Yesterday, August 6th. marked the 69th anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, killing at least 80,000 people instantly, with tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, dying of various forms of radiation illnesses the following years, 90% of the city was obliterated. A few days later, August 9th. the US dropped a second bomb, a plutonium bomb, on Nagasaki, instantly killing more than 40,000, and again leaving a legacy of radiation diseases for generations. We should add that the estimates of the immediate deaths vary as it is impossible to state accurately, these figures are at the bottom end of the estimates.
Targeting civilians is recognised internationally as a war crime, can anyone claim that obliteration an entire city in one fell swoop, is not targeting civilians? After WW2 we hung quite a few for war crimes, unsurprisingly, they were all on the other side.
The victors write the history, and our history always tells us that what ever we do in war is honourable, and what ever our enemies do is barbaric. The fact that Nagasaki was a mainly civilian city, and ironically, a city with the highest Christian population in Japan, doesn't change that. Just like Israel today, we claimed that we were justified, no matter the cost, it was the honourable road to go.
The entire history of capitalism, is one of deadly conflicts, with civilian casualties, seen merely as collateral damage. More and more it is the civilian population that suffers in war. Gone are the days when two vast armies faced each other across some waste land, and slaughtered each other until one could claim victory. In modern warfare the casualty rate is normally higher among the civilian population than in the military. Remember "Shock and Awe" visited on the Iraqi people, drones in Pakistan, and Somalia, and now Gaza.
This being the case, and targeting civilians being a war crime then it should follow that war itself, by its modern nature is one large war crime, and any state that enters into war is automatically guilty of a war crime.
Photo from Dresden after the Allies bombed the city, creating a fire storm, 1945.
Wars are states way of cementing their power and wealth, what happens to the people is of little concern, and it will remain so, until we take control of our own lives. Until we decide that we the people should shape the world we want to live in, and base our societies on communities grounded in the fundamentals of mutual aid, co-operation, and seeing to the needs of all our people, we will be at the mercy of the power hungry, war mongering, profit seeking, greed driven capitalist system.