More than 500,000 civilian non-combatants were killed in Allied bombing of German cities. Wikipedia puts the total at 635, 000. In Japan, civilian deaths by American bombing is put at 340,000 on the low end to Wikipedia’s 500,000. Correct estimates given the destruction of, well, everything are impossible to come by, but it is safe to say that the toll is staggering. (Please note that the articles I’ve linked were written by moralists whose indignation fairly leaps off the page.) Old people, women and children were blown to bits, burned alive and crushed to death…but we won and the war ended. I won’t be so callous as to say I don’t care about those who died, but I will be practical enough to state that this is how a war is won.
“If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting.” Gen Curtis LeMay.
LeMay, of course, wanted to nuke the North Vietnamese. Because of that idea LeMay is, to this day, laughed at and held as repugnant by the bien pensant crowd. However, if he’d had his way I’m guessing we’d have won, and then, besides the world having avoided the horror of the boat people and re-education camps that followed the Communist victory, our future enemies might have thought twice before grabbing superman’s cape (Storm our embassy in Tehran? Maybe Allah wouldn’t have been so willing.) and Vietnam would be a better place today. (Doubt that statement? Present day Germany and Japan seem to me indisputable evidence in support.)
If ISIS executes the Jordanian pilot they are holding, the Jordanians have put out word that they will summarily execute all the over 2 dozen ISIS members they are holding. Jordan’s citizens are evidently not bothered that their King has brought a gun to a knife fight. This is what it takes to win. (Would that I could turn Guantanamo into a pig farm.)
Earlier this week word was leaked that a few years ago the CIA and Mossad teamed up to assassinate this guy who was, by any objective measure, one of the most successful terrorists on the planet. Here’s a response from a US academic and professor of international law found in this article (Please read the article!):
“It is a killing method used by terrorists and gangsters,” said Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor of international law at the University of Notre Dame. “It violates one of the oldest battlefield rules.”
(WTF is she talking about? Has she any notion of “battlefield rules” up through say, the Middle Ages?! How about, you lose and we kill everybody in town, after raping all the women, of course.)
To continue “…Mughniyah was targeted in a country where the United States was not at war. Moreover, he was killed in a car bombing, a technique that some legal scholars see as a violation of international laws that proscribe “killing by perfidy” — using treacherous means to kill or wound an enemy.”
If we are ever again to win a war, people like this will have to chased from any discussion of the battlefield. Because of what’s at stake and the lives that could be saved, I would have no problem if she turned up beaten to death by someone wielding a baseball bat. My guess is that one or two examples of that and her kind would quiet. Lest you think me a psychotic please understand this, I am not convinced so much as I KNOW that her philosophy will, in the long run, absolutely cost more American lives and probably cost the lives of more of our enemies.
We’ve gone from an unflinching willingness to bomb our enemies’ civilians into ash to an angels-on-the-head-of-pin fear of killing mass murderers. Do we want to win? The question is academic. Because, as the article I’ve pleaded with you to read makes clear, once a certain point is reached all reason is sacrificed to revenge. At this point we can still kill the enemy and worry about his children; in time, we will make no distinction. Pay now, or pay more later…Or surrender.
As a footnote to this post, have you ever asked yourself what change occurred in the West that led to the idea of “battlefield rules”? Of sparing non-combatants and treating civilians humanely? The idea of mercy in war never made it to the Far East or Africa or the Middle East… The only conclusion I can draw is the spread of Christianity. However haltingly or inconsistently it may have been applied, mercy is an attribute of Christianity, and once it took hold the things we now regard as atrocities came to happen less often, and be punished when they did happen. The Christian God made a determined effort to tame some of the savagery in men. Atheists miss this and are entirely blind to the irony.