We closed the window and were walking, unhurriedly down the stairs when suddenly came loud rushing noises and huge explosions. This month marks 70 years since the German Luftwaffe began its systematic bombing of English cities, killing 43, Britons in nine months of bombing. Nazi Germany adopted this tactic after failing to gain the air supremacy needed for a full scale invasion of Britain, and in retaliation for earlier limited bombings of German cities.
But they are strategically justified in so far as they tend to shorten the war and preserve the lives of Allied soldiers. To my mind we have absolutely no right to give them up unless it is certain that they will not have this effect. I do not personally regard the whole of the remaining cities of Germany as worth the bones of one British Grenadier. Estimates of German civilian casualties suffered under Allied bombing range from , to , killed.
The RAF were far more effective than their German counterparts. In the Pacific region the Japanese military made no secret of their contempt for the rules of warfare.
Reaping the Whirlwind - The New York Times
The numerous war crimes and atrocities committed by Japanese forces were more like natural extensions of the perverse Imperial ideology, rather than concessions to military expedience. The lessons of military expedience culminated in the most direct and effective violence ever inflicted upon an enemy population.
In the past few decades, Western democracies have shied away from the targeting of non-combatants. Medics and chaplains may be military non-combatants, while civilians will become legitimate targets if they enter into combat. The value of this distinction is most apparent in the two wars that have engaged Western democracies this past decade. This principle is made explicit in the self-serving justification of al-Qaeda :.
He is our target, because he is helping the American war machine against the Muslim nation. Another al-Qaeda leader offered justifications for the killing of non-combatants that read almost like a parody of arguments for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki:. Yet the temptation will always exist for us to abandon our self-imposed rules of warfare for the sake of a quicker, easier, or more vengeful victory. To avoid this temptation, we must confirm that we are truly acting in accordance with the ethics of warfare, and not simply responding to the demands of the present era.
It is clear, for example, that domestic and international politics will not condone the targeting of non-combatants as it did in the past. But is this opinion based on the fact that it is always wrong to target non-combatants? Or is it based on a pragmatic sense that such actions are not yet justified? We do not know what challenges the future holds, so we cannot predict how our judgment will be tested and warped by coming events. That all concerned become victims before the end need, hardly be said. It is a tragedy of disillusion; there is no killing in it.
The characters are drawn in a vivid, clear-cut way, showing much imagination in both the producer and the players.
They that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind
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Reaping the Whirlwind
Alternate Versions. Rate This. Still he is a discontented husband, only too ready to see as much as possible of Nina Harrington, the flirtatious wife of Stars: Jack Conway , Eugenie Forde. Added to Watchlist.