Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Semantics Exchange

I am disgusted with the comparing "detainees" at GITMO or Palestinian's in Israeli jails to prisoners of war. "Prisoner of War" is an official status recognized by most governments around the world. A primary qualification is that the prisoner must be uniformed or having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance. Others include that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates, that they carried arms openly, and that their conduct prior to capture be in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

None of the detained at GITMO meet that criteria.

By both international law and treaty, spies, most snipers (gilly suits are not uniforms) , and covert operatives when captured are not given status as prisoners of war by these governments. This list includes the United States.

The Hamas operatives that kidnapped Cpl. Shalit from Israel were technically civilians. The Palestinian government, now realizing the reprisals from Israel are offereing a "prisoner exhange."

None of the Palestinian prisoners meet that criteria.

Here is the difference: Cpl. Shalit is a uniformed solder operating within the laws of land warfare. These laws are made to reduce the unnecessary suffering of combatants and noncombatants, protect the fundamental rights of those captured, regardless of them being military or civilian, prisoners of war, etc., and finally to help with the peace process. That last part makes the assumption that some day hostilities will end.

And now for the slippery slope... If Palestinians and their Syrian puppet masters wish to equate their kidnappings and executions with legitimate military actions, and if they wish to equate non-uniformed civilians and covert operatives with military personnel, then any Palestinian or Syrian, uniformed or not, is a "legitmate military target" and Israel is completely justified in destroying them.


Spring said...

How can they offer a prisoner exchange when they killed Cpl Shalit? And who else are they keeping captive?

Shawn McManus said...

Cpl. Shalit has not been reported killed that I know. An 18 year old west bank settler that was recently kidnapped was reported "riddled with bullet holes" and mentioned in the newscasts with Cpl. Shalit.

"Settler" is a buzz word for a Jew living in the West Bank - his family may have lived there since 1967 but he's still a "settler." Funny how no one ever mentions or complains about the Palestinian "settlers" living in Israel.