The Spine

Was Fdr Wrong?


 Michael Mukasey's nomination as attorney general has been approved by the Senate judiciary committee and, as the Times reports, this "virtually assures" his confirmation.  Mukasey's designation has provoked all kinds of discussion about "waterboarding" and torture generally in the context of what the constitution permits and forbids.  Some of the discussion has advanced the argument, certainly Andrew Sullivan from one side and Bret Stephens from the other.In this morning's WSJ, Stephens expands the discussion to the use of weapons that will inevitably kill innocents.  He believes that the heavy bombing of Japan hastened the end of the Second World War.  He is not sure that the firebombing of Germany did that at all.  It's a gruesome calculus.  Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt (and Harry Truman, too) did this arithmetic of death.  Were they wrong?

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