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Re: Rule breaking aerocontrols - 30/01/2003 06:59:12 AM

An example of the US breaking the rules

Is this an example of what he was talking about, do you think? The global hegemon in action?

Also, isn't it a bit harsh to invade another country, eg Afghanistan, and when people resist this attack, eg the Taliban, then to declare anyone you capture illegal combatants because they didn't have uniform? If the US was invaded and you had a gun to hand and took a pop shot at one of the invaders would you think it was fair to be treated in the same way, after all they didn't really have a chance to get uniforms first.

This issue came up in WWII, so now we have Article IV:

A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present
Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

(1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces

(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, incuding those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:

(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;

(c) that of carrying arms openly;

(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.


...

(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.


http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/4e473c7bc8854f2ec12563f60039c738/2f681b08868538c2c12563cd0051aa8d?OpenDocument

There is also a Geneva Convention on guerilla forces, which might have offered the Taliban (but not Al Qaeda) more protections, but Afghanistan is not a signatory to that Convention.

It's quite possible that, by simply 'picking up a weapon and fighting back against invading force' I would become an illegal combatant. The law is written to protect civilians. If I don't distinguish myself from other civilians, then I leave the occupying force no option but to suspect everyone, which could lead to the deaths of innocents. That's why it's required that legal combattants wear ID and carry arms openly (not try to hide among the populace) I don't know what 'fair' is supposed to mean, but I do know what the law says.


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