Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Big Bang

Imagine a time when it all began
In the dying days of a war
A weapon that would settle the score
Whoever found it first would be sure to do their worst
They always had before... 

The big bang took and shook the world
 Shot down the rising sun
 The end was begun and it hit everyone
 When the chain reaction was done 

-          Neil Peart

It’s that time of year, for the 70th time.  I am not sure I have anything new or creative to add, yet I do not want to let this anniversary pass without some comment.  I will keep this simple and offer links to some previous posts of mine; click on if my introductory comments pique your interest.

The two bombings, three days apart, were not and are not the most egregious evils ever committed in war, only, perhaps, the most symbolic of the species.  The so-called Good War had more than its share of terrorizing civilian populations from the air, and well before August 1945.

It was not always a given – as it is today – that non-combatants are fair game in war.  The Middle Age tradition in Europe almost completely differentiated between combatants and non-combatants.  This changed after the time of the reformation – the so-called renaissance.  However, eventually European tradition returned by the eighteenth century toward an era of civilized warfare.  Napoleon began to change this; Lincoln demonstrated that it was never a consideration in his new world. 

One of the foremost scholars on the topic of the nuclear bombings, Gar Alperovitz, has examined both the decision to use the bomb and the myth that was manufactured to legitimize the use; suffice it to say, everything about the myth is a lie.  His book is entitled “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb.”  I have offered an overview of his book here.

The bombing and aftermath of Hiroshima is captured in this first person account offered by Dr. Shuntaro Hida.  He was only 1.5 miles away when the bomb was dropped.  It is not an easy story to read.

Before the myth-creation machine performed its national lobotomy, there were many voices publicly questioning and even condemning the act.

One of the myths is that Japan was ready to fight to the bitter end; up to a million Americans would die to defeat Japan.  Of course, Japan was ready to surrender; documents discovered in 1979 – misfiled in Truman’s archive – present the fact that Truman knew, before he dropped the bombs, that Japan was prepared to surrender.

Even Herbert Hoover documents the many approaches that Japan took toward surrender – for several months before the bombs were dropped.

The myth is callously parroted today even by those who appear to be otherwise jaded by the exercise of raw power. 

We continue to live under this threat.  The elimination of nuclear weapons – being the ultimate tool for violation of the non-aggression principle – should be of highest priority to libertarians.  The idea of MAD is…mad.


  1. Bio,
    Even me ol' Dad, who was to the right of Attila, told me when I was a wee bairn that the dropping of those bombs, ESPECIALLY the Nagasaki bomb, was the single greatest war crime he could imagine.
    After all, it took Hitler YEARS to kill six million.

    1. Capn, are you sure about that, " took Hitler YEARS to kill six million..."

      I used to believe that, for the first 50 years of my life. Then, I read Butz' 'The Greatest Hoax of the 20th Century,' 'The Rudolf Report,' 'The Leuchter Report,' and Irving's 'Nuremberg: The Last Battle' (all available free online in PDF) and changed my mind.

    2. Why are you quibbling over numbers? The fact remains that Nazi Germany went to war not only against its neighbours, rightly or wrongly, but against portions of its own population for no reason at all.

  2. I would say the notion that the Japanese were ready to surrender but conditionally is a modern myth concocted by weeaboos.

  3. I haven't the time to dispute you regarding the bomb, except to say that Max Hastings and Antony Beevor, while agreeing with you that the Good War was not so good dispute your take on the bomb
    The so called respect for non combatants has a far more varied history than you assert. And Lincoln has really nothing to do with it, if we rode our view to include American Indians, the Taiping Rebellion, the wars of the British Empire during Lincoln time
    And even during the Middle Ages we have the wars of the Black Prince, of the sacking and burnings of and by the several English , French and Italian kings or princes not to mention the wars in the rest of the world. The Crusades were not civilian friendly.
    The ancient world in the West was not non combatant friendly. And those Muslim s and Mongols!!??

    1. "I haven't the time to dispute you regarding the bomb..."

      Perhaps you might apply this more broadly?

  4. I can only strike at a portion of your article
    This is merely a reply, not an in depth analysis as to why what you consider myths aren't
    So I chose your assertion about the Middle Ages regarding noncombatants and combatants, widening the so called Middle Ages from say downtown Paris to the rest of that continent and it's neighbors
    Your theory only holds in parts and not for humanitarian reasons, it is simply that some so called enlightened regimes, such as the Romans Republic and Empire needed live cities instead of dead ones, while the Muslims and Mongols had their own views, as in submit or die.
    So Sherman s March was in line with the chevauche of the Black Prince or the Crusaders
    Regarding Lincoln, we'll he was using tactics that Greene, Washington, Andrew Jackson used, not to mention the Apache, Cheyenne, Sioux and Iroquois
    And you will recycle your column in 10 years, just as every one of you have since 1955
    And in vain

    1. Dick

      You sure have a lot of time for someone who doesn't have much time.

  5. Enjoy your work. Two more contemporary journalist supporting the bombing of Hiroshima.