U.S.Crusade | RaceandHistory | RastaTimes | HowComYouCom | News Links | Trini Soca | Africa Speaks
Trinicenter.com Trinicenter.com Trinidad and Tobago News
Online Forums
Create an AccountHome | Account | World News  

International Watch
  • Home
  • AvantGo
  • Feedback
  • Search
  • Stories Archive
  • Submit News

  • Categories
  • Africa Focus
  • Arab Spring
  • Audio & Video
  • Book Review
  • Caribbean
  • Inside U.S.A.
  • Invasion of Iraq
  • Israel-Palestine
  • Latin America
  • Medical
  • Pakistan
  • Pandora's Box
  • Racism Watch
  • Satire
  • US War on Iran
  • US War on N Korea
  • War and Terror
  • War on Russia
  • War on Syria
  • World Focus
  • Zimbabwe

  • Old Articles
    Friday, February 08
    Wednesday, February 06
    Tuesday, February 05
    · Savage Capitalism or Socialism: A Conversation with Luis Britto Garcia
    Sunday, February 03
    · Canada vs. Venezuela: The Background Gets Even Murkier
    Thursday, January 31
    Monday, January 28
    · The History - and Hypocrisy - of US Meddling in Venezuela
    · Canada Is Complicit in Venezuela's US-Backed Coup D'état
    Wednesday, September 26
    · Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
    Friday, September 21
    · US Disregard for International Law Is a Menace to Latin America
    Saturday, August 25
    · How Long is the Shelf-Life of Damnable Racist Capitalist Lies?
    Thursday, August 09
    · Martial Law By Other Means: Corporate Strangulation of Dissent
    Wednesday, August 08
    · North Korea and The Washington Trap
    · Venezuela Assassination Attempt: Maduro Survives but Journalism Doesn't
    Sunday, May 20
    · The British Royal Wedding, Feelgoodism and the Colonial Jumbie
    Friday, May 04
    Monday, April 09
    · The Bayer-Monsanto Merger Is Bad News for the Planet
    Tuesday, March 20
    · Finally, Some Good News
    Thursday, March 15
    · Zimbabwe Open for Business, Code for International Finance Capitalism
    Friday, January 12
    · Shadow Armies: The Unseen, But Real US War In Africa
    Wednesday, December 13
    · The U.S. is Not a Democracy, It Never Was

    Older Articles


    Sudan''s Crisis

    Zimbabwe: Land Reform and Mugabe

    U.S Coup in Haiti

    Venezuela and Chavez

    Invasion of Iraq: The Americans are sowing dragons' teeth in Iraq
    Posted on Wednesday, November 17 @ 23:55:40 UTC
    Topic: Torture
    TortureBy Chris Bellamy, Independent UK

    For every Iraqi killed, there are sisters, brothers, wives, parents and children now committed to a blood feud

    A frightened, tired and shell-shocked young US Marine, concerned that a wounded Iraqi left behind in a mosque might be lying on a compression mine, clutching a hand grenade or concealing a pistol, makes a split-second decision and allegedly shoots him in the head. The Marines have lost many people to insurgents feigning death or surrender in this way.

    The legal basis for the Fallujah operation, and thus the case against the soldier involved, is far from clear. What is happening in Iraq is unlikely to be international armed conflict (although that is how the war started 20 months ago). But it could be classed as internal armed conflict, and therefore still subject to the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Those conventions say that a combatant who has surrendered or is rendered hors de combat by sickness, wounds or any other cause must be treated humanely and is protected, in particular, against "murder of all kinds". If that is the case, whatever the mitigating circumstances, the Marine could be tried for a war crime.

    Alternatively, defeating the "insurgency" is now a matter for internal Iraqi law. The US forces are a form of military aid to the civil power - just like the British Army in Northern Ireland. The latter were always subject to civilian law. Therefore, the Marine's action ought to be dealt with under the Iraqi criminal code. In that case, most lawyers would agree there is a prima facie case of murder. If the investigation finds the soldier thought the dead man was about to detonate a grenade, that would be mitigation - but not defence.

    The coalition cannot have it both ways. Either this is an armed conflict, in which case the 1949 Geneva Conventions apply, or else they are giving aid to the provisional Iraqi government, in which case they must be subject to its laws. It seems they want neither.

    But this incident has also focused attention on wider questions about the strategy adopted in Iraq, and globally. The "pre-emptive" tactic adopted by the young Marine mirrors the strategy of America itself, close to the heart of Condoleezza Rice: a strategy of pre-emption - to strike first to pre-empt an imminent threat. That idea has a respectable pedigree in international law. But it has become confused by the more forward strategy of prevention - to prevent a threat from materialising (something much more dodgy in international law). Although the present conflict, which began with the invasion of Iraq, is often called "pre-emptive", preventive seems more accurate.

    In terms of strategy, the current military buzz-word is "effects-based operations": operations to achieve a desired end by co-ordinated attacks not only on the target's people and weapons, but on his will to fight. What political effect has the campaign to quell the "insurgency" - perhaps more accurately described as resistance - had? In Fallujah, in the past few days, for the loss of 38 troops, the US claims to have killed 1,200 "insurgents". Even though a quarter of a million civilians may have fled the city, it is unlikely that all the dead are insurgents, and foreign fighters appear to be relatively few in number. Comparisons with Vietnam War "body counts" are inevitable.

    But this approach could be counter-productive. For every Iraqi killed, either in Fallujah or overall, there are five, maybe 10, maybe 20 sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, parents, children. For every dead Iraqi there may be 20 people who are now committed to a blood feud. We have to ask whether this is achieving the aim, which is to conduct free and fair elections in January and, in the longer term, to establish a stable and secure democracy.

    For all the hype about "effects-based operations" the US approach appears to be thoroughly attritional. The US command appears to believe that the supply of suicidal Baathists, jihadists and foreign Islamist fighters, and Iraqi nationalists who just resent foreign occupation, will eventually be ground down to zero. By effectively eliminating the insurgents, according to one retired US general, the "fellow travellers" can be made to see the handwriting on the wall. It seems they have not seen it yet. With Fallujah largely subdued, US forces, with limited Iraqi government help, have moved to Mosul and Baquba.

    Meanwhile the British forces, mainly deployed in the south of the country, have striven to avoid sowing seeds of longer-term discord. They have been defending themselves quite effectively, but ceasing fire the moment the attackers withdraw, rather than exploiting opportunities to inflict more casualties. Inevitably, this "softer" approach, with the ultimate objective in mind, invites criticism, and is alien to the US forces for whom "force protection" is paramount. But across the country, in Fallujah, and now in Mosul and Baquba, the US forces may have sown dragons' teeth. In Greek mythology, dragons' teeth, once planted, grow into fully-armed warriors. We must avoid doing that any more in Iraq.

    The writer is professor of military science and doctrine at Cranfield University and heads its global security programme.

    Reprinted from:

    Related Links
    · More about Torture
    · News by ZeberuS

    Most read story about Torture:
    Torture Under the Philosophical Guidance of Cheney

    Article Rating
    Average Score: 0
    Votes: 0

    Please take a second and vote for this article:

    Very Good


     Printer Friendly Printer Friendly

    Homepage | Trinidad News | Africa Speaks | U.S.Crusade | Fair Use Notice

    Copyright © 2002-2014 Trinicenter.com
    Trinicenter.com is a 100% non-profit Website
    You can syndicate our news using the file backend.php or ultramode.txt
    All logos, trademarks, articles and comments are property of their respective owners.
    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2004 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL.
    PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.15 Seconds