POWs and War Crimes:

Albawaba, a middle-eastern news source, has this article on what they are terming American abuses of the Geneva Conventions. Predictably, they charge the United States with violating exactly the provisions of the Geneva Convention that the administration cited in their concerns over the Al Jazeera interviews with captured American POWs. With that as a foundation, they move on to complain about similar violations with our detainees at GitMo. Because their first complaint is undeniable, one tends not to notice that their second complaint improperly elides actual Iraqi Army POWs with illegal combatants--nonuniformed Talibs and al Qaeda. The Geneva Conventions quite specifically exempt illegal combatants from their rules, but it doesn't matter. We've given them a stick to beat us with by raising this foolish complaint.

It is the more foolish given that we suspect American POWs were executed. This article, which is based on an interview with a Marine General, is worth reading in full. It cites numerous actual war crimes, as well as the summary execution by hanging of an Iraqi woman who waved to coalition forces.

Finally, on this topic, there were some interviews with Afghani men released from GitMo. These interviews were conducted back in Afghanistan, and ought to provide a certain contrast with that last article. Two of the detainees have some unpleasant things to say about their time in custody; the others, surprisingly flattering things given that they were imprisoned. Even if you accept the worst and take the best with a grain of salt, the American system compares favorably with that of our foes.

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