Ethics,  Law

War crime in the Falklands?

The Heresiarch draws attention to a shocking piece in the Daily Mail, in which Tony Banks describes how, while serving in the Falklands, he took part in an engagement in which the troops were ordered to ‘take no prisoners’, an order which is – or seems to be – contrary to international law, and thus a war crime. Previous investigations into possible British war crimes concluded that there was insufficient evidence:

A terrified young soldier stood up with his hands in the air jabbering away in Spanish and obviously wanting to surrender. He looked like a teenager — a boy, much like ourselves.He was pleading for his life. We looked at each other and hesitated. A brief argument broke out between us. Somebody shouted at us to follow orders: ‘Shoot him.’ Out of the darkness, another voice replied, ‘No, you shoot him.’

As the argument went on, the boy crumpled to his knees. Finally, somebody threw a tarpaulin over him, shot him, and finished him off with a bayonet. That was it. We moved on.

I have nothing to add to the Heresiarch’s own very good analysis, except to note that on the more general issue of the Falklands sovereignty I’m with Norm (rather than Inayat).