Saturday, April 15, 2006

I came across this post...

About the Geneva Convention, and how it should be applied to the treatment of people captured in the current conflict.
My comment was about how the signers never meant the Convention to apply in these circumstances, and how the protections provided in the document only applied to uniformed personnel. The writers response was indicative of my previous post about not being able to follow arguments.

If you want to create a document giving rights to ANY combatants, whether or not they are in uniform and representing a sovereign nation or not, go right ahead and propose one. I'm sure the UN would love to have the debate, make the vote, and ignore the results as completely as they do any of the myriad of other "Declarations of Rights" that they have voted on in the past. But don't twist a document that was meant for a very specific purpose, that of protecting soldiers, and preventing the worst atrocities that could occur when countries go to war.

The idea that the Geneva Convention should apply to any combatant, in any circumstance, is ridiculous at its very core. There are a large number of circumstances where treating enemy combatants would be counterproductive. For example; the German sabateurs during WWII that were captured and summarily executed. If you apply civilized rules of treatment to uncivilized methods and the perpetrators of said methods, soon you will have the very chaos and mayhem that the original document was trying to mitigate. There would be no incentive to follow any rules in conducting warfare, forcing the entire world to lower its behavior to the lowest common denominator, simply to survive, turning the clock back to a time when atrocity was the rule in warfare, not something most tried to avoid. In my opinion a bad idea all around, but I guess others will agree to disagree...


Blogger Elron said...

"Do not unto others that which you would not have done to you" You could be right about the initial intentions of the signers, and probably are. My point was that if we expect our side to be treated as "regular soldiers" then we can't exclude the soldiers we fight against.

You mention summary executions in WWII ... so Iraqui insurgents who capture, say, Blackwell operatives should be free to execute them? If we pick and chose who to be humane to, we have no right to proetst the enemies choices.

3:30 PM  

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