OT - middle ages?

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wrote:

Heritage ? A lot of it was Tom Paine, making it up on the spur of the moment.
The sad part is that a war of liberation from a colonial king turned into a war of independence instead. Imagine if both populations had turned against the king instead of being set against each other. The French revolution, without the threat of English intervention to turn it into a police state afterwards.
--
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods

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:>Since he was elected, let :>him do the job as he sees fit. : No, how about holding him to the standards of the Constitution ? : There are limits, even for a president.
Not according to the memos Ashcroft refuses to provide to Congress!
: I envy the US its constitution, and the fabled "checks and balances" : of its government. On the whole I prefer the UK's political system to : that of the USA, but your founding fathers did a damn good job on this : bit.
Too bad the current administration is doing it's damndest to gut them.
    -- Andy Barss
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wrote:

Like the last administration with the Second Amendment, you mean?
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Bay Area Dave wrote:

There's too much wiggle room in that statement - at least for my comfort. It doesn't bother me that he has considerable latitude in the performance of his job; but an important part of that job is to preserve and protect the Constitution.
I feel obliged to respect the office; but do not feel obliged to respect the office holder if I become convinced that he does that job badly - if he participates in or acquiesces to activities or conduct unworthy of respect.
Too, the President serves at the will of the majority of the population. In my mind he is accountable to the American people and can not honestly hold the office and simultaneously flout the will of the people or deviate from either the letter or the spirit of the Constitution.

I'm glad you're appalled - but I'm afraid that even if your wishes were fulfilled, nothing would change significantly.

I think Larry's comment is insightful; and I think this is always a danger. Somehow it seems that when people focus their attention on others (either as individuals or as a group) they tend to become more like those others. All too often the opressed turn right around and conduct themselves as did their former opresors.

Perhaps or perhaps not - I lean toward the "not" side because I think that other issues can too easily lead to GC violations - and I don't think that these treaties provide much protection for our troops at all (even though I really like the idea that they /might/).
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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Totally agree.
Fortunately, if Bush was not doing this the Democrats would be the first to start the impeachment proceedings like the Republicans did with Clinton. ;~)
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No, the president serves at the will of the majority of the Electors of which there are what, 535? Even there it is only every 4 years. Once elected he serves at the will of a very small minority of either the House or Senate (that number being the minimum number of those who could block an impeachment in the House or a conviction in the Senate). The Constitution does not even talk about a presidential election and allows the states to select their electors any way that they want. A popular vote for president is not required at all (by the Constitution) if a state decides to select its electors in some other manner. The President is not meant to represent the people, he (or she) is meant to represent the states and the states are NOT meant to be represented in direct proportion to their respective populations. They are clearly NOT supposed to blindly follow the "will" of the people - they are supposed to lead and are thus insulated from short term shifts in public opinion (one of the big shortcomings of a parlimentary form of government IMHO). The Great Compromise was truly great but is truly not understood in todays world.
Dave Hall
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On Fri, 11 Jun 2004 02:34:19 +0000, David Hall wrote:

And that's what Hillary finally figured out after spouting off about getting rid of the Electoral College. She's part of the Senate which has equal State representation, not equal population representation.
-Doug
--
"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples
then you and I will still each have one apple.
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snipped-for-privacy@nn.com says...

has the right to ignore treaties (and, some would say, the constitution)?
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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says...

Some might say ignoring the constitution,,,, but the Democrats would be all over that if that were true.
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hmm...my newsreader doesn't have Larry's post in this thread that you have quoted, Leon.
to Larry: The president is elected for four years under the premise that if we do OUR job to elect the best person for that top job, he will carry out his oath of office, which to my recollection, mentions nothing of taking the pulse of the man on the street, before acting in accordance with his best judgment and those advisors that he has hand picked to make his tenure in office as successful as possible. To act only to appease the public would create havoc. The public is swayed by the liberal media and really has no business trying to run the country by demonstrating in the streets or calling in to talk shows, or writing their petty complaints to their local newspaper. The voters can make an adjustment at the next election.
dave
Leon wrote:

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Doug Miller writes:

Only one disagreement. I was stunned, not appalled, when I first heard of this statement.
Charlie Self "The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the exercise of his mind." Jacques Barzun
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Give it some more time. I'm reading one right now, as a matter of fact.

You're speaking in future tense. It's already happened, but hopefully it's being dealt with.
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I view the Geneva convention like I view most gun laws. Criminals don't care whats illegal so they the laws don't affect them. It's those who abide by the laws that are affected. Same way with the Geneva Convention. None of our advesaries have ever followed it. Certainly not Iraq in 91 or more recently ( though you rarely ever here about this). So once again it is only the U.S. and a few of our allies who care enough about it to follow it or enforce it if it isn't.

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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net says...

we. Neither side was perfect, but I personally talked to German POWs and to US GIs who'd been prisoners.
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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says...

Do you think the Jews would agree with that statement?
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On Sat, 12 Jun 2004 04:29:53 GMT, "Leon"

Jewish civilians weren't protected by the Geneva conventions. Attrocities like that were such an aberration at the time of drafting that they're simply outside the scope of Geneva.
One of the Nurnberg defences was that German soldiers acted no worse than RAF pilots against Berlin or Dresden. This was rejected, partly because someone else's crime is never a defence for your own, but also because the Holocaust was treated as a non-military action carried out by soldiers, rather than a military campaign. The much-quoted defence that "we were only follwing orders" failed no only because there was seen to be an over-riding moral imperative to disobey such an order, but also because these orders could not _be_ valid military orders in an operation that had failed to be "military" within the bounds of military law.
Some cases that weren't presented at Nurnberg (and perhaps should have been) involved anti-partisan actions on the Eastern front. In some cases these _could_ be presented as legitimate military actions, and it was their _manner_ that was under question, not their _purpose_ (unlike an extermination camp, which is basically morally wrong from the outset). This is a much weaker legal case than for others, even for those similar actions in the Baltic states that were carried out by "civilian" "police" and were prosecuted.
There were also cases where western allied Jewish soldiers and airmen were captured. They were generally (except for a few rare cases) treated reasonably well as POWs and were not given the special treatment they might have expected as occupied civilians on the basis of religion. This was generally true for Luftwaffe prisoners, as the Luftwaffe resented any intervention from other groups, mainly for reasons of internal management poolitics. It was broadly true for army prisoners too, although it's known to have broken down somewhat when POWs found themselves under the forced labour organisations towards the end of the war.
Sadly "Allied" prisoners have to be distinguished as Western Front or Eastern Front though. Slavs captured on the East _were_ treated primarily as untermensch to be abused with the worst excesses that the civilians endured, not as soldiers.
One of the worst recent offenders against _the_Geneva_conventions_ is the US' actions at Guantanamo and the like. Note that the US is still a country with a good human rights record and a broadly fair treatment of other nation's civilians (there are problems, for sure, but only the worst of anti-US bias can really equate Iraqi prisons before and after the war). However as it applies to Geneva, then the US is on clear contravention of it, when most other nation's attrocities just aren't applicable to Geneva's rules.
This is one of the strongest arguments for an international court of human rights, despite the US' objections to it. Geneva is just no longer enough to cover cases such as Rwanda or Srebrenica.
--
Smert' spamionam

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wrote:
You missed the point. War is war and no one sticks to the rules.
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wrote:

The Geneva convention is almost always followed, because it's implemented by people who know damn well that they might themselves be in need of it all too soon.
Armies may abuse civilians (and I note that they've finally coughed to Srebrenica) , but it's most rare for the solidery to begin abuse of other soldiers.
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On Sat, 12 Jun 2004 01:46:51 +0100, Andy Dingley wrote:

Errrr, maybe you could list the wars since the Geneve Conventions were put in place where both sides have strictly adhered to them?
-Doug
--
"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples
then you and I will still each have one apple.
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Remember what happened on October 23, 1983? Ronald Reagan was the President. They bombed the Marines and 240 good Marines were killed. What did we do? Reagan, realizing defeat, pulled the remaining Marines out of the Lebanese war. This coupled with the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan demonstrated to the Bin Ladens of the world that a super power can be defeated by small, committed groups.
We have send the message, directly and decisively that the US will not ever again, cower to a terrorist or a government that gives aid to terrorists. This is what I believe drives President Bush currently.
I will tell you that I do not condone torture or brutality as a means to extract information from a prisoner or any other captive. I do support doing what we can to trick, bribe, scare or intimidate them into providing us with useful information.
I have a niece in the Navy and a nephew in the Marines in the gulf and on the ground as I type. I pray daily for their safety. My nephew told me that the local Iraqis are very grateful to the US for getting rid of Sadam and his government. Its only a small faction of old government cronies and zealots that continue to make trouble and the world press zeros in on them. After the press leaves, the crowds break-up and go back to normal activities.
As long as we have solders there, we should support them. If in hindsight, it is determined this effort was wrong, we need to change our government by using the democratic methods laid down by other that also gave their lives.
Dave

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