War Is Hell, Unless You Write for the NRO

Sullivan rightly mocks the NRO’s Andrew McCarthy (writing here at Human Events Online) for the right’s newfound love of the Geneva Conventions:

Memo to Andy: your beloved administration has derided the Geneva Conventions as “quaint”. They have sanctioned not gentle questioning, but waterboarding, sleep deprivation and stress positions for prisoners captured in a war, Iraq, where Geneva was allegedly never in doubt. Where were you then? And now Iran is in the dock for giving British prisoners treatment that those in Gitmo and Abu Ghraib can only dream of?

Don’t people realize that this is what this episode is partly about? Iran, that disgusting regime, is showing much of the world that it treats prisoners more humanely than the U.S. That’s the propaganda coup they are achieving. And you know who set them up to score this huge victory in the propaganda war? Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld, who authorized all the abuse at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere throughout the war. And McCarthy, who defended and enabled them. Tehran never had a better friend than George W. Bush. He has given Islamist thugs the moral highground.

All well and true, of course. The reason for those pictures of the kids sitting around on a rug giggling is to do precisely as Sullivan suggest- to try to show adifference between by the Iranians and American treatment of captives. But what Sullivan misses is the belligerence in the opeing grafs of McCarthy’s piece:

For what seems like the millionth time since 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has perpetrated an act of war against the West, reaffirmed its hostile, revolutionary intentions, and demonstrated that it is a rogue state which scoffs at the civilizing impulses of international law, including the laws and customs of war.

For what seems like the millionth time in just the last few months, the Iranians have shown that their word is worth nothing.

So will our diplomat class suggest, yet again, that perhaps more negotiations will bring them around?

Sure, the hypocrisy about the Geneva conventions is breathtaking and worth noticing, but what is truly frightening is how quickly McCarthy and others are ramping up the rhetoric. This is little more than the widely ridiculed “We have been at war with Iran since 1979″ nonsense that was peddled just a few weeks back, and now this meme is so widespread that McCarthy doesn’t even break rhetorical stride when mentioning it. According to the lunatics, the case has been made- that we have been at perpetual war with Teheran is just a known fact.

It is all there- the advocating for war, the sneering condescension aimed at ” our diplomat class” (just go ahead and call ’em pussies, McCarthy), the revisionism- one convenient package designed to advocate for the next war. It is only made more frightening when you examine it in the context of the state of our current military- stretched to the breaking point in Iraq.

That should scare the shit out of you, because the nuts are still in charge for two more years.

95 replies
  1. 1
    Pb says:

    For what seems like the millionth time since 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has perpetrated an act of war against the West

    But they seemed so nice back when the Reagan administration was giving them weapons!

  2. 2
    BobJones says:

    Can you even declare war against “the West” as opposed to a single state within the West? Who is included in “the West?” Does it include South and Latin America? Japan? Eastern Europe?

  3. 3
    jg says:

    This is little more than the widely ridiculed “We have been at war with Iran since 1979” nonsense

    Well it isn’t called the Disputed Territory for no reason.

  4. 4
    jg says:

    Forgot the link

    Well it isn’t called the Disputed Territory for no reason.

  5. 5
    pharniel says:

    Seriously. A riot is an ugly thing.
    And I think it’s about time we had one.

  6. 6
    DougJ says:

    More from the NR. This is truly repellent:

    Once again, it’s me and Ralph Peters on the same wavelength, deploring the cowardice of the British sailors and marines kidnapped by Iran. When it happened, I said I hoped the ones who’d shamed their country would be court-martialed on return to Blighty, and given dishonorable discharges after a couple years breaking rocks in the Outer Hebrides (which, believe me—I’ve been there—have a LOT of rocks). Now, I confess, I wouldn’t shed a tear if some worse fate befell them.

    The only coherent response I get to these sentiments is: “How do you know what they’ve been through? How would YOU stand up?” To which the obvious reply is the one Dr. Johnson gave in some similar case: “I may criticize a carpenter who makes me a bad table, though I cannot make a table myself. It is not my job to make tables.”

  7. 7
    Zifnab says:

    Can you even declare war against “the West” as opposed to a single state within the West? Who is included in “the West?” Does it include South and Latin America? Japan? Eastern Europe?

    It’s the knock-down, drag-out, no-holds-barred contest we’ve all been waiting for, kids.

    In the left corner, from the continent across the Atlantic, we bring you the winner of WW2, the dominant Superpower of the Globe, the New Rome, the bastion of civilization, The West!

    And in the right corner wearing the HEX vest and the burka, we give you the brown-skinned, Allah-worshipping, heathens of the desert, Terror!

    That’s right kids, it’s The West v. Terror! An all out battle of stupid rhetorical bullshit that will leave you breathless. You paid for the whole seat, folks, but you’ll only need the edge.

  8. 8
    lard lad says:

    This includes Seaman Turney who, since her captivity, has been forced to don a headscarf, the compulsory dress of women in a sharia state. Worse, Turney has transparently been coerced into a contrived “confession.” The airwaves are filled with her tape-recorded declarations that the captives “[o]bviously … trespassed into their [Iranian] waters,” and that their captors — who seized them forcibly — are “very friendly, very hospitable and very thoughtful, nice people” who have inflicted “no hurt or harm,” and, in fact, have been “very, very compassionate.”

    All of this blatantly violates Geneva.

    And those interned at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay thought they understood the depths of human misery. Don’t you understand, people!? The Iranians made her wear a headscarf. And appear on television.

    Snark aside, it’s clear that the McCarthys of the political plane are furious and disappointed that the British prisoners haven’t been obviously tortured by the Iranians. How dare they deny our finest conservatives the opportunity to beat their moral outrage erect, then pound the war drum with their collective stiffies?

    So now the wingnutosphere has to make do with Blanche DuBois wannabes like McCarthy, swooning from the vapors and rending their gowns in dismay that these British sailors are held in custody at all. The same human slopjars that defended waterboarding, mind you.

    Wow. Just… wow. Whenever I think I’ve seen the ultimate in right-wing hypocrisy, the bastards raise the ante yet again.

  9. 9
    chopper says:

    Once again, it’s me and Ralph Peters on the same wavelength, deploring the cowardice of the British sailors and marines kidnapped by Iran. When it happened, I said I hoped the ones who’d shamed their country would be court-martialed on return to Blighty, and given dishonorable discharges after a couple years breaking rocks in the Outer Hebrides (which, believe me—I’ve been there—have a LOT of rocks). Now, I confess, I wouldn’t shed a tear if some worse fate befell them.

    The only coherent response I get to these sentiments is: “How do you know what they’ve been through? How would YOU stand up?” To which the obvious reply is the one Dr. Johnson gave in some similar case: “I may criticize a carpenter who makes me a bad table, though I cannot make a table myself. It is not my job to make tables.”

    jesus, remind me to never build a table for that guy. apparently, hoping someone is tossed in prison for years ‘or worse’ (which is not-so-thinly veiled) is the same as criticizing a dude’s table-making skills.

    i’m sure he would be a strong, no-nonsense hostage. he’d probably be all like jack bauer and single-handedly free everyone with his bare hands, or maybe just his teeth.

  10. 10
    lard lad says:

    Despite our outrage, we should spare a thought for the British prisoners, and hope that Iran releases them soon. Certainly that would be the right move if they wanted to make the Bush administration look more odious on the prisoner question than they already do.

  11. 11
    Paul L. says:

    Why do the Gitmo detainees get Geneva Conventions or US constitutional protections?

    The Geneva Conventions are reciprocal.

    If the terrorists do not abide by them (fighting out of uniform/hiding among civilians) they do not gain the protections.

    Note that British sailors were following the Geneva Conventions and so gain the protections.

    But I guess that distinction escapes John Cole and Andrew Sullivan. It is just hypocrisy!!!11!!!

    Speaking of NRO, here is this gem.
    Re: World Sympathy and $1.98 Will Buy You a Venti Coffee

    A reader responds to an earlier reader :
    [The earlier reader writes:] “If country X doesn’t torture people and its people are captured by country Y which tortures them, country X will have more sympathy from the world, and consequently there will be more pressure on country Y, than if country X does torture people.”

    Let’s say Country X is the United States, and Country Y is North Korea or North Vietnam. What EXACTLY was the practical benefit to the United States during the Korean and Vietnam wars of this “sympathy from the world” when North Korea and North Vietnam tortured our prisoners? ZERO! In fact, liberals around the world denied that our guys were being tortured, or said our guys had it coming. And what EXACTLY did we gain from this supposed “pressure” from the world on North Korea and North Vietnam? NOTHING! This “pressure” did not shorten either war by one day, move us any closer to our goals, or even significantly ease the plight of our prisoners.

    In real life, as we have seen many times, things will turn out precisely the opposite from what this writer argues. The actual “world sympathy” will be for poor little Country Y, and the actual pressure will be against Country X to stop its genocidal, unprovoked imperialist aggression against innocent Country Y.

    Now the left says they do not apply because Britan is not at war with Iran.

  12. 12
    RandyH says:

    Oh, and didn’t you hear… ABC News reported last night in a single-unnamed-source-who-heard-it-from-someone-who-thinks-they-know-something story that Iran has increased their number of centrifuges so now they will probably have NUKES to blow up all of our cities and kill us all by 2009! Oh my god! Please save us from the Evil Iranians King George before you leave office in 2009 – because the Democrats will get us all killed!

    And of course, since ABC News left all journalistic standards at the door and let this questionable story out there, other outlets are now quoting the story with the authority of “ABC News reports that…”

    See Glenn Greenwald‘s excellent write-up.

  13. 13
    Punchy says:

    because the nuts John Cole gleefully voted for are still in charge for two more years.

    Fixed for hypocrisy.

  14. 14
    John S. says:

    Now the left says they do not apply because Britan is not at war with Iran.

    Nobody gives a shit about your pretzel logic analysis.

    The “left” is not a viable spokesperson.

    As a point of fact, Britain is not at war with Iran, but neither is the United States.

    And since you’ve had your head up Bush’s ass, the Supreme Court rejected the administration’s interpretation of the Geneva Convention (as you’ve parroted here) as it applies to enemy combatants. Not to mention that only a moral relativist would even claim that Geneva Conventions are reciprocal.

    Now don’t you have some bodies in Qana to dig up?

  15. 15
    John Cole says:

    Fixed for hypocrisy.

    Probably some of the worst decisions I have made ever.

  16. 16
    jcricket says:

    Waaaah, what’s wrong with the GOP these days? No longer enjoying their “vacation at Club Gitmo” t-shirts? Descriptions of torture as fraternity pranks no longer leading to guffaws? Stomping on people’s heads, stripping them naked and playing music at blaring volumes not enough to get you out of bed in the morning?

    I guess what it takes to raise the ire of the GOP these days is displaying captured soldiers on-screen in propoganda videos. That’s really beyond the pale.

  17. 17
    Francis says:

    John, at least you admitted your mistake. Thanks for leaving the 28%ers.

    I’ve lost the link but read somewhere in the last couple of days that the US is holding Iranian hostages, seized from an (allegedly) lawful diplomatic post in the Kurdish area.

    there may be tit-for-tat going on.

  18. 18
    The Other Steve says:

    The Japanese and Germans used to make footage of happy laughing prisoners frolicking in the fields, back in WWII.

    I guess that’s what I find rather frustrating. I do not trust Iran. I think conditions for prisoners in the US are likely a world better than many other countries.

    That being said, there’s no excuse for us not taking the moral high ground here. And for some reason we’re not. The response from the administration at every opportunity has been “I cannot confirm that we don’t torture. But if we did, so what? There’s nothing wrong with torture.” I’m just absolutely amazed at how stunningly stupid they are.

  19. 19
    jcricket says:

    Probably some of the worst decisions I have made ever.

    Some? Only some? I’d hate to see the list of the rest of the worst decisions you ever made.

    Unless you’re using a moral equivalence scale like Derbyshite and Ralph Peters (apparently), voting for these yahoos has unleashed a wave of “America-hurting” economic, social and global policies unseen in at least a generation. We’ll be feeling the reverb from these collective bad decisions for the next 20 years (if not our entire lives).

  20. 20
    The Other Steve says:

    there may be tit-for-tat going on.

    I vote for more tit and less tat.

  21. 21
    Zifnab says:

    Re: World Sympathy and $1.98 Will Buy You a Venti Coffee

    Where are you getting a Venti Coffee for $1.98? I can’t find one for less than $3.

    Just another example of the wingnut inherent dishonesty.

  22. 22
    Rome Again says:

    Probably some of the worst decisions I have made ever.

    Well, at least you admit it. I admire you for that, John.

  23. 23
    Zifnab says:
    Probably some of the worst decisions I have made ever.

    Some? Only some? I’d hate to see the list of the rest of the worst decisions you ever made.

    What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Or at least obeys the restraining order.

  24. 24
    Arthur L. says:

    bullshit, John S. The seizing of soldiers and holding them for ransom is itself an act of war. It is sophistry to suggest that Britain must wait until Parliament declares it so. And the Geneva Conventions are in fact reciprocal. The Supreme Court’s Hamdan ruling did not declare otherwise; nor did the ruling yesterday that went against the GITMO detainees.Sullivan and Cole may argue, and have (in Sullivan’s case interminably) that we should to Genenva regardless of who the combatants on the other side are or the tactics they use.But that’s a different question entirely. Of course, when one side always holds the high ground, it’s difficult to get close enough to argue with them.

  25. 25
    jg says:

    Probably some of the worst decisions I have made ever.

    Did you really make a decision? IMO people vote for the letter of choice without a whole lot of deciding going on, its more of a reflex action. For some, and you’ve made some statements to indicate you might be included, voting for the letter D is simply not an option.

  26. 26
    Jake says:

    I’ve lost the link but read somewhere in the last couple of days that the US is holding Iranian hostages, seized from an (allegedly) lawful diplomatic post in the Kurdish area.

    Do you mean the Iranians the US/Iraq siezed early this year? Iraq has reportedly released one of the men to Iran and there is a thought that Iraq may trade the Iranians for the Brits. Wouldn’t that be a fucking kick in the pants? The country that’s being torn to shreds manages to settle this dispute.

  27. 27
    RandyH says:

    Francis-

    Here’s a link to a story from January. It is true about us holding some Iranians in some undisclosed location. They were caputured (presumably while doing their jobs) at an Iranian Consulate office in Irbil, Kurdistan back when our military was trying to sell the bogus claim that they were providing super-duper IEDs to al Qaida for use against our troops. The fact that we detained Iranians from their consulate office (presumably diplomatic employees) could have been considered by Iran as an act of war but they didn’t make a huge issue about it.

    They were never returned to Iran. The Kurds were not happy about it. Who knows what secret prison they’re being kept in. Gee, I wonder if they were tortured.

  28. 28
    Jake says:

    Am I the only one experiencing difficulty with links?

  29. 29
    Vladi G says:

    For what seems like the millionth time since 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has perpetrated an act of war against the West, reaffirmed its hostile, revolutionary intentions, and demonstrated that it is a rogue state which scoffs at the civilizing impulses of international law, including the laws and customs of war.

    At the very least, you have to admire how efficient the Iranians are. By my count, that’s like 98 acts of war per day dating back to 1979. That’s impressive no matter what side of the political aisle you’re on.

  30. 30
    ThymeZone says:

    Well, at least you admit it. I admire you for that, John.

    Ditto.

  31. 31
    Krista says:

    If the terrorists do not abide by them (fighting out of uniform/hiding among civilians) they do not gain the protections.

    Note that British sailors were following the Geneva Conventions and so gain the protections.

    What about the civilians who who were not fighting but were picked up anyway? Do they not deserve the Geneva protections? Or do you, like some others, think the U.S. is infallible and has not imprisoned even one innocent person?

  32. 32
    Jake says:

    Once again, it’s me and Ralph Peters on the same wavelength, deploring the cowardice of the British sailors and marines kidnapped by Iran.

    Nice to know the man agrees with his peter, but I do believe that if a filthy librul made such a comment there’d be howls of fRight Wing anger shaking the sky.

    Remind me again how the lefties got the reputation of being the ones who spat on soldiers?

    Fuck him, fuck his ralphing peter, fuck his fucking war fetish.

  33. 33
    Zifnab says:

    The seizing of soldiers and holding them for ransom is itself an act of war. It is sophistry to suggest that Britain must wait until Parliament declares it so. And the Geneva Conventions are in fact reciprocal. The Supreme Court’s Hamdan ruling did not declare otherwise; nor did the ruling yesterday that went against the GITMO detainees.Sullivan and Cole may argue, and have (in Sullivan’s case interminably) that we should to Genenva regardless of who the combatants on the other side are or the tactics they use.But that’s a different question entirely.

    Uh… no. If US soldiers were seized by a foreign country, the elected Congress would still need to pass articles of war before war was actually declared. Capturing soldiers might be considered an “act of war”, but it has no legal or formal impact on Presidential/Ministerial powers.

    And the Geneva Convension isn’t “reciprical” in the sense that if you torture two of my guys, I get to torture two of yours. It is a set of ethical guidelines that defines how a country may act during wartime that is ultimately self-policing and self-enforced. The Geneva Convensions clearly deliniate the moral high ground – those who follow them are “civilized” and garner global support while those who break them often earn the label of “rogue states” or other derogatory terms. The Geneva Convensions were never about some sort of political de’tant. They were about doing the right thing because it was the right thing to do. The only way you can measure the value of Geneva is on its own merits.

  34. 34
    Baby Jane says:

    since 1979

    The death of disco haunts our world.

  35. 35
    lol says:

    silly commies

  36. 36
    Spence says:

    So Paul L. and NRO Points out that the U.S. didn’t garner a lot of the world’s sympathy when our prisoners were tortured during Vietnam.
    I dunno, you think that has anything to do with the fact that at the time we were blowing their country the fuck up?
    Yeah, maybe the world looked at the million-plus Vietnamese killed by the American involvement in that country’s civil war and decided that on the whole, that mattered more. It doesn’t justify torture, of course (yeah, “the left” actually tries not to justify torture, strange) but maybe it tempered some of the response from the rest of the world.
    Like all bullies, American conservatives love to strain at the mote while inflicting the beam. No matter how high their body count stacks, they’re all just victims, don’t ya know?

  37. 37
    Rome Again says:

    they’re all just victims, don’t ya know?

    Methinks they latched onto that Christian persecution complex, it is so easy to manipulate people with it (and probably lots of fun too).

  38. 38
    Shabbazz says:

    The Geneva Conventions are reciprocal.

    If the terrorists do not abide by them (fighting out of uniform/hiding among civilians) they do not gain the protections.

    Why do you insist on following the examples of our enemies? Is this a race to the bottom for you? The enemy beheads their prisoners — maybe we should do that, too? I mean, if we’re arguing the merits of reciprocity, why not?

    They are our enemies BECAUSE they don’t follow Geneva. They are our enemies BECAUSE they blow up children.

    We are the good guys BECAUSE we follow Geneva for our prisoners. We are the good guys BECAUSE we respect human life across the board — even for our enemies.

    Stop trying to out-enemy the enemy!

  39. 39
    Rome Again says:

    Is this a race to the bottom for you?

    It certainly appears that way, doesn’t it?

  40. 40
    Rome Again says:

    We are the good guys BECAUSE we follow Geneva for our prisoners. We are the good guys BECAUSE we respect human life across the board—even for our enemies.

    Not anymore…

  41. 41
    matt says:

    Once again, it’s me and Ralph Peters on the same wavelength, deploring the cowardice of the British sailors and marines kidnapped by Iran. When it happened, I said I hoped the ones who’d shamed their country would be court-martialed on return to Blighty, and given dishonorable discharges after a couple years breaking rocks in the Outer Hebrides (which, believe me—I’ve been there—have a LOT of rocks). Now, I confess, I wouldn’t shed a tear if some worse fate befell them.

    I’ve read this five times and I think I’m missing something. Is he really saying that the sailors captured by Iran should be punished when they (hopefully) are released or is he being snarky/sarcastic to make a point that’s going over my head?

  42. 42
    ConservativelyLiberal says:

    Shabbazz Says:

    We are were the good guys BECAUSE we follow followed Geneva for our prisoners. We are were the good guys BECAUSE we respect respected human life across the board—even for our enemies.

    Fixed.

    JC, you stopped drinking the kool-aid, and you are no 28%’er. You have admitted your mistake(s), and you have this place here to help set things right in your own small way. None of us are perfect, but when we can be truthful with ourselves then we can work to correct our mistakes.

    I don’t do dittoes, so all I can say is you have my respect. And thanks for a place that allows open, frank discussion. That in itself is unusual in Republican circles…

    How about kudos? Yeah, that works for me… ;)

  43. 43
    sm says:

    matt is just being hateful.

    For those Americans who still seem to believe that the US represents the good guys. On what is this opinion of yours based?

  44. 44
    calipygian says:

    So let me get this straight – if we have been at war with Iran since 1979, then Ollie North and Co. weren’t guilty of perjury, obstruction of justice, contempt, etc., they were guilty of aiding and abetting the enemy (I.E. Treason). Prove me wrong.

  45. 45
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Prove me wrong.

    Oliver North & Co. were conservatives. Therefore, they are fundamentally incapable of committing treason–even when they commit treason.

    That is one million percent truth-n-fact, moonbat!

  46. 46
    Paul L. says:

    We are the good guys BECAUSE we follow Geneva for our prisoners. We are the good guys BECAUSE we respect human life across the board—even for our enemies.

    Stop trying to out-enemy the enemy!

    So what is the point of the Geneva Conventions if one side can violate it at will, suffer no consequences, still have the protections that they deny to the enemy. Where is the incentive to follow them if they still get the protections?

  47. 47
    Dwight says:

    So what is the point of the Geneva Conventions if one side can violate it at will, suffer no consequences, still have the protections that they deny to the enemy. Where is the incentive to follow them if they still get the protections?

    Wow.

    I can’t even begin to respond to that statement. I would seriously advise you to go read the New Testament.

  48. 48
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    “Probably some of the worst decisions I have made ever.”

    Well, John, you’re hardly alone. When VICTOR GOLD writes a book savagely attacking the Bush Administration, you know the Apocalyse is near.

  49. 49

    […] Don’t people realize that this is what this episode is partly about? Iran, that disgusting regime, is showing much of the world that it treats prisoners more humanely than the U.S. That’s the propaganda coup they are achieving. And you know who set them up to score this huge victory in the propaganda war? Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld, who authorized all the abuse at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere throughout the war. And McCarthy, who defended and enabled them. Tehran never had a better friend than George W. Bush. He has given Islamist thugs the moral highground. John Cole takes it another step: Sure, the hypocrisy about the Geneva conventions is breathtaking and worth noticing, but what is truly frightening is how quickly McCarthy and others are ramping up the rhetoric. This is little more than the widely ridiculed “We have been at war with Iran since 1979” nonsense that was peddled just a few weeks back, and now this meme is so widespread that McCarthy doesn’t even break rhetorical stride when mentioning it. This is the difference between the US and UK debates on this. There is a strong voice in the US advocating for war with Iran. The UK thinks it’s nuts. […]

  50. 50
    John S. says:

    The seizing of soldiers and holding them for ransom is itself an act of war. It is sophistry to suggest that Britain must wait until Parliament declares it so.

    What is really sophistry is attributing statements to someone that never made them. I can wait for you to reason it out, or just paste what I actually said:

    only a moral relativist would even claim that Geneva Conventions are reciprocal.

    How’s that for sophistry? Regardless, as Zifnab pointed out upthread, the whole point of Geneva is to establish a clear line of demarcation in terms of ethical behavior. To have the Iranians try and appear to have the moral high ground in terms of prisoner treatment is sheer farce, but to allow them to succeed in that endeavor is sheer lunacy.

    And seriosusly, Paul L.:

    So what is the point of the Geneva Conventions if one side can violate it at will, suffer no consequences, still have the protections that they deny to the enemy. Where is the incentive to follow them if they still get the protections?

    If you have to ask, you’re never going to get it.

  51. 51
    Shabbazz says:

    So what is the point of the Geneva Conventions if one side can violate it at will, suffer no consequences, still have the protections that they deny to the enemy. Where is the incentive to follow them if they still get the protections?

    The point is to promote human rights across the board.

    The fact that XYZ does not abide by these rules demonstrates why any sensible nation in the world should oppose XYZ. “Look at these people — they torture their prisoners! Clearly, we do not want to side with them. Clearly, they are not on the side of modern civilization.” It is NOT an excuse to mimmick their behavior lest we become the enemy we oppose.

    For those Americans who still seem to believe that the US represents the good guys. On what is this opinion of yours based?

    I still firmly believe that the US represents “The Good Guys” on the world stage. We are, undoubtedly, going through a very dark period at present, but we will regain the moral high-ground once these schmucks are booted to the curb (one way or the other). They have done a lot of damage, to be sure, but we have suffered plenty of setbacks in the last two centuries.

  52. 52
    jake says:

    So what is the point of the Geneva Conventions gibber, dribble moan?

    Better spoofs puh-leeze.

  53. 53
    Andrew says:

    The death of disco haunts our world.

    Indeed, since the walking undead corpse of disco ravaged the land for another 5 years, at least.

  54. 54
    jg says:

    Paul L. Says:
    So what is the point of the Geneva Conventions if one side can violate it at will, suffer no consequences, still have the protections that they deny to the enemy. Where is the incentive to follow them if they still get the protections?

    Clearly you’re not a Cathloic.

  55. 55
    Tim F. says:

    As near as I can tell, Paul L wants to argue that we should model our behavior after the worst people on Earth. Seriously.

    We really get the bright ones around here.

  56. 56
    Derek says:

    Ok, let’s be fair and lay some positions and discuss them rather that yelling insults. Let’s remember that good people can disagree about things and talk about things is a non insulting manner.

    Right’s Position:
    Taliban/Terrorist troops where not and do not fighting in uniform. Based on the conventions the US has signed you have to be in uniform in order to receive the rights accorded to troops by the convention. If you are not in uniform then a military commission must be formed to decide if you are an un-lawful combatant or not. If you found to be an un-lawful combated then you have the same rights as a spy, IE we can do anything we want to you. I am pretty sure this is what the convention actually states.

    Left’s Position (Correct me if I am wrong):
    It does not mater if they where in uniform or not, they should be treated as though they are protected under the Convention (Or they should be treated under the convention, though I am not clear why). Thus we should not interrogate them at all (or at least not harshly) and treat them via the Geneva Convention.

    Now about the 5 Iranians taken up north: As far as I know they where soldiers not in uniform attached to a diplomatic mission that did not have immunity for them.

    Right’s Position: They are spy or saboteurs and are not covered under the convention because they are out of uniform.

    Left’s Position: They should be protected under the Convention (Again I am not sure why).

    Could we discuses why the right side is wrong/or not and get some clarification on the left’s position?

    Remember, I am saying Right to me pro-war and left to mean anti-war, so please don’t get pissy about semantics.

  57. 57
    bill says:

    What we will never see in Andrew’s anti-torture/pro Geneva posturing is that our “coercive interrogation” practices in the anti-jihadist war have been lifted from those used by the Israelis. This is not his proprietary hypocrisy, but as he has strutted and fretted it with such success he certainly deserves to be recognized for what he is about. If his morality were true he would have attacked Israel with the same passion he has harnessed to inveigh against America, but we all know where that would have gotten him in terms of cushy MSM sinecures. Andrew is a crass opportunist, but then again in this regard who, including the jihadist demagogues, isn’t? But nevermind his (and others’) chipping for chintz, why not pause here to focus now on Israel and see where that leads us? Why, for example, don’t we hold Israel to the same pristine Geneva standard we are demanding of America? Any takers?

  58. 58
    jake says:

    If you found to be an un-lawful combated then you have the same rights as a spy, IE we can do anything we want to you. I am pretty sure this is what the convention actually states.

    Try this and get back to us.

  59. 59
    Punchy says:

    Uh…War, bitches. Friday. Iran. Gulp.

    Yes, THIS FRIDAY. Good Friday. Good Lord.

  60. 60
    Baby Jane says:

    Ok, let’s be fair and lay some positions

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. – Matthew 7:12

    The Golden Rule: Tucked away in a thumped stack of pulp near you.
    It’s amazing to me that this needs to be pointed out by a lefty atheist who giggles at “lay some positions.”

  61. 61
    mrmobi says:

    So what is the point of the Geneva Conventions if one side can violate it at will, suffer no consequences, still have the protections that they deny to the enemy. Where is the incentive to follow them if they still get the protections?

    Paul L., I’m assuming you wrote this because it is so hard to turn the other cheek with your head stuck so very far up you ass. You shouldn’t need and incentive to be a decent human being.

    You phony Christians make me sick. If you represent what “religious” people stand for, I’d prefer to live with devil worshippers. All your bullshit concern for the unborn, and you just can’t wait to torture someone to death. What a fucking hypocrite.

    If you want to continue to argue for WWIII, it would probably help if your arguments were a little more sophisticated than, BUT, BUT, BUT THEY DID IT FIRST!

    What are you, in 3rd grade?

  62. 62
    Derek says:

    Jake,
    Read this:
    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/.....#Article_4
    This lists the people protected by the convention. I don’t see either Taliban or terrorists covered by that.

  63. 63
    jake says:

    I don’t see either Taliban or terrorists covered by that.

    Gosh Derek you’re right. In fact I don’t see any specific army/nation listed by name.

    Read (that thing you do with your eyes and words) Article 4 and get back to us.

  64. 64
    Pb says:

    Actually I think that Article 3 likely applies far more often in these cases:

    Persons taking no active part in the hostilities […] shall in all circumstances be treated humanely

    Treating non-combatants humanely–how quaint.

  65. 65
    Walker says:

    Uh…War, bitches. Friday. Iran. Gulp.

    Yes, THIS FRIDAY. Good Friday. Good Lord.

    Look at the date of that article. Never, ever believe anything on the Intertrons dated April 1st.

  66. 66
    David says:

    John,

    If you think we have not been in a war — sometimes cold, sometimes hot — with the rulers of Iran for many years now, then you are the lunatic, not McCarthy.

    Even without this admission it is indisputable that everything you quote McCarthy saying about Iran’s government is true.

    If Islamicists ever succeed in destroying the west it will be because westerners couldn’t stop hating one another long enough to hate their enemies.

  67. 67
    Derek says:

    Jake,

    I must be such a big dumass that I can’t find the section where people who don’t wear identifing markers and who don’t openly carry arms who also like to blow schools are covered with protected status. But then again, I am not so smart as you.

    Pb, so people who blow up markets are non-combatants now?

  68. 68
    ConservativelyLiberal says:

    If you think we have not been in a war—sometimes cold, sometimes hot—with the rulers of Iran for many years now, then you are the lunatic, not McCarthy.

    Then, as someone else observed, Ronnie Reagan, Ollie North and the gang are traitors for dealing with the enemy while we were at war with them. So, are you sure we have been at war with Iran since 1979? If so, you should demand that those traitors should be imprisoned for life (or even executed, right?).

    Oh, right. They are Republicans, they can do no wrong. They are perfect, the chosen. All others are the unclean rabble, to be scoffed at, scorned or ignored. We are with you or we are against you, black and white.

    I look for the root of problems to solve them, as my work is troubleshooting things. If you do not admit to the initial problem, you will never find a solution to it. That is the nature of problems, is it not?

    We meddled in Iran first, we supported a corrupt Shah and his government. We took advantage of the people there through that corrupt government. We created the enemy that is Iran. All in the name of big business in America. The people of Iran got fed up and revolted. It is that simple. We taught them to hate their government and America. We fed that hate by supporting their oppressors, all for monetary gain in cheap trade at their expense.

    I love my country, but I am a realist. It takes two to tango, as my Mom says. Our history is spotted with less than honorable moments, and anyone who says different is a blind fool.

    For some reason, I have been seeing lots of blind fools lately. Must be a disease or something.

    Islamofascism versus Christofascism. And everyone else is caught up in the middle. They both kill when they feel the need, and both sides have the blood of innocents on their hands. Both sides. It is a fight that has gone on for centuries, and there is no sign of it abating any time soon. Not as long as the religious nuts on both sides are allowed to run free.

  69. 69
    ConservativelyLiberal says:

    Pb, so people who blow up markets are non-combatants now?

    Yes, they are dead. Geez, talk about trick questions…

  70. 70
    jake says:

    I must be such a big dumass

    The first step is admitting you have a problem, so congrats.

    But then again, I am not so smart as you.

    I was going to say it was painfully obvious you don’t know how to read or interpret law, but thanks.

  71. 71
    Krista says:

    I think I’ll reiterate my question for Paul, and for any others like he and Derek:

    If the terrorists do not abide by them (fighting out of uniform/hiding among civilians) they do not gain the protections.

    Note that British sailors were following the Geneva Conventions and so gain the protections.

    What about the civilians who who were not fighting but were picked up anyway? Do they not deserve the Geneva protections? Or do you, like some others, think the U.S. is infallible and has not imprisoned even one innocent person?

    Derek, you said it yourself:

    If you are not in uniform then a military commission must be formed to decide if you are an un-lawful combatant or not. If you found to be an un-lawful combated then you have the same rights as a spy, IE we can do anything we want to you. I am pretty sure this is what the convention actually states.

    Has this actually been done? It sure as hell hasn’t seemed like it. Those people haven’t even had any access to legal representation, let alone any sort of tribunal. By all appearances, people have just been plucked off the street if they happen to have the wrong name, be in the wrong place, or look like the wrong guy, and are tossed in jail.

  72. 72
    Tim F. says:

    If we pick up a suspect away from the battlefield wearing no identifying marks or a third party hands them to us with an unverifiable cover story then by definition we don’t know that they blow up schools. Derek’s entire point is self-contradictory.

  73. 73
    Tim F. says:

    our “coercive interrogation” practices in the anti-jihadist war have been lifted from those used by the Israelis.

    Unless you mean a retarded four-year-old’s misunderstanding of practices that the Israelis have already disavowed, no.

    The behavior of the military police at Abu Ghraib seems to blur into hazing, sadism and mockery. Whatever the motives, says [Ilan Kutz, an Israeli psychiatrist who has witnessed military training for interrogations], the soldiers virtually guaranteed that the inmates would be susceptible to post-traumatic stress—and useless to interrogators. “This is stupidity. It’s not useful. In fact, it’s harmful,” says a former Israeli military intelligence interrogator. “After a man’s humiliated like this, if there was a chance he’d open up, now there’s no way. If there was a chance to recruit him and send him back to the field as your source, now there’s no chance.”

  74. 74

    For those Americans who still seem to believe that the US represents the good guys. On what is this opinion of yours based?

    On the fact that the jihadists are the right sort of enemy for a civilized nation to have. They are our enemies. They are you Europeans’ customers.

  75. 75

    As for the British sailors, the same thing happened to a couple of American pilots during Desert Storm. They were shot down, and made to recite denunciations of the war on Iraqi TV. After the war, they were welcomed home, and gave a news conference describing their ordeal. I wish those Royal Marines the best.

  76. 76
    betamu says:

    Snark aside, something I have learned is that perception is reality. 99 percent of the world does not have time/resources to dig deep to learn and ponder the various legal decisions and whether the prisoners at various places are enemy combatants and whether or not the Geneva Conventions apply, etc.

    The world remembers appearance. They saw pictures of prisoners held by the Christian Americans, showing degraded, humiliated Muslims. And now they pictures of the British detainees smiling, having tea and relaxing in a nice hotel suite. Perception is reality. Think of the effect this will have on US foreign policy for a long time.

  77. 77
    Paul L. says:

    The world remembers appearance. They saw pictures of prisoners held by the Christian Americans, showing degraded, humiliated Muslims. And now they pictures of the British detainees smiling, having tea and relaxing in a nice hotel suite. Perception is reality. Think of the effect this will have on US foreign policy for a long time.

    So you are saying we should kidnap some Iranians and create some propaganda pictures of them being treated well?
    I am sure if Abu Ghraib never occurred or was covered up, That nothing would happen to outrage Muslims.
    Like a false story in Newsweek about flushing Korans?
    There is also video of Muslims sawing off peoples heads chanting “Allah Ackbar”. Perception is reality.

  78. 78
    Paul L. says:

    Tim F. Says:

    As near as I can tell, Paul L wants to argue that we should model our behavior after the worst people on Earth. Seriously.

    We really get the bright ones around here.

    God you are right Tim. Let disarm the police. Allowing them to carry and use firearms is just modeling the behavior of worst people on Earth (thugs and tyrants).

    Welcome to Tim’s world where evil people will understand us if we just do not fight back, the UN is not corrupt and fire does not melt steel.

  79. 79
    Jake says:

    Welcome to Tim’s world where evil people will understand us if we just do not fight back, the UN is not corrupt and fire does not melt steel. And Paul L. might get a clue if you’re patient enough.

    Fixed.

  80. 80
    Tim F. says:

    Can the outrage, Paul. You claimed that their bad behavior justifies ours. If you don’t like it, and god knows I would be ashamed to make an argument that moronic, change your mind.

  81. 81
    Pb says:

    Derek,

    FYI: a lot of the people who are now or have been in Gitmo qualify as non-combatants. But don’t take my word for it, educate yourself about it first (quickly, before you post again!).

  82. 82
    Don says:
    our “coercive interrogation” practices in the anti-jihadist war have been lifted from those used by the Israelis.

    Unless you mean a retarded four-year-old’s misunderstanding of practices that the Israelis have already disavowed, no.

    Even in prisoner questioning we goyim end up paying retail…

  83. 83
    John Spragge says:

    Four general principles:

    1) Waging an aggressive war violates international law.
    2) The Geneva Convention recognizes the right of the people of invaded country to organize to defend themselves (Part I Article 4.6).
    3) Under the Nuremberg precedents dealing with submarine warfare, you cannot force an opponent to keep rules of war, when the technical advantages you hold would make keeping them a choice between surrender and suicide. I don’t endorse the use of violence by the Iraqi insurgents, but the principle arguably applies: to hold them outside the limits of the Geneva convention, you have to show that, individually, they went beyond both the requirements stated in the Geneva Convention and any breaches of the rules reasonably required to negate the US Army’s technological advantages.
    4) No possible justification exists for abusing genuinely non-combatant civilians. By the American Forces’ own estimates, the majority of the Iraqis picked up, and by implication a large number of those abused, had never committed any hostile or violent acts.

  84. 84
    ckelly says:

    For what seems like the millionth time since 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has perpetrated an act of war against the West

    I must have missed those million acts of war by Iran. I do remember when the US shot down an Iranian passenger jet during the Iran-Iraq war though- was that an act of war?

  85. 85
    28 Percent says:

    John, at least you admitted your mistake. Thanks for leaving the 28%ers.

    John why did you go? You could have stayed with me but you left. I guess now you get more web traffic, huh? Or it is easier to make it in your elitist academia now? Or is there a liberal publishing company making you fat book deals for towing the liberal line? Come back John it is not to late to stand on PRINCIPLES for the TRUTH. It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world… but for web traffic?

  86. 86
    Ellison, Ellensburg, Ellers, and Lambchop says:

    Iran, that disgusting regime, is showing much of the world that it treats prisoners more humanely than the U.S. That’s the propaganda coup they are achieving.

    Of course, this propaganda tack only works (Sully’s unproved assertions as to the mechanics notwithstanding) if the reader/listener/viewer is extremely naive and gullible, which is St. Andrew the Pathetically Distraught’s stock in trade.

    Funny how a government can put out any message it wants without fear of contradiction if it is unencumbered by a free press. And funnier still, if irony still counts, that a free press that only focuses on the bad things its home country does will — surprise! — play right into the hands of an oppressive regime that despises freedom of the press. Sure, every US base must have multiple Abu Ghraibs, because that’s all the western press ever talks about! Sheesh.

    Unwad the collective panties, girls — no one thinks A’jad is a reasonable, civilized guy or more humane than Bush or whatever because the prisoners he illegally took — while illegally pursuing nuclear arms and claiming the holocaust never happened and hanging kids accused of being gay — weren’t stacked into a pyramid. No one, I should say, except those whose cognition is fueled by a malfunction of their Bush Non-Derangement Gland.

  87. 87
    Arthur L. says:

    John S. and Zifnab– to borrow your phrase, uh–wrong.There is no legal or “moral” requirement under any system, incl. ours, that an act of aggression such as this requires a formal declaration of war before action be taken in reply, or before the Geneva Conventions apply. Second, as far as what Geneva really means and who it applies to, I refer you to McCarthy’s response in today’s NRO for the opposite side. Of course, he’s a fascist, and even as we speak he may be waterboarding someone while forming a mob to pursue some of the posters on this site, but nonetheless,it’s detailed. I’ll let it speak for me.

  88. 88
    Tax Analyst says:

    You know when the opposing argument boils down to making up silly, dismissive nicknames and then matches it up with a contorted buttressing argument (“The press wants us to lose”…an asinine notion if I’ve ever heard one) and concludes it all by calling those differing with them “girls” that they really have nothing but BS underpinning their argument. Thanks for clarifying that for us, E,E,E, & LC.

  89. 89
    bill says:

    Oh, Tim F., your pro boner defense of the Zionist baby, born of terror, weaned on disinformation and the honesty taboo is so adorable I swoon into a technicolor show tune:

    [She]
    You dear attractive dewy-eyed idealist,
    Today you have to learn to be a realist.

    [He]
    You may be bent on doing deed of daring due,
    But up against a shark, what can a herring do?

    [She]
    Be wise, compromise.

    [He]
    Compromise, and be wise!

    [She]
    Let them think you’re on their side, be noncommittal.

    [He]
    I will not bow my head to the men I despise!

    [Other He]
    You won’t have to bow your head to stoop a little.

    [She]
    Why not learn to put your faith and your reliance,
    On an obvious and simple fact of science?

    Refrain

    [She]
    A crazy planet full of crazy people,
    Is somersaulting all around the sky.
    And everytime it turns another somersault,
    Another day goes by.
    And there’s no way to stop it,
    No, there’s no way to stop it.
    No, you can’t stop it even if you tried.
    So, I’m not going to worry,
    No, I’m not going to worry,
    Everytime I see another day go by.

    [He]
    While somersaulting at a cockeyed angle,
    We make a cockeyed circle ’round the sun.
    And when we circle back to where we started from,
    Another year has run.

    [Both]
    And there’s no way to stop it,
    No, there’s no way to stop it,
    If the earth wants to roll around the sun.
    You’re a fool if you worry.
    You’re a fool if you worry,
    Over anything but little number one.

    Shall we dance, m’lad?

  90. 90
    Ellison, Ellensburg, Ellers, and Lambchop says:

    Thanks for clarifying that for us, E,E,E, & LC.

    Thanks for the totally non-responsive, lame snark, TA! Or as you would say, “When the opposing argument boils down to distorting what is said, focusing on irrelevant minutiae, and ignoring the main points, then you know they really have nothing but BS underpinning their argument! Thanks, TA!”

    Wow, that was much easier than thinking!

  91. 91
    Tim F. says:

    Wow, that was much easier than thinking!

    It doesn’t take much thinking to dismiss your ranting about an evil press corps that conspires to destroy America. You’re plainly a paranoid fellow consumed by equal parts persecution fantasy and a child’s sense of entitlement. Your ranting about those mean, mean leftists has about the same credibility as Tom DeLay bitching that Republicans never attack.

    If you want people to respond to your arguments then make an argument. But hey, maybe you enjoy being ignored and ridiculed. Maybe it fills some emotional need you have to think that leftists are bad people who live to mistreat the oppressed rightwing underclass, or whatever. If so your trollish provocations, pearl-clutching civility tantrums and unsupported conspiracy theories do the job perfectly. Or you could go full-on loopy like your friend bill here. Either way is fine with me.

  92. 92
    Ellison, Ellensburg, Ellers, and Lambchop says:

    It doesn’t take much thinking to dismiss your ranting about an evil press corps that conspires to destroy America.

    Weak. Since you are obviously selectively illiterate, I’ll point out that I never ascribed any intent to the press corp. Go ahead, Tim, pull the quote where I said the press was “evil” or “conspires to destroy America” and I’ll begin to consider your nonsensical “persecution fantasy and a child’s sense of entitlement” garbage. Seriously, did you really expect anyone to buy that? Ugh.

    If you want people to respond to your arguments then make an argument.

    I’ve made a few on this very page that strike at the heart of this post, but the only way you’ve been able to respond to even one of them is by dishonestly adulterating them to fit whatever fantasy they happen to be flogging at the time (see above). Look, I don’t expect for anyone to be as smart as I am, but I do expect them to be honest.

    And for this blog, which engages in more faux-outraged “pearl-clutching civility tantrums” than the women’s guild at the local Lutheran church, to project that trait onto its commenters (and then to deride it, rather than cradling it to bosom) is laughably ironic. So try out your lame psychoanalyst insults on someone who’s less aware than I.

    If so your trollish provocations

    Name one. Come on. Unless you define “troll” as “anyone who disagrees with me,” I’d suggest that you’re just engaging in lame ad hominem, because you can’t deal with the arguments honestly.

  93. 93
    Ellison, Ellensburg, Ellers, and Lambchop says:

    whatever fantasy they happen to be flogging at the time

    s/b “fantasy you happen to be flogging…” Now that was an unfortunate typo!

  94. 94
    Tax Analyst says:

    Ellison, Ellensburg, Ellers, and Lambchop Says:

    Iran, that disgusting regime, is showing much of the world that it treats prisoners more humanely than the U.S. That’s the propaganda coup they are achieving.

    Of course, this propaganda tack only works (Sully’s unproved assertions as to the mechanics notwithstanding) if the reader/listener/viewer is extremely naive and gullible, which is St. Andrew the Pathetically Distraught’s stock in trade.

    Funny how a government can put out any message it wants without fear of contradiction if it is unencumbered by a free press. And funnier still, if irony still counts, that a free press that only focuses on the bad things its home country does will—surprise!—play right into the hands of an oppressive regime that despises freedom of the press. Sure, every US base must have multiple Abu Ghraibs, because that’s all the western press ever talks about! Sheesh.

    Unwad the collective panties, girls—no one thinks A’jad is a reasonable, civilized guy or more humane than Bush or whatever because the prisoners he illegally took—while illegally pursuing nuclear arms and claiming the holocaust never happened and hanging kids accused of being gay—weren’t stacked into a pyramid. No one, I should say, except those whose cognition is fueled by a malfunction of their Bush Non-Derangement Gland.

    E,E,E, & LC – so let’s be clear about what you meant in the above post, alright? When you speak of the “…free press that only focuses on the bad things its home country does will—surprise!—play right into the hands of an oppressive regime that despises freedom of the press.” what exactly DO you mean? Are you just issuing a blanket accusation of total incompetence? Or are we back to some conspiratorial and intentional “Liberal bias”? Secondly, you seem to assert in your final paragraph that someone who disapproves of the treatment accorded those held at Abu Ghraib & Gitmo necessarily approves of the Iranian “Dog & Pony Show” with the British captives. I believe comparisons are inevitable, but that’s not the same as equivalency. Am I mis-reading you there as well? I will unwad my separate and collective panties whilst I await a direct and honest reply. We’ll see what I get, won’t we?

  95. 95

    […] Got it? We have been at war with Iran for three decades, we just didn’t know it or were not MAN ENOUGH TO ADMIT IT. Fortunately, we have brave men of the blogosphere to push us towards war. This whole bullshit about us being at war with Iran is little more than a PR push towards war, and you should not be fooled. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Got it? We have been at war with Iran for three decades, we just didn’t know it or were not MAN ENOUGH TO ADMIT IT. Fortunately, we have brave men of the blogosphere to push us towards war. This whole bullshit about us being at war with Iran is little more than a PR push towards war, and you should not be fooled. […]

  2. […] Don’t people realize that this is what this episode is partly about? Iran, that disgusting regime, is showing much of the world that it treats prisoners more humanely than the U.S. That’s the propaganda coup they are achieving. And you know who set them up to score this huge victory in the propaganda war? Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld, who authorized all the abuse at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere throughout the war. And McCarthy, who defended and enabled them. Tehran never had a better friend than George W. Bush. He has given Islamist thugs the moral highground. John Cole takes it another step: Sure, the hypocrisy about the Geneva conventions is breathtaking and worth noticing, but what is truly frightening is how quickly McCarthy and others are ramping up the rhetoric. This is little more than the widely ridiculed “We have been at war with Iran since 1979” nonsense that was peddled just a few weeks back, and now this meme is so widespread that McCarthy doesn’t even break rhetorical stride when mentioning it. This is the difference between the US and UK debates on this. There is a strong voice in the US advocating for war with Iran. The UK thinks it’s nuts. […]

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