Ask your grandfather what he did in the war

Speaking about America’s war with Islamic state, U.S. Secretary of defense James Mattis said: “civilian Casualties are an inevitable fact of life in such a situation”. But the fighting in Mosul and raqqa continue to destroy civilians and their homes in a medieval scale.

How could America in good conscience to kill civilians in the middle East? It’s easy; ask your grandfather what he did during the “good war” (alternate title the Second world war — approx. TRANS.). The civilian deaths didn’t even try to imagine from the point of view of collateral damage, it was just politics.

After the introduction of the administration to trump what is considered less restrictive rules of engagement, only in March of 2017 strikes of the US-led coalition in Iraq and Syria has claimed the lives of 1 484 civilians. Overall, since the United States began the war of the coalition against the “Islamic state”, air 3 was killed about 100 civilians, according to NGO Airwars. Even 3,674 people have been killed in drone attacks outside the framework of the fight against ISIS. In 2015, Afghanistan, the United States destroyed the hospital with the doctors and patients. And in raqqa with ground systematically compares whole blocks.

And all this against the background of many accidents occurring partly as a result of the use intended for the destruction of tanks, missiles Hellfire against individuals, and partly by using 500-pound bombs that, when relief to the territory’s densely populated areas may affect the area of a football field. The policy of “kill all flying flies” sledgehammer strikes with blunt objects, do lead to civilian casualties, deaths, negate the very definition of “accident”.

However, despite the number of dead, the motto of modern warfare is that civilian intentionally aim never take, at least our side. Americans will never kill innocent people intentionally.

But we were killed.

During the Second world war, American troops followed the rapid development of new weapons to meet the changing needs in the destruction of entire cities of innocent people. In Europe, for example, brick and stone structures “fit” for the destruction of conventional explosives in scale cities. And in Japan, given the prevalence of wooden structures, conventional explosives usually just throw right buildings in a limited area. The solution was an incendiary device.

To improve their use of the air force, the U.S. army built in Utah full-sized Japanese village. They asked the American architects ever in Japan, consulted with the importer of furniture and placed in the house of tatami mats, taken from the Japanese-Americans sent to prison camps. Among the conclusions was the need for weighting of incendiary devices than anticipated initially weight. The roofs of Japanese houses were usually tiled. Earlier devices basically immediately bounced. Weighted to pierce the shingles and ignited inside the building, creating a much more efficient fire.

Not random was that the bombing of Japan was planned long before pearl Harbor, in the “orange war plan.” Back in the 1920-ies the American General Billy Mitchell said that the paper and wood cities of Japan would be “the greatest air targets” in history. In accordance with the basic principles of the “orange” plan, the effort was led by General Curtis “bombs away!” The Lemay, which defined the main goal as the transformation of Japan into a country with no cities, nomadic people.

Lemay also helped carry out the bombing of North Korea during the war, claiming that because of American efforts, was killed about 20 percent of the civilian population. It worked man, who many call the architect of the war in Vietnam — Robert McNamara. As Secretary of defense, McNamara ordered to apply in Vietnam Napalm, often against undefended civilian targets.

The skill with which America has turned the bombing during the Second world war in the refined way of destroying the civilian population, reached its peak on March 10, 1945, when over the most densely populated residential area in Tokyo almost seamlessly flew three hundred American B-29 bombers. They dropped incendiary bombs caused a fire storm, a devastating fire that vigagi from the air all the oxygen.

And what is the result? A hundred thousand dead, nearly a million were left homeless. Even after the Hiroshima attack remains the most destructive act of aggression ever committed.

A problem in the United States against such attacks was, however, their inefficiency from the point of view of killing civilians. Aviation engineering and logistics of those 300 planes were confused, especially given the fact that most of the effort might negate some couple of hours suddenly flown wind or rain. There was no doubt that firestorm was the required tool for systematic Commission of acts of genocide in Japan. Just needed to make them effective and resistant against atmospheric influences.

In this matter science has already succeeded a few months after the bombing of Tokyo. One atomic bomb could do the job three hundred aircraft. And it would create so powerful, large and dangerous fire that no weather conditions could on him; besides, she was protected from careless handling. The best weapons to destroy entire cities with their populations to be simply could not, and used it only one state. Twice, to be exact, as 85 000 killed in Hiroshima man was not enough.

It was a tactic of revenge combined with a weapon designed for its implementation as a more terrifying way. It worked well: in 1945, during the bombing of Japan, including nuclear, in just five months, it was deliberately killed over a million civilians.

And only after the Second world war, when an accurate account of the events in Hiroshima reached America, the idea of bombing as a way to bring an end to war for the sake of saving lives of the people flourished. The myth that the atomic bomb was not a tool nor mercy, nor terror, was first published in February 1947 in Harper’s, on behalf of the Minister of war Henry Stimson. In fact, the article written by McGeorge Bundy, who later as national security Advisor promoted the American war in Vietnam, deprived the lives of several million civilians.

Most Americans, trying to regain conscience after the war, prompted, therefore, to consider the actual continuation of the longstanding policy of civilian genocide in Japan an unfortunate but necessary step on the way to the Japanese surrender, saved countless lives that would have taken a protracted war. Today, this position continues to live under the banner of the great powers, who have, however reluctantly, to reject all that is considered moral in peace time in order that it is appropriate in the military. “Fact of life”, as the Minister of defense.

So if you want to understand the situation with immoral growing number of civilian casualties on the American battlefields of the Middle East, look deeper into the story. We don’t like to think of themselves as killers of the innocent, but this not so long ago, happy our ancestors; your grandfather also carried out air raids on Japan and burned children. The war, of course, there are accidents, but the dark history of the policy should cause skepticism whenever such statements are made.

Peter van Buren is a former member of the U.S. foreign service and author of several books, including Hooper”s War: A Novel of WWII Japan.