Bill Clinton used the US Military more times than any other US
President. Furthermore he of his government failed to support that
Military. You only have to look to BLACKHAWK DOWN to see positive
evidence. It took the military of other countries to rescue the
survivors of the downed helicopter. The SECDEF refused to permit the
commanding general in Somolia to deploy armored vehicles in protection
of US Soldiers.
Which has nothing to do with the relative powers of the Congress and the
President regarding war-making. But there WAS the Sudanese aspirin factory
Still, a lot of wars are started by falsehoods, misrepresentations, and the
like. The Spanish-American war was started by the false claim that the
Battleship Maine was blown up by Spanish do-bads. The American Second War of
Independence (referred to in the south as "The Recent Unplesantness") was
excited on a lot of false information. Germany invaded Poland under the
fabricated notion of Polish aggression.
No, starting wars under false pretenses has a long and glorious history.
Starting a war based on lies is, in the grand scheme, no biggie. If you need
a war, one reason's as good as another.
And we need a war every ten to fifteen years to keep the tip of the spear
sharp. Would anyone enlist in the military if there were no chance of a
shooting conflict? (Would anyone want to be a firefighter if there were no
fires?) In the current situation, I don't think there's a commander, from
sergeant to 4-star, that hasn't led men in combat. That's what you call
polishing the sharpened tip. It'll be a long time before anybody challenges
our ground forces.
Now I, personally, have killed my small share of the enemies of this great
republic (and I wasn't even in a combat command!). It makes one a better
person by showing you just how precious a life really is (yours, not
You may disagree, but in the fullness of time one day you'll say: Tho' I've
belted you an' flayed you, By the livin' Gawd that made you, You're a better
man than I am, HeyBub.
I am of the opinion that GW actually believed what he was saying. That would
make him foolish, misguided, and wrong, but not a liar. I also believe that he
wanted to invade Iraq from his first day in office.
When 9/11 and the intelligence community served up the excuse, he went for it.
He wanted to believe the evidence of WMDs and discounted the evidence to the
contrary. It's called cognitive dissonance. We all do it.
...and that is all W has ever been trying to do, to please his daddy,
and pearl-wearing pit-bull of a mother.
I tend to doubt that as "Daddy" pulled the troops out rather than going into
Iraq. He knew that it would turn out badly if they went in. The kid found
out the old man was right.
Eh? No. From the 3rd Geneva Convention that specifically addresses prisoners
"Art 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
(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
(6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy
spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had
time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms
openly and respect the laws and customs of war. "
Many of the Gitmo residents probably fall under (2) or (6). Notice no uniform
is required under (2), just a "fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a
distance". Perhaps "Taliban Local Chapter 135"?
No identification of any kind is required under (6).
I can find nothing in the 4th Geneva convention that addresses legal or illegal
combatants at all.
By the way, all four Geneva Conventions were passed on 12 August 1949. They
address different related topics.
My mistake. The 3rd Geneva Convention is correct. "Lawful enemy combatant"
is defined in the Military Commissions Act and tracks exactly the
definitions given in the 3rd Convention. By extension, those not qualifying
under the 3rd Convention or the Military Commissions Act as "lawful" enemy
combatants must, perforce, be "unlawful" enemy combatants.
You are correct also in my misuse of the word "uniform," when distinctive
emblem is the standard. But (6) doesn't really apply to al Queda operatives
from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and other places scooped up while fighting in
Iraq and Afghanistan.
Aside from the fact that the Military Commissions Act has been overturned by the
Supreme Court, it only tracks the first two definitions of prisoner of war in
the 3rd Geneva Convention and ignores the remaining four. I suspect this was
deliberate because, especially the sixth definition would protect many of the
"unlawful" enemy combatants.
It is also defines any member of Al Queda or the Taliban as unlawful in spite of
the fact that they are likely to be covered under the second definition.
Indeed, unless they have "inhabited" the area for some time before the invasion.
The sixth definition is clearly set up to protect locals who say "This is MY
home and you're not taking it." I agree.
Your irony is well-taken. Coercive techniques COULD have produced the
results you complain about but I have yet to hear anyone, pro or con,
suggest that was the case.
There is one case where a goblin (forget his name, Ramsey al BoomBoom or
something) was turned over to the Egyptians, they got information
implicating Iraq in this and that, and that information was offered by the
CIA as an excuse for invasion. But WE didn't remove the fingers, the
And ditto heads and rap music and nails on a chalkboard.
I have no reason to believe he was speaking for anyone other than himself.
This seems to be a common misunderstanding. The 3rd Geneva Convention defines
prisoner of war and the required treatment of them. A uniform is not required
to be a prisoner of war. The term "unlawful enemy combatant" is never used.
The 4th Geneva Convention specifies the treatment of ALL persons in occupied
territory. The UN Convention Against Torture prohibits torture on all persons.
(So do the 3rd and 4th Geneva Conventions.)
The UN Convention Against Torture does permit pain to be inflicted incidental to
legal processes. So you can shoot them, you can't torture them.
Disclaimer: I am not an international lawyer. I'm not any kind of lawyer. What
I am saying comes from a plain English reading of the original documents.
President Obama looking forward isn't a bad thing...I just wish someone
would shut Cheney up....how much more of an arrogant prick can this guy
be? At least Bush crawled back under his rock and hopefully will stay
there. If the average person wants to do something, boycotting fox
"news" and its advertisers is a good place to start. They are dangerous
to the health of this country, spreading lies, fear and hatred in
support of far right extremists and corporate greed.
Good point. We can all watch MSNBC. We all know that they are never
opinionated. They would never be one sided.
Also, good point about Cheney. We can't have private citizens speaking
their minds. It's that damned 1st Amendment thing. Can't permit that.
We can't disagree with the leaders in power. That, of course, would
Say what you will, Bush is and was a class act. I do not recall him ever
saying once that any of the then-current problems stemmed from failings of
the Clinton administration. Obama, in his speech Thursday, made reference to
the problems he inherited, by one count, twenty-eight times.
As time goes on, Obama will continue to experience "reality-checks" and
concede that, in many cases, the Bush policies were actually as good as
could be expected. We've already seen reversals from Obama's campaign
rhetoric when faced with some intractable problems.
* Military tribunals
* Closing Gitmo
* Gays in the military
* Detainee pictures
* Retain large troop presence in Iraq
He HAS kept his campaign promises on:
* Stem cell research
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