by Mickey Z
Last month, within the context of impending US/UK war crimes in Iraq, I wrote about the 58th anniversary of the Allied firebombing of Dresden (Feb. 13-14). This month marks another grim reminder of just how far the US is willing to go: 58 years since General Curtis LeMay, head of the Twenty-first US Bomber Command, brought his brand of hell into the Pacific theater.
Acting upon General George C. Marshall’s 1941 idea of torching the poorer areas of Japan’s cities, on the night of March 9-10, 1945, LeMay’s bombers laid siege on Tokyo. Tightly packed wooden buildings were assaulted by 1,665 tons of incendiaries. LeMay later recalled that a few explosives had been mixed in with the incendiaries to demoralize firefighters (96 fire engines burned to ashes and 88 firemen died).
When asked about his role in the Tokyo firebombing, [LeMay] remarked: “I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal. Fortunately, we were on the winning side.”