PERSPECTIVErnSarajevo Today, Chicago Tomorrowrnby Thomas FlemingrnThe War Crimes Tribunal going on at The Hague is the firstrntest of one of the great principles of postwar politics—thernNuremberg Doctrine, which makes individuals liable to internationalrnprosecution for actions committed during a war. hirnthe old days, military personnel and police officers were expectedrnto do as they were told, hi time of war, a soldier who refusedrnto obey an order could and would be shot, sometimes withoutrna hearing. But after the Nuremberg Trials, the phrase, alwaysrnspoken with a phony German accent—”I vas just following orders”rn—became both a standing joke and a reproach againstrnanyone who refused to disobey a dishonorable order.rnEven under the best of circumstances, it would be hard for arndefeated nation to get a fair trial from its enemies. War is terrible,rnand even the best men do things which would otherwise bernregarded as crimes: they destrov houses, kill some people deliberatelyrnand others through carelessness. Winston Churchill—rnwho did all of the above in two wodd wars—thought that therntop Nazis should have been killed as soon as they were captured,rnwithout setting a dangerous precedent for internationalrnrevenge.rnThis article was delivered as a speech at a Chicago conference inrnMarch on “America’s Intervention in the Balkans,” hosted byrnChronicles and The Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies.rnThis is not to say that the Nazi regime did not deliberatelyrncommit mass murder against Jews, Poles, Russians, Serbs, evenrnItalians, or that the ringleaders should not have been summarilyrnshot—like Mussolini, who was a choir boy compared tornf litler. Afterwards, a new German government could have settledrnscores, as best it could, with the other criminals accordingrnto German law. Or, if we had to have a trial, if it were limitedrnto clear evidence of international murder—the slaughter of PolishrnJews and Catholics, for example—no harm might haverncome of it.rnInstead, the Allies institutionalized the hypocrisy of theirrnpropaganda. They not only made the conspiracy to wage aggressivernwar a crime by itself—as if most 20th-century AmericanrnPresidents were not guilty of such a conspiracy—^but theyrnalso outlawed warfare against civilians, including such acts asrn”murder, ill-treatment, or deportation to slave labor or for anyrnother purpose of civilian population.”rnThe I lague Tribunal is only a faint echo of the NurembergrnTrials: the alleged war crimes of the Serbs, even if they were allrnproved, are trivial in comparison with anything done not just byrnGermans but by Americans in recent years. At Nuremberg, atrnleast, an effort was made to fix the blame on the Nazi leadership:rnmen who had preached a doctrine of racial superiority,rnlaughed at Christian morality as weakness, and insisted thatrn10/CHRONICLESrnrnrn