HomeArticleWarmongering Neocon ‘Free Beacon’ Glorifies Hiroshima Bombing

Warmongering Neocon ‘Free Beacon’ Glorifies Hiroshima Bombing

American Values, an excellent Twitter account which publishes daily information about US atrocities, has just posted a thread for the anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, and I think everyone should have a look at it today. It reads as follows:

“On this day in 1945, the US committed one the worst [atrocities] in human history when it dropped a nuclear weapon on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing 140,000 people. The city was selected for its location in a valley, magnifying the bomb’s deadly power.

 

“The bomb detonated directly over Shima Surgical Clinic and destroyed 1 square mile, setting fires for 4.7 square miles. 70,000 people were immediately annihilated & 70,000 were wounded. The bombing killed 90% of all medical personnel in the city. The wounded were described by survivors as living pieces of charcoal, wandering mindlessly as their skin fell off until they collapsed and died. Many of the survivors would fall victim of radiation poisoning, some dying violently while vomiting out their insides.

 

“Astonishingly, just 3 days after the bombing of Hiroshima, the US dropped another atomic bomb on Nagasaki. The bombing was essentially a test, killing 80,000 Japanese in an attempt to see if a plutonium implosion bomb would detonate properly in wartime setting.

 

“Much of the US propaganda used during the war depicted the Japanese as subhuman and its this attitude that helped the US government justify these atrocities to itself and its population.

 

“One of the most reprehensible myths surrounding the bombings is the idea that they were ‘necessary’ to save lives. Serious historical work has disproven this. See here -> And here -> Nevertheless this myth remains because it alleviates the guilt Americans would otherwise feel for their government committing one of humanity’s most atrocious war crimes.”

For more reading on the historically indisputable fact that America’s decision to unleash the nuclear horror on Japan was a gratuitous act of barbarism which was completely unnecessary for winning the war, see this LA Times article by Oliver Stone and Pete Kuznick and this one by the Mises Institute. According to the generals and decision makers of the time, the real reason for the use of nuclear weapons on Japan was to intimidate the Soviet Union, which went on to acquire its own nuclear arsenal a mere four years later in 1949. That’s right, the horrors inflicted upon the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and all the brainpower and treasure that went into making them, achieved nothing but a weapons advantage that lasted a total of four years. In exchange for four years of military superiority, we’ve had generations of nuclear standoff which could wipe every living organism off the face of this planet.

So of course we are seeing the neoconservative Washington Free Beacon celebrating this horror on Twitter today.

“74 years ago today, America’s Greatest Generation delivered a decisive blow against the enemies of freedom. The Free Beacon salutes our veterans. #Hiroshima,” the outlet tweeted, with a picture of a mushroom cloud.

The Washington Free Beacon, which the late Antiwar.com founder Justin Raimondo once described as “a down-market version of the Weekly Standard,” has served as a platform for neoconservative war propagandists since its founding. It is published by a think tank chaired by PNAC alum Michael Goldfarb, and its editor-in-chief, Matthew Continetti, is the son-in-law of arch-neocon Bill Kristol. The American supremacist values system of this tightly knit and highly influential clique of neoconservatives has been shoved so far into the mainstream that it is now in effect the bipartisan consensus worldview of US policymakers and mass media narrative managers, to the point that now if you get a voice like Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard questioning the US forever war in mainstream circles you immediately see that voice slammed as “un-American“, “isolationist“, and Kremlin-aligned.

The fact that an arm of this influential clique is glorifying an unparalleled act of state-sponsored terrorism is made all the more jarring by the fact that, as an early driver of the bogus Steele dossier, the Washington Free Beacon has played a direct role in escalating the world-threatening nuclear tensions between Russia and America. The Steele dossier, whose sensationalist claims have been invalidated by the Robert Mueller report which found no evidence to support them, played a foundational role in the formation of the Russiagate conspiracy theory, which in turn manufactured support for the many, many new cold war escalations that the Trump administration has implemented against Russia. Opposing détente and increasing US hawkishness toward Russia has been a primary aim of neoconservatism since its inception.

“Neocon rag celebrates the most heinous single act of state terrorism in world history,” tweeted journalist Dan Cohen in response to the Free Beacon‘s post. “They deserve just as much derision as Nazis.”

Cohen is absolutely correct. In a healthy world, members of the ideology which promotes endless acts of military slaughter and glorifies the pointless nuclear incineration of innocent human beings would be treated with the same ubiquitous social revulsion as Nazis, child rapists and serial killers. They are just as evil, and, in today’s world, they actually pose a far greater threat. We will know that we are living in a healthy society when neocons and their affiliates are treated just like any other kind of murderous monster.

_________________________

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Latest comments

  • There was a time when this subject was being discussed in mainstream, with some sense of regret. And it almost seemed that the U.S. was slowly moving toward something approaching apology. Am I remembering that incorrectly?

    Regardless,
    We (the people) need to make remembrance of these days.
    This event should always be remembered and discussed with the children.
    Aug 6, 1945, 8:16AM (Japan Time) – Hiroshima, approx 140,000 dead.
    Aug 9, 1945, 10:58AM (Japan Time) – Nagisaki, approx 70,000 dead.
    Predominantly, civilians.

    Hope I have that right.

  • Historicus, I saw Midway, Wake and Corregidor in 1949. Blown to garbage. On occupation duty iin South Korea in 1954/1955 I saw Inchon, Yong Dong Po and Seoul. Blown to garbage. So: Bombs and artillery are not the proper tools for urban renewal or landscaping.

    That said, if you are invaded, the idea is to first repel the invader. Kill him. Then, destroy his capability to wage war. Destroy the morale of his society so that he does not again essay invasion. Use any means available.

    History shows us that lesser efforts allow the invader-types to later renew the behavior.

  • Historian Martin Sherwin in his 2003 book “A World Destroyed” wrote that “a ‘considerable body’ of new evidence that suggested the bomb may have cost, rather than saved, American lives. That is, if the US had not been so determined to complete, test, and finally use the bomb, it might have arranged the Japanese surrender weeks earlier, preventing much bloodshed on Okinawa.”

    Despite their novelty, the destruction caused by the atomic bombs was not much greater than that wrought by the massive conventional air raids of the USAF on other Japanese cities. What is different is that all this destructive power was concentrated in a single weapon, which ultimately lessened the huge cost of building and arming entire air fleets in order to obliterate enemy population centers. This is the rank obscenity of atomic weapons and their far deadlier nuclear successors: they were developed primarily to reduce the cost of mass murder.

    As a state’s ability to defend itself rests on its industrial and agricultural productivity and the morale of its servicemen, in the relentless logic of modern total war, a winning strategy must be to kill farmers and industrial workers and to demoralize front line soldiers by slaughtering their families and destroying their homes. This is the unspeakable legacy of the so-called “good war.”

  • “Unconditional Surrender” broke the political power of the war parties of Germany and Japan. That meant that we didn’t have them resurrect to a WW III in twenty or thirty years.

    Gentle Japanese? The “Rape of Nanking was part of the effort of creating the “Sphere”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_East_Asia_Co-Prosperity_Sphere

    Suggested reading: Bataan Death March. Cabanatuan prison camp. Japanese use of slave labor.

    The Kempetai was Japan’s Gestapo. In Manila, the colonel in command did not like a patriotic lady’s protests. He had a rope tied around her ankles and dragged her behind his horse as he rode around Manila–until she died.

    I was a high school junior in Manila in 1949/1950. I had cousins who had been interned in the Santo Tomas University concentration camp. I went to school with kids who had lived through the occupation.

    Japan started the war in the Pacific. Obvious mistake. Our embargo on oil would not have been necessary if they had just stayed home. So, ‘Made in America, tested in Japan.”

  • Excellent Caitlin, and very timely. Trump and the other inmates of the White House asylum are threatening to plunge the world into nuclear armageddon.

    The barbarism of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is all these latter-day Genghis Khans have to offer the world.

    The only way to disarm them, and put them behind bars where they truly belong, is by a Socialist revolution on a worldwide basis.

  • To dispute that the atomic weapons used didnt save tens to hundreds of thousands of American, as well as Japanese lives, is disingenious at best and pure idiocy at worst. In a war with a brutal enemy, who clearly had no care for human life other than their own (and put that in context, using the word “kamikaze”…), you win by any and all means necessary in order to avoid as many of your own losses as possible. Period. Applying 2019 opinion and spouting derisive nonsense is a luxury you have, in thanks to those men and the decisions they made. Twisting or manipulating history does them a great disservice. Frankly Im glad my father, who was a Pearl Harbor survivor that fought in every Pacific campaign, isnt around to see this kind of historical misanalysis. No amount of ridiculous papers from Berkley, or newspapers used as “facts” or “proof” can give this any validity….

    • How would your father feel knowing that the US was well aware the Pearl Harbour attack was coming but allowed it to happen as a pretext for entering the war?

    • Your highly tenous grasp of history indicates you are the one suffering from idiocy, or could it be just plain old American chauvinism.

      The Japanese were on their knees in 1945 and putting out peace feelers all over the place, especially towards the Soviet Union.

      The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were acts of indescribable, unspeakable barbarism AND TOTALLY UNNECESSARY FROM A MILITARY OR STRATEGIC POINT OF VIEW, as all objective, impartial, and non-venal Historians agree.

      US imperialism inflicted this mass murder on hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children NOT to win the war, which was already won, BUT TO “DEMONSTRATE” THE BOMB TO STALIN AND THE SOVIET BUREAUCRACY, AND THEREBY SEEK TO INTIMIDATE AND FRIGHTEN THEM.

      History demonstrates very graphically and bloodily – Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Korea, Vietnam, Chile, Argentina, El Salvador etc. etc – that US imperialism is not in the least concerned about civilian casualties or death. It will and does STOP AT NOTHING to preserve the obscene wealth, power, and privileges of US capitalists and its state machine.

  • “Neocon rag celebrates the most heinous single act of state terrorism in world history,” tweeted journalist Dan Cohen in response to the Free Beacon‘s post. “They deserve just as much derision as Nazis.”

    No, they deserve far more derision than the Nazis. The Nazis didn’t deserve their derision. Nazi derision was just wartime propaganda, exactly like the lie that the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan “saved lives”. Six million Jews gassed in German concentration camps is the biggest whopper of all, setting the foundation for all that bogus Nazi derision.

    If humanity were ever to see the big picture, meaning the incredible extent of the deception our heads are filled with, we might have a fighting chance to address the root problem of our situation. The root problem is that deceivers rule over us. To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.

  • “. . . the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C., were in fact pressing their young commander-in-chief, John F. Kennedy, to support the strategic necessity of a first strike. They first did so in the summer of 1961, in a National Security Council meeting whose significance remained deeply hidden until the declassification of a top-secret document in 1994. . . .
    .
    “At the July 20, 1961, NSC meeting, General Hickey, chairman of the ‘Net Evaluation Subcommittee’ of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presented a plan for a nuclear surprise attack on the Soviet Union ‘in late 1963, preceded by a period of heightened tensions.’ Other presenters of the preemptive strike plan included General Lyman Lemnitzer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and CIA director Allen Dulles. . . .
    .
    “Roswell Gilpatric, JFK’s Deputy Secretary of Defense . . . described the meeting’s abrupt conclusion: ‘Finally Kennedy got up and walked right out in the middle of it, and that was the end of it.’ . . .
    .
    “However, as much as JFK was appalled by a general nuclear war, his walkout was in response to a more specific evil in his own ranks: U.S. military and CIA leaders were enlisting his support for a plan to launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union.
    .
    “Kennedy didn’t just walk out. He also said what he thought of the entire proceeding. As he led Rusk back to the Oval Office, with what Rusk described as ‘a strange look on his face,’ Kennedy turned and said to his Secretary of State, ‘And we call ourselves the human race.’”
    .
    — James W. Douglass: “JFK and the Unspeakable”, chapter 6
    .
    .
    “Recently declassified information shows that the military presented President Kennedy with a plan for a surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union in the early 1960s.”
    .
    — James Galbraith, Heather Purcell: “Did the U.S. Military Plan a Nuclear First Strike for 1963?”, The American Prospect (Fall 1994)
    https://prospect.org/article/did-us-military-plan-nuclear-first-strike-1963

  • They dropped the bombs to test their effect on a human population, that’s all.

  • A fairly even-handed documentary here shows that the decision to use nuclear weapons on Japan was a minority decision, but the air crews involved were already heavily indoctrinated wrt the ‘necessity to use these devices to ‘save lives’ that would have been lost in an invasion of mainland Japan. https://player

  • Thank you Caitlin. By the way, it’s taking longer to log on to your site. Anyone else having that problem?

  • Americans will go to any lengths to justify their atrocities and avoid the shame and guilt for the monstrous crimes committed in their names. We love to think of ourselves as the exceptionally good people who can do no wrong.

    • Invasion of Poland, France, Russia, all non-Axis neighbors, N. Africa, the bombing of Great Britain, Invasion of Korea, China, the Philippines, all non-Axis neighbors, the bombing of Hawaii, total subjection of people and resources, enslavement and extermination of persons regarded as undesirable and/or inferior as official policy, all this initiated by Germany and Japan and yet when this turmoil affecting the whole world gets corrected while Germany and Japan ultimately emerge as freely governed independent economic superpowers, the United States of America gets painted as the world’s imperialist bad guy? Is this not the ultimate example of narrative control and brainwashing or what?

      • official simplified history might be the ultimate example, imo.

      • False narrative Lloyd. First Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan have been painted as bigger evils both before the war and until this day. Second, the outcome of WWII and the positive results you describe were already decided before we dropped those nukes. So yes, dropping those nukes was a terrorist action. And yes, USA is the world’s imperialist power ever since and we have used our dominance in universally accepted bad ways such as in Vietnam and Iraq. The brainwashing occurred by our government/media on our citizenry to justify these wars through manufactured lies such as Tonkin and WMDs.

      • Agreed.

  • To call saving a million American casualties from an invasion, not to mention millions more Japanese lives, an atrocity, is mind numbingly insane. Seek help!!
    For those who believe the Japanese wanted to surender before that I ask, what alternative history fantasy books have you been reading? After those bombs were dropped, some members of the Japanese military staged a breif but unsuccessful coup in order to keep the emperor from surrendering.
    As for the theory of dropping the bombs to intimidate Stalin, aftet the Soviet union lost 20 million people, Stalin said Germany would never be whole again and he would not return his army back to his borders. I always thought Truman should have told Stalin, “I have these atomic bombs that say you will return to your borders.” But he didn’t. So much for the intimidation theory. Instead we got 45 years of cold war which included the Korean and Vietnam wars. Articles like this one are just BS propaganda from the flaming liberals who think America is evil and the cause of everything wrong in the world. Dropping the a-bombs are the worlds greatest atrocities? Lol. Omg! Ever hear of the holocaust. Dumba**!!

    • So the only problem for you is that the US has not been as warlike and bloodthirsty as you would like?? People like you should be in a nice quiet room in a secure insane asylum.

    • Hmmm

      Except of course your statement is categorically FALSE. The Japanese had repeatedly made overtures via a variety of official and unofficial channels that they were ready to surrender. And despite the “official” government storyline being sold today, they were willing to do so unconditionally BEFORE the bombs were dropped. I suggest you read some of the comments by Truman’s Chief of Staff, and a host of Generals and Admirals in the Pacific theater at the time who all agreed that there was NO military necessity to use nuclear weapons. And yes, murdering hundreds of thousands of noncombatants is a war crime.

      More than one commanding General in both the Pacific European theaters were quoted as saying at the conclusion of the Nuremberg trials that if America had lost the war the entire US Military high command, all large percentage of the Congress and the President would have all been executed for war crimes instead of the Nazis. Why? because the allies, America in particular committed just as many and just as many horrific war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide as the Germans and the Japanese…..

      I wonder; do you consider FDR a “great” President as so many “historians” do today. Or do you understand that other than Lincoln he was without question the worst traitor in US history? I ask because most people that accept the lie that dropping A-bombs was a defensive decision, and the more than 1 Million Germans burned alive in 24 hours in the city of Dresden was as well. Dresden was the sole remaining large city not yet bombed by the Allies. It has ZERO military value, had NO military bases, production facilities or airfields of note (reason it was never bombed) Consequently more than 1/2 a Million refugees almost entirely women and children has poured into the city seeking safety from the unrelenting allied bombardment of the German civilian population. And it was Churchill that started the bombardment of defenseless cities NOT the Germans. The Allied high command knew that the city’s population had swelled to more than 1 million mostly women and children. They fire-bombed it anyway.

      At the end of the war Eisenhower ordered that 1.7 Million anti-communists be turned over to the Russians. He knew full well that mixed in that group in the chaos of the war ending were over 50,000 Allied POW’s. Over 20,000 of whom were AMERICANS. Eisenhower handed them all over to the Russians where they faced a life in prison or death. Eisenhower also right after the war ended illegally reclassified virtually all German POW’s held in Allied Prison camps in Europe as civilians relieving himself from having to follow the Geneva Convention for POW’s. He then ordered that they be systematically exterminated; MILLIONS OF GERMAN POW”S DIED in 1945-46 because he had them placed in open air prison camps with no food, water, clothing, shelter or medical supplies. The list of Allied atrocities is mind boggling.

      If you honestly believe all the US propaganda surrounding every war the US has waged, you are the one who is insane, and needs help my friend.

      • If one is willing to unconditionally surrender, then one simply unconditionally surrenders. Japan did not do that. Yes, they made some backchannel overtures to the Soviet Union, which were NOT unconditional and unlikely to be accepted, and for which it wasn’t even certain the emperor had enough internal support to follow-through on. Japan did not unconditionally surrender after the first A-bomb.. why? For all of you claiming over and over again Japan was willing to surrender, the simple fact is, they didn’t.

    • Americans are swamped with misinformation as you show here. Japan had offered to surrender several times since May 1945, three months before the atomic bombings. The US Army began very detailed planning for the occupation but surrender acceptance was delayed until the two bombs could be dropped. Watch this short documentary that is sure to change your view.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6a_ZveCUck

      It also shows that Japan did not surrender unconditionally.

    • Its part of the historical record that Japan had tried to negotiate a surrender. Former President Herbert Hoover wrote that he had spoken to General MacArthur after WW2 about the Japanese offer to surrender in February 1945 — whether the Japanese had offered to surrender under the same terms US gave them in August 1945. MacArthur confirmed that the Unconditional Surrender terms were the same that the Japanese had offered in February.

      In other words, the war in the Pacific could have ended 6 month prior and saved tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of lives

    • Exactly… I find this all a slap in the face to the generation that gave us, and the world so much!!!!

  • What made WWII so horrible was that the horror, mayham, death and destruction was not confined to the battlefield but was, instead, often directed at civilian populations by all sides. Prior to the nuclear destruction of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, both with no military importance, in February, 1945, Allied forcces firebombed Dresden Germany, also of no military importance, incineratng 120,000 civiians. Civilians were also slaughtered in Manchuria, the Phillipines, Leningrad, London, Berlin, Rome, Belgrade, Warsaw, and on and on. We, the USA, have also killed an untold number of innocent civilians in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, LIbya, Syria either covertly through sanctions or proxies or overtly.
    My Dad was a kind soul, that was why he was a medic, more interested in saving lives than taking them. If the invasion of the Japanese homeland would have occurred he would have only been 19 years old. If peace woud have been negotiated in 1942, I surmise that he would have been elated by not having to leave his Colorado mountain home for the horrors in the Pacific war zone. Certain death from an invasion or a prior surrender and the end of war is a pretty easy choice. If our leaders in DC did not take Japan’s surrender offer in 1942 and dropped two atomic bombs on civilians, while, at the same time, negotiating a surrender in 1945 ,that is on them and not the men and women who were tasked with fighting the war.

  • I have this book entitled “Hiroshima” by John Hersey. This was first published in the New Yorker, August 1946 and in Penguin Books November 1946. In May of that year The New Yorker sent John Hersey to the Far East to find out what had really happened at Hiroshima. As a journalist he stayed in Japan to find out how they thought about the suffering and the destruction of their city and the loss of their families and friends.
    His book is about the experiences of actual witnesses and the stories are their stories in their own words.
    One was a Roman Catholic priest, a German. The other five were Japanese, a hospital doctor, a private practice doctor, and office girl, a clergyman and a tailors widow. Six ordinary men and women.
    On page 19 he writes that an announcer on the city’s radio station said on the night before the bomb dropped that about two hundred B 29s were approaching Southern Honshu and advised the population of Hiroshima to evacuate to their designated safe areas.
    So what were 200 planes doing over Hiroshima on that dreadful night. They must have had a purpose? What was it?

  • My Dad was slated for the invasion of Japan by serving the U.S. Marines as a Combat Hospital Corpsman. During previous WWII Pacific-island invasions, combat hospital corpsmen, even with a red cross on their helmets and sleeves, had a high mortality rate due to enemy soldiers not honoring the Geneva Convention.
    My Dad told me that if not for the Japanese unconditional surrender after the dropping of the two atomic bombs, I wouldn’t be here, because, he wouldn’t have made it home.
    Whether Japan would have suurendered without the destruction unleashed by the atomic bombs and prior to an Allied invasion of their mainland is subject to debate.The Japanese civilian population might have had enough of war but their military showed no willingness to quit and seemed willing to fight to he last man.
    To my Dad there was no debate!

    • What if Japan and the US had negotiated a surrender? Which would your dad have preferred: Nuking a city filled with women and children, Invading Japan or accepting Japan’s negotiated surrender?

      Japan had been trying to negotiate a surrender since 1942. And the terms the US accepted AFTER the the Unconditional surrender of Japan were the same terms the Japanese government had offered in February 1945.

    • Sorry, your Dad was wrong, but then he was only a soldier. Records show the Japanese command had already agreed to surrender and were negotiating terms, mainly their emperor’s status. The bombs were still dropped, against Gen Eisenhower’s advice, to 1. Test two different nuclear recipes on Asians, who were “evil”, those old women and children, and 2. To warn the Soviets that they stay out of Japan. Cynical and barbaric action, shameful for civilized people.

      • Wrong about what exactly? Not wanting to die in an invasion? All he cared about was staying alive and having the war end. Attacking Pearl Harbor, the atrocities, rape and murder in Manchuria and the Phillipines were barbaric actions, shameful for civilized people.

        “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” -From the diary of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.

        • Now you’re switching your argument. First you argue that all your dad wanted was to live, now you’re arguing nuking innocent women and children was justified based on the actions of Japanese generals and their subordinates.

          If all you dad cared about was surviving then he’d have chosen a negotiated surrender –6 months before August 6th.

          • “If all you dad cared about was surviving then he’d have chosen a negotiated surrender –6 months before August 6th.”
            Are you serious? My old man wasn’t Harry Truman; he was a grunt. The Manhattan Project was so secret that even Truman didn’t know about it until he became president. If the US actions were shameful and barbaric for a civilized people so were the Japanese actions. They aligned with Nazi Germany and attacked their neighbors and us first. Unfortunately, whether in Europe, Asia or the Pacific, civilians took the brunt of the violence. Hitler gassed six million innocent Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, etc, 120, 000 innocent civilians were incinerated in Dresden, 10 million innocent Chinese civilians were brutally tortured and murdered by the Japanese, 16 million innocent Russian civilians were murdered by the Nazis. These casualties also included millions of old men, women and children.Horrible war! The atom bomb is a horrific weapon and hopefully will never be used again but no matter the means, dead is dead!

  • What is know has to be said. What happened has to be faced. History, that baffling mess, has to be confronted. When you fail in the duty to truth, malevolence fills the vacuum. The evidence for that miserable proposition has been accumulating for generation Ian Bell Scottish journalist wrote in 1912.Today, tens of thousands of war memorials in villages, towns and cities across the world bear witness to the great, the betrayal, that they died for the greater glory of god and that we might be free It is a lie that binds them in myth They are remembered in empty roll calls to conceal the wars true purpose. What they deserve is the truth ,and we must not fail them in that duty. You doing a wonderfull service Caitlyn.

  • The US is operating under the assumption that REGARDLESS OF THE SITUATION, REGARDLESS OF THE ILLEGAL ACTS IT COMMITS EVERY DAY AGAINST OTHER NATIONS, no nuclear nation will preemptively strike the US with a nuclear weapon because the US’s retaliatory strike would destroy that nation. The problem with this logic is that when it becomes apparent to victims of US hegemony that the US is going to inevitably destroy them anyway, they will indeed carry out that first strike.

    • unless the victims are morally superior to us hegemony.

  • My mind continues to dustbin unpleasant or painful thoughts and memories. Before this article by Ms Johnstone today the bombing of Japan today did not cross my mind. As a child we neighborhood children would go to the local movie house for feature films and cartoons. One of my uncles visited us and I went with him to the movie house on a Friday evening and we saw the movie ” five ” which was about the aftermath of a nuclear war and its five survivors. I had nightmares for months afterward. My government has always been a ” war criminal “; that is all that it knows how to do!

  • I agree totally with your article and analysis, Caitlin. I lived just a little further West of Hiroshima-city for nearly 15 years and came to know a number of people in the Hiroshima city environs who were Hibakusha or otherwuse had their homes/ families obliterated by a bomb there and then as you point out three days later another version dropped on Nagasaki (because Kitakyushu city was covered by cloud) – all so the US could intimidate the Soviet Union with their destructive capacity. Not their conscience-saving tale of hundreds of thousands of US troops probably/possibly dying in the planned-for invasion and occupation of Japan. Total bullshit and standard US propaganda. Harry Truman was a weak President forced into agreeing to the bombs being dropped on Hiroshima and on Nagasaki by his militarist “advisers”! Check out Ronald Takaki’s Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Atomic Bomb – 1995 (UCLA Berkeley Professor of Ethnic Studies)!

  • Nice piece, but perhaps needs one bit of clarification. When Caitlin speaks of the amount of brainpower and treasure that went into creating these bombs, the program began with a different purpose in mind. One of the leading places in atomic research before the war was Germany. Allied intelligence confirmed that Germany was trying to produce an atomic bomb. This was what led Albert Einstein to write his famous letter to FDR that convinced the government of the need to start the Manhattan Project. It was the fear of scientists of what Hitler would do with such a weapon.
    For the early portion of the Manhattan Project, it was thus a group working overtime to try to beat Hitler to the bomb. At some point, I think before Hitler blew his brains out in his bunker, IIRC US intelligence had learned that Hitler had transferred money and resources away from the atomic bomb and over to his missile program and his V-1 and V-2 missiles.
    Thus, many of the scientists on the Manhattan Project were campaigning (in secret of course as this was all top secret) that the program should be stopped now that Hitler having an atomic bomb was no longer a threat. But by then the military was in charge and General Grove and his superiors kept the program going to its eventual conclusion.
    So, back to the brainpower and money spent on this huge program and whether that could have been better spent, that comes back to some of the interesting ethical questions around a time like WW2. When faced with an aggressive and quite nasty leader who has crushed all internal opposition (the leftists were some of the first sent to the camps) and who controls a modern industrial power which can support a powerful military, is it wrong to develop something like the atomic bomb in an attempt to stop him?
    Well, that’s for the first portions of the atomic program. After they knew that Hitler would never have the bomb, then the decisions made to go further were much more evil.

    • Allied bombers needed no nuclear monster bomb to reduce Germany’s and Japan’s cities to cinders. They had pretty well done that already. Would the Japanese have surrendered in the absence of a full scale ground invasion regardless of their population centers having been utterly destroyed from the air? Extract that answer from the fate of Okinawa and lessons learned there to extrapolate it across all Japan. Arm chair wannabe generals with 20/20 hindsight? Priceless.

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