The Bush War

It was just a few days ago that the ethical restrictions on stem cell research were lifted with much proclaiming about burning the ‘Bush war on science’ straw man. Just a couple of days later, a bill was quietly signed that put those restrictions back in place.

and so the war against the previous administration goes. Many emphasized empty words but little change in action.

Scott takes on another one at Powerline about Erasing an important distinction. This relates to the dropping of the ‘enemy combatant’ term as a means to delineate the President’s authority to detain a certain class of individuals outside of the civil system. As is being pointed out, it is just the term that is being dropped, not the authority to detain.

Scott’s daughter Eliana is quoted:

One of the ironies of the War on Terror is that many in the Bush administration have been tarred as war criminals, Mr. Feith chief among them. In reality, they took no shortcuts around the Geneva Conventions, although those shortcuts were readily available to them. Not only that, but, as the Protocol I debates demonstrate, the distinctions they drew between terrorists and lawful combatants are made to protect innocent civilians and preserve the integrity of international humanitarian law against those who would hijack it for political purposes. A glance back at the history of the debate on this issue demonstrates that it is they who have remained steady advocates of a principled position, and their critics whose views have zigzagged with the times.

It appears that the “integrity of international humanitarian law” has now been set aside in favor of “political purposes.” It seems that there is a fear, or a political purpose, against applying proper labels that help create distinctions necessary for defining proper action.

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