Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wkmac, Aug 6, 2009.
From Daniel Ellsberg
It was a real shame that our military did not stop USSR from getting all our bomb making data for free.
You can all thank the liberal left for that.
Who really cares now ? The USSR never used it, and they would have the data by now, anyways. Like many other countries.
The Soviets had spies within the Manhattan Project. They also had German scientists who had been involved in the German nuclear program during the war.
The USA may have been the first to build and detonate a nuclear weapon, but we didnt "invent" it; the the science behind a nuclear explosion had been understood for some time and to get from the theory to an actual functioning weapon was simply a matter of refining and producing the plutonuim and perfecting the process.
Even if we had never dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it would not have stoped the Russians from building their own.
As bizarre at this might sound, using the A-bombs on Japan ultimately saved lives by forcing them to surrender and end the war without the need for an invasion of the Japanese home islands which would have resulted in millions of casualties.
As it was, the population of Japan had been driven to the brink of starvation by our naval blockade. Another fact to remember is that almost 40% of the Allied POW's taken by Japan died of starvation or mistreatment during the war, and conditions for them were growing ever worse by the day. The A-bombs...cruel as they were...were better than the alternative of an invasion where our troops would have encountered millions of starving women and children armed with bamboo spears who had been ordered to fight to the death.
Thats almost right: Just you forgot the Manhatten Project would have never taken place without the german scientist that invented it.
This says it all:
Fearing the Nazis would build the bomb, Szilard approached Einstein with whom he had worked in Berlin and told him about the chain reaction possibility and asked him to write a letter to Roosevelt. Why did Szilard picked Einstein to write the letter? The reason goes to the essence of the difference between establishment science and technology and highly creative inventors. Szilard explained, “The only thing most scientists are really afraid of is to make fools of themselves, Einstein was free from such fear and this was what made his position unique for this occasion.” Mavericks like Einstein and Szilard have the courage to act on their convictions and this distinguishes them from the establishment scientists who are reluctant to stray far from the conventional wisdom.
Good article on Hiroshima. I have the same feelings that I wish we could have found another way.
I fully understand the reasons for our using this bomb. I however still have the feeling that using it has left a permanent scar on our sense of humanity.
Perhaps a corruption of innocence or another level of that corruption that goes above the many horrors that already took place during WWII.
I understand that among us out here in the land of the great unwashed, this is the very common belief. But in truth of fact, is it just a convient thought to allow us to live with ourselves? If one flips off American idol or other mind numbing program on the living room cyclops and goes to the bookshelf under "books not often read" and begins looking and asking, at the very least, questions should arise from the honest person. For example:
Here is an interesting series of documents leading up to the bombings and some of what took place leading to August 6th and August 9th 1945'.
Excellent post, very well said. Regardless of everything else, I think I speak for both of us when I say I hope that Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the only tragic victims of mankind that will ever be subjected to the ultimate weapon.
On a side note, who would have ever guessed that Daniel Ellsberg's dad worked in such area as he did? Talk about an ultimate irony!
A few facts to remember;
Something like 2 million people died during the incindiary firebombings of Tokyo and Osaka in March of 1945. Less than half a million were killed by the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As horrific as the A-bombs were, they were nowhere near as deadly as the combined effects of the American firebombings and naval blockade of the home islands which by August had reduced the Japanese civilian population to starvation.
Approximately 20 million Chinese civilians died during the Japanese war against China from 1936 thru 1945.
Tens of thousands of allied POW's and Indonesian/Burmese/Chinese/Philipino civilians had died of starvation, disease and brutality at the hands of Japanese invaders in SE Asia. Many more would have died every day had the war gone on any longer.
Another fact which is not commonly known; on April 20th 1945, a long-range German U-boat (U-232) left Germany en route to Japan with a cargo of military supplies which included several hundred pounds of Uranium 235. When Germany surrendered on May 7 this boat was captured by American naval patrols and its cargo was analyzed. The discovery of the uranium led to fears that Japan was attempting to build an A-bomb of its own. This was not the case; Japan lacked the technology to construct an A-bomb but it did have a plan to use the uranium in radioactive "dirty bombs" that would have been dropped on San Francisco, Los Angeles and the Panama Canal by aircraft launched from submarines. Fortunately, the Japanese were forced to surrender before they were able to implement this plan.
Josef Stalin made a famous quote; "One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic."
In the inhuman and brutal calculus of war, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ultimately saved lives.
If there is a "silver lining" to the advent of nuclear weaponrs, it is that they have made the type of total, global wars of WW1 and WW2 a thing of the past.
With nuclear weapons, a weaker nation can prevent a far stronger nation from invading it by making the cost of an invasion too horrific to bear.
Nuclear weapons are probably also the only reason that all of Europe was not invaded and conquered by the Russians after WW2. During the Cold War, Russia enjoyed an almost 3 to 1 advantage in troops and tanks over the combined armies of the USA, UK , France and the other NATO allies. Had the Russians chosen to invade there is simply no way we could have stopped them with conventional weapons. Our posession of and willingess to use nuclear weapons ultimately saved millions of lives by preventing such an invasion from ever taking place.
I'm glad we dropped both bombs because the amount of destruction and the amount of lives (on both sides) that would have been lost in the ensuing invasion would have made the aftermath of the two nuclear explosions seem like nothing more than a fat women passing gas after a long day at a chinese buffet. Another thing.....its better that it happened then. Todays bombs make the blast zones and anything miles outside of them uninhabitable for a very, very long time.
As horrific as the two a-bombs were, they were necessary to speed up the end of the war. We fire-bombed Dresden in Germany and killed similar numbers of civilians before the attacks on Japan. The estimates for the invasion of Japan were at over a million lives
My father was in the 10th Mt.Division and fought in Italy. As soon as Germany surrendered, the US started building up for the Invasion of Japan. He was reassigned to a malaria survey unit and shipped off to the Pacific for it. He was in one of the first American units to actually touch ground on the Japanese homeland before the Surrender Document was signed on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. They liberated American POWs, including General Wainwright, who had to surrender the Philippines after General Douglas McArther was ordered to leave. He also surveyed the blast damage on the ground in Hiroshima. I remember looking at a few of black and white photos he took there.
It's human nature to look at events from the POV of conclusion and then judge actions based on the end and not from the POV of what happened in the beginning. It may seem almost impossible from a certain POV not to justify Hiroshima and Nagasaki and sadly to the sacrifice of citizens of both cities in saving far greater numbers in human toll. From an endgame, I'd almost have to concede the point.
However, if one looks at the beginning, before the events of Pearl Harbor, one may then honestly question the whole entire event ever needing to happen and that scores of both American and Japanese people died needlessly. Pat Buchannan in his work Churchill, Hilter and the Unnecessary War raises excellent point about the needless war of Europe but one need to go back a bit further to consider the events in the Pacific.
In 1999' former WW2 sailor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Stinnett wrote a powerful and equally provocative book entitled "Day of Deceit, The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor" which among other things based on gov't documents that the US via policy manipulated if you will the Japanese into some kind of attack that would allow FDR a pretext to enter the European theater of war when the larger public was against such efforts. The book can be found complete here and one area worth a quick look is Chapter 2 which covers the infamous http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCollum_memo from Oct. 1940' which came to light in 2000' when blowback from Oliver Stones movie JFK forced the President Clinton to release sheaves of related documents of which the McCollum Memo was among and Stinnett obtained through a FOIA request.
The memo laid out 8 points in which Japan in effect could be provoked into an overt attack upon the United States. From "Day of Deceit" , Chapter 2 entitled "FDR's Backdoor War" page 8 we find the following:
These were in the memo dated 10/7/1940', a year, 2 months before Pearl Harbor. As we begin to look at the larger history across several sources (here and here for example) we start to see that either McCollum was a modern day Nostradomus or his memo was not shelved and overlooked as some have said. For example:
I harken back to the testimony of one Major General Secord who explained to a "dumb" Congress (just playing their Shakespearean party) of what is called "Plausible Deniability" in protecting a sitting President. Regardless, known history sure does fit the 1940' memo after the fact.
Maybe instead of judging those 2 nuclear devices as necessary evils, we might be better served judging the men who manipulated the situation that ultimately lead to the destruction of those people and not only the killings in Japan but Dresden, Conventry and elsewhere as well. Funny we never have the courage to challenge the myths of our own State political theater and instead we make the actors of the greek tragedy into gods to be worshipped for all time. One wonders if it goes long enough if our vaulted leaders will one day be told as having walked on water and arose from the dead? As gov't we already see them sitting at the right hand of God as supreme sovereign!
As time goes by we learn more and more of how WW1, WW2, Vietnam were predicated on lies and in the years ahead what will we learn of the conflicts of the 1990's and the post 9/11 events?
This artical is from the "Spiegel" It's like The Time Magazine in Germany.
Even when I lived there, the rumour was atleast 1 bomb was meant for Berlin.
I guess this story says it all.
We didnt "manipulate" the Japanese into attacking us.
We imposed economic sanctions, including an oil embargo (at the time we were an exporter of oil) to protest the Japanese conquest of China.
Japan wanted oil and rubber, which were available in Dutch Indonesia and British Malaysia...and by 1941 both Dutch and the British were getting their asses kicked by the Nazis and were therefore unable to defend their colonies. The Japanese decided to cripple our Pacific fleet with a surprise attack because we were the only military power capable of resisting their expansion into those areas.
The idea of a carrier-based sneak attack upon a fleet was basically unheard of at that time, which is what allowed the attack to occur with complete surprise. The idea that Roosevelt hatched a scheme to allow the bulk of our surface fleet to be blown out of the water while basically surrendering the entire Far East to Japan...in order to "motivate" the US to enter the war against Germany... is ridiculous.
I agree, we also didn't manipulate Hitler into invading the rest of Europe either.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
wkmac. Hmm. good posting. Ofcourse we wer'nt alive back then. But, I never did think a second bomb of that nature was neccesary! One was bad enough, to drop another one 3days later.. without warning... that was madness. They should have given the japs a few more days to evaluate the situation. Or atleast ask them, surrender, or you want another bomb ?
Btw, many more then 500.000 died.. thats not counting the birthdefects, the shortend lives, and people dying decades later of radiation.
It hurts, when I think about all those innocent children, babies, grannies, mothers, etc.
But, it's history, and added on to the bad reputation Americans get.
How U.S. Economic Warfare Provoked Japan’s Attack on Pearl Harbor
By the late 1930's it was becoming clear that the New Deal was not working and one of the lynch pins in the NRA had been struck down by SCOTUS. As Al Gore said of George Bush, "he played on our fears" it would seem looking ahead at the 1940' election, FDR may have used the same ploy himself and knowing full well the benefits to a still walking dead economy of what a war would bring. War on large scale is rarely in human history about some noble cause but rather a pure action of economics. Extreme economics if you will. WW2 was no different IMO. Even the Revolutionary War was about economics when you get right down to it.
Thanks. I understand what Sober and Scratch are saying because I've been there too. It does seem to make all the sense in the world and from a POV they are right. But when one begins to look at a vastly bigger picture and take in a lot more facts to consider, for me, it just doesn't work anymore as much as I'd like for it too. It would be nice to think there was some noblity not that long ago.
We can't change the past no matter how hard we try but if we consider the facts, those "iffy" facts out of respect for Sober and Scratch POV's, maybe we won't close our eyes to gov't in blind trust that allows such tragic events to ever take place.
I see nuke weapons other than their capacity to scare the larger public for political ends as all but obsolete. The precision ordinance and gudied weapons we have now make it possible to hit strategic targets while leaving surrounding areas less impacted. I know these weapons aren't perfect but compared to where we were and where we are now, the need to destroy a whole city to take out a military target is just not needed anymore unless the purpose is to instill mass fear in the population and this means the act become psychological. Nukes IMO serve no other purpose now than to be psy-ops weapons over mass populations.
I believe Randolph Bourne was right when he wrote "War is the Health of the State"
Separate names with a comma.