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Civilian Casualties are Part of War

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is Greg in Rochester, Minnesota, and thank you for waiting.  Hello, sir.

CALLER:  I just wanted to make the point, first-time caller, long-time listener in Rochester, Minnesota, the home of the Mayo Clinic, just to put in a plug.  In your monologue you said that the United States essentially targeted billions in the bombing of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden.  It's actually technically not correct.  Historically they were very careful to point out that they were actually bombing the military targets in those cities. If they had been targeting civilians that would have been considered a war crime and being against the laws of war.

RUSH:  Uhhhh, really?

CALLER:  Yes.  Because there are laws for --

RUSH:  So we had a surgical nuclear strike on Hiroshima only --

CALLER:  Actually, there were more people killed in the firebombing of Tokyo. Over a million people were killed there, but they made the same statement, they were bombing the war shop there.

RUSH:  So you disagree with the premise.  My premise was it's not that civilians were, quote, targeted, but you bombed, you bombed civilians. You bombed and you committed acts against the civilian population of a country in order to secure victory.  We didn't just attack military installations bombing Dresden or Hiroshima or Nagasaki. 

CALLER:  Are you familiar with the laws of war?

RUSH:  Well, frankly, not the ones you're talking about.

CALLER:  There are actually laws of war.  There was a Geneva Convention.

RUSH:  Yeah.  I'm very familiar with Geneva.  We granted terrorists the Geneva Convention rights when they aren't deserving of them.

CALLER:  That's the whole point.  The whole point of the laws of war is to try to prevent civilian casualties. To give you an example of the laws of war, you have to wear a uniform or some openly identifiable symbol that you're a combatant --

RUSH:  Okay, so when the Al-Qaeda hijackers targeted the World Trade Center, what was that?

CALLER:  That was an act of terrorism.  It was also called a war crime.  They were not identified as combatants. They targeted civilians.

RUSH:  That was not a war crime.  By the way, Japan never signed the Geneva Convention.

CALLER:  I know they didn't.  But what I'm saying is the reason you're seeing some of the behavior you see in the United States, and Israel also, is that they're trying not to violate the laws of war.  But it's impossible when you have, you know, the combatants not wearing uniforms.  Also one of the other laws of war --

RUSH:  Absolutely, which a Palestinian or Hamas trick.  My point, my ultimate point in this is that we are tying one hand behind the back of every uniformed military personnel in our country, wherever we are, Afghanistan or Iraq, with our rules of engagement. And we're tying essentially Israel both hands, both arms behind their back with this requirement that they only conduct surgical strikes of military targets only, which Hamas makes impossible. 

I'm just trying to contrast this with it did not use to be this way.  Geneva Convention, laws of war, whatever.  The fact of the matter is, in World War II there were massive civilian casualties and they led to victory.  It's a horrible thing.  Now, don't misunderstand me, folks.  I am not standing up and shouting in support of this.  War is a horrible thing.  Nobody likes it.  That's the point.  The left thinks that military people are bloodthirsty, all insane generals that can't wait to start killing people.  Nobody likes it.  And it's precisely because there are civilian casualties involved that's at the top of the list of reasons why people don't like it.  It's how wars have been won.  It's just the nature of the game. 

There's nothing clean or surgical about it, and there never has been.  And the effort to say that it can be or that it should be is disingenuous.  You can have all the rules of war you want, which are words, and you can have all the laws of war you want, which are words, but there are precise, specific definitions of victory.  And you can take a look at every major conflict the world has ever seen, and you can easily discern the victors and the losers by virtue of casualties.  Because at some point the losers surrender or they are either totally wiped out.  But in no case does it happen with negotiations.  In no instance does it happen with the Red Cross going in, with doctors and nurses and clean water and Doctors Without Borders and all of this other feel-good leftist claptrap. 

War is not clean.  I've always thought that this phrase "war crimes" is kind of redundant.  What Hamas is doing is criminal already.  The distinction between terrorism and warfare, that's another way to handcuff ourselves, in my estimation, and once again with words.  Now, I did not mean to imply that the United States set out to wipe out as many civilians as possible in Hiroshima or Nagasaki.  But when you're gonna nuke a city, sorry, there is inarguably one thing that's gonna happen.  When you start dropping bombs from countless B-17s and B-25s over Dresden, there are certain realities that are gonna happen on the ground. 

The Germans, when they were launching their V-2s into London, there was nothing surgical about it.  That was terrorism.  It was also warfare.  It's one of these ugly, really hard to deal with realities.  It is what it is, but you can't sugarcoat it.  What we're doing is trying to give ourselves some kind of comfort with words that our intentions are honorable by surgical strike this, surgical strike that.  That's okay if you want to mount that as a PR campaign. But when you literally tell an ally like Israel, when you're gonna punish them for Hamas civilian casualties that Hamas is responsible for, it's so out of whack, it's so ridiculous, it's beyond the point of absurd now.

It's gotten to the point of dangerous, and our caller from Jerusalem was spot on.  The only thing I would disagree with him about, I think the war has already been brought to the United States.  It's not just that if Israel is wiped out, we're next.  We're already in the mix.  They have already launched attacks on us, and they've tried, no doubt, several times since 9/11, and there will be more.  And it's not gonna stop until they're defeated. 

Why was there no call to negotiate with bin Laden?  Everybody demanding that Israel sit down at some peace conference table with Hamas, why didn't we demand of ourselves do the same with bin Laden or his number two, al-Zawahiri?  (interruption)  Right, because we knew it was pointless.  Who now do we negotiate with, with Al-Qaeda to get 'em to stop?  What are we doing in Iraq? What are we doing in Afghanistan?  We're trying to wipe 'em out, right?  And we handcuff ourselves when we say, "Now, you can't take out any civilians, rules of engagement and so forth."  We're making our own uniformed personnel sitting ducks in a lot of these places.  It's absurd. 

See, if you're gonna do war, here's the thing.  I don't want to be misunderstood.  I think it should always be the last option, but when you commit to it you better go all-in.  It is what it is.  The purpose of armies, I'll never forget this. My late friend out in Sacramento said that the purpose of armies is to kill people and break things.  And it is that simple.  That's exactly what happens in a war.  You kill people and break things. 

Now, if you're gonna turn your agents of killing people and breaking things into a social experimentation playground, if you're gonna turn it into a laboratory experiment for equality and sameness and fairness, you deserve what you get, because if you don't go all-in for victory, you are going to lose.  And that is unacceptable.  As Patton said, "Americans love a winner.  Americans hate a loser."  But that was 1940s Americans.  Today we have a lot more Americans who think America's guilty just because we exist and because of our existence and how we have used our existence. 

It's a sick place out there.  And that's why I think you need really, really smart, brave people who understand exactly what's at stake every time this kind of policy is instituted, meaning war.  It is not something that you do halfway, if you're serious about it.  There's another truism.  The aggressor always sets the rules.  You can have all the Geneva Conventions you want, and you can have all the laws of war and all the rules of war.  If you're up against somebody in war who's breaking 'em, what are you gonna do, go to court?  "Hey, they're cheating on the battlefield! It's not fair."  You're gonna be laughed off the battlefield.  That's not how you deal with it. 

You don't go to the guidance counselor or the phys ed coach and say, "Hey, make 'em stop."  You deal with what's coming at you.  The aggressor in any conflict, be a bully in the backyard or a set of bullies in a school yard or on a battlefield, the aggressor sets the rules in every case.  Look at Hitler's rules.  What was the objective?  How we gonna stop that?  There was only one way and it wasn't with surgical anything, and it wasn't with words, and it wasn't with all this other feel good happy horse manure stuff.  John Kerry (imitating Kerry), "Hey, this is the twenty-first century.  That stuff doesn't apply anymore.  That's old-fashioned.  Don't these people get it?"  Just absurd.  Dangerous and absurd.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  By the way, one clarification, folks.  The Geneva Convention didn't even come into play 'til 1949, long after World War II.  There wasn't any of this handcuff rules of war, laws of war. The Geneva Convention, Japan was not a signatory.  Now, let me say one other thing about the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

I remember when I lived in Sacramento, we had a mayor out there by the name of Ann Rudin, and every anniversary she had this ceremony organized in downtown to basically apologize the Japanese.  "We're sorry."  I remember, I went nuts on every day that she did this. "What do you mean, 'We're sorry'?  We meant to do everything that we did.  What are you talking about? Apologize for what?  We meant it!" 

It was just liberals being liberals, and they wanted to assuage their guilt, and they felt so bad about it. So they had these massive apology sit-ins or whatever the hell they were on the anniversary of these bombings.  It drove me nuts because we intended to do everything, and why?  There was a military reason. Well, there were two military reasons. But in addition to the second military reason was actually a deterrent factor. 

We knew that the Japanese were targeting a significant number of American soldiers and naval personnel, and it was them or victory.  Harry Truman said he was not going to leave them to die.  The second reason -- and this one is just as important.  You wonder why the atom bomb has really only been used one time?  (Well, if you count Hiroshima and Nagasaki as one instance.)

We dropped those bombs to show the rest of the world, at the time, the power we had.  It was a message of "don't mess with us.  You can only take us so far, and then we have this capability," and they haven't been used since.  It's part and parcel of why do you build ever more powerful, bigger warplanes, such as stealth bombers, massive cargo transports?

Why do you keep upgrading your nuclear arsenal?  The truthful answer is, so that you never have to use it.  Now, you try that bit of logic on a liberal who is predisposed to hating the military -- and, like most of them, thinking that our military is the focus of evil in the modern world, that our military is an agent of destabilization in the world.  That's what they believe. 

You tell 'em the next time a defense budget argument comes up, "We need to build that bomber, Bomber X, so that we hopefully will never have to use it."  "Oh, come on! You're stupid!  What do you mean?  You want to build a bomber so you can kill people!  You want to build a bomber so you can run around and oppress people!"  No.  We want to build it so we never have to use it. 

Eventually, after they get rid of the histrionics, they'll ask, "What in the world do you mean, 'build it so you never have to use it'?"  It's called deterrence.  As long as our enemies know and fear what we can do, they're not gonna taunt us, they're not gonna challenge us, and they're not gonna take us on -- and that's why you keep upgrading.  That's why you invest in the best defense money can buy. 

That's why. 

And then you advertise what you've got.  What do you think really worked about Reagan and Star Wars, the Strategic Defense Initiative?  Margaret Thatcher always said that it was that, ultimately, which caused Gorbachev and the others to give up, and it didn't even exist!  We were going to build it.  They knew we could.  They also knew they couldn't. 

They were a Third World country with a First World military, and they simply couldn't keep up.  They knew we could.  We didn't even have to build it, and it worked.  That's why you do it, and that's another reason why those bombs were dropped in Japan, and they haven't been used since.  That was a pretty big horror show -- and those were small, compared to what exists today.

END TRANSCRIPT

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