Talk:George W. Bush/Archive 8

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Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8 Archive 9 Archive 10 Archive 15

Not a minor edit

GBWR, this should not have been marked a "minor" edit. Nor was it "reverting vandalism" as the comment says:

  [[1]]

I don't agree with either version in the sense that I don't think anyone can authoritatively state what proof was shown to whom through diplomatic channels and back channels. And the "proof" thing in general is a bit of a red herring. Is there any war which started with a jury trial establishing findings of fact which were then accepted by both parties as a basis for the conflict stage?

Still, it was not a minor edit, and should not have been marked as such.--Roland Walker 16:39, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Of course that was vandalism, the anonymous turned the truth into its opposite. If he had anything to support his theories he could have discussed it. The Taliban were not shown proof that Bin Laden was behind the attacks, the US government refused to negotiate. "So the Taliban was threatened with military action." is not partisan. "Under the Geneva convention they do not qualify as prisoners of war as they do not represent the armed forces of any country" is not a fact but an opinion many law experts do not share. To characterize the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals]] as (well known as an activist Liberal court, and holds the distinction of the most over turned court in the union, and has gained the nickname of the 9th circus court, it is best known for it's pledge ruleing) and deleting 26 lines without justification is just trolling. Get-back-world-respect 17:10, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Zaeef is crippled

Mdchachi is correct that the colorful detail of Zaeef's injuries, and where and under whose occupation he received them, is irrelevant to an article about George W Bush. Was your earlier argument that he can't be a combatant with an injury? FDR fought WWII from a wheelchair. Bin Laden has debilitating diabetes. Kennedy had Addisons, and suffered seriously debilitating back pain through his part of the Vietnam war. Zaeef could have played an important role in combat even if his injury was severe.

He is also correct that the sentence is clotted and doesn't flow. I am going back to Mdchachi's version, though I'm not going to mark it as minor.--Roland Walker 17:07, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC) PS I forgot to enter a comment in the log. My bad, but at least I think you (GBWR) are reading Talk right now.--Roland Walker 17:12, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)

So would you call FDR a "combatant"? Is it unlawful to represent one's country as foreign ambassador? I will revert. Your pretext of "sentence is clotted and doesn't flow." is as ridiculous as your argumentation about human rights organizations' statements above. Get-back-world-respect 17:17, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Roland you already beat me to the point, but since I already wrote it up, here was my response
GBWR, what is your point? That crippled people cannot be combatants? I didn't see any claims that he was physically running around on the battlefield. So there is nothing to refute. The fact that he is crippled clutters up the sentence and seems to have no purpose there. If you are implying that he was incapable of supporting the war effort because he is crippled then that is clearly false. War is not fought with muscle-power alone. Mdchachi|Talk 17:15, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)
A person crippled as he is cannot fight on the battlefield. If he was captured off the battlefield he has to be treated as what he was, foreign ambassador, rather than be caged in as an animal. Get-back-world-respect 17:20, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Now your point seems to be that since he was an ambassador and not on the battlefield, he should not be treated as a combatant. The fact that he was crippled still has no bearing on this line of reasoning or on GWB. Perhaps you could write an article about Zaeef and fit that opinion in there somehow.
So far nobody has backed you up on this assertion and at least three people have tried to delete this irrelevant fact. So don't you think it's time to concede this one? Mdchachi|Talk 17:31, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)

The fact that he was crippled such that he could not fight any longer shows that the term "combatant" does not apply. The fact that he was ambassador of his country shows he was not "unlawful". If reasonable users delete this I may reconsider, if it is only Cecropia, who wanted to include highly relevant facts about alleged French and Russian financial interests, and Ronald who tries to tell me I did not know what "believes" means I do not care much. By the way, I got the information about him being crippled from a book by conservative Jürgen Todenhöfer, personal friend of Richard Perle. He argues that detaining crippled ambassadors as unlawful combatants destroys the credibility of the west. Get-back-world-respect 17:38, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I've largely been ignoring the George Bush article recently, but I would just like to add my two cents that if a crippled person is arrested as an enemy combattant, that is incredibly relevant to whether or not they're an unlawful combattant. That would be like reporting about the case of Jose Padilla and not mentioning that he's an American. I'm not commenting on the wording or the style of the sentence, I'm just backing up the relevance of this information. --Rei
I'll just add my opinion that although he may not have been an armed combatant (though being crippled would not necessarily prevent someone from operating some artillery), it would still have been possible for him to have held some kind of field command position. The inclusion of the phrase strikes me as trying to elicit sympathy in a POV sort of way. MisfitToys 05:37, May 1, 2004 (UTC)
Ar you so much afraid of sympathy? That guy was ambassador of his country, the war made him lose his position, he was arrested in Pakistan, as most of the "combatants", and now they label him "unlawful combatant" although he neither fought nor was unlawful in any way. These people do not need sympathy, they need justice. Get-back-world-respect 16:21, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
I think that "unlawful" and "combatant" should be clearly and specifically defined. If someone who does not see combat is considered a combatant, well, these words start to get kind of fuzzy and it becomes difficult to see through the thick cloud behind which I'm told there is "justice". This is not a vote for or against inclusion of this topic. Just a comment on the significance of the fact that Zaeef is crippled. Kevin Baas 18:14, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Could you explain your reasoning that it is relevant? I read through the Unlawful combatant article and could not find any reference to physical ability or lack thereof. I don't see the analogy. Padilla's entire case depends on the fact that he's American. Whether or not somebody is an unlawful combatant has nothing to do with their physical abilities as far as I've been able to tell. Mdchachi|Talk 18:09, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps it would be more to the point to put a note about the criticism of the legal term "unlawful combatant" liek that on the unlawful combatant page, rather than hinting at it by an example? This would be more to the point and more relevant. Kevin Baas 18:20, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Are you guys (a) trying to draw me back into the GWB article or (b) trying to make me glad I've been happily writiing article like Flatbush. But I will put in my two cents on Zaaef. -- So the issue is that "how could he be an unlawful combatant if he's crippled" which would be more accurately stated "how can he be a combatant, unlawful or not, if he's crippled." SO why not just state it that way? The way it was stated "crippled in the Soviet occupation" implies (1) he's inherently a good guy--look: he fought against the Soviets; and (2) a play for sympathy. We might have less argument if we spun less. -- The Evil Cecropia 18:32, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC) (who evilly points out that the French and Germans had self-interest in Iraq as well).
Yes, Cecropia, come back. The most important point about Zaaef is that however interesting, his injuries are a tertiary issue at best as far as the George W Bush page goes. This is too much extraneous detail. It's not about Bush. It belongs in Wikipedia. It belongs on another page.--Roland Walker 18:48, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Dear get-back-world-respect, please don't imply I have been dismissive towards you. It is possible for a native speaker to have greater insight into his language. It is possible to share those insights respectfully, as I have sought to do. I am still seeking to be your partner in editing this page. Still respectfully,--Roland Walker 18:48, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Dear Evil Cecropia: As an outsider to this conversation, your proposal sounds good to me. How he became crippled is irrelevant; the key issue seems to be, as you said, that there is no way he could be a combattant, let alone an unlawful one. -- The Also Evil Rei (who also evilly points out that both supporting or opposing a war in a critical region of the world on account of a relatively small amount of business contracts isn't very likely, and that most leaders either did what their voters wanted or broke ranks with their public to support the war).
Hate to do this, but since Cecropia brings up his ridiculous claim about French and Russian financial interests in Iraq again I repeat here what I already told him on my talk page: What angers me is the attempt to downplay critics and to discredit them in a most off-topic way. The criticism of the Iraq war came from millions of people all over the world and from dozens of governments who did not have financial interests in Iraq. Furthermore, it is completely ridiculous that France and Russia only based their action on such an important topic solely on financial interests that are completely neglectable compared to their overall budget. And the US were among the five most important creditors to Iraq as well, a fact American conservatives always leave out of the discussion. But regardless of all this, I am ok with mentioning the claims in a discussion of the critics of the Iraq war such as "worldwide government positions on the war in Iraq". Even if the claims are ridiculous they are worth mentioning just because they were raised so often. But to include this in an article about George W. Bush is completely off-topic. An article about a president of the United States should be about the person and the presidency. Major occurrences in the presidency like the Iraq war and the opposition against it of course need to be mentioned, but to include paragraphs about why some singled out critics may be untrustworthy is obviously off-topic. And you presented what was allegedly proving their untrustworthyness just as facts.
Roland, telling me I did not understand the difference between "believe", "state", "say" and "ask" is just ridiculous, and your ongoing attempt to make it "ask" although I explained at least twice that this is misleading because of the connotation of begging bores me. You always use nice and polite formulas. I think it would be nicer and more polite to think more and to at least take into account what you are told. Sorry if this sounds rude, I just think we do not get anywhere if we exchange flowers of speech rather than act in a straightforward way. The governments insist that the detainees must be treated according to international law, they state this, and they say this. Choose any of these, but do not obscure it with "believe" or "ask".
I regard it as an interesting fact that Zaaef was crippled during the Soviet occupation. Not only because a crippled man can hardly be a combatant. Also because it reminds of the fact that Afghanistan had already been occupied once by another superpower which could never control the country, just as now, and which crippled many, just as the US did, and which made many people flee to Pakistani refugee camps, just as in 2002, where they got under radical islamic influence, just as now. The last time the other superpower helped them to build a movement called Taleban that forced the Soviets out and later turned against the superpower that had once helped to build them. If that is not ironic. By the way, Cecropia, The way it was stated "crippled in the Soviet occupation" implies (1) he's inherently a good guy--look: he fought against the Soviets. Which century do you live in? I live in Germany, we just celebrate the enlargement of the European Union, hello, the cold war is over, you can stop demonizing the Soviets. And (2) a play for sympathy. Strange you have no sympathy for the people who are forced to live in cages like animals, in absence of any laws, but when someone is crippled that counts. How seriously do they have to be crippled to qualify for sympathy, would it still count if some American called it "a fingernail scratch"? Get-back-world-respect 00:32, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
Wow, how POV can you get? You sure try to layer a lot of deep international meaning into a phrase in an article about GW Bush. You're in Germany? Intertesting. Of course the Cold War would have been over and Europe enlarged without the inconvenient existence of ROnald Reagan, who I know is beloved in Europe. Cecropia 02:11, 1 May 2004 (UTC) (the Axis of Imperialism).
Interesting how much to the point you answer. Also, anything wrong about opinion in a discussion? I thought discussion was there to discuss, preventing people to bring their opinion rather than facts into the articles. Ronald Reagan is not as unpopular here as you might think. He was an actor, that always helps. His economic policies kind of failed, but that was not much of our problem. His illegal arms trade in the middle east and terrorism in Nicaragua and his refusal to act according to the law as ruled by the International Court of Justice and the United Nations General Assembly are not known to many Germans. The remains of his chemical weapons of mass destruction are still a problem in both countries, the nuclear weapons of mass destruction show how much of a scorn it was to attack Iraq. His arms race sure helped to bring down the Soviet economy before he let your own economy collapse with his star wars projects. But in the end it was the people who overturned the regimes peacefully. It would have been more difficult without US support, as was shown on June 17th, 1953 or in Prague in 1968. But over the time the Czech and the Polish had achieved a lot of changes in their countries, and Gorbachev was a reasonable man who let them do. He told the stubborn communist Eastern German regime that "who comes late will be punished in life". In the end there were so many people on the streets against Erich Honecker and his fellows that even they had to give in. Other examples show that it is possible to peacefully turn a country to democracy, South Africa is a good example. In Europe most people cannot understand why the US tries to install a democracy in the Middle East by force, an attempt that inherently contradicts the principle of democracy. Here most people used to see the US as the liberator from the Nazis, a free country and the partner who ensured liberty and that communism would not spread to our whole continent. During the Cold War scandals like the Iran-Contra-Affair, the installation of dictators like Augusto Pinochet or the support for Saddam Hussein and the Taleban were seen as a necessary evil or just ignored. But never was any US president as unpopular in Europe and the rest of the world as George W. Bush. Now it highly irritates people that the country they previously idolized lies to the United Nations Security Council, breaks international law, treats people like animals in Guantanamo, leaves Afghanistan to anarchy and does nothing to prevent terrorism by going to the root of the problem: The hate of parts of the Muslim population against the "west". Regimes can be overturned, but brainwashing people is not possible with bombs. Bombs only make it an easy game to play for lunatics who manipulate more desperate refugees, orphans and others to become suicide bombers and other terrorists.
But we have not forgotten that the majority of the population of the United States voted against George W. Bush. We cannot understand how the media could manipulate your country such that it became the only one where a majority supported the Iraq war and even thought that Iraq was somehow responsible for the attacks of 9/11. But we see that now US media report about the government's lies, questions the war, and the treatment of those in Guantanamo. There seems to be interest in the people effected by the wars, like abused prisoners, refugees, or just the normal guy in Iraq or Afghanistan who never supported the Taleban, Bin Laden, or Saddam Hussein and who cannot understand why now he has to suffer again. We still have hope that one day a US government will seek justice, not revenge. That we will once again have a reliable partner. Get-back-world-respect 16:56, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
I thought discussion was there to discuss, preventing people to bring their opinion rather than facts into the articles.
No, you're wrong. Article talk pages are for the discussion of the article (or point about the article that is in question). Not to continually assail people with your POV. See Talk_page for clarification. I suggest you look into participating in USENET. There are many places there that you would enjoy such as talk.politics Mdchachi|Talk 16:31, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

I fully agree that talk pages are not the right place to discuss things unrelated to the articles. But when Cecropia repeatedly did this ([2] [3][4] [5] ) it sickened me so much that I could not resist to reply. Sorry. Get-back-world-respect 19:32, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

Sickened you? You must have a really nervous stomach. One tagamet twice a day might help. -- Cecropia 19:48, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

Ever heard of allegories? Replying is enough, I feel no need to sponsor the pharmaceutical industry. Get-back-world-respect 20:55, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

I still think it is ridiculous but I spelled out your point for you now that you made it clear what you were trying to do by inserting this stuff about Zaeef. If other people think it's as ridiculous as I do, it'll eventually removed and you can fight over it again at that time. Mdchachi|Talk 19:25, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

I see no need to elaborate at is as much as that since the old version already spoke for itself, but I can live with yours as well. Get-back-world-respect 19:32, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

Bombing and hijacking

"Critics of that view say that the prior administration under-reacted to the World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993, treating it as a criminal matter rather than an act of war." - (World Trade Center?!) Does this have any connection to the Al Queda or the Taliban? I thought these people were caught. Kevin Baas 17:23, 1 May 2004 (UTC)

That's just the point. They were caught and tried as criminals in open court rather than viewing the bombing as an act of war. The subsequent trial was attended by Al Queda sympathizers or operatives who took notes as the prosecution explained, in detail, the mistakes that the bombers had made which revealed the errors in the planning that failed to bring the Towers down. Ultimately, though six people (IIRC) were murdered and many injured, the jury didn't even give any of them the death penalty. This gave Al Queda and its sympathizers the indication that criminal trials were the only downside to their operations and, for people willing to commit suicide, that was no deterrent at all. -- Cecropia 18:44, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
Oh yes, Afghanistan and Iraq already should have been nuked because Muslims had murdered people in 1993. The US should have nuked itself in order to make sure all sympathizers of the Unabomber would vanish, then the Anthrax letters never would have been sent either. If only Quebec had asked for some US weapons of mass destruction in order to eradicate itself and root out the separatists. Only problem: How to nuke Saudi Arabia, where most of the WTC terrorists came from, without damaging the precious oil reserves? And yes, Bin Laden for sure would have shied away from 9/11 had he known that the US would go and get him - which they still have not up to now. By the way, in order to join the EU a country has to have laws that ensure basic human rights, i.e. the death penalty has to be abolished. Get-back-world-respect 21:40, 1 May 2004 (UTC)
If the US had understood the war nature of the first WTC bombing, Clinton might have grabbed bin Laden in 1995 when Sudan offered him on a silver platter. If 9/11 would have happened anyway, it would have been without bin Laden's work, at the least. -- Cecropia 22:25, 1 May 2004 (UTC)

If George H. W. Bush had understood the nature of the Taleban he would not have supported them. If Ronald Reagan had understood the basic principles of the Middle East conflict he would not have traded weapons with Iran. But I doubt that Donald Rumsfeld had not understood the nature of Saddam Hussein when he met him and shook hands with him as Reagan's special envoy, shortly before Hussein gassed the Kurds. Get-back-world-respect 22:46, 1 May 2004 (UTC)

Quotes section

I saw, in the edit history: =Quotes= deleted, choice of them was clearly not neutral. This edit was, however, reverted.

My choice of quotes may reflect my leftist bias, and certainly I would welcome addition of other quotes that may balance things.

What I wonder, though: Is it even possible to find quotes that make him sound good?

The fact is, every time Bush tries to do public speaking, it pw3ns him. I've never heard an intelligent sentence out of that man's mouth that someone else didn't give him.

Not to say he's an idiot. An idiot can't pass through a Harvard MBA program, even with a rich father. He's just lacking in vision, curiosity, and an ability to handle the English language. Diagnosis: Lazy, not stupid.

Also: I've heard that GWB once asked an African ambassador something along the lines of "How did the playoffs go?" Can anyone substantiate this? It would be a great addition to the Quotes section, but I'd want to verify that he actually said it before I added it.

Mike Church 10:24, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

I deleted the quotes and I repeat that I think that trying to defame Bush with his quotes is as trying to blame a murderer for cheating in card games. Do not put shame on wikipedia with partisan edits. Get-back-world-respect 21:38, 2 May 2004 (UTC)
The quotes are factual. The one embarrassing quote I couldn't verify (see above) I didn't add, because I couldn't substantiate it.
To place embarrassing quotes from this man on the article is not partisan. Nor would it be partisan to include quotes that make him look good (if any such exist). What would be partisan would be to include only one side, and try to stifle the other. The fact is, he said those things, and they have a right to be here. If you don't like the way those five quotes make George W. Bush look, find a few quotes that scuplt the image of him you prefer, and add them.
GWB is almost 60, and that's certainly old enough for him to take responsibility for what he says. Mike Church 22:12, 2 May 2004 (UTC)
What would be partisan would be to include only one side. Correct, that is why your quotes will not stay. Have you checked Bushisms? Get-back-world-respect 22:57, 2 May 2004 (UTC)
In the final analysis, it doesn't really matter. At least in politics, Wikipedia is becoming a cross between the best of the Yellow Press of the US and Britain, and next year's remainder shelf. If I were a professor, and one of my students cited Wikipedia as a primary source, I'd flunk him (or her). -- Cecropia 22:38, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

Interesting. You however keep contributing to many articles. I think as a professor of sociology I would be very interested in some quotes of yours on talk pages that show the very deep thinking of US conservatives: [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] But you are a mild case compared to fellows at the "free" republic: [www.freerepublic.com/forum/a377afda025c2.htm Fry Mumia] or [209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/1083207/posts?page=36#36 Call gays "fag" and "fagette"]. Get-back-world-respect 22:57, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

As I said to Rei in another forum, I don't read the right wing press. But you do. I guess you have plenty of free time. -- Cecropia 23:26, 2 May 2004 (UTC)
Are you trying to say all those ideas [12] [13][14] [15] come out of your own mind? By the way, as far as I know no one would be able to finance printing all the hate-speech freepers flood the net with. Get-back-world-respect 23:34, 2 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand your point. If you mean are the ideas totally original with me, like no one else ever thought of it? I doubt it. Do you mean did I write these evaluations myself from my own knowledge rather than copying them from another source? Absolutely. Do you mean I must have gotten it from right-wing sources? My main reading is The New York Times and The Washington Post. I only read trash press like the UK Guardian when one your links points there. I check out the press on Google News and I use Google web search to back up material. You can see where my citations come from, because if the material is of a disputed nature, I post the link. My main radio news source is NPR. I don't watch much TV (mostly because the kids hog it) but I prefer CNN, MSNBC and FOX (aha! he caught me!).
But you know, this is really amusing. Back when I was a young liberal and anti-Vietnam-War (and still am the latter) I used to picked on by pro-war people (even those who knew I was a war vet) for my ideas because "they must come straight from Moscow" or "what Commie rag did you read that in." Now, almost 40 years later I have a leftie telling me I must get my ideas from the Rabid Right. O tempora, o mores -- Cecropia 03:12, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
I know that the Washington Post and even the New York Times wrote a lot of partisan nonsense and even hatespeech before the war started, e.g. "Chirac's Latest Ploy", WILLIAM SAFIRE (published in NYT and International Heral Tribune), Washington Post "Annan's Offense" by Charles Krauthammer or WP: "people gathered in Berlin and “a half-dozen other German cities”, where the half-dozen consisted of Leipzig, Halle, Dresden, Jena, Rostock, Hamburg, Munich, Köln, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Nürnberg, Stuttgart, Wiesbaden, Karslruhe, Heidelberg, Würzburg, Bielefeld, Hannover, Dortmund, Essen, Bochum, Gelsenkirchen, Wattenscheid, Oberhausen, Duisburg, Mülheim, Herne, Hattingen, Velbert, Hilden, Datteln, Münster, Osnabrück, Bonn, Aachen, Saarbrücken, Kassel, Bremen, Oldenburg, Kiel, Heide, etc.. Kind of reminded me of what Hitler called "Gleichschaltung" - make all the media publish the same propaganda. Only that the Nazis would not have tolerared Michael Moore and The New Yorker. After the "end of major combat" at least the NYT publishes reasonable stuff as well. But I guess you skip Paul Krugman's column. Get-back-world-respect 12:42, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

That's total nonsense, Cecropia, and you know it. RickK 22:43, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

Why, Rick? Please elaborate. Cecropia 22:50, 2 May 2004 (UTC)
the information is correct, although possibly not neutral. RickK 02:49, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
What I mean is that the material is so selective and unbalanced, that the result in a paper would reflect that. -- Cecropia 03:26, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

I'm sorry. I still don't see why the quotes can't be included. I'm not going to revert, but I am including, at least, the WMD joke. It's an important fact about the man.

I really think there ought to be a quotes section, since this man is one of the most highly quoted public figures (as any U.S. President is) today. If I include the quotes I find interesting, and others include the quotes they find interesting (which may portray the man in a positive light) eventually, we should arrive at the NPOV. I promise that I won't censor quotes on this page just because they portray positively a man I dislike. Mike Church 00:21, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

A president of the US (or his opponent) and leaders of many other countries are a big enough subject that funny quotes can be on a page of their own. The only purpose in including them in his biography is ridicule, which attacks the essence of an encyclopedia, which is why I say I don't see Wikipedia ever being a primary source on a contentious issue; the POV of some contributors, and their insistence on having their favorite POV included in an article causes the kind of foolishness that even a partisan editor of a scholarly work would never permit to see the light of day. -- Cecropia 01:37, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

I did not re-include the Quotes section. However, I have included the WMD joke and the "pussy" comment. They reflect upon the man's character in an important way, and this justifies their inclusion. Mike Church 02:58, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

Could you please go away with your WMD joke? Where do you see a majority that wants it in? Do you really think it is neutral to say "On March 2004 Bush offended many..."? I agree that it was disgusting, but that does not make it appropriate for an encyclopedia. Get-back-world-respect 23:55, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

I agree with 'Get-back-world-respect' that "...Bush offended many..." was not NPOV, however the following ( recently inserted ) is:

On March 24, 2004, Bush joked about the weapons of mass destruction issue at a journalists' conference. While showing slides of himself searching the Oval Office, he joked, "those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere ... nope, no weapons over there ... maybe under here?" At this point in time, no such weapons had been found, and hundreds of American soldiers had perished in the war. Some Americans found it tasteless of him to be joking about the issue, in light of the gravity of the situation. Others defended the joke as being in line with the self-deprecatory sort of humor that has come to be expected of Presidents when they speak at that event.

I did not know this before, i think it's informative and there is no reason not to include it, this is not to ridicule the man but rather to provice interesting information, --Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 13:22, 2004 May 8 (UTC)

Pussy Comment

I reverted the last edit, reintroducing the 1988 "pussy" comment.

It was deleted as a "gutter attack", and I disagree with this assertion. It certainly doesn't make him look good. However, the fact that he made this comment, at 42 years of age, when he was married, reflects upon his character in an important way.

We all have embarrassing skeletons, indeed, and it's certainly not appropriate to bring them into public view for their own sake. However, when they reflect upon a person's character at a deep level (as the "pussy" comment does) they're worth bringing into public view, especially when that person is entrusted with such an awesome responsibility as a President is.

If GWB had said this at age 17, I wouldn't think it's worthy here and would indeed characterize it as an attack, because that's a perfectly normal comment for a 17-year-old guy to make. It would be like saying, "George W. Bush pooped his pants once at age 4". Even if true, it would be irrelevant and inappropriate. In fact, if he'd made this comment at 30 (he married at 31) I wouldn't be so concerned, and wouldn't care to drag this dirty sock in public view.

The fact is, he said it as a 10-years-married man. I'm sorry, but I don't think it's right for a married person to make public crude sexual comments like that, because of the way it may reflect upon the spouse. In that light, the comment reflects very much on his character, and I think, for that reason, it's important that it be included. Mike Church 10:23, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

You don't think it's right for a married person to make public crude sexual comments like that. My, do we have some prudes here or what? This from the creator of Penis game. ROFLMYAO!!! -- Cecropia 11:34, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm 20. I'm not married. I don't even have a girlfriend right now. I'm free to present myself in any way I want, because it only reflects upon me, no one else.
Certainly, I wouldn't say it's inappropriate for a married man to make any sorts of sexual comments. However, for a married public figure to say something about "pussy" is different than for me to say something about "pussy". When he does it, he's presumably talking about a particular person's body part. When your average college kid says it, he's talking about something he's not even getting. :)
So, yeah, I'm sorry, but I do think that comment was very degrading toward his wife, given that he's a married public figure.
For clarification, I wrote the article Penis game. I didn't actually come up with the game itself. Mike Church 11:43, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
I agree with Cecropia. Not only was he able to answer questions back then apparently, but he was able to come up with a good one. 172 11:45, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

Since Mike Church repeatedly tried to smuggle partisan parts in this article against warnings from all sides I propose to list him as a vandal. Sorry Mike, but I really tried, also on your talk page, if you cannot see I see no alternative. Get-back-world-respect 12:33, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

How in the hell is listing a verifiable and important piece of information vandalism? You are an enormous flaming troll to call me a vandal.
I've decided not to revert. I won't reinclude that piece of information, though I've well-defended it, until I get at least one other user's support in doing so. However, I am still offended by your characterization of me as a vandal. The record shows that you are a petty flamebaiter. Mike Church 12:31, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

As far as I can see you were the only one who got ignited by my deletion of your quotes. Before calling others flamebaiters I would recommend to make slight changes on your user page. Get-back-world-respect 21:00, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

I agree, if he said it and it's a well known comment include it, it's our job to make a encyclopedia not to run ringss to protect the reputation of someone if he seems intent not to keep it. --Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 11:35, 2004 May 8 (UTC)

No Excuse for Censorship

I've decided to opt out of this revert war. However, I'm aghast at the removal of the "Pussy" comment and the WMD joke. As I've said before, both notes are factual and reflect in a substantial way upon the man's character.

Just because these facts about the man don't portray him in the best light does not mean they should be excluded from Wikipedia. Do we exclude the fact that Jeffrey Dahmer was a murderer and cannibal? Of course not. We shouldn't exclude the WMD joke or the "pussy" comment either, then.

I am taking this to Wikipedia:Requests for comment.

Mike Church 17:40, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

I would support a factual sentence or two about how Bush is known for verbal gaffes (similar to how this kind of thing is treated in James Danforth Quayle) but do not support the sprinkling of the article with random Bushisms. It adds little value and makes the article look biased. The "pussy" thing isn't even a quote with context. It's an anecdotal story which, even if true, doesn't give us the context of what really happened or even the original story (I couldn't find the 1988 Hartford Courant article). Even if it's just as you say, I do not feel it is particularly notable or horrifying. (If I didn't feel particularly horrified by a married president who had not-quite sexual relations with an intern, I'm certainly not going to think twice about a president who makes a crude comment like this.) If you have time to work on this article, consider researching and adding to the section about Bush's environmental record. Mdchachi|Talk 18:23, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

I would support including the WMD joke, as it was a significant issue. "Pussy" has attracted far less attention, and has no context--I'd say keep it out. Just my 2 yen. Meelar 21:02, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

If there were a section addressing complaints about Bush, or, more likely, a link to a whole article on the matter, the pussy comment might be an interesting addition. As it stands, it is out of context. It may well be able to be employed for the purposes people have been describing here as a demonstration of Bush's character. As it stands, it wasn't doing that. Snowspinner 21:06, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
I would also support the WmD Joke, as this made it into the news worldwide, and therefore is certainly encyclopedia material. I haven`t heard about the pussy comment, so I can't comment on that. -- Chris 73 | Talk 09:16, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

Bush's conservatism

I think that Bush being a conservative Republican has to go in the lead. The vast majority of observers would call him conservative; hell, he even refers to himself as conservative (see compassionate conservative). Thus, I included it in the lead. Meelar 21:24, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

But would you call him a compassionate conservative? Self-description I don't think is enough to go on. I think there are many who do not regard Bush as being terribly conservative. So I'd say at least qualify it a bit. This same debate came up in Clarence Thomas (though alas, I see the previously developed language has since been dumped). -- VV 21:51, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

Well, the self-reference was more of a supporting point. Main contentions are:

  1. Most observers call him conservative--I can get citations here, if you'd like.
  2. He refers to himself as such, so it's not like it's an issue of slamming him.

I would be open to compromise wording (perhaps "Bush declares himself--and is labelled by most observers--a conservative"), but a mention needs to go in the lead--to do otherwise deprives our readers of an extremely valuable bit of information for understanding Bush. Meelar 22:21, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

On the U.S. political spectrum, Bush would be considered relatively conservative, but when you use conservative as an adjective to Republican: "conservative Republican"—he's not. That is, he's not a member of the group in his party which make up the conservative wing, and does not have a history of supporting issues of the greatest importance to them. He's not a fiscal conservative, he's not an isolationist (like Pat Buchanan), and his social record is mixed. His father, George H.W., would be considered a liberal Republican (though not of the extreme John Lindsay mode), an internationalist, Trilateralist, Rockefeller Republican. -- Cecropia 22:23, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
Maybe we could refer to him as a Reagan Republican and write a page on that phrase if we don't have one already. It would seem more accurate, because I don't think there's really a way you can characterize him as a "moderate Republican"--that makes me think of Lincoln Chafee. Meelar 22:45, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
I would not classify him as a Reagan Republican, and, more to the point, any such attribution would be highly disputable. He is no Chafee, but conservative Republican definitely has at least the issues Cecropia mentioned. Both parties put up moderates in the last election, for the good reason that that's where the action is. I tried changing the wording to separate the two terms and qualify the former. I hope it addresses everyone's concerns. (Unrelated NB: We have a Reagan Democrat page it turns out, but not RR.) -- VV 23:25, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
I think Bush could be called a conservative on taxes, if not on spending/deficits, at least as far as that term is used in the US today. In addition, his record on at least some issues puts him into the conservative camp (abortion, environment). Maybe we should put in weasel words, but there needs to be some mention. The new wording appears OK to me. Meelar 23:29, 3 May 2004 (UTC)
I think it is more useful to line out his political views about the topics you brought up for "is he conservative or not", like fiscal and social politics, international relations. I would add environmental policies and moral issues like the death penalty, abortion, gay rights, and safer sex. Labels like "conservative", "liberal" or "socialist" can be extremely misleading, especially since they tend to be perceived differently in different countries. For example, Europeans voted for a majority of "conservatives" in the European parliament, however, an overwhelming majority of Europeans detest Bush for his foreign politics, and in the European Union the death penalty is considered breaking basic human rights. Meanwhile, Blair's and Schroeder's parties are both members of the "Socialist International", while in German we usually distinguish between "socialist" and "social democrat". Schroeder would not even think of building a coalition with the "Party of Democratic Socialism". Our conservative party is called "Christian Democratic Union", and the "Liberals" are our most conservative party regarding the economy but indeed "liberal" for example when it comes to gay rights (their leader is gay) or abortion.Get-back-world-respect 01:40, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

I would object to characterization of Bush as "conservative"

The last section of Neofeudalism should illustrate why:

The goal of neofeudalism is social reversion. Neofeudalism and conservatism, it should be noted, are distinctly different things. True conservatives espouse social justice, like liberals, but desire to implement it in a less abrupt manner than their liberal and radical counterparts. Neofeudalists, by contrast, are regressive; they support increasing the wealth and power gaps between the rich and poor, rather than working (as both liberals and conservatives have for centuries) to eliminate these injustices.
In practice, however, neofeudalists, virtually always of the corporate upper class, are likely to masquerade as conservative when in fact they are something entirely different.

There's an extended rant about the Reagan-era hijacking of the word conservative in Talk:Neofeudalism you're also welcome to read.

Bush is a neofeudalist regressive, only "conservative" in the sense that most regressives use that word to mask their less savory actual identities.

The temporal political spectrum: Radical progressive -- liberal -- conservative -- traditionalist -- regressive -- radical regressive.

"Traditionalist" represents the status quo, sandwiched between 3 levels of progressives and 2 of regressives. (Of course, the level splits are somewhat arbitrary.) In other words, the "traditionalist" refers to those who would prefer that the coming years look not much different from the previous ones.

I've omitted the word "moderate" from the temporal political spectrum because, first of all, it's a value judgment, and secondly, there's no clear place for me to put it. In general, "moderate" is used to imply "between liberal and conservative" or "centrist" (according to the more traditional left-right spectrum) but that would be decidedly progressive.

Historically speaking, being regressive is not politically popular, and therefore, most regressives use rhetoric and media manipulation to apply an apparent leftward shift to each category, so that, in the public mind:

liberal => radical progressive
conservative => liberal
traditionalist => "moderate" (between liberal and conservative)
regressive => conservative
radical regressive => traditionalist

The effect this has, for regressives, is to make their ideological opponents appear more extreme, and themselves appear central.

It also makes it possible for Americans to look the other way regarding some amazing swindles, and for half the country to approve of a war with less than 20% world support.

So, yes, I would very much object to a listing of GWB as, in fact, a conservative. If one wanted to say that he identifies as conservative, but that this is not completely accepted, I probably wouldn't mind.

Thank you. Mike Church 01:09, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

A term like "neofeudalist", is extremely value-laden, and would be used as a perjorative. For an encyclopedia article, as opposed to a political tract or technical discussion, a mainstream politician has to be characterized in terms that are genrally understood. He should be described as a Republican, and separately as relatively conservative on the US political spctrum. Cecropia 01:20, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
Are there any terms for describing a person's political ideology that are not value-laden?
  • conservative (positive connotations of prudence, pragmatism)
  • right-wing (negative connotations of extremism)
  • regressive (not a popular thing to be)
  • neofeudalist (ditto)
I can't find any, but... good luck. I'm not sure it's appropriate to apply any of these terms to GWB as a statement of fact, though it's appopriate to say that he identifies as "conservative", and that he is a Republican. Mike Church 01:30, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
Oh my. Mike Church's post seems wrongheaded to me in many ways. The controling use of "conservative" in American politics is that of Russell Kirk. Which is not at all like your describing it. Conservatives generally are regressive now (in time terms), because they see good things about the past as having been lost, in that they want to go back to old values for instanc. They're not regressive in the sense of "regressive taxation" as you seem to be suggesting. Popular conservative quote: Jeremiah 6:16 "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein." Or that conservatives are "Standing athwart history shouting stop", that is, they want to stop some forms of progress which they see as being destructive. Income parity is not one of them. Sheesh. --Samuel J. Howard 01:24, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
Well, that all depends on your point of view--I would say that George W. Bush is not a big fan of a progressive income tax (judging from his actions thus far). Of course, that's only my own opinion, and I would never put it in an encyclopedia article without proper attribution and discussion. So this discussion is quite moot. Meelar 01:27, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
I disagree with the way Mike Church interprets the terms, and I strongly disagree with Cecropia's statement on conservatism. Conservatism is not pejorative. It is an objective term, as objective as republican or democrat, only difference being that it does not refer to a formal party. George Bush is a self-proclaimed conservative, so I don't think it's representing any bias or POV to say that he is a conservative.
Regarding neofeudalism - that's an objective term as well, insofar as it refers to policies, laws, budgets, etc. In this regard, Bush's economic policies objectively reflect those of feudalism. Whether someone is or is not a neofeudalist is not a matter of POV. Whether neufeudalism is good or bad; whether the term is pejorative or not, is a matter of POV. Furthermore, the statement as worded originally is written in a factual and NPOV manner (paraphrasing): some people consider him...
And with regard to "regressive" - not inherently a pejorative term, rather, it is a concrete statement. Whether one supposedly wants to be called it or not is completely irrelevant. Many of Bush's policies have legally reversed long-standing legislation. This is, by definition, regressive. Again, whether this is good or bad is disputable, but the word "regressive" itself connotates no value judgement. Kevin Baas 05:32, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
I wasn't referring to conservative as pejorative; I was referring to neofeudalism as pejorative. -- Cecropia 03:13, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
One's interpretation of neofeudalism as pejorative is subjective to one's economic views. Kevin Baas 05:13, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

I think the statement is still unsatisfactory. There's plenty of room tw add another sentence or two that goes into more detail. Specifically, I think that it should say that he considers himself a compassionate conservative, and that his policies and actions are not those of a true conservative, but actually those of a neofeudalist. Kevin Baas 15:03, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

^^^ I have to agree. Why is it so important to use a word like "conservative" at all in reference to this guy - especially since it seems to be generating more heat than light in this context? GWB is indisputably Republican. In some areas he is conservative, in other areas not so much. As for self-identification as a "compassionate conservative", that's pretty much POV sophistry. 63.202.176.30 15:03, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

Al-Qaeda in Iraq section?!

Why is there talk about Al-Qaeda in the Iraq section? This should be in the Afghanistan section.

"Unlawful combatant" (again)

I moved this paragraph from the main article:

The legal status of "unlawful combatants" has been the subject of criticism by many Geneva Convention signatories and international human rights institutions. The term illegal combatant, critics maintain, has mainly been used to deny detainees basic civil rights, such as the right to a counsellor, a speedy trial and right of appeal. It has been argued that this gives governments a right to arbitrarily suspend the rule of law in a way that should not be accepted.

If you're going to include material like this, you'll need more citation than is given (i.e., none). "many Geneva Convention signatories"--most of the world, including countries that have been busily chewing up their neighbors, are Geneva signers. who is saying this and what are they saying--not generalizations. Issues such as right of counsel, speedy trial and appeal are issues primarily in civil cases, and not in all countries. Actual POWs can be detained until a peace or armistice with status agreements. In many cases, even longer than that. For example, the Soviet Union detained German POWs who were guilty of nothing more than being German soldiers for years after 1945 on the basis they might have committed war crimes.

As to "illegal combatants," honest confusion lies in the fact that the term does not appear as such in the Laws of War, but the concept does. Essentially, a illegal combatant is a "protected person" (someone who does not fit the description of a lawful combatant--usually meaning a civilian) who engages in warfare anyway. There are certain specific exceptions. For examples, local residents in an area who spontaneously take up arms and carry them openly (i.e., no car bombs or hiding weapons under clothing) on the approach of an invading force may be considered lawful combatants wher they wouldn't be otherwise, but that only covers exigent situations. Put it this way--say I really, really got into Braveheart and get it into my head that Scotland should be indepedent from England (I hope I'm not starting something here). Now say that somehow or other Scotland and England end up at war. OK, I pick up my duck hunting rifle (you know, your AK-47 or M80 grenade launcher--the latter both kills and cooks dinner) and I join up with a bunch of like-minded boys and head for Scotland where we begin attacking English positions and are captued by the English. I'm an unlawful combatant. And unlawful combatants are not accorded the protections of either a protected person or a POW. -- Cecropia 16:14, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

That is truly a stupid analogy. What the difference between an "unlawful combatant" and a partisan or resistance fighter? Mintguy (T)
You might refrain from using terms like "stupid" when your argument is ignorant. A partisan or resistance fighter, in order to be a lawful combatant, must adhere to the same rules as those that define a regular army: (1) To be commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (2) To have a fixed distinctive emblem recognizable at a distance; (3) To carry arms openly; and (4) To conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war. Miss any of those, and you're unlawful. -- Cecropia 16:44, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
I fancy that one, so that is why Zaeef is in Guantanamo, he is unlawful because he did not carry arms openly and because he was not commanded by Bin Laden, lol. Get-back-world-respect 01:52, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
You asked a question, but in ignorance you attached a rude characterization. My example is far-fetched, which is not the same as stupid, because I didn't want to use an example that would get people defensive toward one side or the other. But it is not unimaginable--before WWII there were Americans that joined organizations such as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade to fight the fascist side in Spain. My main citations are several of the Hague and Geneva Conventions, detailed in brief at illegal combatant.
Argument? I asked a question, which quite naturally is borne of ignorance. The purpose of most questions in to furnish the ignorant with information. So to ignorance I plead guilty. The analogy though is still stupid. Next question, what rules and regulations are you quoting above? Mintguy (T) 16:51, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
I used "argument" in the sense of presenting a point for discussion. I wasn't implying hostility. Isn't that the same usage where you are. Yes, you asked as a question, but the implied argument (since you called the analogy "stupid") is that there is no difference between an unlawful combatant and an irregular fighter. Cecropia 00:12, 7 May 2004 (UTC)
Indeed. I wondered why you brought up the suggestion of you or one of your mates coming over to Scotland, in light of US pilots who volunteered for the RAF during World War II or indeed those who volunteer for the French Foreign Legion or who volunteered for the International Brigade. I'm not quite sure what this oversees service has to do with anything, given that there are Afghanis amongst those held in Guantanamo Bay. Mintguy (T) 17:20, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
The point that I evidently didn't make clear is that those who volunteered for (for example) the RAF could be lawful combatants if they adhered to Hague rules. My far-fetched example was someone who decided to join an irregular force not adhering to Hague and Geneva and then expecting the protections of Geneva. By mentioning that there are Afghanis at Guantanamo does not mean they were necessarily lawful--at the time of capture, if they were engaged in combat, they must have been adhering to Hague in their operations and dress. One point noone mentions is that there were many thousands captured in Afghanistan. Most were held as POWs and or released. Only a relatively small proportion ended up at Guantanamo. Whether one objectively believes that any individual was correctly singled out or not does not obscure the issue that certain fighters out of the great bulk of combatants were sent there for a reason. -- Cecropia
The "relatively small" number of prisoners in Guantanamo is over 500 people without any access to law and order, caged in like animals, even children among them. And please, Cecropia, stop giving lessons about law although you obviously have no expertise but just an opinion about it. Get-back-world-respect 01:57, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
I meant "relatively small" in proportion to all the combatants taken into custody. The children who were held and released reported that they were well treated. And why do you say I "obviously" have no expertise. You speak a lot about "international law" and your expertise is...? -- Cecropia 02:44, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
First of all I have studied some law. Not enough though to call myself expert enough to use my own knowledge for preaching to others. What I can do is iinform myself with well structured articles taking into account both sides of the issue. I did this in the case of whether the war broke international law and I came to the conclusion that it did. I can and did support this by replying point by point to the arguments raised by those trying to justify the war. A good source accessible for non-experts as well is http://www.worldpress.org/specials/iraq/. What you do is just repeat the US administration's position rather than get into the debate and discuss the points of the other side as well. I admit that I broke this rule quite often when replying to you, too, but I think that in general article talk pages should be on the article. If you want to spread your ideology you can put it on your own talk page and wait and see if someone gets interested and comes over. Get-back-world-respect 22:30, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
Point one: You "inform yourself." This is good. You lean heavily on World Press Review. Not the worst source except they share your Eurocentric bias, so naturally they seem impartial to you. However...
Point two: You say I "just repeat the US administration's position." Not quite. A problem you have is that you characterize other people's positions based on where you think they're coming from. Just as you say I "obviously" have no expertise. I taught military law, geneva conventions and law of land warfare, in addition to other subjects, as a military instructor in the U.S. Army. I had to learn and study in detail much of the Geneva and Hague Conventions including analysis, which included the very topics that are current today. When it comes to legal matters, I go by that rather than sympathies. It was from this other experience that I knew that the "War" in Viet Nam was probably illegal. And it is from that that I know that a high proportion of the internees in Guantanamo are probably "illegal combatants." You don't need the level of knowledge about this that I was required to have to know this. Just read over the portions of Hague and Geneva that deal with qualifications for combatants and protected persons and the responsibilities and remedies available to each. -- Cecropia 23:30, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
Sorry, but I cannot help to point out that current events seem to show you missed some of the US soldiers when talking about "the Geneva and Hague Conventions". Your comment about worldpress.org having a "Eurocentrist bias" just shows again how prejudiced you are. As the name already tells, they are an international organization. They have correspondents from all continents, only 16 out of 52 are European. And again you only offend others rather than support what you write with any argument. I do not call what you write repeating the US administration's position because I characterize other people's positions based on where you think they're coming from but because what you do in this case is repeating the US administration's position. You show this again right now when you write I know that a high proportion of the internees in Guantanamo are probably "illegal combatants." You don't need the level of knowledge about this that I was required to have to know this. The US term of illegal combatants is not even accepted as a legal term by many countries. If you were taught by the US military it is no wonder you do not know better. Get-back-world-respect 00:24, 6 May 2004 (UTC)
OK, I'll be more blunt: WPR is not as biased as they were 10-20 years ago, but their POV is anti-US. They are more honest in their coverage than most organs, but their analysis reflects their bias. As to "illegal combatants", since you seem determined to be my Boswell, you can easily see that I myself have said that the term does not appear in Geneva or Hague. A more accurate description would be "protected person who has engaged in hostilities in a manner which disqualifies him for the protections of the Geneva Conventions pertaining to treatment of Prisoners of War." If you can reduce that to a nice snappy acronym, be my guest. Finally, you say "If you were taught by the US military it is no wonder you do not know better." How did I know you were going to be dismissive in exactly that fashion? That's why it is fairly useless to take the time to respond to you in detail. -- Cecropia 02:35, 6 May 2004 (UTC)
1)You refuse to argument on their analysis, but you call it bias. Because it does not match your preferences? 2)It is not only the term of illegal or unlawful combatants that many deem questionable but the whole idea of keeping people out of the reach of any law and you know that very well. 3)Do you want to say that you had a good chance to know better about legal debates because you discussed them in detail in the US military and without any bias pondered whose position might be the most reasonable? Your way of argumenting does not make me think so. You just repeat what you think is right, without pros and cons, as if you were indoctrinated. Get-back-world-respect 00:05, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

Traditional interpretations have you either as a prisoner of war (if there is a war on) or a criminal (if there is no war then you are subject simply to civilian criminal code). The confusion is that we are in an area not really forseen by the Geneva conventions or others, the status of 'unlawful combatant' has not existed previously, and is controversial. Whether that term will gain currency beyond its current use remains to be seen. Mark Richards 16:50, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

So before you were either a criminal and under the protection of the civilian justice system, or a POW under the protection of the Geneva Convention, but these guys fall between two stools and therefore have only the same rights as an animal, and not of a human being in a civilised society. Mintguy (T) 16:58, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
Those fighting outside the laws of war are covered in the Law of land warfare. This is not a new situation. -- Cecropia 17:01, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
My understanding is that a signitory under the Geneva conventions has to treat captured combatants as prisoners of war (regardless of their adherence or not to the conventions) if there is a war on. If not, and the teritory is under occupation, then they do not have to treat them as prisoners of war, and can treat them as criminals. It isn't really clear what's going on now, since there isn't really a functioning Iraqi legal system it isn't clear what legal jurisdiction would be responsible. To paraphrase your specific question, it is not clear at this stage what rights, if any, those captured in this situation will be afforded. Mark Richards 17:04, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
Your understanding is partly correct--i.e., a signatory to Geneva and Hague are expected to follow those conventions (which also allow such tactics as retaliation against the side that does not) but individuals are only entitled to treaty protections if they are operating as lawful combatants, irrespective of other acts they commit. To put it briefly, in combat zone there are two major groups of people (1) combatants (and certain non-combatant support, such as medical and religious) and (2) "protected persons." You are one or the other under Hague and Geneva. TO be a combatant, you must adhere to certain rules as I outlined above. Everybody else is a "protected person." Ordinarily protected persons are in much better shape than combatants when an Army invades (you can shoot a fleeing solider, for example, you can't shoot a protected person without proximate cause); however protected persons must do certain things to remain protected, which includes not engaging in combat. If they do they are (legally) up the creek without a paddle. -- Cecropia 17:22, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

Surely we are talking about those held in Guantanamo Bay, and therefore nothing to do with Iraq. Or have I got the wrong end of the stick. Mintguy (T) 17:20, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

Ok I have now looked at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enemy_combatant and see that you are referring to Article 1 of the Second Geneva Hague Convention. Let me ruminate. Mintguy (T) 17:16, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

This discussion is all completely irrelevant. The definition of unlawfull combatant and issues associated with the term should be discussed on the unlawful combatant page. The only issue to be discussed here is whether the information copied from that page is relevant to the topic and proportional to the issues surrounding it. Kevin Baas 18:03, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

If the information is wrong, it is wrong no matter what the source, and shouldn't be included. Also this was picked up from the =Afghanistan= Illegal combatant page. If its wrong there, it's not right here. -- Cecropia 18:08, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
But the information is correct. Kevin Baas 22:38, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
FWIW, I don't think any discussion beyond a brief mention & link to the appropriate article belongs here (ie I support Cecropia's removal of that paragraph). Mdchachi|Talk 19:36, 4 May 2004 (UTC)
That would be disproportionate to the issues surrounding the topic. Furthermore, it misrepresents the nature of international law - international law is, contrary to the name, not practiced internationally, and there is little agreement on it. Kevin Baas 22:38, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

But if they are doing what they are doing on their own volition, and not as part of a militant institution, nor as part of a war, than they should not be tried as combatants, but rather, as citizens accused of a crime. However, this distinction is rarely made, and this is the problem. This is a very real problem, that many people are very concerned about. This is an issue surrounding the topic, that represents a significant portion of the human dialogue regarding the individual in question. Thus, it belongs here. Kevin Baas 22:54, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

What exactly were the 145 people who were detained and subsequently released (after two years) from Guantanamo Bay doing that was illegal? We will never know. They have not been processed by anything remsembling any kind of civilised judicial system. They have been illegally imprisoned by anyone's standards. Mintguy (T) 09:04, 5 May 2004 (UTC)~

Well, in a perfect world ... but you need to understand that International Law is not like the law of States. There is no sovereign to oversee and enforce the requirements of treaties and agreements in the sense that you have it in domestic law. Otherwise you would be asking where the judicial process is that allows a soldier to be killed in warfare, why wasn't Saddam Hussein taken to court and forced to comply with the terms of the armistice, why didn't Osama binLaden have a restraining order placed upon him before he sent assassins to murder 3,000 people, why hasn't a huge portion of the population of Rwanda been placed on trial for murder, and so on, and so on. -- Cecropia 13:44, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
And why do flowers only bloom in the spring? Give me a break! "Where the judicial process is that allows a soldier to be killed in warfare?" - come on! this comparison is a little bit of a stretch, don't you think? This is rhetoric based on psychology rather than reason, if I've ever heard it. Exaggerating the context to the point of absurdity is not a respectable method of argument, and has no logical basis.
Furthermore, this so-called "argument" rambles way off-topic and ultimately says nothing relevant to the topic. ("unlawfull combatant" - whether this topic should be given a balanced NPOV treatment or not)
We don't live in a perfect world, no. But we are a part of the world we live in and we have a responsibility to vote and act according to our conscious, which often differs from the status quo. We live in a world where we make decisions, and where each individual has not only the freedom and power, and not only the right, but also the duty and responsibility to make their choices so as to better the world around them. Kevin Baas 16:50, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
And why do flowers only bloom in the spring? They don't. Though most trees only flower in the spring, many flowers do not begin blooming until later, and may bloom well into the fall. In a mild fall, I have often had roses bloom at Christmas. -- Cecropia 00:16, 7 May 2004 (UTC)
If your point is that every individual has the natural right to peacefully protest and work for change of what they consider unjust, of course. Nations historical have the right to go to war over the same issues, though they do so more often for material reasons. The point is when you attach the word "illegal" to something, that is meaningless unless there is valid and enforceable law. -- Cecropia 18:16, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
So you're saying that "unlawful combatant" is meaningless because there is not valid and enforceable law? Kevin Baas
No, I'm saying there is no valid and enforceable law that requires due process rights for illegal combatants. When Geneva and Hague were written they intentionally put what we are calling illegal combatants in a legal bind because they wanted to discourage certain behaviors in warfare; in particular they wanted to discourage people from engaging in combat in ways considered treacherous; these include such things as fighting without an indentifiable badge or uniform, hiding arms to attack by surprise, using civilian populations as shields, and so on. When looking at the "rights" of illegal combatants, people are forgetting that the laws of warfare were intended to protect noncombatants and lawful combatants, not those who fight illegally. -- Cecropia 18:48, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
Cecropia: when you attach the word "illegal" to something, that is meaningless unless there is valid and enforceable law. That is nonsense. The fact that Sharon is not punished for assassinating terrorists and their bystanders without trial does not make it less illegal. Was it legal when Saddam gassed the Kurds in the 80's because no one held him accountable back then? And why do you use the word "valid"? Is the Geneva Convention invalid when the US administration and Cecropia deem it uncomfortable? Get-back-world-respect 22:14, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
In order to lean on the Geneva Conventions to call something "illegal" instead of "wrong", which is a moral issue, you need to know what's in them. And you need to know Hague, because Hague defines who is entitled to POW status. And if you were actually arguing a case in a military setting, you would need to know something about the customs of war which predate all of these conventions. Put it this way, in the U.S. is generally considered immoral to cheat of your spouse, but it is no longer illegal. You could bring the moral condemnation of a community down on a person who betrays other people, but if it is not illegal, you can't try them for it. Now, at various places I have discussed the law, and provided citations to the law, and the law is readily available on the internet. You seem to have more time and willingness for debate than I do. Do your own research. -- Cecropia
This answer does not address at all my claim that it is nonsense to say when you attach the word "illegal" to something, that is meaningless unless there is valid and enforceable law. Someone who is not even able to address what others are discussing with him should not be condescending and tell others "Do your own research." Interesting that you have time to expand on flowers in different seasons but you get bored when someone points at the flaws in your argumentation. Get-back-world-respect 00:34, 7 May 2004 (UTC)