Friday, August 24, 2007

Defining War Crimes Down

Via Jim Henley, I see this American Thinker article on Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, a major henchman of Hussein. Lots of interesting stuff, most importantly, don't trust single source reporting in the Italian Press, as we all should remember the yellowcake. But there is also a list of the crimes against humanity that he is wanted on, and one of them is leaving me scratching my head.

As Vice-Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, complicit in launching two wars of aggression against Iran and Kuwait; invading Saudi Arabia and attacking the town of Khafji in January 1991.emphasis mine

The Battle of Khafji was a conventional, mechanized infantry supported by tanks spoiling attack launched by regular Iraqi Army units from southern Kuwait into northern Saudi Arabia along the coastal road. The Iraqi Army overran the Coalition outpost line and some forward supply depots, took a town, were engaged by US, Saudi and Qatari forces, and retreated. The attack took place about two weeks after the start of the Operation Desert Storm air campaign.

The battle was conventional, and from all relevant reporting, no atrocities were committed by either side. One side was at a known and effective state of war with the other side. The territory that was being fought over was in the country that was the major operational base of the Coalition and whose own sovereign military forces were bombing the other side. Normal, and internationally sanctioned combat occurred between known and declared combatants.

At this point, it seems to me that an indictment for a war of aggression based on the Battle of Khafji is prosecutor's overkill and it reeks of victor's justice. There is more than enough in any of the counts that is easily and incontroversially prove-able as a crime against humanity.

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