14 thoughts on “Double standard: War prisoners”

  1. I think the issue is that the pictures show

    the POWs 1) dead (executed) and 2) tortured.

    Did we do that with Afgan POWs? All I

    remember is pictures of prisoners walking

    around behind chain link fence looking bored.

  2. Big difference here. Those photos of the Afgans you saw were taken by a journalist that was basically tresspassing. Those photos were not supposed to be released to the public, but were. The U.S. did not release those to the public. Also, not EVERYONE had bags over their heads. Just ones they thought responsible (read: the leaders). Aside from that, if you did your fact checking… you’ll read that majority of the prisoners actually gained weight while in cuba, a good sign of actually getting fed. Not to mention that I think a few of them where actually hitting on the female guards stationed there.



    On the other hand, Iraq was questioning their P.O.W.’s on tape for the whole world to see, etc. There are specific rules of the Geneva Conventions… established way long before you can blame bush for them.

    I highly doubt you’ll find the U.S. POWs in the same shape as the Guantanamo detainees. :P

  3. Todd, do you really think they are having a good time when they die in interrigations as they are at Guantanamo Bay.

    Calling them “unlawful combatans” is also a mockering of the Geneva convention, and of human rights. Neither the Red Cross, nor Amnesty agrees with the US view of the prisoners not being POWs.

    The Red Cross has appealed to the US government to change the prisoners status to Prisoners of war, and be subject to the Geneva Conventions


    It is well worth noting that the Red Cross are not reporting status of the Guantanamo camp and treatment of the prisoners:

    Quote: “Confidentiality: The ICRC does not comment publicly on the situation in Guantanamo Bay. As a general rule, the ICRC discusses all matters concerning its visits to places of detention exclusively with the authorities concerned. This stops sensitive information from being exploited for political gain and ensures the ICRC’s continued access to detainees.”


    Understandable to some degree, but it also means that we have no way of knowing exactly what is going on inside the camp.

  4. Endre Lundgren

    First – Hi there Jarle, it’s been years – let’s have a coffee.

    Second – I think the Geneva Convention looks really nice on paper, as well does does the rules of engagement in war. That said – I don’t believe they’re being followed in Iraq, and I’m not sure the afghan prisoners in Cuba are being treated to well either. I think we need to choose our enemies, as our enemies has to choose theirs, and do what we need to do to solve “the problem”.

    I need to stop this post… There is no diplomatic way to discuss this for me.

  5. Just to point out to everyone, including Governor Bush, that the Geneva Conventions only apply to governments, not news organizations – there is nothing being broken in the Geneva conventions by showing the pictures…

  6. The Gov’t in Iraq controls the news. As American soldiers went into Baghdad, the “press” consistently denied it. The soldiers were shown by the order of the gov’t or at least their approval. The Geneva Convention meant nothing to them as they have consistantly used gas warfare. If the britons had stayed in Briton instead of fighting in Afghanistan they would have never been detained. When you start a fight, prepare to be punched.

    You may argue that the World Trade Center happened because of our foreign policy. That may be true, but policy was not set by the people in those towers. No more than the innocents dying in Iraq were connected to Hussein. The Taliban threw the first punch (twice actually, maybe more!)and are paying the price for it. The Geneva Convention takes relevance after a formal declaration of war. As far as I know, American prisoners were killed, so the detainee’s in Cuba are at least getting 3 hots and a cot. If two people died under interrogation, it might have been a heart attack or stress related. I am not condoning torture or saying that they were not tortured. You just need to debate on facts, because otherwise it’s an arguement. Driving only works when everybody follows the rules of the road.

  7. P.S. Jarle, I am pretty sure if you look at your own gov’t or any others, I am sure you will find hypocrisy.

  8. What kind of hypocrisy would compare to the hypocrisy of talking about the former Iraq government breaching the Geneva convention by allowing reporters to “embarrass” american soldiers, as opposed to the US holding people as “illegal combatant’s” without following the basic rules governing treatment of prisoners of war, holding adults and minors in conditions that would be illegal even in the USA?

  9. PS: There are no proof that Iraq had any connections with the Taliban. AND, the weapons of mass destruction that the US and UK used as excuse for starting the war has still to be found.

    As I see it, there was really no good reason to go to war with Iraq. Its a case of the US wanting to get more control over both political and economical resources in a region it has been struggeling with for many years. The question is if the war and the aftermath will serve to help the US, or only make it more of an enemy of the arabian nations. I fear it will worsen it and take the “war of terror” (with the US vs various terror organisations) to a higher and more deadly level.

  10. What concerns me is the rationale (here and elsewhere) that “they did this, so we’re doing that and that makes us even so everything’s ok”.

    This isn’t right – morally or legally.

    What the Iraqis may have done to coalition prisoners is no measure of justification for any member of the coalition mistreat any of the people they too have taken prisoners, in turn.

  11. The Geneva Convention applies when a country or entity declares war. The Taliban didn’t formally declare war. The have just been terrorizing the United Sates for years. This may be because of our foreign policy. However, the people they are killing do not set the policy, and maybe didn’t even vote for that person(as everyone thinks the U.S. Presidential election was rigged.) I am not condoning what the U.S. has done in Iraq. As far as the Taliban, even the most peace loving person will eventually hit back if you keep punching them in the face for what you think is a good reason. And if you want them to try and kill you, tell them you will go after their children. People react rationally when attacked rationally. When they are attacked irrationally, no one can be sure how they will respond. Had we left Saddam alone, he may have continued to murder his own people. If I am correct from the tone of the comments here, people feel Iraq should be left alone. Who will watch the world leaders actions and let genocide continue? Would the U.N. allow Saddam to continue killing his people or would somebody have said enough? Again I reiterate my policy that the U.S. should leave the world alone and clean up it’s own backyard. Unfortunately, there are alot of people suffering under brutal gov’ts. Who will watch out for them? I am not saying that our gov’t isn’t fighting about oil or some other hidden agenda, but would anyone else done anything for the Shiites? Or for the people being slaughtered in Africa? Intelligent people can police themselves, but what happpens to the brutal idiot in charge of a country? How can intelligent, peace loving, people say “cut that out” without being killed? Everybody in the world has the common bond of wanting to enjoy life and,or, have it be better for their children(except the fanatics). What would have been a good, peacefull, solution to Iraq? Just Curious. I do not believe that they hurt me so I hurt them now we are even. If the Taliban is trying to get attention because of our foreign policy, I would say that they have our attention. They can stop now and open up a dialogue with us. Does anyone think they will?

  12. Roy,

    Unfortunately your comments are incorrect.

    The Taliban are the pseudo religious/political leadership that used to rule Afghanistan and that now rules a portion of that country.

    (see the article at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/144382.stm for background information on who the Taliban are)

    Since you posted your comments I have spent some time researching the Homeland Security information in the States – and I have to tell you that US Govt references to external threats seem not to mention the Taliban as a de facto source of international terrorism.

    In making your assertions, I have to ask whether you are in possession of information that no-one else is aware or should we treat your somewhat alarming views with an even greater amount of extreme caution?

  13. Sorry Brennig. I meant Al-qaeda.(I am sure I spelled that wrong!) The Taliban may be an extremist group but they certainly have a right to their opinion.(althought the women don’t:)

    We have 1500 mosques in the U.S. but I don’t think you will find many churches in Arab countries. Our country allows freedom of religion but I beleive the muslim view is that all non-muslims are “infidels”.I am a nobody so don’t let my views scare you. I have absolutely no power, even in my own home. As for my comments, please tell me what alarmed you so much.I am always open to new ideas.

    The mind is like a parachute, it functions best when open.

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