Sunday, January 25, 2009

Republicans now openly argue in favour of war crimes.

I honestly find this simply astonishing.

"There is a reason why we have not been attacked on US soil during president Bush's administration. There are things which did work and which did keep American safe and we should not take that for granted."

"You are a legal expert, do you believe that torture is constitutional?"

"I believe that it is necessary and that it is within the constitution."
The Republicans, especially people like Hannity and O'Reilly, are actually arguing publicly that torture should be official US policy.

How did the Republican party and the American right ever descend into such immorality? Whenever I hear arguments that Bush, Cheney and others should not be prosecuted for war crimes I think of these people and these arguments.

These people are openly and unapologetically calling for war crimes to be committed. That is why Bush, Cheney and others should be prosecuted. To remind these nutcases that what they are advocating are war crimes.

Here we see David Hunt argue that the US did torture and justify that by saying that "bad things happen in war."

I've said it before, but these crimes are not called peace crimes, they are called war crimes, because it is precisely during a war that people might be tempted to commit them. The argument that "bad things happen in a war" is the very reason why these things were deemed to be crimes. To prevent such things ever being excused simply because a state of war existed.

And yet, the American right are now attempting to reverse international law and excuse war crimes simply because they are the people now committing them. It's beyond despicable.


Matthews: Well why did we prosecute people at Abu Ghraib for abusing prisoners if we're not going to prosecute people who may have authorized that kind of treatment?

Fineman: It is an issue.
I'll say it's an issue. Either the US is a country of laws or it is not. Either it is committed to the international agreements it has signed up to or it is not. Not only have clear crimes been committed here, but many on the right are openly calling for them to be continued. The US should either prosecute the people who committed these crimes or, failing that, withdraw from the Geneva Conventions. You either agree with the conventions or you don't. If the US want to identify themselves as a rogue state which refuses to adhere to something as widely accepted as Geneva, then let them do so. But you simply can't have it both ways.

The UN Convention Against Torture, which the US has signed but not yet ratified, clearly states:
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
As I say, you either agree with that or you don't. And many on the American right are making it very clear that they don't.


Steel Phoenix said...

That is an important point about war crimes being by definition things that happen during extraordinary times.

Republicans of the windbag variety seem to think that we can win a war of fanaticism with Islamic terrorists. If a nation bombed our civilians, tortured our people, and gave our enemies nuclear weapons, windbags would suggest that we need to hit them back harder and not succumb to fear, yet when we do these things to them, it is with the expectation that these people who will willingly strap bombs to their chest will cower in fear and give up. We have lost the battle of fanaticism. There are plenty of other battlefields for us to win this war on. We should not question their dedication, we should make them and their supporters question their righteousness.

Kel said...

What appalls me about all of this is the fact that some of these right wingers seem to think that we should stray from our ideals in order to win.

Blair and Bush always said that al Qaeda want to destroy "our way of life". But they were the very people who demanded that we gave up our civil liberties in order to be safe.

It's a kind of, "we had to destroy the village to save the village" mentality.

O'Reilly and others go even further, demanding that we replicate our enemies worst excesses in order to be victorious.

That appears to be self defeating to me.

Steel Phoenix said...

I don't know if you noticed the L.A. Times piece on Obama and axtraordinary rendition. It seems like something you might like to weigh in on. I posted my take here:
Obama and Extraordinary Rendition

Kel said...

Thanks for that SP. I read your piece and I am with you on this one. The advantages are far outweighed by the disadvantages.