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Any military commander who is honest with himself, or with those he is speaking to, will admit that he has made mistakes in the application of military power. He's killed people - unnecessarily. His own troops or other troops. Through mistakes, through errors of judgement. A hundred, or a thousand, or ten thousand, maybe even a hundred thousand. But he hasn't destroyed nations.
And the conventional wisdom is: don't make the same mistake twice. Learn from your mistakes. And we all do. Maybe we make the mistake three times, but hopefully not four or five.
They'll be no learning period with nuclear weapons. Make one mistake and you're going to destroy nations.
I was on the island of Guam in his
command in March 1945. In that single night, we burned to death one hundred thousand Japanese civilians in Tokyo. Men, women and children.
Were you aware this was going to happen?
Well, I was part of a mechanism that, in a sense, recommended it.
LeMay said, "If we lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals". And I think he's right.
He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals.
LeMay recognised that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose, and not immoral if you win?
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