I wanted to post what my Dear Hubby WANTED to post about my post on the outlawing of bombing civilians, but Blogger would not let him for whatever reason. He posts under the name "Comfortably Numb" for anyone that wonders. :-)
Comfortably Numb wrote: (and yes, is his a bit of an expert on all thing war related, even if he does not think so!)
While the reasons for "outlawing" something of this magnitude are obvious - unfortunately it proved to be meaningless (as do most sanctions put forth by the current “United Nations”). Germany, Japan, Great Britain, Russia and the United States (and other nations) all participated in the unrestricted bombing of civilian populations during WW2.
Nations like Great Britain and Japan were founding members of the League of Nations. Germany & Russia joined and like Japan eventually left the organization. The United States was never a member.
The tit-for-tat escalation of civilian bombing missions during WW2 was used to rationalize the bombings of Dresden & Tokyo (plus many other cities) and the eventual use of the Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Looking back with the hind-sight of 60+ years and the reading of Archives from all participating Nations (not available to the planners and decision makers of the time) shows that the indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations does not lead to weakening the morale of the remaining civilian population or the population rising up and overthrowing the leadership. Quite the opposite - it often strengthens the resolve of the population and leadership to fight harder against the offending country.
The idea of a mostly civilian population rising up against the leadership of a modern nation (and overthrowing said leadership) is not feasible for too many reasons to be completely covered in this comment. Suffice it to say that the weapons available to a modern civilian population pale in comparison to those available to a modern military force. Such grass-roots style civilian uprisings are doomed to failure because the leadership has just too much power to bring down on this type of uprising.
Even members of the military rising against the leadership in a Coup attempt will often fail for reasons as minor as a strong wooden leg on a conference table. Who’s to say what would have happened if the leaders of the Coup had succeeded in their attempt to kill Hitler in July of 1944. Could they have maintained control and stopped the remaining members of Hitler’s leadership – including the much feared SS and Gestapo? It doesn’t mean the war would have immediately ended. Other leaders in Hitler’s regime may have overcome the Coup attempt and continued the war to its eventual conclusion. Without Hitler running the war in its final year, the true German military leaders may have been able to overcome key Allied victories and fought to a different conclusion.
Even the WW2 bombings of specific military targets (including the factories, refineries and infrastructure used to supply the military machine) included mostly civilian areas and large loss of life. Where do you put a factory – near or in a city. What grows up around a railroad yard – a city. What circles a refinery – the civilian population of a city. Civilians must live near these targets in order to work them. Automobiles were not as plentiful during WW2 and people normally walked to work. As good as the Norden bombsight was – it was not as accurate in war time operation as planned. That’s why there were 1000 plane raids in the final years of the war. This type of carpet bombing was used against cities to take out the military targets and also the civilian populations. If it helped the planners and bombers sleep better by saying they were only bombing the military targets - good for them (and I am not disparaging the bomber crews – they fought an incredible battle against German and Japan forces with US Army Air Force losses of well over 50,000 deaths). The top decision makers knew that civilians were also part of the target list.
The bombing of military targets or civilian populations during WW2 with the resulting firestorms in Tokyo, Kobe, Hamburg, Dresden and many other cities lead to civilian deaths in the 10’s of thousands - in EACH city. The Atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki lead to civilian deaths estimated to be near 100,000 – in EACH city. Stalin supposedly said that “The death of one man is a tragedy; the death of millions is a statistic”. It is almost impossible for most people to wrap their minds around this many deaths. How tragic in your mind were the attacks of 911? How close did those deaths hit to home? There were only a few children killed on 911. There were thousands of children killed in these cities. There were many cities that lost 10’s of thousands. Can anyone really grasp what those numbers mean?
Take a moment to think about 10’s of thousands - men, women and children – dead in a few days or a few seconds – in each city……
ChongQing – 10,000 plus
Dresden – 25,000 plus
Tokyo – 88,000 to 100,000 plus
Kobe – 8,800 plus
Hamburg – 42,000 plus
Hiroshima – 100,000 plus (plus long term deaths)
Nagasaki – 40,000 to 75,000 (plus long term deaths)
Can anyone really understand what those numbers mean or are they just a statistic?
Unfortunately, the next major War will most likely involve Nuclear weapons (hopefully in a limited fashion – if there is such a thing) and even if not directly targeted - the civilian population will be directly impacted – with deaths estimated in the millions for each city hit.
The United Nations, your Church leaders or the local Rotary can unanimously "outlaw" whatever they want – and it will be just as effective as what the League of Nations did in 1938. It is the leaders we put in place or the leaders of opposing nations that will make the final decision on when to push the button. And we will have absolutely no say in the matter.