Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/293/13996
Hypocrisy on prisoners of war
IRAQI FORCES took five American GIs prisoner near Nassiriya on 23 March. The Arabic Al-Jazeera satellite (followed by most of the world's media) showed them being interviewed by Iraqi TV. Next day Iraq paraded two US helicopter pilots, shot down by Saddam's forces, on television.
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld latched on to this sickening treatment to accuse Iraq of violating the Geneva convention, the international law on the treatment of prisoners of war (PoWs).
Rumsfeld must think we have incredibly short memories. Only last week his government stuck two fingers up at the United Nations and 'international law' when they invaded Iraq. And what major country refuses to sign up for the International Criminal Court because it fears prosecution? The USA.
US forces showed how they treated prisoners of war after the Afghan war. 30 drugged Taliban fighters were hauled, bags over their heads and shackles on all parts of their bodies, from a US military aircraft at Camp X-Ray, in the US enclave of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They were kept in open-air chain link cages.
Bush and his friends didn't recognise these men as PoWs but instead dubbed them "unlawful combatants" so they'd have no rights under the Geneva Convention. Poodle Blair wagged his tail and agreed to this shocking treatment.
The Pentagon posted these pictures on its website - pictures of detainees without hope of a fair trial who could still be tried by emergency military tribunal, which has the power to pass the death sentence.
Capitalist dictators like Saddam's can easily ignore the niceties of the Geneva Convention. Bush's regime is just as careless of 'international law' when it is fighting an imperialist war for profit and prestige.
In The Socialist 28 March 2003: