Letters to the Editor

We've attacked defenseless civilians, too

I certainly agree with "Attacks on defenseless civilians is simply barbaric" (Aug. 17, excerpt from Washington Post editorial). The article had to do with present-day Iraq, where 250 civilians were killed, but let's go back to World War II. The first inspiring leader to deliberately bomb civilian targets was Winston Churchill, followed by that barbaric Adolf Hitler, followed by our own peace-loving Franklin D. Roosevelt.

But they were all upstaged by our next serene leader, Harry Truman. In August 1945 he atomic-bombed a quarter million old men, women and children. It is said that that saved an untold number of U.S. servicemen, including this writer. But some facts are finally coming to light. In May 1945, the Japanese put out peace feelers through the Swiss, stating they would surrender if they could keep their emperor, but we rejected that offer, insisting on unconditional surrender. Three months later they surrendered and we let them keep their emperor after all. So all the allied deaths after May 1945 and all the quarter million Japanese were in vain. The deliberate wartime killing of defenseless civilians is absolutely barbaric, except, of course, when we do it.

EARL HIATT

Patterson

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