Saturday, September 09, 2006

Why Bother About International Law

Recently, an increasingly desperate Bush & Co have been coming clean on some of the stuff they have been lying about for years. The latest being CIA run prisons around the world so that prisoners can be flown out of USA juristriction (with the active support of countries like Britain) to places where they can be tortured at length.

While thinking about that, a thought struck me. How would the right wing and the government react if this was happening in reverse?

Who would be the first to voice outrage and condemn some other country if they prosecute one of America's soldiers, the way Bush wants to prosecute his suspected terrorists? Will it be acceptable for Iraq or Afghanistan to violate the Geneva Conventions and hold trials without telling their soldiers what they are charged with or letting them see the evidence against them? Will it be considered fair for them to fly American soldiers to secret prisons and torture confessions out of them?

I am aware that these criminals (I do wish Bush and Blair would stop glorifying them by calling them terrorists) have captured soldiers and done terrible things, but it is imperative at this point in history, that we stand firm on the moral high ground. Dictators and tyrants around the world will be watching the 'greatest' democracy in the world and seeing how it behaves, and would feel justified in its repression by pointing to America as an example.

A major reason why we live by the rule of law is not so much that we protect the guilty, but to protect the innocent. If you want the 'other' side to treat prisoners well, then you had better make darn sure you treat your prisoners with respect and care. Guantanamo Bay has probably been the greatest recruiting sergeant for 'terrorists' ever.

2 comments:

sandegaye said...

We have lost all of the world's respect from this fiasco. The rules have been so bent & convoluted, they disappear in the morass.
Someone, PLEASE take our dictator to a distant holding facility & work him over.. only then, will he 'get it'.

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