A few points to be made with the whole British Soldier-hostage-Iran thing. In looking at the Geneva Convention, it would appear it’s not written in a language Islamic countries understand…
According to Article 3,
To this end 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
Notwithstanding the treatment of prisoners in Iraq that may have beheaded by those sponsored and/or supported by Iran, this part of the GC does not apply in the current stand-off, that is, for now.
Taking of hostages
Well, this is a no-brainer. Iran seized fifteen British sailors on patrol in where they claim was Iranian waters. One would think the protocol would be question the Brits as to their purpose, inform them that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, maybe detain them on-site until the proper authorities could clarify the situation, and eventually let them go.
Clearly to take them, reportedly at gunpoint, against their will and hold them at an unknown location is clearly a violation of the GC. Curiously, very few in the media here in the United States seem to think this is a point worth investigating. Obviously this is a Tony Blair problem because he sided with Bush who created the whole mess we now found ourselves, yada yada.
Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment
Can you imaging the rioting that would occur in Middle Eastern nations (as it doesn’t take much to give them a reason to riot) if a Muslim woman were forced to remove her head scarf? It would considered the mother of all insults. Apologies would be demanded, and then those apologies wouldn’t be enough. Terminations (firings, not executions… yet) would be demaned. Then that wouldn’t be enough. A fatwa (declaration of war) would be issued on the entities responsible for the humiliation.
But when a Islamo-fascist insults the West, we’re just supposed to bend over and take it. That’s the humane thing to do and those rules only apply to us.
How was the whole Abu Ghraib prison scandal handled, seeing how Iran is using that to the delight of terrorist sympathizers?
In one of the formal letters released by Tehran, hostage Leading Seaman Faye Turney supposedly on her own said,
“To British People,
“We hear and see on the news the way that prisoners are treated in Abu Ghraib and other jails by the British and American personnel, I have received total respect and faced no harm.
A liberal activist couldn’t have said it any better. Funny how our enemies frequently use the same verbiage as the liberal left. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence. “To British People.” Yeah, like any Brit would use that kind of broken English....
“It is now our time to ask our government to make a change to its oppressive behavior towards other people.”
Seeing how there are always alternative opinions in almost any issue, and seeing how there is obviously no oppressive behavior in Iran, I’d love to read some of the opinions of Iranians that may think the taking of these hostages is a bad thing. Funny how there seems to be no reports of differing views...?
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.
Haven’t heard of that happening yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time....
According to Article 13, Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated.
Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried out in his interest.
It’s early yet....
Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity. Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.
So all those reported public chants of Death to England, death to England must be a misunderstanding.
Article 14 reads,
Prisoners of war are entitled in all circumstances to respect for their persons and their honor. Women shall be treated with all the regard due to their sex and shall in all cases benefit by treatment as favorable as that granted to men.
Again, please explain the scarf thing seeing how Faye Turney probably never wore one at home or in uniform?
Prisoners of war shall retain the full civil capacity which they enjoyed at the time of their capture. The Detaining Power may not restrict the exercise, either within or without its own territory, of the rights such capacity confers except in so far as the captivity requires.
And all these letters that the prisoners have written on their own free will is just that, right?
Royal Marine Nathan Thomas Summers said on Iranian television, “ We trespassed without permission” in Iranian waters.
“Since we have been arrested our treatment has been very friendly, we have not been harmed at all. The food they have been serving us has been good. I would like to apologize for entering your waters without any permission. I know it happened back in 2004 (when the Iranians arrested UK servicemen) and our government promised that it wouldn’t happen again, and again I deeply apologize for entering your waters.”
Now, we have this splash from The Independent in Great Britain claiming the whole hostage crisis is in response to an American raid to capture some top Iranian officials.
The Independent’s Patrick Cockburn wrote,
A failed American attempt to abduct two senior Iranian security officers on an official visit to northern Iraq was the starting pistol for a crisis that 10 weeks later led to Iranians seizing 15 British sailors and Marines.
Early on the morning of 11 January, helicopter-born US forces launched a surprise raid on a long-established Iranian liaison office in the city of Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. They captured five relatively junior Iranian officials whom the US accuses of being intelligence agents and still holds.
In reality the US attack had a far more ambitious objective, The Independent has learned. The aim of the raid, launched without informing the Kurdish authorities, was to seize two men at the very heart of the Iranian security establishment.
The cynic I am… I wonder if The Independent is attempting to win a British equivalent of a Pulitzer and pulling a New York Times giving up military information during a time of war? Also, if this were true and happened months ago, why didn’t Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad bring this up when he spoke to the United Nations? Surely this would have the effect of slamming President Bush’s you-know-what in the door if Ahmadinejad could have bellowed to the world that the United States was conducting military kidnappings.
It may have happened, but it strikes me a curious how only now Iranian officials are acknowledging this operation and have only spoken to this one British newspaper.
But I got off message.
The bottom line is that our current enemy has spat on the Geneva Convention.
Combat troops captured have been beaten and/or killed, civilian contractors have been captured and beheaded on television. Captured journalists have been forced to convert to Islam in order to have their lives spared. When the United States finds our personnel have committed atrocities of war, our personnel are punished.
Our enemies commit murder behind masks.
So much for the Geneva Convention. Just maybe that will be a greater incentive for us to just kick ass and win this thing quickly and decisively. Some would have us fight a nice war. It’s not nice anymore.
Bob Parks is a member/writer for the National Advisory Council of Project 21, is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance (www.thenma.org) and Vice President of the Massachusetts Republican Assembly.