U.S. president Joe Biden and others have recently accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of committing war crimes during his country’s invasion of Ukraine. But what are war crimes, exactly? The Onion explains the history, rationale, and application of war crimes.
Q: How is an action determined to be a war crime?
A: On the basis of whether it was done to a white person.
Q: What constitutes a war crime?
A: Being photographed doing regular war things.
Q: What is genocide?
A: The deliberate killing of a large number of people belonging to a particular ethnic group with the aim of destroying that group, or forcing Tampa retirees to wear face masks on a plane.
Q: What do you do when you’ve been accused of war crimes?
A: Point at the other country and say they started it.
Q: Are war criminals punished?
A: Yes, those convicted of war crimes are suspended for two wars.
Q: What are the Geneva Conventions?
A: International agreements designed to ensure the systematic slaughter of human beings is accomplished in a fair and humane way.
Q: What’s the difference between a war crime and a crime against humanity?
A: Billions in military spending.
Q: What is America’s stance on war crimes?
A: In America, it’s technically called “foreign policy.”
Q: What are the consequences for committing war crimes?
A: A second term, lucrative speaking fees, and a presidential library.
Q: Doesn’t the concept of war crimes only perpetuate the lie of civilized war, leading to even more hostilities and even more death?
A: Oh, shit, well, hopefully not.