Re: If we do get Afghanistan, what shall we do with it?

From: Dwayne (
Date: Tue Nov 27 2001 - 07:09:20 MST

Mike Lorrey wrote:
> > Were *any* allied soldiers charged with war crimes after WW2?
> Yes, generally enlisted men for such things as rape, murder of
> civilians, etc. General 'Bomber' Harris was not charged as such for the
> Dresden fire bombing.

He always maintained it was necessary.
It may well have been, but it was still pretty horrible.

> The US has a much better record than other nations
> in prosecuting its own soldiers for war crimes.

And a currently appalling one internationally for prosecuting it's own
soldiers or war crimes.

> As for area bombing, thats a matter of debate. Some targets are
> legitimate for area bombing, others are not, today. Back when there was
> no *other* sort of bombing, such a standard could not be applied.

Hang on, I am specifically referring to the practice of considering
civilian factory workers as war material, and therefore legitimate
targets. I am not referring to the British use of mass night-time
concentrations of bombers over military targets, with the accompanying
poor aim and "collateral damage" I mean the actual doctrine of killing
german citizens to reduce the german capacity to wage war.

> Under
> the Geneva Conventions, military assets are supposed to be located
> distinctly apart from civilians and civilian property. Germany and Japan
> pointedly ignored this rule. They also ignored the rule against using
> POWs as human shields.

See above, though.
> > > Furthermore, I don't regard Hiroshima or Nagasaki to be primarily
> > > terrorist acts. By late in the war, both the German and Japanese
> > > governments had so thoroughly mobilized and armed their societies in
> > > preparation for invasion of their home territories that the only people
> > > there that could be considered 'non-combatants' under the Geneva
> > > Conventions were those in POW camps and patients in hospitals.
> >
> > You know, I spent 2 minutes searching on google for "hiroshima end war"
> > and found a lot of evidence to suggest that this is entirely wrong.
> > Refer to my quote yesterday from the head of the Joint Chiefs, or
> > whatever he was.
> Accounts of the event at Hiroshima by people who were schoolchildren at
> the time include references to school physical education programs that
> were exclusively geared toward martial arts training with weapons like
> spears, how to set up booby traps, etc.

Sure. Britain had a Home Guard, I'm sure the US had the same thing.
It is not certain that Japan would have hung on until the bitter,
post-invasion end.
> >
> > > Under the Geneva Conventions, when a combatant hides behind
> > > non-combatants or in non-combatant facilities, those then become
> > > combatant targets as well, legally.
> >
> > Ah, well, what about the "highway of death" out of Kuwait? Soldiers
> > fleeing a battle are non-combatants, yet a hell of a lot of people were
> > massacred on that road.
> Soldiers fleeing a battle are not non-combatants,

Um, I read that they *are* non-combatants, under the Geneva Convention.
I'm going to have to dig this thing up and read it at some stage, I'm
relying on journalists, which is a scary concept.

> especially if they are
> trying to take their weapons and loot with them. Nine out of ten
> soldiers who die in battle are shot in the back during retreats.

I read that a total of ** 4 ** shots were proven to have come from
that column, which was full of kuwaiti civilians. Where did you get your
"nine out of ten" figure from? This 4-shot figure came from an article
on Drugs Czar McCaffery (?) recently. I'll see if I can dig it up.

> The only conditions under which a soldier is a non-combatant is if they
> are wounded and drop their weapons, if they surrender and drop their
> weapons, or if they are parachuting from a damaged aircraft.

And if there are civilians dragged along in said flight, tough? They die


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