Iraq resistance/Israel and the Geneva Convention

Juan Cole has a few very good posts today. The first discusses the organization of the Iraqi resistance. Cole's conclusion - that most of the resistance is coming local Arab nationalists and not foreign "Al Qaeda" members - supports my own conclusion. Religion plays less of a factor in this instance than pan-Arabist ideology. The idea that thousands of foreign fighters have flooded into Iraq is a bullshit myth by the Bush administration to explain why there is any resistance at all. I don't deny that there are some non-Iraqis there (although, again, they are more likely to be pan-Arab rather than religious fundamentalist in their outlook; Al Qaeda is almost certainly not present in any real form). But the fact that there was never a break in the attacks against the US military between the "main combat operations" phase and the current guerilla warfare indicates that most of the resistance is local.

The second post examines Israel's idea to expel Arafat in light of the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Cole concludes that removing Arafat from the Palestinian territories would violate the convention. By the same token, Israel's detention of Marwan Barghouti, as well as the hundreds of other Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel, are also violating the Fourth Geneva Convention - meaning that both the people responsible for ordering these actions and carrying them out are war criminals. Not that it makes one bit of difference to Israel, which claims (incorrectly) that it doesn't apply to its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Well, something else to keep in mind.

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