Some people have criticized the Torah for being cruel because the Torah commands the extermination of certain ancient peoples, specificially the Canaanites, the Amalekites and the Midianites, including the killing of women and children.
I think that a few things must however be borne in mind.
These commandments were given by God who knows all of people's thoughts and all their future actions and the actions of their potential descendents. God knew that these people were evil, they were "bad to the bone", and the kindest solution was to kill them, for their sakes and the sakes of everyone else. Killing a baby is normally a heinous crime. However if someone would be truly psychic and would have truly been able to see the future, surely he would have done everyone a big favor if he would have strangled Adolf Hitler in his crib.
Additionally, we must bear in mind that these commandments were specifically regarding those nationalities. Orthodox Jews today are basically pacsifists who are almost never kill anyone.