complaints and complaints

"Rumsfeld and his coterie now dare to complain that Saddam is violating the laws of war and does not fight fare," according to the editorial in the April 21 print edition of The Nation .

"We are invading their country," Chief Warrant Officer Glen Woodard observes. "I'd be by my window with a shotgun too." Similarly, Rumsfeld, who rejected concerns about U.S. treatment of Afghan and Al Queda prisoners, now invokes the Geneva conventions on the lawful treatment of prisoners of war. Has he forgotten the pictures of Afghan prisoners, their beards shorn against their religious beliefs, displayed in Guantánamo, held in a legal limbo without the protection of POW status? Or the two homicides in a US Army prison in Afghanistan, where an Army pathologist described the cause of death as "blunt force injuries?"

American leaders would be wise to avoid invoking the Geneva conventions - or better still to observe them. The central question in the minds of many millions around the world is whether the United States, in violation of the UN Charter and long-established terms of international law, is waging an illegal war