I often argue that international law is a joke on many levels. I think it’s unfair to developed nations or major military powers as it seems to apply different standards of conduct (‘good people don’t do that’) or we just turn a blind eye. I mean, Syria gets a rotating seat on the Human Rights Commission? What?
But when you really think about it, the term crimes of war is completely unfair to nations with less military capability. I mean, we know that the Janjaweed, Hamas, and the Taliban had no qualms about committing war crimes, but we don’t drag them to the Hague. We don’t do much to stop them, either, cause, well, they’re the types who ‘do that sort of thing’.
Most frequent cited crimes of war:
- Indiscriminate killing of citizens
- Forced migration
- Stripping of citizenship or citizen’s rights
but…if I’m lacking big planes and awesome guns, doesn’t it makes sense that I’ll strike whichever way I can? Of course Hamas is going to lobby rockets into Israel. Of course Hamas will refuse to release Schalit (not even for a 1,000 prisoner trade! but hell, the food in Israel’s prisons is probably better) as the citizens of Israel beg for his release. (I’m not sure how sympathetic France is.)
The idea that two nations are going to fight with their military capabilities only is silly. And if one nation or group is lacking, roadside bombs are just as valid as drones. The difference is who they aim to kill. Economic sanctions are designed to hurt citizens, and our Iraq ones did just that.
I find it absurd that Hamas can abduct Schalit (a crime of war) and Israel attacks Gaza and is condemned for possible war crimes. Hamas, too, was cited as having committed possible war crimes. (Dude, there is no ‘possible’ about it.)
But because one has more strength than the other, they’re supposed to ‘be the better man’? And what does that say for nations with inferior technology? That they’re backwards, inhuman, wrong, uncivilized?
Every nation has been guilty of so-called ‘crimes of war’. But I feel that ‘crimes of war’ is a euphemism for cough “Not how Europeans/white people are supposed to act”.
Hummph. If the west wasn’t so concerned about these crimes of war, we could’ve been out of Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya already.