The N.Y. Times had an op-ed piece this morning that asked the interesting question: “Does the U.S. Ignore Its Civilian Casualties in Iraq and Syria?” The reason it is interesting is why would anyone in their right mind limit the discussion to Iraq and Syria?
The U.S. has ignored civilian casualties in every conflict we have engaged in. Recall the firebombing of Dresden, Germany. Recall the indiscriminate bombing in Viet Nam and bordering countries. Recall, well, Sherman’s march through Georgia. Recall, the U.S. Indian Wars in which Native American women and children somehow were considered combatants and were slaughtered indiscriminately.
If you think otherwise, name a conflict in which our behavior changed for the better because of a reaction to civilian casualties. I cannot think of one.
Instead of discussions of the usual chest thumping topics in our high school textbooks, this would be an interesting discussion for all U.S. History classes.