Time to Oppose Our Troops' Actions
At what point will we have to admit that in order to fully oppose the Iraq war, we have to also oppose our troops' actions?
On Saturday November 6, US forces pounded Fallujah, and razed a civilian hospital. "Witnesses said only a facade remained of a small Emergency Hospital in the centre of the city," reported the BBC News on the day of the bombing. "A nearby medical supplies storeroom and dozens of houses were also damaged as US forces continued preparing the ground for an expected major assault."
The Geneva Conventions are quite clear that the bombing of hospitals constitutes as a war crime:
"Article 18: Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.
"Article 19: The protection to which civilian hospitals are entitled shall not cease unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy. Protection may, however, cease only after due warning has been given, naming, in all appropriate cases, a reasonable time limit and after such warning has remained unheeded. The fact that sick or wounded members of the armed forces are nursed in these hospitals, or the presence of small arms and ammunition taken from such combatants and not yet been handed to the proper service, shall not be considered to be acts harmful to the enemy."
Clearly no warning was put forth by the US military prior to the bombing of this hospital. And now that the troops have hit the ground running, more war crimes have been committed, and in fact captured on film.
Sadly, the images taken by a NBC news crew embedded with US soldiers fighting in Fallujah which show the execution of an unarmed Iraqi prisoner -- is not an isolated incident.
Writing for his blog, ex-Navy Seal, Matthew Heidt, explains the odious rationale for executing an unarmed prisoner of war:
"The shots fired at the 'unarmed' terrorist in that mosque in Fallujah are called 'security rounds.' Its (sic) a safety issue pure and simple. After assaulting through a target, put a security round in everybody's head ... There's no time to dick around in the target, you clear the space, dump the chumps..."
Amnesty International doesn't necessarily buy the rhetoric Heidt and others use when defending the murder of an unarmed prisoner. In a statement released after the televised event, the group said they were, "deeply concerned that the rules of war protecting civilians and combatants have been violated in the current fighting between US and Iraqi forces and insurgents" in Fallujah.
The Geneva Conventions also spell it out quite clearly in the document's opening paragraph:
"Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat (out of combat) by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely," it says.
"The following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
-- 'Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture
-- 'The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples."
And it adds that "the wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for."
So again, how can one oppose war but support our troops' war crimes? Wanting our troops to come home at once is one thing. But failing to oppose the atrocities they are carrying out on behalf of the US government is another.
Joshua Frank is the author of the forthcoming book, Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, to be published by Common Courage Press.
Topics: Conflicts And War, Fallujah, Geneva Conventions, Iraq, War
Ground yourself in reality, marines don't treat wounded. And, the hollywood crap you are writing is just that, crap. Believe your sick manifestations about how things happen there. True Islam does not insight anger with fabricated stories. Reporters spend most of their time with their heads in the sand trying not to get shot by the very guys in question. Whatever!
May they be punished in this life and the hereafter.
"After assaulting through a target, put a security round in everybody's head. There's no time to dick around in the target, you clear the space, dump the chumps..."
Thats a 'great' American soldier's words. And then they ask God to bless America??
You've GOT to be having a laugh! Wake up!
The US is committing genocide in Falluja and it should be brought to justice - no one should be above the law otherwise you will become more than the rediculous barbarians you already are in the international community's eyes. Not that you care because of your arrogance. and that will be your total downfall, insha'Allah, the sooner , the better. Amen. and you can keep your bloody democracy to yourselves. Thanks but no thanks.
Mike: stop your silly excuses. Your troops are there illegally in the first place. These guys have every right to fight American troop the way they know because they are no match for the US military light thus they naturally use other tactics. They are brave whereas your troops are cowards. Hiding from miles away and dropping bombs whilst using latest technology against ill-armed fighters but they have a good reason to fight and that is that they belong to Fallujah and Iraq whereas your troops do not belong there. All the rest are words and excuses.
Harold: this is not a war but a brutal invasion. War is .. more to follow
The atrocities of war are common-place but
the inhumane taking of defenseless lives is
unforgivable. Someone is beheaded
because there is so much aggression
running rampant. The aggression is allowed
to take place because the 'aggressers' want
to kill everything that moves. Allah will punish
those who are guilty of these crimes
Inshalla, there will be peace in the east
Peace and Blessings
You invaded a country which never attacked, destroyed a society which did you no harm and murdered over 100000 Iraqi men, woman and children. There are no Taliban types in Fallujah so quit inventing lies to justify your stupidity. Some of the war criminals in your masochist army even take pictures of torture and rape and burn them on CD to share with friends and family as "trophys." In short they are WAR CRIMINALS, and for you to deny and defend them despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary proves that you are a morally bankrupt, backward and evil people.
Every dog has its day, the Americans are having theirs, but when they fall there will no tears or sympathy just relief and reassurance that mass murdering thugs and gangsters wont be around to torment defenseless nations and peoples.
Until Iraq is at peace the Coalition arguably amounts to somewhat of an insurgency itself. Until peace prevails in Iraq nobody in Iraq has a monopoly on legitimate authority. Otherwise why might the "other foreign insurgents" along with "their collaborators" seem intent on continuing their violent resistance? My limited understanding of Islamic doctrine leads me to imagine that there might be a motive for such resistance beyond simply opposing foreign occupation. Perhaps the Coalition and its supporters might wish to consider whether or not such a premise might seem to have a ring of truth to it. Can an amir be appointed while a civil war is in progress? If not then what state must first be attained? What then might indicate who would be qualified to serve as amir? Also when would either side seem likely to let the other side bring about peace if Islamic governance is the goal of either side?
Allah hafiz. (That hope is meant for everybody concerned.)
Mr. Mike , Iraq was invaded and attacked first and Coalition called it a WAR, therefore the countries who called war are supposed to follow Geneva conventions and must be under International Court/law of war crimes.
A war is called fair or legitimate when other country is self defensive, gives warning, attacks. Is it fair to attack a country which is under UN sanctions, defensless.
Come on Mike , be fair.
I have a very close relative in the military and last year they received a briefing on what makes an organization or individual a possible terrorist. "Any group or individual who speaks out against US policy should be treated as a suspected terroist". These words came out of the mouth of a Major General in the US Airforce. You can see this policy enforced in the civilian world quite regularly by the number of detentions that the US government has done in the name of the "war on terror". No charges, no trials, just detained indefinetly.
Opposition Parties(muslims) like in Iraq, Iran etc.are responsible for their own countries destruction.
Why blame non-muslims when we dont have unity cannot/take care of ourselves,In Minnesota Eid-ul Fitr was celebtrated on two days (SHAME).If some Mid-east people think we have to follow saudi days- Here is my suggestion-They should follow the sunrise and sunset times there not local and do things accordingly(They should do prayers , meals, jobs, 7-8 hrs early,take holidays on fridays,sleep in afternoon,)nonsense.
May ALLAH show us right path.
Now they have entered mosques and other religious sites.It is not far they will enter the holiest sites and I wiil not be surprised those leaders wont care.
The US government is well aware of the attitute of the US citizens. The government wants this war and they know that the citizens are still sitting on the fence about it. They still remember the domestic turmoil caused by the Vietnam War atrocities that were shown to the public and how that ended the war. So now they are thinking about removing these "embedded" reporters for fear that if the US public finds out about the truth of what is happening in Iraq the tide of public opinion will turn against this war as well.
But Bush and his cronies cannot afford that. Make no mistake about it, the American public will only see what the government wants them to see. And they will be sold a bill of goods because it is close to the "holiday" season and all attempts will be made to mollify them and lull them back into complacency so that it doesn't affect the sales.
And now we see atrocities on both sides. The murder of Margaret Hassan and the murder of the wounded prisoner both point to the degredation of the human character that Rasul Allah (SAW) said would be the at the beginning of the decline of our deen.
Opposing the actions of the troops is the correct thing to do, but remember it in the context of the warlords, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the god that they worship - the dollar.
God willing at least a few of the people who were responsible for the atrocities at Abu Ghraib will be put to death. In the meantime perhaps consider trying to keep regrettable acts committed in the heat of battle by true warriors in perspective. It's of course entirely up to you. In response to the author's question, concerning when we should oppose the actions of our own fighters, my thinking would be that we should do so when their actions seem likely to undermine their own efforts to serve the cause for which they have sworn to fight.
Also, if you might by some chance want ME to do things as YOUR amir says then perhaps consider appointing ME to serve as YOUR amir. If you make me your amir then before Allah I swear to do exactly as your scholars say I should do or promptly surrender my appointment. If you are disinclined to agree to my one condition (to make me your amir) than feel free to leave me behind. Otherwise, I would merely insist that we do things my way - democratically in Allah's name.
Allah hafiz wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. Salaam - insha'Allah.
Why else would they seek to grant immunity to their war criminal troops from the ICJ ?