Take a look at the not so recent US invasion of iraq where there were widespread reportings of looting (not necessaily conducted by the troops themselves) and even rapes. or the horrors perpetrate by soldiers on viet civilians during the vietnam war. now compare these to King Edward III's 'Chevauchee' in Normandy and the sack of Rome perpetrated by t\he huns and Vandals.
warcrimes such as looting, pillaging, and the raping of womenfolk (or even menfolk, in the case of sparta) upon the civilian population have existed since the first rock was thrown by a shaggy homo sapiens.
what i want to know is, why we even bother to give war a 'decent face' and try soldiers for warcrimes using civilian standards of morality?
Secondly, the Geneva Convention, while a good idea in theory, is impractical considering how ppl go crazy in a warsetting with bloodlust all too commonly enveloping one. i think it's a good idea to have a geneva convention. but i know that few ppl would follow the 'rules of war' out in the field.
are we being too idealistic thinking soldiers should be boy scout types rather than the killers we need them to be?