POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY OLIVER KAMM IN THE GUARDIAN
Mr Kamm makes a thoughtless and dangerous argument.
You might say that the atomic bomb was no more terrible than the terrible fire bombing that that American madman, General Lemay, relentlessly pursued.
You might say that the atomic bombing was no different in killing only civilians.
But you cannot say that it wasn't a war crime. They were all war crimes.
America also passed an important psychological and moral threshold with these acts, something that enabled it to start murdering 3 million people in Vietnam, mostly civilians, twenty years later, leaving the place a ghastly junkyard of Agent Orange and landmines. It was, quite simply, the greatest war crime since the Holocaust.
And perhaps more terrible for all our futures, the United States made these unthinkable weapons thinkable and usable.