Sunday, October 28, 2007

# Posted 11:56 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

THE U.N. REPORT ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN IRAQ: Earlier this month, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) released its quarterly report [pdf] on human rights, covering April, May and June of 2007. The report is 37 pages long and reads pretty quickly. (Hat tip: Duck)

The report seemed pretty reasonable to me. According to its second paragraph:
UNAMI recognizes the enormous difficulties facing the Iraqi Government in its efforts to restore law and order. Its law enforcement personnel are under relentless attack by insurgency groups, and both Sunni and Shi’a armed groups carry out direct attacks on civilians through suicide bombings, abductions and extrajudicial executions while making no distinction between civilians and combatants. Such systematic or widespread attacks against a civilian population are tantamount to crimes against humanity and violate the laws of war, and their perpetrators are subject to prosecution.
That may seem pretty obvious, but I consider it a small victory when even the UN recognizes that anti-American forces are the actual perpetrators of crimes against humanity.

Of course, the report by no means ignores any potential violations by the United States. It discusses the problem of armed contractors such as Blackwater as well as continuing concerns about the treatment of detainees. One of the most interesting sections, especially in light of the previous post, is the one about US air strikes and their relationship to civilian casualties. The UN reports an array of incidents in which 88 Iraqi civilians were "reportedly" killed.

Why "reportedly"? That isn't clear. Presumably it's just a reminder that reliable data is very hard to come by in Iraq. Anyhow, assuming that 88 civilians were killed in the second quarter of the year, that number is in the same ballpark as IBC's assessment that 417 Iraqi civilians were killed by air strikes in the first nine months of the year.

In a comment on an earlier post, one of our readers observed that
The [UN] report makes it clear that U.S. air strikes in densely populated civilian areas are violations of international human rights law. A footnote to the section on "MNF military operations and the killing of civilians" explains, "Customary international humanitarian law demands that, as much as possible, military objectives must not be located within areas densely populated by civilians. The presence of individual combatants among a great number of civilians does not alter the civilian character of an area."
That quotation is accurate, but the first sentence is rather misleading. The relevant section of the UN report (see p.9) never says that US air strikes targeted densely populated civilian areas or that US air strikes violated the laws of war. Perhaps that is what the footnote implies. But the quotation above hardly establishes a clear standard for how a counterinsurgent force should deal with an adversary that uses the population around it as camouflage or even human shields.

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(21) opinions -- Add your opinion

the enormous difficulties facing the Iraqi Government in its efforts to restore law and order.

David, do you agree that Iraqi Government put them in this situation and danger position make them lost the support of mainstream Iraq and them seen by Iraqis not more than Puppets either to US or Iran as they moved very close to Iranian's Mullah Regime even is against the wish of the majority of Iraqis.

What is very important facing Iraqi Government is to move fast and be detriment is band and dismantling the Militias inside Iraq and they should stop and close those windows those Militias got their support from outside Iraq.

Otherwise talking about security and improvement of stations inside Iraq is a waste of time as Iraq now is a "Militias Cantons" not as a "State" have the control of its tertiary which is not for the best of Iraqis and any Iraqi Government now or in the future.
This site is dumb now. Eeveryone intelligent has left. And Adesnik's posts are...

Well, I hope he's getting paid for them.

Bye for now,
Thanks for the constructive criticism. Don't forget to send a postcard.
I've been critical of Mr. Adesnik before, but I think Leonas' criticism is ridiculous.

Besides, I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Adesnik's post.

He asks a good question at the end. How do we deal with insurgents who willfully violate the laws of land warfare by impersonating civilians? If we restrict air operations, we create incentives for combatants to use civilians as shields and to use perfidious methods of warfare.

What do we do?
Well, Jeff. One of the things some of the liberals would like us to do would give the victory to the side most capable of using civilians as shields.
I submit that that is the side you really, really don't want to win.

How do you make civilians useless as shields? Y'all are going to love this. Kill all the civilians necessary to accomplish the military objective and demonstrate absolutely no remorse or self-second guessing.
Give no indication whatsoever that the presence of civilians determined your actions or will in the future.
Once it dawns on the bad guys that they're wasting their time looking for crocodile tears from the western left, they will conclude there's only a downside. Too many possible spies and "concerned citizens", too many restrictions on outside supply, too many pissed-off civilians who don't think getting raped and murdered is the equivalent of the revolutionary sunrise.
And the bad guys will leave.
This is happening because we can find you anywhere. A hundred miles up in space. A mile under the ocean. The other side of the mountain.
The only place left to hide is among civilians.
And, with biometric databases, even that is being reduced.
The result will be a great reduction in the use of civilians as shields. Also dead bad guys.

Trying to be nice will prolong and validate the tactic, leading to more dead civilians.
The result will be a great reduction in the use of civilians as shields. Also dead bad guys.

Richard Aubrey, did you bother yourself and to ask who are the bad guys

How about those who torturing Iraqis in AbuGrabs?

And what about those who kill Iraqi on the streets?

Or those mercenaries who check paid to kill?

Put these people who defending their land and their families from aggressive and blood thirsty invaders some call them insurances should be all killed!!

Isn’t odd and doggy view of people who simply inhuman and ignorant and racist people on this planet.
anon 3:24.

Yeah, the bad guys are our opponents. Pointing out one-time abberrations, or faking crimes, doesn't change that.

The issue, anyway, was how to deal with bad guys who hide among civilians in defiance of the Geneva Convention.
"in defiance of the Geneva Convention"

Richard Aubrey, did your country "US" respect >the Geneva Convention from the day invading Iraq with Shock and awe war till now near five yeras?

Who is trying to hide his crimes?

"shock and awe" is a brand name which, it seems, didn't actually happen.
As to GC, see the UN resolutions.

Anyway, the question is how to handle bad guys who hide among civilians.
Anyway, the question is how to handle bad guys who hide among civilians.

Although I disagree with you on ""shock and awe" I don't know how on earth you the deniable of such tragic inhuman war in our twenty first century look you are still """shock and awe" "
Did you experiencing it? Do you been in Iraq in 2003?
Did you went to Iraqis and asked them?
Or just to say things like that?

Read this will tell you it’s a strategy and not just "a brand name which, it seems, didn't actually happen. It's happing in Iraq dude.

Richard Aubrey, Ok now there is things we can discuss here.

First- How US convincing the civilians "Mainstream Iraqi"? And give them the assurance that US will leave their country and most importantly their resources (for example Huge oil resource) to them when the feel its time right not now while the country under chaos.
Secondly- Should US put clear and fix time table of withdraw their troop from Iraq and lest Iraqi stand again.
Third- Support all Iraqis without looking to their ethnics and religions as all the suffer from tyrant regime keeping the symphony this or that group deserve more from the rest it's approved making more divisions and its a gate of instability and entrusted for US by mainstream Iraqis.

Finally give this government short time to come to reality and help Iraqis otherwise lets through them and get a new national council that rule the country for the best of Iraq and US.

BTW, the number of Iraqi women affected their brains, the number of Iraqi babies keep crying for long time without obvious reasons, numbers of mean and kids who live under heavy stress for five years all these numbers sky rocketing man if you don't know please do your home works from different references, I am not going to tell you what DU weaponry did and doing with radioactive affects on Iraqi humans and which per month now 100 reported incident when Iraq was before the war number is 200-300 annual.
It's because they are not wearing tin-foil hats to protect them, duh!

Depleted Uranium ammunition is NOT radioactive, you dolt. Don't you think that the troops carrying it about (it doesn't fly straight from reactors into targets) would be dropping dead like flies? They are dealing with crates of it every day - not stumbling across individual pieces in fields.
Anonymous : 11:06 PM,

Very smart yah!

Go and do your homework also dude.
It’s NOT radiate like normal Uranium but still have some percentage of radio active status.

to teach you more this wastage Uranium from the reactors (like Nuclear Power generators) to damping it with a process its very restricted and complicated, for example Switzerland do damping her waste in gave 3000m deep underground with special box and all that process, so if not active dude then you will see it in your wastelands as your house rubbish ended their.

Finally "Don't you think that the troops"

Do they care about mercenaries’ dude their number outnumber America's 160,000?
Anonymous : 11:06 PM
Do you know Agent Orange?
U.S. veterans obtained a $180 million settlement in 1984, with most affected veterans receiving a one-time lump sum payment of $1,200. American veterans of the Vietnam War

Yah those you worry about in Iraq will be compensate later form US tax payer money.
Watch the space for years to come.
Seriously Anonymous, what are you using to translate those comments?

Whatever it is, stop it.

You have been all over the map with a laundry list of grievances that I can pick up any day of the week at DailyKOS, but you haven't addressed the question of what to do about attackers hiding among civilians? Don't you understand that shows a disregard for the welfare of the civilians?
The truth some times hard to swallow.

datarat, Chill down I think I made my point two post earlier. read them please and don't bash me if my view and writing make and causing anger inside you, I wounder what anger inside each Iraqi causing by your Noble War of Democracy.

Did you really worry about "the welfare of the civilians?" then tell us what you doing to stop the Iraqis from suffering?
Is anonymous one of the new Jihadis tasked with attacking the internet?
Is davod one of the new mercenary tasked with attacking the internet?
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