Are War Crimes Trials effective?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by michaelmaltby, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    #1 michaelmaltby, Mar 20, 2010
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
    On the Dresden firestorm raid, posters have introduced the notion of War Crimes Trials - and as you all know we have them still going on today. Are War Crimes Trials appropriate? Do they work (to deter)? Do they only reinforce the rule that the winners write history?

    Your views :)

    MM
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Read my wife's grandfather's book "Surviving the Day." He was captured at Bataan and later sent to mainland Japan. He testified against 2 of his captors and they were executed. You tell me if you want enemy officers who purposely starved and brutalized their prisoners walking the streets after hostilities...
     
  3. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    Sadly it is human nature to kill each other. No trial with deter that.
     
  4. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    #4 Colin1, Mar 20, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
    If the 'winners' were running down war crimes suspects and shooting them on sight, then these revisionist nay sayers may have a case, the fact that perpetrators are getting something their victims were never offered - a fair trial - pretty much snuffs that one.
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Well said guys, and there were plenty of former combatants placed on trail and acquitted of charges brought against them. From Nuremberg thru today I don't see any war crimes trial as a 'witch hunt' for blame or revenge, unless you were the Soviet Union in the post WW2 years WHO DID unjustly jail prisoners as we well know.
     
  6. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    Absolutely. The verdicts and punishments given at War Trials are symbolic of the crimes committed by the accused, atonement if you will.

    War trials in themselves do not deter future acts of war in the same way that the death penalty does not deter murder.
     
  7. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    ".... You tell me if you want enemy officers who purposely starved and brutalized their prisoners walking the streets after hostilities..."

    No I don't.

    I believe the key word is "trial". Were there war trials after 1918 ...? Not that I'm aware of. That itself would suggest progress.

    MM
     
  8. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    Well, the Nuremberg Trials spring to mind, which suggests no progress at all. If you are implying war trials specific to crimes committed in WW1 then I'm not aware of any either, but then again the massive reparations demanded of Germany in the Versaille Treaty might well be deemed sufficient enough punishment.
     
  9. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    without war crimes trials, we have a choice...we can either leave the crime unpunished, or we can take the alleged perpetrators ou the back and just shoot them. that reduces us down to the lowest level of human existence no better than the brutes we are hunting down

    I say trials may or may not be effective, but regardless, tey are essential
     
  10. Willszenith

    Willszenith New Member

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    War crimes to me is an such a grey area, perhaps war crime 'trials' are justice, perhaps they are nothing more then a justification of completely destroying an aggressor/opponent in what would seem to be a legitimate and civilized way , instead of taking the straight to a firing squad.

    I used to believe that nuremburg was a real turning point in post war justice, however after the invasion of iraq and the hussein trial ( I know, I know you cant compare) , I would hate to think that a good prosecutor and court room is just another weapon...
     
  11. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "... massive reparations demanded of Germany in the Versaille Treaty might well be deemed sufficient".

    Massive, I agree, but no battle 1914-18 took place on German soil. Much of Belgium and some of France were left in WW2 (type) bomber-raid condition.

    I know the record of Nuremberg. I was specifically asking "Where there war crimes trials after 1918" and I believe the answer is no. And by that logic I think one could argue that the world (most important - the USA) DID learn a few positive things from WW1.

    MM
     
  12. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    ".... after the invasion of iraq and the hussein trial ( I know, I know you cant compare) , I would hate to think that a good prosecutor and court room is just another weapon..."

    You think he and more recently Chemical Ali didn't get a fair trial? :)

    MM
     
  13. Willszenith

    Willszenith New Member

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    Hmmm id have to agree, the versaille treaty only served as a catalyst for WW2, so perhaps instead of sanctioning a country to its knees , distablising it and allowing whatever party etc to grab power, the powers that be decided to punish the ruling government, but help rebuild the infrastructure and have a sense of co-operation , not so much an occupation but a building of bridges...


    However take japan for example the extreme is not allowing hirohito to be prosecuted, because of his divine like status in japan, which may have distablised the entire country and a re emergence of conflicts.
     
  14. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    Until WWII, which as I stated could either show no progress at all, or at the very least a retrograde step.

    One thing that is worthy of note is the fact that more than a few people who by all reasonable criteria should have ended up hanging from a rope actually escaped the Nuremberg Trials as they were far more useful to the victors alive. The idealogical threat of the Soviet Union and and inevitable drop of the "Iron Curtain" assured that.

    So by any stretch of logic War Trials can only be perceived of having a symbolic value at the very most.
     
  15. Willszenith

    Willszenith New Member

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    No its not so much that, although even amnesty international claimed it was unfair, my concern ( and im not overly great at typing) is that courts become an legitimate reason for military action, there was a heavy american influence in the courts, and after all the WMD talk, terrorism etc he was hung for and I quote reuters :On 5 November 2006, Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging for the killing of 148 Shiites from Dujail, in retaliation for the assassination attempt of 8 July 1982

    He deserved it no doubt, did it legitimise a coalition force invading, well no, was the courts just a 'legal' way to the rest of the world to remove him?

    but to clarify he did deserve to go, my concern is how courts are used after a conflict is won
     
  16. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    If I recall
    it was an Iraqi court that executed him

    As for landing on a figure of 148 victims, that's just laughable, they were still digging his victims up from mass graves two years after they hanged him. I don't think that they can actually count the number of Iranian soldiers that were taken prisoner and murdered.

    Stabilising the Middle East is absolutely vital and it was always going to be a massive task; black ops and CIA subversion could have done the job of toppling him but without the coalition military presence there'd be nothing in place to stop the next wave of lunatics (or insurgents) from filling the vacuum left by Hussein. I'll make the same point I made the last time this came up, we can fight terrorism in their back yard now, or in our back yards in ten years time - but we'll end up fighting it either way.
     
  17. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "... take japan for example the extreme is not allowing Hirohito to be prosecuted, because of his divine like status in japan, which may have destabilized the entire country and a re emergence of conflicts..."

    THAT was MacArthur at his most brilliant. :)

    "... He deserved it no doubt, did it legitimize a coalition force invading, well no, "

    I take it you're not a fan of Regime Change.
    If the USA had done that to Hitler in 1938 we'd all be applauding here :)

    MM

    POSTSCRIPT:

    "... we can fight terrorism in their back yard now, or in our back yards in ten years time - but we'll end up fighting it either way."

    Exactly
     
  18. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    Agree...
     
  19. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    We all know the old saw: "Not justice done but justice seen to be done".

    MM
     
  20. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    I support properly conducted war crimes tribunals of course. So that we don't have the general public running around with hand waving declarations like claiming Hirohito was in any way directly responsible for war crimes or even the war itself without intimate personal knowledge of Japanese political culture of the period. It's why we have trial by law, so that evidentiary process rather than witchburning populism reigns.

    Jesus F Christ.

    FYI more than a few Holocaust survivors have publicly stated they do not in any way support "Nazi hunting," for whatever that's worth.
     
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