Sunday, March 23, 2003

War Crime

War Crime

Two Iraqis surrender to a British soldier in southern Iraq.

Just saw Defense Sec. Rumsfeld on the Tube commenting on the American prisoners that the Iraqis have taken. He was majorly upset that al Jazeera had shown them on TV. "War crime! Violation of the Geneva Convention!" So, by the same standard, the above picture represents a British "war crime". (Or maybe a CNN war crime?)

Did we sign this convention? There seem to be a lot of "Geneva conventions"; some we signed, some we didn't. I remember some kerfluffles during the Vietnam war relating to "illegal" weapons (shotguns, to be precise); excuse was "we didn't sign it, we're not bound by it."

In any case:

  • As "war crimes" go, this one is pretty lightweight. A bunch less serious than, say, the way the Soviets and the Germans treated each other's POWs in WWII.
  • Since when does this administration feel bound by international treaties, conventions, or anything else that might prove inconvenient?
  • Any "war crimes" trials will be held by the US. We will decide what's a "war crime" and what isn't. Nuremberg showed that "war crimes" trials can create entirely new classes of crimes, applied ex post facto to the defeated.
Gives us license to kick around some more Iraqis after the war. Like we need it?

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