Relative principles

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  1. The Constitution is much more of a representation of what America stands for. It affords many basic rights that many other countries have yet to establish. Even the UK doesn’t have some of our rights in law, just in common practice. That aside, our military or offensive position has always been a much different matter.
    America’s military history does not put us in a real good example for following the rules of war for that time period. The Revolution? Sherman’s march to the sea? Our history is more along the lines of “please just get the job done” after enough of our people have died. We tend to care less about “standards” in war and conflict when you are dealing with lives. I’m not saying you don’t care, or anything about your opinions, just offering why it is that some people don’t view the Geneva convention as some sort of burden for America to carry in all future conflicts.

  2. Polimom says – No. Of course they’re not going respect the Geneva convention, but if we don’t, we’re merely lowering ourselves to their standards. Remaining true to our values isn’t weak; it’s principled.
    How can people say they’d die before they’d convert to Islam, but they’ll abandon what America stands for without a blink? Isn’t all of this what we’re fighting against?

    I thought we’d gone through this? Geneva Convention does NOT equal U.S.A.
    My U.S. of America signed the Geneva Convention and it states that it applies ONLY in disputes between countries who sign and ABIDE BY the Convention. The Geneva Convention isn’t the U.S. nor it’s people’s principles! It’s a treaty between agreeing warring factions. It IS NOT what “America stands for.” it is an agreement between civilized nations on what we agree not to do to each other in times of war.
    If the folks we are fighting don’t abide by it, we don’t abide by it.
    Here’s an example about which you need to think:
    When I was younger I loved to listen to comedy albums or LP (for Long Play) records. For those of you who don’t know what an album is it means you are a lot younger than I am and, unlike me with a short time left here, the entire world is in front of you – attempt to be wiser than we were and try to leave this world better than you found it. Enjoy your life each day as someday you’ll look back and see how very few days it was.
    Anyway, an album was about 10 inches, vinyl disk on which sound was recorded, usually music and/or words. Think of a flat (usually) black Frisbee with grooves that plays kind of like a CD. They may be seen rarely in the company of old hip-hop DJs today.
    Anyway I loved the comedy albums and Bill Cosby was one of my favorites. Kids in school took to calling me “Chicken Heart” after a comedy routine of The Cos. One of his many jokes was built on a “What if?” situation. I’m going to use a piece of one of his jokes (as if he was saying it) to make a point here. I hope you’re up on World and American history.
    Says Cosby: I was at an (American) football game the other day and while paying a month’s salary for the family each a dog and a drink, I watched the goings on the field in a new way. The officials came out to the middle of the field and captains from the opposing teams joined them. And as they do at all football games they flip or toss a coin in the air calling “heads or tails” to see how the game progresses and what the teams will do. It goes something like this between the Orange team and the Maroon team:
    Official says: Capt. Sobert of the Orange meet Capt. Hobert of the Maroon; Capt. Hobert of the Maroon, meet Capt. Sobert of the Orange. (they shake hands) You get to call Orange, (as the official flips the coin in the air Sobert makes the call “tails”; the official catches the coin and) okay, Orange called tails. It is tails. You win the toss there Orange. What will you do? (at this point the Captain who won the toss will do what is to his advantage so he tells the game official who announces it) Okay Sobert says that Maroon will Kickoff, Maroon will kickoff! And what will you do? Sobert says they will receive. They will receive.
    Now I got to considering as this seems to be a pretty sound system and I wondered what kind of affect a “coin toss” would have had on wars. (We’ll now follow The Cos as we go into a few of battles and wars in history. Each starts with the officials and the military’s Captains in no-mans-land in the middle.)
    Take a European war Okay Captain Alexander 1 of the Russians meet Captain Napoleon of the French.. Captain Napoleon of the French meet Captain Alexander 1 of the Russians. (they shake hands) Call the toss there Alex. Okay, Alex called heads, it is heads, you lost the toss Neo. Okay, Capt. Alex what will you do? Okay, Capt. Alexander says he and his army get to stay home to drag out the fight. And that Capt. Napoleon must slog his way across Europe. Fight the fresh Russian army to a standstill until Winter when the now poorly equipped French must retreat through heavy ice and snow. At this time Capt Alex’s men are allowed to shoot your men one-by-one in the back.
    The American Indian Wars Okay Captain Sitting Bull of the Indians meet Captain Custer of the Army. Captain Custer meet Captain Sitting Bull. (they shake hands) You call the toss there Bull. Okay, Bull called tails, it is tails. You lose the toss Cus. (uh-oh) What you going to do Sit? Okay Captain Custer, Capt. Sitting Bull says that you and your men must wait in a circle at the bottom of this hill while he and all the Indians in the world ride right down on you.
    The Revolutionary War of 1776 – Captain Holman of the settlers meet Captain Sothby of the British. Captain Sothby of the British meet Captain Holman of the settlers. (they shake hands) You call the toss there Brits. Okay the Brits called heads, it is tails. You won the toss Holman. So settlers what you gonna do? Alright, Capt. Holman says that his guys get to wear any kind of clothes they want to, shoot from behind rocks, and trees; while Capt. Sothby your guys must stay in the open, wear red and march in straight lines.
    This last piece would be a lot funnier if it wasn’t for the sad and deadly truth of how the Brit’s situation is so like our troops situation in the Middle East, such as Iraq or Iran, or other areas as Pakistan, Afghanistan, and where what is euphemistically referred to as “unconventional warfare” may be waged.
    But thanks to some liberals, we MUST follow a set of rules while the other army does not, as they never agreed to follow those rules. Because of this, we are opening our kids to slaughter because a group who should know better forces our youth to follow a set of rules that does not apply to the enemy.

  3. It is, however, from the Constitution that we derive things like due process and habeas corpus. They’re not frivolous notes in a sidebar someplace — they’re core.

  4. Not during times of war, except for our citizens. Situations change in times of wars. And, for good or bad, being a citizen during time of war doesn’t guarantee even freedom. FDR was a good man and a liberal. I think his death was due to the war, just like LBJ’s was. Those wars broke the shoulders and hearts of those very strong men. But FDR gave the order to put into holding camps anyone in this country of Japanese descent. Years later they received an apology and some money. While I believe there had to be a better way, I understand, and to a degree agree with, FDR’s decision.
    There is a couple of generations in the U.S. that know first hand what real war – hand-to-hand war, is. They also know they making us “wear red and march in a straight line” is the real reason we lost in Vietnam, not that we couldn’t win the war, we were not allowed to do so.
    If the country expects our military to fight any other war under the same restrictions that we suffered in Vietnam, it will lose every war. If our country didn’t learn that one thing, then it is doomed because, before we realize, “oh my, they (the enemy) are not following ANY rules!” it will be too late.

  5. Polimon asks, – “Are you saying that we lost Vietnam because of adherence to codes like the Geneva Convention?
    In a major way, yes. If we’d used the same tactics and rules of engagement in Vietnam that we used in WWII, those being all-out war, we would have won there and in Korea. But when your enemy is allowed to retreat past an invisible line, be it a parallel or a border, and say “naa-naa, naa-naa, naw-naw, Can’t shoot (or fly over) me,” like it was a kids game of tag with a “home free” tree, the war can not be won.
    The only reason the “Korea Conflict” ended up with a cease fire and an settled dividing line was the election of Ike and he telling the United Nations ”to go to hell, I’ll handle negations.” He sent his people into negotiations carrying Teddy’s Big Stick and said, “The killing of these kids on both sides stops NOW or we will remove North Korea, most of China and any other country that gets the bright idea to go against us from the face of the Earth – and the only sign we’ll see of them is a glow in the dark.”
    In less than a month from taking office he had ‘hotloaded’ SAC bombers flying within a few miles of North Korea, China, and the U.S.S.R. – oddly, they decided he meant it. The U.S.S.R. told China, “sorry, we no longer have your back” pulled their pilots out of the “Korean” planes; China started pulling their troops back; and Korea said, “Oh crap!!” And did – sign the cease-fire.
    Had Ike done it, it would have been against the Geneva Convention, except the Convention ONLY APPLIES when BOTH SIDES follow it. And Ike, and the rest of the nation, knew that. If you look back, almost all the air and artillery strikes of WWII were ruled out Geneva Convention.
    Why was it okay then? Because the Axis powers broke the Convention first, with the bombing and rockets on the Commonwealth of GB, so those sections of the Convention no longer encumbered the Allies powers. Yes, we were break the Convention but the VERY SAME Convention says if one side breaks a part of the treaty, which is what it is, then the other is no longer bound by it.
    Johnson shouldn’t have been free to bomb North Vietnam and Nixon shouldn’t have had to sneak around about Cambodia. They were NOT part of the Geneva Convention and their respective nations did not follow it. So if the enemy is using a “get-home-free freeway” to get around, then that ‘freeway’ is in the war mix.
    Ask any Pentagon official, or any military tactician, why “Rolling Thunder” didn’t work. The answer’s easy. Uhhhh, “carpet bombing only works when it’s bombing carpets not vegetation. Rolling Thunder needed to be used on every inhabited city and village larger than 5,000 people, starting with Hànội. Hànội and it’s kind should not have had any more buildings standing than Berlin and most other French, German as well as many other European towns.
    That’s against the Geneva Convention, something to which North Vietnam and Cambodia did not belong or adhere, so it didn’t apply to us. So why wasn’t it done?? Here is why:
    John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Roy Rogers, Hugh O’Brian, James Arness – believe it or not, those people or rather the myth created by those people and others in Hollywood. The movie “good guy image” that somehow morphed into the “American Image.”
    All of a sudden, “REAL Americans” (by the way, Canadians, Mexicans, Panamanians, Brazilians, Chileans, even Venezuelans are AMERICIANS – check your globe or maps) anyway, U.S. red-blooded boys didn’t shot first because they “had to be faster and better” Rogers, Cooper and Wayne “proved” they were. We don’t have to fight the way the enemy does because Matt Dillon never shot a man in the back.
    Well folks, reality check, we ain’t John Wayne. We’re more like Donald Duck. Donald (and we) try to do right but something always comes up because even though Donald is a cartoon he inhabits a more real world than Hugh O’Brian’s Wyatt Earp on television.
    There’s and old backwoods saying, “When your up to you’re a** in alligators, it is sometimes difficult to remember your original objective was to drain the swamp.”
    All those Hollywood “good guys” have been getting U.S. kids killed for years. It might even be worse now as too many want to sit in front of the computer and tell our kids who are dealing “with alligators” to win it like John Wayne did – don’t draw first, don’t shoot in the back, or my favorite, give them a warning shot or a chance to surrender.
    Bull! That’s NOT the way it happened in the real old West, and it’s not realistic to expect it from those kids.
    O’Brian’s Earp shot the gun out of the bad-guy’s hand. Guess what? The real Earp shot them in the head without telling them to “draw.” You want to pick something more realistic, don’t watch Oliver Stone’s Apocalypse Now look to “The Patriot” at Mel Gibson’s character Benjamin Martin after sees his pre-teen son shot on cold blood, he reverts back to what he’d learned fighting as the natives do. That’s war. Covered with blood and flesh and screaming before you realize it is not yours. And then screaming again when you realize whose it was.
    That’s more like what our troops are seeing and have seeing since Korea. And the folks back home since Vietnam have seen on television, where Roy Rogers caught everyone without firing a shot using a rope and then sits on Trigger (his horse) to sing a song, a 20-year-old kid cutting down on three guys and a woman (at home they didn’t know women dropped bombs from places up their skirts) and at home they scream KILLER, MURDER!!
    It’s a lot easier to make the call from TV or a computer after the fact and not knowing the day before that kid’s buddy leaned over to help an old woman up only to find out she was Charlie with a grenade. She deftly rolled toward the G.I.s taking a day in the city, as she dove between parked cars and was out in the city street where she looks like any other of the forty or more women in the street. She killed the G.I.’s friend and mangled five others for life. And the next day he remembers it.
    Please tell that boy he’s not supposed to be upset, mad and scared to death of those four people standing together in the middle of a firefight and when he catches the glint of steel behind their back. Tell him the way he did it wasn’t the way Roy, or Matt or Wayne did it. Tell him to abide by the Geneva Convention.
    He’ll yell back that the Geneva Convention requires ALL combat personnel to wear identifiable uniforms or they may be shot on sight. — As two AK47s fall from the hands of two of the people he “just MURDERED” — but of course that was cut from the news clip.
    See A Band of Brothers and watch those bombers flying over to indiscriminately pound-the-crap-out-of-the cities where the hidden Germans were. They were instructed to level the ground to help in the house-to-house battles of our troops. That was war and it was against the Geneva Convention, but people back home had the good sense to know that part of the treaty had been broken by the Axis and we could do in kind. That was WWII. Killing men, women and children in their homes as needed because our troops were coming. Patton actually said this, “Winning a war is not about some poor bastard dying for his country. It is about making the other poor bastard die for HIS country!”
    Our United States now wants John Wayne standing up with a Thompson in each hand; a Matt Dillon, waiting for the other guy to draw first; a Wyatt Earp shooting the gun out of the bad guy’s hand.
    When you expect that, you are just going to get what’s left of a U.S. kid shipped home in a bloody box. And people saying, why can’t we win this faster?
    Polimom said a longtime ago and is linked above – This is a test:
    1. Do we care at all whether “the rest of the world is completely convinced that we are busy torturing people”?
    2. Does this represent who we, as a nation, think we are?

    (1)Nope, don’t care what those people think. They’ll think what they want no matter what we do. Please see speeches by Chavez’ ; Castro ; Khrushchev ; Emperor Hirohito ; Hitler – No, I don’t give a darn what they think. I’ve heard it all before.
    (2)Nope, stupidly many in our nation still think we are John “f_______” Wayne. But as I said, we are Donald Duck and it’s going to take (at lease I hope just) one or two minor beatings to get that through our Hollywood-doped-up heads or at worse one final beating and it will not matter anymore..

  6. EDIT: There were a lot of missing “ings” and a “seeing” when it should be “seen” – a writer should NEVER proof his/her own work.
    One major error though changed a meaning
    Reads:
    Johnson shouldn’t have been free to bomb North Vietnam and Nixon shouldn’t have had to sneak around about Cambodia.
    Should read:
    Johnson should have been free to bomb North Vietnam and Nixon shouldn’t have had to sneak around about Cambodia.

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