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The Geneva Conventions - A Brief Overview

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Nick, May 29, 2004.

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  1. jonstad

    jonstad Hall Of Fame

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    I don't think anyone is disputing that. But that's precisely why we have such things as the Geneva Conventions, to take away the excuse that "war is hell and sometimes people get carried away".
     
  2. bcw

    bcw AllStar

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    The last thing on my mind was the Geneva Conventions while I was in Viet Nam. There is a lot of "Oh we should all act like angels" bullshit going on. It is not in the human nature to act like an angel when the shit hits the fan. The Geneva Conventions are also the last thing on the mind of the ******* that is trying to kill you. I have been to a lot of countries where the standard of living was called survival. In the big picture 1 life or 10 lives or 100 lives or 1000 lives or 10000 lives means absolutely nothing. You put to much importance on life.
     
  3. jonstad

    jonstad Hall Of Fame

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    So I guess what you're saying is lives are not important unless it's your own life? Oh, but wait a minute, I've "put to much importance" on your life. It should be my life I'm looking out for. So scratch that first line. 1 or 10 or 100 or 1000 of YOUR lives are not as important as mine. And if I have to kill 1 or 10 or 100 or 1000 of you to save my own skin, well, that's survival!
     
  4. bcw

    bcw AllStar

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    Although you are trying to be a smart ass about it, you are right, your life and my life do not mean anything. The "self righteous bleeding hearts" cost a lot of American service men their lives. You wonder how?. Do to the politicians not wanting to offend the bleeding hearts back home, in Viet Nam if you took fire you had to call in for permission to return fire. If the fire was coming from a 'friendly' village you could not fire back. Now since the VC were not stupid, where do you think they fired their B40 rockets at our boats from? Same thing in Iraq. Where can't American forces shoot or bomb? The mosques. Where do the mortar attacks come from? Think about it. The bleeding hearts got a few of my friends killed, are you one of them?
     
  5. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    Like most of your inane comments, that was NOT funny, it was an offensive slur.
     
  6. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    The...
    Personally, I thought it was hilarious! :D Sorry, Happy, but you know what happens when you leave the tent flap open... :eek:

    Hmmm... What has happened to your sense of humor? No offensive slur intended, but don't slurs tend to be offensive due to their very nature? I shall now go search the world over for a list of inoffensive slurs suitable for use in this new politically correct world order.
     
  7. ypsiguy

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    The "bleeding hearts" didn't get your friends killed. They were protesting back home to get you guys out of there. You can thank the right-wing generals who wanted that war for the deaths. The French left Vietnam because they realized precisely that fighting against a war of liberation was futile. The Vietnamese simply did not want ANY colonial control anymore. We fought the same damn type of war against the British circa 1776, guerilla tactics and all.
     
  8. bcw

    bcw AllStar

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    You can justify anything you want. Talking to people that have their mind made up is futile. end of discussion.
     
  9. ypsiguy

    ypsiguy Icon

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    From your end perhaps, others however are welcome to express their viewpoint.
     
  10. bcw

    bcw AllStar

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    You pulled me back in. As long as villages, mosques etc are 'off limits' for returning fire people will get killed. Why are they 'off limits'. So some people will not get upset. So the people that are not being upset are killing people. I do not like war. I do not like fighting. There should be other ways, but until everyone in the world thinks that way there will be fights/wars. If we do have to fight a war, there should not be any 'off limits' spots.
     
  11. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    They're not "off-limits" simply because of what they are, however, our troops are ordered to minimize any harm to non-combatants and those villages and mosques have a lot of innocent people in the, who usually are at the mercy of the ones doing the attacks.

    Perhaps you are one of those who think all Arabs or Muslims are "the enemy", though, so you don't see any of them as being innocent.
     
  12. jonstad

    jonstad Hall Of Fame

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    Maybe a brief review of the history of war is in order.

    For most of the history of war(for this discussion defined as declared, armed conflict between one or several peoples or nations against others), there WERE codes of conduct, if not written, at least largely assumed and understood. The reasoning was probably not humanitarian but pragmatic in nature. Civilians were mostly off limits because if you killed the populace, who would you steal your food and provisions from. And there was little street to street, house to house, city fighting because the weapons and armies of the day didn't lend themselves to "urban warfare". If you wanted to capture a city, you laid siege and starved and/or thirsted them into submission. For the most part, armies would manuver in the countryside and often agree(prearrange, negotiate) a place of battle. But whatever the rationale, one army would defeat another with minimal involvement of civilians. And after it was over, civilians just accepted the outcome.

    As noted, starting probably with our own Revolutionary War, all that began to change. Washington, nor anyone else on our side, notoriously couldn't beat the British in what was then a conventional battle. So we chose to start picking off the British WITHOUT engaging them in "battle", sniping from behind trees, walls and from farmhouses while the British were advancing or retreating, and of course sabotage. Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas Eve and attacking on Christmas Day was a move of desperation and certainly not kosher by accepted standards. NOBODY was supposed to fight on Christmas, you were supposed to get drunk!:goodjob: Naturally, the British cried foul and called us "bloody cowards"(insurgents? guerillas? terrorists?). But it worked. And along with help from the FRENCH, it's a big part of what won the war for us. We avoided open battle with the British and kept them off balance 'til they got tired and went home.

    Now, we're pretty proud(and I believe rightly so) of our Minutemen sniping from behind bushes and our innovative, unconventional warfare that defeated the biggest superpower of the 18th century. But our methods were not lost on anybody else either. The French promptly stormed the Bastille and lopped of Louis and Marie's heads, overthrowing the second biggest superpower with no army whatsoever. And unfortunately with heavy urban fighting resulting in massive civilian casualties. And like it or not, virtually every grassroots revolution and insurgency since has used OUR revolution as its model.

    The unintended result was civilians going from mostly disinterested bystanders to targets and participants in war. Cities became battlegrounds. Sherman didn't go around Atlanta or lay siege to it, he went right through it and burned it to the ground.

    All this combined with the inevitable mechanization of warfare(largely thanks again to yours truely, the USA, during the Civil War) meant that by the end of the 19th century, wars had gotten pretty nasty with lots of civilian deaths, burned cities and crushed infrastructure.

    So, countries got together at the end of that century to try and get back to some basic sensible rules for warfare. They met then, and ever since in Geneva. And don't think this was all about altruistic humanitarianism either. Certainly there were loud protests and calls from "bleeding hearts" to "rein in" wars if they couldn't be ended. But what this really meant to the countries involved was that if they wanted to continue to have wars(and they DID), they'd have to stop killing so many civilians, destroying so much resources, and at minimum make war appear more humane. Otherwise the civians being killed would "throw the bums out" or at least not be around AFTER the war to enrich the country that won.

    Now I'm not trying to place blame and there are exceptions to every point I've made here. But IMO, that's basically how we got to where we are today.

    I was going to ask you what your solution might be but you have given it, "no holds barred". Unfortunately I don't believe that's a viable option, unless you think the Earth turned into a vast nuclear wasteland is "viable". The philosophy of "we had to destroy the village to save it" would have inevitably led, probably decades ago, to vaporizing Moscow and Minsk, and from their alternate perspective, the same for DC and Omaha.

    As bad as things seem to be sometimes, they could be worse. And as stupid as "rules of war" seem to be sometimes, especially if you're in the middle of one, it'd probably be worse if we didn't have them.

    Sorry!:blush: That was supposed to be "brief". But then again, for me, it was kinda brief.:D
     
  13. keng52

    keng52 Legend

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    According to the Geneva Convention . Our enemy is to wear a uniform to prevent harm toward civilians. Anyone caught in combat with our troops wearing civilian clothing is a spy and can be executed. Sounds like we aren't killing enough of the *******s. Allons
     
  14. Bogy

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    Don't worry, we are killing plenty of people in civilian clothing on the off chance they might be a spy already.
     
  15. keng52

    keng52 Legend

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    ;) Good.
     
  16. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    Wholesale slaughter of innocent people. Isn't that what the terrorists do? But you're giving a thumbs-up for us doing it. Wouldn't that make us terrorists? Do you not see that it is immoral to kill innocent people. It is no less immoral for terrorists to do so than it is for our people. I bet you call yourself a Christian, too.
     
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