War Crimes Organizations
by William P. Meyers

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I believe the only reasonable definition of a war crimes organization is: any organization that has, as an organization, committed war crimes.

While I believe there should be zero tolerance for war crimes, I do think it is helpful to distinguish small-scale war crimes committed by individuals that are against a generally enforced policy of an organization. For instance, if killing prisoners of war is against the policy of an organization, which enforces that policy whenever possible, then I think if an individual soldier or small group of soldiers kills prisoners of war, that should be distinguished from a general policy or practice of killing prisoners.

I recognize there are many definitions of what constitutes a war crime or a crime against humanity. However, I think there are some that are generally agreed upon:

The launching a war by a nation against another nation is a war crime. Nations may engage in self-defense, but cannot make that an excuse for aggression.

Purposeful (as opposed to "accidental" or "collateral") targetting (to kill or wound) civilians is a war crime.

Mistreating, killing or torturing POWs is a war crime.

Generally speaking, national governments take primary responsibility for war crimes. Military organizations are, of course, responsible for the war crimes they commit, but governments are responsible for controlling their militaries.

Generally speaking, political parties that control a government are responsible for its war crimes. Thus the German National Socialist (Nazi) Party cannot validly claim that the German military, or national government, committed the war crimes of World War II, but not the party. A party that controls a government that engages in a war crimes policy is a war crimes organization.

I believe that reasonable persons who are against war crimes and are without prejudice would agree that the following were war crimes committed by the government of the United States of America (without implying there were no other instances of U.S. war crimes):

The U.S. Invasions of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Korea, Panama, and Iraq (in 2002).

The purposeful use of atomic weapons on the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The purposeful use of anti-civilian warfare in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, including the use of free-fire zones, napalm, and carpet bombing.

The parties that were in control of the government when these war crimes were committed were:

The Republican Party: invasions of Cambodia, Laos, Panama, and Iraq.

The Democratic Party: invasion of Vietnam; use of atomic weapons against civilians.

In addition, members of Congress of each party supported the policies of committing war crimes by the membes of the other party.

Therefore, I name the Democratic Party and Republican Party as war crimes organizations.

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