Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hamburg and the Unjust War

July 26, 2008 is the 65th anniversary of the Allied firebomb-murder of Hamburg known as "Operation Gomorrah."

Timothy J. Harris thoughfully recalls 16 Milestones in Thinking about Just War.

The British part, which deliberately targeted civilians, actually involved four night-time attacks beginning the nights of 7/24, 7/25, 7/27, and 8/2 of 1943.

The intensive bombing was justified in part by speculation that the "experiment" would "shorten" the war. The term “shortening” the war is ambiguous, as Harris noted last year at this time. "More people might be killed in a few hours of a bombing raid than die in several weeks of a major battle engagement. And this is not to mention the extra and needless loss of libraries, art galleries, ancient churches and priceless landmarks."

But America has replaced the Cathedrals with McDonalds, so only a pacifist could complain about the bombing.

Besides, as John Galvin explains, "Any country where the people have unpronounceable names can be bombed by the US with impunity." Or as Ann Coulter delicately phrased it, "We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war."

Is War Ever "Just?"

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