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Author Topic: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?  (Read 2955 times)

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #60 on: 30 December 2019, 17:13:22 »
The number of times that the GDL broke a contract to avoid war crimes suggests that most merc units aren't as fussy.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #61 on: 30 December 2019, 18:20:49 »
What were war crimes they were not deceived into executing?  Sorry your statement is a bit conflicted.
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Wolf72

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #62 on: 30 December 2019, 18:54:01 »
"It was far too remote to make a good demonstration, but we got to the objective eventually."


"Dantooine is too remote to make an effective demonstration, but don't worry. We will deal with your rebel friends soon enough"
War does not determine who is right, only who is left. -- said no Clanner ... ever!

Colt Ward

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #63 on: 30 December 2019, 20:23:35 »
Lol, it was too many words . . . I was shortening the first and last as they were longer lines in movies.
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #64 on: 30 December 2019, 21:51:02 »
What were war crimes they were not deceived into executing?  Sorry your statement is a bit conflicted.

Tactics of Duty was the big one that I remember.
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Wolf72

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #65 on: 30 December 2019, 23:48:02 »
Lol, it was too many words . . . I was shortening the first and last as they were longer lines in movies.

+1

I mangled it, so google helped me out.  I realize how bad my memory is getting now!
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The_Big_Red_Bear

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #66 on: 31 December 2019, 00:50:30 »
"Prisoners, lieutenant? After what they just put us through? We didn't take any Prisoners, understand?"

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guardiandashi

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #67 on: 31 December 2019, 03:55:09 »
War crimes? If they didn't want to die, they shouldn't have been in rebellion.

or some variation

If they didn't want to die they shouldn't have been on the planet where the leaders rebelled

OOC I have trouble with the mindset. involved in trying to blame the victims
« Last Edit: 31 December 2019, 03:58:41 by guardiandashi »

Colt Ward

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #68 on: 31 December 2019, 11:48:50 »
Typically, for BTU we are talking about indiscriminate use of firepower and indifference of of collateral damage- I burned down the house but by God the spider is dead.  And sometimes its what ends up as collateral damage, in one of the FCCW novels, the POV character who is a battalion commander for the New Syrtis Fusiliers gets upset because the attacking Katherine loyalists start shattering the ice art of the Hasek Memorial . . . and to survive he has to fire back.

Then we got the St Ives militia tanker who was not sure if his infernos were the ones lighting off some wooden village on Nashur.  His lance leader was blaming a Capellan for such a war crime-esque action, it rocked him that it was someone from his side.  I also seem to remember a FRR unit that swore death to a Invasion Wolf cluster commander (Crusader, what a surprise) for his actions during the invasion of the world they were defending which caused a lot of collateral damage the Clan warrior was indifferent in creating.  The FRR unit eventually launched a unsanctioned raid to smash the Wolf cluster in the 60s- lol, the cluster had been disbanded.

War crimes can be more than just killing or destroying indiscriminately . . . a commander could order his medical support to use prisoners as non-voluntary organ/blood donors if medical support was low.  The prisoners could survive, though be mutilated or with long lasting health problems . . . so they are not dead, but its extremely grisly and a abuse of prisoners.  While normally a human rights violation and could be considered a crime against humanity, because it was done as part of a military operation makes it a war crime.

Making prisoners build defensive works or in 'defense industries' is IIRC a war crime, b/c they are not supposed to be compelled to labor against their own countries . . . but its a minor one, can easily be worked around, and is fuzzy thinking . . . if a nation does not have to commit available labor to harvesting crops, then they can shift that labor to say building bombs.  The product, food, would even find its way into feeding troops or the labor that builds weapons . . . or does not require food rations to be shifted to feed prisoners.

But for a BT commander we are talking about killing civilians or prisoners.

Btw, being made a prisoner is not a right and under certain conditions a military commander will be compelled not to take prisoners.  As mentioned earlier, a lot of this is a modern conceit and we can get into more of the theory of modern use in PMs.
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Pat Payne

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #69 on: 31 December 2019, 13:56:28 »
OOC I have trouble with the mindset. involved in trying to blame the victims

Just means you still have your humanity intact  ;)

And sometimes its what ends up as collateral damage, in one of the FCCW novels, the POV character who is a battalion commander for the New Syrtis Fusiliers gets upset because the attacking Katherine loyalists start shattering the ice art of the Hasek Memorial . . . and to survive he has to fire back.

This is a good point. I'm not an expert, but IIRC, just attacking and destroying protected cultural heritage sites is a war crime IRL, even if no deaths result.

Making prisoners build defensive works or in 'defense industries' is IIRC a war crime, b/c they are not supposed to be compelled to labor against their own countries . . . but its a minor one, can easily be worked around, and is fuzzy thinking . . . if a nation does not have to commit available labor to harvesting crops, then they can shift that labor to say building bombs. 

They could, but they'd have to be stupid or desperate. That's just begging to have bombs that don't work, or that work but at the wrong time, like when they're being loaded on a transport or something.

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #70 on: 31 December 2019, 14:13:28 »
I never said it was a smart thing to do . . . I tried to find a story I heard once about a shell not going off, and instead of explosive filler it had a note saying the worker was sorry, they tried to ruin more shells but could only do a few when the guards were not looking.
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Lone-Wolf

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #71 on: 31 December 2019, 16:38:05 »
War Criminals dont actually have to do anything wrong.  I personally know a guy who was convicted of a war crime, because he wouldnt testify against other people in his unith.   I also know of at least one war crimes investigation started because a reporter overheard a comment made in the back of a truck. 
What civilians consider war crimes today are driven by ignorance and and an even more ignorant media.  Ignorant of the Laws of Land Warfare, ignorant of the whole situation, ignorant of rules of engagement.
In Battletech they have the Ares Conventions, but even those get put aside for the sake of victory.  Without the threat of a higher power to enforce a universal standard, the accusation will most likely come from the loser, and justice will depend on actually winning the war.
And yes there is gallows humor about war crimes, just like every other thing in the world.

What if the laws change - is this also considered a war crime?

I had once a discussion with some people and we read the Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907) and the Geneva Conventions (1949) and we found that certain actions were considered allowed by the Hague Conventions but forbidden by the Geneva Convention. No, no one of us was or is a lawyer so we look and read them as civilians.

And then we have the question if a side allows that a soldier of the other side may use the Conventions as excuse or not.
(Yes, this has a base in history. I wrote a Battletech story and the first draft contained two people. One german, who was convicted as a war criminal and a dutch officer. The german officer was fighting the dutch insurgency against the german occupation of the Netherlands and he did not employ the Marquis of Queensberry rules. After the war he was sentenced to death and his excuse that the Hague Conventions allowed certain behaviour was dismissed by two dutch courts as the occopation of the Netherlands was illegal and therefore the germans could not argue with the Hague Conventions. Meanwhile the dutch were fighting against the insurgency in one of the colonies and at least one officer did not use the Marquis of Queensberry rules either. No, he was not as ruthless as the german. He was not charged even though the people of the area wanted to prosecute him. )

mikecj

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #72 on: 01 January 2020, 18:33:02 »
TAG'd for reference.
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BoloMKIV

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #73 on: 01 January 2020, 21:42:07 »
What if the laws change - is this also considered a war crime?

Well that gets to the heart of War Crimes.  Laws retroactively applied.  If you lose and are conquered, not much you could do about it.  If you win, not much interest in prosecuting your own side with existing laws, much less creating new ones.  Nobody seemed too upset about fire bombing civilian cities in WW 2 for example (Dresden, Tokyo being the most famous), though not a war crime at the time, I'm sure a segment of the west would drop their vodka and start the protests.
The Law of Land Warfare allows for a wide variety of actions that might surprise people though, of course, as I was told once, you just have to justify it in the investigation.  And some governments just dont want to hear anything that doesnt fit their preconcieved notions of right and wrong.  This includes some clowns actually in uniform.  but we digress.  More quotable quotes as a war criminal:
"It aint nuthin to kill a bus load of people"- actually a Get of Fenris quote, but Ive always like the Get's straight forward attitude.

truetanker

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #74 on: 02 January 2020, 01:19:45 »
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Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #75 on: 02 January 2020, 02:15:45 »
War crimes exist when winners need to kill more losers, after the war ends.




SteelRaven

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #76 on: 02 January 2020, 02:39:32 »
... the fact a number of use are actually arguing over what counts as a war crime is a little troubling.

Anyway, back to the fictional character and fictional setting.

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Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #77 on: 02 January 2020, 02:49:03 »
... the fact a number of use are actually arguing over what counts as a war crime is a little troubling.

  I was a soldier and never believed in the validity of war crimes; when initiating war is a crime, trying to regulate war is just absurd.

rebs

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #78 on: 02 January 2020, 04:07:11 »
War criminals on the winning side are sometimes seen as heroes. 

"You weren't there!  You don't know what it is to make command decisions in the field.  That wasn't a school.  It was an indoctrination center.  Those "civilians" you're whining about had improvised explosives and had killed my men and would have killed more if we hadn't put a stop to it by leveling their city.  That's war.  I had command, I dealt with it as I saw fit."

SteelRaven

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #79 on: 02 January 2020, 04:09:41 »
  I was a soldier and never believed in the validity of war crimes; when initiating war is a crime, trying to regulate war is just absurd.

I never served, only can go by accounts of a old co-worker who did but his isn't the place to post what he shared with me and the guys. 

All the same, I was half joking when I posted consider a number of players here considering leveling a city or orbital bombardment a sound tactic. Thus my following quote; in game, you guys make the Clans look like Care Bears.   

Don't believe this is the right venues to discus the real world applications of the term war crime without it, at best, coming of as callous while discussing/arguing actual trails and treaties would wondering into the Rule 4 mine field.   
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Daryk

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #80 on: 02 January 2020, 07:41:28 »
  I was a soldier and never believed in the validity of war crimes; when initiating war is a crime, trying to regulate war is just absurd.
Jus ad bellum is completely different than jus in bello.  Both are covered at the staff college level, and neither is absurd.

Colt Ward

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #81 on: 02 January 2020, 11:40:19 »
'In War, Law is silent'

Just War, Laws of War, and other modern creations are attempts to bring civilized principles to what is a atavistic and barbarian action, often ignoring the two most important factors- winning and surviving.  Most of what people consider the laws of war, especially as laid out by the Geneva Conventions, deal with enlightened self-interest . . . we treat enemy prisoners of war well because we want our prisoners treated well.  If they are not treated well, then the principle of reprisal comes into play.

The Ares Conventions attempted to limit the destructiveness of BT's space-age warfare . . . and have been pretty successful, in part b/c of the nature of the universe.  After all if both sides of a war resorted to dropping rocks on inhabited planets (easiest way to take out Hesperus . . . ), it would not require putting battlemechs on the ground to let them fight as we do on the table top.

Which leaves us with war crimes of killing prisoners, killing civilians, destroying cultural artifacts, and mass destruction of civilian property.

So . . .

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Ursus Maior

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #82 on: 02 January 2020, 11:56:33 »
“I did my duty.”
That. Followed by a other common excuses like "I merely followed orders." Or: "They weren't innocent." And: "Their resisting our occupation was illegal."
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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #83 on: 02 January 2020, 13:37:13 »
I was talking to my wife about this topic last night and how someone mentioned the difference between serial killers and war criminals.  My wife having studied serial killers, she mentioned that most of them have some kind of psychological problem leading to those actions.

With that being said OP, do you intend your character to have a psychological problem?  If so, what past experiences your character had may have influenced it?
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The_Big_Red_Bear

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #84 on: 02 January 2020, 13:55:38 »
I was talking to my wife about this topic last night and how someone mentioned the difference between serial killers and war criminals.  My wife having studied serial killers, she mentioned that most of them have some kind of psychological problem leading to those actions.

With that being said OP, do you intend your character to have a psychological problem?  If so, what past experiences your character had may have influenced it?

I think what the prior individual was alluding to, was that some of the quotes given so far could only come from someone with an anti-social personality disorder.

I'm not really sure what the character's backstory would fully be, as I don't want to commit too much to an idea when so much of who they are is going to be determined by others. I'm just mining for 15 word quotes that might fit. As shown so far, I'm not really fussy on if its some kind of heinous monster, or someone whose just made a mistake, or someone who was really pushed into a bad position.  :)

Pat Payne

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #85 on: 02 January 2020, 13:55:49 »
'In War, Law is silent'

Just to point this out, this phrase was not originally meant as a justification or had to do with war crimes at all originally -- it came from Marcus Tullius Cicero's speech during his courtroom defense of Titus Annius Milo, and he was using it to lament the circumstances of the trial, that an armed mob was ringing the Forum to influence the trial's outcome in favor of a conviction of Milo (Milo stood accused of murdering Publius Clodius Pulcher, and the mob -- a increasingly common feature of Roman politics in that day -- was raised by Clodius' supporters to intimidate the judges. Sadly, the gambit worked and Milo was convicted and sentenced to exile). The actual translation of "Silent enim lēgēs inter arma" is more like "When confronted by force of arms, the law falls silent"

Never mind the struck-through passage, I had misremembered my history. It's still not a justification for war crimes, but what Cicero was doing was painting Milo's alleged murder of Clodius as an act of self-defense, basically saying that "when your life is threatened, certain things that would otherwise be illegal should not be seen as such". He still certainly wasn't intending its common use today as "in war, the ends justify the means".

Just War, Laws of War, and other modern creations

Not sure I'd call St. Augustine of Hippo "modern"...  :)
« Last Edit: 02 January 2020, 14:18:17 by Pat Payne »

Colt Ward

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #86 on: 02 January 2020, 14:34:24 »
When looking at the conduct of war, I consider things the Assyrians and other ancients did in the course of war . . . so yeah, philosophy presented within the last 500-1000 years?  While the Theory of Just War might be older, it was IMO not really embraced until we started to get into mass media, PR and public opinion.  While a king might have considered it a Just War to fight for the claim on a crown that stood vacant against other royal claimants, it does not match up with current Just War justifications.

Here is another one using history for the character-

'Leave one in ten with a eye to lead the rest back to their comrades.'
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The_Big_Red_Bear

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #87 on: 02 January 2020, 14:50:51 »


'Leave one in ten with a eye to lead the rest back to their comrades.'

Ah the Byzantines. True gentlemen, that lot.

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #88 on: 02 January 2020, 15:25:42 »
Just War theory is jus ad bellum.  International Humanitarian Law (IHL)/Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) is jus in bello.  Training in the latter is a treaty obligation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

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Re: Who Wants to Help Build a War Criminal?
« Reply #89 on: 02 January 2020, 15:54:54 »
Leaning a bit into the idea that this character isn’t a mustache twirling comic book or Saturday morning TV villain. That they are someone more in the “I don’t see what was so wrong with what I did,” crowd:

I’d say pick a particular war crime and/or ...inconsiderate... method of waging war. We can workshop a 15 word summary from that with more success.

-Called in orbital strike on enemy forces in spite of civilians?
-Burned down a wildlife preserve (or just any forest) to overheat enemy mechs?
-Used fougasse mines in a city?
-Used civilians as a shield to prevent enemy from bringing full might to bear?