“The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant and so devastating, that Civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored because it cannot survive their being repeated. That four great nations, flushed with victory and stung with injury, stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captives to the judgement of law, is one of the most significant tributes that Power ever paid to reason.”
-Justice Robert Jackson, Nov. 21, 1945
It is often forgotten what sort of a battle occurred after WWII to establish the Nuremberg Trials which gave the world a revolutionary code of law which even today offers many of the remedies to the Gordian Knots blocking our way to a peaceful future. By the end of the war, many European leaders of the allied nations wished to simply put leading Nazis against a wall to face a firing squad and return to “business as usual”.
As I’ve outlined in many recent writings, it was only through the intensive efforts of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, and his leading allies in both the USA and Russia that a different course of action was decided upon and an official international tribunal was sanctioned that generated a total legal paradigm shift in international law that has been too easily taken for granted (due largely to the lack of effect these laws have had on post-WWII practice).
Among those revolutionary reforms included the unprecedented mandate that wars of aggression would henceforth be illegal in the eyes of the law. The tendency for those higher officials carrying out inhuman orders to escape responsibility for their actions or omissions of correct action were deemed insufficient defenses under the higher moral principle of “known or should have known”.
The underlying assumption of these Nuremberg laws are: 1) “might does not make right” despite what generations of Hobbesians and Niescheans have chosen to believe and 2) that every individual is responsible for their decisions based not on the arbitrary standards of whatever degenerate society they live in but rather upon the belief in the intrinsic powers of reason and conscience which all humans have access to and are obliged to guide our actions in life.
Nazi philosophers and crown jurists like Martin Heidegger and Carl Schmitt whose thoughts have penetrated the western zeitgeist over the past 70 years would obviously find such concepts repugnant and deplorable.
The fact that the “free world” has ignored these foundations of international law has not changed the fact that they are still true.
Today, many of those powerful unipolar ideologues who managed the disastrous Cold War and post-Cold War geopolitical environment have attempted to erase the precedents of Nuremburg with such atrocities as the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine (R2P) in defense of “humanitarian wars” as seen in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria in recent years. The disturbing rise of unipolar R2P advocacy rampant among the certain segments of the western establishment make Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov’s recent remarks at the 75 Anniversary Moscow conference celebrating the commencement of the Nuremberg Trials that much more important.
Putin and Lavrov Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Nuremberg Trials
At this event, Putin reminded the attendees of the importance of the historic tribunals which ran from November 21, 1945 to October – 1946, saying:
“We constantly refer to the lessons of the Nuremberg Trials; we understand their importance for defending the truths of historical memory, for making a well-founded and solid case against deliberate distortions and falsifications of World War II events, especially the shameless and deceitful attempts to rehabilitate and even glorify Nazi criminals and their accessories… It is the duty of the entire international community to safeguard the Nuremberg Trials’ decisions, because they concern the principles that underlie the values of the post-war world order and the norms of international law.”
Putin’s remarks were amplified by Sergey Lavrov who elaborated on the new legal paradigm created at Nuremberg which provides an obvious cure for the rise of WWII revisionism, sanitation of Nazism in Ukraine and beyond as well as the revival of many of the practices that made Nazism a viral threat to mankind.
“The Nuremberg Trials—an example of international criminal justice—proved that justice can be achieved with a professional approach based on broad interstate cooperation, consent and mutual respect. Clearly, the Nuremberg Tribunal’s legacy is not limited to law, but has enormous political, moral and educational value. A strong vaccination against the revival of Nazism in all its forms and manifestations was made 75 years ago. Unfortunately, the immunity to the brown plague that was developed in Nuremberg has seriously worn off in some European countries. Russia will continue to vigorously and consistently oppose any attempts to falsify history, to glorify Nazi criminals and their henchmen, and to oppose the revision of the internationally recognized outcomes of World War II, including the Nuremberg rulings.”
So What Happened at Nuremberg?
Amidst the ashes of WWII, a major battle was waged between those deep state forces that had funded fascism as a “solution to the woes of the great depression” vs those genuine patriots who understood that the very fabric of empire and its associated financial, cultural and legal paradigm had to be destroyed and replaced with a paradigm more befitting human civilization.
Among the leading representative of the patriotic forces loyal to FDR’s anti-colonial vision was a man who has been nearly lost to history named Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954). Jackson would serve as Franklin Roosevelt’s most trusted legal advisor who first made a name for himself working closely with Ferdinand Pecora in prosecuting dozens of high level Wall Street financiers and pro-fascist industrialists who orchestrated the depression of 1929 and the later coup and assassination attempts against FDR in 1933-1934. After proving himself in combat, Jackson arose to become U.S. Solicitor General (1938-1940), Attorney General (1940-41) and leading member of the Supreme Court from 1941 until his death in 1954.
Knowing that the deep state coup that ousted Vice-President Henry Wallace and imposed Anglophile tool Harry Truman onto the USA might destroy the hopes for a post-WWII order of peaceful cooperation as outlined by the United Nations Charter, Judge Jackson took the lead and organized the Nuremberg Tribunals delivering the opening speech on November 21, 1945:
One of the prime motives behind the hearings was the intention to give legal meaning and action to the universal ideals conveyed in the United Nations’ Charter. This charter encapsulated the principles that FDR and Henry Wallace outlined repeatedly in the Four Freedoms. These freedoms asserted that all humankind regardless of race, sex, creed, or nationality would: 1) have the freedom from want, 2) freedom to worship as one’s conscience dictated, 3) freedom from fear, and 4) freedom of speech. If international law could tolerate wars of aggression, or if abdication of responsibility for ones’ criminal deeds could be tolerated on the basis of “I was just following orders”, then the UN Charter could carry little weight indeed.
As Jackson wrote in his Summer 1945 report to the President justifying the creation of the Nuremberg Tribunal:
“We therefore propose to charge that a war of aggression is a crime, and that modern international law has abolished the defense that those who incite or wage it are engaged in legitimate business. Thus, may the forces of law be mobilized on the side of peace.”
During the course of the 11 month proceedings, not only were leading cabinet members, generals, lawyers and other high officials put on trial, but the deepest facets of natural law vs Nietschean “law of the strongest” was investigated with Platonic rigor as laid out in the brilliant award-winning film Judgement at Nuremberg (1960).
Due to the leadership of Justice Jackson, the treatment of INTENTION and conspiracy was made the primary focus in the pursuit of justice and cause of criminal guilt. This was not a popular approach then or today for the simple fact that our world is shaped by many top down forces that want their victims’ minds to be forever trapped in the material bottom up world of deductive/inductive logic where immaterial causal intentions and ideas can never be found. For anyone wishing to pursue this fruitful line of thinking further, I suggest reading Edgar Allan Poe’s Eureka.
When one adopts the view that intentions and conspiracies (i.e.: the effect of intentions + ideas when put into action) ARE NOT a driving force of politics and life, then we forever loose our ability to judge truthfulness in any serious manner. This was the philosophical premise of leading Nazi financier Hjalmar Schacht, whose moral relativism and cold calculating principles of economics directly justified the cheap labor camps that worked millions to death in the German war production effort. This same philosophy again found fertile soil in the post-1971 consumer society that revived the logic of cheap labor production under the age of “cheapest price is the law” globalization.
Quoting Schacht who said “Truth is any story that succeeds”, Justice Jackson quipped “I think you can score many more successes, when you want to lead someone, if you don’t tell them the truth- than if you do tell them the truth”.
Laying out the principled intention of the trial to the American people, Jackson said:
“The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes by little people. It must also reach men who possess themselves of great power and make deliberate and concerted use of it to set in motion evils which leave no home in the world untouched….
“The case as presented by the United States will be concerned with the brains and authority in back of all the crimes. These defendants were men of a station and rank which does not soil its own hands with blood. They were men who knew how to use lesser folk as tools. We want to reach the planners and designers, the inciters and leaders….
“It is not the purpose in my part of this case to deal with the individual crimes. I am dealing with the common plan or design for crime and will not dwell upon individual offenses. My task is only to show the scale on which these crimes occurred, and to show that these are the men who were in the responsible positions and who conceived the plan and design which renders them answerable, regardless of the fact that the plan was actually executed by others….
“The Charter recognizes that one who has committed criminal acts may not take refuge in superior orders nor in the doctrine that his crimes were acts of state….
“The real complaining party at your bar is Civilization…. The refuge of the defendants can only be their hope that International Law will lag so far behind the moral sense of mankind that conduct which is crime in the moral sense must be regarded as innocent in law. Civilization asks whether law is so laggard as to be utterly helpless to deal with crimes of this magnitude by criminals of this order of importance.”
Today, the world sits once more on the brink of a new world order, and the emergence of a governing system that is shaped entirely on the same social Darwinistic/Nietschean operating system that gave rise to fascism in WWII. The same denial of universal truth that animated the minds of a Schacht, Goebbels, Heidegger or Schmitt has become hegemonic among western academia as well.
Very few statesmen have had the courage and insight to resist this unipolar anti-nation state system, but among those who have we are fortunate to have found the current leader of Russia and his allies who in many ways are playing the same historic role as the one played 75 years earlier by Justice Robert Jackson, Henry Wallace and President Roosevelt. Whether the rest of the world wakes up in time to recognize the superiority of the multipolar alliance over the regressive order of the unipolarists carrying us ominously towards World War 3 remains to be seen.
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