Why the USA opposes the rule of law.

War crimes prosecutions that will never happen

I stated it before to some mild disagreement, which bears fleshing out:

Either -

Prosecution of thousands of US troops for war crimes


The USA opposes the rule of law

True or false? An excluded middle, if so I’m not seeing it?

Where do you get “thousands”? The article doesn’t give any specific number beyond the 11 convicted Abu Ghraib abusers. How big were the detachments to that and similar facilities?

Obviously the vast majority of American’s in Iraq (maybe all of them :eek: ) are war criminals. I suppose the OP COULD have said ‘tens of thousands’, or even ‘hundreds of thousands’…I certainly wouldn’t have been surprised if he HAD said that in fact.

I suppose the beef (now) is that, though 11 soldiers WERE in fact convicted (rule of law and all that), they were lower level spear carriers…so they don’t count. Or something. The ‘gut’ feeling by the OP et al is that this was authorized and sanctioned from the top…i.e. Bush is to blame and ever effort needs to be made to convinct him and then shoot him (they are waiving their distaste for the death penalty in this one special case).

Failing to be able to do this though, they want to start marching up the chain of command…again, since only spear carriers have been found guilty so far. Again, there is a ‘gut’ feeling (substantiated by supposed interviews with the completely credible HRW) that there had to have been official sanction for this stuff from above.

Couple of things from my own viewpoint. For one, I think there is some confusion as to what exactly was a crime here. I read through some of the trials of these soldiers. For the most part (and correct me if I’m wrong…I’m sure you will :)), they weren’t convicted of things like sleep deprivation, or…well, here, from the cited article:

These things WEREN’T what they were on trial for…because these things weren’t (and unless I’m mistaken still aren’t) either illegal or proscribed. THESE things, I believe, WERE officially sanctioned…so how exactly would you put the officers on trial for them?

What the soldiers who were convicted were on trial for was for abuses that went beyond this stuff. Well, we’ve all seen the pictures after all. THAT stuff, afaik, was definitely proscribed…and illegal. And THAT is what they were found guilty of.

Now, its possible that there were officers who either looked the other way during the more serious abuses, or even encouraged their troops to do them. And if thats the case then I’m all for those folks also being tried and convicted if found guilty. Thus far I know of no evidence however linking these more serious abuses directly to an officer. Having been in the military I can say that officers DO get more slack in such things than enlisted…but they don’t get a totally free ride. During the trials for the folks convicted, if there was evidence presented by the defense that the soldiers were under orders, then there would have been a serious investigation.

The defense, contrary to what the faithful believe, does not simply roll over and show its belly simply because its a military court…quite the opposite, at least in my own experience. And especially in so public and watched trial…you can believe that every I was dotted and ever T crossed.

I’d say that the fact that we in fact DID put our soldiers on trial and both found many guilty and punished them (contrary to what many around here indicated we’d do, claiming the US would never put its own on trial, no matter the guilt…or if we did they would be whitewashed and their crimes swept under the rug)…well, I’d say this was a good indication that the OPs assertion that the US doesn’t believe in the rule of law is a load of (typical) BS. YMMV.


Complete horseshit.

Er, sorry. That would be ‘false’.


Why do you hate America and our soldiers?

Excluded middle: other than Abu Graib, no war crimes have been committed.

Is butchery a war crime? If so, the speaker of Iraq’s parliament disagrees with you, Clothahump.

Beg to differ.

For starters, we established at Nuremberg that aggressive war is a crime against humanity. Absent a clear and present danger, our invasion of Iraq was such a crime. For which crimes, I remind you, we tried Germans. Tried, judged and hanged.

We are signatories to treaties defining aggressive war as a war crime. It necessarily follows that all civilian casualties resulting from such a war are, each and every, war crimes.

“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.”

  • Thomas Jefferson

[shrug] I dunno. Same reason you hate your mother.

America’s got issues.

Jonathan Alter goes into more depth:

Even closer to home:

Think he’s sleeping well?

Make that Jan Frel, writing on Alter’s site, not Alter himself. Sorry.

A bunch more links, including warnings even prior to the invasion.

In The Name of Democracy is available from Amazon.

Excluded middle.

Suppose invading Iraq was a “war crime”. Who’s guilty of that crime? Every soldier who has served in Iraq, or stateside during the invasion?

Of course not, and only someone like Sevastopol could imagine this. How many German soldiers were tried at Nuremburg? If there is to be a Nurmeburg-style trial for the invasion of Iraq, who gets tried? Bush, his cabinet and advisors, some generals.

No soldiers or officers below field grade were tried at Nuremburg. Sure, soldiers were tried for individual atrocities. But no German soldier was tried for invading France, dropping bombs on London, occupying Belgium.

Obeying orders to go to Iraq and shoot at people is not a war crime…even if we contrafactually stipulate that the invasion of Iraq were a war crime.

“Contrafactually”? In what way?

There are war crimes that do not require the issuance of an order to commit them, as well. Several soldiers stationed at Abu Ghraib have already been convicted of them, and the Haditha Marines are being court-martialed as well.

Lemur, which facts have you considered before concluding reality is “contra” them?