posted April 10, 2003 at 8:45 p.m. MDT
IHT: Prisoners of war in Iraq and at Guantánamo [International Herald Tribune] "NEW YORK Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has at last recognized the Geneva Conventions. Observing, correctly, that Iraq’s televised display of captured American soldiers violated the laws of war, Rumsfeld said that the conventions spell out the rules governing international armed conflict.
The United States is right to insist that Iraq honor the Geneva Conventions. But its position is weakened by failure to practice what it preaches in holding 641 prisoners without charges at the U.S. military facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Most of the Guantánamo prisoners were captured during the U.S. war against the Taliban government of Afghanistan. The Bush administration says that the men were all combatants, but has refused to treat them as the laws of war require."
U.S. digs in on lesser role for UN [iht.com] - "The United States will not give the United Nations the primacy in Iraq that several countries favor, though it will seek a UN endorsement of plans for an interim Iraqi authority as well as help with humanitarian aid, Secretary of State Colin Powell has said, in one of his clearest statements on the matter.
Europeans and others have called for a broader UN role in overseeing not just Iraqi recovery from war but its political reconstitution. They are critical of U.S. plans to dominate Iraq's remaking. Leaders of three of the complainant countries - France, Germany and Russia - are to meet Friday in St. Petersburg to discuss the matter.
In the meantime, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz laid out with greater clarity Thursday the sequence and nature of the transitional administrative and governing institutions envisaged by the United States for Iraq. He, too, spoke of a UN role limited largely to the humanitarian."