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Thread: When did war crimes start?

  1. #16
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    Default Re: When did war crimes start?

    What the Light Horse did in December 1918 wasn't a war crime because there was no war.
    What the Light Horse did, should more correctly be called mass murder. They should have been prosecuted under normal criminal law.

  2. #17
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    Default Re: When did war crimes start?

    Perhaps this was the gretater crime in the Boer War?

    Concentration Camps
    Britain's internment centers in South Africa soon became known as concentration camps, a term adapted from the reconcentrado camps that Spanish authorities in Cuba had set up to hold insurgents.

    A crusading 41-year-old English spinster, Emily Hobhouse, visited the South Africa camps and, armed with this first-hand knowledge, alerted the world to their horrors. She told of internees "... deprived of clothes ... the semi-starvation in the camps ... the fever-stricken children lying... upon the bare earth ... the appalling mortality." She also reported seeing open trucks full of women and children, exposed to the icy rain of the plains, sometimes left on railroad siding for days at a time, without food or shelter. "In some camps," Hobhouse told lecture audiences and newspaper readers back in England, "two and sometimes three different families live in one tent. Ten and even twelve persons are forced into a single tent." Most had to sleep on the ground. "These people will never ever forget what has happened," She also declared. "The children have been the hardest hit. They wither in the terrible heat and as a result of insufficient and improper nourishment ... To maintain this kind of camp means nothing less than murdering children.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  3. #18
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    Default Re: When did war crimes start?



    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  4. #19
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    Default Re: When did war crimes start?

    Quote Originally Posted by redcoat View Post
    What the Light Horse did in December 1918 wasn't a war crime because there was no war.
    What the Light Horse did, should more correctly be called mass murder. They should have been prosecuted under normal criminal law.
    Quite correct on a technical basis.

    However, if a body of troops does something after a war which constitutes a war crime during a war or, in the Light Horse case perhaps a crime against humanity on modern principles, why shouldn't it be dealt with on that basis rather than as murder?

    The Charter which established the Nuremberg tribunals sought to include pre-war crimes against humanity by the Nazis

    CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.
    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/imtconst.asp#art6

    Why not include post-war actions, as with the Light Horse?

    I think that 'post-war' (to the extent that it was a declared war rather than just local butchery) crimes in the former Yugoslavia were treated as war crimes for the purposes of the relevant tribunal.

    If we limit it to a technical 'war' in the sense of a declared war that ignores significant conflicts such as Korea and Vietnam, while the 1949 Geneva Conventions include them in relation to POWs as

    ... the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.
    Part I, Article 2 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/geneva03.asp

    I realise that I'm jumping some decades and strict legal classifications of war crimes and crimes against humanity with my foregoing comments, but I'm not presenting them as relevant law at the material times but as ideas about war crimes etc in the modern era.

    Should war crimes be limited to crimes by the military during a declared war or should they extend to crimes by the military associated with a war or war-like operations?
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 08-10-2009 at 08:47 AM. Reason: clarification
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  5. #20
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    Default Re: When did war crimes start?

    From Nuremburg

    Article II

    1. Each of the following acts is recognized as a crime:

    (a) Crimes against Peace. Initiation of invasions of other countries and
    wars of aggression in violation of international laws and treaties,
    including but not limited to planning, preparation, initiation or waging
    a war of aggression, or a war of violation of international treaties,
    agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or
    conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing.

    (b) War Crimes. Atrocities or offenses against persons or property
    constituting violations of the laws or customs of war, including but not
    limited to, murder, ill treatment or deportation to slave labour or for
    any other purpose, of civilian population from occupied territory,
    murder or ill treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas,
    killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton
    destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified
    by military necessity.


    The following quote is from the web site of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

    "The goals of the International Military Tribunal (IMT) transcended verdict and punishment. The creators of the court were deliberately assembling a public record of the horrific crimes committed by Germans during World War II, including those of the Holocaust. American chief prosecutor Robert Jackson worried that "unless record was made future generations would not believe how horrible the truth was."

    Jackson's closing speach

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=No06Lwk_TAg

    Palace of Justice

    http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Nurnberg/Nurnberg05.html


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  6. #21
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    Default Re: When did war crimes start?

    Ironically, one of the nations in WWI that was used to coin the modern moralist take on Propaganda, Belgium, was involved in one of the most hideous genocides in history in the Congo River Basin and the "Rape of the Congo."

    http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/leopold.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_II_of_Belgium

    And the legacy of the orgy of violence continues today in the world's bloodiest post-WWII conflict:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3516965.stm

  7. #22
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    Default Re: When did war crimes start?

    The 'no war crimes until after WWII' argument has been taken up in our courts.

    The Perth man accused of a World War II war crime has appeared before the Full Bench of the Federal Court to argue against his extradition.

    Hungary wants to extradite Charles Zentai to answer claims that he allegedly killed a Jewish man during the war.

    Zentai was a soldier in the Hungarian Army when Peter Balazs was murdered in Budapest in 1944. Some witnesses have claimed that Charles Zentai killed him.

    He's now 87 and he's been fighting against the extradition for four years.

    .....

    Charles Zentai is arguing that there was no such thing as a war crime until after World War II and he shouldn't be sent to Hungary to face a charge that has retrospective effect.

    The court has reserved its decision.

    .....

    DAVID WEBER: [Radio interviewer] It seems that one of the central parts of the case is to challenge the very legal basis of the Nuremberg trials and all of the tenets of law that flowed after that regarding war crimes?

    ERNIE STEINER: [Charles Zentai's son] That's right. The Nuremberg trials brought into the realm the idea of retrospective legislation which is again being questioned for my father's case.

    And it's also relevant because it's in the terms of the treaty that it had to be a crime at the time.

    DAVID WEBER: And a war crime wasn't.

    ERNIE STEINER: A war crime wasn't, no, as opposed to a murder. But of course we are saying that my father is totally innocent so that is a very important point for our family and we all believe that. It's just that it's terrible that it's come this far.
    http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2008/s2666665.htm
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  8. #23
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    Default Re: When did war crimes start?

    It would take one ballsy judge/jury to rule a sentence that pretty much discredits Nuremberg...
    The fundamental problem of Democracy is that the majority of voters are idiots fueled by uninformed rage - and the Politicians do everything to cater to them.

  9. #24
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    Default Re: When did war crimes start?

    The view that war crimes is a concept that only started about 70 years ago is incorrect.

    Here is an article on The evolution of individual criminal responsibility under international law

    http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/do...isc/57jq2x.htm

    Peter von Hagenbach was executed for war crimes in 1474 after the tribunal rejected his "superior orders" defence.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superior_Orders

  10. #25
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    Default Re: When did war crimes start?

    When did war crimes start ? As soon as war was invented.

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