Originally Posted by pasoleati
And that is exactly those double standards I referred to*. For whenever the prime importance is placed on WHO rather than WHAT in the case of war crimes it leads to the situation that only the losing side is punished. In other words, he becomes punished for losing a war.
*It is like when Marx and Engels came up with the Communist Manifesto: according to it all industrialist are bloodsucking vermin. Engels just happened to be one, so they had to devise the idea "All industrialists except Engels are bloodsucking vermin."
You are talking about what many term "victor's justice." That is a charge that has been associated with many recent situations. As to the Nazis, much of the punishment fell under crimes against humanity, especially the holocaust. The arguments are pretty old, but the piont remains--were you going to allow genocide on that scale and extreme to go unpunished becuase the victors were not perfect and some were less perfect than others? These crimes happened during, but were really separate from, them military conduct of the war. Imperfect thought it might have been, Nuremberg and related tribunals did establish that there had to be some limits to the conduct of a state, and that genocide was a crime. The principles established there are virtually universally accepted today. What was/is the alternative?