate to give them a free pass to abuse prisoners, while avoiding the sanction of the intrusive Supreme Court. However, if members of the Senate have discomfort with this (as well they should), why have none of them suggested the Red Cross? Is this all just political posturing?

The CP

[N.B. Why is it that spell checkers always want to replace the term 'Whitehouse' with 'Whitewash'?]

7 Comments:

Blogger divine galaxy said...

when they did the article on force feeding, didn't they force feed them because they were on a hunger strike and were going to die if they didn't eat? I could be wrong but I thought that was the gist.

So is that cruel and unusual? To prevent someone from dying by force? We do that all the time in america.

And I am not too sure about sleep depravation, in america we deprive ourselves of sleep all the time. To the point that people fall a sleep at the wheel and cause accidents. And if I am not mistaken, may tribes of ancient populations went on quests where the soul initiator of the quest was sleep deprivation.

Is that really cruel and unusual?

Now the dog thing ,yeah that is unequivocably bad.

Ya know I am really curious if any other country that is on this planet is under such microscopic examination for prisoner detention.

I mean when did war get a pretty side to it? And aren't we just fooling ourselves into thinking that war can be acceptable by having a treaty that presupposes that killing people on the battle field is fine, but once you capture them, then you have to follow rules?

8:10 AM  
Blogger ToastedSuzy said...

divine galaxy

I don't think we need to quibble about what is inhumane; however, I find it hard not to gasp at the absurdity of your comparing torturous sleep deprivation to the American tendency to stay up too late watching Conan O'Brien or QVC and then feel a little sleepy and swervy in their enormous SUV's on their way to the office the next morning.

Yes, it's cruel and unusual and, as I think McCain and others have pointed out, ineffectual to torture people for the purpose of gathering information. That includes depriving them of sleep. And yes, force-feeding them, because regardless of how close those prisoners were to death, THIS is not a humane effort:

"He told the BBC that he had received reports that some hunger strikers had had thick pipes inserted through the nose and forced down into the stomach.

This was allegedly done roughly, sometimes by prison guards rather than doctors. As a result, some prisoners had reported bleeding and vomiting he said."

Please don't waste time arguing about whether or not we ARE torturing prisoners. Even President Bush isn't doing that. We are torturing prisoners. We are committing crimes against humanity. WE AMERICANS. YOU.

Please don't argue about whether or not it's happening. Please.

And listen--we are being closely watched by everyone in the world right now because instead of taking advantage of the support we might have gained from other nations immediately following the Attacks of 9-11 our ASSHOLE president told most of the world to FUCK RIGHT OFF, and started a war that cannot be won--and he started it in the WRONG COUNTRY.

And he did so in our name.

And now that in this "new age of accountability" that dumbass just took credit for ushering in, when we are being held accountable for our actions, he is responding by, once again, telling the rest of the world to FUCK RIGHT OFF again.

We are being closely watched right now because our president has shown himself to be a tyrant, a war monger, and an all around evil son of bitch. And we have shown ourselves to be stupid, lazy, and complacent. Ignorant, hateful and racist. Greedy. Biggoted.

We are being watched right now because people are afraid of us--not because we are badass defenders of justice and freedom, but because we are arrogant, greedy, war mongering, maniacs and armed with enough weapons to destroy the planet several times.

That's why.

Now I guess I need to send an email to Colin Powell and several other bloody republicans and tell them to get down with their "rebellious" selves!

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6080575

11:14 AM  
Blogger divine galaxy said...

actually I thought that we WERE discussing what it meant to be humane and inhumane, and if we didn't discuss it how would we ever come to any conclusion? simply base it on someone's emotional bias?

i wasn't really referring to the desire of one to stay up too late and watch conan o'brien, I was thinking more along the line of how workaholic americans have become to the point of believing that if you don't spend 70 hours a week at your job, engage in many hours a week performing family duties, and more and more expectations that we put on students, professionals and what not... you in essence have a sleep deprived society with grave results.

now of course I can't point to one person and say he sleep deprived me... and then feel cozy about calling him wrong and how he is an insane war criminal, because society is not so convient.

The comparison does exist.

in talking about force feeding you actually added a factor that did not exist in my response. I was questioning whether force feeding as a concept is cruel and unusual, and we force people in this country to live all the time. There is no such thing as help assisted death, or whatever you want to call it.

Now if you want to add in the method in which such feeding is performed, shouldn't we separate these two?

I reread my response above, and at no point did I say these things did not happen.

Why do you think I made this point:

'Please don't argue about whether or not it's happening. Please.'

I reread my response again, I did not in any way shape or form ask WHY we are being watched. I asked IF any other country was being as scrutinized as we are.

I really don't know why you are bringing up half the points that you do toastedsuzy.

11:42 AM  
Blogger ToastedSuzy said...

Actually I do sound quite like a bitch in my response. I apologize. I really do.

I misunderstood what you said. I thought the purpose of your post was to defend or deny that we were using cruel and unusual tactics in "Club Gitmo" as some "redstate" news source I just looked at called it.

I read your questions as rhetorical rather than just questions. I thought you were suggesting that force-feeding and sleep deprivation were not cruel and unusual tactics.

But I disagree about the importance of discussing what is or is not humane. I don't think that's at issue here. I think that's what the Bush administration would like us to be discussing--that way one side could call the other a bunch of terrorist-loving, pansies whose concern for international warm-fuzzies puts the entire nation of Gods wee children at risk, and the other side could accuse the one of being murderous, fascist bastards so blinded by greed and arrogance that they cannot see the endless spiral of hate and violence they are leading us and the rest of the world into.

Note: I fell into the trap immediately. Sorry, again.

Anyway, I don't think we should be debating the definition of "cruel and unusual" I think it's more important that we ask ourselves what will we gain by challenging and attempting to redifine the Geneva Conventions to suit our particular purposes? And what will we lose?

And I also misread your question, or musings, about whether or not other countries were being as closely examined as ours. Interesting question. I doubt there are. And I think it is interesting to consider some of the reasons why. And I think that one important reason why many other countries might want to keep a close eye on the way in which we conduct a war and treat prisoners of war is because we, the only nation that has EVER used a nuclear weapon against an enemy, are under the control of a person who has consistently shown himself to be unwilling to listen to the criticism of his own people, and the rest of the world.

The President, who is sometimes referred to as "the leader of the free-world," to put is quite plainly, is a prick. And he needs to be watched closely because he is in a position of such power.

Now he has members of his own party telling him to chill the freak out, and he's still acting like it's everyone else who's unreasonable, not him.

And what's going to happen if he is completely out of control. Is some bigger-than-US country going to bomb us into democracy?

Anyway, sorry I got all excited and bitchy. I'm frightened. The president's actions frighten me. They really do. And you know how irrational people can be if they are afraid.

But I sure did respond to you in just the way that I'm always bitching at people for responding. I was rude and uppity and I really sincerely apologize.

TS

12:43 PM  
Blogger divine galaxy said...

you don't have to apologize, you have given me the opportunity to be the tolerant one, it is not always that side that I play, thank you for that opportunity. :)

you may be be correct about the term cruel and unusual acts not being the main focus, but until we define what is, and what isn't cruel and unusual, how can we go about monitoring for it?

also, i have to ask myself what is the importance of the geneva convention? does it really do anything? in essence it says war is cool, as long as you follow rules. does this really make sense, why in the world did anyone ever agree to a treaty that says if you follow the rules, you can kill each other? shouldn't we be banning war period?

Now to follow up on your point, to challenge the geneva convention will certainly cause many problems for the US, as in 'again the US wants to dictate world policy'. yeah this is bad.

as for being closely examined, are we not the only country that even has visible footage of how we treat prisoners and conduct war? Is it not our free society (well as free as it is) that allows this footage to even be viewed? Have any other countries ever published how they treat prisoners? how they conduct war? of course not, there is no other warring society as free as ours, the concept isn't even available any where else.

you say:
' are under the control of a person who has consistently shown himself to be unwilling to listen to the criticism of his own people, and the rest of the world. '

this seems like it would also describe putin, the government of china, and as soon as iran gets nukes, them too.

now don't get me wrong, I don't like bush, and I disagree with alot he says. but you can't just lay all the blame for what is going on in the world on him, and it seems to me, like he has just become a convenient punching bag for anyone in the world who is unhappy.

What happens when he is gone and he is no longer a punching bag? AND the conditions of the world still suck, who is gonna get blamed then? who is gonna be left with the nukes then? when do we sit down with each other and discuss the problems of the world instead of getting caught up in 2 sides of a blame game?

I can see where your fear comes from, but I am not particularly afraid, I have a bit of a different belief system then most and maybe that is what insulates me, but I do know that if we can't sit down and talk about everything, then we will get no where.

have a great weekend.

1:24 PM  
Blogger ToastedSuzy said...

I think we'll have a lot of years of suffering to blame on Bush once we get him out of office, regardless of who takes his place. But to blame him, we must blame the ones who elected him (or failed to beat him)--he is our representative. He is our public servant. As I heard a comedian say the other day, "Bush is our Bitch."

So--"we" have many years of Bush blaming to look forward to, because he's gotten us into a war for which there can be no resolution. He has gotten us into a war afainst an idea. We are at war with "FEAR" and we were brought there because we were afraid.

So, we'll have him to blame for a while, unfortunately. But what you were really asking, I think, is whether or not the world would be better off if some other joker was in office. I guess it wouldn't necessarily be a better place--although, I think a better, wiser person would have used the international reaction to 9/11 to form new alliances rather than breaking old ones.

But no, it's not just Bush, it's the system that's messed up. Our system, our every-man-for-himself mentality, our messed up values and our ignorance that are really to blame for the mess we're in now. I think we agree on this.

Re the utility or relevance of the Geneva Conventions. It doesn't matter whether they actually work. The fact that murder is illegal does not stop people from getting killed. But I don't think many people would argue that the laws against murder are useless or irrelevant.

It will be a long time before the nations of the world actually ARE peaceful neighbors who work for the benefit of all mankind rather than for the benefit of their own countries, races, faiths, corporations or regimes. It may be that *appearing* to be humane and just is all that nations strive for, and the Geneva Conventions are only a part of the facade.

But what would be left if the mask were removed. If we had not even the appearance of unity -- what would keep us from blowing the hell out of each other?

Fear of total annihilation? That seems to be all that would be left. And most of what's stopping us now.

To what extent is GW motivated by fear of annihilation?

I don't know...maybe I'm being too dramatic.

Anyway, you have a good weekend to DG.

TS

3:09 PM  
Blogger The Combat Philosopher said...

DG and TS,
I'm tempted to say 'chill', but it does not seem necessary. Wouldn't it be nice if stupid W and Osama could dialogue in such a manner?

DG:
Actually, the Brits have also had mistreatment incidents that have been widely reported. Thus, this is not just a US thing and is not related to (putative) freedom.

TS:
Yup, the electorate has to take some of the blame for stupid W,or one hopes so. However, if you have been following the 'antics' in Ohio in '04, or the info reported at Blackboxvoting.org, then it may not have been entirely the fault of the electorate. Also, I recently ran across a really scary demonstration of how elections can easily be stolen. To see it, click here.

Any which way, we can all agree that the current situation is a profound mess. As for stupid W, it seems to me that he is not a moron, he is instead a moroff!

The CP

3:53 PM  

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