Just War: Iraq #7 “Discrimination” Part Two or why US Army General Barry McCaffrey {ret} is a War Criminal

A significant component of this jus in bello categorisation of Just War Doctrine concentrates on strategy and tactics.

Those who do not make war should not have war made upon them. The military and its acolytes in Vietnam and during the current Judeo-Christian-Neocon-Evangelical crusade in Iraq have argued the fog of war obscures foe from innocent. The lines are blurred and, therefore, non-combatant immunity is difficult to maintain in the absence of non-conventional military engagements between organized well-equipped forces. In guerilla war, there is no set-piece battlefield and the resistance fighters use the populace for sleep, sustenance and strategy: in this case in and around the Sunni Triangle of cities in central Iraq.

While non-combatant and foe are not always clearly identified, the responsibility of the invader, the nation that launched the war, IS TO PROTECT NON-COMBATANT IMMUNITY. The aggressor must alter and affect the rules of engagement and must restrain offensive operations to insure the innocent are not slaughtered and forced to die for Halliburton. In the absence of a capacity or will to avoid needless non-combatant suffering, American soldiers should be ordered off the battlefield and withdrawn from the conflict. Waging asymmetrical warfare in a manner that discriminates between foe and innocent must be the objective and must be incorporated in the calculus of strategy and tactics.

Destroying Falluja was not the result of the fog of war. It was a war crime punishable by death or life in prison although I oppose the killing of humans as an ultimate sentence to demonstrate killing is wrong. Killing President Hussein’s young grandson in Mosul in July 2003 was not an act dictated by military necessity but near infanticide as the stormtroopers surrounded the trapped and defenceless sons of the former Iraqi leader. That was a war crime. The killings of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Bagram was a war crime and certainly a violation of the Geneva Convention; the burning of Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan, the tossing of non-resistant Iraqis off bridges into the Tigris River is a war crime. The platoon Sgt. who ordered this murder, got six months in jail and not even a discharge; (remember support the troops!); the arbitrary use of lethal force at roadblocks where trigger happy killers wearing OUR uniform unload upon civilians is a war crime. Little fog of war is evident in these examples, but purposeful killings in the name of the ephemeral and cynical war against “terrorism.”

The cowardly and ruthless killings of a retreating, non-resistant devastated army at Basra in the Gulf War (1991) was a war crime; the perpetrator of this lack of discrimination, the TV pundit US Army General Barry McCaffrey, is a war criminal and a murderer who should be in prison in The Hague or deliciously at Nuremberg. He commanded the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), based at Ft Stewart, Georgia, and over a period of many hours on March 2, 2003, after a ceasefire had been declared, he used Apaches and Bradleys and other accoutrements of war to destroy a five-mile long convoy as it was desperately attempting to reach Baghdad. Also many civilian adults and children were killed as well. The army may call it collateral damage, I call it a violation of the Just War Doctrine of discrimination which sullies the reputation of the army and the military. This was an army that was leaving a battlefield after a ceasefire. Innocent civilians were butchered in violation of the lack of Discrimination as required in Just War Doctrine.

Would not you know it, President Clinton appoints this thug as director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy: the drug czar. Bill Bennett served in that capacity too. What is this problem with drug czars? Some are either ruthless war criminals or racists. I wonder if they ever smoked even one joint or had a sip of alcohol when underage??

Gen McCaffrey was no different that a Mr Dahmer, a Dr Bundy, a Son of Sam or a Dennis Rader–BTK killer in Kansas. Yet there is great disparity between him and a General Eisenhower or General Marshall who never would have initiated such gratuitous slaughter, although the evils of World War II will be addresssed at the appropriate time. I regret Gen McCaffrey wore the uniform of the U.S. Oh sure he testified how his troops were responding to alleged incoming and how he minimised U.S. casualties by this methodical destruction of an army after a ceasefire. Did he testify that Iraqi tanks had their cannon reversed in travel-lock mode? (according to Seymour Hersh) He should be a gentleperson and an officer that respects the troops that are killed and engaged in combat and not annihilate a helpless army like a coward as these children of mothers and fathers tried to escape with their precious lives. Compare General McCaffrey to General Grant at Appomattox Court House and you can appreciate the stark difference.


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