Politics: War Crimes
As we've mentioned before, a Class A war criminal is anyone who participated in "the planning, preparation, initiation, or waging" of aggressive war, or violated the laws and customs of war. Like, for example, the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Which Convention would certainly apply to Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Jay Bybee, John Yoo, and possibly also David Addington, Condoleeza Rice, George Dumbya Bush, and a score of their immediate underlings, highly placed officials all.
Today, I'm reading a fine book on the Kempeitai and their crimes in the Pacific Theatre of World War II, by Raymond Lamont-Brown. Mr. Lamont-Brown's father was a PoW, captured by the Japanese in Shanghai, China, and subjected to the tender ministries of the Kempeitai, who, as brutal torturers go, might rank higher than any other similar body heretofore known.
Here, a little excerpt for your — I can't say entertainment, it certainly isn't entertaining — perusal:
You are a man of education, of intelligence, even in a sense of culture. Yours is the cunning brain under whose direction your instruments of torture performed their evil task. You were well aware of all the moral implications of your policy. In these last six weary years many men have willingly suffered and died in the hope and belief that out of their sacrifice would arise a higher morality in dealings of one nation with another, an international morality soaring above the narrow bonds of patriotism and blind obedience. If, as I believe, some of your victims, Sumida, were amongst those who made their sacrifice in that hope and belief, let this be their epitaph, that they died for an undying cause. To those of us who survive falls the supreme and difficult task of establishing and maintaining that higher morality between nations, of supplanting the rule of force and fear by the rule of law, of ensuring that they did not make their sacrifice in vain.— Lt.-Col S.C. Silkin, R.A., barrister, at War Crimes Trial of Chusa Haruzo Sumida, Supreme Court Building, Singapore, 18 March 1946
You, Sumida, have shown by all that you did, ordered, and willingly allowed, that to you there is nothing of higher consequence than domination by brute force and fear.
You were prepared, for the glorification, as you thought, of your country, to reduce men and women below the level of beasts and to send them without pity or compunction to an agonizing death. You did not realize that your actions have not glorified, they have degraded, your country. As in the past, so in the future, you would always be the implacable enemy of that great cause for which so many made their sacrifice. You and men like you cannot be allowed to hinder the fulfilment of that cause. Accordingly it is in no spirit of vengeance upon a fallen foe, no desire to have an eye for an eye, a life for a life, that this Court has solemnly decided that you must die. Nor is it merely to rid the world — and your country now preparing for its moral rebirth — of one man who is a danger to all moral progress. Rather it is a stern example to all who would willingly support the powers of evil and brute force against the rule of law, justice, and humanity.
It is my sincere and heartfelt hope to hear words of similar import being spoken one day soon at the trial of those who "planned, prepared, initiated, or waged" the war of aggression against Iraq which is only now winding down. Stumble It!