foxdemon wrote:Just because other sides were doing it doesn't make it right. I struggle to see how directing massive firepower at civilian centres can be justified.
It was a state of total war. Each side was doing it. It's not a matter of right or wrong, but winning. Each side was dedicated to attempting to destroy as much enemy infrastructure as possible to both eliminate their capacity to continue fighting and to destroy their morale and will to fight.
We were already carpet bombing Japanese cities, and we were carpet bombing Germany before that. The Germans carpet bombed as much of the USSR as they could, and bombed as much of Britain as they could before that. The Italians bombed as much as they could in their theaters of the war. And so on and so on.
The effect of the atomic bombings was to basically conduct a massive bombing sweep in one go. Had there been no atomic bombing of Nagasaki or Hiroshima, it's likely, due to the fact they were among cities we had barely touched, we would have targeted them next for carpet bombing.
It was a state of total war. Everyone was killing civilians, whether by bullet or bayonet or bomb. None of it was morally acceptable. It simply happened.