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BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?

Bobert 07 Aug 04 - 11:00 PM
SINSULL 07 Aug 04 - 11:06 PM
SINSULL 07 Aug 04 - 11:16 PM
Rabbi-Sol 07 Aug 04 - 11:17 PM
GUEST 07 Aug 04 - 11:22 PM
Rabbi-Sol 07 Aug 04 - 11:33 PM
Jack the Sailor 07 Aug 04 - 11:36 PM
Big Al Whittle 07 Aug 04 - 11:39 PM
GUEST 07 Aug 04 - 11:45 PM
Once Famous 07 Aug 04 - 11:48 PM
GUEST,peedeecee 07 Aug 04 - 11:52 PM
Rabbi-Sol 07 Aug 04 - 11:53 PM
GUEST,sorefingers 08 Aug 04 - 12:06 AM
GUEST 08 Aug 04 - 12:06 AM
Rabbi-Sol 08 Aug 04 - 12:15 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Aug 04 - 12:20 AM
GUEST 08 Aug 04 - 12:23 AM
Rabbi-Sol 08 Aug 04 - 12:29 AM
GUEST 08 Aug 04 - 12:29 AM
GUEST 08 Aug 04 - 12:30 AM
GUEST 08 Aug 04 - 12:32 AM
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Peace 08 Aug 04 - 12:39 AM
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Subject: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Bobert
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 11:00 PM

Ahhh, another demostartion at the new avaition museaum near Dulles Airport against the Enola Gay and Iz asking myself, "Ahhhh, just why was this bomb dropped on Hirohama?"

Really. There are lots of folks who thought that Japan was beaten and trying to broker a surrender when it was dropped, including, from what I've heard, Dwight Eisenhower...

So why drop it? I'm serious.... I'd really liike to know...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 11:06 PM

Big Surprise. Our government lied to us and thousands died or paid the price.

Bobert, your spelling has gone straight to hell. Are you alright?
SINS


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 11:16 PM

Sorry - the usual answer is that we needed to prove to Russia that we had THE BOMB. Actually we had only two and we used them on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 11:17 PM

For those of you who are old enough to remember WWII, Truman had a very agonizing decision to make. The cost in lives, both, American and Japanese, would have been much greater, had we undertaken an invasion of Japan by conventional means. All the intelligence we had indicated that the Japanese would have resisted the invasion stubbornly, by any means at their disposal. Having experienced their kamikazee pilots crashing into our battleships, we already knew that they had no fear and would fight to the last man. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the only way to convince tha Japanese that all further resistance was futile, and brought an abrupt end to a very long war. SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 11:22 PM

Harry Truman, the worst American war criminal in history.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 11:33 PM

Guest: Did you actually live through WWII ? SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 11:36 PM

Exactly why they dropped The Bomb is one thing. Why they are so proud of it they have to put the plane on display is a better question.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 11:39 PM

Maybe but the standard is not very high compared to the number of war criminals other places have churned out. Anyway the Americans were a damn sight more humane that the japanese were to any of trhe countries they waged war against. they gave Japan a more liberal society.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 11:45 PM

The United States of America: the only country ever to use nuclear weapons, used them as soon as they had them, and used all they had.

Nothing like nuking people to get them to come around to your way of thinking...


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Once Famous
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 11:48 PM

I'd like to nuke you, Guest and then puke on you.

Nuke and puke, Guest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST,peedeecee
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 11:52 PM

Martin Gibson's post reflects the standard, reflexive thinking of the rightwing nut. No thought, no insight, no considered opinion -- just the reflexive invective.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 11:53 PM

You also have to remember that there was no internet or modern communications in those days. If the Japanese were ready to surrender, they certainly did not indicate so at that time. Eisenhower was the commander in Europe not in the Pacific where MacArthur was running the show. Truman had a very tough decision to make. As Vice President, he knew nothing about the secret atomic bomb. When Roosevelt died, and Truman was suddenly thrust into office, he had to be briefed and was forced to make a decision based upon the little information that he had. Until the bomb was actually used, I do not think that anyone actually realized the tremendous destructive power that it had. Based upon what we know today, you may want to consider Harry Truman a war criminal. But based on the limited knowlege we had then, (and I lived through those times), I feel he made the correct decision. SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:06 AM

Of the colonisation of weaker people the Anglos were the least brutal so far, however this case shows them on the high road to hell.

At the end of the war and admitting that Japan initiated it -
probably in a badly planned attempt to stop FURTHER Anglo incursions in the Pacific - there is still very weak evidence supporting the case cited by the Rebbe, with due respect OC.

One American friend of mine has privately stated to me that this act was the most criminal in the history of the human race, since even if the war had lasted longer it was NOT civilans who would have died but military - and for that reason I do agree with the criticism.

In fact, history will record the US as a hard task master and along with the other Anglo wannabe empires be remembered for the people they obliterated, the languages and cultures they smothered and the land they simply took by robbery from the unfortunate owners.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:06 AM

--80,000 people were killed instantly

--Out of the city's 55 hospitals, only 3 were usable after the blast.

--90% of all doctors and nurses in Hiroshima were killed or injured

--Radiation claimed many more lives after the bomb was dropped.

--48,000 out of 76,000 buildings were destroyed.

--The initial heat blast was 900 times hotter than the sun.

--Bodies were vapourised underneath the bomb blast.

--By 1950, 200,000 people had died as a result of the bomb.

--Between 1950 and 1980, a further 97,000 people died from cancers associated with the radiation caused by "Little Boy".


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:15 AM

20/20 hindsight and Monday morning quarterbacking are great tools. If Truman knew in advance what the results would have been, perhaps his decision would have been different. However he was in uncharted territory and had to make a very difficut decision. SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:20 AM

The cost in lives, both, American and Japanese, would have been much greater, had we undertaken an invasion of Japan by conventional means.

Rabbi Sol, you may have lived through it, but you also bought the party line, hook line and sinker.

Proof does exist that they wanted to test it out and make an impression, as stated above, on the Russians and others. I've written about it here at Mudcat before, so I won't reproduce my work. I'll track it down and post a link later.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:23 AM

Some of the worst effects of radiation poisoning: the bleeding.

Bleeding from the eyes.

Bleeding through the skin.

Bleeding began usually from the gums and in the more seriously affected was soon evident from every possible source.

The bleeding time and the coagulation time were prolonged.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:29 AM

Guest: We all realize the horrors of nuclear war. No need to elaborate further. We just have to hope and pray that WWII will be the last time time in history that a nuclear weapon is ever used on this planet, and that some madman like Osama never gets his hands on one. SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:29 AM

Bard Memorandum, June 27, 1945

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Memorandum by Ralph A. Bard, Undersecretary of the Navy, to Secretary of War Stimson, June 27, 1945
Source: U.S. National Archives, Record Group 77, Records of the Chief of Engineers, Manhattan Engineer District, Harrison-Bundy File, folder #77, "Interim Committee, International Control".


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SECRET -- TOP SECRET -- SECRET
REGRADED UNCLASSIFIED
ORDER SEC ARMY BY TAG PER
721164

CLASSIFICATION CHANGED
UNCLASSIFIED
To...........
By authority of: SEC ARMY
BY TAG per 710554
Date 9/29/71 WHC-NARS

Copy 1 of 2 copies each
of 1 pages series A

MEMORANDUM ON THE USE OF S-1 BOMB:

Ever since I have been in touch with this program I have had a feeling that before the bomb is actually used against Japan that Japan should have some preliminary warning for say two or three days in advance of use. The position of the United States as a great humanitarian nation and the fair play attitude of our people generally is responsible in the main for this feeling.

During recent weeks I have also had the feeling very definitely that the Japanese government may be searching for some opportunity which they could use as a medium of surrender. Following the three-power conference emissaries from this country could contact representatives from Japan somewhere on the China Coast and make representations with regard to Russia's position and at the same time give them some information regarding the proposed use of atomic power, together with whatever assurances the President might care to make with regard to the Emperor of Japan and the treatment of the Japanese nation following unconditional surrender. It seems quite possible to me that this presents the opportunity which the Japanese are looking for.

I don't see that we have anything in particular to lose in following such a program. The stakes are so tremendous that it is my opinion very real consideration should be given to some plan of this kind. I do not believe under present circumstances existing that there is anyone in this country whose evaluation of the chances of the success of such a program is worth a great deal. The only way to find out is to try it out.

                                  [signature]
                                  RALPH A. BARD

27 June 1945


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:30 AM

Szilard Petition, First Version, July 3, 1945
Source: U.S. National Archives, Record Group 77, Records of the Chief of Engineers, Manhattan Engineer District, Harrison-Bundy File, folder #76.
The first version of Leo Szilard's petition, dated July 3, 1945, was more strongly worded than the final version. It was also more specific in identifying the moral issues that he believed were involved.

Rejecting the pretense that the targets would be military, the petition called atomic bombs "a means for the ruthless annihilation of cities."

The bombing of cities, it continued, "had been condemned by American public opinion only a few years ago when applied by the Germans to the cities of England. Our use of atomic bombs in this war would carry the world a long way further on this path of ruthlessness."

The petition concluded by requesting the President "to rule that the United States shall not, in the present phase of the war, resort to the use of atomic bombs."

The July 3 version received 59 signatures at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, but it was not submitted to the President in this form. Szilard sought to broaden support, and rewrote it into the final version of July 17.


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SECRET

THIS PAGE REGRADED UNCLASSIFIED
Order Sec Army
720564

                                        July 3, 1945

A PETITION TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Discoveries of which the people of the United States are not aware may affect the welfare of this nation in the near future. The liberation of atomic power which has been achieved places atomic bombs in the hands of the Army. It places in your hands, as Commander-in-Chief, the fateful decision whether or not to sanction the use of such bombs in the present phase of the war against Japan.

We, the undersigned scientists, have been working in the field of atomic power for a number of years. Until recently we have had to reckon with the possibility that the United States might be attacked by atomic bombs during this war and that her only defense might lie in a counterattack by the same means. Today with this danger averted we feel impelled to say what follows:

The war has to be brought speedily to a successful conclusion and the destruction of Japanese cities by means of atomic bombs may very well be an effective method of warfare. We feel, however, that such an attack on Japan could not be justified in the present circumstances. We believe that the United States ought not to resort to the use of atomic bombs in the present phase of the war, at least not unless the terms which will be imposed upon Japan after the war are publicly announced and subsequently Japan is given an opportunity to surrender.

If such public announcement gave assurance to the Japanese that they could look forward to a life devoted to peaceful pursuits in their homeland and if Japan still refused to surrender, our nation would then be faced with a situation which might require a re-examination of her position with respect to the use of atomic bombs in the war.

Atomic bombs are primarily a means for the ruthless annihilation of cities. Once they were introduced as an instrument of war it would be difficult to resist for long the temptation of putting them to such use.

The last few years show a marked tendency toward increasing ruthlessness. At present our Air Forces, striking at the Japanese cities, are using the same methods of warfare which were condemned by American public opinion only a few years ago when applied by the Germans to the cities of England. Our use of atomic bombs in this war would carry the world a long way further on this path of ruthlessness.

Atomic power will provide the nations with new means of destruction. The atomic bombs at our disposal represent only the first step in this direction and there is almost no limit to the destructive power which will become available in the course of this development. Thus a nation which sets the precedent of using these newly liberated forces of nature for purposes of destruction may have to bear the responsibility of opening the door to an era of devastation on an unimaginable scale.

In view of the foregoing, we, the undersigned, respectfully petition that you exercise your power as Commander-in-Chief to rule that the United States shall not, in the present phase of the war, resort to the use of atomic bombs.

Leo Szilard and 58 co-signers

[Source for number of signers of July 3 petition: Szilard to Frank Oppenheimer, July 23, 1945, Robert Oppenheimer Papers, Library of Congress, Washington D.C.]


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:32 AM

Oak Ridge petition, July 13, 1945
Source: U.S. National Archives, Record Group 77, Records of the Chief of Engineers, Manhattan Engineer District, Harrison-Bundy File, folder #76.
Leo Szilard sent copies of the July 3 version of the Chicago petition to the Manhattan Project laboratory at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. After discussion and debate, the Oak Ridge scientists produced two similar petitions.

The petition reproduced below endorsed the July 3 version, with a modification to the last paragraph. This petition received 18 signatures, which are listed here in alphabetical order.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                           July 13, 1945.

We, the undersigned, agree in essence with the attached petition, but feel that our attitude is more clearly expressed if its last paragraph is replaced by the following:

We respectfully petition that the use of atomic bombs, particularly against cities, be sanctioned by you as the Chief Executive only under the following conditions:
1. Opportunity has been given to the Japanese to surrender on terms ensuring them the possibility of peaceful development in their homeland.
2. Convincing warnings have been given that a refusal to surrender will be followed by the use of a new weapon.
3. Responsibility for use of atomic bombs is shared with our allies.
[in alphabetical order:]
1. Garland M. Branch, Jr.
2. Edmond D. Cashwell
3. Frank C. Hoyt
4. Edwin P. Meiners, Jr.
5. Forrest H. Murray
6. Lothar W. Nordheim
7. Lionel D. Norris, Jr.
8. Louis A. Pardue
9. J. H. Rush
10. Raymond B. Sawyer
11. David Saxon
12. Richard Scalettar
13. Frederic Schuler
14. Harold Schweinler
15. Arthur H. Snell
16. Harry Soodak
17. Alvin M. Weinberg
18. E. O. Wollan

Note: These names were transcribed from hand-written signatures. Although efforts have been made to verify correct spelling, errors may remain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:38 AM

Do you have any proof that Truman ever saw this document prior to making his decision ? There also may have been other documents which gave a contrary point of view that Truman had access to. He had to weigh all the information and make a decision. As he said " The buck stopped with him". SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Peace
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:39 AM

Internal Royal Air Force memo (January, 1945)

Dresden, the seventh largest city in Germany and not much smaller than Manchester, is also far the largest unbombed built-up the enemy has got. In the midst of winter with refugees pouring westwards and troops to be rested, roofs are at a premium. The intentions of the attack are to hit the enemy where he will feel it most, behind an already partially collapsed front, to prevent the use of the city in the way of further advance, and incidentally to show the Russians when they arrive what Bomber Command can do.

Taken from the following site.

www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWdresden.htm


I do not belittle or minimize the terrible events of August 6 and 8, 1945. Estimates of the Dresden bombing and resulting firestorm are that between 35,000 and 100,000 people died. As with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the vast majority of dead were civilian, and the cities had no military value (they did not produce war materiel).

I think the decision to use the bombs was meant to accomplish a few things: end the war with Japan and tell Russia to behave in Europe and Asia. It is one thing to say you have a weapon of mass destruction. It is quite another to demonstrate you have the will to use it.

Canada was a world leader in bio-chem warfare until early in the 1960s. I am happy we got out of the business of mass murder. Firestorms and ABC warfare are horrible, ugly things, and they have NO place on the face of this planet. There are some things that should just be uninvented.

One has to wonder about the type of mind that can conceive of mass murder. It can't be human--but we know it is. Makes a guy wonder.

Bruce M


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:42 AM

Official Bombing Order, July 25, 1945

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: U.S. National Archives, Record Group 77, Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, Manhattan Engineer District, TS Manhattan Project File '42 to '46, Folder 5B "(Directives, Memos, Etc. to and from C/S, S/W, etc.)."
The written order for the use of the atomic bomb against Japanese cities was drafted by General Groves. President Truman and Secretary of War Stimson approved the order at Potsdam.

The order made no mention of targetting military objectives or sparing civilians. The cities themselves were the targets. The order was also open-ended. "Additional bombs" could be dropped "as soon as made ready by the project staff."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                         TOP SECRET

                  DECLASSIFIED
         E.O. 11652, Secs 3(E) and 5(D) or (E)
         NND 730039
         By ERC NARS, Date 6-4-74



                                        25 July 1945


TO:   General Carl Spaatz
      Commanding General
      United States Army Strategic Air Forces

    1. The 509 Composite Group, 20th Air Force will
deliver its first special bomb as soon as weather will
permit visual bombing after about 3 August 1945 on one of the
targets: Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata and Nagasaki. To
carry military and civilian scientific personnel from the
War Department to observe and record the effects of the
explosion of the bomb, additional aircraft will accompany
the airplane carrying the bomb. The observing planes will
stay several miles distant from the point of impact of the
bomb.

    2. Additional bombs will be delivered on the above
targets as soon as made ready by the project staff. Further
instructions will be issued concerning targets other than
those listed above.

    3. Discussion of any and all information concerning
the use of the weapon against Japan is reserved to the
Secretary of War and the President of the United States.
No communiques on the subject or releases of information
will be issued by Commanders in the field without specific
prior authority. Any news stories will be sent to the War
Department for specific clearance.

4. The foregoing directive is issued to you by direc-
tion and with the approval of the Secretary of War and of
the Chief of Staff, USA. It is desired that you personally
deliver one copy of this directive to General MacArthur and
one copy to Admiral Nimitz for their information.

                      (Sgd) THOS. T. HANDY

                           THOS. T. HANDY
                           General, G.S.C.
                           Acting Chief of Staff

copy for General Groves


                         TOP SECRET


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:43 AM

Harry S. Truman, Diary, July 25, 1945

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
President Truman told his diary on July 25, 1945, that he had ordered the bomb used.
Emphasis has been added to highlight Truman's apparent belief that he had ordered the bomb dropped on a "purely military" target, so that "military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children."


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We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. It may be the fire destruction prophesied in the Euphrates Valley Era, after Noah and his fabulous Ark.

Anyway we "think" we have found the way to cause a disintegration of the atom. An experiment in the New Mexico desert was startling - to put it mildly. Thirteen pounds of the explosive caused the complete disintegration of a steel tower 60 feet high, created a crater 6 feet deep and 1,200 feet in diameter, knocked over a steel tower 1/2 mile away and knocked men down 10,000 yards away. The explosion was visible for more than 200 miles and audible for 40 miles and more.

This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10th. I have told the Sec. of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital or the new.

He and I are in accord. The target will be a purely military one and we will issue a warning statement asking the Japs to surrender and save lives. I'm sure they will not do that, but we will have given them the chance. It is certainly a good thing for the world that Hitler's crowd or Stalin's did not discover this atomic bomb. It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful...

Truman quoted in Robert H. Ferrell, Off the Record: The Private Papers of Harry S. Truman (New York: Harper and Row, 1980) pp. 55-56. Truman's writings are in the public domain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:44 AM

Truman Speech, August 9, 1945 (excerpt)

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In a radio speech to the nation on August 9, 1945, President Truman called Hiroshima "a military base." It seems likely, considering his July 25 diary entry, that he was not aware that Hiroshima was a city. Otherwise, he was being untruthful about the nature of the target.
Truman delivered his speech from the White House at 10 P.M. Washington time on August 9, 1945. By this time, a second atomic bomb already had destroyed the city of Nagasaki. Because of the great length of the speech, most of which dealt with Germany, only the relevant paragraph is quoted here.


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The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians. But that attack is only a warning of things to come. If Japan does not surrender, bombs will have to be dropped on her war industries and, unfortunately, thousands of civilian lives will be lost. I urge Japanese civilians to leave industrial cities immediately, and save themselves from destruction.

Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, Containing the Public Messages, Speeches and Statements of the President April 12 to December 31, 1945 (Washington D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1961) page 212. The full text also was published in the New York Times, August 10, 1945, page 12.

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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:59 AM

Published on Tuesday, August 6, 2002 in the Toronto Star
Lessons of Hiroshima
Using Nuclear Bombs on Japan Was a Political, Not Military, Decision
by Kevin Black

IT HAS BEEN observed so often that truth is the first casualty of war that it is now a banal remark rather than an insightful critical comment. However, of greater consequence than the death of truth is the surrender of critical thinking.

Golden anniversaries of crucial events are often used to proclaim the lessons learned from the past. But if history was never truly understood because it was purposefully misrepresented, exactly what lessons have we learned?

Deeply entrenched and culturally significant historical misrepresentations are very difficult to dispel within the lifetime of those responsible for the event. Anniversaries of those events are occasions when critical thinking must occur. Received historical stories must be challenged and held up to thorough critical scrutiny.

Today is one such anniversary. Fifty-seven years ago the first of only two atomic bombs ever used in war was unleashed.

At 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 6, 1945, a 22 kiloton A-bomb was dropped in the commercial heart of a then unknown city: Hiroshima. Fifty thousand people died in the first few moments of the surprise attack; within five years another 150,000 of the survivors were dead from injuries resulting from massive irradiation. A similar event happened three days later in Japan's only center of Christianity: Nagasaki.

Aside from some resilient trees, a skeletal building or two, and some charred artifacts, these statistics and others (e.g., the heat of the bomb, the force of the blast) are the only objective historical remains in existence from those two days.

Conversely, the history we almost completely rely on to form our evaluations and understandings of the events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the subjective stories from both North America and Japan.

However, we have been consistently hampered in our understanding of these apocalyptic events for two reasons: The first is a result of our basic human inability to describe experiences that are so far beyond our everyday reality as to be inexplicable.

Even the hibakusha, or A-bomb survivors, experienced this difficulty.

The second reason for our near universal misunderstanding of the twin nuclear holocausts stems from an equally human, but more socially harmful motivation. We have been collectively blocked from a critical understanding of the A-bombings because of a lack of public criticism in the face of a powerful and purposeful historical misrepresentation that began with President Harry Truman in the years following 1945 and is only ending now, albeit very slowly.

The ongoing declassification of U.S. government documents and officials' diaries have fairly recently revealed evidence that the history lessons that we were taught after the end of the Pacific War were false. To wit:

The Joint Chiefs of Staff and every other high military official, as well as all Truman's key advisers, save one, were against the use of the A-bombs against the Japanese. Many were particularly concerned about the impact to America's moral stature for using bombs that they considered barbaric, especially upon a nation that they knew was beaten. After all, the U.S. military had already gained complete domination of Japanese airspace and waterways. They were simply waiting for the terms of surrender to be formulated between the U.S. and Japanese governments.

Truman repeatedly delayed acceptance of the Japanese government's conditional surrender attempts until after both types of A-bomb had been used.

Truman's physical target for the A-bombs were the Japanese, but the political target was his ally, but ideological opposite, Joseph Stalin.

Hiroshima's city center was targeted because its high population and building density would maximally display to the Soviets the killing and destructive power of America's new weapon.

The deciding factors for the Japanese government's capitulation were the entry of the Soviet Union into the Pacific War coupled with America's post-bombing acceptance of conditional surrender.

The story of a million American lives (and many more Japanese lives) saved by the A-bombs was a complete fabrication designed to eliminate public criticism of the president's decision.

Thus, the twin destructive forces of "Fat Man" and "Little Boy" were of political, but not military, utility. In other words, the nuclear holocausts were used for the purpose of "atomic diplomacy" with the Soviets rather than to bring a swift end to the war.

This is a completely different — yet more accurate and fully developed — story than the one that we have received for the previous 50 years.

Since we know that truth is a casualty to war, we must understand that our public history lessons are sometimes false.

The lesson of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is that we must all be vigilant regarding the official stories promoted by government leaders and officials, especially during and after times of war.
Kevin Black is a clinical psychologist who has lived and worked in Hiroshima.

Copyright 1996-2002. Toronto Star Newspapers Limited


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 01:06 AM

In addition to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, the March 1945 fire bomb raid on Tokyo killed nearly 100,000 people and injured over 1,000,000, and the May 1945 fire bomb raid killed another 83,000.

The decision to use nuclear weapons and to force an unconditional surrender, rather than negotiate a peace treaty (which is what was done after the bombing), was a political decision, not a military decision dictated by military necessity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 01:12 AM

If anyone is truly interested in having more information about the events leading to the use of atomic weapons by the US and of H.S. Truman's role in the decision, I suggest reading the well informed and carefully documented book The Myths of August: A Personal Exploration of Our Tragic Cold War Affair With the Atom by Stewart L. Udall. It's been quite a while since I last read this but as I recall, Truman wasn't told about the bomb or its planned use until just before it was dropped.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 01:33 AM

Casida of Sobbing

         Federico Garcia Lorca, tr. Robert Bly

   I have shut my balcony door
because I don't want to hear the sobbing,
but from behind the grayish walls
nothing else comes out but sobbing.

   Very few angels are singing,
very few dogs are barking,
a thousand violins fit into the palm of my hand.

   But the sobbing is a gigantic dog,
the sobbing is a gigantic angel,
the sobbing is a gigantic violin,
tears close the wind's jaws,
all there is to hear is sobbing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 01:55 AM

The Grief of Losing One's Own Flesh and Blood

            by Japanese poet Shinoe Shoda (1910-1965), who had been exposed to the bomb in Hiroshima

The woman goes mad-
She had fled, leaving her husband
And seven children in the blazing fire.

A lone survivor,
She is grieved to be alive,
Longing for her husband.

A 50-year-old woman,
Heavily made up with rouge and powder,
Walks, deranged, crying,
"I want to have a baby. I want to marry."

Under the scorching sun
In the field of debris
Stands a charred tree,
Against which leans
The body of a woman who hanged herself.

Having lost five members of his family,
Driven to the utmost grief,
My elder brother-in-law
Wanders about the ruins night after night.

Oh for surgery to remove the memories of bygone days.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Nerd
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 02:18 AM

GUEST,

you have posted some contradictory things above. Several suggest that Truman was not aware that he would be bombing civilians. Then we are told differently by a clinical psychologist (?) writing for a Canadian newspaper. But whom should we believe?

As for the petitions, they are meaningless unless you can prove Truman read them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 03:14 AM

This is a pointless discussion. Right or wrong (and IMOO it was wrong, wrong, wrong), it's done and it can't be undone. Maybe you should all be putting your energy to better use, like speaking out about the plight of hundreds of thousands of innocent people starving to death in the Sudan RIGHT NOW! Unlike events that took place almost sixty years ago, that's a subject that people's current opinions can have an effect upon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Gurney
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 04:01 AM

Was there anyone in America, England, Austraia, Canada, New Zealand, India, and the smaller allied countries who DIDN'T celebrate the abrupt end of WW2 AT THAT TIME? Regardless of what it cost the then enemy?

I know my family did. They had three in uniform and one a prisoner of the Japanese.

Hindsight is a brave thing, but you can do nothing at all in hindsight. Hindsight is for scholars who were not in uniform and carrying a bundook in the 40's.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: kendall
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 04:17 AM

Have any of you revisionist ever studied the battle of Okinawa? That was a preview to the invasion of Japan.

When I was in the service I had a shipmate who, as a small boy, had his throat cut by a Japanese soldier. He said it was a game with them to toss Filipino babies into the air and spear them on bayonets.That was not an isolated incident; those soldiers were worse than animals.Are the people who were killed in Hiroshima any deader than the ones who were killed in the firestorm in Dresden? Are they any deader than the American soldiers who were slaughtered on the Bataan death march? How about some sympathy for them?

Furthermore, Germany was also working on the bomb. Are we grateful that they never got to drop one on London?


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 04:21 AM

Quoute="boberet your spellingf has gone to hell, you alrright?"

his spelling looks ok to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: kendall
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 04:26 AM

Furthermore, Truman didn't invade the wrong country like this dildo we have in the White House now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 04:33 AM

Good point Gurney - my uncle died in Changi, a prisoner of the Japanese, and I remember my family's attitude, when I was a child in the 50s, was that the Japs got what they deserved. That was pretty much the universal view in the years following the war. It's very easy now, for people who had no involvement in the horrors of that conflict, to try to take a high moral stance and 'tut-tut' at the actions of those who were involved.

With the benefit of hindsight we may say the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were wrong, but the mind-set of people back in '45, after several years of war against an enemy whose savagery and inhumanity to his opponents almost defies belief, was naturally very different to ours today.

There but for the grace of God...............


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: freda underhill
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 05:27 AM

Tony Benn (alias the Right Honourable Anthony Wedgewood Benn, P.C.), a former British Cabinet Minister of the time, said on the BBC Radio Four service on the 50th anniversary of Hiroshima, that the attack on Hiroshima was unnecessary, that the Japanese had already agreed to surrender, and that the use of the atomic bomb was part of an American conspiracy to terrorise the rest of the world with this manifestation of its power.

Scottish poet Tom McGowran wrote the following poem on the 50th anniversary:   

Remembering Hiroshima
lines on the fiftieth anniversary
O, fortunate man:
Wrists bound, knees bent, head bowed,
Staring into the shadowed trench;
The blade is swift, the slice is sure.

Sightless, he sees what might have been.
Crushed into a basket, the wicker constrains
The drowning man's despairing, hopeful struggle,
While the clear salt water scalds his lungs.
. . . Or,
Trailed behind the boat as sharkbait,
Leaking blood to attract the sport
And excite the laughter.
Perhaps, at dusk,
Strung by his thumbs to a branch,
(His toes, even with the rocks attached,
Yet still failing to reach the ground)
He awaits the morning's bayonet drill.
His friends had had it worse. Old Joe,
Trussed with barbèd wire, mouth stopped,
Pumped through his nose with water,
Died beneath the boots that jumped and split
His distended stomach open
To their wearers' laughter.

But the destruction of the body is nothing.
The ritual is spiritual. They do it for the pain;
And, yet, better, for the agony
And for the ecstasy the agony gives them.

O, how they love their cruelty,
These little yellow men.

Thank God: he hadn't been a woman,
A pleasured nurse, gang-raped through the long night hours,
Tortured near to death,
Taken to the beach to wash
Irremediable stains
From broken body,
And machine-gunned standing in the surf.

Or, disembowelled to win a bet:
The soldier won (it was a boy);
The woman lost (the child, her life)
As God's blood dripped into the gutter.

And now, in the last few seconds of a lifetime,
Deep inside that shadowed trench
He sees his children playing in the sand,
Their mother, mourning, watching.
The blessèd blade sings its dirge:
The blood spurts, mushrooms,
Driven by the final heartbeat.

The trench is black. His head
Falls into the abyss.

The author of this poem reported that he wrote it for two reasons. First was the memory of a photograph, seen in a book published by the British Government during the war (a book of which all copies to be found were withdrawn from circulation in 1951), featuring a row of Australian prisoners in the process of decapitation. He reflected at the time that perhaps they were the lucky ones, and in later years, as reports of officially sanctioned sadism entered the public domain, he learned they had indeed suffered a much less painful death than many thousands of others who were tortured by the Japanese cruelly, and who referred to this cruelty as Bushido.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: freda underhill
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 05:28 AM

..and a poem from the other side..

MY BEAUTIFUL HIROSHIMA TEACHER

Crimson sunset in Lake Michigan.
I think of a beautiful woman
in Hiroshima when the bomb was dropped.
Was she fortunate not to be killed
with the 200,000 others?
Was she unfortunate to stay alive?

Bright light
crushed her breath
windows burst
she went out
she woke far off
stuck all over
with broken glass
she couldn't scream
in blood and pain
no word would do
or will ever do
she felt the end of the world.

Fujiko is more beautiful because of her scars
Fujiko is more beautiful because many men and women have loved her
Fujiko is more beautiful because she has lived alone
Fujiko is more beautiful because she has taught
many students
Fujiko is more beautiful because she has always
loved Hiroshima
Fujiko is more beautiful because she plans to live
in a tiny farmhouse there
Fujiko is more beautiful because she does not fear
the inevitable cancer
Fujiko is more beautiful because of her peace.

The wormy scar on her neck
tells the folly of history.

KEIKO MATSUI GIBSON


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 05:35 AM

It seems unlikely that the Japanese were close to surrender. There was a culture that death was preferable. I have seen film of Japanese mothers holding children jumping from cliffs on Okinawa.
The firestorm raids on Tokyo killed far more people than the atomic attacks(likewise Dresden, Hamberg Etc.), but did not break the will to fight on.
The attacks were a monstrous evil, but still a vastly less costly evil than another year of conventional warfare.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: mooman
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 06:33 AM

With due respect Rabbi-Sol, the general opinion amongst most navy servicemen and their commanders involved in the sea bombardment and blockade of Japanese ports at the time (my father was amongst them) was that the Japanese were, at most, probably three or four weeks away from surrender. The decision, in the view of many, was a political one rather than arising from military necessity.

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 07:34 AM

Whatever Navy servicemen may have thought, Germany was totally blockaded and bombarded day and night by USAF and RAF, yet fought on until the Red Army battled its way into the very centre of Berlin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 07:49 AM

"Nuke & Puke"

Gee, it doesn't seem like a week since Marty went on Holidays...


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 09:15 AM

The Japanese were ready to surrender, conditionally. But the allies were demanding complete surrender and for religious reasons and fear of war crime punishment the Japanese were very reluctant to do so. If you really thing they were ready to surrender, explain why didn't they after to first bomb to spare Nagasaki? Was demanding complete surrender the right thing to do. In hindsight, with the benefits of the Marshall plan and the present relative properity of Japan. I would have to say yes.

Again, the worrying thing is the present glorification of the event. Enoly Gay should be synonomous with "Never again", not "Look how mighty and clever we are."


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 09:33 AM

Let's return, for a moment, to the matter of radiation poisoning. It killed more people than the blasts did. To see how much we knew about the subject, how well we understood it, read Richard Feynman's auto biography. The short answer is that we didn't know bupkis. He was there. He worked on the project. He knew. Those deaths could not have been predicted.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ENOLA GAY (Utah Phillips)
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 09:43 AM

I'm just glad it was not me who had to make that decision after Pearl Harbor and 4 years of terrible war....you who were not there cannot imagine what the stresses & pressures were to 'finish' the war, choose the action that would save the most lives, and scare all other would-be aggressors.

I sing this--with sadness in my soul at the images and implications it raises, but I still don't know what I'd have done in Truman's place.


ENOLA GAY
(Utah Phillips)
As recorded by Utah Phillips on "I've Got to Know" (1991)

1. Look out, look out from your schoolroom window.
Look up, young children, from your play.
Wave your hand at the shining airplane.
Such a beautiful sight is Enola Gay!

2. It's many a mile from the Utah desert
To Tinian Island far away,
A-standing guard by the barbed-wire fences
That hide the secret of Enola Gay.

3. High above the clouds in the sunlit silence,
So peaceful here, I'd like to stay.
There's many a pilot who would swap his pension
For a chance to fly Enola Gay.

4. What is that sound high above my city?
I rush outside and search the sky.
Now we are running to find the shelters.
The air-raid sirens start to cry.

5. What will I say when my children ask me,
Where was I flying upon that day?
With trembling voice I gave the order
To the bombardier of Enola Gay.

6. Look out, look out from your schoolroom window.
Look up, young children, from your play.
Your bright young eyes will turn to ashes
In the blinding light of Enola Gay.

7. I turn to see the fireball rising.
"My God, my God!" all I can say.
I hear a voice within me crying:
"My mother's name was Enola Gay."

8. Look out, look out from your schoolroom window.
Look up, young children, from your play.
Oh, when you see the warplanes flying,
Each one is named Enola Gay.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:35 PM

The Enola Gay is on display as a historical artifact, not as a boast. Bock's Car, the plane that dropped the Nagasaki bomb, is on display at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, along with other historic aircraft -- US, British, Russian, German and others. I've visited WPAFB, but I haven't been to the Dulles exhibit so I don't know what's there.

I did see the Enola Gay when it was being restored at the Silver Hill facility. Again, other historic airplanes and spacecraft were there -- craft from a number of countries, not just the US.

As for dropping nuclear bombs, I can only say as I've said before, right or wrong (and I mean morally, not militarily or historically or ethically or any other way), it brought my father home from the South Pacific to spend Christmas, 1945 with my mother and me -- the first of the five he'd spend with his wife and children before dying in a construction accident. It brought home my Uncles Jack, Gene, Bob, and Earl. I think at the time that's all they or their families cared about.

As for the situation in Japan, I understand that the Japanese military who were in power had sent out feelers for a conditional surrender which were rejected by Moscow, London, and Washington. An unconditional surrender had been demanded, as was demanded of Germany and Italy. The military assured the Emperor that all was well. The people of Japan were actually being trained to defend the country with broomsticks and similar weapons (there are films of this training), the people had been told that the invaders would rape the children and eat the old people, etc. etc. (again, there are records of this), and that they should die for the Emperor. AFTER the bombings, Hirohito put a stop to the war by telling the military to give it up, to surrender unconditionally and save his people.

The destructive force of the fission bomb was known:

"On the morning of July 16, 1945, at 5:29:45 a.m., a group of scientists, army officials, and famous personalities - including British ambassador Lord Halifax and Harvard president Dr. James B. Conant - witnessed the detonation of "Fat Man," a thirteen-pound plutonium bomb, which caused a blaze of light and heat more brilliant than the rising sun. The eighteen-kiloton explosion shattered windows 120 miles from Trinity and rumbled as far as 250 miles away. The intense heat of the blast melted the surrounding sand into a green, glassy, radioactive substance dubbed "Trinitite," which litters the site to this day."

The explosion was conservatively estimated to have been in the 10 KT range. Documents released after Trinity demonstrated that considerable radiation had indeed been released. It was noted, for instance, that the observers were exposed to as much as 8 roentgens, and the area even today shows radiation 10 times that of the surrounding area.


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:40 PM

Guest has posted far more citations than I listed in the past. If he/she would be so good as to give us a few locations for some of the documents, it would be appreciated.

I'm sorry to see some of you still parroting the dogma that was the political/military party line 60 years ago. Hindsight should reveal the many cracks in that body of logic that painted the Japanese as sub-human and the American behavior as acceptable. Yes their behavior was awful. But so was ours. War is awful. The German nation bears a huge weight following revelations of the WWII concentration camps. I heard a recent story on The World or another NPR program to do with the current generation of Germans seeing to it that reparations are made to remaining camp survivors. The consensus expressed by the Germans on the program was that the generation in charge of those industries that previously benefitted from slave labor see the need for reparations. They're able to do this because those responsible for the atrocities have finally died and stopped defending their positions. I don't hear any of that responsibility expressed in the U.S. after the mercilous attacks on Japanese civilian populations. The Marshall Plan was a huge rebuilding project (as well as a Western assimilation plan). But there is no sustained feeling of guilt on the national level, no substantial codified expression of responsibility or regret at the horrible bombings in Japan during the war.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Exactly why the US dropped THE BOMB?
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:57 PM

I lived through those times. I remember the day it was dropped.
There was a lot of pressure to use it as an expedient. Not many at the time questioned its use or the aftermath.

It's unclear just how much the Japanese had the will to persist
in a war they were clearly losing. The Japanese-Americans were still in internment camps. There was a lot of demonizing as there are in any war. I think only after people saw the pictures of the innocent women and children in Hiroshima that a sense of moral guilt came into being. The bombadier on the Enola Gay was never the same afterward. He was not proud of this "accomplishment". It was a dark day in American history and there is no real honest assessment as to how many American lives it saved. It was an expedient.

Some claim it saved their lives. These are the young men at the time who didn't have to go to fight. But the cost of using it has sent a shadow over the future of the human race that has persisted until this day. Now there is talk of using limited nuclear weapons in the "war on terror". Remember that once it was used as an atom bomb it became larger as a hydrogen bomb. There is something perverse on wanting to make a weapon larger and more efficient.

Because of our foreign policy in using these weapons, other countries are likewise arming themselves with the same.

Frank


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