Thursday, December 28, 2006

'If we catch you, you will die"

I had just finished reading this story about Operation Baaz Tsuka (or Operation Falcon's Summit) by Canadian troops in Afghanistan - which, if you just woke up out of a coma today and hadn't followed the previous tank movements and aerial bombings of the region, you'd be forgiven for thinking was some kind of cakewalk flowers and candy mission (even though the National Post also ran this story on Dec 23)- when I also found this story about the offensive from last week via CTV: 'Soft approach working in Operation Baaz Tsuka' showing leaflets that NATO is dropping in the area.

Now, tell me. What's (literally) wrong with this picture?

That leaflet says 'If we catch you, you will die'.

That goes against Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) Taking of hostages;

(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

So, why is NATO spreading propaganda in Afghanistan with an illegal message that POWs will 'die' if they are caught? Is it not bound by the rules of war all of a sudden? Is that what Canadians support? Threatening the enemy with actions that contravene the Geneva Conventions? And why doesn't anyone in the government or the military seem to care?

Is that the message we want our troops and country connected with? That we kill our POWs?

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