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>will either have been recovered by the victorious army or looted by the local population

This phrasing, with different terms for the army and the local population doing the exact same thing, reminds me of the famous Onion take on Hurricane Katrina:

>NEW ORLEANS—Throughout the Gulf Coast, Caucasian suburbanites attempting to gather food and drink in the shattered wreckage of shopping districts have reported seeing African­Americans "looting snacks and beer from damaged businesses." "I was in the abandoned Wal-Mart gathering an air mattress so I could float out the potato chips, beef jerky, and Budweiser I'd managed to find," said white survivor Lars Wrightson, who had carefully selected foodstuffs whose salt and alcohol content provide protection against contamination. "Then I look up, and I see a whole family of [African-Americans] going straight for the booze. Hell, you could see they had already looted a fortune in diapers." Radio stations still in operation are advising store owners and white people in the affected areas to locate firearms in sporting-goods stores in order to protect themselves against marauding blacks looting gun shops.




> This phrasing, with different terms for the army and the local population doing the exact same thing

The victorious force does own captured movable state-owned equipment and are acting within the law when they take it and are not looting - rule 49 of customary international humanitarian law, which has ancient precedence and is reinforced implicitly in both the Hague Regulations, Geneva Conventions, and pretty much any state's own military laws.

The local population have no such right - that's what makes it looting when they do it.


> movable state-owned equipment

Since when are products in stores or the stores itself property of the state? Or personal property inside and outside houses?


> Since when are products in stores or the stores itself property of the state? Or personal property inside and outside houses?

I don't think they are. Why do you think they would be? The laws of war specifically exclude personal property.

That paragraph in the article is referring to for example 'musket, sabre, bayonet or ammunition pouch' on the battlefield. They're state-owned and aren't personal property. (Well, historically an officer's equipment might be personal purchase but I don't think the law would interpret any fighting equipment as being legitimately a personal effect.)


I don't think that is a list of things they took, IMHO it's a list of notable things missing on the battlefield which should be next to the bodies but aren't. They probably took everything, not just these listed items, and they probably did not loot just these, but also stuff from houses, etc.


I don't really understand what you're trying to say. You're just making a wider point that some people do sometimes loot other things off the battlefield? Yes and that's illegal.

But the examples specifically given in the article from the battlefield aren't looting, and that's why the article doesn't say they're looting. But I won't keep arguing.


I am saying that the list is examples of notable things missing on the battlefield (thus missing weapons are interesting), not a list of things that they took most of the time, or notable things they took. They took everything of value, most of which was personal property, so speculating about the word looting or legality seems weird, because their actions were mostly not legal, not the other way around, and you can't really separate the two.


The Onion article was based on two actual press images whose captions made exactly that distinction: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/hurricane-katrina-looters/




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