#GeorgeOrwell on @jeremycorbyn #pacifism and #Paris

Source: George Orwell: Pacifism and the War

Power Up: The framework for a new era of UK energy distribution

Knowledge Problem

The Adam Smith Institute has published a research report I wrote for them, Power Up: The framework for a new era of UK energy distribution. From the press release:

The report … argues that new technologies such as smart grids and distributed energy production can revolutionise old models of energy distribution and pricing, in the same way that apps like Uber are disrupting traditional models of transport.

In a world of expensive of energy prices, the report suggests regulators should encourage experimentation with new technologies, rather than cutting them off at inception. Regulating the market too heavily – often justified by claims that consumers are being ‘ripped off’ or overwhelmed by the number of tariffs available – closes down consumer experimentation and prevents technological and economic progress, which keeps energy prices high.

The paper envisions a world of choices in the energy market; where smart meters that relay…

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#Paris Kurdish forces, backed by U.S. airstrikes, launch offensive in Iraq

Stunning images of global support for #Paris



Angela Davis has a new job

Billy Connolly – Terrorist Attack At Glasgow Airport, Must Watch!

The minimum wage and poverty

Governments and emergent technologies: faxes used to be illegal

@jeremycorbyn only combatants are tried for war crimes so they are lawful targets for attack without warning or any attempt to capture

if Jihad John should have been charged as a war criminal, has the Renegade Left is whining about today, rather than taken out by a well-deserved drone, he is a combatant. Only combatants can commit war crimes. The Paris mass terrorist attacks are ongoing as I write this so maybe they will pull their head in for the day.

When the rest of us go around killing people, we are charged with murder. Only lawful combatants have combat immunity: they can lawfully kill people as long as they observe the laws of war. When they break the laws of war, both lawful combatants and unlawful combatants are charged with war crimes:

A war crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the law of war that gives rise to individual criminal responsibility. Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torture, wantonly destroying property, taking hostages, perfidy, rape, using child soldiers, pillaging, declaring that no quarter will be given, and using weapons that cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering (Wikipedia).

If Jihad John is eligible to be charged with war crime – he is a combatant. As a combatant, Jihad John can be attacked at any time without warning or any attempt to capture. As an unlawful combatant, Jihad John was liable to a field court-martial and summary execution upon capture.

The purpose of international humanitarian law is to ensure strict differentiation between civilians and combatants and to provide for the detention and treatment of those captured. Humane detention to the end of the armed conflict increases both the incentive to give quarter and to surrender when the military position is hopeless.

The requirement to carry weapons openly, dress in some sort of uniform etc. is to ensure that the enemy is easy to distinguish from afar so that troops do not get trigger happy around civilians and refugees. This is the fundamental purpose of international humanitarian law: trying to save civilians from the fighting.

The most severe punishments are allowed for spies, saboteurs, infiltrators, francs-tireurs and guerrillas so that not carrying their weapons openly and not dressing in some sort of recognisable uniform etc., was a self-inflected death sentence upon capture. Combatants who do not wear a uniform that is clearly distinguishable at the distance and do not carry their weapons openly are war criminals. In the Battle of the Bulge, the Nazi infiltrators in American uniforms lost all interest in their missions once the first few who were captured were court-martialled and shot within 24 hours.

The Hostages Trial at Nuremburg dismissed murder charges against some German commanders because partisan fighters in Southwest Europe could not be considered lawful belligerents under Article 1 of the 1907 Hague convention. The Tribunal stated:

We are obliged to hold that such guerrillas were francs tireurs who, upon capture, could be subjected to the death penalty. Consequently, no criminal responsibility attaches to the defendant List because of the execution of captured partisans…

It is the terrorists who violate the laws of war by hiding themselves and their bases within civilian populations, thereby drawing unwilling and unsuspecting innocents into the fighting.

If civilians directly engage in hostilities, they are considered unlawful or unprivileged combatants or belligerents. They may be prosecuted under the law of the detaining state. The Allies detained 11 million POWs (and captured enemy personnel) without charge or trial by the time World War II ended. None were allowed access to a lawyer or had the right to seek bail.

Because the USA and others are at war with Al-Qaeda, they can use force to conduct hostilities against the enemy and those who harbour them. The Taliban was warned. A Wiki has this nice quote by Stone (1921):

When the territorial sovereign is too weak or is unwilling to enforce respect for international law, a state which is wronged may find it necessary to invade the territory and to chastise the individuals who violate its rights and threaten its security.

When a nation goes to war, it seeks to defeat and subdue its enemy to prevent further attacks. The U.S. and allied military and intelligence services are legally and morally free to target Al-Qaeda for an attack whether they are on the front lines or behind them, with or without warning and without any attempt to capture.

The 9/11 terrorists were air pirates. NATO and allied military entered Afghanistan to subdue the home base of these brigands and those that harboured them:

  • Naval and military deployments against pirate’s lairs date back thousands of years.
  • The first war of the USA was with the Barbary Pirates in 1801 to 1805, with another war in 1815. These pirates waged war against the shipping of other nations, seized cargoes and ships, and sold captives into slavery.
  • Punitive expeditions against bandits were commonplace too, such as chasing Pancho Villa and his gang of bandits back into Mexico in 1916.
  • The U.S. military recently attacked a Somalian maritime pirate camp to rescue hostages. EU naval forces have also attacked these pirate lairs to destroy boats and supplies.

A corollary of the right to kill enemy personnel is that the deaths of civilians that occur in legitimate attacks against military targets are not illegal. It is pious to deny this. It denies the most basic and best understood of moral distinctions: between premeditated murder and unintended killing.

It is the central principle of the international laws of war that innocent civilians should not be targeted. On the other hand, the rules of war accept the death of civilians in or near legitimate military targets.

The terrorists will never follow the rules of war. They gain their only tactical advantages by systematically flouting them and hiding among civilians.

The renegade Left for decades wanted terrorists to be treated as prisoners of war, and thereby held to the end of the war and not otherwise punished. Now, the renegade Left don’t want terrorists to be held as captured combatants to the end of the war. Instead, they want them to have the right to apply for bail.

As part of law-fare, one or two fathers applied to the U.S. courts for injunctions to stop drone attacks on their wayward sons on a best friend basis. They failed and were reminded by the Court that if they were so worried, their sons could pop down to the nearest U.S. embassy and discuss their fears: surrender for extradition.

P.S. All terrorists and members of the Taliban are war criminals because:

  • Article 51 (7) of Protocol I of the Geneva Convention states: “The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations”.
  • The Geneva Convention also holds that “The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points of areas immune from military operations”. (Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 1949, Laws of Armed Conflicts, 495, 511.)
  • The Rome Statute is clear that “utilizing the presence of civilians or other protected persons to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations is recognized as a war crime by Article 8 (2) (b) (xxiii)”.

How Jihad John was vaporised. He had the human right to turn himself in at the nearest British Embassy. He didn’t.

Source: Jihadi John dead after being ‘evaporated’ in midnight drone strike | Daily Mail Online

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