Would The Geneva Convention Make A Better Hat or Airplane?
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.'