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No, I don't think this is correct. There is a pretty well established definition of the differences between "combatant" and "civilian," and it includes the wearing of uniforms. So the American soldiers in Vietnam were formally combatants, while anybody (spy, irregular soldier, terrorist, innocent bystander) who is not wearing a uniform is a civilian.

The definition of illegal combatant is much more difficult to nail down, and there's a good argument that such a concept isn't valid. Basically, if you're not a soldier, then you're a civilian, and are entitled to all of the normal rights that any other civilian has. If you shoot somebody, you get tried for murder in the civilian legal system of the country you're in.

by asdf on Sat Jun 14th, 2008 at 11:03:48 AM EST
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