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What they said.

Some of our blogging acquaintances on the right-wing and even some like Peter MacKay and others in the Cons. government can’t understand all the fuss over a few Taliban prisoners getting tortured – after all they’re the bad guys right?

For a rebuttal to that, a couple of my Progressive Blogger associates have done quite well in issuing responses. First Impolitical sums it up distinctly why this attitude is wrong:

Where, when and how detainees are captured have nothing to do with whether they are being tortured once handed over and in Afghan prisons…It doesn’t matter who the prisoners are, Taliban, Al Qaeda, pillaging Huns. They all need to be treated according to the Geneva Conventions because that’s what we do, that’s who WE are.

For good measure, I’ll throw in Chet Scoville’s declaration at his blog:

..either you are for human rights or you are not for human rights. Either you are absolutist about them or you are relativist about them. And it appears that… Canada’s government and its apologists are relativist about them. Oh, what can you expect in Afghanistan anyway? And besides, the Taliban are bad people. Yes, they are. And no, Afghanistan is not a Western-style democracy. But that doesn’t matter. In some areas at least, right is right and wrong is wrong, and torture is wrong, period. The issue here is that a Western government — more than one, actually — that is supposed to be built on the foundation of human rights has proven complicit in the violation of those rights.

As much as some of the right-wing would like to think otherwise, this is not the 16th century and we are not the Inquisitors leading the Spanish Inquisition. Nor should we be handing people over to the authorities in Afghanistan who are behaving in that manner. It is uncivilized and morally wrong, and as pointed out countless times by domestic critics and Amnesty International, against international law.

This is a blot brought on Canada by Stephen Harper, Peter MacKay, Stockwell Day, and all the rest of the Cons. in government who believes its perfectly fine to allow acts of torture to occur from medieval days on the bad guys as long as we’re not the ones committing the acts, and who then act cowardly when taken to task over it, by shrilly crying “you’re not supporting the troops!” or “its in the interest of national security!” – all standard George W Bush and Republican rhetoric the last several years over Iraq.

We have a moral and legal duty to act to a higher standard then that, and the Cons. must be taken to account.


3 comments to What they said.

  • How about we add another one Paul

    6. Advise the Afghan government that our participation in their country is dependent upon adherence to human rights laws, a simple "pick up your socks or we’ll send you a postcard when we get home".

  • What’s wrong with #4 Paul?

    Its better than making our troops complicit in War Crimes?

    I mean part of the point of having prisoners is to determine if they really are Taliban or AQ and not just some poor farmer or villager in the wrong  place at the wrong time. So the point is that some of them, when found innocent, are let go.

    I have news for you, if the Afghan government wants us to be over there helping, then part of the bargain is they don’t torture prisoners. Its part of the price of our support. If they can’t pay it, we leave.

  • paul

    I think the rather ignorant and inconsistent position of Liberal need to be taken into account.

    Canadian troops have a few of choices.

    1. Do as they are doing and hope the Afghans improve their behaviour after some pressure
    2. Don’t take any prisoners. All insurgents are to be shot on site.
    3. Hold the prisoners themselves and when they leave Afghanistan,  execute them all
    3. Hold the prisoners themselves and when they leave Afghanistan,  hand them over to the Afghans and hope there isn’t a mass culling.
    4. Hold the prisoners themselves and when they leave Afghanistan,  let them all go and let them be a problem to the next country
    5. Hold the prisoners themselves and when they leave Afghanistan,  bring the prisoners to Canada.

    The Liberals don’t like # 1 so which one are they advocating?

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