With improved bombing planes being constructed day by day, we face the problem of aerial bombardment—the problem of war and the problem of law. If it is true that the accepted practice governing conduct in any one war becomes the standard for future conflicts, we are indeed in a bad way. The seeming extravagances of 1918 are so recent and so vivid. They are as yet the last word, simply because there are none others more recent.
But it is not always true that extreme practices become precedents for future action. I am not inclined to be so pessimistic as Mr. James M. Beck, who told the American Bar Association:
During the World War, nearly all the international laws…were immediately swept aside in the struggle for existence; and civilized man, with his liquid fire and poison gas and his deliberate attacks upon undefended cities and their women and children, waged war with the unrelenting ferocity of primitive times.