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Subject: In Re: Hiroshima and Nagasaki

I had some thoughts about what was on your site about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

The US opened Japan to the rest of the world in 1854. 
Commodore Perry went in with all his guns cocked and the Japanese reluctantly opened up. 
Seeing what the rest of the world was like, they raced to catch up. 

At the turn of the 20th century we encouraged them to be our allies in east Asia. 
The Japanese fought a war against the Russians in 1905;  they kicked the Russian's ass
but wore themselves out in the process.  Teddy Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize
for resolving this war (the Japanese won but got no money from the Russians. 
At that time if you won a war, the loser was expected to pay.  The Russians didn't pay
and the Japanese got a little pissed about this).  With our tacit but un-official approval,
the Japanese set out to bring east Asia (China and Korea) into the 20th century. 

The US encouraged the Japanese to develop their own Monroe Doctrine wherein Asia
would be for Asians.  The leaders of the Japanese government at that time firmly believed
in Japanese exceptionalism (kind of sounds like the US now) and that what they were doing
(conquering Korea and China) was for the good of the Chinese and Koreans, even though
the Chinese and Koreans didn't ask for this assistance.

Fast forward 40 years, the Japanese are kicking the crap out of China and the US doesn't like it. 
Maybe they weren't kicking enough business our way (never bet against money being the root
of this type of problem).  We cut off their oil and steel they were buying from us.  They attack,
hoping to knock us out of the Pacific long enough to consolidate their holdings and get the oil
from the Dutch East Indies.  Remember, their leaders believed in Japanese exceptionalism and
that what they were doing was right.  We go in and fire bomb their cities (I know it was war,
I know they started it and I know that bombs don't discriminate when they explode on 'military' targets). 

We did what we believed we had to do.  Believing we were doing was what 'right' is where
there is a problem.  The US tends to believe if we doing something it must be right.

I am not a mind reader, but I suspect that Truman didn't necessarily mind dropping the bombs
on Asians because they were not white (I know I ma playing the race card, but I think that race
was very important in channeling people's beliefs in the first half of the 20th century). 

Dropping the bombs did save American lives and did lead to Japan's defeat but those
justifications do not make dropping the bombs morally acceptable.  We can either the
America the Good or America the winner but we can't be both.

Sorry if I rambled.  I just read the book Imperial Cruise by James Bradley about how the
seeds of World War II were sown by the US and Teddy Roosevelt in 1905.

   Click  to  Order

Keep hammering,

Tom, I agree that race was probably a factor.
By mid-1945, America had been thru 54 months of Japanese de-humanization.


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