Today in New Zealand the date is the 11th of September, this date marks the anniversary of a terrible crime, an event where planes were used to incinerate and kill thousands of innocent civilians in order to strike terror into the heart of the local population.
Those reading this will suspect that I am talking of the attack on the world trade towers in 2001. I am not. The event I refer to occurred in September 11th 1944 the bombing of Darmstadt. This was one of several bombing raids performed by the allies against German occupied Europe. What’s less well known was that Churchill under pressure from his ally Stalin, perhaps the greatest mass murderer in history, authorized the deliberate area bombing of civilian cities. Defenders of these actions argued it was necessary to destroy the morale of the German people. The raid on Darmstadt created a fire storm 1 mile high. The roaring firestorm so terrified the population that most people stayed in their bomb shelters leading to them dying of suffocation. In his fascinating monograph Humanity Jonathan Glover notes that over 12000 people died in this raid. Carolin Schaffer a survivor of the raid tells how she and her children were forced to flee through piles of corpses. She covered her children’s eyes for fear that the images would traumatize them for life.
Darmstard was only one of many area bombings performed by the allies. A year earlier between 24 July and 3 of August the city of Hamburg was repeatedly attacked. On the night of the 27th the bombings created a firestorm with temperatures up to 800 degrees. Roads melted and fleeing civilians found their feet stuck in molten tar and asphalt while they were burnt alive. Glover’s account contains disturbing accounts from eyewitnesses, stories of charred women and children, with brains tumbling onto the ground. The firestorm of the 27th killed 40,000 people. Similar things can be said about the fire bombing of Dresden in 1945 which killed 30,000.
Many in the west forget do not know about these events. I talk to well meaning sincere students all the time who know all about the atrocities of Hitler and have no idea that Churchill supported terrorism moreover often when this is pointed out they do not care. After all he was fighting Hitler.
I highlight these events not to engage in the specious reasoning of anti war activists. The invalid tu quoque which states that because the west has engaged in terrorism of this sort in the past that some how means they are mistaken to condemn it now. Such arguments seem to suggest that because we did not do the right thing in the past we should not do it now. Nor do I wish to engage in the facile “Bush is a hypocrite” argument; such reasoning displays a shallow understanding of ethical argument, one that mistakes attacking against a persons character with actually offering an argument against the proposition asserted by the person. Any first year critical thinking or logic class would clear these issues up; the fact that educated University students seriously put them forward is a shame to our education system.
I highlight to say simply this terrorism in all its forms should be condemned. The Christian Just war theory condemns deliberately targeting and killing non combatants in war. It bases this on the sixth commandment “you shall not kill” but notes, following Augustine, that when this commandment is read in it’s context it admits of two specified exceptions; killing an aggressor to defend of the innocent from his attack, and killing a person justly sentenced for a capital crime. The commandment is issued to all human beings. It does not say it’s wrong for the US to do this but Sunni Muslims who do it against America are freedom fighters. It does not say that we should condemn Israel when (and if) they deliberately attack civilians but then agree to listen and hear the complaints of Palestinians when they blow up Israeli women and children and encourage their teenagers to do so. It does not say that we should revile the CIA for dubious actions they have engaged in and yet praise terrorist organizations like Nelson Mandela’s ANC. All forms of terrorism should be condemned. All people, including all governments, are required to obey Gods law.
The leftwing forces of “peace” and “tolerance” in our country reject Gods law and find the idea that Governments are under God as absurd. In popular discourse they replace Gods law with the most bizarre unprincipled stance on violence. They say the state should never kill when a person has been found guilty of serial murder. But they slaughter by the thousands innocent children for social, economic reasons in state hospitals at taxpayer funds. They tell us the US should not intervene in Iraq to bring down a brutal dictator and stop his slaughter of thousands of innocent people. Yet they support military intervention in the Solomon Islands to stop riots. It’s wrong to correct disobedient children with force, but they then exhort thousands of dollars of tax payer money out of adults, by threatening force and violence for any social cause they deem worthy of support. This leads to the absurd situation where Journalists on TV tell us that Bush and other American conservatives are the equivalent of Bin Laden and the Taliban. As though a country that executes serial murderers is the same as one that executes women for not wearing a Burka. As though condemning pornographic filth is the same as banning TVs and kites. Their real ethic is clear; violence is good when used by us for causes we like by regimes who oppose those we hate. It should not be used against murderers only innocent tax payers, it should not be used against dictators only against those dictators which the UN ( which is composed of dictators) like. A plane that attacks a military target illegally located within a civilian area and which inevitably but unintentionally hits a civilians ( after ringing the civilians and telling them to leave) is a terrorist because the person who did it is a Jew and supported by the US. However a terrorist who fights apartheid is a hero and Muslim Jihadists they are simply venting understandable frustration at western colonialism.
This is one of the reasons people do not know about Darmstadt, because the Nazis were evil racists, they are the figure the left use to label any person they don’t like, so no one cares about the Germans. People confidently forget or excuse the atrocities committed upon german civilians by the allies. They also minimize the even worse social polices and massacres of Stalin our ally in the war. What is needed is not the pragmatic utilitarianism of the left. But a consistent stance grounded in the law of God. Violence is wrong when intentionally wielded against innocent people. However, to protect the innocent, governments must wield it against criminals and those who engage in aggression against the innocent. This applies domestically and internationally. I say hunt Bin Laden down kill him. Destroy terrorists everywhere and anywhere when they threaten us. Refuse to give in to them or negotiate with them until they denounce terrorism. Execute the evil people who rape and kill children here at home. Arm the police with tasers and when a criminal is threatening the innocent use them. However let those of us who are innocent, whether civilians in other countries or non criminals at home, use our life liberty and property as we please. Stop restricting our liberty appropriating our property and threatening us with incarceration us as means to achieve your social ends. Stop killing unborn children by the thousands to further the women’s revolution while selectively condemning “non violence” and prattling about peace when those who threaten the innocent us are challenged by governments doing the job God instituted them to do. Show us you actually have some moral discernment and can tell the difference between guilt and innocence, aggression and non aggression.
Black is not white and your continual claiming it is does not make it so.