Thursday, December 10, 2009

An inconvenient signature....

So the ICRC blithely lists Afghanistan as being a signatory to the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949, and even shows Afghanistan as such on its very cool map.

The thing is, it's not the same Afghanistan, is it? I mean the borders are the same, for whatever that's worth, but there have been a few changes in management since August 12, 1949, including the Taliban's - which was recognized by Pakistan and...wait for it...Saudi Arabia (with whom we have "shared values" as Bird and Fortune acidly put it, of enthusiasm for oil revenue and abhorrence of corruption investigations) - and now the "Islamic Republic of Afghanistan" as cobbled together in the Bonn Agreement by some weird alchemy that was never explained, and then solidified with increasing respectability by self referencing instutitions like the United Nations.

You don't have to be an international lawyer to wonder if something signed by "Afghanistan" in 1949 is binding on the "Afghanistan" of 2009.