H ooray — the free advertising sessions for President Obama and former Governor Romney are finally over! Unfortunately their last “debate” failed to examine our shift from a principled position the U.S. once held.

Consider that at the Nuremberg Trials of Nazis, the chief U.S. prosecutor Robert Jackson said: “To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime…”

In defining aggression, Jackson slightly added to material from the 1933 London Convention for the Definition of Aggression.

“An aggressor, for the purposes of this article, means that state which is first to commit any of the following actions:

1. Declaration of war upon another State.

2. Invasion by its armed forces, with or without a declaration of war, of the territory of another State.

3. Attack by its land, naval or air forces, with or without a declaration of war, on the territory, vessels or aircraft of another State.

4. Naval blockade of the coasts or ports of another state.

5. Provision of support to armed bands formed in its territory which have invaded the territory of another state, or refusal, notwithstanding the request of the invaded state, to take in its own territory, all the measures in its power to deprive those bands of all assistance or protection.

No political, military, economic or other considerations may serve as an excuse or justification for such actions…”

The U.N. Charter adds: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state…”

Jackson added: “If certain acts in violation of treaties are crimes they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them…”

In light of these points, consider the 2003 U.S. attack on Iraq as well as the current threats against Iran over a non-existent nuclear weapons program. Wasn’t our attack on Iraq a supreme international crime? Aren’t U.S. and Israeli threats against Iran illegal? Have U.S. leaders committed war crimes?

In a 1953 speech, President Eisenhower said: “A nation’s hope of lasting peace cannot be firmly based upon any race in armaments but rather upon just relations and honest understanding with all other nations.” What about debating this approach and the above questions? The “debate” clearly was very limited.