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War Crimes

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is about the reality and horrors of war and war crimes. It starts with a brief definition of war crimes. Then, it deals with international humanitarian law which entails the rules regulating warfare. The chapter also describes the social context of war, gives insight into soldiers' experiences and offers a better understanding of what war is really about. It explains how the myths of masculinity and heroism are often shattered by the horrors of war, and how these horrors can easily lead to, abuse, violations of the rules and regulations of warfare and ultimately war crimes. Finally, the chapter presents several examples of war crimes, such as the Rape of Nanking and the massacre at My Lai, in order to grasp the dynamics at play.

Keywords: humanitarian law; My Lai; war crimes



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