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Was firebombing of Dresden by the RAF a war crime?

Discussion in 'History & Genealogy' started by spartacus1984, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. yes

  2. no

  3. don't know

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. SolomonVII

    SolomonVII Well-Known Member

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    It is an open question whether or not Stalin intended to exterminate the Ukranians or not. The mass starvation was more than just incompetence.
    As far as the ideals of communism being good, when it comes to class warfare, I am not a big fan. Communists extermininating entire classes of people is very much related to Hitler exterminating the banking class, aka the Jew, who thought to be oppressing the Germans through economic manipulations.
    Communism and Nazism are pretty much two sides to the same coin in many respects. I have nothing good to say about either of them.
     
  2. DrkSdBls

    DrkSdBls Well-Known Member

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    All War is a War-crime. Nothing done in War can ever be morally Justified. There are times when we find ourselves in the position that War is unavoidable. But even then, after the Fighting is done, we must Lower our Weapons and Weep.

    Weep for our Dead, Weep for our Enemies, and Weep for our own Souls. For what we did was a Crime against Humanity. For too long, we have forgotten that those who we've killed are our own blood but instead, We've Sung and Rejoiced in our Victories while exalting ourselves above our Brothers.


    Arms are instruments of ill omen..When one is compelled to use them, it is best to do so without relish and to not glorify victory... When great numbers of people are killed, one should weep over them with sorrow. When victorious in war, one should observe the rites of mourning"

    – Tao Te Ching
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  3. Bethesda

    Bethesda Newbie

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    I think using force to liberate people from a tyranny that would kill them all is morally justified - i doubt that many people wept for those who operated the gas chambers, when they themselves were killed during the revolt at Sobibor for instance.
     
  4. DrkSdBls

    DrkSdBls Well-Known Member

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    Necessary, yes. Morally justified, no.
     
  5. Bethesda

    Bethesda Newbie

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    Why isn't it morally justified to use force against an aggressor to save the lives of many innocents who would otherwise die?

    If something is not morally justified does that make it wrong/bad/evil? Otherwise are we not playing with words. If a man runs into a school with a gun, then to me its not just expedient to use force (not necessarily lethal force but even a Taser or throwing something at him can kill someone) but morally justifiable. If the police could have stopped Anders Breivik earlier by getting a helicopter there and shooting him from it it would have been justified. The aspect in which I can understand the issue is only in that the police officer etc who uses force that ends up killing someone (or seriously injuring them) will not be happy or content about what he did (never mind what people say about 'righteous shootings' or what the TV portrays, PTSD is a far more accurate measure of the stress that having to use violence puts on someone) even though he did the right thing. I think any thinking person who has ever carried any kind of weapon lawfully has thought about the consequences of using it in terms of their own conscience (otherwise they shouldn't carry it and need another job)
     
  6. DrkSdBls

    DrkSdBls Well-Known Member

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    The Key word here is "Morally." It's a loaded word that can be attributed by anyone to any action to endow themselves with the self-righteousness of Superiority. Once someone convinces themselves of their own Moral Superiority, They remove the very burden that Morality is meant to impose on them to distinguishes what is right from wrong.

    You can Justify any action on the basis of Necessity but when you start to Think of what you do as "Moral," you lose sight of the fact that you are still doing something Immoral to accomplish that goal. And then, it just starts to get easier and easier to more and more Immoral things, for the sake of your own Self-Righteous concept of Right and Wrong, instead of what really is.

    It's what Separates Justice from Vengeance.
    It's what allows People to Commit Atrocities in War.
    It's what causes Fanatics to commit Heinous Acts in the Name of their God.

    Morality is only meant to Distinguish Right from Wrong. It's not meant to be used to Justify an act. When you are put into the Position that who have no Choice but to end someone Else's life, You shouldn't try to reconcile with your conscience by trying to convince yourself that it's "Moral."
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  7. Bethesda

    Bethesda Newbie

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    Surely that though leads to a moral relativism that says that the person who uses force to stop a murder or serious assault is on the same moral level as the person who is trying to commit the murder and that the Right thing (as opposed to expedient or necessary or indeed even justified in terms of the law) is to stand to one side and do nothing or use non-violent methods. I clearly appreciate if someone is a Pacifist of course that in their view they would never use violence in any situation (at least in theory!) and thus that its use is always morally wrong. In real terms though even a Justice system is predicated on the use of force (or the threat of its use)
     
  8. DrkSdBls

    DrkSdBls Well-Known Member

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    Clearly, you missed the point entirely. I'll make it simple for you.

    When you are put into a Position that Force becomes Necessary, when it's the very last option available to Civilized man then you must do what you have to do.

    But why is it that you feel that you must to it? Is it because it's the "moral" thing to do, or the "right" thing to do in that situation.

    And, if you find that to do what is "Right," you must do something inherently Immoral, then so be it. Just don't try to Tell me that you're "Morally" Justified just to make yourself feel better about doing it.
     
  9. Cooch

    Cooch Regular Member

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    I am firmly convinced that you have contradicted yourself here.

    If something is the right thing to do, then it is not immoral.

    You have attempted to apply morality to an act, without taking into account circumstances or intent.

    The ACT of removing property is morally neutral. Removing it after you have purchased it is morally acceptable. Removing it without paying for it and without the owner's permission, is immoral.

    The ACT of sexual intercourse is morally neutral. When consensual between husband and wife it is morally acceptable. When it is not consensual - ie, rape - it is morally wrong.

    It is morally acceptable to use force to protect the weak.
    It is morally acceptable to use force to constrain and punish the wicked.

    As these examples show, motive and circumstance cannot be excluded.

    Morality is not determined by your personal likes and dislikes, but by a code of law. What is your authority for imposing your moral code upon the rest of us?
     
  10. DrkSdBls

    DrkSdBls Well-Known Member

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    There is no Contradiction.

    Morality is not determined by a Code of Law.
    Codes of Law are Determined by the General Public's Standard of Morality.

    Besides. My use the Word "Immoral" was not Precise. I should of use the Word "amoral" there.
     
  11. Cooch

    Cooch Regular Member

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    So how DO you determine what is and is not "moral"?

    Use of the term "lmmoral" was nor merely imprecise, but wrong.

    Having admitted that force is amoral - that it is morally neutral - it is inconsistent to claim that all uses of force are morally wrong when circumstances occur in which refusing to use force is morally wrong.
     
  12. Cjwinnit

    Cjwinnit Advocatus Diaboli (Retired)

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    The USAAF sent an awful lot of planes over Dresden too.

    Oh, but I forgot. If the UK do it, it's wrong. But if the USA do it, that's fine ;)
     
  13. apache1

    apache1 Junior Member

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    Something to consider about the above is I remember from the "Patton" movie that a reporter asked if the Germans were on one side and the Russians were on the other side, would he attack them both? Myself, given the opportunity, I think he would have decimated both sides.
     
  14. apache1

    apache1 Junior Member

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    Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki. Would you have rather it been New York, D.C., Atlanta, L.A., London, Paris, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melboune, Manilla, Calcutta, etc., etc., or even Moscow, Berlin, Frankfurt, Tokyo, or Osaka? Yes, I'm rationalizing, and don't have a problem doing that, either.
     
  15. MyOwnSockPuppet

    MyOwnSockPuppet Regeneration of myself after computer failure

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    I believe the numbers were 722 RAF heavy bombers (including an unspecified number of Polish crews) and 527 USAAF heavy bombers.

    It is odd how Dresden is the example, rather than Coventry, or Operation Meetinghouse raid that destroyed about a quarter of Tokyo and killed an estimated 100,000 people.
     
  16. Cjwinnit

    Cjwinnit Advocatus Diaboli (Retired)

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  17. kiwimac

    kiwimac Priest, Liberal, Quaker, Theologian and TSSF Supporter

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    It was a war crime, it is still a war crime.
     
  18. gattaca

    gattaca Guest

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    It wasn't a war crime, it is still isn't a war crime.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2013
  19. Trackball

    Trackball Newbie

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    British government argued that from the analysis of the reaction of the British population to the Blitz , the demolition of people's houses was the most effective way to affect their morale.

    Dehousing - Wikipedia
     
  20. Cooch

    Cooch Regular Member

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    Having read the article in questionb, it seems that there was a great deal of argument over the accuracy of that analysis. I believe that it indulges in unwarranted extrapolation, but I have the benefit of hindsight.

    What it does do, tho, is demonstrate that the bombing campaign was intended to destroy property and divert resources away from war production. That is a legitimate objective.

    Bear in mind that this whole debate took place in the context of an aerial capacity and doctrine that was still being developed.

    A question in return would be whether the Blitz on London, Birmingham and Coventry was any less of a war-crime. Arguably, the Germans had a more malignant intent and were only prevented from carrying it out by a better defence than anticipated, and the inadequacy of their own arms.
     
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