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What Hollywood Ignores.....war epics on screen skips mass slaughter of Japanese and German civilians http://thepeopleofpakistan.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/herold2.jpg The Firebombing of Dresden Germany http://people.moreheadstate.edu/students/alsimp01/images/hiroshima1.gif The result of the bombing of Hiroshima By CHARLES BURRESS | The Japan Times | May 7, discount hairball chews cats online 2010 SAN FRANCISCO — Does the history diet fed to Americans by Hollywood promote an unhealthy national memory? The latest screen epic about American heroism in World War II — the HBO miniseries “The Pacific” — is clouded by an unintended irony. Creators Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, discount hairball chews cats online who teamed up also on “Band of Brothers” and “Saving Private Ryan, discount hairball chews cats online” have sought to strengthen the authenticity of Hollywood renderings of World War II. Discount hairball chews cats online But while such portrayals may give us a keener appreciation of the courage and suffering of U.S. Discount hairball chews cats online troops on the battlefield, discount hairball chews cats online they also add further weight to a lopsided World War II history that leaves the dishonorable part of America’s wartime behavior buried deeper in national amnesia. In what may be added irony, discount hairball chews cats online the widely reported premier of “The Pacific” came but four days after the little noticed anniversary of one of the darkest events in American war history — the March 10, discount hairball chews cats online 1945, discount hairball chews cats online firebombing of Tokyo. Discount hairball chews cats online The two-volume World War II history “Total War, discount hairball chews cats online” by Peter Calvocoressi, discount hairball chews cats online Guy Wint and John Pritchard, discount hairball chews cats online describes the massive napalm attack on Japan’s capital as not only “the greatest air offensive in history” but also “deliberate, discount hairball chews cats online indiscriminate mass murder.” The raid by B-29 bombers probably ranks as history’s largest mass killing of civilians in a short time span. Discount hairball chews cats online The estimated death toll of 100, discount hairball chews cats online000 exceeded the immediate deaths in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, discount hairball chews cats online or the Dresden firebombing. “The street was filled with blackened corpses, discount hairball chews cats online” air raid survivor Haruko Nihei recently told a U.C. 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Confronting U.S. Discount hairball chews cats online mass killing of civilians in WWII — particularly the Tokyo firebombing — is important now, discount hairball chews cats online not just because Americans should remember both the good and bad about their history. Discount hairball chews cats online The U.S. Discount hairball chews cats online has trouble winning hearts and minds in today’s war against terrorists in part because the terrorism blood on America’s own hands leaves it vulnerable to effective enemy propaganda and charges of hypocrisy. In the aftermath of 9/11, discount hairball chews cats online Osama bin Laden cited Hiroshima, discount hairball chews cats online as if to say the World Trade Center deaths represented only a small taste of the type of warfare that the U.S. Discount hairball chews cats online had long ago sanctioned. America was far from the first to bomb cities. Discount hairball chews cats online The tactic began as early as the 19th century with bombs dropped from balloons over Venice. Discount hairball chews cats online Indiscriminate killing of noncombatants from the air began, discount hairball chews cats online according to many historians, discount hairball chews cats online in the 1930s. Discount hairball chews cats online The Japanese bombing of civilians in the Chapei section of Shanghai in January 1932 “horrified much of the world and anticipated the mass bombings of populations a decade later, discount hairball chews cats online” wrote Cornell University historian Walter LaFeber. Discount hairball chews cats online The most infamous early example, discount hairball chews cats online immortalized in a painting by Picasso, discount hairball chews cats online came five years later in 1937 when more than a thousand people died in the German bombing of Guernica. The Japanese military embraced the tactic during the Second Sino-Japanese War, discount hairball chews cats online bombing several Chinese cities. Discount hairball chews cats online The most destruction came from repeated air raids on Chongqing, discount hairball chews cats online China’s wartime capital after the 1937 fall of Nanjing. Discount hairball chews cats online Aerial attacks on Chongqing in May 1939 alone claimed an estimated 5, discount hairball chews cats online400 lives, discount hairball chews cats online according to Mark Selden, discount hairball chews cats online a Japan specialist at Cornell. In WWII in Europe, discount hairball chews cats online bombing tolls mounted, discount hairball chews cats online beginning with German air raids on Warsaw in 1939 and Rotterdam in 1940. Discount hairball chews cats online German bombing of British cities in the eight months following September 1940 claimed about 30, discount hairball chews cats online000 lives. Discount hairball chews cats online British bombing of German cities began in 1942 and was later joined by the Americans. Discount hairball chews cats online About 45, discount hairball chews cats online000 were killed in raids on Hamburg alone in July and August of 1943. Discount hairball chews cats online Nearly as many were killed at Dresden in February 1945. The concentration of carnage saw a significant escalation when America sent waves of bombers over Japan, discount hairball chews cats online especially in 1945. Discount hairball chews cats online In attacks on 66 Japanese cities, discount hairball chews cats online including Hiroshima and Nagasaki, discount hairball chews cats online the number of civilians killed by American bombs was “probably close to four hundred thousand, discount hairball chews cats online” estimated MIT historian John Dower. In the 2003 documentary “Fog of War” Robert McNamara, discount hairball chews cats online who served in World War II under the architect of the bombing campaign, discount hairball chews cats online Maj. Discount hairball chews cats online Gen. Discount hairball chews cats online Curtis LeMay, discount hairball chews cats online quoted LeMay’s postwar assessment: “If we’d lost the war, discount hairball chews cats online we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.” McNamara, discount hairball chews cats online who later became U.S. Discount hairball chews cats online Secretary of Defense, discount hairball chews cats online added, discount hairball chews cats online “I think he’s right. Discount hairball chews cats online He, discount hairball chews cats online and I’d say I, discount hairball chews cats online were behaving as war criminals.” But if the U.S. Discount hairball chews cats online was guilty of war crimes, discount hairball chews cats online then weren’t Japan, discount hairball chews cats online Germany and Great Britain also guilty? All of them rained bombs indiscriminately on civilians. Discount hairball chews cats online America may have done so with the largest kill ratio, discount hairball chews cats online but virtually all laws against killing of innocents are not conditional on the number killed. International law on bombing cities at that time was not clearly established. Discount hairball chews cats online A Hague Convention that was drafted in 1923 explicitly banned aerial bombardment of civilians but was never ratified. Discount hairball chews cats online The League of Nations unanimously passed a resolution in 1938 outlawing aerial bombing of civilian populations, discount hairball chews cats online but Japan and Germany by then had withdrawn from the league and the U.S. Discount hairball chews cats online had never joined. The most relevant agreement was the earlier Hague Convention Respecting Laws and Customs of War on Land of 1907, discount hairball chews cats online which had been ratified by the major combatants of WWII. Discount hairball chews cats online It forbade bombardment of “undefended” towns, discount hairball chews cats online bombardment without prior warning and destruction of enemy property not demanded by military necessity. 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One Japanese scholar said the 20th century’s ghastly record of civilian slaughter from the air had its origin in Japan’s attacks on Chinese cities. In the book “Bombing Civilians, discount hairball chews cats online” Tetsuo Maeda, discount hairball chews cats online who retired in 2007 as a professor of international studies at Tokyo International University, discount hairball chews cats online wrote, discount hairball chews cats online “The sudden horror from the skies that took place in wars of the 20th century had its roots in tactics used by the Japanese forces during the Asia Pacific War. Discount hairball chews cats online This horror boomeranged back to Japan in extreme form with the disasters of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” The argument that “Japan started it” is often expressed, discount hairball chews cats online especially by American patriots, discount hairball chews cats online in the many debates over “victors’ justice” at the Tokyo war crimes trial and American misdeeds in the Pacific war. Discount hairball chews cats online Can earlier Japanese bombing in China — along with German and British bombing in Europe and the uncertainty of international law at the time — exculpate the later American bombing of Japanese cities? International laws of war, discount hairball chews cats online though not precisely defined, discount hairball chews cats online are generally viewed as including more than just signed treaties and agreements. 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Discount hairball chews cats online The scale and intensity of American bombing crossed a new threshold and, discount hairball chews cats online in the view of some critics, discount hairball chews cats online turned the bombing of cities into America’s chief weapon in concluding its war against Japan. “If others, discount hairball chews cats online notably Germany, discount hairball chews cats online England and Japan led the way in area bombing, discount hairball chews cats online the targeting for destruction of entire cities with conventional weapons emerged in 1944-45 as the centerpiece of U.S. Discount hairball chews cats online warfare, discount hairball chews cats online” Selden wrote. It was the Tokyo attack that “initiated the U.S. Discount hairball chews cats online government’s embrace of urban terror bombing as a legitimate form of warfare, discount hairball chews cats online” wrote Cary Karacas, discount hairball chews cats online an assistant professor at the College of Long Island who studies bombing of civilian populations. In 1945, discount hairball chews cats online U.S. Discount hairball chews cats online Brig. Discount hairball chews cats online Gen. Discount hairball chews cats online Bonner Fellers described the U.S. Discount hairball chews cats online air raids over Japanese cities as “one of the most ruthless and barbaric killings of noncombatants in all history.” The U.S. Discount hairball chews cats online — and especially Hollywood’s shapers of national memory — have a special responsibility also to make amends for past omissions and tell the full truth about the past. 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