Wednesday, April 13, 2005

BlogClip: Amnesty, international


Another succinct but dead-on analysis from Unqualified Offerings.

The new president of Iraq is proposing a limited amnesty for insurgents (note the absence of a "sic" there -- now that Iraq seems to actually have a popularly elected, nominally representative government, there's actually something to, er, insurge against, so the word is now contextually appropriate). It's not clear that his job allows him to implement any such proposal, but what the heck. If you're gonna be a president, at least use the bully pulpit.

US Deputy Underwhatchamacallit Richard Boucher has his panties in a wad at the notion that such an amnesty might include those who have killed US soldiers.

Well, Deputy Underwhatchamacallit Boucher, suck it up. When you have a war, guess what -- your opponent tries to kill your soldiers. It's not a crime, unless the war itself is a crime. An amnesty shouldn't even be necessary. If the war is over, the war's over -- everyone goes home and waits for the next one. Criminal prosecution is rightly reserved for those who have killed noncombatants or committed other real crimes.

If the US prevails upon Iraq's government not to let those resistance fighters who fought within the bounds of civilized warfare go home, then the US is effectively demanding a continuation of the war. You can't expect your enemy to surrender if the consequences of doing so would be at least as bad, and possibly worse, than the consequences of continuing to fight.

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