Monday, February 9, 2009

The Geneva Conventions

“We will follow the Geneva Conventions.” It is a fact, though, that the Geneva Conventions are a lot like the Bible. People tend to pick-and-choose exactly what it is necessary to follow.

To my knowledge, the Geneva Conventions classify the Browning M1A2 Model 1918, 50 Caliber machine gun as an anti-aircraft weapon, and forbid its use against personnel. You can, however, witness its use against combatants in daily use today if you watch TV news. In the Vietnam conflict, American forces grafted four of them together to make “quad-fifties,” which were ubiquitously used for perimeter defense. In the Pacific during WWII, the Marines routinely stripped them out of junked airplanes and used them against Japanese troops. American troops love them, with good reason. They have a kill-range of about a mile, and used against soldiers attacking en mass they will blow through human beings a few at a time. I never remember any Geneva-Convention-based objections to their use against troops.

The “fifty,” land mines, white-phosphorous, napalm, cluster-bombs, these things aren’t going anywhere. They work, and they save lives, at least in the forces that employ them. Let’s worry more about preventing armed conflict in the first place.

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