I was just reading the poll discussion related to three German concentration camp guards recently having been arrested and charged (for some crime) for their actions during WWII.
That got me thinking:
I've read numerous accounts written by WWII Marines and Soldiers wherein they discuss having personally witnessed or participated in the murder of Japanese enemy prisoners of war (EPWs). I've read similar, though far fewer, accounts of WWII Soldiers having murdered or witnessed the murder German and Italian EPWs.
Bear in mind that when I say "witnessed" I'm not talking about some guy watching a murder taking place 1000 meters away through a pair of binoculars; I'm talking about guys discussing murders committed right next to them by people they knew well - their buddies and shipmates.
Likewise, I've read accounts of WWII Marines and Soldiers torturing Japanese EPWs and/or desecrating the remains of dead Japanese Soldiers.
Understand that we're talking about guys unashamedly, and often proudly, admitting to murder in memoirs, diaries, and oral histories.
Further understand that there is absolutely NO QUESTION that according to the letter of the law we're talking about murder here.
This isn't a "gray area" created by the fact that the Japanese weren't signatories to the Geneva Conventions.
By all relevant and applicable international conventions, federal law, and military regulations it was illegal for Americans to kill EPWs during the entire span of the Second World War.
In many cases these murders were committed by the fighting man absent any direction from a higher authority.
In almost all cases that made little difference since, at least early in the war (through 1943 at least), most field grade commanders of combat troops encouraged such murders (for a number of reasons).
Should these men, American WWII veterans, be tried for murder or as accessories to murder, and if found guilty punished accordingly?
Obviously the poll responses are "Yes" and "No" but please feel free to argue your position in any manner and to any extent that you wish.