Ukraine

   #281  

DV52

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I would prefer to see Vlad the Mad face trial but it would be a nightmare security wise, better a 9mm soft nose to the lower gut and put those responsible for war crimes in the dock, right down to the grunt at the front who can’t do their job as a soldier without raping and murdering.
hmm....... "9mm soft-nose" (I'll google this?) strategy sounds like we are no different to Russian forces; strongly suggests our value-set is the same!!

As I have said - this is war; it ain't possible to wrap-up war into a neat little box with a pretty pink ribbon!! By definition, the madness/insanity of war is inherently "leaky" and it's invariably the innocent that get wet! Doesn't justify the behavior - just explains it!!

Don
PS: If (not when) Russian perpetrators do face war-crime charges, it will be interesting to see how many claim the "Nuremberg defense" which was popular after WWII; It wasn't my fault - I was just following orders. Wasn't successful @ Nuremberg trials
 
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   #282  

PetrolDave

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PS: If (not when) Russian perpetrators do face war-crime charges, it will be interesting to see how many claim the "Nuremberg defense" which was popular after WWII; It wasn't my fault - I was just following orders. Wasn't successful @ Nuremberg trials
Culture now would be even less likely to accept the "Nuremberg defence" IMHO.

Even actions that were both legal and moral at the time are now considered so bad that nations are being forced to apologise retrospectively, pay reparations and undo subsequent benefits resulting from them.
 
   #283  

morris39

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Culture now would be even less likely to accept the "Nuremberg defence" IMHO.

Even actions that were both legal and moral at the time are now considered so bad that nations are being forced to apologise retrospectively, pay reparations and undo subsequent benefits resulting from them.
In Canada a fairly recent media rumpus concerned the aboriginal residential schools which were run by missionaries in 19th century and later by the federal government until 1970. Schooling was legally mandatory for all Canadian residents In the case of aboriginals, children who lived in small remote communities were brought to (free) boarding schools and schooled in English.
The alleged crime is cultural genocide and failing to maintain grave markers. Extreme accusations of abuse have been made by some elderly native individuals and widely promoted by the media, (mainly public) without review or counter opinion.
There has been no public discussion outside of the media and politicians, not a peep.
OK analysts, nobody cares, Machiavellian strategy?
 
   #284  

DV52

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Culture now would be even less likely to accept the "Nuremberg defense" IMHO.

Even actions that were both legal and moral at the time are now considered so bad that nations are being forced to apologise retrospectively, pay reparations and undo subsequent benefits resulting from them.

Dave: I tend to agree - but IMO, you will always be disappointed if you introduce the concept of morality into the formal procedure for judging war-crimes. The thing about the Hague process is that what's legal (and what's moral- if this is at all relevant) is necessarily defined by the "winner".

The difference between WWII process @ Nuremberg and the Ukraine situation is that Putin can never be the "winner"! Regardless of the actual outcome of the war, Russia's status as the "loser" in respect of possible war crimes was set in concrete immediately after Putin declared war.

We ALL like to paint the Russian forces black and it's convenient to picture the Ukrainian army as being lily-white. But, it's incredulous to believe that in any war, transgressions against the Geneva convention only happen by the black colored forces. Nevertheless -there ain't a snow-ball's chance in hell, that the Hague will examine the actions of the Ukraine army!

No, the Hague process is NOT about morality and it most certainly isn't about "justice" - it's about delivering a post-war smack (a form of vengeance) to the loser!!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trivializing the Hague process - quite the opposite, I believe that it serves a very important function. It's just that I reckon that this function is NOT related to the higher ideals of morality, or justice (the ICC objective is far more visceral).

Don
 
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   #285  

JMR

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picture the Ukrainian army as being lily-white
like hell it is !!!! Other news sources ( not the mind fucking controlled mass media ) reports/video report/interviews and found that Ukrainean army/soldiers/whatever groups are WORSE than the actual invaders. But then again , who am i to point the finger ?? I am passible of being acussed of pro-russian-ism !!
Is that invasion still on ...? Such old news... I hear Elon wants to free Twitter of censorship..is that right ?
And then in other news , Biden wants to shake someone 's hand ..Here , have some fun, i really feel bad for the old man :(
 
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   #286  

vreihen

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Hey, I'm gonna get you too. Another one (Russian Major General) bites the dust.....
 
   #287  

JMR

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"Nuremberg defence"
it should've worked. Imagine yourself being a Captain or whatever rank and your superior orders you to this or do that. You either execute or you're exposed to grave consequences for not following orders. Just speaking my mind out here....However, the victor writes the history and make it's own rules...
 
   #288  

DV52

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it should've worked. Imagine yourself being a Captain or whatever rank and your superior orders you to this or do that. You either execute or you're exposed to grave consequences for not following orders. Just speaking my mind out here...
oooohhh......... I definitely don't agree!!

As I said, ain't no neat little box with pretty pink ribbon in war!

There are actually 4 x conventions and 3 x additional protocols which are collectively called the "Geneva convention".

In modern times, I'm not sure how well known the GC is throughout the reporting structures in the armed forces - but I assume that at least for the signatory countries to the Rome Statute - the rules are understood down to the grunt level in 21st Century. Again the situation in America may be different, given their stance that the Hague has no jurisdiction on how US forces operate (but I could be wrong about the education of US troops)

The GC violates the real truth of war in that it imposes 11 x rules - any of which if breached constitutes a war crime. There are no restrictions in the GC relating to rank and any officer (NCO, or otherwise), foot solder or high ranking general is subject to the same rules and the same penalties.

So, whilst your example is very real, the consequential dilemma (as you eloquently describe) most certainly doesn't excuse the grunt who is ordered to rape/pillage/shoot innocent citizens.

If in identifying your example you are highlighting the fact that in war, soldiers of any (or no) rank continuously face difficult/impossible decisions (that almost always have very serious ramifications)- then I agree.

But the fact of these difficult/impossible choices does NOT in any way excuse the personal accountability of each solder for the decision that they make. And yes, sometimes making a morally correct decision in a war might get you killed - the same as a chance of being killed by making a morally incorrect decision!

Bottom line = Armed solders fighting in a war in any modern century don't have a get-out-of-jail-free card for war crimes. If they want to hide behind the "Nuremberg defense" - they should seek employment elsewhere because the Hague process doesn't recognize the excuse ( and neither should it)!!

Don
 
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   #289  

JMR

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While i agree with you on some parts of your point of view ..there has to be the knowledge that some of the laws / rules applied to Nuremberg trials were ex post facto and not everyone agreed to the application of it , therefore , the victor makes the law / rules and writes the outcome. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_post_facto_law
 
   #290  

DV52

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While i agree with you on some parts of your point of view ..there has to be the knowledge that some of the laws / rules applied to Nuremberg trials were ex post facto and not everyone agreed to the application of it , therefore , the victor makes the law / rules and writes the outcome. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_post_facto_law
@JMR: hmm........ Nice try!

I really do understand your point about the principles of law - but regardless of whether the war crime rules were ex-post, or ex-ante, it doesn't matter (either legally, or morally - if indeed morals are at all relevant in a war).

It doesn't take the existence of a law to define certain acts as being ethical and therefore as being unethical, or criminal if that law is breached.

For example, in a time of war:
  • murder (as distinct from killing other armed solders during conflicts)
  • extermination.
  • genocide.
  • deportation.
  • mass systematic rape and sexual enslavement
are ALL reprehensible - not because there might be a law forbidding these practices. These acts are abhorrent and worthy of criminal punishment because they are a fundamental breach of humanity.

It's inconceivable for anyone to argue that before 1949 (the 1st Geneva convention) it was OK for solders to commit any (or all) of the practices above- because the formal process of the Hague wasn't in existence.

The simple fact of ex-post-facto law cannot reasonably be used to justify any of the behaviors above and even the most partisan would balk at the position of a solder who hid behind a claim that he wasn't aware that these practices were criminal because at the time of the offense, the law wasn't ratified!!

And finally lest we dwell further on the plight of the poor hapless soldier faced with the dilemma of following orders (or not). Remember, unless a conscript - this man/woman has made a conscious decision to adopt this craft; a craft in which payment is received for the express purpose of killing other combatants (i.e. human beings) in a time of war - or directly supporting the process.

Now, without wanting to enter the debate about why the person chose this profession (there might be some here who are/have been soldiers - which is perfectly OK) - it's a tad rich having made the decision - to then say woe-is-me because the profession has lots of difficult choices in a time of war!!

And finally finally, during a time of war - solders are given a very special license to kill (not the 007 type). This permission is State sanctioned - but it is NOT a license for indiscriminate death; the license is very targeted and because it involves the death of other humans, it carries with it an appropriately weighty accountability - which I'm sure nearly-all solders take seriously, but which a very small minority ignore at their peril!

Don
"
 
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   #291  

JMR

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i do wholeheartedly agree with you but in the fog of war sometimes "mistakes" are made. Yes, a soldier in a war should not kill unarmed civilians and do other things that are beyond his duty( rape, pillage , mass executions). But at the same time , even if you know what you're doing is wrong , but you we're ordered to do it...would you think that maybe down the road someone will put you through trial for genocide or war crimes? Or you're just gonna execute then and there and perhaps save your life ? Shitty position to find yourself in , ain't it? Now take a guard at say Auschwitz, prosecuted for being a simple guard. How do you justify that prosecution? Yes, he was part of of that army....yes he executed orders.
Now take the saga of this man, stretching from 1970 all the way to 2012. https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Demjanjuk He was , he wasn't..he was, he wasn't. In the end they had to convict him to hold up appearances.
Anyway, let's not dwell on the past , it's gone, done and spoken for.
 
   #292  

Bruce

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let's not dwell on the past , it's gone, done and spoken for.
Unfortunately, as long as memory lasts, "the past is not gone, done and spoken for." It is remembered and people will react to the past; people will continue to reinforce the memory sometimes for generations.

As an examples: talk to a German about how their cities were annihilated by Allied aerial bombing. The Germans remember and it pains them. The Allies punished the Germans for following a madman. Many innocents were killed.

-or-

Take a walk through Schindler's factory near Krakow Poland with German, Russian, Hungarian, and Polish friends and listen to their stories of what they heard and lived. Watch their faces. Listen to their questions. War is remembered. Atrocities are remembered.

In my town, the decedents of Jews murdered in the termination camps in WWII, remember the suffering of their relatives. They will not soon forget the horror.

War is never logical nor reasonable. War is the final result of man's inability to reason, to negotiate, to settle disputes. It is brutal and unforgiving. In war both sides will commit crimes against humanity. In most cases, only one side gets prosecuted for crimes committed because at the end of most wars, the looser has no choice but to submit.

Soldiers are rarely given the option to decide for themselves. Their training has to be to "do as ordered." The grunt cannot question an order for if they do, the force cannot achieve objectives. An officer is expected to use judgement to determine whether or not an order is proper. Yet in the heat of the things, we are asking the impossible of a human. How is that soldier, that officer, supposed to be able to make such a decision?

Soldiers away from home will commit crimes for which they were not ordered. For these, they must be held accountable by their side. If they rape, they should be prosecuted and severely punished. If they murder, they must be held accountable. The soldier must remain in control lest they become an animal and go rogue. Can you imagine the chaos of rogue units operating in a theater of war? (Sure you can. It has happened!)

War degrades the soldier to near animal level asking the soldier to kill other humans. Most of our societies hold that life is precious - that human life should not be taken. But we go to war and all our moral standards are set aside as the soldier is directed to kill. Once that standard has been broken, once the fiber of that person is bent, can we really expect that that person is not broken? The longer a soldier continues to take life lest their life be taken, I contend the more broken they will be. It is the reason most are regularly moved from the front lines - to preserve some sanity. Asking these to make hard complicated decisions... I think it is too much. The soldier follows orders. It is their survival tool.

My prayer is that the two sides in all conflicts would come together and find a workable solution to grievances. My prayer is that people who are innocent in the whole matter would find shelter, food and protection from the hostilities around them. My prayer is that such means of solving differences will soon end.
 
   #293  

DV52

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@Bruce : Sage words indeed!!

As you know, we have different views about the power of prayer - but in the madness of war, it's worth trying everything!

Nevertheless, and despite our different views - I hope that we would both agree that war is the product of man and the ONLY solution (short of the utter devastation of Ukraine, or escalation to the rest of the world through atomics) is squarely in the hands of one man. I would be delighted to be proven wrong, but I suspect that Putin is deaf to prayer (which doesn't mean the Putin is "evil" in the biblical sense)

I do agree with your synopsis of the effect of war on soldiers, particularly those who choose the profession voluntarily. In the thick of the unimaginable carnage of war and the impossible choices that soldiers must make, and must live-with - the inevitable question must arise about their decision to adopt the craft!! Of course conscripts face the same issues, but for them the questions are different (but nevertheless, no less profound and no less impactful)!!

In modern times, every generation after baby-boomers has not had to experience a world war. In our blissful ignorance and in our focus on other matters, perhaps we have just been too blasé to the innate need for humans to do battle? Or, said another way, maybe the species hasn't evolved much beyond the early days of hunter-gatherer (except that we have made the practice of killing far more efficient - and more impersonal)?

Maybe it's nothing more complex than the absence of war that really defines the evolution of the species - and we ain't there yet?

Or maybe the sad reality is that the ultimate answer to ALL the existential questions of the species will always be war (what a terrible thing to contemplate)?

Don
 
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   #294  

morris39

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I am quite obtuse about what can I do to improve the situation and conclude nothing. Obviously (to me anyway) the most important thing is to minimize harm to people now at risk using known effective methods and not some future objective no matter how admirable.
Wars always end and the settlement terms are in general correspond to the military achievement. In the present situation the outcome can be predicted with fair certainty, enough to reach settlement given the existing state . That would probably mean giving up a relatively small territory (permanently) and independence in military and possibly trade policy for a generation. Settle and live to fight another day.
The upheaval suffered by this economically poor country will not be repaired for a generation even with outside help. The suffering of the population will never be recovered/forgotten except for the very young.
Those who encourage continuing the war ought to examine their ethical values and motives.
 
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RGH0

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"That would probably mean giving up a relatively small territory (permanently) and independence in military and possibly trade policy for a generation. Settle and live to fight another day."

So you agree with Putins strategy that is to just Salami slice your way to a new imperial Russia, one small slice at a time, and ones that the rest of the world will never risk a "major" war over because they are such individually small slices.

Unfortunately some countries do not hold the same views about the horrors and futility of war and "another day" for fighting may come sooner than you think.
 
   #296  

Bruce

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I hope that we would both agree that war is the product of man
Yes, war is the product of man.
the ONLY solution (short of the utter devastation of Ukraine, or escalation to the rest of the world through atomics) is squarely in the hands of one man.
No, I do not see that only the hands of Putin have the solution. The West has made moves over the last 30 years that have backed Putin in a corner and liked a caged animal that is full of fear, he has become aggressive and is attacking.

@RGH0 I don't see Putin taking slices, a little here, a little there. I see him trying to shore up his defense lines for he knows the West is going to continue coming at him, squeezing him, keeping him in a minority role on the world stage. He needs the sea ports on the Crimea. He needs the sea ports in the south of the Ukraine. He does not have many deep water sea ports.

If Putin survives the economic oppression that is being placed on his nation, if he manages to take and hold land and accomplish a cease fire, he knows that this conflict has placed him and his nation in a weakened state; he knows the West will continue to push East. Why? The West wants the resources he has under his control. The West, like Russia, also want the resources in the Ukraine.

War was deemed by Putin to be a necessary solution. The West knew it was coming. They made no apparent attempts to pull back their aggression until Putin felt cornered. Here we are with two sides trying to fashion the story about what is really happening - the aggressor defending his moves as a defensive action, the other condemning the aggression as a means for expansion. The truth lies in the middle and is all about ultimate control of resources.

@DV52 you and I agree that this could escalate to a larger war, encompassing nuclear armaments. If I am correct that Putin feels cornered, if he comes to feel desperate, I do see him pushing the launch button. Should that happen, the world we know now will cease to exist as the powers of the world react to a nuclear strike.

There is real danger in this situation and all effort should be made to give room such that hostilities can be lessened. The question is, can man actually accomplish that? Are we evolved enough to find a means to end this and other conflicts without the complete annihilation of one side?

maybe the sad reality is that the ultimate answer to ALL the existential questions of the species will always be war (what a terrible thing to contemplate)?
Maybe? I cannot know what is in the heart of the people who lead the countries of this world. They all seem to mouth words to the effect that they serve for the good of all the people. And yet?

My observations leave me wanting for a leader in whom I can believe and learn to trust. To whom do we turn to resolve the differences and quell the anger and frustration? Perhaps that great person will take center stage and we will usher in a new world order. There is still hope, right?
 
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PetrolDave

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That would probably mean giving up a relatively small territory (permanently)
For me the real irony is that historically the two principal provinces that are being fought over did not form part of Ukraine until after World War 1.

v5sSsRw.jpg
 
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   #298  

RGH0

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So spending billions of dollars buying Russian gas and spending 20 years to try to work positively with Russia following the fall of the Soviet Union is seen as "the West coming at Russia" and a reasonable justification to launch a war against a separate country that in no way actually threatened Russia except for being a barrier to Putin's dreams of expanding Imperial Russia

I struggle with the logic of the attempts to justify Putin's actions as the "Wests" fault.

No one has stopped Russia using it oil wealth to rebuild its failed Soviet economy and the West has been a large partner in that....... Whether it should have made itself so dependent on Russian energy is another question.
 
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JMR

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no way actually threatened Russia
older news says otherwise
I struggle with the logic of the attempts to justify Putin's actions as the "Wests" fault.
don't struggle, let it come at you softly and visualize it
so dependent on Russian energy is another question.
well, when there is no other source, you're gonna get it from wherever right?
 
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DV52

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No, I do not see that only the hands of Putin have the solution. The West has made moves over the last 30 years that have backed Putin in a corner and liked a caged animal that is full of fear, he has become aggressive and is attacking.

Bruce: Of course the Russian situation is the result of many complex issues. But this doesn't lessen Putin's accountability for his "special military operation" decision.

No offense, but "caged animal" is a tad dramatic IMO! Putin still had options. And as for being "backed into a corner" - if this was true, Putin is far from free of guilt for his position.

ALL decisions are made with foresight - but they are always judged in hindsight and with the benefit of the latter facility, Putin's decision can at best be defined as "questionable". Putin's errors in conducting the war has come at a high cost to Russia's defense capabilities (both equipment and people) - which doesn't mean that Russia's military has been mortally wounded.

No, from a real practical perspective, there is only ONE man who can resolve the Ukraine war now - and fittingly, it's the same man that made the decision to go to war.

Given the current circumstance in the Ukraine war, it's interesting to contemplate what options Putin has to resolve the Ukrainian war? Not much chance of a peaceful settlement now (alas). Atomics is an option - with consequences that we both dread.

No, more likely and IMO, I suspect that Putin will do what ALL folk do when face-saving is necessary- he will redefine success and then claim victory (hence the new focus on Donbas)!!

Maybe? I cannot know what is in the heart of the people who lead the countries of this world. They all seem to mouth words to the effect that they serve for the good of all the people. And yet?

My observations leave me wanting for a leader in whom I can believe and learn to trust. To whom do we turn to resolve the differences and quell the anger and frustration? Perhaps that great person will take center stage and we will usher in a new world order. There is still hope, right?
Don't forget about the Benevolent Dictator option - works OK in this place and given the emerging problems with liberal democracy, no reason why it couldn't work on a global scale
 
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