Posts Tagged ‘Nuclear Bombings’

Why No Apology For Hiroshima

May 27, 2016

Obama is talking (live) to the US Marines, next to Hiroshima as this is published (“I will visit this afternoon, Hiroshima!”). Obama, correctly, will not apologize for the nuclear bombings of Japan in 1945. However, it’s a good time to reiterate my old position on this subject.

Yes, the fate of children in Hiroshima brings tears to one’s eyes. However… However optimizing morality is not about crying about what happened, it’s about doing the best one can do, considering the circumstances. And the best, at the time, was, clearly, and in retrospect, to use atomic weapons exactly as they were used. It was a superb rolling of the dice. Better: thanks to a bit of luck, it worked splendidly.

The “Hitler line” had been erected across very mountainous ground in Italy, south of Rome. It was a natural barrier, the last one for hundreds of kilometers. It stopped the Allies for six months. The Commonwealth troops, Poles, British and American armies had suffered immense losses. And not advanced a mile. In 1944, the French army broke through it near Monte Cassino.

French General Juin, was nicknamed “Hannibal by the American command for his ferocity, calm and strategic cunning. After a first test and diversion, the French army pierced in two days through the twenty miles thick with Nazis, fascists and mountains, like a hot knife through butter. This was really a Franco-North African army. And its ferocity was unequalled. Ferocity starts, but also wins wars. And the ferocity of the just always surpasses that of the unjust.

Want Peace? Don't Make War For the Worst Reasons. Hiroshima Roasted, 8 September 1945.

Want Peace? Don’t Make War For the Worst Reasons. Hiroshima Roasted, 8 September 1945.

Stabbed in the center and through the heart, the entire Nazi line soon collapsed. However, the American powers-that-be got soon worried that the “French”, those racially impure Franco-Africans, were committing acts of war going over the line of what they considered proper. The American generals went to see the French generals… who laughed to their face: ”C’est la guerre!” The French explained they had no love lost for the treacherous Italians. In June 1940, fascist Italy joined Hitler in attacking the French Republic. Thus the honor of Italian women was not high on the list, considering that the Italians had shown they had no honor. After covering 50 kilometers in a few days, through the mountains, giving no quarters, killing the most contemptible forces in the world, love acquired the same old meaning that real war calls for. Real tough love!

And, as far as the French were concerned, a good Nazi, was a dead Nazi. The French army would keep that relaxed attitude through the rest of the war (the US Army had a pretty similar attitude, and the Nazis were dismayed to be out-Nazified, so to speak…) In the last few weeks of the Second World War in Europe, in April-May 1945, the First French army charged through the two German states of Bade Wurttemberg and Bavaria, suffering more than 5,000 dead in combat… while destroying all Nazi units in south Germany, killing untold thousands. That’s war! Although Nazism was clearly already finished then, an unforgettable  lesson still had to be taught, a punishment for the ages (the Nazis had sent all the armies they had to try to stop the French, whom they hated the most among those they confronted in 1945; they feared the Russians more, but the French had declared war, and brought the destruction of the 1,000 year Reich).

Punishing the Nazis was the moral thing to do. The French finished the war by killing as many Nazis as they could, precisely because a hard, cruel and thorough finish was needed. The sort of hard, unforgettable finish that German racist fascism was not given in World War One. And thus it did it again, as it felt that lack of punishment meant approbation!

The German Republic we all enjoy now was born in the blood and ashes of prior fascism and barbarity.

By summer 1944, the American generals learned, indeed, and learned from the French, that ferocity was called for. During the (mostly failed) Operation Market Garden, the Nazi command bitterly complained that the Americans were taking no prisoners, even when the SS surrendered. Why not? Was not the idea of the SS that there should be no surrender?

Although technically France had declared war to Nazi Germany (with the United Kingdom and its puny army in tow), it was the Nazis who had decided to destroy civilization. They had started the war (contrarily to what they pretended later).

Who had started the war in Asia? The Japanese military command. A coup was actually attempted against it, by lower officers (in 1937). The coup failed and was repressed in (a lot of) blood. However, the fact remains that Japanese society, like the German one, or even Italy, engaged in collective mass murder.

The Japanese army massacred at least 15 times more (innocent) people than the total of Japanese (mostly military, mostly by their own hand) who died. Japan losses were of the order of two millions, mostly troops dead from bad treatment by… the Japanese high command (yes, this is a slightly biased description, but only very slightly: most Japanese who died in the war were Japanese soldiers mistreated by the conditions their command put them in!)

True, a two month old Japanese baby was innocent. And maybe her parents, too. However, collectively, all of Japanese society was culprit. Proof? The US could atom bomb, and it was the highest moral way.

Yes, I know perfectly well that the “collective responsibility” doctrine was rejected in 1945. That was clearly idiotic (and a political manoeuver, thinking of Stalin and Mao).

On the island of Okinawa, the civilian population resisted with a fanaticism that the Islamist State envies, no doubt. A consequence is that most of the civilian population of Okinawa died (I have covered all these arguments, with detailed numbers, in the past).

Hiroshima killed 70,000 right away, and for a total of 140,000 later. Nagasaki killed much less. And  the war was over within three days.

And that high rate of atrocious atom bombing was all a lie, a make-belief.

Bombing August 6, and again August 9, should have induced the Japanese High Command to believe that a bomb would be coming every three days. Several Japanese cities, including Kyoto, were still untouched. All Japanese industry was within those cities. Clearly, Japan could not sustain an atomic bombing every three days.

In truth, there were no more bombs at the ready. A few could have been dropped over the next few months. Not enough to have a big military impact. Japan could have held into 1946. The landing prepared for Fall 1945 was expected, in light of what had happened at Okinawa, to kill at least one million.

Announcing a demonstration atomic bombing would have been a very bad idea, for a variety of reasons.

So, considering the situation, the atomic bombing were morally optimal. Those who don’t want to be atom bombed, better not start a world war.

A lesson for the future, averse to war. Those who got zapped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not get zapped in vain: they gave their lives, and a lesson. Yes, it was horrible. But so is surgery without anesthesia. It doesn’t mean it’s not necessary.

Let’s help, and get help from, the Bhagavad Gita

Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds and evils

You want to be moral? Start by not being an idiot. (Or the sort of fascist robots Japanese and Germans had turned into in the 1930s and 1940s.)

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’