I sent this quote to my friend about the firebombing of Dresden:
“In the post-war period estimates of the dead ran from a low of 8,200 to a high of 300,000 and have been the subject of distortion both upwards and downwards for varied ideological and nationalistic reasons and have been and still are the subject of extreme controversy.The raids continue to be included among the worst examples of civilian suffering caused by strategic bombing, and have become one of the moral causes célèbres of the Second World War.”
My friend wrote back:
“As usual there are two versions. And even the most inflated figures pale to the death and torture that was an everyday occurrence and hallmark of our enemy. War is not a walk in the park.”
That sounds like something an Old School general might say. We’ve got to get far away from justifying death. That’s the easy way out. In this case it is 8,000 or 300,000. I submit that even just one civilian death is far too many. Using civilians to squelch an ememy is a tactic perfected in the 20th Century.
There are two versions of Iraqi deaths. 50,000 or 500,000. How many of those were terrorists? Then the rightys come back with “Well, Saddam would have killed a lot of people too.” Uh, ok. yes, he may have. but WE did this killing and rather indiscriminately too. That is modern thinking. Bah, humbug.
Yes, war is hell. But we talk more about how to survive it than how to end it. How about the US takes the lead in getting rid of nukes forever? Why don’t I hear that from anyone in the Senate, except maybe Kucinich and, of course, to all the OS people he is a fruitcake. To me the Senate is full of fruitcakes and Kucinich is the only sane person there.
There is so much that is ugly, awful about the 20th Century, not that the previous centuries were lush gardens of paradise. But the 20th Century brought horrible new weapons of mass destruction. Yes, again, the US horded the WMVs and brought chemical weapons out of the caccoon. “Let’s make a chemical that can wipe out an entire city but keep the building intact!” Human beings actually had to plan to make those bugs. Isn’t that astounding? I think modern scientists are evil. They make these horrible things and then they try to find an antidote to smallpox. Go figure.
Can you imagine? Someone had to actually think “Ah, a flamethrower. What we need is a flamethrower!” or “The world needs a bomb that can kill 100,000 civilians in a matter of minutes.” or “What we need are better gas chambers!” Stuff like that. It’s so OS.