Saturday, August 4, 2007

Destigmatized: The Bomb!

The Anniversary's coming up! On 6 August 1945, a number of eyes in the Japanese city of Hiroshima turned skyward at the drone of a US B-29 bomber flying across the cloudless sky, accompanied by two other aircraft.

Has any American ever felt any shame that this country was the first to massacre indiscriminantly with their jolly new nuclear technology, brought to fruition by the Nazi('s) scientists who were lured by America?

Is any American ashamed at the ease with which America is discussing the possibility of using the atomic smart bombs in this new version of the world war? Discussing? My no! Hillary thinks Obama's childish to think a president can avoid them!

America's German inheritance is in fact interesting and significant; is it not?

Perhaps we should dig deep to understand why our Western democracies fall so frequently on this same shameful path ...

P.S. Well, there is a lot of great information in the comments; most of which, somehow reaffirm the point of this post. There seem to exist a consensus that the A-bomb is not a BAD thing and it can be beneficial; and that America's doing the world a great favor by developing and using its weapons! Some suggest that America's A-bomb saved Japanese lives because the EVIL Japanese government was training all these kamikazes to defend their country to death! How dare any government asks its population to fight for their home? America needed to go and bomb two little cities to teach Japanese to surrender immediately so it saves more lives. Sweet little Truman!! Well no wonder the world is in such a state of chaos!!!
America's philanthropy is quite remarkable: it has also saved a lot of Vietnamese and Iraqi lives from EVIL communism and Evil Saddam!!
(Democrat's hands is/will be just as blood stained as the Bushists's. Because, this is America!!!)

Bravo America!

HeeeeHaaaw!

Post PS. Unintentionally, my post script above seem to have offended a few of my friends. I wish to apologize to those who consider my rhetoric an offense against America, the country. I wish to clarify that the point of this post, and the conclusion at which I arrived in the post script, is begging the question of our relationship to technology and our philosophy of war and our attitude towards warfare. The finger pointed at America is pointed at our collective post WWII culture. We have too easily blamed the bulk of the WWII on Nazis of Germany, without completely and coherently examining that which we (no matter in which corner of this world) have shared with them prior to the war; and what we continue to share in terms of philosophy.
If you ask me who won the WWII, I would say America. But, has the conqueror faced herself in the mirror of reality? And, has the conqueror wondered about the ways in which it has contributed to the rouge attitude of many other nations that are merely emulating an American paradigm of powerplay? The main question of this post is, how has America contributed to so many nations pulling out from the non proliferation treaty?


I personally think that, had America declared national shame about the atomic explosions in Japan, had it declared "never again", had it been genuine about its advocacy of peace, the world would have had a more respectable model to follow. Our historical revisionism provides factual explanations for our deeds, but by posing as objective and scientific, it depletes our subconscious from a genuine faith for peace.

27 comments:

Anon-Paranoid said...

naj...
How very true this post is. They used some of those camps after Katrina.

They put NOLA citizens on planes and wouldn't tell them where they were being taken until the plane was in the air.

They also had the Oklahoma National Guard along with Blackwater confiscate legally owned weapons from NOLA citizens in areas that didn't suffer the flooding as the 9th ward did in direct violation of the Constitution.

A lot of Americans just don't believe that what happened in Nazi Germany under Hitler could happen in America.

We are now a rogue nation and the Fourth Reich has been established with no dissent from the people or our elected representatives.

May God have mercy on us all.

God Bless.

enigma4ever said...

I am very ashamed...and sad....always...that this ever ever happened....it should not have...

and sadly lessons were not learned....and Some feel no shame...

and now we are in Iraq....and More shame...

enigma4ever said...

I have added you to my blogroll....because you have a beautiful thoughtful blog....keep up the fine work..

David said...

Some people believe that nuking Japan, and forcing them to surrender quickly, saved millions of lives, both Allied and Japanese, that would have been lost if a full scale invasion of Japan had been necessary to end the war. I think there may be some truth to that assertion. Japanese soldiers fought almost to the last man in island battles like Tarawa and Iwo Jima. Only a handful were taken alive or surrendered. As far as I know, there is quite a bit of evidence to indicate that the Japanese people, men, women, and children, were being prepared to give their lives to defend Japan against an Allied invasion. The nukes were terrible weapons, indeed they were the ultimate weapons of terror. However, what many do not know, or have forgotten, is that the fire bombing of Japanese cities, including Tokyo, killed far more civilians than the nuclear bombs. The fire bombings were meant to terrorize the Japanese, and also the Germans (remember Dresden?), into submission. Well, the fires weren't enough, so President Truman decided to up the ante. Personally, I don't know if the nukes were really necessary to end the war. Japan was surrounded. Food and fuel from its empire in Asia had already been cut off. It has been suggested that the Allies could have just waited for the Japanese to starve. If that route had been taken, how many Japanese would have died? I don't know. All out war is a terrible thing. I wish that I could say that human beings learn from such past tragedies, but it seems that we never do.

I still don't think there will be any attack on Iran, nuclear or conventional. The U.S. has already wasted nearly all its military resources in Iraq. There is simply no more left to start an even bigger war with Iran. You already know that I believe that diplomacy and dialogue between the U.S. and Iran is the only way to move forward to a better relationship between the two countries.

Maybe you heard Barak Obama say recently that the U.S. should be ready to invade Pakistan to go after Al Qaeda. Or, maybe you heard Republican Senator Paul Tancredo repeat his lunacy from three years ago that if the U.S. is nuked by terrorists, we should nuke Mecca and Medina. Both of these statements are rediculous! You don't seem to like Hillary much, but from what I have seen, her public statements have shown pretty good judgement and experience on a lot of issues. At this point, she will be getting my vote.

Servant said...

Has any American ever been ashamed?

Excellent question.

First, why should we Americans be shamed? Why would it ever occur to any American to be ashamed if you don't point the finger well? And who could shame us? We are much to arrogant to listen to mothers peddling flimsy guilt.

I'm not saying we shouldn't be shamed, but I'm not shamed by people casting aspersions that blow in the wind like flower petals.

Maybe you know what you're talking about. Maybe you don't. The burden is on the prosecutors to convince a jury of Americans that Americans knew at that time how many Nazi scientists the Soviets had recruited and what the Soviets would do if they won the first round of the nuclear arms race. And, after you make that case, convince the American Jury that it is impossible that Iran would ever develop nuclear weapons, given facilities were complete. Can you guarantee there would never be games with International inspections?

You have to convince both those Americans who know what they're talking about and those who don't know anything or you lose the case in our jurisdiction.

The depleted uranium weapons being discussed by would-be presidents are not "atomic bombs," as implied here. The weapons being discussed are conventional explosives hosted inside precision guided missiles which are made more potent with spent nuclear material. Ergo the name, depleted uranium.

BEGIN QUOTE
At standard temperature and pressure (STP) [depleted uranium] is a very dense metal solid. Due to its high density the main uses of depleted uranium include counterweights in aircraft, radiation shields in medical radiation therapy machines and containers for the transport of radioactive materials. The military uses depleted uranium for defensive armour plate and its pyrophoricity has made it a valued component in other military applications, particularly in the form of armour-piercing projectiles.
END QUOTE


The purpose of funding these type of weapons is to have the capability to use precision guided missiles to dig deep into the earth where supposed weapons of mass destruction are buried. Or former employees recast as dictators who we don't like anymore, like Saddam Hussein. Several of Saddam's bunkers in Baghdad were busted with depleted uranium projectiles and Baghdad is only a half a degree warmer today. Baghdad wouldn't be there now if the U.S. had used even one actual nuclear weapon.

No one in the United States is contemplating using a nuclear weapon as used against Japan against the population of Iran. Israel is a more likely suspect for thoughts like that.

The debate is about whether to authorize precision air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities buried deep inside the earth, not against the people of Iran.

And the debate is silly because we can guess that even a parade of bunker buster tactical nuclear warheads flying asshole to belly button cannot reach the depths required to destroy the Iranian facilities buried deep inside solid rock in the mountains. For two weeks we bombed Tora Bora with these "atomic bombs" A.K.A. Bunker Busters, and didn't accomplish anything. They don't work very well against mountains. They don't even work very well against common farmer's fields where we tested them. They can't penetrate more than a few hundred feet, even when launched one after another.

That's not to encourage President Ahmadinejad. It's just to assure people that its not damn likely that the U.S. will attack Iran because bombing just isn't going to work and no one is going to put up with another full scale invasion.

Yes, depleted Uranium weapons leave behind trace amounts of radioactive material. But the levels are a few Geiger counter degrees stronger than the radium that makes your watch glow in the dark.

So let us not scare ourselves to death that the Americans want to nuke Iran. That's Israel's job. And let's make better arguments which will convince the well educated American population of what we really ought to be ashamed of, which is our arrogance.

Look over there! A flock of turtles.

Poof!

QUASAR9 said...

It was certainly a close race
The US had the advantage that its industrial & military build up weren't under continues bombardment

After all with the Atlantic on one side and the Pacific on the other, the closest the Japs came to the US was Pearl Harbour, and though the U-boats have the atlantic fleet a good run for its money, there was little hope for germany with Britain (and the US) able to Blitz German industries and bomb their industry from the air, albeit at a heavy loss.

And the Russian front was its downfall, when it split its resources in two.

But yes, it is true that germans during the war, and germans after the war, helped develop the US nuclear industry.

Mind you, there is still the brain drain, and the lure of riches in the US, for the best scientists from Germany, Russia, Japan, China, India and IRAN.

And there is always the paranoia and fear that if a country develops nuclear power it will develop nuclear weapons - just like Israel, India & Pakistan have

Oddly enough Egypt wants to develop nuclear power, but they want subsidies from the EU - lol!

QUASAR9 said...

And I dare say there are a lot of Iranian 'exiles' in the US, that would like the US to overthrow the current regime and put them in power - just like they did with Iraq. Replacing the anti-US regime with a pro-US regime composed of returning Iraqi exiles.

Naj said...

Thank you dear all for your comments; keep'em coming!

My rhetorical question indeed seeks such comments.

Just one note to those who think nuking japan saved millions of lives: of course I think you have heard that even Eisenhower was not too thrilled about the actual "necessity" of nuking Japan; given that Germany was already broken, thanks to the Russians, of course ... and Japan was busy preparing her own surrender ...

Naj said...

quasar9,

Yes there are a LOT of Iranian exiles who wish to overthrow the regime; some of them are smart and want to transform it without blood; some of them are dumb and want America do it for them.

And yes America brain-drains ... and those of us who make it will bring to it our genetic and cultural dispositions ...

Servant said...

David wrote

Some people believe that nuking Japan, and forcing them to surrender quickly, saved millions of lives, both Allied and Japanese ...

Just to make the record clear, David's comments had not been posted when I was writing my thoughts. I would have acknowledged many of the good points that he made. I am not one of those who believe that the U.S. atomic bomb saved millions of lives. But this way of looking at things only appeared just recently and I think it is bad scholarship to back date our modern way of understanding and assume that the people living in times past had access to the paradigms we use today.

I think it is great that each generation continually re-reads history and develops new understandings of people and events. History lives only in the minds of those who read it. But, as a philosopher, I am not completely comfortable with the cultural relativity that is showing up in the new historicism methods. The new methods of looking at events in history have been co-opted by many of the individual causes which the social sciences term "liberation movements," which necessarily militate against straw man representations of a dominant culture. This is a debatable technique for examining historical events from a single point of view in a multicultural world.

There is nothing wrong from examining events in history over and over again from each cultural point of view. But there is something wrong with the idea that each point of view contains within itself the final crystallized coordinates of absolute truth. It is only through weaving and expanding multiple points of view that we can obtain an accurate understanding of events in history. The idea that there has only ever been a single dominant culture throughout history is absurd. And the idea that only white men of European heritage colluded to dominate all other cultures fails account for the fact that women of all colors fully participated in many of these epochs and that each culture had its own factions and its own power struggles with themselves and their neighbors.

nunya said...

Hey there, easy now, there were more good German-Americans than bad in that link.

MarcLord said...

Hi Naj,

Shame, yes. Some of us do. For the record: H. Truman was brow-beaten into using the bomb in Japan by his generals, as a demonstration against Stalin. The decision betrayed a lack of confidence in democracy, and knowing so many horrors, our leaders had become inured to them at just the time they were given the power to crush cities with one blow.

I have been a guest in private homes in Japan, and was asked point-blank, "Why did Eisenhower use the bomb on not one city, but two? And on Nagasaki of all places? There were Christians there."

It was a long time ago, but I'm ashamed to say that the first time, I said there seemed to be little choice at the time. That answer was greeted by silence, and my host saved me by steering my answer into something more diplomatic, less insulting. A humbling lesson I'll never forget.

Btw: thanks for your last visit and nice compliments. (What of my plans did you refer to?)

MarcLord said...

Oh, and as for hillary clinton:

After 9/11 I predicted that if she ever became President, as was clearly in the works, she would use nuclear weapons. I don't have data to back that statement up. Just my instincts, and the fact that she will be forced to compensate for being a woman.

Anonymous said...

naj:

It is unbecoming of you to make such statements regarding WWII; especially in regards to the US-Japan War. We had no dog in that war and it is best for you and other Iranians to make such partisan comments about that war.

Here are my own opinions:

The United States was justified in using nuclear weapons against Japan in order to shorten the war. While the Japanese Air Force and Navy were very severely destroyed, the Imperial Army was, in fact, in a pretty good shape and was looking forward to a confrontation with US Army on the Japanese Islands. This would have entailed many more casualties for Japanese and the American soldiers as well as the Japanese civilians. The estimated expected casualties for US soldiers in establishing beach-heads was in excess of 300,000 dead and wounded in the first stages. US decisions was based on statistics at other fronts: Stalingrad - 1,000,000 dead and wounded Russians, Battle of Berlin - 300,000 dead & wounded Russians, Okinawa 110% unit casualties [Okinawa was hell, as a survivor told me personally.]

Moreover, the Koreans, the Chinese, the peoples of the Philippines, and other victims of Japanese war and occupation will tell you that Japanese people are a brutal and un-feeling lot that have not received the retribution that they so justly have deserved. Chinese and Koreans have often expressed regret that US did not drop a few more nuclear bombs on Japan [I have personally heard such comments.].

While you can pity a brutal people who have been thoroughly defeated, you can not feel sorry for them once you become aware of their Evil ways in Nanking, in Manila, in Burma, etc. [Just read “The Rape of Nanking” by Iris Chang.]

In my opinion, while Americans could and should be ashamed of many things, this is not one of those occasions.

pen Name

allBlog said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/05/AR2007080500609.html

Naj said...

Pen,

I think you and I differ very fundamentally in our attitude towards war a violence:

You consider it an inevitable second nature of man, and you don't even mind mongering godly holy wars!

I consider it EVIL, at all cost, UNLESS forced upon one, in self-defense.

Your partisan allegations are figments of your imagination and thus I shall not respond.

However, you seem to be willing to accept Iran's getting Nuked; at the cost of 15000 lives, and 25 years of economic and technological regression, and you also advocate Iran's right to it's own nuclear weapon.

All bringing home my point: nuclear wars: DESTIGMATIZED.

Anonymous said...

naj:

"Only the dead have seen the end of war." - Plato.

I stand on firm empirical grounds, your's is a pipe-dream.

The figure of 15,000 that I have mentioned was not based on US using nuclear weapons in Iran.

US attacking Iran with nuclear weapons with be tantamount to the dissolution of the current global political structure and the end of the world as we know it today.

If Iran is attacked by US, with or without nuclear weapons, NPT will be dead. And 23 Muslim states and many NAM states will leave NPT over the coming years.

A nuclear attack on Iran will lead to the creation of a global drive for the acquisition and deployment of nuclear weapons by any tens of states. It will destory the current political structures all over the world and will make all states more insecure; including US. Certainly, after a nuclear attack by a declared nuclear state and signatory to NPT against a non-nuclear state of NPT all the international instruments of disarmament will become null and void, in fact if not in Law. And that attack would hasten the day that US will be attacked by nuclear weapons.

In regards to Iran, we should have left NPT in 1998 after India and Pakistan exploded their bombs. It might be too late to leave NPT now but it is not too late to become nuclaer-ready.

pen Name

Naj said...

allBlog,

your link was truncated. I repost it.

Washington Post: Atomic bomb survivors speak out.

Thanks.

Naj said...

Pen,

QED.

Servant said...

? What ?

Naj wrote in PS: "There seem to exist a consensus that the A-bomb is not a BAD thing and it can be beneficial; and that America's doing the world a great favor by developing and using its weapons! ...."

This is a serious mis-characterization of most of the considered replies that looked at your topic in the context of history and technology in depth.

Pen Name is the only one who argued forcefully and foolishly that the attacks were justified. I hardly call that a consensus. And I hardly think it means Americans are monolithic in their feelings about what we did to Japan.

Why would you say Pen Name's singular opinion, which no one else even came close to, represents a consensus that Atomic bombs are good?

Where did that come from? I thought it was a serious call for examination of the topic, not a call for political papers.

I feel like I wasted my time sharing what is actually happening in the United States. I wanted to facilitate understanding and cut through some of the bullshit that is flying around.

But it appears that bullshit is the object of the discussion if you read that as the consensus. I get more than enough bullshit being a citizen of Bushistan. I don't need to spend my time clearing up distorted reality in Iran too.

nunya said...

Wow, just the title for this post brought me back to reading this book:

News Zero: The New York Times and the Bomb (Paperback)
by Beverly Deepe Keever (Author)

Naj said...

Servant,

I don't believe my PS was referring to any one individual's comment. My PS was exactly talking about the revisionist historicism.

You are welcome to comment here; but don't congratulate yourself as the corrector of "distorted" reality in Iran!

Servant said...

Sorry - I must have thought consensus pertained to this discussion, which was quite thoughtful and informative.

I just get sick of people throwing monkey shit at the United States. We got a lot of faults but we're not the only ones.

Naj said...

servant:

"we have a lot of faults but we are not the only one"

I cannot agree more. And that is what I am saying. But if USA claims the leadership/fatherhood of the world, it should realize it has less room for error!

Anonymous said...

servant:

For the reasons of state security and cohesion Iran must develop nuclear weapons.

In that sense, they are good.

pen Name

DivaJood said...

Naj, I am one of many American Citizens who is ashamed of our use of Nuclear Weapons UNLESS it means that they will NEVER be used again.

One of my work collegues is Japanese-American. Some of her relatives were interred during WWII - US Citizens, of Japanese descent, but rounded up and imprisoned because of their ancestry.

The tragedy is that we appear to be doomed to repeat our mistakes, because of the arrogance of our "leaders."

Naj said...

divajood,

I like that "UNLESS" in your comment.

But do you think that it is because of that UNLESS that the whole world now wants to use it as a deterrent!