Justice and the Enemy

Thursday, February 02, 2012

William Shawcross, journalist and author of, Justice and the Enemy: Nuremberg, 9/11, and the Trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, talks about his new book. 


William Shawcross

Comments [35]

Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

rose1954, You continue to sound like Alquadas Press Secretary.

Feb. 04 2012 02:07 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

The majority of Nazis who went to trial in Nuremberg never served more than 15 years in prison. I rest my case.

Feb. 02 2012 12:56 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights


I hope you take the time to look at the Molotov/Ribbentrop article.

Feb. 02 2012 12:53 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

JG - My point is, you can do both. Try 'em then fry'em. Edward, Hitler was a "socialist" in name only.

Feb. 02 2012 12:37 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

And my point, Sheldon, is that you HANG them, and not try them. That's where we started off from. Trials are for criminals. Mass murderers of millions are beyond the pale.

Feb. 02 2012 12:22 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Well jg - It's a shame what happened to your Mom. However, I think you just made my point. Stalin and his killing machine was no friend to Jews. My point is, if you don't bring murderes to justice (including execution) you will never have a full peace for their victims.

Feb. 02 2012 12:15 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Both hitler and stalin were socialists.

And today we see socialists defending islamists and the islamic republic of iran and the taliban.

Feb. 02 2012 12:13 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

When Britain, France and Italy sold out Czechoslovakia to Hitler at Munich in 1938, Stalin then knew that the West was either conniving with Hitler, or simply too spineless to stand up to Hitler, and so he decided that a temporary pact with Hitler giving Hitler most of Poland might slake Hitler's appetite to move further east. OF course he was wrong, but the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was due to the failure of the former Allies of WWI to stop Hitler when they had the chance.

I bet Israel and IRan may yet come to a similar deal, and sell out the Sunni Arabs in between :)

Feb. 02 2012 12:12 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Sheldon again

Stalin had already starved to death and murdered millions of Ukrainian kulaks before Hitler even came to power! In 1939, with the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, it was due to the failure by the West to stop Hitler at Munich. As a result of the pact, my mother first lost her home to the Red Army that came into eastern Poland, and 18 months later, came the Wehrmacht and the SS when Barbarossa began in mid-1941, and then she lost everything and everone in her life when the Holocaust began. Before 1941 there was not yet mass murder of Jews by Hitler, but Stalin had already killed millions of his own people.

Feb. 02 2012 12:04 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

The hitler / stalin pact.

Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact

Feb. 02 2012 12:03 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

I am grateful that President Obama has kept Guantanamo open.

Feb. 02 2012 11:55 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I'm sorry jgarbuz but Stalin always mistrusted Jews as per his complicated relationship with Trotsky and other Jewish intellectuals and Bolsheviks. As you know, Stalin signed a pact with Hitler, knowing full well of the Nazi death camps in full operation in Eastern Europe, he could have cared less if the Nazis solved the "Jewish Question" or not.

As for your take on the Nuremberg trails. While not perfect, it did work. We as humans must have justice and the rule of law - not vengence. There is a reason the Germans have not done it again so far. I would argue that if the West had done what Stalin did, we would have had fanatical Germanic State 20 years later, as opposed to what we have now.

Feb. 02 2012 11:50 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I was talking about show trials, not about the proper way to deal with mass murderers. I also think that Stalin, had he been caught and overthrown, would then have a right to a "fair" trial. If had been overthrown, I would have supported hanging him as well without trial. Same with Mao. Same with Saddam. Same with Milosevic. Mass murderers who purposely exterminate civilians without trial as a matter of state policy, should not be afforded such democratic niceties! Should we have given Stalin a "fair trial?" Should we have allowed Stalin also a pulpit to justify his crimes? Or to lie and deny and appeal to his support base? I don't think so.

Feb. 02 2012 11:44 AM
Jon Pope from Ridge, NY

jgarbuz from Queens, wait, so Stalin killing tens of millions of his own people was justified by liberating a few hundred thousand Jews? So the German Jews lives where more important then the tens of millions of Russians that died? Really?

Feb. 02 2012 11:43 AM

"Sideshow" a very important read, in mho.
turned on nyc as today's interview was ending.
will listen to podcast..

Feb. 02 2012 11:39 AM
RBC from NYC

jgarbuz... Stalin was right?? Really??? Of course Stalin thought that relentless hanging of the Nazis was in order... he also had no problem starving 30 million Russians.

Feb. 02 2012 11:35 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

This segment was a "keeper"! The guest was extraordinarily clear-headed, rational, fair, and well-informed, with great historical perspective. Even more so than the usual high-standard guests on the show.

Hearing this gentleman should be a "requirement" of all politically engaged folks.

Feb. 02 2012 11:34 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Sheldon

That was me, Jgarbuz, who you are referring to. Stalin was right in terms of what he wanted to do to the Nazis instead of giving them a show trial. Stalin knew something about show trials, and how they can backfire if not staged. As for Stalin and the Jews, Stalin used Jews as needed, to take the blame for his policies, and then got rid of them afterwards. But in 1945,ti was the Red Army that liberted hundreds of thousands of Jews, and who had armed Jewish partisans, and in 1948 even allowed Czechoslovakia to sell arms to the beleaguered Jews in Palestine while they were under embargo. Stalin never cared for Jews, but was incensed when Israel did not become a Jewish communist state as he had hoped, and moved closer to the West. He then took it out on the "Zioniists" as a result, and switched the USSR over to the Arab side. Had he not died (or possibly poisoned?) in 1953, he might indeed have put all the Jews into Gulags and eliminated them. But in 1945 he was the liberator of hundreds of thousands of Jews in hiding or in camps.

Feb. 02 2012 11:33 AM
Gregg from NYC

"Sideshow" was one of the very best books I was assigned in college--it is a shame that the evil non-christians have made him go all poopy-pants today.

I will give Shawcross this, though: we should be much more outraged by the drone push-button killings.

Feb. 02 2012 11:31 AM
Lenore from Upper West Side

What a pity that this book will attempt--I hope unsuccessfully--to put the patina of Nuremberg on this very different and corrupt version of "justice" at the gulag of Guantanamo.

Feb. 02 2012 11:30 AM
Mike from Manhattan

Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former head of MI5, said in the 2011 Reith lectures that the entire "War on Terror" was both useless as a strategy and self-defeating because, among other reasons, it fulfilled Al Queda's rhetoric that the West is at war with Islam, and so removed all the sympathy that the U.S. had in the Islamic world after 9/11. In short, the "War on Terror" succeeded in what Bin Laden could not do in that it transformed a group of insane mass-murderers into "Holy Warriors". What does Mr. Shawcross say about her opinion, and how doesn't the militarization of a mass-murder play into the same problem?

Feb. 02 2012 11:28 AM

The drumbeat on the Brian Lehrer Show for gearing up the terrorism fears, the Al Queda bogeyman, the Iran "threat", is fairly astonishing.

Now we have a guest who, like the worst mealy-mouth Bush apologists, isn't willing to say that waterboarding isn't torture, despite the fact that it was a crime punished after WWII by the Allies as a war crime. And how the historical revisions? The Khmer Rouge killed 1 million Cambodians only after the U.S. destroyed civil society with carpet bombing. It then supported the Khmer Rouge against South Vietnam.

Why are the voices of sanity restricted to the callers these days? For which new invasion is Brian shilling?

Feb. 02 2012 11:28 AM
Jon Pope from Ridge, NY

What happened in WWII was far more horrific then anything happening today(Japan, Germany and Russia all had their own genocides). Yet today we have let the fear of terrorists erode our own civil rights and we seem to be loosing more and more each day. Military trails are exactly what they want. Do we want to give them that to?

jgarbuz from Queens, how many of his own people did Stalin kill? Bad example...

Feb. 02 2012 11:27 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I can't believe Mr. Shawcross justifies waterboarding as effective in getting reliable information, as opposed to getting what you want to hear. Brian has had at least 1 professional interrogator on his show, who said that the way to get the truth from suspects is to offer them something they want in exchange & that torture not only was wrong but didn't work.

Feb. 02 2012 11:26 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

What a lunatic - Stalin, who has murdered and persecuted more Jews than anyone except Hitler in 20th century was right? Like I said yesterday - Martin the looney, lives in his own world.

Feb. 02 2012 11:26 AM

Justice did NOT take a backseat to Intelligence during the Bush Administration - waterboarding does NOT result in reliable intelligence - not once, and not 183 times. Clearly the only reason to waterboard anyone - even someone as despicable as KSM - is to mete out justice.

Feb. 02 2012 11:21 AM
Mike from Manhattan

The former head of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller, in the 2011 Reith lectures said that she believes the entire "War on Terror" both as metaphor and strategy was ultimately self-defeating. She gives several carefully reasons for this opinion. What does Mr. Showcross say about Mrs. Manningham-Buller's opinions?

Feb. 02 2012 11:21 AM
martin chuzzlewit from manhattan

This guy is actually realistic about Al Queda and its murderous intentions!

He just doesn't bash America enough to be a good guest here!!!

Feb. 02 2012 11:19 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Yes but what did have to do with Saddam Hussain. Iraq is more prone to be run by Iranian influenced fanatics NOW than ever before

Feb. 02 2012 11:18 AM
Nick from UWS

The audio clip of Justice Jackson immediately confirms why people like him were part of what has been termed "the greatest generation", and why the trashy junk leaders of today would not be fit to shine their shoes.

Feb. 02 2012 11:16 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

What's happened to this forum? Why are posts now taking so long to show up?

Feb. 02 2012 11:14 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Stalin was right. There should have been no Nuremberg trial. The first 100,000 Nazis should have been hanged from lamp posts. No Holocaust survivors, like my parents, were consulted about whether there should, or shouldn't have been such a show trial. The Nuremberg Trials were the concoction of American liberals who did not lose their own families and children directly. If the purpose of the trials was to prevent future genocides, it clearly failed. Today, democracies like the US and Israel are the ones being put on trial in the international court of public opinion, which has no relationship to realities on the ground. Nuremberg was wrong and set a bad precedent. Mass murderers should get the same trial they gave their victims, without the benefit of pulpits to continue to preach their lies and hate from!

Feb. 02 2012 11:12 AM
Lenore from Upper West Side

How can one write a book about a trial that hasn't yet taken place??

Feb. 02 2012 11:11 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Hope this isn't too trite a question, but ask the guest if the character that Spencer Tracy played in the film "Nurenberg" (sorry, don't recall the exact title of it) was based on Justice Jackson, and if so, how good a job did the film do in capturing the sense of what it was about.

Feb. 02 2012 11:11 AM
Tom from UWS

It's an inevitable comparison, apt or not. When comparisons like this are made, we should calmly assess them, keeping overreaction in check. (Now, when Gingrich decides to compare his "treatment" by the press to Nuremberg, that will be a moment for dismay.)

Feb. 02 2012 11:03 AM

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