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