Re: [sixties-l] Re: sixties-l-Vietnam War Memorials

From: Jerry West (
Date: Thu Jun 22 2000 - 07:10:12 CUT

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    William Mandel wrote:

    The pilot of the Enola Gay was a war criminal because he knew he was
    dropping a weapon that would exterminate civilians indiscriminately.

    JW reply:

    First, let me say that I am personally at odds with the decision to use
    nuclear weapons against Japan and am not defending Truman's decision.
    The Japanese were beat already, but that is another debate.

    Now, William, Hiroshima was a valid military target being an Army
    headquarters, and neighboring Kure was a major naval base, so one could
    make an argument for bombing it. What if the pilot truly believed that
    by dropping his weapon he would save upwards of a million American
    lives? (the estimates on the invasion of Japan, another needless
    exercise in my opinion, were horrendous). Is he more of a war criminal
    for bringing a quick end to the war, or for refusing and maybe dragging
    the war on for who knows how long at great cost of life on both sides?

    Remember, the question here is not whether the bombing of Hiroshima was
    right or wrong, we probably agree on that, but whether the pilot was
    wrong and a war criminal if he truly believed that he was saving lives
    by doing so.

    Jerry West
    On line news from Nootka Sound & Canada's West Coast
    An independent, progressive regional publication

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