Comments: Button, button, who pushes the button ...

Cheers for the link, Debbye. :)

Posted by Paul Jané at February 25, 2005 02:33 AM

You're welcome! (Now get back to your homework ...)

Posted by Debbye at February 25, 2005 04:27 PM

Wow.

I wish I could see or read the reactions to that truth-filled assessment.

Indeed, Canada is certainly cozying up to Kofi, EU and the gang. Oh well... birds of a feather...

Posted by Michael at February 26, 2005 01:36 AM

What's wrong with the EU- especially the WEU?

I'v never understood this argument by you right wingers. Its just "HOHOH I HATE THE EU" without any valid reasons. I know loons like Jerry Fawell don't like it- but that can't be the only reason- can it?

As for birds of a feather, may i remind you that roughly 2/3 of the EU memberstates (including several "old Europe" members like Spain) participated in the Iraqi debacle of 2003.

Explain- what's wrong with the EU?

Posted by Blackglasses at February 27, 2005 12:23 PM

Nothing's wrong with the EU. When run and organized properly, it can be a helpful ally. When the leaders of France, Spain, and Germany undermine the protection of the free world, insult and defile the American soldiers burried at Normandy beach - then there's a problem.

Chretien and Martin have aligned themselves with their French bretheren so many times that they're practically European now.

I'm not going to go any farther than that. I'd be better off talking to this wall in front of me than try to explain to a lib why America is the good guys.

Posted by Michael at February 27, 2005 03:43 PM

"When run and organized properly, it can be a helpful ally."

By "run properly" assume you mean "turn it into an American dogsbody"

I don't know how they're defling the dead at Normandy as well (which is a cheap emotional off topic attack that's usually the last resort of bad writers) by choosing not to fight another war in which tens of thousands of civilians have died and was built upon flimsy pretenses in the first place.

Maybe the memory of senseless wars in which thousands have died are far too strong in the minds of many people to rush into war like the Americans have done many times in the past.

And Europe never threatened the security of the "free world". It wasn't like France pointed their nukes at North America and Germany pulled out of NATO.

Besides, we all know Iraq never was a threat to American security anyways. Just admit that. Please?

(PS i never called the US the "bad guys"- I'm Canadian. they've never bombed my country or supported death sqauds in it. So they're still OK in my book. As long as they keep talking baout their love of "freedom" (but not liberty) they're A-OK!)

Posted by Blackglasses at February 27, 2005 05:07 PM

Michael wrote that "America was the good guys".

Yes indeed they are, but right now they are beseiged by a gang of outlaws. They have committed war crimes, violated the Geneva Conventions, and did so on orders from the top. It was Rumsfeld himself who said that the "Geneva Accords do not apply" to the conflict in Afghanistan for example, but somehow did apply in Iraq, at least until he violated them in Abu Graub.

The strategic defence of North American Airspace is going to require some serious fresh thinking that is going to involve Canada, Mexico and the United States, but not under this current regime in Washington. NORAD needs to be rebuilt, not simply tinkered with in the face of Russian announcements for the deployment of new hypersonic strategic cruise missiles.

Russia and China have nuclear weapons and are refining both the weapons and and the means of their delivery.

It is clear that the missile defense shield is a technical impossibility at the current time and the current state of the art, but its certainly correct that work should begin anew as to what needs to be done about the rising threat, not so much from North Korea as from China and increasingly Russia itself.

Russia today still have some 18,000 nuclear warheads or more. A new arms limitation treaty that would permit some modernization that would increase security and also provide for the decommissioning of these existing stockpiles is ESSENTIAL for all these countries, INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES AND ISRAEL.

We need a new NORAD structure for the twenty-first century that includes Mexico, Canada and the United States. However, it is not going to happen with this current Administration in Washington.

Posted by Joe Green at February 27, 2005 05:12 PM

You can be mean Joe Green.

Posted by Blackglasses at February 27, 2005 06:00 PM

"It was Rumsfeld himself who said that the "Geneva Accords do not apply" to the conflict in Afghanistan for example..."

He said no such thing. He said that the Geneva accords do not apply to terrorists, either in Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere for that matter, which is absolutely true. The fact is, if you do not sign the Geneva accords, you do not have their protection. If you do not fight in uniform, you do not have protection even if you sign. But the United States has always said that we would treat prisoners humanely. With that said, what happened did not by any stretch arise to the charge of war crimes. The US armed forces discovered the abuses, the US investigated, and the US prosecuted. Your statement of "on orders from the top", war crimes, etc is just typical Bush/Hitler accusation without evidence or logic. I was curious earlier about your sources, but now that I have read your idea of fact, I'll pass on the request.
Sorry about that Saddam thing, but you need to get over it.
I notice that they always feel free to criticize America, Britain and Australia but never dare to anger their enemies with charges of war crimes and abuse, even when they saw off the head of a woman who has given her life to helping Iraqis.
Very Canadian.

Posted by mikem at February 27, 2005 08:35 PM

"if you do not fight in uniform, you do not have protection even if you sign."
This inspired a long post.

Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.

4. A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
(1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:[
(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) that of carrying arms openly;
(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

(3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.

Both the United States and Iraq are signatories.

Secondly, if you infact insist that "terrorists" should not be afforded protection under the Geneva convention, then by all means they should be considered CIVILIANS and afforded the same rights, if not better.

Rumsfeld did say such a thing. The United States acted in such a manner from Sept 2001 onward. In fact, by January 2002, Rumsfeld, under international pressure, acknowledged that the Conventions do apply to all of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, reversing earlier statements to the contrary.

But, even today, Amnesty International and the Red Cross suspect that systemic human rights abuses are taking place in US military bases in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba.

As for the Geneva convention not applying to you if you are not a signatory, since the treaty has been ratified and upheld by some many countiries for such a long time, it is considered to be customary and gradually becoming an international norm. Violation of customs and norms is considered a war crime/crime against humanity as well (there was no Geneva convention and very little treaties regarding the conduct of international conflict prior to 1949, yet Nazis were tried foo offenses that violated international customs and norms-as well as the Big Four). A more contemporary example of this (that you may like) surrounds the display of POWs by the press and military officals. Neither the US or IRaq has signed the 1977 amendment to the convention, yet the customary belief was so strong that the United States claimed that Iraq was committing a war crime when it showed American POWs(notwithstanding the fact that Iraq was awash in thousands of journalists at the time).

How very American (though since you opine on Canadian politics, i suspect you are Canadian). Shooting your mouth off on something you know nothing about.

Posted by Blackglasses at February 27, 2005 11:17 PM

What you quoted directly contradicts the point of view you are defending. You can't fight in civilian attire and be covered. You have to at least wear distinctive markings recognizable from a distance (see your own post above). I guess that eliminates every terrorist and Taliban along with Michael Moore's freedom fighters in Iraq who you cry over because they get their picture taken with underwear on their heads. All that your talk of war crimes accomplishes is to point out the high standards that you hold the US to while ignoring, deliberately, your own responsibilities for the horrendous abuses of the regimes you refuse to criticize. Citing the Red Cross and Amnesty Int'l does the same for them. Those organizations barely raised a peep while real war crimes were committed against millions of people in the totalitarian regimes that were overthrown. Amnesty Int'l fought desperately to prevent Saddam from being brought down. I lost a very good friend, a member of the AI group that concentrates on issues relating to torture, because our friendship could not survive his insistence that Saddam's continuing torture and killing of his people was preferable to the civilian deaths that would result from the Iraqi war. He also refused to give credence to the idea that Arabs could handle democracy, a remark I found racist and pathetic. I reminded him that the Democratic slaveholders in America's South said the same about blacks handling freedom. The Red Cross, after refusing to publicize incredible atrocities, including the Holocaust during WWII, based on their 'principles' suddenly decided that the US deserved condemnation so much that they broke the rules that prevented them from revealing that millions of Jews were being murdered. Sorry, Americans know that politics and not principle is involved there. It is the same politics that places Libya at the head of the Human Rights Commission after Lockerbie and rule by military dictator for 20 years, along with Syria. Give me a break.
American forces have shown remarkable restraint in dealing with terrorists in Iraq and around the world. That the US would punish our own soldiers for abusing prisoners while the murderers of the Iraqi people and their hopes for democracy are cheered by people like you and Michael Moore is indicative of the 'moral force' behind you.
Terrorists should be treated even better than civilians?? OK
How brave of you to condemn American, British and Australian actions for freedom and democracy while you avoid the battle. And yes, very Canadian.

Posted by mikem at February 28, 2005 12:04 AM

***Long post alert.***

Wow. Mikem knows better than international lawyers, Amnesty International, the Red Cross, The ICC, Strageitc institutes, legal and political academics, former JAGs, The ICJ, IR specalists, human rights groups, hundreds of years of internationally customs and norms, and the basic democratic principles that western democracies are founded upon.

Pray tell sir, please tell me names of your alma maters. I am intregued as to who as instructed you in the ways of the world.

Also you have deliberately misconstrued by post and attempted to throw it off topic by Michael Moore attacks(?), mentioning Nazis (Godwyn's law) and bizzare personal anecdotes that have no bearing on the discussion at hand.

I won't respond to each of your logical errors (there are many), but I will assure you i did not contradict myself.

If the insurgents are not considered by the US to be an international volunteer corps (likely in Afghanistan) or part of a mass national levee(or uprising, which is taking place in Iraq reagrdless of how you spin it) then the US should consider them to be civilians. Its not to say that they aren't fighting (they are) but just playing by the rules of the international game. Give combatiants their legal rights set out in treaty and custom, or treat them as civilians. Its that simple. Don't make up stuff about "enemy combatiants" and act like hypocrites while men(who could be innocent-and yes, it has happened, especially at Gitmo) languish in jails without basic legal protections while the US talks about the ideals of "Freedom" and "Democracy". Does it hurt your feelings that The Economist (a right wing and one of the most influential policy and finance mags)has condemend the US for human rights abuses in Iraq and Gitmo? So offended they were that they endorsed Kerry over Bush(!). Guess you better add The Economist to the every growing pile of "liberal" media.

The US supreme court also maintains that persons detained on military bases have a tangible connection to the United States and should be affored the constitutional protections that apply to any resident of the US. That includes freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, habeus corpus rights, etc. At it involved a case during the "war on drugs"-not a conventional war. So at the very least, the insurgents in American custody should be afforded some of the rights as a citizen, albeit in from a military legal framwork and one that deals with the issues surrounding terrorism and international conflict.

The US should respect the international ideals set out in custom, treaty and norms.

Afterall, they had a role in developing it in the first place.

As for you criticism of of Amnesty International and the IRCS as humanitarian groups that for some reason love dictators, well, I'd refrain from making such statments in the future. It doesn't make you look very smart. Many Western democracies like the US, the UK, France and Canada have appeared on Amnesty International's shit list, sharing space with secular and religious states, left and right wing dictatorships. They care about human rights, not some murky secret agenda.

I'm sure you will respond with exaggerations, maybe some Nazi/Stalinist references, bizzare anecdotes, invoke the names of Michael Moore, Susan Sontag and Noam Chomksy (your Muses?) and once again ignore every point that contradicts you makes you look like a fool. I suspect "unelected judges" will make a cameo as well.

PS: The US has committed several massive human rights abuses in the past without the perpretators ever seeing justice. They adopt a higher moral ground along with many other western democracies, but they are by no means angels.

Posted by Blackglasses at February 28, 2005 11:58 AM

You are still arguing that terrorists, because they cannot be considered soldiers in the sense that those treaties are meant to cover, should be treated as civilians. My answer is OK, you do that. America will treat terrorists and combatants hiding in civilian clothes as they should, locked up until the end of the conflict. If you had any sense of real ethics, you would have at least spent a word or two condemning the terrorists who kill civilians and Coalition soldiers to prevent democracy from taking root in Iraq and Afghanistan. But your arguments are not meant to ensure civilized behavior, they are meant to legitimize terrorist actions against others by demanding that the terrorists be treated like peaceful protesters.
How about condemning the terrorists, man of many names for once, instead of condemning those who battle them? Or are your sympathies with them?

Posted by mikem at February 28, 2005 12:49 PM

Wow. That was a sad reaction. You ignored everything else out of what, fear? willful ignorance?

That's not what i said. You seem to be either trying to be taxing to me or just very thick.
I said if the US won't treat the insurgents as POWs with all the protections afforded to them by law and custom (because they are enemy combatiants) then they should classify them as civilians. This is not because they are civilians, but because it is wrong to leave anyone in legal limbo. And yes, it is. Its a waste of time at this point to explain it to you why, as i have done so already over the last 2 points.

Too bad. I was hoping to engage you in a serious discussion, but you jump to the stupidest conclusions possible. Very sad. I guess that happens when i love terror and hate democracy as you claim. I just posted two points calling for the US and people like you to respect democracy and human rights (as well as international custom and law) and yet you seem to think i support terrorists. Yes. Anti-Western and anti-democratic terrorist sympathizers hide behind western law, treaty and custom all the time. (of course, in your troll's little schema, they probably do)

I certainly hope you don't act this way in real life among real people. I can see why you lost your friend as you claimed. Because you are a knee-jerk idiot who jumps to cliched plaitudes and strawmen when he's faced with a serious debate.

Good job.

Posted by Blackglasses at February 28, 2005 04:36 PM

Nothing like hearing a lecture from someone who uses multiple avatars to build phony support for his repetitive claims of American evil around the world. Your demands for Americans to walk the perfect line in dealing with terrorists is just a whining lament that terrorists and dictatorships are losing ground around the world. I don't have to apologize for each and every sin an American soldier makes because they are all magnified in excruciating detail so that the do nothings like you can feel justified in standing behind while others defend freedom and democracy (I know, it makes you sick to hear that.)
Again, hold yourself and the terrorists you defend to the same standard.

Posted by mikem at March 1, 2005 01:15 AM

Shrill.

Posted by Blackglasses at March 1, 2005 03:19 AM

krill

Posted by mikem at March 1, 2005 05:27 PM

Last Word. I win.

Posted by Blackglasses at March 2, 2005 02:03 AM