Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Daze

I think the final judgement at Nuremberg was that only victors lay down the law, and that hanging a few war criminals is just a difference in degree from piling up the skulls of an entire vanquished population, a thing also known from history.

General Curtis LeMay said something similar about the firebombing of Japanese cities near the end of WWII (before Hiroshima and Nagasaki). IIRC, he expressed gratitude that us Americans won the war, so he wouldn't be held personally responsible for the individual atrocities of Japanese civilians burned alive.

Or as Sherman put it, war is hell. Pretty glib, this far from the Confederate State of Georgia.

Bill Mauldin's grunts made it through the Pearly Gates. They were just following orders. I'm not sure about Generals. Or Presidents. In the old cherry blossom days, or so I've heard, there was a Buddhist remark to the effect that a samurai's karma is so horrifically bad that he could not even be reborn as a dog — only as a samurai.



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