July 24, 2003

2 Jerks Are Dead

And everyone is celebrating. I certainly am glad that Qusai and Uday (spelling is random) cannot terrorize Iraqis anymore. But, shouldn't we have put these guys on trial or something? 200 of the worlds best soldiers, and we blasted them out. Two sons of a despot, a teen and one bodyguard for the three of them. I don't know, do you think they might have had some information that could have shortened our presence in Iraq? I know I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Posted by James at July 24, 2003 3:05 PM
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In our perpetually renewed arrogance, we will choose whether to abide by generally accepted conventions of war, as in the Geneva Convention, when is suits us. Here's what Rummy Rumsfeld was probably thinking: "Technically, they weren't POWs, so we can pass their photos around if we want to."

Two articles below to illustrate my point.

From The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,921192,00.html

One rule for them

Five PoWs are mistreated in Iraq and the US cries foul. What about Guantanamo Bay?
by George Monbiot

Tuesday March 25, 2003

Suddenly, the government of the United States has discovered the virtues of international law. It may be waging an illegal war against a sovereign state; it may be seeking to destroy every treaty which impedes its attempts to run the world, but when five of its captured soldiers were paraded in front of the Iraqi television cameras on Sunday, Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, immediately complained that "it is against the Geneva convention to show photographs of prisoners of war in a manner that is humiliating for them".

From The Crimes of War Project.
http://www.crimesofwar.org/special/Iraq/brief-pow.html

The Geneva Convention and Prisoners of War
by Anthony Dworkin
March 24, 2003

A spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, Florian Westphal, told the Crimes of War Project that the ICRC would consider the use of any image “that makes a prisoner of war individually recognisable” to be a violation of Article 13 of the Convention. He pointed out that the condition of being taken prisoner might be considered degrading or humiliating in itself, and that representations of captives could also have an impact on families. He said that the ICRC was appealing to both sides to abide by the provisions of the third Geneva Convention, including Article 13.

Posted by: Patti M. at July 24, 2003 3:22 PM

I agree - no tears for these two - but plenty of tears of frustration for the way we continue to play by our own rules. We are our own worst enemy, for every time we do this we make the situation worse while thnking we're improving it.

The primary problem is this just extends the string of violence. If anything would inspire Hussein to use some of his billions to come after Bush, this will. And believe me, much as I think Bush is a jerk, I want him defeated in an election, NOT killed. The assassination of Bush or any other US official - or for that matter, any serious terrorists attack here - will just bring this country back to where we were on September 12, 2001 - only hotter and meaner.

Posted by: Greg at July 25, 2003 6:37 AM

Hotter and meaner indeed. You're right on the money with that statement.

I wish we would think twice before acting. The phrase "when in a hole, stop digging" comes to mind.

This whole mess is the result of fitting "intelligence" to bolster the desire to wage war (and thereby create a grand distraction from the hideous economy and all that it brings, e.g. unemployment), poor planning (not enough troops on the ground, no rebuilding plans, no involvement with other countries or the UN), and no end point (a la Vietnam).

From today's Scotsman:

Uday and Qusay's bodies shown
by Gethin Chamberlain and Colin Freeman In Qayarah

http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/paperboy.cfm?id=803842003

"Yesterday’s taped warning threatened anyone who collaborated with the US forces with death. 'We want to say to the occupation forces - they said last night that killing Uday and Qusay will diminish attacks - but we want to say to them that their death will increase attacks against them,' the speaker said.

"That message now seems to be sinking in. In Washington yesterday, Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defence, admitted America had made mistakes in the way it handled the occupation of Iraq."

No kidding. Now what?

Posted by: Patti M. at July 25, 2003 9:56 AM

I couldn't agree more with this gentleman's posting to the BBC Online's "Have your say" area, this one entitled "Saddam's sons: What difference do photos make?"

This horrific display takes me back to the days when Somalis dragged America's dead through the streets of Mogadishu. This third-world tradition of parading the dead is beneath us as Americans and I find it shameful that the current administration would stoop to such stupid displays of machismo. Long gone are the days of decorous American behaviour.

Eric Spears, USA

Posted by: Patti M. at July 25, 2003 10:18 AM

You know what they say: The photos make the spectacle.

Why couldn't we do for them what we did for Noriega? What happened to blasting bad music in, laying seige, that sort of thing?

They approached this knowingly.

Posted by: JP at July 25, 2003 11:39 AM

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