Sunday, December 12, 2004

Iraqi Bounties on Coalition Forces

Here's another example of the difficulties being seen by coalition troops in Iraq. This article speaks to Bounties being offered to assassins for targeting soldiers. As low as $50 per head.

Al Jazeera has an article on the bounty fliers that are floating around Falluja.

I can understand why they are doing this. Obviously, they are just doing what the USA is doing with bounties. But, I don't want to hear any whining or preaching when they are captured and held as illegal combatants in this theater of war.
The Geneva Conventions have several definitions that apply.
A mercenary is any person who is specially recruited in order to fight in an armed conflict, who takes a direct part in the hostilities, who is motivated by money and is promised substantially higher pay than that paid to other combatants of similar rank, who is not a national of one of the countries involved in the conflict nor a resident of a territory controlled by any of the parties, is not a member of the armed forces of any of the parties, and who has not been sent by another country on official duty as a member of its armed forces. (Protocol I, Art. 47)
A mercenary does not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war. (Protocol I, Art. 37)
Guerrillas who follow the rules spelled out in the Geneva Conventions are considered to have combatant status and have some of the same rights as regular members of the armed forces.
In international conflicts, guerrillas must distinguish themselves from the civilian population if they are preparing or engaged in an attack. At a minimum, guerrillas must carry their arms openly. (Protocol I, Art. 44, Sec. 3)
Under the earlier Geneva Conventions, which are more widely recognized, a guerrilla army must have a well-defined chain of command, be clearly distinguishable from the civilian population, carry arms openly and observe the laws of war. (Convention III, Art. 4, Sec. 2)
In the case of an internal conflict, combatants must show humane treatment to civilians and enemies who have been wounded or who have surrendered. Murder, hostage-taking and extrajudicial executions are all forbidden. (Convention I, Art. 3)
I'm pretty tired of the international community whining about how the US treats these prisoners. These people have placed themselves in harms way, and their treatment, in general, is far from inhumane.
I approve of what has been found in the US courts pushing the administration to get into the proper legal paths that are allowed by the Constitution and present law. We also must ensure that all US personnel, at all levels, should be held responsible for actions that go beyond what is legal in military and international law.

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