View Poll Results: Should American WWII veterans be charged with war crimes for EPW murders?

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Thread: WWII Marine charged with murder for executing Japanese Enemy Prisoner of War in 1943

  1. #11
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    Re: WWII Marine charged with murder for executing Japanese Enemy Prisoner of War in 1

    Quote Originally Posted by soot View Post
    From what I've read, and again feel free to investigate this yourselves if you believe the information to be suspect, the murders of Japanese EPWs ran the gamut from VERY desperate men doing what was VERY necessary to stay alive (exigent circumstances) and simple raw brutality/retribution based on, sometimes, little more than hate/nationalism/bigotry and far removed from any urgent need. There are numerous reports of Japanese being rounded up in rear areas and machine gunned simply because they were Japanese.
    Maybe. So what? That's war. If your unit is moving fast, has a critical mission and the lives of many others depend on your success, you don't have time to screw around with prisoners.

    If you read the history of Japanese aggression and brutality in the Far East throughout the Thirties, you will understand why many other Far Eastern countries hate the Japanese to this day.

    Americans, true to our nature, have been much more forgiving.
    Last edited by Ray410; 02-21-14 at 04:56 PM.

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    Re: WWII Marine charged with murder for executing Japanese Enemy Prisoner of War in 1

    This isn't about platitudes. It is about a specific incident and if the person murdered a Japanese POW without military necessity then it is murder. Simple enough.

    Whether that is what happened is a trial fact question, not a matter of platitudes.

    Germans who participated in atrocities against Americans or civilians - the same for Japanese - had no statute of limitations.

    For the most part, it is FALSE to claim a German soldier would be court martialed for refusing to participate in atrocities. That was well told by German soldiers at the Nurenberg trials.

    German, until the very end, has a very structured military. A court martial of serious consequence required a trial. It was never Germany's official policy to kill Jews, nor other civilians, nor POWs. If a German soldier refused to kill people in one of the death camps - and many did refuse - they were simply assigned to a different unit, generally not at the camp. They could not be court martialed because it was German policy this wasn't happening.

    Nor could any American ever have been court martialed for refusing to kill a Japanese POW. "I was following orders" wouldn't work for that reason.

    What could be considered is the fact that it was known to American soldiers that the Japanese brutally tortured and slaughtered both POWs and civilians, for which there is ample footage of Americans gunning down Japanese soldiers walking across a field with their hand up surrendering. The attitude between Germans and Americans - both sides in general treating each other's prisoners quite well (there were some exceptions), this was not how it was between the Japanese and Americans. Rather, it was total and murderous hatred - and on our soldier's side for good reasons.

    Thus, I would take that into consideration, particularly if a battlefield circumstance. The on-the-ground brutality of battle between the Japanese and Americans - and both military and civilian casualties - was extremely high. The rules of war basically out the window, and maybe by necessity.

    HOWEVER, if this happened in a POW camp or later behind the lines, I would be less understanding and would want to try to figure the motive. That would greatly factor into what conclusions and determinations I would make.

  3. #13
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    Re: WWII Marine charged with murder for executing Japanese Enemy Prisoner of War in 1

    If they want to be court martialed under the current UCMJ, so be it. Kinda stupid personally, but whatever.

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    Re: WWII Marine charged with murder for executing Japanese Enemy Prisoner of War in 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray410 View Post
    Maybe. So what? That's war. If your unit is moving fast, has a critical mission and the lives of many others depend on your success, you don't have time to screw around with prisoners.
    If that is the case then you shouldn't sign treaties, pass federal laws, and enact military regulations that say it's illegal to kill EPWs and that doing so is prosecutable as murder.

    Right?

    If you read the history of Japanese aggression and brutality in the Far East throughout the Thirties, you will understand why many other Far Eastern countries hate the Japanese to this day.
    There's no question that Japanese aggression and brutality through the Thirties, through the Forties as far as it goes, is, perhaps not necessarily unparalleled, but definitely up there in terms of some of the worst aggressive and brutal regimes in world history.

    But to say that, "because they did it, we can do it", or, "because they're so bad, our less brutal though still wholly inhuman behavior is acceptable in contrast", is a cop out.

    It's kinda like saying, "If you read this history of Islamic theocracy, tribal monarchies, and sectarianism in the Middle East over the past 70 years you'll see what brutal, backward, savages those people can be, so it's okay for American combat forces to rape women, murder children, torture captives, and etc..."
    “Now it is not good for the Christian’s health to hustle the Aryan brown,
    For the Christian riles, and the Aryan smiles and he weareth the Christian down;
    And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased,
    And the epitaph drear: “A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the East.”

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    Re: WWII Marine charged with murder for executing Japanese Enemy Prisoner of War in 1

    Quote Originally Posted by soot View Post

    There's no question that Japanese aggression and brutality through the Thirties, through the Forties as far as it goes, is, perhaps not necessarily unparalleled, but definitely up there in terms of some of the worst aggressive and brutal regimes in world history.

    But to say that, "because they did it, we can do it", or, "because they're so bad, our less brutal though still wholly inhuman behavior is acceptable in contrast", is a cop out.

    It's kinda like saying, "If you read this history of Islamic theocracy, tribal monarchies, and sectarianism in the Middle East over the past 70 years you'll see what brutal, backward, savages those people can be, so it's okay for American combat forces to rape women, murder children, torture captives, and etc..."
    If you'll read the few words in my post again, you'll see that I didn't say any of those things or use any of the reasoning that you have ascribed to me. How you deduced that childlike reasoning and excuse making from my post is beyond me.

    It is good you've observed however, that human behavior in most wars throughout history turns out the same.

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    Re: WWII Marine charged with murder for executing Japanese Enemy Prisoner of War in 1

    And what do you do with a POW? Keep them with you? Now you gotta assign one of your own to watch them while the rest of you sleep. Just let them go? Great strategy.

    Unarmed =\= benign

    The only folks qualified to judge these cases are a jury of the defendants PEERS. Let THEM decide the morality of necessary evils.

    War is hell. Trying to apply the rule of law to a completely lawless environment is just going to cause a lot of pointless collateral damage beyond that already being done.
    Quote Originally Posted by calamity View Post
    Reports indicate that everyone knew he was hauling a bunch of guns up there. But, since you brought it up, there's something which should be illegal: guns that breakdown.

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    Re: WWII Marine charged with murder for executing Japanese Enemy Prisoner of War in 1

    The theory of law transcends the political limitations on the use of legal proceedings. In this instance, the legal theory is clear, there is no statute of limitations on murder, if the prisoner was a prisoner, he is not subject to summary execution. This is murder and culpability for the murder should attach accordingly.

    Is it going to happen, no, of course not.

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    Re: WWII Marine charged with murder for executing Japanese Enemy Prisoner of War in 1

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinKohler View Post
    Trying to apply the rule of law to a completely lawless environment is just going to cause a lot of pointless collateral damage beyond that already being done.
    Well, its not lawless though, its the laws of war. One cannot summarily kill POWs.

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    Re: WWII Marine charged with murder for executing Japanese Enemy Prisoner of War in 1

    Canadians were tried for murder in Somalia. Not sure why murder shouldnt be tried as murder.
    Somalia Affair - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Re: WWII Marine charged with murder for executing Japanese Enemy Prisoner of War in 1

    Quote Originally Posted by newpublius View Post
    Well, its not lawless though, its the laws of war. One cannot summarily kill POWs.
    When there is one person trying to kill another person, there is no law.

    We're trying to apply laws to what is a wholesale lawless act.
    Quote Originally Posted by calamity View Post
    Reports indicate that everyone knew he was hauling a bunch of guns up there. But, since you brought it up, there's something which should be illegal: guns that breakdown.

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