I am realist. I have little regard for things like treaties or the institutions of international law, the things that are treated as sacred by nations only when it suits them. I roll my eyes when people scream about the legality of invading Iraq, or the when they cry about nations using mines and cluster bombs, as if the United States or Britain would not do the same if it came right down to it.
There are a few things though, that I would hold as sacred. This kind of thing is one of them.
Of course, it should go without saying that I am not entirely trusting of this story, the source not being the most unbiased party. But, the second I read it, I knew it had the truth in it.
The Red Cross, and extending that, the protection afforded to medics in times of war, is something that everyone should follow. The Red Cross is that neutral party, sometimes the only ones who can really help those caught up, willing or not, in the chaos of warfare and conflict. Abusing their symbol is not just wrong, its illogical. The Red Cross helps both sides in war.
Medics help, or are supposed to anyway, both sides in war. That is a noble profession, far more noble than those who do the fighting really. In using their universally recognised symbol in this manner, Gaddafi is showing himself as the desperate, morally bankrupt individual that he is, someone more obsessed with gaining a short tactical advantage (how long will those mines be there before being deactivated?) then allowing international organisations to help the people of Libya, east and west.
Treaties and Geneva are one thing. Logical, common sense, moral directives of conflict, like those that the Red Cross embodies, should be above reproach. It makes sense. That’s rare in situations like Libya.