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Would The Geneva Convention Make A Better Hat or Airplane?

Updated on December 29, 2009

Now that the USA has rendered the Geneva Convention entirely useless by redefining prisoners of war as 'enemy combatants' and acknowledging that torture is now commonplace, (the Supreme Court now says that torture is not a horrific breach of human rights, but is rather a foreseeable aspect of military detention,) would the Geneva Convention be better used as a paper hat, or a paper airplane?'

Just so we're all on the same page, the Geneva Convention I'm talking about here is the fourth Geneva Convention signed by the United States, which says:

“Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs. They shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof and against insults and public curiosity.

Women shall be especially protected against any attack on their honour, in particular against rape, enforced prostitution, or any form of indecent assault. Without prejudice to the provisions relating to their state of health, age and sex, all protected persons shall be treated with the same consideration by the Party to the conflict in whose power they are, without any adverse distinction based, in particular, on race, religion or political opinion. However, the Parties to the conflict may take such measures of control and security in regard to protected persons as may be necessary as a result of the war.”


It's that one that says you can't torture people you capture, and the one that says tactics of force and humiliation are not allowed. This was written after WWII however, and in WWII, American servicemen were quite often captured and held as prisoners of war, so a treaty that safeguarded them against torture (which the Japanese were pretty darn good at, need I mention,) made sense at the time. Now that America does most of the prisoner taking, it's no longer relevant to their interests, so the military just ignores it, as does the Supreme Court.

So, paper hat, or paper plane?

Whilst I'm in favor of a paper hat, which can be used to keep the rain off one's head, the charms of using the Geneva convention as a paper plane are quite tempting. I'm betting that it is printed on some good quality stiff stock, the sort of paper you could really get some good distance and air off, especially if you launch it from the top of a pyramid of 'enemy combatants.'

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    • Jim Bryan profile image

      Jim Bryan 

      8 years ago from Austin, TX

      Glad to be of amusement, dear lady. It's the least I can do for one as insightful and entertaining as you.

    • Hope Alexander profile imageAUTHOR

      Hope Alexander 

      8 years ago

      'If that is so, we didn't beat those people to death...we tenderized them...'

      Instant classic!

    • Jim Bryan profile image

      Jim Bryan 

      8 years ago from Austin, TX

      Screw Hope (pun intended)--I'm with Tethys, I think we should never miss an opportunity to do evil against scary brown people in funny hats with funny accents until such time as...I haven't really thought that far ahead, but I'm sure another 30K troops with the attendant defense expenditures will help me figure it out...and if not, I'm sure we'll run out of brown people...eventually. Her "wet head vs no head" argument makes perfect sense. It's just like when Jeffery Dahmer cut up those people and ate them, just like all white people do, right? Maybe that's why the terrorists hate us. Maybe *we* are the bad guys and Al Queda thinks they really are making the world a safer place...from American cannibals.

      If that is so, we didn't beat those people to death...we tenderized them...

      In all seriousness, sorry for taking it to the inane place I went to in addressing Tethys...but madness is contagious, yes? Your article was great, as usual...

      As far as the original premise regarding the treaty goes...can we just recycle it into a Chinese food menu...I'm vaguely hungry.

    • Hope Alexander profile imageAUTHOR

      Hope Alexander 

      8 years ago

      What's your point? They did it so the US can? The Taliban didn't sign the Geneva Convention. The USA did. There's no point making promises if you simply break them because someone else isn't playing by the same rules. Eye for an eye making the whole world blind and all that. Water boarding might be better than no head, but you are acting as if detainees weren't beaten to death by the US military. If you want proof of that, go look up the torture pictures and have a look at the smiling idiot soldiers posing next to the bruised corpses.

    • Hope Alexander profile imageAUTHOR

      Hope Alexander 

      8 years ago

      :D As always, an inspired solution, Misha.

    • Misha profile image

      Misha 

      8 years ago from DC Area

      How bout toilet paper? Too harsh probably? ;)

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