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Greetings to all H-WARRIORS: The ongoing discussion on H-WAR that revolves around bombing, the laws of war, and what are and are not acceptable civilian casualties, has, not I suspect to anyone surprise, reached a point where, in recent days I have read some quite inflammatory posting and have had to reject several of them as unsuitable. While H-WAR is intended to be a site for vigorous debate, and while I have let some strong posts go through, the rhetoric on all sides of the questions has grown overheated and I believe that I need to restate what H-WAR is and is not about. So, and with apologies for the rather schoolmarmish tone, I think it is necessary to remind H-WAR Subscriber that, on the one hand: Although the language of the H-WAR is English, and many of its subscribers are American, H-WAR is not American but international in nature; Although many of the subscribers are current or former members of the US Military or its employees, the list is not in any way official or affiliated with the US government or its armed forces. Commemorating the actions and sacrifices of those who have served their country might well be appropriate, but it is not the principal purpose of H-WAR; H-WAR is an forum for the serious, scholarly, and critical discussion of military history; Subscribers are not only allowed but encouraged to make critical, in some cases highly critical, statements, and these judgments will on occasion be negative or critical regarding the conduct and behavior of the American military or the American government. On the other hand: H-WAR is not a forum for the discussion of current events, politics, or policy, American or otherwise, and to the extent that the discussion reaches into recent or ongoing wars it should be for the purpose of illustrating the past not the present; Though many of the members of H-WAR are academic, and though H-WAR exists for the purpose of scholarly and critical discussion, one of the strengths of H-WAR is that many of its members are non-academic and often have military experience - so when rendering judgments on events during or after World War II, and especially during or after Vietnam those who wish to post should remember that a significant number of our subscribers have "been there and done that;" In general H-WAR has what might be described as a "fifty year rule:" if it happened within the last fifty years, those wishing to post about it should remember that by no means are these issues in the past; Posts on H-WAR are achieved and available for consultation and as such are regarded as published (and those writing might well wish to remember that their words will be around forever): therefore the post should be formal and scholarly in both construction and tone; Posts on H-WAR should always err on the side of courtesy and if you forced to choose between phrases that dial the emotions up, or those that dial the emotions down, the latter should be chosen; And finally, in the same way that American must remember that H-WAR is not an American list, those who are not American might wish to remember that the majority of its members are, and extend them the courtesy of not twisting the eagle's tail feathers unnecessarily. I apologize for the length and explicitness of my comments, but I am afraid that if we are to continue to have vigorous and frank discussion, and frankly if I am not to bouncing posts like crazy, we will all need to keep these precepts in mind; I now return you to your regularly scheduled entertainment, Scott N. Hendrix, Ph.D. H-WAR List Editor ----- 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 -----