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Last week's "Italian" theme began with such "intenational relaions" term (irredentist), and its final quote had another (uti possidetis). That subject this week's theme.

uti possidetis – the principle that unless otherwise stated:
1. upon a peace treaty, each belligerent keeps the captured territories then holds
2. when a political subdivision achieves independence, its international boundaries are simply the previous administrative boundaries (Black's Law Dictionary)

[Late Latin; literally "as you possess", or more fully, "as you now possess it".]

The second usage is far more frequent, though on-line dictionaries omit it. Yesterday's quote and the first quote today illustrate the former sense; we then illustrate the latter.
    [In late 1944] Stalin was staking out claims to Eastern and Central Europe ahead of the Allied victory. The Soviets pressed ahead while planning for the outright military victory which would enable them to deal with the West from a foundation of uti possidetis.
    – Christopher Duffy, Red Storm on the Reich: The Soviet March on Germany, 1945

    ... a presumption that often runs against self-determination … Uti possidetis arose from an international consensus that States created through decolonization should normally maintain the external colonial borders, regardless of the tribal, ethnic, religious, or political affiliations of those who had been colonized. The attraction of the principle lies in its promotion of stability, by disfavoring unpredictable and excessive fragmentation.
    – Gregory H. Fox, Democratic Governance and International Law

    The disputed islands and islets range from small to tiny, are uniformly unattractive, waterless, and habitable only with great difficulty [, but] they straddle what has been, since the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, one of the most important and busiest seaways in the world. Yemen introduced the doctrine of uti possidetis ...: "[o]n the dismemberment of an empire like the Ottoman Empire, there is a presumption that the boundaries of the independent states which replace the Empire will correspond to the boundaries of the administrative units of which the dismembered Empire was constituted."
    - Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague, Eritrea-Yemen Arbitration, Oct. 9, 1998
 
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balkanized; Balkanized– fragmented into small and hostile units
[From the political division of the Balkans in the early 20th century.]

The term originally was originally limited to political fragmentation of a region, but the broader use, illustrated below, now the more common. The dictionaries, particularly AHD, have given little attention to that expanded meaning.
    Narrowcasting also deepens America's political and cultural balkanization. Mightn't the case for subsidizing nationally unifying media actually grow stronger as technological fragmentation proceeds apace?
    – New Republic, Feb. 3, 1995
Bonus word: narrowcasting – the practice of "specialty" cable channels (or other media) geared to a specific group of viewers, such as physicians, businesspeople, or teenagers
 
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quote:
fragmented into small and hostile units
I'd suggest a minor change to this definition: fragmented into small and mutually hostile units.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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How do we tell whether a usage is a cultural reference, or is a "word"? I have no answer. The dictionaries do not list what follows as a "word", but you can consider the citations and make your own decision.

Munich – shortsighted and often dishonorable appeasement of a tyrant
[After the Munich Conference of 1938. But sometimes used to refer to the murder of 11 Israeli athletes the Munich Olympics, Summer 1972.]
    The analogy that came to most Americans' mind on Sept. 11 was Pearl Harbor. But the perpetrators, not surprisingly, see matters differently. … an online column by Abu Ubeid Al-Qurashi, an al Qaeda "activist," says the attack was another Munich. That's Munich 1972, not Munich 1938.
    – James Taranto, Wall Street Journal on-line, March 12, 2002

    The transition reflects a pendulum swing between the "no more Munichs" syndrome – no more appeasement of aggressors and dictators – and the "no more Vietnams" syndrome – no more plunging America into Third Word quagmires."
    – Daniel Schorr, New Leader, Jan. 13, 1997

    [Discussing Slobodan Milosevic:] The determination of the previous generation of American policymakers to allow "no more Munichs" led to the Vietnam War. The determination of this generation to allow ''no more Vietnams'' promises another Munich.
    – William Pfaff, Democracies in Confusion, or How to Guarantee Another Munich, International Herald Tribune, May 6, 1999

    And any move in this direction by a U.S. president would lead to conservative cries of another Munich.
    – James Ridgeway, Looking Backward, Village Voice, July 29, 2004
 
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I suppose this word isn't "international relations", but the first quote is, and the word is fun. Says Oxford:

frogmarch – to force (someone) to walk forward by pinning their [sic] arms from behind
[Why "frog"? The term originally (mid-1800s) meant to carry an uncooperative drunk, prisoner or the like face down, one person holding onto each limb. Hence, splayed out like a pinned-down frog.]
    "At the end of the day it's of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs."
    – Joseph Wilson, disgruntled former ambassador, much-quoted in the press (2003)

    The twins forced the sweater over his head, knocking his glasses askew. "And you're not sitting with the prefects today, either," said George. "Christmas is a time for family." They frog-marched Percy from the room, his arms pinned to his side by his sweater.
    – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
But Rowling gave what I think is a better definition. During an Oct. 20, 2000 interview on the Today show, she took questions from kids.
    Dark-haired girl: My name is Rio, and in the first book, what did she mean by "they frog-marched Percy around the room"?
    Rowling: That's when two people stand on either side of the third person and they force them to walk along. It's like you're under arrest.
 
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prisoner of war – a captured member of one's sides armed forces (or of an organized resistance movement, in certain circumstances)
(The specific circumstances: they must have a commander responsible for them; wear clear identification (as by uniform); carry their ams openly; and adhere to the laws of war)

Many think a POW is "anyone captured in war". This is in essence what you'll find in OED, MW, AHD, Encarta, and on the Red Cross website, but it is erroneous. The Third Geneva Convention , at Artcle 4.A., defines that term as I have summarized, and is quite clear that only the military (and certain other that behave "like a military"), get POW status. Indeed, it makes sense that a captured soldier would have special rights beyond those of a civilian. For example, a soldier kills the enemy, within his job, cannot be charged with murder for those killings. (Article 118).

In the press, some very strong criticism seems to have been based on the mistaken notion that "POW" means anyone captured in war.
    Molly Ivins (syndicated columnist in 114 newspapers), Love it or screw you: America’s double standards Jan. 24, 2002:
    So we take the prisoners we've captured, and suddenly announce that they are not prisoners of war after all, because this isn't really a war we've been fighting. Therefore the prisoners are "illegal combatants," and we don't have to treat them in accord with the Geneva Convention on POWs. This is why a lot of people hate us. For the sheer bloody arrogance of having it both ways all the time. For thinking that we are above the rules, that we can laugh at treaties, that we can do whatever we want

    The International Committee of the Red Cross said it considered al Qaeda fighters held by U.S. forces to be prisoners of war, "They were captured in combat and we consider them prisoners of war," ICRC spokesman Darcy Christen told Reuters.
    – CNN, Feb. 8, 2002
Later, we'll talk about those who are not covered by Geneva 3 and the term "POW": non-combatant civilians, and combatant civilians who do not act "like a military". They have rights too, but their rights come under other documents, particularly Geneva 4 (whose title says "[for] "the Protection of Civilian Persons") and the U.N. Convention against Torture
 
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illegal combatant (or unlawful combatant) – one who is a combatant but would not, if captured, meet the standards of a prisoner of war

Geneva 3 deals only with POWs, and provides no name for with captured combatants who do no qualify as POWs. But the concept and term are long-recognized in international law. The U.S. Supreme Court explained it in 1942, in ex parte Quirin.
    By universal agreement and practice the law of war draws a distinction between the armed forces and the peaceful populations of belligerent nations and also between those who are lawful and unlawful combatants. Lawful combatants are subject to capture and detention as prisoners of war by opposing military forces. Unlawful combatants are likewise subject to capture and detention, but in addition they are subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals for acts which render their belligerency unlawful. The spy who secretly and without uniform passes the military lines of a belligerent in time of war, or an enemy combatant who without uniform comes secretly through the lines for the purpose of waging war by destruction of life or property, are familiar examples of belligerents who are generally deemed not to be entitled to the status of prisoners of war, but to be offenders against the law of war subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals.*
An important difference, between POW and non-POW rights, is in an interrogation. Think of the TV police shows where the interrogator says, "If you cooperate, and help me nail your superiors, I'll agree to a lesser charge against you." Such a tactic is forbidden when questioning POWs (Geneva 3, Art. 17: "Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be ... exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.") But is allowed when interrogating others, subject of course the general restrictions (i.e., the prohibition against torture).


*A number of writers (exampls below) state that "illegal combatant" is merely a term conveniently inventioned by President Bush. They are wrong.
--MP Jeremy Corbyn, speaking in Parliament 27 Nov 2003: The United States created a non-existent legal phrase of "illegal combatant" ...
-- Historian Chalmers Johnson, History News Network, June 14, 2004: President Bush's invention of such hitherto unknown categories as "illegal combatant"
-- The Morning Star, 28 July 2004: The Bush administration has gone so far as to invent the new category of "illegal combatant" to excuse its own refusal to treat enemies captured on the battlefield according to the Geneva convention.

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casus belli – an event that provokes or is used to justify war
    Churchill certainly did not want war against Japan, but only American assistance in the fight against Hitler, which a casus belli in the Pacific would not necessarily assure; as we have seen, Hitler's perverse decision to declare war on the United States in the immediate aftermath of Pearl Harbor solved problems of diplomacy which otherwise might have needed months of negotiation between the White House and Congress.
    – John Keegan, The Second World War

    On the way there was a fight between two of the tramps. They had quarrelled overnight (there was some silly casus belli about one saying to the other, "Bull shit," which was taken for Bolshevik-a deadly insult), and they fought it out in a field. A dozen of us stayed to watch them.
    – George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London
 
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Quote "...*A number of writers (exampls below) state that "illegal combatant" is merely a term conveniently inventioned by President Bush. They are wrong...."

I think the point at issue here is not whether or not the term is accurate but whether is applies to those captured and interned.

The USA started a war against Afghanistan and Iraq; those who resisted were soldiers, fighting to defend their countries. That they might not have had the nice new uniforms and hi-tech equipment of the US forces doesn't make them any the less soldiers.

Spies and saboteurs are examples of "illegal combatants" as defined by Geneva; those captured in the field of battle (which were many, if not all, of those men presently languishing in Guantanamo Bay) should be treated as prisoners of war.


Richard English
 
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Article 5 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 12 August (1949) (GCIII) of 1949 has an interesting spin on the problem at Gitmo: "Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal." More info at Wikipedia.
 
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This from the newspaper gives the author's understanding of "illegal combatant" and "prisoner of war".

"The interpretive problem for law-abiding democracies is how to hold true to the core principles that animate a treaty regime while working within a text that may not anticipate new problems. It would not surprise historians to discover that the treaty rules crafted for state-to-state wars do not always easily fit an unconventional conflict against a nonstate actor such as al Qaeda.
...
"The judge does not dispute that the Geneva Conventions draw an important distinction between lawful and unlawful combatants. Irregular combatants (such as saboteurs, spies and guerrillas) are accorded different protections because they fail a four-part test: The disguise themselves as civilians without distinguishing uniforms or insignia, fail to carry their arms openly, lack a responsible commander, and as a group, deliberately flout the laws of war. Lawful belligerency is also limited to combatants fighting for a state, rather than a private sponsor, At least in its attacks in East Africa and the U.S., al Quada was fighting as a private terrorist network.
...
"Adam Roberts, professor of international relations at Oxford, makes a suggestion that a district judge might not. 'In a struggle involving an organisation that plainly does not meet the criteria' of lawful combatants, he wrote in 2002, ' and especially where, as with Al Quada, it is not in any sense a State, it may be reasonable to proclaim that captured members are presumed not to have PoW status.'"

Ruth Wedgwood, professor of international law at Johns Hopkins.
 
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The same article gives another term.

"[At the end of WWII] the collapse of the Axis, said the Allies, created a legal condition of debellatio -- or total defeat -- to which the Hague occupation law should not apply."

I've never seen this the word 'debellatio,' and one-look doesn't have it.
But one-look does give debellation: the act of conquering or subduing.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by wordcrafter:
uti possidetis – the principle that unless otherwise stated:
1. upon a peace treaty, each belligerent keeps the captured territories then holds
2. when a political subdivision achieves independence, its international boundaries are simply the previous administrative boundaries (Black's Law Dictionary)

The second usage is far more frequent, though on-line dictionaries omit it.
Columnist Tunku Varadarajan, in today's Wall Street Journal (the extracted quote does not do justice to the full column), speaking about the UN:

"All the displays of local outfits and headgear, of nonaligned rhetoric, nationalist posturing, development schemes and bright postage stamps gave color to this drama of inclusion. The truth was, of course, that many were scarcely real countries at all, their boundaries drawn up by the exigencies of colonial rule. Those boundaries were kept intact by brutal postcolonial regimes that cited the legal principle - oh, how they loved to brandish the law - of uti possidetis, a principle allowing a belligerent to claim the territory it occupies at the end of a war."

Query whether Mr. Varadarajan has conflated the two meanings of uti possiditis.

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