It should be noted that the Pentagon's decision centers on the administration's belief that illegal combatants don't merit Geneva treatment. For that reason, "I think the changes simply pragmatic," writes right-leaning Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom, "both as a response to a Western culture so steeped in PC posturing that it has lost the ability to recognize torture and distinguish it from other (legal) techniques for gleaning information from enemy captures who are not part of some standing army (and so should not be given Geneva Convention treatment)."
On Outside the Beltway, conservative James Joyner is sympathetic to that argument but wonders whether it's worth further harming the American military's reputation, especially in light of Abu Ghraib. "[T]his is an incredibly hamhanded way of addressing these concerns. Even though our enemy by no means adheres to international law, our failure to do so undermines our moral authority."
Read more about the Geneva controversy.
AIDS at 25: Monday marked the 25th anniversary of the official onset of the AIDS epidemic. On June 5, 1981, a UCLA doctor published the details of five mysterious cases of immune-system deficiency. Since then, more than 25 million people have died of the disease.
D.C. blogger Republic of T, in a lengthy personal essay, notes how AIDS surfaced right when he came out of the closet—as well as how Monday's anniversary coincided with the gay-marriage debate. "[W]hat struck me most was that today's anti-gay grandstanding will probably serve to derail more lives as it distracts some communities and people from issues far more urgent than the threat [they] imagine my family poses to them and theirs."
Looking back on AIDS' rise in the 1980s, lefty blog Musing's Musings takes the Reagan administration to task for stigmatizing the disease as a gay affliction: "It's elementary biology that a virus doesn't care about the sexual orientation of those it infects--only whether or not they are suitable hosts." But right-winger Debbie Schlussel claims that it isn't everyone's disease and complains that AIDS garners a greater percentage of research dollars than its deaths warrant: "It's time to stop the insanity."
Read more about the AIDS anniversary.