The point is should these men be put on trial...not whether others would do the same.
Everyone makes mistakes...but what makes you honorable or not is how you handle those mistakes.
And to say 'forgive and forget' to people that did illegal things (assuming there is enough evidence to convict them) is borderline inhuman, IMO.
Soldiers are under a code of conduct. A moral code that they either swear to or are expected to follow...their fears are irrelevant. Laws don't go like; 'you cannot do such and such unless you are really scared or feel threatened.'.
Sure, they act as mitigating circumstances during sentencing...obviously a guy that just murders someone without any pressure is going to get a stiffer sentence then someone that murders someone under great duress.
But to just wave a blanket over the whole thing and say 'well, even though I have no first-hand knowledge of what went on there...I think that these guards should never be put on trial - no matter what the evidence - because I think it must have been very difficult for them to refuse orders.'.
Disgusting and cowardly.
I have little problem with what soldiers do to other soldiers - within reason. Soldiering is a club to me (which I was once a part of). You join the club and you fight against other 'club' members from other countries. And you all understand going in that there are almost no rules. That if things get desperate enough, you could be killed in the most dishonorable looking circumstances - like shooting unarmed military prisoners.
But we are not talking about soldiers. We are talking about innocent women and children and seniors....civilians. People being eradicated like cockroaches in gigantic numbers for insane reasons.
There is no code in any modern military that allows for soldiers to do that to civilians...none.
And I don't care if the soldiers were threatened or not...(even though people in this thread are saying they were all volunteers)...to just excuse accessory to mass genocide because they were under duress is no excuse and is barbaric.
Now if you people were saying that these soldiers (assuming there is enough evidence) should stand trial and that any pressures they were under should count as a mitigating circumstance...okay, I can live with that.
But many of you are NOT saying that.
Many of you are actually saying that these people should never go on trial. That we should NEVER find out if they actually were guilty or not...regardless of the circumstances.
None if you were there and yet many of you are deciding that these men must never stand trial...no matter what.
What kind if whacko form of law and order is that?
Let's not even look at any cases because the accused probably were under great pressure to do these crimes?
Let's just say to the victims; 'Sorry, but we will not even look at the cases because we feel sorry for the accused...that they obviously were under great strain and should not be held accountable for their actions...whatever they were.'.
'But should we not at least find out who did what before we decide that?'
'No...we are not even going to look at the evidence...we are just going to bury it and move on'.
All these people died in hideous circumstances and many of you just want to let those who were potentially accessories to that crime walk free without even looking at each case.
Screw justice. Screw the victims. Screw honor. Let's just forget about it.
And if that statement offends people....GOOD.