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Memory Loss in the Garden of Violence
How Americans Remember (and Forget) Their Wars
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Some years ago, a newspaper article credited a European visitor with the wry observation that Americans are charming because they have such short memories. When it comes to the nation’s wars, however, he was not entirely on target. Americans embrace military histories of the heroic “band of [American] brothers” sort, especially involving World War II. They possess a seemingly boundless appetite for retellings of the Civil War, far and away the country’s most devastating conflict where American war deaths are concerned.

Certain traumatic historical moments such as “the Alamo” and “Pearl Harbor” have become code words — almost mnemonic devices — for reinforcing the remembrance of American victimization at the hands of nefarious antagonists. Thomas Jefferson and his peers actually established the baseline for this in the nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, which enshrines recollection of “the merciless Indian Savages” — a self-righteous demonization that turned out to be boilerplate for a succession of later perceived enemies. “September 11th” has taken its place in this deep-seated invocation of violated innocence, with an intensity bordering on hysteria.

Such “victim consciousness” is not, of course, peculiar to Americans. In Japan after World War II, this phrase — higaisha ishiki in Japanese — became central to leftwing criticism of conservatives who fixated on their country’s war dead and seemed incapable of acknowledging how grievously Imperial Japan had victimized others, millions of Chinese and hundreds of thousands of Koreans foremost among them. When present-day Japanese cabinet members visit Yasukuni Shrine, where the emperor’s deceased soldiers and sailors are venerated, they are stoking victim consciousness and roundly criticized for doing so by the outside world, including the U.S. media.

Worldwide, war memorials and memorial days ensure preservation of such selective remembrance. My home state of Massachusetts also does this to this day by flying the black-and-white “POW-MIA” flag of the Vietnam War at various public places, including Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox — still grieving over those fighting men who were captured or went missing in action and never returned home.

In one form or another, populist nationalisms today are manifestations of acute victim consciousness. Still, the American way of remembering and forgetting its wars is distinctive for several reasons. Geographically, the nation is much more secure than other countries. Alone among major powers, it escaped devastation in World War II, and has been unmatched in wealth and power ever since. Despite panic about Communist threats in the past and Islamist and North Korean threats in the present, the United States has never been seriously imperiled by outside forces. Apart from the Civil War, its war-related fatalities have been tragic but markedly lower than the military and civilian death tolls of other nations, invariably including America’s adversaries.

Asymmetry in the human costs of conflicts involving U.S. forces has been the pattern ever since the decimation of Amerindians and the American conquest of the Philippines between 1899 and 1902. The State Department’s Office of the Historian puts the death toll in the latter war at “over 4,200 American and over 20,000 Filipino combatants,” and proceeds to add that “as many as 200,000 Filipino civilians died from violence, famine, and disease.” (Among other precipitating causes for those noncombatant deaths, U.S. troops shot most of the water buffalo farmers relied on to produce their crops.) Many scholarly accounts now offer higher estimates for Filipino civilian fatalities.

Much the same morbid asymmetry characterizes war-related deaths in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War of 1991, and the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq following September 11, 2001.

Terror Bombing from World War II to Korea and Vietnam to 9/11

While it is natural for people and nations to focus on their own sacrifice and suffering rather than the death and destruction they themselves inflict, in the case of the United States such cognitive astigmatism is backlighted by the country’s abiding sense of being exceptional, not just in power but also in virtue. In paeans to “American exceptionalism,” it is an article of faith that the highest values of Western and Judeo-Christian civilization guide the nation’s conduct — to which Americans add their country’s purportedly unique embrace of democracy, respect for each and every individual, and stalwart defense of a “rules-based” international order.

Such self-congratulation requires and reinforces selective memory. “Terror,” for instance, has become a word applied to others, never to oneself. And yet during World War II, U.S. and British strategic-bombing planners explicitly regarded their firebombing of enemy cities as terror bombing, and identified destroying the morale of noncombatants in enemy territory as necessary and morally acceptable. Shortly after the Allied devastation of the German city of Dresden in February 1945, Winston Churchill, whose bust circulates in and out of the presidential Oval Office in Washington (it is currently in), referred to the “bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts.”

In the war against Japan, U.S. air forces embraced this practice with an almost gleeful vengeance, pulverizing 64 cities prior to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. When al-Qaeda’s 19 hijackers crash-bombed the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001, however, “terror bombing” aimed at destroying morale was detached from this Anglo-American precedent and relegated to “non-state terrorists.” Simultaneously, targeting innocent civilians was declared to be an atrocity utterly contrary to civilized “Western” values, and prima facie evidence of Islam’s inherent savagery.

The sanctification of the site of the destroyed World Trade Center as “Ground Zero” — a term previously associated with nuclear explosions in general and Hiroshima in particular — reinforced this deft legerdemain in the manipulation of memory. Few if any American public figures recognized or cared that this graphic nomenclature was appropriated from Hiroshima, whose city government puts the number of fatalities from the atomic bombing “by the end of December 1945, when the acute effects of radiation poisoning had largely subsided,” at around 140,000. (The estimated death toll for Nagasaki is 60,000 to 70,000.) The context of those two attacks — and all the firebombings of German and Japanese cities before them — obviously differs greatly from the non-state terrorism and suicide bombings inflicted by today’s terrorists. Nonetheless, “Hiroshima” remains the most telling and troubling symbol of terror bombing in modern times — despite the effectiveness with which, for present and future generations, the post-9/11 “Ground Zero” rhetoric altered the landscape of memory and now connotes American victimization.

Short memory also has erased almost all American recollection of the U.S. extension of terror bombing to Korea and Indochina. Shortly after World War II, the United States Strategic Bombing Survey calculated that Anglo-American air forces in the European theater had dropped 2.7 million tons of bombs, of which 1.36 million tons targeted Germany. In the Pacific theater, total tonnage dropped by Allied planes was 656,400, of which 24% (160,800 tons) was dropped on the home islands of Japan. Of the latter, 104,000 tons “were directed at 66 urban areas.” Shocking at the time, in retrospect these Japanese numbers in particular have come to seem modest when compared to the tonnage of explosives U.S. forces unloaded on Korea and later Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.

The official history of the air war in Korea (The United States Air Force in Korea 1950-1953) records that U.S.-led United Nations air forces flew more than one million sorties and, all told, delivered a total of 698,000 tons of ordnance against the enemy. In his 1965 memoir Mission with LeMay, General Curtis LeMay, who directed the strategic bombing of both Japan and Korea, offered this observation: “We burned down just about every city in North and South Korea both… We killed off over a million civilian Koreans and drove several million more from their homes, with the inevitable additional tragedies bound to ensue.”

Other sources place the estimated number of civilian Korean War dead as high as three million, or possibly even more. Dean Rusk, a supporter of the war who later served as secretary of state, recalled that the United States bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.” In the midst of this “limited war,” U.S. officials also took care to make it clear on several occasions that they had not ruled out using nuclear weapons. This even involved simulated nuclear strikes on North Korea by B-29s operating out of Okinawa in a 1951 operation codenamed Hudson Harbor.

In Indochina, as in the Korean War, targeting “everything that moved” was virtually a mantra among U.S. fighting forces, a kind of password that legitimized indiscriminate slaughter. Nick Turse’s extensively researched recent history of the Vietnam War, for instance, takes its title from a military order to “kill anything that moves.” Documents released by the National Archives in 2004 include a transcript of a 1970 telephone conversation in which Henry Kissinger relayed President Richard Nixon’s orders to launch “a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves.”

In Laos between 1964 and 1973, the CIA helped direct the heaviest air bombardment per capita in history, unleashing over two million tons of ordnance in the course of 580,000 bombing runs — equivalent to a planeload of bombs every eight minutes for roughly a full decade. This included around 270 million bomblets from cluster bombs. Roughly 10% of the total Laotian population was killed. Despite the devastating effects of this assault, some 80 million of the cluster bomblets dropped failed to detonate, leaving the ravaged country littered with deadly unexploded ordnance to the present day.

The payload of bombs unloaded on Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos between the mid-1960s and 1973 is commonly reckoned to have been between seven and eight million tons — well over 40 times the tonnage dropped on the Japanese home islands in World War II. Estimates of total deaths vary, but are all exceedingly high. In a Washington Post article in 2012, John Tirman noted that “by several scholarly estimates, Vietnamese military and civilian deaths ranged from 1.5 million to 3.8 million, with the U.S.-led campaign in Cambodia resulting in 600,000 to 800,000 deaths, and Laotian war mortality estimated at about 1 million.”

On the American side, the Department of Veterans Affairs places battle deaths in the Korean War at 33,739. As of Memorial Day 2015, the long wall of the deeply moving Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington was inscribed with the names of 58,307 American military personnel killed between 1957 and 1975, the great majority of them from 1965 on. This includes approximately 1,200 men listed as missing (MIA, POW, etc.), the lost fighting men whose flag of remembrance still flies over Fenway Park.

North Korea and the Cracked Mirror of Nuclear War

Today, Americans generally remember Vietnam vaguely, and Cambodia and Laos not at all. (The inaccurate label “Vietnam War” expedited this latter erasure.) The Korean War, too, has been called “the forgotten war,” although a veterans memorial in Washington, D.C., was finally dedicated to it in 1995, 42 years after the armistice that suspended the conflict. By contrast, Koreans have not forgotten. This is especially true in North Korea, where the enormous death and destruction suffered between 1950 and 1953 is kept alive through endless official iterations of remembrance — and this, in turn, is coupled with a relentless propaganda campaign calling attention to Cold War and post-Cold War U.S. nuclear intimidation. This intense exercise in remembering rather than forgetting goes far to explain the current nuclear saber-rattling of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.

With only a slight stretch of the imagination, it is possible to see cracked mirror images in the nuclear behavior and brinksmanship of American presidents and North Korea’s dictatorial dynastic leadership. What this unnerving looking glass reflects is possible madness, or feigned madness, coupled with possible nuclear conflict, accidental or otherwise.

To Americans and much of the rest of the world, Kim Jong-un seems irrational, even seriously deranged. (Just pair his name with “insane” or “crazy” in a Google search.) Yet in rattling his miniscule nuclear quiver, he is really joining the long-established game of “nuclear deterrence,” and practicing what is known among American strategists as the “madman theory.” The latter term is most famously associated with Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger during the Vietnam War, but in fact it is more or less imbedded in U.S. nuclear game plans. As rearticulated in “Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence,” a secret policy document drafted by a subcommittee in the U.S. Strategic Command in 1995 (four years after the demise of the Soviet Union), the madman theory posits that the essence of effective nuclear deterrence is to induce “fear” and “terror” in the mind of an adversary, to which end “it hurts to portray ourselves as too fully rational and cool-headed.”

When Kim Jong-un plays this game, he is simultaneously ridiculed and feared to be truly demented. When practiced by their own leaders and nuclear priesthood, Americans have been conditioned to see rational actors at their cunning best.

Terror, it seems, in the twenty-first century, as in the twentieth, is in the eye of the beholder.

John W. Dower is professor emeritus of history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His many books include War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War and Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War Two , which have won numerous prizes including the Pulitzer, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle award. His latest book, The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War Two (Dispatch Books), has just been published.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
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  1. In one form or another, populist nationalisms today are manifestations of acute victim consciousness.

    Yes, but not necessarily in the military sense. It could be also a victimhood mindset induced by perceived injustices; in this case, the perceived betrayal of the elites, in the context of economic globalization.

    It’s fine if you want to talk about the wars the way you do, but using it to smear perfectly legitimate (imo) populist movements? That’s uncalled for, and you should be ashamed of yourself…

  2. Was the Korean War worth fighting?

    Of course it was. We didn’t want those dirty Commies taking our money. That’s what they do. So we showed them in Korea and Viet Nam. But then, alas, along came China and those dirty Commies are eating our lunch. And they cheat! They do it by being better Capitalists; what nerve! We’ll fix ’em. Somehow. I guess. If they lend us enough money.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  3. anon • Disclaimer says:

    For South Koreans yes. For Americans no.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  4. The great thing about the USA’s wars is that they cost less and less USA lives.
    More USA ‘boys’ died in WWI than in WWII.

    In WWII Roosevelt let the bloodletting to Stalin.
    In return he got E Europe.

    Churchill had learned from WWI and Gallipoli that spilling massive British blood no longer was possible, he therefore chose bombing.
    What he did not realise that that the bomber crews consisted of the most promising British, the most intelligent.
    Hardly anyone of them survived, they had to fly 20 missions, in each mission there was a five percent loss.
    The relative backwardness of GB after WWII has often been attributed to this, intelligence is to a large extent hereditary, a fact about which politicians are uncomfortable.

    What Churchill also did not realise that in bombing German worker areas he did not kill the brightest Germans, they were fighting the war, as officers.
    It has often been asserted that the Wirtschaftswunder became also possible because the old medieval cities were razed to the ground, it was possible to build 20th century cities, an advantage London never got, it is one of the most congested cities.

    The USA conquering Okinawa lost 7.000 men, 100.000 Japanese soldiers died, plus 40.000 civilians, a one to twenty ratio.

    In Afghanistan, Anatol Lieven calculated there was progress, the ratio improved to one USA man on fifty Afghans.

    Now in the drone era it will have further improved.

    The cost to the USA is gigantic, in my opinion, the hatred of the USA increasing all the time, necessitating to check anyone entering the USA with great cost, and irritation, and spying on everyone living in the USA.

    Here in Europe it is the same, I for one do not expect French martial law ever to disappear in the near future, Fench police and other security personnel under constant stress, and trigger happy.
    This then now every few weeks causes riots, when the police again has shot some non white suspect.

  5. @anon

    GB had other ideas, they did not want to interfere.
    Peter Lowe, The Origins of the Korean War, London, 1986

  6. @Robert Magill

    The Vietnam war was about USA prestige, and indeed the USA lost it.
    Christopher Lasch, ‘The Culture of Narcissism, American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations’, 1979, 1980, London

  7. When al-Qaeda’s 19 hijackers crash-bombed the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001

    Ooops, genuflection alert!

    (Or does he actually still believe that? 15 years afterwards??? An M.I.T. guy? Nahhh, surely not…)

    • Agree: jacques sheete
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @anarchyst
  8. Extraordinary essay.

    Thank you John Dower.

    from a discussion of Dower’s “Cultures of War,” with Dr. Sanho Tree, 2010

    “Dower: [bombing] is peculiar to an alien culture; it’s those people who don’t respect individuals, whereas we do. The different standards. I think that’s where we have to really start asking deeper questions.

    Tree: To take an 18-year old, whether it is a U.S. or Japanese or German or Chinese, and be able to turn an 18-year old into someone who is capable of doing horrible things to complete strangers for reasons of state, is a very unnatural act. It takes a lot of conditioning, so there’s a lot of dehumanization that goes on of the perpetrator and the victim and this carries over.

    In order to do these things you have to dehumanize.
    But if you dehumanize you can’t really get into the mindset that your adversaries .
    And if you can’t get into the mindset, you can’t understand what’s motivating them
    and if you don’t understand what motivates them you can’t get them to stop doing what you want him to stop doing in the first place. “

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  9. @Jonathan Revusky

    Have you considered how the multiple attacks on the same day fit the pattern of ObL’s Al Qaeda tactics as practiced for example in Kenya and Tanzania? Have you considered how well it fits his (higbĺy successful) strategy of getting the hated America bogged down in a Vietnam-like quagmire when the 9/11 attacks prove more devastating than expected and lead to the attack on Afghanistan? Have you also considered how extraordinarily chancy and uncertain it would be to plan 9/11 to set up a war against Iraq?

  10. @SolontoCroesus

    Japanese just took over western colonialism, in order to keep their sovereignty, what was taken from them by Roosevelt.
    The stories about German horrors in WWII are as much propaganda as they were in WWI.
    On the other hand, the stories about Russian atrocities in WWII are very true, as German refugees, fleeing before the Red armies, knew quite well.

    The difference is just that after WWI the atrocities were debunked, not one Belgian atrocity could be proved after WWI, after WWII the horror stories exist to the present day.

    French people were shocked, a few years ago, when, from an attic a collection of WWII photographs were found.
    French sitting gaily on Paris terraces, single German soldiers walking unarmed through Paris.

    Yet old Le Pen had to pay a stiff fine after stating ‘that the German occupation had been relatively benign’.

  11. Kim is not insane or crazy … he saw what happened to Saddam and Khadaffi, both of whom failed to obtain the very nukes that might have guaranteed their very safety. In a world where the only thing that stops Uncle Sam is a credible nuclear deterrent, the most likely winning move is to have your own.

    • Agree: Bill, bluedog
  12. When al-Qaeda’s 19 hijackers crash-bombed the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001…

    Except for that utterly sappy claim, this article did a fine job of describing the hypocrisy and self indulgence of the “excellent, superior, victors” who, as “victims,” are nevertheless perpetual “winners” while the “enemies du jour” are all “deranged.”

    • Replies: @MarkinPNW
  13. BozoB says:

    Mr. Dower writes as if the U.S. was the only actor in these wars. He accumulates facts about the unpleasant history of U.S. warmaking and never says a word about the violence perpetrated by the various enemies. If he really wants to argue that the U.S. is a “garden of violence,” isn’t a comparison necessary? And in that comparison, shouldn’t he examine both what the enemies actually did and what it is reasonable to think they’d have done if they’d had the means at their disposal that the U.S. had?

    • Replies: @anonymous
  14. Interesting. Probably the best security, climate, geography, natural resources and in many other aspects located nation turned such a spoiled brat and psychopath. Instead of enjoying her luck and leaving everybody alone America has no peace of mind and creates hell for the rest. I notice America and Americans has no empathy for anyone else. It is most probably result of the lack of real suffering on America part.

  15. @dearieme


    Good question. I would say the Korean War was worth fighting. It’s easy now to mock those who feared the Red Menace. But, it’s important to remember that communism left a wake of death and suffering everywhere it was implimented. (The real tragedy of Korea isn’t just the millions of deaths the US caused. It’s that all that suffering was in vain for half the peninsula.)

    The Korean War was important because the US had to demonstrate to the USSR and China that it had both the will and the means to oppose naked Communist aggression. After Korea, the Soviets and Chinese only nibbled around. There were no more large scale military invasion like Eastern Europe, Manchuria and Korea.

    Another reason is because a united Korean Peninsula that was a patron of either the Soviets or Chinese would have been perceived as an existential threat to Japan. All of Japan’s post Westernization wars were related to Korea. Conflict would have eventually broken out and a war over the Korean Peninsula, in, for example, 1958, that would have involved the Koreans, Chinese, Japanese and Americans would have been much much worse than the historical Korean War.

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @OutWest
  16. @dearieme

    Nope, but then again neither was WWII and especially WWI.

    Really, the whole trouble started in 1066 when those busybodies across the Channel inflicted themselves on those peaceful Anglo-Saxons.

  17. Agent76 says:

    Great article and I will add this detailed historical fact as well.

    February 23, 2015 America Has Been At War 93% of the Time – 222 Out of 239 Years – Since 1776

    The U.S. Has Only Been At Peace For 21 Years Total Since Its Birth. Below, I have reproduced a year-by-year timeline of America’s wars, which reveals something quite interesting: since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 214 out of her 235 calendar years of existence. In other words, there were only 21 calendar years in which the U.S. did not wage any wars.

    • Replies: @Jake
  18. fnn says:

    The only American war worth fighting was the Southern war against the Yankee invasion. And even that one was complicated by the fact that they were ultimately fighting to defend an inexcusable social system. But the average Confederate soldier was simply defending his home from an invading army.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  19. Logan says:

    “the United States has never been seriously imperiled by outside forces. ”

    Uhh. You may have heard of the Cold War, during which the USA could have been essentially destroyed utterly in a was lasting less than an hour.

    No peril of conquest, true. Peril of destruction, quite real. Still present, of course, if at much reduced chance.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    , @bluedog
  20. Logan says:
    @jilles dykstra

    “More USA ‘boys’ died in WWI than in WWII.”

    WWI US war dead around 110,000, more than half not in battle, largely from Spanish flu.

    WWII war dead around 400,000, about 300,000 in battle.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  21. Logan says:

    The one I find interesting is that USA has completely forgotten our conquest of the Philippines. Those who know we fought a war over there think it was against the Muslim Moros.

  22. Logan says:

    “When Kim Jong-un plays this game, he is simultaneously ridiculed and feared to be truly demented. When practiced by their own leaders and nuclear priesthood, Americans have been conditioned to see rational actors at their cunning best.”

    That entirely sane people sometimes find it helpful to not be thought overly rational does not mean that some people aren’t actually irrational.

  23. Logan says:

    ““the merciless Indian Savages” — a self-righteous demonization”

    True. Also entirely accurate.

    I’m always amused by the whitewashing of Indian atrocities, when nothing ISIS has done exceeds them.

    • Replies: @Wally
  24. @jilles dykstra

    More USA ‘boys’ died in WWI than in WWII

    Don’t think so: US combat deaths in WWII were 5.5 times the level of WWI, and overall deaths were nearly 4 times as high.

  25. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Following up on the author’s comment:

    Despite panic about Communist threats in the past and Islamist and North Korean threats in the present, the United States has never been seriously imperiled by outside forces.

    America Unhinged:

    The story is this: America’s national- security elites act on the assumption that every nook and cranny of the globe is of great strategic significance and that there are threats to U.S. interests everywhere. Not surprisingly, they live in a constant state of fear. This fearful outlook is reflected in the comments of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, before Congress in February 2012: “I can’t impress upon you that in my personal military judgment, formed over thirty-eight years, we are living in the most dangerous time in my lifetime, right now.” In February 2013, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that Americans “live in very complex and dangerous times,” and the following month Senator James Inhofe said, “I don’t remember a time in my life where the world has been more dangerous and the threats more diverse.”


    I’m actually in favor of a full century of keeping Germany and Japan non-nuclear and mostly disarmed. The former has resulted in the remainder of Europe partially disarmed as they consistently cheat on their NATO commitments to military spending. But the rest of the world? No. Enough is enough.

  26. Agent76 says:

    US Imperialism 1800-1900

    US Imperialism 1800-1900. The second part of the Timeline of United States military operations. The dates show the year in which the US dispatched troops.

    US Imperialism 1900-2010

    Timeline of United States military operations; dates show the year in which the US dispatched troops.

  27. @Logan

    No peril of conquest, true.

    A key phrase. United States is simply not a Continental warfare nation. Civil War shtick is for internal consumption only.

  28. Wally says: • Website
    @jilles dykstra

    Who started bombing civilians first: Germany or Great Britain?

    • Replies: @Logan
  29. Wally says:
    Crichton: Environmentalism is a religion

    And what about indigenous peoples, living in a state of harmony with the Eden-like environment? Well, they never did. On this continent, the newly arrived people who crossed the land bridge almost immediately set about wiping out hundreds of species of large animals, and they did this several thousand years before the white man showed up, to accelerate the process. And what was the condition of life? Loving, peaceful, harmonious? Hardly: the early peoples of the New World lived in a state of constant warfare. Generations of hatred, tribal hatreds, constant battles. The warlike tribes of this continent are famous: the Comanche, Sioux, Apache, Mohawk, Aztecs, Toltec, Incas. Some of them practiced infanticide, and human sacrifice. And those tribes that were not fiercely warlike were exterminated, or learned to build their villages high in the cliffs to attain some measure of safety.

    • Replies: @Logan
    , @Logan
  30. Wally says:
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    Give me a break. The US merely “demonstrated” it’s military incompetence.

    The communists took and kept half of Korea.

    The US embarrassed itself in Korea and the Soviets & Chinese laughed out loud.

    • Replies: @Anon
  31. OutWest says:
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    Check the Kennan Strategy. Though long term it succeeded. It’s hard to argue with success.

    Too bad it appears to be our last thought out strategy rather than kneejerk reaction now extant.

  32. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    The communists were apportioned half of Korea before the war ever began. They tried to take the other half and were pushed all the way back to the Chinese border. At that point, the Chinese mobilized 300,000 troops and sent them over the border, taking Seoul. The rest of the war involved re-establishing status quo ante.

    Without U.S./U.N. intervention in Korea, there’s little question the whole peninsula would be under communist rule.

    • Replies: @Joseph Moroco
  33. anarchyst says:
    @Jonathan Revusky

    It was Israel and its Mossad that perpetrated the WTC destruction.
    Google “dancing Israelis”–yes “dancing Israelis” who were on the New Jersey shore “documenting the event” along with their “moving company”…
    When they were approached and asked what they were doing, they stated that “their problem was now our problem”…
    Of course Bush and Cheney were in on it, as they KNEW that it would happen.
    Bush saw to it that the Israeli “art students” (Mossad) were deported and the records put under seal.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  34. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Was the Korean War worth fighting?

    Wrong question to ask.

    The war happened because US imposed division on Korea and gave half to Stalin.

    Question should be “Should US have forced division on Korea?”

    Division was especially criminal since Korea got punished for Japan’s crimes.
    Japan was kept united, but Korea got divided despite its colonial status under Japanese imperialism.

  35. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    By contrast, Koreans have not forgotten.

    SK has either forgotten or just follow the US narrative of Noble US savior.

    NK has conveniently forgotten Chinese bailed them out.

  36. Wally says:

    That’s a silly spin on the facts.

    The S. Koreans claimed to be the legit rulers of ALL of Korea.
    The US agreed.

    The result:
    The communists kept their half of Korea, in spite of the futile, incompetent US efforts to remove them.

    A classic study in wasted US effort.

    • Replies: @Anon
  37. @Anon

    No Samsung phones, no hyundai cars, no k-pop. The horror!

  38. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Go for it, why don’t you? List “the various enemies,” and then the “violence perpetrated.” You can always seek shelter in your last sentence, and tell us how the Japanese not only would have nuked Seattle and Portland three days apart, but thrown in a couple more civilian targets in between.

  39. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    You wrote, “The communists took and kept half of Korea.”

    On this, you rate “half-right.” They were apportioned half.

    The N. Koreans also claimed to be the legitimate rulers of all Korea. The USSR and China agreed.

    In fact, both Koreas still make this claim, so I’m not sure of your point.

    Anyway, it’s not clear the goal of the war went beyond getting the communists out of South Korea, which was inarguably successful.

  40. Logan says:

    I’m frequently amazed by the denunciation of the American military for what happened at Sand Creek and a few other times in our history.

    The “atrocities” committed by our troops were darn mild by Indian standards and they were against the rules of the military. Meanwhile the atrocities committed by the Indians were much, much worse and those committing them gained prestige and status by doing so.

    AFAIK, there is not a single instance of Indians being brought back to camp by whites for a few days of leisurely torturing to death. Something that was routine and admired by Indian societies. Or many of them.

    • Agree: Alden
    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    , @Wally
  41. Mulegino1 says:

    The day the US deviated from its providentially assigned role of being a great continental republic to the aspirations of becoming a thallasocratic empire was a fatal one. The Spanish American War initiated that great deviation. Ever since, the results have been catastrophic. US meddling in Europe’s business led to Versailles, the success of the communists in Russia and China, the Second World War, the current disaster in the Levant, the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, the dystopian EU and now the potentially world ending standoff against Russia and China. I know this is hard to swallow for those who believe the comic book “Saving Private Ryan” type propaganda but it is true.

  42. Logan says:

    Since the German Condor Legion bombed Guernica in 1937, I suspect the Germans win.

    Though to be fair the British had earlier used planes in fighting in Iraq, the NW territories of India, and possibly in other places.

    But those were “natives,” not civilian “real people.”

  43. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Simultaneously, targeting innocent civilians was declared to be an atrocity utterly contrary to civilized “Western” values, and prima facie evidence of Islam’s inherent savagery.”

    Great glory comes at a great price. The west doesn’t even realise the Faustian bargain it has struck to achieve the success it has.

  44. @Logan

    Ad did the Italians in Ethiopia.
    Who is interested in massacres by the British before they used planes for the same purpose

    Ian Hernon, ‘Britain’s Forgotten Wars, Colonial Campaigns of the 19th Century’, 2003, 2007, Chalford – Stroud

  45. @Mulegino1

    The Monroe Declaration, S America is ours, was already 1820, if I recall correctly.
    Manifest Destiny was around 1840.
    USA imperialism was interrupted by the secession of the southern states for some time, indeed with the war on Spain it was taken up again.

  46. Logan says:

    Whether early Americans were responsible for the disappearance of megafauna in North and South America is hotly contested.

    It’s always seemed unlikely to me that primitive hunter-gatherers could exterminate such numbers of aminals across continents of this size.

    The problem is that wiping out of megafauna happened many times shortly after the arrival of humans: Madagascar, New Zealand, Crete, Australia, etc. There’s no particular reason to assume it couldn’t happen in America.

    • Replies: @Wally
  47. @Mulegino1

    I fully agree, the preceding world empire, the British, was managed far better.
    As De Gaulle said ‘the USA tries to solve any problem with force’.
    The British were far more subtle, or cunning, a different opinion of the same.

  48. @Logan

    For a different story
    Stan Hoig, “The Sand Creek Massacre’, Oklahoma, 1961, 1982

    • Replies: @Wally
  49. bluedog says:

    Ah the cold war or the iron curtain so Churchill called it along with the rest of his ravings that was after he had his people game attacking Russia, using allied forces and German POW ,we created the so called cold war for the deep pockets, after all without some threat someone to fear it would be hard to suck out billions of billions from the taxpayer and we always have to have someone to hate for its simply our nature…

    • Replies: @Logan
    , @Carroll Price
  50. Mulegino1 says:

    Guernica was bombed to block the retreat and redeployment of Loyalist troops, not to mass murder the civilian population. It was Picasso’s lousy painting of a bullfight, which he re-christened as “Guernica” after the action, which has so captivated the leftist mind.

  51. Art says:

    As an exceptional nation – how many people do we have to kill, maim, and displace to get over 9/11?

    How much flesh is it going to take? What is a good number – what specific amount of carnage will satisfy our nationalistic exceptionalism?

    It would be good to know, them we just attack until our quota is filled – and then we can declare peace and go home.

    Peace — Art

    p.s. It is so nice of the Muslims to provide us with endless jihadis to kill.

    p.s. Hmm – how many of us have to die to fulfill this quota?

    p.s. Funny, it seems that the more we kill – the more of them there is. (Strange – ha.)

    p.s. Did the Muslims do 9/11 because of our unfair treatment of Muslims in Palestine?

    p.s. Did the domestic powers who control the US government, bring this hell to America and the world?

  52. Who started aerial bombardment of civilians? How about 1914, when German Zeppelins bombed Antwerp.

    More to the point: what’s the big fuss over who began aerial bombing of civilians? After all, rape, torture and mass murder of civilians had been wholly hands-on features of warfare from times long before recorded history. Aerial bombing is just another means of delivering ordnance, just as the use of catapults or artillery to bombard fortified cities – which also killed civilians – constitute means of delivering ordnance.

    Terror is implicit in and inseparable from warfare, which – regardless of its scale – is nothing but organized butchery.

    Few, if any, stop to consider that the Allied bombing of Axis cities forced the Axis powers to retain thousands of aircraft and tens of thousands of antiaircraft guns to defend against Allied bombing raids, and that all those Axis defensive aircraft and antiaircraft guns would have made mincemeat out of a lot more Allied troops on combat front lines. Had the Wehrmacht and the Japanese been able to deploy those same thousands of aircraft and antiaircraft guns on the front lines, those planes and guns would have prolonged the Second World War for at least another year, and would have allowed the Axis powers to have continued to mass-murder, by forced labor and starvation alone, millions more civilians than the Allied bombing raids managed to kill German, Italian and Japanese civilians.

    What about submarine warfare? In two world wars Germany practiced unrestricted submarine warfare that killed tens of thousands of civilians – and the objective of unrestricted submarine warfare was the same objective that the Great War Royal Navy blockade of Germany succeeded in attaining: the starving out of Imperial Germany and the deprivation of war materiel, and this objective of starving out the foe is the same one pursued in sieges of fortified cities dating back to time immemorial. In the Second World War the U.S. Navy’s unrestricted submarine warfare against Japanese merchantmen also killed countless civilian crews – and even killed Allied POW’s aboard Japanese freighters. Yet it was the U.S. submariners’ successes that deprived Imperial Japan of the resources it desperately needed to continue to wage war.

    Do not let the greater capacity, accuracy (or inaccuracy), or remote-control of today’s military technology distort or cloud clear-eyed appreciation of the character of warfare as it has been waged since before recorded history came along and as it is still waged today.

    Is anyone sufficiently naïve to expect that if Islam had been the economic and technological superior of a backward (or pacifist) West or Buddhist/Hindu/Shinto Orient, that Islam would by now have somehow refrained from imposing its might upon all whom its adherents believe to be the enemies of Islam? Is anyone sufficiently naïve to expect that had the Soviet Union been the economic and technological superior to the West, that the Soviet Union would somehow have refrained from imposing its own, oh, so enlightened, Communist notion of world order upon the world?

    Of course the United States has been imperial and aggressive – that’s inherent in the nature of great powers. Yet, along with the preceding British Empire, the U.S. imperium has been far less lethal to civilians than any domination by Islam or Communism would have inflicted upon civilians worldwide. Do Islam’s fourteen centuries of exceedingly bloody and lethal conquest, which enslaved, put to death, and consigned to misery scores of millions of people, and Communism’s less-than-a-century of bloody, lethal butchery, which murdered well over 100 million human beings, somehow compare favorably against the British Empire or the U.S. imperium?

    No excuses are made here for U.S. excesses, such as the ones it made in the Southeast Asian campaigns (wrongly known as “The Vietnam War”), and this is especially true as the Pentagon Papers revealed that the U.S. leadership continued to wage those campaigns despite its own acknowledgement that, even had the U.S. invaded all of Southeast Asia, there was no way to win those campaigns. But aerial interdiction in the Korean War certainly played a big part in diminishing North Korean and Red Chinese military capacity in the field, and played just as big a part in forcing Kim Il-Sung to the cease-fire negotiations at Panmunjom – the U.S./UN leadership did know that they were indeed able by military means to force a return to the status quo ante.

    Atop all that, isn’t it axiomatic that in warfare the objective is the defeat of the enemy, and that a necessary corollary to attaining that objective is the reduction of the enemy’s capacity to wage war by defeating his armies in the field (by the most cost-effective means) while depriving those armies of the materiel wherewithal to wage war, all while minimizing casualties suffered by one’s own side? Are wars won by mindless acceptance of inordinate numbers of casualties to one’s own forces? So much for the non-starter, non-argument predicated on the false premise that U.S. casualty rates somehow “mean” something or “show” something other than the wisdom of minimizing one’s own people’s sacrifice and suffering.

    Further, I defy anyone to name a war that was won primarily by changing the “hearts and minds” of one’s enemy – because there’s never been such a victory. That’s why today’s GWOT (or “countering violent extremism” while admitting millions of the enemy’s source population into one’s own countries and propagandizing one’s own people to accept meekly, and even enthusiastically, such demographic influx) is the policy equivalent of p_ssing up a rope.

  53. Wally says: • Website

    The Spanish civil war was not WWII. Your desperate subject change is noted.

    However, your communist leanings are showing, you are embarrassing yourself.

    Guernica was a military target, plain & simple

    Guernica, by someone who has actually researched the event, with confirmation. … index.html


    ON APRIL 26, 1937 a handful of planes of the “Condor Legion” carried out sporadic air attacks on the Basque town of Guernica, to deny an important river crossing to the retreating Republican (Communist) forces of the Spanish government. Ninety-eight people died.

    The Condor Legion was a squadron of airforce “volunteers” provided by Hitler’s Luftwaffe to the insurgents fighting under General Francisco Franco.

    The air raid on Guernica became a centerpiece of communist and Left-wing propaganda against Hitler and Mussolini. True, reporters later found the town center devastated, but by whom? By the bombs, or after the raid by withdrawing Communists armed with dynamite by the regions’ miners?

    Reporting on a visit to Guernica, The Times Military Correspondent stated on May 5, 1937:

    ,“That Guernica after a week’s bombardment by aircraft and artillery should not have shown signs of fire supports the Nationalist contention that aircraft were not responsible for the burning of this town, which was bombed intermittently for a period of two hours. In Guernica few fragments of bombs have been recovered, the façades of buildings still standing are unmarked, and the few craters I inspected were larger than anything hitherto made by a bomb in Spain. From their position it is a fair inference that these craters were caused by exploding mines which were unscientifically laid to cut roads.”

    A further unidentified source echoed this: “What actually happened was that industrial Basques, miners from Asturias, experts in explosives, fired and dynamited the town to a prearranged plan. Two French artillery officers, veterans of World War One inspected the town when Franco’s troops entered. What they saw was, they said, largely the result of arson and incendiarism. Petrol had been largely used, plus dynamite. Each alleged ‘bomb’ crater coincided with a sewer-manhole on the street, and where there had been no sewers there had been no ‘bombs.’”

    And Sir Arnold Wilson, Conservative Member of Parliament for Hitchin, Hertfordshire, wrote to The Observer after a visit to Guernica, on October 3, 1937: There was no evidence of damage from aerial bombardment, he said, but “most if not all of the damage was caused by wilful incendiarism and such is the verdict of the inhabitants.” Sir Arnold was convinced that Guernica was a “put-up job,” a Red atrocity-story calculated to recoil on Franco and the Germans.

    Thousands were said to have been killed by the bombs.[See e.g., Storia Illustrata, Italy, Oct 1966: “1,654 died, 889 injured”]. This version of history – no surprises here – has been uncritically adopted ever since by conformist historians who carried out no original research. The Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, a Communist multi-millionaire, commemorated the raid in a famous propaganda painting titled “Guernica”. It is on display in the United Nations building, and the original and sketches are displayed in a gallery in Madrid.

    Closer examination reveals the Picasso painting to be a surrealist depiction of a bullfight; his first sketches for it are found in notebooks dating back over one year before the raid.

    THE conformists’ narrative of events is open to question, as British historian David Irving found when he visited the town thirty years after the raid, researching for his book Guernica to Vietnam; he spoke with survivors and city officials, and checked local newspaper files [April 27] [27 again] [28] [29] and cemetery records [right] [register page 1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6].

    In 1987 he wrote a letter to The Daily Telegraph briefly reporting what he had found.

    In brief, the local registry of births and deaths lists fewer than one hundred deaths from the air raid (most of them killed in one incident in a shelter in a local asylum, the Hospital-Asilo Calzada); bad enough. It will serve to put things in perspective if we show that the local Communist newspaper Euzkadi Roja, publishing a report on the raid on April 28, 1937, included a list of names of those few injured in the attack.

    We would not have expected such a list to appear in the press after the later raids on London, Tokyo, or Dresden; in the two-week Israeli offensive in Gaza in January 2008, 40,000 Palestinians were injured and 1,300 killed.

    A READER writes, Friday, January 30, 2009:

    Mr. Irving, I recall this was discussed by Luis Bolin in his memoir of the Spanish Civil War, Spain: the Vital Years. He was the pilot who flew General Franco to Spain at the start of the war. His account supports the position you are defending.

    Hurts don’t it?

    • Replies: @Alden
  54. Wally says: • Website

    Your dodge of:
    ‘Who started bombing civilians first: Germany or Great Britain’
    is noted.

    Answer: Britain.

    I’ll give you just a few excerpts:


    The attacks by the Royal Air Force (RAF) on German cities began with the attack on Wilhelmshaven on 5 September 1939.

    On 11 May the British Cabinet decided to unleash the Bomber Command on the air war against the German hinterland. The following night British planes aimlessly dropped bombs for the first time on residential areas of Mönchengladbach-Rheydt. And from then on made such attacks on cities in the Ruhr area night after night. Up to 13 May 1940, i.e. two days later,the German side registered a total of 51 British air attacks on non-military targets plus 14 attacks on military targets such as bridges, railway tracks, defense and industrial plants. The first carpet bombing of a German city was in the night from 15 to 16 May 1940 in Duisburg. After that the RAF committed repeated air attacks on German cities. The night of 24th August 1940 – bombs meant to be dropped on the Thames haven oil storage depot and on the Short’s factory at Rochester, by mistake or simply because they were randomly unloaded in order to escape fighters, fell on the City of London and nine other districts inside the Greater London limit. Incendiaries lit fires in Bethnal Green, and St Giles’ Church in Cripplegate was damaged. Oxford Street department storeswere damaged. Nine people were killed and 58 injured.


    the British, by their own admission, initiated unrestricted bombing of civilian areas ought to merit for them membership in the select society of “war criminals.” The unbelieving reader need only consult the testimony of the British officials J. M. Spaight and Sir Arthur Harris, for incontrovertible proof of this charge.99 A decision of the British Air Ministry made on May 11, 1940, to attack targets in Western Germany instituted the practice of bombing purely civilian objectives. This “epoch-making event,” as F. J. P. Veale correctly describes it, marked an ominous departure from the rule that hostilities are to be limited to operations against enemy military forces alone.100 Spaight, former Principal Secretary of the Air Ministry, makes the following amazing comment on the decision of May 11, 1940:
    Because we were doubtful about the psychological effect of propagandist distortion of the truth that it was we who started the strategic bombing offensive, we have shrunk from giving our great decision of May 11, 1940, the publicity it deserves. That surely was a mistake. It was a splendid decision.101
    But the “great decision,” the “splendid decision” of May 11, 1940, which was ultimately to cost the lives of millions, including thousands of Mr. Spaight’s own countrymen, was to have an even more grisly sequel, for, according to Sir Charles Snow who had charge of selecting scientific personnel for war research in Great Britain in World War II, F. A. Lindemann, a Cabinet member and confidant of Churchill, produced in early 1942 a remarkable Cabinet paper on the subject of the strategic bombing of Germany:
    It described, in quantitative terms, the effect on Germany of a British bombing offensive in the next eighteen months (approximately March 1942-September 1943). The paper laid down a strategic policy. The bombing must be directed essentially against German working-class houses. Middle-class houses have too much space round them, and so are bound to waste bombs …102
    One wonders if it was the cultivated humanitarianism inherent in this decision to assure the death of more working class Germans per bomb which entitled the Allies, and in particular the British, to sit in moral judgment on German leaders at Nuremberg in 1946!
    99. J. M. Spaight, Bombing Vindicated (London: Geoffrey Bles, Ltd., 1944) and Sir Arthur Harris, bomber Offensive (London: Collins, 1947).
    100. F. J. P. Veale, Advance to Barbarism (Apppleton: C. C. Nelson Publishing Company, 1953), p. 122.
    101. Spaight, op. cit., p. 7.
    102. C. P. Snow, Science and Government (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1961), p. 48.,


    Letter to PBS on fraudulent ‘documentary’ about the ‘Blitz’

    16 March 1981
    PBS Television “The Blitz”


    Rarely have I come across a television broadcast more vicious in intent and more warped in execution than your recent “Blitz on Britain.” As a survivor of the mass air raid executed against my native city of Prague, Bohemia, on the Christian Holy Day of Palm Sunday, 1945, by the Anglo-American strategic bomber force – a raid that maimed or murdered thousands a few seconds before the conclusion of the Second World War – I say this:

    1. There can be no comparison between the brutality of the Anglo-American bomber offensive, on one hand, and the minimality of the German-Italian efforts, on the other. As the commander of the British strategic air offensive, Air Marshal Sir Arthur Harris shows in his Bomber Offensive (Macmillan, New York, 1947) 23 German cities had more than 60 percent of their built-up area destroyed; 46 had half of it destroyed. 31 communities had more than 500 acres obliterated: Berlin, 6427 acres: Hamburg, 6200 acres; Duesseldorf, 2003; Cologne (through air attack), 1994. By contrast, the three favorite targets of the Luftwaffe: London, Plymouth and Coventry, had 600 acres, 400, and just over 100 acres destroyed.

    2. Anglo-American strategic bombers, according to official sources of the West German government in 1962, dropped 2,690,000 metric tons of bombs on Continental Europe; 1,350,000 tons were dropped on Germany within its 1937 boundaries; 180,000 tons on Austria and the Balkans; 590,000 tons on France; 370,000 tons on Italy; and 200,000 tons on miscellaneous targets such as Bohemia, Slovakia and Poland. By contrast, Germany dropped a total of 74,172 tons of bombs as well as V-1 and V-2 rockets and “buzz bombs” on Britain – five percent of what the Anglo-Saxons rained down on Germany. The Federal German Government has established the minimum count – not an estimate – of 635,000 German civilians were killed in France, Italy, Rumania, Hungary, Czecheslovakia, and elsewhere.

    3. Both Germany and Britain initiated air raids on naval and military targets as of 3 September 1939. However, when the British attacks on port installations in Northern Germany ended in disaster, with a devastating majority of bombers downed – the Battle of the German Bight – Britain switched over to less costly night air raids on civilian targets such as Berlin and the Ruhr industrial region. By contrast, Germany replied in kind only in the winter months of 1940/41, a year later. Observers indubitably British, such as the late Labour Minister Crossman, the scientist and writer C.P. Snow, and the Earl of Birkenhead, have demonstrated that it was not Germany but Britain that, after May, 1940, unleashed an official policy of unrestricted and unlimited raids on civilian populations under its new Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and his science advisor, Dr. Lindemann. Professor Lindemann, the later Viscount Cherwell, coolly calculated that, by using a force of 10,000 heavy bombers to attack and destroy the 58 largest German cities, one-third of the population of Germany would be “de-housed.” The assumption, of course, also was that out of those 25-27 million homeless at least ten percent – 2.5 to 3 million people – would be killed. On this score alone, Winston Churchill and his advisors deserve to rank among the maddest mass murderers in history. In fact, as West German records show, 131 German towns were hit by heavy strategic raids. Only the courage of the Luftwaffe pilots, the effectiveness of the air defense network and the strength of the fire fighting organization worked together to prevent a bloodbath to the extent envisioned by the Prime Minister.

    4. Blood baths did occur when conditions were right. When the Anglo-American bombing policy reached its first grand climax in a raid on Hamburg that stretched over several days and nights in July, 1943, a minimum of 40,000 to 50,000 civilians burned to death. With the defensive power of the Reich worn down in the second half of 1944 and in 1945, the Anglo-Saxons indulged in ever more massive extermination raids against Europe. Communities of little or no military value, even if attacked previously, were now pulverized, preferably under conditions of the utmost horror. Christian holy days, and dates and sites of famous art festivals were select occasions for raids. Many of the most beautiful cities of Europe and the world were systematically pounded into nothingness, often during the last weeks of the war, among them: Wuerzburg, Hildesheim, Darmstadt, Kassel, Nürnberg, Braunschweig. Little Pforzheim in south-west Germany had 17,000 people killed. Dresden, one of the great art centers and in 1945 a refuge for perhaps a million civilians, was decimated with the loss of at least 100,000 souls. Europe from Monte Cassino to Luebeck and Rostock on the Baltic, from Caen and Lisieux in France to Pilsen, Prague, Bruenn, Budapest and Bucharest reeled under the barbaric blows of the bombers.

    5. Nor did the extermination raids stop with Europe. Cigar-chomping General Curtis LeMay demonstrated in. the Far East that record kills could be achieved without resort to atomic weapons. By applying the lessons learned in Europe to the wooden architecture of the Asian mainland and Japan he raised “fire storms” which surpassed even those of Hamburg, n Japanese civilians were killed through bombing. Millions of others fell victim to it, from Mukden, Manchuria, to Rangoon, Burma. It goes without saying that LeMay and his colleagues could not have carried out their campaigns of mass annihilation without the backing of the highest political leaders in the land. In fact, the United States Government had placed orders for the immediate development of four-engined, superheavy, very-long-range bombers (the XB 15, the B-17, the XB 19, the B-24 and the B-29) starting in 1934. Thus, the Roosevelt Administration had begun to lay plans for offensive, strategic, global war back in 1933, the year of its inception. With the later exception of Britain, none of the other “large” powers followed suit: neither France, Italy and Germany, nor Soviet Russia and Japan the latter with extensive holdings in the Pacific. These are sobering facts. PBS, with its record of fine programming, has much to lose if it insists on presenting biassed reports such as “Blitz on Britain” or “UXB.” If you care to tap the unplumbed depths of sentimentality, envy and hatred, start a comic strip. In the meantime, we’ll change channels.
    Give poor Alistair Cooke, who has been mightily discomfited of late, a much-needed respite.

    Sincerely, Dr. A.R. Wesserle

    Source: Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 381-384.


    “As early as 1953 H.M. Stationary Office published the first volume of a work ‘The Royal Air Force’, 1939-1945 entitled ‘The Fight at Odds’, a book described as “officially commissioned and based throughout on official documents which had been read and approved by the Air Ministry Historical Branch.” The author , Mr. Dennis Richards, states plainly the destruction of oil plants and factories was only a secondary purpose of the British air attacks on Germany which began in May 1940. The primary purpose of these raids was to goad the Germans into undertaking reprisal raids of a similar character on Britain. Such raids would arouse intense indignation in Britain against Germany and so create a war psychosis without which it is impossible to carry on a modern war. Mr Dennis Richards writes: “If the Royal Air Force raided the Ruhr, destroying oil plants with it’s most accurately placed bombs and urban property with those that went astray, the outcry for retalliation against Britain might prove too strong for the German generals to resist. The attack on the Ruhr, in other words, was an informal invitation to the Luftwaffe to bomb London “. p. 122

    This passage merely confirmed what Mr. Spaight had so incautiously disclosed in 1944 in his by then forgotten book ‘Bombing Vindicated’. The popular belief that Hitler started unrestricted bombing still persisted and is, in fact, widely held at present day.

    The third and last phase of the British air offensive against Germany began in March 1942 with the adoption of the Lindemann Plan by the British War Cabinet, and continued until the end of the war in May, 1945. The bombing during this period was not, as the Germans complained, indiscriminate. On the contrary, it was concentrated on working-class houses because, as professor Lindemann maintained, a higher percentage of bloodshed per ton of explosives dropped could be expected from bombing houses built close together, rather than by bombing higher class houses surrounded by gardens.”

    source: ‘Advance to Barbarism – the Development of Total Warfare’, by F.J.P. Veale, p.184-185

    Just the tip of the iceberg.

    Do better next time.

    • Replies: @Whoriskey
  55. Wally says:

    Bingo! You nailed it.


  56. Wally says:
    @jilles dykstra

    Yet Hoig produces no proof, just talk.

    Rather like the laughable ‘contaminated blankets’ lie.

    • Replies: @Anon
  57. Wally says:

    It’s called ‘slash & burn’. The Indians were quite good at it.


    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Logan
  58. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    You haven’t read the book.

  59. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    That’s not what slash and burn is.

  60. A truly forgotten war occurred less than 100 years ago when US troops invaded Russia to fight the Reds.

    Mention this at a Memorial Day event to stun everyone. Meanwhile, our troops are massing at Russia’s borders now for another attempt.

  61. Whoriskey says:

    I was intrigued by a report that three civilians died for every enemy combatant in the Boer war,
    Are there any figures for the ratio of German civilian deaths to German combatant deaths at the the hands of HM forces in WW2?

  62. Anonymous [AKA "chris goodwin"] says:
    @jilles dykstra

    Deaths of the brainier/-est in England and Germany.

    Well, that could be one explanation of post war economic growth differences – but to put it all down to one factor is pretty much oversimplification. There are/were other factors, e.g. West German firms could (and did !) issue subcontract work to their former compatriots, now under the Russian yoke, for all manner of engineering work. The Ossies had to do the work for slave lavour wage rates, and the Russians took all the profit. In addition, the Russians screwed the prices really low, because they were desparate for hard currency – remember the Deutschmark ? – so Vessie firms could undercut all other western firms for high quality, cheap products. Wanna buy a Mercedes Benz – mostly made in East Germany, assembled in the West – ?

    And yes, Apple does it now with cheap subcontraqcting in China – but there are language differences, and cultural differences, and it took a long time for the US/China collaboration to get going on a large scale. But the Germans had slave labour, in close proximity, with good infrastructure – roads, rail, telephone, post, FAX – (remember ? a sort of pre-internet telecommunications device – better than post -) and no language or cultural misunderstanding – a communist engineer has the same technological “savvy” as a “capitalist” engineer – starting in 1945. They were about sixty years ahead of the Yanks. There has to be some advantage there.

  63. Anonymous [AKA "Dee Bee"] says:

    The quintessential, in your face “victim consciousness” this article brings up emanates from any and every Jew you will ever meet. If he doesn’t blurt it right out it will still be on the tip of his tongue ready to strike the aggressive posture. And it’s so “American” there days since it aligns perfectly with the fashionable SJW diatribe.

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  64. anarchyst says:

    You are correct. The other idiosyncrasy that many Jews possess is this:
    Call a Jew a scoundrel, liar, thief, criminal, shyster, etc. and those accusations roll off the Jew’s back like water off a duck, but, call a Jew a “Jew” and he will recoil in horror, having been “found out”.

  65. Logan says:

    Actually, slash and burn generally refers to agriculture, which was many millenia after these events.

    But the later Indians, pretty much throughout both continents, did do a great deal of burning, to the extent that the native flora and fauna evolved to handle it.

  66. Logan says:

    The Communists, as everyone knows, never did have plans to conquer the rest of the world for their ideology. The whole thing was entirely invented by western leaders (who were probably secret Jews) for their own devious purposes. Heck, they even got in and planted all this information in the secret Soviet archives.

    (Sarcasm off, if anybody doesn’t realize it.)

  67. Jake says:

    Americans remember the ‘Civil War’ because it was the conflict that determined the nation’s future. If the Confederacy had won, the Union would have been split and thus proven non-sacrosanct, non Eternal, and open to question. The Union victory made the Union inviolable, the object of sacred adoration. The Union victory thus was 100% necessary for the subsequent American Empire of Liberal Democracy.

    It is no accident, no fluke that Karl Marx. writing in London, supported Lincoln and the Union war effort 100%. It is no accident that Pope Pius IX, perhaps the most studied anti-Liberal of the time, welcomed the CSA ambassador and after the War sent the imprisoned Jefferson Davis a personally woven crown of thorns.

    WW2 is remembered because it allows us to believe that American becoming an Empire was necessary for the world. More, it allows us to believe that we always back ‘the good guys’ in war.

    Joe Stalin says to Say Hey to Gomer.

  68. Sad to say, the author of this otherwise excellent article, effectively aids and abets America’s love for war and the fictions invented to justify them, by failing to acknowledge 9/11 as an obvious false-flag.

    • Replies: @MarkinPNW
  69. Jake says:

    “The U.S. Has Only Been At Peace For 21 Years Total Since Its Birth. Below, I have reproduced a year-by-year timeline of America’s wars, which reveals something quite interesting: since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 214 out of her 235 calendar years of existence. In other words, there were only 21 calendar years in which the U.S. did not wage any wars.”

    Perpetual war for perpetual peace – it’s the Anglo-Saxon way.

  70. @dearieme

    You could ask the same stupid question about the Vietnam War with the correct answer being even more obvious.

  71. @fnn

    It’s also interesting to note that the last Americans to die defending their country, were Confederate soldiers. All others died expanding the American Empire.

  72. @bluedog

    Exactly. Like the current War on Terror, the Cold War was a contrived war for the exact same reasons.

  73. Alden says:

    The author is a university history professor. Therefore he is anti American and anti White and a liberal Just as I don’t read newspapers and magazines or watch TV news and politics shows, I don’t read articles by liberal arts college professors.

    He probably favors men in women’s bathrooms, the takeover of women’s sports by men claiming to be trannies, the impeachment of Trump for the crime of existing, and every other liberal fad in existence.

    College professors, especially humanities profs are the enemy. Why read him?

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
    , @MarkinPNW
  74. Alden says:

    British spies who were in Guernica at the time of the bombing reported that the communists who occupied the town set off bombs on the ground which caused all the damage and deaths.

    The Reds sacrificed their own people for anti Franco propaganda. The Spanish civil war began when Russian agents sent to “advise” the legitimate, elected Republican socialist government took over the Republican socialist government by murdering the Republicans and instituting the standard confiscation of property and reign of terror.

    Had the Comintern not sent its agents to Spain, there would not have been a civil war.

    Whenever ignorant idiot intellectuals refer to the Republicans I always correct them because that government was communist run by Comintern agents.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  75. @Alden

    I think you’re making a mistake by lumping Dower with “liberal professors.”

    1. He’s very old — not sure he’s still teaching (I could research that but why mess with facts when biases work in my favor, aka the Wiz of Oz ‘razor’).

    ok, I checked: 78 yrs old, retired from MIT. He may have been the last of the “liberal” professors to be uninfected by the political correctness that is wrecking/has wrecked the formerly tough universities.

    2. He’s put himself through the wringer, psychologically and intellectually, plowing through the documents with an objective eye; discovering patterns.

    Dower’s expertise was in Japanese martial history. Once again, my impression: he saw patterns in Japanese history — and Japanese suffering & reactions to WWII — that he sees being repeated by USA, and it is deeply disturbing to him. He’s a patriot who is trying to warn his own countrymen of the dangerous path they’re treading.

  76. @Alden

    Somewhere or other, maybe on a RedIce broadcast, Gilad Atzmon discussed how young zionist Jews flocked to join the “International Brigade”, with the goal of avenging Spain’s expulsion of Jews 500 years earlier.

    In a conversation with a Lebanese newswoman in aftermath of 2006 Israeli assault on Lebanon, Norman Finkelstein chided the Lebanese for welcoming Bush & Condi Rice to Lebanon, after they had played a hand in allowing Israel to carry out the destruction of Lebanon. He said they should be more like Jews: “Jews never forgive, Jews never forget. I like that about Jews,” Finkelstein said.

  77. MarkinPNW says:
    @jacques sheete

    There is such a thing as TMT, Too Much Truth. The brainwashed (by Bernays methods) need to be weaned to the full truth gradually. A lot of commentators and columnists disclose truth in small bites to be digestible to the masses, such as when Ron Paul “accepted” the official line on 9/11 but asked us to consider motivations and blowback to get people closer to the whole truth.

  78. MarkinPNW says:
    @Carroll Price

    It’s possible that the author believes that he might reach more people with the truth he is supporting if he avoids being labeled with the epithet of “9/11 truther”.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  79. @MarkinPNW

    I fully agree. Apparently, being labeled by the Establishment as a Truther carries about the same level of punishment as “holocaust denier” – and we all know what where that leads.

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