Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It isn't a war, so the rules of war don't apply

The Ottawa Citizen, April 10 : Canadian soldiers may be subject to war crimes charges., May 31 : Canada not at war in Afghanistan : O'Connor

The Globe and Mail, May 31 : Troops told Geneva rules don't apply to Taliban

In April, UBC international law professor Michael Byers and University of Ottawa Prof. Amir Attaran, a constitutional human rights law specialist, said that the International Criminal Court could charge Canadian soldiers with war crimes because they transfer prisoners into Afghan custody where even the Afghanis state the prisoners are regularly tortured.

But O'Connor says we're not really at war.

So Lieutenant-General Michel Gauthier, who commands the Canadian Expeditionary Forces Command and all Canadian Forces deployed abroad, says because the regulations only apply in an armed conflict between states, and what's happening in Afghanistan is not an armed conflict between states, therefore there is no basis for determining whether or not individuals are prisoners of war.

It isn't a war, so there are no POWs and therefore the Geneva Conventions don't apply to us.
Just like the US.


Dave said...

Good post. I can't believe how much Harper is using the US playbook, and how much the Canadian public seems to be letting him get away with it.

Phyl said...

Damn. I loathe these people with hot loathing.[

What can we do to get this issue so out there that they can't shut it up, and have to change the policy??

Anonymous said...

I don't see how this can be tagged on Harper when it was the Liberal Party who got us involved in the war in the first place. The liberals had a majority when they sent our soldiers to fight and agreed to keep us there until Feb 07. The recent vote was to extend the commitment past Feb 07 and even if the vote would have been to withraw we would still be there thanks to the Liberal Party of Canada. If you need to blame someone, how about Martin?

Niles said...

Actually, I'd rather blame Bush. Everyone rolled out to go clean up Afghanistan, which was doing oh...fine...until as Gwynne Dyer put it, Bush veered off into the ditch and lost a wheel deciding to invade Iraq.

Also, yes the Liberals were at the helm, decreeing Canada was going into Afghanistan as part of a coalition force. What part of that was pre-invasion of Iraq? Oh yeah. Talk about your 'ally' going off and doing his own thing instead of covering your back...

Was there anything in the Liberal mandate that said as we were going to Afghanistan, btw, no Geneva Convention worries, mate? Was it stated as part of official Liberal declarations that Geneva Conventions were off the table at any point they were in charge? If there were, I'd certainly like to have them cited.

Havril said...

If it's not war, catchy protest songs are going to be a bitch/bastard to write.

"Armed engagement with non-state enemy combattants. What is it good for? Absolutely nothin'. Say it again."

Uh, do I have to?

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