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NauenThen

As he pleased

In an argument with Vera Brittain (whose Testament of Youth is the best account of WWI by a woman who was in it), Orwell writes:

"Why is it worse to kill civilians than soldiers? Obviously one must not kill children if it is in any way avoidable, but it is only in propaganda pamphlets that every bomb drops on a school or an orphanage. A bomb kills a cross-section of the population; but not quite a representative selection, because the children and expectant mothers are usually the first to be evacuated, and some of the young men will be away in the army. Probably a disproportionately large number of bomb victims will be middle-aged. On the other hand, 'normal' or 'legitimate' warfare picks out and slaughters all the healthiest and bravest of the young male population....

"Perhaps when the next great war comes we may see that sight unprecedented in all history, a jingo with a bullet hole in him. The immunity of the civilian, one of the things that have made war possible, has been shattered. ... I can't feel that war is 'humanized' by being confined to the slaughter of the young and becomes 'barbarous' when the old get killed as well."

from As I Please 25, his column in the British left-wing Tribune, 19 May 1944

I have nothing to add except—. No, I have nothing to add.
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