I'm not sure there is no middle ground - especially of the type you mention in regards to the Vietnam War.
In fact, you seem to lay out some territory for that middle ground yourself.
It would have been nice if 9/11 had stirred into action the world community to do some work on the Geneva Conventions and similar international law to move us from post-WWII to the 21st terrorist century - but we have been too chicken - and too bent on petty contemporary crap.
I think the framers of the Geneva Conventions would be puzzled at our handling of "detainees" - since they clearly spelled out rules for who were sanctioned fighters in a war.
But, anyway, societies have moved on from that time, and if the world community wants to make some new definitions and amendments to deal with the kind of well-financed global terrorism in our high technology, high transportation world - which they should - then get cracking on it. It won't be easy - but it might go a long way into making a hell of a lot of people focus on what goes on out there in the real world - rather than in cocktail parties in Manhattan or the rarified air of college classrooms.
Water boarding is a good case to begin with. We use it on some service men and other government employees whose line of work might one day land them in some other group's torture chambers ---- so -- if water boarding a detainee is a war crime, should we go back and prosecute the members of all previous administration who allowed such crimes to take place - crimes against our own citizens - not just its own citizens, but its patriots.
I didn't like the idea of Gitmo from the start - but for reasons different from what I usually hear:
To me, it was a big huge bleeping politician's cop out - the non-answer to a problem.
What we needed was leadership that would have brought international law and understanding into 21st century realities - however the world community would decide to deal with it.
And if the US decided to go it alone or against nations - like with the International Criminal Court - so be it. But let's get the discussion going and make some lasting decisions - instead of this crap limbo.
If our Supreme Court wants to alter the Geneva Conventions to include fighters left out of the old rules, fine, but let's re-write those rules to reflect our post-modern sensibilities -- and if that isn't the way the majority wants to go, even better. But let's hash it out....Comment Posted By usinkorea On 19.12.2008 @ 23:06
If we focus on the "when we leave" phrase in the quote, which we should give much play since the cornerstone of Obama's foreign policy platform has always been getting us out of Iraq as soon as possible after he is elected, then I would have to ask --- Does he consider the Korean War a success? Is South Korea a US success story? We still have troops in South Korea....for that matter....there is still "sectarian" division and at times violence. The nation is still split in two...
Given what Obama has said about foreign policy and Iraq --- especially his primary focus on troop withdrawal....
...I'd have to conclude he things the US lost the Korean War and is still prolonging the failure by keeping troops in South Korea.Comment Posted By usinkorea On 19.07.2008 @ 13:22
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