Free Markets, Free People

Hiroshima

In a few days the usual “outrage” for the “war crime” of dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima will begin to wend its way around the world.

That narrative grows stronger each year – mostly because of the death of the generation that fought the war in the Pacific and because the narrative continues to be fueled by a need for moral preening and fact free opinion that doesn’t ever seem to die out.

My father was one of those who fought through the Pacific war.  His bonafides were Saipan, Leyte and Okinawa.  He was a recon guy.  And following Okinawa, his next job was going to be the recon of the landing sites on Kyushu, the big southernmost island on what was considered the Japanese “mainland”.  Operation Downfall.  To be opposed by the Japanese “Ketsu Go” in defense of the Japanese home.

My dad never talked much about the war, but I remember the first time I brought up Hiroshima and the bomb and how many people it killed.  He didn’t waste much time on niceties, but turned his hard eyes on me and said, to both me and my two brothers, “if we hadn’t dropped that bomb, you and your bothers wouldn’t be here.  And a lot of your friends wouldn’t be here.  Because I wouldn’t have come back from the war and neither would have their dads.”

That was it.  He had no sympathy for the apologists.  He felt they were making their case in a contextless and ignorant way.  They didn’t know the facts, they hadn’t fought the enemy all the way across the Pacific and they hadn’t the foggiest notion of the mind of the enemy he had fought.  So he dismissed their criticism out of hand.

Bill Whittle had a similar experience as you’ll see in this video.  What Whittle does, however, is muster facts to make the argument that backed what my Dad had said all those many years ago.  He points out why it was both necessary and prudent to do what was done and how, in the end, it probably saved literally millions of lives.

Watch it.  Understand why Jon Stewart, who is featured in the video, is essentially ignorant and, frankly, stupid when he calls Harry Truman a “war criminal”.  And when the anniversary of this comes around on August 6th, be armed with these facts and do the generation that is all but gone a favor – dispute those that are historically ignorant and feel the urge to do a little moral preening to the detriment of those that fought and won that war.

Don’t let them get away with their moral preening and don’t let them ignore the facts for the narrative.  The decision to drop these bombs was hard, but it was right.  And it is the sort of decision none of those who stroke their own vanity by claiming the moral superiority of the present have ever or will ever be called upon to make.

All I have to day is “thank you” to those who made this tough but just decision.

Thank you for my life.

~McQ

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38 Responses to Hiroshima

  • IMNHO, Harry Truman was at least as bad a Collectivist as FDR.

    But I’d kiss him on both cheeks for having the stones to use the A-bomb on Japan. It saved millions of lives, and put an end to the death-cult of Imperial Japan.

    It also gave us a pattern for how to defeat an expansionist death-cult based on a warped religion.

  • My old-old-old system does NOT do video.

    Do you know of anyplace there might be a transcript of Bill Whittle’s video takedown-of-Jon-Stewart? (So far I’ve not been able to find his stuff transcribed, but I keep hoping…)

    Thanks in advance!

    • Does your public library have computers for public use? You might also look into refurbished computers. Very cheap.

  • Don’t feel so bad, we will get the chance to relearn the same lesson with Iran soon enough

  • My uncle, who manned one of the turrets of the Battleship New Jersey for the latter part of the war, just died this past Friday.

  • Every day the war continued people died, including innocent Chinese, Korean, Indochinese, Indonesian and American CIVILIANS. Not as valuable as the master race, of course, but they were still being killed, some in ways that even Josef Mengele would have been impressed by..

    The Nazis may have slaughtered more innocents, but at least the Germans had/have the decency to be ashamed of their behavior. The Japanese should count themselves fortunate that the Chinese never had the atom bomb.

    • I’ve heard many stories in my lifetime about soldiers who were in the process of being shipped from Europe to the Japanese theater of war who were told while crossing the US that Japan had finally surrendered.
      The projections of a mainland Japanese invasion were 1.2 million US with 8 to 12 million Japanese casualities. US losses for the entire war were 418,500 and some wanted to triple it ?

      • Oh, well, that gets back to the whole ‘proportional retaliation’ thing that people like to discuss from the safety of their coffee shops here in the US when talking about other people they’re not related to dying in other places.

        • “Proportional retaliation” brings to mind the comedy routine by someone I can’t name.

          Speaking of the death penalty…”In Texas, if you kill someone, we kill you back”.

          Seems to work every time it’s tried… Especially in an existential war.

  • My grandfather was off Okinawa on a “Liberty Ship” when the bomb was dropped and when Japan surrendered. I’m glad that we never talked about whether or not it was right to murder the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was a very committed Christian and I would have hated having to remember him offering the utilitarian argument that every terrorist and terrorist apologist offers: “If we murder these X thousand civilians, some unknown, but probably bigger number Y civilians will be saved.”

    When the utilitarian argument has been offered, the murdered civilians are still dead, and the terrorists and terrorist apologists are still terrorists and terrorist apologists.

    • You need to look up several words you don’t understand.

      • Maybe.

        But I doubt it.

        • “If we murder these X thousand civilians, some unknown, but probably bigger number Y civilians will be saved.” The current crop of terrorists’ argument is never about saving civilians, but rather “How many infidels can we murder?” It’s not very complicated.

          • Wouldn’t it have been easier to just admit that you have no idea what the current crops of terrorists’ argument is?

          • Well, you’ve effectively admitted (again) you are an idiot.

          • The current crop of terrorists make their arguments very clearly, and while their goals may be evil, no, neither their goals nor their arguments boil down to “how many infidels can we murder?”

            Setting aside the non-Islamist terrorists (I’m assuming you weren’t referring to e.g. Dylann Roof), different Islamist terrorists have clearly stated their goals. The top two:

            – To eliminate US presence and influence from “their” soil.
            – To discourage US support for Israel.

            A distant third is the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate.

            Not even on the list:

            – How many infidels can we murder?
            – We hate you for your freedoms

            That you disagree with their actual goals is irrelevant to what their actual goals are.

          • Our “influences” are a direct function of ‘our freedoms’.

        • See what I mean?

          You can’t discern between your OWN apologia for terrorists and what they DO.

          To normal people, THAT is their clearest argument and statement of goals. Genocide against native Christians and other groups…including other Muslims…makes a statement. Destroying antiquities has not one flucking thing to do with your geopolitical bullshit.

          But we DO get your anti-American and anti-Israel cant. Poor boob.

    • Perhaps you can offer an alternative. Just what could we have done to end the war that did not involve the deaths of thousands of Japanese civilians? Also, how could we have won in Europe without killing thousands of French, Dutch, Danish, etc. civilians? “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD” didn’t seem to work in either case.

      • They guy is an obvious idiot who thinks US forces “murdered” people.

        He has trouble with concepts.

        • And I note there is no reply to my question, much like another occasional commenter here. Moral preening and posturing doesn’t take much actual thought, which is why it is a kind of drive-by sport. “There! I’ve put those barbarians in their place. I feel so much better now that I have done my part. Now, where is that next nest of neanderthals?.”

          • Quoth timactual:

            “And I note there is no reply to my question”

            I tried multiple times to reply yesterday, but QandO kept churning and then timed out each time I tried to post. I’m going to see if THIS attempt posts and maybe it was the lengthy answer that choked things up.

          • And it does, indeed, seem to be the lengthy comment that caused the churning. So here’s a shorter version:

            I’m not sure why I should have to offer an “alternative” to something I didn’t say I objected to. Words mean things. “Terrorism” means “the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature.” QED, the bombing of Hiroshima was “terrorism,” regardless of whether or not its goal was laudable; just as the Chattanooga attack, in which only military personnel were targeted, was not terrorism, even though its goal was evil.

          • You don’t understand the situation if you think Hiroshima was a civilian target. It was a legitimate military target. And the people of Hiroshima were warned days in advance. That’s not terrorism, no matter how much you twist the meaning.

          • My apologies for the snark, then.

            “… the murdered civilians are still dead, and the terrorists and terrorist apologists are still terrorists and terrorist apologists…”

            I take it that you don’t object to murder or terrorism then.

            And I do take offense at being called an apologist for either. Of course you didn’t say that either, right?

          • “I take it that you don’t object to murder or terrorism then.”

            I object to both — but that wasn’t the point I was interested in arguing.

            Let me put it this way:

            I have friends who are loudly and vociferously “pro-life,” but who would not for a moment deny that Eric Rudolph’s bomb attack on the 1996 Olympics was an act of terrorism (it was an attack specifically targeting civilians, resulting in two deaths and 111 injured, and his confessed motive for the attack was “to confound, anger and embarrass the Washington government in the eyes of the world for its abominable sanctioning of abortion on demand. … to force the cancellation of the games, or at least create a state of insecurity to empty the streets around the venues …”).

            As an historical matter, I certainly prefer the general outlines of the actual outcome (e.g. the defeat of Germany and Japan) to many other possible outcomes (e.g. the continued existence of the Third Reich and of Japan lording it over the “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere”). That doesn’t mean I have to pretend that every action taken in alleged pursuit of those general outlines was something other than what it was.

        • See, there’s part of your problem. You use definitions for terms that are NOT the definition.

          Like “murder”.

          • “murder, v. kill intentionally and with premeditation”

            Some definitions include exceptions for lawful and/or military killings.

            Most definitions do not make exceptions for the intentional targeting of civilians even in situations of declared war.

            Your first problem is that you want the definitions to change depending on which team’s jersey the player is wearing. Objective definitions don’t do that. Your second problem is that you assume that anyone who doesn’t stick to your team jersey scheme sympathizes with a team other than the one you’re rooting for.

          • Most definitions do not make exceptions for the intentional targeting of civilians even in situations of declared war.

            OK, liar. Put them up. You know…LINKS.

            Murder is ALWAYS an unjustified homicide. Self-defense is ALWAYS a justification.

          • Which brings us back to part of that long answer that QandO’s system kept choking on:

            “Ragspierre bloviates mindlessly about my ‘apologia’ for terrorists, establishing that he’s an idiot, a troll, or both. So I’ll end my engagement with him by trying to impart at last little bit of sanity to him …”

            Said little bit of sanity being my explanation of definitions. Obviously it didn’t take, so we’re done.

          • Ah, yes. We see you running for the tall grass, calling names between your snot-bubbles when challenged on your bullshit.

            Have a great day, honey.

          • Of course in the cases of Hiroshima and Nagasaki civilians were NOT intentionally targeted. In fact, they were warned to evacuate the target area.

            http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/008604.html

  • Now let’s all the dumbass ‘feelings’ people be outraged that we killed with one bomb what we had been killing with many bombers, repeatedly, raid after raid through the course of the war in Japan (and Europe).
    Let’s pretend it was worse to die in the eye-blink it takes for the photons from an atom bomb to create your shadow pattern on the wall instead of dying in a firestorm like Tokyo where 80,000-130,000 people died earlier in March of 1945 because it required only one plane, one bomb.
    Let’s pretend the other side wouldn’t have happily done exactly the same thing to American cities cities if they could have mustered the capabilities.
    Let’s pretend there are kinder, gentler weapons in all out war.
    Let’s pretend the rational for the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was all good and didn’t result in some serious evil.
    Let’s not talk about Japanese in Nanking China, taking the lives of an estimated 250,000-300,000 Chinese using more direct methods like bayonets and bullets and The Emperor only knows what else.
    No, instead let’s pretend there wasn’t a war that day and that the Japanese weren’t prepared to die, soldiers and civilian, in their millions, to defend the soil of Nippon at the end of a war of aggression that hadn’t gone as well for them as they’d hoped.

    Let’s pretend they didn’t START it, that Americans just love killing so much that we dropped that bomb just for laughs.
    Instead let’s pretend Pearl Harbor was just an accident, that the lives of 2500+ American service men, about half of whom are still laying in a steel tomb on the bottom of Pearl Harbor in the USS Arizona, should have been overlooked and forgotten so we could keep ‘peace’
    Let’s pretend that no one felt bad about the necessity of using that bomb (those bombs).

    Now get real for a second and let’s realize a lot of Americans are ignorant uneducated ass hats.
    People need to grow up.

    My dad served as a radar operator/radioman on a replenishment oiler from April 1944 until the war ended, seeing action with the 3rd Fleet and the occupation of Japan.
    He never talked about the war, other than to tell me, like McQ’s dad, that if Truman hadn’t dropped the bombs it was likely neither of us would be there to have that conversation.

    “Just one nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day” –
    yep, and so can just one well placed bayonet.

    Like there are any GOOD ways to be killed in a war.

  • Someone should do a poll throughout the reach of the ‘peaceful’ Japanese expansion and see how many NON-Japanese who were living at that time are really upset about us dropping the bomb.

    • I have a suspicion there are still a number of Chinese and Koreans who wouldn’t mind dropping a few on Japan today.

      • By all accounts you would be correct.
        Demonstrated by the visits and gifts of the Japanese Prime Minister to Yasukuni Shinto shrine and the subsequent Chinese and South Korean observations on the matter.

  • Er, Hiroshima and Nagasaki had many military targets available in August, 1945:

    Hiroshima was a city of considerable military importance. It contained the 2nd Army Headquarters, which commanded the defense of all of southern Japan. The city was a communications center, a storage point, and an assembly area for troops.

    Same for Nagasaki:

    The city of Nagasaki had been one of the largest sea ports in southern Japan and was of great war-time importance because of its many and varied industries, including the production of ordnance, ships, military equipment, and other war materials. The narrow long strip attacked was of particular importance because of its industries.

    Attacking them was not terrorism in any legal definition of military use of force.