Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Diplomatic pressure softens Iran hostage situation

The Iranian hostage situation continues to unfold. The muckraking SkyNews reports footage of the captured British soldiers has been aired on Iranian TV and also that the sole woman hostage may soon be released. The stills that accompany the article are comforting in that the hostages do look unharmed and comfortable considering the circumstances. I've certainly seen hostages in worse condition in my lifetime.

Meanwhile, the particulars of the taking are, of course, in contention with Iran claiming the UK marines violated their territorial waters and the UK claiming they didn't. Now, six days later the UK has come up with some proof they're correct. My friend Michael van der Galien is more trusting than I and accepts the British version, but the sad effect of having endured four years of information manipulation by both Bush and Blair have rendered me unable to accept anyone's claims on face value.

Meanwhile, Michael points us to Robert Clayton Dean who is all exercised over Iran's violation of the Geneva Conventions.
The Iranians have just announced that they intend to commit yet another violation of the Geneva Conventions: publicly displaying the British sailors they captured last week.

This makes the third violation of the Geneva Conventions by Iran: threatening to try soldiers in uniform for espionage, interrogation of captured soldiers, and now public display of captured soldiers.
He decries the double standard on the left and asks where is the outrage among the "usual suspects" which I assume includes anyone who criticized the US violations of the same.

I'm a bit confused about his point. Of course, Iran should be condemned for violating the Conventions. But is that supposed to excuse us? Leaving aside the enemy combatants, even within his narrow definition, didn't we do these three things to Saddam? Shouldn't he have been qualified for protection under the conventions?

Did he forget our own Attorney General, Mr. Gonzales deemed the conventions to be "quaint" in supporting the US torture policy? The implication clearly being they were outmoded. Should we be then be surprised that the madman from Tehran treats them with equal disregard?

Guys like Mr. Dean like to cast the left's concerns about the conventions as anti-American when we wanted them applied to enemy combatants, but this is exactly what I, and many on the left have been warning about since the beginning; that our treatment of the enemy would eventually endanger our own troops and allies. As ye sow.... and all that.

It seems to me the double standard is on his side of the fence. I'm outraged about any violation of human rights while they excuse the Bush administration, who not only violated them first but codified the violations to make them legal. Using their own words, with which they condemn the left, either you're outraged about both or you don't really have the right to complain about either.

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