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!

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