Been a while and for that I apologize. It’s not that I haven’t found stuff to bitch about, it’s just that there is so much crap in the SCMP I dunno where to start, so for now, am going to take a wee different tack.
I’ve been writing stuff for a while about the “law of unintended consequences” a favorite topic of mine, I suppose linked to the butterfly effect that everyone knows about by now, but again, this post is going off at a different tangent. Yesterday was the 67th anniversary of the Hiroshima vaporization, 70 000 people vanished in a flash. I’m going to offer you a valid alternative to an accepted facet of history and leave you to imagine what alternative reality you can posit had the Trueman administration not lied.
The commonly accepted argument is that the bombing was necessary as it saved countless American lives, it avoided the need to invade Japan and repeat the horror of Okinawa on the Japanese Mainland, I say Bullshit!
Japan was on it’s knees, it was already suing for surrender, the only sticking point was that America insisted on an unconditional surrender, but they knew the Japanese could never accept their Emperor being held responsible for any act of the War, they stupidly thought, still do in fact, that their emperor was/is Divine, so how could he be put on trial?
Germany had surrendered months earlier, Japan was being systematically bombed into the dark ages with hordes of B 29 bombers using conventional weapons, Tokyo was firebombed, in fact a host of cities were razed with minimal resistance. However, strangely, four cities were left untouched, Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata and Kyoto. Why? Perhaps to see the effect of this new weapon on a virgin city!
General Eisenhower and Admiral Nimitz to their immense credit, declaimed the bombing as unnecessary, Japan was defeated. Admiral Leahy, Trumans chief of staff went further and stated the bombing had no material effect on the outcome of the war.
I may seem to be repeating myself here, but Japan was defeated, they were asking for: “Peace, but please leave our emperor alone.” Many in the US were asking why not just accept their surrender and allow Hirohito to remain free and assist in the rebuilding as a figurehead… in fact the Amercians did just that, but after the dual atrocity. Or should that be after the experiment.
And so it came to pass, a biblical Armegeddon, Hiroshima was destroyed, Kokura was next but the cloud cover was wrong so Nagasaki was added to the list and went the way of Hiroshima. The Americans in their infinite mercy, spared Kyoto due to its cultural significance.
The National Review in 1958 stated that the: “Main purpose of dropping the atomic bombs on Japan was not military but diplomatic, and the the real target was not Japan but Russia…”
In retrospect it’s hard to avoid the obvious, the US wanted to prolong the war to test these new powerful weapons and send a message to Russia and the wider world: “We are the USA, look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.”
Had the war ended sooner, Stalin may not have invaded northern China, and the whole discredited domino effect argument that defined US policy in Asia for the next 40 years would never have reared it’s ugly head, there may have been no Korean war, or in fact Vietnam war, East Timor, Cambodia…or perhaps you think different.
God Bless America, land of the free, home of the dead braves.
This post was motivated by a lengthy piece by Phil Strongman in The Independent Newspaper