When is a War Criminal not a War Criminal-Scenario

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
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Scott Smith
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Post by Scott Smith » 26 Sep 2002 18:52

Roberto, the Allies were principally responsible for whatever ill-gotten gains their propaganda would justify. This includes but is not limited to the "Gruesome Harvest" of the Yalta and Postdam treaties. The Zionists cash-in on it too but that is a separate issue. Any atrocity committed in favor of Lebensraum in Palestine is justified by Auschwitz, at least in the popular imagination. Even Hate-peddlers like Wiesel are promoted as "men of peace."
:roll:
Last edited by Scott Smith on 05 Oct 2002 19:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Charles Bunch » 26 Sep 2002 18:57

Scott Smith wrote:Roberto, the Allies were principally responsible for whatever ill-gotten gains their propaganda would justify. This includes but is not limited to the "Gruesome Harvest" of the Yalta and Postdam treaties. The Zionists cash-in on it too but that is a separate issue. Any atrocity committed in favor of Lebensraum in Palestine is justified by Auschwitz, at least in the popular imagination. Even Hate-peddlers like Wiesel are promoted as men of peace.
Ellie Wiesel is not in any way a hate peddler, which given his experiences and the experiences of many like him, is somewhat astonishing.

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Scott Smith
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Post by Scott Smith » 26 Sep 2002 19:11

Charles Bunch wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:Roberto, the Allies were principally responsible for whatever ill-gotten gains their propaganda would justify. This includes but is not limited to the "Gruesome Harvest" of the Yalta and Postdam treaties. The Zionists cash-in on it too but that is a separate issue. Any atrocity committed in favor of Lebensraum in Palestine is justified by Auschwitz, at least in the popular imagination. Even Hate-peddlers like Wiesel are promoted as men of peace.
Ellie Wiesel is not in any way a hate peddler, which given his experiences and the experiences of many like him, is somewhat astonishing.
I've read his book and I think he is a fabulist and a Hate-peddler.

Tell us, Mr. Bunch, about the "Zone of Hate" that Elie reserves for the German and what Germans personify. And why does he think that his suffering in the war was so special? Why did the Germans allow him to recieve medical treatment for his foot when he was a "useless eater"? And why did he and his father volunteer to follow the Germans back to Germany, in what could have been a Death March (and was in some cases), instead of waiting to be liberated by the Russians at Auschwitz?

And remember, he is the one who made the fuss about Reagan visiting the German cemetery at Bitburg in 1985. Yes, there were six members of the Waffen-SS buried at the opposite end of the graveyard. And even Jews are somewhat incredulous about his personal campaign to receive the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize.
:roll:

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 26 Sep 2002 19:13

Scott Smith wrote:Roberto, the Allies were principally responsible for whatever ill-gotten gains their propaganda would justify.
If so, that wouldn't make Smith's beloved Nazis look any better.
Scott Smith wrote:This includes but is not limited to the "Gruesome Harvest" of the Yalta and Postdam treaties.
Wasn't that the result of legitimate actions by sovereign states?
Scott Smith wrote:The Zionists cash-in on it too but that is a separate issue. Any atrocity committed in favor of Lebensraum in Palestine is justified by Auschwitz, at least in the popular imagination.
Atrocities, Mr. Smith?

Is Israel not a sovereign state and as such entitled to take whatever measures it deems to serve its interests?
Scott Smith wrote:Even Hate-peddlers like Wiesel are promoted as men of peace.
:roll:
What's his hate-peddling about, Mr. Smith?

The perfectly legitimate mass killing of the scum of mankind by sovereign Nazi Germany, perhaps?
Scott Smith wrote:Here we have a monumental accusation made against Gentiles in general and Germany in particular, that harms the German people--except of course their leaders, and perhaps also the plastic-spoon generation of neo-Germans--and it harms all of the Palestinian people.
Thu May 09, 2002 6:58 am Post subject: POINTLESS.
http://thirdreichforum.com/phpBB2/viewt ... 338adb8cad

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Re: Greuelpropaganda 101

Post by witness » 26 Sep 2002 19:15

Scott Smith wrote: . Poets from WWI regarded the massacre of the British elite as a generation of innocent lambs led to the slaughter. Either a soldier gets used-to innocent blood or he goes insane.
While it is indeed very sad that many lives are lost at war by the men who are conscripted or volunteered as soldiers it could not be denied that the soldiers have means of offense as well as defense which is not the case with civilians.Soldiers unlike civilians are trained for Warfare.
In WWII, the number of French civilians killed in Allied air attacks is staggerring. No, they were not targetted deliberately. Does that make it okay?
Who said it does ? 8O
The concept of Crimes in the context of War is extremely problematical. One may as well argue that dropping the bomb on Hiroshima was a warcrime as saying that blockading Leningrad was a warcrime.
To me it is not that problematic at all.
The A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the siege of Leeningrad should be considered as War Crimes because the primary target in both cases were civilians.
At the same time the mass executions of the non-combatants by Einsatzgruppen is particularly appalling because there is no even the slightest pretext of achieving a military objective as with the above cases.It was just plain, discriminate, sanctioned murder of the innocent people.

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Post by Roberto » 26 Sep 2002 19:21

Scott Smith wrote:Tell us, Mr. Bunch, about the "Zone of Hate" that Elie reserves for the German and what Germans personify.
You tell us, Smith. Complete quote, in the context in which it was made.
Scott Smith wrote:Why did the Germans allow him to recieve medical treatment for his foot when he was a "useless eater"?
From what I know of Smith, there's something he's not telling us. Maybe Wiesel's being treated was related to Himmler's instruction to try to cure sick working prisoners instead of killing them, at a time when there was an acute shortage of labor force. Höss writes about this in his memoirs.
Scott Smith wrote:And why did he and his father volunteer to follow the Germans back to Germany, in what could have been a Death March (and was in some cases), instead of waiting to be liberated by the Russians at Auschwitz?
Were they given a choice, Mr. Smith?

Tell us what exactly Wiesel writes about this in his book, if you have read it. If he really volunteered, there must have been a reason for it that I would expect him to have explained in his book.

By the way, Mr. Smith, you're not trying to claim that certain perfectly legitimate killing actions didn't happen, are you? :wink:

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Post by Andy H » 26 Sep 2002 19:33

Thank you for your replies so faron this hypothetical scenario. I have no proof that what "Hans" was ordered to do ever happened but I wanted to judge people's perceptions about his guilt or not and there doesn't seem to be a clear cut answer. Also I imagine that there were numerous cases when petty officials had the live and death of 100's/1000's within their pen stroke to either condem or save, would they or should they be judged as war criminals given the duress and pressure that may have been applied to them?

A quick yes or no answer as to whether "Hans" is guilty of warcrimes please.

:D Andy from the Shire

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Post by Charles Bunch » 26 Sep 2002 19:52

Chuck wrote:
Ellie Wiesel is not in any way a hate peddler, which given his experiences and the experiences of many like him, is somewhat astonishing.
Smith wrote:
I've read his book and I think he is a fabulist and a Hate-peddler.
But then you always believe that about victims of the Holocaust. That's because you're a Holocaust denier.

Tell us, Mr. Bunch, about the "Zone of Hate" that Elie reserves for the German and what Germans personify
.

You make the same specious, and dishonest charge that Bradley Smith made in his propaganda campaign on college campuses.

I think John Silber, the Chancellor of Boston University, answered that charge best in a letter I asked him to write in rebuttal of Smith's ads.

http://www.holocaust-history.org/codoh/ ... r-01.shtml

[...]

4. Smith claims, "Elie Wiesel as an authority on 'hate' " and Smith says he counseled "on how to perpetuate a loathing for Germans." No fair-minded person can read Wiesel's "Appointment with Hate" and reach that conclusion. Rather, it is a penetrating analysis of his own reactions as he visited Germany for the first time following the war. He entered Germany hating Germans and ended his visit finding it was impossible to hate. In that article, he went on to explain why Jews are not inclined to hate and why they did not engage in acts of vengeance against the Germans.
Moreover, following his receipt of the Nobel Prize for Peace Elie Wiesel has used the substance of his prize to sponsor conferences in the United States and Moscow and elsewhere on "The Anatomy of Hate:" His consistent theme at those conferences, and I have participated in two, has been to denounce hate as a corrosive, destructive element in human nature that must be replaced with understanding and hope.

The quotation cited by Smith doesn't even support his libel. In the quote, Elie Wiesel does not say that every Jew "should set apart a zone of hate -- healthy virile hate " for Germans. Rather he said they "should set apart a zone of hate -- healthy, virile hate -- for what the German personifies and for what persists in the Germans." As the Nazi generation has passed from the scene, what Germans personify and what persists in the Germans has changed. What Germans personified in 1945 is not what a different generation of Germans personify today.

Elie Wiesel was invited by the President and Chancellor of Germany to speak in Berlin on January 27, 2000, the day of the remembrance of the liberation of Auschwitz. That address was notable for the absence of hate and the plea for remembrance and forgiveness on which reconciliation between Germans and Jews can be possible In that address Wiesel commented favorably on Germany's support of Israel, on Germany's compensation for the victims of the Third Reich, and on Germany's recent initiative in compensating those who were used as forced laborers. What is the motivation and purpose of Mr. Smith and his CODOH? Why do they find it personally important to deny the Holocaust and to abuse and denigrate Professor Wiesel? Isn't it relevant to ask? Bradley R. Smith and his Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust are a travesty and a repudiation of all that a university should stand for when falsehood is disseminated and truth is suppressed.

[...]
And why does he think that his suffering in the war was so special?


What a ridiculous question!

Why does anyone's suffering have to be "special", whatever that means, to impart a deep emotional scar? Certainly the experience of Holocaust survivors of Auschwitz was profound and unique even in the context of wartime Europe.
Why did the Germans allow him to recieve medical treatment for his foot when he was a "useless eater"?
Tell us about the nature of this medical treatment.
And why did he and his father volunteer to follow the Germans back to Germany, in what could have been a Death March (and was in some cases), instead of waiting to be liberated by the Russians at Auschwitz?
You know very well what the answer to this question is, since this denier canard has been discussed for ages. As Wiesel himself tells us, they believed that those who opted to stay were going to be killed by the Nazis. Now since this is clearly stated in his writings, why do deniers persist in asking this rhetorical question as if the very asking somehow is significant?
And remember, he is the one who made the fuss about Reagan visiting the German cemetery at Bitburg in 1985.


Many people made a fuss about it.
Yes, there were six members of the Waffen-SS buried at the opposite end of the graveyard. And even Jews are somewhat incredulous about his personal campaign to receive the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize.


And that makes him a hater, which was your original charge?

The fact is that deniers such as yourself hate Wiesel. You hate him because he has been effective, albeit in ways not everyone is comfortable with, in forcing people to look at the monstrous atrocity committed against European Jews during WWII. Your hatred manifests itself in the spreading of all these erroneous, distorted, and petty charges against Wiesel's character. What all of you have failed to understand is that the palpable hatred with which you and yours excoriate him exposes your motives, and reveals the despicable underside of your agendas.

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Post by Roberto » 26 Sep 2002 19:54

Cheshire Yeomanry wrote:Thank you for your replies so faron this hypothetical scenario. I have no proof that what "Hans" was ordered to do ever happened but I wanted to judge people's perceptions about his guilt or not and there doesn't seem to be a clear cut answer. Also I imagine that there were numerous cases when petty officials had the live and death of 100's/1000's within their pen stroke to either condem or save, would they or should they be judged as war criminals given the duress and pressure that may have been applied to them?

A quick yes or no answer as to whether "Hans" is guilty of warcrimes please.

:D Andy from the Shire
Well, the case you described - a man being given the choice between participating in an execution and going to the receiving end himself - is a classic case of Befehlsnotstand, as standard argument of defendants and their attorneys before West German courts. The defendant killed in order to save himself from a clear and present danger to his own life and was thus not guilty.

Hardly a defendant got through with this argument before West German courts, however, because the burden of proof for the existence of that clear and present danger to himself exculpating his actions was on the defendant (while the burden of proof for the actions themselves was, of course, on the prosecution) and there is hardly a documented case of an executioner having been executed or even threatened with execution for having failed to carry out an order to kill innocent civilians or unarmed prisoners of war.

The penalties a man might suffer in such cases generally ranged from being made fun of ("coward", "pussy" and the like) by his buddies to a few days arrest, transfer to another unit or deprivation of home leave - none of which is, of course, legally considered an admissible excuse for killing helpless, innocent people.

Notwithstanding the above, executors of Nazi mass killings were rarely convicted of murder by German courts, due to a benevolent legal construction whereby the fact that they were carrying out orders made them into mere "accessories to murder", tools carrying out someone else's murderous will rather than murderers who wanted and saw the deed as their own.

Convictions for murder by German criminal justice thus only occurred in the case of defendants belonging to the higher echelons of command or (more frequently) such who had killed or tortured people on their own initiative in excess to what the orders given to them had demanded.

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Post by Roberto » 26 Sep 2002 20:04

Charles Bunch wrote:Chuck wrote:
Ellie Wiesel is not in any way a hate peddler, which given his experiences and the experiences of many like him, is somewhat astonishing.
Smith wrote:
I've read his book and I think he is a fabulist and a Hate-peddler.
But then you always believe that about victims of the Holocaust. That's because you're a Holocaust denier.

Tell us, Mr. Bunch, about the "Zone of Hate" that Elie reserves for the German and what Germans personify
.

You make the same specious, and dishonest charge that Bradley Smith made in his propaganda campaign on college campuses.

I think John Silber, the Chancellor of Boston University, answered that charge best in a letter I asked him to write in rebuttal of Smith's ads.

http://www.holocaust-history.org/codoh/ ... r-01.shtml

[...]

4. Smith claims, "Elie Wiesel as an authority on 'hate' " and Smith says he counseled "on how to perpetuate a loathing for Germans." No fair-minded person can read Wiesel's "Appointment with Hate" and reach that conclusion. Rather, it is a penetrating analysis of his own reactions as he visited Germany for the first time following the war. He entered Germany hating Germans and ended his visit finding it was impossible to hate. In that article, he went on to explain why Jews are not inclined to hate and why they did not engage in acts of vengeance against the Germans.
Moreover, following his receipt of the Nobel Prize for Peace Elie Wiesel has used the substance of his prize to sponsor conferences in the United States and Moscow and elsewhere on "The Anatomy of Hate:" His consistent theme at those conferences, and I have participated in two, has been to denounce hate as a corrosive, destructive element in human nature that must be replaced with understanding and hope.

The quotation cited by Smith doesn't even support his libel. In the quote, Elie Wiesel does not say that every Jew "should set apart a zone of hate -- healthy virile hate " for Germans. Rather he said they "should set apart a zone of hate -- healthy, virile hate -- for what the German personifies and for what persists in the Germans." As the Nazi generation has passed from the scene, what Germans personify and what persists in the Germans has changed. What Germans personified in 1945 is not what a different generation of Germans personify today.

Elie Wiesel was invited by the President and Chancellor of Germany to speak in Berlin on January 27, 2000, the day of the remembrance of the liberation of Auschwitz. That address was notable for the absence of hate and the plea for remembrance and forgiveness on which reconciliation between Germans and Jews can be possible In that address Wiesel commented favorably on Germany's support of Israel, on Germany's compensation for the victims of the Third Reich, and on Germany's recent initiative in compensating those who were used as forced laborers. What is the motivation and purpose of Mr. Smith and his CODOH? Why do they find it personally important to deny the Holocaust and to abuse and denigrate Professor Wiesel? Isn't it relevant to ask? Bradley R. Smith and his Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust are a travesty and a repudiation of all that a university should stand for when falsehood is disseminated and truth is suppressed.

[...]
And why does he think that his suffering in the war was so special?


What a ridiculous question!

Why does anyone's suffering have to be "special", whatever that means, to impart a deep emotional scar? Certainly the experience of Holocaust survivors of Auschwitz was profound and unique even in the context of wartime Europe.
Why did the Germans allow him to recieve medical treatment for his foot when he was a "useless eater"?
Tell us about the nature of this medical treatment.
And why did he and his father volunteer to follow the Germans back to Germany, in what could have been a Death March (and was in some cases), instead of waiting to be liberated by the Russians at Auschwitz?
You know very well what the answer to this question is, since this denier canard has been discussed for ages. As Wiesel himself tells us, they believed that those who opted to stay were going to be killed by the Nazis. Now since this is clearly stated in his writings, why do deniers persist in asking this rhetorical question as if the very asking somehow is significant?
And remember, he is the one who made the fuss about Reagan visiting the German cemetery at Bitburg in 1985.


Many people made a fuss about it.
Yes, there were six members of the Waffen-SS buried at the opposite end of the graveyard. And even Jews are somewhat incredulous about his personal campaign to receive the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize.


And that makes him a hater, which was your original charge?

The fact is that deniers such as yourself hate Wiesel. You hate him because he has been effective, albeit in ways not everyone is comfortable with, in forcing people to look at the monstrous atrocity committed against European Jews during WWII. Your hatred manifests itself in the spreading of all these erroneous, distorted, and petty charges against Wiesel's character. What all of you have failed to understand is that the palpable hatred with which you and yours excoriate him exposes your motives, and reveals the despicable underside of your agendas.
Another pack of "Revisionist" lies bites the dust.

Thank you for an excellent post, Charles.

Have a nice evening.

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Post by David Thompson » 26 Sep 2002 21:01

Scott -- I think your arguments on this subject are wide of the mark. Here's why:

I asked how Hitler's secret, unwritten order to murder Jewish civilians (we can add gypsies, Polish intellectuals, and other categories as well) could be considered the act of a "sovereign nation"?

You responded by comparing the murder order to Operation Phoenix or Operation Gomorrah or bombing Cambodia and saying they were all acts of sovereign nations.

The bombing of Cambodia was an act undertaken against Viet Cong troop concentrations and supply dumps. This act was directed against the military forces of an enemy we were fighting. Operation Phoenix was a program of commando raids, into enemy-occupied territory, to kill Viet Cong civil and military officials whom we were fighting at the time. Operation Gomorrah was a WWII RAF air offensive directed against German industrial facilities in the city of Hamburg. These operations were directed at legitimate military targets and individuals. The murder of non-combatant civilians was not the goal of these operations, but an incidental consequence.

An order to round up thousands of non-combatant civilians and shoot them into a pit, by contrast, is not excusable as an act of military necessity. This kind of behavior had been illegal since the Hague conventions around the turn of the 20th century, if not earlier.

While every "sovereign nation" possesses certain rights, it can agree not to exercise them in an international treaty. When a "sovereign nation" enters into a treaty with other countries and gives up its rights, the other countries have the right to punish the "sovereign nation" that breaks its word. Germany signed the Hague Conventions (one of the original sources of the war crimes charges) and the Kellogg-Briand pact renouncing war as an instrument of national policy (the primary source of the crimes against peace charges). Later, Germany attacked other signatories to these agreements. The other nations treated this behavior as a criminal act, which it was.

An individual may be elected (as Hitler was), to rule a sovereign nation. He may thereafter commit crimes (as Hitler did). The fact that the ruler of a "sovereign nation" may commit crimes does not make the crimes the act of a "sovereign nation." Nor does it legitimize the crimes even within the "sovereign nation." In the case of Hitler's various murder orders, the bulk of the German population had no idea that this was going on, and cannot be said to have authorized these acts. Hitler's criminal acts cannot, therefore be taken as the acts of a "sovereign nation."

In the United States, all power flows from the Constitution. During the Vietnam War, Congress authorized the president to wage war in southeast Asia. Presidents Nixon and Johnson did so. President Nixon authorized the bombing of Cambodia, which was directed against military units and facilities. These orders were given pursuant to the powers of his office, and those delegated to him by Congress. There was, and is, a paper trail on these orders. This policy, and Operation Phoenix as well, had legitimate military objectives and was authorized according to the laws of our country.

Hitler's murder order, on the other hand, was not directed against a military target, but against non-combatant civilians. There was no authorization for it under the German constitution, it was not voted on by the Reichstag, and it was not authorized by any expression of the German popular will. It was illegal under international law. It comes as no surprise, then, that the order was verbal and secret. It cannot be said, therefore, to be the act of a "sovereign nation."

You state: "Whether by dictator, President, Parliament or Pope, if it is sovereign State-authority it is by definition LEGAL; to say otherwise is to say that there is a higher legal authority." Your statement is a mere conclusion, without any supporting argument. What is your authority for that proposition? Can you cite to a single one? Do you think if a country enters into treaties with other "sovereign nations" that they aren't bound by that treaty?

You go on to say: "Pull your head out. Something may not be in the newspapers or be put to the people in plebiscite and might have still happened (legally)." All right. I'll pull my head out of my history books long enough to see if you can demonstrate that Hitler's murder order was legal.

Step right up.

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Post by Scott Smith » 26 Sep 2002 22:47

David Thompson wrote:Scott -- I think your arguments on this subject are wide of the mark. Here's why:

I asked how Hitler's secret, unwritten murder order to murder Jewish civilians (we can add gypsies, Polish intellectuals, and other categories as well) could be considered the act of a "sovereign nation"?

You responded by comparing the murder order to Operation Phoenix or Operation Gomorrah or bombing Cambodia and saying they were all acts of sovereign nations. The bombing of Cambodia was an act undertaken against Viet Cong troop concentrations and supply dumps. This act was directed against the military forces of an enemy we were fighting. Operation Phoenix was a program of commando raids, into enemy-occupied territory, to kill Viet Cong civil and military officials whom we were fighting at the time. Operation Gomorrah was a WWII RAF air offensive directed against German industrial facilities in the city of Hamburg. These operations were directed at legitimate military targets and individuals. The murder of non-combatant civilians was not the goal of these operations, but an incidental consequence.
The bombing of Cambodia was an act of aggression and war against Cambodia. I am not saying that it was not justified, nor am I saying that it was wise. The point is that Nixon was lawfully empowered to make that decision, just as Truman was about dropping the atomic bomb. By your standards of silly treaties which "outlaw war" they would all be warcriminals without resorting to dissembling "whose on first" arguments.

Operation Phoenix was a program to assassinate suspected VC sympathizers. Sometimes the CIA let the ARVN handle the messy details. Nobody asked ME if this was appropriate, and I do not recall any public debate until after the war was over. Eventually, the program was killed by Congress but Colby says it was very effective. I'm not taking sides but assassination is still killing. Unless authorized by the government, it would be murder. If you are Vietnamese, just don't get on the wrong side of the CIA's computer dossier.
8O

Gomorrah and the entire British Bomber Command campaign in WWII had as its goal the concentration of terror-attacks against German population-centers (i.e., civilians) so that they would rise in class-warfare against their autocratic government. This is what the British believed had happened in 1917 with the ovethrow of the Tsar, caused by the hardships and general pressures of the war upon the Russian populace. The doctrine was reflected as far back as the creation of the RAF in 1918 from Boom Trenchard to Bomber Harris. The RAF and Churchill said publically during the war and before Parliament that the targets were military and not the people themselves, but they lied, as has been shown after the war.
An order to round up thousands of non-combatant civilians and shoot them into a pit, by contrast, is not excusable as an act of military necessity. This kind of behavior had been illegal since the Hague conventions around the turn of the 20th century, if not earlier.
I'm not trying to excuse it on military, security, or punitive grounds. Don't confuse the execution of "enemy aliens" or the liquidation of undesirables with the Commando Order, which was hardly different than Phoenix. All I am saying is that it was "legal" (but not necessarily moral) if it stemmed from the legal authority of a sovereign-State (and it probably did).
While every "sovereign nation" possesses certain rights, it can agree not to exercise them in an international treaty. When a "sovereign nation" enters into a treaty with other countries and gives up its rights, the other countries have the right to punish the "sovereign nation" that breaks its word.
Sure, any sovereign-State can impose sanctions or coercive measures (either individually or collectively) if they don't like what another one does. A sovereign-State can even declare war, whether the reason is a good one or not. The casus belli argument does not require that the other guy fire the first shot, although it usually attempts to argue that the other guy started the conflict.

What I am saying is that a sovereign-State does not cease being sovereign by virtue of a treaty. It cannot create a higher sovereignty than itself without abdicating its own sovereignty. That is what happened when the thirteen original states formed the Union. In this case the Constitution guarantees some rights (or "sovereignties" if you want) to the individual states or to the people. But the Constitution is not a treaty between sovereign states; it is the formation of a new government. Lincoln's view was that once states gave up their sovereignty to form the Union that they could not then secede from the Union without lawfully repealing the Constitution itself. But none of the treaties that you have described creates world-government. Sovereign-states can make those treaties and they can certainly break them. And the Nazis were the lawfully-recognized government of a sovereign-State called Germany. They can scrap all or parts of whatever treaties that they want and they can even go to war over it. I am not arguing that this is wise diplomacy, however.
Germany signed the Hague Conventions (one of the original sources of the war crimes charges) and the Kellogg-Briand pact renouncing war as an instrument of national policy (the primary source of the crimes against peace charges). Later, Germany attacked other signatories to these agreements. The other nations treated this behavior as a criminal act, which it was.
Didn't the Allies violate the Hague and Geneva conventions too? And either individually or collectively they were not held to any standard other than individuals in their own jurisdiction. The Hague conventions also banned aerial warfare, IIRC, but the Allies certainly practiced that in both world wars, didn't they?

As far as any treaty that bans "war as an instrument of national policy," that is so absurd that the USA openly laughs at it. Indeed, some commentators such as Professor Annatoly Rappaport, who wrote a commentary in one edition of Clausewitz's On War, have decried that the USA after WWII is now the world's foremost exponent of using the military as an "instrument of foreign policy." Kissinger certainly was an advocate, as evidenced by his many books and his very interesting text Diplomacy (1994).
An individual may be elected (as Hitler was), to rule a sovereign nation. He may thereafter commit crimes (as Hitler did). The fact that the ruler of a "sovereign nation" may commit crimes does not make the crimes the act of a "sovereign nation." Nor does it legitimize the crimes even within the "sovereign nation." In the case of Hitler's various murder orders, the bulk of the German population had no idea that this was going on, and cannot be said to have authorized these acts. Hitler's criminal acts cannot, therefore be taken as the acts of a "sovereign nation."
Whether the people KNOW that something is going-on or not, does not (except in a democracy, which Nazi Germany certainly was not) have any bearing on whether orders are given by legal authorities of a sovereign power. Previous to the rise of Liberalism in the mid 17th century the Sovereign was the King, either absolutely or with benefit of Parliament. Let's not get confused on different types of governments here. Hitler (or his delegates) were the ultimate authority in Nazi Germany.
In the United States, all power flows from the Constitution. During the Vietnam War, Congress authorized the president to wage war in southeast Asia. Presidents Nixon and Johnson did so. President Nixon authorized the bombing of Cambodia, which was directed against military units and facilities. These orders were given pursuant to the powers of his office, and those delegated to him by Congress. There was, and is, a paper trail on these orders. This policy, and Operation Phoenix as well, had legitimate military objectives and was authorized according to the laws of our country.
Hitler's rule was also legal. I never said that it was democratic.
Hitler's murder order, on the other hand, was not directed against a military target, but against non-combatant civilians.
All war is a political act against the enemy. It may or may not involve open or conventional military operations, or what Clausewitz called "politics/policy by other means."
There was no authorization for it under the German constitution, it was not voted on by the Reichstag, and it was not authorized by any expression of the German popular will.
Irrelevant. Even if pogroms were popular (as Goldhagen insists) that would not make it justifiable, would it? I have argued that National Socialism in general was the "tyranny of the majority," with little regard for the minority. Some like Goldhagen would agree, although I would not use his thesis.
It was illegal under international law.
International Law is a misnomer as I have described. What you are calling legality is nothing more than resolutions and treaties, not law. There can be no higher sovereignty than a truly-sovereign State. Sure, superpowers can throw their weight around better than petty-sovereignties. But precept and pomp does not make it more "legal."
It comes as no surprise, then, that the order was verbal and secret. It cannot be said, therefore, to be the act of a "sovereign nation."
Your logic is strained. So, it must have been "verbal" because it doesn't exist in documentary form. Perhaps it was by telepathy, or what Hilberg calls "an extraordinary meeting ot the minds." In any case, there are many reasons for secrecy. I think you are putting too much faith in the mythic German resistance in saying NO to what Goldhagen thinks that every German lusted for when drinking to his Wagnerian Gods.

And the idea that Hitler's orders--we presume that they must have originated from Hitler--were not the acts of a sovereign nation because they were secret is wholly nonsequitur.
You state: "Whether by dictator, President, Parliament or Pope, if it is sovereign State-authority it is by definition LEGAL; to say otherwise is to say that there is a higher legal authority." Your statement is a mere conclusion, without any supporting argument. What is your authority for that proposition? Can you cite to a single one?
What do you want, scripture? Is there some sort of canon that all nations must follow in all international relations? NO. Political philosophers and diplomats are likely to have lots of different opinions. That doesn't change historical facts.

The question should be, what higher legal authority exists, legally superior to all sovereignties, besides the notion of God and Natural Law? But how many States in the diplomatic arena believe in the authority of God and Natural Law, and how would they objectively define such things anyway?
Do you think if a country enters into treaties with other "sovereign nations" that they aren't bound by that treaty?
No, ultimately they are not. Any sovereign-State that has the power to make a treaty has the power to break it. And they can impose whatever sanctions they want on other sovereignties, or they can even wage war. International relations is a tu quoque world; diplomacy resembles a poker game more than a legislature or courtroom. This has nothing to do with Law but with agreements and negotiations. Of course, I am not arguing that it is always in the best interests of anyone to break treaties. Building trust-relationships requires a long history of keeping to agreements, both to the Letter and to the Spirit of "the Law."
You go on to say: "Pull your head out. Something may not be in the newspapers or be put to the people in plebiscite and might have still happened (legally)." All right. I'll pull my head out of my history books long enough to see if you can demonstrate that Hitler's murder order was legal.
You can't even show me "Hitler's murder order." At best it is postulated. If you can find it you'd better let David Irving know.

As far as the Commando Order, or the Commissar Order, they may have violated miltary tradition and international agreement as established in various prior treaties. But if the sovereign government of Germany, which had the authority to make those treaties in the first place, says it will not abide by them, then the orders were legal. Period. I would argue that Keitel did not have the authority to issue or disregard those orders, but Hitler as Head of State certainly did.
:)
Last edited by Scott Smith on 05 Oct 2002 20:00, edited 5 times in total.

Caldric
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Post by Caldric » 26 Sep 2002 22:49

Well I tell you this much Scott, you have the thickest skin of all users of this forum. :D

Outnumbered 5 or more to 1 these days. :|

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Scott Smith
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Post by Scott Smith » 26 Sep 2002 23:02

Caldric wrote:Well I tell you this much Scott, you have the thickest skin of all users of this forum. :D

Outnumbered 5 or more to 1 these days. :|
Well, I'm used to it. Most who run the gauntlet would have gotten themselves banned by now.
:)

Caldric
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Post by Caldric » 26 Sep 2002 23:24

Scott Smith wrote:
Caldric wrote:Well I tell you this much Scott, you have the thickest skin of all users of this forum. :D

Outnumbered 5 or more to 1 these days. :|
Well, I'm used to it. Most who run the gauntlet would have gotten themselves banned by now.
:)
Yes they would, they generally start breaking down after a few jump on the wagon and start flogging, then the insults start....

At any rate is a talent. :D

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