war crimes

  1. other countries are held responsible for war crimes, why not the US. Why should they be allowed to shrug this off as a few isolated incidents?
  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   adrienurse
    see link here

  4. by   Jaaaman
    What war crimes have we (the U.S.) been convicted of?
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    Aw, come on, Jaaaman, not even you could be so blinded by your rah-rah neoconservatism that you cannot see the inhumanity of the manner in which those Iraqi prisoners were treated. What do you mean, "we haven't been convicted of any war crimes"? Whatever does that have to do with anything? No, we haven't had to face the consequences of these actions---yet---but those images have already convicted us in the eyes of the world.

    Here's one more thought: while you, along with your Fearless Leader, may not care what the rest of the planet thinks, you can bet our enemies won't forget about this anytime soon. We went over there, as the comedian George Carlin once said of Vietnam: "to free those people....then whip a little industry on 'em". But now that the sick, sadistic acts of a few renegade soldiers have come to light, any credibility we might have had as heroes and rescuers has been shot to hell.........and if that's not a crime, it should be. :angryfire
  6. by   Dr. Gonzo
    What those morons did in Iraq is nothing big deal yes it' bad and those morons should be jailed but the US did not commit war crimes. The US had little control over that situation you cant charge a country with WAR crimes when the president didnt give the go ahead. Now in World War 2 the US did commit War crimes by dropping those 2 bombs on japan that killed more than 100,000 civilians thats a War crime the only reason the us didnt get charged with war crimes was because they won the war. What Hitler did to the gypsies and the jews those are War crimes not what those stupid soldiers did in Iraq.
  7. by   Brian
    FYI, I've moved thread to current events forum.
  8. by   Jaaaman
    Those soldiers in Iraq are being court-martialed and will be facing a military court of there peers (this is being discussed in another thread btw). I thought this thread was about something different (ie. U.S. alleged war crimes against other nations). Again, I ask the question: What war crimes has the U.S. been convicted of? If the OP's question was about the prisoner abuse violations in Iraq, that has been addressed and those soldiers will be facing a military court of their peers. (rah-rah neoconservatism this is not.)
  9. by   gwenith
    Please remember when you read this that the term "liberal" here in Australia is actually
    opposite to the American term so our Liberals are like your republicans


    Former Liberal president says Iraq invasion was a war crime PRINT FRIENDLY EMAIL STORY
    AM - Thursday, 8 April , 2004 08:11:59
    Reporter: Louise Yaxley
    TONY EASTLEY: The Labor leader, Mark Latham, says there are clear comparisons between the way the war has developed in Iraq and the Vietnam conflict. Mr Latham is keeping pressure on the Government to explain when the time will be right to bring Australian troops home from Iraq.

    And as Louise Yaxley reports opponents of the war, like the former Liberal Party President John Valder, says the worsening situation in Iraq convinces him he was right to campaign against the invasion, and he says there's a case for the leaders of the Coalition to face war crimes charges.

    LOUISE YAXLEY: Mark Latham is now directly comparing the war in Iraq to the Vietnam conflict.

    MARK LATHAM: Well Vietnam went for a longer period of time and let's hope that Iraq doesn't stretch out over decades and end up with the sort of tragedy that we had in Vietnam, but the changing nature of the engagement is fair commentary in that Vietnam did change from a conflict against the French to a nationalistic war.

    It was seen by the West as communism, but in hindsight people would have to say it was more about nationalism and when it gets to the point where the occupation of the country becomes more of the problem than the solution, where the costs of occupation are starting to outweigh the risks of withdrawal, then obviously you get some pretty serious dilemmas in terms of foreign policy. How do we handle that in Australia? It's wise to have an exit strategy.

    LOUISE YAXLEY: The Prime Minister says the situation in Iraq is disturbing and more difficult than it's been for some time, but progress is being made. He says he sees no need to provide extra Australian forces.

    Mark Latham is standing by his decision to argue that a Labor government would bring them home by Christmas. He's continued the Vietnam analogy, telling the ABC's Lateline program it's up to the Prime Minister to explain how he would avoid the nation's forces being bogged down in Iraq.

    MARK LATHAM: The thing for the Howard Government of course is to define what is the job they are expecting Australia to do. We think the job is to get to the point of a new sovereign Iraqi government. If the Howard Government thinks the job goes further than that, they should say so to the Australian people and avoid the risk of Australia being bogged down, bogged down in engagements that aren't part of the war against terror, that aren't part of the defence of Australia and soak up the resources we need as a nation to do those other two things effectively.

    LOUISE YAXLEY: As the debate rages, the former Liberal Party Federal president, John Valder, who's been an outspoken opponent of the war, says he can see the comparisons with Vietnam. He's now calling for action against those who supported the invasion.

    JOHN VALDER: Those who were responsible for this have got to answer for it. I mean I've gone as far as saying, you know, where's the war crimes commission? This really is, was the most criminal act from the outset and now look where it's got us. So I would have only thought that governments in any country that were supporting this, be they in the United States, Spain, Australia, Britain or anywhere, should be out on their ear.

    LOUISE YAXLEY: War crimes commission for those who made the decision as part of the Coalition of the Willing?

    JOHN VALDER: Yes because they were party to what has turned out to be open, active aggression against a third country that in no way was a threat to them and of course their reasons for going in have proved to be absolutely baseless.

    So if you go into your neighbours next door and smash the place up etcetera on perhaps some precept or other that proves to be wrong, of course you'd go to court and go to jail. I've got to say I think that applies to the leaders of Britain, the United States and Australia.

    TONY EASTLEY: Former Liberal Party president John Valder.
  10. by   kmchugh
    First, the idea that Americans don't commit war crimes is ludicrous. Looking at the photos recently released of the treatment of Iraqi prisoners in Iraq proves this. American history is replete with examples of war crimes committed by Americans. And yes, I can list historical events where war crimes were either committed by or committed with the knowledge of the US government. However, particularly since Vietnam, we as a nation have come to loath these types of actions, and will not tolerate the commission of such crimes by our troops.

    Therefore, it is equally ludicrous to say that our war criminals get off scott free. What happened in the prison in Iraq is not being "shrugged off." In fact, the soldiers involved in this atrocity are currently facing charges for numerous violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. And while you can choose to believe it or not, the UCMJ is a much harsher code of laws than those imposed by the international tribunals, or by US courts. And the soldiers involved are not alone in facing charges. Their chain of command is also under investigation, and will likely face charges for allowing these acts to be committed.

    The reason that the international tribunal was set up was to bring war criminals to justice who would not otherwise face charges for their crimes. The soldiers who committed the crimes are facing charges, brought by their own country, for their crimes. Regardless of what another poster on this board would have you believe, US forces do not routinely commit war crimes. And, when they do, and those crimes are uncovered, the criminal faces charges, and depending on the severity of the crime, can even face the death penalty, which is not allowed under the authority of the international war crimes court.

    Regardless of what the referenced article tells us, the idea that the court could be used as an anti-American forum is not a straw man argument. In fact, given the behavior of some of our European "allies," its not at all hard to imagine them bringing charges in this court against the US simply for going to war against Iraq. Participation in the court would be tantamount to the US shooting itself in the foot. Why do it? And, given that we have become a nation that does not tolerate misbehavior by our troops, who is quick to bring these troops to trial, why is our participation sought, if not for the purpose of embarrassing us?

    And, while the wording of the referenced article is noble, it is also naive. It assumes a happy state of affairs where the all national governments exist solely to provide for the economic well being of their citizens. Matters of defense and war are to be left to the "new world order" (wording of the article, not my wording). Unfortunately, to even have a remote chance of being effective, all governments in the world would have to subscribe to this philosophy. If only some participate, those who participate would be effectively at the mercy of those who did not. Further, the US constitution provides that the conduct of war and the provision of national defense is a function of our federal government. To subserviate this role to an international body would violate the US Constitution. The article Adrienurse referenced as much as admitted this truth, but went on to say that perhaps it was time to abandon the principles of the US constitution in favor of a more international body of law. What it failed to realize was that the international body of law is founded on political ideology just as much as is any national government, and therefore, by the reasoning of the author, just as flawed.

    One quote from the article stood out in my mind particularly: "Post 9/11, these opposing political cultures have been forced into the open, because, in response to a security crisis, nations fall back on to their most ingrained patterns of belief. The United States has responded to the attack in the pattern of the powerful, modern nation-state that it is, while our European allies have, for the most part, responded as post-modern transnational communities. Americans went to war, while Europeans generally appealed to the mechanisms of international law enforcement." Unfortunately, historically we have found that appeals to "the mechanisms of international law enforcement" have failed miserably when fighting terrorism. Terrorists define themselves as soldiers, and therefore, the only effective way to deal with them is as hostile soldiers.

    Americans do face consequences for the commission of war crimes when they commit them. The international court was set up to try criminals that would not otherwise face justice, in that their own government supported their criminal action. That is not true of the US. We condemn these acts, and punish Americans who are guilty of them.

    Kevin McHugh
    Last edit by kmchugh on May 10, '04
  11. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    I'm with Dr. Gonzo.

    The individuals that did those horrible things, they should get the max. Anybody that knew about it and didn't stop it? Ditto. The rest of us? The country's policies? No, that's not war crimes and we are not war criminals.

    And as disgusting as those acts were, they were nothing compared to what those poor people were treated to by Saddam and his ilk. The US is not the aggressor here.

    Personally, except for the bad (compared to the US) work situation in Canada, I'd move there, turn off the radio and TV's, and just be.
  12. by   elkpark
    The individuals that did those horrible things, they should get the max. Anybody that knew about it and didn't stop it? Ditto. The rest of us? The country's policies? No, that's not war crimes and we are not war criminals.
    NPR has reported numerous times over the weekend that the ICRC (Red Cross) and Amnesty International reported the allegations of abuse in the Iraq prisons (NOT just Abu Ghraib) to the US military higher-ups several times over the last year and asked them to investigate and stop any abuses, and nothing was done. Yet, everyone above the rank and file guys is now acting like this is the first they've heard of this ... Rumsfeld sounds like he considers the release of the pictures to be a much more serious problem than the actual incidents of abuse and torture they document (golly, if only those darned pictures hadn't come out, everything would still be fine and dandy ... )

    As far as I'm concerned, the invasion of Iraq was a war crime and I'm hoping that, someday, somewhere, Shrub and his cronies will be brought to justice. Shrub put the military in there (for no good reason), and the military hierarchy up to and including our so-called "president" are responsible for the actions of the military. (Duh -- that's why he's called "Commander in Chief" ...)
  13. by   pickledpepperRN


    Published on Saturday, August 4, 2001 in the Toronto Globe & Mail
    Sorry About That War Crime
    by John MacArthur

    I wasn't sorry to see Slobodan Milosevic hauled off to The Hague to face charges of war crimes against Kosovar Albanians. He's an unsympathetic character at best, though I can't help but note pathos in the face of a man born of two parents who committed suicide. Mr. Milosevic always seemed a good potential patient for his fellow Serb nationalist, Radovan Karadzic, the psychologist and accused war criminal with a similar bent for killing "the Turk," as Moslems have been known since the time of Ottoman rule in the Balkans.

    Nevertheless, all the self-righteous harrumphing about nailing the latest international baddie has made me pause before cheering on the tumbrels of justice. The rhetoric of the Western powers is too triumphal to be fully credible

    And let's not forget North America's own highly indictable war crimes suspects, most prominent among them Henry Kissinger and Robert McNamara. Mr. Kissinger's dossier as national security adviser and secretary of state is more diverse than Mr. McNamara's -- comprising atrocities and political murders in Vietnam, Cambodia, Chile and elsewhere that number in the hundreds of thousands -- but Mr. McNamara's oversight of the napalming of Vietnamese civilians as Lyndon Johnson's secretary of defense by itself merits inquiry.

    I suppose that the chattering class liberals who bellow for Mr. Milosevic's head can defend their double standard on the technicality that the United Nations Tribunal wasn't created until 1993 (although there are plenty of people who contend that international law covering pre-1993 war crimes is sufficient to begin prosecutions). Or they might cite La Rochefoucauld's aphorism, "Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue."

    But these are sham arguments if the United States and Europe really believe in equal justice under law -- international or otherwise -- and Mr. Milosevic had a point when he defiantly declared to Judge Richard May that "I consider this tribunal a false tribunal and indictments false indictments."
    The truth is that the deposed Serbian president was a small-time operator, especially compared with Mr. Kissinger. But he makes a convenient scapegoat for Western policy failures -- for example, Germany's hasty, unilateral recognition of Croatian independence from Yugoslavia, which inflamed paranoia among Serbs whose families were decimated by Nazi, Croatian and Italian war crimes in the Second World War.
    Mr. Milosevic is also the scapegoat for the vainglorious United States, which wants the right to punish "rogue" states it happens not to like for the moment (like its former ally Iraq) while acting quite roguishly outside the purview of international law. In this light, the courtroom drama in The Hague becomes a version of the scene in Casablanca where Louis, the sentimental, two-faced Vichy cop, changes sides to permit the escape of the anti-Nazi Victor Lazlo. "Round up the usual suspects," he tells his men with faint irony, and so they do.

    John R. MacArthur is the publisher of Harper's Magazine.
    Copyright 2001 Globe Interactive
  14. by   elkpark
    Mr. Milosevic is also the scapegoat for the vainglorious United States, which wants the right to punish "rogue" states it happens not to like for the moment (like its former ally Iraq) while acting quite roguishly outside the purview of international law.
    How true ...