A wonderful thread on the legal ramifications of the current American policies on torture.
Along with the illegality of the torture – the US did sign the Geneva convention ini 1994, even realpolitik speaks against torture:
We treat surrendering enemies differently than enemies on the battlefield because of the way human emotions work. Consider this: pretend you’re a conscripted soldier fighting against U.S. forces. You’re people are out-numbered and out-gunned. The Americans give you a chance to surrender. You know that if you accept there’s a fairly good chance you’ll be tortured or abused. You may even be killed during an interrogation. Is it possible that you would rather fight to the death (and take out as many Americans as you can before you go) in that situation? That would be *my* choice, anyway. I’ve often wondered if Taliban and al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan think about the possibility of being sent to Guantanamo if they’re captured. My guess is that they think of it often, and that doesn’t bode well for U.S. forces there. No, there’s a reason we should treat our prisoners/detainees humanely. It really has nothing to do with logic or morality. We do it as a CYA stunt.
Posted by: Jaded at June 15, 2004 01:44 AM
To add to Jaded’s post: As Sen. Biden said, the US signed and ratified the treaty, and thought it was the law of the land, because we did not want our own sons and daughters to be tortured, or "unpleasantly" abused by others. That is the reciprocal nature of treaties. (We also may have had some touch of humanity, but I doubt it.)
Posted by: JC at June 15, 2004 01:58 AM
Surely the American media and people will get their act together to vote or push these war criminals (to be more specific – rapists and murderers and torturers) out of office.
i have not vanished. i’ve been busy finishing the edit of the dance film i shot last year at the same time contending with more work in my other business. so i am on hiatus so to speak.
while the war criminals cling onto power in the United States, Britain and Israel, there is great hope to cast them from their perches later this year.
indeed there is already a faint chance that we may yet see some of them indicted for their murderous crimes against humanity.
i will rejoin you all in hastening this process later this summer.
in the meantime, i must tell and tell well my tale of urbanisation, alienation and civilisation.
A girl raised by rabbits. When she reaches the age of eighteen, the rabbits gather and tell her she must go to rejoin her people. And Anna-Lapin sets out bravely for the city. In the distance she can see the great white tower in its center and heads there in the hope of finding new companionship among humankind.
The first day of each class, I’d make the students recite, “Never give the clients what they ask for.” After everyone finished laughing, I’d explain that we’re supposed to be the experts on presentation. Although clients usually don’t know how to light a shot or cut a montage, they are the ultimate experts on what they want to say and on what rubs them the wrong way. So there’s a second half to that mantra: “Always give the clients what they want.” Inevitably, what they want is excellence, even if they don’t know how to ask for it.
Absolutely true. Well said, Jay Rose. From the latest issue of DV.COM (free registration required).
He goes on to add this bit of wisdom:
But I’ve always believed the key to success in this or any business is to give the client a reason to choose you.
It can be a low price, but if we’re all competing on price, then budgets start dropping and nobody wins. It makes more sense to compete by being better at some aspect of the work than anybody else in your market.
There is a general tendency now for all clients across the board to demand prices which will not generate a living wage for all concerned. And quality drops further and further.
In North America, no one particularly seems to care. The average daily aesthetic experience for a North American is a horror show.
The day begins with radio announcers literally screaming in your ear. Along with their advertisers.
It continues with hideous print billboards and wretched above ground wiring in ugly neighbourhoods (except for a privileged few) as they drive to work.
The day is passed under florescent lights in stale air in an office tower or a mall office or a strip mall, surrounded by horrid furniture chosen for its pallid colour scheme.
Lunch is synthetic fast food of some kind or another. Even the health food eater must contend with the fruit from the local supermarket that is bright, red and utterly tasteless, .
If our denizen of every day is lucky enough to pass by the bar on the way home, he or she is likely to find a tv blaring in one corner, a bland wall to wall carpet and advertising on all the walls.
The drive home is more of the same overcranked radio announcers and ugly advertising unless it’s after dark. Nobody in the house has the strength for cooking by the time all are home from extended work days so heaven only knows what they eat.
Evening television is now one third advertising – almost all of it ugly, glarish and blaring – enough to stupefy a hundred caged monkeys in an hour.
Is it any wonder the clients are asking for the wrong thing?
And so the downward cycle continues.