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Sunday, August 08, 2004

Targeting Civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki

In his article Anthony Gregory makes a number of important points. I certainly agree with him that if suicide bombings of buses or the events of 9/11 are to be considered acts of political terrorism, so must the intentional mass killings of civilians in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Drezden, Leningrad, Rotterdam and many other places whose civilian populations were likewise intentionally eviscerated by various warring parties during the World War II.

It certainly reflects favorably on the US as a society that eventually Americans showed themselves capable of taking a critical view on those events of which they were part such as nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is also true that in today's wars the US attempts to minimize civilian casualties. However, it is worth noting that that is mostly possible due to advances in technologies which have taken military precision to a whole new level.

But I think we need to acknowledge that terrorism is not something that just came out of the blue and plunged us into the "age of terror" on 9/11/2001. Terrorism is a military tactic, it has been used in many wars,- including by us in some of the wars we have fought.

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