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Finally, whatever the legal aspects of the issue, war crimes were committed by all participants in World War II. Some recent correspondents in this space have used a lot of despicable sophistry to defend the barbarous atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those who authorized and those who carried out the two missions and those who firebombed Tokyo on March 9-10, 1945, incinerating more than 85,000 people in one night, were all equally guilty of war crimes, as were those who committed mass murders in Europe, Asia or Africa.

What Justice Pal’s dissent calls upon all of us to do is develop some humility and self-reflection and help create systems of global justice that are fair and compassionate and do not simply fulfill the needs of self-serving groups or countries.

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