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Cry Me A Riverbend II

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Hammorabi Reports:

At least 18 bodies have been found in Al Latyifyiah (South Baghdad) in an abandoned area. The decomposed bodies belong to the National Iraqi Guards and some of them are still in their uniform. Some were without heads and others killed by shooting.

Note: we know these ING were taken prisoner and executed afterward. One should remember the enemy that the Coalition, ING, and IP are fighting.

He also reports that Zarqawi has declared Sistanti to be the "leader of the Infidels and atheist". Perhaps this will encourage Sistani to finally choose between Allawi's version of Iraq's future or the militants.

Hammorabi's take on the killing of the wounded Iraqi is pragmatic and moral: "that person may have been a good source for more information and above all it is against the Geneva Convention."

I agree that a captive can be more useful than a corpse, but I'm not convinced yet that it was a violation of the Geneva Convention. Attacking a mosque, church, or synagogue is a war crime unless the enemy starts using them as forts or weapons depots. Shooting at ambulances is a war crime unless the enemy starts using them for military purposes. White flags are symbols of surrender and soldiers cannot shoot at someone waving it, unless the enemy has used white flags to arrange ambushes ans suicide bombings. In all these cases it is the enemy that is committing a war crime and any deaths occuring from mosques being attacked or ambulances being shot at or surrending combatants being mistakenly killed is the enemy's fault not the other side's. The neo-Bathists and Islamists have apparently done all these things.

My point (and I do have one) is that in a battle where the enemy is booby-trapping the wounded and dead; where suicide bombers are pretending to be wounded or dead, I'm not convinced that shooting a wounded combatant is a war crime. It strikes me that the fault lies in the bad judgement of the wounded combantant. He should not have joined a side that fights in a way that makes wounded combatants a reasonable military target.


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