Saturday, May 08, 2004

Absolutely excellent post by Norman the Good (as I can't help reading his name, 'Geras' being the Lithuanian for 'Good') on the Iraq detainee torture atrocities. Yes the UK and the USA should not be held to a 'higher' standard than anyone else but to the 'highest' standard along with everyone else. My respect for Norman, who takes often different positions to me, is very high.

He says (amongst other wise things)
"The practice of torture, just as such, is an unmixed and inexcusable evil; it is an abomination. Correspondingly, the prohibition of torture should be a moral absolute in any civilized national polity, as it has over time become within the law of the community of nations. Along with the prohibitions of other core crimes against humanity - genocide amongst them - the prohibition of torture comes under the doctrine of jus cogens: it is a peremptory norm binding all states, and from which none may opt out; it protects a right from which derogation is not allowed even in war or national emergency. "

Norman Geras may also agree ( reluctantly, as he doesn't respect The Guardian that much) with this article by Ariel Dorfman discussing the torture issue with a mediation of a theme from the 'Brothers Karamazov'.

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