I chose the section that seemed most relevant rather than posting the entire Convention. Although you seem to think that judging by your posts that the parts referring to "regular" troops may apply, I really can't see how.
No you didnt. You chose to post only the definition in category 2 - the category containing very specific conditions including "carrying a fixed sign" - and neglected to mention that it is only one of 6 categories. Most of those other categories do not require fixed signs, uniforms, or for the combatants even to be regular troops (eg inhabitants who spontaneously take up arms).
I've explained this to you already, in detail. If you're going to quibble on this, go and reply (again) to my rebuttal where I quoted several of the categories other than category 2. I never claimed they were regular troops, you've either not really read my replies to you (in which case, how dare you question my reading comprehension) or you're just being obtuse .
I accept your point about the "if in doubt they're POWs", but that just shifts the argument to the "doubt" part.
Oh come on. I've already quoted article 5 to you, do I have to again? Article 5 has that covered, "if in doubt they're POW, until competent tribunal says otherwise". What this means in practice in the field is that once someone fully under your power, you must treat them as POW. By definition, competent tribunal can not be carried out summarily.
However, you are right, in a war zone it can sometimes be difficult and dangerous to capture the enemy. The GCRTPOW doesnt actually cover that, it only covers what should happen once a combatant as been captured. Note by the way that wounded soldiers, who have laid down their arms actually fall under the GC relative to the Protection of Civilians in Times of War.
If we go back to what this article is about, its my understanding that the Iraqi who was shot by the marine was hors de combat: wounded and obviously incapacitated. If that was the case, then the act of that marine in question was in contravention of the GCRPCTW, not the GCRTPOW. But I dont really know the fine details so..
Actually, seeing as they are deliberately destroying Iraqi infrastructure, water supplies, etc., it is difficult to see how they can be considered as Iraqi rebels. You might also want to consider the fact that there are large numbers of Iraqi troops fighting alongside the Americans.
The Fallujah insurgents were not (as a combined group at least, some amongst them, yes) going around destroying infrastructure, AIUI. They were rebels against the transition Iraqi government, yes. However, the transitional Iraqi authority, installed by the US essentially, has questionable legitimacy. My vague and not particularly well-informed impression is that many Iraqi's (peaceful iraqi's or not) do not trust or respect the transitional authority, nor do they care for the presence of the occupying US forces. When you hear both current and former very high-level UN question the legitimacy of the authority, you have to wonder... (Kofi Annan has called the war illegal, and on Irish TV's "Primetime" programme recently, the former asst. secretary general called the current authority a "puppet" of the US). Anyway, point being, if this authority does lack legitimacy (and i offer no personal opinion on this btw, please note), then the Iraqi people are quite justified in taking up arms against it, AIUI. They most certainly are justified under international law of taking up arms against an occupying power, which occupies their country illegally and against their will (which may or may not be the case).
In fact, this whole mess is exactly what I predicted when the U.S. decided to invade, and exactly why I opposed the invasion. I didn't (and don't) consider it worth British, American, etc. lives and British, American, etc. tax payer monies to free the Iraqis from Hussein's tyrannical regime. I knew we would be attacked and blamed for the actions we took.
Hmm.. well I dont think there's think much point getting into a discussion on the wrongs and rights of the Iraq war. I dont think anyone at this stage is going to change their mind ;). As for the troops, not just the US and British - lots of other nationalities (though in smaller numbers), eg the Dutch are there, even many Irish who are serving with the Irish Guards (a Dublin man was killed near Basra last year).
I recognise that my position is callous and immoral, and that the correct thing to do was to remove the regime, ... We didn't have to do anything, and it wasn't our citizens who were suffering.
And are they not suffering today? Without wishing to offer any personal opinion or judgement, it seems that as many Iraqi's, if not possibly more, are dying now either through direct US military action, or as a result of the chaos and instability (bombs going off all the time) caused by the invasion and occupancy, as under Hussein. Does it make a difference whether you, or your husband/child/parent has died under the opression of a dictator, or under the present "freedom"? Does the prospect of future stability and freedom make it right? I strongly suspect only an Iraqi who has lived through it all can answer this.
Now I recognise that my position is immoral. What I simply don't understand is the position of those who opposed going into Iraq, and who now oppose our wanting to create a democratic state! If my position was immoral, what does this make this latter position?
I dont see anyone opposing the creation of a democratic state in Iraq. I just find it rather naive of the USA to think that Iraqi's would be glad to see them there for longer than it took to kick out Saddam. The US is rather unpopular everywhere in the middle-east, bar one nation, and the reasons are not completely unjustified..
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