Posts Tagged ‘Wan Mang’

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’


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Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

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in truth, only atoms and the void

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Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

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because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

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Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

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Writer, Editor, Berliner

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SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

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Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

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Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

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ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

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