Monday, March 24, 2003

This is interesting

"An Australian FA/18 Hornet pilot has refused an American command to bomb a target in Iraq in the first conflict between the different rules governing the way the two allies make war."

The crew chose not to complete the mission because "they could not positively identify the target"but the the Australian Government has chosen to highlight the difference in the rules under which Australians are fighting in Iraq. The guts of it is that they are governed by Australian and international law, the 1949 Geneva Convention, and additional 1977 protocols that the US has not signed.

"A range of weapons in the American arsenal - such as landmines and cluster bombs - are banned by Australia, and Canberra has emphasised that its forces will refuse to attack civilian targets, including key bridges, dams and other vital infrastructure of the kind bombed by the US in the 1991 Gulf War. "

All of this makes you wonder a) What was the pilot asked to bomb? and b) What are the Americans bombing that the Australians will not?

Perhaps these details will emerge once the fog of war has lifted but it will be interesting to find out. New Zealand News - World - Australian pilot gives thumbs down to US bombing order