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tony draper
27th Aug 2011, 09:37
Is it a war crime to execute mercenaries? what does the Geneva Convention say about use of Mercenaries?,does the Geneva Convention still hold sway in a civil war?does the Geneva Convention still exist?
:confused:
Just to make my position on the subject clear, I would have shot any captured mercenaries without hesitation as well.

Oceanz
27th Aug 2011, 10:00
Are there any mercenaries anymore? All I see mentioend are security contractors :ooh:

ORAC
27th Aug 2011, 10:07
Ghaddafi gets done as a war criminal for employing them. They have to treated as criminals under civil law. If tried and convicted, sentenced under the war.

Unlawful Combatant (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unlawful_combatant)

.......The judgment quoted the 1958 ICRC commentary on the Fourth Geneva Convention: Every person in enemy hands must be either a prisoner of war and, as such, be covered by the Third Convention; or a civilian covered by the Fourth Convention. Furthermore, "There is no intermediate status; nobody in enemy hands can be outside the law,".......

Mercenaries

Under Article 47 of Protocol I (Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts) it is stated in the first sentence "A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war."

On 4 December 1989 the United Nations passed resolution 44/34 the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries. It entered into force on 20 October 2001 and is usually known as the UN Mercenary Convention.[20] Article 2 makes it an offence to employ a mercenary and Article 3.1 states that "A mercenary, as defined in article 1 of the present Convention, who participates directly in hostilities or in a concerted act of violence, as the case may be, commits an offence for the purposes of the Convention."[21]

corsair
27th Aug 2011, 10:17
As it happens my sister in law is an expert in the field of laws relating to wars of national liberation. In her book it states that the Geneva convention does apply but of course both sides have to ratify the convention which somehow I doubt they have. But in general, international humanitarian law does apply. So it is illegal to shoot prisoners even mercenaries, not sure if it qualifies as a 'war crime'. I could ask her.

Having said all that shooting prisoners is a feature of every war, Geneva convention or not. When it comes to poorly trained, ill disciplined rebel fighters, one can hardly expect anything more than a bullet in the head if you are mercenary.

TerminalTrotter
27th Aug 2011, 14:32
When does a 'Volunteer' differ from a Mercenary? Think Spanish civil War, for instance? From my (admittedly slight) reading of memoirs by mercenaries, many of them fought only for causes which they supported anyway and often never collected what they were promised. Of course they would say that, wouldn't they.

TT

Storminnorm
27th Aug 2011, 14:57
Surely, shooting mercenaries is just murder, isn't it?

lomapaseo
27th Aug 2011, 15:00
Just to make my position on the subject clear, I would have shot any captured mercenaries without hesitation as well.

Oh dear .... that's a trifle harsh.

It's enough that they don't get paid.

Let the war crimes tribunala sort this out, lest too many more followers on the losing side get shot

Lon More
27th Aug 2011, 15:07
become a dying profession in the last few years, mercenary.

tony draper
27th Aug 2011, 15:13
Then allow me to rephrase that, one would have ordered one's men to shoot the feckers,:E

Fareastdriver
27th Aug 2011, 15:37
You had better get on to the Pope about his Swiss Guards then.

Sir George Cayley
27th Aug 2011, 16:22
I recall last century some British mercenaries being executed in an African war. Would it be right to think that if one enters the profession that as part of pension planning, sudden death from lead poisoning has to be factored in?

SGC

dead_pan
27th Aug 2011, 16:45
When does a 'Volunteer' differ from a Mercenary
If we're talking Libya, then you also need to be aware that many of these so-called mercenaries are African economic migrants forcibly who were effectively pressed into service by the Gaddafi regime (i.e. you either take this weapon and fight for us, otherwise we'll use it on you). There have been numerous instances of African migrants (some of whom were in their teens) being captured by the rebels and carted off to an unknown fate - western journalists have intervened on several occasions to prevent their summary execution.

Regarding thos who do volunteer for paid employment in such countries, well I don't they would expect the protection of the Geneva Convention should they be captured.

con-pilot
27th Aug 2011, 17:07
You had better get on to the Pope about his Swiss Guards then.



Very true that, then again I probably should not bring up the use of mercenaries by the British in the Revolutionary War against the Americans in that war. :p





(Or as Mr. Draper calls it; the American Civil War against Britain. ;))

goudie
27th Aug 2011, 17:09
some British mercenaries being executed in an African war.


Angola. The mercenaries were mostly British. Their trial was a very public and in spite of pleas from the international community they were summarily executed.

con-pilot
27th Aug 2011, 17:13
Angola. The mercenaries were mostly British. Their trial was a very public and in spite of pleas from the international community they were summarily executed.

I remember that, a rather sad state of affairs that was. :(

OFSO
27th Aug 2011, 17:37
‘Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries’

These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth’s foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling
And took their wages and are dead.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth’s foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.

(And nobody should have to ask who wrote that !)

radeng
27th Aug 2011, 17:54
Con-pilot

Some mercenaries fought for the Colonies in that war. A friend of mine can trace his ancestry back to a Hessian mercenary forebear who was paid to fight for the Colonies.

As he lives in North Carolina, I hope he's OK, although he is well inland.

tony draper
27th Aug 2011, 18:02
Like this bloke? although I think he was one of ours.:E
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a194/Deaddogbay/walken2.jpg

con-pilot
27th Aug 2011, 18:04
Some mercenaries fought for the Colonies in that war. A friend of mine can trace his ancestry back to a Hessian mercenary forebear to was paid to fight for the US.



Then he must have changed sides, as the Hessians were brought over to the Americas by the British, fought for the British in America and were paid by the British to fight the American Rebels in the Americas.

In fact, now that you have brought this up, I do remember that there were some Hessians that did in fact change sides, but I have never seen any thing that would substantiate your claim that they were paid by a country, that was in fact, not really in existence at the time. In fact, we had enough problems paying our own troops, let alone any Hessian mercenaries.

Now, they very well could have been promised free land for fighting on the side of the Americans. I do know many veterans were given land after the war.

tony draper
27th Aug 2011, 18:28
Fought for the British Colonial rebels Mr Con.:= :rolleyes:

Lyman
27th Aug 2011, 18:40
Terminal Trotter

So a volunteer, then. But what if he is paid expenses? Can he expense luncheons? If he furnishes his own weapon, can he charge for leasing it to the worthies?

Without income, can he "assign" his expenses as collateral support and depreciated means?

I shall petition the UN to sort this.

Thinking of a Khashoggi Style leaseback for troops. I'll call it....


Oh....Blackwater: And the ANTHEM shall be: The DOOBIE BROTHERS.

Pigboat, a LINK?

Caboclo
27th Aug 2011, 19:06
Never understood all the fuss about mercenaries. War is a nasty business any way you cut it. Those who truly believe in a cause are, if anything, more likely to commit atrocities than someone who is just making a buck.

G-CPTN
27th Aug 2011, 19:11
What status would 'Special Forces', 'Intelligent Experts' and 'advisers' infiltrated into Libya have?

What about John Peters who was shot down in Iraq?

tony draper
27th Aug 2011, 19:23
Surely the difference between being a Soldier and a Mercenary is, a Soldier is a official signed up member of a nations Armed Forces owing loyalty and obedience to that Nation and a Mercenary is a freelance with no official status who's obedience and loyalty can be bought by any tom dick or harry with the cash to do so..
:)

Lon More
27th Aug 2011, 19:31
I probably should not bring up the use of mercenaries by the British in the Revolutionary War against the Americans in that war.

Not to forget the American Indians employed by the us army to detect the presence of their brethern.

11Fan
27th Aug 2011, 19:34
Not to forget the American Indians employed by the \us army to detect the presence of their brethern.

That said, they are taking America back, one dollar at a time.

http://www.neatorama.com/images/2007-01/indian-casino-piraro.gif

Lyman
27th Aug 2011, 19:36
We had Germans, we called them Hessians.

Washington had to mortgage Mt Vernon to pay the soldiers "Americans Too".

He said, "Pay the soldiers first."

The laborer is worthy of his hire.

Who will defend Washington now? Americans? I have laundry to do.

dead_pan
27th Aug 2011, 19:47
Oh....Blackwater: And the ANTHEM shall be: The DOOBIE BROTHERS


Which song would that be? "Listen to the music"?

I think its fair enough if PMCs who operate outwith the likes of the Geneva Convention are in turn denied its protection. If you give no quarter, you should expect none in return.

Jane-DoH
27th Aug 2011, 20:02
ORAC

.......The judgment quoted the 1958 ICRC commentary on the Fourth Geneva Convention: Every person in enemy hands must be either a prisoner of war and, as such, be covered by the Third Convention; or a civilian covered by the Fourth Convention. Furthermore, "There is no intermediate status; nobody in enemy hands can be outside the law,".......

The 1958 commentary takes precedent over the 1949 one then...


R.C.

pigboat
27th Aug 2011, 20:35
Here ya go Lyman. :p

KqZ95a249p0

11Fan, there's no pie in that cartoon! :8

Caboclo
27th Aug 2011, 20:52
owing loyalty and obedience to that Nation

Well there's the rub. How many soldiers in nations which use the draft really don't want to be in the army? I'm thinking of third world countries whose residents want nothing more than to leave their homeland, not defend it. For that matter, how many traitors have there been throughout history, many times glorified depending on who won and got to write the history? How many American soldiers in the last decade have volunteered and then changed their minds and went AWOL? Or how about the soldier who volunteers, sees action and decides he likes killing, so he re-enlists just for the fun of it, rather than from any sense of patriotism? How about all the fools throughout history who have followed evil, charismatic leaders into combat? My point is, there are too many variables; I won't judge a man merely for treating war as a profession.

con-pilot
27th Aug 2011, 21:27
Okay, as there is some dissensions in the ranks here, so to speak.

Going mostly from memory, so I could be wrong, but at least one-quarter (1/4) of the forces fielded by the British were Hessians in the American Revolution.

Also, any Hessian was promised fifty (50) acres of land if they changed sides and I believe, again going by memory, that Hessian Officers were promised 200 acres of land if they changed to the America Rebels side.


Okay, I'll fess up, I double checked and I'm mostly correct, except for the Hessian Officers being promised 200 acres, I cannot confirm that. Also there were an estimated 5,000 Hessians that remained in America after the war for various reasons, one being which was that they were mostly abandoned there by the British when the British pulled out.

I cannot find anything that shows that Hessians, as a group or offical unit, were paid to fight on the American Rebel's side. So if anyone has anything that shows they were, I'd be very interested in see that information. I should think it would be very interesting. Thank you in advance. :ok:

Now, if all 5,000 Hessian received 50 acres of land each, I don't know. I would guess that many did.

tony draper
27th Aug 2011, 21:41
We should have sussed that Geordie Washington as a trouble maker when he single handedly kicked off the Seven Years war with the French in our American Colonies when he was a Officer in the British Army.
:rolleyes:
Mind you we never needed much of a excuse to scuffle with the French.

con-pilot
27th Aug 2011, 21:48
We should have sussed that Geordie Washington as a trouble maker when he single handedly kicked off the Seven Years war with the French in our American Colonies when he was a Officer in the British Army.


He was just practicing. :p

parabellum
28th Aug 2011, 00:26
We have a little creep down here called David Hicks who served time in Guantanamo bay before being returned to Australia, having admitted his treachery. Now the Greens, the Huggies and the left side of journalism are treating him as some kind of hero! He is lucky it was US soldiers who found him in Afghanistan and not the Australian SAS.

konstantin
28th Aug 2011, 02:22
Ah, yes, Mr. Hicks, he of the "symbolic exchange of gunfire" euphemisms.

The darling of the human rights intellectual set because he was so harshly(?) treated at Gitmo without having actually, really, technically broken any "laws" per se... :yuk:

They should perhaps ask Margaret Hassan about the protection of "the law"...

Donalduck
28th Aug 2011, 02:28
My opinion... Having "Rules of war" just shows how immoral the whole thing is... if you want to (and even conscripts in the west have a choice) murder people then accept the consequences.
As for the previous comments about David Hicks... What rock have you been living under for the last six years as the truth about all this has come out?
We have our own creeps here too... they are traitors to our country and put their allegiance to the United States of Terror before the rights and lives of their own country men.

bob johns
28th Aug 2011, 03:36
Re Hicks not having broken any Australian law?Seem to remember in late 70s or early 80s Fraser .( He of cosy aquaintance of Mugabe)passed into law the Foreign Incursions Act ,designed to prevent Australian citizens joining and fighting with foreign armies .This initially at least to stop Aussies going to fight for that bloody monster Ian Smith in Rhodesia.I dont know if tis has been repealed or not but to me.at least this would apply to Hicks. Re Rhodesia Mal Fraser good call,Im just thankful you are not in the position to repeat the favour

Lyman
28th Aug 2011, 04:01
yo pigboat!

Daze all ringers by now, but once a great band, South Bay Boys.

I went to every one of their "Final" concerts! :D

Fareastdriver
28th Aug 2011, 10:13
Going back to the 2nd World War there were the American pilots that volunteered to fly for the British in the same way that their predecessors had volunteered to fight for tha Chinese. With the fall of the countries of Europe their goverments surrendered to the Germans. Therefore all citizens of those countries should have obeyed their govenment's dictat and ceased offensive operations and not proceed to the United Kingdom to continue the fight. Technically all those were mercenaries but whose side you are on tends to define that especially if your side wins.
In the same vein what about the thousands of Irish that have signed up for the British Forces.

ORAC
28th Aug 2011, 10:26
Is the Gurkha a mercenary?: (http://www.gurkhathinktank.org/Related%20Articles.html)

.....In this respect, Article 47 of the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention, defines mercenary as one hired to be directly involved in armed conflict for their own gain (Protocol, 2005).

The financial incentive must be offered by someone native to the conflict and must be more than what is paid to those they already employ (Protocol, 2005). For example, governmental hiring of a mercenary would involve paying them more than their national military troops (Cleaver, 2000). The final two qualifications are that the mercenaries cannot be native to the armed forces of the conflicts and on-duty members of another national military (Protocol, 2005)........

parabellum
28th Aug 2011, 10:45
As for the previous comments about David Hicks... What rock have you been living under for the last six years as the truth about all this has come out?



Yes, the truth has come out, Hicks is a treacherous traitor who took up arms to support a murderous, terrorist campaign against the civilised world, and where, exactly, would your rock be?

racedo
28th Aug 2011, 13:37
Lets see the Allies refused to allow the German soldiers who surrendered at the end of WW2 be treated as POWs on bases that as Nazi Germany no longer existed then there was no need. Sadly the weaseling out of Geneva convention is the norm.

I always love how Mercs are always seen as someone on someone else's side where as a Govt providing covert support providing it suits the western govts is seen as being supportive.

The Fijians, Nepalese and others who have fought for UK are Merc's and always have been but that cannot suit the interests of the UK so other terms are used instead.

This is the same for anybody who fights under the flag other than the country they from.

con-pilot
28th Aug 2011, 16:08
Lets see the Allies refused to allow the German soldiers who surrendered at the end of WW2 be treated as POWs on bases that as Nazi Germany no longer existed then there was no need. Sadly the weaseling out of Geneva convention is the norm.



Really, I never knew that. I do know that after Germany surrendered that German soldiers that surrendered were mostly sent back to Germany or if they were in Germany they were told to go home after they were disarmed.

But I guess I have to ask you what you are referring to when you say they were not treated as POWs, so just how were they treated?

Also I would be very interested in any links or other sources about this.


Thank you.

tony draper
28th Aug 2011, 17:24
German POWs could not have been treated that harshly as many of them elected to remain in Britain after the war.
:)

racedo
28th Aug 2011, 19:53
Really, I never knew that. I do know that after Germany surrendered that German soldiers that surrendered were mostly sent back to Germany or if they were in Germany they were told to go home after they were disarmed.

But I guess I have to ask you what you are referring to when you say they were not treated as POWs, so just how were they treated?

Also I would be very interested in any links or other sources about this.


Disarmed Enemy Forces - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disarmed_Enemy_Forces)

While Wiki as a source is not always the greatest I do find that when checking out the links that it is a decent guide for basic research.

I only found this recently and must admit to be shocked in researching it further.

I knew about the Cossacks in Yugoslavia and also many years ago in Germany met an ex Wehrmacht soldier who lost an eye on the Russian front who only released in 1955.

racedo
28th Aug 2011, 19:54
German POWs could not have been treated that harshly as many of them elected to remain in Britain after the war.

Option of going back to a country totally destroyed V one partially destroyed.......... lets be honest what would you choose in similar situation ?

con-pilot
28th Aug 2011, 20:22
Option of going back to a country totally destroyed V one partially destroyed.......... lets be honest what would you choose in similar situation ?

A large number of Germany POWs elected to remain in the US after the war as well. My mother worked at a Germany POW camp that was in Roswell, New Mexico. She said toward the end of the war she figured that there were more Germany POWs wandering around town than were in the camp at any given moment. Oh, all of them were on passes, it's not like they were trying to escape as by then, early 1945 it was very obvious that Germany had lost the war to all but the most dedicated Nazi Party memebers.

Thanks for the link, I'm going to research the sources listed, should be very enlightening.






A little side note. According to the Geneva Convention POWs are supposed to be held in areas that are similar to their homeland. My mother had asked the Germany POWs if Roswell was like parts of Germany, she said that they had replied, very politely that, 'oh yes, much like Germany'. Then in the late 50s and early 60s when we lived in England we traveled to Germany on occasions and pretty well saw all of West Germany.

After about the third trip to Germany my mother said, "Well East Germany must be a lot different that West Germany, because I have seen noting that looks anything like Roswell, it's all green here. I think those Germany boys were lying to me."

My father replied (as best as I can remember), "You think."

Of course my father had been to Germany before, but not as a tourist.

G-CPTN
28th Aug 2011, 20:32
My memory of Germany as a visiting schoolboy in the 1950s was that the cities were all modern and clean and new (which, of course, they were).
This encouraged me to want to work in Germany (which I subsequently did).

It wasn't until I went to Eastern Germany in 1989 that I understood the impact that the War had had on the infrastructure of 'Germany' (as most damage remained unrepaired, including missing bridges).

G-CPTN
28th Aug 2011, 22:17
Let me see, Bonn would be about 1957 - I recall the newly-opened Hauptbahnhof - all electronically monitored on a wall display and a new Bundeshaus (I must research to confirm the dates).

ChristiaanJ
28th Aug 2011, 22:21
My memory of Germany as a visiting schoolboy in the 1950s was that the cities were all modern and clean and new (which, of course, they were).Give me a more precise date, captain...
I accompanied my father to Germany (from Holland, long story, not relevant) in about 1952.
I still remember that trip today... the destruction everywhere... nothing yet "modern and clean and new".

For some reason (don't ask me why), what has stuck most in my memory from that trip, were - in Cologne/Köln - the shattered remains of what pre-WWII must have been a large and very fashionable restaurant on the edge of the Rhine.
Of course, there was a lot of more urgent work to do.... but somehow, even as a 14-year-old, I wondered why they hadn't cleaned up that daily reminder of what once had been a time worth living in (to them....).

CJ

G-CPTN
28th Aug 2011, 22:24
Strangely I cannot find any evidence of new building work at the Bundeshaus or the Hauptbahnhof!

I distinctly remember new shopping precincts at Mannheim!
(though there seems to be no reference to dates either)

It was a different matter, however, seeing the ruins of the Frauenkirche in Dresden (and the surrounding streets still in ruins) in 1989.
Pirna (on the Elbe) was without any bridge connection to the railway on the opposite bank. Commuters had to cross by ferry (at a charge of 2 Östpfennigs).

Lonewolf_50
28th Aug 2011, 22:47
I want to say a big thank you for that Doobie Brothers link.

That is what Blackwater meant to me in high school, back in 197(somethingorother) and long before Cheney decided that he wanted short term soldiers but not force structure ...

parabellum
28th Aug 2011, 23:09
Used to go to Berlin quite a lot in the early eighties. Noticed several large houses were obviously empty and well padlocked, made inquiries and was told that these belonged to families that had been "taken away" during the war. The post war government decreed that three generations must pass to give any surviving relatives an opportunity to claim their family property.

The houses remain in their original condition with only essential maintenance being carried out. Saw several houses in Frankfurt in the identical condition.

Suspect there will be some spectacular auctions in 2020.

notmyC150v2
28th Aug 2011, 23:10
A large number of Germany POWs elected to remain in the US after the war as well. My mother worked at a Germany POW camp that was in Roswell, New Mexico.

SO THERE WERE ALIENS IN ROSWELL!! Just not the little green kind...:}

racedo
29th Aug 2011, 00:29
As population with German ancestors in US Census 2000 made up 10% of New Mexico then you can safely assume that in 1940's that number was substantially higher it would have been easy for German POWs to assimiliate into NM and Texas.

Fareastdriver
29th Aug 2011, 08:46
When the 'Chinese Volunteers' entered the Korean War a high proportion of the 'human waves' were Chinese Nationalist POWs being shooed along by their communist captors.
The peace talks were locked for a year because the North Koreans were insisting that all POWs held by the Allies were to be returned north. Eventually this demand was broken and the overwhelmimg majority of Chinese prisoners opted to go to Formosa (Taiwan).

tony draper
29th Aug 2011, 09:03
lots of folks with strange accents working for Uncle Sam in the fifties/sixties as well with suspicious names like Homer Von Braun.
:E

lasernigel
29th Aug 2011, 09:14
After my stint in the British Army I joined the Sultan of Omans Land Forces, SOLF. We were termed as contract soldiers, but is that just a nice term for mercenary??
I know when Yemen had a spat with us, a lot volunteered to crew the Chieftains and take part in the ensuing pigeon shoot. 120mm v Toyota pick ups with 0.50 browning. Only lasted about 7 days before the Yemeni said enough.
Even then Saudi forces kept popping across the border and replacing Omani flags with their own at remote landing strips, a bit of a cat and mouse game.