In the last throes of the Second World War Dresden was packed with refugees who fled before the advance of the brutal Russian army. The local population could not accommodate all of them, and women and weeping children huddled together in the main park, in the coldest winter for a century.
Unbeknown to them, with a declared aim of a speedier ending of the war, a demoralising of the enemy, a destruction of its supply lines, commencing on 13 February 1945, over 1,000 British and American bombers subjected Dresden to an aerial holocaust.
The first attack dropped high explosive bombs that tore the roofs from buildings, opening them up to the incendiary devices that followed. Dresden became a 6 square mile inferno of hell, with temperatures of over 1,000 degrees fahrenheit, which created a hurricane that sucked all oxygen and many people into it.
Thousands suffocated in their cellars.
Many thousands were burned alive.
The fleeing were mown down like cattle by bullets raining from the sky.
It is not known how many died, among the 35,000 recognizable corpses was a yellowish, liquefied mass of human remains. The German newspaper Eidgenoss (1 March 1986) estimated that the dead included 37,000 babies and toddlers, 46,000 school age children, 55,000 wounded and sick in the hospitals.
This was a demoralising of the enemy, a destruction of its supply lines. Those things certainly, but also, as certainly, mass murder.
Mass murder continues in Yemen. ‘A minimum of 10,000 civilians have been killed or wounded in the U.S.-backed war in Yemen, according to the U.N. humanitarian coordinator. … The U.N. and human rights organizations have thoroughly documented atrocities committed by the Western-backed coalition and have accused it of committing war crimes. Despite these reports, the U.S. continues to reaffirm its close alliance with its repressive Saudi ally and sell it weapons’. (Ben Norton, salon.com, 2016).
Mass murder continues in Syria.
This is somewhat true, but innocent civilains are also being killed as ‘collaterel damage’.
A 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency document showed that American and its allies did not oppose the rise of Islamic State ‘in order to isolate the Syrian regime’. The DIA report described IS as an American strategic asset. They viewed IS as a tool for regime change.
The report suggested that ‘Safe havens’ should be created in areas conquered by IS; so-called no-fly zones.
America and its allies want Aleppo to be a no-fly zone, citing humanitarian concerns about the horrendous killing of civilians. As much as some may be genuinely concerned by this, it is also a strategic mask which hides the faces of cold and calculating propagandists.
From Dresden to Syria, the disregarding of human life to persue the strategies of war has been a constant. It always has been. It always will be.
The summit of hypocrisy is scaled when British MP’s stand up in the House of Parliament to denounce the “barbaric bombardment” of Aleppo; the same flotsam of humanity that is deafeningly silent when it is ‘their side’ which does the killing.
To paraphrase wilfred Owen:
How sweet and honourable it is to lie for one’s country.
lenin nightingale 2016.