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Thread: The semantics of terrorism

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    LUSE Galant's Avatar
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    The semantics of terrorism

    Apparently an Italian judge has declared that 5 Islamic recruiters of 'guerrillas' and suicide bombers to go to Iraq cannot be charged under anti-terror laws because the individuals consider themselves to be resistance fighters and not terrorists. So she let them go.

    What the?

    They've changed their 'official designation' have they? Well lovely. Let's call the whole thing off.

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    Actually, it's not that far-fetched; the US (and allies) invaded Iraq. Article 4 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War specifically acknowledges that irregular forces are to be treated the same as regular forces:

    2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:

    (a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

    (b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;

    (c) That of carrying arms openly;

    (d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
    Now it's certainly true that in the matters of hostage taking and attacks on civilians the insurgents may be regarded as having acted contrary to the laws and customs of war, but then so on occasion do some soldiers. That doesn't invalidate the status of all soldiers under the GC, and nor does it invalidate the status of all insurgents. One cannot say that any recruits would act contrary to the laws and customs of war unless they are observed to do so.

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