Saturday, August 13, 2005

The dark heart of war crimes

When I was a kid with my eyes glued to the silver screen, I wondered why Ingrid Bergmann and Humphrey Bogart were taking their sweet time in getting out of Paris. There they were with German tanks proceeding relentlessly toward them and the noise of artillery fire in the distance. But where was the Luftwaffe? Where were the Messerschmidts? Why weren’t they dropping bombs on Paris? A thoroughgoing bombardment might have crushed the French spirit and destroyed their will to resist.

Many years later I found the answer. It was indeed true that behind the scenes some of Hitler’s advisers and generals were urging him to bomb Paris and thereby bring the war against France to a speedy conclusion. It was Hitler alone who resisted. And it was definitely NOT because he was afraid of committing a war crime.

Hitler, the would-be architect and lover of Gothic buildings, knew that in a week or two all of Paris would belong to him. Why should he want to destroy his Cathedral of Notre Dame? Why should he want to topple his Eiffel Tower?

The Fuehrer was rediscovering what the ancient Hittites of Mesopotamia knew about wars. From their peace treaties preserved for us in clay tablets, we see their elaborate provisions for memorializing a truce by the use of war reparations and oaths not to resume fighting. The purpose of war, as Quincy Wright summarized with blinding clarity, is to win the subsequent peace. Most of the wars of the past millennium were army vs. army, and not army vs. civilians. It was General Sherman and General LeMay, as I argued in a recent post, who chose the latter. They reintroduced primitive and unspeakable barbarity into modern warfare.

We can think of the Lieber Code, the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, and the more recent Geneva Conventions, as laying down parameters for confining war to force vs. force and prohibiting force vs. value (value being civilians and non-military targets). The phrase “not justified by military necessity” is one way of characterizing the exclusion of “value” targets. War may still be hell but it is not pointless. (Even hell, as theologians envisage it, is not pointless).

So we come down to two competing mind-sets (as often is the case in theorizing about human action). The first is to win the war by destroying the enemy’s capacity to fight (force vs. force). The second is to win the war by destroying the enemy’s will to resist (force vs. value). The rationale of war crimes is to permit the first and prohibit the second.

And that brings us to the title of this blog, the dark heart of war crimes. Consider the case of General Curtis LeMay, who was the subject of one of my previous blogs. LeMay knew that his orders for napalming innocent women, children, and the elderly, constituted war crimes. He even boasted that if the Allies were to lose the war he would be prosecuted as a war criminal. These were macho words at the Officers’ Club after a half-dozen whiskeys. But it wasn’t braggadocio that convinced the brass back in Washington to let him go ahead with his napalming. Rather, it was a diabolic calculation. The reasoning was as follows: the one hope the Japanese can cling to in their peril is that we will obey the laws of war. But if we violate them deliberately and directly target innocent civilians, then we will destroy their will to resist.

In this way, the dark heart of war crimes is to violate them and break the enemy’s spirit. When the military command of the United States allowed LeMay to retrofit his planes with napalm bombs, pure lawless evil was unleashed on earth.

24 Comments:

Blogger Antiluminous said...

Professor D'Amato,

Thanks for the invite to the Opinio Juris blog. Human rights issues are an expression of the best in us collectively because when we can recognize human rights in times of conflict it means that we have not crossed the point of no return and still retain our humanity.

That said, some of the conversations on this blog are unusual in the sense that they fall more in line with military science applications in dealing with regimes of regimentation. Japan, as was Germany, became irreconcileable with the United States during World War Two because it was a country that did not share our values, it was a country that was structured in a regimentalized military setting and its full means of domestic production was geared towards military applications.

How does a government whose country was attacked by such a regime respond to end such conflict? Diplomacy alone? Concessions? Let me ask you this question. What could the United States have done to end the conflict in Japan outside the direct application of military force? Emperor Hirohito was seeking nothing short of the unconditional surrender of the United States to the Japanese Empire which would have certainly included US expulsion from the Pacific via our naval forces in Hawaii and other locations and the total demilitarization of the West Coast of the United States. Those were the Japanese 'terms' that the United States would have had to embrace had it chose a 'diplomatic' settlement and concessions.

The reason? Japan wanted what Germany wanted. Empire. Japan wanted the US removed from the Pacific so that it could continue absorbing China, the Koreas and other areas of Asia into its ever-expanding empire. Help me understand how absent the direct application of military power against Japan the United States would have achieved an honorable settlement in the Pacific during World War Two.

The Japanese military dictatorship that ruled Japan knew that the United States was moving to its shores after Japan lost its carriers at Midway Island. Japan had many months to begin negotiating a settlement with the United States, a settlement that would be on our terms. Some folks may not like that but when a country is attacked by a hostile power and the hostile power loses, the dictation of terms that follows becomes a standard utilization of war. The dictation of terms follows every war because in war there is a victor.

The Japanese had over five million heavily armed infantry soldiers supported by close air support on the main island as the United States was pondering how to bring about Japanese surrender, a condition that Japan demonstrated over and over again that they would never go willingly. As I said, Japan was a regimentalized society that viewed surrender as a weakness, hence the cultural concepts of 'kamakazi' and 'hari-kari' appeared. So Japan as a nation had already embraced suicide over surrender long before the United States approached with its naval fleets and US Marine Divisions. Is an emerging suicidal pathology at the nation-state level during times of war an entity that can be engaged through traditional diplomatic negotiations?

Then there are issues of precedent. In your blog post in this thread you said that the decision to drop incendiary munitions upon wooden structures in Tokyo was a precedent-setting activity, something that was unusual and outside the parameters of the noble state. I think that the precedent for the engagement of military production facilities and support institutions was already encountered in cities such as Dresden and Frankfurt, Karlsruhle and Mannheim. Civilians manufacturing ball bearings for artillery munitions in German industrial centers became combatants and force was applied to those areas via allied bombers. That occurred long before a single US bomb dropped on Tokyo. That means Japan was not oblivious to the precedent and the laws of war that occurred during operations against the Axis powers.

So the question then becomes obvious. How does a nation-state that was isolationist and is subsequently ripped out of isolation by a regimentalized military dictatorship seeking empire and dangerous global expansion respond to such aggression? What does surrender mean when the isolationist nation-state wins against the aggressor nation-state? Can the isolationist nation-state be critiqued for seeking such surrender when there was such uncertainty of victory in those days during the Second World War?

Japan was reduced to surrender during times of war because it was a very dangerous and hostile nation-state seeking control over all land and resources in Asia and the Pacific and Japan was also the initiator of aggression. Only by reducing the Japanese regime to its lowest common denomenator and restructuring it into some semblance of democracy was the United States able to ensure the ceasing of hostilities in Asia.

8/13/2005 1:52 PM  
Blogger D'Amato said...

To OBTESTOR: The plight of the Japanese people at home grew increasingly worse during World War II, to the point where by 1945 there was extreme malnutrition and starvation. This reflects a disconnect between the militarist government and the people. By contrast, the standard of living of the German people steadily improved during the war, even after 1942 when the tide had turned agaisnt Hitler. Factories that could have been converted to making explosives were instead turning out hair tonic, to take one example.

Clearly the difference between Japan and Germany had nothing to do with democratic values. Both countries were extreme dictatorships.

The only way to win the war against Japan was what I called force v. force in the main blog. And this is what we did, for the most part. But toward the end of the war, when we had clearly "won," we began to target women, children, and the elderly in their homes. From the Japanese government's point of view, we were just wasting napalm. There wasn't a shred of military necessity about what we did. LeMay was the very definition of a war criminal.

We also engaged in saturation bombing of German industrial areas, as you point out. At least these were military targets, although the collateral damage was very high (and some argue, disproportionate). This was not a precedent for the napalming of Tokyo (unless you believe the army officer at West Point whose argument I presented at the end of the blog.)

8/13/2005 2:36 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

Professor D'Amato said: "This was not a precedent for the napalming of Tokyo (unless you believe the army officer at West Point whose argument I presented at the end of the blog.)"

The West Point Commissioned Officer's position is the predictable 'military' viewpoint and there is safety in that viewpoint for the military officer over this difficult issue. That viewpoint also represents a certain level of linear thinking, an intellectual position that is far below the surface of my own opinions. I have no military career to protect and no ego to bruise.

I believe that as US forces approached mainland Japan the leadership cell of the US Navy (which at that time also controlled the US Marines) breathed a collective sigh of dismay at the pending invasion of the Japanese main islands. One of the best ways to describe how they felt is how the Trojans themselves felt when Agamemnon landed with 50,000 greek soldiers to seize Troy. There was an element of despair in the US command because of the heavy casualties that the United States took in seizing islands on the approach to the Japanese mainland. This opened the door, in my opinion, to requests for total war (General Sherman's activities come to mind). How do we get to such a point in war?

The debate shifts into a dangerous politic--the survival of the nation-state itself. Without the surrender and dismantling of the military regime of Japan by the United States, Japan would have reemerged again as a hostile power. The fact that Japan had millions of domestic militia members also created heightened despair.

At the same moment, history inserted the development of the Atomic Bomb into that equation, and Harry Truman's administration debated what would happen if the American people found out about the existence of the bomb but Truman chose to send millions of American boys to their deaths in an attempt to take Japan conventionally in its stead. America was tired of the war and the American people wanted victory and the political price to not use the bomb would have been catastrophic for the American body politic in those times. It is easy in retrospect using hindsight to shift opinions away from using the bomb, but the American people demanded it in those days. There wasn't a single American family that wasn't touched in some way by the war.

The American people celebrated the use of the atomic bomb on Japan. When Japan surrendered, the American people were dancing in the streets in every US city. The dropping of incendiary munitions on Tokyo to me was an evident deterioration in the political will of the US military and Washington itself. That deterioration appeared in large part as the frustration in dealing with the Japanese suicidal nation-state pathology showed no signs of abating. Those were times of great stress for America so certain levels of killing outside the moral aspects in times of war can be expected. If we didn't develop the atomic bombs prior to the force projection planning for the invasion of Japan I believe that a full 50% of the Japanese mainland population would have died in the ensuing attack by American forces, rather than the 1.% that were killed through the use of the two atomic bombs and the Japanese surrender that immediately followed.

The lesson then is very clear. Dismantling hostile nation-states that organize in a regimentalized military setting can pressure non-hostile nation-states that have difficulty transitioning to war to use weapons of mass destruction. This is the dilemma occurring right now with North Korea and Iran and those two examples represent dangerous times for our world and the future of the global community. If we are ever to move past the arming of nation-states with weapons of mass destruction, the international community must address the continuing creation of military regimes that become hostile.

The imbalance of political crime reporting last century also pushes the global community into a war footing. Communism got a free pass where Nazism did not get such a free pass. I fear that the inadequate exploration of Soviet era political crime (war crimes) by the international community will create conditions for war well into this new century.

8/13/2005 4:05 PM  
Anonymous John M. Hansen said...

One of the problems we face today is that no one fights a war, as illustrated in the Bible, any longer. We fight silly hand holding actions in which we no longer conquor territory or kill off populations.
That's what Charlemagne did. He killed everyone that was taller than his waggon's wheels (42 inches)
An example is the pissing contest between Palestien and Israel. Israel gets money for pissing and is willing to kill off its citizens to keep the cash flowing. So do the Palestine, where a family can get set for a generation by having a son or daughter who becomes a suicide bomber.
Raping enemy women is actually illegal, and the idea of enslaving them, and passing thme out to the roops (Mentioned in the Bible)is simply beyond belief anymore.
In the meantime, it is no longer any joy to be a soldier, as there are too many politically correct idiots in charge of the battle field.
At the same time, all of the perks for having been a soldier are being taken away. Doies this remind anyone of the last days of the Roman Empirte? The five year gold piece is gone, and the plot of land is fast dissapering.
Meanwhile, illiterate generals think they can revise the nature of history. Another sign of the decline of the nation. Recall that the Aserians tried to police the known world, or don't you read history?
War is a blood game, and those who beleive that there can be war crimes beleive that war itself is not a crime. If war is to be no crime, you must let the blood flow where it will!

8/14/2005 2:05 PM  
Anonymous Charles Gittings said...

Obtestor wrote...

"So the question then becomes obvious. How does a nation-state that was isolationist and is subsequently ripped out of isolation by a regimentalized military dictatorship seeking empire and dangerous global expansion respond to such aggression?"

When I first read that I thought maybe you were talking about the Japanese, who were famously isolationist to a fault up to the 1850's when the (AHEM) not-so- isolationist United States sent a naval squadron under Commodore Perry to demand that they open their ports to trade.

The picture you paint of Japanese ambitions, American interests, and suppresion of militarist regimes is likewise somewhat skewed from the facts.

Italy and Japan were our ALLIES during WW I. Mussolini came to power in 1922. The Japanese militarists arose during the 30's

Korea was invaded by Japan in 1904, during the Russo-Japanese War (which ended in a negotiated settlement brokered by Teddy Roosevelt, who won a somewhat ironic Nobel Peace Prize for it)... five years after the United States had "liberated" the Philipines from Spain during the Spanish-American war, only to turn it into the first US colony by means of a brutal military conquest known as the "Philipine Insurrection," which lasted a couple of years.

Korea was fully annexed by Japan in 1910. Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931, and China in 1937.

Asia of course had a long history of such shennanigans. You had the Dutch in what is now Indonesia, the French in Indo-China (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos), the British in India, Malaysia and Burma, Spain and then the US in the Philipines, and damn near everybody in China -- including the United States who sent troops to Beijing during the Boxer "Rebellion" and maintained a naval squadron on China's major rivers into the 1930's. There were such charming episodes as the Opium War between Britain and China -- fought to force China to accept imports of British opium.

The major cause of the attack on Pearl Harbor was that the not-so-isolationist US had slapped a trade embargo on Japan. The attack was a gamble, which as you seem to be aware, went very sour at Midway. Your reverse unconditional surrender scenario is pure fantasy: the basic Japanese war aim was "Asia for the Asians," under Japanese hegemony. They calculated that they could become strong enough to hold us to a draw militarily in the Pacific, thereby forcing a settlement. They were wrong, but they came close those first six months. If Midway had gone the other way... But it didn't, and I don't really think it would have done more than postpone things.

Something else to note here: the three Axis powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan) were three of the most distinctly cultured, sophisticated, and "civilized" societies on the planet.

"Sharing values" is an absolutely preposterous paradigm here, but that's another huge discussion.

The Japanese transformed from a very isolationist pre-industrial feudal society in 1850 to a great naval power capable of defeating Russia in a modern war in 50 years.

And the values of Tojo's military junta, the Nazis, and the Italian Fascists were like nothing so much as the "values" of the neo-fascists of the Republican Party right now, if you want to get real about it.

I'm not even sure where to start with the rest of it...

Communism got a free pass?? That's just silly. The United States sent troops to Russia to fight the Bolsheviks in 1919!! You've heard of the "Cold War" I imagine. Nicaragua? El Salvador? The Bay of Pigs? The Cuban Missile Crisis, ETC?

The most hostile military regime on the planet today is that which most closely resembles the one Japan had in 1941: the regime of Bush and Cheney, our very own 21st-century American analogs of Hirohito and Tojo. Compare also the "Project for the New American Century" with the "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere".

War is not a game as another post claims: it is a symptom of mental illness, confusion, or pure ignorance. There are situations where you have to fight, but anyone who thinks that wars are going to solve our problems in the long run is a fool.

Look at Iraq: do you really think that is solving anything? Are you familiar with the long history of British, French, and Amercian meddling in places like Iraq, Iran, ETC, dating back to WW I and beyond?

Maybe we should try just letting these folks manage their own affairs in their own way. Funny how folks think war is a solution and peace is impractical when for 4,000+ years no war has ever solved anything and peace has never really been tried.

The problems we see today are largely a reflection of a radical imbalance of power and wealth. You will not solve those problems by making them worse.

The weird part, getting back to the thread, is that if I were looking at all this though a neo-cons eyes (which is not such a stretch for me, as I was a conservative Republican of a libertarian bent up to 1987 and I've been studying military history since I was 10), I might say with 20-20 hindsight that it would have been better to conclude a negotiated peace with Japan in 1944. Maybe even let them keep Korea and Manchuria. That might have meant no Communist China, no Korean War and no Viet-Nam War. It also might have meant WW III by 1955 -- perhaps with the US and Japan on the same side v. the Soviets. There are those who think we should have rearmed the Germans and had Patton drive on Moscow in 1945 even.

Dan Jenkins wrote a book about football called Semi-Tough that has line it that always comes to mind in such discussion: "What could have happened, DID."

Life is not a physics experiment: we choose our actions according to our understanding. When I look at the last 4,000 years of history the one thing that comes through loud and clear is that we need to learn from our mistakes and make better choices. OR ELSE.

Regards,

Charles Gittings

cbgittings@yahoo.com

8/14/2005 5:24 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

Charles,

Leftist revisionist history as you have explained in your previous post doesn't help the discussion, but I found some of the points you made to be pretty interesting for their propaganda value.

You claimed to have spent most of your life since you were 10 years old studying military history, and yet you also claim to be confused by my statement that the United States was an isolationist nation-state prior to World War Two? You are joking, right?

So what set you off; my demand to hold communism to account for 250,000,000 lives lost from 1919 thru present day? Communists need to be brought to the Hague as the Nazis were so they are held to account for their perversions. Funny how not one single communist was brought up on war crimes charges after the Berlin Wall fell, when the Hague should have been "standing room only".

It is as I said, communism got a free pass, but if I have anything to do with it, eventually they will be brought to justice, and the list is quite long. If only leftist special interest groups like Amnesty International wouldn't ignore communist evil the job would be much easier.

Here is some real history for you since your views of history are broken (hopefully not irretrievably). The United States withdrew from the international community after World War One. Americans called it "The last Great War". America wanted nothing to do with European interventionism anymore. Absolutely nothing. That is why The League of Nations failed to develop under President Woodrow Wilson. America wanted to be left alone and wanted nothing to do with the international community and its war-mongering problems.

That is the real history.

Here is some more real history. Being an isolationist nation-state prior to World War Two, the United States had two dozen military aircraft, less than 50 artillery pieces, just over 100 tanks, and an Army and Navy that was so ill-equipped and defeated in morale that our country couldn't project power over any foreign country. Why was that? Because we were an isolationist nation-state. We weren't running around the world on great adventures. We weren't using gunboat dioplomacy. When britain was burning from Nazi Luftwaffe bomber attacks, we were sending the English boxes of corn flakes and band-aids in merchant marine ships. This country did everything it could to not be pulled out of isolation. But when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, US military science and our industrial might went into action.

Interesting how we have been embroiled in international affairs ever since. That is the price to be paid when peaceful, isolationist countries are attacked and win wars.

Then you said: "Your reverse unconditional surrender scenario is pure fantasy: the basic Japanese war aim was "Asia for the Asians," under Japanese hegemony."

Your talk about fantasy? Laughable. Japan was raping Asia via its own adjusted Nazification for its resources and was ethnic cleansing China, Korea and Southern Russia. It was all about empire Charles, as Germany's aggression under Adolf Hitler was all about Empire. Germany was the only advanced European nation-state not to have some level of foreign empire and it wanted its share. Speaking of Germany and modern demographics, modern Asia is the closest thing to the new Master Race that we have seen in decades. Not much 'diversity and multiculturalism" in that region, huh.

As for the Communists in Russia and elsewhere and their unaccounted for epic criminal behavior, that is another subject but one I would be pleased to debate with you.

Obtestor

8/14/2005 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Charles Gittings said...

Obtestor,

Leftist revisionist history? Where?

Facts are facts, and your right-wing mythology is nothing could acurately be described as my "revisionism".

Where did I say I was confused? I said I hardly knew where to begin; that expressed amazement, not confusion.

I'm well aware that we didn't ratify the League of Nations, but that hardly constituted a "withdrawl from the community of nations." Ever hear of the Washington Naval Treaty, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, or the Third Geneva Convention of 1929? The United States ratified all three of those, and all three were directed at the same object as the League: promoting PEACE.

I'm equally familiar with our traditional aversion to large standing armies in peace time, yet nevertheless we HAD an Army occupying the Philipines.

No gun-boat diplomacy you say? See:

http://www.history.navy.mil/wars/foabroad.htm

And if we were so dead set against interventionism, why exactly *did* we impose that trade embargo on Japan?

I understand that the period between the war was *relatively* isolationist, but I also understand that we weren't nearly as isolationist as you think we were. Going back to 1776 even.

And what about "hegemony" is inconsistent with the notion of "empire"? If you'd do a little more studying and a little less ranting, you'd know that Germany LOST it's overseas empire as result of WW I. I'm well aware of Hitler's ambitions for "lebensraum," just as I am well aware of the degree to which REPUBLICANS in the US sympathized with Hitler and did business with Hitler.

And just as I am aware of the degree to which the current gang of Neo-Fascist Republicans under Cheney and Bush resemble NAZIS.

I have no interest in debating your gripes with "communism;" if Joe Stalin was alive and I could get him in front of tribunal for his crimes I'd be all for it, but I just don't see much point to putting embalmed corpses on trial.

I'm all for putting Saddam Hussein on trial too, but not unless he's given a fair one.

Meanwhile, Cheney and Bush are committing war crimes which also happen to be federal felonies (see 18 USC 2441) RIGHT NOW. Are you doing anything about that besides making excuses for them?

Regards,

Charly

8/14/2005 10:48 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

Charles,

You just can't deal with the truth. It is also clear while judging from your comments that you also haven't gotten over the fact that President Bush was reelected for a second term. I think it is time for the left to get past that.

The Philippines is the only foreign territory in history that the United States held and yet we did give it back. There isn't a single conversation about US military intervention where leftists don't bring up the Philippines. I mean, anything to bash the USA, right?

I won't even step into the gutter with your apologist thinking about communism. If you think 250,000,000 human beings ruthlessly murdered at the hands of communism last century (and continuing this century) is nothing more than a 'gripe', your grasp of truth is hopelessly distorted. Communism failed because it is a perversion so it is time to get over that too.

Know this however, that any talk of "war crimes" must include communism and the communist war criminals are walking around, not deceased as you claim. You aren't saying that the war criminals in the former Soviet and elsewhere all around the world just 'upped and disappeared', are you? The Nazis would have celebrated such pandering but history shows they were hunted down. I wonder why folks try to protect communist evil and that is a valid question.

Anything to hate America, right?

Obtestor

8/15/2005 6:53 AM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

Charles said: "Meanwhile, Cheney and Bush are committing war crimes which also happen to be federal felonies (see 18 USC 2441) RIGHT NOW."

You need to be very specific with this outrageous claim. List times, dates, locations and incidents and personnel involved.

Obtestor

8/15/2005 6:55 AM  
Anonymous Charles Gittings said...

Obtestor,

Your assupmtions betray your prejudice, and your false claims betray your ignorance of the facts.

You say that the Phillipines is the only foreign territory that we have held. In fact, we've held a lot more than that, and still do.

You've heard of Iraq I imagine; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the Hawaiian Islands surely. Then there is Texas and all the other lands taken from Mexico by force, and even Louisiana, purchased from Napoleon (the prototype for the Hitlers, Stalins, and Dick Cheneys of the world), who stole it by a combination of force and deceipt from Spain, then sold it to us in order to finance his wars of aggression. Indeed, the whole nation is stolen property if you analyze it back to 1492.

You're just assuming that when we (or our antecedents) commit these sorts of crimes it's a good thing, and hence no crime at all. I think of it differently, but no matter here -- your own terms will suffice.

You wonder why people try to protect communist evil?? They don't -- you just falsely and fallaciously claim they do, and if I asked you to define just precisely what "communist evil" is (let alone how one might "protect" it), you couldn't do it. The words, in your usage, are merely a mix of figment, nonsense, and slur.

I don't hate America; I don't in fact hate anyone, for the simple reason that I don't consider "hatred" a valid attitude towards other people -- if I "hated" anything, it would be things like ingnorance, prejudice, and malice; but even in that context, the term would not be an accurate description of what I actually think or feel.

And I am just as much an American as you are.

As for my charges against Cheney, Bush, and their gang of criminals, it just so happens that I have spent the last three years and eight months analyzing and documenting the facts of their crimes just as fully and precisely as I could, acting as a volunteer under a solemn personal oath to uphold the laws of the United States and to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, to the limits of my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor. I have even gone so far as to assert those facts in a US district court subject to the penalties for perjury in the US code.

All of my efforts are documented on my web site at: http://pegc.no-ip.info

In particular you will want to examine my articles and legal briefs at:

http://pegc.no-ip.info/articles.html

See especially the THE BUSH MILITARY TRIBUNAL ORDER IS ILLEGAL (2001.11.26), and
BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE CHARLES B. GITTINGS JR. AND CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGEMENT IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERS, In re Guantanamo Detainee Cases (2004.10.14).

For supporting authorities (note especially the two most recent law review articles by Jordan Paust and Evan Wallach), treaties, and statutes, see:

http://pegc.no-ip.info/jabberwocky.html

And for the basic factual record, see:

http://pegc.no-ip.info/geneva_history.html#2001

Regards,

Charles Gittings

PROJECT TO ENFORCE THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS (PEGC)

8/15/2005 12:09 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

Charles,

It is great to see a person like yourself so dedicated to what you see as the right moral position to take on issues that America has become involved. That is great. I like to see folks motivated so much that they try to change the system.

The Gitmo question is not a Geneva Conventions issue because the fundamentalists attacking US military forces are not flagged elements of any country. They are terrorist combatants and the weakness there internationally is not derived from the United States' containment of those combatants, but from the international community's own inadequacy at defining terrorism at the UN and through international law. Recently the UN had the chance to do that, but since many nation-states profit both politically and economically from terrorism, there were not many voices appearing against it.

I find it impossible at this time to critique the United States for containing terrorists when the international community and international law that you so cherish doesn't have the sophistication nor moral integrity to even define terrorism in agreement. When that happens, get back to me because I would be interested in seeing how it turns out from there. Until then, M-16s will still recoil when terrorists are encountered and those same terrorists will be locked up in Gitmo.

As for your comments of communist war crimes being imaginary, that is laughable. I repeat, laughable. Name one communist that was brought to the Hague after the Berlin Wall fell. Just one. It didn't happen. Communism is a perverse system; the fact that you question that basic claim is also ludicrous. Read The Black Book of Communism published by Harvard for some great details on why communism is a perversion, or better yet, go check out http://www.frontpagemag.com and http://www.discoverthenetworks.org for some good reading on the subject.

Other than that, we are through chatting about this matter. I have no sympathy whatsoever for the terrorists, I do not view my government as Nazis and I fully support the War on Terrorism and all of its appendages (Gitmo, etc). I think you know that so from here we will disagree completely based solely upon ideological factors and will never reach agreement on any concept or idea collectively.

Cheers,

Obtestor

8/15/2005 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Charles Gittings said...

Hi Obtestor,

* "I like to see folks motivated so much that they try to change the system."

Well thanks for the encouragement, but this is a good example of why I've been taking such exception to your posts: you filter everything through your prejudices, including what someone else says about what they believe.

Note: the fact that someone says they believe XYZ does not make XYZ a fact just because they say so, but it very much IS a fact that they assert they believe XYZ to be true.

Further: it's important to intrepret XYZ according to the speakers own definitions and context, and if something is unclear, to ask for clarification.

And in this case, I'm not actually trying to change the system -- I'm trying to defend the system from criminals by enforcing the law.


* "The Gitmo question is not a Geneva Conventions issue because the fundamentalists attacking US military forces are not flagged elements
of any country. They are terrorist combatants..."

Wrong: Geneva protects everyone in an armed conflict. Military forces are protected by Geneva III POWs. Everyone else is proteced by Geneva IV Civilians or Common Article 3. Try reading them instead of quoting what liars say about them -- the administration arguments on this point are absolutely fraudulent. What you call a "terrorist" is nothing but a criminal, and they are entitled to the same rights as any other accused criminal.

Do you understand that George Bush claims to have the authority to imprison YOU for life and / or execute YOU without a trial just on his say-so?

All he has to do is say the magic word "terrorist"... and the crooks and unthinking fanatics who support him go along with it just like a LYNCH MOB.

Anyone who claims the US Constitution grants the President that sort of power is either a liar or a fool. The function of the *executive* branch is to *execute* the law. The President has no authority to nullify or violate the law: not in peace, and not in war.

And these same people rant about how they want judges who won't make up the law, when what they really want are judges who will pretend the law says anything they want it to, 1 + 1 = 3, heads they win, tails you lose.

That isn't law, it's damn near TREASON.



* "I find it impossible at this time to critique the United States for containing terrorists when the international community and international law that you so cherish doesn't have the sophistication nor moral integrity to even define terrorism in agreement."

18 USC 2441 is a statute in the United States Code. It was enacted by Congress in 1996 and expanded 1997. The original bill was introduced by a Republican Congressman from N. Carolina.

The US Constitution makes ratified foreign treaties "the Supreme Law of the Land".

The concept "terrorist" has many definitions, and I have yet to see one that was honest, let alone "sophisticated". Further, they are not containing anything: they've only made the problem a lot worse than it was when they started.

But I do get the impossibility: you'll ignore any fact that conflicts with your wishful thinking.


"When that happens, get back to me because I would be interested in seeing how it turns out from there. Until then, M-16s will still recoil when terrorists are encountered and those same terrorists will be locked up in Gitmo."

Like I said.


* "As for your comments of communist war crimes being imaginary, that is laughable. I repeat, laughable."

I didn't say any such thing: you mentioned "communist evil," which is just overblown hotair.


* "Name one communist that was brought to the Hague after the Berlin Wall fell. Just one. It didn't happen. Communism is a perverse system; the fact that you question that basic claim is also ludicrous."

What claim? You made a rhetorical statement about a boogey man. Now you call it "perverse," which is just your way of saying (again) you don't like it a lot for some reason.

I'm quite familiar with communism in it's various forms. Tyranny is tyranny in any form, be it communist, monarchist, democratic, or the neo-fascism of Cheney and Bush.


* "I have no sympathy whatsoever for the terrorists, I do not view my government as Nazis and I fully support the War on Terrorism and all of its appendages (Gitmo, etc). I think you know that so from here we will disagree completely based solely upon ideological factors and will never reach agreement on any concept or idea collectively."

Wrong again. Your "ideology" is your problem -- I'm just going by the facts and the law here.

Charles Gittings

8/16/2005 1:56 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

Charles said: "Wrong: Geneva protects everyone in an armed conflict."

Nonsense. The Geneva Conventions only protects soldiers that are flagged combatants and civilian non-combatants. If the Geneva Conventions protected terrorists, we wouldn't be having this discussion right now, would we? Nor would you be muddying the national security waters with your Geneva Conventions pursuits. Think about it Charles, how are combatants that kill innocent civilians with sneaky bomb placements and suicide Shahid vests protected by the Geneva Conventions?

When terrorists don uniforms so they can be hunted with a flag attached to them as US forces are when there is a war, then the terrorists will be entitled to Geneva Conventions protections. You don't see terrorists walking around with Geneva Conventions ID cards identifying them with a nation-state they are operating for, do you? Of course not.

Before I became a great intellectual, I served in two wars. In each of those I carried a Geneva Conventions Identification card. I also wore an American flag on my shoulder as well as being lawfully required to wear a uniform that said U.S. Army on it.

That said, what vexatious litigants want from the United States is control over the definition of 'terrorism' outside international law and to give terrorists special rights while lining their pockets with US tax dollars in the process.

Sorry, terrorists do not get US Constitutional rights (unless they are domestic US citizens).

I find it pretty hilarious that you approach my viewpoints with such a condescending tone, as if you think I have no idea what I am talking about in this matter. Rest assured, good fellow, that I have a firm understanding of international law in this regard.

Then you said: "The concept "terrorist" has many definitions, and I have yet to see one that was honest, let alone "sophisticated". Further, they are not containing anything: they've only made the problem a lot worse than it was when they started."

What, are you an expert on terrorism too? I don't think that you have any idea what terrorism really is. When I speak of sophistication in international law, I am speaking from the mindset that any definition of terrorism agreed to by the international community will be sophisticated. Why? There is no such agreement.

The tough news Charles is that domestic law has no validity in the sphere of international relations and certainly no validity during times of war when the United States is engaged with a hostile terrorist transnational insurgency. The transnational terrorist insurgency is unflagged and therefore not covered by the Geneva Conventions. I would love to see the terrorists covered by the Geneva Conventions but they have to become a flagged military force first. It is that simple. If the international community is not going to recognize them, why should the United States? (ie...recognize them in the definition of terrorism).

Then you said: "Further: it's important to intrepret XYZ according to the speakers own definitions and context, and if something is unclear, to ask for clarification."

What you said was clear and there is no xyz. You have a desire to see a certain lawful condition of xyz appear that suits your collectivist worldview, but it is clear that it is as of yet not to be. I view personally the issue of applying the Geneva Conventions to unflagged terrorist members as simply an international subversive tool to meddle with the War on Terrorism as the United States seeks to fight it. Our Constitution is clear on warfighting. The Congress of the United States has the power to declare and fund war, not the "courts".

Get Congress to pass a law to give the terrorists constitutional protections. Then US lawyers can reap the rewards of representing them for the next 1,000 years in US courts (since this war is never going to end).

Then you said: "What claim? You made a rhetorical statement about a boogey man. Now you call it "perverse," which is just your way of saying (again) you don't like it a lot for some reason.

I'm quite familiar with communism in it's various forms. Tyranny is tyranny in any form, be it communist, monarchist, democratic, or the neo-fascism of Cheney and Bush."

Bush and Cheney aren't fascists. You discredit yourself by making that outrageous claim. I asked you to give me times, dates and locations for your claims against Bush, et all, but you didn't. How can you possibly tell me that you know about communist evil in history, and yet make such ridiculous claims about your own government? Look, start backing up what you are saying so I can see if it is cognitive or not because baseless claims are a waste of time. Is Bush and Cheney fascist because moveon.org or some other leftist group says they are? Isn't that nothing more than sophomoric political polarizations that have no intellectual benefit to any debate? You can't even admit that communist war criminals exist, and yet you call your own government neo-fascist? I am a conservative Republican so I guess in your eyes I must be a fascist too, huh. Laughable.

Then you said: "The US Constitution makes ratified foreign treaties "the Supreme Law of the Land"."

Yes, and the US Senate is the treaty making organization. Can 'states' negotiate or implement treaties? No, they cannot. Only elected members of the US Senate with the help of their officially assigned agents can do that. You don't think some court in a US state has authority over US treaty law, do you? lol.

Then you said: "But I do get the impossibility: you'll ignore any fact that conflicts with your wishful thinking."

I have expressed no wishes in this forum nor asked for anything other than anyone to admit that there hasn't been one single communist war-criminal brought to justice since the Berlin Wall fell, when the Hague should be full of such persons. This thread is about war crimes after all.

Obtestor

8/16/2005 3:36 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

Charles,

Here is a bit more for you to help you with your mission. Isn't that really nice? A Conservative right-wing guy like me helping a left-wing guy like you? There is hope for this world yet, lol.

OK, this is what you need to focus on in your lawful pursuits in regards to applying the Geneva Conventions to terrorist organizations.

1) Get the international community through the United Nations to agree upon a unifying definition of terrorism. Until that happens the waters will always be muddy.

2) Terrorist members must wear an identification of some sort declaring they are combatants. Since legal precedence in American law does not just recognize a military uniform as such precedence, terrorist members will also need other identifying items like dog tags and ID cards. The laws of war do not recognize a uniform alone, and the laws of war certainly do not recognize civilian clothing designed to specifically and deliberately mask combatants into non-combatant populations (thus immediately violating the laws of war, right? But you say the folks fighting that way have special rights).

3) The identification used by terrorists which does not include the uniform must include the terrorist's name, rank within the terrorist group or organization, the Geneva Conventions code on the identification card itself, blood type for emergency and welfare purposes and COUNTRY the soldier is fighting for while conducting hostilities against the United States and other peaceful nations like us.

4) The terrorist combatant must declare a country because the 'citizen' does not have international protections afforded by the Geneva Conventions when conducting military or any operations against a lawful sovereign state.

ARTICLE 17 of the Geneva Conventions clearly states that any soldier from any country of origin that seeks to claim rights under the Geneva Conventions must possess an identity card listing the aforementioned information.

I hope this helps.

Obtestor

8/16/2005 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Charles Gittings said...

Hi Obtestor,

* "If the Geneva Conventions protected terrorists, we wouldn't be having this discussion right now, would we?"

Well they do and we are, so I guess maybe you need to work on your logic a bit.


* "Think about it Charles, how are combatants that kill innocent civilians with sneaky bomb placements and suicide Shahid vests protected by the Geneva Conventions?"

The same way everybody else is, including people who kill innocent civilians with Stealth bombers and Predator drones, or Marines who fire on marked ambulances with .50 cal sniper rifles: they are entitled to humane treatment, due process of law, etc.

And even the corpses of suicide bombers are protected by Geneva I.


* "That said, what vexatious litigants want from the United States is control over the definition of 'terrorism' outside international law and to give terrorists special rights while lining their pockets with US tax dollars in the process."

That is pure nonsense.


* "Sorry, terrorists do not get US Constitutional rights (unless they are domestic US citizens)."

Wrong again: according to the Int'l Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Charter, AND the US Constitution, all human beings have essentially the same basic rights.


* "What, are you an expert on terrorism too?"

I don't really like to talk about myself -- it's a long story, and I've always believed that the truth matters more than credentials do. But I'm enough of an expert that I predicted 9/11 back in 1987 and I've been working on it as a problem of ethics / moral philosophy ever since.


* "I don't think that you have any idea what terrorism really is."

That's a VERY silly accusation.

* "When I speak of sophistication in international law, I am speaking from the mindset that any definition of terrorism agreed to by the international community will be sophisticated. Why? There is no such agreement."

And that is both factually inaccurate and illogical. There's actually a number of different definitions, both in Int'l and US law. It's not something I'm that interested in, but there's a CRS report that catalogs them as I recall.


* "The tough news Charles is that domestic law has no validity in the sphere of international relations and certainly no validity during times of war when the United States is engaged with a hostile terrorist transnational insurgency."

If there is no US law then there is no United States. You just think committing the crimes is a good idea -- bank robbers think the same thing about robbing banks. Note also that the Geneva Conventions and 18 USC 2441 (the US War Crimes Act) are laws which specifically apply only to wars and armed conflicts.


* "What you said was clear and there is no xyz. You have a desire to see a certain lawful condition of xyz appear that suits your collectivist worldview, but it is clear that it is as of yet not to be."


* "I view personally the issue of applying the Geneva Conventions to unflagged terrorist members as simply an international subversive tool to meddle with the War on Terrorism as the United States seeks to fight it."

Well in that case you are deluded: you are supporting a gang criminals, and they are not only losing the "war", it literally cannot be won -- it's pure idiocy.



* "Our Constitution is clear on warfighting. The Congress of the United States has the power to declare and fund war, not the "courts"."

Gee, I'm glad we agree on that much.


* "Get Congress to pass a law to give the terrorists constitutional protections."

Well a) the Constitution itself grants them those rights, but b) the Congress already did pass such a law - 18 USC 2441 (among others going back to 1907).


* "Then US lawyers can reap the rewards of representing them for the next 1,000 years in US courts (since this war is never going to end)."

Oh, it will end a lot sooner than that, one way or another.


"Bush and Cheney aren't fascists. You discredit yourself by making that outrageous claim."

Sure they are and there's nothing outrageous about it: it's just plain discription of the obvious facts -- and it's equally obvious that you think fascism is just a good idea from what you've said here. Military dictators with no law but the will of the supreme leader. Ever hear of the Fuehrer Principle? The only real difference between the Nazis and you Republican neo-fascists is that Hitler was a lot smarter than Bush and a lot more honest than Cheney...

But they all have something in common too: they are nutty as fruit-cakes.


* "I asked you to give me times, dates and locations for your claims against Bush, et all, but you didn't."

Sure I did: you just didn't bother to look at the stuff I cited. It's all on the web site.


* "How can you possibly tell me that you know about communist evil in history, and yet make such ridiculous claims about your own government?"

It's called "objective reality".


* "Look, start backing up what you are saying so I can see if it is cognitive or not because baseless claims are a waste of time."

Well all laguange is inherently "cognitive," including baseless claims, but I did send you the links and the documentation is quite extensive.

The evidence is in fact sufficient to prove their guilt to a logical certainty.


* "Is Bush and Cheney fascist because moveon.org or some other leftist group says they are?"

No: they are facists because they are criminals who think that the law is whatever they want it to be and that they can act like Roman dictators.


* "Isn't that nothing more than sophomoric political polarizations that have no intellectual benefit to any debate?"

There is nothing to debate: they are criminals. They need to be indicted, tried, and convicted for their crimes.


* "You can't even admit that communist war criminals exist, and yet you call your own government neo-fascist?

Facts are facts: Cheney, Bush, and their gang of criminals are neo-fascists.

As for your accusations, I just don't feel any need to play your silly games. You're talking to someone who has studied the history of warfare all the way back to ancient Greece and Rome, and the history of every major war this country has fought from the Revolution forward. There's never been a major war in history where war crimes weren't committed on both sides, and I don't feel much need to waste my time "admitting" that the earth is round or the sun rises in the east either.

Let me tell you something, BUD: the only reason I'm here is that my dad got machine-gunned in Korea while serving with the 2nd Inf. Div. on the Nakton river when they were ordered to hold their ground at all costs in some of the most desparate and ferocious fighting the US Army has ever seen. I know all about the war crimes in that war, and I'm well aware that "communists" have committed war crimes just like everyone else has.

But they didn't do it in MY name, with MY tax dollars, while doing their best to turn MY country into a new-age Nazi Germany. George Bush and Dick Cheney are doing that right now.

And who exactly did you have in mind?? The entire population of Russia and China maybe? FYI, Slobodan Milosevic is on trial for war crimes right now and he is a former communist, not that it matters. A criminal is a criminal.


* "I am a conservative Republican so I guess in your eyes I must be a fascist too, huh. Laughable."

Laugh all you want: facts are facts.



* "Then you said: "The US Constitution makes ratified foreign treaties "the Supreme Law of the Land"."

Yes, and the US Senate is the treaty making organization."

Wrong again: the President enacts the treaty, then ratifies it by sending it to the Senate for a 2/3 vote. Geneva 1949 was signed by Truman and ratified by Eisenhower.


* "You don't think some court in a US state has authority over US treaty law, do you? lol."

Not a state court, a federal court --

"The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; --to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; --to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; --to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; --to Controversies between two or more States; --between a State and Citizens of another State; --between Citizens of different States, --between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects." US Constitution, art. III, sec. 2.



* "I have expressed no wishes in this forum nor asked for anything other than anyone to admit that there hasn't been one single communist war-criminal brought to justice since the Berlin Wall fell, when the Hague should be full of such persons. This thread is about war crimes after all."

You're more expressive than you think. It's a cognitive thing -- you tell me stuff without even knowing it. Bush and Cheney did the same thing on 11/13/2001 when they issued the presidential "military order" on detentions etc: I knew they were planning war crimes before I even finished reading it.


* "ARTICLE 17 of the Geneva Conventions... I hope this helps."

That is article 17 of Geneva III POWs, and it doesn't matter. Geneva IV Civilians, art. 4:

"Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals."

And beyond that is Common Article 3.

8/16/2005 10:03 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

Up for another round Charles? Awesome.

You said: [Well they do and we are, so I guess maybe you need to work on your logic a bit.]

Well gosh Charles, I guess you showed me. lol.

You said: [The same way everybody else is, including people who kill innocent civilians with Stealth bombers and Predator drones, or Marines who fire on marked ambulances with .50 cal sniper rifles: they are entitled to humane treatment, due process of law, etc.

And even the corpses of suicide bombers are protected by Geneva I.]

You are clearly part of the hate-America left. Anyone that equates our soldiers with terrorists and war criminals is wacko. You think that war is an activity of righteous purity that you can monitor from the comfort of your cushy leather office chair while you are munching down a taco and watching baseball?

Get a grip. I will tell you what I think is happening. I am thinking that guys like you are trying to Vietnamize the war under the theory that no matter what the United States does, the application of military power (for capitalist goals) is as evil to you as communism is evil in my eyes. If you feel that way, and you should probably honestly admit it either way, then I will understand how you feel because communism to me is something that needs to be utterly destroyed by any means necessary. Is that how you feel about your own country?

Horowitz talked about this in Unholy Alliance, the alliance between the radical left and Islamic fundamentalists, even though both ideologies had nothing in common other than their pure hatred for America and everything it stands for. Think about it. You claim that the American government is criminal and filled with fascists, and yet they were democratically elected by popular vote. You just can't stand the fact that the United States didn't surrender to Islamofascist evil after 9/11, giving widespread and in depth concessions to the fanatics that flew aircraft into the WTC and The Pentagon. I read blog nonsense from guys like you all the time and I say it again, you are cluess about terrorism. You don't have to tell me your credentials. I am a good judge of intellect just from reading beneath the surface of an individual's ideology through their writing.

You said: [That is pure nonsense.]

That's all you could say in response to my brilliant obsservation of vexatious litigation, huh. Of course. Our courts are clogged with such litgation all the time. That is why we need a serious shakedown of our court systems and tort reform. Maybe even a complete overhaul. A tribunal, if you will. Americans have never held such disdain for US courts in history than they do now. US courts do not run America, they do not set foreign policy and they certainly do not dictate foreign policy and war activity of the nation-state.

You said:[Wrong again: according to the Int'l Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Charter, AND the US Constitution, all human beings have essentially the same basic rights.]

Yes, as recognized by the lawful sovereign states that govern them. That does not apply to war, however. There are special rules for war. You should learn about those rules. In war, there is killing and destruction. The US Constitution can be restricted and even suspended during wartime.

You said: [I don't really like to talk about myself -- it's a long story, and I've always believed that the truth matters more than credentials do. But I'm enough of an expert that I predicted 9/11 back in 1987 and I've been working on it as a problem of ethics / moral philosophy ever since.]

The truth matters more than credentials do? Hey, I am waiting for some truth. Please, by all means, send some my way. So how is the United States to blame for 9/11? That is what you are hinting at, right? You bring up ethics/moral philosophy like it is free. Explain your position beyond the leftist blanket blame America for the world's problems.

The world has two views of the United States. I know this because I have traveled to and lived in over two dozen foreign countries and I wasn't a tourist. The two world-views that most foreign countries have of the United States are these:

1) When the United States ignores the world's problems, we are selfish isolationists.

2) When the United States engages in global problems, we are dangerous imperialists.

What world-view do you have of the United States? I am thinking that no matter what we do, critics will bash us anyway. They bash us because of envy, because of the sophistication of our government, the humanity of our domestic populations, the respect that our citizens have for our institutions and the technology that has propelled us to be the greatest nation on Earth.

You said: [That's a VERY silly accusation.]

You don't accuse someone of not knowing something; they either do or they don't. I am saying you don't based upon your wacko notions of the Geneva Conventions and how you look at the US government.

You said: [And that is both factually inaccurate and illogical. There's actually a number of different definitions, both in Int'l and US law. It's not something I'm that interested in, but there's a CRS report that catalogs them as I recall.]

Charles, you aren't thinking about what I am explaining to you. Just a few weeks ago, the UN met to come to an agreement on the definition of terrorism to be applied in international law. No such law exists. There are laws on terrorism of assorted varieties from nation-state to nation-state, but there is no universal law binding the global community. Just to give you an example of how marginal international law is, the fact that the UN couldn't come to an agreement on even defining what terrorism is less than one month ago should tell you that the United States has its hands full as we engage the enemies of this nation around the world. Even after 9/11 and the Spanish bombings, et all, the "UN" couldn't agree to define terrorism.

So much for international law, huh.

You said: [If there is no US law then there is no United States. You just think committing the crimes is a good idea -- bank robbers think the same thing about robbing banks. Note also that the Geneva Conventions and 18 USC 2441 (the US War Crimes Act) are laws which specifically apply only to wars and armed conflicts.]

That is a wacko misrepresentation of what I said. I said that US domestic law (state and federal) does not apply internationally. Can you apply US domestic law in a foreign nation-state? Not unless the foreign sovereign state agrees.

Nothing binds international law except goodwill between nation-states. The odds of that good will increases when states become democracies so a global democracy is the goal.

You said: [Well in that case you are deluded: you are supporting a gang criminals, and they are not only losing the "war", it literally cannot be won -- it's pure idiocy.]

Take a look in the mirror pal and read the nonsense you are spewing. Our government is 'criminal' because they are trying to defend us from dangerous terrorist fanatics? That is what you are saying. You continuously claim that our government is criminal. Just where do you stand?

You said: [Well a) the Constitution itself grants them those rights, but b) the Congress already did pass such a law - 18 USC 2441 (among others going back to 1907).]

There is nothing in US law that grants US Constitutional protections to foreign terrorist organizations and their sponsors. Call the DOJ to get a clue. They will help you.

You said: [Oh, it will end a lot sooner than that, one way or another.]

This will be a 100 year war, at a minimum. It is an Islamic crusade, just as they marched to Vienna before being destroyed. That is what this is all about.

You said: [Sure they are and there's nothing outrageous about it: it's just plain discription of the obvious facts -- and it's equally obvious that you think fascism is just a good idea from what you've said here. Military dictators with no law but the will of the supreme leader. Ever hear of the Fuehrer Principle? The only real difference between the Nazis and you Republican neo-fascists is that Hitler was a lot smarter than Bush and a lot more honest than Cheney...

But they all have something in common too: they are nutty as fruit-cakes.]

That is just wacko nonsense unworthy of comment.

You said: [Sure I did: you just didn't bother to look at the stuff I cited. It's all on the web site.]

I did check it out and it is wishful thinking with a biased bent on the law.

You said: [And who exactly did you have in mind?? The entire population of Russia and China maybe? FYI, Slobodan Milosevic is on trial for war crimes right now and he is a former communist, not that it matters. A criminal is a criminal.]

All of the folks that ran the gulags and chemical and biological testing facilities to start. Then we can move into unlawful war activities and the genocide that appeared during those actions. I am thinking that the tens of millions that died during state-sponsored famines in Russia and China would be difficult to prosecute since most of those criminals are no longer alive.

You said: [Laugh all you want: facts are facts.]

You have no grasp of the facts whatsoever. That is my point. That is why I was laughing (and still am).

You said: [Wrong again: the President enacts the treaty, then ratifies it by sending it to the Senate for a 2/3 vote. Geneva 1949 was signed by Truman and ratified by Eisenhower.]

You need a class on the US Constitution. No treaty exists without Senate approval. In a Republic, the Senate has the power. I know leftists have been trying to change that since our country's inception, but we are still lawfully structured that way.

So I don't care what president attempts to create a treaty with a foreign power; if the US Senate doesn't approve it, it doesn't mean jack. You knew that what I said was right, but were just trying to get slippery with it, you know, like the leftists who think the US Constitution is a 'living document' lol. Some day soon perhaps all of that will be straightened out.

You said: [Not a state court, a federal court --]

I think that is the pivot to your flawed thinking. You think the courts run America.

You said: [Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals.]

Yes, if they carry their Geneva Conventions identification card that lists their name, their country of origin, their blood type, their rank and responsibility, and they wear a uniform and have at least one other means to identify them as a combatant.

What does it take to get these truths to sink in, Charles? Study the Geneva Conventions; don't try and rewrite them according to your laughable world-view because no court will take it seriously.

Gitmo will churn ahead as planned as will the War on Terrorism.

You should join the US Army and see what defending America is about. Check out goarmy.com for more information. The US Army can teach you all about the Geneva Conventions.

Obtestor

8/17/2005 12:11 AM  
Anonymous Charles Gittings said...

Hi Obtestor,

* "I think that is the pivot to your flawed thinking. You think the courts run America."

Your wilful ignorance is NOT my flawed thinking. The US government consists of three branches: legislative, executive, and judiciary. The three together "run" the country, and the judical power is vested in the courts. That's not what I think, it's what the Constitution plainly says, and I quoted the clause which describes the basic jurisdiction of the federal courts verbatim.


* [Persons protected by the Convention are those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals. Geneva IV Civilians, art. 4.]

"Yes, if they carry their Geneva Conventions identification card that lists their name, their country of origin, their blood type, their rank and responsibility, and they wear a uniform and have at least one other means to identify them as a combatant."

WRONG: that's in Geneva III POWs ("GPW"), and it only applies to GPW. Geneva IV Civilians ("GC") only applies to people who are NOT protected by Geneva I-III, (GC art. 4 again) and has no such requirement. If you'd quit ranting and just read the Conventions honestly you'd know that.

Hell, it's obvious from the article you cited: civilians don't have ranks and they don't wear uniforms... and if they unlawfully attack someone, that doesn't make them a combatant, it makes them a criminal.


* "What does it take to get these truths to sink in, Charles? Study the Geneva Conventions; don't try and rewrite them according to your laughable world-view because no court will take it seriously."

I've clearly studied them a LOT more than you have, and I've studied them a lot more HONESTLY than you have too. There isn't any truth in your fraudulent nonsense.

And that's all I have time for tonight, but I'll address the rest of your BS in the morning.

Charles Gittings

8/17/2005 1:56 AM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

Charles,

Sleeping after reading my truths, I take it? Good. Hopefully the next time you post you put some facts on the table instead of leftist drivel and propaganda.

You said: [Your wilful ignorance is NOT my flawed thinking. The US government consists of three branches: legislative, executive, and judiciary. The three together "run" the country, and the judical power is vested in the courts. That's not what I think, it's what the Constitution plainly says, and I quoted the clause which describes the basic jurisdiction of the federal courts verbatim.]

Talk about flawed thinking! Look at what you wrote and compare it to what I said. Your problem is that you do not read what other people say, or you have a serious reading comprehension problem.

I didn't say US courts were not part of American government. I said US courts do not have the responsibility to declare war, make treaties, establish the international disposition of combatant forces engaged with the United States during wartime and hosts of other powers that you think US courts do have. Your 'viewpoints' are nothing short of annoying for their radical leftist undertones. You call the US government criminal and yet provide no evidence, just wild claims and conjecture and you say that al Qai'da terrorists deserve US Constitutional rights. Get a grip already! You could sleep on it for six months and never fix that wacko thinking!

America needs tort reform now!

Then you said: [I've clearly studied them a LOT more than you have, and I've studied them a lot more HONESTLY than you have too. There isn't any truth in your fraudulent nonsense.]

You are acting like a thug now. Attack the messenger logic fallacy.

Then you said: [And that's all I have time for tonight, but I'll address the rest of your BS in the morning.]

Translation: I better go do some research to try and defeat Obtestor's brilliant positions! He is a conservative Republican and a Nazi neo-con right wing member of the vast, super vast, endless, without end, super super vast, endless, across the galaxy even right wing conspiracy!

LOL

Obtestor

8/17/2005 6:48 AM  
Anonymous Mary Finn said...

Commenting on your comment about the Hittites:

It would be interesting to know what advice the Hittites would have given Hitler. “Don’t open that second front,” would be my guess.

The Hittite treaties you are referring to are from the Bronze Age Hittite kingdom that lasted from about 1750 B.C.E. to perhaps 1180 B.C.E. This kingdom had to fight on all four sides (mostly not all at the same time), so quite understandably the rulers took a keen interest in international relations and treaties, doing their best to avoid fighting on too many fronts at once.

The home territory of the Hittite kingdom was in north-central Anatolia (now in Turkey), north of the river called Halys in Greek times and the Kizil Irmak today.

To the north the Pontic mountains and hard-fighting mountain tribes that didn’t do much diplomacy separated the Hittites from the Black Sea.

To the south beyond the mountain pass now called the Cilician Gates lay a country called Kizzuwatna with whom the Hittites had varying relationships, including treaties.

In western Anatolia towards the Mediterranean coast were several groups of people including Arzawa, Millawanda (later perhaps Miletus) and the Land of the Seha River plus a city-state then called Wilusa and many centuries later called Ilios or Troy. The Hittite rulers corresponded with them and made treaties well as fighting them on occasion.

References:
Bryce, Trevor, Kingdom of the Hittites
Bryce, Trevor, Letters of the Great Kings of the ancient Middle East: the Royal correspondence of the Late Bronze Age

from Mary Finn, Northwestern University

8/17/2005 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Charles Gittings said...

Hi Obtestor,

No, I just needed some sleep.

After reading your latest, there's nothing for me to add; res ipsa loquitur.

But thanks for the help.

Charly

8/17/2005 10:20 PM  
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