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View Diary: Obama, Electibility and the Rev. Wright (162 comments)

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  •  Condemn FDR for Dresden is morally questionable (0+ / 0-)

    I agree with you about Tuskegee. But to condemn Roosevelt's decision to firebomb Dresden is much more questionable. We didn't have smart bombs and lazer guided missiles then so we couldn't avoid the awful civilian carnage if we were to destroy the German industrial base and win the war. The blame for German civilian casualties rests with the German leaders who started the war. I reject Rev. Wright's contention to the contrary.

    •  Wright didn't contend anything about (0+ / 0-)

      Dresden--I did.  And I'm more condemning us for shrugging it off than Roosevelt for complying with Churchill's obsession with destroying it (though I think Roosevelt does deserve his share of condemnation for that).  And I beg to differ about the choice we made to bomb it the way we did, knowing exactly how awful the civilian carnage would be.  No, we didn't have the weapons you believe take civilian carnage out of the question, but consider this--neither did the Germans--and the damage they brought to London was miniscule compared to this.  (Google it.)  Winnie could have bombed the railroads to the camps instead and crippled the Germans more physically.  (It was brought up.)  The German leaders, hideous though they were, can't be held responsible for Winnie's decision to take the psychological route and not only incinerated hundreds of thousands of civilians, but destroyed an acknowledged major trove of priceless artifacts of our civilization as well.  We complied with him, then initiated our own civilian-dismissing aggression on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  And all I'm saying is, I appreciate Wright's perspective.

      Please, God, don't let the Democratic party make me vote for some pinhead who believes in the GWOT. God grinned...

      by planetclaire4 on Sat Mar 15, 2008 at 02:31:44 PM PDT

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      •  Whoa! (0+ / 0-)

        Check your history. It was FDR, more than Churchill, who pushed for the firebombing of cities. In fact, Churchill expressed serious doubts about the wisdom of this strategy to Roosevelt. But FDR was ardent for destroying the Nazi industrial base in the most effective and quickest way possible. And when we talk about firebombing, you should also remember the 1945 firebombing of Tokyo - an all-American endeavor that had nothing to do with Churchill. But, you know what, as ghastly as Tokyo, Hiroshima and Dresden were, they brought an end to the slaughter and, in Japan's case, probably saved the lives of millions of Japanese who would have been killed if we had been forced to invade Japan. So in the end, and with the hindsight of history, I still think FDR was right - as awful and hellish as the results were. And, yes, Hitler deserves the ultimate blame for the carnage. The man who started the war, killing millions in the process, doesn't get any moral equivalency points if the end result was far more destructive to his people than it was to the British or Americans.

        •  I will check, though my impression has (1+ / 0-)
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          always been Churchill had it in for Dresden just as Cheney does for Iran, but admittedly I'm not a deep scholar of this.  You are correct in that Roosevelt also rejected bombing the railroads.  But, hm, arguments have been made on both sides as to what kind of "industrial base" the Florence of the Elbe was.  It was, however, doubled in size due to the influx of refugees from the approaching Russians, one reason for which was that no one, given what Dresden was, had expected it to be any kind of target, so the action was... highly effective.  And I simply cannot agree with you that wanton destruction of civilian life was justified, nor that our employment of such can be blamed on the enemy.  No arguments about who started the war, no arguments that who did so was monstrous beyond normal comprehension, but by my code, we were solely responsible for the path we took.  To say otherwise is liking justifying waterboarding because "9/11 changed everything."  

          Please, God, don't let the Democratic party make me vote for some pinhead who believes in the GWOT. God grinned...

          by planetclaire4 on Sat Mar 15, 2008 at 07:45:26 PM PDT

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