A spokesman for the Sunni Muslim assembly [said] the situation regarding the Italian hostages, who were armed when they were abducted, was different to those of the Japanese and other nationals who had been released…. “They are trained escorts of the coalition led by the Americans. In truth they are like soldiers, the same as the invading soldiers of the American army,” al Dari said.
(see full story: here)
Let’s see, then.
According to C. Rice, an American soldier captured in battle is a “hostage” who has been “kidnapped”–not a POW who might be swapped for POWs that we are holding.
All the more so for such “civilians” as the 10,000 heavily-armed private-enterprise soldiers who are doing things like guarding convoys, etc., that used to be carried out by soldiers. They would certainly to be classified as “kidnapped civilian hostages.”
Of course if they had been captured by us, out of uniform, they would have been “enemy combatants.”
A friend of mine once pointed out the US forces are organized into “brigades and regiments,” while Asian armies we encounter are organized into “hordes and waves.”