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  • Our Enemies Use Our Own Adherence to Law Against Us — But We Knew That

    Posted by Lexington Green on July 14th, 2009 (All posts by )

    Do these Islamist fighting groups ignore the international laws of armed conflict? They do not. It would be a grave mistake to conclude that they do. Instead, they study it carefully and they understand it well.
     
    They know that a British or Israeli commander and his men are bound by international law and the rules of engagement that flow from it. They then do their utmost to exploit what they view as one of their enemy’s main weaknesses.
     
    Their very modus operandi is built on the, correct, assumption that Western armies will normally abide by the rules.
     
    It is not simply that these insurgents do not adhere to the laws of war. It is that they employ a deliberate policy of operating consistently outside international law. Their entire operational doctrine is founded on this basis.

    Colonel Richard Kemp CBE, Hamas, the Gaza War and Accountability Under International Law, Address to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 18 June 2009.

    Excellent article: RTWT.

     

    8 Responses to “Our Enemies Use Our Own Adherence to Law Against Us — But We Knew That”

    1. Brett_McS Says:

      Abiding by the rules of war wouldn’t normally be an issue … as long as those who do not are suitably punished. Instead we are going to treat them as if they were Erwin Rommel in a turban.

    2. TMLutas Says:

      We do not abide by the rules of war. The rules of war include punishment for sides that do not abide by them. We have specific treaty commitments to do that.

      We do not do honor those treaty commitments and this is our madness. If police, obeying the law in their own conduct, would not bestir themselves to prosecute certain criminals, we would not be proud of them but rather angry at them and rightfully so.

      Within two weeks of our invasion of Iraq, our troops were overrun and surrendered, at least our judicial troops. Our putative allies who had the same obligations as we to enforce the Geneva conventions did nothing to help and they could have. Even 5 year sentences in 2004 for fighting out of uniform, served in EU prison camps as gentle and humane as you please, would have made a huge difference in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict. It didn’t happen. Our allies were not interested in enforcing those sections. Instead we have tales of catch and release over and over again and the civilians bled, a great deal more than they had to.

    3. Lexington Green Says:

      Interestng angle, Breet and TML. Send Col. Kemp an email!

    4. Mickey Says:

      This is exactly correct and the same applies to a common criminal on our streets versus the police. While the police have to play by the rules and follow a checklist, the criminal is not bound by such constraints.
      We can also apply this to gun control, any contol of guns will only be on the law-abiding citizens and the bad element will certainly be emboldened by this becasue they will not have theirs controlled.

    5. TMLutas Says:

      Lexington Green – If I had is email address I would send him one. If you have it, please share.

      Mickey – The problem is that the police (in this case our judicial forces) do not prosecute violations of the laws of war because we simply do not have the personnel to do it at present force levels and that has been clear since at latest 2004. Instead of calling on our allies to supply judicial troops to prosecute dead simple cases (POW captured fighting out of uniform, etc) or drastically enlarging JAG corps to an appropriate size we simply ignore these laws of war when we catch the enemy violating them and thus undermine the laws of war ourselves. These are going to have to be reestablished with blood, some of it ours.

      The consequence of ignoring small disrespect for the laws is larger and larger ones being perpetrated until, in disgust, we appoint a JAG corps head that acts like Mayor Giuliani did when he broke the murder rate down from over 2000 per year to about 700 during his mayoral terms in NYC.

    6. Lexington Green Says:

      TML, I suggest contacting the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and asking them to forward a message. That will probably work.

    7. milopoe Says:

      This is exactly correct and the same applies to a common criminal on our streets versus the police. While the police have to play by the rules and follow a checklist, the criminal is not bound by such constraints.
      We can also apply this to gun control, any contol of guns will only be on the law-abiding citizens and the bad element will certainly be emboldened by this becasue they will not have theirs controlled.

      [Spam links deleted by Jonathan.]

    8. bt Says:

      Oh, the title made me think of the administration and alinsky…

      I see. Islamists. My mistake.