It is firmly established in international law that treaties are to be interpreted in “good faith” in accordance with the ordinary meaning of their words and in light of their purpose. It is clear to us that the language in the executive order cannot even arguably be reconciled with America’s clear duty under Common Article 3 to treat all detainees humanely and to avoid any acts of violence against their person.
To date in the war on terrorism, including the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and all U.S. military personnel killed in action in Afghanistan and Iraq, America’s losses total about 2 percent of the forces we lost in World War II and less than 7 percent of those killed in Vietnam. Yet we did not find it necessary to compromise our honor or abandon our commitment to the rule of law to defeat Nazi Germany or imperial Japan, or to resist communist aggression in Indochina. On the contrary, in Vietnam — where we both proudly served twice — America voluntarily extended the protections of the full Geneva Convention on prisoners of war to Viet Cong guerrillas who, like al-Qaeda, did not even arguably qualify for such protections.
Geneva is not about the enemy. It’s about us.
Myth: Paper grocery bags are a better environmental choice than plastic bags.
Fact: Plastic bags use 40% less energy to produce and generate 70% less emissions & 80% less solid waste than paper. (U.S. EPA website, www.epa.gov/region1/communities/shopbags.html)
Myth: Plastic grocery bags take 1,000 years to decompose in landfills.
Fact: Today’s landfills are designed to prevent decomposition of anything. Chances are your orange peel, milk carton and even last year’s newspaper won’t breakdown. Research by William Rathje, who runs the Garbage Project, has shown that when excavated from a landfill, newspapers from the 1960s can be intact and readable.
Really, you don’t need to be a scientist here, just use your common sense. Plastic bags are cheaper because they use less resources.