Thursday, June 29, 2006

Supreme Folly

The Supreme Court ruling on the Hamdan case that captured terrorists are subject to at least some of the Geneva Conventions is simply appalling. Andy McCarthy covers the problems with this ruling (prior to the actual ruling even) exceptionally well here. I agree that this is a power grab by the court, though not being a lawyer I cannot really argue the ins and outs as he can. Even so, there are several non-legal points this ruling brings up.

First, this is a perfect example of why I do not believe we will be able to stop the chaos that is spreading throughout the world (as written
here). How are we to defeat terrorism in the long run when the highest court of the greatest nation on the planet cannot see a terrorist as a terrorist? Fighting evil requires some amount of dirty activity. We cannot win by being nice and humane to the most evil men we face. Machiavelli argues that to bring peace and stability to the world, you must be half man, half beast. The reason is that there will always be men in the world who are all beast and who cannot be defeated by humane men. By being entirely humane, you merely pave the way for their victory. If we keep going down the path we are going we will soon find out how true that is.

Secondly, on the Geneva Convention, those arguing that we should grant its protections to terrorists because we do not want our troops being mistreated are severely misguided as to its purpose. Its purpose is to guarantee that soldiers who follow the rules of war are somewhat protected if captured. As a punishment, those who do not follow the rules are not protected. The rules of war make it more difficult to fight, so if we give everyone Geneva Convention protection regardless of whether they follow the rules, then why should anyone follow them? For example, during World War II, we often shot surrendering Germans because they, or their unit, had not followed the rules (such as S.S., concentration camp guards, Germans who would shoot immediately before surrendering, etc.). As an aside, despite our fealty to the convention, when have our captured soldiers been treated according to the rules anyways?

The only good that can come from this outrageous ruling is if it galvanizes the Republican base to ensure the Republicans pick the next few Supreme Court nominees. It is obvious this ruling is bad as anytime Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid are all ecstatic (as they are following this ruling) something that is not good has just happened to our country. As for the Supreme Court's behavior, I think it was summed up best by Richard Nixon’s head in the T.V. series Futurama, “Well I know someplace where the Constitution doesn’t count for diddley-squat, the Supreme Court!” So true and so sad.


  1. First of all, you should link the case in here so that lazy people who want to read it are able to do so...but I guess if they're lazy why would they want to...good point! Anyway, I wanted to read it but not look for it so here it is.

    Also, I really don't see why this outcome is bad. He would be detained and tried in some manner regardless of how the case turned out.

    On a third point, Nixon's Head is an idiot! The Supreme Court is responsible for driving a lot of great events in our history and for protecting the rights of all American citizens. Yes there have been mistakes, but they're human! Give them a break already! Besides, what if say your girlfriend became a Supreme Court Justice some day?! :-P

  2. Well I assumed lazy people (myself included) would not bother to read the case. The outcome is not that bad in its direct effects, its problems primarily stem from its indirect and long-termeffects (like opening the door to the argument that terrorists deserve Geneva Convention protections). The degree to which the Supreme Court has been good or bad can't really be debated in this forum so is just a matter of opinion. Lastly, I like Richard Nixon's head, he's a good president and I'd vote for him.