• "God invented war so Americans could learn geography" -- Mark Twain.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Point of Comparison

Obombo's delivery last night was such a shabby piece of work it seems a shame to waste good grammar on it.  But we wonder... has anyone bothered to look up the Geneva Protocol?  In the Age of Wiki it ought not to be that hard.  Well, let Chipster do the chipping.

The Geneva Protocol signed in 1925 and ratified by the United States fifty years later binds the signatory nations from "the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices."  The treaty prohibits the use of "gas" in wars between nation states.  Syria is a non-signatory party to the convention; the United States is a signatory party with stated reservations. [ Link ]

The Protocol is an inter-national agreement and does not prohibit the domestic use of gases against civilians whether or not armed.  For prohibitions against a State's gassing of its own citizens, reference must be made to the so-called Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court.

The Court was established as a forum for the prosecution of the "most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole": i.e.,  genocide, (Art. 6) crimes against humanity, (Art. 7) and  war crimes, (Art 8).  "Employing asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all analogous liquids, materials or device" is a classified as a war crime. (Art 8 (b)(18).) 

As such it is a crime only as between one belligerent nation against another.  Article 8 (e) prohibits several "serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in armed conflicts not of an international character;" but the list does not include the use of asphyxiating gasses.

In 2010, an amendment to Article 8 was proposed which would as the use of gasses to Article 8, resulting in a prohibition of their use against domestic protesters or insurgents.

The amendment has been ratified by Botsawana, Estonia, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Samoa and Trinidad/Tobango.  Not only has the United States not ratified the amendment, it does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court at all.

So... it took the United States 50 years to ratify the treaty against the use of chemical weapons.  It nevertheless supplied Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons and claimed that it's own use of napalm in Vietnam and white phosphorus in Falluja were "exempt" from the prohibition.  The United States does not submit to the jurisdiction of the International Court and has not even signed the amendment which would prohibit the domestic use of gas weapons. 

And yet Obambi mounts his podium and with Wilsonian Self-Righteousness intones,

"The question now is what the United States of America and the international community is prepared to do about it,  ....  a failure to stand against the use of chemical weapons would weaken prohibitions against other weapons of mass destruction  ... This is not a world we should accept. This is what's at stake. And that is why, after careful deliberation, ... " I propose to bomb the shit out of Syria.