Saturday, May 31, 2008


Keep looking below surface appearances. Don't shrink
from doing so because you might not like what you you find.

--Colin Powell

Men in general judge more from appearance than from reality.

All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration.

--Niccolo Machiavelli

You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear


In the last week Ranger has been called both an "idealist" and "bitter" by different readers. My psychotherapist says these two stances are not at odds, as idealists often become bitter after disappointments. Hopefully, my patrol base lies somewhere in between.

The idealist comment was aimed at my attitude concerning the Geneva Conventions (GC), so Ranger looked deeper into the connotations.

The expectation that the U.S. should comply with the GC does not make me an idealist, but rather, a realist. As a signatory to the Conventions and a supposedly civilized nation, the U.S. should adhere to the standards contained therein.

Of course another so-called civilized nation, Nazi Germany, recognized the GC's as they applied to the French, U.S. and British POW's -- unless they were Jewish, that is. In addition, the Nazis starved and physically destroyed Polish and Russian POW's in a systematic manner.

When a nation decides they will apply protections selectively, in contravention of their laws and treaties, their right to the title of civility or morality or legality is revoked. Either all are free and protected, or none are. That is the difference between a democratic and a fascist state. That the Nazis applied GC protections sometimes and brutalized at others made of them a bestial nation.

However, the problem for the U.S. extends beyond the application of the GC to the treatment of POW's. Even if the U.S. had honored its GC commitment, the phony wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would still be illegal ventures. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Both illegal invasions and subsequent occupations were only justified by the constructed Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©), an illusion created by the master prestidigitator
George Bush.

Ranger misses the point when he argues for the application of the GC when the war itself is illegal.
Japan attacked Pearl Harbor after a hastily-delivered, patched together declaration of war and they were bad guys. The U.S. invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq sans the niceties of a declaration of war, so what are we?

The bitter comment was targeted at my questioning the effectiveness of current U.S. military projects in the PWOT. Since the predicate of legal military maneuvers is mistaken all else that issues from that action is necessarily incorrect.

You can't make the endeavors silk purses regardless of how correctly the detainees may be treated.

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