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The Geneva Suggestions?

Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State and (unwitting?) Bush propagandist, in one of the understatements of the century, has said he believes the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis for the war on terror.

Actually, the world has firmly stated it's belief in the war's immorality. From the moment the US invaded Iraq the world has been opposed to it, and with each new horror story about torture, cluster bombs, white phosphorous, civilian deaths, corporate corruption, war profiteering...etc...the world gets more sickened and angered by the actions of the USA.

Since the end of WW2, the Geneva Conventions have served to guide the conduct of nations engaged in war in an attempt to make war more humane, with the ultimate goal of doing away with war completely. There has been no confusion, no ambiguity over their meaning. And every signatory nation and it's citizens is obliged by law to follow it's guidelines. Not to do so would make one a criminal.

In the 1990's, the USA passed a law criminalizing violations of the Geneva Convention, making it a crime not only under international law, but US federal law as well. This would hold many currently serving in the US government criminally liable for their conduct during the last five or six years, including Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and a host of other high ranking elected officials, political appointees, military officers, intelligence officers, civilian contractors, etc. And so we're treated to the spectacle of the USA suddenly explaining that the Geneva Conventions are 'vague' and need to be clarified. That they need to be 'reinterpreted' in order to apply to the new world order they seek to impose.

They're scared shitless that they might be held accountable.

Here (part 1) and here (part 2) is the comedy and tragedy of men who believe themselves to be above the law coming to realize that maybe they aren't, and so, holy crap, they realize the real world still exists along with accountability, and they better re-write and redefine those 'vague and outdated guidelines' before they are put on trial.

To give you an idea of the US's selective support of the Geneva Conventions, here's what the right wing think tank (and co-architect of the war on terror) The Heritage Foundation had to say about them in 2003 in reference to Saddam Hussein and justification for the Iraq War:
The laws on war have a long history. In 1907, the international community convened the first of a series of diplomatic conferences that endeavored to codify the "laws and customs of war." The first of these conferences was the 1907 Hague Convention on the Conduct of War. After World War II, the international community met again to expand these customary laws of war to meet with the changing times. The result was the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, which introduced the concept of individual criminal liability and "universal jurisdiction" to try individuals responsible for "grave breaches" of the Geneva Conventions.

The article goes on to thoroughly list the violations committed by Saddam Hussein, including this:
Videotape that aired on Iraqi state television and Al Jazeera on March 23 showing deceased U.S. soldiers also included footage of U.S. prisoners of war (POWs) being interrogated by Iraqi officials. Some of the captured soldiers appeared to be disoriented and badly injured in the video. One of the female POWs was shown lying on the ground with a bandaged ankle. The POWs were identified as members of the 507th maintenance company who were ambushed in Nasiriya after taking a wrong turn.

Something as minor (and inconclusive) as a bandaged ankle is seen as proof of Geneva violations, in accordance with article 17:

Every prisoner of war, when questioned on the subject, is bound to give only his surname, first names and rank, date of birth, and army, regimental, personal or serial number, or failing this, equivalent information. If he wilfully infringes this rule, he may render himself liable to a restriction of the privileges accorded to his rank or status.

Each Party to a conflict is required to furnish the persons under its jurisdiction who are liable to become prisoners of war, with an identity card showing the owner's surname, first names, rank, army, regimental, personal or serial number or equivalent information, and date of birth. The identity card may, furthermore, bear the signature or the fingerprints, or both, of the owner, and may bear, as well, any other information the Party to the conflict may wish to add concerning persons belonging to its armed forces. As far as possible the card shall measure 6.5 x 10 cm. and shall be issued in duplicate. The identity card shall be shown by the prisoner of war upon demand, but may in no case be taken away from him.

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 any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.

Prisoners of war who, owing to their physical or mental condition, are unable to state their identity, shall be handed over to the medical service. The identity of such prisoners shall be established by all possible means, subject to the provisions of the preceding paragraph.

The questioning of prisoners of war shall be carried out in a language which they understand.

But near drowning (I hate the word waterboarding, it sounds like a sport), sleep deprivation, humiliation, rape, beatings, mental anguish, and on and on....are not.

When it serves their purpose, the Geneva Conventions are legitimate and without ambiguity. When it doesn't they are vague and irrelevent.

The immoral basis for the war on terror is perfectly clear to the entire planet. All 6 billion.

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