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Cheney criticizes the Geneva Conventions in Military Academy commencement address

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by michaelr, May 28, 2007.

  1. michaelr

    michaelr New Member

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    Michael Roston
    Published: Saturday May 26, 2007
    Vice President Dick Cheney criticized the notion of applying the Geneva Conventions to individuals captured in the course of the war on terrorism in a Saturday commencement address at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

    "Capture one of these killers, and he'll be quick to demand the protections of the Geneva Convention and the Constitution of the United States," the Vice President said in the Saturday morning speech. "Yet when they wage attacks or take captives, their delicate sensibilities seem to fall away."

    Cheney delivered the remarks in the context of moral and ethical lessons that the graduating cadets at West Point had learned in the course of their study.

    "You have lived by a code of honor, and internalized that code as West Point men and women always do," he said. "As Army officers on duty in the war on terror, you will now face enemies who oppose and despise everything you know to be right, every notion of upright conduct and character, and every belief you consider worth fighting for and living for."

    Recently, West Point instructors have complained of the difficulty of persuading Army cadets to adhere to the principles of the Geneva Conventions in the war on terrorism. A February article in the New Yorker highlighted a dialog on the problem between West Point's dean and Joel Surnow, producer of the hit Fox television program '24.'

    "This past November, U.S. Army Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan, the dean of the United States Military Academy at West Point, flew to Southern California to meet with the creative team behind '24,'" wrote Jane Mayer in the magazine. "Finnegan, who is a lawyer, has for a number of years taught a course on the laws of war to West Point seniors - cadets who would soon be commanders in the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. He always tries, he said, to get his students to sort out not just what is legal but what is right. However, it had become increasingly hard to convince some cadets that America had to respect the rule of law and human rights, even when terrorists did not. One reason for the growing resistance, he suggested, was misperceptions spread by '24,' which was exceptionally popular with his students. As he told me, 'The kids see it, and say, ''If torture is wrong, what about '24?''"

    The excerpt of Cheney's remarks is presented below, and can be accessed in full at the White House website.

    #
    The standards of this Academy only highlight the deepest and most fundamental difference between the United States and our sworn enemies. A month ago, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Pace, spoke to this class about each officer's duty to follow a moral compass in all of his or her actions. In these four years you have learned the rules of warfare and professional military ethics. You've studied the tenets of morality. You've reflected on the seven Army values: of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. You have lived by a code of honor, and internalized that code as West Point men and women always do.

    As Army officers on duty in the war on terror, you will now face enemies who oppose and despise everything you know to be right, every notion of upright conduct and character, and every belief you consider worth fighting for and living for. Capture one of these killers, and he'll be quick to demand the protections of the Geneva Convention and the Constitution of the United States. Yet when they wage attacks or take captives, their delicate sensibilities seem to fall away. These are men who glorify murder and suicide. Their cruelty is not rebuked by human suffering, only fed by it. They have given themselves to an ideology that rejects tolerance, denies freedom of conscience, and demands that women be pushed to the margins of society. The terrorists are defined entirely by their hatreds, and they hate nothing more than the country you have volunteered to defend.

    The terrorists know what they want and they will stop at nothing to get it. By force and intimidation, they seek to impose a dictatorship of fear, under which every man, woman, and child lives in total obedience to their ideology. Their ultimate goal is to establish a totalitarian empire, a caliphate, with Baghdad as its capital. They view the world as a battlefield and they yearn to hit us again. And now they have chosen to make Iraq the central front in their war against civilization.
     
  2. jb_1430

    jb_1430 New Member

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    ???Sounds like he is criticizing those who ignore it. MARK
     
  3. michaelr

    michaelr New Member

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    I don't think so, I think that he is saying" they don't follow it, why should we".
     
  4. jb_1430

    jb_1430 New Member

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    I think you are reading your preconceived perceptions, instead of his words.

    MARK
     
  5. drippinhun

    drippinhun New Member

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    Who cares what the King Chickenhawk thinks? He's a twisted pile of dung.
     
  6. Dave

    Dave New Member

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    All he said was that we are expected to follow the rules when they aren't, which is 100% true. Where do you see that he is saying we shouldn't follow these rules?
     
  7. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    Very convincing argument, marked by solid evidentiary support and respectful eloquence.
     
  8. drippinhun

    drippinhun New Member

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    You need evidence? Here is a link to just one of many sites that have cited Dick's military career. I'm surprised that one as eloquent as yourself hadn't availed yourself to this knowledge beforehand, being one who proudly claims his participation in a military organization. Respect is something I give everyone, until they give me reason to no longer offer it. Your commander-in-chief in waiting lost it from me long before he was Bush's puppetmeister.
     
  9. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    I was aware that Cheney never served in uniform, and while I think he missed a great opportunity, that doesn't take away from him as a person. He can still supoort the troops and their mission without having served.

    I was more making a point about your 1 line insult that really contributed nothing to the discussion. I'd prefer that we don't have those here.
     
  10. drippinhun

    drippinhun New Member

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    I will avoid calling a spade a spade. And while military service does not make one an expert on diplomacy or national policy, I find the your Vice-President is a person who deserves nothing but contempt. Somewhere the line needs to be reestablished as to what constitutes the basic principles on what this country's founders at least gave lip service to.
     
  11. Vitiate

    Vitiate New Member

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    That's a double standard for everything we stand for as a democracy, principles and all.
     
  12. mysteryman

    mysteryman New Member

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    So,someone has to serve in uniform to be President?

    OK,then please cite for us Barak Obama's military experience
    Or Hillary Clintons?
    Or John Edwards
    Or Joe Bidens

    Please cite for us the military experience of EVERY dem candidate for President and telll us which ones you think are not allowed to be President,based on their military experience (or lack thereof)
     
  13. drippinhun

    drippinhun New Member

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    Did I say one must have military experience? In fact, a big bonus in my estimation would for a candidate not to have it. I'm not into supposed leaders being experts at taking orders.

    But to your question, which of those candidates do I give a hoot about? The only one I can stomach is Mike Gravel. On the Republican side, I'm not familiar with the Ron Paul character (remember I rarely watch or read mainstream U.S. news), but I can tell you that I wouldn't vote for McCain, Guiliani or Romney.

    P.S. For the most part, I've abandoned the spineless Democratic Party. I can't stand half of their positions and the rest are in tune with the GOPeabrain Party. Some choice, eh?
     
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