Letter: Is might right? (1)

June 8, 2001

More than half a century after the end of the second world war, there is still an inability to deal maturely with the moral issues raised by the bombing of Dresden (Books, THES , May 25).

In particular, the trite way Sir Patrick Moore quotes Robin Neillands, author of The Bomber War : "The simple defence against the charges levelled against the air crew who destroyed Dresden is that there was a war on. It was the war that killed... And who should be blamed for that?" This is precisely the argument used by the Germans tried at Nuremburg.

And it is similar to the one used for the continued Allied bombing of Iraq and the genocidal sanctions. Those who use it speak as though they are bombing and starving Saddam Hussein, not the unwitting population of Iraq. If this logic is correct, it is OK for terrorists to bomb United States embassies because they are attacking George W. Bush. It appears that the weight given to arguments depends on whether you are a winner or a loser.

Admit it, "might is right"!

Shoaib Qureshi University of Surrey

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