Saturday, September 23, 2006
Liberalism Is Destroying The Geneva Convention
Pick your issue, from the environment to “sexual harassment,” to the treatment of captured terrorists, and the liberal take on it is guaranteed to be wrong on every front. First, the concerns expressed by the left are invariably only a facade, intended to exploit the situation in an effort to advance the cause of liberalism. Secondly, and more significantly, liberal involvement will almost exclusively worsen the problem about which the left claims to be concerned.
On the topic of “sexual harassment,” the left incessantly lauded itself as a champion of the plight of women at the hands of brutish men, until the brutish “man” in question was the sniveling philandering Democrat President whom they believed to be their secular messiah.
Suddenly, “sex” was no longer sex, and “harassment,” even to the point of criminal assault and intimidation, was no longer any indictment of the perpetrator. In essence, liberals were proving that these issues were of concern to them only insofar as they could be used to bludgeon their political opposition into compliance and retreat.
Otherwise, whether the issue is that of an innocent receptionist who is affronted by the then governor of Arkansas exposing himself to her and thereafter seeking to bully her into silence, or the genocide of hundreds of thousands of helpless refugees in sub-Saharan Africa, liberals are absolutely indifferent to it. Yet such indifference may be the far lesser of two evils.
Consider all of their recent caterwauling over the “plight” of the Islamist monsters being detained at Guantanamo, and how liberal Democrats from both parties contend that the present controversy might ostensibly yield an adverse effect on the Geneva Convention.
Just as with every other issue they embrace, the actual result promises to be incalculable damage to the significance of that treaty. Yet in truth the left is no more concerned with the fate of the terrorists or the treaty than it is with the entirely predictable fallout that will negatively impact American servicemen in present and future conflicts.
What must first be understood is the manner in which the Geneva Convention was constructed and ratified, and what mechanisms must be in place in order for it to be upheld. In the wake of atrocities against military prisoners taken captive during the First World War, nations that held a concern for their own soldiers, when captured, agreed to set standards of reasonable treatment.
Yet despite the juvenile beliefs of liberal utopians, no beneficent and all-powerful authority exists that could enforce such provisions. Neither The Hague nor the United Nations qualifies. Experience has shown them to be little more than miserable and pathetic caricatures of such.
Ultimately, the participating nations recognized that the only manner in which the Convention could be upheld was to diligently grant such protections to the prisoners from those nations who were themselves signatories and therefore in agreement with the provisions of the convention. It is this promise of reciprocity, both positive and negative, that undergirds the Convention.
During World War II, an American captive could expect superior treatment in a German prisoner of war camp to that received by a Russian, owing in part to the fact that although both America and Germany signed the treaty, the Soviet Union had not. Thus, in the wake of the war, the Soviets became official signatories to the pact.
Recently, the United States Supreme Court bestowed upon al Qaeda terrorists (Hardly an organized or accountable military entity) the “rights” of prisoners under the Geneva Convention. In doing so, the Court committed an act of blatant and unconstitutional activism that makes a mockery of the Convention, and in a former era would have resulted in their impeachment and removal from the bench.
Despite the fact that the terrorist-prisoners were already being treated with a level of civility vastly exceeding anything Americans might ever expect at their hands, the Court essentially codified their status as legitimate members of a foreign “army” that at some future date could conceivably enter into a treaty with the United States Government.
To justify this outrage, the court invoked a phony premise that it was somehow ensuring that Americans, captured by al Qaeda members or their allies, would receive reciprocal consideration. Yet it is beyond absurd to expect that people who clearly intend to wage and win their wars through wanton brutality and cruelty would ever defer to such behavior.
Worse yet, those countries that might be wavering in their commitment to participation within the rules of the Convention suddenly have no incentive to abide by any provision of it. If their own military members are now guaranteed, by order of the United States Supreme Court, to be treated with utmost consideration, regardless of their own actions towards Americans, why should they then be willing to accept the constraints of the treaty if so doing accrues no further benefit to them?
In short, the ability of the American government to protect the interests of its own citizenry and military personnel is directly tied to its willingness to use its power as leverage against those nations who seek to do harm to it.
With every effort to restrict and undermine that ability, the American left (A cabal that now undeniably includes the likes of Arizona Senator John McCain) increases the likelihood that America’s enemies will abuse and kill captured American servicemen and women with impunity.
McCain and his cohorts certainly know this. Thus they cannot be excused, on the basis of ignorance, from such seditious collaboration with the enemies of America.