1939: President Roosevelt Against Aerial Bombardment of Civilians

Below is an appeal at the start of World War II made by the United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, advocating the responsibility to protect civilians and the moral outrage at the maiming and deaths of innocent civilians. Ironically, under the Presidency of Harry Truman, the US aerial bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan was carried out as justification for ending the war, taking the lives of between 90,000–166,000 in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 killed in Nagasaki.
The values of the right to life or even under the American Constitution – the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as human rights were not applied in warfare. All nations taking part in the Second World War contributed to this major trauma which transformed the demographics of the planet and highlighted the extremes of man’s inhumanity to all humans, life and the environment.
I wonder would history have unfolded the same had Franklin D. Roosevelt not died on 12 April, 1945. Apparently he was sitting for a portrait painting by the artist Elizabeth Shoumatoff, known as the famous Unfinished Portrait of FDR. Perhaps this pertained to the human rights of all innocent civilians.
Appeal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Aerial Bombardment of Civilian Populations, September 1, 1939
The President of the United States to the Governments of France, Germany, Italy, Poland and His Britannic Majesty, September 1, 1939
“The ruthless bombing from the air of civilians in unfortified centers of population during the course of the hostilities which have raged in various quarters of the earth during the past few years, which has resulted in the maiming and in the death of thousands of defenseless men, women, and children, has sickened the hearts of every civilized man and woman, and has profoundly shocked the conscience of humanity.
If resort is had to this form of inhuman barbarism during the period of the tragic conflagration with which the world is now confronted, hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings who have no responsibility for, and who are not even remotely participating in, the hostilities which have now broken out, will lose their lives. I am therefore addressing this urgent appeal to every government which may be engaged in hostilities publicly to affirm its determination that its armed forces shall in no event, and under no circumstances, undertake the bombardment from the air of civilian populations or of unfortified cities, upon the understanding that these same rules of warfare will be scrupulously observed by all of their opponents. I request an immediate reply.”

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Mohandas Gandhi

“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”

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