THE PAVILION ANNEX

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:21 pm

It never ceases to amaze me the amount of mouth breathers who try to come into the Pav and make me look silly. I can do that all by myself.

See, I can look into my soul. You may need 3d glasses and barf bags. :)

Phyllis Bennis knows her shit. Harlan has one Gary Groth, I have several thousand.

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Steve Evil
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Steve Evil » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:23 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Japan attacked us in 1941 because we had stopped their access to trading in parts of the main seaways.

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Which I suppose is more than enough justification for war. Now, why did the US impose an oil embargo against Japan? Did it have nothing at all to do with the genocidal war it was then waging in China?

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I see what you're saying Rob.

Some historians go to great lengths to justify the strategic bombing campaigns in both Europe and Japan. They do so because if they can't be justified , then what does that mean for our side?
I remember once reading about the bombing of Dresden, about how it was an important transport hub, and how they made periscope lenses there that helped sink British ships, and how it might have saved Russian lives to wipe it off the map. Then I thought of the grade one kids I'd been working with that day, and I wondered: if these were little German or Japanese children, would anything in the world convince me it was worthwhile to burn them alive? Absolutely not.

The atrocities didn't start with Hiroshima, nor Tokyo nor Dresden, not with LeMay or Harris, or in Spain or Finland or Nanking (all places I've heard the origin of strategic bombing attributed to) but years earlier when an Italian aviation theorist suggested bombing civilian populations could win wars. By the time we got to Hiroshima, the damage had been done; western civilization had sold it's soul. All that was left by that point was just to end it. This, the bomb undoubtedly did.

Would a demonstration have worked? A tactical usage? Who knows. But it wasn't the worst thing that was done or could have been done.

Vonnegut took a middle road: he wrote (in Timequake I think) Hiroshima was necessary. Nagasaki was not.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Unless you were Japanese and lost loved ones there.

We bombed Dresden because we thought, hey, since Hitler is evil the whole german gene must be evil as well. Better to step on the stink bug.

Don't forget, as Kuznick also writes, the Soviet Union really won the war.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:30 pm

The key is to bomb military targets, incoming tanks, sink ships, down planes, impede roads that supply arms, kill the other soldiers if they don't surrender. I also forgot about the awful history of how we treated German pows. Another horror.

Mark Tiedemann
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:38 pm

FrankChurch wrote: Don't forget, as Kuznick also writes, the Soviet Union really won the war.


I notice you don't care to discuss much the atrocities they committed on the Germans once they got there.

I repeat, war itself is an immoral ground, and renders discussion of who is to blame for what difficult in terms of morality.

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:39 pm

FrankChurch wrote:The key is to bomb military targets, incoming tanks, sink ships, down planes, impede roads that supply arms, kill the other soldiers if they don't surrender. I also forgot about the awful history of how we treated German pows. Another horror.



Now you're making shit up. Thousands of those maltreated German POWs returned here after the war because they felt better treated here than as "free" men in their own country.

BTW, comparatively speaking, British and American POWs were better treated by Germans than were Russian POWs.

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:33 pm

Please take a moment to read this article about IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) troops' experience in Gaza. I found it to be eye-opening. The first part of the article I have blocked and copied here, the rest is in the link at the bottom of the page.

Thank you kindly.
Lynn

"There is no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders," President Barack Obama said at a press conference last week. He drew on this general observation in order to justify Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel's most recent military campaign in the Gaza Strip. In describing the situation this way, he assumes, like many others, that Gaza is a political entity external and independent of Israel. This is not so. It is true that Israel officially disengaged from the Gaza Strip in August 2005, withdrawing its ground troops and evacuating the Israeli settlements there. But despite the absence of a permanent ground presence, Israel has maintained a crushing control over Gaza from that moment until today.

The testimonies of Israeli army veterans expose the truth of that "disengagement." Before Operation Pillar of Defense, after all, Israel launched Operations Summer Rains and Autumn Cloud in 2006, and Hot Winter and Cast Lead in 2008—all involving ground invasions. In one testimony, a veteran speaks of "a battalion operation" in Gaza that lasted for five months, where the soldiers were ordered to shoot "to draw out terrorists" so they "could kill a few."

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Israeli naval blockades stop Gazans from fishing, a main source of food in the Strip. Air blockades prevent freedom of movement. Israel does not allow building materials into the area, forbids exports to the West Bank and Israel, and (other than emergency humanitarian cases) prohibits movement between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. It controls the Palestinian economy by periodically withholding import taxes. Its restrictions have impeded the expansion and upgrading of the Strip's woeful sewage infrastructure, which could render life in Gaza untenable within a decade. The blocking of seawater desalination has turned the water supply into a health hazard. Israel has repeatedly demolished small power plants in Gaza, ensuring that the Strip would have to continue to rely on the Israeli electricity supply. Daily power shortages have been the norm for several years now. Israel's presence is felt everywhere, militarily and otherwise.

By relying on factual misconceptions, political leaders, deliberately or not, conceal information that is critical to our understanding of events. Among the people best qualified to correct those misconceptions are the individuals who have been charged with executing a state's policies—in this case, Israeli soldiers themselves, an authoritative source of information about their government's actions. I am a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), and I know that our first-hand experiences refute the assumption, accepted by many, including President Obama, that Gaza is an independent political entity that exists wholly outside Israel. If Gaza is outside Israel, how come we were stationed there? If Gaza is outside Israel, how come we control it? Oded Na'aman

[The testimonies by Israeli veterans that follow are taken from 145 collected by the nongovernmental organization Breaking the Silence and published in Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies From the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010. Those in the book represent every division in the IDF and all locations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.]

Source Article: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/201 ... y-idf-gaza
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Mark Tiedemann
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:27 am

Something on German POWs in WWII. http://scholarcommons.sc.edu/cgi/viewco ... lib_facpub

Now, there were incidents in Europe, in theater, of retaliatory killings in the wake of German massacres of American prisoners, particular in the wake of the Battle of the Bulge, but those were the exceptions, not the rule.

Some folks just get on a roll of making the United States out to be the Bad Guy as a default position and get carried away with it. Like all such generalizations, it says more about the speaker than the facts.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:15 pm

Mark, you know I have the goods:

http://www.cyberussr.com/hcunn/for/us-germany-pow.html

Amazed that we are debating the death of civilians like it's a birthday party. What part of innocent don't you blokes get?

Even Eisenhower later regretted it, Eisenhower! At least paint within in the lines guys.

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robochrist
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:29 pm

Mark
BTW, comparatively speaking, British and American POWs were better treated by Germans than were Russian POWs.


Based on sources I've read in the past, this is an understatment. Ruskies were dross in the German eyes and were treated with utter disdain. Brit and Yank POWs saw privileges withheld from the former.

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:57 pm

FrankChurch wrote: Amazed that we are debating the death of civilians like it's a birthday party. What part of innocent don't you blokes get?



So what part of "war is an immoral circumstance in the first place" don't you get?

I notice in the report you cite that even given what you're trying to assert, the annual death rates of German POWs in our hands was lower than practically everybody else's. I would suggest that there is something endemic to the situation that pretty much guaranteed a certain amount of this kind of crap, regardless of policy.

Whether you intend this or not, I don't know, but the way you present this it's as if you want to make the US look bad no matter how bad anyone else was. While I'm not a big fan of comparative excuses, in this case it shows a bias that's a bit on the pathological side.

Question, Frank: ever been in a war? I don't metaphorically, I mean in uniform, gun in hand, facing an enemy. Just curious.

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robochrist
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:15 pm

Frank:
At least paint within in the lines guys.


Frank, I love how you toss that at people like Mark, a crowd manifestly better read than you are! You post rigid-minded, unsound arguments then try to talk down to the group, while, in turn, side-stepping the obvious bullet points!

War atrocities, racism, "immorality", etc, are mindsets invoked by all sides at some point or another. In the prison camp settings of WWII, for instance, the Japanese were FAR more "immoral" in their treatment toward POW's than the Americans ever could have been. And THAT'S an understatement!!!

"Immorality" is a margarine that covers the whole human race! Yet, it is also nuanced. That's why simplistic arguments like yours get royally silly.

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Steve Evil
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Steve Evil » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:55 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Unless you were Japanese and lost loved ones there.

.


And which group didn't lose loved ones during those years?

Again: Tokyo war crimes trial - Why not?

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Steve Evil
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Steve Evil » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:43 pm

I think I've been doing this the wrong way. Let me try something different. . .

Would it be fair Frank, to sum up your views thus:

1) The targeting of innocents is wrong. No exceptions
2) The deliberate targeting of innocents should be avoided at all cost at all times.
3) Therefore, acts such as (but not limited to) the strategic bombing campaigns against enemy industy, the submarine campaigns against enemy merchant shipping, and the mass rapes as perpetrated by the Red Army would constitute war crimes.

?

Defined thus, I can respect that. Honestly I can. I don't see how it would be enforcible, I think it would fall apart the minute an actual war started (especially an existential one for the survival of entire races on the scale of WWII), but as a principle, applied consistently (alas for the Hamas rockets) I can respect it. Not living through such times, we have the luxury of believing such things.

I can't respect the omission of historical fact in order to simplify complicated issues, but I can respect a consitently applied principle.

(and yes Gwyn, I am reading your post; I'm still digesting it. Talk of complicted issues. . .)

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:32 pm

You're bad habits have rubbed off on Steve Evil. He used to be on the side of the angels. Steveeeeeeeeeee, come backkkkkkkkkk.

We adore our moral stances after the war: Jim Crow, the second Red Scare, overthrow of Mossadegh, overthrow of Arbenz, support of France in Vietnam, Project Paperclip, LSD, other experiments, on soldiers and African Americans; Korean War, Operation Mongoose, Air Force bombing of Vietnam, concentration camps, Vietnam war, Co-intelpro, Operation Wheeler Wallawa, overthrow of Allende, support of Suhuarto...

Puts a lump in my throat. I can't look at you.


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