CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > Community > Community
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Community Catch all category for CrossFit community discussion.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-03-2007, 09:48 PM   #21
Neal Winkler
Member Neal Winkler is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Shiloh  Il
Posts: 613
Whoa, whoa, whoa. I in no way meant to compare our soldiers to Nazi's. I only brought up the comment in the first post because it was an example of someone seeming to state that soldiers shouldn't care about the political and more importantly moral implications of war. It's what got this subject in my head. I honestly wasn't even thinking about whether or not the current war was justified, but now I can see how it would look that way. My apologies.

I hope we can continue to have this conversation, and leave out any allusions to the current situation as it isn't necessary for discussion of this topic.

Again, my apologies.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2007, 12:01 AM   #22
Pierre Auge
Member Pierre Auge is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Ottawa  Ontario
Posts: 735
Travis,

Your right

It's not my responsiblity to ignore unlawful orders, it's my duty to report unlawful orders.

This is very much more what I had in mind!
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2007, 06:33 AM   #23
Bryan Veis
Member Bryan Veis is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Arlington  Virginia
Posts: 232
"Of course we need to make a distinction between "lawful/unlawful" and "moral/immoral." All the Nazi soldiers were being perfectly lawful when they shoved Jews into furnaces."

{Trying to keep this on the right side of the line.} Actually, no, the German concentration camp guards and SS personnel (as opposed to the Wehrmacht -- the German army) were not being "perfectly lawful." That's what the Nuremburg trials were about. There are continuing prosecutions even today when such individuals are found. "I was just following orders" is not an acceptable defense.

International law is a tricky subject, and unevenly enforced, but it does exist. Sadly, there are normally not enough resources to prosecute all who deserve it, so usually only those at or near the top are tried, but that does not make acts of genocide or other war crimes "lawful," regardless of what the laws of a particular state actor might provide.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2007, 08:59 AM   #24
Neal Winkler
Member Neal Winkler is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Shiloh  Il
Posts: 613
Bryan, Germany withdrew from the League of Nation in 1933, so in what way would their actions be unlawful? How do the laws of one body (LoN), have anything to do with another (Germany)?

That's like saying that you're being unlawful by driving on the left side of the road in Britain because in the US it's the law to drive on the right side.

Certainly, if the Germans were doing something unlawful it was only because they lost the war. However, win or lose they couldn't escape the immorality of their actions.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2007, 09:23 AM   #25
Brendan C. Cook
Member Brendan C. Cook is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Huntington  NY
Posts: 40
What the German and local collaborator guards at concentration camps did, what the SS did, what the Wehrmacht did, what the Luftwaffe did, they did under orders from their superiors. These superiors were members of, or collaborators with, a facist state run by the National Socialist Party. Within that context, what they did was perfectly legal...that is to say, in accordance with the laws (military and social) and stated policies of the state of which they were a part.

The reason that the Nuremberg trials were held was because German was defeated and declared surrender. Had they not been defeated by the Allies, the trials never would have been held and our world would look vastly different today...a prospect which, to me at least, is more than just a tad horrifying.

Soldiers, IMO, NEED to have political opinions, especially in states where the population at large has the right to vote. Becoming a soldier, for whatever reason you do so, does not remove your rights and obligations as citizens. It may, in fact heighten them. However, having political opinions (and expressing them by voting, etc) does not mean that soldiers should express their opinions WITH the military....a look at history, both recent and ancient, shows how well this works in the long term, for both the military and the population at large.


PHEW!! Sorry about that...Hope this has kept it on the correct side of this oh-so-fine line!

(Message edited by cmonster on January 04, 2007)
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2007, 09:47 AM   #26
Bryan Veis
Member Bryan Veis is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Arlington  Virginia
Posts: 232
Neal,

I suggest that you do a little reading on the Nuremberg trials, for a start. Some argued, even at the time, that they were "victors' justice." Arguably, too, the prosecutions conflated law and morality. (The contrary argument is that no nation has the authority to legalize certain types of acts, i.e., that there are some things that are so obviously horrifically wrong, that no nation could ever make them legal.) Nevertheless, most of the defendants in the trials (most people are familiar with the one where the major Nazi figures were tried, but there were eleven additional trials after that) were found to be guilty of "crimes against humanity" in relation to the holocaust and various war crimes in relation to other conduct.

The law school at the University of Missouri, Kansas City has a pretty good summary for a start. http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/proj.../nuremberg.htm (Work and family safe, except for the possibility that you may run across graphic evidentiary matter on some pages)

As I said in my earlier post, international law is a tricky area, but it does exist. In many, perhaps most, cases, lower level individuals escaped prosecution for acts committed in World War II. The Demjanjuk case was a recent example, though, where there was a prosecution based on the actions of an individual concentration camp guard. It turned out that the defendant was the wrong man -- a different concentration camp guard, who had not committed those particular acts for which he was tried.

  Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2007, 09:59 AM   #27
Aushion Chatman
Affiliate Aushion Chatman is offline
 
Aushion Chatman's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: San Diego  CA
Posts: 3,342
Neal,

I'm confused as to what it is you are arguing now...I thought you were talking about U.S. Soldiers...if so (which is what I initially thought) then what the Nazi's or what anyone else has done doesn't matter...

If you're talking about generic soldier #1 (ie Nazi, US, Japanese, you name it), I think that's much too broad of a topic...because when you get past general to specific soldiers, it is true that their politics and in some instances, even their morals will be different.

Not to say you should drop the whole Nazi posts you have going with Bryan, but if you meant US soldiers, those posts are peripheral and don't matter.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2007, 10:11 AM   #28
Neal Winkler
Member Neal Winkler is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Shiloh  Il
Posts: 613
Bryan,

First things first, it's a moot point. Even if the Nazi's were committing crimes there is still a distinction between "lawful/unlawful" and "moral/immoral." I just failed to give an example of that with the Nazi's.

Second, you've given me a lot of material to read, which will make it difficult to respond to you in a timely manner. What is that I'm supposed to learn that will educate me as to why the Nazi's were actually committing crimes at the time?
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2007, 10:24 AM   #29
Neal Winkler
Member Neal Winkler is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Shiloh  Il
Posts: 613
Aushion,

I'm only talking about soldiers in general. I don't see that as being too broad of a topic. We can still talk about whether or not soldiers should care about politics and morality even if soldiers from different countries have different values.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2007, 10:42 AM   #30
Bryan Veis
Member Bryan Veis is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Arlington  Virginia
Posts: 232
Neal, on point one, you are correct, there is (at least in Western thought) generally a distinction between morality and legality (and plenty of arguments about both).

I think you may be confusing "actual notice" with "constructive notice." If your question is whether a generic concentration camp guard would say to him- or herself, "I know shoving these people into the gas chamber is a violation of international law which trumps the laws of the Third Reich, but I'm going to do it anyway," I would say that it probably didn't happen much, if at all. (And realistically, but not sympathetically, any guard who objected would probably end up in the gas chamber, too.) The Allies' postwar justification (much oversimplified), however, was that all of those people should have known better (i.e., had constructive notice) -- no one should have to be told that sending masses of people to the gas chamber for being who they are is wrong, both legally and morally.

Setting aside the treatment of Jews in Germany proper (where we would have to discuss how and whether German internal law can be trumped by international law), the Geneva conventions dealt with the treatment of civilian populations in occupied territories, so there was specific legal authority prohibiting the mistreatment of non-German concentration camp prisoners. IIRC, while Russia was not a signatory to the Geneva conventions (hence the dual system of POW camps), France and Italy were. I don't know the status of each of the other occupied countries, but I suspect that many were signatories as well. That alone provided a legal basis for prosecution of war crimes.

It may have come as a surprise to the Germans that their treatment of their own Jewish, Gypsy, homosexual, and other "undesirable" citizens might be the subject of international prosecution. It is, however, no surprise to the world any longer that intra-national genocide, ethnic cleansing, etc. are prosecuted by international tribunals. Nuremberg set the precedent for that.

I don't really want to have a long discussion of international law here. There are entire courses in law school dealing with war crimes. The major point to be taken from the Nuremberg trials, though, is that "I was just following orders (i.e., what I was told to do by my lawfully appointed superiors)" is no defense. Some orders simply cannot ever be lawful.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Politics of Fat and Thin Motion Macivor Community 61 03-03-2006 08:26 AM
Canadian Soldiers Steven Stackpole Community 3 09-22-2005 08:31 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:21 PM.


CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.