Skip to comments.Was the American Bombing Campaign in World War II a War Crime?
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 Britains 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 ...
It's my understanding that the British had a policy of retaliation for the German bombing of British cities.
Initially, we attempted to bomb only strategic targets:
military and logistical. But bombing was not very accurate
in those days.
Your point is well taken. However, what do you do with the civilians that who aid and abet the insurgents when our soldiers are trying to clear out villages in Iraq and know where and when attacks are going to happen including the placement of IEDs? If they the civilians refuse to leave a combat zone, provide housing, food, and whatever; or stay quiet about the traps that our troops are walking into, they become an arm of the insurgents war effort.
he forgot the "Bush is Hitler" part. no left wing nutjob diatribe is complete without that.
" across the Pacific Ocean with any degree of accuracy at all?"
They had no intention of being accurrate, merely spewing terror and starting massive fires in forsts.
It would have worked, but a freak storm blew most of the balloons off course.
BTW, the balloons and the anthrax/plauge/cholera attack they had ready for the West Coast are completely seperate tactics.
And let us not forget what the Japanese did in Bataan.
"The question was raised here in the context of a Japanese plan to bomb San Francisco."
Again, the baloons and the germ bombs were distinct and seperate plans.
See the picture of the combo sub/air-craft carrier japan had developed.
"It's funny you should mention that. I've often said that if my great-grandfather came back today and spent 48 hours getting familiar with what the United States has become, he'd swear that the Nazis had actually won World War II."
Since neither my parents, nor I, have been put in ovens here in the United States, I can pretty well say either you misrepresent your great-grandfather or he was an idiot, God rest his soul.
In America, fools like you are freely allowed to spout their venom. You just think we have to listen to your babble, or it is censorship.
No, I think the truth is they just didn't have quiet enough time to pull it off.
They tested the germs on US POWs to make sure they killed "the dog people" as well as they killed Chinese.
The "we were afraid" nonsense is just pablem for liberal idiots so the Japanese can take the moral high ground.
The reason we remained fairly silent is we scooped up the Japanese scientists and continued their research for Cold War purposes.
"I have read ever book I can get my hands on about WWII in both the ETO and the Pacific...I don't believe that any US fighter pilots ever even saw main land Japan unless they were POW's."
You need to read more books.
Russia is even better for WWII stuff.
The German "I didn't know" line is pure ostrich-with-head-in-sand B.S.
They knew Hitler's opinions re: Jews --- in Mien Kampf that everybody read. In it, he pretty well sets out the Final Solution.
Every one knew the Jews get badged and rounded up. Heck it was on posters and and in newspapers.
And open cattle cars filled with people going to factories that produced little but smoke was a clue.
While I agree with you,who was it who said:"The Past Is Prologue"?
Whata CONCEPT!Shelby Steele contends that we have forgotten how(or are too hamstrung with guilt)to bring the full force of our might needed to win a war in a decisive way!!I must say that I agree with him!!!
Actually,Berlin was bombed by The RAF(Bomber Command)shortly after The Luftwaffe bombed London(within days).Churchill instructed Air Vice Marshall Arthur Harris to strike Berlin in retaliation.Actually(from what I've read)Hitler never meant to undertake a bombing campaign against The City of London.He was more interested in the destruction of The RAF so that he could invade Britain(Operation Sea Lion)with control of the air.Some German bombers went off course and were caught over London by searchlights.In order to lighten their aircraft(and escape the triple AAA),they jettisoned their bombs.Thus began the whole thing which escalated from there!!!
Has Bill Clinton apologized for this yet?It would appear that he ONLY apologizes for things he HASN'T done!
That's RIGHT!And(by the way)Military Forces are SUPPOSED to Kill People and Break Things!!Bill Clinton(for all his genius?)could NEVER grasp this concept!!!
Hitler had a long-range(Manhattan)bomber constructed called The Condor.This plane's purpose was to bomb Manhattan.It was to be a one-way trip because of fuel restrictions,but I think they were working on some way to re-fuel the plane in the air so it could return to it's base in Brest.The Condor never was used for it's original purpose.
That's called"collateral damage".While I agree that the bombing of Dresden was a"crime",I cannot go so far as to call Tokyo,Hiroshima,or Nagasaki "crimes".While the Japanese had to be brought to their knees,the Germans were already there!Dresden was overcrowded with refugees fleeing the Soviet onslaught and(axcepting the battle for Berlin which involved ONLY The Red Army fighting SS fanatics)the Germans were DONE!!!!!The utter destruction of that beautiful,ancient city(Dresden)was TOTALLY unnecessary and GRATUITOUS!!!!!!"Bomber Harris"was shunned following the war!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks, I didn't know that!
Only by people who don't think "terrorism" has a unique meaning. Not everything terrifying is terrorism. Specifically, terrorism is committed by a nongovernmental group for a political purpose. So the Dresden or Tokyo bombings were definitely NOT and never will be "terrorism". Neither was the holocaust, or the killing fields, or the Cultural Revolution, or the forced starvation of the Ukraine.
However, some people then and now consider the WWII nonindustrial civilian bombings to be highly immoral and noncontributable if not counterproductive toward victory. Afterall, why would Hitler care if his civilians are being killed en masse? He was busily doing the same thing--and to greater effect.
The only reason it worked in Japan is that the Emporer had a limit to how many dead Japanese he could stomach. His military government, however, had no limit and would have kept fighting if they had had their way.