Monday, August 27, 2007

And they came in, two by two

It's fuckwit journalist time, again. Johann Hari and Neil Clark (what a surprise, I hear you snigger into your Gs&Ts).

First, we have a slightly-passed-its-best CiF excretion from Neil, in which he opines:
Let's not forget that the Nuremburg judgment held that to initiate a war of aggression was "not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole". Allowing Blair and his fellow warmongers to get off scot-free for the illegal, murderous attack on Iraq would put us - the British people - in the same moral category as the Germans who stood by and watched as Jews were herded on to trains bound for the concentration camps.

No, you utter, utter dribbling moron. Even accepting your assumptions, which I don't, it puts us, the British people, in the same moral category as the Germans who stood by and watched as German troops marched on to trains bound for Poland or the Siegfried Line. The treatment received in the concentration camps (rather than internment itself) would have been illegal regardless of who started the war.

You would also have to question, if you were actually bothered about the cretin's piss-poor rhetoric, whether only Germans who knew what conditions were in the concentration camps (however many or few this may have been) would be guilty of a crime of omission?

Then, Johann at his metro-socialist worst:
The US troops cannot be an agent of anything positive in Iraq, after using chemical weapons in cities

Sorry? What the fuck? I seem to have missed the nerve agent pouring from US planes and shells into Sadr City. What is he talking about? Depleted uranium or white phosphorus? Both of those are controversial but neither are, despite this military legal opinion from George Monbiot, chemical weapons or otherwise banned.

For the pedants, I would note that merely being toxic does not a chemical weapon make, or lead would be banned from bullets. Look at the Schedules of Chemicals to the "Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction". Schedule 3, the one regarding chemicals you can produce because they have other uses, lists:
  • Phosgene: Carbonyl dichloride
  • Cyanogen chloride
  • Hydrogen cyanide
  • Chloropicrin: Trichloronitromethane
These are really nasty chemicals with a history of use as weapons (the last, in addition to being used to make dyes and disinfect grain, is used in tear gas).

Interestingly, neither DU nor WP are banned as incendiaries under the 1980 UN "Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons", either. WP gets a pass as it is WP-Smoke under Article 1, para 1(b) of the Third Protocol, with DU getting permitted as an armour-piercing projectile under para 1(b).) (Ed note: this is not to say that improper use of WP as an anti-personnel weapon might not be a military offence or, even, potentially, a war crime. It just means that WP is neither banned nor a "chemical weapon.")

Oh, and not that I have heard of any being used, but any use of riot agents would illegal use of chemical weapons if they were being used against troops. But, with the exception of the Iraqi military, the Coalition forces and the Iranian Republican Guard, there aren't any military in Iraq, therefore, if the Yanks did used riot control agents to put down an (armed) civilian riot, they would not be in contravention of international humanitarian law.

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