Red Cross gives war lessons in GazaYou can already get a sense of where this is going. No mention of any success stories about the graduates of the course in places like Darfur.
The head of Gaza operations for the Red Cross, Anthony Dalziel, said the course was part of his organisation's worldwide effort to teach international humanitarian law to all parties in armed conflict.
"We've taught regular armies and militia groups all over," he said. "Congo, ex-Yugoslavia, Darfur, Colombia."
"We see ourselves as the guardians of international humanitarian law.
Actually, by the Red Cross' own admission these classes are doomed to failure: one of their stated goals is to reach those people who can influence who will be the victim in a conflict and teach them the laws. Apparently, the Red Cross thinks this is achieved by teaching the terrorists themselves--who make quite a picture sitting in class wearing hoods. Yet when one of the gunmen is asked if the class is actually going to have any effect on what he does outside of the classroom, he responds:
"There are things we learned here that surprised us. Things we weren't aware of but as to whether our actions will change on the ground, that is up to our leaders. They decide. Not us."Maybe the problem is that instead of teaching Palestinian terrorists about international law, they should be taught Islamic law, about which they are apparently woefully ignorant. Abu Khaled, local factional leader in Gaza, hasn't got a clue:
"People think we are terrorists...but actually the Islamic law we follow is far stricter than international law in its rules of how to protect civilians and prisoners in war.If Khaled only knew. Short of taking a Kaplan course, maybe Khaled can get his hands on a copy of Bernard Lewis' The Crisis of Islam:
Because holy war is an obligation of the faith, it is elaborately regulated in the sharia. Fighters in a jihad are enjoined not to kill women, children, and the aged unless they attack first, not to torture or mutilate prisoner, to give fair warning of the resumption of hostilities after a truce, and to honor agreements. [p. 39]Besides dictating who can be attacked, Sharia also dictates how:
The medieval jurists and theologians discuss at some length the rules of warfare, including questions such as which weapons are permitted and which are not. There is even some discussion in medieval texts of the lawfulness of missile and chemical warfare, the one relating to mangonels and catapults, the other to poison-tipped arrows and the poisoning of enemy water supplies. On these points there is considerable variation. Some jurists permit, some restrict, some disapprove of the use of these weapons. The stated reason for concern is the indiscriminate casualties that they inflict. At no point do the basic texts of Islam enjoin terrorism and murder. At no point--as far as I am aware--do they even consider the random slaughter of uninvolved bystanders. [p. 39.]There is no indication that Red Cross classes in International Law have had any effect--but as long as Palestinian terrorists are going to claim that they are following Islamic law, maybe the Red Cross can see to it that they actually know what Islamic law says.
[Hat tip: Best of the Web]