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

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Tue Nov 27 2001 - 11:12:41 MST

Dwayne wrote:
> Mike Lorrey wrote:
> >
> > > Were *any* allied soldiers charged with war crimes after WW2?
> > 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.

Outside of episodes rigged by Okinawa land barons, what may you be
referring to?

Just because we insist on trying our own soldiers in our own courts
(i.e. refusing to subject them to kangaroo courts elsewhere) doesn't
give us a bad record on a factual basis. Is there any US military trial
you can actually show was factually flawed?

> > 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.

What actual doctrine was that? Where, exactly does it say "you will bomb
specifically to kill german civilians"? If you are a german factory
worker, and the air raid siren goes off, but you are prevented from
leaving the production line by an SS guard with a rifle, are you
therefore killed by the bomber dropping the bomb, or the guard who
prevented you from reaching shelter?

> > 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.

Bombing of german factories began only after the Germans started
targeting British factories around Coventry during the Battle of
Britain. As I've said, under the Geneva conventions, when one country is
documented to have violated a particular rule, the other parties are no
longer bound by that rule under their own prerogative.

> > > > 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.

Given the degree to which Japanese were demonstrated to be willing to
kamakase during the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns, it is highly certain
that even if just one in one hundred Japanese were willing to kamakase,
the US casualties would have been in the millions.

> > >
> > > > 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.

As I actually said, which you snipped:
> > 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 column was not 'full of Kuwaiti civilians'. There were some Kuwaiti
women who were being abducted as sex slaves, and there were some
Palestinian guest workers to Kuwait who had collaborated with the Iraqis
who justly feared retribution.

How can you 'prove' that a shot came from that column, BTW? Do you mean
that only four shots actually struck allied aircraft? I'd buy that, but
given the poor aim of Iraqi gunners throughout the war, this implies
that there were at least 40,000 shots fired by Iraqis at allied aircraft
that missed.

> > 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
> too?

As I've repeatedly said, the Geneva Conventions say that non-combatant
human shields used by combatants are legitimate targets. Its a tough
deal, but that is what the law is.

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