Return to Hiroshima
I was hoping you would post my long reply to the defence of the
Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. I've not seen it.
Regarding the atom bombs dropped on civilians in
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I think you and Geezer are presenting your case
based on a lot of hypotheticals and hyperbole. Here in Europe, it's
conventional wisdom that Japan were on the brink of surrender even
before the bombs were dropped. Despite the fact that most of us love
America for being an ally of Sane Europe and helping to rebuild, those
bombings of japan are condemned by many as an atrocity. Maybe you can
ask some Japanese what they think about it?
And your assumption that one million Americans would
have died in a continued war is unfounded. We must keep in mind that
such issues are propagandized no matter where you are in the world, and
especially during war. I don't trust the US war propaganda to give a
truthful view of that situation, not then and not now. Propaganda is
part of the war effort in itself, -an integral part of the process of
winning without having to e.g. kill ALL Germans. If you are a liberal
and believe in truth and objectivity, you have another reason right
there why war should never be glorified. Every power protects itself
with subjective reports, half truths and sometimes even lies, so what
you hear in the US over the last 70 years is not the same story as over
here, which again is different from what they hear in Japan.
How many of YOUR sons
would you be willing to sacrifice to save those civilians?
Would you personally sacrifice YOUR life to save some civilians who had
the bad luck to live in a country that sneak-attacked a sleeping giant?
As much as I want to live, I think I would sacrifice
myself so that half a million could live. But I would never ask another
person to do so. That's why I'm not a military commander, I guess.
Still; sacrificing yourself for half a million other
individuals is a lot different than asking half a million innocent
people to die for, even with your unfounded figure, one million
soldiers. No, I don't think the goals justify the means like that, and
especially not based on hypotheticals. That leads to very dangerous
thinking, similar to that of terrorists and sociopaths like bin Laden,
Zbigniew Brzezinski and Kissinger. They never "waste" time exploring
other options, simply because human life is cheap to them. It's just
another resource, kinda like a currency. The options normal people
automatically stear away from are the ones who come most natural to
them. I guess it's part of their "strategic genius"? So many regimes
throughout human history have been infested with such individuals, or
our history would have looked much different.
Killing civilians is never ok, even if it's
inevitable in the worst situations. In a CIVILIZED and MORAL society,
those who do can expect to have to answer for it. The soldiers of your
opponent are the legal enemy in war according to international law. In
your arguments; how can you equate killing 500 000 civilians with self
defence? Individual citizens are not guilty of the crimes of their
Every time we lend our support to actions that go
against the laws of the good men who have given us civilization (all of
them were liberals), we make it that much harder on ourselves when we
need to resist the enemies of civilizations (none of them are liberals)
in the next round. You fight them every day on your blog, and there
really is no middle of the road on those issues, -it's either all in or
Since I can't resist: you are wrong on bin Laden
too. America would radiate confidence and self respect if they captured
him like the unarmed combatant he was, put him on trial and showed the
entire world that America doesn't let terrorists define them, that the
system that people like bin Laden despised are truly superior, and that
it is strong enough to hear the truth and thereafter punish the guilty
appropriately. An open trial would of course unravel the entire
criminal network that lead to 9/11 and the war on terror, and it would
surely strech out far beyond Al Quaeda.
I am waiting for the happy day when the USA will
open up, but even guys like you defend the negative spiral, so the
world has to wait awhile longer. An America that opened up and told the
truth would reverse much of the transfer of world domination that is
going to China, even though they might have the numbers on their side.
Because the best way to lead is to lead by example. It's not just an
empty phrase from presidential speeches. Your country has really become
much like its old enemies and will probably suffer the same fate. I
hope not, but the disease seem spread too far and too thick.
You're saying racing
to develope the bomb was a bad thing?
That'd mean you're OK with Hitler getting it first.
Are you sure you want to own that position?
You misunderstood my sentence about first developing
the bomb, then actually using it, and you took it in the worst possible
manner. Me OK with Hitler getting the bomb? My country was occupied by
the Nazis and my grandfather were one of the few survivors after years
in their concentration camps. Norwegian resistance efforts in
sabotaging the Nazi heavy water production and transportation were
vital in delaying Hitlers development of the bomb in the first place.
Fuck anyone claiming that I have no real sense of history. Two
generations ago, most Norwegians experienced that history more closely
than most Americans ever did.
My meaning wasn't that racing to develop the bomb
was sociopathic in the heat of world war. Sociopathic behaviour would
be using it in a situation when there were other optons, and it
probably was overkill in forcing Japan to surrender. The definition of
a sociopath is having no feeling of remorse, shame or sense that others
exist. Smart ones often gain positions of power, and people like
Hitler, Pol Pot, Cheney as well as the aforementioned are clear
examples. Truman? I can't answer, but the scale has several nuances. To
assume that Truman had no other option on the table is quite an
authoritarian bit of belief. I know you don't believe everything your
government tells you, so why start now?
What other motifs could there possibly be? Well,
here are some:
* Revenge. E.g. for being
humiliated in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
* To assert power. Pure
shock and awe! "Forget The Third Reich and listen up, Soviet. We are
the boss now!"
* To test the bomb, -not in
some test detonation in a desert or on a coral reef, but, really test
it in the environment it was built for. And thus create an optimal case
for studying its, until then, theorized effects and accelerate the
* A simple human urge to use
it after the humongous investment in it.
I'm guessing YOU have
never had your life threatened by another nation.
Silly thing to assume when, in the grand
perspective; if my grandfather had died like so many around him, I
would never have been born. That counts in my book. In the even bigger
perspective, haven't all of our lives been under threat ever since the
start of the atomic age? The technology is more lethal than anything
else in our history.
But: To bring the atom bomb into the world was
probably inevitable, and it WAS better that America won the race
instead of Nazi Germany or Japan.
If a masked buglar
breaks into your home at night,
are you going to turn the lights on and try to reason with him?
If you ask 100 liberals that question, 99 will say, "Well, how often
does that happen?"
Well gee, how often does Japan bomb Pearl Harbor?
If a masked man breaks into my home, I'm going to go all "blood
thirsty" on his ass
and live to see another sunrise. That might make me a sociopath
but I'll still have
my life and my wife - and a clear conscience.
I guess, in your view, that might make me a "cowboy" just like Cheney.
I guess I'll just have to "live" with that.
But seriously, when it comes to defending your family or country,
do you fight or do you surrender?
I have allready talked about sociopathology, but I
can say that protecting yourself is not a sign of it. However, since I
guess you can literally tear someone apart with your bare hands, a sign
of it would surely be to not be bothered the slightest by doing so. I'm
not atalking about in your macho fantasy, but in the actual situation
as you feel their flesh, bones and organs being ripped apart and you
hear their screaming and gurgling, see their people driven before you
and hear the lamentation of their women. (Conan reference there.)
Normal people get scars from bloody hell and conflict, even if it's in
self defence or serving justice. Luckily for you, I think you overstate
it abit to make a point. I get that you like to talk macho, and most of
the time it's hard hitting and well directed, but this argument is a
straw man (now with lots of hammers in it). Also, in your attempt at
defending the bombings of Japan, you are on the verge of glorifing it,
and it sounds a lot like the empty macho talk you hear from chickenhawk
Republicans. Just a friendly "watch out".
I don't think there are as many liberal pacifists as
you would like to believe when it comes down to it. You can always test
how good a philosophy is by challenging it with an extreme case. I
guess you did. Seems to me that most liberals and intellectuals think
violence sometimes is justified and that it's possible to wage war
without totally losing ones humanity, but then the criteria is to act
in self defence and only as the last resort.
The wisdom of liberal philosophy is tried and
tested, and full pacifism is not a part of it. Pacifism is for people
who hold no real values, denies reality or are too naive about the
moral struggle in our universe, -none of which can by definition be
part of true liberalism. Liberalism is defined by its VALUES and that
means per definition that there are lots of things worth fighting for,
including your home and family.
I have read a lot of what you have written earlier,
and I get your argument and agree regarding liberals often being too
polite, kind, naive and blind when dealing with predators. We have a
couple of words for it in Norwegian: "dumsnill" ("dumbkind") and
"snillisme" ("kindism") and it's typical of the baby boomer and X
generations who havn't really experienced enough evil to understand it.
A typical notion is the naive old, "liberal" viewpoint of the past
decades, that serial killers etc. simply had something bad happen
during their childhood that made them the way they are. That anyone can
be rehabilitated with the right understanding and a little bit of love.
They actually believe all the sociopaths who lie with a straight face
and make new stories up as they go along, for sympathy and
manipulation. They overlook the scientific facts that even IF the
parents gave them a horrible environment, they also gave them the
genes. You can't teach a person empathy if they are born without that
sense. It's a mental retardation, either inherited or from damage to
the brain. The upbringing can only shape what is allready there.
Us liberals often have slightly overactive and/or
offset conscience, so we often put too much blame on ourselves. We
might avoid conflict until we are 100% guilt free ourselves and know
that we are 100% fair in our actions, -something we will of course
never happen considering our sensibility. Anger tends to be directed
inwards against one self. These weaknesses are something to overcome,
and I think most would do so instantly when hard reality really come
It should be noted that the struggle for
civilization and progress more often than not have been pushed forward
by peaceful, but FORCEFUL activism. Violence has a way of infecting the
system, causing harm in ways one cannot stop once the creature is let
out of the box. America is a violent place, and what do you think about
Americas collective "karma" these days? It's sad to see your nation,
which I have always been a fan of, having misspent so much of the
capital it had won after WW2, and now become the victim of the same
predatory forces it stood against in the myths, -both from the inside
and outside. The fascists and tyrants who met defeat in the past never
really went away, did they?
Finally, I want to say: if we avoid glorifying the
bad calls of the past, maybe we can avoid making similar ones in the
futre, -even when faced with the next horrible death dealing situation.
We learn from doing don't we?
PS. Thanks for the radio shows!
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