It appears that the target has moved so far from the original topic that I can no longer recognize it. This discussion started with an argument that current operations in Afghanistan warrant war crime trials, but instead we are now relitigating WWII, the Spanish American War? Sorry, but that doesn't appear, to me, to offer any support for the original argument. I have never denied that war crimes have been committed at various times in history, including during current hostilities.... go ahead, look for contradictory assertions, I'll wait....

Back? Okay, then...

I have asserted that the "war crime" argument has been, and continues to be, ideologically based, and not based upon current authorized operations or legal analysis of the actual applicable international law - but a knee-jerk reaction to the abhorrence of war. As I have said, I appreciate the sentiment, but it does not an argument make. Have tragic deaths occurred? Again, I acknowledge that they have. But not every civilian death is a war crime. I appreciate the argument that all wars are "criminal" in that innocent lives will inevitably be lost, but that is not the basis for the original thesis, nor the standard of international law. I have iterated and reiterated that isolated war crimes have occurred, and will inevitably occur in any hostile environment, but also that these are not the policy of the United States (at least since the Bush administration left office). The argument that started this discussion was about the present, not the past, and certainly not antique history (which is, quite literally, a change of subject).

What I have objected to, and continue to object to, is the indiscriminate application of labels that that are intended to be offensive. "War crimes" and "war criminals" have actual, defined meanings in international law. If one wants to debate them, one needs to look to the laws to inform that debate. I still have not seen that done here, and I do not intend to spend any more time waiting for or cajoling an adequate response. I have already spent too much time attempting just that. Another time perhaps.


A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich