23 July 2006

Just what is a 'civilian' in the age of terrorism?

Well, Alan Dershowitz puts forth the idea that we need to expand the vocabulary of the MSM so that a differentiation between 'civilian casualties' can be noted. He does see that there is a *difference* between those that are not affiliated with terrorist organizations and get killed in the course of battle, those that aid and assist terrorists and are likewise killed in the course of battle, and those that dress up LIKE civilians but are terrorists.

Perhaps Mr. Dershowitz has a 'terrorist-o-meter' to determine the level of terrorist affiliation of a corpse? Scan it over the body and you can get a read out:

Sex: Male
Age: 27
Cause of Death: Concussion Blast Trauma and Shrapnel Wounds; Internal Bleeding
Terrorist Affiliation: 10% Hezbollah, 6% PLO, 3% Shi'ite Extremist, 2% Muslim Brotherhood
Culpability for Own Death: 37%
Now wouldn't THAT be a handy-dandy thing to have along? Even better if it worked on LIVING bodies! But, sadly, such is currently not available from the DoD supply warehouses...

Barring that we are left with regulations, and here the US Army, again, serves as a good demonstrator with this document (compliments globalsecurity.org):
266. General

Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs. They shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof and against insults and public curiosity.

Women shall be especially protected against any attack on their honour, in particular against rape, enforced prostitution, or any form of indecent assault.

Without prejudice to the provisions relating to their state of health, age and sex, all protected persons shall be treated with the same consideration by the Party to the conflict in whose power they are, without any adverse distinction based, in particular, on race, religion or political opinion.

However, the Parties to the conflict may take such measures of control and security in regard to protected persons as may be necessary as a result of the war. (GC, art, 27.)

267. Danger Zones
The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations. (GC, art. 28.)

268. Responsibilities
The Party to the conflict in whose hands protected persons may be, is responsible for the treatment accorded to them by its agents, irrespective of any individual responsibility which may be incurred. (GC, art. 29.)

269. Application to Protecting Powers and Relief Organizations
Protected persons shall have every facility for making application to the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Society of the country where they may be, as well as to any organization that might assist them.

These several organizations shall be granted all facilities for that purpose by the authorities, within the bounds set by military or security considerations.

Apart from the visits of the delegates of the Protecting Powers and of the International Committee of the Red Cross, provided for by Article 143, the Detaining or Occupying Powers shall facilitate as much as possible visits to protected persons by the representatives of other organizations whose object is to give spiritual aid or material relief to such persons. (GC, art. 30.)

270. Prohibition of Coercion
a. Treaty Provision.

No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons, in particular to obtain information from them or from third parties. (GC, art. 31.)

b. Guides. Among the forms of coercion prohibited is the impressment of guides from the local inhabitants.

271. Prohibition of Corporal Punishment, Torture, Etc.
The High Contracting Parties specifically agree that each of them is prohibited from taking any measure of such a character as to cause the physical suffering or extermination of protected persons in their hands. This prohibition applies not only to murder, torture, corporal punishment, mutilation and medical or scientific experiments not necessitated by the medical treatment of a protected person, but also to any other measures of brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents. (GC, art. 32.)

272. Individual Responsibility, Collective Penalties, Reprisals, Pillage
No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.

Pillage is prohibited.

Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited. (GC, art. 33.) (See also pars. 47 and 397.)

273. Hostages
The taking of hostages is prohibited. (GC, art. 34.)
Thus we see that Civlians are PROTECTED PERSONS. Yes, those are actual Rules of War that are followed by the US Armed Forces and since the Geneva Convention is mentioned throughout, these are all in accordance with the Conventions that the US has signed on to. We go further, however, and restrict upon other things that other Nations may do. Yes, we are nice EVEN IN WAR! And if one side uses such Protected Persons as shields, then *they* are the ones culpable for damages as they are doing something no civilized Nation will do. Further, Nations may even kill such Protected Persons if used as 'shields' by those who do not follow the Geneva Conventions and are Not a State. That is the 267 provision which does *not* render hospitals, schools and other such things immune from attack if the enemy is using them. And that is UPHOLDING the Geneva Conventions.

If you are a Civilian in a War Zone, may I suggest a White Flag and coming out with your hands up and any jacket open or taken off so that an explosive device may be seen in its absence? Civilians do *not* have protection from military operations and mishaps of same. You stay in a war zone, you are putting your life at risk. If you are disabled, wounded or other such, then do your best to identify yourself to any soldiers. Those following the Geneva Conventions *must help you*.

What do you call those who stay in and around places that terrorists use?

If done so willingly, then the concept of 'collusion' comes to mind.

If held hostage you are a 'victim' and should seek to be saved by Legitimate Armed Forces following the Geneva Conventions.

Who are these dead civilians in and around rocket launching points?

'Fellow travelers'? 'Quislings'? 'Supporters by assent'? 'Willing fools'?

Take your pick... if they have stayed long after seeing the launch rails and additions to the house put on and more rockets put in, the one thing that they are NOT is 'innocent'.

Save those in hospitals or sanitariums and the such co-opted by terrorists. Those are victims OF those terrorists, no matter who or what kills them.

And all of this goes for 'Human Shields', too. Save they are aiding and abetting the enemy and giving comfort to them. I believe the term for that is somewhat a bit more lethal... they are *not* Civilians but willing participants for the enemy. And due the same bullet that any terrorist should duly get.


Mike's America said...

There was a report from the Israeli Defense Forces that civilians in south Lebanon had been prevented from leaving by Hezbollah.

The same report described UN officials being turned away from assisting residents hoping to leave the war zone.

If this is true, it should be front page news. But sadly, I doubt it will be.

Civilian deaths used for enemy propaganda make such dramatic news. Terrorists holding civilians hostage doesn't offer much of a photo op.

A Jacksonian said...

Mike - Actually the holding of civilians as *real* hostages, as opposed to merely putting them in the way of war, got LOTS of photo-ops in the 1980's for various groups to deliver 'demands' and various exhortations and propoganda. The MSM ate that up and delivered it undigested to the public... such handy folks!

But putting civilians in harms way *knowingly* and targeting civilian ships either with intent to harm a single nation or, even worse, indiscriminately as part of training, is a violation of the rules of war via the GC.

I do believe that Lebanon signed up to the GC, way back when before the Civil War days, and that Hezbollah, by claiming leadership of that State are now thoroughly accountable to such things.

They are, as these things have shown in the past, barbarians with no respect to any law save that they give at the end of a barrel. It is time to crack this charade open and widen this war as Persia and Assyria are trying to dictate to mere Arabs that they should shut-up and follow their 'betters'.