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Letter: War-mongering commentary was repugnant

A photo provided on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, by the North Korean government, showing leader Kim Jong Un visiting the Sungri Motor Complex. The Trump administration is due to announce new sanctions on North Korea. ©Korean Central News Agency/via AP
A photo provided by the North Korean government shows leader Kim Jong Un visiting the Sungri Motor Complex, Nov. 21, 2017. — Korean Central News Agency/via AP

I was dismayed Thursday morning, Jan. 18, to see in your paper a piece of war hucksterism by Danny Lam for the Canadian Press (“The case for using military force against North Korea”). It was beyond the edges of decency and, I suspect, legality.

In it, Lam called for an unprovoked war of aggression, using nuclear weapons, against North Korea.

His suggestion was that the use of nuclear weapons in Korea, or the threat to use them, would effectively “de-nuclearize” the peninsula. No doubt. We who are old enough remember the American Ben Tre doctrine from 50 years ago: “We had to destroy the village to save it from the Vietnamese,” the American military said back then. Lam says it of Korea.

Internationally, there are several places where rules of war are laid out, and with them, crimes of war. Canada is a signatory to the relevant treaties, thus making the international rules equivalent to national law. Wars of aggression — wars begun without justification of self-defence — are prime examples of war crimes. Wars “on spec” are wars of aggression. Wars that take out defences so that the attacker can invade are, by definition, wars of aggression, war crimes. Even planning for them is such a crime. But such is what Danny Lam calls for in your paper.

There is a very clear part of the Criminal Code about counselling others to crime. It is applicable whether or not the crime is committed. The punishment, upon being found guilty, is the same as that for the crime had it been committed.

Counselling war crimes, calling for them in print, are — by the Criminal Code — tantamount to committing them.

The Telegram should apologize for allowing Lam's vile comments in print, for enabling him.

Philip Hiscock
St. John’s

 

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