One of the lessons of the Nuremberg
War Crimes Trials of Germans after Germany's defeat in World War II was that obeying
orders is no excuse for war crimes. U.S. prosecutors took the position that
the German military should have refused to obey Hitler's orders.
Chief U.S. prosecutor Robert Jackson established that military aggression was
a war crime.
U.S. Army Lt. Ehren Watada took the
Nuremberg lesson to heart. He refused to deploy to Iraq on the solid grounds
that the war is illegal, which it is under the Nuremberg standard, and that
he cannot order troops under his command to commit illegal actions.
Watada is correct. If the U.S. general staff had the integrity of Lt. Watada,
America and Iraq would have been spared the pointless and bloody conflict. Bush
was able to illegally initiate the conflict because the American military behaved
exactly as the German military and followed the orders of a criminal commander
in chief. Watada must be court-martialed in order to protect Bush and his obedient
commanders from war crimes charges.
By prosecuting Lt. Watada, the U.S. military has demeaned the Nuremberg trials
and demoted them to merely the revenge of the victorious. Watada's prosecution
demolishes the illusion that the Nuremberg trials established a civilized principle
of international law. All it did was to reaffirm that might is right. Germany's
ideology of domination was a war crime, but America's ideology of domination