10 June 2006

Suicide is painless, it brings on many changes

Looks like three "enemy combatants" killed themselves at GitMo. To the average observer, this might look like a suicide pact, with the victims clearly setting themselves up as martyrs to their cause. To the USN, it's an act of war.

Rear Adm Harris said he did not believe the men had killed themselves out of despair.

"They are smart. They are creative, they are committed," he said, quoted by Reuters.

"They have no regard for life, either ours or their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us."
I don't support the behaviors of fundamentalists in any of their flavors, but it's inane to call this asymmetrical warfare. Then again, it's inane to maintain an extra-legal prison camp in contravention of the Geneva Accords.


Brian B. said...

Correct me if I'm wrong (often am), but the Geneva Convention only covers uniformed soldiers, which the, uh, "detainees" are not.
Personally, I believe they should be labeled spys and just shot. No stinkin' lawyers, etc.
BTW, I'm a former coworker from the East, congrats on the car.

R.A. Porter said...

Well, for the "enemy combatants" rounded up in Afghanistan, the relevant passage in the Genevea Conventions would be Article 4, Section A, para 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."

For any Iraqis picked up, Article 4, Section B, para 1 would be most on point:

"Persons belonging, or having belonged, to the armed forces of the occupied country, if the occupying Power considers it necessary by reason of such allegiance to intern them, even though it has originally liberated them while hostilities were going on outside the territory it occupies, in particular where such persons have made an unsuccessful attempt to rejoin the armed forces to which they belong and which are engaged in combat, or where they fail to comply with a summons made to them with a view to internment."

You're probably right about, for example, those "enemy combatants" rounded up in Pakistan. In that case, we're looking at straight up kidnapping of the citizens of a sovereign nation. When that happens to us, we send in Marines or we send too few choppers. So yah, some of those aren't enemy combatants so much as kidnap victims.

Nice to hear from you Brian. Thanks on the car...it's a blast!