Saturday, March 31, 2007

Daily Kos on Iran and the Brit sailors

You'll be shocked to learn that it's all our fault. But first, the ritual (equivocal) condemnation:
The letters and the broadcasting of video of the sailors and marines have outraged the British government and, of course, the British tabloids. It’s hard to imagine that the British populace will be take a different stance. Publicly parading military captives before the cameras in the way that has been done is a clear violation of the Third Geneva Convention. The sort of thing that really pisses people off.
As LGF says, "BUT":

Sadly, there was a time when we took the Geneva Conventions seriously before Alberto Gonzales wrote in a January 25, 2002, memo that "the war on terrorism is a new kind of war, a new paradigm [that] renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitation on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders some of its provisions quaint."

The British government did not attempt to write itself out of the Geneva Conventions. However, as America’s chief ally in the war Tony Blair helped George Bush concoct, it certainly tainted itself with abuses of the sort given the seal of approval by Gonzales. So the cognitive dissonance that sounds when we hear Tony Blair trying to take the moral high ground in this matter is deafening.

The Kossack quotes the Grauniad today:
[British sailor] Turney may have been "forced to wear the hijab", as the Daily Mail noted with fury, but so far as we know she has not been forced into an orange jumpsuit. Her comrades have not been shackled, blindfolded, forced into excruciating physical contortions for long periods, or denied liquids and food. As far as we know they have not had the Bible spat on, torn up or urinated on in front of their faces. They have not had electrodes attached to their genitals or been set on by attack dogs. . . .
The false moral equivalence is, as always, sickening. The Kossack konkludes:

Whether Tehran was justified in taking the sailors and marines captive last week is something that can’t be ascertained fairly under the circumstances. What’s clear is that Iran deserves condemnation for its treatment of the 15 captives, even if that treatment doesn’t measure up to some of what Yanks and Brits have done in the past four years. What’s also clear is that we desperately need some mediator, someone with influence with the Iranians to urge them to put down the kerosene they keep pouring onto this crisis and figure a way to put out the fire before we all get burnt.

Way to end on a cliche, hemp-head. But you think we need a mediator, eh? I know just the fellow.

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