War Crimes Allowed For
By James Donahue
Ever since the infamous
Nuremburg Trials against Nazi leadership following World War II, the world has established a strange lop-sided concept of
“war crimes” that are committed only by losing combatants.
An international court
at The Hague spend years trying Slobodan Milosevic, former Serbian leader,
and some of the other top leaders, for so-called atrocities committed against Kosovo Albanian civilians during the Balkan
civil wars in the 1990s. The trials began in 2002 and remain in progress.
Now an Iraqi court is
being established to try and undoubtedly execute former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein for crimes he allegedly committed when U.S. and British forces invaded his country more than one
Because of either a failure
on the part of the media to properly assess the extent of events going on during times of warfare, or perhaps it is the result
of extensive and highly successful propaganda on the part of both the media and the leadership, the general public, at least
in the United States, considers such trials as fair and balanced.
They are not.
The worst war criminals
in modern history have existed in the seats of power in the United States
and England. Our cry for Manifest Destiny,
leading our military forces on a crusade that left hundreds of thousands of Native Americans dead and the rest herded on death
marches into concentration camps we called reservations is among the worst of our early crimes.
The wicked crimes committed
by American and British forces in Europe during World War II are almost too numerous to list.
The fire bombing of the German city of Dresden, a place that had no military significance;
and the carpet bombing of large residential areas and deaths of tens of thousands of civilians in Cologne
and Hamburg were overlooked at Nuremburg. Historians are
only now beginning to take a cautious look at what really happened there.
And authors Robert Junck
and Martin J. Sherwin now charge that President Harry S. Truman ordered the atomic bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the Japanese
leadership signaled a willingness to capitulate for surrender.
The media coverage of
the Milosevic trial, as with the Balkan conflict, has failed to give us the
complete story. What went on there was a civil war among religious factions that almost expanded into much more. It was an
age-old hatred between Christians and Moslems, the Croatians and Serbs. The Serbs were accused of the mass slaughter of thousands
of civilians in what was described as “ethnic cleansing.”
Did it really happen?
I knew a Serbian gentleman, an old Yugoslavia
guerrilla fighter against the Nazis in World War II and later against Stalin’s Communist forces. He fled to the United States after Marshall Tito, a Communist dictator, came
to power. This man was so concerned about the stories he made a trip to Sarajevo
in the midst of the conflict, just to learn the truth. He said the stories were all manufactured propaganda.
Now the U.S. and England are engaged in yet another
war in the Middle East. We first invaded Afghanistan
and later Iraq following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center
and Pentagon on 9-11. Neither assault was justified. Both wars continue to this day, and both are draining the military resources
of our countries.
The atrocities committed
by our troops in Iraq are beginning to
leak out. The stories of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib Prison are probably just the tip of
That we attacked on a
false premise that Dictator Hussein harbored secret “weapons of mass destruction” was a war crime. It meant that
we invaded a country without provocation.
President George W. Bush
and Prime Minister Tony Blair should be the ones going on trial for war crimes, not Saddam Hussein. But we all know it will
not happen that way.