Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Protocols of the Elders of Geneva

There's a fine example of the hyperventilating paranoia which now forms American reactionary conservatism in one of today's Wall Street Journal editorials (subs. req'd; but here's a free link with reg. req'd). It escalates their recent attacks on the International Committee of the Red Cross [ICRC]:

... for more than three years now the ICRC has abused that position of trust to wage an unprecedented propaganda war against the United States.

Leaked ICRC reports have described conditions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as "tantamount to torture" because indefinite detention is stressful. And just last month the ICRC's Washington office broke its confidentiality agreement with the U.S. government to fan the flames created by Newsweek's false Quran-abuse story.

... A study released Monday by the Senate Republican Policy Committee ... raps the ICRC for its efforts to "afford terrorists and insurgents the same rights and privileges as [uniformed] military personnel" by misleadingly pretending that a radical document called Protocol 1 is settled international law. This causes the ICRC to "inaccurately and unfairly accuse the U.S. of not adhering to the Geneva Conventions."

U.S. taxpayers are the largest contributors to the ICRC's budget ($233 million, or 26%, in 2003). They have a right to expect an honest interpretation of the Geneva Conventions for that money, not more leaked reports that will be spun to give aid and comfort to al Qaeda.


One suspects that they want points for tolerance and moderation just for having spelled Koran with a 'Q.' And we've waded through this Protocol 1 -- which every UN member has signed -- and can't see what in God's name this "Senate Republican Policy Committee" (which sure sounds like a real objective source) is so worked up about. At what point does Dubya run out of enemies?

UPDATE: Here's a good explanation of the US status vis-a-vis Additional Protocol 1.