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November 22, 2005

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» Nuremberg's Continuing Importance from The Dartmouth Observer
Does it matter that even in W. Germany, Nuremberg wasn't really law in the way that American domestic law is law? Not really. Posner is disappointed because Nuremberg was essentially legal enforcement of a policy decision. But the strength of Nurembe... [Read More]

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Roach

Nuremberg is one of the great rallying points for those that would expand the realm of "public international law." I'm glad to see criticism of the precedent renewed.

It's easy to forget that its use of ex post facto charges, the presence of Soviet NKVD apparatcheks among the panel of judges, the hypocricy of Soviet war crimes such as Katyn being unmentioned, and its arbitrary selection of defendants--particularly the industrialists, like the Krupps--made the whole thing something of a joke soon thereafter. It's hard to believe today that JFK praised Robert Taft in his *Profiles in Courage* for his criticism of Nuremberg.

Other than as an image, no one really remembers or consults Nuremberg today, and it certainly had little effect on German life, just as the Hague tribunals of Milosovic and others have little effect on world opinion. If war crimes trials are simply workaday matters of punishing those that abuse prisoners and the like, then there is little obvious advantage to an elaborate tribunal as opposed to an efficient military commission. If the goal is to create a lasting record of atrocity and a new foundation for a moral society based on the rule of law, then something like the Saddam Trial in Iraq or the Junta trial in Argentina are preferable, not least because they involve the judgment of countrymen over a former leader. (Such useful exercises in collective consciousness raising should be contrasted with the meddlesome and arbitrary expansion of extraterritorial jurisdiction as demonstrated by the Pinochet indictment in Spain.)

In this respsect, the 1960s trials of various participants in the Holocaust as violations of certain German laws were much more important for German society than any impact of the Nuremberg Trials.

krsh

Executions are generally expected to be solemn affairs –- certainly not opportunities for thugs to score some final sectarian points before the “enemy” is disposed of. The video itself seems quite distasteful –- but it is informative to the extent that it reveals the political baggage that the current government carries on its shoulders.

all those of you who do understand the mafia in the neighbourhood, can understand the second sadam video. what the video really reveals is the rise of another equally barbaric sect the shia's and the voice transcript - is more shocking - those guys with whatever elite religious belief they got
none of the jonnies ever refered to ALLAH - I expected ALLAH WHO AKBAR - Every dog has his day ok
this willy UNCLE SAM is brewing anthor ethinic war in that region, The second video is a master piece
job that uncle sam got done ! yes you can trust any of the babarians in the brotherhood or the neighbourhood.
WHATS MY PIONT !
WHY NOT WONDER WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE GUY WHO TOOK THE VIDEO ON THE CELL PHONE ! WAS IT A CIA MAN OR ONE OF THE BUSH'S COWBOYS WHO CAME TO DELIVER THE ROPE MADE AT BUSH RANCH ! OR AN EXPERT RESEARCH FROM NASA LEARNING TO HANG THE ALIENS OR THE PLAY MATE SEND BY PLAYBOY FOR THE SONS OF "MOM HOW MAD "

second video transcript --- There are five men in black face masks who are visible on the gallows platform around Saddam, acting as guards. As they guide him towards the trap door and put the noose over his head, they start chanting religious slogans with the names of Moqtada al Sadr (the head of the Mahdi army, accused of organizing death squads against Sunnis) and Baqr al Sadr (the father-in-law of Moqtada). Saddam, a Sunni, is outraged at this last-minute provocation, and tells them to “go to hell.”

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