Friday, September 29, 2006

The Most Unpopular Kid on the Playground


Here's something to cheer you up... how is the rest of the world looking at us, now that we've embraced torture as an American value?

Finland:
Finland President Criticizes Proposed Terror Legislation
President Tarja Halonen says that it is a mistake for the US administration to try to redefine Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention banning cruel and degrading treatment of prisoners. She feels that in the war against terror, it is important not to become like those who do ignore international treaties.
"Non-democracy and violations of human rights are a contagious disease."
"I believe that results that have been achieved should not be broken. We must see the risks to security from a different angle", Halonen said in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat during the UN General Assembly.
France:
Congress 'Capitulates' to Bush on Torture
The pressure exerted over the past few weeks by George Bush, to obtain a law from the Congress to validate decisions he made in the name of his "war on terror," is about to bear fruit.

Republican senators who had resisted the White House say that they have reached a compromise that respects human rights. But the truth is that this apparent victory hides a capitulation on a vital point: the President of the United States sees himself as having the right to authorize the CIA to employ methods of interrogation that respect neither American law nor international law codified under the Geneva Conventions. It is quite clear, that the agency will still resort to torture, as it has very likely done for the last four or five years, in detention centers located outside of the United States and kept secret.

[...]

At a time when an "intelligence community" report, divulged by The New York Times, estimates that the Iraq occupation has not lessened the terrorist threat, but has, on the contrary, made it worse, Mr. Bush is using his usual card: to play on the fear of terrorism before thinking of ways to counter it. If the United States passes a law authorizing the use of torture, their enemies will have won a victory.
Colombia:
Bush as Bad as bin Laden? In Some Ways, Worse
Of course there are differences between Osama bin Laden, ringleader of a theocratic terrorist movement and George Bush, a popularly elected president of the most powerful democracy in the world. Nevertheless, the two have done comparable damage to the United States and the rest of the world: bin Laden with his insane and merciless crusade, Bush with his policy of illegal war and combat methods rejected under universal legal norms: illegal detentions, torture and kangaroo courts ...


Gee, and most of this was written before Bush got exactly what he wanted.

So much for good will.