Global Issues, US Politics

Geneva and Iran

Andy McCarthy cites Geneva, Sullivan rebuts:

Unlike prisoners detained by the U.S. in Iraq – some of whom were tortured so badly they died? Memo to Andy: your beloved administration has derided the Geneva Conventions as “quaint”. They have sanctioned not gentle questioning, but waterboarding, sleep deprivation and stress positions for prisoners captured in a war, Iraq, where Geneva was allegedly never in doubt. Where were you then? And now Iran is in the dock for giving British prisoners treatment that those in Gitmo and Abu Ghraib can only dream of?

Don’t people realize that this is what this episode is partly about? Iran, that disgusting regime, is showing much of the world that it treats prisoners more humanely than the U.S. That’s the propaganda coup they are achieving. And you know who set them up to score this huge victory in the propaganda war? Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld, who authorized all the abuse at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere throughout the war. And McCarthy, who defended and enabled them. Tehran never had a better friend than George W. Bush. He has given Islamist thugs the moral highground.

John Cole takes it another step:

Sure, the hypocrisy about the Geneva conventions is breathtaking and worth noticing, but what is truly frightening is how quickly McCarthy and others are ramping up the rhetoric. This is little more than the widely ridiculed “We have been at war with Iran since 1979” nonsense that was peddled just a few weeks back, and now this meme is so widespread that McCarthy doesn’t even break rhetorical stride when mentioning it.

This is the difference between the US and UK debates on this. There is a strong voice in the US advocating for war with Iran. The UK thinks it’s nuts.

Porter, while I agree with you that past immoral action should not discredit current moral, or less immoral, acts, surely this then applies to everyone?

As I said in a comment stream below, the real cost of neglecting, mocking, and in many ways disregarding the convention is that the administration has weakened the norm. It doesn’t matter whether the Iranian government would abide by it or not, but it sure matters in the wider struggle for the hearts and minds of the middle east. A war which Iran is winning.

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