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On a personal note, I was uncommitted until I asked an innocent question on Little Green Footballs and was treated as "a denier", "a troll". Now, my PhD in physics has nothing to do with climatology, but one does not have to be a scientist to recognise "appeal to authority" as in "consensus". Galileo was condemned by the "consensus" of the time. "Einstein says...", "the IPCC writes..." or "the results have been peer reviewed" are not scientific arguments.
The kind of degree he has is a separate matter. Darwin did not have a PhD. Darwin did not publish his theory of evolution in a "peer reviewed journal". Darwin was self-financed and not employed by a reputable institution...
I guess these revelations prove that the theory of evolution is false..., But, hey, the Bible is not peer reviewed either. What to believe...
1 - He has published it, on the web, otherwise you would not be able to read it.
2 - Publishing something in a peer reviewed journal does not make something inherently better, or worse.
Peer review is not some kind of mystical spell that you cast on results to make them "scientific". Peer review simply means that peers, people working in the same fields as you, have gone over the results and agreed with them. Typically, two, to the author anonymous reviewers, go over the paper, after an editor has had a look to see that it is fit for the journal. You might be interested to know that neither Nature, nor Science practices such peer reviews. The editors of those journals accept or reject the papers themselves.
However, in any scientific field, there are only around 150 peers, Dunbar's number. When a field gets larger, it splits into several sub-disciplins. The big problem with the peer review system, both for results, and, very importantly for grant applications, is that all peers are in the same boat. So only results that generally agree with the field will be accepted. If a young brilliant scientist wants to publish results that show that the whole field is a dead loss, that there is no chance it will cure cancer and the like, he is unlikely to be published. He will not receive any grants for a proposal that sets out to prove that all of his peers should change profession, because the field is a dead end.
To fix the problems with peer review, we need competition. Independent funding from many different sources, and preferably none at all from governments. Terence Kealey discusses in a couple of books the empirical fact that for civilian research, for every dollar that the government provides, 1.25 dollars of private money disappears.
To me, the finer points of the convention are the kind of stuff that lawyers and judges in peace time give a "sitting in my library" kind of interpretation. If they personally felt that vital interests were threatened, or felt to be threatened themselves, they would look at it in another way. That the US has several times as many lawyers per inhabitant than almost any other nation on earth is most likely also a reason.
In WWII, the soldiers were "us" to the US public, all 12 million of them. Now, ever since the Vietnam war, it is "them" to the left. It is a bit as if the Americans would support the Ukraine in the Hockey World championships.
The perspectives and interpretations of the finer points of laws also changes when you are faced with opponents that do not follow any conventions. My father was at the head of a small brewery. As such he had a role in civil defense (food industry). As with Swedish fighter pilots, our home was visited by Polish "art salesmen" trying to sell paintings. This was to have a look at the house so that in case of a war (where Sweden as we now know was a Soviet first strike target), key personnel could the assassinated by the Spetznas. This was in the early eighties.
The script that Bush I and II were following for Iraq was written by Churchill. "How to deal with a dictator before the threat becomes large". The Gathering Storm is highly recommended.
And I will take time to look at the Geneva conventions.
What is sad is that the sense that the US soldiers are on our side (I am Swedish, and I am upset that there were no Swedish troops sharing the burden of Western civilization with the US).
US journalists were on the US side in WWII, something they were not in Vietnam according to Reagan. I can't remember reading any complaints about US journalists not being embedded with the Germans during WWII to get the true picture...
Based on this, if I lived in the neighbourhood, I would put my family in the most secure room of the house. If I had my young children in a car, I would stop and take shelter. I would not continue driving around.
As for fighting in built-up areas, well war is hell. In Caen, the allies flattened the whole town, beginning when there were 60 000 people living there. At the end there were still 17 000 people in the town. You have to fight the enemy where he happens to be. Do you suggest the US troops should have dropped leaflets and invited the insurgents to slug it out in the open? Please be so kind as to join us in a firefight on the shooting range...
Suppose, said our captain, that you are a civilian. You hear the Soviets approaching and you grab your hunting rifle, put a little yellow and blue armband on and attack them. In that case, as you are not in uniform and not part of a recognised military unit, according to the laws of war, the Soviets are in their full right to put you up against a wall and shoot you on the spot. Don't do it.
Anyone who has good intentions knows to be very careful when there is a firefight in the neighbourhood, as part of an ongoing war.
Have a look at the wikipedia entry for the battle for Caen for a comparison.
They finished rebuilding that town in 1962, 18 years after D-Day.
The people who then decided to put two children in a van to collect the bodies should be shot if they survived. It should go without saying that the US troops would want to examine the bodies of the dead enemy, to see who they were, if there were any documents on them, etc. Every army in the world would do that. And anyone in the "insurgency" would be criminally stupid not to know that.
The Germans had no American embed journalists on D-Day in 1944. The Americans and the British bombed Caen to smithereens. Thousands of French died as "collateral damage". Should the Allied have refrained from going into France, against the express will of the Vichy government? Should they have refrained from invading Germany because it was "their country"? And should the New York Times have published the invasion plans for D-Day because "the public has the right to know"?