Friday Afternoon Links

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Caught a nasty bug, so this is all the blogging for today.

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74 Responses to “Friday Afternoon Links”

  1. #1 |  Rojo | 

    The argument that the only other option was a starvation blockade is the one most likely to garner my sympathy for Truman’s decision, so some serious evidence there might persuade me.

  2. #2 |  Rojo | 

    Off to get a Scotch egg and a beer, so will interact with any responses when I return in an hour or two.

    What’s a Scotch egg you ask? Why, it is a hard-boiled egg, wrapped in sausage, breaded, and then deep-fried. A glorious thing.

  3. #3 |  Marty | 

    It’s worth noting that Hiroshima, while an industrial center, the bombs were dropped on the people. ‘all major factories in Hiroshima were on the periphery of the city- and escaped serious damage’, according to the US Strategic Bombing Survey.

    Calling Hiroshima a military base is like saying San Francisco was a military base for containing the Presidio. It was a civilian city with military elements. The city remained untouched through years of air attacks and never figured in Bomber Command’s list of the 33 primary targets.

    Eisenhower and MacArthur condemned the attacks. Adm Leahy, Truman’s chief of staff, held this view:

    ‘the use of the barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan… My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make wars in that fashion and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.’

    I don’t buy Truman’s, Roosevelt’s, or Churchill’s bullshit. Their propaganda just doesn’t stand up to reality. But, in Truman’s defense, if I roasted hundreds of thousands of women and children, I’d be looking to fabricate an amazing excuse, also.

  4. #4 |  Marty | 

    #51 | Rojo-

    Holy shit! where do you get one of these creations? I found some recipes, but I don’t see any restaurants that carry them…

  5. #5 |  Ariel | 

    #49, Rojo,

    You really have to understand that your concept of “war crimes” is a post WWII concept ( the League of Nations ended some practices from trench warfare -my grandfather was gassed by chlorine in France- but did not create the concept we have today of “war crimes”) developed by those very same countries called “Allies” as a repudiation of Total War (the only means they thought they had to defeat the Axis, again look at maps after 1939). Had the Axis won, this concept would be likely different, only because Totalitarian nations destroy history, democracies don’t or we wouldn’t be having this argument. There would be no argument.

    The Total War concept was that all civilian effort was wholly, or in part, to support the military effort (think Rosie the Riveter, really, weren’t we doing it by early ’42?). Nagasaki and Hiroshima were military targets by what they did, as I showed earlier (Hersey may have started this misconception that they were only “civilian”). I’ve driven through California in the 1990’s and I could spot military targets throughout the Southern California metropolis, from FAA repair sites to electroplaters that did military work (it was my job), as well Arizona, and all mixed in with residential sitesIn WWII industry was certainly mixed with civilian, all of this was open to attack because the Allies thought they were losing, and it was the only way they knew to win. Eventually, like the “Blitz”, they thought to demoralize the civilian population so they would stop supporting the military effort. It worked, though more by destruction then by demoralization. Would you have it otherwise?

  6. #6 |  Ariel | 

    Gee, Marty,

    You just went from “no military target” to the bomb wasn’t big enough. Cognitive dissonance?

  7. #7 |  Woog | 

    Rojo, let me start this next post off by correcting some of your assumptions, then extrapolate that onto another point of mine you’d missed.

    First, the “non-factbook” figure in question is your “about a quarter … of the Nation of Islam type”. Anyone with ten seconds and a calculator could easily see that (450,000 / 0.006) / 0.25 is 300 million, the approximate population of the united States. Yes, using your smaller figures. Your flying assumptive leap right past easy facts is going to be a problem.

    The primary difference between Hindus and Muslims is that Muslims’ sacred texts literally call for a world-wide war to end only when Islam is the sole remaining religion. If outright conventional war is not possible, then other methods to bring about the same end are to be used. I am not aware of anything like this within Hindus’ religion. This is where the problem lies in that, no, actually, not all religions are the same – not remotely, unlike what it seems you believe.

    Islam is not compatible with any other religion for this reason. In fact, Islam is much less a religion than it is a form of societal order and government. It is, fundamentally, incompatible with any other government or societal order, as well.

    If I am wrong about your attention span being a barrier to you actually examining what Islam says about itself, then do check out the link I’d included in post #23, to see what the Koran and the Hadiths have to say. Considering they are the primary source for Islam itself, it would be well advised to see what they have to say before taking a position on it.

  8. #8 |  Marty | 

    #55 | Ariel

    I’m sorry that’s what you pulled out of my post…

  9. #9 |  Stephen | 

    OT – Right turn Clyde. :)

    Conservative female CEO rants. I think she is going to be showing up a lot more over the next year.

  10. #10 |  Ariel | 

    Marty, it isn’t what I pulled from your post; such a weasel way to put it, as if you aren’t responsible for what you wrote because it was so misunderstood, as if we read into your words something whole cloth. It was what you wrote and you meant it. You wrote it. The analysis was easy for me, because you don’t understand that war. You don’t, not from knowledge, not from intellect, or from your armchair moralizing. It’s so easy 65 years later… I’ll expand more on this for you in my next post.

  11. #11 |  Ariel | 

    Marty, I’ve been to the Presidio and lived in San Francisco, they might have been targets in WWII if the Japanese could reach the West Coast. The whole Bay Area was a support system for our military.

    Eisenhower graduated West Point in 1915, MacArthur in 1903, and the Atomic Bombs went beyond their understanding of War (if you weren’t raised by pre-WWI babies, as well pre-Spanish-American War babies, you might not have a cultural understanding, although it’s readily available in history books. My call to the authority by culture fallacy, for which I feel no guilt whatsoever). Eisenhower was Supreme Allied Commander from December, 43, so he had no problem with bombing the German Axis into the Stone Age, which he did. And he had no say, and only general briefings, on the Pacific War. He also “By mid-1947 Eisenhower was moving toward a containment policy to stop Soviet expansion”, the ultimate expression of that was the Atomic and Nuclear Bombs. I can cherry-pick too.

    MacArthur was definitely a soldier of the Spanish-American War: if you want to use his opinion, he was for crossing the Yalu (for which Truman rightly removed him from command, no soldier can disagree publicly with his civilian commander-in-chief, thank G*d); earlier he was, with Patton, at the forefront in the attack on the Bonus March of 1932 (one of our low points in domestic history), and he lost the Philippines (though this would have happened under any military commander, we were so not ready for war, however frigging obvious from 1925 when Mitchel was court-martialed for pointing out what the Japanese would do given the Russo-Japanese of 1904). MacArthur, like University researchers, is given credit for the correct pacification of Japan (keeping the Emperor for example), when it was actually a subordinate who argued vehemently that the pacification would fail if the Emperor was removed. he convinced MacArthur (which is the only award I can give MacArthur, he listened to reason).

    We could into their “generation”‘s inability to understand air warfare until it was thrust upon them, but what would be the point with you?

    You have yet to prove your point.

  12. #12 |  Ariel | 

    Marty, #57,

    One of the problems, obviously, with posting is chronology. My “cognitive dissonance” post was aimed at your earlier posts of they weren’t military cities cuz that was Allied hogwash from those two great propagandists (so simplifies the argument doesn’t it?). I showed you were wrong because both cities were actually of military significance (we held back on them as sites for the Atom Bomb) and then you write “I’m sorry that’s what you pulled out of my post…”.

    Weasel words, and cognitive dissonance, are phrases I stand by.

  13. #13 |  Stephen | 

    I don’t think Japan cared if these things hit “civilians”.

  14. #14 |  Ariel | 

    BTW, my post #60, “We could into their “generation”‘s inability” should be “We could accept their”. Working between comments and blogs, sorry.

  15. #15 |  Marty | 

    I have yet to prove my point? My point has been that many historians have a different view. My point was that I disagree with dropping the bombs. I stated that the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. I’ve read many accounts from people who were there, to gain perspective from the time.

    I’m not an expert on WWII, but I am an avid history buff. I’ve read from a number of credible historians and don’t feel I’m cherry picking. I will change my views based on the evidence in front of me.

    I appreciate your insults, though. Are you always an asshole when you debate?

  16. #16 |  Ariel | 

    Jared #62,

    No, they didn’t. Read the “Rape of Nanking” to understand their so damn racist beliefs. Do understand that the first commander wanted it stopped, yet did nothing, and the Emperor’s nephew continued it IIRC. Something to do with making points…

  17. #17 |  Stephen | 

    When I visited the USS Arizona memorial, I was sort of surprised that about half the people there were Japanese tourists.

  18. #18 |  Ariel | 

    No, I wasn’t being an asshole. They weren’t insults, they were an assessment of your understanding, and no you didn’t write “the truth is in the middle” until #64. If you meant that earlier, you wrote poorly. Criticism is not insult, nor is it being an “asshole”. Though it is a great diversion in your mind, because you moved the goalpost, which was my point at #55. If I wanted to be an asshole the words would still sting and the laughter would be all around you. You’re deficient in this period, but you’re welcome to your opinion. However, I simply won’t let it stand without rebuttal

    The “I read from credible historians” or “many historians have a different view” means nothing because mainstream historians are what I use (sucks when I use your arguments against you doesn’t it?). So I do read “credible historians”, yet come to the opposite conclusion. I like social histories over else, my preference but always with the understanding they are more subjective. The military histories, and ideological histories, as well novels of the period, have to be read too for perspective. I’m a generalist, not a specifist, so the trees are less important to me than the forest. But not ignored either. Or I could get lost in them, as you have on one side of the forest.

    Now as for Hiroshima or Nagasaki and years, there weren’t years. It wasn’t until the B-29s that we started bombing Japan to any degree (90% was dropped by B-29s, the B-17s were used over Europe and sucked given the death rate), and that was in June of 1944, from that time until Hiroshima (14 months later from June) we fire-bombed 67 Japanese cities (to put perspective on this, Japanese cities were predominately made of wood not concrete. New York or Chicago, even LA, at the time would have fared better). So not years, unless you count Dolittle (brave, but no more than showing the Japanese people that their islands weren’t unreachable. It still took almost two years before the next raid on their “sacred islands”). Really, Dolittle’s Raid in ’42 starts the clock?

    No, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were secondary sites that became more important to us and the Japanese as we bombed the shit out of all their other 67 cities (the B-29 was long range, crew pressurized, and the basis for future bombers such as the B-52) Really, you believe the Japanese military stayed put in the cities we were bombing? Military intelligence of the enemy always lags, but the enemy moves as the bombs fall.

    Now to really get your knickers in a twist, given your “credible historians” (that is and shall ever be a slam, to which I admit without giving any credence to your scurrilous antecedent claims, as I know your historians not by name but quality), the original plan was to drop any Atomic Bombs on Germany!!! Yep, if they hadn’t fallen in May, by early August Berlin would have turned upside down. Certainly would have shown them thar Soviets our power (an argument has been made by some “credible” historians that H & N were only about showing the Soviets our big, fat Bombs, neglecting that we originally targeted Germany. You know, racism and anti-communism wrapped in a bow ).

  19. #19 |  Ariel | 

    Stephen, #66,

    I had the honor of rendering honor to the USS Arizona in the mid-70s, each and every time we passed. The memory still stirs me.

    The Japanese are welcome. We were adversaries in a horrible war. We are no longer the same people, as those who fought on both sides are sliding into history.

    There is a good, neutral movie on the Pacific war regarding the Aleutians (Kiska, where I’ve walked, and maybe Attu), where approximately 5000 Japanese soldiers were withdrawn by the Imperial Navy under the noses of our Pacific fleet. Quite stirring, even though the militarists were bastards. Wish I could remember the title.

    I understand the Japanese plight, as I have an affection for the Aleutians and the Bering Sea that is hard to explain. If you’ve been there, I don’t have to explain it, pro or con. If you haven’t, I can’t explain it to you. I haven’t found anyone that hasn’t been there that can understand. Maybe someone who has spent time in Antarctica (if I could I would without hesitation)….

  20. #20 |  Ariel | 

    Ok, my #67 at Marty’s #64, just in case I’ve confused anyone other than Marty.

  21. #21 |  Coughin' Ed | 

    the whole cultural supukku and all that bushido death before dishonor bullshit is so stupid and completely ignores the way that actual human beings operate

    Hiroshima and nagasaki were two of the worst, most evil things ever done in human history. and you dont get points for saying the dresden and tokyo firebombings were as bad…jesus

  22. #22 |  albatross | 


    So where are the bombs? If it’s impossible for Muslims to live at peace with non-Muslims, and we have a couple million Muslims living here, why isn’t stuff blowing up all the time?

  23. #23 |  albatross | 

    Coughin Ed:

    It’s not clear to me why the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings were worse than the other stuff we did in that war. Yes, murdering thousands of civilians in a war is horrible, but why does it matter whether you do it with one big bomb or a thousand little ones, or with blockade-induced starvation, or with individual soldiers bayonetting civilians one at a time? The horror is in the murder of huge numbers of people, particularly noncombattants. My sense is that the technology of the time made this almost inevitable–we had bombs that were not accurate enough to hit carefully targeted places, but that were effective if we dropped a hell of a lot of them in the same city. The Germans had missiles that could hit a city sized target, but not a specific building like a factory or air base or something. It’s something of a miracle, IMO, that we didn’t all end up using poison gas bombs on each others’ cities.

  24. #24 |  Woog | 

    albatross, I’m not a Muslim of any stripe, nor am I mind-reader, so your question to me goes unanswered.

    However, if you’re unaware of “murder for Allah” committed within the United States specifically, you’re willfully blind: even the mainstream media hasn’t been able to avoid printing such stories.

    Limiting myself to the recent years, we have: Fort Hood murders, apparent second attempt at Fort Hood murders, Times Square attempted murders, Fort Dix Six attempted murders, the Seattle Jewish Federation murder, attempted murder and successful assaults of Mohammed Reza Taheri-Azar, just to name the few off the top of my head.

    A quick look at wikipedia for “Islamist terrorism” provides some more. The real question should be, how could a “religion of peace” have so many murderous adherents that commit such acts in the name of their “peaceful religion”?