Contra Hanson: Righteousness in Mass Murder?

By Todd Lewis

I have followed Victor Davis Hanson’s warmongering propaganda for over ten years now, and the more I read and listen to him the more he seems to be a soulless, amoral Machiavellian, though that might be a slur to Machiavelli.[1] I will limit my criticism to his infatuation with unconditional surrender and the historical lying he performs to justify it.

As we shall see below and from any cursory reading of his work, if one so chooses to read it, one is dumbfounded, by this so-called “classicist’s” tenuous grip on logic. He resorts to the most petty of Liberal/Communist smear-bund tactics calling people liars, Nazi sympathizers, racists and anti-Semites with no evidence, and spends most of his time engaging in the fallacies of red herring, ad hominem and strawman. For someone who boasts of his classical education, one wonders has he read Aristotle’s Organon?

For example, Mr. Hanson tries to play the reluctant realist with his defense of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki:

“The truth, as we are reminded so often in this present conflict, is that usually in war there are no good alternatives, and leaders must select between a very bad and even worse choice. Hiroshima was the most awful option imaginable, but the other scenarios would have probably turned out even worse.”[2]

While criticizing Pat Buchanan and other ‘revisionist’ historians for assuming that not fighting Hitler would have been better than fighting Hitler[3], he commits the same fallacy he is accusing revisionists of. If they (revisionists) cannot know how different things would have been if we had not fought Hitler, Hanson cannot claim that he “knows” that efforts short of the use of atomic weapons would have failed to force a Japanese surrender.

Hanson’s monomaniac fixation on unconditional surrender, which I like to call warfare according to Genghis Khan, is seen in numerous articles he has written:

“Only unconditional surrender discredited the militarists and thus allowed democracy to emerge — and with it more than a half century of Japanese prosperity, security, and liberal government. And in the security of the present he forgets that the allies much earlier had tried a negotiated, rather than unconditional surrender and subsequent occupation of the enemy homeland in 1918 — and got Hitler and another war later as thanks.”[4]

“It did. You can’t understand the dropping of the atomic bomb unless you read about what went on in Okinawa. The Japanese militarists had written instructions that one man can take ten out, or take a tank, and they had had a year to fortify the island. It was designed by the Japanese to show the Americans that “we can make life so horrible for you, and you can’t take casualties like we can, that you better think about a negotiated surrender of ours, rather than an unconditional surrender.” The militarists could stay in power with the threat that “If you try to invade the mainland, it will be another Okinawa.” And they were successful in that way.”[5]

“The mistake instead was not occupying all of imperial Germany after the first war in 1918-19. That way, the Allies would have demonstrated to the German people that their army was never “stabbed in the back” at home, as the Nazis later alleged, but instead defeated by an Allied army that was willing to stay on to foster German constitutional government and its reintegration within Europe.”[6]

“[Again, Buchanan is not truthful. I argued the problem was not Versailles, but the inability or the unwillingness of the allies to promote and foster German postwar democracy, occupy the country and thereby remind the German people that they had not been “stabbed in the back” in foreign territory, but militarily defeated on the battlefield and in full retreat when their generals sued for peace. That would have had a powerful effect in reminding the German people that neither Jews nor socialists had caused their defeat, but the madness of invading France, and the futility of fighting Russia, France, Britain, Italy, and the United States all at once.]”[7]

Many more comments could be cited but needless to say for Mr. Hanson the lessons of history are that only by completely destroying and occupying an enemy nation and rebuilding it will grant lasting peace. One wonders how Mr. Hanson’s call for beating the Prussians down might look like. Maybe the words of our future 33rd President might shed some light on the matter: “It is a shame we can’t go in and devastate Germany and cut off a few Dutch (I think he means Deutsch) kid’s hands and feet and scalp a few of their old men but I guess it will be better to make them work for France and Belgium for fifty years.”[8] In this comment we see so the psychology behind the man who dropped the bomb, a veritable Caracalla. For Mr. Hanson, the answer to 1919 is 1945.

This sort of war is much akin to the Roman method. We see in the words of Calgacus, a defeated Caledonian chieftain:  “To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.”[9] This mode and method of war which appeals to an armchair general and a chicken-hawk was roundly condemned by a true man of war Major General J.F.C. Fuller, who unlike Hanson was a soldier in the First World War and a keen observer of the Second World War. In Julius Caesar: Man, Soldier and Tyrant, he approvingly quotes Montesquieu: “that all nations ought to do each other the most good during peacetime and the least harm during war time without harming their true interests.”[10] Montesquieu himself was echoing the sage advice of Polybius:

“ 1 After Phaeneas, the strategus of the Aetolians, had spoken thus, Alexander called the Isian, a man considered to be a practical statesman and an able speaker, 2 took part in the debate and said that Philip neither sincerely desired peace at present nor did he make war bravely when he had to do so, but that in assemblies and conferences he laid traps and watched for opportunities and behaved as if he were at war, but in war itself adopted an unfair and very ungenerous course. 3 For instead of meeting his enemies face to face he used to flee before them, burning and sacking cities, and by this course of conduct though beaten he spoilt the prizes of the victors. 4 Not this but quite the reverse had been the object of the former kings of Macedon; for they used to fight constantly with each other in the field but very seldom destroyed or ruined cities. 5 This was evident p91to everybody from the war that Alexander waged against Darius in Asia, and from that long dispute of his successors in which they all took up arms against Antigonus for the mastery of Asia; 6 and their successors again down to Pyrrhus had acted on the same principle; they had always been ready to give battle to each other in the open field and had done all in their power to overcome each other by force of arms, but they had spared cities, so that whoever conquered might be supreme in them and be honoured by his subjects. 8 But while destroying the objects of war, to leave war itself untouched was madness and very strong madness. And this was just what Philip was now doing. 9 For when he was hurrying back from the pass in Epirus he destroyed more cities in Thessaly, though he was the friend and ally of the Thessalians, than any of their enemies had ever destroyed. 10 After adding much more to the same effect, he finally argued as follows. 11 He asked Philip why, when Lysimachia was a member of the Aetolian League and was in charge of a military governor sent by them, he had expelled the latter and placed a garrison of his own in the city; 12 and why had he sold into slavery the people of Cius, also a member of the Aetolian League, when he himself was on friendly terms with the Aetolians? On what pretext did he now retain possession of Echinus, Phthian Thebes, Pharsalus, and Larisa?”[11]

I suppose according to Mr. Hanson’s Mongol mode of warfare, Alexander and Pyrrhus were not brilliant generals but squeamish, guilty white liberals. Next time Mr. Hanson conquers the known world or dominates the Western Mediterranean, he should let me know and I should then give his opinions some weight.

Mr. Hanson is very proud of his classical educational upbringing and it is a great shame today that what was once standard education for all men is now privileged to only a few, but the point of a classical education is to learn from the great speeches and deeds of the past, something Mr. Hanson not done. The principle of magnanimity and clemency in warfare is not only echoed by Isian, but also Themistocles (one of Hanson’s heroes)[12], Xenophon[13] and Onasander[14].  I suppose that Themistocles, Xenophon and Onasander were also squeamish, guilty white liberals.

J.F.C. Fuller states this about Caesar’s Gallic war:

“Whatever this may be worth, the fact remains that by now Gaul was so devastated and her tribes so decimated that for years to come they were incapable of waging war against the Romans. Therefore, in spite of his barbarities, it must be acknowledged that Caesar gained his end – the conquest and pacification of Gaul. Yet, had he heeded a maxim to be found in a book obtainable in his day, might not he have accomplished all he did more speedily, at lesser cost, and at greater advantage?”[15]

The maxim is cited above in Onasander’s The General.

Mr. Hanson has a habit of blaming ‘revisionists’ of second-guessing our historical leaders:

“In the luxury of some 60 years of postwar peace and affluence — and perhaps in anger over the current Iraq war — Buchanan and Baker and other revisionists engage in a common sort of Western second-guessing. The result is that they always demand liberal democracies be not just better and smarter than their adversaries, but almost superhuman in their perfection.”[16]

As we can see from the classical record, waging war like Attila the Hun indiscriminately murdering women and children and rendering all the soldiers in the enemy army morally equivalent with their leader, is not only immoral, but foolish and imprudent. For a classics scholar to spin such a yarn is either criminal ignorance or mendacity. It is not second-guessing to insist that our leaders do not wage warfare according to the rules of Tamerlane.

As to the second-guessing, with respect to Hiroshima and Unconditional Surrender, Mr. Hanson is wrong again. Let us first see the “simpering anti-American pro-Fascist-Commie” (Admiral and Theater Commander of the Pacific) Leahy who wrote in I Was There:

“It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.”[17]

“in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages”[18]

We also have the “American-hating” Dwight D. Eisenhower:

“…in [July] 1945… Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. …the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.

“During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face’. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude…”[19]

“If you were given two choices, one to mount a scaffold (Unconditional Surrender), the other to charge twenty bayonets, you might as well charge twenty bayonets.”[20]

The “Nazi-sympathizer”, Eighth Airforce commander, Major General Ira C. Eaker

“Everybody that I knew at that time when they heard this (unconditional surrender as a war goal), said: “How stupid can you be?” All the soldiers and the airmen who were fighting this war wanted the Germans to quit tomorrow… A child knew that once you said this to the Germans, they were going to fight to the last man. There wasn’t a man who was actually fighting in the war whom I ever met who didn’t think that this was about as stupid an operation as you could find.”[21]

The English-hating H. B. Liddell Hart

“The main obstacle in the Allies’ path, once the tide had turned, was a self-raised barrier – their leaders’ unwise and short-sighted demand for ‘unconditional surrender.’ It was the greatest help to Hitler, in preserving his grip on the German people, and likewise to the War Party in Japan. If the Allied leaders had been wise enough to provide some assurance as to their peace terms, Hitler’s grip on the German people would have been loosened long before 1945…. Thus ‘the unnecessary war’ was unnecessarily prolonged, and millions more lives needlessly sacrificed, while the ultimate peace merely produced a fresh menace and the looming fear of another war. For the unnecessary prolongation of the Second World War, in pursuit of the opponents ‘unconditional surrender’, proved of profit only to Stalin – by opening the way for Communist domination of central Europe.”[22]

The “neo-Nazi” J. F. C. Fuller

“If the saving of lives were the true pretext, then, instead of reverting to a type of war which would have disgraced Tamerlane, all President Truman and Mr. Churchill need have done was to remove the obstacle of unconditional surrender, when the war could have been brought to an immediate end. [23]

“But militarily the obstacle was irremovable, it was the Allied policy of unconditional surrender. By shackling both Britain and the United States, it unbarred the political road to Russia. By following it the Russians could now gain all that for forty years and more they had set their harts upon in Eastern Asia, as unconditional surrender had already enabled them to gain more than they had ever dreamed of in Eastern Europe. Unconditional surrender spelt political victory for the U.S.S.R. Therefore, occulty, the war was being fought to stimulate and expand Communism.”[24]

The “Quisling” logistical mastermind behind “The Victory Program” and mastermind behind Operation Overlord Wedemeyer

“To will or decide upon death and suffering for millions of human beings for the sole purpose of annihilating an enemy is immoral and uncivilized, and can only result in evil consequences. Conducting war in such a manner (unconditional surrender) can only lead use back to barbarism. It can even be more injurious to those who win the military victory than the vanquished.”[25]

“Deane had come by my room to ask what I thought of the idea. I told him that unconditional surrender would unquestionably compel the Germans to fight to the very last… Our demands for unconditional surrender would only weld the Germans together. Deane feared the idea would be adopted regardless of its effects in prolonging the war and of its disastrous long-term consequences in strengthening Soviet power.”[26]

As to Bombing War Crime

Curtis Lemay

“Killing Japanese didn’t bother me very much at that time. It was getting the war over that bothered me. So I wasn’t worried particularly about how many people we killed in getting the job done. I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal. Fortunately, we were on the winning side. Incidentally everybody bemoans the fact that we dropped the atomic bomb and killed a lot of people at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That I guess was immoral; but nobody says anything about the incendiary attacks on every industrial city in Japan, and the first attack on Tokyo killed more people than the atomic bomb did… Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you’re not a good soldier.”[27]

By Hanson’s standards Leahy, Eisenhower, Fuller, Hart, Eaker and Wedemeyer were anti-American, pacifist, second-guessers. It’s a little embarrassing when the theater commanders of Europe and the Pacific and prominent American and British generals demolish one’s castles in the sky. Only in the fantasy land populated by innumerable goblins all of his creation, can and would the great generals and statesmen of two world wars be anti-American and anti-British defeatists, not unlike Stalin’s claim that all of Lenin’s subordinates were western spies, if the show trials are to be believed. The only point I will give Lemay and Mr. Hanson is the hypocrisy of those who criticize Hiroshima and Nagasaki and not Tokyo and Dresden, but their hypocrisy does not exonerate Lemay’s war crimes. Only by keeping a delusion produced by ignorance of the actual thoughts and actions of men in service can one hold such preposterous positions as Mr. Hanson, all the more ironic in that he prides himself as the voice of the US generals and enlisted men; maybe he should have actually consulted with such men before speaking on their behalf.

Mr. Hanson should reread Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, for in it he describes death ground, a term used to describe an Alamo or Thermopylae situation where it is fight or die. One never wants to fight an enemy on death ground, but unconditional surrender places all of the enemy soldiers in the psychological mind-set of being on death ground. Far from being a brilliant strategist Mr. Hanson is a bungling, clumsy oaf who forgot Sun Tzu’s chief maxim of war: “Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting… The best victory is when the opponent surrenders of its own accord before there are any actual hostilities… It is best to win without fighting.”[28] I prefer Sun Tzu to Genghis Khan and Mr. Hanson.

According to Fuller Mr. Hanson proposes tactics that would shame Tamerlane, who according to Eaker is stupider than a child, who according Leahy is a barbarian and who according to Hart an active ally of Stalin. Under this withering blow of men from the past the only wounds Mr. Hanson can take is to his pride, but if you sell your soul to empire what do you have left?

Further evidence of Mr. Hanson’s chicken-hawk mendacity is found here:

“Truman’s supporters countered that, in fact, a blockade and negotiations had not forced the Japanese generals to surrender unconditionally. In their view, a million American casualties and countless Japanese dead were adverted by not storming the Japanese mainland over the next year in the planned two-pronged assault on the mainland, dubbed Operation Coronet and Olympic.”[29]

First, who exactly were these Truman supporters? Politicians? If so I rather trust the views of the theater commanders of Europe and the Pacific. Second, Mr. Hanson is plainly lying. We see in H.B. Liddel Hart’s History of the Second World War:

“But these Japanese  peace-seeking approaches had started much earlier, and were already better known to the American authorities than Churchill indicated or was perhaps away. Just before Christmas 1944, the American Intelligence in Washington received a report from a well-informed diplomatic agent in Japan that a peace party was emerging, and gaining ground there. The agent predicted that General Koiso’s Government – which in July had replaced the Government under General Tojo that had led Japan into war – would soon be succeeded by the peace-seeking Government under Admiral Suzuki which would initiate negotiations, with the Emperor’s backing. This prediction was fulfilled in April.

… He (Harry Hopkins) went on to say that if the Allies stuck to their demand for ‘unconditional surrender’ the Japanese would fight to the bitter end,…

Eventually it was decided that that Prince Konoye should be sent on a mission to Moscow to negotiate for peace – and the Emperor privately gave him instructions to secure pace at any time.”[30]

Mr. Hanson seems to think that only a Carthaginian Peace produces lasting peace, but he can only claim that by ignoring the more just peaces of the Treaty of Westphalia and The Congress of Vienna. Each treaty, while not preventing all wars entirely since only Christ and his return can accomplish such a feat, prevented the sort of global bloodbath that Mr. Hanson relishes. The answer to 1919 is not 1945, but 1648 and 1815.

Only a man of the most bloodthirsty and depraved mind would argue that more murder and more destruction will bring peace. It can after a fashion, but only, in Calgacus’ words, by making a desert. Given that, like Sparta, Mr. Hanson prefers war to peace and death to life let us consign him to the rubbish bin of history along with the Pharaoh who murdered the Hebrew children, Ashurbanipal, Herod the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan and Tamerlame and Adolph Hitler or Joseph Stalin. A man who has never served in war should listen to the reflections and thoughts of his betters i.e., the men who actually fought for their nations. We don’t need any more chicken-hawks, we need more Wedeyemers, Fullers and Harts.

Mr. Hanson continually harps on the fact that if Germany had been occupied in 1919, Hitler and the Germans could never have blamed the Jews and Communists for their defeat and formulate the “stabbed in the back” theory. Yet what do Neoconservative chicken-hawks say about Vietnam? We were stabbed in the back!  Who are the legions of traitors in our midst who lost us the war?

“As long as the Soviets and Chinese supplied top-notch weaponry, as long as the Vietcong could pose to influential American journalists, academics, and pacifists as liberationists and patriots, rather than truce breakers and terrorist killers, … and always kill some Americans in the terrible arithmetic of relative body counts.”[31]

Hmmm…. Communists, journalists, pacifists and academics sounds like a stabbed in the back theory to me. I’m sure the Kaiser could have won if the co-belligerent so-called-neutral US did not bankroll and supply with every conceivable sort of armaments the western allies or if the Soviets had not agitated revolution in the minds of Germany’s fighting men.  Working for the Hoover Institute Mr. Hanson should remember that a previous contributor Antony Sutton in his Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development Trilogy and The Best Enemies Money Can Buy proves incontrovertibly that those soviet factories, which Mr. Hanson so bemoans, were built and modernized by the US. Maybe we could have won Vietnam if we stopped subsidizing Vietnam’s chief arms manufacturer! This sort of shameless and transparent hypocrisy is part and parcel of the neoconservative agenda. According to Mr. Hanson, maybe the Vietcong and their liberal lackeys in the US should have occupied the US and scalped and murdered old folks, women and children for good measure, just to teach those American dogs a lesson. That they really did loose in Vietnam!

To end this sordid account I will light upon Hanson’s unaccountable Sovietophilia.

“From Baker’s comfortable vantage point, either the war was amoral or unnecessary — or there must have been more humane ways to stop the flow of fuel, crews and equipment for the Waffen SS divisions that invaded Europe and Russia.”[32]

“They were wonderful people that went out and fought the Vermark [phonetic] and saved Mother Russia. Not the Soviet Union, that’s not what they were fighting for.”[33]

“And while the Soviet government was a vile and evil entity, millions of Red Army soldiers were not communists, but brave patriots who did much to stop the Wehrmacht, and, yes, by their efforts did save allied lives. Again, they fought for a horrendous government, but the motivation for many was not global communism or Comrade Stalin who had butchered millions of their families and friends, but to rid German soldiers from the soil of Mother Russia.”[34]

Since when was it in the vital interests of the US to stop SS Panzers in Russia? If we take Mr. Hanson’s ridiculous arguments about patriotic Russians, then I could just as well say that the German and SS soldiers fought under a repressive régime, but for world peace and the smashing of Judeo-Bolshevism and the chastity of Europe’s women. Yet I believe Mr. Hanson would not be persuaded by my argument, yet it is a reductio ad absurdum of his absurd argument.

Let’s see what these patriotic Russians actually did in Poland, East Germany, Ukraine, Hungary and even Yugoslavia. They engaged in the greatest series of mass rapes and murders in the history of the modern world.

Antony Beever in The Fall of Berlin 1945 and War and Rape, Germany 1945[35] describes in details, that I would rather not repeat, the horrendous conditions of women in Eastern Europe, and it was not only German women, but women of communist party members, Poles, Russian POWs, concentration camp victims and even Yugoslavs. This knowledge was not secret in the 1940s and 1950s for we had Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Prussian Nights, A.J. App’s Ravishing the Women of Conquered Europe, and Ralph Franklin Keeling’s Gruesome Harvest. According to Miolvan Djilas, Red army soldiers were even raping allied Yugoslav women.[36] During the intervening 60 years such information was covered up, until Beevor’s heroic efforts to tell the truth.

So we have to ask ourselves why does Hanson think it politic for the US to defend a regime which is based on 1) the destruction of western civilization, 2) mass murder, 3) communist socialism and 4) sexual assault as a war tool (how does that fit into jus in bello)? Mr. Hanson can make all the excuses he wants, but at the end of the day US efforts in the Second World War solidified communist control of Russia and China, so by 1950 half the world was under the communist yoke, with the Damoclian sword of nuclear annihilation hanging over our heads. Some peace! Hmm, 1945 or 1815, is that really a choice?

If Buchanan is a Nazi-sympathizer or simpering liberal for wanting to avoid a war with Hitler, then Mr. Hanson is a soulless monster who supports mass murder, mass rapes, gulags and show trials. As Solomon wisely stated in Proverbs 6:27-28: “Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared?” Apparently so, contrary to all historical evidence and moral reason, since Mr. Hanson enjoys consorting with and aiding and abetting the worst tyrants in history.

I realize that I and all the cast of historical characters I have provided will be impugned as American hating neo-Nazi sympathizers, but I believe Mr. Hanson’s fallacious barbs will be persuasive to few and an example of his mental inability to properly argue his case. As a classicist Mr. Hanson must be aware of Plato and Aristotle’s view of the passions as behavior that blind men and I appeal to Mr. Hanson’s reason and to the classical authors, he allegedly respects, to see beyond the bloodlust and petty propaganda to the true nature of war as Mr. Fuller states:

“In these words of St. James is the answer which the nations can only reject at their peril. It is in envies, greeds and fears of men that the roots of war are to be found. And these evils can only be uprooted by the Golden Rule: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do you even so to them.” A rule which, without exception, is to be found on the foundation stone of every great religion, and which, therefore is, a common link between all men.[37]

Despite being a classicist Mr. Hanson has forgotten the wise words of Sallust:

“Finally, wise men wage war only for the sake of peace and endure the toil in hope of victory and quite; unless you bring a lasting peace, what mattered victory of defeat?’[38]

Mr. Hanson would rather, in Harry Elmer Barns’ words, have Perpetual War for Perpetual peace, the oxymoron having escaped his mind.

[1] In Chapter XVII of The Prince, Machiavelli argues that the prince should abstain from his subjects property and women. VDH seems to think that in war the prince must assault a man’s property and women.

[2] “Considering Hiroshima,” accessed December 2013,

[3]“Transcript of In Defense of World War 2,” accessed December 2013,

[4] “Iraq: Where socialists and anarchists join in with racialists and paleocons,” accessed December 2013,

[5] “Military History,” accessed December 2013,

[7] “Patrick J. Buchanan—Pseudo-Historian, Very Real Dissimulator,” accessed December 2013,

[8] Harry Truman, Dear Bess, W.W. Norton and Company, 1983, November 11, 1918, 281

[9] “The Germania and Agricola of Tacitus,” accessed December 2013, Chapter 30

[10]  JFC Fuller, Julius Caesar: Man, Soldier, Tyrant, (Eyre & Spottiswoode (Publishers) Ltd,  75

[11] Polybius Histories VIII, 3, sections 1-12

[12] When Themistocles perceived that he could not persuade the greater part of them to sail to the Hellespont, he turned to the Athenians (for they were the angriest at the Persians’ escape, and they were minded to sail to the Hellespont even by themselves, if the rest would not) and addressed them as follows: [2] “This I have often seen with my eyes and heard yet more often, namely that beaten men, when they be driven to bay, will rally and retrieve their former mishap. Therefore I say to you,—as it is to a fortunate chance that we owe ourselves and Hellas, and have driven away so mighty a band of enemies—let us not pursue men who flee, [3] for it is not we who have won this victory, but the gods and the heroes, who deemed Asia and Europe too great a realm for one man to rule, and that a wicked man and an impious one who dealt alike with temples and bones, burning and overthrowing the images of the gods,—yes, and one who scourged the sea and threw fetters into it.  Herodotus Histories, VIII, 109, sections 1-3

[13] [23] “Do you not see,” he said, “that in your own case it was when you found yourselves in straits that you won the victory? Therefore one must suppose that the Lacedaemonians also, if they were in like straits, would fight it out regardless of their lives. Besides, it seems that the deity often takes pleasure in making the small great and the great small.” Xenophon Hellenica VI, iv, 23

[14] If any cities should open their gates in surrender early in the war, the general should treat them in a manner both humane and advantageous, for thus he would induce the other cities also to submit. The enticing hope of a similarly fortunate fate leads the majority to surrender voluntarily. But he who acts in a harsh and savage manner, immediately after becoming master of a city, plundering, slaying, and destroying, makes other cities hostile, so that the war becomes laborious for him and victory difficult of attainment. 3 Since they know that the punishment of the conquered by the conqueror is merciless, they are ready to do and suffer anything rather than surrender their cities. For nothing makes men so brave as the fear of what ills they will suffer if they surrender; indeed the expectation of the evils which will ensue from their subjection produces a terrible pertinacity in danger. Moreover, fighting is dangerous against desperate men, who expect from surrender no amelioration of the fate which will be theirs if they continue to fight, and therefore prefer, if they can inflict much harm, also to suffer much. On this account the sieges of such insensate and savage generals become wearisome and long drawn‑out, sometimes even fail of accomplishment, and are extremely dangerous and precarious. The General XXVIII. (1) [Treatment of surrendered Cities with Trust and Humanity]

[15] JFC Fuller, Julius Caesar: Man, Soldier, Tyrant, (Eyre & Spottiswoode (Publishers) Ltd,  165

[17] William D. Leahy, I Was There, (Ayer Co Pub (June 1979)),  441

[18] ibid pg 441

[19]  Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, (Doubleday (1963)), 312

[20] Trevor N Dupuy, Men of West Point, (William Sloane (1951)),  324

[21] Reminiscences of General Ira Eaker, ColumbiaUniversity Oral History Collection, 132

[22] H.B. Liddell Hart, History of the Second World War, Cassell and Compnay Ltd., 1970, 712-13

[23] J.F.C. Fuller, The Second World War, 1939-1945: A Strategic and Tactical History, Da Capo Press, 1993, 392

[24] ibid 391

[25] Albert C. Wedemeyer, Wedemeyer Reports, (New York: Henry Holt, 1958; First Edition edition (1958)), 91

[26] ibid 186

[27] Alfred H. Hurley and Robert C. Ehrhart, Air and Airpower, The Proceedings of the 8th Military History Symposium United States Air Force Academy 18-20 October 1978, 200

[28] Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter 3

[29] Considering Hiroshima,” accessed December 2013,

[30] His H.B. Liddell Hart, History of the Second World War, Cassell and Compnay Ltd., 1970, 692-694

[31] Victor Davis Hanson, Carnage and Culture, First Anchor Books Edition, September 2002, 405

[33]“Transcript of In Defense of World War 2,” accessed December 2013,

[34] “Patrick J. Buchanan—Pseudo-Historian, Very Real Dissimulator,” accessed December 2013,

[35] “War and Rape,Germany,” accessed December 2013,

[36] Milovan Djilas, Conversations with Stalin; Harcourt-Brace & Company  London 1962, 88-89.

[37] JFC Fuller, The Second World War, 1939-1945: A Strategic and Tactical History, (Da Capo Press (March 22, 1993)), 412

[38] Sallust Speeches on the State, Addressed to Caesar 6.2


One thought on “Contra Hanson: Righteousness in Mass Murder?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: