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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU
davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-24-06 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #18
34. More...
"Soldiers DO NOT make policy. They follow orders!"

BTW, you do know that "following orders" was not a sufficient defense at Nuremberg, right? So those soldiers that, in an egregious act of war that would be judged a "war crime" regardless of who caused the war -- like torture and use of dogs at Abu Ghraib -- cannot say simply they were "following orders" and expect to be absolved. If Nuremberg serves as precedent.

One of the most important principles in international relations not based on straight power concepts is the principle of symmetry. What's right and demanded of one nation is also right and demanded of the next, equally. If it is illegal for Germany or Japan to torture during WWII, then it is illegal for the U.S. to engage in same. If German grunts were convicted and imprisoned for torturing camp residents, then it would be right for U.S. grunts to be convicted and imprisoned for the same. Symmetry.

But I did not venture into a remark about the actions of individual soldiers; I refer to the illegality and immorality of the war itself. It is, by the principals held at Nuremberg, a war crime in itself. At least as I understand it (and I invite anyone to show me where/how I am wrong). Thus our mere presence in Iraq is a crime. And the guilt, again, falls to those who let loose the dogs of war without imminent threat -- for reasons other than clear self-defense. The dogs themselves are not guilty on this account, but it appears to me Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Powell, Perl, and others are. Every death in Iraq, on both sides, falls to their moral ledger and it is that ledger that we must judge.
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