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*This is a very interesting question. *Tha banner of this answer is not say that war justifies civilian casualties, but war does certainly cause civilian casualties. The reason for commiting air power to attack a specific target is idealy justified as being a military necessity. It is also a documented (too many times) fact that genocide occurs. *The persons who ordered the bombing and had knowledge of the probability of civilian casualties have justified that action to themselves and the government for whom they waged war. Whether their actions can be justified to the satisfaction of other persons is a horse of a different color. *War brings out the best in some and the worst in others. *Some forget, or forsake, their own sense of values, their personal code of right & wrong, proper & improper or good & bad, to achieve the ultimate goal of victory. These persons are capable of genocide. Too many times, they are victorious. *Some hold true to their sense of values and are still victorious. Others hold true to their sense of values and are buried with them intact and uncompromised. Too few times, they are victorious. To many tmes, they are the fewest. To say that none of these persons are capable of genocide would have to be contingent on any "flaws", such as racism, in their sense of values. It would seem that most of these persons would not be capable of genocide. *Whether or not the strategic bombing of Germany by Allied forces can be considered as genocide depends up the person who is considering the the question. We are still mulling over the possibilities before providing a final answer. As stated above, this is a very interesting question. Genocide would be an attempt to eliminate the entire German race. The air raids on Germany were for the most part, as the question says, 'strategic' and aimed at the war industry. Civilians who are manufacturing war materials are a legitimate target. Besides, many of the pilots probably had parents and grandparents who had emmigrated from Germany not long before and were as "Aryan" as the Nazis. For the slaughter of non-combattants to count as genocide, it's NOT necessary to intend to kill a whole people or race. The threshold is much, much lower. I find the comments in answer #2 about '[c]ivilians who are manufacturing war materials' odd. Even in ground fighting one can't go around checking individuals' occupations before shooting. As for a lot of the pilots being themselves of German origin, that didn't apply to the RAF, which was responsible for most of the deliberate bombing of German civilians. The adjective 'strategic' in 'strategic bombing' shouldn't be taken at face value. When the RAF bombed cities, it usually made no attempt to attack military targets. The bombers made straight for the city centre in such cases and inner suburbs. It is usually said that the aim was to cause maximum disruption. See the link for "Wikipedia: Genocide" to the right for a very brief outline of what genocide is often taken to mean. United States, England, and Russia.

2008-11-11 19:18:45
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