In a message dated 11/25/01 11:12:32 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
>Furthermore, I don't regard Hiroshima or Nagasaki to be primarily
>terrorist acts. By late in the war, both the German and Japanese
>governments had so thoroughly mobilized and armed their societies in
>preparation for invasion of their home territories that the only people
>there that could be considered 'non-combatants' under the Geneva
>Conventions were those in POW camps and patients in hospitals.
Fooey. Japanese civilians didn't fight at Saipan or Okinawa (I imagine
you could find a few exceptions). Some did kill themselves.
With the Germans, we *did* invade, and the civilians didn't fight -
that tells you how mobilized the civilians were.
>Under the Geneva Conventions, when a combatant hides behind
>non-combatants or in non-combatant facilities, those then become
>combatant targets as well, legally.
For that reason Tokyo and Hamburg are iffy - there was some military
value to those bombing, although creating terror was an explicit part
of the goals of both bombings. But Hiroshima and Nagasaki were "saved"
for A-bomb demonstrations and the US military sensibly chose
militarily irrelevant targets.
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