Author Topic: "All wars are crimes"  (Read 396 times)


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"All wars are crimes"
« on: December 08, 2015, 05:55:48 PM »
In Episode 6 of the 3rd series of 'The West Wing', Leo McGary - Jed Bartlett's |Chief of Staff) is involved in a discussion about the US's refusal to join a UN-backed generic War Crimes tribunal.  When asked by Leo why the US should not join it, his opponent (a senior USAF officer - and a past colleague of Mr McGary) announces the fact the 'All wars are crimes'.

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Jack Knave

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Re: "All wars are crimes"
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2015, 08:19:51 PM »
And who defines what a crime is? People do.

It is the relativism that we come across when discussing morals, where some theists say there are objective morals set down by God. It all depends where you put the 'line' in the sand. What the West does is move that line depending if it is them who are doing the killing or someone else who they oppose.


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Re: "All wars are crimes"
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2015, 08:56:55 PM »
All wars are crimes? Maybe. But so is stealing food when your kids are starving, technically. Absolute pacifism is an exceedingly rare position because most people recognise that as horrible as war is, there are even viler things in the world that war can put an end to.
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Re: "All wars are crimes"
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2015, 08:13:09 AM »
I suppose people decide if a war was legitimate or not and if it isn't not much really happens to those responsible unless they commit something like genoside.

Individuals are usually considered responsible for crimes, rather than whole countries.

Turkey for example invading Cyprus in the 1970's.  In time that will be forgotten, perhaps.

Even in ones that are considered legitimate there can be actions that are considered unreasonable and those are considered a crime, like actions of soldiers that their superiors are not prepared to accept responsibility for.

I wouldn't say all wars are crimes though, unless defending yourself and your family is a crime.


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Re: "All wars are crimes"
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2015, 08:57:18 AM »
WW1 was probably unnecessary, and fought because of a gung-ho attitude. WW2 had to be fought to put right the mess left behind by WW1, which allowed Hitler to gain power.

As for the rest of the wars since, some were necessary, others were a BIG mistake. I still can't make up my mind about our involvement in Syria