Furious with Republican Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and John Warner for refusing to back Bush's request to essentially ignore or "reinterpret" a provision of the Geneva convention, columnist Thomas Sowell was even more venomous than I'd have expected. He writes that these GOP senators:
... want us to play by the Marquis of Queensbury rules while we are being kicked in the groin and slashed with knives ...Sowell offers this rhetorical response to the argument that our own soldiers could be placed at risk if the U.S. doesn't fully respect the Geneva convention:
Does any sane adult believe that the cutthroats we are dealing with will respect the Geneva convention?That may sound like a good argument. Initially.
First, even the terrorists aren't so easy to peg. Yes, some terrorist cells have kidnapped and beheaded people. Most terrorists are definitely "cutthroats." On the other hand, from time to time, the terrorists have also released some of their captives essentially unharmed (example: the Fox News employees). Kidnapping two westerners, demanding that they convert to Islam and then releasing them makes these terrorists look more ideologically self-indulgent than cutthroat.
Second, the argument that Sowell cites isn't as one-dimensional as he portrays it. It's a legitimate concern whether other nations (not just terrorists) would follow suit if the U.S. announced it were disregarding or reinterpreting a provision of the Geneva convention.