Foreign Policy & War

The War Crimes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

When U.S. military forces dropped atomic bombs on Japanese civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 275,000 men, women, and children were killed. Ever since, the killings have been justified by the claim that the bombings shortened the war and, therefore, saved the lives of American servicemen. Actually, the bombings constituted war crimes for which the perpetrators should have been tried and ... [click for more]

World War I and the Great Departure, Part 2

Part 1 | Part 2 During World War 1, the persecution of Germans in American society was so pronounced that Germans were forced to abandon their language and customs, at least in public. German books were burned outside numerous libraries, while Beethoven was banned from symphonic repertories. The atmosphere was such that Germans hid the fact they were German ... [click for more]

Conserving and Destroying

In my thesaurus, "conserve" and "destroy" are antonyms. Why is it, then, that so any conservatives seem to relish war? I have known conservatives who have joked pleasantly about "nuking the chinks" or flattening Tehran. Jokes are jokes, but some conservatives took an actual delight in the Gulf War; there was some loose talk of bombing, and even nuking, ... [click for more]

Dresden: Time to Say We’re Sorry

As the U.S. Fifth Army inched its way up Italy in 1944, its command constantly pondered which towns should be spared bombardment. Monte Cassino was destroyed. The centers of Rome and Florence were saved. The Pieros of Sansepulcro were reprieved at the last minute (I believe by an art-loving gunner). These decisions were taken out of respect for the ... [click for more]

Killing Noncombatants

In May 11, 1940, Great Britain made a fateful decision in its approach to fighting the second world war. On that night, eighteen Whitley bombers attacked railway installations in the placid west German province of Westphalia, far from the war front. That forgotten bombing raid, which in itself was inconsequential, has been called "the first deliberate breach of the ... [click for more]

The Power to Declare War — Who Speaks for the Constitution? Part 3

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 The favorite justification for presidents unilaterally wandering off to war around the globe seems to be: everyone else does it. Proponents of executive war-making contend that ample precedents — two hundred or more troop deployments without congressional approval — exist for the president to act without a congressional declaration. Yet, ... [click for more]
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