Scotty claims that I am outdated in my opinions on the so-called “rules” of warfare. This is what he claims are the “rules” of war. Let’s take a look at what they really are.
- The Hague Convention(s). There were two- held in 1899 and 1907. The one in 1899 concentrated on the outlawing of poisons in warfare, the killing of enemy combatants who have surrendered, looting of a town or place, and the attack or bombardment of undefended towns or habitations. Inhabitants of occupied territories may not be forced into military service against their own country and collective punishment is forbidden. I would point out that every signatory of the treaties arising out of this convention has violated them whenever it suited them.
- The second Hague convention in 1907 was a set of rules for naval warfare and was passed to help Britain (then the largest and most powerful Navy) to retain its supremacy at sea. It didn’t work.
- The Geneva Convention(s). The Geneva Conventions concern only protected non-combatants in war and how they can’t be imprisoned. I will let the prisoners in Gitmo explain that one to you.
- The 1925 Geneva Protocol. It bans the use of chemical and biological weapons in war. That one has been violated numerous times, and the US had a sizeable poison gas stockpile until July of this year, with plans of using them against the Soviets in a European land war. The only reason they weren’t used is that the anticipated war never happened.
- United Nations Charter. This is an international debating society that is largely funded by the US. It spends most of its time slamming the US, while it’s ‘peacekeepers’ spend their time raping the civilian populations in the areas they are nominally observing.
- Nuremberg Trials and Nuremberg Principles. This was nothing more than an ex post facto declaration that permitted the winners of WW2 to punish the losers. This has been done after every war, ever. (See the southern ‘reconstruction’ after the Civil war, the salting of the farmland of Carthage by Rome, etc.)
- 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. More ex post facto punishment of the losers of WW2 by the winners.
- 1974 United Nations Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict. Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict. The UN themselves violates this on a regular basis.
- 1977 United Nations Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques. This one bans the use of weather modification during wartime to protect the environment. This treaty is followed simply because the technology doesn’t exist to break it.
- 1977 Geneva Protocols. This one is there to protect the wounded, the sick, the shipwrecked, prisoners of war and civilians who find themselves in enemy hands. One of the things it does is ban the arming of medical personnel marked with either the Red Cross or the Red Crescent.
- 1980 United Nations Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (CCW). This one bans the use of land mines, booby traps, incendiary devices, blinding laser weapons and demands the clearance of explosive remnants of war. Many countries, the US included, has used each and every one of these in conflicts around the globe. The US is currently suppling many of these weapons to Ukraine for use against Russia. The US didn’t clean up shit in Afghanistan. I would also point out that the US has always used what they euphemistically call the “mechanical ambush”- for example a tripwire set to detonate a claymore mine that is aimed down a trail. Just read many of the field manuals published by the US Army as an example.
- 1997 Ottawa Treaty. This one prohibits the use of landmines. Need I point out how many nations and conflicts are still using them today?
The simple fact is this: Countries set these rules to attempt to prevent their enemies from using effective weapons, but continue to violate these “laws” whenever it suits them. Don’t begin to tell me that the US cares one whit about civilian casualties. Just ask the residents of Dresden, Nagasaki, or Hiroshima about that. Even the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts saw more than half a million civilian deaths, and the US has never held anyone accountable for that.
But post Nuremberg, post Yugoslavian civil wars, post Serbo-Coatian Civil war, and Kosovo war the international community has laid teeth to the idea that if you violate the rules of war, the laws of war, you will not get away with it. We are still having discussions about 90-100 year old men maybe having been concentration camp guards or complicit actors to genocide.
That’s complete bullshit. By “international community” you mean that the US and their allies are using those deaths as an excuse to push their agenda on the rest of the world, while turning a blind eye to its own and China’s abuses. (See the Uyghur massacre)
Are there rules of war? I dunno ask those Abu-Ghraib guards who went to prison
Those guys went to prison while even worse abuses were happening in US “extraordinary rendition” policies around the world. Those guys went to jail for embarrassing their chain of command more than for what they actually did.
I would take on the rest of his comment, but it wandered off topic into the reasons why we need to support the Ukraine conflict, nuke Russia, and other neocon warhawk talking points before supporting the Israelis wiping out the residents of Gaza, which of course violates most of the “laws” he pointed out in the beginning, which supports my point-
The point to me saying that there are no laws of warfare other than to win is this- the only people who have ever been punished for violating “the rules of war” are the people who lose the war, because winning the war is the ONLY thing that matters. To the winners go the spoils, might makes right, etc. After the war is over, the winners get to punish the losers by using the “international laws” as a pretext for show trials that are designed to humiliate the losers of the conflict.