[lit-ideas] Re: Kamikaze versus 9/11 Terrorists

  • From: Robert Paul <robert.paul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 22:56:46 -0800

Eric wrote:

Yet, WW II pilots since Pearl Harbor attack specified their targets: military facilities and soldiers. No civilians. That was their order.

I'm glad to have this reassurance. Germany first* used the deliberate bombing of civilians as a weapon of war when it began its raids on London, in 1940 and 1941. The Allies perfected it and made massive raids on German cities (deliberately targeting civilians) long after the German raids dwindled to a nuisance. The terrible American firebombing of Japanese cities was done without any pretense of attacking only military or industrial targets: it was done to 'destroy Japanese morale.'

Clearly the Japanese, had they had an effective air force within range of American cities would have had no reservations about targeting civilians while their own cities were being destroyed. It was lack of opportunity, not orders from the military that prevented them from bombing civilian targets. As it was, they had to be content with bombing Manila, and far away Darwin, Australia.

*Although they had practiced in Spain.

Robert Paul
Reed College

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