My Brush with Nuclear History

by Amazing1914 33 Replies latest jw friends

  • ColdRedRain

    "Why didn't the US detonate an atomic bomb on an unihabited Japanese island to show them the extent of the obliteration that follows such an explosion? Who knows. The US government obviously seemed to view the Japanese as somewhat subhuman. Did they put Germans and Italians in concentration camps? I don't think so. "

    They did have Germans in concentration camps, and many Germans tried to hide their German background. In fact, the government had secret files on 11 thousand German-Americans and there was even a concentration and depgrogramming camp in rual Minnesota.

  • talesin

    Ahhh, wars. They are all about money and power. We listen to the politicians,,, who tell us they are about freedom and justice, but that is a load of horse puckey. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuked to revenge Pearl Harbour, period, end of paragraph. Japan was ready to surrender anyhow.

    Jim W., I don't think Christians must be pacifists ... whatever turns your crank and allows you to still be a 'freedom-loving' American, just do it. I mean, who is more vengeful and murderous than your "G*d"? He is always killing people who disagree with him, and even in the New Testament, has promised to wipe out all the 'wicked'.


  • jgnat

    Amazing, I am very glad you are taking the time to document your impressions. You provide a gift for the next generation.

  • IW


    Edited: I know sometimes you leave questions hanging. That's ok Amazing I understand.
    Huh? How'd you know, IW? Or have you been around longer than your posting start date of July 27?

    Take it easy Ozzie. You sometimes jump the gun. Other than the fact that one can lurk here for years without registering and get to know the posters' writing style during that time, I used to post here as Island Woman, so yes I do know Jim not personally but in posting land.

    I requested a couple of years ago that the Island Woman account be closed. Just visiting here, don't worry it won't be a permanent thing. My closing signature then was "IW" so I'm still me. Sorry for the confusion. Good to see you Ozzie.

    Take care of yourself,


    P.S. a couple of posters recognized me by the little island icon I used on the first few posts here. Not trying to hide Ozzie, just visiting.

  • Amazing1914

    Hi IW,

    Okay, I'll take a crack at this, and give you some possible scenarios. You asked,

    "As a Christian, Amazing, on what does "it all depend?" ... Does it depend on how many soldiers are invading? Or if they reach your town? I ask in order to understand how you would not engage in war yet you say you are not a pacifist. On what grounds are you not a pacifist?"
    If someone invaded my home, threatening to kill my wife or children, I would not hesitate to find a way to retaliate, and if it meant killing the bad guy, then so be it. To me, such a scenario is crystal clear, and such action is fully justified. If a biker-drug gang invaded my community, and the police asked for the help of gun owners to defend the community, perhaps deputizing a posse,' I would join up in a heartbeat. If it meant I had to shoot at and kill invading bikers who threatened the lives of the people of the community, then so be it. Such a scenario is justified in my mind.

    If an evil dictator, like Hitler, rose to power again, and threatened the existence of peaceful nations, and his push for expansion was merely a power grab, as was Hitler's, then I see no problem taking a stand and stopping him. If this meant that I were drafted, and I felt that such a conflict was justified to preserve peaceful nations, then so be it.
    The problem is, however, that current and recent wars have not been so clear cut. There is a large division of opinion. The dangers are not so clear and present. Viet Nam, for example, was not of any life threatening concern for the USA. It was a French colony, and a French problem. The USA should have stayed out and let the communists have it. Let them get the communism out of their systems by living it. As a result of this view, I was a conscientious objector during the Viet Nam war. I went to trial as a Catholic rather than join the Army. Although, at the time, I did not know that my asthma would have kept me out anyway.
    The Persian Gulf war was somewhat clear cut with respect to Kuwait and surrounding nations. Saddam had plans to invade Saudi Arabia once Kuwait was secure. The international coalition was strong, and made up of a volunteer force. So, its use of force to oust the Iraqi Army from Kuwait seems justified. Yes, it was for oil too, because had Kuwait not been an oil producer, then I doubt anyone would have cared if Saddam took it over. But, oil is essential to the world economy, and seriously affects lives everywhere.
    The recent invasion of Iraq is very questionable in the minds of many. The intent to go in and stop the production and spread of WMDs was good, and had they been found, it would have been better. Certainly, the subquent political freedom the Iraqis now enjoy and proudly exercise makes the decision to go into Iraq better. However, there are serious arguments on how this relates to the war on terror. I can see both sides.
    For my part, I would not join the army to invade suspected nations like Iraq. But, given the outcome, I do not judge those that have done so. As a Christian, I would and do stand down. The whole issue is not black or white, right or wrong. It all depends on the circumstance and justifications involved. However, I also cooperate with authorities in matters of reporting suspect activities when I encounter them, and I have done so as my agency license requires.
    So, by no means am I a conscientious objector. I believe that self defense is perfectly justified in God's eyes. If he permits bad guys to run around and terrorize people, then he also must accept it if I support doing something about them. However, in other cases, I believe that a Christian must avoid supporting questionable situations. In other words, use their brains and common sense to determine if something is worthy of fighting for.
    Those opposed to any war will cite how Christians obeyed the German authority in WWII and fought for Hitler. Yes they did. They were wrong. They did not choose wisely with a personal conscience. They were deceived, but there was also information available to show that they were being an aggressive bully nation. Also, in those days, people gave far too much to "Caesar" in obedience. I find the climate today of questioning and examining carefully to be far more healthy ... even if it sparks very heated debates.
    I think I answered your questions ... but, I am sure that you may see problems somewhere with something I said ... so feel free to have at it.
    Jim W.
  • IW

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the reply.

    Your stand is one which, in my opinion, is balanced and clear cut.

    Hope all is well with you and yours,


  • BrendaCloutier

    This thread is so very appropriate considering the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.

    I have my opinions of the use of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but I will keep them to myself out of honour and respect for those who were killed, and those who were involved.

    I have yet to visit Pearl Harbour, though I've flown over it a few times now. And I look forward to visiting Hiroshima and Nagasaki in due time.

    As I understand it, the Japanese upper eschelon knew they were at defeat's door - food, fuel, other resources gone, but they were intent on preserving the Emperor's possition and the US and allieds were intent on an unconditional surrender. Under the Bushido(sp) Code, the Japanese military AND civilians were propagandized to the point where every man, woman, child, elder, were preparing to protect Japan and the Emperor, to death. To death. We can only suppose what might have happened if Russia and US allieds had invaided: estimated 1 million allieds dead and multi millions of Japanese of which only 1/10th were killed by both bombs including long-term death attributed to the radiation. The possible destruction of the Japanese people to near racial extinction, as the Japanese were told of the horrors of what the Americans would do to them: cutting off their feet and watching them boil in a pot, rape, slow tortuous death, unimaginable horrors, they were willing to fight to the death.

    Even when the Emperor, who's voice had never ever been heard by the public before, announced to Japan by radio that Japan had surrendered to the US, he did not acknowledge Japans loss. And children up until the last 25 years or so, were taught in school that Japan had WON!

    They were an incredible voracious foe.

  • SixofNine

    General Douglas Macarthur view was radically different than yours Brenda:

    MacArthur biographer William Manchester has described MacArthur's reaction to the issuance by the Allies of the Potsdam Proclamation to Japan: "...the Potsdam declaration in July, demand[ed] that Japan surrender unconditionally or face 'prompt and utter destruction.' MacArthur was appalled. He knew that the Japanese would never renounce their emperor, and that without him an orderly transition to peace would be impossible anyhow, because his people would never submit to Allied occupation unless he ordered it. Ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign. Had the General's advice been followed, the resort to atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been unnecessary."

    William Manchester, American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964, pg. 512.

    Norman Cousins was a consultant to General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins writes of his conversations with MacArthur, "MacArthur's views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed." He continues, "When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor."

    Norman Cousins, The Pathology of Power, pg. 65, 70-71.

    As was ELLIS ZACHARIAS (Deputy Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence)

    Based on a series of intelligence reports received in late 1944, Zacharias, long a student of Japan's people and culture, believed the Japan would soon be ripe for surrender if the proper approach were taken. For him, that approach was not as simple as bludgeoning Japanese cities:

    "...while Allied leaders were immediately inclined to support all innovations however bold and novel in the strictly military sphere, they frowned upon similar innovations in the sphere of diplomatic and psychological warfare."

    Ellis Zacharias, The A-Bomb Was Not Needed, United Nations World, Aug. 1949, pg. 29.

    Zacharias saw that there were diplomatic and religious (the status of the Emperor) elements that blocked the doves in Japan's government from making their move:

    "What prevented them from suing for peace or from bringing their plot into the open was their uncertainty on two scores. First, they wanted to know the meaning of unconditional surrender and the fate we planned for Japan after defeat. Second, they tried to obtain from us assurances that the Emperor could remain on the throne after surrender."

    Ellis Zacharias, Eighteen Words That Bagged Japan, Saturday Evening Post, 11/17/45, pg. 17.

    To resolve these issues, Zacharias developed several plans for secret negotiations with Japanese representatives; all were rejected by the U.S. government. Instead, a series of psychological warfare radio broadcasts by Zacharias was later approved. In the July 21, 1945 broadcast, Zacharias made an offer to Japan that stirred controversy in the U.S.: a surrender based on the Atlantic Charter. On July 25th, the U.S. intercepted a secret transmission from Japan's Foreign Minister (Togo) to their Ambassador to Moscow (Sato), who was trying to set up a meeting with the Soviets to negotiate an end to the war. The message referred to the Zacharias broadcast and stated:

    "...special attention should be paid to the fact that at this time the United States referred to the Atlantic Charter. As for Japan, it is impossible to accept unconditional surrender under any circumstances, but we should like to communicate to the other party through appropriate channels that we have no objection to a peace based on the Atlantic Charter."

    U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Relations of the United States: Conference of Berlin (Potsdam) 1945, vol. 2, pg. 1260-1261.

    But on July 26th, the U.S., Great Britain, and China publicly issued the Potsdam Proclamation demanding "unconditional surrender" from Japan. Zacharias later commented on the favorable Japanese response to his broadcast:

    "But though we gained a victory, it was soon to be canceled out by the Potsdam Declaration and the way it was handled.

    "Instead of being a diplomatic instrument, transmitted through regular diplomatic channels and giving the Japanese a chance to answer, it was put on the radio as a propaganda instrument pure and simple. The whole maneuver, in fact, completely disregarded all essential psychological factors dealing with Japan."

    Zacharias continued, "The Potsdam Declaration, in short, wrecked everything we had been working for to prevent further bloodshed...

    "Just when the Japanese were ready to capitulate, we went ahead and introduced to the world the most devastating weapon it had ever seen and, in effect, gave the go-ahead to Russia to swarm over Eastern Asia.

    "Washington decided that Japan had been given its chance and now it was time to use the A-bomb.

    "I submit that it was the wrong decision. It was wrong on strategic grounds. And it was wrong on humanitarian grounds."

    Ellis Zacharias, How We Bungled the Japanese Surrender, Look, 6/6/50, pg. 19-21

  • BrendaCloutier

    Sixy, that's not just my view, but the attitude that was taken by Truman, Churchill, and the other top leaders involved. MacArthur had no control over the final decisions. The man who had been Ambassador to Japan (I forget his name-it may have been Zacharias) and understood the Japanese Empire better than just about any other Westerner was for keeping the Emperor as figurehead, but his recommendations were also ignored. The US felt forced to use of "the bomb" when Stalin proceeded to attack the Japanese entreanchments on mainland China inspite of his "word" that he would not, fearing Russia's taking of Japan itself or at least wanting a "piece" of the Japanese "action".

    Sadly, what happened is what happened.

  • JWrobot

    Nice pictures of the Peace Museum - post pictures when the new "Fair and Balanced Museum" is completed.

    Some years ago I worked for Dr. in his home, he remarked concerning some furnishings I was using that it was the first time in his life he ever bought anything from Japan. The Japs had killed his parents in the Phillipines using all kinds of torture, he said they'd hang women by their breasts etc.

    If a nation wants to act like barbarians they should expect to be treated the same. Hopefully America has learned to go after the leadership and not the civilians though.

    America's pride was wounded by Pearl Harbor and therefore wanted to leave a warning example for other nations.

    1914- Is your brother now retired?

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