It would seem that the Bush administration feels that it can suspend the Geneva convention agreements with respect to prisoner treatment, in the case of Al Qaeda detainees. I suppose this means we could start beheading them, and hanging their corpses, on fire, upside down, from the nearest bridge in Iraq. I'm fairly confident it won't come to that.
I won't say I agree with the position. However, I'll point out what Sandy said when I mentioned this to her: "It's like retribution." That much I can agree with. It seems to me, that if you're sitting at the head of this country, and you see continual civilian beheadings, sooner or later, somebody is going to push you to the point of retribution. At least, I can see myself in that position. I don't think, despite the requirement of stoicism and composure in office, I could maintain composure in the face of recent attacks on civilians. They are, afterall, there to install a new infrastructure for a country which previously had none. This latest victim wanted to become a missionary.
It is my conjecture that the international community will not continue to bear this for much longer. At some point, people are going to stop saying "Maybe we should pull the troops out" and start saying "Beheading every civilian in sight is going too far. Something needs to be done about this."
I for one would most likely be knee-deep in a salt-the-earth campaign by now.