March 29, 2007

"And when the captured British sailor admits she 'trespassed' into Iranian waters, there is fear in her eyes."

Why have so many journalists been saying that Faye (Topsy) Turney "admitted" the British sailors trespassed into Iranian waters? That implies that it's true, but she's obviously under duress. She said it. That's all.

Then there is her letter:
I am being well looked after, I am fed three meals a day and I'm in constant supply of fluids.
It's hard for me as an American to judge the natural language patterns of a British person, but "I'm in constant supply of fluids" struck me as something she didn't come up with herself.
Hopefully it won't be long till I'm home to get ready for Molly's birthday party and with a present from the Iranian people.
Here's the video of the statement she made.
They were very thoughtful, nice people... they were very, very compassionate.

It's all sweetness, love, birthday parties, and fluids with the Iranians.

159 comments:

Kevin Lomax said...

Iran is quite clearly, at least at some level, trying to provoke a battle with the US. They may think they'll get a small war now and avoid a regime changing war in the future. I afraid things won't work out the way either side wants them to. Bush has no political capital left to effectively conduct any needed skirmish.

I leave you with this:
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia"

XWL said...

The first President of Iran is quoted as saying, "scientific research had shown that women’s hair emitted rays that drove men insane" (which explains why they had to force her to wear that scarf, her blonde hair rays would have been especially crazy making to those Persian men detaining her).

So it's not much of a leap to suspect they might also produce a military officer or two obsessed by their bodily fluids like a certain fictional Cold Warrior.

(but I seriously doubt that Iran will ever produce a Slim Pickens)

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm still waiting to hear from feminist groups outraged over forcing her to wear a headscarf.

I would think to a non-Muslim that would be considered to be culturally insensitive. I can say that my bride would tell them to wipe thier a$$ with it.

Bush has no political capital left to effectively conduct any needed skirmish.

True to the extent that Congress won't support US action for the benefit of the Brits. On the other hand, had those been US sailors, I'll wager you'd see more than a few members of Congress (other than the usual suspects) who'd be behind a punitive strike at a minimum. The embassy hostage crisis back in 1979 is still fairly fresh in a lot a minds.

Pogo said...

Why Blair is treating this like Carter is anyone's guess. Same inability to protect your own people, I'd say. As with the US hostage crisis, this is meant to show the world that Britain is a paper tiger, and hasn't the stomach to do anything when threatened.

Responding as if this were some lunatic holed up in a bank with a hostage is a mistake. If they get concessions from England, expect more hostages to be taken.

Reward violence and you get more violence. Pretty simple. But this seems to me more evidence that the West is simply unwilling to defend itself. And we are witnessing the death of the West.

Just what the left always wanted. But I don't think they ever imagined Iranians filling the gap, rather than themselves.

Jennifer said...

Why have so many journalists been saying that Faye (Topsy) Turney "admitted" the British sailors trespassed into Iranian waters? That implies that it's true, but she's obviously under duress. She said it. That's all.

Thank you!! The headlines have been driving me nuts.

I felt when Jill Carroll was forced to make statements, journalists seemed more sympathetic and more willing to openly acknowledge the obvious coercion.

Is it because these are sailors/soldiers that the media seems less willing to do the same? Because they are British...? Because it's Iran rather than random terrorists...?

Positroll said...

I'm in constant supply of fluids.
= waterboarding ? Hopefully not ...
Maybe the wording was chosen to avoid the (far fetched) impression that they might be served alcohol ??

George said...

It's easy to imagine a future in which Iran does not exist.

Turkey (or Iraq) takes the western Kurdish area, Russia the oil-producing north (which it occupied after WWII), and Iraq, the oil-producing southwestern Khuzestan and its Sunni Arab population that the present regime has persecuted.

As Kevin says above, Iran wants armed conflict far more than the West does. The regime is falling apart. You'd never know it from reading the newspapers or listening to NPR but there have been repeated uprisings all across that country.

The Drill SGT said...

I have been struck by a number of things here:

1. The apparent willingness of the press to believe these Iranian thugs.

I'd like to note that the British small boats had GPS and had recorded their locations. The Indian tanker they were boarding reports he was in Iraqi waters, there was the mother Frigate a few miles away, who had everything on radar, and we have satelite images recording the locations. When the Iranians first announced the capture coords they gave ones in Iraqi aters, they then had to go back and reissue the coords that put them 1/4 mile into Iranian waters. the press seems to have chosen sides here.

2. The Iranians are violating a number of Geneva convention sections, and they did sign them. refusal to allow access by the IRC for one and use of POWs in confession videos for another.

3. That tape is troubling on a number of levels, first the language is not that of any sailor I have ever heard. Secondly, the sailor says they were arrested rather than captured. That's troubling usage. It implies criminal activity rather than POW status.

George said...

Somewhat unrelated matter...

Tue Mar 27, 2007 By Sue Pleming

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Washington estimates up to 90 percent of suicide bombers in Iraq enter the country via Syria which has not acted to stop this flow of attackers, the U.S. State Department's Iraq adviser said on Tuesday.

David Satterfield, who is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's key adviser on Iraq, said Syria had an obligation to stop "jihadists" crossing into Iraq where suicide bombings are an almost daily occurrence.

He estimated 90 percent of suicide bombers in Iraq were foreigners and while the mix of nationalities changed, some 85 to 90 percent of them crossed over from Syria.

"They (suicide bombers) see Syria as a more accommodating country through which to transit across the border to come into Iraq to perpetrate their terror," Satterfield said in a speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, .

"It has to stop, it is not in Syria's long term interests to let this violence continue," he added.


The US of A sure is patient, isn't it? Why should Syria stop if all we're going to do is talk.

Sloanasaurus said...

This is a test for the Europeans not America. Iran knows that the U.S. would strike back which is why they kidnapped British soldiers rather than American. If the British public is so anti-war like they were in the 30s, the Brits may be powerless to do anything. It's a sad state.

They need help from their other European allies to put sanctions on Iran but the other countries like Spain, France, etc...are also so weak that they cannot even do that. Moreover, many complain that the kidnapping was Britains own fault for being in the middle east, why should they help Britain...

The U.S. is further isloated in the world, but not because we have made enemies, its because we are the only stong one left.

Telecomedian said...

re: Pogo - I don't know if Blair is treating this like Carter. I think that's a bit of a stretch, considering this situation has been going on for only a few days. The British are trying to rally support in the international community and using diplomacy as much as possible in this early stage. If this row drags on for several weeks or months, then the Carter analogy is much more apt.

We also don't know if the Brits are planning an assault to retrieve the sailors, or if they even know where they're being held captive.

Sloanasaurus said...

He estimated 90 percent of suicide bombers in Iraq were foreigners and while the mix of nationalities changed, some 85 to 90 percent of them crossed over from Syria.

Don't the anti-war leftists on this board pooh pooh the flypaper theory.

Face it. We haven't been attacked in 5 1/2 years. Not even a measly bus bomb. Why do you think that is? All of the jihadists who want to blow themselves up are racing to Iraq because that is where the war is. If your a religious fanatic living in Egypt, you can be in Iraq, on a mission, and in Heaven in only a few days. To carry out such a plan in America requires much more effort, and you might get caught - ruining your chances for 72 virgins.

If we withdraw from Iraq, the war shift to America. Syria will be replaced by Mexico as easiest country to find passage. The Suicide bombers will come here. They will blow up our malls, our buses, or sporting events. We will go on lockdown as a country. America under the Patriot Act will seem like a libertarian dream. The economy get crushed, millions will lose their jobs. The poor will suffer the most.

We will have the Democrats to thank for all of it.

RogerA said...

This dust up is certainly an interesting exercise in diplomacy--because that is precisely what it is. Iran has suffered from a high level defection about a month ago; sanctions are continuing to tighten; this was apparently an effort of the revolutionary guard which by all account operates independently of the Iranian foreign ministry but ultimately with the acquience of the mullahs.

My guess is that this exercise has been done for Iranian internal reasons and represents a rather dramatic split within the Iranian ruling factions. A good reason for the US to stay out of it entirely. Let the Brits and the UN handle it.

There is certainly one major concern, however, in that the US has surrended the high ground with respect to the Geneva Convention issues. Rightly or wrongly, the US lacks credibility in any condemnaations of Iranian actions. Administration critics were right at the perceptual, if not the legal level.

Akiva said...

Unfortunately, we see this news fluff all the time yet most continue to believe that the 'news media' are reporting 'truth' rather than entertainers doing their best to get and keep an audience.

Somehow, with the British situation it's a little more obvious, but plenty of other examples are around.

Bob said...

I'm curious to know if the captured Brits even considered some sort of passive resistance to being paraded in front of cameras? Name, rank, serial number? When I was in the US Navy we had the code of conduct drilled into us in boot camp, and it definitely mentioned how captives are supposed to act/not act. It may be that you'd have to take some lumps for it, but to simply submit without any resistance whatever doesn't seem like they take pride in being soldiers.

I'm willing to wait and see, though, perhaps I'm simply being uncharitable from lack of knowledge of their situation.

Al Maviva said...

I suspect the purpose behind it is to get the British to pressure the U.S. (or its allies) to turning over high level Iranian defectors, and the 300 or so military personnel who were recently making mischief, and captured, in Iraq.

Either that, or it's just to bolster Iran's image in the always-rational South Asian world, by humiliating the West yet again.

The radical islamists are correct. We lack the courage of our convictions, and we are weak, ripe for being toppled.

Mark said...

I read somewhere that at one point during the era when muslims were kidnapping Westerners and holding them in Lebanon, they kidnapped a Russian. The Russian response was to kidnap a family member of one of the known leaders of the muslim factions and cut off his ear and send it to muslim kidnappers, saying more parts would be forthcoming if the hostage wasn't released. The hostage was quickly released and no Russians were kidnapped after that.

Maybe what Britain needs to do is fly in with a strike squad and take a couple dozen hostages related to Iranian leaders, if that's the way Iran wants to play the game.

Sloanasaurus said...

There is certainly one major concern, however, in that the US has surrended the high ground with respect to the Geneva Convention issues.

The upside to that is at least we won't fool ourselves into believing that the Geneva convention argument is one the Iranians take seriously. They don't take international law seriously, so what difference does it make to them. They only know about the law of force.

Pogo said...

Telecomedian,

Every day that goes by without a military response moves Blair away from Thatcher and towards Carter.

There's a reason the hostages were released after Reagan came on. They feared him, but not Carter.

RogerA said...

Sloan--you do hit on a good point re the Geneva Convention--its outdated and useless. The Iranian action demonstrates quite clearly that the GC has no utility whatsoever in today's world.

The Drill SGT said...

Bob said...
I'm curious to know if the captured Brits even considered some sort of passive resistance to being paraded in front of cameras? Name, rank, serial number? When I was in the US Navy we had the code of conduct drilled into us in boot camp, and it definitely mentioned how captives are supposed to act/not act. It may be that you'd have to take some lumps for it, but to simply submit without any resistance whatever doesn't seem like they take pride in being soldiers.


Bob gives me an opportunity to showcase one of the finest examples of the US Code of Conduct:

Many only remember Admiral Stockdale as a bumbling VP candidate, but here is his MOH citation:

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while senior naval officer in the Prisoner of War camps of North Vietnam. Recognized by his captors as the leader in the Prisoners' of War resistance to interrogation and in their refusal to participate in propaganda exploitation, Rear Adm. Stockdale was singled out for interrogation and attendant torture after he was detected in a covert communications attempt.

Sensing the start of another purge, and aware that his earlier efforts at self-disfiguration to dissuade his captors from exploiting him for propaganda purposes had resulted in cruel and agonizing punishment, Rear Adm. Stockdale resolved to make himself a symbol of resistance regardless of personal sacrifice. He deliberately inflicted a near-mortal wound to his person in order to convince his captors of his willingness to give up his life rather than capitulate.

He was subsequently discovered and revived by the North Vietnamese who, convinced of his indomitable spirit, abated in their employment of excessive harassment and torture toward all of the Prisoners of War. By his heroic action, at great peril to himself, he earned the everlasting gratitude of his fellow prisoners and of his country.

Rear Adm. Stockdale's valiant leadership and extraordinary courage in a hostile environment sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Freder Frederson said...

2. The Iranians are violating a number of Geneva convention sections, and they did sign them. refusal to allow access by the IRC for one and use of POWs in confession videos for another.

And because we have repeatedly and consistently also violated Geneva in this war, we no longer have clean hands to complain about Iran's violations.

They trotted out the Brits for camera op in clear violation of Geneva. So what, we showed a disheveled Saddam being prodded and probed immediately after his capture. They have refused access by the ICRC. Rumsfeld admitted in a press conference he had hidden detainees in Iraq from the ICRC. The Iranians nabbed British soldiers in what may have been Iraqi waters. We arrested Iranian civilians in a building that the Iranians claimed was a consulate in such suspicious circumstances that even the local Kurdish government protested.

And Prof. Althouse, where was your outrage when the press reported that Khalid Sheik Mahommed "confessed" to all those plots? Isn't there also ample evidence that he is under duress and his confession had been coerced? When he complained about his treatment and apparently claimed that he had been tortured our government excised that part of the hearing transcript.

Okay everybody, come and get me. Tell me how this is different. That KSM is a terrorist and doesn't deserve to be treated humanely (although U.S. and international law clearly require humane treatment--simply "not torturing" detainees is not enough) Call me a terrorist loving anti-American (or I guess in this case anti-British) traitor. That I am a scumbag for comparing British soldiers to terrorists (which I have not done, I have compared the actions of governments in handling detainees).

Fen said...

Why have so many journalists been saying that Faye (Topsy) Turney "admitted" the British sailors trespassed into Iranian waters?

Same reason that CNN withheld knowledge of Saddam's rape rooms and torture chambers. Any information that might support US military intervention needs to be suppressed, ommited, distorted. If today's MSM had been around before WW2, they would not have reported on Jews being herded into cattle cars.

Jim said...

The press and editoral coverage of this incident are yet more proof that the Geneva convention applies exclusively to the United States.

John Davies said...

Olaf Wiig and Steve Centanni were forced to convert to Islam to escape their captors. I think saying that the boat strayed into Iranian waters is a lesser capitulation.

Sloanasaurus said...

Freder, you are a scumbag for making such a comparison. You can always find examples of where we have violated the letter of the conventions. When however do the terrorists or the Iranian thugs ever follow the conventions.

During World War II, there are tens of thousands of instances where we violated the Geneva Convention, yet for the most part we tried to follow the spirit of the converntions and for the most part we did and we are better for it. The Iranians spit on the convention as Western Bullcrap.

Leave it up to scumbags like you to find exceptions and argue that such exceptions are the rule and therefore we are all scumbags.

You can be a scumbag on your own. You're not dragging me and the rest of us down with you.

Fen said...

And because we have repeatedly and consistently also violated Geneva in this war, we no longer have clean hands to complain about Iran's violations.

Is your position that a nation in violation of Geneva can't support its enforcement?

They trotted out the Brits for camera op in clear violation of Geneva. So what, we showed a disheveled Saddam being prodded and probed immediately after his capture

The Iraqi's had battered wife syndrome. Its was important that they have proof Saddam wasn't coming back to haunt them. This is why the Geneva conventions are out of date and should be reviewed.

Okay everybody, come and get me

Nah, but even I'm suprised at your defense of Iran's violation of Geneva - after you raked me over the coals for supporting waterboarding. You seem to be selectively outraged when the GC is violated.

Fen said...

Wretchard at Belmont Club makes the point better than I ever could:

"Captain Ed asks, The indictment of British sailors in uniform as spies will violate the GC. Can we expect the same level of outrage over this explicit violation as the supposed violations of the US government?

No of course not. As currently interpreted the Geneva Conventions only apply to individuals bent on destroying America. Individuals who blow up elementary schools, kidnap children, attack churches and mosques, kill invalids in wheelchairs, plan attacks on skyscrapers in New York, behead journalists, detonate car bombs with children to camouflage their crime, or board jetliners with explosive shoes -- all while wearing mufti or even women's clothing -- these are all considered "freedom fighters" of the most principled kind. They and they alone enjoy the protections of the Geneva Convention. As to Americans like Tucker and Menchaca or Israeli Gilad Shalit -- or these fifteen British sailors for that matter, it is a case of "what Geneva Convention?" We don't need no steenkin' Geneva Convention to try these guys as spies. That's the way the Human Rights racket works. Don't go looking for any Geneva Convention in Somalia, Darfur, Basilan or Iran. Try Guantanamo Bay."

http://fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com/2007/03/name-rank-and-serial-number.html

Freder Frederson said...

If today's MSM had been around before WW2, they would not have reported on Jews being herded into cattle cars.

Actually, in WWII, both the government and the press had credible information about the extermination program and did not report it.

Beldar said...

I think Leading Seaman Faye Turney kicked their asses, regardless of anything else in her "confession," when she identified herself as "Leading Seaman Faye Turney" and said she'd been in the Royal Navy for nine years. That rank and that career speak much more loudly than words they made her mouth. Her existence is a rebuke to their barbarism.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And because we have repeatedly and consistently also violated Geneva in this war, we no longer have clean hands to complain about Iran's violations.

I am not familiar where the US violated the GC provisions of any prisoners of war. The key word is prisoner of war as defined by the GC. The guests at Gitmo don't meet said definition. Period.

And Prof. Althouse, where was your outrage when the press reported that Khalid Sheik Mahommed "confessed" to all those plots? Isn't there also ample evidence that he is under duress and his confession had been coerced?

I don't know is there?

When he complained about his treatment and apparently claimed that he had been tortured our government excised that part of the hearing transcript.

I'm sure anyone confined against thier will would complain about thier treatment. Considering that some of us get in a twist and think playing Barney music too loud constitutes torture, I'm sure it's not beyond KSM to play on those emotions.

That I am a scumbag for comparing British soldiers to terrorists (which I have not done, I have compared the actions of governments in handling detainees).

Actually you are making the comparison. The Brits were uniformed soldiers who met all requirements under the GC as lawful combatants. KSM and his freinds don't meet a single provision of the GC therefore, are not entitled to the same protections. Period. End of discussion.

Humane treatment? Under the old piracy laws which are probably the only laws on the books that cover modern terrorist activities, we are in our rights to court martial them and shoot them outright.

When I see evidence of US sanctioned torture other than KSM saying we were mean to him, maybe you'll convince me.

Fen said...

Beldar: That rank and that career speak much more loudly than words they made her mouth. Her existence is a rebuke to their barbarism.

Ouch. Nicely done. I didn't think of it along those lines.

Freder Frederson said...

Nah, but even I'm suprised at your defense of Iran's violation of Geneva

Excuse me, when did I defend Iran's violation of Geneva? They should not have trotted these marines and sailors out in front of cameras nor should they deny access to the ICRC. That is clearly wrong. Obviously, charging them with espionage would be beyond the pale.

Fen said...

Freder, I think you've gotten ahead of yourself here. You can always "revise and extend". If its good enough for our congress-critters, why not?

CatoRenasci said...

Ann, to answer your original question, the reason i journalisti are so cheerfully reporting LS Turney's obviously scripted letter - though she appears rather more aquiescent, even collaborative, than seems consistent with her nine-year military career - is that it creates ambiguity so that what started as a clear violation by Iran of international law, and of the Geneva Conventions, which would require an equally clear and forceful response from Britain, can be portrayed as a vast muddle, a balls-up, which does two things:

1) eliminates the need even for Britons to support Britain; and

2) allows the white feather crowd to surrender, to prostrate themselves before the Persians (as the Greeks were unwilling to do), and to not admit to themselves that they are sniviling cowards.

Freder Frederson said...

Humane treatment? Under the old piracy laws which are probably the only laws on the books that cover modern terrorist activities, we are in our rights to court martial them and shoot them outright.

You are simply wrong. They are covered under Geneva (don't take my word for it, the Supreme Court says so). Even if they weren't they are covered under the International Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment which is codified into U.S. law and numerous other laws such as the War Crimes Act.

Fen said...

Excuse me, when did I defend Iran's violation of Geneva?

Right, you did not defend.

But you have aggressively denounced the US for violating Geneva, and people like me who think Geneva is outdated.

Then along comes an Iranian violation, and your breath is spent on claims that we have no right to complain b/c we're just as bad.

Can you see the double standard?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Obviously, charging them with espionage would be beyond the pale.

As opposed to violating Iraqi waters to kidnap them......

me said...

I agree the way the press has been reporting on this is unconscionable. They act like Ms. Turney is just happily tripping along while a captive of the Iranians. Why don't they have a paragraph stating "Of course, all of these statements are suspect because Ms. Turney is a captive of a brutal theocracy." How hard would that be? Its very strange.

Fen said...

/edit

I guess a shorter version is this: Of all the people on this board, I would expect Freder to be the most aggressive in denouncing any violation of Geneva

Sorry, I beleived you were defending Geneva in good faith, and so I expected to hear your outrage of Iran's violations shouted from the rooftops.

Disreputable Organ said...

With the "fluids" comment the Persians have unwittingly (I suspect) used her to channel General Jack D. Ripper. Simply Precious!

Freder Frederson said...

Then along comes an Iranian violation, and your breath is spent on claims that we have no right to complain b/c we're just as bad.

As I have repeatedly said, my concern is for this country maintaining its traditionally high standards. Only by maintaining the moral high ground can we then have the standing to criticize others.

Am I appalled by human rights violations in other countries? Of course I am. But they are not being done in my name.

I am not familiar where the US violated the GC provisions of any prisoners of war. The key word is prisoner of war as defined by the GC.

How was Saddam not a prisoner of war?

CatoRenasci said...

Freder Fredersen wrote:

Obviously, charging them with espionage would be beyond the pale.

Given this position, what precisely would you have Britain do about it if the Iranians indeed act beyond the pale? A strongly worded note? Run to the UN for a toothless condemnation and sanctions?

Just what, in your view, would the Iranians have to do for the Foreign Secretary to call the Iranian Ambassador in, hand him his passports, and a declaration of war?

Hoosier Daddy said...

How was Saddam not a prisoner of war?

I don't think I claimed he wasn't.

Are you claiming his GC rights were violated by the US?

Roger said...

Catorenansci asks the relevant question: what should the UK do? I do hope Blair takes as his model Dame Thather's approach when the Argentinians invaded the Falklands (Malvinas if you prefer). But I am a warmonger at heart.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Freder:

Also keep in mind that the Brits are the ones complaining about the treatment. I don't recall any instances of Britain mistreatment of detainees (IRA suspects notwithstanding) therefore, it seems reasonable that the Iranians would afford these sailors the POW status they deserve.

Considering that in 2004 they subjected those Brits that captured to mock executions, I suppose that is more of a rhetorical statement.

Mark said...

Frederson wrote: As I have repeatedly said, my concern is for this country maintaining its traditionally high standards. Only by maintaining the moral high ground can we then have the standing to criticize others.

High standards of behavior are important. But perfection is not possible. A Republican president always has to fight not only the enemy, but the left wing because he knows that as soon as a single mistake is made, a single violation of a single rule in any small way, the left wing will seize on that to the exclusion of anything the enemy does and beat us over the head with it. The enemy can commit as many blantant atrocities as they want and the most they will get from the left here is an "of course that's bad, BUT....".

Frederson poses like he's this high moral figure only concerned with lofty notions of right and wrong, but his eagerness to pounce on every mistake our side makes betrays his real feelings, which are hostility towards our right wing and relative indifference to our enemies. If he was really on our side, his first thought when our enemies commit a wrong would not be to look for a way to point out how we're just as bad.

I should say, what he wants is for the U.S. to be great - but he wants it to be a left-wing U.S. that looks great. That is his first priority. And if it means tearing down and demoralizing right-wing America in the face of an external enemy, he'll do it because frankly he hates the right wing in America more than he hates our enemies abroad.

And I don't understand this left-wing fetish about having "standing" to criticize other countries like Iran. Standing with whom? The rest of the world are our competitors to one extent or another. 3/4 of the world would never grant us such "standing" even if we somehow managed the level of perfection that Frederson demands. What is it with this fetish to be liked and respected and admired by foreigners? The only people we need to satisfy are our own people. As long as we are the most powerful nation on earth, we will always have enemies who envy us and wish to see us fail - everyone from the French to the Iranians to the Chinese to the Venezuelans. So what if they don't "respect" us? As long as they fear us, we're fine. The day we have to rely on their respect, we're sunk.

Mindsteps said...

I love it. It is wrong for the press to treat statements obtained through coercion as valid, but using torture as an interrogation tool to obtain information from our enemies is an accepted practice. Seems like a contradiction. There is a large volume of literature examining the effects of coercion on behavior. The bulk of it suggests that you can get most people to behave and say what you want them to when you use coercive tactics....but most people will become who they really are, once the threat is removed.

Hey, is it possible that a large segment of the American Public was coerced into supporting the war in Iraq?

mcg said...

Only by maintaining the moral high ground can we then have the standing to criticize others.

This is a load of crap. Nobody maintains perfect command of the moral high ground. If that's the standard, then we might as well not bother having such standards at all. Hypocrisy is a fact of imperfect humanity, and it is no excuse not to strive for better.

Sure, I think it's reasonable to expect that we do a better job than others to adhere to the standards. I also think it's reasonable to expect that we show diligence to correct for violations, and prosecute when necessary. And it's reasonable to expect that we admit that we're not perfect. But all these things we do, I say.

The bottom line is that I think our track record stands up quite well against the thugs of Iran, the former Iraq and Afghanistan (and maybe even the current ones), North Korea, and so forth---the very people we're engaged with. We might not be as good as, say, Sweden, but last time I checked we're not in conflict with them.

Those who demand moral perfection before passing judgement are either intentionally or unintentionally seeking to destroy the practice of judgement. It's abhorren.

mcg said...

Hey, is it possible that a large segment of the American Public was coerced into supporting the war in Iraq?

Clearly we were tortured. To this day I wake up with nightmairs of your underwear on my head.

mcg said...

nightmairs -> nightmares

mcg said...

It is wrong for the press to treat statements obtained through coercion as valid, but using torture as an interrogation tool to obtain information from our enemies is an accepted practice. Seems like a contradiction.

Not at all. Whenever I torture people to extract information from them, I always make sure to find some sort of confirmation from a secondary source. That's all we're asking the press to do.

vnjagvet said...

Freder's attempted equivalence argument misses one critical point. Britain is not one of the United States.

Where is Freder's evidence that the British have violated the GC's?

Lacking, of course. Freder really goes out of his way to make the equivalence point. Unfortunately he uses "guilt by an ally" as its lynchpin (pun intended).

Crimso said...

"I love it. It is wrong for the press to treat statements obtained through coercion as valid, but using torture as an interrogation tool to obtain information from our enemies is an accepted practice. Seems like a contradiction."

Let me help you with that. It's not a contradiction if one of those two phrases is a lie.

Fen said...

Freder: As I have repeatedly said, my concern is for this country maintaining its traditionally high standards. Only by maintaining the moral high ground can we then have the standing to criticize others.

I stand corrected. Your loyalty is to our morality, not Geneva. So, if that codification of morality was found to be flawed [irrational, impratical, suicidal] you would support efforts to "fix" it?

Bender said...

This is not Carter's hostage crisis all over again. It is the Sudetenland all over again.

Elizabeth said...


Don't the anti-war leftists on this board pooh pooh the flypaper theory.


I don't "pooh pooh" the theory, I condemn it with deep disgust and shame. I believe it was deeply, deeply immoral of us to choose Iraq as a battleground and open its borders to our enemies, and put the Iraqi people at the mercy of these terrorists. Who's being blown up in these markets? Innocent people, people who didn't have a damn thing to do with the attack on our country on 9/11. Yet we brought our fight to their home. The flypaper theory is nothing to laugh it. Nor crow about.

dualdiagnosis said...

It has been frighteningly reflexive of left wing radio hosts such as Peter B, to dismiss Khalid Sheikh Mohammeds words and take Faye (Topsy) Turneys' as gospel. The left is painting themselves into a corner, a dangerous corner that is enabling the enemies of America. Today it is reported that an Iranian diplomat said "British leaders have miscalculated this issue." This is a cut and paste job from the sentiments of the left.

Our enemies are emboldened by the rhetoric of the left and the Democratic Party.

TMink said...

Is it because Iran is the home to the most virulent and dangerous anti-semitism on the planet at this time?

I am beginning to wonder. As a Christian, I am not as attuned to hatred and bigotry toward my Jewish brothers and sisters as I should be. But I am trying to change that. On Instapundit I was referred to a wonderful Youtube recording of a speech in which the speaker noted that the UN Human Rights Counsel has or will issue 11 statements of condemnation: All against Israel.

That is clear Jew hating. Maybe the willingness to accept the forced remarks of the captured sailor has it's appeal in anti-semitism. Hope I am wrong.

Trey

mcg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mcg said...

An interesting (though purposefully inflammatory, and overly partisan) commentary on the left's internal contradictions.

Fen said...

deeply immoral of us to choose Iraq as a battleground and open its borders to our enemies, and put the Iraqi people at the mercy of these terrorists.

We didn't open Iraq's borders to Al Queda. Syria did. Iran did. Al Queda came into Iraq to prevent us from reforming it. They have an interest in keeping the ME in the 4th century.

MadisonMan said...

We didn't open Iraq's borders to Al Queda. Syria did. Iran did.

That Syria and Iran make the mission of the US difficult does not lessen our responsibility. If we are going to take the fight to Iraq, we have an obligation to keep the civilians there, innocent of any wrongdoing wrt to 9/11, safe. In that we have failed miserably.

Fen said...

If we are going to take the fight to Iraq, we have an obligation to keep the civilians there, innocent of any wrongdoing wrt to 9/11, safe.

Which is why we all support the Surge and intend to keep our troops over there until the Iraqi's no longer need us, right? As an occupying power, we have that responsibility under the Geneva Convention.

Freder Frederson said...

Given this position, what precisely would you have Britain do about it if the Iranians indeed act beyond the pale? A strongly worded note? Run to the UN for a toothless condemnation and sanctions?

What do you suggest? Go to war with Iran? Are you insane? Can you explain exactly how that we or the British are going to manage that. Where are the troops going to come from for a war with Iran? Up until now, in Iraq, most of our problems have been with the Sunni insurgency. What happens if the Shiites turn on us when we start bombing Iran? You do realize that most of our fuel supplies go from Kuwait through the Shiite south to our troops in central Iraq? What happens if the Shiites start blowing up those fuel convoys?

Freder Frederson said...

Are you claiming his GC rights were violated by the US?

I said exactly that above. Pay attention.

Freder Frederson said...

As an occupying power, we have that responsibility under the Geneva Convention.

Problem is we are no longer an occupying power. We officially handed responsibility for governance of the country to the Iraqi government almost two years ago.

Fen said...

/bump

Freder: As I have repeatedly said, my concern is for this country maintaining its traditionally high standards. Only by maintaining the moral high ground can we then have the standing to criticize others.

I stand corrected. Your loyalty is to our morality, not Geneva. So, if that codification of morality was found to be flawed [irrational, impratical, suicidal] you would support efforts to "fix" it?

Elizabeth said...

We didn't open Iraq's borders to Al Queda. Syria did. Iran did.

So, I take it you are "pooh pooh[ing]" the fly paper theory? Sloan, get on this, will you? Fen's off the reservation.

Parker Smith said...

If you don't want to face this kind of thing routinely, the only way to proceed is to become iron-hearted - you must give the hostages up for dead, and then do everything in your power to kill both the hostage takers and their masters, and to ensure that they get NOTHING good out of their crime and EVERYTHING bad you can pile on them.

In Kipling's words "Once you pay danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane."

Kidnapping will continue as long as it profits the kidnappers. Every day that goes by, the British are rewarding the Iranians.

Freder Frederson said...

So, if that codification of morality was found to be flawed [irrational, impratical, suicidal] you would support efforts to "fix" it?

If this administration or you were honest enough to say what it is about the GC (or other laws regarding the treatment and rights of detainees or terrorists) that it doesn't like, then I would be open to a serious debate.

But the right, not on this site, not in the administration, does not want an open and honest debate. If I say I am appalled by the administration's treatment of detainees, I am accused of enabling the enemy, being a cock-sucking terrorist lover, and a traitor who doesn't think that terrorists should even be talked to harshly and should get cable TV and a suite at the Four Seasons. If I don't harshly condemn every violation of the GC by others, I am a hypocrite.

My actual point of view on how we should treat detainees is consistently and repeatedly misstated and outright lied about. I have repeatedly stated what it is and asked anyone on this board to find fault with it, always to complete and utter silence. So I will try one more time.

From the lessons learned during and immediately after World War II, including the war crimes trials, the U.S. military developed and the Congress codified the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The UCMJ contains provisions for conducting trials of persons who come under the control of the military during occupation. The military JAG Corps suggested that existing procedures be used to trial Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees. The President rejected this advice and instead revived a Military Commission system similar to the one that was used to try Japanese war criminals after World War II and was universally seen as deficient and actually was an impetus for some of the procedures outlined in the UCMJ. We should have adopted the professional military's recommendations.

Additionally, the Army developed a Field Manual for Interrogation of detainees (that is the standard for all branches). The Army Field Manual was updated just last year in full appreciation of the challenges presented by the GWOT. This standard of conduct and treatment during interrogation should be adopted for all personnel and contractors of the U.S. Government.

As for the standard of treatment for detainees in general. They deserve no less better treatment than we grant our own or foreign military members convicted of a crime (e.g., those sentenced to hard labor at the Disciplinary Barracks at Leavenworth).

What the hell is wrong with that?

Roger said...

I dont have a problem with your formulation Freder. And I rather think a lot of the current disputations about the GC could be resolved by using the more generic term "detainee," rather than "prisoner of war." Detainee seems to me to be a better terms as it avoids the fine distinctions that have been made in the debates surrounding the GC.

What I dont know is how other legal issues in other documents and treaties would square with your formulation, but I would think that wouldnt be insurmountable.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I said exactly that above. Pay attention.

Whoops! I guess you did! So showing Saddam receiving treatment from a Navy medic is a violation of GC along the same lines of trotting out a headscarved sailor on tv to make a coerced 'confession'.

See I missed that because I haven't mastered that equivalency thing yet. Sorry.

Freder Frederson said...

Whoops! I guess you did! So showing Saddam receiving treatment from a Navy medic is a violation of GC along the same lines of trotting out a headscarved sailor on tv to make a coerced 'confession'.

Actually, they are exactly the same:

The prohibition against parading POWs in front of cameras comes generally from Article 13

Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.

and article 14:

Prisoners of war are entitled in all circumstances to respect for their persons and their honour.

I don't know how you can argue that the point of releasing a videotape of a disheveled Saddam being poked and prodded by a Navy corpsman was anything more than a calculated attempt to rob him of his honor and hold him out as an object of public curiosity.

MadisonMan said...

Fen, I don't recall saying much against the surge, other than opining that I didn't think the present administration had the capability of managing it very well, given its past history. My pessimism may have been misplaced, but I was used to Rumsfeld.

The proof of whether the surge worked will become apparent when the troop draw-down starts, whenever that occurs. I would expect insurgents to lay low as troop strength ramped up.

monkeyboy said...

As for the standard of treatment for detainees in general. They deserve no less better treatment than we grant our own or foreign military members convicted of a crime ...

What the hell is wrong with that?


Where is the stick in this? What reason would the enemy have to ever follow the rules of war or the GC if there is no penalty for violations?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I don't know how you can argue that the point of releasing a videotape of a disheveled Saddam being poked and prodded by a Navy corpsman was anything more than a calculated attempt to rob him of his honor and hold him out as an object of public curiosity

Well I would argue we were showing proof that we caught him. If you want to assume a more nefarious reason than ok, opinions vary. On the other hand, we're not doing it to any other detainees. Would you agree that the pictures of the Nazis during the Nuremburg trial were also a violation? I think there is a difference in parading POWs around and showing proof of capture.

In addition, while you're quoting the GC articles, please refer to Article 4 and tell me which one of those provisions qualifies KSM and other terrorists captured as prisoners of war.

Keep in mind that reciprocity is what makes treaties like the GC work.

Fen said...

Freder: don't know how you can argue that the point of releasing a videotape of a disheveled Saddam being poked and prodded by a Navy corpsman was anything more than a calculated attempt to rob him of his honor and hold him out as an object of public curiosity.

You can't understand how, after decades of brutal tyranny, the Iraqi's were suffering from a varient of battered wife syndrome?
You don't realize how important it was to prove to them that Saddam would not step back into power and get revenge on any who supported US efforts?

I don't think you're arguing in good faith. This is the same issue I had with you re waterbaording. You seem to be more interested in tarring opponents as war criminals than examining the issues objectively.

Crimso said...

"What do you suggest? Go to war with Iran?"

Actually, going to peace with them would be nice, but I somehow don't think they're interested.

Fen said...

I would expect insurgents to lay low as troop strength ramped up.

The surge is already showing results. You can tell b/c the media has resorted to reports of "detainee over-crowding is abusive".

However, I can agree with that the bad guys are laying low. Thats why I think telegraphing our schedule via congressional micromanagement is a bad move. Instead, let them lay low forever.

Cedarford said...

CatoRenasci said...
Ann, to answer your original question, the reason i journalisti are so cheerfully reporting LS Turney's obviously scripted letter - though she appears rather more aquiescent, even collaborative, than seems consistent with her nine-year military career - is that it creates ambiguity


Very perceptive. Both on the ease with which the female sailor has been made a mouthpiece, and how the goal is for the Iranians to throw enough confusing shit up in the air through her mouth and letters that both the Left and enemy-lovers like Freder are quick to start "well, maybe there IS something to the Turney confessions..maybe we are in a situation of moral equivalency"
We need to talk more. Nothing matters but the safety of her and the hostages!

In America's hostage crisis, media and more honestly, book accounts detail that several Americans were threatened & worked over looking for "cooperative people". 3 became quite willing collaborators and two of those snitches, though they claimed they were "just playing along to fool the Iranian students". One, unfortunately, was a "green" Marine.
Others withstood beatings and that old, Islamoid favorite - repeated mock executions that were staged over hours for the Islamic students amusement..but did not break and begin enabling the enemy.

Others were beaten for refusing to praise the Qu'ran, refusing to smile "They are being well-treated!" photographs.

444 days and a destroyed, weak President.

Worse, in the early 80s, former President Richard Nixon was interviewed saying Carter refused advice of most and micromanaged the situation only for "what our hostage friends need". Nixon said the favored response was starting on a few Iranian ships sunk as a warning, then if hostages were executed, complete destruction of the Iranian Navy and Air Force. Then progressive destruction of critical Iranian infrastructure, ending with bombing the main Gov't buildings, and if we knew the hostages were dead, seizing oil facilities and bombing the US Embassy into dust.

Nixon said what happened, and worse, the agreement of the Saudis after the radical Islamist's 2 Holy Mosque takeover - to export radical Islam - showed radical Islamist power and Western weakness that will "haunt us with far, far more deaths than the 50 some hostages for decades." He noted that in WWII and Vietnam, POW hostages did not deter us from "looking to the nation's best interests 1st".

It's odd to look to Nixon, but more and more in the US and certainly always the case internationally, in statecraft, he is considered one of the "greats" of the 20th Century.

If Carter had taken a phone call from Nixon and agreed with what Nixon wanted - perhaps all of Carter's "hostage friends" would be dead. But perhaps the World Trade Towers would be standing and many hundreds of thousands would be living.

I was a kid then. I remember an uncle sending pictures of the 4-aircraft carrier armada off Iran in the Gulf of Oman. All the dumb yellow ribbons, stupid flags going up one extra each day, all the newspapers reporting breathlessly on a new UN meeting had issued a new strong statement of extra-vigorous deploration language. How France and high moral highground Sweden had met with the Ayatollah and said it was all unacceptable. I read how The International Courts had ruled. Ruled and told Iran they were outside Geneva and "Law itself". Economic sanctions started.

The Iranians flipped them all a bird and then had agents then seize the Holy Places in KSA and after that seige, told the Saudis they would be back unless the Saudis also made clear infidel influences were evil and should be fought against globally.

It was only when Iranians learned that President-elect Reagan had listened to Nixon and others and had agreed to massive war - that Iran understood their excellently played game was over and they had to get rid of the hostages before Reagan issued his "Go" order.

The American Hostage Crisis is History worth reflecting on today. In many ways, its the same stuff. Same use of hostages, same behavior....same probing of Western weakness.

And anyone who talks of a military rescue mission over 1,000 miles of hostile territory, overcoming 15,000 Revolutionary guard in the heart of Tehran is smoking something. If Britain had the will, the opportunity was when the sailors mother vessel in eyesight of the hostage taking could have taken out the attacking Iranian PT boats or ended their attack in under 10 seconds - with artillery, 20 mm Bofors.

Mindsteps said...

mcg said...

Clearly we were tortured. To this day I wake up with nightmairs of your underwear on my head.

Sounds less like a PTSD reaction and more like wish fulfillment.

Good thing we got Saddam. Otherwise, I would still be plagued by those recurring flashbacks of Saddam dropping uranium based nuclear weapons on my trailor.

nick danger said...

Detainee seems to me to be a better terms as it avoids the fine distinctions that have been made in the debates surrounding the GC.

But those distinctions are important! If one's treatement is to be the same whether one is abiding by the rules or not, then what incentive is there for one to abide by the rules at all? If we treat illegals the same as legals, what incentive do they have to be legal? If they treat our legals as illegals, what incentive beyond moral vanity do we have to be legal?

Freder Frederson said...

In addition, while you're quoting the GC articles, please refer to Article 4 and tell me which one of those provisions qualifies KSM and other terrorists captured as prisoners of war.

I defy you to show where I have ever said that KSM or any other detainee captured outside of Iraq should be treated as a POW. The closest I ever came was when I indicated what I think their standard of treatment during confinement should be. But I never said they should be treated as actual POWs. They should be treated as the UCMJ says we would treat common criminals or spies caught in a zone of military occupation. (Which contrary to what you may think, does not allow us to summarily execute them).

I do think that Afghan citizens who were fighting for the Taliban should have been presumptively treated as POWs, not illegal combatants. Many were conscripts and the Taliban did have a claim to be the legitimate government of Afghanistan (after all they were recognized as such by our allies Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Pakistan).

Pogo said...

The takig of British soldiers was an act of war.

Failure to respond in kind is an act of cowardice, and an obvious victory for Iran, just as it was under Carter.

The refusal of the West to defend itself is strong evidence to our enemies that taking us down will be easy.

The cry to act in "higher moral standards" merely cedes all violent response to the Iranians. We'll take the high road straight to our graves.

But you can bet that should US citizens become involved in this sort of crap on our soil, Islamists here in the US may be meeting a unique form of American vigilante justice.

I'll save the high road for a more deserving civilization.

MadisonMan said...

Cedarford, you are apparently completely ignoring the country that was on Iran's northern border during the hostage crisis. I strongly doubt that Nixon's suggestions would have proceeded with no Soviet response.

nick danger said...

They should be treated as the UCMJ says we would treat common criminals or spies caught in a zone of military occupation. (Which contrary to what you may think, does not allow us to summarily execute them).

Freder, your position on this is pretty reasonable.

But your original claim on this thread was that there was no difference between what the U.S. does and what Iran is doing.

Which is stupidly wrong and insulting.

Save your GC debates for some other thread and please, stop trolling.

Sloanasaurus said...

I do think that Afghan citizens who were fighting for the Taliban should have been presumptively treated as POWs, not illegal combatants.

What difference would it make. The Taliban still fight on, just as the Terrorists. At the very least until the leadership of these groups is killed or surrenders, the prisoners should be retained.

Freder Frederson said...

I don't think you're arguing in good faith. This is the same issue I had with you re waterbaording.

I am arguing in good faith. Releasing the videotape of Saddam being examined like that was wrong. I personally think it was one step too far. A picture of him being led by armed personal bearded and beaten would have been sufficient and broadcast his defeat. What they did was unnecessary humiliation and made us look petty.

I don't know what you are referring to with waterboarding. I consider, and most authorities including the State Department, it torture. You may not consider it torture. But even if you don't consider it torture, do you consider it to be cruel, inhuman or degrading? Because if you think it is cruel, inhuman or degrading, it is still clearly prohibited by U.S. law.

It is the president who is not arguing in good faith. When asked about the treatment of detainees, his stock answer is "we don't torture", and for some reason the press lets him get away with that non-answer. U.S. and international law requires a much higher standard than simply "not torturing" detainees. Saying "we don't torture" simply isn't good enough.

I have laid out my standard of treatment. What is yours?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I defy you to show where I have ever said that KSM or any other detainee captured outside of Iraq should be treated as a POW.

I said:

"Humane treatment? Under the old piracy laws which are probably the only laws on the books that cover modern terrorist activities, we are in our rights to court martial them and shoot them outright."

Your retort:

You are simply wrong. They are covered under Geneva (don't take my word for it, the Supreme Court says so).

The GC provisions I referred to were in relation to prisoners of war. Article 4. So if they aren't classified as prisoners of war then how to the conventions apply to them?

Do not get me wrong, I'm not advocating that we set up torture chambers and bring out the Gimp. What I do object to is that individuals who are bent on destroying our society and do not adhere to any laws of war should be afforded rights and privledges of lawful combatants. You seem to take the position that we have to take some moral high ground and treat them accordingly despite thier inhuman behavior.

http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/91.htm

Freder Frederson said...

What difference would it make.

It would make a huge difference in the conditions of their treatment.

Roger said...

Nick Danger: exactly; but if one assumes that those detained are later subjected to the ucmj, it is that forum that can make the finer distinctions; for example, the UCMJ would have to have some categories added with respect to terrorist acts, or the things detainees might be suspected of doing; that determination would then become an element of proof and a determination have to be made.

That approach does put the determinative phase into the ucmj system.

It doesnt look like Freder is too hot to discuss his idea, although I think it really does have some merit.

Freder Frederson said...

The GC provisions I referred to were in relation to prisoners of war. Article 4. So if they aren't classified as prisoners of war then how to the conventions apply to them?

Sheesh, do we have to keep going over this. They are covered under Common Article 3, which covers everyone caught up in a war and requires humane treatment for civilians, criminals, spies, etc., including basic due process.

Our UCMJ also establishes procedures for creating military courts and commissions in occupied areas to act in the absence of civilian law enforcement. The military wanted to use those provisions for the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees captured in Afghanistan, but the president rejected their recommendations.

Freder Frederson said...

It doesnt look like Freder is too hot to discuss his idea

Say what. It's all I ever wanted to discuss. You just want to discuss torturing and summarily executing and accusing me of enabling the enemy.

Daryl Herbert said...

Freder Frederson: And because we have repeatedly and consistently also violated Geneva in this war, we no longer have clean hands to complain about Iran's violations.

Freder, have you ever given America the benefit of the doubt for this reason? Or have you always claimed that America owes Geneva Convention protections to everyone regardless of whether their governments followed the Geneva Conventions?

In fact, I'll bet you demand Geneva Convention protections for forces that don't wear uniforms, deliberately attack civilians, deliberately use human shields, etc.

I like your "unclean hands" argument, because it effectively nullifies the Geneva Conventions for us, given that America is not in the habit of fighting entities that respect the Geneva Conventions.

Revenant said...

And because we have repeatedly and consistently also violated Geneva in this war, we no longer have clean hands to complain about Iran's violations.

I'm amused by the view that history began in 2001.

Under the "we did bad first so we can't criticize" line of reasoning, none of the people whose Geneva rights we have allegedly violated had a right to complain, as the groups they fought for had repeatedly violated the Conventions prior to their capture.

But of course we didn't violate the Conventions at all, because (a) most of the Conventions don't apply to nonsignatories (e.g. the Taliban) and (b) NONE of the Conventions apply to signatories who have themselves violated the provisions in question (e.g. Baathist Iraq and the Al Qaeda). If your opponent uses torture and executes prisoners, you are free to do so yourself without surrendering the moral high ground.

Steven said...

We arrested Iranian civilians in a building that the Iranians claimed was a consulate

No, the Iranian foreign minister went on Iranian TV and specifically said it was not a consulate.

In any case, a consulate does not have the same territorial status as an embassy, and consular officials do not have diplomatic immunity.

Finally, the treatment of Saddam Hussein is only relevant if he was an Iranian soldier and the seized persons were American soldiers. The was the U.S. treats an Iraqi is utterly irrelevant to how Iranians are obliged to treat the British.

Sloanasaurus said...

I believe it was deeply, deeply immoral of us to choose Iraq as a battleground and open its borders to our enemies, and put the Iraqi people at the mercy of these terrorists. Who's being blown up in these markets?

Your point is well taken.

I would concede that an unexpected result of this theory was that the terrorists would commit these horrible atrocities against civilians. I think it was unexpected that the Terrorists would start setting off car bombs in markets to kill fellow muslims. Prior to this such attacks had mostly been against Israel or Western targets. Further, this type of warfare was not waged against the Afghan population during the 1970s when all the Jihadists went there to fight the Soviets. Should we have known that fanatics would be able to rationalize the mass killings of their own civilians for their cause? maybe... maybe not.

But, you present a common moral dilemma that is involved with any war of liberation. It is no different than bombing France in order to free it from the Nazis. Some argue that the allies killed more French civilians in two months of war than the Germans did in 4 years of occupation.

Saddam put to death a minimum of 300,000 civilians in mass graves in 20 years. Some say it was close to 1 million. That is a minimum of 40 a day. Iraq was not a violence free country before the war as some would like to believe.

Roger said...

Freder, if you would stop arguing for a second, there are several other people trying to put some flesh on the bones of your argument. Nick Danger and I are trying to sort out how and if the determining of a detainee's status could be done; I suggested using the term detainee as a broad category rather than POW.

I, for one, would like to get your view on those questions.

K?

Freder Frederson said...

Freder, have you ever given America the benefit of the doubt for this reason? Or have you always claimed that America owes Geneva Convention protections to everyone regardless of whether their governments followed the Geneva Conventions?

When I said we had violated Geneva "in this war" I meant in Iraq, sorry if I was unclear. I will remind you that the President consistently and repeatedly stated that Geneva was fully applicable in Iraq. In spite of that, Rumsfeld stated in a press conference that he had hidden detainees in Iraq from the ICRC at the request of George Tenet. We also know that several people, including a General in the Iraqi Army, were tortured to death by the U.S. Army and CIA personnel or their contractors after the Pentagon basically threw the Army Field Manual out the window. This also led to widespread abuse most vividly demonstrated by the Abu Gharaib incident.

After all that happened, the Army rewrote their interrogation field manual. In spite of pressure from civilians at the Pentagon to allow more coercive techniques, the new field manual was almost completely unchanged from the old one, upholding the honor and integrity of the uniformed services. It also served as a stinging rebuke to the torture advocates in the Pentagon, evil men like Stephen Cambone.

Daryl Herbert said...

Excuse me, when did I defend Iran's violation of Geneva?

You said the rules shouldn't be enforced (when you said we had no right to complain). That's a defense and condonation of lawbreaking.

Freder Frederson said...

I would concede that an unexpected result of this theory was that the terrorists would commit these horrible atrocities against civilians.

Actually, lots of people both anticipated and predicted it. It was the one of the reasons Bush 41 refused to push on to Baghdad in '91. It was why we tacitly supported Iraq against Iran throughout the '80s.

The vast majority of the violence in Iraq is Sunni Iraqi against Shiite Iraqi. That Bush ignored the simmering dispute that Saddam had kept a lid on with an iron fist is one more example of his lack of foresight, refusal to listen to anything but advice that comported with his preconceived notions, and his general piss-poor planning in general.

Pogo said...

Blair's goal to be remembered for whatever-it-was-he-thinks-he-did is now quickly being eclipsed by his Cateresque appeasement of a terrorist foriegn government.

For God's sake, Tony, why not just kick out the Queen on her arse and give the keys to the palace to President Ahmadinejad? And while you're at it, apologize for the delay in returning the caliphate to its rightful owner.

Freder Frederson said...

You said the rules shouldn't be enforced (when you said we had no right to complain).

You are right.

What I should have said is that our actions weaken our standing when we object to Iran's clear violations of Geneva.

monkeyboy said...

the simmering dispute that Saddam had kept a lid on with an iron fist

yes, yes, those wogs DO need an iron fist in control. Stability comes at a price, which is fine as long as someone else pays it.

Sloanasaurus said...

The vast majority of the violence in Iraq is Sunni Iraqi against Shiite Iraqi. That Bush ignored the simmering dispute that Saddam had kept a lid on with an iron fist is one more example of his lack of foresight..

You are wrong that Bush ignored this issue. That there would be revenge killings for Saddams reign of terror was well known. They know that this would be a problem, but that it could be managed through the political process. What I think Bush failed to forsee was the level of violence commited by Al Qaeda - that they would kill so many of the people they purport to serve. This violence led to the creation of the shia militias. In some ways the U.S. is a victim of its own quality, in that the only way Al Qaeda could find traction was to do mass killing of civilians.

These sectarian nightmares do not go on forever. They eventually run out of steam as the small minority who ferment the chaos get killed off and people tire of the fighting as they did in Rwanda and Liberia as examples.

We need to stick it out until these forces are defeated and they can be defeated. We committed to Iraq when the Congress voted (with 50% democrats) to go to war in 2002). It was a bipartisan commitment. We should stick it out to victory just as we did in the Civil War and in World War II.

Crimso said...

"We also know that several people, including a General in the Iraqi Army, were tortured to death by the U.S. Army and CIA personnel or their contractors after the Pentagon basically threw the Army Field Manual out the window. This also led to widespread abuse most vividly demonstrated by the Abu Gharaib incident."


Was anyone prosecuted for these things? Was anyone (or will anyone be) prosecuted for the flagrant GC violations by Iran?

Mike said...

"If Britain had the will, the opportunity was when the sailors mother vessel in eyesight of the hostage taking could have taken out the attacking Iranian PT boats or ended their attack in under 10 seconds - with artillery, 20 mm Bofors."

I am in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with Cedarford.

Cedarford said...

Beldar said...
I think Leading Seaman Faye Turney kicked their asses, regardless of anything else in her "confession," when she identified herself as "Leading Seaman Faye Turney" and said she'd been in the Royal Navy for nine years. That rank and that career speak much more loudly than words they made her mouth. Her existence is a rebuke to their barbarism.


She appears to me to be a quickly turned tool. I don't know what the British standard is, but any male US soldier that so quickly turned, cooperated and began writing letters the enemy dictated would be looked on unfavorably.

Pehaps the standard exists. None of the 14 men are currently being used as tools. No statements or letters from them, yet...and I suspect that Iran is reluctant to beat the British men to do so, because they are still unsure if they have to release their hostages. I have no doubt the only way some of the 14 would write is through beatings and torture.

For Turney - I wouldn't call willingly wearing a veil, denouncing the Brits for tresspassing into Iranian territory, and in her 2nd letter to House of Commons denouncing the UK for sending troops to Iraq and the need to withdraw -

exactly "kicking their asses".

I admit as a Vet I have lower standards for what is acceptable for female soldiers to be required to do in the face of the enemy.

You appear to know nothing about Royal Navy rank. She's low level enlisted. (not that there is anything wrong with that, but she is not a person in a significant RN position) Longevity doesn't count either. One of the American hostages the Iranians persuaded to be a ready mouthpiece for Islamic radical propaganda was a long-serving State Dept official.

Her existence is not a rebuke to their barbarism, but an indicator of displaying her, only using her to write letters - as a visible symbol of their strong contempt for the western ways hence the obligatory veiling of the infidel in their power. And their contempt for the un-Islamic western notion of weak women belonging in a military.

All the talk of releasing the female with no talk of the 14 others is about delivering the message to the Iranian people and fellow Islamoids about how inappropriate it is under Sharia for females to do certain things. And her release would only show their mercy, and Allahs, for this unfortunate creature that is best used for breeding instead of acting in a man's place. Unfortunately, Turney's submissiveness and ease of getting her agreement plays into their hands.

Their previous release of women and minority American hostages right after the Embassy takeover 28 years ago was based on their notion that women had no place in such confrontations and American minorities seized were not responsible because they were just lackeys of infidel whites.

To their great credit, 2 blacks back then refused release and as they said later, the freedom they physically ached to take the Iranians up on - on grounds they were no lackeys. They were Americans in US Armed Forces or the Diplomatic Service.

Sloanasaurus said...

Great Post Cedar. It is interesting in Turney's latest letter that she calls for the U.S. to get out of Iraq, which we can derive is the hope of the Iranian Mullahs.

As such, the Democrats have the same position as the thug Iranians (who would have guessed), maybe withdrawl isn't such a good idea....

RogerA said...

No discussion of the geneva convention seems to be complete with invoking "abu Graib." And of course we all knew what went on there; or do we: http://www.mudvillegazette.com/archives/001989.html

Fen said...

More Geneva Follies, this time from AP:

[via Instapundit]

Convenient for AP's reporting, that is. Now that's it's British captives rather than Islamic terrorists behind bars:

Associated Press: "The third Geneva Convention bans subjecting prisoners of war to intimidation, insults or "public curiosity." Because there is no armed conflict between Iran and Britain, the captives would not technically be classified as prisoners of war. "

http://www.theneweditor.com/index.php?/archives/5579-The-Geneva-Convenience.html

Mike said...

Ann asked: "Why have so many journalists been saying that Faye (Topsy) Turney "admitted" the British sailors trespassed into Iranian waters?"

This is standard operating procedure for the press. The headline is their editorial slant. Since the majority of the public only reads the headlines, their propaganda becomes the "accepted" version in peoples minds. When they are called on it, they have plausible deniability: "Look here, in paragraph 18 we said she was probably coerced". Very old story.

Mindsteps said...

Professor Althouse wrote:

Why have so many journalists been saying that Faye (Topsy) Turney "admitted" the British sailors trespassed into Iranian waters? That implies that it's true, but she's obviously under duress. She said it. That's all.

It's funny.....I did not interpret the writer's words as implying that Turney's coerced statement was true.

In fact, I perceived the writer of the linked to story as implying that the sailor's statements should be interpreted with caution because they were coerced.

I have had personal experiences with media bias in other context's so I am very skeptical when it comes to the accuracy of the news media.

Nonetheless, while I have not sampled a wide number of media outlets, all those that I have been exposed to regarding the Iranian hostage situation seem to make very clear that the sailor's statements were made under great duress and therefore should be understood in that context.

Beth said...


Failure to respond in kind is an act of cowardice, and an obvious victory for Iran, just as it was under Carter.


Why not send Ollie in with an offer to trade arms for the hostages, just as it was done under Reagan?

Jennifer said...

Cedarford - I had no idea any of the hostages refused release. I'm pretty unskilled with Google and am not finding anything. Can you point me in a direction I might find some information? I'd like to read their stories.

Mike said...

I have routinely heard the word "admitted" used to describe Turney's statement. The term "admit" has a clear conotation.

Pogo said...

Re: "Why not send Ollie in..."

Touche'.
That was a profoundly stupid act.
Best approach would be to blow up some of their ships and government buildings, one at a time, until they give up the hostages.

Cedarford said...

Regarding enemy-lover Freder's post of 11:50. Not for him because I don't wish to get into debate with that Islamoid & Iranian apologist and troll.

Personally, to me, using his favorite Lefty fetish - Freder has no "moral standing" to write as if he was a US citizen.

No, I just wanted to write to disabuse anyone of the idea that America's UCMJ or Army field Manual has any jurisdiction over US or enemy civilians under occupation.

Freder The UCMJ contains provisions for conducting trials of persons who come under the control of the military during occupation.

Hague International Law Regarding Occupation is what guides jurisdiction and law. There are 3 categories in an occupied country -enemy civilians, enemy lawful combatants - both fully covered by Hague and Geneva IF and only IF the nation occupied is a signatory to the reciprocity requirement of Geneva And unlawful combatants, which have no such protections and may be punished up to being executed by General or Summary Court martial. Or executed in the field with no trial in certain exegent circumstances without that rising to a war crime.

There is nothing in International Law about "treating terrorists per the American Army field manual", either.

Hague says whenever possible that treating occupied civilians should be done using existing law and penalties as much as possible. When military necessity and mission requires those laws be modified or additional requirements placed on those civilians, those orders must be as restrained as reasonably necessary and clearly posted & promulgated to the civilian population. Property use and confiscation kept to a minimum. Captured belligerants may be held as military occupation deems necessary.

Application of the UCMJ itself, written only with the intent of ensuring good order and strictly regulating the freedoms and the strict disciplining of Americans in the US military system for violations that have no counterparts in any civilian population, and limiting their freedoms...would in and of themselves be a war crime if all occupied civilians were placed under all the UCMJ's requirements.

Freder is also dead wrong about the UCMJ being created to end military commissions & tribunals:

The President rejected this advice and instead revived a Military Commission system similar to the one that was used to try Japanese war criminals after World War II and was universally seen as deficient and actually was an impetus for some of the procedures outlined in the UCMJ.

The UCMJ only lays out statutory requirements for staffing court martials and procedures.

It may be that that structure would be acceptable for the tribunal or commission body, but it is not at all a part of the law. Freder confuses different military systems - in manner similar to a clueless person that insists that submarines are no different than aircraft carriers because they are both Naval vessels.

The UCMJ never did away with commissions or tribunals. Apples and oranges. Military law splits the jurisdiction. Currently UCMJ ONLY applies to Armed Forces, Academy members, Reservists in specific conditions. Though there is continued interest in placing civilians that accompany the military on certain missions to be placed under UCMJ if they sign as a precondition ensure good order and discipline except commander's limited arrest powers to ensure safety - along lines of a captain of a passenger ship and airline pilot can order arrest and restraint of civilians in their charge. Adding civilians on missions, a majority with past military experience, to military law while in the field with our military makes sense - but it is something SCOTUS has said no to in the past.

Freder As for the standard of treatment for detainees in general. They deserve no less better treatment than we grant our own or foreign military members convicted of a crime ....

What an enemy lover!
Terrorists are not criminals or lawful combatants. They are unlawful enemy combatants who operate outside all rules of war and are not Geneva signatories. Buuuuut, think how much Belgians and Swedes will loooovvveeee us if we embrace terrorists as being no different than US citizens under our Constitution who rob a grocery store? Ohhhh, the humanity!!!!The shame of our abuse of these freedom fighters!!

Enemy-lover!

johnstodder said...

The hook that CNN and others are using to support its notion of a "confession" is her statement that "obviously" they were in Iranian waters. Is that really a "confession?" Would she really be in a position to know, personally, one way or the other?

Perhaps she assumes the Iranians were acting in good faith.

You can't confess to a transgression if you're unaware of whether you committed one or not. If she's saying the ship's captain announced, "we're heading into Iranian territory now," that's one thing. If she's saying, "gee, they pulled us over and said we violated their territory. We must have done something to piss them off," then that's no more of a confession than me acknowledging that a Highway Patrol officer pulled me over for speeding is a "confession" that I was, in fact, speeding.

Beth said...

Sloan, fair enough. I believe there's quite a few things that ought to have been anticipated by this administration, and this is one of them. The 9/11 hijackers didn't give a damn about killing Muslims in the towers; the Shia and Sunni don't let that stop them from killing each other. Palestinians don't care who's in the buses and pizza parlors when they blow themselves up. It's not like we had no clue that Muslims kill each other, or had any reason to believe that terrorists act rationally and according to a discernable code.

Mindsteps said...

Mike said...
I have routinely heard the word "admitted" used to describe Turney's statement. The term "admit" has a clear conotation.

The article also used the term "supposed confession". That also has a clear connotation.

Also in the article:

"Before the video was broadcast, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned that any attempt to humiliate the captives by putting them on display would be a breach of the Geneva Conventions.

The Iranians did it anyway."

These words do not imply to me that the writer of the article was unsympathetic to the concerns of the British government.

Mike said...

With repect, mindsteps, go back and read my 3:17 post. Nothing you point out is in contradiction with it. What the press does is slant the lead, then backtrack below the fold after the majority of people have stopped reading.

Beth said...

Cedarford, until this is over, you have no way of knowing what coercion Turney is experiencing. I am reminded of how some people made comments about Jill Carroll before her release, assuming she was just a McBushitler hater having a great old time and just really liked sex with hot Muslim guys. Unless you have evidence to suggest she's just a weakling who's caved in, I'd recommend holding off judgment until this is over.

Meanwhile, you can find comments in the Daily Mail from John Nichol, an RAF navigator taken hostage in Iraq in 1991, saying he has no doubt she's being coerced. I'll take his word.

Mindsteps said...

Mike:

Thanks for directing me to your earlier post. I am not in the news business, therefore I will consider your point. Personally, as I alluded to in my earlier post, I have had experiences where I have been the "victim" of what I perceived to be liberal media bias.

On the other hand bias is bias, no matter where it occurs in a story. Conservatives rail against media bias when it is a liberal one, but remain silent when the news is slanted their way and Liberals do the same thing. As a matter of fact, I find some right wingers 'demands' for more conservative representation in the media, in some ways, analagous to a concept they find anathematic, i.e. affirmative action.

The rise of the blogs have exposed, like never before in my lifetime, the dysfunctional symbiotic relationships between the media and various political factions on both the left and the right.

Pogo said...

The text from coerced statements means nothing, and making coerced statements says nothing about the soldier.

Whenever it happens, however, it means the peretrators must be killed.

Cedarford said...

Jennifer - I'll refer you to Mark Bowden's book, "Guests of the Ayatollah". Bowden's last book before that one was "Blackhawk Down". His premise was that after a brief period of glorification of those onvolved as "America's favorite hostages and victims" we wanted to put that shameful and humiliating chapter of our history behind us.

At the 25th anniversary point, Bowdens book shows, at least to me, a great insight into both Americans and Iranians. Some on both sides come off well, others, badly. Guards with humor that lived in America once..Those Americans who could have left but didn't. The black who wanted to stay but was ordered to leave because of his intelligence value. Those that stood up and spit at the Islamoids as they faced a firing squad (Ha! The radical Muslims were just joking! Blanks!Ha! Ha!)

Bowden did not spare those who quickly cooperated with the Iranians and became their snitches and stooges any from their "victimhood immunity from criticism". He is harshest on an Army Sergeant, a young Marine, and a self-promoting Jewish businessman.

Link: http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20060521/news_lz1v21guests.html

Excepts from his book were published in Atlantic Magazine - "Captivity Pageant" - where he describes the invitation of 3 Lefties of solid Anti-American cedentials, led by Willian Sloan Coffin, to lead the hostages in a propaganda filmed "Celebration of Christmas":

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200512/december-1979

A bitter read in some ways, encouraging of some Americans who kept their integrity and dissed both the Iranians and their invited Leftist allies...

Mike said...

Mindsteps said: "The rise of the blogs have exposed, like never before in my lifetime, the dysfunctional symbiotic relationships between the media and various political factions on both the left and the right."

Reading blogs has been a real eye opener for me. I use to buy that the media were honest brokers. In my defense, I had no way to know that they weren't. I do now. I think this is one reason the media has such animus towards bloggers.

George said...

Wouldn't it be the pleasures of all pleasures to wake up tomorrow morning and learn that a joint UK/US raid freed these illegally-held captives.

Surely, we have had plenty of time (30 years!) to hire enough spies and make enough advances in surveillance technology to know where they are being held.

Surely, unlike Carter's rescue mission, we would go in with devastating, annihilating force.

I'd no more talk with the Iranian government than I would with Charles Manson.

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Cedarford. That excerpt is captivating. I'll be checking the book out of the library very soon.

Crimso said...

A hearty second on Bowden's book. One thing that surprised me about it was that he was not as harsh on Carter as current conventional wisdom seems to be. As a result, I have upgraded my view of him (at least with respect to that period of his life). Face it, POTUS is a killer of a job, and none of us knows what it's like.

Freder Frederson said...

No, I just wanted to write to disabuse anyone of the idea that America's UCMJ or Army field Manual has any jurisdiction over US or enemy civilians under occupation.

Cedarford, you are not only a complete fascist and a disgusting human being but also an idiot. You are completely wrong about both the international and U.S. military law on this.

Why don't you do a little research before you state the law (if your vicious, sickening bloodlust can even be considered law) as you wish it would be rather than as it is.

Freder Frederson said...

The text from coerced statements means nothing, and making coerced statements says nothing about the soldier.

What happened to all of you who were falling over yourselves telling us about the valuable intelligence you get from coercive techniques. Which is it, do you get good intelligence, or does it mean nothing. You can't have it both ways.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Sheesh, do we have to keep going over this. They are covered under Common Article 3, which covers everyone caught up in a war and requires humane treatment for civilians, criminals, spies, etc., including basic due process.

No it does't Freder. Look at Common Article 3 and tell me where it says that criminals, spies and terrorists are included in everyone caught up in a war. Please note the part about person taking no part in hostilities.

I'm not trying to be a dick about this but you're applying rights to persons who don't deserve them much less entitled based upon the language of the conventions.

Article 3

In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) Taking of hostages;

(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

2. The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.

The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.

The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.

Freder Frederson said...

No it does't Freder. Look at Common Article 3 and tell me where it says that criminals, spies and terrorists are included in everyone caught up in a war. Please note the part about person taking no part in hostilities.

Look at the phrasing, "Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms". Persons who have surrendered or have been captured are "taking no active part in hostilities". That is the thrust of Common Article III. Once someone gives up, whether they are a soldier, a common criminal, a spy or terrorist, they are entitled certain minimum standards of treatment and process. (Of course uniformed military are entitled to even greater protections.)

Cedarford said...

Beth - Cedarford, until this is over, you have no way of knowing what coercion Turney is experiencing. I am reminded of how some people made comments about Jill Carroll before her release...

It appears to have left the 14 others untouched.
It appears to have not marked her or affected her as any beating would (shaking hands).
If by coercion you mean any threat or inducement that persuaded her to act, well, every turncoat or collaborator or weakling that does the enemy's bidding does so with minor or major "coercion", not pure free will or "every womans right to choose".

It is why she caved and pooped the veil on her head so quickly that will be explored and if that was adequate given her military code to do so.

Jill Carroll?

Jill Carroll was a civilian. She had no duty to any chain of command to listen and obey to her "commanding officer". She had no duty to a military code she was not trained on. Or the UK enemy captivity duty of each Royal Navy member to resist...

LS Turney is in a very low-level military rank, frankly below what 9 years of good performance merits. (same as an Army Corporal with 9 years - here in America - signals "Oooops!"). She had minimal responsibilities on any search party. Not in any way a leader of anything of the Brit boat party, or in command of anyone, or authorized to represent them to enemy forces.

I don't expect much of a woman compared to a man in such danger, though. Women should be kept from any duty they cannot handle in extremis - and the ones that are vital for searching Islamoid women should be protected to the maximum extent by men.
I doubt the Brits - implicitly acknowledging this - will give her any of the military discipline of a male sailor that acted so.

***************
Freder the anti-American still insists that he can put the whole enemy population under the American nation's UCMJ and not follow Hague and 4th Geneva (for signatory nations" law. As someone who loves enemy rights so he can "show by our love of the moral values the enemy will appreciate us for having" - he links.

Freder still cannot get his terrorist defending mind around the fact that there are Several Systems of justice in the military. UCMJ is for American citizens in uniform. It is not recognized by any other nation.

In occupation, we can organize tribunals using the UCMJ for procedures and staffing of US military officers in the command chain. We can require their uniforms pass UCMJ inspection criteria. We can punish our own soldiers by UCMJ. We cannot require foreign civilians to accept jurisdiction of law one nation's legislature mandated nad Executive signed for foreigners outside our system.

Fascist! Fascist! Fascist! vicious, sickening bloodlust against Iranians! vicious, sickening bloodlust against Iranians! vicious, sickening bloodlust against Iranians!

Well Freder, lets just say you always give your Islamic and communist friends a pass. When you are denouncing America and Americans, you are just unable to not side with the enemy...even when they commit acts of war and kill Americans - or commit acts of war against our allies.

I told you you are way out on a limb as you snuggle up close to terrorists or Iranian Islamoids. Your belief that you are safe as long as Bush-Hitler is in office or "we are perfectly safe from Islamoids" persists. Woe onto you when either, or both....end.

Freder Frederson said...

When you are denouncing America and Americans, you are just unable to not side with the enemy...even when they commit acts of war and kill Americans - or commit acts of war against our allies.

You know Cedarford, I don't think anyone on this thread denounces more Americans than you do. As for giving our Islamic and communist friends a pass (although I don't ever remember discussing communists and am not even sure who the communist friends you are referring to are), you are the one who seems enamored of their methods.

Freder Frederson said...

Your belief that you are safe as long as Bush-Hitler is in office or "we are perfectly safe from Islamoids" persists.

Actually, I believe just the opposite. I think Bush has made us much less safe through his actions. And since I am not quite sure what an "Islamoid" is, I really don't know whether we are safe from them or not.

Elizabeth said...

Opine all you want, Cedarford, but it's nothing but wanking off until the hostages are released and can tell their tale. But by all means, jerk away.

Sloanasaurus said...

Cedarford, until this is over, you have no way of knowing what coercion Turney is experiencing. I am reminded of how some people made comments about Jill Carroll before her release

They dont ujst threaten you while you are a hostage, they threaten to kill you and your family if you talk after you are released. A la Salmon Rushdie. Generally it works. So I doubt we will ever know the truth.

Sloanasaurus said...

Actually, I believe just the opposite. I think Bush has made us much less safe through his actions.

The problem with this argument Freder, is that it has been 5 1/2 years since an attack on America. At some point, you have to accept the fact that some of Bush's policies are working. You can say we are less safe, yet all the evidence says that we are more safe. It was conventional wisdom that we would be attacked again soon after 9-11, including the terrorists themselves many times. So far no attacks.

Al Qaeda had over 10,000 trained terrorists, trained in the camps in Afghanistan from 1998-2001 spread throught the middle east and the world. They were at their peak power in September 2001. What happened to this 10,000?

Cedarford said...

Elizabeth said...
Opine all you want, Cedarford, but it's nothing but wanking off until the hostages are released and can tell their tale. But by all means, jerk away.


Sorry, Elizabeth, but it is never "only about the hostages".

Pretending otherwise is simply you, a vibrator, some peanut butter and your trusty German Shepard off pleasing yourself.

As you jerk away, clueless about how militaries work, between bouts or giving the poor dog some water breaks...you may wish to ask why none of the other 14 is allowed to talk, and why the senior officers and even noncoms of the British detail are kept from and correspondence while a woman in the lowest levels of UK enlisted ranks is the liaison.

I believe the unspoken judgement of British command, deep under Labour PC, is she is obviously not deferring to her senior officers authority in captivity to represent their troops -following her own duties and obligations under the Armed Forces Act of the UK as a prisoner of the enemy - but doing a solo act, willing to cut a deal with her captors to get into safety - serving as an Iranian tool within days of her capture. Denouncing her whole boat detail as valid captives because they trespassed, by her admission, into Iranian waters. Cutting her lawful NCOs and commissioned officers in the Party out of any role in speaking for the POWs.

Decisions and any diplomacy must go on without "Turney's real story" or those of the silenced 14 males.

Lets hope that the Brits get her back, if only so she cannot harm her captive comrades further.

Say hello to Rin tin-tin for me.

Elizabeth said...

Cedarford,

You have an active imagination. Too active. But you're still wanking.

Why her? The Iranians chose her--it reflects their attitude (and yours, apparently) toward women. Why are the others silent? Gee, what are they going to do, grab a microphone? We don't know if she's being told that doing what she's told will result in all of the hostages being released. We don't know if she's got a gun to her head, or if there are guns pointing at her fellow hostages.

I love how you know the "unspoken" thoughts of the British military. Because after all, you've been in the military. So I guess the millions of people around the world who've served all have this hostage thing nailed. As I said, I'll trust the opinion of the British officer who actually was taken hostage in Gulf War I. Your speculations are, as usual, centered around your own peculiar world views.

Gary Carson said...

The US interogates someone for 5 years and when he confesses it's the gospel.

But a Brit confesses after a day and it's a suspect confession?

Somehow this all seems a little irrational.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Look at the phrasing, "Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms". Persons who have surrendered or have been captured are "taking no active part in hostilities".

I am looking at the phrasing. You're reading more into the words than what are there. Persons taking no active part in hostilities means non-combatants, that is, civilians. It's really a stretch to say that someone who is not a member of the armed forces who lays down thier arms is no longer taking part in hostilities. That goes without saying.

The conventions were written to provide protections to members of the armed forces and civilians during times of war. They were never meant to be extended to irregular forces which do not adhere to the laws of war nor meet any of the standards set forth by Article 4. If that were the case, you could interpret Article 3 to mean everyone and stop there.

The flipside to this is that there is no penalty whatsoever for hiding among civilians, intentionally killing civilians, kidnapping, murder, killing prisoners....etc. That was the whole point behind the conventions was to ensure through reciprocity that nations would treat each other's prisoners humanely. The Taliban and Al Qaida are not signatories to the conventions, do not adhere to them in any manner whatsoever and therefore are not entitled to thier protections.

If you want to take the moral high ground that is perfectly fine. I am just pointing out that we are not legally obligated under the conventions to give them POW status and the protections therein.

Pogo said...

Freder, it's your insistence on a moral equivalence between the aims of the US and the aims of Iran I find most horrifying.

And I can pretty much predict that whatever the Islamofascists do to the West, you'll blame America for it. We provoked it, or it's payback, or we've done the same to them, or some such nonsense.

Still, after all this time, after all those attacks around the world by guys named Mohammed, the only conspiracy you can string together blames the US and exonerates its enemies.

I didn't mind this stuff so much 10 years ago, because it was just French coffeehouse nihilism. But these people aim to kill us and destroy thre West. They have said just that, and I believe them.

At some point you'll have to choose sides.
Who do you want to win, Freder?
I think, after reading your posts these several months, the answer is not the US, a position I fear is shared by the majority of the Democratic party. (Who could surmise otherwise? They never ever talk of victory, only of leaving.)

And I find that position reprehensible, not to mention suicidal.

Fen said...

Al Qaeda had over 10,000 trained terrorists, trained in the camps in Afghanistan from 1998-2001 spread throught the middle east and the world. They were at their peak power in September 2001. What happened to this 10,000?

Degraded not only in numbers, but also in skill. Most of their "vets" have been captured or killed. The replacements are "green".

Fen said...

via Gary Carson: That doesn't mean they weren't legally arrested and have status as prisoners. Hostages? Give me a break.

Gary, as the AP pointed out, Britian and Iran are not at war. So they are not POWs, they are hostages.

Freder Frederson said...

And I can pretty much predict that whatever the Islamofascists do to the West, you'll blame America for it.

Pogo, I am sorry that you and others constantly misinterpret and misunderstand the points I am trying to make. I don't know if I am just poorly expressing myself, you choose to deliberately misread what I write, or you (and others like Fen, Cedarford, Fitz) are just dense and stupid. I hope it is not the latter because you are a Doctor. Out of vainness, I hope it is not the first. So that lives the second option.

I, unlike many on the right, am not blaming America for anything. I am simply holding America responsible for its own actions and expect it to uphold its own principles.

You seem to assume that I am sympathetic to Iran's position. Where on earth did I say that? Their position is indefensible. There is no justification for them seizing the British sailors even if their allegations are true. You, and others, consistently accuse me of being a friend of islamic terrorists and an enemy of the United States. I would like you to find one post on this or any other site where I have expressed sympathy for Al Qaeda, the Taliban, or any terrorist organization or their methods or justified their attacks against the United States or any other country for that matter. You simply will not find it. I have absolutely no sympathy for terrorism and abhor terrorist acts and religious fundamentalism of all kinds.

What I consistently and vehemently object to is the idea that this country has to sacrifice its principles and commitment to human rights to fight the very real danger of fundamentalist islamic terrorism.

MikeinSC said...

Freder, in WW II, we did some TRULY horrifying things --- and it was the right thing to do and infinitely better than allowing the status quo to remain.
-=Mike

Fen said...

Freder: and others like Fen, Cedarford, Fitz) are just dense and stupid.

Thats kinda uncalled for. I've taken pains to be civil with you in this thread. Even after you insisted I was a "war criminal".

I can understand your desire to see America maintain her principles re human rights. I sometimes wonder if you consider it a suicide pact. And you seem to play homage to an idealistic view of international law and their institutions - what good is a Human Rights Council if its chaired by tryanical despots like Iran, N Korea, or Syria?

nick danger said...

. I don't know if I am just poorly expressing myself

Yes, yes you are. The very fact that you are making the arguments in the thread that you are proves this.

This story is about IRAN. Iran's treatment of BRITS. Your popping up with an argument of moral equivalence between Iran and the US is gratuitous, irrelevant, and (likely intentionally) antagonistic.

Really. What is the RELEVANCE? Even if you are 100% correct - even if others here are 100% hypocritical - how is that germane to the discussion at hand? It's not, unless your goal is to use the incident simply as an ideological club with which to bash your opponents. Others, like myself, find this so offensive that they are simply not willing to listen to anything else you have to say. And we suspect you know this and do it anyways. It's not always about you, you know.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder, in WW II, we did some TRULY horrifying things --- and it was the right thing to do and infinitely better than allowing the status quo to remain.

Really, what truly horrifying things did we do? I think the only truly horrifying thing we (and by we I mean the western allies, not the Russians) did in World War II was the strategic bombing campaign. And it is far from clear that strategic bombing was the "right thing to do". Until late in the war (the second half of 1944 at the earliest) it is not even clear it was cost-effective, and by then the war in Europe was won anyway. The argument has been made, and is very strong, that tactical bombing was much more effective, resulted in the loss of less bomber crews, and would have been a better way to spend scarce resources and technological research dollars. Strategic bombing of Japan, and the nuclear attacks, certainly hastened the capitulation of Japan. But Japan was finished anyway even without an invasion. The winter of 1945--46 would have resulted in mass starvation because the home islands were completely out of oil and had no way to get any.

This story is about IRAN. Iran's treatment of BRITS. Your popping up with an argument of moral equivalence between Iran and the US is gratuitous, irrelevant, and (likely intentionally) antagonistic.

Now come on, the Brits are our closest ally in the war in Iraq and in the war on terror in general. For better or worse for them, what we do, reflects on them.

Fen said...

Now come on, the Brits are our closest ally in the war in Iraq and in the war on terror in general. For better or worse for them, what we do, reflects on them.

Are you implying the Brits lack the moral authority to call out Iran for violations of Geneva becase they are allied to the US?

GTK said...

at least we won't fool ourselves into believing that the Geneva convention argument is one the Iranians take seriously.

Nor will they make the same mistake with the US.

hdhouse said...

i posted earlier on here but it didn't take so let's try again as it appears no one has even an inkling about what is afoot.

1. Why do you think that this is or was an act of agression by Iran. Don't the Brits have rules of engagement and don't you think 15 Brits would put up a fight if approached and captured in a war zone?

2. with GPS everyone knows where ever asset is within about 12 feet of dead center. There is no "approximate" anywhere.

3. This is a diplomatic posture just as every other Iranian hostage scenario has been for years. It will solve itself though diplomatic means. Only an idiot would risk WW3 over 15 soldiers. It is a TEST. Hello? TEST.

4. Anyone who has spent 10 minutes in the diplomatic corps knows that this is a signal to talk. Perhaps not subtle but nontheless a signal. Behave accordingly.

5. For those on this board who want a joint Brit/USA attack on some basis of honor or something akin to "they started it", please be reminded neither England nor the US has a spare half million troops to toss into yet another conflict.

6. What do you think the Saudis were doing when they criticised the US on Friday? It was a clear signal to talk not to yet fight again.

We have two big issues in this country. 1. People of the ilk of Pogo and Cedarford and god-awful Fen will keep beating the drum, and, 2. President WooWoo will want to preserve his legacy and some sort of New Haven, Texas (wonder if there is such a place) sense of beer parlor dancehall girl brawl and get us farther into the swamp.

Sure can't say that the right wing on this board has an ounce of common sense. Sure 'nuf.

hdhouse said...

An just in case you haven't cried uncle yet.....please read.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/newscomment.html?in_article_id=445896&in_page_id=1787

Fen said...

Anyone who has spent 10 minutes in the diplomatic corps knows that this is a signal to talk. Perhaps not subtle but nontheless a signal. Behave accordingly.

Sidenote to any "diplomats" lurking out there: kiss my ass. You kill more people with your appeasement weasel surrender nonsense. For once, I'd like to see you suffer the consequences of your stupid paper treaties and agreements that do nothing but embolden the barbarians.

Fen said...

Hey, maybe you can convince the UN to write up another 12 resolutions harshly condemning the Iranians or somesuch nonsense.