Originally Posted by Xracer
As for using gas on Charlie's hidy-holes......that's why decisions on The Rules of War aren't made by "grunts-on-the ground", but by higher eschelons (both military and civilian) who have political and international ramifications to consider.
Anyway.....isn't this a neat
You are certainly right about that, X. I honestly believe that if Nixon had ordered a nuclear strike on North Vietnam during the time I was there, the grunts on the ground in the South would have said nothing but, "Go for it! Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out."
There is yet another issue that relates to this as well. As you know, there were many who believed Hirohito should have been tried and executed as a war criminal (which he most assuredly was!) after the war. The decision not to prosecute him and to allow him to remain on the throne, in restrospect, was probably the right one, though I must say it was still much like making a pact with the Devil in many ways. What has always rankled me even more though, was the failure of the military authorities to try and execute more of the Japanese military guilty of atrocities, particularly Lt. Gen. Shiro Ishii who was in charge of biological experiments at Unit 731 in China, along with more of those responsible for the Bataan Death March. As you said earlier, we did more or less follow the rules of war, but it seems clear the Japanese held to no such scruples.
And yes, this is indeed a most interesting discussion!