Skip to comments.'Dirty war' allegations cut both ways
Posted on 04/05/2003 9:21:07 AM PST by DED
Some of the biggest losses we have taken are due to Iraqis committing serious violations of the law of armed conflict and the Geneva Conventions, by dressing as civilians and luring us into surrender situations and opening fire on our troops, General Richard Myers, Chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters days into the invasion of Iraq.
Since then similar claims have been repeated by US-led forces, particularly in the aftermath of two successful Iraqi human bomb attacks against military checkpoints.
The latest came from Pentagon spokesman, General Stanley McChrystal on 5 April in a briefing to reporters.
But he seemed to be taken by surprise when an American journalist asked him to comment on the the fact that sections of the US-led force routinely operate out of uniform.
His response was one of pregnant silence, as if struck by the reminder that US-led special forces are working in Iraq without uniform.
International law prohibits attacking, killing, injuring, capturing or deceiving the enemy by resorting to what is called perfidy - an attack launched by combatants who have led opposing forces to believe that the attackers are really non-combatants.
But the civilian dress issue is less clear-cut than US-led forces are making out. They say the stiff resistance encountered by US and UK forces at Nasiriya was put up by a mix of Iraqi regular army, Baath party officials and militiamen from the Fedayeen Saddam.
Attacks launched by openly armed belligerents in civilian clothes do not constitute perfidy. The first Additional Protocol in 1977 to the Geneva Convention allows for guerrilla warfare, which has been seen as a valid and appropriate means of fighting for national liberation.
Moreover, disguise and deception are tactics that have been employed by US-led forces throughout this and other confrontations.
US and UK special forces are famous for their ability to infiltrate behind enemy lines, to pass unnoticed in enemy cities to designate targets with laser devices, to take out key people and rescue prisoners of war. A whole genre of Hollywood movies and literature has even sprung up in recent years portraying these types of secret operations. No one imagines that secretive special forces units, such as Delta Force and the SAS, walk around behind enemy lines in their uniforms.
United States Special Operations operated for weeks before the war, hunting for Scud missiles and launch vehicles and storage sites for illegal weapons. Army Brigadier General Vince Brooks, Deputy Director Operations for US Central Command said, we are having very good success, we believe, in the west to limit the options of the regime on threatening its neighbours.
Of more concern is the claim that civilians feign surrender, lure US troops into weak positions and then ambush. Victoria Clarke, the Pentagon spokeswomen in Centcom, describes this as the deadly deception. So far there has not been any independent confirmation of these reports but, like the heightened threat of human bomb attacks, they have raised the suspicion that they may simply be deployed by US-led forces as a pretext for an aggressive policy against an unwelcoming Iraqi population.
Just think how easy this would have been to just turn the whole of Iraq into glass or to pretend we were on thier side, infiltrate thier cities with thousands of faux freinds, then jump em.
The Saddam Hussein Regime is very similiar to the Third Reich. Atrocities have perpetrated on the Iraqi people for the last 25 years by a madman and his band of criminal thugs.
Fox News has been reporting that British forces have found what appears to be a central morgue in southern Iraq, that contains the remains of some 600 human beings. These are the acts of barbarians.