Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Nuclear Option

Worldnetdaily has gone neo-con crazy in the last couple of years, but they run a few of my favorite columnists, so I've yet to abandon them in total. I was thus pleased to read Maralyn Lois Polak's column today:

Sixty-two years ago this month of August – for bogus, trumped-up reasons – America dropped atomic bombs, decimating two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and annihilating perhaps 200,000 civilians, yes, mostly non-combatants in the first and hopefully only wartime use of nuclear weapons. Somehow it seems almost everyone still believes nuking Japan was imperative – therefore anyone who disagrees is naturally branded a traitor or a lunatic.

Not so!

"I hope [your phrase] 'for bogus reasons' means Japan's surrender was imminent and Washington knew it and dropped the bombs anyway as a means to demonstrate to the Soviet Union that the Red Army had gone quite far enough in Europe and Asia and that the U.S. had a weapon to counter it," says savvy Washington, D.C., political observer/magazine editor "Langley Forbes," not his real name.

Mr. Forbes and Mrs. Polak are entirely correct. While it is true that bombing Japan "saved" one million lives, this assumes that invasion of the main land was necessary, something blatantly untrue. By insisting on full surrender, despite later capitulating on those terms after letting lose the destructive bombs, the Allies provided the framework to allow for the first shot to be fired in the Cold War; just like we pushed through UN resolutions to provide the impetus for a war with Iraq.

My books are packed, so I can't produce Churchill's memoirs for a quote, but one of the most astounding parts of those wonderful writings was how he readily admits that no one even debated whether or not the bombs should be dropped. Discussions took place to determine which cities should be bombed, but once the Manhattan Project had reached fruition, with the current leadership in place, it was inevitable that the Japanese citizens should suffer so that our power could be demonstrated to the Communist Russians.

To this day, we are the only country in the world to use nuclear weapons against civilians as an act of war. And the reluctance which American pretenders to the throne exhibit in taking the nuclear option off of the table serves as a reminder that we have not even begun to learn from history. In the name of justice, we must prepare to strike against civilians whose only crime is to live with those whom no one can draw away from recklessness. It is not a wonder that so many hate us; it is a marvel that not everyone does.

UPDATE: I've successfully unpacked, so I thought I'd provide the Churchill quote.

British consent in principle to the use of the [nuclear] weapon had been given on July 4, before the test had taken place. The final decision now lay in the main with President Truman, who had the weapon; but I never doubted what it would be, nor have I ever doubted since that he was right. The historic fact remains, and must be judged in the aftertime, that the decision whether or not to use the atomic bomb to compel the Japanese to surrender was never even an issue. There was unanimous, automatic, unquestioned agreement around our table; nor did I ever hear the slightest suggestion that we should do otherwise. -Winston Churchill, Memoirs of the Second World War (Abridged) p. 981. Emphasis added.


troutsky said...

Even the "saved a million lives" argument is hollow. Opening Pandoras box is not something that can be measured in lives. It is horrifying in a qualitative , not quantitative way.The firebombing of Japanese and German cities was not exactly a civilized or honorable act.

A Wiser Man Than I said...

The firebombing of Japanese and German cities was not exactly a civilized or honorable act.

Agreed. And such firebombing is what ultimately led to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The allies would never have nuked Japan at the beginning of the war; only when their hands had been coated with blood would they, like Macbeth, go ahead with more (a couple hundred thousand) murders.