A Forgotten Holocaust:US Bombing Strategy, the Destruction of Japanese Cities and the American Way of War from the Pacific War to Iraq

Air power remains among the major causes of death, destruction, dislocation and division in contemporary Iraq in a war that had taken approximately 655,000 lives by the summer of 2006 in the most authoritative study to date, that of The Lancet) and created more than two million refugees abroad and an equal number displaced internally (one in seven Iraqis are displaced). Largely unreported in the US mainstream press, and invisible in US television news and reportage, this is the central reality that confronts the Iraq people. US strategy has produced the explosive social divisions that promise to lead to permanent warfare in Iraq and throughout the region. Despite the unchallenged air supremacy that the US has wielded in Iraq since 1991 and especially since 2003, there is no end in sight to US warfare and civil war in Iraq and throughout the region. [59]

We have shown the decisive impact of the final year of World War II in setting in place the preeminence of strategic bombing as quintessential to the US way of war, one that would characterize subsequent major wars that have wreaked yet greater devastation on noncombatant populations. Yet for all the power unleashed by US bombers, for all the millions of victims, in the six decades since 1945, victory against successive, predominantly Asian foes, has proved extraordinary elusive for the United States. read more

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