La Riposte

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Yes, But Is It Murder?

Omar Khadr is on trial by a military tribunal, accused of murdering a US Army Sergeant during a battle in 2002. Did Khadr throw the grenade that killed Sergeant Christopher Speer? Maybe, maybe not. A more important question to answer is, can a partisan fighting a foreign army for control of their homeland commit murder when their victim is an armed soldier engaged in combat?

If such an act is murder, that would imply that the rag-tag rebel militiamen who fired from behind stone walls at Concord, and the tens of thousands of insurgent fighters in Nazi-occupied Europe and Russia were murderers.

One really can’t have it both ways. An act is either a crime, or it is not. One cannot say that it is a crime if the people we’re fighting do it, and it’s not a crime when we or our allies do.

Did a 15-year old Khadr try, and perhaps succeed in killing American soldiers? Probably. Was he wounded, captured, and imprisoned without due process or in accordance with the rules governing Prisoners of War? Certainly. Was he subjected to threats of gang rape? Yes – and other mental and physical abuse? Very likely.

But was he a murderer? If the military tribunal finds him guilty of this charge, it will be transforming thousands of past and future fighters from heroes into villains.

No comments:

Post a Comment