Monday, February 1, 2016
Unjust Geneva Convention - Soldier Rots In Prison Warmonger Stays Free
When it was revealed that Her Majesty's Shadow Secretary of Defence, Emily Thornberry, has received political donations from a dodgy law firm, Leigh Day, who scoured the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan searching for 'victims of abuse' supposedly perpetrated by British soldiers with a view to suing them, it raised the age old issue of what are acceptable or unacceptable actions during warfare.
(Dodgy law firm get busted here)
It came as news to millions of people, myself included, that there exists a 145-strong department called the Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) charged with investigating these allegations and who's caseload has exceeded 1,500 cases. The investigation into whether Iraqi's or Afghans were ill-treated or unlawfully killed by soldiers will drag on until 2019 at the earliest and cost at least
How that affects soldiers efficiency on the battlefield is anyone's guess but it can hardly be conducive to their morale.
Law firms like Leigh Day and the IHAT who together swim in the fetid swamp of the recently created human rights industry would serve justice better if they investigated with equal vigour those who send soldiers into battle in the first place.
The infamous case of jailed-for-life Royal Marine Sgt Alexander Blackman, previously designated Marine A and the man who got him involved the war, Prime Minister Tony Blair is a case in point.
(Marine A prosecution here)
No one could have put the issue in clearer language than author and journalist George Orwell who opined on the issue way back in 1943. It's worth quoting part of his article from his Tribune newspaper column, As I Please, to illustrate the point:
"I note the surprise with which many people seem to discover that war is not a crime. Hitler, it appears, has not done anything actionable. He has not raped anybody, nor carried off any pieces of loot with his own hands, nor personally flogged any prisoners, buried any wounded men alive, thrown any babies into the air and spitted them on his bayonet, dipped any nuns in petrol and touched them off with church tapers - in fact he has not done any of the things which any enemy nationals are credited with doing in war-time. He has merely precipitated a world war which will have cost twenty million lives before it ends. And there's nothing illegal in that".
Since this was written the Geneva and Hague Conventions have been updated and re-written to clarify the laws of war with the noble intention of protecting prisoners and non-combatants among a myriad of other things.
In light of the fact that the war which resulted in Sgt Blackman being jailed for finishing off a fatally wounded Taliban terrorist was justified by Tony Blair using doctored intelligence reports and outright lies and also by the fact that he is free as a bird, it is abundantly clear that the Geneva and Hague Conventions make the serving soldier doing what he is trained to do liable to prosecution while absolving the warmonger from any responsibility or guilt whatsoever.
Blair lied to Parliament and along with his communications chief Alastair Campbell deliberately 'sexed up' the dossier on weapons of mass destruction and other matters in order to justify waging war on Iraq which posed no threat to Great Britain or it's people.
( One dodgy dossier story here)
In the context of Orwell's quote Tony Blair was party to precipitating a war which has so far cost the lives of anywhere between two-hundred thousand and a million souls, most of them civilians and it appears he has done nothing illegal.
Blair's actions have not justified prosecution under the Geneva and Hague Conventions therefore they are not fit for purpose and consequently they should be considered invalid for deciding guilt for the causes and actions in modern international armed conflicts.
It must also be acknowledged that in addition to the appalling casualties resulting from Blair's war it has also precipitated the rise of ISIS which in turn has resulted in murder and mayhem across the world and a further untold increase in casualties.
Orwell ended his article thus:
"Nevertheless, a world in which it is wrong to murder an individual civilian and right to drop a thousand tons of high explosive on a residential area does sometimes make me wonder whether this earth of ours is not a loony-bin made use of by some other planet".
In conclusion, Sgt Blackman's action of dispatching a single terrorist to claim his virgins in paradise was done under unimaginable stress in the heat of battle and is trivial compared to horrendous casualties caused by the illegal actions of Tony Blair which were decided at his leisure with no stress at all.
Sgt Blackman is a hero who did what he was trained to do and therefore he should be released forthwith with his rank and benefits restored.