Thu Sep 17th, 2009 at 07:09:48 AM EST
On DailyKos, LaFeminista posted the first installment of what I think will be a very interesting series of diaries about the US and international law regarding military occupation. I asked her permission to cross-post it on ET, and here it is:
Military Occupation. The Rules of the Game Part I.I
I intend to write a series of diaries since this is a subject that fascinates me, and is of course of national interest at the moment. I will try and keep the series as dry [hmmm~LF] and as factual as possible
When is an occupation not and occupation, when does it begin and when does it end?
So to start it must be: The rules of the Game Part I.I.
We are/are not engaged in such activity as the US has over 730 military bases around the world.
Diary Rescue by Migeru
The Rules of the Game Part I.I
I suppose we have to start somewhere:
Well right here we hit a log jam, I might suggest reading this book as a starter
Its something even our Supreme court has tried to dodge, as in Sanchez-Llamas v Oregon
The Court's holding in no way disparages the Convention's importance. It is no slight to the Convention to deny petitioners' claims under the same principles this Court would apply to claims under an Act of Congress or the Constitution itself.
This deals with one of the most important International agreements in existence.
Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
Consent to be bound by a treaty expressed by signature
1.The consent of a State to be bound by a treaty is expressed by the signature of its representative when:
(a) the treaty provides that signature shall have that effect;
(b) it is otherwise established that the negotiating States were agreed that signature should have that effect; or
(c) the intention of the State to give that effect to the signature appears from the full powers of its representative or was expressed during the negotiation.
In other words when do we have to abide by a treaty that we signed tends to be just after we signed the treaty or convention.
In reality up until:
Something within it pisses us off and we renege on our duties and hopefully find a real or imaginary loop-hole. hmmm dry not so much
The US is a signatory to the protocols, which only obligates the US to consider ratifying them, they are not binding on a state until after ratification; however, it has generally been US policy to abide by treaties it has signed that have not yet been ratified, this has long been US policy and exceeds the requirements of Article 12 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969.
Or until the President retracts the signature as Bush did with the Kyoto Protocol and by refusing to sign the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
OK, for the sake of simplicity lets just assume that when we sign a treaty that we intend to uphold it, unless of course, oh never mind, lets just take it for granted that we will/might/possibly/ dammit...LF you promised to be dry and factual..OK OK.... We Will abide by a Treaty/Convention that we sign.
Right the rules; what have we been involved with so far?
- 1907 Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV)
- 1907 Hague Convention Respecting the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in Case of War on Land (Hague V)
- 1907 Hague Convention Relative to the Laying of Automatic Submarine Contact Mines (Hague VIII)
- 1907 Hague Convention Concerning Bombardment by Naval Forces in Time of War (Hague IX)
- 1907 Hague Convention Relative to Certain Restrictions with Regard to the Exercise of the Right of Capture in Naval War (Hague XI)
- 1907 Hague Convention Concerning the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Naval War (Hague XIII)
- 1925 Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous, or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare
- 1936 London Protocol in Regard to the Operations of Submarines or Other War Vessels with Respect to Merchant Vessels (Part IV of the 1930 London Naval Treaty)
- 1949 Geneva Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field*
- 1949 Geneva Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick, and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea*
- 1949 Geneva Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War*
- 1949 Geneva Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War*
- 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of armed conflict
- 1972 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction
- 1977 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflict (Additional Protocol I)
- 1977 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Additional Protocol II)
- 1980 Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects*
- 1993 Convention on the Prohibition of Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction.
We have? You could have fooled me..dry dry dry please LF
1907 Hague Regulations
Art. 42. Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army.
The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.
So if we are there and not controlling anything outside our bases we are technically not occupying anything except the bases. Hey we pay rent, don't we? [I know I know dry and factual see my edit to the introduction ...sheesh]
Article 2, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949
Signatories are bound:
1] In war.
2] Armed conflicts where war has not been declared.
3] Occupation of another country's territory.
It does not matter what you call it, invasion, liberation, occupation, or administration this still applies.
Yep, until we call them Unlawful Combatants and can hence circumvent any illegality with respect to our activities. Unfortunately this can also be applied to mercenaries hence we called them 'Contractors'. Not dry but factual ;-P
When is an Occupation and occupation and when does it cease to be an occupation?
1] As soon as you have effective control over the territory.
2] It ends when you no longer have  since you have either left or been driven out.
Or put in place a puppet government that allows you to stay-shush now LF.
Hey if you bend the definitions enough we have never really occupied anywhere.
What can you steal do when occupying?
Private property: Is not yours and you have no right to it, and it cannot be confiscated.
Public property: You can seize as much of this as you like with the following proviso: You must give it back when the occupation is over.
However you may be considered not to be occupying and still have troops on the ground, therefore logically you must put them somewhere so bases are acceptable. Ground rent liable?
This also includes natural resources, that means Oil as well.
Or in other words we will give it back when we are finished with it.
Right before your eyes begin to cross and your brain tries to escape I will stop there....
Rules of the Game Part I.II: The dos and don'ts when occupying [or not] will be published next Sunday.
[editor's note, by Migeru] Originally published on August 23, 2009