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------------------ OK, perhaps this is down a notch in emphasis. May I suggest that when a post is allowed to use an inflammatory phrase such as broadly accusing our military of general "savagery", it is pretty much guaranteed to generate some heat, particularly among any of us who have served. RJD ------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------- Walter James McIntosh wrote- "the U.S. Military machine at the top of the list of those that engage in total war and generally has the aim of the enemy's total attrition and has a policy of killing civilians to forcibly end their support of the enemy government" and referred directly to the bombing of Baghad as a "recent example of American savagery". It would be nice if perhaps some attention were paid to the fact that what transpired in the distant past is not truly relative to a discussion of modern times, and behavior in the comparatively recent past. Societies, like people, do evolve over time, and the average American soldier today has little in common with those who murdered Indians at Wounded Knee, nor does the average US general speak or act like Sherman. We are witnessing as I write incidents in Afghanistan where our soldiers have to face a totally unprincipled, ununiformed enemy, renowned for slaughter of their own countrymen on the basis of super fundamentalism, while trying to keep track of Rules of Engagement that take two pages of text to cover. We have suffered casualties during the lengthy delays it takes to get supporting arms approved, if in fact they are approved. We have two of our own soldiers on trial for perhaps bloodying the nose of a fanatical enemy responsible for the killing of Americans and his own countrymen. Savagery is the prolonged rape, torture, and slaughter of 300,000+ Chinese civilians in Nanking, savagery is the merciless and often brutal massacre of at least 20% of the population of Cambodia by Pol Pot's forces, savagery is the use of poison gas by Saddam Hussein against entire villages of Kurds. WW2 was a total war, and the practice of bombing civilian populations began with the Axis powers, not the Allies. Hiroshima was chosen as a city that had been relatively untouched by the mass bombing such as had laid waste most of Tokyo, so that the destructive power of the A-bomb would be quite clear. The use of those bombs was to convince the warlords of Japan that resistance was futile, and it was either surrender or have the entire society destroyed. Would it have been more ethical to invade Japan and have to slaughter with machineguns the millions of Japanese civilians who had sworn to attack American forces with spears, swords, and old rifles? Not to mention have the deaths of hundreds of thousands of US military as well? Had the US forces called in waves of B-52 bombers to level most of Baghdad, which would have killed probably well over 100,000 people, one might have said they were engaging in truly objectionable overkill with no real purpose. The comparatively limited bombing was an example of restraint, not of savagery. While there are the occasional tragic or objectionable incidents involving US soldiers, the American military have maintained and in fact steadily over decades increased their concern for conducting warfare in as humanitarian fashion as possible, given the basic brutal nature of any war. Casually referring to their actions as savagery is seriously inappropriate. R J Del Vecchio ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----