Monday, July 24, 2006

Scruples in WW II

Christopher Hitchens has an excellent article in the Weekly Standard on Allied terror bombing. Dresden gave everyone the shivers, but Hitchens points out that there were, despite the enormity of the event, ambivalent feelings toward the strategy, as there are today about Hiroshima.

It's instructive to review the thoughts expressed at the time in light of current events.

7/24/2006 9:55 PM

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At Tuesday, July 25, 2006 9:40:00 AM, Blogger mal said...

excellent post. It questions the whole value of Terror as a weapon. It speaks well that we have the moral courage to question whether it was appropriate.

I have no more problem with the concept of Fire Bombing than I do with Nuclear war (neither is desireable). I do have a problem if it is done for no purpose beyond terrorizing a population.

Most if not all conflicts have barbarians on both sides

At Tuesday, July 25, 2006 10:34:00 AM, Blogger jj mollo said...

So true. I am a supporter of Israel, but brutality is not unknown in the IDF. Hezbollah is monstrous and insane, but I don't think Israel is going about it right. I hope their strategy has some long term payoff to justify the suffering. I'm getting bad vibes from what I read.

At Tuesday, July 25, 2006 9:50:00 PM, Blogger Steve said...

"Do unto others before they do unto you" sounds about right to me, unfortunately.

Too bad we can't seem to apply that logic to other clear and present dangers, like overpopulation and its many consequences.

I'm surprised to see that he's never read or heard a justification for the destruction of Nagasaki. Maybe I should re-read his piece. My impression is that a demonstration would probably have been ineffective, and it would have left only one bomb. Who knows? No justification, though? I think he must mean something different from what I read.

I don't know about second guessing the people who were there. If, heaven forbid, conventional war breaks out and involves us, I'm all in favor of utter, heartless ruthlessness. Bloody-mindedness, as Scheuer called in in Imperial Hubris.


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