2004/11/22

Rush Limbaugh and stupid statements

I was reading quotations from nutty right-wingers on one of my favorite comic-relief-type blogs World O' Crap when the blogger included a transcript of a Rush Limbaugh show. I read along for awhile as Rush referred to the "incident involving a Marine and the shooting in Fallujah", as he then tried to draw a moral distinction between the Iraqi resistance and what Americans would do if say, Canada invaded the US and occupied Detroit (Hint: Americans would do everything that the resistance in Iraq is doing and probably then some.), as he then trashes lefties who idolize Yasser Arafat (I'm no fan of his myself, as a matter of fact, neither are any of the bloggers or other leftists that I read. Maybe I just read the wrong sources.), as he talked about the Blue States wanting to secede from the Red States (Funny, I remember seeing comments suggesting just the opposite, I thought Blue Staters were looking at immigration brocures for New Zealand while the Red Staters appear to want to re-do the Civil War.).

Limbaugh suggested that Blue Staters are anti-military because "Eighty percent of the armed forces come from the red states" which might be entirely true, I haven't looked it up, but I am aware that Stars & Stripes surveyed our troops back in August 2003 and found that 34% of the soldiers rated their morale as "Low" or "Very Low". Yeah, sure, okay, 80% of the Army may be from rural areas, but that doesn't mean they're happy about serving over there, nor does it mean that anti-war people are in some way impugning the soldiers who are doing the fighting. Limbaugh then goes on to accuse lefties of thinking that "The terrorist is just some little lonely guy defending his country." First off, in our hypothetical example of Canada occupying Detroit, international law recognizes various righs and privileges that may be claimed by an occupying power, but a native resistance movement is permitted to do everything that the Iraqi resistance is doing today. Just because Amercans don't appreciate the fact that, consequently, it's American soldiers who end up getting killed doesn't mean it's okay to apply the overly broad and insulting term of terrorists to Iraqis. For an Iraqi resistance fighter to see himself as "defending his country" is precisely what he's doing. We Americans may not like his cause, but our opinion is neither here nor there.

The comment that provoked me to write this and what I couldn't help but comment on was this:

Violation of Geneva Conventions? These people aren't subject to the Geneva Convention. This is war, for crying out loud. What do they think this is, romper room in the sandbox?

Wow. How do I even begin deconstructing such an incredibly stupid statement? President Bush could very easily have gone to the world community and have proposed that "September 11 changed everything" and that serious changes needed to be made to the Geneva Convention. He did not. Bush could have asked an internationally-legitimate authority to rule on whether Iraqi POWs were subject to the Geneva Convention. He did not. My own interpretation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 3, paragraph 1, is that the captured Iraqi killed in a place or worship by an American soldier was indeed covered by the Covention. As a matter of fact, the US has apparently violated several articles of the Fourth Convention, Section III. The US is in no position whatsoever to interpret the Geneva Convention in order to rule on the legality of its' own actions.

The main problem is not the American Left here at home. The main problem is in the Middle East. Footage of the execution has been played over and over, to the shock and horror of the people there. The difficulty there is that the US may be the big kid on the block now, but it is not in the nature of human affairs for that condition to last. Portugal was the big kid once, as was Spain, as was France, as was Germany. China used to be without peer, Islam used to tower over the West and the Vikings of Norway used to roam and pillage wherever they pleased.

For the US to act as though international law was too much of a bother to deal with, in my humble opinion, is an absolutely guaranteed disaster. Years or tens of years or even hundreds of years from now, the US will sorely regret having treated internatioal law with such contempt as the Bush Administratin has treated it. Even if America doesn't need the Convention now, it assuredly will in the future even if we have no idea of when that future will arrive.

The Geneva Conventions were composed and were agreed to by the United States by 1949, four years after the close of World War II, a conflict that, according to the Wikipedia:

...was the most extensive and costly armed conflict in the history of the world, involving the great majority of the world's nations, being fought simultaneously in several major theatres, and costing tens of millions of lives.

So the idea that the writers of the Geneva Convention were naive or unfamiliar with war is completely ridiculous. The Convention was not composed by a bunch of radical peaceniks (Not that there would be anything wrong with it if it were.) but by warriors who took a mature and farsighted view of the situation that our nation was in and would continue to be in far into the future.

If anyone needs to go back to the sandbox, it's Limbaugh and the folks who listen to him.

UPDATE: I spoke with Mike Hoffman of the Iraq Veterans Against the War last night about Limbaugh's theory of the Red/Blue divide among attitudes towards the war among soldiers in Iraq. He considered the theory completely ridiculous and pointed out that a very a large chunk of the IVAW membership comes from Texas. So rest assured, if you hear anything about Red-Stater soldiers in Iraq being any more gung-ho about the war than Blue-Staters, it's complete nonsense.

UPDATE II: A truly disgusting picture that Limbaugh posted to illustrate a rant of his. A sad look into a badly diseased mind and a criticism that says a great deal more about the critic than it does about his subject.

1 comment:

L said...

yeah, Limbaugh's a weenie

I like your blog

cheers!