Tuesday, 4 April 2006

Barbaric Democracy

Oh God.

My defence secretary, the man who is in charge of my nations's military policy, a Mr John Reid, thinks that that the Geneva Convention is a barrier to Western nations and the war against terror and thus, needs to be redrafted or scrapped. Brilliant! My government is really starting to sound like the Bush regime now, who refused to ratify Protocol I because of their belief in the mythical 'unlawful combatant' but more of that later...…

John Reid's argument is that terrorists don't fight fair (he invents something called 'barbaric terrorism', which much be really bad terrorism in comparison to let's say, 'nasty terrorism' or 'naughty terrorism') so we need the powers to also not fight fair and no doubt bring about 'barbaric democracy'.

Laugh or cry? Can I suggest Mr Reid, that if we actually followed the Geneva Conventions when we engaged in war, we'd have less trouble with terrorists as our actions would not breed further resentment? Can I also suggest that the idea that we fight fair in the first place is frankly ludicrous? There is no need to list here all the violations of international law we've been party to but people in glasshouses made from dead Iraqi children shouldn't cast stones.

I must confess though, that I find the whole idea of war having rules to be good in theory but unworkable in practice, it's like asking murderers to behave in a decent manner as they kill. Don't get me wrong, I think the concept is a good one (the whole idea of the Geneva Conventions came from Henri Dunant after witnessing the horrors of the Battle of Solferino) and are clearly aimed at elavating ourselves as a race into the realm of the decent.

The Geneva Convention is an interesting document, it is actually four separate conventions backed up with three protocols and crucially, all signatory states are required to enact sufficient national law to make grave violations of the Geneva Conventions a punishable criminal offense. The first two conventions deal with the treatment of battlefield casualities on land and sea and led to the formation of the Red Cross, the fourth deals with the treatment of civilians in war. The third convention however, deals with the treatment of prisoners of war and came into force in 1950. Key regulations include:

* Prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity
* No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind
* Prisoners of war shall be quartered under conditions as favorable as those for the forces of the Detaining Power who are billeted in the same area
* The use of weapons against prisoners of war, especially against those who are escaping or attempting to escape, shall constitute an extreme measure, which shall always be preceded by warnings appropriate to the circumstances
* The Detaining Power shall grant all prisoners of war a monthly advance of pay
* Prisoners of war shall be allowed to receive...books, devotional articles, scientific equipment, examination papers, musical instruments, sports outfits and materials allowing prisoners of war to pursue their studies or their cultural activities
* In no case shall disciplinary punishments be inhuman, brutal or dangerous to the health of prisoners of war

Makes for interesting and inspiring reading doesn't it?

In order to get around the legislation so it could treat suspected terrorists in a subhuman way, the US, under Bush, invented something called the 'unlawful combatant', this is an unfortunate person who is accorded neither the rights a soldier would normally have under the laws of war, nor the civil rights a common criminal would normally have. I wouldn't want to be one of these would you?

Brilliantly, the Geneva Convention pre-empted this sneeky tactic and said that if there was any doubt about a persons status, it would have to be investigated by a competent tribunal and until such time they are to be treated as prisoners of war. If it decided this individual was an 'unlawful combatant' they still retain rights under the Fourth Geneva Convention so that they must be "treated with humanity and, in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial".

Clearly, the US and UK are in breach of this, so no wonder Reid wants the bounderies re-drawing. Now you may remember me mentioning that the US refused to ratify Protocol I of the Geneva Convention, along with Iraq and Afghanistan (I just love the company America keeps), this protocol concerns giving 'unlawful combatants' lawful status by deeming it unnesscary for a soldier to clearly mark herself/himself as such.

So not only do the US want the terrorists to fight fair they want them to clearly mark themselves out as such.

17 comments:

  1. My government is really starting to sound like the Bush regime now..."

    I think you are well behind the eight ball on this observation. From what I have seen, Blair looks like an urban Bush clone.

    I agree with your assessment on the Geneva Convention and Bush ignoring it. I only hope that someday Bush could be on the receiving end of what he is authorizing to the enemy combatants.

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  2. I was taking it steady, the thing is there are still many differences and this is the first time they've really sounded like them, as for behaving, that's a different thing all together.

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  3. And I was just thining how much I enjoyed living in the UK, primarily because it wasn't the US.

    Fuck.

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  4. Might I suggest you, or someone you trust, shoot your leaders in the head, making sure they can't do this anymore?

    Don't forget to clearly mark yourself "Democratic-Entitled Citizen" as you pull the trigger, not like the "I'm With Stupids" T-Shirt Bush wears whenever the aggressors in this war meet.

    Remember: shoot them in the head. They will die. Then they can't kill children.

    The world thanks you.

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  5. And remember, the alternative is a Conservative government.

    So shoot them all in the head before things really go awry.

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  6. Perhaps Mr. Reid wants the changes applied retroactively, say 230 years. Those damn Yankees should have worn proper uniforms and lined up like real soldiers, instead of those hit and run terrorist attacks on the Imperial Army. Then the British States of America would have remained loyal and would not have deserted King George III. Instead they had their own succession of Georges, the first was great enough to put his face on their money. But things went downhill from there in the Georgestory.

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  7. I don't think bud gets the whole "Mr. Reid wants to do away with war crime legislation thing."

    Methinks bud is American.

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  8. American separatists were seen by the British as terrorists, and certainly unlawful combatants, since they were not following the rules as the British of the time saw them, and since the British Army was the army of the colonies, any other armed group would be irregulars, not acting on behalf of any recognized state, and therefore terrorists.

    Unusual tactics are considered criminal, such as guerilla warfare. Most of the regulations are intended to stop armies from turning into revenge killing units, distracting them from the military objectives. Creating an unbearable situation for the other side's leaders so they will sue for peace is the only military objective.

    There are only war crimes on the losing side of a war. The winners write the history and excuse themselves.

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  9. "The winners write the history and excuse themselves" yep! they surely do!

    as far as the bush/blair similarity goes it was so obvious when Blair spoke about GOD live on BBC. it's all about god and greeno...

    Hey Daniel, pleased to see your blog still active...you've lost some audience though...mainly the few bushits who used to hangout around here!

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  10. Thanks Dan - interesting post and yet another mindblowing example of our inexorable shift towards the north end of Grosvenor Square!

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  11. Nice to have you back Mo! Although I wouldn't say I'd lost some bushits from my blog, please see older posts further down for evidence of that.

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  12. I hate to engage an idiot, but lest other people not pick up on the obvious, "bud" makes one stupid fucking argument.

    The American Revolution, which was funded by France and "won" using Prussian leadership, implemented elements of what came to be known as "guerilla" warfare.

    This hardly made it an underground revolution, and it hardly supports the idea that early Americans were okay with the atrocities the British plied against them in retaliation.

    This also has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that, long after America went "legit" and then lost it again, an international set of rules were imposed to regulate the conduct of armies at war, and that the criminal leaderships of the so-called "civilised" nations are working diligently to dissolve those laws.

    They are not doing it because the Geneva protocols are ineffective, but rather that they cramp the "civilised" nations' style of illegal invasion, prisoner mistreatment, institutional torture and generally miscreant "Christian" attitudes toward other peoples.

    I say we shoot them all in the head. Until they die. I can't stress this enough, all of you. Shoot the criminals, and they won't be able to dissolve the war crimes tribunal.

    Do it now, before it's too late!

    And bud, you know, it's not dishonourable to die right, so why don't we say you're right, and you jump off a bridge, or something? I mean, dissent would be fine, but you really don't make any sense.

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  13. All I can say is "bravo" and "ditto". I'm in 100% agreement with you.

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  14. Col.Dr: am I mis reading Bud's posts, I thought he was agreeing with me?

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  15. Thanks saur. After the abuse you received from col.dr. recently, I am glad you're still visiting here. He's a step above guys that wear wife beater shirts, he is hopefully 'just' an emotional abuser. He excuses his abuse by explaining it's all because of his concern about big world problems. Same stuff that cult recruiters use. He does the usual "look inside your soul, if you still have one, and you will agree with me" manipulation. If you don't there is obviously something mentally wrong with you. Nothing less than absolute obedience will do. Sometimes it works, cults often recruit young and not so young people, who are unsure of themselves and have not yet learned to recognize and reject abuse. Typical. I suspect that in real life, everyone just agrees with him to shut him up. Humoring him by "agreeing 100%" might work here.

    Daniel: no you are not misreading, at least not in my opinion, though col.dr. may believe differently. It is sad that he's not helping at all in the hearts and minds campaign. Some of his stuff is hilarious, and I do mean the things where he intends to be hilarious. But then he advocates assassination, and now counsels suicide to me. He says dissent is fine, but apparently not if it disagrees in any way with his views.

    In an earlier thread I asked him, twice, to cite examples of "legal" wars. Where would I have gone with that? Would I say Iraq is as ok as any other war, since all wars are illegal? Would I try to probe the differences to see exactly what makes the legal wars ok while Iraq is not? We don't know, because he could not be bothered "engaging an idiot". Actually he did "engage the idiot", because he proceded to rant, claiming I am some commenter sneaking back here, then declaring me to be a "bush can do no wrong" type, then saying I'm gay. It's the only time in my life I have ever wished I was gay, just to spite this guy!.

    Pity. He seems intelligent and wastes it on his abuse and tirades. He could actually help and is not.

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  16. Bud, now, don't sissy out on me. I may be a little hard on people who have their head up their asses, and I'm especially hard on those who stand behind murdering thieves.

    I'm especially extra hard on people who project their personal feelings of inadequacy by adamant, nonsensical support for idiotic policies just because Der Fuehrer and his rich buddies decided to rob the next victim.

    But the ranting has probative value. An expanded, non-pea-brained read of my material would reveal that I, in fact, use the exact same "shock and awe" propaganda techniques used by the media when they are preparing the weak Western mind to invade another oil-soaked country.

    Except when I speak, I use "prima fascie" facts, which are not in dispute by any side. And using the plain facts, delivered the same way an American reporter would force-feed it to the public, the reactions I get prove how programmed the American mind is to dismiss mass murder, if it's committed in order to keep the world safe from democracy.

    Now, the occasional control freak miscreant overreacts to my harsh treatment, and in all fairness, let's consider that maybe this isn't the first mass slaughter of innocent civilians I've protested by the American greed machine, and maybe I, and many others, are rather sick of the destruction.

    Regardless of the few fanatical bugaboo good ole boys who think slavery was a grand thing, the fact remains that America and Britain are violating the law every second they operate in Iraq. There is no pretty way to put it, and whenever someone tries to put it in some pretty way, I call that spade for what it is.

    And I don't use oblique, passive-aggressive "pity" statements. No, I'm man enough to take the issues head-on. Interestingly, you accuse me of calling you "gay," for ridiculing your sneaky, back-stabbing, limp-dicked approach to defending your murdering Fuehrer, come what may.

    I wouldn't dare bestow the honoured title of "gay" on a creepy coward who can only jab at the seams, and has yet to face a single issue straight on. Gay people have had to put up with your miscreant, abusive style for hundreds, even thousands of years historically, and have suffered just as much injustice as the rest of your bullied victims.

    Far from calling you "gay," I pointed out the obvious. You obviously hate yourself, because something fuels your nonsensical bullshit, and I don't hear you complain about Mother.

    Obviously someone made you to feel less than human, because you seem to be able to write off TWO AND A HALF MILLION casualties (at an average cost of TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS PER DEATH) without much thought, other than "Protect the Prez!"

    Obviously the kids still taunt you in your dreams, and while I'd like to think harelip, like Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs, I think they just didn't much like you.

    Obviously, you feel so many deficiencies that you can afford to expend your credibility with petty attacks which not only miss the point, but complicate the issues Daniel raises on his excellent blog.

    Considering how many obvious faults you feel toward yourself, I merely suggested that, as many people opt to do, you might choose to find a really high bridge, and see if you can get to "What so proudly we hailed..." before you hit bottom.

    That's all.

    Note: this is not counsel to suicide, but neither, in your case, am I risking personal injury by stopping you.

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  17. Thank you Col. Dr., you've provided a most convincing example of your rampant abusiveness. In my description above of the hallmarks of an emotional abuser like yourself, I did forgot one standard play that they all use. I don't know how I'd forgotten about "self loathing", because that is a staple of cult recruiters, thanks for reminding me. It's the old "You must hate yourself if you can't see the obvious, since you don't agree with me" routine. Can't you come up with something more original? Or maybe just discuss the issues? Usually these kinds of attacks come when you are losing the argument, and we're barely scratching the surface.

    Speaking of my mother, this thread reminds of when I was a child and there was a little retarded boy next door. That was the name for it then. She told me never to tease him, and I never did. So in criticizing you, I am in fact giving you the benefit of the doubt, and assuming you are somewhat intelligent.

    I am still waiting for you to give examples of "legal" wars.

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