An Armistice is derived, according to Wikipedia from the Latin arma (Weapons) and stitium (stopping .) Wikipedia defines Armistice Day as the anniversary of the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, officially ending World War I. Peace broke out on the “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.”

About six months later, according to Wikipedia, the Treaty of Versailles formalized Germany’s World War I surrender. The Treaty forced Germany to accept full responsibility for the war, and reparations were required. Essentially, the winning Allies, including the United States, found the entire population of Germany guilty of war crimes.

Historian Wolfgang Mommsen of the University of Düsseldorf, was quoted in the PBS series, The Great War.

“The Treaty of Versailles created a political climate in Germany in which the right put all the blame on everything that went sour, onto the Treaty and the lost war. And that created this climate in which many people then began to think one had to fight the war once again.

“Hitler sold the Second World War to the Germans as righting the wrongs of Versailles,” according to Mommsen. Stopping the weapons again produced a whole new crop of war criminals. Instead of blaming the entire German nation, however, the winning Allies, including the United States, assigned war guilt to individuals found guilty at places like Nuremberg.

The Nuremberg Trials were an effort to preemptively stop the weapons of war. Julius Streicher, (pictured above) was one of the Germans found guilty and executed by the Allies, including the United States. Part of Streicher’s unsuccessful defense was that some international treaty law didn’t apply to the axis powers because they were not signatories.

As of today, unfortunately, there is no armistice and the weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan have not yet been stopped. According to Time, charges against the outgoing United States Defense Secretary and other officials will soon be filed in a German court. The article noted that the Bush Administration rejected adherence to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Marjorie Cohn, wrote in the Jurist, that even though Bush “…immunized his team from prosecution in the International Criminal Court, they could be tried in any country under the well-established principle of universal jurisdiction.”

“Nearly 3,000 American soldiers and more than 650,000 Iraqi civilians have died and tens of thousands have been wounded. Our national debt has skyrocketed with the billions Bush has pumped into the war. Now that there is a new day in Congress, there must be a new push to end the war. That means a demand that Congress cut off its funds,” Cohn said.


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