October 3, 2002
AND SHOOTING SADDAM WOULD BE AN ASSASSINATION, WHOOPTY FLIP:
Great Tokyo Air Raid was a war crime
(Hiroaki Sato, Sept. 30, 2002, The Japan Times)
On Dec. 7, 1964, the Japanese government conferred the First Order of Merit with the Grand Cordon of the Rising Sun upon Gen. Curtis LeMay -- yes, the same general who, less than 20 years earlier, had incinerated "well over half a million Japanese civilians, perhaps nearly a million."
In May 1964, the general, now the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, had declaimed: "Tell the Vietnamese they've got to draw in their horns or we're going to bomb them back into the Stone Age."
I was reminded of the Japanese government's bizarre act when I read the responses of several readers of The Atlantic Monthly to the news that a museum had finally been created in Tokyo to memorialize the Great Tokyo Air Raid. In the wee hours of March 10, 1945, 300 B-29s dropped 2,000 tons of incendiaries on one section of Tokyo -- a space seven-tenths the size of Manhattan -- and in 2 1/2 hours "scorched and boiled and baked to death" 100,000 people. The quoted words are LeMay's. [...]
Any deliberate mass slaughter of civilians is a war crime. And what happened in the early hours of March 10, 1945, was the greatest slaughter a single air raid produced in world history.
Mr. Sato is undoubtedly correct
and that's precisely why the United States can not allow its citizens to be covered by UN War Crimes and International Criminal tribunals.
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 3, 2002 9:49 AM
Its interesting to contrast LeMay's later carreer with Air Marshal Harris's (Bomber Command, RAF in WW II). Harris became virtually personna non gratia, and of all the major marshals of the UK forces, Harris was never knighted after or during the war. The post war surveys of the last year's night bombing campaign indicated that Harris's tactics were defective, usually as indicated by after action reconnaissance photos of the industrial targets. Harris's denial of this, as well as his sublimely horrible assertion that if he didn't hit the factory, at least he was killing the workers, quickly turned UK public opinion sour on the night bombing campaign after VE day.
War is cruelty, you cannot refine it it - Sherman.
The fact that Japan got hit by two atomic bombs is a horrible one but their treatment of Koreans and allied prisoners of war along with their unabashed thirst for conquest inclines me to think that frankly, they got what they were asking for.
Also why is getting killed by nukes any worse than the chaos wrought by conventional warfare?
The raid Sato is objecting to did not use nukes.
My take is a bit different. I have been using this attack in several discussions of why "good" Arabs (scare quotes intended ironically) and Mohammendans generally ought to be wearing Yankees caps, ordering ham sandwiches for lunch and generally doing whatever they can think of to distinguish between themselves and those bad Arabs who murder Americans.
If you had asked, early in 1941, if Americans could imagine or would agree to boiling babies for any governmental purpose, you would not have gotten anything but negatives.
Nevertheless, within 5 years, we were boiling babies in the Sumida River. Not only justifiably but commendably. The choice was not between babies being killed and babies not being killed, but between Chinese babies being killed and Japanese babies.
Choose your enemies carefully. Don't launch the wind if you don't want to reap the whirlwind. All those bromides.
I am willing to make book that the complete works of Sato do NOT include any excoriations of Japanese crimes.
And to answer M Ali's question, in fact, you'd rather be killed by a nuke than a Japanese soldier. At least if you're a woman. Nukes don't rapo first.
Of course we did round up Japanese-Americans so they'd be ready to hand for boiling if the war went poorly. It's not like we're saints.
We were saints compared to the Japanese, who in the Solomons raped and murdered Catholic nuns.
Nothing unusual about that, you say. Well, these were GERMAN nuns. It takes a nation of truly Mongol depravity to rape and murder its own allies.
And your crack about rounding up the Mainland Japanese-Americans is unworthy. I could do a long post on that, but it is, I have found, almost impossible to get through the point that not only Americans feared treachery from the American Japanese. The Japanese expected the same, only they defined it as loyalty to the emperor.
The Japanese-Americans in Hawaii collected money for a bomber to kill Chinese with. It was named Hawaii. How nice.
Nevertheless, when war came, the Japanese-Americans proved more faithful to American ideals -- many of which they had experienced only from the outside, like being allowed to become U.S. citizens -- than native-born whites.
An inspiring story in its way, but when even Orrin Judd buys into the PC version, there's not much one curmudgeon marooned in the middle of the ocean can do about getting out the real story.