|場所||広島国際会議場 地下2階 ヒマワリ|
Terror from the Sky: Indiscriminate Bombing from Hiroshima to Today
International Symposium on August 2, 2003
The Hiroshima Peace Institute held an international symposium in Hiroshima on August 2, 2003. The symposium, which was open to the public, was entitled "Terror from the Sky: Indiscriminate Bombing from Hiroshima to Today." Five panelists including overseas experts participated.
|Ronald Schaffer||Professor, California State University at Northridge, United States|
|Tetsuo Maeda||Professor, Tokyo International University, Japan|
|Marilyn Young||Professor, New York University, United States|
|Eric Markusen||Professor, Danish Center for Holocause and Genocide Studies, Denmark|
|Yuki Tanaka||Professor, Hiroshima Peace Institute, Japan|
|Date:||August 2, 2003|
|Venue:||Himawari Room, second basement (B2) International Conference Center (Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park)|
|Host:||Hiroshima Peace Institute|
|Support:||Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation|
|Indiscriminate Bombing in World War II: Prologue to a Counterfactual Study (Ronald Schaffer)|
|Inauguration of Indiscriminate Bombing in Asia: Bombing of Chongqing, China, by the Japanese Air Force (Tetsuo Maeda)|
|Sending a Message: the Language of Air Power in Korea and Vietnaｍ (Marilyn Young)|
|Hiroshima: Culmination of Strategic Bombing, Beginning of the Threat of Nuclear Omnicide (Eric Markusen)|
|Summing Up (Yuki Tanaka)|
|Panel Discussion / Comments by Some Participants|
Ronald Schaffer is professor emeritus of history at California State University, Northridge. He has a Ph.D. from Princeton University and specializes in the history of strategic bombing.
Indiscriminate Bombing in World War II: Prologue to a Counterfactual Study
This presentation sought to identify ways in which the very large number of civilian casualties generated by strategic bombing in the Second World War might have been reduced. It described the origins of strategic bombing theory and its salient ideas, among them the notions that bombing could secure victory by destroying an enemy's economic infrastructure, that attacks from the air could break an enemy's will to resist and cause its people to rise up against its government, and that the use of air power against an enemy society would reduce one's military casualties, providing a desirable trade-off between the lives of enemy civilians and those of one's own armed forces. Theorists and practitioners of aerial bombing argued that, by ending wars quickly and efficiently, the bomber would actually prove to be a humane weapon.
At first, the British, the Americans, and the Germans attempted to employ their bombers against what they considered to be essentially military and industrial targets, but all eventually turned to attacking areas inhabited by civilians. Under actual combat conditions, it proved difficult to hit targets with precision and extremely costly to their own forces. All then turned to night attacks, guided by imprecise navigation and aiming systems. They also increasingly employed incendiary weapons, sometimes producing enormous conflagrations. Even when improved methods of locating targets evolved, along with long-range fighter escort to protect them from enemy defenders, the British continued to deliver massive area attacks, and the Americans inflicted very large civilian casualties in raids aimed at military targets within cities.
The American aerial bombing strategy for the war in the Pacific had from the beginning contemplated the incineration of Japanese cities. American military and civilian experts planned incendiary and atomic offensives against those cities so meticulously that it is misleading to describe the bombing that burned down almost all of Japan's largest urban areas or obliterated them with nuclear weapons as "indiscriminate."
To indicate possible ways by which the slaughter of civilians might have been diminished, this presentation noted elements of irrationality and emotionalism in the thinking of those who organized the bombing attacks and also ways in which some of the bombing proved counter-productive. It suggested that some loss of civilian lives might have been averted by reversing the trade-off of civilian for military lives implicit in strategic bombing theory (for instance by an increased amount of low-level precision bombing of Japan). The presentation discussed whether or not the practice of bombing in World War II vindicated the prewar theory. It also discussed the proposals for demonstrating the power of the atomic bomb in much less deadly ways. It concluded that strategic bombing failed to bring about an uprising of civilians against their leaders in Europe, but that it may have led Japan's rulers to feel that such an uprising was possible, thus contributing, along with the entry of the Soviet Union into the Asian war and the imminent threat of an American invasion, to Japan's decision to surrender.
Tetsuo Maeda is professor at Tokyo International University. He specializes in military affairs with an emphasis on nuclear weapons.
Inauguration of Indiscriminate Bombing in Asia: Bombing of Chongqing, China, by the Japanese Air Force
To my mind, the essence and significance of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima may be summarized as follows:
1. It was an attack targeting a city as such, thus amounting in its degree of inhumanity and cruelty to indiscriminate massacre on a massive scale;
2. It was a mechanical and insensible act in which the murderer did not see the murdered, thus totally devoid of a sense of personal involvement;
3. It represented a combination of the strategy of "terror from the sky" and the 20th-century technology that made that strategy possible, i.e., the marriage of nuclear power and the bomber.
It is for reasons to do with these characteristics that Hiroshima must continue to be talked about and remembered. Furthermore, the fact that the world still remains prisoner to the same kind of threat calls for the universalization of the Hiroshima experience, which should be recalled as an event that could happen again any time just as it once happened. "Hiroshima" is not a tragedy of bygone days. Its ideology continues to haunt mankind in the guise of "strategy of deterrence" and "regional war," as brought home to peoples around the world from Hanoi to Baghdad.
In order to universalize the significance of "Hiroshima" in the context of these experiences, we must look back to the time before Hiroshima and study the lead-up to Hiroshima. For we can know neither who we are nor where we are going without knowing where we have come from.
My interest in the bombing of Chongqing by the Japanese air force derives from the sense of a problem as sketched above.
Within just a few years of 1938, Japan introduced three new elements into the history of warfare:
1. The politico-military bombing, i.e., massive indiscriminate bombing, of Chongqing in Sichuan Province, then the provisional capital of China;
2. The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, or the projection of power from the sea to land, launched at the outset of the Japanese-American war;
3. The "special attacks," i.e., suicide bombing, which in effect turned an airplane into a manned missile and which reached its peak during the Battle of Okinawa.
These "firsts" in the wars of the 20th century, which shared the common characteristic of sudden horror falling from the sky, were all witnessed in the Japanese operations in the Asia–Pacific War. Was not what happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki nothing but the ultimate form of this new type of violence? Are not both 9/11 and the Iraq War events occurring on the same trajectory?
The bombing of Chongqing lasted for two and a half years and killed 11,885 people in a sequence of 218 air raids, which targeted the city itself, relied on air power alone, and aimed to break the citizens' will to continue to fight. Little is yet known of what actually happened, however. It is another role of Hiroshima, I believe, to help prevent what happened there from sinking into oblivion.
Marilyn Young is professor of history at New York University and director at International Center for Advanced Studies Project on the Cold War as Global Conflict. She earned her Ph.D. at Harvard University and specializes in the Vietnam War.
Sending a Message: the Language of Air Power in Korea and Vietnaｍ
World War II ended with the biggest bang then possible, administered in what was believed to be a righteous cause, the defeat of Japan. It was the logical conclusion to total war. Then and since, to many in the armed forces, particularly the air force, anything short of the massive use of available force to attain American ends is immoral. Totally secure in the air, able to attack any enemy at will, Air Force generals like Ira Eaker and Curtis LeMay felt a sense of irresistible power. Limited war was an oxymoron. The only problem the advocates of unbridled air power foresaw was the timorousness of a civilian leadership unwilling to use its weapons.
In my paper I explore the ways in which the definition of limited war fought with limited means was, in Korea and in Vietnam, slowly but certainly transformed into total war fought all-out – though short of using nuclear weapons. Starting with Korea and undergoing sophisticated development in Vietnam, air power was understood as a special language addressed to the enemy and to all those who might in the future become the enemy. It was, at the same time, a language intended to reassure America's allies. And it was a language that incorporated one very crucial silence: behind all the bombs dropped was the sound of the one that could drop but had not...yet.
What was it about bombing that made it so attractive to U.S. policy makers as a mode of communication? The answer begins with a fallacy: WWII ended in a blaze of bombing, ergo, bombing ended WWII. Although air power had never fulfilled the promises of its prophets, after WWII the value of strategic bombing was accepted as an article of faith. There were some that doubted the efficacy of strategic bombing for limited warfare, arguing that the goal of such warfare was not the total destruction of the enemy but rather the pursuit of peace through "air persuasion." Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, with the experience of the Cuban missile crisis behind him, developed this idea, convinced, as H.R. McMaster has written, that "the aim of force was not to impose one's will on the enemy but to communicate with him. Gradually intensifying military action would convey American resolve and thereby convince an adversary to alter his behavior." By 1971, it would be difficult to see the difference between total war and the limited war the U.S. claimed to be waging in Indochina: from 1965 to 1971, the U.S. dropped on Indochina three times the total tonnage dropped on Europe, Africa and Asia during WWII.
Eric Markusen is research director at the Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and professor at Southwest State University. He received his Ph.D. from University of Minnesota and specializes in genocide studies.
Hiroshima: Culmination of Strategic Bombing, Beginning of the Threat of Nuclear Omnicide
This presentation was based on a paper, co-authored with Matthias Bjørnlund, in which we demonstrate that the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, while rightfully regarded as a milestone in the history of inhumanity, was at the same time the result of thinking and practices that began years before August 6, 1945, namely, the incendiary bombing of enemy cities. It was also an important point of departure for American nuclear weapons policy at the beginning of the Cold War.
As the final speaker, I had the opportunity of hearing the presentations made by Professors Tanaka, Schaffer, Maeda, and Young, as well as the ensuing discussion. With that in mind, I focused my comments on several points raised in our paper. I noted that Great Britain and the United States both began World War II with a moral repudiation of bombing cities, but in the course of the war they conducted it at levels far exceeding the Nazis. A key point, echoing Professor Schaffer's presentation, was the meticulous planning that guided American incendiary and atomic bombing of Japanese cities. In March 1945, such planning resulted in a raid against Tokyo that killed more than 70,000 people in six hours.
By August 1945, the political and military leaders responsible for incendiary attacks embraced the new atomic bombs. Following Japan's surrender, some of the airmen who had been systematically burning the cities of Japan, e.g., Air Force General Curtis LeMay, played decisive roles in developing U.S. plans to wage nuclear war.
As hydrogen bombs were integrated into the United States and Soviet arsenals, nuclear war plans entailed ever greater levels of destruction. The concept of "nuclear omnicide" was introduced by the philosopher John Sommerville in 1985 in order to convey the likelihood that a "war" fought with nuclear weapons would constitute a categorically new dimension of mass killing, even more destructive and evil than genocide. The American nuclear war plan for 1961 anticipated killing as many as 425 million people in Communist nations, as well as millions downwind from radioactive fallout. In 1962, when the United States discovered that the Soviet Union had managed to sneak nuclear-armed missiles into Cuba, the so-called "Cuban Missile Crisis" brought the world to the brink of actual nuclear war.
The end of the Cold War has not ended the nuclear threat. On the contrary, I mentioned disturbing developments in American nuclear weapons policy following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001: the nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan; and the risk of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists and brutal undemocratic regimes.
Despite the depressing accounts of terror from the sky given by the other presenters, and notwithstanding the terrible present dangers mentioned above, I tried to end on a note of hope by briefly surveying several promising international developments: increasing education and research into war and peace, as exemplified by work under way at the Hiroshima Peace Institute; a world-wide surge of concern about genocide; and advances in international law and justice, including the recently-established International Criminal Court.
Yuki Tanaka is professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute of Hiroshima City University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Western Australia. He specializes in comparative analysis of Japanese war crimes during World War II.
When we examine the history of wars, we see that no other organizations have committed as much injustice -- not only against foreigners, but against their own citizens -- as nation-states. As far as genocide and mass killing are concerned, state governments generally carry the greatest responsibility for such crimes against humanity.
When nation-states were engaged in total wars such as World War I and II, it was always state governments that perpetrated the most serious crimes against non-combatants, i.e., civilians. This is evident not only from the genocide committed by the German Nazi government against Jews and other socio-ethnic minority groups, or the numerous massacres committed by the armed forces of Imperial Japan against whites as well as Asians. It is also instanced by the thousands of civilians killed by aerial bombardment by the Allied forces in Europe and the Asia Pacific region, and in particular by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
State violence against civilians, in other words, state terrorism, has been repeatedly committed since World War II, in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the Gulf War, and the conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo. In more recent aerial attacks conducted by the U.S. and British forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, many civilians were again killed or injured as a result of the bombing of "wrongly identified targets" by "incorrectly programmed smart bombs," or as "collateral damage." No matter what military jargon is used to justify attacking civilians, it is clearly indiscriminate bombing in the eyes of the victims. Such bombing also creates huge numbers of refugees, as seen in Afghanistan where thousands of people fled their homes shortly before the onset of U.S. bombing. Eventually about one million Afghan people ended up in refugee camps. Clearly, such aerial bombing, which inflicts enormous hardship on vast numbers of civilians, is nothing short of state terrorism.
"The September 11 Attack" was unquestionably an act of terrorism as it killed thousands of civilians indiscriminately. This act, perpetrated by an al-Qaeda group can be seen as a variation on indiscriminate bombing where civilian planes are used instead of bombers to complete the suicidal mission. One can be certain that al-Qaeda would have used bombers if that had been an option. Whether indiscriminate bombing is carried out by an armed group or by the military forces of a particular nation, it is clearly an act of terrorism from the viewpoint of the civilians who become its targets. Thus it is necessary to re-examine the history of indiscriminate bombing from the viewpoint of its victims to understand its real nature. For this, we need to re-experience, by using our imagination, the terror that the victims went through as well as critically analyze the mentality of the perpetrators.
Comments by Some Participants
Looking at aerial bombing from the legal point of view, an important question is on what grounds the policy makers and those who implemented their decisions justified the bombing. Rules banning the bombing of civilians were established in the wake of World War I. So, the question is how the aerial bombing conducted by many states since then has been justified. For example, the Iraq War is seen and justified as a war against terrorism following the September 11 attacks. But can the aerial bombing conducted as part of the war be acceptable and justifiable? If we accept the war against terrorism as a just war, it might become possible to justify even the use of nuclear arms. Bombing conducted by a state, especially bombing of civilians, raises the problem of state terrorism, which must be considered in the context of the Hague Rules of Air Warfare forbidding bombing as a means to terrorize civilians.
As an atomic bomb survivor (Hibakusha), I remembered the horror of 58 years ago while listening to your presentations and was deeply inspired. From a survivor's viewpoint, nuclear weapons not only kill people, but also destroy humanity, sully man's history, and blaspheme God. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should be tried as a crime against humanity, but it has not been even as we have entered the 21st century. It is the United States, which preaches humanitarianism to the rest of the world, that should be tried first. Only then, will we be able to begin building solid foundations of global order and peace. In reality, however, the United States continues to seek to perpetuate its hegemonic rule by blackmailing the world with nuclear arms in defiance of the wish of the whole world to abolish nuclear weapons. Japan must repeal the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty and get rid of all U.S. military bases on Japanese soil. I believe that only when these goals have been attained, the victims of the atomic bombing may finally rest in peace.