Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Does The Bush Torture Policy Put American POWs At More Risk?

Countdown look at the capture of Private Bergdahl and the comments from Ralph Peters which insinuated that the Taliban would be doing the US a favour were they to kill him.

Peters made the most disgraceful comment that I have ever heard any Republican make. He actually called for the death of a captured US soldier.

Turley looks at the wider point and asks if the people who justified torture when it was being carried out by the US now realise how dangerous that policy was.

I disagree slightly with this viewpoint. I think non state actors like the Taliban are always likely to mistreat prisoners, and what I lament is the fact that the US has given up - through the actions of Bush and Cheney - the moral high ground from where one should criticise such reprehensible behaviour.

Condemnation from the US concerning the Taliban's treatment of Bergdahl rings hollow. That is what the US has lost here.


daveawayfromhome said...

Even worse (?), the Taliban and others can refrain from torturing their prisoners, thus making themselves the Good Guys in the battle between them and the U.S.

Natalie said...

Sometimes I wonder whether people making these decisions really have and understanding of and respect for the Geneva Conventions. Think about it: Did you ever learn about them?

Maybe it's just my optimism for the future generations, but I think teaching the Geneva Conventions in schools could positively influence how our nation's future leaders would make conflict-related decisions.

Maybe that's why I'm a fan of this new petition-- Protect the Vulnerable in War: Teach the Geneva Conventions. I think students deserve the opportunity to learn about the Geneva Conventions before they're expected to obey international humanitarian law in the future.

Check out the petition: http://bit.ly/RCpetition

Do you think it could make a difference?

Kel said...

Dave, good point. Our enemies can show that they are "better" than we are.

Nunya, I love that petition. Bush and Co. only got away with what they did because so many in the US believe in American exceptionalism. They, literally, are unaware that international law should apply to them.

I think the education of Americans into the reasons why we should have international law would stop the neo-con arseholes in their tracks.

International law is in America's interests as much as it is in the interests of the rest of the world. Americans need to be taught why.

The Bergdahl example, I fear, will not be enough. Teaching international law to all Americans would be a great way forward.