Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Blog Post of The day: Saker's take on the Geneva Conventions

I get a lot of comments to the effect that the Geneva Conventions (GC) are only for victors, or inapplicable in war, or wishful thinking etc.

I very much disagree.

For the following reasons:

First, there is a difference between a solider and a thug and that difference is not in the guns they carry, but in what they do and why they do it.  Yes, there are indeed bad soldiers who act like thugs, but that does not mean that our society has to accept that and confuse aberration with the norm.  The norm, the ideal, must be upheld for the sake of being civilized.

NYT Is Lost in Its Ukraine Propaganda

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on Feb. 7, 2014. (U.S. State Department photo)

Exclusive: One danger of lying is that you must then incorporate the falsehood into the longer narrative, somehow making the lies fit. The same is true of propaganda as the New York Times is learning as it continues to falsify the narrative of the Ukraine crisis, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

In late February, a conference is scheduled in New York City to discuss the risk of nuclear war if computers reach the level of artificial intelligence and take decisions out of human hands. But there is already the old-fashioned danger of nuclear war, started by human miscalculation, fed by hubris and propaganda.

Ukraine Civil War: Commander Givi and the Geneva Conventions - The saker

There has been a lot of criticisms of the battalion "Somali" and Givi for the way they treated the junta's prisoners, including the Colonel who, apparently, was the commander of the junta's 93rd Brigade.  Let me begin by agreeing with those who say that the treatment of these prisoners did violate the Geneva conventions, no doubt about it in my mind.

The law (or how it maybe would be in a perfect world)

The first thing to notice here is that the Geneva Conventions (GC) apply primarily to international conflicts, not to civil wars. They do however have a Common Article 3 which is specifically tailored to "non-international conflicts". Common article 3 has a section c which prohibit: "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment".  Since Givi's purpose was precisely to humiliate his prisoners, you can say that his actions were in violations of the GC.

"When the word comes ‘it’s time’" -- Zakharchenko's geopolitical analysis

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk for FortRuss 

If one is to speak without geopolitical complexities and nuances, the situation is extremely simple. This is a battle for the continent, for the international system, for one’s own taiga. They are desperately attacking us and are trying to take us down quickly. They use all means at their disposal, except for direct military intervention on Russia’s territory. They are destroying Russians outside their boarders, are raising foreign legions in order to invade the country. The West undertook to destroy us for the simple reason it is trying to avert its own destruction. The main factors are the destruction of the economy and of the political authorities of Russia. 


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