Manuel Carbajal writes Wednesday, April 18, 2007 about the war crimes of the WW2 bombing war
We should have been accused of war crimes
I FIND very difficult to understand why, in all the recent controversy about the bombing of Dresden, no one has called to the attention of the testimony of former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. MacNamara in the documentary "Fog of War".
During WWII he was an Army Air Force officer and subaltern of General Curtis Le May, in charge of statistics and analysis of bombing results. While explaining the mechanism that led to the March 1945 Tokio fire raid (which killed a similar number of innocent civilians as the bombing of Dresden)he recalls a phrase that General Le May said after the war: "Had we lost the war, we would have been accused of war crimes, and rightly so".
But most important, MacNamara himself, accepts that fact, and considers himself as a war criminal or at least of forming part of an organization that proposed and planned a war crime. The movie presents "lessons" from his experience in life, and the lesson in this case was that in war there must exist proportions. 58% of Tokio was destroyed, New York was, by size and population was the most similar U.S. city. Did the Japanese destroy or were they ever military capable of destroying 58% of New York City?
If a major figure of the 20th century, and officer of the U.S. Army, admits honestly that bombing civilian populations is a crime, why the same standard is not applied in the Dresden case? Is it because the victims were germans, nazis, "murderers", and they deserved it?
This documentary is of great importance and the chapter in which the bombings in Japan are discussed has not been paid any attention, and I believe that it deserves it.
Click this link for the movie Google Video, 1 hr 47 min 3 sec