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Thread: "US violated Geneva Conventions" - Gen Petraeus

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    Re: "US violated Geneva Conventions" - Gen Petraeus

    I haven't seen any new arguments here that make me want to engage in this same debate again, but all I will say is this:

    Regardless of the legality of the tortures according to the Geneva Convention, the interrogation methods were in complete and utter contradiction to the stated foreign policy of the United States, as peaceful nation wanting to bring democracy, liberty, and economy to struggling nations.

    The tortures may or may not have violated the Geneva Convention, but they did violate what it stands for. The fact that apologists are trying to scrape for the wording to justify it shows that the U.S. has veered dangerously off course in the past decade.
    Last edited by Orion; 05-30-09 at 09:49 AM.

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    Re: "US violated Geneva Conventions" - Gen Petraeus

    Quote Originally Posted by goldendog View Post
    Well the Republicans have always claimed that Petreaus is a smart and wise general...now he is proving them right.
    Wait a minute, I thought you had to suspend disbelief with Patreaus. So you guys are huge hypocrites now for believing him. Boy oh boy, either that or you were stupid as **** the first time. So which is it, you're stupid or hypocrites?
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
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    Re: "US violated Geneva Conventions" - Gen Petraeus

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Wait a minute, I thought you had to suspend disbelief with Patreaus. So you guys are huge hypocrites now for believing him. Boy oh boy, either that or you were stupid as **** the first time. So which is it, you're stupid or hypocrites?
    It goes both ways, Republicans and conservatives touted how great and smart the man was and that we should believe him because he is "on the ground" so to speak.

    So to quote you:

    Boy oh boy, either that or you were stupid as **** the first time. So which is it, you're stupid or hypocrites?
    Works just as well for Republicans and conservatives coming from YOUR words.
    Last edited by TheNextEra; 05-30-09 at 11:30 AM.

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    Re: "US violated Geneva Conventions" - Gen Petraeus

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Wait a minute, I thought you had to suspend disbelief with Patreaus. So you guys are huge hypocrites now for believing him. Boy oh boy, either that or you were stupid as **** the first time. So which is it, you're stupid or hypocrites?
    Yes, like so many others, your choice to dogpile Democrats you don't know and accuse them of things that they may or may not have done or said overrides your desire to actually discuss what the General said.

    I can see why you would stay away from the topic given your nature.
    *insert profound statement here*

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    Re: "US violated Geneva Conventions" - Gen Petraeus

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNextEra View Post
    It goes both ways, Republicans and conservatives touted how great and smart the man was and that we should believe him because he is "on the ground" so to speak.

    So to quote you:



    Works just as well for Republicans and conservatives coming from YOUR words.
    I know, this thread really draws out some posters true nature.
    *insert profound statement here*

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    Re: "US violated Geneva Conventions" - Gen Petraeus

    Quote Originally Posted by Inferno View Post
    I think that we were wrong in torturing anyone. I frankly don't care if it is inside outside above or below the Geneva Convention. We are supposed to better than that. The question as to whether this is outside the Geneva Convention is not really answerable in this.
    Amazing, you actually answered the question. Was that so freaking hard!? As Lerxst and I have concluded (after several pages of nonsense), the fact is we do not know what specific clause of the GC we supposedly violated or what instance of abuse Patreus may be referring to. Does this justify the use of EIT? No, I never once implied that it did. My only interest in this thread was establishing legal factuality which is different from establishing moral legitimacy - learn to make that distinction if you want to survive in the world of politics and law.

    Having said that, I would like to communicate my disgust at this thread. I asked a simple question and not only was it ignored by multiple people for multiple pages, I was accused of trying to push some agenda or of justifying some action taken by the Bush administration. Not only that, but Inferno made numerous assumptions as to what I would be doing if "the show was on the other foot," so to speak, but she has no reason (aside from her partisan preconceptions) to believe I'm a hypocrite. When I am justifying EIT you will know it; in this case, I was not.

    When you can come up with the proof that Petraeus is wrong let me know.
    When you can come up with the proof that Petraeus is right let me know.

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    Re: "US violated Geneva Conventions" - Gen Petraeus

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    How can one violate the Geneva Conventions when the Geneva Conventions don't apply to the people in question?
    Because the Geneva Conventions do apply to its signatories.

    See, there's the letter of the law, and the spirit of the law, neither of which should be ignored. In its attempts to excuse/justify torture, Bushco is relying on people like you to dismiss the meaning and intent behind the words.

    Convention III, Part I, Article 2:

    Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations.
    The ICRC discusses this statement in detail:

    [p.24] PARAGRAPH 3. -- CONFLICTS IN WHICH THE BELLIGERENTS
    ARE NOT ALL PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION

    1. ' Relations between belligerents party to the Convention '

    This provision appears to state an elementary truth; but that was not always the case. The Hague Conventions of 1907 and the Geneva Convention of 1906 all contained a ' clausula si omnes ' (9), and that provision was in force when the First World War broke out in 1914. But despite the fact that the application of the Convention might have been suspended on the ground that one of the belligerents -- Montenegro -- was not a party to it, all the Contracting States in general honoured their signature (10).

    It was essential, however, to clarify the position and to prevent any future recurrence of a situation similar to that of 1914. It should be noted that this problem of relations between opposing Powers is quite distinct from that of the relations between allied Powers fighting under a unified command. The latter case, which is also very important, is considered later in this volume, in connection with Article 12 Database 'IHL - Treaties & Comments', View '1.Traités \1.2. Par Article'.

    2. ' Relations between Contracting and non-Contracting Parties '

    The second sentence, added by the Diplomatic Conference of 1949, has certainly the characteristics of a compromise, for it does not come to a decision between the suspensive and resolutive conditions. At first sight it appears to incline towards the Belgian amendment. But whereas the latter only made the Convention applicable as from the time of its formal acceptance by the non-Contracting Power, the sentence adopted by the Diplomatic Conference drops all reference to an invitation to be made to the non-Contracting Power, and substitutes for the words "as from the latter Power's acceptance" the words "if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof".

    What, then, is the position in the interval between the launching of hostilities and the non-contracting belligerent's acceptance?

    [p.25] The First Report by the Special Committee of the joint Committee, to which reference has already been made, states: "according to the spirit of the four Conventions, the Contracting States shall apply them, in so far as possible, as being the codification of rules which are generally recognized" (11). This passage shows how this not very clear provision should be interpreted.

    The spirit and character of the Conventions lead perforce to the conclusion that the Contracting Power must at least apply their provisions from the moment hostilities break out until such time as the adverse Party has had the time and an opportunity to state his intentions. That may not be a strictly legal interpretation; it does not altogether follow from the text itself; but it is in our opinion the only reasonable solution. It follows from the spirit of the Conventions, and is in accordance with their character. It is also in accordance with the moral interest of the Contracting Power, inasmuch as it invites the latter to honour a signature given before the world. It is finally to its advantage from a more practical point of view, because the fact of its beginning itself to apply the Convention will encourage the non-Contracting Party to declare its acceptance, whereas any postponement of the application of the Convention by the Contracting Party would give the non-Contracting Party a pretext for nonacceptance.

    There are two conditions to be fulfilled under this part of the paragraph -- (a) acceptance and (b) de facto application of the Convention. What happens if the non-Contracting Party makes no declaration, but in actual fact applies the Convention? Before answering this question, it must be seen what is meant by "accepting" the provisions of the Convention (11).

    Is a formal and explicit declaration by a non-Contracting State indispensable? The Rapporteur of the Special Committee seems to say that it is. "A declaration" he wrote "was necessary, contrary to the Canadian amendment, according to which an attitude on the part of the non-Contracting State in conformity with the Convention would have sufficed to make it applicable". He added, it is true, that it was not possible to lay down any uniform procedure in the matter, and that "the Convention would be applicable as soon as the declaration was made. It would cease to be applicable as soon as the declaration was clearly disavowed by the attitude of the non-contracting belligerent" (12).

    [p.26] Does it follow from this that, if the second condition -- namely the application of the Convention de facto -- is alone fulfilled, the Contracting Party is released from its obligations?

    Closely as that may seem to follow from the letter of the text, it does not appear possible to maintain such an interpretation. It would make the application of the Convention dependent on a suspensive condition even more rigid than that of the Belgian proposal, which was itself regarded as being too strict. It would bring about a paradoxical -- not to say, a monstrous -- situation. It would entitle a Power to disregard rules solemnly proclaimed by itself, while its adversary, though not legally bound to those rules, was scrupulously applying them; and all this only because of the omission of the latter to make a declaration, or because of delay in the transmission of such a declaration.

    ' Summum jus summa injuria. ' The saying may often be true; but it should never be cited in reference to a humanitarian Convention. The Third Convention, like its three sister Conventions, rightly condemns reprisals against persons in the most categorical terms. But would it not be worse than any reprisals to ill-treat prisoners even before one's adversary had done so, merely because it was inferred from his silence that he was intending to do so?

    The two conditions laid down for the non-Contracting Power are that it should ' accept ' and ' apply ' the provisions of the Convention. In the absence of any further indication, there is no reason to assume that "acceptance" necessarily implies an explicit declaration. It can equally well be tacit. It may be implicit in de facto application. These considerations do not in any way minimize the importance of an explicit declaration by the non-Contracting Power. It is, on the contrary, most desirable that the latter should make such a declaration, and with the least possible delay. The International Committee of the Red Cross for its part, when offering its services at the beginning of a conflict, never fails to ask Parties to the conflict which are not legally bound by the Convention to declare their intention of applying it or of observing at least its principles, as the case may be.
    The ICRC concludes:

    Furthermore, although the Convention, as a concession to legal form, provides that in certain circumstances a Contracting Power may legally be released from its obligations, its spirit encourages the Power [p.27] in question to persevere in applying humanitarian principles, whatever the attitude of the adverse Party may be. (13)

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    Re: "US violated Geneva Conventions" - Gen Petraeus

    Quote Originally Posted by Glinda View Post
    Furthermore, although the Convention, as a concession to legal form, provides that in certain circumstances a Contracting Power may legally be released from its obligations, its spirit encourages the Power [p.27] in question to persevere in applying humanitarian principles, whatever the attitude of the adverse Party may be.
    Yes lets look a bit closer at this last part.

    It basically says we understand this will not apply to all people all the time. We would like to request you keep to the spirit if it is not clear.

    In this case it is very clear they are illegal combatants not represented by any power.

    Again it would appear the convention does not apply.
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    Re: "US violated Geneva Conventions" - Gen Petraeus

    Hmmm it seems the good General can't come up with what parts of the Genevea Accords we violated. From the same story

    Petraeus didn’t say which parts of the Geneva Conventions he thought he and other administration officials had violated.

    Also Iwish folks would call it by it's true name they are the Geneva Accords.

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    Re: "US violated Geneva Conventions" - Gen Petraeus

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackdog View Post
    In this case it is very clear they are illegal combatants not represented by any power.
    You should read it again. It says:

    whatever the attitude of the adverse Party may be
    There is no requirement in that statement that the adverse party must be "represented by a [specific] power."

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