Saturday, July 08, 2006

He just doesn't seem to get it



From President George Bush's press conference during a visit to Chicago July 7, from the L.A. Times:

Answering a question about his authority to try detainees before military tribunals, Bush reiterated his belief that the Geneva Convention does not apply to detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"The Geneva Conventions were set up to deal with armies of nation-states," he said. "You've got standard rules of war. So, this is new ground. This is different than any president has been through before, in terms of how to deal with these kind of people that you're picking up off a battlefield and trying to protect the American people from."

Is the president as obtuse as he appears to be? I saw this exchange on the televised press conference yesterday, and couldn't believe that no one challenged it. So, I will.

Mr. President, the Geneva Convention has nothing to do with the character or intent of the prisoner. Absolutely nothing.

Rather, the Geneva Convention lays out how we, as civilized people will treat people who are at our mercy. It's about standards of conduct we set for ourselves, as honorable people. It's about us.

I realize concepts such as "honor" and "mercy" have declined in popularity in recent years. But it not ok to detain people illegally, without representation, then put them in front of military tribunals (who are controlled by you, when it comes down to it). It's not ok to torture, degrade, humiliate or otherwise mistreat prisoners. We are not that sort of people.

At least, we used not to be.

We gained goodwill from former combatants after World War II because we treated prisoners humanely. What will be the legacy of our actions under this administration?

6 comments:

InTheWilderness said...

You wrote: We gained goodwill from former combatants after World War II because we treated prisoners humanely. What will be the legacy from our actions under this administration?

I shudder to think!!! I do wish that the Churches would quit their internecine warfare and speak out. I guess that is not going to happen.

Reverend Ref + said...

Ah ... but it is okay because these guys are differnt. They don't follow the rules, so weez gots to pertect our way of life anyway we can; and if we need to detain them, so be it. That might just be the only way that their kind will get the message that we don't tolrate their kind and they just needs to stay home.

Oh ... sorry ... I promised I'd cut down on my sarcasm. Seems to have just sort of jumped out.

Saint Pat said...

Yes, my Sarcasm-O-Meter is off the scale, too.

Of course, our churches are too busy arguing over sexuality to worry about war, famine, disease ...

Anonymous said...

Most of the US thinks that *you* don't get it - the Geneva conventions ARE explicitly written to exclude peridious 'warriors' and fighters from non-nations, and for good reason. And the treatment that our prisoners have recieved at Guantanamo apparently exceeds treatment available in most prisons worldwide. 'Oh no, they handled my Koran with bare hands', et cetera ad nauseum. GWB is a very honorable man, and a very admirable man. I believe the best president we have had in decades. I also bear in mind why we have these people in prison. It isn't because they are all sweet grandmothers. Wasn't it just last week that we shut down an effort to bomb the subways in NYC? Yes, it was. Some of us keep forgetting that we are at war, and that the detainees were captured in wartime, in a war zone, trying to kill Americans. Most of them would be happy to slaughter you in your sleep just for being who you are, and of the faith you are. I know you keep forgetting these important facts, but I was there when the towers came down, and I am here to remind you.

Anonymous said...

p.s. I don't think you know your WWII history. We put citizens of Japanese descent in concentration camps! Good will, my eye.

Anonymous said...

"Most of the US" Anon? We are at war? I don't yet know the rules here, but I scarcely can believe you know WWII history or any other subject.

It's glaringly obvious this viciously evil twerp has allowed/ led the country and the world to disasters one after the other. The only question that needs to be addressed is how soon to eradicate this blot, and to see if there's anything to save afterwards.

JohnieB