Posts Tagged ‘Hiroshima’

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Given the Situation, They Forced the Most Humane Solution

July 5, 2019

The Bomb as a friend of humanity: who would have thought? I have some family problems with inheritance, an interesting moment when greed is revealed to trump all other considerations, in some individuals, and one experiences the sadness of finding out what really makes them cockroaches, tick… The kind of situation when one seeks comic, or, if that doesn’t work, cosmic, relief. 

Further sinking me deeper, a friend, a tenured research physicist from a top institution, so really a brain, told me he couldn’t read my essays, they were too deep. I must admit the pressure is great, I am without any doubt, a creature of the abyss, similar to Damascius, the last philosopher of Antiquity, who had to flee Athens in 529 CE, chased by the rabid Christian terrorists… And went to seek refuge among the Sassanids.

Paradoxically deep and dark, where the light and explanation needs to be brought in, but hasn’t been brought in yet, provides the relief of tragedy. When one compares one’s sedate life to the tragedies visited onto others, immediate relief ensues. So it is when the climber finally finds a flat, grassy meadow.

***

My friend Chris Snuggs, is visiting Japan: Hiroshima, Nagasaki… Yes, Chris, a polyglot, and professional teacher of many a nation, turned at some point into a fanatical Brexiter, and he has been baffled by my fostering the evil fascist EU when so many of my own lessons brought him to condemn it! See, how tolerant I am:

Chris Snuggs: “Had to visit the Peace Memorial Museum, but it was as expected not a bundle of laughs. It is beautifully done as one expects in Japan, but too sad. I have to do some research. I tried already, but it is all a bit confusing and I have no definitive answer. Patrice might know! The thing is, did the Americans HAVE to drop a second bomb after Hiroshima? Was the Emperor really so stubborn not to order his men to stop fighting after Hiroshima? Or were the Americans trying to make a point to the Russians and/or just practising with their new toy? 

It is true that after the first bomb, the Japanese still DID NOT surrender, but could not the Yanks have bombed an uninhabited island to drive the point home that surrender was the only option? In Nagasaki (only chosen because the primary target that day – Kokura – was obscured by cloud), 70,000 people died instantly when the bomb exploded, ALMOST ALL CIVILIANS, including thousands of Koreans, Chinese and others, as Nagasaki was/is a major international port and entry point to Japan. Another 70,000 or so died in the days, weeks and months that followed, and an unknown number of cancers years later. 

But the terrifying thing for us today is that the bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were TINY compared to what exists today…”

***

It wouldn’t take many of those for civilization to have really a bad day.

The Strategic Nuclear Bombings Were Planned with Extreme Care:

Yes, Patrice knows, Patrice has written a lot on the subject, for an immense variety of reasons, not limited to the way people react to the subject!

Atomic Bombings Were An Emergency. More Than 10,000 People Died Each Day, From Japanese Occupation, all over Asia:

Only 672,000 Japanese civilians died from World War Two, virtually all of them killed in American air raids (including the two atomic bombs).

To draw a thoroughly inappropriate laughter, one could say Hiroshima and Nagasaki were emergency care in more ways than one.

The rest of this essay will address the questions Chris brought, with my usual method to dig deep here and there. But the short of it is that the nuclear bombings were nearly miraculously timed to force Japanese leaders into a different state of mind, which imposed peace to their agitated selves. Overall, the nuclear bombings, the way they happened, saved millions of lives. 

Atom bombing an uninhabited island would have made the immensely tough generals and admirals leading Japan laugh at the stupidity of the Americans. It would have given them hope that they were fighting imbeciles. So, maybe, after all, they had a chance to defeat the idiots…

Top Japanese leaders knew, from the in-house Japanese nuke programs, that the Americans couldn’t have that many atom bombs. Militarily, the Japanese cities were production centers (differently from Germany which, because of heavy British and then US bombing, had to displace production out of cities). Kokura’s arsenal was the target of the day. The Japanese navy, with thousands of fully functional medium to small ships and hundreds of small subs was a big problem for US war planners, as they approached the Japanese archipelago, with its inner seas and complex waterways. 

Many options, and would even say, all the options were discussed before the atomic bombings, including a demonstration atomic bombing at night over Tokyo Bay, to enlighten the Japanese leadership. Or bombing a deserted island. Or tell in advance of a demonstration. Or forget the bomb. Each option had drastic negatives…

What if the bomb was a dud? Would the evil dictators of Japan laugh out loud? What if the Japanese air force brought up 100 fighters to oppose the B29s, after they were told where and when they were coming? What if the damage to rice fields failed to persuade?

In any case it was the population of Japan who needed to feel the heat, and that heat needed to be transmitted to the young officer corps. Only them could persuade the military dictators of Japan to surrender. As it turned out, Emperor Hirohito’s courageous intervention prevented the third planned strategic nuclear bombing (the third Pu core, the Demon Core, was ready by August 16 to be dropped on August 19. Japan surrendered the 15th).

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After being attacked for two hours by hundreds of US aircrafts, super battleship Yamato, on suicide mission to Okinawa, explodes. The mushroom cloud rose seven kilometers high. More than 3,000 crew pulverized.

We have bigger and better today:

Indeed a typical warhead in a French or US nuclear tipped missile is 250K, about 17 times Hiroshima. Each submarine missile can carry up to 10 atom bombs. The new Sarmat heavy Russian ICBM whose capabilities Putin said “are much higher” than the Cold War Soviet SS-18 ICBM because it will carry “a broad range of powerful nuclear warheads” and the Sarmat “has practically no range restrictions.” The Sarmat is reported by the Russian state  as capable of carrying 10 warheads of 800-kilotons or 15 warheads of 350-kilotons. 10 warheads of each 40 times Nagasaki…

In theory there is a limit of 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads, for the USA and Russia, each. But how to check that? Considering that Putin gloated about having a nuclear propelled, indefinite range cruise missile, the Russian leadership sounds wacko. Yes, nuclear propelled, that’s what Vladimir said. I am for nuclear propulsion… but in space. Running tests of such devices in the atmosphere is idiotic. 

***

The Japanese High Command Intended To Fight To Death For Another Year:

Japanese nuclear bomb physicists saw the Hiroshima mushroom cloud rising. So a highly qualified part of the Japanese government knew immediately that a nuclear bomb had been used. Looking at its evil red streaks, the physicist could immediately tell that it was a Uranium 235 device.  

The population in Hiroshima had no doubt what happened: within hours 35 US prisoners were dead at the hands of the vengeful populace of the Hiroshima metro area. 

The Japanese high command had no intention to surrender. It had launched the war, it intended to finish it. As it is, Japan has just two places favorable to a large disembarkment. One is next to Tokyo, and the Japanese high command had massed an extravagant quantity of weapons, including 5,000 planes underground in one facility alone. The other places, the southern tip of Kyushu, the southernmost island, was so heavily defended, the Japanese high command couldn’t imagine how the western allies could land. Moreover, three Japanese emergency nuclear bomb programs were making very fast progress, and Japanese generals hoped to use a nuclear bomb on the US troops.  

While Japan no longer expected to win the war, Japan’s leaders believed they could make the cost of invading and occupying the Home Islands too high for the Allies, leading to an armistice rather abject surrender. The Japanese plan for defeating the invasion was called Operation Ketsugō (決号作戦 ketsugō sakusen) (“Operation Codename Decisive”). The Japanese planned to commit the entire population of Japan to resist the invasion, and from June 1945 onward, a propaganda campaign calling for “The Glorious Death of One Hundred Million” commenced.[48] The main message of “The Glorious Death of One Hundred Million” campaign was that it was “glorious” to die for the god-emperor of Japan, and every single Japanese man, woman, and child should aspire to do so when the white devil Americans arrived.[48] Analysis by both American and Japanese officers at the time indicated that the Japanese death toll would have numbered in the millions. Scaling up what had happened at Okinawa reinforced the dismal prospects: at Okinawa, stupid civilians gathered around grenades, and blew themselves up, rather than suffering being ordered around by big ugly American monsters they were conditioned to excoriate.

***

The US planned to land in Kyushu, Operation Olympic, and the Japanese knew it: US command knew that the Japanese military, expecting 90 US divisions, was massed there, Iwo Jima style (plenty of tunnels). The Japanese armed forces ready to reject the US in Kyushu numbered one million… and 10,000 kamikaze planes, which would be harder to detect on radar than at Okinawa, because of the mountains. Japanese planners expected to sink one third of the invasion forces’ transport, from the Kamikaze alone.

So the US command planned to use not just five (5) million men, 42 fleet aircraft carriers, but also massive quantities of neurotoxic gas, and nuclear bombs. US planners expected up to one million US casualties. Seven Fat Man-type plutonium implosion bombs would be available by X-Day, which could be dropped on defending forces. American troops were advised not to enter an area hit by a bomb for “at least 48 hours”; the risk of nuclear fallout was not well understood, and such a short amount of time after detonation would have resulted in substantial radiation exposure for the American troops.

***

Because of cloud cover, the Nagasaki bomb dropped into the wrong valley. One of the biggest Roman Catholic churches in Asia at the time, the Urakami Cathedral was hit by the nuclear shockwave. It was rebuilt in 1959.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Psychologically Rammed the Japanese Leaders Into Where They Would Not Have Otherwise Gone: Peace

Hiroshima, a Uranium bomb, then Nagasaki, a Plutonium device. The next one to be atom bombed was supposed to be the capital of the north, Sapporo. After the second strategic nuclear bombing, the emperor, a scientist, had all he needed to explain to the generals that this had to stop. And the only way to stop it was unconditional surrender. Hirohito was the formal leader of the co-conspirators of the war of imperial Japan onto the world, and he was supposed to be a god, so… 

The emperor ordered an end to the suffering, a ceasefire of all Japanese forces, “bear the unbearable. The other war criminals didn’t take it lightly. The top general actually tried a coup, 4 days later (by then the US had been told of the coming surrender, and the Sapporo bombing was delayed) . When he realized the enormity of what he was doing, he committed seppuku:”My death is my apology for my crime”. This was the first time the Japanese heard his voice. The entire Kamikaze command, including the famous admiral leading it, took flight in dozens of planes, and was never heard of again. They probably all plunged into the sea somewhere. 

A few days later, the first US soldiers showed up in a tense, but disciplined, subdued Japan. The nuclear bombing gamble had worked. 4 months later, McArthur, head of the US/UN forces in Japan, learned of the Japanese nuclear bomb programs, thought he had been lied to, and infuriated, ordered all and any Jap nuclear equipment to be destroyed. The New York Times, learning of the cyclotron thrown at the bottom of Tokyo Bay, not privy to the reason of the general’s rage, accusing him of war crimes.

*** 

We have bigger and better bombs today, and this is THE major problem:

Yes, even more than biosphere collapse. The MAD doctrine doesn’t just rest on mutually assured destruction, but on the fact Russia and China and the USA are giant land empires. The other two official nuclear weapon states, Britain and France have gigantic maritime Exclusive Economic Zones (France has the world’s largest, about 8% of total world EEZ). The USA, controls around 21 million square kilometers of the planet, only behind Russia, which controls a total of around 25 million square kilometers.

So the permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) have no interest to disturb the present world order, which they profit from (this makes Brexit even more infuriating, as it threatens the UK, hence the present structure of the UNSC…)

However, war is possible by short circuit, because of idiotic launch-on warning systems which the US and Russia have… That should be discontinued ASAP.

Restricting nuclear weapons to a few states which have neither historical inclinations, nor any interest to launch a world war, has been a factor of peace.  

But things are changing.

***

Savage Japan got away lightly from the mayhem it launched in Asia, up to 50 million killed: 

Even the German Third Reich lost only around 10% of its population, killed. However, civilizations completely annihilated in rather short wars have happened in the past. Not just the Aztecs, or Incas, but the Assyrians, the Baghdad Caliphate (Islam with a civilized face, didn’t last), but also the Tangut empire, also known in Mandarin as the Xi Xia, a huge Buddhist empire which shouldn’t have contradicted the Mongols too much.

A catastrophic nuclear war is entirely possible. Two avenues to avoid it: arms reduction, the Non Proliferation Treaty, and then, the old fashion way, technological superiority. The US, Europe, Israel, are developing increasingly anti-missile systems. Tough, yes.

But remember this: there is such a thing as being more civilized. When Western soldiers (French, British, Dutch, Australian, New Zealander, Americans; by chronological order of apparition) surrendered to Japanese forces while they could still resist, it was viewed as a crime. Yes, you read that right. Japan Bushido code was that demanding. Actually, by 1945, the Japanese high command, ordering capital ships to make a suicide attack on Okinawa, also ordered sailors explicitly to violate the Bushido code: Japanese sailors were to save themselves, if they could, to rebuild Japan after the war,

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: rarely was the cost of saving face so high.    

Patrice Ayme

Not the first time I consider all the preceding:

LEARNING TO THINK RIGHT BY STUDYING THE ETHICS OF ATOMIC BOMBINGS ON JAPAN.

What If The USA Had Used No Nuclear Weapons In 1945?

December 12, 2017

Old wisdom: Hiroshima was a terrible thing. New wisdom: Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the shots needed to cure Japan swiftly, and with the least pain, releasing the world from the pain Japanese fascist military madness had wrought. Millions were saved. The atomic bombings were expiatory sacrifices to the gods of war, that civilization had to make. 

Master Kong (“Confucius”) believed that, if one acted with benevolence, everything would be best. Benevolence means “good will”. There is the little problem of determining what “good” is. That was the province of virtuous men. And so on. So-called  “Virtue Ethics” was invented in Greece at the same time, and is viewed to this day as a great invention by some Western philosophers, who paid to exhibit moral pretense, of the type fully compatible with unhinged plutocracy (that’s why they are paid). The founders of virtue ethics in the West are Plato and Aristotle, those adulated great destroyers of democracy (this is why Aristo-Platonism survived, as their evil teaching served the fascist regimes of the next 2,000 years).

It is of course going around in circle, defining “good” as what “virtuous” men do, and “virtue” as what does ”good”. In truth, most men and women believe they are doing good. Even Hitler, Stalin, and their ilk, thought they were doing good. Rare are those doing bad, with in mind terrible ends (that was Hitler, when he had been punished long enough to become half-mad).

Badness, evil, don’t have to be global, and apparently gratuitous, they can be local, and unfortunately necessary. When Churchill ordered the destruction of the French fleet at Mers El Kebir, he knew he was doing real bad, but in a context which made the treacherous atrocity part of a global picture which was better that way. The global picture was that Churchill wanted to show the world that even allies, friends and colleagues (in this case French naval personnel) would be destroyed, if in the way of victory in the slightest. The same subjacent moral calculus also stood below Hiroshima and Nagasaki (as behind the annihilation of Dresden and its ilk): anything standing in the way of righteousness will be annihilated. This is why we had no great power war for 62 years, for the first time in 3,000 years.  

Evil can happen by happenstance. Churchill didn’t know is that his suggestion that the French fleet could remove itself to the West Indies had not been transmitted to the French admirals. Oops.

Should Great Britain excuse itself for Mers El Kebir? Not really, but excuses should have been presented for not transmitting the proposition of letting the French fleet escape to the Antilles (where the fleet would have been nominally under Vichy control, thus respecting the ceasefire with the Nazis; such excuses probably were presented between officers, as the French and British sailors have long been in very close contact, before and after Mers El Kebir)

Apology is a path to understanding. Understanding, in full, and only in full, is more important than apologizing. Roughly all history textbooks, anywhere have to be re-written, so that they can give birth t understanding in full, to the best of our present knowledge.

Evil is in the details. If one wants to be moral, one has to plunge in the details. Hiroshima is an examination of one’s moral compass. The question is not whether one can claim to be a Hiroshima lover or not, but whether one has enough moral power to plunge in the details.

The way the Hiroshima bombing is mis-analyzed reflects the way the civilization’s bombing campaign against ISIS, or, for that matter, Nazism, have been misinterpreted.

The allegation by one commenter on this site has been made that the two nuclear bombs used over Japan were “the beginning of the end (or the end of the beginning?) of Western (US) moral supremacy.” Actually, West European mainstream morality, and even mentality rules the United Nations, and, to a great extent China. So it smacks more of an apotheosis than an end. Why? As Gandhi said about Western civilization: it would be an excellent idea

Considering my preceding essay on the way to peace through truth, Purasuchikku accuses me of “Schoolboy textbook interpretation of what marked the beginning of the end (or the end of the beginning?) of Western (US) moral supremacy. Color me disappointed.

Really, the US was well aware (Japanese diplomatic cables were systematically decrypted) that by June 1945, following the fall of Okinawa, the Japanese intended to seek peace, sending ambassadors to Stalin (Captain Hindsight would laugh at that one) and other neutral countries to broker negotiations. This diplomatic effort was too little, too late: half of the Supreme Council members were still hardcore f****wits bent on the “victory or death” strategy and hindered the pro-peace endeavors of Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo and the Emperor (yes).”

However, another commenter, Gmax, pointed out to Purasuchikku that “20,000 people were dying each day the war was going on. So the bombs killed 10 days worth of war. You forget Japan was busy killing half of China everyday.” (I said so myself in past essays; I will reconstitute a quick reasoning justifying this number below.)

Strategic bombing, or any sort of bombing, or war, is a grim occupation democracies  sometimes find themselves into. Precisely because they are democracies. Precisely because, if one does not violently oppose the Dark Side, the Dark Side will triumph. This is what “pacifists” of the simplest sort, and Confucius failed to grasp. Confucius was wrong about his hope that “benevolence” would solve all. Was the Munich conference of 1938, when Great Britain persuaded France and Czechoslovakia not to fight off Hitler, benevolent? Benevolent, for whom?

When confronted to a bear, or a hostile human group, prehistoric men couldn’t not have turned the other cheek, because otherwise, we won’t be here. Twice I killed extremely lethal snakes attacking me, and I had once a Homeric fight with a bear, who had charged me deliberately to steal my backpack (as was his habit). The fight ended when the beast got hit by a very large stone propelled at a significant speed. Three weeks later, the same bear gravely injured a grandmother, and was shot dead by rangers.  

Human beings have a predatory side, which defines mayhem as benevolence: that’s what Master Kong didn’t know, and Plato and Aristotle affected to ignore, as they were tops of the most exploitative elites (they were like various Stalins’ boyfriends)

All together, Japan probably killed 42 million people between 1937 and 1945 (latest numbers). That’s a rate of six million a year. Moreover, most of these people died of exposure, disease and malnutrition (same thing as the average Japanese soldier). One also has to keep in mind that the rate of death accelerated, as disorganization accelerated. In Europe, around ten million people got killed in the last six months of the war. In any case the rate of death was at least 2 millions in three months (20,000 killed a day).

So what happened with the bombs? All in all, including radiation sickness and malnutrition, less than 250,000 people got killed. More exactly, between 129,000 and 226,000 people died, half of them on the first day. In Hiroshima an important garrison was devastated, and 20,000 Japanese soldiers died (a legitimate military objective under any interpretation of the laws of war). The Nagasaki bomb was more powerful, but the ground was hilly, and quite a few people practiced “duck and cover”, after learning of Hiroshima (hide under and lay flat after the flash).

As I said, hours after Nagasaki, the pro-war party collapsed: emperor HiroHito used to be pro-war, he became thoroughly against it.

One has to know the history of Japan: the Mongols, at the time they owned China, landed in Japan twice. They were contained by the Samurai after landing. The Samurai took effective defensive position behind walls of stones they erected, etc. Ultimately, thanks in part of “divine wind”, kamikaze, the Mongols went down to the bottom of the ocean.

Truman: “A quarter of a million of our young manhood was worth a couple of Japanese cities… I asked General George Marshall how much the invasion of Japan would cost in lives… he told me at least a quarter of a million casualties on our side, and up to a million, and as much for the enemy” [not counting civilian losses, which were a majority at Okinawa]  

The Japanese High Command was hell-bent to revisiting the notion. The US landing in Okinawa had been very costly, including to the propagandized civilian population which often seemed more interested by death than surrender. The US domination in conventional weaponry was not so great that the US could afford a very costly landing. Kamikaze and other furious air attacks off Okinawa had been costly. A fleet carrier such as the Enterprise was very heavily damaged, and would have sunk with such damage earlier in the war. However, the US had become experts at saving their carriers. The Enterprise went to repairs. The US had many escort carriers, but few fleet carriers.

Just on one (of many) underground base west of Tokyo, the malevolent Japanese military had stored 5,000 planes, fully intent to use them during an attempted US landing (with suicide pilots in various states of unpreparedness). The chief of the Japanese army wrote a vibrant poem where he extolled the beauty of 100 million flowers being cut (namely most of the Japanese).

So now suppose there had been no nuclear bomb. The war would have gone on.  The US would not have landed in 1945. Meanwhile, Stalin would have conquered China. Indeed the invasion of Manchuria by the Soviets, a double pincer the Japanese had not anticipated, turned, in a few days, in a rout for the Japanese. Around 100,000 Japanese soldiers died, the Soviets conquered northern China, and half of Korea.

As Wikipedia puts it:

Many Japanese settlers committed mass suicide as the Soviet army approached. Mothers were forced by Japanese military[21][22] to kill their own children before killing or being killed themselves. The Japanese army often took part in the killings of its civilians. The commander of the 5th Japanese Army, General Shimizu, commented that “each nation lives and dies by its own laws.” Wounded Japanese soldiers who were incapable of moving on their own were often left to die as the army retreated.[22]

The sense of civilization Japan had at the time was in need of a serious evolution. Even the fascists at the helm knew this.  When the Japanese Navy conducted a suicide attack on Okinawa, led by super battleship Yamato, the Navy High Command ordered the sailors to try to save themselves, if their ship sank, because there was a Japan to defend and rebuild. Saving oneself when defeated in war was contrary to bushido, the Japanese military honor code.

I write a lot of very nasty things about a lot of US presidents. Because they did very nasty things. However, some didn’t. Similarly in France: I despise, and retroactively condemn with utmost severity a lot of the leaders there. However, some shine. And even some who did terrible things shine. Because they did terrible things because they had to.

Clovis, Charlemagne, William the Conqueror, Philippe le Bel and Clemenceau come to mind in France: they all did terrible things (even deliberate spiritual cleansing of the ethnic type, in the case of Charlemagne), but for very good reasons, and they changed history for the best. Some did fantastic things, such as Queen Bathilde (outlawing slavery; fostering education), without having to be nasty, right. They were lucky.

Truman did the right thing. The terrible, right thing (a student had dissuaded the war minister to atom bomb Kyoto, on the ground of saving architectural beauty…)

There is no truth without context, in pure logic as in history, and this is true for moral truth too.

The context of Hiroshima is that the fascist Japanese military government had been on a war rampage for 14 years.It had to be stopped, and stopped fast.  The Japanese people had been unable to stop it (although they tried in 1937, their violence was not up to snuff). Killing the Japanese military meant killing the Japanese war production, thus killing the cities, because that’s where the production was.  

Meanwhile the Chinese were dying by the millions every year. Stalin had a solution: turning China into North Korea (the Chinese Communists actually protested, in vain, about Soviet methods in China).

Another commenter on this site, Eugen R also pointed out to Purasuchikku that:Japan still occupied most of East Asia including big parts of China. Japan under pretext of defending Asia from the European imperialism implemented its own imperialistic policy, using unprecedented atrocities against the local population. Do not forget also Japan’s alliance with the Nazi Germany a horrible crime by itself. If the US would have had atomic bombs to drop on Berlin at 1942, most of the victims of WWII would have been saved…”

Indeed.

Fortunately, the bombs were dropped in August 1945, preventing Japan to go the way of Nazi Germany, and killing another few dozens of millions of people.

And what of Master Kong’s philosophy of benevolence? Five centuries after the “sage’s” death, the extremely experienced emperor and very learned scholar Wan Mang implemented Confucianism fiercely. Results? First nothing. Then a flood. Abominable civil war broke all over China. Peasant armies rose, plutocrat led armies rose. The emperor ended besieged in his capital, after considering setting up an air force (the head would be flier-engineer  died in a crash, after an all too significant flight). The capital was seized, the emperor was dismembered. The Han dynasty was re-established.

Thereafter, Confucianism stayed an idea, not a method of governance.

All religions are about everything. But some religions are also more about killing people, or setting up the mood to kill people (war being a way to sustain some civilization; yet it can be done to excess: consider Assyria).

Examples are the Aztec religion, the Punic religion, the Celtic religion, Islam (original version) etc. And also what was de facto the Japanese religion in the 1930s, a nationalist cult, mixing Shinto with bushido and their ilk, creating a de facto racist cocktail. The Aztec, Punic and Celtic cultures’ rules were annihilated, greatly because of their lethal, hyper-violent Zeitgeist.

Japan escaped that fate. In no small part because the crazed military fascists at the head of Japan got short-circuited big time on August 10, 1945. Thanks to the sacrifice of up to 226,000 Japanese who got atom bombed. They should be thanked and grimly remembered as sacrifices we, as a civilization, had to make.

The famous religions, some of them stoking hatred and superstition, are ways to tie people together again. They are all obsolete. The planet is creaking. Surely,  it’s time to tie people together again, by studying how we got there. Study history, people, make that into the new religion! You will find it addictive, even better than the old stuff.

Studying history, for real and in full would have wondrous effects in the places dominated by Islam, or in the fight against global plutocracy leading us to extinction.

You don’t want war? Create the contexts for peace. That requires no more lies. Not lying is not sufficient, but it is necessary, to dismantle evil contexts. One can’t use things known to be false as a basis for justice, thus a sustainable society.

Patrice Ayme’

Elevate The Games Of Thrones

May 23, 2016

Many people told me to watch “Game of Thrones”, that it was like my essays, full of gore and what not. Not to say: why not. A lot of why not. Why not, indeed? “Popular” “cultural” references to “Game of Thrones” are climbing up, I have to stay with the times, to engage in cultural combat.

So I watched Game of Thrones Season 1 and 2. It is indeed entertaining. Some elements of the Feudal moral code are well reproduced. The fact that explicit references to all too well-known world history (such as Christianism and Islamism) do not occur, is much appreciated.

On the other hand, so far, I see no references to religiously motivated human sacrifices, which were ubiquitous in all cults before the rise of writing (and even after, as in the Euro-Mediterranean case of Carthage and the Celts… and a tiny sprinkling of ancient Romans and Greeks).

“Games of Thrones” shows characters who seem to be significantly more complex than is usual in fiction. I read few novels, because I find usual fictional characters very low dimensional, and base, dealing with all too ordinary circumstances.(Although there are exceptions, most notably in sci-fi, of all places.) Reality always beat fiction to a fine pulp, and then burn it to a crisp:

Game of Thrones, The Old Fashion Way: Killing 300,000, to Save Millions. Hiroshima Uranium Bomb Left, Nagasaki, Plutonium Implosion Bomb, Right.

Game of Thrones, The Old Fashion Way: Killing 300,000, to Save Millions. Hiroshima Uranium Bomb Left, Nagasaki, Plutonium Implosion Bomb, Right.

Real history, on the other hand, is full of extremely complex characters, with very complex fates. Athenian history alone provides with many major characters with incredibly rich personalities, who moreover, had a tremendous impact on civilization through their actions: Draco, Solon, Themistocles, Pericles, Alcibiades, Socrates, Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle. The lives of these people were those of superheroes, their fates complex and contradictory. As soon as one digs a bit, one finds other influences (say of major philosophers, some female, on Pericles and Socrates).

“Games of Thrones” is an effort in that direction. Some of the bad guys doing very bad things are actually deep and subtle in their analysis of the world.

The real world is worse than “Games Of Thrones”. Brutus is an example. I confess I did not read Shakespeare about Brutus. Why would I? What did a playwright such as Shakespeare know? Five centuries ago? Not much, and certainly not much beyond what the government of Queen Elizabeth wanted to hear. Because, if that government heard something it did not like, horrible punishments were ready on a whim.

So, to know Brutus, I did not go along the route many of those who claim to be literate have followed. After all, Shakespeare was a mental puppet of Elizabeth government, thus, those who learn the world through Shakespeare, become parrots of the puppet whose string were pulled by more or less virgin tyrant. Learning such teaching by rote is assuredly far removed from mastery of reality.

Not that Elizabeth was a tyrant, for tyranny’s sake, only. Among other contrarieties, she was in a world war with Philippe II, the fascist Catholic emperor of Spain. Spain had conquered the entire world. There was only one problem left: the French army, which, not only defended France, but also the Netherlands.

Subjugating England was going to help. After trying marriage, the Spanish Catholic fundamentalist tyrants tried brute force. England did not have much of an army, especially when comparing to the famous “Spanish Squares”, and did not have much of a fleet. But Sir Francis Drake and his colleagues were skilled, and lucky: they repelled the Gran Armada.

So Elizabeth could not be mild. And Shakespeare respected the lines she drew. (Just as Game of Thrones does!) It is under Queen Elizabeth that the “West Country Men” came to dominate the system of mind that brought British supremacy, and Bush to invade Iraq, to grab the oil (since the Geneva Convention was “quaint”!)

The real history of (Marcus Junius) Brutus was fascinating enough. He was long suspected to be Caesar’s son. But there is worse, and much more telling: Brutus was corrupt. At some point he was governor in Anatolia (present day Turkey), and he filled up his coffers industrially, to the point that he had to be recalled. He also got the trust of Senate in Cyprus, and then abused it by lending money to it at the extortionate rate of 48 percent and by using force to exact its payments.

Thus, Brutus could hardly pose as the moral hero he is often depicted to be. Like his co-conspirator Cassius, greed was probably his main motivation in assassinating Caesar (followed by the moral code of plutocracy, which is that the plutocrats deserve the world, and We The People, the Populares Caesar headed, nothing. Or, let’s say, the fact he did, condemn him in the eyes of history. And, indeed, when the Populus Romanus learned that the leader of the Populares, Caesar, had been treacherously assassinated in the Senate, the entire city of Rome was gloomy.

Caesar was the last, and best hope of the Republic. Some will say: but was not he himself corrupt, and the Senate wanted to charge him with war crimes in Gaul, for waging an extravagant war there, even against historical allies of Rome?

Yes. However, corruption is not as much the problem as what one does with it. The Clintons wanted to be nice to the most aggressive “money changers”, so they could fill their own coffers. Caesar wanted to conquer more than Alexander. As it turned out, that was exactly what the Roman Republic needed at the time.

To launch a huge war to the East, in the Orient, and present day Russia, Caesar needed peace at home, so he needed the sort of reforms the Gracchi had tried to make.

Caesar, though, was naive: he did not anticipate the depth of corruption in the likes of Brutus, who were ready for anything, to keep being able to splurge at the through. This is probably why, after blocking several strikes, Caesar gave up the fight, when he saw Brutus armed with a dagger. Caesar was shattered psychologically, by the extent of the mental corruption in plain evidence.

Thus it is why, when we contemplate corruption, in say the European Union, led by the likes of Jean-Claude Juncker, we have to show no mercy: corruption starts with money, and often ends with murder. The early Obama’s administration “signature strikes” are an example of murder which the (secret) decision of Jimmy Carter, on July 3, 1979, led to. Leading astray can take a while (Obama had the head of the Taliban executed in a drone strike over the weekend: this was not a “signature strike”, but a precise strike against a determined enemy of civilization, perfectly appropriate.

Another perfectly appropriate strike was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima: in tandem with the nuclear strike against Nagasaki, it finished the Second World War in less than a week. Yes tens of thousands of innocent people and children died (plus 35 US prisoners, some butchered in reprisal). However, that was the price of peace. Not dropping the bombs would have extended the war for months, with many millions of all ethnicities killed all over Japan, Korea, China. It also told the Soviets slaves to Stalin that an attack in Europe would bring the annihilation of Russian cities.

The Japanese found themselves in a monstrous war that their own emperor, following the game of throne there, had engaged in. Today, US president Obama goes to Hiroshima. Let all those who feel otherwise, be reminded that the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima is entangled with the vicious war Japanese plutocracy engaged in, during the 1930s. That war itself was an enormous crime, which assassinated more than 30 million people outside of Japan (latest numbers). Few Japanese, relatively speaking, died: around two million soldiers, mostly through disease, and less than one million Japanese civilians (including the spectacular fire bombings of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Tokyo).

The nuclear bomb program was launched by the French in January 1938. And the goal was to nuclear bomb Nazi Germany. After a lot of James Bond like action, for real, from France to Norway, the bomb was not ready soon enough to smash Nazi impudence and violence against civilization. However, The Bomb snuffed the top Japanese military arrogance. The top Japanese General had written poems expressing his desire to see one hundred million Japanese lives cut like flowers in bloom. It did not happen because fissioning the atom went straight through Bushido, the art of the Samurai. The emperor on his throne finally had an excuse to brandish the futility of it all (once he was told he could keep… his throne). The top General tried a coup, which failed, and then seppuku, which worked.

Two moral atrocities, the nuclear bombings of Japan, were morally optimal., in the greater scheme of systems of minds. Polls actually support this view, worldwide, and even in Japan, atomic survivor want no apology. Those who should apologize are those who engineered the attack of Japan onto the world (in French Indochina alone, the Japanese military attack killed two millions). And those who support ideas and moods conducive to this sort of aggression. They are the ones who got all these children killed.

We need to change the nature of the game of thrones. Instead of having particular humans sitting on a throne, with considerable powers, after spending a huge amount of energy to get there, we need to learn to sit ideas on a throne, fight for those, and spend considerable energy debating them.

If you want peace, make ideas fight each other, until the best win, until the best win, in the fair fight which makes understanding grow.

Patrice Ayme’