Al-Jazeera Offers English Translation

The Arabic-language news network has erected a temporary English-language website deaing with the war in Iraq. They also offer one of the best headlines I’ve seen in a long time: America Remembers Geneva Convention. For a news headline, this manages to highlight America’s double-standard in how the Geneva Convention–and itnerational law and treaties in general–apply in the world, but also suggest the air of a memorial service, mourning something that has, sadly, passed away. Which it has–few nations in the 21st Century War are going to be too conscientious about the Geneva Convention. The real bad guys either aren’t states, and so just don’t care, or are vicious and brutal in so many ways that one more international law broken isn’t going to matter much either way. Since one of the major premises of the Geneva Conventions is that your compliance helps to assure the compliance of your enemy (thus protecting the lives of your troops and civilians), there will be no impetus to follow the GC too strictly when fighting enemies we are sure will not. And thus, civilization passes into darkness.

Last night CNN aired a vidoebite of Rumsfeld talking about the images of American POWs and casualties circulated by POWs. “What I’m saying is that it’s a violation of the Geneva Convention for the Iraqis to be — if, in fact, that’s what’s taking place, to be showing prisoners of war in a humiliating manner.” He sort of trailed off at the end, though, as if even he didn’t believe that the Geneva Convention was much of a factor in the 21st Century War.

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OneMan

3/24/2003 03:47:11 PM

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