This section puts emphasis upon the war crimes concept in the setting of the American involvement in the Vietnam War.
The first three selections consider the question as to whether the United States is an aggressor in relation to that war. The first selection is taken from an official U.S. Government argument in defense of its policies and the other two selections are critical of the contention that the United States is validly exercising the right of collective self-defense in South Vietnam. Such an inquiry is central to the determination as to whether the United States is responsible for committing "the supreme crime" of aggressive war by its role in the Vietnam War.
U. S. STATE DEPARTMENT, 1966
In response to requests from the Government of South Viet- Nam, the United States has been assisting that country in defending itself against armed attack from the Communist North. This attack has taken the forms of externally supported subversion, clandestine supply of arms, infiltration of armed personnel, and most recently the sending of regular units of the North Vietnamese army into the South.
International law has long recognized the right of individual and collective self-defense against armed attack. South Viet-Nam and the United States are engaging in such collective defense consistently with international law and with United States obligations under the United Nations Charter.
The Geneva accords of 1954 established a demarcation line between North Viet-Nam and South Viet-Nam. They provided