Re: [sixties-l] purity, Nader, and ... crimes

From: William Mandel (
Date: Fri Jun 23 2000 - 04:31:06 CUT

  • Next message: William Mandel: "Re: [Fwd: [sixties-l] Re: sixties-l-Vietnam War Memorials]"

    This argument has a long history in the practical sense. It was
    originally answered by the establishment of, and in the charter
    of, the United Nations. American dominance changed that so the UN
    became, for a period, Washington's oyster, as in the
    sanctification of the Korean War and subsequent actions. But
    today the balance has changed again, as indicated by the US
    avoidance of the UN in the Kosovo War, substituting NATO instead.
    In the world as it actually exists today, decisions about
    fighting outside the zone of immediate danger to one's own
    country can again best be made by the United Nations.
                                                    William Mandel

    Jerry West wrote:
    > Ted Morgan wrote:
    > It seems that Jeff (Jerry?) draws the line re. war crimes at the wrong
    > place: i.e., whether or not the actor in question "knows" exactly what
    > he is doing..... I don't think that "truly believing one is saving
    > lives" in carrying out an act that is a crime against humanity makes the
    > act less than a crime against humanity.
    > JW reply:
    > It is easy to judge the bombing of Hiroshima (an act with which I
    > totally disagree, by the way) as a crime against humanity while sitting
    > in an easy chair 55 years later with the whole event in historical
    > perspective than it would have been in the middle of a brutal war where
    > people were dying on a routine basis. The bombing of Hiroshima was
    > certainly an act of war, and in perspective a crime against humanity but
    > unless you are willing to say that all war is a crime against humanity
    > and both the aggressors and defenders are criminals ipso facto, then it
    > becomes a stretch to expect people in 1945 whose lives are at risk in
    > the war to consider bombing another city in an effort to end that war a
    > war crime.
    > Ted Morgan wrote:
    > Would we excuse Nazis who believed the propaganda about being threatened
    > by Jews? Or even by neighboring Czechoslovakia? Do we excuse the guy
    > who broke into a family's home in Seattle some years back (featured in
    > Sam Keen's excellent film "Faces of the Enemy") and slaughtered the
    > family because he was brainwashed that they were communists seeking to
    > take over the world (and responsible for him losing his job!).
    > JW reply:
    > I think that there is a substantitive difference between doing things
    > that can be reasonably construed to be legitimate acts of war (as if we
    > should even think of considering war legitimate) and things that we know
    > are wrong under any circumstance. Where to draw that line obviously is
    > different places in the sand for each of us, and for most of us, at
    > least on this list who have expressed themselves, the tolerable area is
    > a lot smaller than that of our ancestors who were pretty brutal as a
    > whole.
    > --
    > Jerry West
    > Editor/publisher/janitor
    > ----------------------------------------------------
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