Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Conor Foley stamps on Clark

Neil Clark in his piece on denying Asylum to the Iraqi translator “Quislings” used by British troops in Iraq wasn’t justifying attacks against Brit troops he was justifying the murder of Iraqi non combatants. No matter what “stance” you take - that is incitement to a crime in international law……

From Conor Foley on the “Quislings” thread:

Since Clark rests part of his incitement to murder on international law (and clearly the terms in which he has described these civilian staff as 'legitimate targets' does constitute such an incitment), it is worth explaining one point here.

There is an overwelming consensus that the invasion of Iraq was illegal. However, the notion that people 'collaborating with the occupation' are war criminals is rubbish. On the contrary, the statute of the International Criminal Court, which is largely based on the Geneva Conventions, specifically states that what Clark is advocating is a war crime. You can find the link here:

It is worth reading Article 8 on war crimes. Amongst the crimes that it lists are:
'Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities'.

The second half of that sentence was specifically written to protect those whom Clark calls 'collaborators'. He goes on to argue against a basic principle of human rights law (enshrined in the UN Convention against Torture, the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights) that people fleeing persecution should be denied sanctuary in Britain, so we can assume that his commitment to international law is fairly selective.

What is more interesting is whether or not this article, through its clear incitment to people to commit war crimes (his repeated refusal to distinguish between military combatants and civilians), would actually make Clark himself liable to criminal prosecution. The Rwanda radio case springs to mind and war crimes have universal jurisdiction. I think that the police and attorney general might want to have a word here.

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