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The image in the top left corner is Alexander Alexandrov, Russian soldier convicted of aggressive war on 2017-10-22.

Is Invasion Legal?

If you ask a Canadian or an American Was Hitler’s invasion of Poland legal?,
a history buff might respond: Participating in an aggressive [first strike] war, is a capital [death penalty] war crime. That’s why we tried and hanged the Nazi leaders at the end of WWII (World War II) including the bureaucrats who issued orders but did not kill anyone personally. We even went after Joseph Goebbels, the minister of propaganda, but the coward killed himself before we could hang him. They did lots of other terrible stuff, but we nailed them all with the exact same charge, aiding and abetting an aggressive war.
Or they might say: It might not have been legal, but it certainly was wrong.
However, if you ask them: Was it legal for Canada and America to invade Afghanistan?
they will answer: Why not?
You point out: The Afghan invasion too was an aggressive war. We attacked them first, remember? It was illegal for Hitler, but OK for us? Really?
They might respond: They had it coming. They attacked us on 2001-09-11.
You correct them: Not even Bush claimed the Taliban had anything to do with 2001-09-11. He blamed Osama bin Laden, a Saudi and Al Qaeda, not the Taliban. He did not implicate even a single Afghan citizen in any way. You are conflating the Taliban and Al Qaeda just because they are both Muslims. They are not even both Arab.
They respond Of course, It’s legal if we do it. We attack others for damn good reasons! We’re not like those damn Muslim ragheads who kill you for no reason at all!
You query: Tell me again. Why did Bush attack Afghanistan?
They reply: Because the Taliban refused to catch bin Laden and hand him over for trial. Americans don’t need no steekin’ extradition hearing or extradition treaty.
You observe: Yeah, but that was a pretty unreasonable demand. It took Bush and Obama 9 years, 6 months and 26 days between them to nail bin Laden after you guys had occupied Afghanistan. Further, he was not even in Afghanistan. He was hiding in plain site in Pakistan.
They ask: So who’s gonna prosecute us?
You explain: Granted, so long as the USA is the #1 superpower, it will shield American and Canadian citizens from prosecution in the World Court, but how long can you count on that? And granted, if you are just a small fish, no one would bother coming after you, unless, of course, you were one the guys who went overboard on torture and rape. Whether waging aggressive war is legal has nothing to do with the probability of escaping prosecution for it. That is like claiming bank robbing is legal just because you have the crown prosecutor in your pocket and you will likely never go to jail yourself for robbing banks.
They typically terminate the argument with a cogent ad hominem: Commie traitor! I hope you die of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) you fucking fag!

Scientists Debate

It drives me crazy watching scientists trying to debate with climate change deniers. It is like watching an Olympic boxer up against a no-rules cage fighter. Even if something is true 99.9% of the time, scientists can’t assert it is true, without mentioning the apparently disqualifying exception. Deniers can assert whatever they please, regardless of the facts. Scientists must refrain from ad hominem attacks. Deniers can accuse scientists of being part of a giant conspiracy without offering any evidence for it.

Deniers have giant budgets funded by oil companies and religious cranks to spread FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt). The scientists have none. Scientists need credentials and decades of study before they can speak. Deniers can pontificate knowing absolutely nothing about the topic — basing their beliefs on economic wishful thinking or religious prophesy.

Arguments sail over the heads of lay audiences because scientists are constrained to use unemotional language, understatement and technical and extremely precise language. Deniers are free to simplify and tell whatever story they imagine will appeal to the emotions and subnormal intelligence of their audience. Scientists play by Marquis of Queensbury rules. They are deeply ashamed and apologetic if caught doing anything not strictly on the up and up. Deniers play by Karl Rove rules. They have no shame no matter what they are caught doing.

The deniers are a far bigger threat to planet earth than Hitler ever was. We must take off the gloves in dealing with them.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)

Who is More Sacred? the Living or the Dead?

Americans are far more outraged by violations to corpses than to the living. Personally, if I had to be tortured, dismembered or burned, I would far sooner it were done after I were dead.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
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