The Unorthodox Website Blog

Q. When is an atrocity not an atrocity?

16 Dec

A. When its sanctioned by a government apparently.

The sheer hypocrisy when terrible events occur like the recent shooting of little children and some of their teachers in America is astounding.

On the one hand we have this awful massacre of innocent little kids, made much easier by America’s gun laws and so many Americans owning firearms, plus as Morgan Feeman has commented, the celebrity status the media give to mass killers.

On the other hand in Piccadilly we have a recently erected expensive monument to men who murdered thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of innocent little children and their parents. The RAF bomber command of the Second World War. The victims’ one and only crime was being born in the wrong country at the wrong time, i.e. Germany or one of the countries annexed or occupied by Nazi Germany.

Only the other day ITV had a program in honor of ‘heroes’, meaning British soldiers fighting in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, places we have no right to be in the first place. Sorry, but I never asked them to go out there. In fact, in 2003 just before the second recent Iraq war started, an estimated 2,000,000 people, myself included, marched in London to tell Tony Blair not to fight America’s war for oil in Iraq, and we were ignored. Britain and USA  fought that under false pretenses of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ being in Iraq, when America’s spy satellites and planes, plus UN inspectors on the ground, knew full well there were no such weapons of mass destruction.

This brings us to the subject of nuclear weapons and the British government’s determination, in a time of austerity, to press ahead with Trident replacement at an estimated total cost of about £100 billion. Targeting innocent little children and their parents once again, but worse still, generations yet unborn who would suffer gross deformities and cancers.

Are we really supposed to swallow the crocodile tears of these monsters who build weapons of mass destruction targeting little children and innocent civilians when a gunman goes mad and kills people?

As for becoming a ‘hero’, what is the definition of this? Someone who either risks their life, is maimed or lays down their life for a cause? Then the Al Quaida suicide bombers, under this definition, must also be heroes I presume. In fact, since the government has just put this expensive, ostentatious monument to the RAF mass murderers of WWII in Piccadilly, perhaps they’d like to dedicate it also to Al Quaida and the IRA. All three outfits bombed totally innocent civilians for a cause.

I never asked the British soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan to go out there, in fact the very opposite: I felt we should stay out of these places. We hear about the British casualties, not so much about the casualties British soldiers inflicted on innocent Afghanistani and Iraqi civilians.

Being brave, or full of bravado and enjoying the excitement some macho men get out of war situations, does not constitute being a ‘hero’. If it did then the terrorist suicide bombers would also be lauded as ‘heroes’, which indeed they are by their compatriots. Heroes and martyrs. Surely we in a supposedly civilized country are not going to continue to fall into the same trap? Hailing people who murder in pursuit of a cause as heroes and martyrs, and erect monuments to them, just because the State said it was right at the time.

The bombing and killing of innocent civilians, or even the targeting  of them with nuclear weapons, is totally illegal whoever does it. I also, as a pacifist, am totally against the killing of conscript soldiers just because they come from another country.

If any peace-keeping operations are necessary they should be done responsibly by an international UN sponsored peace-keeping force or security force, one not armed with weapons of mass destruction and only targeting those responsible for atrocities. In effect an international police force using restrained police methods.

For example, if a gang of killers is holed up in a house in a residential street, the police force surround the house and a siege follows until the gang is captured or killed. It is NOT permissable for the civilian police to bomb the whole street and kill hundreds of civilians in order to eliminate the gang.

In WWII although an estimated 60,000.000 died on all sides in that terrible conflict, most were innocent civilians and conscript soldiers. The generals, politicians, etc. who caused the conflict, by and large, were safe in their undergrouond bunkers well away from the bombing and the front lines. The top Nazis all survived the war or took their own lives at the end. The remainder faced victors’ justice, but the war crimes committed by the Allies went unpunished.

This brings us to the case of Japan and the biggest war crime committed by the Allies, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as the Japanese were suing for peace terms. These bombings, the effects of which can still be seen today in the survivors and generations born since, were merely to demonstrate to Stalin and the world that America had a terrible new weapon and its effect on human beings and their cities. It had nothing to do with ending the war in the Far East, and indeed these bombs did not do so.

The Americans had to agree to let Emperor Hirohito escape a war crimes tribunal and remain on the Japanese throne before the Japanese would surrender. Being willing to die for their Emperor, and to be killed rather than accept defeat or capture (as witnessed by the conduct of Japanese soldiers and the kamikaze pilots), bombing them into submission would never have worked anyway.

The only other motive for the atomic bombing was revenge for Pearl Harbor, and in that case it was the biggest over-reaction in world history surely. A few navy ships sunk in what was then an American colony did NOT justify, nor could anything justify, the dropping of nuclear bombs on innocent civilians inflicting horrible deaths on hundreds of thousands and inflicting cancers and deformities on survivors and generations yet unborn.

So while I have enormous sympathy and sadness for the poor children who died at the hands of a gunman in America this week, I do not accept the double standards which praise those who kill innocent children and civilians in the name of the State as heroes deserving special TV programs and monuments, while condemning those who commit acts of murder on their own or in groups, maybe excited and inspired by the activities of warmongers as depicted in films and TV programs.

Cut out the hypocrisy and practice what you preach. Your crocodile tears won’t wash with me! And for goodness sake America, change your gun laws so that every maniac in your country can’t just obtain a gun and go on a killing spree.

2 Responses to “Q. When is an atrocity not an atrocity?”

  1. 1
    Andrew Russell - Davis Says:

    I agree that gun laws in the U.S. ought to be stricter, people owning firearms discouraged from doing so but leaving themselves vulnerable and open to being attacked by armed intruders until gun shops are banned, made illegal. Somehow I do not see this happening!
    As regards the Military Heroes, I agree that you make a very valuable point but the added tragedy of the killing of the children and adults in the recent U.S. incident being they were not engaged in warfare, in a war zone but were innocent victims of as has now been officially reported established anyway; a deranged maniac who primarily killed his Mother before venturing to the school to commit the atrocity.
    The honoured heroes not being awarded for killing their enemy but for protecting and assisting in helping their fellow comrades attacked and maimed in battle and in some instances saving their lives so commendable acts of heroism being recognised and awarded!
    I agree though with you myself why do the U.S. and U.K. always seem to involve themselves in other nations dilemmas and dramas and pay the price for doing so but not those who make the decisons of that involvement but those who bodily implement it being bound by duty to do so! Then noted it is in peace time their freedom of choice to choose a career in the Military Services!
    The bombings in Japan I have never condoned for the reason you speak of, generations later babies still born victims of its inheritance which is disgusting and a complete travesty. Likewise I do not condone the treatment of P.O.W.’s by the Japanese who are documented for their extreme sadism excercised towards them but two wrongs do not make a right!

    Andrew Russell – Davis

  2. 2
    Tony Papard Says:

    I appreciate why soldiers are regarded as heroes, and heroic things are done in war zones, but we don’t hear so much about the atrocities committed such as killing of innocent civilians (known as ‘collateral damage’ in military jargon) or the mass rapes which soldiers on all sides were guilty of in past wars, regarded as one of the perks of fighting a war. The conquered women (and possibly some men and children) seen as being there to be used for their gratification. In fact the Bible (Moses) itself encourages such behavior in the Old Testament – i.e. raping and killing of innocent civilians and children.

    I also don’t accept the notion of a ‘war-zone’ where citizens can be raped, killed, tortured at will. So therefore I don’t, in fact, see any difference between killing civilians in war and killing them in peacetime. Well the only difference is governments give sanction to the first and not to the second, thus proving the hypocrisy of it all.

    As to the Japanese behavior towards POWs in the Second World War, it cannot be excused but it can perhaps be explained by the Japanese traditional belief than anyone who allowed themselves to be taken prisoner was a coward who had betrayed their country. This is why the Japanese would rather die for their Emperor than be taken prisoner. So the Japanese simply didn’t respect the Allied POWs and regarded them as traitors and cowards who should have died for their country.

Leave a Reply

© 2013 The Unorthodox Website Blog | Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)

Your Index Web Directorywordpress logo

Bad Behavior has blocked 649 access attempts in the last 7 days.