Brit DefSec Demands Geneva Convention Changes

Tuesday, April 04, 2006
British Defence Secretary John Reid yesterday demanded changes to the Geneva conventions in the treatment of prisoners, pre-emptive strikes and intervention in humanitarian crises.

Reid expressed his belief that the rules were out of date and inadequate to deal with what he called "barbaric terrorism."

The conventions, he said, were created more than half century ago "when the world was almost unrecognisable."

In what may relate to the question of Iran, he also spoke of the "concept of imminence" - the circumstances when a state could strike without waiting for an attack.


David Thomson said...

John Reid means well---but he is talking nonsense. The Geneva Conventions are simply irrelevant in the fight against terrorism. They were created to deal solely with soldiers in recognizable uniforms who willingly adhere to the values of Western Civilization. There should not be any further fatuous talk about updating of the Geneva conventions. No, we should completely ignore them.

Knucklehead said...

Gotta go with DT on this one. The Geneva Conventions were designed for the armies of nation states engaged in conflict with one another.

They weren't designed for armies of god, militias of mullahs, one man's freedom fighter or another man's terrorist.

If you are part of a group engaged in killing people but aren't wearing the recognized uniform of a nation state then the Geneva Conventions don't apply to you and you might be subjected to the painful lessons of intense inquiries about the activities of you fellow murdering morons. Bummer.

Rick Ballard said...

I would argue that a unilateral declaration by the US on how it expects to conduct war - with special attention to how it will deal with those conducting war differently - would be sufficient. Italy and Germany were the only countries whcih paid much attention to rules of war even in WWII - certainly none of the 'progressive' nations we've had to deal with on the battlefield since have done so.

Terrorists taken deserve no more than drum head courts and summary execution after interrogation. Had we followed that from Day 1 the silliness of the Guantanamo situation could have been avoided. Keep the jerks in the theater of operations until disposal occurs.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Any European pronouncement on matters of warfare should be weighed against the fact that the European nations are unable for all practical purposes to wage war. Hence they are not talking about themselves but about two other things: 1) the United States, 2) the terrorists who will attack them. It's always fun to be on a moral high horse and tell Uncle Sam what to do. As for the terrorists, power is never given it is always taken.

terrye said...

If they did change the Geneva Convention rules, it would not be the first time it has been done.

Syl said...

Well, we either change 'em or ignore 'em. And knowing how the europeans would change 'em, we then wouldn't sign the treaty.

I say just ignore the whole thing. It's terrible when one doesn't trust one's own culture to be sensible enough to do the right thing. Really depressing.

But, I must say this, even the open acnowledgment that changes need to be made is a 'good thing'.