Wed, 17th Nov '04, 2:35pm
I saw a video this morning...
That is the "freedom" they bring?
I saw a video this morning...
That is the "freedom" they bring?
View Full Version : Murderer Marine
Wed, 17th Nov '04, 2:35pm
I saw a video this morning...
That is the "freedom" they bring?
Wed, 17th Nov '04, 2:53pm
I expect that the persons in question will be 'punished' with a few years in military jail.
"Mohammed Abboud (9 year old), bleeded to death wounded by sharpnel in Fallujah after his parents could not find a hospital (american forces have destroyed it).Nov'04"
Wed, 17th Nov '04, 3:40pm
If anyone is actually interested in some reputable news reporting regarding this event, here is a link:
Military probes other deaths in Falluja incident (http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/11/16/marine.probe/index.html)
First off, this is not a war crime. The Geneva Conventions do not cover combatants out of uniform attempting to blend in with the populace. He was fair game.
Secondly, knowing that these insurgents are known to fake being dead, only to have a gun or bomb hidden on them that they arise a use to kill soldiers, it is not an unexpected event.
If it is proven that he knew or should have reasonably known that these people had been disarmed and given first aid by US troops, and he went ahead and shot this guy, then the Marine should be hung from the nearest flagpole. However, if in the haste of war no sign was left behind to indicate that these insurgents were neutralized, then give the Marine back his rifle and let him get back to work.
Now, I have one word for anyone who expresses their outrage at this event who hasn't already expressed outrage at the beheading of people who are working in Iraq to help the Iraqi people...
Wed, 17th Nov '04, 3:48pm
Wed, 17th Nov '04, 3:55pm
First off, this is not a war crime. The Geneva Conventions do not cover combatants out of uniform attempting to blend in with the populace. He was fair game. Darkwolf, have you ever read the conventions or the protocols? From the Article 44 paragraph 3 of the Protocols:
3. In order to promote the protection of the civilian population from the effects of hostilities, combatants are obliged to distinguish themselves from the civilian population while they are engaged in an attack or in a military operation preparatory to an attack. Recognizing, however, that there are situations in armed conflicts where, owing to the nature of the hostilities an armed combatant cannot so distinguish himself, he shall retain his status as a combatant, provided that, in such situations, he carries his arms openly:
(a) during each military engagement, and (b) during such time as he is visible to the adversary while he is engaged in a military deployment preceding the launching of an attack in which he is to participate.
Acts which comply with the requirements of this paragraph shall not be considered as perfidious within the meaning of Article 37, paragraph 1 (c).
Wed, 17th Nov '04, 4:24pm
he shall retain his status as a combatant, provided that, in such situations, he carries his arms openly:
Exactly the point, they don't carry their arms openly.
Nothing I said in my post contradicts the text you have copied out of the Geneva Conventions. If you are out of uniform, and attempting to blend in (ie you are not openly carrying your weapons) then you are not covered in the Geneva conventions.
:yot: This of course creates another problem that the Geneval Conventions did not forsee. The Iraqi populace, especially in rural areas carry around AKs for their own protection. In combat, how do you differentiate a hostile combatant from a civilian when they look exactly alike???
Wed, 17th Nov '04, 4:33pm
Are you certain that they didn't carry their arms openly? Also, the guy was wounded because he had participated in a battle against marines, had he fought with his weapon hidden?
And the text, that I copied, contradicts your claim about the uniform.
Also, even if we accept that his has lost his compatant status, he is still under the protection of the protocols according to Article 44 paragraph 4:
4. A combatant who falls into the power of an adverse Party while failing to meet the requirements set forth in the second sentence of paragraph 3 shall forfeit his right to be a prisoner of war, but he shall, nevertheless, be given protections equivalent in all respects to those accorded to prisoners of war by the Third Convention and by this Protocol. This protection includes protections equivalent to those accorded to prisoners of war by the Third Convention in the case where such a person is tried and punished for any offences he has committed.
[ November 17, 2004, 16:55: Message edited by: BOC ]
Wed, 17th Nov '04, 5:55pm
Name me ONE nation that lives up to the rules according to the Geneva convention... just one.
Gues what...you can't, because noone really cares about them. In a time of war, there simply are no rules.
Wed, 17th Nov '04, 6:20pm
Exactly everybody violetes the rules, perhaps I would do the same or even worse if I was in the place of this marine but this doesn't mean that this execution was not a war crime. Furthermore, since the commanding officer of the marines claims that his men are fighting according to the rules (see Darkwolf's link) then there is one more reason to punish this marine.
Wed, 17th Nov '04, 6:27pm
Then the commanding officer in question is lying his ass off. It's probably because they have been tricked by virtually unarmed men one time too many.
It's bad, but most people would probably do the same thing. Better safe than sorry and all that.
Wed, 17th Nov '04, 6:44pm
Maybe so, but the guy did it in front of a TV camera. For that stupidity alone he should be tried, me thinks. :rolleyes:
Wed, 17th Nov '04, 7:49pm
The vast majority of professional soldiers follow the Geneva convention. They are trained in what is and is not acceptable conduct during war when they first enter the military. There will always be a few who do not follow the convention and a few that get carried away "in the heat of the moment." Violating the Geneva convention is wrong and individuals responsible should be tried for those actions.
Other extinuating circumstances, i.e., a soldier was killed the previous day by someone faking to be dead and the soldier in question was shot the previous day, are things that should only be considered by a judge and jury. The marine violated the convention and needs to be tried.
I'm inclined to agree with Takara, but if stupidity were a crime we all be in prison (maybe we are, we just think we're not...).
Wed, 17th Nov '04, 9:59pm
If one idiot does something like that in front of a camera how many instances do you think there are when there were no cameras around? Or is it just as in Abu Ghraib that US soldiers only misbehave when on camera?
Thu, 18th Nov '04, 8:34am
I seen the video and there was no panic that I could see. It seemed that he just wanted to shoot the guy dead in front of the other wounded. It was not like the building was stormed and they were caught up in 'the fog of war'.
I also seen the video of a guy getting beheaded (from the link at the top) and it was the most disgusting thing that I have ever seen. I hope I never have to see anything like that again. As far as I am concerned the rapists and abusers are just as evil as the militants that think its ok to kidnap people and execute them.
Thu, 18th Nov '04, 10:22am
I wouldn't say it is a question wether the guy was wearing a uniform or not - slowly: S-h-o-o-t-i-n-g u-n-a-r-m-e-d w-o-u-n-d-e-d p-e-r-s-o-n-s i-s w-r-o-n-g. This was cold blooded murder.
And sadly, that is unsurprising considering how the administration hawks look at the Iraq insurgency. They fight a war of attrittion in Fallujah, America's preferred way of war.
In Fallujah it is no more about hearts and minds, it is only about minds. With that I mean the Pentagon politicos are applying "shock and awe" again. The message of Fallujah is: Submit or die.
With that in mind, the murder of that wounded Iraqi is not surprising, it is a logical consequence of the neo-con idea of counter-insurgency. You can expect more of that.
From their point of view that Marine made everything right - except for getting filmed.
The neo-con armchair generals think when they have killed all the evil insurgents (whose number they seem to consider static) and terrorised the Iraqi people to sufficiently fear the US, then miraculously calm and peace will descend on the graveyard they made of Iraq and the Iraqis will suddenly realise that they :love: love :love: the US, get devoted to democracy - and become anti-French and republican. Or so.
As I see it, the flattening of Grozny a couple of years ago didn't exactly solve Russia's problem in Chechnya.
Whoever is in Fallujah is considered a suspect insurgent. In Fallujah the US are on a penal expedition and deal out collective punishment.
It probably won't work, but maybe the slaughter buys them a period of relative calm (while the insurgents re-organise) till after the election in Iraq - and then we have :roll: a political success :spin: for George Bush! Well, sort-of, but we can spin that away just like the number of civillian casualties, can't we?
Thu, 18th Nov '04, 5:08pm
Interesting arguement, but I cannot agree with a couple of the premises you use. First, no sane or reasonable person would ever believe killing an unarmed man is acceptable -- that includes politicians and military. Second, no one believes all the insurgents were eliminated (I've never met an armchair General). In fact, the allied leaders believe most escaped Fallujah. Putting the terrorists on the run hinders their ability to plan and carry out attacks.
Thu, 18th Nov '04, 7:12pm
You got me wrong. I do think and I think I did stress that the murder of an unarmed civilian IS unacceptable.
As for sane persons and the neo-con think on counterinsurgency:
Clearer than the rest of the right-leaning punditocracy, (I mean the Krauthammers, Safires, Boots ..) commentator and columnist Ralph Peters IMO summarised it best in his aptly titled article where he jubilates: Bush has won! The time is now: SEND THE MARINES IN TO DESTROY FALLUJAH!!! (http://boards.historychannel.com/threadedout.jsp?forum=30079&thread=300029637) (I've never thought of Fallujah as an election party) - more detailed: We must not be afraid to make an example of Fallujah.
[We have to] to burn out the plague of fanaticism and prove to Iraq's people that the forces of terror will not be allowed to enslave them.
We need to demonstrate that the United States military cannot be deterred or defeated. If that means widespread destruction, we must accept the price.Hmm, as I see it's the Iraqis who will pay the price for his so much desired show of force, not so much the US - so it is somewhat brazen to generously say that ... unsurprising, the man writes for Murdoch's New York Post and appears on FOX O'Reilly Factor, another Murdoch outlet.
[ November 18, 2004, 19:22: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
Thu, 18th Nov '04, 7:42pm
Your first line is not addressing anything I said -- I have not questioned your ability to think. Nor have I questioned how offended you were by the killing (that was obvious, I'm also offended by the killing).
Finding an opinion and classifying it as doctrine for conservatives (even neo-conservatives) is blatently unfair. One opinion does not reflect policy.
Did you even read the article or did you just read the portions you thought were the most offensive to you? He states quite clearly that rules of warfare must be followed (even though they are not followed by the enemy). That seems to poke a hole more in your arguements than mine.
Thu, 18th Nov '04, 8:28pm
4. A combatant who falls into the power of an adverse Party while failing to meet the requirements set forth in the second sentence of paragraph 3 shall forfeit his right to be a prisoner of war, but he shall, nevertheless, be given protections equivalent in all respects to those accorded to prisoners of war by the Third Convention and by this Protocol. This protection includes protections equivalent to those accorded to prisoners of war by the Third Convention in the case where such a person is tried and punished for any offences he has committed. This assumes he is under the control of the US. However until he is confirmed to be disarmed he is not under control, and given the fact that the insurgents have booby-trapped themselves and hidden weapons upon their person only to pull them out and use them even though they are committing suicide, determination of incapacitation becomes problematic.
The Geneva Convention was not written with these circumstances in mind. IMO it was assumed that under the control meant surrendered or incapacitated, and these people often times choose not to surrender and fake their incapacitation. If the soldier believed that the insurgent was faking his death the shooting would be reasonable in this circumstance. If the insurgents weren't making suicide attacks after faking their death or incapacitation, it would be outrageous.
Thu, 18th Nov '04, 9:50pm
Darkwolf why do you want to make me to post the entire text of the conventions and the protocols in this thread? A man laying down wounded and surrounded by three or four marines is under the control of US. If, however, we accept that he isn't under the control of US, he is still considered to be hors de combat and therefore protected by the conventions and the protocols. According to Article 41 paragraphs 1 and 2:
1. A person who is recognized or who, in the circumstances should be recognized to be hors de combat shall not be made the object of attack.
2. A person is hors de combat if: (a) he is in the power of an adverse Party; (b) he clearly expresses an intention to surrender; or (c) he has been rendered unconscious or is otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness, and therefore is incapable of defending himself;
provided that in any of these cases he abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape.
You have watched the video. Have you seen this man trying to escape or trying to attack the marines? The fact that this marine was afraid to confirm that the guerilla was incapicated and prefered to be safe than sorry, as Pac Man put it, is understandable but is still a war crime acording to the conventions and the protocols.
Also, the Geneva conventions were written with these circumstaces in mind since they were written after the war with the most urban warfare in military history and situations like this were happening all the time.
Thu, 18th Nov '04, 9:52pm
When I quote this nut then I do so because I think he represents a trend - even though this is a part of a silly Op-Ed in a particularly silly newspaper. From all the pundits I read he speaks it out most clear, that's why I picked him.
Have a look at Hanson, Krauthammer, Safire or Boot and you'll see what I mean - you would have to find the links yourself though, but the names and Fallujah should do the job on Google.
When I wrote the US lead a war of attrition in Fallujah I referred to this attitude. We need to pursue the terrorists remorselessly.
That means killing. While we strive to obey the internationally recognized laws of war (though our enemies do not), our goal should be to target the terrorists and insurgents so forcefully that few survive to raise their hands in surrender (aka shoot first ask later). We don't need more complaints about our treatment of prisoners from the global forces of appeasement. We need terrorists dead in the dust. And the world needs to see their corpses.
Even if Fallujah has to go the way of Carthage, reduced to shards, the price will be worth it. We need to demonstrate our strength of will to the world ...Peters wants them dead first, the more the better, but of course they shall be killed in accordance with international law ... :rolleyes: ... after reading his rant, I doubt Peters honestly cares about that part.
But what he actually calls for is this: Exemplary punishment for the sake of showing strength, a reprisal. Now that is a concept that should be discredited by now, but that doesn't bother Peters - he must have skipped that part of the law of war.
Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, collective punishments are a war crime. Article 33 of the Fourth Convention states: “No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed,” and “collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”
By collective punishment, the drafters of the Geneva Conventions had in mind the reprisal killings of World Wars I and II. In the First World War, Germans executed Belgian villagers in mass retribution for resistance activity. In World War II, Nazis carried out a form of collective punishment to suppress resistance. Entire villages or towns or districts were held responsible for any resistance activity that took place there. The conventions, to counter this, reiterated the principle of individual responsibility. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Commentary to the conventions states that parties to a conflict often would resort to “intimidatory measures to terrorize the population” in hopes of preventing hostile acts, but such practices “strike at guilty and innocent alike. They are opposed to all principles based on humanity and justice.”
The law of armed conflict applies similar protections to an internal conflict. Common Article 3 of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 requires fair trials for all individuals before punishments; and Additional Protocol II of 1977 explicitly forbids collective punishment.
That means: It is a war crime to level a city to make an example because resistance fighters operated out of it - what infuriates me is not so much that the US actually do that, I can't judge that from what I know, but that Peters doesn't seem to care.
The claim that the Geneva Convention, emerging based on the experience of WW-II, wasn't made for this sort of conflict is nonsense - what makes the US war in Iraq so special? What horrors does it offer WW-II didn't have?
WW-II had everything - terrorism, assassinations, bombings and massacres - why can't these rules apply in Iraq today? What is it that makes the rules of the convention "irrelevant", "obsolete"? If it is that, the US may have been a little zealous then when hanging people for violating them - but I don't think so.
The fact that the Geneva Convention is in place is what pisses off the America Unbound fraction in the Pentagon who see human rights as hindrances to do whatever they want to do - like "robust interrogations" or "robust intervention".
With a grain of salt one can say that the "obsolescence" of the Geneva Convention lies in the US willingness to ignore it - an ignored law is at least dysfunctional. The neo-cons loathe the Geneva Convention because it gives their opponents a verifiable and credible chance to morally discredit the US, and produce bad press, which complicates what US politicy has relied on under their leadership: Military force.
Peters neo-con approach to Fallujah looks, sounds and smells like a reprisal - of course achieved while meeting international law, like Abu Ghraib *technically* wasn't torture ... Ever heared the word 'lip service' ?
But Peters get's better - he tells the apologists how to best rationalise the unavoidable civilian victims to sleep better: Most of Fallujah's residents - those who wish to live in peace - have already fled. Those who remain have made their choice.Bold claim. Everyone who stayed in Fallujah has decided to do so - and so Peters simply declares them legitimate targets.
That would sound plausible, weren't there these people who weren't allowed to choose, like everyone male between 14 and 50 who wasn't let out of the city because of being - by age and gender - "insurgent candidates" - and were sent back into the city.
So if US troops hit some innocents, don't blame America, it was THEIR choice, they ... uhm ... technically ... picked the side of the insurgents ... all of them ... to give aid and comfort to Americas enemies ... you know, "we must accept the price." again.
Please gimme a break. What Peters, and his warmongering colleagues call for is this: The call is that in order to defeat terrorism America must become a terrorist herself.
I disagree: When America is down there to make a difference they'll have to live it to succeed.
[ November 18, 2004, 22:02: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
Thu, 18th Nov '04, 9:55pm
Not to condone the marine's action, but I've heard rumors that the Iraqi insurgents have been strapping explosives to the dead and wounded to kill US and Iraqi soldiers.
It's easy to watch this on television and make judgments - but I think the soldiers feel that even the dead and wounded are dangerous. We'll see how this shakes out, but considering the battle they're fighting, and the tactics our enemy uses, maybe his actions are justified.
Thu, 18th Nov '04, 10:12pm
It is a disturbing episode, no doubt. I will not judge the individual, having not been in his position (or even present while it happened). I understand the position that finds the action unacceptable. I understand the position that humans under great duress take actions that they may not otherwise take. I also understand the third position that states he believed there was a genuine risk, for if he did not think there was a risk, then why shoot the man when he KNEW THE CAMERAS WERE ROLLING?
All of this is food for thought, and debate. Again, I refuse to condemn the man.
I do find it interesting (though not surprising) that some people here are going to great lengths to imply (or outright insist) that it is the policy of the US military to ignore the Geneva convention and kill carelessly. If that is the case, then why have prisoners been taken at all?
Carry on, and let's be gentlemen (and ladies).
Thu, 18th Nov '04, 10:25pm
As I said before that this marine *did* do it infront of the camera should speak volumes of what is going on when there is no camera around. However, I do not blame the soldier he is in hell and in hell you do not take any chances at all. Especially not by letting someone live who you have been told directly and indirectly wouldnt hesitate to barbecue your little sister and who you spend most of your time telling yourself is not human but just an enemy who needs to be killed. Unarmed or not. The blame solely lies on the government who sent the marine there and the people who support the sending. As I see it, anyone who supports the war is more guilty of any atrocity committed by US soldiers, heck by insurgents as well, than the poor sods pulling the triggers.
Thu, 18th Nov '04, 10:30pm
America must follow the Geneva Convention and can be held responsiable for war crimes its soldiers committ. But what if you're fighting an enemy that can not be held responsiable - as they have no focal government yet they are a 'faction' of sorts. This opposition does and will continue to ignore the Geneva Convention - the "give no quarter" type approach to warfare.
This is not justice that one side must obey the rules and can be punished for disobeying them yet the other side can not be punished. The Americans are 'granting all legal quarter' yet are recieving none, whereas the insurgents grant no quarter and abuse the quarter granted.
Is there anything laid out in the Geneva Convention of what parties can do if the opposition breaks the rules of the convention?
What if (and I mean IF) the insurgents had WMD capabilities? AND used them on US and Iraqi targets? How could the US protect themseles from WMD strikes without breaking the Geneva Convention?
Thu, 18th Nov '04, 10:37pm
The only punishment for breaking the Geneva convention is that it does not apply to your troops. Just as you touched upon there, the insurgents generally do not follow the convention and thus the US feels justified in not following. The problem then is that the US loses any semblence of a moral high ground they might have had and descends to the level of the people they fight and uses the very same tools as they are claiming to abhor and fight.
Thu, 18th Nov '04, 11:25pm
This is not justice that one side must obey the rules and can be punished for disobeying them yet the other side can not be punished If you mean that they will not be punished by their own leadership, you are right but USA has the right to prosecute the insurgents who are violating the conventions.
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 2:58am
@ Pac Man: Switzerland? (if only because they stay out of things like this?)
@ Jack: Good point - I don't think anyone can argue that the US is systematically killing everyone in Fallujah they suspect of being an insurgent. What concerns me more is whether the actions of the marine in the video reflect an indiscriminate or reckless approach. I don't blame people for doing what they believe they must, but irrespective of what conventions you follow or don't, killing a wounded and unarmed combatant who has surrendered to you is cold-blooded murder.
It might not strictly be in the Geneva Convention (and :yot: the US has interpreted this rather conveniently and liberally in Guantanamo Bay), but surely there should be routine protocols for handling a situation like this, since it will inevitably come up fairly frequently. I don't believe that firing a short burst at a guy on the ground is standard operational procedure, which is why this event needs to be looked at and understood before we all take our positions and start sniping back and forth. There is a strong prima facie case that this is a human rights violation/war crime, and we'd be naive to accept any "bad apples" theory when there was no comment or criticism offered (at least, not on the tape), but we don't have full possession of the facts as yet.
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 8:54am
Oh-kay. Mitigating Circumstances time.
a) The Marine who shot the Iraqi was shot in the face the previous day, and so would have been in some state of shock.
b) One of the men in this Marine's squad was killed, and several wounded, when he checked a booby-trapped body. If this kind of stuff was going on, and the previous day it had killed one of my friends, PLUS I had been shot in the face yesterday, I would almost cretainly have shot the Iraqi.
I certainly wouldn't have gone over and checked his pulse.
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 9:28am
a) The Marine who shot the Iraqi was shot in the face the previous day, and so would have been in some state of shock.Then he shouldn't have been send back to the field if he obviously still were in a state of shock. :rolleyes:
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 10:59am
I agree, but that's not the Marine's fault, is it?
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 11:17am
Yes, since he should have not gone, whatevery his athourities say.
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 11:22am
Oh no no no. You can only disobey if an order is illeagal and going to war is not illegal if youre a soldier. THat's INSUBORDINATION. You get court-martialled.
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 11:36am
I mean, huh, what is when the footage just tells what we all saw: That the guy simply shot that wounded and that's it.
I find it amusing to see the appempts of justification to try to spin away what the pictures show: The mercy killing part is improbably because iirc some other unit left him there alive to be take care of by others. Puzzling to me. The "but there were booby trapped bodies" part is equally unconvincing - the normal solution, so was I taught in the army, is then to pull out the probably mined body from distance and under cover with a rope - no need to shoot him preventively. The "but comrades of him had been klilled and wounded" part sounds glorious, but think about it, it is an attempt to justify a killing in revenge. Convincing? No, not really. The unspoken "The Iraq give a **** about the laws of war" part is silly too, would "but they chopped off the heads of hostages" justify an American chopping off the head of an Iraqi?I agree the US is certainly not systematically killing everyone in Fallujah they suspect of being an insurgent, but they may well do so randomly.
In urban fighting civillian casualties are unavoidable, heck, even in Stalingrad and Grozny civilians insisted to stay. A strategy of shelling and bombing suspected strongholds and buildings guarantees civilian casualties - and it guarantees pissed off people starting to dislike the US and support or join the insurgents - more, the insurgents have a great recruiting tool by helping the homeless and refugees the US assaults have created.
I wonder how Belfast would have detoriated had Britain chosen the US approach to counterinsurgency on the Irish. I promise you that scenes of burning british flags would have been common sight - in Boston. The brits just had one "bloody sunday", made eternal by U2, the US as far as I can recall, had a few dozens all over Iraq already.
But hey, I forgot, the US conflicts are unprecedented - the Arab bombers are MUCH worse and MUCH more evil and they are ISLAMIACS too and ... anyway.
Atm the US are trying to replicate the "Battle of Algiers" (this, for the france-bashers, was a french victory, one of many in Algeria), with poorer intelligence. Unlike the French the US don't have the advantage of having *frenchmen* there who lived there - and wanted to stay, spoke the langage and knew the ground and the country - resulting in excellent intel. More, a good deal of the french officers had experience in guerrilla war from fighting against Germany in the french resistance - and of course, France used brutal torture excessively to gather intelligence, another lesson they learned from that conflict - and one of the key points that eroded public support for that war in the motherland.
In Algeria France was actually in a better position to win than the US are in Iraq today. But even though France won Algiers it was unable to keep Algeria as a colony anyway.
For everyone interested, go to your public library and get the movie " The Battle of Algiers (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0002JP2OI/102-6493226-9849759?v=glance)" - it may put you on a terr'ism watch list :shake: because it might be seen as defaitist or pinko propaganda :shake: but it gives you an impression of what is happening in Iraq.
[ November 19, 2004, 11:59: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 12:34pm
"...The unspoken "The Iraq give a **** about the laws of war" part is silly too, would "but they chopped off the heads of hostages" justify an American chopping off the head of an Iraqi?..."
If you are fighting terrorists, don't do what terrorist does, if so, you become what you fight: a terrorist.
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 1:38pm
Oh no no no. You can only disobey if an order is illeagal and going to war is not illegal if youre a soldier. THat's INSUBORDINATION. You get court-martialled.Between choosing from being send to a warzone while I still haven't recovered from my wounds from the day before and don't give a sh*t about the orders, facing penalties if I need to, well, I don't really think it's a hard choise.
Plus, Bush wouldn't dare to put a soldier in prison for too long. By American politics, he isn't "supporting" the troops if he puts them in jail for more than 1 year.
Aldeth the Foppish Idiot
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 3:19pm
Is it a war crime to hand out food in Falluja but then swab everyone's hands with a swab that turns colors if it comes in contact with gunpowder? That's what the U.S. is doing right now. Kind of seems like entrapment to me... On the other hand, it also seems like a pretty good way to catch insurgents, seeing as they have to eat too.
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 3:52pm
I don't know how many on this board have ever worked with marines. But I can tell you they are a close knit, loyal group. The comradeship of marines in a combat is well beyond anything I've ever seen anywhere else -- fraternities have nothing on Semper Fi. The closest thing I've ever seen is the loyalty of the legionnaires (and perhaps the swiss guards at the Vatican).
The average marine is fiercely loyal to his fellow marines -- to not do his share for any reason is a failure in the mind of that marine. The Marines work through pain and injury because they refuse to let their fellow marines down. The marine that was shot could have received convalescence, but in his mind he would have been walking out on his closest comrades (ironic to use a soviet term when describing US Marines) at a time they needed him. I doubt he was ordered back to combat, so insubordination would not have been a factor.
@Ragusa: Your last two posts have been very well thought out and very interesting. Some great points there. I only disagree with your assertion that the US Military view the Geneva Convention as a nuisance to be brushed aside when convenient. The military literally lives and dies by the Geneva Convention. It is taught to all members of the armed forces when they first join. Orders of Battle and combat doctrine incorporate the Articles of the Geneva Convention.
I was not in Falluja, I doubt any of us on this board were, I do not know if excessive force was used or efforts were taken to minimize collateral damage -- it is clear some military members did not follow the combat doctrine (I still contend those violation were done by very few individuals). Those violators need to be punished.
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 4:06pm
In the video it looks like the marine thought the mosque was a morgue not a hospital, and when the the body started twitching he freaked out.
I bet he felt embarassed when he realised what was going on, it is a real Candid Camera moment.
The full scale assault on Fullujah had to happen to prepare the way for the democratic elections in Iraq in two months time.
Current exit polls of Fullujah residents seem to indicate a new found willingness to vote for President Bush's chosen candidate.
In fact this campaign tactic has proven so successful that President Bush may adopt it in the swing states of the American mid-west, as the ballot rigging lawsuits in Ohio are really becoming prohibitively expensive.
[B]Apocalpyse Now [B]
"Bring her onboard."
"What are you talking about ?"
"We're taking here to some friendlies, captain.
She's wounded, she's not dead."
"Get off there Chef."
Willard shoots the wounded girl :
"I told you not to stop. Now let's go."
WILLARD (voice over)
" It was the way we had over here of living with ourselves.
We'd cut them in half with a machine gun and give them a
bandaid. It was a lie, and the more I saw of them, the more
I hated lies. Those boys were never going to look at me
the same way again. But I felt I knew one or two things
about Kurtz that weren't in the dossier."
There was a crazy reporter in Apocalypse now that was so messed up he did not know right from wrong. I think that the NBC reporter that released the footage to the public at this time is no less messed up. Bad things are happening in Iraq. Mistakes are being made, and when almost everyone is armed, mistakes can be fatal. I don't need to be told this or shown this. It is common sense.
The NBC reporter thinks that he is serving some higher cause by exposing the 'lie' of the this insignifigant (until now) event to the public, but that footage will be used as the justification for more acts of terrorism.
In war you must choose a side. Choose a lie. In my opinion the footage is an abhorent act of treachery and stupidity on the the reporter's part, and an understandible mistake on the soldier's part.
[ November 19, 2004, 16:52: Message edited by: Black Beard ]
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 5:45pm
I don't mean the military, the soldiers, but their current political masters.
I agree with your assessment of the position of the US military to the Geneva Convention - however, despite their knowledgev of the Geneva Convention Abu Ghraib did happen, with the unspoken but active encouragement of the pentagon politicos.
Worse, while the privates and sergeants got punished, about everyone responsible and of senior rank has in fact not been punished but rewarded.
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 6:27pm
@Ragusa: Your last two posts have been very well thought out and very interesting. Some great points there. I only disagree with your assertion that the US Military view the Geneva Convention as a nuisance to be brushed aside when convenient. The military literally lives and dies by the Geneva Convention. It is taught to all members of the armed forces when they first join. Orders of Battle and combat doctrine incorporate the Articles of the Geneva Convention.(emphasis added)
OK, maybe this isn't part of military training, but remember that the President is still the Commander-in-Chief. As early as 2002, he was advised by Justice Department officials and the White house lawyer who has now been nominated as US Attorney General "that Geneva Conventions on torture did not apply to 'unlawful combatants', captured during the war on terror."
In another memo, Mr. Gonzalez took the position "that the nature of the war on terror 'renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions'."
Here's the full article I'm quoting (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/06/13/wguan13.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/06/13/ixworld.html)
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 6:37pm
It is really a sort of a bitter joke - that US soldiers are taught the Convention, and then are told that for their particular opponents it doesn't apply and thus can be ignored.
That was what I meant with 'lip service'.
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 8:18pm
@Ragusa- one minor disagreement with the France/Algeria metaphor: While the fact that the French wanted to live in Algeria might have given them a greater understanding of Algeria than the Americans currently have of Iraq, it also brought with it the *huge* disadvantage of being an overtly colonialist project, which is not precisely the case in Iraq. Even taking the cynical view, the most one could claim the Americans want from Iraq is beneficial terms of trade (and for neo-liberals, integration in a global market requires a certain amount of economic liberalization and democratic government). At no time, however, has anyone even gotten close to saying "Iraq is American" the way the French said "Algeria is French;" nor are there any plans to settle hundreds of thousands of "pieds noirs" in Iraq; nor are there any plans to annex Iraq to the US (the 51st state?). The Americans are quite happy leaving the Iraqis to be Iraqi, with the caveat of course that the channels of (business) communication remain free and clear. If this nonchalance about Iraqi culture is sometimes expressed negatively as cultural ignorance and miscommunication, it also has the positive side of avoiding the French-style policy of forcing the adoption of French culture: the US isn't forcing the Iraqis to salute the US flag and sing the national anthem. If Iraq becomes "Americanized," it won't be by fiat, but rather through the far more typical, gradual process of buying American products, watching American media, playing American video games etc. that takes place throughout the world. (I read somewhere that Oprah is very popular in Iraq....)
Having watched the Battle of Algiers again recently, I don't think it has much bearing on Iraq. Most of the Algiers in that film is *heavily* French, as France had been in Algeria for hundreds of years, and had annexed Algeria about 150 years before. The architecture is French colonial, the bars are French, etc. Hundreds of thousands of French settlers, some of whom had been there for generations, lived there as though they were living in Marsailles, and constituted, along with wealthy secularized Algerians, the upper class of Algerian society. Other than saying one or two things about guerilla warfare in an urban milieau, I'm not sure why this film is applicable to this situation in Iraq.
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 8:39pm
What I aim on is the ideological background of the Algerian resistance. The Algerians fought a war of independence, for self-determination.
I consider the motive of the Iraqi insurgency similar - clearly, they want the US out - be it only to pounce upon each other the moment they're gone. They don't blow up and shoot at Americans because they are evil people who happen to hate freedom - driving them to hate America. That is childish propaganda.
The impact of foreign fighters is probably neglegible considering that Iraq's population of some 20 million can easily provide more than enough fighters to sustain the insurgency and grant the US a persistent problem.
The similarity is that America, just like France in Algeria, fights a nationalist arab insurgency with an islamic element in Iraq - one that can describe it's fight as against a foreign occupier that is determined to control the country's political future.
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 9:28pm
a foreign occupier that is determined to control the country's political future. I can guarantee that if the Iraqi election happens, and the elected leaders tell the US "take all your troops and go home now," the US will have no choice but to go. Even if Bush et al wanted them to stay, the US public wouldn't stand for it.
And when you say "Iraqi insurgency," I think you mean "Sunni insurgency," and even then, you might want to specify a "combined Baathist and Islamist Sunni insurgency," as many Sunni want nothing to do with the insurgency. Granted, there was a Shiite insurgency, but this is mostly turning into political opposition, and even when there was lip service to a joint Shia-Sunni insurgency, there was no real cooperation or exchange of tactics (i.e, there have been no (zero) Shiite suicide bombers). Most Shiites don't have any sympathy at all for the Sunni insurgents (tho they do for the civilians), while the Kurds have been strongly pro-American.
So when you say "they want they US out," and intimate that this is a generally held Iraqi position, you're really overextending yourself.
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 10:09pm
First off, when it comes to people it is perception that matters, not reality. The perception among the insurgents and I would dare say of the common Iraqi on the street is that the fate of their country now lies in the hand of the US and they dont have one thing to say about it. Whether this is true or not is up for debate but the fact is that this is the perception among the Iraqis and perceptions are always more important than reality.
The insurgents are fighting for self-determination be it only to annihilate themselves when they get it or perhaps even build something of their own out of the ashes they see it as their decision.
True there are some, quite a lot actually, Iraqis who are rational and pragmatic enough to understand that the best bet for Iraq is go along with the US cause even if they would end up as a protectorate they would still be better off than under yet another dictator. However, when have rationality and pragmatism ever controlled the hearts and minds of humans?
Fri, 19th Nov '04, 10:12pm
Well, look at the polls.
EDIT: Or listen to one arabic speaking Special Forces man in Iraq (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A55407-2004Nov16?language=printer): We are without allies amongst the Iraqi populace, including those who have benefited from the ouster of Saddam (...) Across Baghdad, Latifiyah, Mahmudiyah, Salman Pak, Baqubah, Balad, Taji, Baiji, Ramadi and just about everywhere else you can name, the people absolutely hate us. . . . The Iraqi people have not bought into what the Americans are selling, and no amount of military activity is going to change this fact.I daresay that you're prettying up the picture when limiting the resistance to the sunnis alone. I doubt it. And the hamfisted US approach to Fallujah for example is guaranteeing that the insurgency will grow. You don't win guerrilla wars with massive repression, unless you want to go Saddam-style and replay Halabja.
There may have been no shia suicide bombers, but just open street fightings with Sadr's shia goons, big difference, remember Najaf? The rest of the Shiites, has just put Sadr on the leash for a while, and is watching and waiting, but don't take for granted that goes on eternally - as soon as they feel the US will try to rip them off they'll be up in arms.
The Kurds are nice to the US because atm they benefit from them most, and have so in the past - but they want their thing and don't fighht there for some 30 years now because they like the US.
Truly, the sunnis have lost most and have to lose most - if the Shias get the upper hand they're about lose most of the influence they traditionally held.
So atm the US are just fighting Shias and Sunnis. Bad enough - and as for the kurds in the north, keep in mind that they make up just some 15- 20 % of the total population. And don't think the shias aren't Iraqi patriots too - the Shiites provided the bulk of Iraqs army in their war against theocratic shiite Iran - and to Khomeini's big surprise they didn't turn coats even though they had the chance.
I find it shortsighted to believe that Iraqi nationalism is something that might only motivate the sunnis.
And just look at all the regulations the CPA has imposed on the interim gvt and you wonder how much independent authority they have. How long I wonder would the US tolerate an Iraqi leader who demandes them to leave - after investing some 100+ billion dollar in occupying Iraq in first place? I just can't imagine them not being pissed off and trying to keep their foot in the door.
[ November 20, 2004, 03:40: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
Sat, 20th Nov '04, 6:44am
@Caleb: I disagree with your statemet re bush, but one YEAR?! That's quite a while. Anyway, would you sit in the hospital while your friends, who you trained with, fought outside?
Sun, 21st Nov '04, 12:42am
about the geneva convention. it's NOT taught to US military enlisted forces. in fact it's advised that we don't even read it. this way there are no moral problems such as stated above about killing supposedly unarmed combatants.
most likely the marine won't get in any trouble about this. the military will hold a mock courtmartial notify the press that he has been either imprisoned for not following the geneva convention or was dishonorably discharged for same cause. meanwhile he will be stationed at some other place far away from any camera for a few years with just a slap on the wrist.
I know that this seems really **cked up but thats the way the US military tends to do things. Trust me I'm one of them.
Sun, 21st Nov '04, 2:16am
about the geneva convention. it's NOT taught to US military enlisted forces. in fact it's advised that we don't even read it. this way there are no moral problems such as stated above about killing supposedly unarmed combatants.(jaw drops away from mouth)
Mon, 22nd Nov '04, 3:33pm
@Arahar: You may have been sleeping during those lessons, but I wasn't. I received training on the Geneva Convention in boot camp, during officer ascention training, and during warfare training.
Mon, 22nd Nov '04, 3:42pm
Here's what the cameraman (http://www.kevinsites.net) has to say...
Tue, 23rd Nov '04, 12:16am
Thanks for posting that Bion, you beat me to it.
"The fact that this marine was afraid to confirm that the guerilla was incapicated and prefered to be safe than sorry, as Pac Man put it, is understandable but is still a war crime acording to the conventions and the protocols."
If he was afraid to CONFIRM that the guerilla was incapocated, doesn't that mean that he WASN'T incapocated? It seems to me that the soldier was afraid of him b/c cause he yelld out to the other marines in the room that he was "faking being dead". He wouldn't have been afraid if he thought that the man was truely incapaciated. When guerilla's, or even soldiers on an opposing military are willing to fight to the death, and are willing to employ suicide tactics to achieve enemy casualties, then it's a whole new ballgame. One only needs to look at WWII, and the combat in the Pacific theater against the japanese to see similar situations such as this one. It was quite common for allied troops to shoot seemingly dead or wounded japanese soldiers to prevent them from setting off explosive devices. It seems to me that the convention was written without situations such as these in mind.
"The "but there were booby trapped bodies" part is equally unconvincing - the normal solution, so was I taught in the army, is then to pull out the probably mined body from distance and under cover with a rope - no need to shoot him preventively."
Oh really? How exactly in a combat situation are you supposed to find out if probably mined body doesn't have a living person in control of the explosive device? Especially when he is "fakeing being dead" when you and 5 of your fellow soldiers are in the "kill zone" of a possible explosive device.
Tue, 23rd Nov '04, 9:17am
If the marine was afraid to confirm that the insurgent was dead does this mean that he wasn't dead? The fact, that the marine was afraid and felt threatened, doesn't mean that the guerilla wasn't incapicated, it only shows the fear of the marine. I have said this before and I will repeat it, probably I would have done the same thing if I was in the place of this marine but this doesn't change the fact that an unarmed wounded man was executed and this according to the conventions and the protocols is a war crime, a grave breach if you want to use the terminology of the conventions.
As you wrote suicide attacks of this kind (body traps, faking dead etc) were common in ww2 in both pacific and european front. The conventions were written after the end of the war, so I think it is obvious that the authors had situations like this in their minds.
Tue, 23rd Nov '04, 1:40pm
where are you from?? also you said during *Officer Ascention Training and Warfare Training* I never received those(US Navy) and my friends in the Army and Marines haven't either but we're enlisted not Officers. So this makes me wonder if you're part of the evil half(officer) of the military?? :)
Tue, 23rd Nov '04, 6:02pm
@ Arahar: Covered your specific question in a private message.
The Geneva Convention training in boot camp was done using drawings showing acceptable targets and unacceptable targets. It was mostly common sense stuff -- don't shoot the medic, don't bomb the hospital, "no women, no kids" type of stuff. We certainly did not have the articles set before us and was not very memorable (which is sad).
It was covered more in depth when you were in a job where you could actually engage an enemy.
Tue, 23rd Nov '04, 7:57pm
I didn't say afraid to confirm he was dead...i said to confirm that he was incapacated. He DID confirm that he was dead...by shooting him. Like I said...if he was afraid or more imporntantly felt threatened by him then he obviously, in the marine in question's mind, not incapaciated.
IIRC the conventions were written before WWII and ammended after the war, but I could be wrong here, no time to look it up right now.
The problem is that I don't see how you can infer that this was a clear cut violation. It's not like the guy was in a POW camp and had been searched throughly and confrimed to be disarmed/incapaciatated, and then executed. I don't feel like this is a clear cut violation.
Tue, 23rd Nov '04, 8:27pm
The first convention was signed in 1864 and the most recent in 1977. The ones I am refering to are the conventions of 1949 and 1977. Also, I think that the following paragraph (Part III, Article 37, paragraph 1) proves that the authors had situations like the one in Fallujah in their mind when they were writing the conventions:
1. It is prohibited to kill, injure or capture an adversary by resort to perfidy. Acts inviting the confidence of an adversary to lead him to believe that he is entitled to, or is obliged to accord, protection under the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, with intent to betray that confidence, shall constitute perfidy. The following acts are examples of perfidy: (a) the feigning of an intent to negotiate under a flag of truce or of a surrender; (b) the feigning of an incapacitation by wounds or sickness; (c) the feigning of civilian, non-combatant status; and (d) the feigning of protected status by the use of signs, emblems or uniforms of the United Nations or of neutral or other States not Parties to the conflict.
I consider what happened a clear violation because according to the conventions the guerilla was considered hors de combat (see one of my posts in the first page of this thread) and therefore he was under the protection of the conventions.
I didn't say that you said dead, I was just trying to show that the fear of the marine cannot prove the condition of the insurgent. Perhaps it would be more clear if I had written "If the insurgent was dead and the marine was afraid to confirm that he was dead, does this mean that the insurgent cannot be considered dead". (I hope that this makes some sense in english)
Tue, 23rd Nov '04, 10:17pm
It is a question of being hors de combat. If the marine felt that the enemy was using perfidy (feiging death of incapacitation) then he was well within his rights. Remember that the burden of proof in a combat situation such as this is on the shoulders of the enemy combatant, not the marine.
I did read your earlier post, but do not agree that the gurella could be clearly considered to be hors de combat.
some other interesting obsevations from the convention:
"In order for the distinction between combatants and civilians to be clear, combatants must wear uniforms and carry their weapons openly during military operations and during preparation for them.
The exceptions are medical and religious personnel, who are considered non-combatants even though they may wear uniforms. Medical personnel may also carry small arms to use in self-defense if illegally attacked.
The other exception are mercenaries, who are specifically excluded from protections. Mercenaries are defined as soldiers who are not nationals of any of the parties to the conflict and are paid more than the local soldiers.
Combatants who deliberately violate the rules about maintaining a clear separation between combatant and noncombatant groups — and thus endanger the civilian population — are no longer protected by the Geneva Convention."
It can, and will be, argued that the fighters in Iraq are not even entitled to protection under the convention. Specificially not wearing uniforms, and being "foreign fighters/Mercenaries".
And furthermore, when engaged in combat where the enemy is openly known to use suicide tactics, and openly known to violate the convention, such as the case in Iraq, then they are not even entitled to protection.
Tue, 23rd Nov '04, 11:15pm
If the marine felt that the enemy was using perfidy (feiging death of incapacitation) then he was well within his rights. It's still a violation, since the judgement of the marine was wrong but you can give him the benefit of non-intention (not sure if this the correct term in english), which means that he didn't have the intention to execute the insurgent.
Remember that the burden of proof in a combat situation such as this is on the shoulders of the enemy combatant, not the marine.
I cannot see how a wounded man, who can barely move, will prove that he is incapicated.
As far as the uniform is concerned, the minimum requirement is to carry their arms openly and not to wear a uniform. Also, the conventions state clearly that if a combatant fails to meet all the requirements of the combatant status, he is still under the protection of the conventions (Article 44, paragraph 4).
As for the merceneries I think that your interpretation is wrong. The conventions state that a mercenery is not considered a combatant and that he isn't entitled to the POW status. This doesn't mean that it is legal to execute merceneries, it means that if a mercenary gets caught, he will face the penal law.
Combatants who deliberately violate the rules about maintaining a clear separation between combatant and noncombatant groups — and thus endanger the civilian population — are no longer protected by the Geneva Convention." Could you please tell me where is this one in the conventions, because I can't locate it. On the contrary what I have found is this (Article 44, paragraph 2):
2. While all combatants are obliged to comply with the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, violations of these rules shall not deprive a combatant of his right to be a combatant or, if he falls into the power of an adverse Party, of his right to be a prisoner of war, except as provided in paragraphs 3 and 4
[ November 23, 2004, 23:37: Message edited by: BOC ]
Wed, 24th Nov '04, 1:49am
First off I got the information from this web page:
"It's still a violation, since the judgment of the marine was wrong but you can give him the benefit of non-intention (not sure if this the correct term in english), which means that he didn't have the intention to execute the insurgent."
So his judgment was wrong. So what you are saying here is that if the marine had shot the man, and he did have a bomb on him it would have been justified?
If an enemy force is using suicide tactics, including but not limited to feigning being wounded then detonating themselves, then they are in violation of the agreement. As such they are not provided the full protections of the agreement. Now don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean that the US shouldn't play by the rules, far from it. What it does mean is that when one side decided on tactics that are in violation of the convention, the other side must enact tactics to protect themselves.
"I cannot see how a wounded man, who can barely move, will prove that he is incapacitated."
He can't. But that doesn't matter when you are fighting in a force that openly uses suicide tactics.
Here is something else interesting:
"The 1977 Protocols extend the definition of combatant to include any fighters who carry arms openly during preparation for an attack and during the attack itself, [Protocol I, Art. 44, Sec. 3) but these Protocols aren't as widely accepted as the four 1949 conventions."
The information you are referencing comes from the 1977 protocols(I). Interesting stuff. BUT, neither the US nor Iraq ratified the 1977 protocols and are not bound by them.
Wed, 24th Nov '04, 5:20am
In war you must choose a side. Choose a lie. In my opinion the footage is an abhorent act of treachery and stupidity on the the reporter's part, and an understandible mistake on the soldier's part.Can't agree with that. To report a crime is never treachery. To commit a crime is never understandable, even if you think it's a lesser crime than the one you are actually committing.
If the bit about advising the troops NOT to read Geneva Convention so that they wouldn't have qualms obeying orders, now that merits a court martial. Preferably international one and public, transmitted on the TV. Heinous crime, if you ask me.
And I must agree that it's abhorrent that no one above the rank of sergeant gets any real punishment.
Edit: Also, the state of war doesn't make you morally obligated to buy the lies of your government or military command. Don't know how it works for everyone, but my loyalty goes to the truth before the government.
[ November 24, 2004, 05:48: Message edited by: chevalier ]
Wed, 24th Nov '04, 9:11am
Don't know how it works for everyone, but my loyalty goes to the truth before the government. I would like to think this goes for most people. Its scary to think otherwise.
Wed, 24th Nov '04, 12:21pm
In war you must choose a side. Choose a lie. In my opinion the footage is an abhorent act of treachery and stupidity on the the reporter's part, and an understandible mistake on the soldier's part.What a bull Black Beard. I'm with Chev on this one. Truth is what counts. When your side commits atrocities they are pigs, and when siding with pigs you go to smell like a pig yourself sooner or later.
Just think about this israeli officer who emptied a magazine into this 10 year old palestinian girl (http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=586044) because it ran into his checkpoint-zone without permittance - was reporting that murder treason?
Without a whistleblower it would have never come out and a murderer would have been free and unpunished. Just think about the palestinian point of view - an Israeli murders a little girl in cold blood and doesn't get punished - if you still needed a reason to blow up Israelis, how about that one? Israel HAS to punish him to keep face. If it doesn't it blesses his deed.
Or a fictious case: How about a German officer reporting on atrocities committed by Germans in WW-II - what may have caused an outcry that could have stopped them? Would he have have committed treason to his government? Would he have been a traitor?
If you say "Yes, traitors!" to both questions, you need your ethics re-adjusted.
In a conflict truth normally is sacrificed first on the altar of partisan politics. Nevertheless, it doesn't mean this is right. That some people steal or murder doesn't justify both crimes either.
If the US want to be as morally superior as they claim or feel to be they have to stick to the rules, even at risk of putting themselves into disadvantage. Who gives a **** about what Iraqis do - the only thing that counts is what the US does. Don't forget the US chose to invade Iraq, they have to live with the painful consequences.
The Brits are putting themselves on disadvantage in Northern Ireland every day, relatively more successful as their US cousins in Fallujah.
Whoever reports such incidents in fact helps the US, insofar as it may force the boneheaded "we have to bomb them back into the stoneage to break their fighting will" fraction to rethink. I do not at all care wether a change in US tactics is forced upon them by bad press or by recognising that brute force will fail, though I would prefer the latter.
Even neocon warmongers have now, after some painful pondering recognised the possibility that the violence against US troops in Iraq first of all is a consequence of them being there, uninvited, and think loud about the unthinkable: Hawks push deep cuts in forces in Iraq (http://www.boston.com/news/world/articles/2004/11/22/hawks_push_deep_cuts_in_forces_in_iraq?mode=PF).
That much for the stupid "we're bringing the war to the terrorists" thesis right-wing partisans like to utter. When the Iraqi insurgency is US induced, the US aren't fighting the war on terror there, but nothing but a mess of their own making.
[ November 29, 2004, 10:00: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
Wed, 24th Nov '04, 12:49pm
The Brits are putting themselves on disadvantage in Northern Ireland every day, relatively more successful as their US cousins in Fallujah.
Well the British forces are not at such a risk anymore and the reason is simple - both sides started treating each other with respect i.e. talks not force. If the British were going to bomb Belfast and Londonderry the trouble would be worse than it was in the 70's and 80's. Of course things are not perfect but at least we can go to shopping malls without fear bombs and shootings. The Americans should read about NI history and politics instead of running in 'all guns blazing' It did not work here and it will definately work in Iraq. For an army to combat terrorism they should not act like terrorists themselves!
Wed, 24th Nov '04, 2:55pm
What I meant with putting themselves at a disadvantage is that they, in retaliation for terrorist attacks, didn't resort to use their doubtless superior firepower of air force and army to retaliate.
Point is: There isn't a military solution for every problem - which doesn't mean there is no solution.
Wed, 24th Nov '04, 3:01pm
hahahha Yes there have been no 'surgical' strikes on Belfast Catholic churches or hospitals.
Wed, 24th Nov '04, 3:27pm
The problem is that you cannot prove yourself against someone who is much weaker than yourself. The US in Iraq are in a lose-lose situation. In Iraq the US try to impress the rest of the world, the arab world especially, by killing peasants and rag-tag militias armed with AK-47s and RPGs by using their vast technical and military superiority.
And moronic rightwing pundits get boners over kill-ratios, space-age weapons and how great US snipers are and brag that the US kill about ten times as many insurgents than they kill Americans. Boo-Yah.
Except that it's irrelevant. What they don't get is that it is always a question of the relationship of forces.
If you are strong and fighting the weak, then if you kill your opponent then you are a bastard ... if you let him kill you, then you are an idiot. It's a dilemma for which there is simply no escape. A grownup beating down a kid unavidably is seen as a bully and will be resented. It is perception and perception alone what counts.
Had the brits resorted to massive force as the US did on Falluja, Najaf and Sadr City they would have probably lost Northern Ireland.
Wed, 24th Nov '04, 3:37pm
Its just like at highschool. If you get bullied everyone laughes at you and calls you 'weak'. If you strike back at the bullies they get their friends involved. In the case of Iraq some of the insurgents can be in the place of the 'bullied' and some of the marines can be the 'bullies'.
Regarding Ragusa - the British did come hard on the Ira (70's to mid 80's) but they discriminated against catholics (i.e. treated catholics as potential IRA recruits) this met with harsh consequences. Of course this is to a much smaller extent to what the americans are doing to the Iraqis.
People can learn a lot from history.
Wed, 24th Nov '04, 11:28pm
You are right. I thought that USA had ratified the protocols but after your post I did a little research and I found that USA and Israel are the only countries of the western world which haven't ratified the protocols and therefore they are not bound by them.
Although in the conventions of 1949, which are ratified by US, the following is stated:
Art. 13. The present Convention shall apply to the wounded and sick belonging to the following categories:...(6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy, spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war. The iraqi could fit in this category considering the chaos in Iraq today but ofcourse this is something open to any interpretation. If we accept that he didn't fit in this category, what happens is that he was not considered a combatant but he was still under the protection of the conventions and like the mercenaries he was subject to penal laws.
So his judgment was wrong. So what you are saying here is that if the marine had shot the man, and he did have a bomb on him it would have been justified? What I'm saying is that what matters is the result, and this man died just because the marine was afraid to confirm that he was incapicated and because the marine considered man's breath as a sign of hostile action.
First off I got the information from this web page:
Weird, I use the same source but I still haven't managed to locate this paragraph.
If an enemy force is using suicide tactics, including but not limited to feigning being wounded then detonating themselves, then they are in violation of the agreement. As such they are not provided the full protections of the agreement. The problem with this logic is that it is something like a collective punishment IMO. Simply you can't say that every insurgent will detonate himself because a number of insurgents did it before. Its case must be judged seperately.
Thu, 25th Nov '04, 7:22am
I thought that USA had ratified the protocols but after your post I did a little research and I found that USA and Israel are the only countries of the western world which haven't ratified the protocols and therefore they are not bound by them.Amazing enough. The US likes the edge human rights and other rules of law give them over their opponents - just look at all their lambasting about Saddam's atrocities (and the stunning silence about the practices happening in Jordan or Egypt or Morocco when they interrogate prisoners the US sent there to be interrogated) while being quite relucant to expose themselves to it.
I dislike this selective outrage.
Bleh ... but this is getting .... :coffee: :yot:
Thu, 25th Nov '04, 12:39pm
I don't mind discussions of international law, conventions, and such, as long as it relates to the specific indicent cited in the original post.
Discussions of that law, ad nauseum and in and of itself, is probably better for another thread.