Friday, March 03, 2006

Bombs falling down like rain

Here is one for a limited audience, it's called Among the Dead Cities and it asks whether the bombing of German and Japanese cities in World War 2 was justified. Based on the Guardian review it doesn't take the pacifist view that all force is unjustified but looks closely at the specific cases of bombing cities and civilians with the intent to kill civilians. If you are interested in the ethics of force, this looks like a winner. If you like the topic but don't want to spend all that time on reading, then by all means see the Fog of War. It is an extended interview with Robert McNamara on what he has learned in his career about force, which included planning the bombing of Japan and of course, the conduct of the first half of the Vietnam war. You'll get the same even handed examination, but you will be done in 90 minutes.

The classic text which I am ashamed to say I have not read is Just and Unjust Wars by Michael Walzer, who you may have seen pop up quite a bit in the run up to Iraq. Yet another one to throw on the pile.

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