Wednesday, October 19, 2005

No Sense of Proportion

Spain has indicted three US soldiers who they say murdered a Spanish TV cameraman during the intitial attack on Baghdad in 2003.

You might remember the incident. The tank fired into a hotel room where Jose Couso was filming killing him. For the full story see CNN. The actual warrant states the soldiers are wanted for "murder" and "a crime against the international community."

What international community? How vague is that.

While this man's death is a tragedy, there no crime was committed. Couso went to a war zone. What did he expect? War zones are dangerous. Journalists are killed all the time. Couso was not targeted, the killing was not premeditated, it was an accident of war.

That the soldiers on both sides could tell if a person 500 yards away, inside a building is a friend of foe. That soldiers in the midst of a battle can take everyone safety into consideration? This was not a police action in New York City or Madrid. This was an urban battle where the soldiers had to react to dangers, both perceived and real, with deadly force.

The true point of this legalistic excersize, in my mind, is that Spain is trying to make the war appear illegal and denigrate U.S. actions.

The bright side of the story is the soldiers will never be turned over to the Spanish government. The negative aspect is these guys will have to look over their shoulder if they ever travel internationally because there will be an international arrest warrant out for them.


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