Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Iraq: US Occupation Obligations Under Geneva

The US cannot credibly delegate responsibility for Iraq's security. Geneva imposes this obligation on the United States, not those who have been invaded.

Ref: Via Katharine: US incapable of meeting Geneva occuptation obligations; creating a scapegoat to distract attention of war crimes prosecutors.

Ref US Government outsources Geneva occupation obligations: Like Wall Street, creates a shell entity to insulate defective American leadership from legal responsibilites.

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the Occupying Power shall be bound, for the duration of the occupation, to the extent that such Power exercises the functions of government in such territory, by the provisions of the following Articles of the present Convention: 1 to 12, 27, 29 to 34, 47, 49, 51, 52, 53, 59, 61 to 77, 143.Ref

"Inherent government functions" includes security. Until the Iraqis can do that on their own, the US has a legal obligation to meet the Geneva convention requirements. No one can credibly claim the Iraqis, because they have voted for a government, have the primary responsibility for security; or that the US has no responsibility to maintain security.

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Pelosi may assert that the President won't be impeached, but this is meaningless with respect to joint Legislative-Executive responsibility to ensure order in Iraq.

Pelosi's statement has no legal foundation. If she refuses to act to prevent war crimes, or does nothing to correct the deteriorating situation in Iraq -- should she have the power to do so -- may subject her to a war crimes indictment.

Whether the US can or cannot stop a civil war is irrelevant. The US has the legal obligation to maintain security.

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The American government's approach to Iraq and the Geneva Conventions satisfies the elements of "recklessness".

(1) Clear Rules: Geneva Conventions Applied

Whether the US leadership understood this requirement or complied with the requirement is meaningless. It remains a requirement of the US to comply with Geneva, and ensure that people under the US care are adequately protected.

(2) Known Risks: Failure of Americans To Comply With Geneva Requirements.

CIA and government analysts well knew the situation in Iraq was deteriorating, yet refused to take steps that would adequately apply manning resources needed to fully comply with Geneva. The insurgency was known to be on an exponential growth rate; a failure of US leadership to start a military draft in 2004 would put the US in an impossible position to comply with Geneva security requirements. Details

(3) Well Warned: American Leadership Ignored Cautions From All Sectors

America was warned before the war started what the risks were: A false war, loss of rights.

(4) Disregard for Requirements: Valid Concerns, Questions Discounted

There were people raising questions on the eve of war which were told "not to worry about", but now we know: The concerns and questions were valid.

(5) Other Legal Options Ignored

It wasn't as though the US leadership had no option or alternative. There was no imminent threat, this was a war of choice, and there was no requirement to quickly move on an artificial timetable.

All the peaceful, lawful options were ignored. Despite choosing the timetable, the Americans freely chose to embark on the illegal campaign without sufficient resources to fully comply with its Geneva obligations.

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This is the American government's mess to clean up. Any effort in 2006 to outsource Geneva obligations to the Iraqis is meaningless.

The US, as it did with rendition when it outsourced prisoner abuse, may have to grovel more before the Syrians and Iranians to get their assistance.

Something worse than privately cooperating working with nations that the US has publicly accused of terrorism; it's making secret deals to get their cooperation.

These mixed signals, private arrangements, and convoluted alliances were some of the reasons the US had problems with Iraq-Saddam, and contributed to the first World War, WWI.

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Ref US, despite Hamdan, illegally passed the Military Commission Bill, and fails to comply with the prisoner reporting bureau.

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The American illegal adventure in Iraq has backfired.

(A) American Geneva Obligations As An Occupying Power Remain

It's inappropriate for the United States to delegate responsibility to the Iraqis for something they cannot do. The US knew, or should have known, the Geneva requirements for occupation. The US cannot credibly blame the Iraqis for any future failures to maintain security. The failure to maintain security in Iraq is exclusively an American leadership problem. Blaming the Iraqis for the likely rapid deterioration in security in no way immunizes American leadership of their Geneva obligations. The continued deteriorating situation in Iraq is evidence of American incompetence.

(B) Failed Management Does Not Immunize American Leadership Of Geneva Responsibilities

The situation in Iraq is an exclusive American training, management, and oversight failure. The Americans failed to address issues related to well discussed concerns with security, lack of an imminent threat. The illegal war would forseeably inspire locals to take up arms to oppose the unlawful United States action.

(C) The Nexus Was Foreseeable

The American intelligence community outlined manning requirements which indicated a military draft would be needed to face the insurgency. This known risk was ignored. Whether the American leadership understood this risk is meaningless: The Geneva obligations were requirements. Either the leadership was reckless in not planning; or it failed to heed the information it was provided.

(D) Illegal American Transfer of Responsibility

The US is illegally delegating responsibility for the success or failure of the American occupation to the Iraqi civilian government. The Iraqi civilian government does not have the resources, power, or ability to maintain security. Only the United States has the responsibility and resources to meet the Geneva requirements.

(E) Foreseeable Backlash Against American Interests Worldwide

The American recklessness inspires reasonable contempt. The US response has been more of the "create a mess, then blame those who complain that the US has not fulfilled its Geneva obligations." Senator Kennedy on the Senate Floor, prior to the illegal American invasion of Iraq well cautioned that the activity might precipitate the very violence the US hoped to prevent. He underestimated his clarity and statesmanship.

The US refused to discuss the issues with Saddam, but must discuss with known terrorists. By refusing to work with what was known, the US lost the flexibility to do what it should around the globe: Assert the rule of law. By exhausting American power and goodwill, the US has transitioned from a superpower, to a rogue nation. American no longer has the power it once claimed, nor the options to exercise its discretion. Like the Roman Empire, it overstretched.