Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Hiroshima anniversary: what might have been

A few days from now will be the sixtieth anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The rightness of that decision is still being vigorously debated.

Here's an article from the Weekly Standard (hat tip: Austin Bay) countering the argument that the bombing was unnecessary because Japan was about to surrender anyway. It makes a fairly convincing case that intelligence of the time actually indicated that the opposite was true.

I grew up in the immediate postwar years with the knowledge of our dropping of the atomic bomb. As I've already written, fear of nuclear war colored the childhood of most in my generation. That fear wasn't simply a fear of the Soviets and what they might do; it was also a fear of what America had already done.

I was very young--perhaps twelve or so--when I read the book Hiroshima by John Hersey. It terrified and sickened me. The descriptions of the suffering of the innocent residents of the city, going about their business on a summer day and either instantly incinerated or subject to horrific injuries and sights out of a Bosch painting, were nearly unendurable even in the reading. Multiplied in my mind's eye by many tens of thousands similarly suffering, they created a symphony of agony that reached such a crescendo it threatened to overwhelm me for a time.

Hersey's book purposely gives his reportage on Hiroshima no context at all, the better to appreciate the appalling human cost. He simply describes, and the reader identifies with the victims. There is no way to read his book and not feel a deep and visceral revulsion towards what happened there. Even learning (and believing) the justification for the bombing can never do away with the knowledge that the human cost was profound and almost unimaginable.

Hiroshima is an event of such huge significance that it is easy to lose sight of the fact that it must be weighed against the most likely alternatives. But it seems almost obscene to do so in light of what actually happened there. How, in the balance of the scales, can such an overwhelmingly heavy reality be weighed against a projected alternative? The preponderance of the evidence now seems to argue that, without the bomb, the carnage would have been far worse. Projections are only best guesses, though; they can never be proven to have been inevitable.

So how can we judge that a projected alternative is worse than those horrors that we know actually did happen? The answer is that it takes a great deal of imagination to do so; the flesh-and-blood realities of Hershey's book are so vivid that they tend to block out all those other deaths that didn't happen but probably would have.

From my reading on the subject up to this point, I believe that the use of the bomb did in fact prevent far more deaths than not using it. But it's hard to wrap my mind around this fact; hard to know it. As I wrote here:

It is so very easy to criticize what is, what has actually been done. The resultant faults and flaws are right before our eyes. The world will always be imperfect; each action will create its own problems. But the even worse (perhaps far worse) things that might have happened but for those actions--those always remain invisible and unknowable, and can only be guessed at.

There's another aspect to criticism of the decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima, one that applies to many of those on the left who also have criticized our involvement in Iraq: they believe that the most important thing is to keep our (read: their) hands clean. Sins of commission are judged far more harshly than sins of omission for that reason. The deaths we cause (for whatever reasons, even primarily defensive ones) are considered far greater crimes than the deaths someone else would most likely have caused had we not done what we did. To a person with such a mindset, nothing could ever have justified being the agent of the suffering Hershey described, not even the prevention of far greater suffering.

[ADDENDUM: for further thoughts of mine on the subject of Hiroshima, see this and this.]

42 Comments:

At 6:49 AM, August 02, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

The Japanese were ready to surrender my foot! For years after the end of the war, hold-outs on the Pacific islands were found. Soliders had gone deep into the jungles and caves prepared to fight until the end. The concept of banzai and kamikaze came from the Japanese culture and was not distinctly unique to soliders. The Emperor was deemed a God and had the order been issued, the civilian population would have fought with sticks and stones, tooth and nail until they were gunned down. It is that simple, but leave it to revisionists and armchair generals to say otherwise. There is a strong liberal bent to the criticisms of using the atom bomb to end a war which the United States did not start. How utterly typical and predictable. At Guadacanal, and I've talked with veterans of that campaign, the Japanese threw repeated banzai attacks at the Marines on line defending Henderson field. Imagine stumbling over the many bodies of your comrades in yet another human wave assault, time and again, only to be gunned down yourself. When the Emperor said it was time to surrender, they did. Liberals would have had our military forces using moral suasion to persuade the Japanese civilians to quit producing war accouterments for the military to use. Cottage industries were thriving - people were making war goods in their homes and shops. Dresden was fire bombed in Germany for the same reason.

I see three lessons that can be applied today: 1.) Homicide bombers are nothing new. A kamikaze or a banzai charge is the same thing. It didn't succeed back then and it won't succeed today either. 2.) The United States was totally unprepared for war back then, just as we were pretty much unprepared for this current war against islamic fundamentalism today. We took on the two largest military powers the world had ever seen in Germany and Japan and we won, with considerable help from our allies, and this war against terrorism will be won too. 3.) Having once seen the dire necessity of unleashing our nuclear potential, it can happen again, though I can't readily imagine any circumstances today that would necessitate such action.

True to their nature, jihadis and islamic fundamentalists choose to ignore our history, after all, God is on their side, so why would they need to understand the enemy?
They are blind to the parallel of 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, totally blind. In their minds we are corrupt, weak, lazy and heathens, how could we possibly have the same collective will and purpose after so many years of rotted living? Well, they found out in Afgahnistan, they are finding out in Iraq too and they will see the destruction of Iran's developing nuclear potential too, if Iran persists. Like the soliders of the divine wind, the kamikazes with their spiritual fanaticism, the jihadis think God will step in and assure them victory. Recall the footage of the invasion of Iraq and the cars and trucks that would rush at our tanks. Tora Bora in Afghanistan was a literal meat grinder - they bunched up knowing allah would save them. They concentrated themselves in Fallujah too under allah's guidance and protection and died like rats by the hundreds. So be it. We did not start this war on terrorism, but we will end it.

 
At 7:15 AM, August 02, 2005, Blogger camojack said...

Three words:
Remember Pearl Harbor.

Three more:
Bataan Death March.

As horrible as it was, it put an end to the war, regardless of any second-guessing about what might have been...

 
At 9:50 AM, August 02, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a special on the History Channel last year talking about how even after the atomic bombings Japan wasn't necessarily on the verge of surrender. A group of officers attempted a coup against the emperor in order to prevent a surrender and were in control of the Imperial grounds for a time before they were pushed back. If that coup had succeeded, who knows how much longer the war might have lasted.

 
At 10:34 AM, August 02, 2005, Blogger PatCA said...

Of course, it's still being debated: if the US did it, it's bad!

Personally, I'm tired of the breast beating and sad victims on covers of U.S. newsmagazines--without a peep about how wars actually start.

Let's have a commission add up all the people killed by whichever country in the 20th century and see who the bad guys really are, once and for all. It won't be us. For me, the entire Bomb discourse itself is meaningless: Dead is dead, whether by A-bomb or sword to neck or starved to death in a gulag.

 
At 11:36 AM, August 02, 2005, Anonymous TerryH said...

Mark Steyn's essay outlines some of the brutal calculus of war. Absolute, total destruction of evil leads to good. Lesser measures lead to catastrophe.

http://www.steynonline.com/index2.cfm?edit_id=24

 
At 11:55 AM, August 02, 2005, Anonymous neo-neocon said...

I agree that the preponderance of evidence is that the Japanese were nowhere near surrendering. But what I was trying to get at in this essay is how difficult it is for most people to balance a potential horror against an actual horror, when the facts of the actual horror are so horrific. I believe this accounts for a lot of the guilt and criticism about the dropping of the bomb, although certainly not all. Some people, of course, are merely out to criticize anything the US does, and don't mind carnage as long as it's not the US who is doing the killing. But some are well-meaning but misguided idealists motivated by humanitarian concerns, and flinch at doing the "brutal calculus of war" because it would mean supporting a certain amount of brutality, and they find any brutality intolerable.

 
At 12:17 PM, August 02, 2005, Anonymous WJA said...

Many of us have no moral objection whatsoever with Truman nuking Japan-- of course it ended the war quickly and saved untold thousands of US soldiers' lives, and (as the Weekly cites a historian arguing) of course it saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Asian civilians suffering under brutal Japanese occupation. The objection many of us have-- and I have yet to read an adequate explanation for this-- is why Truman selected two targets that were primarily civilian in nature. Why not nuke a Japanese military base? Why not nuke a Japanse naval seaport? Why incinerate tens of thousands of civilians instead? All these utilitarian arguments about lives saved by the bomb don't explain away those lives that still seem so unnecessarily taken.

 
At 12:43 PM, August 02, 2005, Anonymous m.g. said...

Wasn't the goal to demoralize the general population? Like we did with the Dresden bombing. Dropping the bombs on military targets wouldn't have done the trick.

War really is hell, and the calculus of war is truly dispiriting. It is, though, sometimes necessary.

 
At 12:58 PM, August 02, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Without equipment and supplies, no army can sustain itself. Equipment and supplies are made in factories by workers and when factories are lost, cottage industry efforts begin. People that work in factories and people that make things at home = sustained war effort. The potential for rebuilding and establishing a new, functioning government was tokyo hence the A bomb was not dropped there. Such is the nature of total war. Whether or not it will be applied to islamic terrorists remains to be seen.

 
At 2:43 PM, August 02, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not really. Tokyo was not chosen as a target because it had already been destroyed. Many more civilians were killed in Tokyo through conventional bombing than died in the nuclear bombs. A single big raid and firstorm could have taken out Nagasaki or Hiroshima just as effectively as the bomb, but without the psychologiucal effect. Japan was in no position to fight a sustained war, because it had very few raw materials, especially oil, and the submarine war had already sunk the entire merchant marine. Japan 60 years ago could not come close to feeding itself, let alone sustain a serious war effort. That said, she could clearly make any invasion prohibitively expensive, and had no intention of choosing surrender over national starvation.

There were plenty of alternatives to dropping the bomb 60 years ago. As pointed out, it's not so easy to conclude that any of them was better - certainly in terms of Japanese civilian deaths.

From the USN
http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/ships/submarines/centennial/pac-campaign.html
"Bauxite imports fell off 88% just between the summer and fall of 1944. In 1945, pig iron imports plunged 89%, pulp 90%, raw cotton and wool 91%, fats and oils 92%, iron ore 95%, soda and cement 96%, lumber 98%, fodder 99%, and not one ounce of sugar or raw rubber reached Japan."

 
At 3:12 PM, August 02, 2005, Anonymous colagirl said...

Count me in the camp that says dropping the bomb saved lives in the long run. From what I understand, the loyalty and devotion to the Emperor among the Japanese populace was unbelievable. Japanese navy men on sinking ships were prepared to sacrifice their lives to rescue the Emperor's *portrait* from ships that had been torpedoed. I remember reading this book many years ago on the Japanese side of WWII (*wish* I could remember what it was called--it was in two volumes, I remember that much, dang), and one of the things that always stuck with me was a slogan apparently going around Japan in the final days, illustrating the level of resistance they were prepared to offer: "100 million die together."

I've seen casualty estimates somewhere at 250,000 for what it would take--in *American* lives, that's completely leaving aside numbers of Japanese dead--to have subdued Japan. I always thought those estimates were far too low. As for Japan being on the brink of starvation--*shrug* Even if true, that's no guarantee they'd have surrendered; check out North Korea.

I could go on and talk about the relationship of this fanaticism to Japanese concepts such as Zen and bushido, and the way these concepts played into the absolutely horrific treatment of prisoners and the conquered by the Japanese--my roommate's ethnically Chinese, and her grandparents lived through the Anti-Japanese War, as she calls it; the things she heard from them about what the Japanese did were so bad that she didn't want to tell me--but I don't have time right now.

But yeah. Basically, as I've said, I'm one of those who's definitely in the camp that using the bomb saved lives, and (to put it charitably) I suspect that there's more than a small streak of anti-Americanism in many of the arguments otherwise.

 
At 3:55 PM, August 02, 2005, Blogger David said...

Here are some thoughts from the writer Paul Fussell, who went through WWII as an infantryman:

http://www.ux1.eiu.edu/~cfib/courses/Fussell.pdf

(pdf)

 
At 4:56 PM, August 02, 2005, Anonymous roman said...

The Japanese during WWII were a homogeneous people with strong nationalist pride and "honor" was the main feature in their collective psyche. In order to gain a surrender, it required an act so incredibly shocking and terrifying as to cause an immediate cessation in hostilities. I cannot but think that there must have been something else that could have been done instead of dropping those two atom bombs on densely
populated cities. This action was undertaken in the waning days of the war when Japan was stripped of most of its military power. I cannot seem to shed the thought that this act was over-the-top because it contained a sort of de facto punishment component.

 
At 6:10 PM, August 02, 2005, Anonymous thedragonflies said...

It is not the role of the U.S.president to sacrifice the lives of his soldiers to keep from killing the enemy. Truman did what any other man in his position at the time would have done. He did what he had to do.

As was pointed out in the article, the Japanese "big six" militarists who were running Japan were intent on a strategy of fighting to the death of hundreds of thousand, or millions (on both sides), on the idea that America would not be able to stomache the slaughter, and would negotiate a peace that left the Japanese military structure that caused the war in place. It took the shock of the bomb to force the emperor's hand and surrender.

The notion that the U.S. did not have to drop the bombs is a fundamental anti-American propaganda ceated by the radical, anti-American left. The idea, of course, is to destroy the moral credibility of America so that the followers of the radical, anti-American, anti-capitalist element will turn agaisnt us and help the haters destroy us.

It is not going to work.

 
At 9:52 PM, August 02, 2005, Blogger Pancho said...

I had a very good comment about a friend in Japan who is former kamikaze pilot*...who admits the bombing was necessary. Blogger lost the entire long post I had written....it was a good one. Too bad you missed it.

{*former kamikaze pilot in training actually....he is alive today because of the bomb}

 
At 1:56 AM, August 03, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

While you discuss whether Japan was ready to surrender or not before the atomb bomb was dropped, and how many lives were actually "saved" by dropping it on civilian targets, you're missing another point entirely: The future lives that would have been spared from the Vietnam and Korean wars, and perhaps the Indonesian slaughters, had a large scale U.S. military invasion of Asia, and Japanese encirclement taken place instead of the atomic bomb.

Ho Chi Minh and Mao were on working terms with the U.S. during W.W.II.
It is highly unlikely the U.S. would have handed back the keys to the European colonialist's with our army on the ground, in control, particularly at this time, the founding of the U.N., with all it's noble retoric. It is a situation government (Roosevelt) planners certainly took into consideration and wanted to avoid.

And make no mistake about it, the Europeans wanted their colonies back, a point that should never be over looked, but almost always is as a root cause of Asian wars.

So the bombs saved lives in Japan, only to be snuffed out in later wars in 'Nam, Korea, and Indonesia. Roosevelt saw it all coming, but unfortunately passed away at the worst possible moment.

 
At 6:25 AM, August 03, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

For being such a whipped people, I wonder why MacArthur ordered the confiscation of all weapons, in particular the Samurai swords, the symbol of militarism? By not using the bomb on Tokyo, the 'center' was not totally devastated nor was there any radioactive residual left, hence the new government could be formed there and reconstruction could begin and spread out from the center. In my opinion, it is best to leave the conduct of war to military professionals and to extend little sympathy to enemies in time of war. Speaking of which, I wonder what the Iraqis think when after a fire fight wounded jihadis are given for state-of-the-art medical care? I would find it hard to trust such people when non-jihadi civilians get sub-standard care in comparison. In fact, I would be reluctant to report much suspicous activity when a common indicator, saving the lives of lethal enemies, suggests the real intent of occupation is clouded and contradictory.

 
At 6:46 AM, August 03, 2005, Anonymous Paul said...

I think that Truman made a terrible decision to drop the atomic bomb,but I believe that it was the correct decision at the time. he was dealing with the situation at the time. We second guess that decision at times,in retrospect, with the benefit of history on our side.

 
At 11:04 AM, August 03, 2005, Blogger PatCA said...

Was the US able at that point even able mount a large scale military invasion of Asia?

As to the connection to Ho and Mao, are you suggesting some sort of diabolical or cynical plan along the lines of the "we invented Saddam" canard?

I suppose you have a picture of Ho shaking hands with FDR...

 
At 2:49 PM, August 03, 2005, Anonymous Bob said...

Nagasaki

 
At 12:10 AM, August 04, 2005, Anonymous TerryH said...

A forward looking pair of essays by Gerard Van Der Leun depicting the brutal calculus that lies ahead if we fail now.

http://americandigest.org/mt-archives/005714.php

http://americandigest.org/mt-archives/005717.php

 
At 1:35 AM, August 04, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

The really scary situation to contemplate is what if Truman had not made that hard decision. The Japanese strategy was sound: cause so many casualties that the opposite side would be forced to treat for terms favorable to a continuation of Japanese imperialism a few years later after things had cooled off. The largest Japanese blunder was to strike too early at Pearl Harbor, thereby bringing the U.S. kicking & screaming into the war. At the time pacifist sentiment ran high in America. Most people don’t realize how close the Axis powers came to winning. And if it hadn’t been for the plucky Brits fighting for years almost alone & Russia forcing Germany into a costly Eastern front history still might have turned out differently, even though we were eventually forced by the Japanese to declare war.

 
At 1:52 AM, August 04, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Patca said:

"Was the US able at that point even able mount a large scale military invasion of Asia?"

It was planned before "the bomb" was dropped.

"As to the connection to Ho and Mao, are you suggesting some sort of diabolical or cynical plan.." ..along the lines of the "we invented Saddam" canard?"

It was no diabolical plan, it's U.S. military history. We were looking for allies to fight Japan. The English were defeated, the French collaborated, and Chiang Kai-chek only sometimes, when he wasn't collaborating with the Japanese.

The OSS armed, trained and supplied Ho and Mao. Many U.S. military leaders at the time saw them as the best horses to bet on in the future, from General Stillwell on down. My point was if the U.S. had the massive military prescence on the mainland that a Japanese invasion or encirclement required, the future of Asia would have been dramatically different when W.W.II was finally finsished. Later, terrible conflicts could have been avoided (Vietnam, Korea), saving many millions of lives, not to mention U.S. credibility.

The problem was the European's wanted their colonies back. America
unfortunately stood on the wrong side of history and helped them.

"..along the lines of the "we invented Saddam" canard?"

Canard? The CIA was involved in two coups that brought Saddam's minority Baath Party to power? He was on the
U.S. payroll as early as 1957. Without the benifit of the most powerful nation on earth I doubt the 850 members of the Baath party could have achieved very much on their own. Create? How about elevate a nobody to a level he could do some real harm? How about "pump and dump"?

"I suppose you have a picture of Ho shaking hands with FDR... "

No, I have a photo of Ho shaking hands with his U.S. OSS handlers, including the one that saved his life.

 
At 10:27 AM, August 04, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

Maybe I’m missing Ho’s point about Ho Chi Minh & Mao. Weren’t both of them anti-colonial? So by Ho’s reasoning wouldn’t that make those who may have favored them, like the OSS & General Stillwell, also anti-colonial or at least at the time indulging in anti-colonialism?
Here’s another thought I’ve had, which also may have bearing on Ho’s feelings about past Saddam/Baath Party/U.S. relationships: U.S. foreign policy, both overt & covert, in the years since WW1, has probably had dealings with literally thousands of individuals & organizations – no, make that tens of thousands. Isn’t it inevitable that some of those folks turn out later to be the disagreeable sort? How are we to know beforehand - psychological testing? To take an example from recent history that few historians dispute: Roosevelt & Churchill probably knew that Stalin was a ruthless leader, yet without a Russian alliance WW2 may have lasted much longer or may even have ended different than it did. Germany lost millions on the Eastern Front, a costly drain on Axis manpower. Are Roosevelt & Churchill to be castigated because Stalin later turned out to be one of the foremost murderers in history?

 
At 3:32 PM, August 04, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

To John Moulder said...

Not only were the OSS and Stillwell anti-colonialist, so was President Roosevelt, ..as every red blooded American should have been I might add. Or are you pro-colonialism?

Back to the original point of "the bombs" on Japan "saving lives", it is my opinion that a large U.S. military prescence in Asia at the end of W.W.II, when Mao and Ho Chi Minh were militarily allied with the U.S., would have headed off the colonial tensions and conflicts of the French-Indochina, Chinese, Korean, and American-Vietnam wars, not to mention the anti-communist blood baths of Indonesia and else where. Why? Because they would have gotten their independence, or political compromises, what all of them were looking for in the first place.

Clearly with a large military prescence on the ground there America could have steered things our way, especially at a time when our future "enemies" were our war time allies. Many more lives could have been saved in the long run had "the bomb" not been used. (The Japanese would have surrendered anyway, another discussion entirely).

And I would disagree about who exactly the U.S. overtly or covertly
wishes to climb in bed with. Invariably they were (are) ruthless types, the reason they were brought on board in the first place. Saddam for instance was paid by the C.I.A. to torture (communists or sympathizers). That was his job.
Clearly almost every ally the U.S. sought out was anti-communist. No room for democratic principles then.
It was "war". The more brutal the better. The record speaks for itself.

Fascist's bring the political stability our international investments require. The reason why so many were funded or "created" by us. If you can find a democrat the U.S. backed please fill me in. And I don't mean one after the "communists" had already been liquidated. It's not democracy when the opposition has been murdered, run into exile or intimidated. ..Or do you disagree?

You ask: "Are Roosevelt & Churchill to be castigated because Stalin later turned out to be one of the foremost murderers in history?"

Turned out to be? He already was before they started to aid him against Hitler, as you "and nearly every historian agree" (leaving out most of the details). Of course if we and the Brit's really cared about Russia we would have recieved Soviet delegations and Ambassador's, seeking a western alliance against Hitler from 1933 onward, with more then the State Department or Foreign Office third-stringers we did send to meet them, a diplomatic insult the Russian's were not to forget. In fact it was exactly these futile attempts at rallying the west against Hitler that led Stalin to finally sign an agreement with him. There was nothing else for him to do.

Clearly not many in the west seemed interested in stopping Hitler, a virulent anti-communist. Considering our anti-communist track record I wonder why anyone is suprised.

The timing of aid to Russia is important, after they were invaded and Germany could be sandwiched in a two front war. That doesn't mean we wanted to help Russia, it only means that, while we wanted Hitler to wipe out communism for us (as our political "appeasment" and financial arrangments would suggest to a skeptic), we didn't want him to come out of it ruling over us when it was all over. Admittedly a scary balancing act, but that, unfortunately, is exactly what world politics is about, and always has been.

 
At 3:44 PM, August 04, 2005, Anonymous paul said...

Boy, I expected more disagreement.

I don't think there is any question that the bomb saved lives, American, Asian, Japanese. . Truman's stated objectives to the military was to prioritize (American) "lives over time" in the winning of a conventional war. Without the bomb, this would probably have meant a delay of a land invasion (Coronet and Olympic) (Frank's article has an interesting new spin on this subject), emphasizing bombing and blockade. No doubt hundreds of thousands of Japanese would have died, perhaps millions if/when famine took hold. A January/February surrender, at the very earliest, would probably have been the result. The mainland Asian casualties by that time would have also probably been close to/over a million more dead. (the Bengal famine alone took 1.5 million lives during the
war). Not pretty, and to me, no question that Robert Opphenheimer saved more lives than he took.

The interesting debate to me is over the short-term vs long-term strategies involved in the decision vis a vis the Soviet Union. Stalin waited in the wings, toying with Japanese diplomats, ready to "invade" once the war was won. Soviet occupation of northern Japan would have been very interesting.

Anyone interested in more from me on this, come on by...

www.soapgun.blogspot.com

 
At 4:19 PM, August 04, 2005, Blogger PatCA said...

"It was planned before "the bomb" was dropped."

Still doesn't answer my question.

So we should have drafted women and children and mounted an invasion to avoid dropping the bomb? Your whole line of argument is that since the US has had bad allies in the past--who, btw, made sense in the historical context of the time and were cultivated not for our sheer delight in cruelty--we are no longer allowed to make war at all.

This fashionable theory of moralistic double standards is ridiculous as well as suicidal. We obviously have no common area of agreement to argue this further.

 
At 7:22 PM, August 04, 2005, Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

Blockade, said John Foster Dulles, is right up there with gassing maternity wards.

It's called "sanctions", now, and apparently sanctions against Iraq killed a hundred thousand children, or a million children or something (almost certainly not but the anti-sanctioneers said so and so I'll use it). But it would have worked against Japan without killing a million kids? Remember, there was not likely to have been an Oil for Food program with Japan to take the edge off, presuming the militarists hadn't skimmed it as Saddaam did.

 
At 8:58 PM, August 04, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

Ho said to John Moulder:

Or are you pro-colonialism?

No.

Back to the original point of "the bombs" on Japan "saving lives", it is my opinion that a large U.S. military prescence in Asia at the end of W.W.II, when Mao and Ho Chi Minh were militarily allied with the U.S., would have headed off the colonial tensions and conflicts of the French-Indochina, Chinese, Korean, and American-Vietnam wars, not to mention the anti-communist blood baths of Indonesia and else where. Why? Because they would have gotten their independence, or political compromises, what all of them were looking for in the first place.
Clearly with a large military prescence on the ground there America could have steered things our way, especially at a time when our future "enemies" were our war time allies. Many more lives could have been saved in the long run had "the bomb" not been used. (The Japanese would have surrendered anyway, another discussion entirely).



A nice opinion, but based on impracticalities. If the U.S. had kept a large military presence in Asia many of our allies & all of our post-WW2 enemies would have labeled such behavior as rankly imperialistic & I’m not sure they would have been wrong if such a far-fetched hypothetical had actually happened. I say far-fetched because we didn’t really have the resources in manpower or material to keep a large military force throughout Asia since we were rather busy post-WW2 keeping Papa Joe out of those parts of Europe he hadn’t already taken over. You could have thrown many of the U.S. post-war alliances out of the window if we had tried something like that. For sure NATO would probably have been impossible. As it was, Russia among others, hurled the charge of imperialism at the U.S. because of the forces we kept in Japan & that was just one Asian country. What other business would the U.S. have had in keeping a large military presence throughout the rest of Asia, a rather large area of real estate, than imperialistic designs on that area?


And I would disagree about who exactly the U.S. overtly or covertly wishes to climb in bed with. Invariably they were (are) ruthless types, the reason they were brought on board in the first place. Saddam for instance was paid by the C.I.A. to torture (communists or sympathizers). That was his job. Clearly almost every ally the U.S. sought out was anti-communist. No room for democratic principles then.
It was "war". The more brutal the better. The record speaks for itself.



I know, I know. The U.S. loves to promote cruelty & revels in brutality, the more ruthless the better. Why? Because the U.S. loves to torture all those who oppose us, but also because Amerika is the Devil – the Devil I tell you!


Fascist's bring the political stability our international investments require. The reason why so many were funded or "created" by us. If you can find a democrat the U.S. backed please fill me in. And I don't mean one after the "communists" had already been liquidated. It's not democracy when the opposition has been murdered, run into exile or intimidated. ..Or do you disagree?


Yes, yes, the U.S. is responsible for Fascism. Fascists are simply our lap-dogs & we created them so our international investments could bring more return to our unprincipled capitalists. Why didn’t I see this before? It’s so clear now – all so clear.


You ask: "Are Roosevelt & Churchill to be castigated because Stalin later turned out to be one of the foremost murderers in history?"
Turned out to be? He already was before they started to aid him against Hitler, as you "and nearly every historian agree" (leaving out most of the details). Of course if we and the Brit's really cared about Russia we would have recieved Soviet delegations and Ambassador's, seeking a western alliance against Hitler from 1933 onward, with more then the State Department or Foreign Office third-stringers we did send to meet them, a diplomatic insult the Russian's were not to forget. In fact it was exactly these futile attempts at rallying the west against Hitler that led Stalin to finally sign an agreement with him. There was nothing else for him to do.



I don’t think Roosevelt or Churchill or many people outside of Russia before WW2 knew the full extent of Stalin’s deadly brutality. Churchill didn’t trust him, true, but as far as what was actually known … But what could the U.S. have done if the U.S. had known, declare war on the USSR? Before WW2, during the 20s & 30s when most of the murder by Stalin occurred, the U.S.(& Britain) had its intelligentsia busily assuring everyone that Papa Joe was the nicest fellow you could possibly imagine & not to believe those scurrilous rumors about people starving & being murdered in Russia because Papa Joe was making the Soviet Union a heaven on earth & the world a better place. Intellectual after intellectual traipsed over to Moscow & was given the tour & came back with faces shining with happiness & joy. There were a few old lefties even up to the 90s that would swear on Das Kapital to that. Google “useful idiots,” & read & read & read.


Clearly not many in the west seemed interested in stopping Hitler, a virulent anti-communist. Considering our anti-communist track record I wonder why anyone is suprised.


Ho, you are forgetting that it was mostly Western nations that brought Hitler & Nazism to their end? How can you say the West was not interested in doing that when the historical facts are exactly the opposite?


The timing of aid to Russia is important, after they were invaded and Germany could be sandwiched in a two front war. That doesn't mean we wanted to help Russia, it only means that, while we wanted Hitler to wipe out communism for us (as our political "appeasment" and financial arrangments would suggest to a skeptic), we didn't want him to come out of it ruling over us when it was all over. Admittedly a scary balancing act, but that, unfortunately, is exactly what world politics is about, and always has been.


I know that the U.S. seeming to help Russia in WW2 probably blows a hole in your theory, which as near as I can determine is that by opposing communism the U.S. is responsible for all the world’s misery, so I wouldn’t cause you too much anxiety by claiming the U.S. ever did help Russia during WW2 except in a fairly passive way by diverting resources from the Eastern front after the U.S. entered WW2.
But look up the sequence of events: A formal military alliance was concluded between the UK, France and Poland in 1939, after which the USSR initiated alliance negotiations with those 3 countries without success. Go ask the UK, France and Poland why they wouldn’t accept Russia into the alliance – the U.S. had nothing to do with that decision. As a result, the USSR instead signed a pact with Germany later on in 1939(it didn’t take Papa Joe long, did it?) & historians tell us neither country intended to uphold that pact. Anyway, the pact was voided by the German invasion of Russia in June of ‘41. The USA didn’t join the allies until several months later, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, in December of ’41. Why didn’t we enter the war sooner? Well, Roosevelt wanted to but U.S. public opinion was overwhelmingly against getting in, that’s why. I think the U.S. should have entered WW2 much earlier. In my opinion many more lives could have ultimately been saved if we had – but what can you expect from a defender of the Lucifer of Nations.


It was after WW2 when the realization began in the West that communism was a force that should be vigorously opposed. Everyone started seeing what was happening to East Germany, Poland, Hungary, China, etc. & that is when Churchill coined the term “the Iron Curtain.” Although the verdict is still kind of out on the efficacy of containment of communism as a strategic post-WW2 U.S. policy I personally am glad the U.S. did so, but don’t forget that I am an apologist for the Great Satan!

 
At 11:02 PM, August 04, 2005, Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

We won the Cold War. It bothers the bejasus out of some people.
And I love watching them!

 
At 4:02 PM, August 05, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

john moulder said...



"If the U.S. had kept a large military presence in Asia many of our allies & all of our post-WW2 enemies would have labeled such behavior as rankly imperialistic".

Who said we had to stay? We could have set up an independent Vietnam like Roosevelt had been talking about for years (he hated the French), and everyone agreed on, except the English (and French). And the U.S. had already brokered a Mao-Chiang alliance.

"I’m not sure they would have been wrong if such a far-fetched hypothetical had actually happened."

So we agree the long term presence of U.S. bases represents imperialism, and not only in this example.

"I say far-fetched because we didn’t really have the resources in manpower or material to keep a large military force throughout Asia since we were rather busy post-WW2 keeping Papa Joe out of those parts of Europe he hadn’t already taken over."

With the European War over there was plenty of man-power and material to
re-deploy. The Russian's never had eyes on western Europe.

"You could have thrown many of the U.S. post-war alliances out of the window if we had tried something like that."

If our alliance is built on colonialism I say good riddens.

"As it was, Russia among others, hurled the charge of imperialism at the U.S. because of the forces we kept in Japan & that was just one Asian country."

If our Asian alliances, primarily Chinese and Vietnamese, could have been maintained after W.W. II we wouldn't need troops in Japan.

"What other business would the U.S. have had in keeping a large military presence throughout the rest of Asia, a rather large area of real estate, than imperialistic designs on that area?"

Helping them achieve independence, forging alliances, --acting as a great nation.


"I know, I know. The U.S. loves to promote cruelty & revels in brutality, the more ruthless the better. Why? Because the U.S. loves to torture all those who oppose us, but also because Amerika is the Devil – the Devil I tell you!"

We don't "love it", but posses a marvelous capacity to rationilise the use of violence and even torture to protect our strategic interests, primarily economic.

"Yes, yes, the U.S. is responsible for Fascism. Fascists are simply our lap-dogs & we created them so our international investments could bring more return to our unprincipled capitalists. Why didn’t I see this before? It’s so clear now – all so clear."

Responsible for facsism? No. But fostering and promoting facsist types (which are every where) when it serves our interests. Again primarily economic.

And if no one ever told you, political stability is the primary requirement for international investment, yesterday, today, and most likely tomorrow. ..Where have you been?


"I don’t think Roosevelt or Churchill or many people outside of Russia before WW2 knew the full extent of Stalin’s deadly brutality."

That's strange, every diplomatic mission in Russia was reporting wide spread, internal political repression, and the sad state of the country-side.

"Churchill didn’t trust him, true, but as far as what was actually known … But what could the U.S. have done if the U.S. had known, declare war on the USSR?"

How about not aid Hitler? (Don't tell me you never heard about it)

"Before WW2, during the 20s & 30s when most of the murder by Stalin occurred, the U.S.(& Britain) had its intelligentsia busily assuring everyone that Papa Joe was the nicest fellow you could possibly imagine".

Some perhaps. Then there were others who dispatched U.S. troops to join the European (and Czarist) assault to topple the Bolscheviks, from their inseption, before they had done anything wrong (other then overthrow their abusive King). This mistake certainly radicalised their regime.

"Ho, you are forgetting that it was mostly Western nations that brought Hitler & Nazism to their end?"

It was also western "nations", powerful sectors of them anyway, that aided Hitler from beginning to end. Why? Because he was anti-communist. Appeasement? I don't buy it. "We" wanted him (Hitler) to be there. He was an anti-communist that wanted to purge bolschevism.

"How can you say the West was not interested in doing that when the historical facts are exactly the opposite?"

The historic facts are exactly the opposite. Hitler was an anti-communist with powerful friends in the west. Germany was a bulwark against communism after W.W.II, why on earth wouldn't it be before W.W.II? Because there was no Communist threat? A most ridiculous assumption.


"..by opposing communism the U.S. is responsible for all the world’s misery"

Not the U.S. But we did an admirable job of taking over the torch of European Imperialism, the cause of communism in the first place.

"But look up the sequence of events: A formal military alliance was concluded between the UK, France and Poland in 1939, after which the USSR initiated alliance negotiations with those 3 countries without success."

First England and France stood by as Hitler goobled up a good deal, even handing him over Czechoslovakia, then the worlds no. 1 arms exporter, a country he couldn't have taken even if he wanted to (not to mention their gold). As for Russia, unlike westeners quite aware of Hitler's vehnement anti-bolschevism, immediately sought to forge a western alliance against Hitler, that is, from 1933, not 1939.

"Go ask the UK, France and Poland why they wouldn’t accept Russia into the alliance"

It was clear why they didn't. They were anti-communist, pro-Hitler (certain factions anyway).

"the U.S. had nothing to do with that decision."

We could have if we wanted to. Clearly the political will wasn't there. Maybe because most of the America-Firster's, big business, banking, the church and the media were pro-Hitler?

"As a result, the USSR instead signed a pact with Germany later on in 1939(it didn’t take Papa Joe long, did it?)"

Hitler wasn't going any further with the west so looked east (to secure his eastern flank so he could attack France). Stalin wasn't going anywhere for a long time with the west so signed a deal, believing Hitler would never be foolish enough
to attack Russia and open a two front war, and in the hope of establishing the old friendly relations with Germany from Czarist times. He was wrong.

"historians tell us neither country intended to uphold that pact."

I think they're wrong. Initially a business-trade agreement, benificial to both obviously, the Soviets refused to enter negotiations until a political agreement came first.


"Anyway, the pact was voided by the German invasion of Russia in June of ‘41. The USA didn’t join the allies until several months later, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, in December of ’41. Why didn’t we enter the war sooner?"

Because the U.S. was guided by anti-communist's, that is, those that were pro-Hitler. Again the trick was to build him up enough to take on the Soviet Union, but not enough to rule us.

"Well, Roosevelt wanted to but U.S. public opinion was overwhelmingly against getting in, that’s why."

With plenty of help from big business and finance, and their media lobby. Some editorials appearing in U.S. papers were even written by Germans, either from their D.C. Embassy or from germany directly. Don't be naive.


I think the U.S. should have entered WW2 much earlier. In my opinion many more lives could have ultimately been saved if we had – but what can you expect from a defender of the Lucifer of Nations."

Better.

"It was after WW2 when the realization began in the West that communism was a force that should be vigorously opposed."

Complete millarky. It was attacked from the beginning, 1919, and despised, exactly like it was in the Cold War, all the way through 'till our supposed "Cold War" began.
Who the hell were Mussolini, Franco and Hitler eradicating? Christ, it's the defining theme of Euopean history up to hostilities. How could you make such a ridiculous statement?



"Although the verdict is still kind of out on the efficacy of containment of communism as a strategic post-WW2 U.S. policy I personally am glad the U.S. did so, but don’t forget that I am an apologist for the Great Satan!"

I say it was exactly the same kind of "containment policy", and economic forces that drove it, that
created communism, and radicalised it, in the first place. Some of that we can pin on the European's, some on us, not the "Great Satan", just the Great Money Maker.


At 12:02 AM, Richard Aubrey said...

"We won the Cold War. It bothers the bejasus out of some people. And I love watching them!"

I'm glad you had fun watching 200 million people die.

 
At 12:32 AM, August 06, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

Earlier I said this: "If the U.S. had kept a large military presence in Asia many of our allies & all of our post-WW2 enemies would have labeled such behavior as rankly imperialistic".


Ho responded with this: Who said we had to stay? We could have set up an independent Vietnam like Roosevelt had been talking about for years (he hated the French), and everyone agreed on, except the English (and French). And the U.S. had already brokered a Mao-Chiang alliance.


I respond to that with this: For the U.S. to not have left most of Asia fairly quickly would have been interpreted as the U.S. making its own move toward colonialism & alienated European allies which were important to have as part of NATO. You’ve heard of NATO, haven’t you? The U.S. stayed in those places in Asia where it was diplomatically viable to stay – in the Philippines & Japan. As far as “everyone” agreeing upon setting up an independent Vietnam, except the English & the French – its like saying to a matador everyone will not gore you, except the bulls. Ho, your logic astounds me. But don’t you think China & the USSR(along with the French & English) would have also had objection to such a scheme? Look what happened when the U.S. tried exactly that in South Vietnam a few years later. I like creative, independent thinking about history but you need to not let your imagination get the best of you like it seems to do. As for a “Mao-Chiang alliance,” such a thing never existed. There was only a short-lived truce that fell apart very quickly after Japan surrendered. There wasn’t anyone or anything in the world at that time that could have prevented the struggle in China between the Nationalist & the Communists


I said this on an earlier post: "I’m not sure they would have been wrong if such a far-fetched hypothetical had actually happened."


In response Ho said this: So we agree the long term presence of U.S. bases represents imperialism, and not only in this example.


I respond now with: Not necessarily, especially when the U.S. military presence is requested. Also, “imperialism” is a very loosely used term, so a fuller answer to you would depend on your definition of the word.


I said this in a previous post: "I say far-fetched because we didn’t really have the resources in manpower or material to keep a large military force throughout Asia since we were rather busy post-WW2 keeping Papa Joe out of those parts of Europe he hadn’t already taken over."


Ho now asserts back with this: With the European War over there was plenty of man-power and material to re-deploy. The Russian's never had eyes on western Europe.


I fire back: No Ho, economically & politically the U.S. could never have covered most of the world with a military presence. You see, after you win a war the usual thing to do is send most of the boys home, not keep them all running around Asia. It was practical & necessary to keep a U.S. presence in Europe & a few other places. There was not “plenty of man-power and material to re-deploy.”
Ho, if you think Russia never had designs on Western Europe then your thinking is way, way off in the wild blue yonder. I think today even a totally Marxist historian would admit as much. NATO was expressly formed to keep the USSR contained to the European countries they had already taken over.


I previously posted this: "You could have thrown many of the U.S. post-war alliances out of the window if we had tried something like that."


Ho retorts: If our alliance is built on colonialism I say good riddens.


And I retort: And I say bad riddance. Our post-WW2 alliances helped to contain the Soviet Union – a very good thing in my opinion.


I offered in a previous post: "As it was, Russia among others, hurled the charge of imperialism at the U.S. because of the forces we kept in Japan & that was just one Asian country."


Ho now offers up: If our Asian alliances, primarily Chinese and Vietnamese, could have been maintained after W.W. II we wouldn't need troops in Japan.


My response now is: Ho, you live in an historical dream-world.


Me, in a previous post: "What other business would the U.S. have had in keeping a large military presence throughout the rest of Asia, a rather large area of real estate, than imperialistic designs on that area?"


Ho now believes this: Helping them achieve independence, forging alliances, --acting as a great nation.


I now respond to the above: It is hard to understand exactly what you are saying in the above, for example, who is “them”? And “forging alliances” between what entities? You imply the U.S. was/is not a “great nation.” I believe you are mistaken, but of course as an apologist for the Great Satan, that is only to be expected of me.


I said earlier: "I know, I know. The U.S. loves to promote cruelty & revels in brutality, the more ruthless the better. Why? Because the U.S. loves to torture all those who oppose us, but also because Amerika is the Devil – the Devil I tell you!"


Ho kicks my butt with this: We don't "love it", but posses a marvelous capacity to rationilise the use of violence and even torture to protect our strategic interests, primarily economic.


I rebut with this: The “use of violence”? You mean like WW2? Yes, Ho the U.S. is not perfect. I would never claim perfection for the U.S. & yes, the U.S. occasionally descends even into the use of torture. I would even agree with you that U.S. “strategic interests” can coincide with U.S. economic interests, but the difference in our interpretations is that I find nothing too damning in that fact. I want U.S. leaders to look out for U.S. economic & strategic interests – I think they are elected to do, along with other tasks, just that. Can you offer to the readers any country in which the leaders do not see to their country’s economic & strategic interests?


I earlier posted this: "Yes, yes, the U.S. is responsible for Fascism. Fascists are simply our lap-dogs & we created them so our international investments could bring more return to our unprincipled capitalists. Why didn’t I see this before? It’s so clear now – all so clear."


Ho now pokes me with this: Responsible for facsism? No. But fostering and promoting facsist types (which are every where) when it serves our interests. Again primarily economic.


I now have fun with this: Yes, yes, they are “everywhere,” the.” This very minute there are a bunch of “fascist types’ peering through my window, staring at me, their eyes glittering with greed & malice. Their corrupt whispers fill my head! If only the evil “Uncle Sam” would stop creating them, they might stop tormenting me. But the Great Satan must always have his “return” on his investment & only his lap-dog Fascists, which he creates from the fires of hell enable him to earn his devilish, “primarily economic” profits.


Ho swings with this: And if no one ever told you, political stability is the primary requirement for international investment, yesterday, today, and most likely tomorrow. ..Where have you been?


I rock with this: Ho, Fascism is not very conducive to political stability. And I have been right here where I am, observing that Fascism is not politically very stable.


Earlier I posted: "I don’t think Roosevelt or Churchill or many people outside of Russia before WW2 knew the full extent of Stalin’s deadly brutality."


Puzzled, Ho now posts this: That's strange, every diplomatic mission in Russia was reporting wide spread, internal political repression, and the sad state of the country-side.


I reply now: Maybe some suspected, but they didn’t know the full extent of the starvation & murder going on.


Earlier from me: "Churchill didn’t trust him, true, but as far as what was actually known … But what could the U.S. have done if the U.S. had known, declare war on the USSR?"


Amazed, Ho asserts now: How about not aid Hitler? (Don't tell me you never heard about it)


Resigned, I now key this: No, I haven’t “heard about it,” but I got a funny feeling you are going to fill us in on it.


Earlier from me: "Before WW2, during the 20s & 30s when most of the murder by Stalin occurred, the U.S.(& Britain) had its intelligentsia busily assuring everyone that Papa Joe was the nicest fellow you could possibly imagine".


Ho now in response: Some perhaps. Then there were others who dispatched U.S. troops to join the European (and Czarist) assault to topple the Bolscheviks, from their inseption, before they had done anything wrong (other then overthrow their abusive King). This mistake certainly radicalised their regime.


Me now: “Some,” hell – most of the intelligentsia was rabidly pro-Stalin. According to them Papa Joe was just what the world needed. Where do you get the “dispatched U.S. troops”/Czarist/European assault on Bolsheviks thing? I’m completely mystified as to what you may be referring.


Me earlier: "Ho, you are forgetting that it was mostly Western nations that brought Hitler & Nazism to their end?"


Ho now: It was also western "nations", powerful sectors of them anyway, that aided Hitler from beginning to end. Why? Because he was anti-communist. Appeasement? I don't buy it. "We" wanted him (Hitler) to be there. He was an anti-communist that wanted to purge bolschevism.


Me earlier: "How can you say the West was not interested in doing that when the historical facts are exactly the opposite?"


Ho now: The historic facts are exactly the opposite. Hitler was an anti-communist with powerful friends in the west. Germany was a bulwark against communism after W.W.II, why on earth wouldn't it be before W.W.II? Because there was no Communist threat? A most ridiculous assumption.


Me now: The U.S. joined in a war that brought Hitler & the Nazis to ruin. That’s not aiding Fascism, that’s killing Fascism. Hitler was anti-everything. That he was an anti-Communist proves nothing.


My earlier attempt to synthesize Ho’s theory: "..by opposing communism the U.S. is responsible for all the world’s misery"


Ho’s clarification now: Not the U.S. But we did an admirable job of taking over the torch of European Imperialism, the cause of communism in the first place.


Me now: Ho, you wander confused in a historical dream-land of speculation, conspiracy theory & paranoia.


Me earlier: "But look up the sequence of events: A formal military alliance was concluded between the UK, France and Poland in 1939, after which the USSR initiated alliance negotiations with those 3 countries without success."


Ho now: First England and France stood by as Hitler goobled up a good deal, even handing him over Czechoslovakia, then the worlds no. 1 arms exporter, a country he couldn't have taken even if he wanted to (not to mention their gold). As for Russia, unlike westeners quite aware of Hitler's vehnement anti-bolschevism, immediately sought to forge a western alliance against Hitler, that is, from 1933, not 1939.


Me now: So your theory is England & France wanted Hitler to succeed? To thwart Stalin? Ho, I can’t figure out if you are left or so far right that you come full circle & bump up against the left.


Me earlier: "Go ask the UK, France and Poland why they wouldn’t accept Russia into the alliance"


Ho now: It was clear why they didn't. They were anti-communist, pro-Hitler (certain factions anyway).


Me now: I’ll accept they were anti-Communist, but not that they were pro-Hitler. Not when they were fighting Hitler with everything they had. Ho, you do realize that to be anti-Communist doesn’t automatically mean a pro-Hitler bent, don’t you?


Me earlier: "the U.S. had nothing to do with that decision."


Ho now: We could have if we wanted to. Clearly the political will wasn't there. Maybe because most of the America-Firster's, big business, banking, the church and the media were pro-Hitler?


Me now: Oh yes, the U.S. should have insisted, no, demanded that those three stupid nations take poor Papa Joe into their alliance – or else!


Me earlier: "As a result, the USSR instead signed a pact with Germany later on in 1939(it didn’t take Papa Joe long, did it?)"


Ho now: Hitler wasn't going any further with the west so looked east (to secure his eastern flank so he could attack France). Stalin wasn't going anywhere for a long time with the west so signed a deal, believing Hitler would never be foolish enough
to attack Russia and open a two front war, and in the hope of establishing the old friendly relations with Germany from Czarist times. He was wrong.


Me now: Yep, Stalin was wrong & Hitler was foolish. Now, if you could just hold that thought.


Me earlier: "historians tell us neither country intended to uphold that pact."


Ho now: I think they're wrong. Initially a business-trade agreement, benificial to both obviously, the Soviets refused to enter negotiations until a political agreement came first.


Me now: Oops - & you were doing so well with the ‘Stalin wrong-Hitler foolish’ thing, too. I had real hopes for you Ho, but as soon as you seem to get chugging along on the right track you turn right back into a train-wreck. Ho, most folks think it was a non-aggression pact, not a business-trade agreement, but what the hell – accuracy is not your strongest trait – I’m resigned to that now. Well, maybe the historians are wrong but the fact is the pact failed, so I guess they were so wrong they were right.


Me earlier: "Anyway, the pact was voided by the German invasion of Russia in June of ‘41. The USA didn’t join the allies until several months later, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, in December of ’41. Why didn’t we enter the war sooner? Well, Roosevelt wanted to but U.S. public opinion was overwhelmingly against getting in, that’s why."


Ho now: Because the U.S. was guided by anti-communist's, that is, those that were pro-Hitler. Again the trick was to build him up enough to take on the Soviet Union, but not enough to rule us.


Me now: I see, I see it all now. Thank you Ho, for enlightening me! It’s all so simple, I don’t know why I couldn’t see it before! The anti-Communist pro-Hitler crowd were the real puppeteers! What a great trick idea! Build Hitler up so he could take on Stalin, but not enough to rule the U.S. The sheer brilliance!


Ho now: With plenty of help from big business and finance, and their media lobby. Some editorials appearing in U.S. papers were even written by Germans, either from their D.C. Embassy or from germany directly. Don't be naive.


Me now: No Ho, I’m not naïve anymore, thanks to you, good buddy. Your cogent analysis of history has led me to the realization of the error of my ways.


Me earlier: I think the U.S. should have entered WW2 much earlier. In my opinion many more lives could have ultimately been saved if we had – but what can you expect from a defender of the Lucifer of Nations."


Ho now: Better.


Me earlier: "It was after WW2 when the realization began in the West that communism was a force that should be vigorously opposed."


Ho now: Complete millarky. It was attacked from the beginning, 1919, and despised, exactly like it was in the Cold War, all the way through 'till our supposed "Cold War" began. Who the hell were Mussolini, Franco and Hitler eradicating? Christ, it's the defining theme of Euopean history up to hostilities. How could you make such a ridiculous statement?


Me now: It’s easy, Ho - & fun too. But seriously, I really don’t think too many people in America were very worried about Communism until the USSR & China started their expansion tactics. Sure, some Western thinkers & leaders(such as Churchill) probably “despised” Communism when they thought about Communism, but it wasn’t until it was evident that Joe & Mao had Communism & Totalitarianism in mind for the entire world that everyone started to get really worried. For instance, Churchill’s famous speech in Fulton, Missouri, in which he coined the term “the Iron Curtain,” is widely considered a warning to the free world. Warnings are not given to an audience that is already alarmed. The CNN.com description given below is standard thinking on the subject:


In 1946, Winston Churchill delivered his "Iron Curtain" speech to an audience at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. Although today it is regarded as one of the most influential speeches of the period, the speech was not well received at the time. Some thought Churchill was seeking an Anglo-Saxon alliance against the Soviet Union -- something the general American public felt unnecessary at the time.


http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/02/documents/churchill/


Me now: "Although the verdict is still kind of out on the efficacy of containment of communism as a strategic post-WW2 U.S. policy I personally am glad the U.S. did so, but don’t forget that I am an apologist for the Great Satan!"


Ho now: I say it was exactly the same kind of "containment policy", and economic forces that drove it, that created communism, and radicalised it, in the first place. Some of that we can pin on the European's, some on us, not the "Great Satan", just the Great Money Maker.


Me now: I see – by containing communism, The Great Money Maker(with the assistance of the Europeans) created communism & made communism a lot worse. Yes, I see it clearly now … if it hadn’t been for The Great Money Maker’s stupid & willful opposition to Communism it would never have lapsed into Totalitarianism & Papa Joe Stalin would have his rightful place in history, not as one of the greatest murderers but as the savior he really was. Ho, do yourself a favor & Google the term “logical fallacy.”

Very seriously, readers, although I poke fun of Ho, this actually represents a type of rationale more prevalent than is sometimes comfortable. Boiled down it goes like this: Whatever crap is being done in the world, well, The Great Money Maker is actually the root cause of it all. Is North Korea a problem? The Great Money Maker forced them to be a problem. Islamic extremists blowing people away? It is caused by The Great Money Maker’s presence in Holy lands & The Great Money Maker’s backing of the Jew monkeys in Israel– or some other cockeyed theory is put forth. Totalitarian empires want to expand & enslave? The Great Money Maker, by radicalizing Communism, causes their murderous ambitions; the regimes themselves are never held accountable. Ho is only putting forth his own version of what we all constantly hear & read, in one form or another. Take the Japan/Hiroshima history: Lefty historians have spent 70 years throwing the worst light possible on the decision. Ho is not alone in these types of beliefs – far from it. It’s the type of crap that is being currently proposed for the 9/11 monument – which BTW would be a very good essay for neo-neocon to author if she ever felt like it.

 
At 8:42 AM, August 08, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

To J. Moulder:

"For the U.S. to not have left most of Asia fairly quickly would have been interpreted as the U.S. making its own move toward colonialism"

That's exactly how the European's saw it. All I'm saying is we could have set these country's up with independence and some form of democracy and left them to go on their own way. What we did do was betray our W.W.II allies (and our own principles) and join the European effort to regain their colonies, and start a bunch of other wars in the process. Now who the hell is un-American here, me or Truman?

"The U.S. stayed in those places in Asia where it was diplomatically viable to stay – in the Philippines & Japan."

Exactly, any place we wouldn't step on Europe's "toes". The Phillipines was already "ours", wasn't it. I say we should have called the European's bluff and stood up (for once) to the democartic principles we espouse ad nauseum. We betrayed our war time allies and sold them out to thier colonial masters. MacCarthur called this "the most ignoble kind of betrayal".
Me too.


"Ho, your logic astounds me. But don’t you think China & the USSR(along with the French & English) would have also had objection to such a scheme?"

In countless discussions and meetings with Chiang and Stalin they always approved of Roosevelt's plans for Indochina, independence under international advisory (Vietnamese, U.S., Russian and Chinese). At numerous press conferences Roosevelt made the problem clear: The English. "If Indochina achieves independence then Burma will want it too", etc.
The dominoe theory backwards. If independence is achieved the colonies will all fall to independence (democratic or communist didn't matter).

"Look what happened when the U.S. tried exactly that in South Vietnam a few years later."

Obviously completely different circumstances, primary of which Ho Chi Minh was our ally after W.W.II, and wanted Vietnam to become a U.S. protectorate etc. And after thirty years of broken promises and treaties, and millions of deaths, maybe time for talk was long over?

"As for a “Mao-Chiang alliance,” such a thing never existed."

Not true, U.S. aid to Chiang hung on it happening. Clearly no loved lost between these two, it could have continued, ewspecially as Chiang's survival hung on it. Almost all top U.S. military personell in China, that is those who knew Chiang, supported Mao. Oddly when General Stillwell returned to the U.S. (steaming mad like he almost mostly was) he was put under house arrest and never allowed to speak to the press. Six months later he was dead.

"There wasn’t anyone or anything in the world at that time that could have prevented the struggle in China between the Nationalist & the Communists".

See above. At any rate aiding Chiang certainly didn't help to these ends.

"You see, after you win a war the usual thing to do is send most of the boys home, not keep them all running around Asia."

The war obviously wasn't over, as the Chinese, Korean and Vietnam War's might suggest.

"There was not “plenty of man-power and material to re-deploy.”

We were on the greatest war footing in the history of man and you say there wasn't enough material or man-power?

"Ho, if you think Russia never had designs on Western Europe then your thinking is way, way off in the wild blue yonder."

No, yours is. Read our own analysis, and Soviet history. They match up pretty nice. Not that it wasn't later politicised to ratchet up our "Cold War" "containment" efforts. But they never had "eyes on western Europe", utterly ridiculous. Reader's Digest bull-shit.

"NATO was expressly formed to keep the USSR contained to the European countries they had already taken over."

Taken over? They were given these territories, as we were given territories, under the Potsdam, Yalta, and other agreements. They were as much under the Soviet sphere of influence as the west was under ours.

"Our post-WW2 alliances helped to contain the Soviet Union – a very good thing in my opinion."

I would agree with you, but I believe our post-WW2 alliances and policies were the same one's that 100 years earlier helped create communism IN THE FIRST PLACE. We backed the colonial powers, that is colonialism.

"It is hard to understand exactly what you are saying, for example, who is “them”? And “forging alliances” between what entities?"

I was speaking of Mao-Chiang, or friendly relations with Ho Chi Minh and his group, and a scattering of indiginous groups that sided with us against the Japs, only to be sold out to their previous colonial masters.

" You imply the U.S. was/is not a “great nation.”

Not in this instance. No great nation sells out it's war time allies, particularly to colonial slavery. What could be more Un-American than that?

"I believe you are mistaken, but of course as an apologist for the Great Satan".

You're a fool.


"I would even agree with you that U.S. “strategic interests” can coincide with U.S. economic interests, but the difference in our interpretations is that I find nothing too damning in that fact."

As long as you keep in mind that killing, and conspirying to kill is not capitalism, it's just murder and theft.

"I want U.S. leaders to look out for U.S. economic & strategic interests – I think they are elected to do, along with other tasks, just that."

Me too. But project a policy that we would like projected on us by a nation more powerful (if there was one) while we're doing it. Such a foreign policy will foster peaceful relations, not the spectacle of brutal Imperialism we've seen (and still are).

"Can you offer to the readers any country in which the leaders do not see to their country’s economic & strategic interests?"

Defending one's interest's is not the point, it's killing. Especially if you make yourself the "world's policeman", WE, MORE THEN ANYONE, SHOULD OBEY THE LAW. If we don't, what the hell kind of example is that for the rest?

"But the Great Satan must always have his “return” on his investment & only his lap-dog Fascists, which he creates from the fires of hell enable him to earn his devilish, “primarily economic” profits."

You missed the point again. We don't have to do anything other then create a favourable business climate for our investors, markets, resources etc. The facsists, that is the brutal types that can become fascists, exist in every society. The only difference is when a Henry Ford or Lord Deterding, or a representitive of the U.S. government sits down to lunch with them that we have to start worrying about them. That is what I mean by "create", elevating them to a position they can really do some harm.

"Ho, Fascism is not very conducive to political stability. And I have been right here where I am, observing that Fascism is not politically very stable."

I disagree. When it comes down to a foreign country deciding whether to nationalise their resources, determine other domestic business and social strategies that are first benificial to them or foreign interests, fascism (the rule of the club) has always proven more stable then democarcy (the rule of the people, mostly poor and hungry). This is why the U.S. has backed so many fascists and hardly ever demoracy (until the socialists or communists were first purged that is). And why U.S. credibility in thew world is at way below zero at the moment. Only fools like yourself believe the U.S. stands for anything moral.

Regarding who knew what about Stalin:

"Maybe some suspected, but they didn’t know the full extent of the starvation & murder going on."

Again, plenty of info, from numerous diplomatic missions, was coming in. Don't forget, before 1933, before Hitler became Chancellor, foreigners could move and mingle freely in the Soviet Union. After it was forbidden and became more difficult, but reports kept flowing.


"Amazed, Ho asserts now: How about not aid Hitler? (Don't tell me you never heard about it)

"Resigned, I now key this: No, I haven’t “heard about it,” but I got a funny feeling you are going to fill us in on it."

As it might tarnish our sparkling national image I didn't think you heard about it, and for good reason.
Read the newspaper's of the era. Our government communications. Read history. Charles Higham is a good author to start with, "Trading With The Enemy", "American Swastika", and others. There's a wealth of information, you'll be amazed at how much has been blocked out of our national memory. Again for good reason.

"Where do you get the “dispatched U.S. troops”/Czarist/European assault on Bolsheviks thing? I’m completely mystified as to what you may be referring."

It's called history, the Russian Civil War, 1918-22 (23?). At least 9,000 U.S. troops joined the White Russian's (The Tsar's army), with contingents from France, England, Poland and Japan. Russia's communism was always a war communism, with all that entails. This is not an apology, just reality.

"Ho, you are forgetting that it was mostly Western nations that brought Hitler & Nazism to their end?"

Like we brought Saddam to his end? I say one shouldn't brag about bringing a tyrant down when they first helped bring him to power in the first place. That's not helping anyone, ..except ourseoves perhaps. ..Ever read Machiavelli?

"That he (Hitler) was an anti-Communist proves nothing."

You're right. But to an inquirying person, considering anti-communism
WAS THE DEFINING THEME OF THE 20th Century, it might set off some sparks in your brain and wondered,
"hell, we backed hundreds of anti-communist goons all over the planet, why wouldn't we back Hitler too", and maybe check it out.

"My earlier attempt to synthesize Ho’s theory: "..by opposing communism the U.S. is responsible for all the world’s misery."

That's not it. Our policies that brought communism down are the same ones 100 years earlier that caused people to become communist's in the first place. In their eyes our actions continually proved them right. Why it spiralled out of control.

"..So your theory is England & France wanted Hitler to succeed? To thwart Stalin? Ho, I can’t figure out if you are left or so far right that you come full circle & bump up against the left."

Don't trouble yourself, it's not about left or right, it's about making money, what ever it takes.

"Me now: I’ll accept they were anti-Communist, but not that they were pro-Hitler. Not when they were fighting Hitler with everything they had. Ho, you do realize that to be anti-Communist doesn’t automatically mean a pro-Hitler bent, don’t you?"

I believe it was a balancing act forced on the west by the precarious finacial-political realities of the time, depression, and Europe, particularly Germany making a radical left turn. To policy makers it's a chess game.

"Me now: Yep, Stalin was wrong & Hitler was foolish. Now, if you could just hold that thought."

And you might add we sat by, having armed both sides and set them on a collision course, and watched them destroy each other. Like Iran and Iraq? Read Machiavelli, the way modern diplomacy has worked for 600 years.

"Me earlier: "historians tell us neither country intended to uphold that pact."

I disagree, it was primarily a business agreement, trading resources for machinery etc. If the Russian's weren't serious they wouldn't have gone through all the trouble of hammering out a political agreement first. They saw no sense in a business deal if it was only going to lead to war. Read about it yourself, by the people who were there, the Russian's and German's, Graf von Schulenberg and Molotov for instance. Both sides say the same thing. Or do you only read U.S. historian's?

"It’s all so simple, I don’t know why I couldn’t see it before! The anti-Communist pro-Hitler crowd were the real puppeteers! What a great trick idea! Build Hitler up so he could take on Stalin, but not enough to rule the U.S. The sheer brilliance!"

What's so suprising, it' the way power politics has functioned for thousands of years. ..You poor little boy.

"Me now: No Ho, I’m not naïve anymore, thanks to you, good buddy. Your cogent analysis of history has led me to the realization of the error of my ways."

Sorry I woke you from your dream (of America standing for anything). But it still could, ..if idiots like you woke up.

"I really don’t think too many people in America were very worried about Communism until the USSR & China started their expansion tactics."

You can be sure many were, right from the start. Standard Oil lost it' oil reserves in the Cuacasus, which we've only just now got access to again. Monarchy, Religious, business and financial interests all across the west reacted in exactly the same way we did after W.W.II. Worse, again we acted directly, taking part in the Russian Civil War, 1918-22.

Clear after W.II, when Russia was greatly armed (and angry ) after Hitler, the fear grew proportionally, but it was always there, right from the start, to kill communism, only radicalising it along the way.

As for "creating" communism, I mean the idea of collective thought was born out of a time when only a few owned and ran everything, feudal colonialism. In that context the injustice and cruelty at the time spawned communist thought.

Very much like colonial English laws prohibited American ownership of guns, a free press, freedom of speech, an army etc., these were immediately remedied and written into our constitution as soon as we achieved independence. All the things the the English denied us we
took. All the things colonialism denied humanity the communists tried
achieving. Difficult on a constant war footing, ..with the colonialists. Unfortunately that included the United States.

As for radicalising someone or thing, I can't think of what could
help them along that path more then trying to kill them (or it). It's not rocket science, but for some peculiar reason beyond comprehension to the Consrvative American idealogue, blinded by his own lies and misconceptions.

 
At 2:05 AM, August 12, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

I’m going to enter this one last comment in response to Ho. I never thought I would change Ho’s mind but there are always those who are undecided or unknowledgeable that might be reading & my exchanges with Ho has been for them. If people don’t speak up when Ho’s type wade in then the naïve might be convinced by him. At this point in the debate it’s just the same old wild charges, half-truths, innuendo & speculation & I’ve refuted them enough that I’m satisfied I’ve done my part to discredit Ho. This exchange forced me to do some basic research & I’ve learned some things I didn’t know before & that is always a good thing.

Our WW2 allies were the UK, France & Poland. There was no betrayal of them. The US did not join any “European effort to regain their colonies.” The US did not “start a bunch of other wars in the process.”

The US did not betray any wartime allies. The US stood by US allies & fought with them to win WW2, but that’s what really gets you, isn’t it Ho – that the US & its allies won but you hate America so much that the US winning anything, anywhere, anytime enrages you. So you have to rustle up a pathetic little theory to show how it just wasn’t so. The US sold no allies “to [sic]thier colonial masters.”

Ho writes that Roosevelt had “countless discussions and meetings with Chiang and Stalin” & “they always approved.” “Chiang and Stalin” approved? I guess if Chiang & Stalin approved, well then, the US should have just gone right ahead because, well, Chiang & Stalin approved, & you know if Chiang & Stalin approve of something it’s something really good.

Ho goes on to claim that at numerous “press conferences Roosevelt made the problem clear.” Ho, how old are that you would remember “numerous press conferences” by Roosevelt? Considering Ho’s past problems with, er, ‘accuracy,’ I think I’ll take that remembrance with, shall we say, a grain of salt? Readers, I am not sure(because sometimes it is really difficult figuring exactly what poor Ho is driving at) but I think Ho is proposing that at WW2’s end that Chiang, Stalin & Roosevelt(irregardless of any objections from our allies) should have sort of carved up all of Asia – I’m guessing with the lion’s share going to the Communists - & that would have soothed those nice fellows, especially that nice Stalin fellow, who was very nice & would never have turned into the murdering bastard that naughty people accuse him of being. Readers, Ho trips the light fantastic with heavy boots.

Ho thinks that the US should have offered a protectorate to Vietnam. The only entity that could offer Vietnam the status of protectorate was France & when they offered it Ho Chi Minh turned the down. Vietnam was clearly not interested in being any country’s protectorate.

Oddly when General Stillwell returned to the U.S. (steaming mad like he almost mostly was) he was put under house arrest and never allowed to speak to the press. Six months later he was dead.

More conspiracy theories from Ho. Stillwell loved Mao & hated Chiang & so he was killed by … who? Truman, I guess. Was it Truman, Ho? Was it Truman that killed Stillwell? You can tell us, Ho.

At any rate aiding Chiang certainly didn't help to these ends.

Naturally you would think that, Ho. You would never think the US should aid those that fight Communism, because that gets those nice Communist fellows mad & it turns them into Totalitarian states & then they murder a bunch of people, which they wouldn’t have done if it wasn’t for the US. Right?

The war obviously wasn't over, as the Chinese, Korean and Vietnam War's might suggest.

Ho, I think most would agree that the war was over in 1945. I’ve heard of the Korean War & the Vietnam War but what is this “Chinese” war to which you refer? Are you referring to the civil war that China had?

We were on the greatest war footing in the history of man and you say there wasn't enough material or man-power?

Yes. War is expensive in manpower & material.

Ho, maintaining that Papa Joe Stalin didn’t want to take over Europe: ”No, yours is. Read our own analysis, and Soviet history. They match up pretty nice. Not that it wasn't later [sic]politicised to ratchet up our "Cold War" "containment" efforts. But they never had "eyes on western Europe", utterly ridiculous. Reader's Digest bull-shit.”

Naturally, I disagree. Papa Joe Stalin wanted all of Europe he could get his murderous, greedy hands on. NATO was formed expressly to stop him.

I will submit that Roosevelt was probably mistaken to allow Stalin ascendancy over Central & Eastern Europe after WW2. That occurred at Yalta & could possibly be an example of an unwise US leader’s decision that ended up costing lives in the long run & the US(& others) spent the next 50 years regretting it. But there were extenuating considerations: Roosevelt was by that time sick & very tired of war & so was the US populace. Stalin had demonstrated that he was ruthless by reason of Russia suffering an ungodly amount of casualties on the Eastern front & of course Roosevelt knew that. He did not want a war with Russia. In defense of Roosevelt the Yalta Agreement did mandate democratic elections for Soviet-occupied Europe. In fact it was when Russia rigged the elections & enforced Soviet rule in Central & Eastern Europe that folks began to get wise to what Stalin was up to.

Ho blandly writes of the Soviet “sphere of influence” & US influence in Europe after the war as if they were equivalent. US influence was benign & democratic – Soviet “influence” over Central & Eastern Europe was autocratic & murderous.

In an earlier comment I wrote: Our post-WW2 alliances helped to contain the Soviet Union – a very good thing in my opinion.

Ho replies: I would agree with you, but I believe our post-WW2 alliances and policies were the same one's that 100 years earlier helped create communism IN THE FIRST PLACE. We backed the colonial powers, that is colonialism.

Ah yes, here we go again with the ‘US created communism’ theme. One of the hallmarks of the Blame America Club is that Communist or other regimes are never held responsible for their actions. If for the BAC it becomes impossible under the weight of accumulated historical fact to deny their enormity, then no problem, the argument just switches to a claim that the US ‘caused’ them to be that way. This is Ho’s theory in condensed form: The US is responsible for all the world’s ills. The rest, all the prattle about meetings, conspiracies & alliances betrayed is just window dressing.

Ho writes: I was speaking of Mao-Chiang, or friendly relations with Ho Chi Minh and his group, and a scattering of [sic]indiginous groups that sided with us against the [sic]Japs, only to be sold out to their previous colonial masters.

The above is a continuation of Ho’s cockeyed theory that the US should have occupied all of Asia, kicked the English & French out of Asia, been better buddies with Mao & Ho Chi Minh, etc. I’ve already refuted it.

Ho writes: No great nation sells out it's war time allies, particularly to colonial slavery. What could be more Un-American than that?

It would do little good to protest to Ho that colonialism, while not benign, is not equivalent to slavery. Such distinctions do not exist to those of Ho’s persuasion. I’ll repeat: The US stood by all of its wartime allies.

Earlier I wrote: I would even agree with you that U.S. “strategic interests” can coincide with U.S. economic interests, but the difference in our interpretations is that I find nothing too damning in that fact.

Ho replies: As long as you keep in mind that killing, and [sic]conspirying to kill is not capitalism, it's just murder and theft.

I wrote nothing about “capitalism” but Ho probably just let the word slip out because he doesn’t like capitalism. A Freudian slip. More railing against the US, using the words “killing,” [sic]”conspirying to kill,” “murder and theft,” your standard Blame America Club canard.

I wrote earlier: I want U.S. leaders to look out for U.S. economic & strategic interests – I think they are elected to do, along with other tasks, just that.

Ho replies: Me too.[Yeah, I’ll bet] But project a policy that we would like projected on us by a nation more powerful (if there was one) while we're doing it. Such a foreign policy will foster peaceful relations, not the spectacle of brutal Imperialism we've seen (and still are).

The above is more vague, nebulous, accusatory platitudes against the US. It’s mostly easy to debate Ho, but sometimes he is so vague there is nothing a debater can sink their teeth into.

I wrote in an earlier comment: Can you offer to the readers any country in which the leaders do not see to their country’s economic & strategic interests?

Ho gets really mad: Defending one's interest's is not the point, it's killing. Especially if you make yourself the "world's policeman", WE, MORE THEN ANYONE, SHOULD OBEY THE LAW. If we don't, what the hell kind of example is that for the rest?

Ho realizes he painted himself into a corner by implying in a previous comment that it is not the business of a country’s leaders to look out for their country’s economic & strategic interests, so he resorts to shouting(with the caps) & more vague accusations. Ho, we are waiting – when are you going to get around to naming that country – eh, buddy boy?

Ho gets really obscure with this passage: You missed the point again. We don't have to do anything other then create a [sic]favourable business climate for our investors, markets, resources etc. The [sic]facsists, that is the brutal types that can become fascists, exist in every society. The only difference is when a Henry Ford or Lord Deterding, or a [sic]representitive of the U.S. government sits down to lunch with them that we have to start worrying about them. That is what I mean by "create", elevating them to a position they can really do some harm.

I’ve got to admit I have no idea in hell what Ho is blathering about in the above – as far as the details go. And when Ho gets disturbed like this, syntax goes out window, so again it’s difficult to translate this into anything debatable. Overall, of course, it’s ‘the US causes all the worlds ills’ theme again.

Earlier I wrote: Ho, Fascism is not very conducive to political stability. And I have been right here where I am, observing that Fascism is not politically very stable.

Ho, still a bit excited: I disagree. When it comes down to a foreign country deciding whether to [sic]nationalise their resources, determine other domestic business and social strategies that are first [sic]benificial to them or foreign interests, fascism (the rule of the club) has always proven more stable then [sic]democarcy (the rule of the people, mostly poor and hungry). This is why the U.S. has backed so many fascists and hardly ever [sic]demoracy (until the socialists or communists were first purged that is). And why U.S. credibility in [sic]thew world is at way below zero at the moment. Only fools like yourself believe the U.S. stands for anything moral.

The above diatribe is difficult to fathom in that it has within it so many provisos, conditional statements & stipulations that it ends up saying very little despite a plethora of words. I’m sure Ho worked a long time on the thing but he really needs to get himself to a writing classroom, preferably one that emphasizes grammar, syntax & spelling. One thing does become clear when you wade through his awkward verbiage: It is evident that Ho doesn’t believe that Fascism is inherently volatile. Actually, I’ll accept that as a valid stance on the subject. Some fine thinkers(maybe Orwell?) have believed that state imposed control over all aspects of life(one definition among many) could be a condition not possible for a society to overcome. But I believe the human spirit would never, could never allow that total control to last. Our species is too subversive to allow Fascism for any significant length of time. My vote for most stable politically in modern times goes to democratic republics.

Earlier I commented: "Maybe some suspected[Stalin’s intentions], but they didn’t know the full extent of the starvation & murder going on."

Ho retorts: Again, plenty of info, from numerous diplomatic missions, was coming in. Don't forget, before 1933, before Hitler became Chancellor, foreigners could move and mingle freely in the Soviet Union. After it was forbidden and became more difficult, but reports kept flowing.

Me again, now: I really don’t think too many people in America were very concerned about Communism until the USSR & China started their expansion tactics. Sure, some Western thinkers & leaders(such as Churchill) probably despised Communism when they thought about Communism, but it wasn’t until it was evident that Joe & Mao had Communism & Totalitarianism in mind for the entire world that everyone started to get really worried. For instance, Churchill’s famous speech in Fulton, Missouri, in which he coined the term “the Iron Curtain,” is widely considered a warning to the free world. Warnings are not given to an audience that is already alarmed. The CNN.com description given below is standard thinking on the subject:

In 1946, Winston Churchill delivered his "Iron Curtain" speech to an audience at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. Although today it is regarded as one of the most influential speeches of the period, the speech was not well received at the time. Some thought Churchill was seeking an Anglo-Saxon alliance against the Soviet Union -- something the general American public felt unnecessary at the time.

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/02/documents/churchill

Me again, now: Before WW2, during the 20s & 30s when most of the murder by Stalin occurred, the U.S.(& Britain) had its intelligentsia busily assuring everyone that Papa Joe Stalin was the nicest fellow you could possibly imagine & not to believe those scurrilous rumors about people starving & being murdered in Russia because Papa Joe was making the Soviet Union a heaven on earth & the world a better place. Intellectual after intellectual traipsed over to Moscow & was given the tour & came back with faces shining with happiness & joy. There were a few old lefties even up to the 90s that would swear on Das Kapital to that. Google “useful idiots,” & read & read & read.

Ho asserts now: How about not aid Hitler? (Don't tell me you never heard about it)
As it might tarnish our sparkling national image I didn't think you heard about it, and for good reason. Read the newspaper's of the era. Our government communications. Read history. Charles Higham is a good author to start with, "Trading With The Enemy", "American Swastika", and others. There's a wealth of information, you'll be amazed at how much has been blocked out of our national memory. Again for good reason.


I’ll pass on the Higham book, Ho. He’s just another conspiracy theorist. We have so many of them in this country. JFK, Lincoln, Area 51, you name it, there’s a conspiracy theory about it. In fact, Higham wrote a book about the Lincoln assassination. Wouldn’t you know it? CNN reviewed it & not favorably, either:

“His evidence is sketchy at best. He fills the air with allegations that one or another Northern merchant was growing fat from what he calls "trading with the enemy" (which he also calls "traitorous"). He examines in minute detail the often-inept exploits of the Southern operatives based in Montreal.”

“The links between them are tenuous and Higham tries to obscure his lack of proof with bluster.”

“Higham claims the foundation of his allegations is a long-lost congressional report on wartime smuggling. Yet he cites the report on only seven pages of his 250-page text.
The author's celebrity biographies have done little to establish his reputation as a careful researcher. "Murdering Mr. Lincoln" will do nothing to improve it.”

Ho, I thought you were talking about government aid to Hitler. Silly me. It was just another of your crackpot conspiracy theories.

I wrote in an earlier post: Where do you get the “dispatched U.S. troops”/Czarist/European assault on Bolsheviks thing? I’m completely mystified as to what you may be referring.

Ho strikes back: It's called history, the Russian Civil War, 1918-22 (23?). At least 9,000 U.S. troops joined the White Russian's (The Tsar's army), with contingents from France, England, Poland and Japan. Russia's communism was always a war communism, with all that entails. This is not an apology, just reality.

Me now: The US never sent troops to Russia, Ho. You can swear to it until you are blue in the face but you are going to have to cite some credible historical source to make me believe it. And I don’t mean another Higham book.

I wrote earlier: Ho, you are forgetting that it was mostly Western nations that brought Hitler & Nazism to their end?

Ho writes: Like we brought Saddam to his end? I say one shouldn't brag about bringing a tyrant down when they first helped bring him to power in the first place. That's not helping anyone, ..except [sic]ourseoves perhaps. ..Ever read Machiavelli?

Me now: More of Ho’s blather. Whatever any murderous regime does, it’s always America’s fault. Ho & his ilk sing only one tune.

That's not it. Our policies that brought communism down are the same ones 100 years earlier that caused people to become communist's in the first place. In their eyes our actions continually proved them right. Why it [sic]spiralled out of control.

Me now: America caused communism, same old accusation, same old logical fallacy – blah, blah, blah.

 
At 5:04 PM, September 27, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I have become death, destroyer of worlds.

Hiroshima was a lesson to anyone that thought that the United States of America was too hamstringed to use nuclear weapons.

It was also a lesson to anyone that thought the US was not ruthless enough to protect our people's lives.

It is also a lesson to the Japanese, that their defunct codes of honor no longer are superior anymore. Their human wave attacks may have worked on the Chinese and other undisciplined peons, but to the United States of America, human wave attacks were simply cannon fodder to be destroyed and cleared.

The word "clear" in Japan, has a unique connotation.

The first test has been passed, the test whether America valued our goals more than the enemies and the critics. The second test will be, will we usher the resolve to do so again, to make an example out of a nation to prevent the foolish self-destruction of a people and a world given the deadliness fully cognizant of in the power of nuclear weapons?

The Cold War was a limited dry run test, the War on Terror will be the true test of American resolve.

The Japanese viewed surrender as the greatest of dishonor. We showed them that the greatest of dishonor is through committing suicide for no gain.

We forced the God Emperor himself, to admit the failure of Japan when he gave the order. Surrender became not dishonorable anymore, simply because the God Emperor has said it to be so.

What became dishonorable was the entirety of Japan.

 
At 2:56 AM, March 27, 2006, Anonymous Painted Horse said...

Well I just got back from polo and I am beat. I am currently doing some research and stumbled across your blog. Which makes me laugh really. The web can certainly land you off base sometimes. Even though your site is not completely related I think it is a nice blog. I have read back through the archives and lots of people make some good points. Painted Horse

 
At 11:20 AM, April 11, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Link

I was reading Bookworm's blog and I came across a question concerning Truman's decision to bomb Nagasaki. I did some further research, Neo, and I think you might be interested in the results that I found.

 
At 7:20 AM, June 30, 2006, Blogger Courtney Hamilton said...

When you say that 'it takes a great deal of imagination' to somehow think of an alternative instead of vapourising Hiroshima and Nagasaki - I think your wholey wrong.

The reason is because you should judge the architects of Hiroshima by their own standards. The use of a weapon of sheer terror is a war crime, and so too is the wanton destruction of a city. Even by their own standards, Truman was a war criminal.

Indeed, caputured Nazi officers were prosecuted under the Geneva Convention for 'the wanton destruction of towns and cities', in places like Greece and France.

The bombing of Japan, was nothing but the worst mass racist attack in human history. America battered the Japanese like no other country.

If you truely believe that the atomic bombardment of Japan was suppose to be some sort of 'humanitarian gesture', then why didn't the U.S. drop the 'White Mans Bomb' on Nazi Germany?

 
At 3:38 PM, July 19, 2006, Blogger DonS said...

Courtney Hamilton,

We defeated Germany before the bomb was ready.

A friend of mine thought we should do a demo drop of the atomic bomb. But we dropped a real one on Hiroshima, and the Japanese still did not surrender. It took a second bomb on Nagasaki, and even then it took them several days to surrender. Many in the Japanese military still wanted to fight to the death.

We could have blockaded them, but many more would die of starvation than in the bomb attacks.

The other thing is that the Red Army would have been involved in an invasion of Japan. The Japanese were terrified of the Red Army, knowing full well that 1) they couldn't face them and 2) of the Red Armies' rape and attrocities. But I'm sure Ho would be happy if we had a North and South Japan . . .

In any case,

 
At 3:58 PM, July 19, 2006, Blogger DonS said...

The future lives that would have been spared from the Vietnam and Korean wars, and perhaps the Indonesian slaughters, had a large scale U.S. military invasion of Asia, and Japanese encirclement taken place instead of the atomic bomb.

Are you suggesting we should have fought the Red Army for control of Korea in '45? Saving lives that way?

Are you clueless?

Ho Chi Minh and Mao were on working terms with the U.S. during W.W.II.

There was no way we would work anything long-term with Mao, any more than we could have been friends with the Soviets.

Ho Chi Minh of course once appealed for US help, but it is far from clear we would be able to forge a real friendship.

It is highly unlikely the U.S. would have handed back the keys to the European colonialist's with our army on the ground, in control, . . .

We supported the French in Indochina, if ya didn't know. US arms and advice. IIRC, we once supported the Communists, in order to get rid of the organized crime gangs in Vietnam, only to have the Communists become a significant power. Again IIRC, we did this via the French.

But in Korea and China, your views are simply nonsense. Further, if we invaded Japan the Red Army was going in too.

 
At 4:37 PM, July 19, 2006, Blogger DonS said...

Ho wrote: Some perhaps. Then there were others who dispatched U.S. troops to join the European (and Czarist) assault to topple the Bolscheviks, from their inseption, before they had done anything wrong (other then overthrow their abusive King). This mistake certainly radicalised their regime.

When the US entered WW1, the Brits wanted US troops to serve in Russia supporting the White Russians. There was little US support for this, including in the Wilson administration.

Further, the US forces in Russia did not engage in an offensive campaign against the Reds. One of the most effective forces against the Reds, were, in fact, the Czech Legion, which was trapped in Russia during the October Revolution, and which the Red's attempted to disarm and murder.

You are also incorrect when you claim the Bolshevicks overthrew the Czar; they murdered him, but he was deposed in the Feburary Revolution, not the Bolshevik October Revolution.

The Bolshevics were a vile evil from the beginning. Lenin approved the mass rape of bourgeois women as a form of state terror.

 
At 11:58 AM, August 24, 2006, Blogger Courtney Hamilton said...

Don,

"[W]e dropped a real one on Hiroshima, and the Japanese still did not surrender. It took a second bomb on Nagasaki, and even then it took them several days to surrender."

I'm sorry to say Don, but, if you believe that, then I'm affraid you'll fall for anything these days.

The facts are, the Japanese authorities were still mounting a hugh rescue operations, they didn't even have enough time to assess the carnage in Hiroshima before the US hit them with another bomb.

"We could have blockaded them, but many more would die of starvation than in the bomb attacks."

This again, is not true - you talk about the US authorities during WW2 as if they were flower power hippies, as if they cared about Japanese civilian. I think your either being very naive, or worse, completely ignorant of the facts.

The facts are, throughout the pacific war the Japanese were constantly depicted as rats or monkeys, there could never be a good ‘Jap’; the whole race was apparently malignant - so, why would they care about malignant Japanese civilians?

The idea that there is a justifiable defense of the terror bombings of Japan is actually sick and perverse - indeed, the idea turns history upside down on its head. There is plenty of evidence that the US authorities knew of the emanate demise of Japan, yet they still went ahead and slaughtered some quarter of a million people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in a bat of a eye lid.

The evidence suggests that there was no need for an atomic bombardment of Japan, but they bombed them anyway. Don’t take my word for it, even the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Dwight D Eisenhower confessed to Newsweek in an interview back in 1963 that ‘the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that damned thing’.

http://hnn.us/articles/172.html

President Harry S Truman and his generals already knew that Japan was about to surrender. The historian and political economist Gar Aplerovitz, author of the book ‘The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb’ argued that President Truman had known that Japan was at the point of surrender four months before he decided to blast Nagasaki and Hiroshima off the face of the earth. Even to this day, the US military have been unable to refute the claims made by Alperovitz. Aplerovitz’s book was armed to the teeth with declassified documents that included Mr. Truman’s notes on the Potsdam Conference that were discovered back in 1979.

http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/96spring/sp-essay.htm

There's plenty of evidence, if you care to take a look. Those who still defend the barbarism of Hiroshima, are really modern day barbarians themselves - you should think about that.

Best wishes.

Courtney

 

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