Q&A Friday: The Geneva Convention

Question: “Something that has been frustrating me a lot lately is that the left, along with the “international community” has been screaming bloody murder because the prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay were not treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. Now, I don’t condone torture, however, do not the Geneve conventions only apply to UNIFORMED military personnel as compared to the “insurgents” and terrorists that we have been fighting that dress to blend in with civilians? It seems supremely unjust that our troops are required to wear uniforms to be treated humanely if captured, whereas the rest of the world can take potshots at them regardless of their attire and be afforded the same treatment. Is this simply another double-standard instituted by American liberals and international terror apologists intended to undermine the US military? How do you think this should be approached by the US military?” — drunkenmaster

Answer: As far as I’m concerned, the only thing anyone really needs to know about the Geneva Convention is that the United States has never fought an opponent who has treated our troops in accordance with it, nor are we likely to face such a foe anytime soon.

Therefore, we should stop even making a pretense of abiding by the Geneva Convention. Instead, we should make a decision, in line with our own moral code, keeping in mind that our own soldiers will be treated AT LEAST as bad as we treat others, about how we’re going deal with prisoners and how far we’re willing to go to get information. Once we make that decision, we should let the world know where we stand and make sure all of our troops are informed about what will and will not be tolerated.

That would certainly be preferable to continuing to pretend that we care about an antiquated code of conduct that was never truly designed to deal with a war fought against an enemy that wears no uniforms, that usually doesn’t distinguish between soldiers and civilians, and that follows no rules of war.

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