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Rush Limbaugh Buys Left’s Spin on WWII Bombing

Posted on June 23 2010 7:00 pm
David Forsmark is the owner and president of Winning Strategies, a full service political consulting firm in Michigan. David has been a regular columnist for Frontpage Magazine since 2006. For 20 years before that, he wrote book, movie and concert reviews as a stringer for the Flint Journal, a midsize daily newspaper.
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While discussing the overly restrictive Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan yesterday as part of his defense of General McChrystal, Rush Limbaugh himself inflicted some collateral damage on the historical record and the reputation of the American military.

In declaring that civilian casualties were “the point” in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden, Limbaugh bought the line promulgated by the likes of Howard Zinn and Kurt Vonnegut.

Each of those cities was targeted because of a specific military/industrial capability that mattered to the enemy’s war effort.  And while in the case of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was obviously known that civilian casualties would be horrific, the evidence shows that the Dresden conflagration was largely accidental, as a combination of factors including weather caused a firestorm unforeseen by the raid’s planners.

Limbaugh was right, however, that the avoidance of civilian casualties cannot be the primary goal in winning a war. In Afghanistan this is has led to a perverse incentive—If you shield Taliban or al Qaeda fighters, no bullets will head in your direction.  If you refuse terrorists shelter, they will kill you.

This, of course, if further exacerbated by another of McChrystal’s gripes, Obama’s artificial—and openly declared to the enemy—timeline or withdrawal.  The Taliban have the extra hammer of pointing out to the population that they plan to be around longer than the Americans.

These are all great points, and Limbaugh’s spirited defense of McChrystal was a marked contrast to Stephen Hayes on Fox’s Special Report last night saying that the general pretty much has to go.

But as I wrote in my review of Marshal de Brul’s terrific book, Firestorm: Allied Airpower and the Destruction of Dresden, (Click HERE to purchase this book and support NRB) it’s time for conservatives to stop using Dresden to smack liberals in the face with how their heroes in “a good war” may have committed atrocities.  It’s just not true.

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