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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 5, 2007 4:15 PM. The previous post in this blog was A vote of confidence for Big Brother. The next post in this blog is Yo, Yordany!. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Anniversary

[I]n [July] 1945... Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act.... [T]he Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.

During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of "face." The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude....

-- Dwight Eisenhower
Mandate For Change

Comments (46)

I'm not sure how I feel about this. Was Eisenhower willing to accept less than unconditional surrender from the Japanese? What should we have been willing to give to allow the Japanese to "save face"?

The Japanese would have defended their homeland to the death, causing many more deaths on both sides. Given that my grandfather was fighting in the Pacific in the summer of 1945, I cannot say for certain I'd be typing this had The Bomb not been dropped. So I guess I have a selfish reason for defending its use.

It's a terrible terrible weapon and one that should only be used in the last resort. I believe the leadership in 1945 made the correct decision.

Many disagree, including wimpy lefties like Douglas MacArthur. Some say it was more to send a message to the Russians than anything else.

My dad was in the Pacific in the Navy at the time, but I'm not at all sure we had to do what we did in order to save his life. And he signed up to be shot at. Counting radiation poisoning, the civilian casualties in Japan have likely run into the hundreds of thousands.

What should we have been willing to give to allow the Japanese to "save face"?

After killing hundreds of thousands of civilians already under the thumb of a nut-job Emperor Hirohito, we left him as a figurehead, instead of trying him as the war criminal he most certainly was.

he signed up to be shot at

Exactly. What distinguishes WWII is that we took the war to civilians in ways previously unimaginable, with all sides blasting and firebombing whole cities into oblivion. Out of the insanity came the Geneva Conventions and the United Nations. We ignore that at our peril.


I think we're beyond the "peril" stage. Where will the next nuke go off? After Tel Aviv, my next guess would be somewhere in the good old U.S.A.

US estimates noted that the conquest of Japan (and yes, unconditional surrender was the ONLY option to win the war) would cost one million American lives.

Tojo and his colleagues were exhorting the ENTIRE Japanese population to fight the coming American invaders to the death, using pitchforks, sticks and rocks if that's all they had.

There is no question that the decision was the right one. The Japanese would not have hesitated to do the same, or worse, to Americans had they had the same weapon. Their conquest of China, started in 1931, certainly provided evidence of their intentions. This extended to all lands in the Pacific they conquered, and would have extended to Hawaii and eventually to the American mainland (for which they DID have plans to invade, eventually).

The decision was short, final and correct.

BTW, MacArthur, who had strong knowledge of Japanese culture, was instrumental in formulating American (occupation) policy in Japan post-war. The decision to leave Hirohito in power was also correct, given Japanese tradition.

Hirohito's surrender broadcast to the Japanese people, shortly after the second atomic bomb fell at Nagasaki, was the first time he had addressed the Japanese people directly -- the first time that 99% of Japanese had ever heard his voice. In that broadcast, he resigned his status as a divine ruler (a true son of Heaven). This was a shock to Japanese, but he continued as their figurehead until he died.

His continuation as emperor after the war was a concession to save face, and MacArthur understood this fully. It's an important principle in Asian cultures.

That said, Hirohito was the ultimate person responsible for Japanese policy. No major military nor political decision was made before and during the war without his approval. He *WAS* the boss, although he was portrayed by MacArthur and others as a figurehead with no real power. That is untrue.

Also, there was a movement just before the end of the war by Japanese military leaders to stage a coup to continue the war after the "official" surrender. Thankfully, this coup was stopped before it really got started.

Bottom line: it was the correct decision. You can analyze and revise history all you want, but in terms of post-war world development, it was a sacrifice that well-considered and ultimately the right move.

Frank, the Geneva Convention was created and signed BEFORE World War II, in the aftermath of World War I.

The Japanese considered, but never signed it.

The Japanese would not have hesitated to do the same, or worse, to Americans had they had the same weapon.

That's a heck of a justification for killing a couple hundred thousand civilians.

And if the Japanese had done that and eventually lost the war, we would have tried them all as war criminals and hanged them on the spot.

shortly after the second atomic bomb fell at Nagasaki

And shortly after the Russians started kicking his butt in Manchuria, without nukes.

I'm inclined to agree with Eisenhower and MacArthur on this one. And all these people.

[I]That's a heck of a justification for killing a couple hundred thousand civilians.[/I]

The Japanese killed many more Chinese civilians than that, not to mention conquered nations' peoples in the Pacific. But put simply, it was a simple math equation: 1 million American boys vs. a couple hundred thousand Japanese civilians, plus a definitive and quick end to the war.

The quotes about the Japanese being ready to surrender are opinions and conjecture, not fact. Did the Japanese put surrender feelers out to the Allies, as certain Nazi factions did (starting with Rudolf Hess in 1941, ending with Himmler and Goering in 1944-45)?

The Japanese silent response to the Potsdam Proclamation was their answer (not to mention the mass mobilization and preparations being made to defend the Islands). Those are documented and definitive facts.


[I]And if the Japanese had done that and eventually lost the war, we would have tried them all as war criminals and hanged them on the spot.[/I]

We did this anyway. We won; the Japanese lost. We were right; they were wrong.


[I]And shortly after the Russians started kicking his butt in Manchuria, without nukes.[/I]

This wasn't hard to do, given the state of the Japanese war machine at that time. The Japanese forces in China were highly isolated from the Home Islands, and basically left to fend for themselves. Easy pickings for the Russians.

Not to mention....the Russians didn't have nukes until, what, 1949, when they exploded their carbon copy of our Nagasaki bomb "Fat Man."

1 million American boys

That's what they call propaganda. In polite company, at least...

The Russians did not formally declare war on Japan until 8 August, 1945, right in between the two atomic bombings.

They shipped troops who were already hardened by the brutal conditions of the Eastern Front to fight the Japanese...and most historians would agree that the world has never seen the likes of a conquering, raping, looting, scorched-Earth killing machine like the Red Army, before or since.

I happen to agree with Patton, who wanted to continue the war all the way back to Russia, before half of Europe was swallowed by the utter evil of Soviet Communism, but, more than likely, he was murdered by one of the Comintern's numerous agents in our government and armed forces.

In light of the fact that Communism was a far greater evil than National Socialism...the Communists certainly murdered far, far more innocent civilians...did we try to do the right thing by sending them a strong and severe message with the bombings ?

Of course, we murdered hundreds of thousands of helpless Japanese, and kicked off the nuclear arms race and all, but put yourself in those men's shoes, at that time, and try to imagine what kind of decision you would have made. I'm not saying it was right, or justified, but that we faced a very real threat, and the situation was as complex as it was dire.


Good people make bad decisions all the time. In this case, though, the stakes were enormous.


The thing that scares me is we may be setting ourselves up for the same scenario today with China.

One of the things that set up WWII was the shipping out of our industry to Japan for "cheaper goods" If you watch Antiques Roadshow, everything in the Walmart portfolio, had a counterpart with the dawning of the "Sears Catalog" era. Where cheap foreign made imported goods displaced our own manufacturing and craft base of employment.

When the the "progressive era" high rise spending and consolidation of wealth of the 20's went south, and we no longer bought these goods then Japan put their industrial base to work building other things. Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead if you can get past the bizarre sexual habits of the main characters, provide a good deal of insight into the professional organizations being taken over by people with money in lieu of talent.

I wish they had been able to drop it and end the war in April. Then my grandfather might still be alive. As it was, he died, starved and tortured, in a Japanese POW camp.
Sorry, but there really is no answer to that, unless you're willing to tell me that it's a good thing my grandfather's dead.

Eisenhower the Republican had it right. Truman, the Democrat, ignored Eisenhower, got it wrong, and went ahead and dropped nukes.

The world hasn't really changed much either.

Frank, the Geneva Convention was created and signed BEFORE World War II, in the aftermath of World War I.

The FOURTH Geneva Convention --why they're plural, 'cause there's more than one-- covering the treatment of civilians in war, was signed in 1949.

His continuation as emperor after the war was a concession to save face, and MacArthur understood this fully. It's an important principle in Asian cultures.

That's really not true at all. Where are the emperors in China, Vietnam, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia? THIS particular emperor was left unprosecuted as the war criminal he was to be a tool for the occupation army of MacArthur. It was, in fact, his refusal to step down as Imperial Ruler that led to their rejection of the Potsdam Declaration.

The war was lost well before. Even the Emperor knew it. And still we killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in undefended cities, and let the war criminal live.

Big mistake. The wrong thing to do morally, and the wrong thing to do strategically. Easy for me to say in hindsight, I suppose, but it's what I believe.

In light of the fact that Communism was a far greater evil than National Socialism

Really? Wow. How messed up then, was it, that they were our allies during WWII, while we shut down the fascist regimes of Hitler and Mussolini (Brown shirt Chiang Kai-shek? Generallisimo Franco? Emperor Hirohito...OK, so maybe we tended to go a little soft and squishy on some of our better fascists.)

Whenever the neocons, warmongers, and military-worshiping Christians(quickly becoming one and the same) obsess over Iran having atomic bomb capabilities, it's worth reminding them that the US remains the only nation to have used the bomb against a civilized population.

The Japanese would have defended their homeland to the death, causing many more deaths on both sides.

Eisenhower and a half-dozen other leaders in the know disagree--Eisenhower said it clearly in the quote above.

The quotes about the Japanese being ready to surrender are opinions and conjecture, not fact.

do you have proof that they were *not* ready to surrender? because extensive documentation, during and after, prove otherwise.

The decision was short, final and correct.

no. the decision was painful, hotly debated, and almost went the other way.

That said, Hirohito was the ultimate person responsible for Japanese policy.

every single historian of the period will tell you otherwise (Eisenhower would too, were he alive). the military and others wielded the real power, not the emperor.

most historians would agree that the world has never seen the likes of a conquering, raping, looting, scorched-Earth killing machine like the Red Army, before or since.

man, you have not read much history, before or since.

anybody with a little free time can pick up a good history of the time and see that by the time of the bomb, America controlled the Pacific and nearly every island around Japan, Japan had no real air force or navy left, Japan had run low on soldiers, and Japan was making no significant incursions anywhere. in other words, Japan was already defeated before the bomb.

this is not conjecture, folks. it's old, well-documented news.

War is a terrible thing. In the First World War a new weapon, poison gas, was used. The horrific aftermath resulted in its avoidance in the Second War. And in the Second War another even more terrible weapon comes along. Once the A-bomb was developed, no one should be surprised that it was tried out.

My greatest concern is about the next time a nuclear weapon is used. The question is not if, but when and where. One year, five years, 20 years from now? Where? Your pick, - a lot of grim choices.

Actually, I’ve just returned this morning from a short vacation in the Santa Fe area during which we drove up to Los Alamos and visited the Bradbury Museum. This government-supported museum highlights some of the work done at our expense at LANL as well as the history and science of the Manhattan Project. To the curators’ credit, there is a corner set aside where the “to drop” or “not to drop” debate is given some airing.


"Eisenhower the Republican had it right. Truman, the Democrat, ignored Eisenhower, got it wrong, and went ahead and dropped nukes."

Eisenhower was a Republican President, true... but it's probably incorrect to think of him as a Republican in July of 1945. He was a senior officer of the US Army, and as such he would have maintained a nonpartisan outlook.

Also, it's probably untrue to say that Eisenhower was among those "in a position to know" what the situation with Japan was at that time. He still maintained his HQ in Germany (SHAEF ) until that command's dissolution on July 14, 1945. He would have been more concerned with the orderly occupation of Germany than with the pending battle for Japan.

That said - and even though my dad was on a DE headed for the western Pacific at the time of the bombing - I am inclined to agree with Ike that use of the a-bomb on a city was not obviously necessary to force an unconditional Japanese surrender.

There's the additional question of why the second one. Seems like, literally, overkill.

if any reader's interested, take the time to read this one all the way through. it's fact-based and spot on.

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0806-25.htm

there's really not a single serious-minded person out there who's studied this that thinks atomic bombing Japan was "necessary to save American lives"--never mind atomic bombing it *twice*.

Oh, come on! There are thousands of well-informed, serious-minded people who believe that the bombing was justified. The Wikipedia entry for Hiroshima/Nagasaki has a good summary of the arguments on both sides.

I side with Truman. Revisionists can pretend that the Japanese were not prepared to defend their territory to the bitter end, but that is all that it is: pretending. If the Japanese government was in any mood for surrender, they could have picked up the phone at any time. Indeed, they could have done so on August 7, the day after Hiroshima, and two days before Nagasaki.

man, you have not read much history, before or since

Hey, nice insult. I've been obsessively reading history, especially that of the Soviet Union, for a few decades now.

I'd start listing an extensive bibliography, starting with an 858 page compendium of Communist horror translated from the French, and published by Harvard, called "The Black Book of Communism," but, oh, why bother ? You'll believe what you want to believe, that's all. Talk to some old Russians sometime for more perspective, I have...but I doubt that you will, as it might shatter some of your comfortable, fragile American leftist delusions.

Suffice it to say that old East German women still refer the Soviet War Memorial in Berlin as the "Tomb of the Unknown Rapist"...

I can see how it was a close call either way.

Take the quote from Adm. Leahy: "The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender." His statement was at least partly true.

Japan was surely defeated. By July of 1945 Japan's ability to project power more than a hundred miles offshore of the home islands was basically nonexistant. They had no significant petroleum resources, so our blockade left them with extremely limited fuel stores for their few remaining ships. For this among other reasons, there was no question of Japan going back on offense. Their ability to make war was crippled and therefore they were - militarily - defeated.

However, it was unclear if being militarily defeated amounted to the same thing as being ready to surrender. The mass suicide of Japanese civilians on Saipan and their incredible last-man resistance in other battles was evidence of what an invasion of the home islands might face.

What's more, Germany had been militarily defeated not three decades before, yet had chosen to rise again to make another play for dominance. Given that experience, I can see why mere military defeat for Japan might have been seen as insufficient. I'm sure that some folks were thinking that only a truly crushing defeat, leading to an abject surrender, would be sufficient to keep Japan down.

(And maybe they were right. It seems to have worked, anyway... it was around 50 years before the barest spark of militarism became apparent in Japan again.)

So while I'm inclined to agree with Ike, I can see how it was a very tough call at the time. It's hard for me to fault Truman for doing what he did.

it was around 50 years before the barest spark of militarism became apparent in Japan again

What's sad about this "debate" is how little we really seem to know and understand.

Yukio Mishima, a great and famous post-war Japanese writer ("Sun and Steel") committed hari kari in protest of Japan's failure to re-militarize. That was in the late 1960s. There was --and remains--a HUGE faction in Japanese politics that rejects Japan's pacifist constitution. Which is why there's an issue of Japan's current leader visiting a shrine to fallen war heroes. Of COURSE he has to go.

Think about it. Don't WE "support the troops" regardless of the mission? You think the Japanese feel differently?

Japan was toast as a military power when we dropped the bomb. We did it to impress the Russians...and instead of "unconditional" surrender we propped up war-criminal Hirohito, and continue to import Nissans (and Volkswagens, for that matter).

7:30, tonight, HBO. A documentary on what we did to these people, to the civilians and to the women and children. Shameful, shameful stuff...

May every other country, cause, and lunatic fringe group have the decency to not make excuses for what we did, and recognize pulling the nuclear trigger is an act against civilization itself...and not do it, as we did.

Huh. Thanks, Frank. I stand corrected.

The Japanese killed more than nine million soldiers, men, women and children in China ALONE. That's not to mention the other nations they conquered.

NINE MILLION PEOPLE IN CHINA ALONE.

They committed extreme atrocities against entire towns and PROVINCES in China, including rape, murder, beheadings, mass executions, testing biological warfare agents, and the list goes on. Their revenge activities against the Chinese in response to just the Doolittle raid in early 1942, were WAY out of proportion to the amount of aid the Chinese gave to the US airmen from the raid.

The Bataan Death March was just the tip of the iceberg of atrocities committed against American soldiers. The survival ratio of US POWs held by the Japanese was a small fraction of that of US prisoners held by the Germans, not to mention Japanese prisoners held by the US.

These were not nice folks. They trained their soldiers not just to kill, but to maim, torture, to have no mercy. To cut their American prisoners' penises off after killing them, and stuff the organ in the corpse's mouth. Many Japanese enjoyed beheading live prisoners.

These were not nice people. This was total war. They deserved what they got. We did not start the war, but we certainly did finish it.

You can revise history all you want, and can dredge up quotes from military leaders who served on the other side of the world, with little to no day to day connection to the Pacific war.

What we did to end the war will NEVER be as shameful as the atrocities and inhuman reign of terror that the Japanese inflicted on the nations of Asia and the Pacific.

I have to consider the viewpoint of my dad. He served 5 years in the army starting shortly before the Pacific war experiencing the Japanese bombing of Ft. Columbia near Chinook Wa and the north Or coast, then spending close to four years progressing across the Pacific landing in Japan to begin the reconstruction of Japan. His life and many of his friends were saved by the dropping of the bomb.

He knew the mind-set of the Japanese forces like Teddie Draper, the Navaho Code Talker, confirmed in his recent "conversations" here in Portland and personal time a few of us experienced with him in following days. He was a Marine on Iwo Jima that experienced the "suicide soldiers" of Japan, and knew that this philosophy would continue all the way into the home islands.

My good Japanese friend of 40 years who's father served in the imperial army confirms the "suicide intent" of both the soldiers of Japan and even the civilian population. He thanks the US for a definitive defeat, and the changes it brought. He says it brought "honor" to the US from the Japanese people which an "entangled, conditional defeat" would not.

I know that some do not appreciate citing a few friends and experiences as evidence to a viewpoint. But for me, after hearing it for many years from several sources and outlooks, must consider the bombing as having merit and do not wish to monday quarterback. I have been to Hiroshima and became physically sick from the images I saw. I talked to survivors, read books on the topic, the aftermath, etc., and of course, I wish it never happened.

What we did to end the war will NEVER be as shameful as the atrocities and inhuman reign of terror that the Japanese inflicted on the nations of Asia and the Pacific.

so there's "kinda shameful" and "really, really shameful"? levels of shame based on how many millions killed?

You can revise history all you want

what parts are getting revised? have you ever *read* the history of the US in the Pacific the past 150 years?

This was total war. They deserved what they got.

the thousands of children and civilian women killed at Hiroshima deserved it? whoops. all along i had it wrong.

Gerry: "Right on".

There is no question that the US were not "saints" in our acquisition of territories in the Pacific pre-WW2.

However, there is also no conceivable nor rational basis for comparison between the history and activities of the USA in the Pacific during the past 150 years, and the atrocities and barbarism wrought by the Japanese Army and Naval forces in the same part of the world during the period 1931-1945.

Put-downs such as yours, Ecohuman, are not particularly nice nor desired. Rather, they devolve the level of dialog. Suffice it to say that I've got 30+ years, and several BIG bookcases of books, of world (and particularly World War II) history read and sitting here in my home.

P.S. I also have a personal link to US history in the Pacific. My great-great-great-great grandfather, Rev. Elias Bond, was one of the original missionaries who went to Hawaii in 1840.

http://www.coffeetimes.com/aug98.htm

I am sure that many would call the arrival of Christian missionaries, beginning in the 1800s to be an unwanted invasion and the beginning of US imperialism there.

Gerry: Good contributions to this discussion. I hope you will stick around and comment on other matters on this blog from time to time.

P.S. I also have a personal link to US history in the Pacific. My great-great-great-great grandfather, Rev. Elias Bond, was one of the original missionaries who went to Hawaii in 1840.

My mother-in-law was born in China, to Christian missionaries. She and her family were prisoners of the Japanese at one point.

These were not nice people. This was total war. They deserved what they got.

Emperor Hirohito got a free pass from us, and stayed on his thrown. His people --already suffering under his regime, and faced with the horrors his militarism brought down on them-- the children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they deserved and got what was coming to them?

(Imagine if we'd propped up Adolph Hitler this way. Said we needed to keep him as a "figurehead" to unite the German people during the American occupation? Doesn't that sound crazy? Yet it was what we did in Japan with a war criminal who, like you suggest, Gerry, wasn't a very nice man.)

Yes, we propped up Hirohito. Gneralissimo Franco? Not a problem, he's our pal. Chiang Kai-shek, who killed at least five million Chinese --his own people-- when he destroyed the dikes to stop the advancing Communists. Hey, he's our "ally." The end of WWII ended up with us in bed with a lot of unsavory people.

But the end of WWII showed the world how insane war had become, and how focused it had become on targeting non-combatants. We learned a lesson and wrote a new Geneva Convention. How much we really learned the lesson, I guess, remains up for debate.

There were many Nazi leaders (military and civilian) who were carried over from the war to post-war era. But that's not the point -- Germany and Japan were (and are) totally different in terms of their leaders and their peoples' relationship to those leaders. Apples and oranges.

One example of this is General Johannes Steinhoff, who was a Nazi air ace (176 kills in 993 missions) who went on to become a major force in the rebuilding of the Luftwaffe post-war and its integration into NATO. Several Germans I know well, knew and worked with him, and he was quite a good man. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Steinhoff

That said, there is no question that Hirohito was a war criminal. As I mentioned earlier, he personally approved every key decision the Japanese made before and during the war. He was in the room when they were discussed and made; he had the opportunity to stop and/or change them; and the ruling military junta recognized him as the supreme ruler. The fact that he approved, rather than stopped, these decisions makes him a war criminal.

No civilian deserves to die in war. But it happens, and in this case several hundred thousand Japanese civilians died as a result of the decisions of their military leaders. While it was not fair, it was an unforseen consequence (given the Japanese thinking their Home Islands were invincible, not comprehending more powerful weapons).

As to alliances, no alliance is perfect. You choose your alliances based on strategic and tactical aims at the time. Is Israel a perfect alliance partner? Was Iraq, back in the days of the Iran war? She we ditch England today, because they burned the White House nearly 200 years ago? Should we shun Germany because of the actions of Hitler? Or perhaps we shouldn't align with anyone - this solves the problem :)

Of course, the answer is no. I would venture to say that although the end of WW2, and decades after, put us in bed with a lot of unsavory people, the alternatives were far more unsavory.

Put-downs such as yours, Ecohuman, are not particularly nice nor desired. Rather, they devolve the level of dialog.

of course they're not nice. the US slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Filipinos to "conquer" the Phillipines, for example--so they could establish a base and authority there. why in god's name is this "less bad" than Japan's imperialism?

tell me, please, why this shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath as any other atrocity. telling me that there are "levels" of atrocity, that some are bad but other are BAD, is insulting to my intelligence and the people killed. it's a desperate attempt to rationalize aggression.

of course, some readers will now want to argue whether WWII was just or not--ignoring why the war got started in the first place. hint: it didn't start in the 20th century.

Suffice it to say that I've got 30+ years, and several BIG bookcases of books, of world (and particularly World War II) history read and sitting here in my home.

good for you. read them with a critical mind. find new ones too. picking the parts of history you like and ignoring the others because they're "less bad" isn't going to get you much slack.

Gerry Van Zandt wrote:

These were not nice people. This was total war. They deserved what they got.

and

No civilian deserves to die in war.

man, you gotta make up your mind.

and

While it was not fair, it was an unforseen consequence

the US didn't "foresee" the thousands of civilians dead as a result of dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima? are you kidding?

The "unforseen consequence" phrase you cherry-picked referred to the Japanese military leadership, not the US military leadership. This should have been obvious by the context of the sentence and parenthetical modifying phrase (respectively) immediately preceding and following the words you referenced. Both of these referred solely to the Japanese leadership.

I'm glad you've chosen to argue with me here. But do know, as evidenced by the variety of comments here, there are plenty of views here different from -- and just as valid as -- your own. I have no need to belittle those whose views are different from mine. I would be happy to teach you this restraint.

The "unforseen consequence" phrase you cherry-picked referred to the Japanese military leadership,

the "Japanese Military Leadership" wasn't who was killed by the attack on Japan. your statement wasn't clear to me.

I have no need to belittle those whose views are different from mine. I would be happy to teach you this restraint.

you mean like:

Put-downs such as yours, Ecohuman, are not particularly nice nor desired. Rather, they devolve the level of dialog

and

I would be happy to teach you this restraint.?

c'mon, man. differing opinions are good, but if you're going to cherry pick historical facts to justify classifying war atrocities into "bad" and "not as bad", you're making a statement that deserves critique. responding with "you're being negative" isn't defending your point of view, it's trying to belittle the messenger.

The end of WWII ended up with us in bed with a lot of unsavory people.

Excellent points, but we should also be able to honestly look back, and think about the bona-fide criminals our leading industrialists were in bed with before the war, and during it. Smedley Butler's story should be mandatory reading in our schools, right ?

Prescott Bush, IBM, the list goes on and on of our upper-tier blue-blooded corporate aristocracy's ties to the industrial war machine and death camps of National Socialist Germany.

Then there was our "Lend-Lease" program with that great humanitarian, Stalin, and his wonderful Communist government.

Imagine, being liberated from a Nazi death-camp by an army with huge amounts of American military equipment, and then shot, because the Workers' Paradise didn't even have enough food for it's own soldiers, let alone "liberated" refugees.

From what I have read, everyone, including deserters from the Red Army itself, was trampling each other just to head West at the war's end. Too bad we sent millions right back to the slave-labor camps and execution squads.

Sorry for coming to this subject late, but there are a couple of points I think should be considered that haven't been mentioned:

(1) The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not sudden shifts in American policy toward targeting civilians. We killed many, many more civilians with our fire bombings (called "strategic" bombings) of Tokyo and other cities in Japan. For example, on the night of January 9-10, 1945, an estimated 200,000 people were killed in a single bombing raid--about three times the number of casualties at Hiroshima. And this went on for more than six months.

If we are going to question Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we should question the entire strategic bombing campaign (which many military leaders did at the time, prefering more precision bombing of industrial and military targets).

(2) The willingness of the Japanese to surrender was problematic up until the very end, as witness the attempted military coup led by Major Kenji Hatanaki, who personally killed the general of the Imperial Guards and whose men ransacked the Imperial Palace searching for the Emperor's recorded message of surrender, hoping to stop it from being played and continuing the war.

After Iwo Jima and Okinawa, Americans had to be prepared for the likelihood of a long and bloody battle to conquer the Japanese mainlaind.

I look forward to your post discussing whether we couldn't just have easily gained our independence from Britain without war (like Canada), and whether slavery wouldn't have eventually died out without having to fight that nasty Civil War.

Let's see... whom to trust on this... Eisenhower, MacArthur, or Jack Roberts? Hmmmm...

Let's not forget to add Harry Truman to my side of the ledger--the civilian in charge who, under our system, actually had to make the decision.

Indeed, he was The Decider back then. And you've still got the majority of historians on your side as well.

I still think the whole subject of "strategic bombing" (which the Japanese called "slaughter bombing") is a better debate than just the A-bomb.

Kurt Vonnegut tried to raise that same issue you'll recall in Slaughterhouse Five about the fire-bombing of Dresden (which, unlike Hiroshima, was under Eisenhower's jurisdiction).

Kurt Vonnegut tried to raise that same issue you'll recall in Slaughterhouse Five about the fire-bombing of Dresden (which, unlike Hiroshima, was under Eisenhower's jurisdiction).

Not to get to off track from the original topic, but, technically, it was ordered by Churchill and his Air Mashall, Arthur Harris. But it was totally barbaric, as was much of the carpet bombing of England's hated rival and enemy's civilian areas.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 92
At this date last year: 144
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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