Crimes against humanity -- by what standard?

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Thread: Crimes against humanity -- by what standard?

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Crimes against humanity -- by what standard?

    Seems that one of the few defenses the "little guy" has when standing up to military actions against a numerically/technologically superior force (ie, Lebanon vs Israel, currently) is the claim of crimes against humanity.

    This sentiment was recently voiced by the Lebanon's Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, indicating that "... the bloodshed and destruction caused by Israel during the month-long conflict amounted to a crime against humanity." (Quote, BBC News)

    On the one hand, in many cases of wartime such claims may well be justified given the ferocity and apparent focus on non-military targets and/or citizens. On the other, in many cases such claims may well be designed to shape public opinion.

    Am interested to know what you think. What do you believe should be the standard of such crimes, irrespective of current definitions?

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    Michael - so much depends on perspectives and philosophies.

    It could be said that any warfare is a crime against humanity but for the most part this is something seen by one sector when analyzing the behavior of another - as they see it. So much can be relative.

    I won't here delve into secular or ethnic comparisons - don't want to go there even tho it does have much influence. However, I do think that for most in the West's perspective at least - the impression of barbarism and blatant collateral damage satisfy the definition.

    It is a deep, deep subject - and for obvious reasons very emotive too. I could go into this in much more depth potentially - but not on CC.
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    Am interested to know what you think. What do you believe should be the standard of such crimes, irrespective of current definitions?
    As noted by P95 it is entirely subjective. What is a "crime against humanity" in the Mideast may be entirely different than what we perceive as such here in America.

    In 1979 I witnessed a beheading take place in Iran. Supposedly a man was quilty of blaspemy and of neglecting his family.The mans hands were tied,and he was bent over an altar and his head was removed and captured in a wicker basket. It could be argued here by many in the states that that was in fact a crime against humanity, whereas those in the Mideast would only recognise it as a swift and just punishment for wrong doing. What was perfectly acceptable for thier culture would be seen as totally unacceptable in ours.

    Unfortunatley in todays world the "crimes against humanity " seem to be determined by the news media and the person writing the story.

    A member of the news media that is sympathetic to the PLO for example, has no problem with a young man strapping a bomb to his chest and detontonating it in a market square killing scores of men,women and children.Yet, when some retaliatory measure by Israel that eliminates some bomb factorys and terrorist training camps takes place and a few innocents are killed, he writes it up as a "crime against humanity".

    Its just a play on words that many people arent smart enough to figure out for themselves.


    What do you believe should be the standard of such crimes, irrespective of current definitions?
    As for the standard,it could be as simple as the Golden Rule.

    Treat others as you want to be treated....even to an enemy. Imagine how you would feel in their shoes if you were being treated the same way.

    That would pretty well cover it.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    Distinguished Member Array lowflyer's Avatar
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    I think you're okay so long as you don't celebrate too much after dessimating the southern half of a terrorist state.

    I think the crime was in the LPM allowing a terrorist organization to exist and conduct war from within his own country. That was shameful. If anybody were to do that here, rest assured the gov't. would go 'Waco' on their collective arses.
    Whatever doesn't kill you postpones the inevitable.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    All:

    Thanks for getting this rolling.

    I was hoping the thread wouldn't focus on any single-person acts, as such. Any death can be lamentable. The point is, this thread is designed to focus on the larger problems. Crimes agains humanity, not against any one single individual. You know, things that pretty much anyone can point to as a definitive example, such as: genocide (ie, Rwanda, or Nazis in Poland, or perhaps the dropping of the A-bomb by the USA in WW2). Things that go beyond simple acts of war but that turn into something much uglier for larger-than-life reasons. (Not necessarily a bigger bang, but uglier.)

    The thing is, any prior definitions I've seen (U.N. and other orgs) seem to be so blatantly disregarded the past 25yrs or so. Perhaps that will always be so. I hope not. Seems to me that we've lost sight of what constitutes this most-egregious area of assault on others.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; August 20th, 2006 at 06:17 PM.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    The thing is, any prior definitions I've seen (U.N. and other orgs) seem to be so blatantly disregarded the past 25yrs or so. Perhaps that will always be so. I hope not. Seems to me that we've lost sight of what constitutes this most-egregious area of assault on others
    The U.N. has done an exellent job of ignoring the issue of genocide.
    When they do actually address it and send it troops to prevent it, those troops stand idly by and do nothing.

    Looking at the last twenty five years brings plenty of examples.

    El Salvador,SouthAfrica,Libya,Iraq,Iran,Nicaragua,Som alia,Rwanda,
    Sudan are just the ones off of the top of my head that the mighty U.N. pretty well ignored...even though some troops may have been stationed in some of the coutntrys, they were pretty ineffective and in some cases actually added to the problem.

    One might note that in many cases of U.N. intervention, the problem was only addressed and ceased to be when U.S. troops became involved.

    Seems to me that we've lost sight of what constitutes this most-egregious area of assault on others
    I dont think that WE have lost sight. I think that anytime a third world dictator becomes president of the U.N. that their morals, or lack of, becomes what the U.N. does. If one thinks that killing off a particular race in a small country is ethnic cleansing and a good thing to do, that exactly what will happen with little fanfare.

    And we all know that the new media portrays things so accurately on top of that..
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    I found the following:

    In 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) was established in The Hague (Netherlands), following the principle of universal jurisdiction. The "Rome Statute" provides for the ICC to have jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Article 7 of the treaty stated that:

    For the purpose of this Statute, "crime against humanity" means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack[6]:
    (a) Murder;
    (b) Extermination;
    (c) Enslavement;
    (d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;
    (e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;
    (f) Torture;
    (g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
    (h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
    (i) Enforced disappearance of persons;
    (j) The crime of apartheid;
    (k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
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    In 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) was established in The Hague (Netherlands), following the principle of universal jurisdiction.
    The U.S. along with many other countries does not reconize the International Criminal Court .

    Their "jurisdiction" is only as good as you let it be.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    These are from the charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal agreement, signed in 1945:

    (a) CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;

    (b) WAR CRIMES: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;

    (c)CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.

    Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.
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