- The US and British elites
are by their own definition always 'the good guys' and by dint of forceful
marketing through compliant historians and other media mercenaries have
established this perception in the minds of many of their own citizens.
They therefore logically have the right to define who are 'war criminals'
- who should be subject to the international rules of warfare and who not.
- This situation, so obvious with respect to the illegal
invasion of Iraq, is actually not at all new. Bush(-Sharon) and Blair,
contrary to many perceptions, are following the hallowed procedures of
long-established precedent. In order to get a feel for the reality of the
situation we need to look back a few decades.
- The Second World War is conventionally presented as a
clear-cut case of the congenitally good cowboys heroically battling, valiantly
and ultimately triumphantly, against the congenitally evil injuns. But
in this overall romantic Hollywood-type picture of the war there remain
certain fundamental awkwardnesses, which have not gone away with the passing
of time. One day they will yet come back to haunt the makers of the beautiful,
- For example, WW2 began with Britain's guarantee to protect
Poland. After Hitler invaded, Britain accordingly declared war on Germany.
But when, just less than three weeks later, Stalin by agreement with Hitler
took the eastern half of Poland, comprising slightly more than 50% of Poland,
Britain completely forgot to declare war on Soviet Russia. A very strange,
publically-unexplained amnesia. In due course, of course, Britain and Russia
became allies, and Churchill somewhat grudgingly acquiesced to Roosevelt's
handing over Eastern Europe, including Poland (forgetting (once more!)
the guarantee to that country that started the war) to effective Russian
control at the Yalta Conference. This was after a major Russian war crime
had become known to the Allied leadership in 1943: the cold-blooded execution
of 15,000 Polish officer prisoners at Katyn and other locations. This particular
amnesia also was not out of character - Churchill's government had entirely
forgotten about Stalin's responsibility for the deaths of millions of 'kulaks'
in the 1930's, and his ruthless pre-war purges and destruction of all his
political enemies, real and imagined, within the Soviet system.
- Another example of the 'awkwardnesses' lies in the secret
British policy of so-called 'area bombing', adopted early in 1942 and outlined
by (Lord) CP Snow in the 1960 Godkin Lectures at Harvard University (published
in his book Science and Government, Oxford University Press 1961). Snow
had an insider's view of the development of this policy. He outlines how
the sinister Professor FA Lindemann (later to become Lord Cherwell, Churchill's
chief scientific adviser), persuaded the British Cabinet to adopt the policy
of directing bombing campaigns primarily against German working-class housing.
"Middle-class houses have too much space around them, and so are bound
to waste bombs." Factories and "military objectives" had
long since been forgotten, except in official bulletins, since they were
much too difficult to find and hit, (p 48). Snow asks, "What will
people of the future think of us? Will they say...we were wolves with the
minds of men? Will they think that we had resigned our humanity? They will
have that right." (p 49). Fortunately, Snow needn't have worried.
There have been and remain such powerful vested interests committed to
preserving the myths of World War II that even the history departments
of universities have in most cases assisted with the coverup.
- The respected British military historian Martin Middlebrook
says, "In some ways, Area Bombing was a three-year period of deceit
practised upon the British public and on world opinion. It was felt to
be necessary that the exact nature of R.A.F. bombing should not be revealed.
It could not be concealed that German cities were being hit hard, and that
residential areas in those cities were receiving many of the bombs, but
the impression was usually given that industry was the main target and
that any bombing of workers, housing areas was an unavoidable necessity.
Charges of 'indiscriminate bombing,' were consistently denied."
- The deceit lay in the concealment of the fact that the
areas being most heavily bombed were nearly always either city centres
or densely populated residential areas, which rarely contained any industry..
The vital links in the dissemination of this view were the press and the
radio upon which the public depended for all wartime news.. Neutral reports
(of the campaign against the residential areas of the German city of Hamburg,
for example) that 20,000 or 30,000 people had been killed were dismissed
as 'Nazi-inspired stories'.
- Liddell Hart, the historian (after the Thousand Bomber
Raid on Cologne with its claim of so many acres of city destroyed) wrote:
"It will be ironical if the defenders of civilization depend for victory
upon the most barbaric and unskilled way of winning a war that the modern
world has seen." , [Middlebrook, The Battle of Hamburg (1980) pp 343-4].
- In his foreword, Middlebrook notes "I am likely
to be criticized...for choosing a series of raids which produced such extremes
of horror on the ground. But I must point out that a large proportion of
the raids carried out by R.A.F. Bomber Command in the Second World War
were devoted to this type of bombing."
- What happened at Hamburg was when Bomber Command 'got
everything right' (p 12). Words cannot, of course, convey the terrible,
UTTERLY HELLISH reality of tens of thousands of terribly, awfully burnt
women and children, and even the appalling photographs cannot convey the
horror of the smell of burnt, charred, bloated and rotting corpses, all
members of people's families, most of them non-combatant civilians of all
ages, male and female. This was unquestionably an extraordinarily systematic
and comprehensive terrorism conducted for years against the civilian populations
of two countries (Germany and Japan) on a vast industrialized scale, making
(in terms of numbers of deaths) the attack on New York on 9/11/2001 pathetically
puny in comparison, however Hollywood-spectacular the burning and collapsing
towers may have been.
- At the Nuremberg trials, captured German leaders were
convicted of 'crimes against humanity' and 'war crimes' as defined in the
London Charter signed on August 8 1945 by the Allied powers. The judicial
procedures that were followed remain interesting. The Trials were judicial
in appearance only. The judges were not neutral. The victors in the war
commissioned their own judges, who were under pressure to provide justification
for Allied policies. The Allies themselves were guilty of major war crimes,
the most outstanding of which were
- the fire-bombing of the civilian residential areas of
Dresden (no military significance) under Winston Churchill,s orders (David
Irving The Destruction of Dresden (1966) pp. 96-100), Alexander McKee Dresden
1945 (1982) p 300, 306, 310); and
- the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August
6 and 9 1945 under orders of President Harry Truman of the US, in spite
of the fact that Japan had signalled her willingness to capitulate some
weeks previously (Robert Junck Brighter than a Thousand Suns (1958) pp.
189-191, Martin J Sherwin A World Destroyed (1975) pp. 235-237).
- To summarize the sequence of the important dates concerning
the atomic bombing:
- Mid-July 1945: Japanese government communicates to US
government their willingness to negotiate capitulation;
- August 6 1945: US drops atom bomb on Hiroshima;
- August 8 1945: US signs the 'London Charter', or Charter
of the International Military Tribunal defining war crimes, including Principle
6 (b) wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation
not justified by military necessity.,
- August 9 1945: US drops atom bomb on Nagasaki.
- With reference to the atomic bomb, Admiral William Leahy
- Chief of Staff to both Roosevelt and Truman - commented, 'My own feeling
was that, in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard
common to the barbarians of the Dark Age. I was not taught to make war
in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.'
(Liddell Hart, History of the Second World War (1970) p725-6, JFC Fuller,
The Decisive Battles of the Western World, 1792-1945 (1970) p584). Awkwardly
enough, for the sake of judicial impartiality, Churchill and Truman should
themselves have been executed at Nuremberg for these undoubted crimes.
In addition to finding ways to justify their own conduct, Britain and the
US also needed to distract attention from two other aspects.
- There were the major crimes committed against humanity
by their ally the Soviet Union (including the Katyn-related cold-blooded
massacres of 15,000 Polish officers). There was the characteristic decision
of Franklin Roosevelt and his New York advisors to hand over Eastern Europe
to the Soviet Union at the Yalta conference. This was in spite of Stalin's
pre-war record of show trials, liquidation of his enemies in the armed
services and his outstanding crime against humanity, the 'collectivization
of the kulaks'. This caused the deaths of millions of Stalin's own citizens,
not in war but in a time of peace, through hunger and police action. The
US, through its support of the Soviet Union during the war, effectively
assisted, set up and established its own powerful adversary for the 40-year-long
Cold War with the associated arms race and third-world proxy wars. This
was in spite of Stalin's history, well known to both the US and UK governments
before the war began.
- The role of the Holocaust has been absolutely and critically
essential to distract attention away from these issues and preserve (ironically
enough) the racist myth of an ethical war fought by the good clean cowboys
against the congenitally and incorrigibly evil, filthy injuns. The Holocaust
allegation has been not only the 'hoax of the twentieth century' [Professor
Arthur Butz of Northwestern University in The Hoax of the Twentieth Century]
or 'the greatest robbery in the history of mankind' [Norman G. Finkelstein
of the City University of New York in his book The Holocaust Industry,
p 139] but also, ironically enough, a fundamentally and radically racist
blood libel by the most stridently anti-racist people in the entire world.
- For example, at Nuremberg (understandably, in view of
Hiroshima and Dresden etc) the absolutely fundamental legal principle of
tu quo que was denied. "In the course of the trial, the Tribunal showed
itself to be very receptive to prosecution pleas that tu quo que arguments
(i.e., that the Allies had committed the same acts as the defendants) should
be inadmissible", (Bradley F Smith Reaching Judgement at Nuremberg
(1977) p 102).
- During the Nuremberg Trial the German general Alfred
Jodl petitioned for certain documents related to wartime crimes committed
by the Allies. "This request set off an amazing flurry of excitement
among the prosecutors and on October 30, Jackson and Maxwell Fyfe (US and
British prosecutors) had a worried discussion on how to deal with this
incident, which they held to be the beginning of the long-dreaded Nazi
'attack on the prosecution'. The two prosecutors agreed that the best way
to deal with Jodl's request and any other such 'attacks' was for each prosecutor
to narrow the case as much as possible so that Allied actions would not
be touched upon and then to urge rejection of all defense petitions like
Jodl's on the grounds that they were not relevant to the case", (Smith
p 210.) Needless to say, Jodl amongst others, was executed by hanging.
- The Eichmann trial conducted by the state of Israel is
interesting in the same way. Once again the judges were not neutral, belonging
to the same party as the accusers. They were entirely subordinate and subject
to political pressure to provide justification for the establishment of
the Israeli State on somebody else,s territory. Hannah Arendt says
- "German witnesses for the defence were excluded
from the outset, since they would have exposed themselves to arrest and
prosecution in Israel under the same law as that under which Eichmann was
tried", (p 129); "It quickly turned out that Israel was the only
country in the world where defence witnesses could not be heard, and where
certain witnesses for the prosecution could not be cross-examined by the
defence. And this was all the more serious as the accused and his lawyer
were indeed not 'in a position to obtain their own defence documents'",
(p 220-221); "Israeli legal procedure ran counter to Continental procedure
- to which Eichmann, because of his national origin, was entitled - in
that it required the defendant to provide the evidence for his defence,
and this the accused had been unable to do because neither witnesses nor
defence documents were available in Israel", (p248). Just why was
all this legal illegality and judicial irregularity necessary, we might
- Needless to say, Eichmann was hanged.