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1 Outrider  Fri, Jan 30, 2009 12:41:21am

Looking at it from another perspective, does this mean any organization in any country is now free to file “war crimes” charges in their country against another country they have no involvement with? This impacts everyone to a larger scale. Can Spain or Norway file “war crime” charges against American military performing their duties in Iraq or Afghanistan? Or file them against American political figures whose presence would frequently be required in Europe, thus denying them the ability to perform their duties.

This at the moment is warfare on another front against Israel in an attempt to paralyze their operations not only on a military front, but on the political and personal fronts also.

It has potentially serious repercussions for everyone to INCLUDE Europeans. Will Spain in the near future decide to indite some British politicians for actions British soldiers performed in Iraq? German politicians for actions their soldiers performed in Afghanistan?

And just how does Spain get involved in this to start with? I understand why Israel is cooperating with this court case, I just can’t see Spains justification for involvement.

2 Carl in Jerusalem  Fri, Jan 30, 2009 12:51:08am

re: #1 Outrider

Looking at it from another perspective, does this mean any organization in any country is now free to file “war crimes” charges in their country against another country they have no involvement with? This impacts everyone to a larger scale. Can Spain or Norway file “war crime” charges against American military performing their duties in Iraq or Afghanistan? Or file them against American political figures whose presence would frequently be required in Europe, thus denying them the ability to perform their duties.

This at the moment is warfare on another front against Israel in an attempt to paralyze their operations not only on a military front, but on the political and personal fronts also.

It has potentially serious repercussions for everyone to INCLUDE Europeans. Will Spain in the near future decide to indite some British politicians for actions British soldiers performed in Iraq? German politicians for actions their soldiers performed in Afghanistan?

And just how does Spain get involved in this to start with? I understand why Israel is cooperating with this court case, I just can’t see Spains justification for involvement.

Outrider,

I’m not sure about Norway, but Spain can do all of the above. Spain has what’s called a ‘universal jurisdiction’ statute, which allows them to prosecute anyone for a ‘war crime’ regardless of the lack of any nexus to Spain. Yes, that would include US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Britain has a similar statute. Belgium had one, and actually tried arresting Ariel Sharon while he was Prime Minister under that statute, but then they realized that it could be used against their own troops in the Congo, so they amended it.

Were the statute the only issue, we could just tell senior IDF officers to stay out of Spain (and to avoid being kidnapped to Spain). But Spain is a member of the EU and under the EU treaties, each country is required to enforce the other member states’ arrest warrants. If the Spanish court issues an ‘international warrant,’ any country in the EU would be required to arrest any of these seven officers if it were able to do so.

Thus far, these kinds of statutes have only been used against IDF officers. But Israel is the canary in the coal mine and you know that if it’s being used against us, the US and others will follow. And that makes the Obama administration’s line of ‘cooperating’ with international agencies even more troublesome than it was already.


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