Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know

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9780393319149: Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know
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For everyone who wants to become better informed about the news, this book lays out the benchmarks for monitoring the watchdogs and governments. Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, it illustrates what is legal in war and what is not. The text presents reportage of contemporary journalism while the A-Z format and the graphic design make accessible the complicated and often harrowing subject matter. as well as providing visual bookmarks, the photographs document the reality behind the words. The heart of the law, and of the book, are the grave breaches of serious war crimes, delineated in the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the First Additional Protocol of 1977. The book gives an example of each breach and journalists who were at the scene report on what they saw. These articles are labelled crime. Leading scholars have contributed shorter articles on techical topics, most labelled the law. There are also essay-length articles on major themes, labelled key terms. To provide an overview of the current scene, ten writers takes a critical look at recent conflicts and examine them in the light of the crimes of war. Complementing these case studies are experts' overviews of the applicable law.

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About the Author:

Roy Gutman is a writer for New York Newsday, a Pulitzer Prize winner for international journalism, and author of A Witness to Genocide. David Rieff is a contributor to Harper's, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and the Washington Post, among many others, and is the author of Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West.

From Kirkus Reviews:

paper 0-393-31914-8 Pulitzer-winning Newsday journalist Gutman (Banana Diplomacy: The Making of American Policy in Nicaragua 19811987, 1988) and Rieff (Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West, 1995) present an encyclopedia on the laws of war and on the willful violation of these laws in so many recent acts of barbarism. War happens. Over time, however, international covenants, in particular the series of Geneva Conventions from the mid-19th century to 1977, have made reasonably clear (there is always some ambiguity in law) what is allowable in war and what is not. Paradoxically, while the laws of war have never been more developed, war crimes, especially against civilians in such places as Bosnia and Rwanda, continue on an epidemic scale. In this A-to-Z guidebook, the editors have gathered together contributions by experts in international law as well as journalists who have experienced war firsthand to try to make sense of both the laws of war and where and how they are violated. They succeed admirably. The book is loosely constructed around three major themes. Short pieces define particular terms and concepts within the international laws of war: aggression, genocide, just and unjust wars, etc. Longer essays explore particular violations of these laws: biological experimentation, children as soldiers, the use of chemical weapons, and others. Finally, ten detailed case studiesamong them Chechnya, Cambodia, the Iran-Iraq warare presented. While the A-to-Z format is often confusing (a definition will be followed by a totally unrelated case study simply because it comes next alphabetically), sufficient cross-referencing does allow following a particular idea or episode across sections. Adding to the richness of this work is the inclusion of an abundant number of photographs of the atrocities and horrors of war crimes. These serve to counteract any tendency toward dispassionate analysis that prose alone might allow. The book both informs and appalls, and it is meant to. As war-crime tribunals on Rwanda and Bosnia proceed, and as public consciousness of the atrocities that have occurred in such places increases, this is a work of singular importance. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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9780393047462: Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know

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ISBN 10:  0393047466 ISBN 13:  9780393047462
Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc, 1999
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