There are a number of glaring contradictions, leaps of logic, and bad arguments in Mr. Steinberg’s article. First of all is the misapplication of the Geneva Convention. The Convention’s goal was to produce rules of conduct for nations during times of armed conflict.
Article 4; section 2 of the convention states the following:
2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfill the following conditions:
(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) That of carrying arms openly;
(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
Furthermore, Article 3; Section 1 state:
In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:
1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, color, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) Taking of hostages;
(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
In the conflict in
As for violations of Article 3, insurgent forces have taken hostage members of the media, relief groups, and members of the
In regards to the Bush Administration’s “Enabling Act”, as Mr. Steinberg calls it, pay particular attention to the use of the word “alien”. No one is suggesting that this power be used to detain or imprison American citizens. If it were, I would be the first to lead the charge against the
This act is designed to address how Americans are to treat situations that are not covered under the Geneva Convention. As we have seen the Insurgency does not fit into any category proscribed under the convention. I doubt that Insurgent forces in
Finally, Mr. Steinberg uses a poor form of argument by bringing up the German Enabling Acts. The Enabling Act has nothing to do with the topic at hand and is called a non sequitur argument. If Mr. Steinberg wishes to present his views on a piece of legislation the Bush Administration is presenting, then stick to that. However attempting to bridge the gap between this piece of legislation and the Holocaust makes no logical sense. These statements are designed to pander to the reader’s emotions and not his reason. Statements like “there is no doubt what sentence Mr. Bush wants to write”, are another example of this type of argument.
I’ve done this as an exercise in critical reading. Yes, my political views are to the right. Yes, I think that we should be in