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From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Reply: Laws of War (Was Most "Law Abiding Adversary") Date: March 10, 2010 11:52:53 PM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Reply-To: email@example.com Does history ever become a settled issue or matter ? From following the wide range of discussion on this subject, it certainly seems to indicate, such is not the meaning. Thus, how do we ever arrive at truth in both experiencing and expressing history ? This is not the place for a philosphic presentation. Still, it is not possible to ignore the impacts made by so many differing views. Others have ably pointed out Doolittle's Raid on Tokyo was not fire bombing. That, as indicated eslewhere did occur late in the war by Gen. LeMay's 21st Bomber Command of the US Army Air Force. Doolittle's Raid was written about in the book 30 Seconds Over Tokyo. It has also been presented in a couple of films. What the point of the Raid and history should be is however, the psychological effect of this raid on the American people and upon Japan. It served little military purpose except to reply to Pearl Harbor, as a sneak attack and serve notice Japan would not be spared in future, as the US did have some capability to reach Japan also. In the discussion about Hiroshima and US Atom bomb uses, militarily, Hiroshima did have military value as a target. The History Channel, this past week, presented a program on Air War during WW II and its Pacific section included an excellent history, with films of these events as well as discussing the military levels in Hiroshima and LeMay's firebombing campaign; he expected, this to bring about capitulation without need for any invasion in 1946. These issues in the 1950s are more focused: > "Eisenhower's warnings about the destructive potential of the military > industrial complex upon American society itself are an interesting issue > to bring into a discussion about actual conduct during war. Certainly > American war making has not been pristine, completely moral in all cases > and situations, and not above judgment. However, the values of a nation > and its perceptions of the values of its opponents go a long way toward > influencing the conduct of individual soldiers and airmen, the actions > of leaders, and the enforcement of judicial and societal norms. The > current issues in the United States surrounding the status of combatants > in an irregular war and the measures employed regarding incarceration > and interrogation speak volumes about the influence of values and legal > norms upon conduct in war. Eisenhower was more concerned about the > corrosive effects and negative influences of creating a garrison state > and associated bureaucracy upon his vision of American life in terms of > limited federal government and minimal spending on military structures. > The result of undue militarism in political and social spheres were > certainly evident to him after witnessing the results of the major wars > of the 20th century." > >> John Terino > Air Command and Staff College > Maxwell AFB, AL > There is still much historical commentary and evaluation to be presented here. If, and it does appear so, US values and moral judgment about war has degraded in the latter half of the 20th Century and into the 21st, there is commentary also about how that could be a danger of a prolonged militaristic pressure upon civil society. How much the Cold War contributed to such an outcome remains for more detailed study and discussion. But society and military history entry into this nuclear age, since WW II, does cast a different shadow upon those meanings given by both peoples and governments. Some do see in the debates of the 1960s and emphasis upon limited war and convential capabilities, attempts to return to a pre-nuclear conduct and practice, both as history and as moral and value outcomes. Degraded society policy does not argue for this success. What constitutes degraded social and moral policy remains an important factor affecting the historical outcome and there are very important differences whose serious history is yet to be explored. For example, do SS type military groups make for better warfare histories and solutions or merely reflect the descent of government and society into barbaric pathways. The generation of WW II reached a conclusion, such military outcomes were worse than the removal of said practices. At base, it becomes an issue and question of what kind of society, government, moral belief and practice do we wish to apply as military solution and historical outcome. Until that question is answered rather than merely applied, based upon the power of government to do as it pleases, regardless of the practice, wars may well refelct asymmetry. In part, decisions of WW II can be understood as replies, that 'in kind' behavior would be applied to those who engage in practices less than accepable to an opponent, usually the US and Democracies, in that experience. All the answers are not yet known as historical choices, yet clear patterns and precedents exist in history. As attempts to apply symmatries to opponent behavior, there remains much discussion. It was not intended to make this discussion, merely to call attention to the History Channel's presented fillms and narrative, as actual history for these specific subjects. Wyatt Reader UCLA___Whittier College California ----- 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 -----