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Was the American Bombing Campaign in World War II a War Crime?
American Heritage Magazine ^ | April 6, 2006 | Fredric Smoler

Posted on 05/20/2006 8:33:39 PM PDT by tbird5

Deliberately targeting civilians is widely considered terrorism nowadays, but during World War II both the Britain’s Bomber Command and the United States Army Air Force deliberately targeted civilians.

The British philosopher A. C. Grayling, in his new book Among the Dead Cities: The History and Moral Legacy of the WWII Bombing of Civilians in Germany and Japan (Walker, $25.95), points out that the two air forces combined killed perhaps 600,000 German civilians and another 200,000 Japanese. He makes the case that at least by our current standards we were terrorists, and it logically follows that the attacks were war crimes. In an age of political terror, when it is urgent to come up with a persuasive distinction between legitimate and illegitimate violence, it is hard to overstate the importance of the questions Grayling raises.

(Excerpt) Read more at americanheritage.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: academia; bataandeathmarch; bombingserbcivilians; japaneseatrocities; japanesemanchura; londonblitz; nowewon; raf; rapeofnanking; terrorbombing; tonsonserbia; usaaf; v1buzzbomb; wwii
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1 posted on 05/20/2006 8:33:41 PM PDT by tbird5
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To: tbird5
If we did it now, it would be considered to. But during WWII that is the way both sides fought.
2 posted on 05/20/2006 8:34:40 PM PDT by bnelson44 (Proud parent of a tanker! (Charlie Mike, son))
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To: tbird5
Nope !!

In war, you got to beat the enemy, otherwise, you'll lose.
3 posted on 05/20/2006 8:36:09 PM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
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To: tbird5

Hmmmm, what two countries indicrimatly bombed Polish and Chinese cities? Tough for them when we paid them back.


4 posted on 05/20/2006 8:36:48 PM PDT by Lockbar (March toward the sound of the guns.)
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To: tbird5

A key question to ask: were the civilians aiding ther war machine by working in factories and other industries in support of the war effort? If so, they are part of the wartime logistics infrastructure.


5 posted on 05/20/2006 8:37:49 PM PDT by NY Attitude (You are responsible for your safety until the arrival of Law Enforcement Officers!)
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To: tbird5

What's past is past. Get over it. Learn from history and don't do it again. Now that wasn't too hard, was it?


6 posted on 05/20/2006 8:37:55 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: tbird5
Was the American Bombing Campaign in World War II a War Crime?

Not unless a Republican was President.

7 posted on 05/20/2006 8:38:42 PM PDT by sourcery (Political & economic freedom: More important than gays burning flags at their weddings)
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To: tbird5

The Germans bombed British civilians long before German cities were bombed. Besides, German manufacturing took place in urban areas. The apologists will trot out the bombing of Dresden, but to them I say....So what? The winners get to write the history.


8 posted on 05/20/2006 8:39:31 PM PDT by clintonh8r (Neither a Bushbot nor a Bushbasher.)
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To: tbird5

The only reason we don't do it now, is because we don't have to. The US was definitely offering Mutually Assured Destruction to the Soviets. We still do, it's just that both sides decided to take their fingers off the trigger for a spell.


9 posted on 05/20/2006 8:40:02 PM PDT by glorgau
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To: tbird5

When's the apology due?


10 posted on 05/20/2006 8:40:06 PM PDT by zarf (It's time for a college football playoff system.)
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To: tbird5

"World War II both the Britain’s Bomber Command and the United States Army Air Force deliberately targeted civilians".

When you are dealing with murdering governments that are targeting your civilians, you target their civilians.

Give the other side a dose of their own medicine.


11 posted on 05/20/2006 8:41:00 PM PDT by Supernatural (Its not dark yet, but its getting there.)
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To: tbird5

Can there really be civilians in all out war?

It is the "civilians" that manufacture the goods that empower the war machine to continue on.


12 posted on 05/20/2006 8:41:39 PM PDT by DB ()
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To: tbird5
Atilla the Hun, the Hebrews, the Saracens, etc., etc., etc., up close and personal, put the men to the sword, the old women and older children, enslave the ones too young to recall, and move on.

Slay, loot, pillage, and burn.

Next?

How far back y'all wanna go?

13 posted on 05/20/2006 8:44:31 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: tbird5
He makes the case that at least by our current standards we were terrorists

Why do I think there's a good chance that, on 9/11, he didn't have any loved ones in the World Trade Center or in the Pentagon or in any of the planes that were used as missiles while carrying our loved ones?

14 posted on 05/20/2006 8:45:03 PM PDT by pax_et_bonum (Why did the three wise men have ashes in their beards? Because they had just come from afar.)
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To: DB

Some of it yes, but not all. The bombing of Dresden and the fire bombing of Tokyo and both nuclear detonations should have been war crimes. All targeted civilians rather then military targets. its one thing to aim for a military target, or what you think is a military target, then miss and kill civilians. Quite another thing to aim from the start to kill civilians.


15 posted on 05/20/2006 8:45:19 PM PDT by zaggs
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To: tbird5

To even ask the question indicates that a Liberal Socialist is behind it. It is nothing more than a way to rewrite history to make the white European male evil. WE did not attack civilians of countries we were not a war with, unlike the 911 terrorist. We did not go out of our way to attack civilians, unlike the Palestinian Terrorist. In fact we tried to avoid churches, schools, and hospitals. Even the targets for the nuclear bombs were industrial targets. We had a choice to take out some of Japans religious cities but chose not to for humanitarian reasons.
This question is nothing more that MORAL RELATIVISM to make it seem that the Arab Terrorist are just nothing more that freedom fighters. The question is seditious and propaganda.


16 posted on 05/20/2006 8:46:04 PM PDT by Exton1
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To: DB
I am sure Hitler would not have gave it a 2 nd thought to bomb innocent civilians on US soil if he had the means and chance to do so.
And I am sure Soviets would not have given it a 2 nd thought to bomb innocent civilians on US soil if it were to come to just shooting war and not a nuke war.
This is nothing but Politically Correct Liberal Communist crap to get at the USA some how.
17 posted on 05/20/2006 8:46:26 PM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
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To: tbird5

It's called, "Total War". Grant and Sherman reinvented it in the US Civil War, but it has been with us since the dawn of civilization. I have been in a war, and there really is no way to fight, "by the rules." Because, if you do, and the other country doesn't, you may lose.


18 posted on 05/20/2006 8:47:12 PM PDT by ExtremeUnction
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To: DB

Do you want my blunt reply?

The Germans burned ten million people to death in their gas chambers (Jews, Gypsies, etc.)

The Japanese murdered millions in China (anybody hear about Nanking? And that was only for starters). Add in another million in the Philipines.

Whatever they got, they deserved it. (And I think God probably thinks the same thing.)


19 posted on 05/20/2006 8:47:22 PM PDT by CondorFlight
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To: clintonh8r
The apologists will trot out the bombing of Dresden, but to them I say....So what?

To them I say... Coventry.
20 posted on 05/20/2006 8:49:15 PM PDT by Nachoman (I love greasy old bolt guns.)
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To: metmom
Learn from history and don't do it again.

No. You must "do it again" if it means life or death for your country.

21 posted on 05/20/2006 8:49:51 PM PDT by ExtremeUnction
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To: CondorFlight
" Whatever they got, they deserved it. (And I think God probably thinks the same thing.) "

They reaped what they sown.
22 posted on 05/20/2006 8:51:21 PM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
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To: tbird5

Was Sherman's "March to the Sea" a war crime? It specifically targetted civilian infrastructure.


23 posted on 05/20/2006 8:51:25 PM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: tbird5

Like my buddy Rush says, in war the aggressor sets the rules. Japan and Germany set the rules, and Team America beat them.


24 posted on 05/20/2006 8:51:40 PM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: tbird5
There are a lot of historians lately who have been going off on this kind of rant.

I had to read a book this last semester by an idiot named Bruce Cumings. The whole thing was a rant about how evil the United States is, especially for the "war crimes" and "genocide" we perpetrated during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He believes that during World War II, the United States was on the same level as Nazi Germany.

He also spends almost the entire preface on a mindless Bush bash. “Bush stole the election.” “He was selected not elected.” “Bush is an idiot.” “He lost the popular vote so he really didn’t win.” (One would think Cumings, who is probably an intelligent person, would remember that the so called “popular vote” doesn’t mean anything in U.S. Presidential elections.) Even the tragic event involving the U.S.S. Greenville is used to lay blame at the feet of President Bush. Then he implies that the President is totally over blowing the threat of Islamic terrorists and using Sept. 11th as an excuse to continue a Cold War mentality. All of this of course means that the President is also responsible for the continuing problems with North Korea. According to Cumings, has the U.S. just continued the policies of Bill Clinton, everything would have been just fine on the Korean Peninsula.

25 posted on 05/20/2006 8:52:07 PM PDT by COEXERJ145 (Real Leaders Base Their Decisions on Their Convictions. Wannabes Base Decisions on the Latest Poll.)
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To: Prophet in the wilderness
"The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a dozen other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind." -RAF General Arthur 'Bomber' Harris
26 posted on 05/20/2006 8:53:01 PM PDT by COEXERJ145 (Real Leaders Base Their Decisions on Their Convictions. Wannabes Base Decisions on the Latest Poll.)
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To: glorgau
The only reason we don't do it now, is because we don't have to.

Right on. The wars in the Middle East these past few years are small compared with the World Wars. It's not necessary to go to the lengths we went in World War II. Those countries were more powerful than Iraq and Afghanistan and we needed more to defeat them. For crying out loud, it took two atomic bombs before Japan surrendered. The only other option was to take the country town by town, city by city, slaughtering resistance and costing the lives of thousands of Americans. By the time the war was ending, the Japanese were training their women and children to fight against the American army.

27 posted on 05/20/2006 8:53:08 PM PDT by Irish Rose (Will work for chocolate.)
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To: tbird5

If we get into a war where we and an enemy are at each other's necks like the allies and axis were in WWII, you better believe there is going to be bombing of civilians.

Was the asshole who wrote this even alive for WWII?


28 posted on 05/20/2006 8:53:13 PM PDT by rlmorel ("Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does." Whittaker Chambers)
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To: tbird5
Very important part:
"Grayling acknowledges that American bombing attacks on German fuel stocks, transportation and aircraft factories actually had some significant effect on the outcome of the war, so he gives the U.S. Army Air Force a partial pass. The USAAF usually attempted precision bombing of industrial targets by day; the Royal Air Force’s Bomber Command usually attempted area bombing by night, and aimed at whole cities. Grayling does not give the Bomber Command that partial pass."

29 posted on 05/20/2006 8:53:44 PM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: tbird5
The British philosopher A. C. Grayling, in his new book Among the Dead Cities: The History and Moral Legacy of the WWII Bombing of Civilians in Germany and Japan (Walker, $25.95), points out that the two air forces combined killed perhaps 600,000 German civilians and another 200,000 Japanese.

That figure for Japanese is ludicrous. I view it as likely that a million Japanese might have been killed in the 4/10/45 raid on Tokyo alone, and Tokyo was but one of some 75 large cities which were basically burned down before LeMay ran out of incindiaries in July 45.

30 posted on 05/20/2006 8:54:02 PM PDT by tomzz
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To: tbird5

Give me a break! Things have to be judged according to the times. Just as crucifixion is now considered cruel and unusual, at the time of Christ's death it was the normal method of execution. Until fairly recently, public hanging was the accepted method of execution here in the U.S. and decapitation by guillotine continued until the 1940s in Europe.
If we are to allow some sort of johnny-come-lately re-assessment of wartime tactics we might as well condemn Italians for the destruction of Carthage by the Roman Legions. Give me a break!


31 posted on 05/20/2006 8:54:44 PM PDT by oldfart (There are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous people and the most dangerous person is the one who h)
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To: tbird5
Umm, exactly what military target was this ever aimed at...or even aimed for that matter???

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

German V1 "Buzz Bomb" about to hit London.

32 posted on 05/20/2006 8:54:45 PM PDT by txroadkill
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To: tbird5

Oh geez.

Bad things happen in war.......because it's war. People die.


33 posted on 05/20/2006 8:55:19 PM PDT by frankiep (Visualize Whirled Peas)
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To: DB
Can there really be civilians in all out war? It is the "civilians" that manufacture the goods that empower the war machine to continue on.

That is exactly what Muslims say to themselves when they fly passenger jets into buildings here in the U.S.

34 posted on 05/20/2006 8:56:08 PM PDT by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
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To: oldfart
Give me a break! Things have to be judged according to the times.

THANK YOU! Nothing irritates me more than high and mighty armchair intellects who believe they have the moral authority to apply today's standards to history.

Hubris at it's most appalling.

35 posted on 05/20/2006 8:57:54 PM PDT by pollyannaish
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To: tbird5

NO.

Next question?


36 posted on 05/20/2006 8:58:56 PM PDT by Tailback
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To: tbird5

"War is all hell." - Wm T. Sherman 1865


37 posted on 05/20/2006 8:59:10 PM PDT by Pistolshot (Condi 2008.<------added January 2004. Remember you heard it here first)
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To: Prophet in the wilderness

He did so with London. Case closed. A biased premise from the start.


38 posted on 05/20/2006 9:01:03 PM PDT by Khurkris (Don't blame me. I never answer the phone.)
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To: zaggs

both nuclear detonations should have been war crimes.

You serious? Those nuclear detonations that you say should have been war crimes ended WWII, the bloodiest war in human history. Had they not been dropped the war would have went on, and an all out invasion of the Japanese mainland would have been necessary. The American casualties of such an invasion would have made D-Day look like a minor skirmish. Something to remember the next time you think that this war a "war crime".

39 posted on 05/20/2006 9:01:06 PM PDT by frankiep (Visualize Whirled Peas)
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To: Prophet in the wilderness

I disagree. It was using terror as a weapon to achieve political goals. Where people get lost today is when they know we bombed cililians but they do not understand much else about history. We were in a fight to save things like Democracy and Capitalism. One of every 10 civilians killed contributed to the war effort in some manner. This was about Denying Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan with the means to wage war. There is a huge difference between the touchy-feely, don't piss off the left wars we have waged recently and total war, which is what WW2 was.


40 posted on 05/20/2006 9:01:18 PM PDT by When do we get liberated? (( Multi-culturism has to go for a dirt nap.))
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To: zaggs

both nuclear detonations should have been war crimes.

You serious? Those nuclear detonations that you say should have been war crimes ended WWII, the bloodiest war in human history. Had they not been dropped the war would have went on, and an all out invasion of the Japanese mainland would have been necessary. The American casualties of such an invasion would have made D-Day look like a minor skirmish. Something to remember the next time you think that this war a "war crime".

41 posted on 05/20/2006 9:01:18 PM PDT by frankiep (Visualize Whirled Peas)
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To: FreedomCalls
"Grayling acknowledges that American bombing attacks on German fuel stocks, transportation and aircraft factories actually had some significant effect on the outcome of the war, so he gives the U.S. Army Air Force a partial pass."

I'm sure that the USAAF vets who completed these missions rest more peacefully in their graves knowing that they have Grayling's "partial pass."

Give me a f*cking break.

42 posted on 05/20/2006 9:02:12 PM PDT by Caveman Lawyer (Cluckin' defiance)
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To: zarf

"When's the apology due?"

For $100K, a plane ticket and a couple of 'escorts', BJClinton can deliver a blanket apology as early as Wednesday.


43 posted on 05/20/2006 9:02:21 PM PDT by WestTexasWend
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To: tbird5

Ask the Carthaginians if this was a war crime.

You do what it takes to win. It's war, not a Marquis of Queensbury rules boxing match.

Carnage and Culture covers the use of total war by the West fairly well, and is a worthwhile read.


44 posted on 05/20/2006 9:03:07 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: Enterprise

Be a realist. America provided the arsenal. Our casualties do not compare to the USSR, China or even France and the UK


45 posted on 05/20/2006 9:04:35 PM PDT by When do we get liberated? (( Multi-culturism has to go for a dirt nap.))
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To: zaggs

As opposed to the London Blitz, the V1 campaign, and the mass slaughter of a significant portion of "Manchuria" and China by the Axis - all of which happened first?

It's not a war crime to respond in kind, IMHO.

Also, with regards to the use of nukes on Japan - the only other alternative was 5 million Allied dead, and the complete extermination of the Japanese nation and people. The Japanese would have fought to the last man, woman, and child. Compared to the anticipated 30+ million dead in Japan if we'd invaded instead, I have no problems with Truman's use of nukes.


46 posted on 05/20/2006 9:04:47 PM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: tbird5

Simple, not worth posting and not worth reading. The story line is something you come up with when you have no common sense.


47 posted on 05/20/2006 9:04:54 PM PDT by org.whodat (Never let the facts get in the way of a good assumption.)
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To: tbird5
So what do you think should happen to Iran if they nuke Israel?

If Israel knew for certain it was going to be nuked by Iran within a week or two, would Israel be justified nuking Iran back to the dark ages first, or should they take a first-hit?

The question is, who is waging the war? Who is the offender and who is on the defensive? WWII wasn't our war. It belonged to Germany, Japan and Italy. We were on the defense. The people of Germany, Japan and Italy were complicit by not preventing their leaders from engaging in national suicide.

When it's a question of survival of the ones attacked, you follow the laws of survival. Whatever it takes.

48 posted on 05/20/2006 9:05:15 PM PDT by Eastbound
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To: COEXERJ145

Awesome!


49 posted on 05/20/2006 9:06:14 PM PDT by When do we get liberated? (( Multi-culturism has to go for a dirt nap.))
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To: When do we get liberated?

Thank you for sharing that.


50 posted on 05/20/2006 9:06:24 PM PDT by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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