Shitamachi area of Tokyo, night of March 9-10.
They train young men...
to drop fire on people...
But their commanders won't allow them to write "Fuck" on the sides of their airplanes...
because it's obscene!
Colonel Kurtz, Apocalypse Now (1979)
Seventy years ago tonight, the greatest massacre of civilians in wartime since the fall of Baghdad to a Mongol force in 1258 took place in Tokyo's low districts.
Robots of my homeland are still dropping fire on people, on what seems an almost daily basis, the mayhem and murder made moral, seemingly, by altitude and distance.
Were it that for every bomb and missile, the amount of money spent in ending lives were awarded as scholarships training specialists in Pashto, Dani, Arabic, Farsi, Turkmen, Uighur, Tajik, Uzbek, Malay and Kanuri, languages and cultures, we might call ourselves civilized, or have plausible claim to a civilizing aim.
De profundis clamavi ad te Domine!
Later - Unstinting reporting from
Julian Ryall (Link)
Elaine Kurtenbach and Mari Yamaguchi (Link)