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Yes and no. There are actually four main "Geneva Conventions", a Geneva Protocal, related Hauge Conventions and at least eleven changes and modifications. The 4th Geneva Convention is the one we think of most and the United States signed that one in 1949 and ratified it in 1955, except that we took exception to certain parts, for example, we reserved the right to use capital punishment in certain cases. We also withheld ratification of the first part of The Geneva Protocal because it appeard to legitamize the PLO and certain terrorist groups. There are numerous other "exceptions" we have reserved. One might ask how you ratify just the parts you like and reject the parts you don't. The answer to that one is that we do not accept legislation be those who we did not elect. We are soverign ourselves and will make our own rules, thank you! In practice, the United States has done a far better job of complying with the spirit of Geneva than other countries that fully ratified the conventions, WWII era Germany and even more, Japan being examples of counties that signed up then totlly disregarded the conventions. An area of hot debate is the Geneva requirement that soldiers wear uniforms, carry their arms openly and have an identified leader in order to enjoy protection as prisoners of war. The convention has been extended over the years to cover "irregular armed forces", but whether the United States fully accepted that part is more than vague. Traditionally, ununiformed or improprerly uniformed combatants are "spies" and are shot on the spot. The last executions we did of this kind followed the Battle of the Bulge when German combatants wore American uniforms .. we tried them and shot them Our treatment of "irregular combatants" at Guantanimo is certainly less brutal that "shooting 'em where they stand" but some would still argue for that. We have not been so drastic. Anyway, the answer to your question is "yes, and sort of".

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βˆ™ 2011-09-12 21:36:55
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Q: Did the US ratify the Geneva Conventions?
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