If you asked most people what Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler, greatest crime was I think most would say the holocaust. And for good reason – for that was a horror that supposedly shocked the western world when it was “uncovered.”
Images such as the one above really make one wonder about how and why human beings do such things to others.
However for all the shock and shame and tragedy of the holocaust, it was not considered Adolf Hitler’s worst crime.
What could be worse than killing 6 million innocent civilians?
The Nuremberg Trials were created by the victorious allies after World War 2 in order to bring the perpetraitors of war crimes to justice.
Opening the prosecution, US attorney Robert H. Jackson said Nuremberg was “the first trial in history for crimes against the peace of the world”, adding that aggressive war was “the greatest menace of our times”.
The surviving Nazi leaders were all charged with and on trial for, some or all of the following,
- “Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace,”
- “Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace,”
- “Participating in war crimes,”
- “Crimes against humanity”
American Supreme Court Justice and US Chief of Counsel, Justice Robert H. Jackson’s opening statement, over 3 hours long, hit on a fundamental truth,
“The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated.”
In delivering their sentences, after the guilty verdicts were reached, the tribunal judges concurred, saying that “war is essentially an evil thing… to initiate a war of aggression therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”.
So, the trials at Nuremberg Germany after World War 2 established an important principle in International Law – that aggressive wars of invasion are “the supreme international crime….(as they) contain the accumulated evil of the whole.”
The surviving Nazi leaders were tried and convicted and many went to their deaths for their crimes.
However, fast forward 55 years and this important legal principal established at Nuremberg seems to have taken a hit, when the United States launched an invasion of Afghanistan, ostensibly to “get” Osama bin laden. The US did get their man eventually, in Pakistan, after wrecking much of the already poorly maintained infrastructure in Afghanistan in the process.
Other nations had launched wars of aggression against Afghanistan such as the Soviet Union in 1979. However, that invasion, according to former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, was a carefully trap laid by Washington. The Americans pretended to be invading Afghanistan themselves, building up their forces to imitate an invasion. This US military buildup, some say the Americans actually crossed into Afghanistan in small numbers, precipitated the Soviets to promptly launch their own real invasion in order to keep the Americans out of their nearby neighbours. The trap worked but a high cost was paid by the Afghan people. And at any rate, we know the Soviet communists were “bad” people. Shouldn’t the self proclaimed occupants of the moral high ground, the USA and UK, be setting a better example ?
It was only 2 years later in 2003 that we got the answer when America ditched the Nuremberg principal altogether and launched a phoney and pre-meditated, deadly war of aggression on Iraq. Without credible evidence or justification and without legal precedent. The invasion was not widely supported by many nations or populations for the naked aggression of the operation was clearly obvious. Leaders of many nations including France, Germany, Malaysia and Russia spoke out publicly against it. All to no avail. The aggressors simply didn’t care.
By 2003, America and the UK wanted their war of aggression and they started it. They launched an unprovoked attack on Iraq – just like the Nazis did on Poland. The Nazis were charged and found guilty.
But what happened to the warmongers from Washington and London whose western predecessor’s had established the international conventions, if not laws, at Nuremberg?
Nothing happened. As usual.
George W Bush, Tony Blair and their cohorts were most certainly found guilty in the court of public opinion and some organizations have tried to persue these people in real courts of justice. But aggressive warmongers today know they are safe.
In fact, so emboldened were these western elites after the “success” of Iraq, their successors in the Whitehouse and Downing St themselves had a go in committing the ultimate international crime. And the successors got away with it as well !
Of course, nothing will ever happen to all of these perpetraitors of multiple wars of aggression.
Only the people of Syria, Libya, Somalia, Venezeula, Yemen, Chile, Iran etc will suffer.
History is soon forgotten, the mainstream media and their friends in Public Relations see to that. In today’s world, Donald Trump was correct about one thing at least – the mainstream media really are enemies of the public. Much of the tragedy that occurs globally would not be possible if the mainstream media were doing their job, even poorly.
But the media doesn’t do their job poorly, they are in fact, active promoters of wars of aggression, because these wars help their profits. We must abandon the giant global media corporations and turn to each other to share with and learn from.
Thanks for sharing this today.