The Terror America Wrought

Just exactly what distinguishes the United States’ use of the ever-so-cutely-named “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” atomic bombs on cities in Japan from the car bombs of Baghdad or the planes that smashed into the World Trade Center? To even raise the question, as was found in one recent university case, can be a career-ending move.

Of course, we had our justifications, as terrorists always do. Truman defended his decision to drop the atomic bombs on civilians over the objection of leading atomic scientists on the grounds that it was a necessary military action to save lives by forcing a quick Japanese surrender. He insisted on that imperative despite the objections of top military figures, including Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, who contended that the war would end quickly without dropping the bomb.

The subsequent release of formerly secret documents makes a hash of Truman’s rationalization. His White House was fully informed that the Japanese were on the verge of collapse, and their surrender was made all the more likely by the Soviets’ imminent entry into the fight.

At most, the Japanese were asking for the face-saving gesture of retaining their emperor, and even that modest demand would likely have been abandoned with the shift of massive numbers of Allied troops and firepower from the battlefront of a defeated Germany to a confrontation with its deeply wounded Asian ally.

Instead, the U.S. played midwife to the birth of the nuclear monster, the ultimate terrorist weapon that presents a continuing and growing threat to the survival of human life on Earth.

This is a lesson to be pondered at a time when President Bush plays power games with a nuclear-equipped Russia while coddling Pakistan, the main proliferator of nuclear weapons to rogue regimes, and Congress authorizes an expansion of the U.S. nuclear program to better fight the war on terror READ MORE

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3 responses to “The Terror America Wrought

  1. The difference between WW2 and todays fight is was a war between nations and japan inhuman actions in pkaces like china, the Philippines, Malaysia, the imminent executions of american prisoners of war in japan, and also the use of sucide attack planes – aka kamakazi’s showed that unless such an action was taken – as was shown in the okinawa campaign – was that up to 30 million lives could be lost.
    Hence – as deadly as the use of the bombs were and te later effect seen to this day is the awesome firepower and level of destruction – had led to that kind of war – for the most part being seen as a thing of the past.
    Todays grumblings over Iraq – would never had been heard in the WW2 era – warefare and peoples perceptions of it has changed.
    the entire US casualty count for example would be considered by ww2 standards – and not to belittle the scarifice of those have given up thier lives.
    But in WW2 terms this entire wars totals would not even equal a week of the carnage at iwo jima or Bataan Normandy or Anzio.
    hence the the estimates of the 15 million who died in WW2 is mostly on combatants on all sides give you the scale of difference.
    In purely numerical terms the attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki still while considered to be a truly devastating action is still considered small in numbers when compared to say Dresden and Hamburg or Tokyo firebombing campaigns of WW2.
    Yet when faced with the evils committed by the fascist regimes of Nazi Germany or Tojo’s Japan
    in the sum of all things – as unkind and non-PC – it is seen from the context of the times.
    was justified – considering japan’s declared intention of an entire nation fighting to the death
    Yes, there were those seeking surrender – but until Hiroshima and Nagasaki – their voices were drowned out. Hence – the use of the A-bombs in that context saved lives both Allied and Japanese from the alternative carnage and perhaps expected estimate of up two more years of war and perhaps 15 million dead on all side.
    On the other hand Al qeada’s actions – if seen from the context of todays warfare may be legitimized if viewed without emotion as a ends to their means – but still the rules of conflict do not apply in global insurgency – rebels, terrorists, partisans, revolutionaries i.e. operate outside laws anyhow untill they legitimize themselves with formal national status – so i a way you are right – those are the weapons of thier use and again – notwithstanding the loss of life – the emotional , the legal, the political ramifications as well as the criminal actions defined by international law violated. The attacks were made with what they had at their disposal – in an earlier era centuries ago – the same actions by rebels seeking freedom from a monarchy was labeled terrorism, barbarism, and rebellion most foul in London.
    Who is to say what 100 years from people views will be – but while the attacks and scars both real and emotional are still there – as well as those who survived.
    So time is stll needed to look at those criminal acts of 9-11 and the terror bombings of Iraq today – emitonal rage and anger is what fuels terrorism and war.
    Until cooler heads prevail and reason returns expect nothing less that more of the same and little room for [public discussion’s or debates in a time of war.

  2. Fascinating! Another excuse-monger!
    you may want to read these comments too.

  3. ” Todays grumblings over Iraq? “How is it possible that one can be so lazy, ignorant, subservient and uneducated to know nothing of what is actually happening outside of ones own country -to justify the horor committed by one’s country in their name-what of the mass targeting of the iraq and afghanistan civilian population with illegal ordinance /cluster bombs and sonic blasts plus unspent uraniam by an illegal invasion driven by lies, deceit and cooked evidence enforced by an invasion army where half are mercenaries unanswerable to no one and where torture and gang rape and wanton murder go unpunished and the latest figures total this genocide around 1,000,000 iraq peoples.

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