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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 ...

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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To: Caveman Lawyer
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."

Yeah, my late Uncle, who flew the Ploesti raids (highly decorated waist gunner on a B-17) would chew this guys arm off.

This guy is alive and writing freely because better men than him saved his momma's a$$.

261 posted on 05/21/2006 5:08:47 AM PDT by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: driftless; frankiep
Just look around you today and compare the United States as we know it to the U.S. and Germany of the 1930s. The U.S. today has far more in common with Germany of that era (in many different ways, not just "bad" ones) than with the U.S. of that era. Our culture, science, and approach to governing is based on a nihilistic, utilitarian outlook that most Americans in the 1930s would never have thought this country is capable of.

And as far as the Soviet Union is concerned . . . Just look at our media, government, and academia these days. I have a hard time believing that Americans in the 1930s would have tolerated so many overt, unapologetic communists holding positions of authority in these institutions.

262 posted on 05/21/2006 5:12:46 AM PDT by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
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To: Michael81Dus
They simply didn´t know better.

Sure, just like the upstanding German citizens, in nearby towns, working for the Nazis running the concentration camps and their cyanide showers and ovens! They were given "tours" of those facilities after they were liberated and professed total ignorance!

"We didn't know"..., "We were only following orders"..., etc. SELF DELUSIONS!

They knew but did nothing to resist the depravity of the Nazi regime!

War is hell but is not pointless! The enslavement, persecution and terror campaigns against groups is also not pointless (but only to those who carry out those activities)!

263 posted on 05/21/2006 5:14:36 AM PDT by ExSES (the "bottom-line")
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To: Alberta's Child

Are you back? Let me know when you see the US force Jews to wear stars on their clothes, force them into ghettos, kill them by the millions in concentration camps, torture and murder political prisoners, starve entire nations to bring them under our grip, kill people trying to leave the country, perform "medical experiments" on unwilling prisoners, outlaw any form of religious worship in favor of worship of a dictator, invade our neighbors and kill innocent civilians just because we can, etc.

Until then, spare me you crap about how the US resembles the Nazis and Soviets. Save it for your Western Civ 101 class.

By the way, our Interstate system was inspired by the German Autobahn the Hitler helped to create. I guess in your twisted book that makes us similar to the Nazis also.

264 posted on 05/21/2006 5:32:56 AM PDT by frankiep (Visualize Whirled Peas)
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To: Yehuda
"...Be sure and wear a helmet and a catchers mask..."

And visualize that you are a catcher for the New York Yankees, and a big, angry Red Sox player with a grudge is barreling down the third base line towards home as you block the plate waiting for the throw home...:)

265 posted on 05/21/2006 6:11:58 AM PDT by rlmorel ("Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does." Whittaker Chambers)
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To: Alberta's Child
"...I have a hard time believing that Americans in the 1930s would have tolerated so many overt, unapologetic communists holding positions of authority in these institutions...."

Please. I really have tried to be polite and give you a pass when you have shown that you don't have a good grasp of history, but do not make statements like this.

The US Government was riddled with Soviet agents, and it was "tolerated". See my tagline, read "Witness" by Whittaker Chambers, read the transcripts of the McCarthy hearings (Don't read about them in any Piece of Crap history books they give to kids in school, because they are all wrong on this issue, amongst other things) and read up on the Venona Project, which put the cap on stupid dumbass notions like "The Goldbergs were innocent" and "Alger Hiss was not a spy for the Soviet Union".

For God's sake, our OWN Vice President, Henry Wallace was a Soviet admirer and apologist.

266 posted on 05/21/2006 6:22:45 AM PDT by rlmorel ("Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does." Whittaker Chambers)
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Read #243.

I think that 90% of Germans never thought of the idea that that the deported Jews could be killed. The average German surely knew that the Jews weren´t well treated, but massmurder? Don´t forget, what happened then never happened before!

I was born 1981, and neither my ancestors were Nazis nor am I a defender of Nazism. No KZ guard can excuse his actions by saying "I was just following orders." But that does apply to some Wehrmacht soldiers - not everybody was given a choice.

You never lived under oppression. You can´t say how it is like not being allowed to say anything against the regime.
Yet you say that the civilians deserved to be carpet-bombed.

I don´t blame anybody for not revolting against the Nazis and I praise those who did, while I accuse those who supported the Nazis and their crimes.

267 posted on 05/21/2006 6:49:29 AM PDT by Michael81Dus
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To: Alberta's Child
The major plant in Cologne that had been owned by the Ford Motor Company (actually Ford Werke, the German subsidiary of the company), for example, had gone unscathed through so many Allied bombing raids during the war that it became a place of refuge for the city's residents whenever the air raid sirens sounded.

Not buying it. There was no way bombing was that precise an art in those days. In Cologne, the same could be said of the cathedral. All its windows were blown out, but the building survived pretty much intact. It was NOT because of any intent on the part of the Allied bombers. Their accuracy was notoriously poor in the days when Cologne was being bombed.

And if Ford Werke was producing war machines for the Germans, there is no doubt it was on the hit list. Whether it was hit or not is largely a matter of luck, not conspiracy.

268 posted on 05/21/2006 7:09:21 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: Michael81Dus
Warsaw, Rotterdam, Coventry, London. Your ancestors reaped what they sowed. Spare us the pseudo victimized rationalizations. It was war. If you don't like what happens, don't start them.
269 posted on 05/21/2006 7:15:37 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (Conservative, The simple fact about DC is this . "There is more work to do"...)
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To: tbird5


Next question.

270 posted on 05/21/2006 7:17:26 AM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings...Modesty hides my thighs in her wings...)
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To: tbird5
Utter nonsense by super silly moral relativists. You do not logically get to impose your personal moral standards to history. You must judge history by the morality of the time. Utter nonsense factually. Read "The Bomber War" for a serious study of the issue. This is just another Leftist trying to justify his gutless Surrender Monkey Ideology by rewriting History to fit his personal opinions.
271 posted on 05/21/2006 7:19:15 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (Conservative, The simple fact about DC is this . "There is more work to do"...)
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To: DB

"Can there really be civilians in all out war?"

Nope. People want war to be a police action where soldiers arrest each other instead of kill them. Declarations of war don't say "against the army of the other country."

272 posted on 05/21/2006 7:21:14 AM PDT by CodeToad
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To: Enterprise

As Malone would say, "they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue." Simple.

273 posted on 05/21/2006 7:25:07 AM PDT by SAMS (Nobody loves a soldier until the enemy is at the gate; Army Wife & Marine Mom)
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To: Axhandle

" I would like to give this moron a rifle and drop him into the middle of some F-ed up city in Iraq and tell him walk to the nearest US Base 5 miles away - and don't shoot anyone unless they're wearing a military uniform. "

#121 - Nice. Liberals think war is predictable.

274 posted on 05/21/2006 7:25:50 AM PDT by CodeToad
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To: Madison Moose
"I disagree with your labeling the attack on Pearl Harbor a terrorist attack. While it was a sneak attack, it was on a legitimate military target."

Would you say, then, that the attack on the USS Cole was not a "terrorist" attack because it was on a legitimate military target?

275 posted on 05/21/2006 7:49:16 AM PDT by nightdriver
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To: IronJack
It's worth noting that the Ford plant in Cologne was on the outskirts of the city (it may have even been on the opposite side of the Rhine River from the center of the city). Allied bombing raids focused primarily on the historic city center, so it's not all that surprising that the center of the city was flattened while the plant remained largely unscathed.

Ironically, this also would have made the plant much easier to target without leveling the entire city, too.

The first Ford vehicle in the "post-war" rolled off the assembly line at Ford-Werke literally hours after the U.S. and Germany formally ended the war. Something about that whole arrangement stunk to high heaven.

276 posted on 05/21/2006 8:20:24 AM PDT by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
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To: NY Attitude
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.

Just like to point out here that Osama, Ward Churchill and other moonbats use the same argument. During WWII, I think it was essential but these days are different.

277 posted on 05/21/2006 8:21:31 AM PDT by Malsua
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To: metmom

I agree with you. However, I find it interesting that today the tragic past events of Western Civilization are used to attack that very civilization.

278 posted on 05/21/2006 8:24:27 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Michael81Dus
"Do you think that everybody has the duty to risk his life under oppression to prevent your dictator from doing something wrong?"

Wouldn't you be risking your life anyway if your dictator did something stupid and invited mass destruction to your country? By whose sword would you rather die and what would be the more noble death?

[ . . . snip . . . ]

"I don´t blame Germans for not standing up against Hitler."

Hitler was only the stand-in, the one who executed the majority will of the German people, though some Germans attempted to assassinate Hitler but failed. Would the Germans rally around another crazy person who attempted to do what Hitler tried to do? I doubt it. Civilizations evolve if they don't forget history. Were the Germans captivated by the rantings of an aggressive crazy man? Apparently so. They empowered him to continue because they didn't stop him. They didn't stop him because they wanted what he wanted. They made their choice to live as aggressors and paid the price.

But today the world is faced with a more deadly enemy of mankind. There is no way to fight against the rule of a dead person who leads from the grave.

[ . . . snip . . . ]

"Do you think that every Iranian who doesn´t stand up against Ahmadi-F-him is guilty?"

No, if they are actively working to de-throne the nut before the country explodes. If you are actively working to de-throne the nut when the country explodes, you die a nobel death and with honor. The same goes for the minority of Germans who were working against Hitler.

Things happen because of the majority will and mind-set. Bad things or good things.

My suggestion for those who don't want to share in someone else's instant karma is to not be present when it comes down.

279 posted on 05/21/2006 8:28:17 AM PDT by Eastbound
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To: frankiep
This country kills off more than 4,000 of our own unborn children every day. The death toll since 1973 is somewhere on the order of 40 million or so. The fact that these people were killed in medical facilities and dumped in the trash instead of being loaded into boxcars and sent off to concentration camps doesn't make this any less of a crime against humanity than what the Nazis did.

Do a little research on Margaret Sanger, then come back and tell me about the moral superiority of the U.S. The fact that this b!tch is still revered as a feminist icon here in the U.S. tells me all I need to know.

I also found it fascinating to learn that that Hoechst AG, the German parent company of Roussel-Uclaf (the "RU" in RU-486) traces its corporate roots to IG Farben, a company that is best remembered as the manufacturer of Zyklon-B in Nazi Germany.

Some things never change, do they?

280 posted on 05/21/2006 8:29:30 AM PDT by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
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