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 |  TomG | 

    Doug Christie? I think it’s Chris.
    Get better, Radley.

  2. #2 |  TomG | 

    I mean, I hope you get better from your bug. Not the secondary implication. Ooops.

  3. #3 |  Radley Balko | 

    No offense taken. And I think that’s like the third time I’ve referred to the NJ governor as the whipped NBA basketball player.

  4. #4 |  Anneliese | 

    I hope you get to feeling better soon. Thanks for all your blogging efforts; you always make me think.

  5. #5 |  yonemoto | 

    Feel better soon!

  6. #6 |  Psion | 

    Rest. Recover. And have a lazy weekend to charge your batteries for next week.

  7. #7 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Florida teen dies in a jail cell after arrest for pot possession.”

    Another resounding victory for Crimestoppers of the Sunshine State.
    One more crazed reefer addict off the streets of Palm Beach County.
    Hell, he coulda killed somebody.

    Hiroshima? Nagasaki? Shit, I thought that was Detroit.

  8. #8 |  Ariel | 

    I’m sorry, but regarding cover-up of the color film of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the only cover-up was the color. I saw similar, maybe even the same, film footage in High School in 1971-1972. The burns, the wounds, and the shadows in concrete (like “Christ in Concrete”, heavy in painful imagery). Read Hersey’s “Hiroshima” at the same time. I also saw WWI footage of trench charges -they just fall down like marionettes with cut strings- the same year. B&W can have the same power as color for my generation (my children can’t wrap themselves around Mitchum and film noir, or Bogart’s Philip Marlowe in “The Big Sleep”, whatsoever) that color does for those following.

    You have to remember that full-color full-violence didn’t hit the American screens until “Bonnie and Clyde” in ’67 and “The Wild Bunch” in ’69 (with maybe a Biker film with Barger in between). I can see the need to sell this as a cover-up to the generations raised on colored gore, but it’s likely it was first hidden because such wasn’t allowed in theaters or on public airwaves (remember the times, people). And once “Classified” , well how long does that take to get removed?

    BTW, the most horrifying footage to me was the WWI footage of trench charges. I still see those men just drop and lie still…again, like marionettes with cut strings. So ugly the vision of life so suddenly gone in such a futile endeavor.

  9. #9 |  New York Cynic | 

    I got to wonder how long till Gov. Christie is called a Communist Muslim loving liberal? Good for him being the bigger man

  10. #10 |  Justin |

    I like Christie, but he’s wrong, wrong, wrong on this issue.

  11. #11 |  David | 

    Sorry, I stopped reading after the author tried to use the fact that Mohammed defended “detained terrorist suspects” as a dogwhistle.

  12. #12 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    (Pardon the pun) color me unsurprised that the military suppressed video highlighting the suffering of the enemy … in the same war that saw them censoring mention of the soldiers playing craps. Also color me unimpressed. The Japanese government was taken over by a bunch of violently expansionist racist swine, the japanese military exploded across Asia and behaved in a manner that is only not considered as bad as the “Final Solution” of the Nazis because it wasn’t as well organized and isn’t as well known. They fought bitterly for every foot of ground in every island contest. Serious estimates of the cost of an invasion of mainland Japan expected a million U.S. dead, and as many as five times that many dead Japanese. So we dropped two nukes on two cities, killed (depending on who you believe) between 250,000 and 300,000. And ever since whining maggots have carried on as if we should have invaded, lost three to four times the butcher’s bill IN OUR OWN while killing up to twenty times as many Japanese. And meanwhile the Japanese have yet to grant citizenship to the descendants of Korean slave laborers who were brought Japan in chains.

    And every time I hear that another idiot is carrying on about our displaying the Enola Gay at the Air and Space Museum, I want to add a banner (in japanese) that says “You rape Nanking again, we bomb you again. Any questions?”

  13. #13 |  TomG | 

    Yeah, looking over that website (sultanknish at blogspot), the guy reads like a slightly less shrill Pamela Gellar. He also tries to justify the Norway mass murderer by the usual tactic of accusations against the youth camp and the parents (!) of the children killed.

  14. #14 |  Hayate | 

    S&P downgrades US credit rating from AAA to AA+

  15. #15 |  TC | 

    See it’s immoral to smoke weed!

    Evidently it’s moral to kill a kid!

  16. #16 |  Marty | 

    health care for people who are incarcerated is deplorable. many times, even the doctors and nurses participate in covering up abuses and negligence. google ‘cms prison death’ to find out how common stories like the one posted are…
    condolences to the young man’s family.

  17. #17 |  Marty | 

    ‘Serious estimates of the cost of an invasion of mainland Japan expected a million U.S. dead…’

    I’ve read reports that cite 25,000 to 250,000 military dead with an invasion of Japan. The Churchill propaganda machine manufactured the inflated numbers. The reality is, like with Dresden, we bombed civilian targets. This is a horrible black mark on all of us. Bombing civilians to possibly save soldiers… Truman was a prick.

  18. #18 |  Stress N. Strain | 

    “…and I think it’s a bunch of bbbaloney.”

    Christie almost dropped the “bullshit” bomb there. Good for him for calling out the critics.

    Get well soon, Radley.

  19. #19 |  Aresen | 

    Hope you’re feeling better soon, Radley.

    I’m sure it is just an isolated illness.

  20. #20 |  OBTC | 

    From the website:


    The Palm Beach Regional Juvenile Detention Center …

    The facility provides supervision of youth in a safe, secure and humane environment … Services for youth include: … and health care. Medical and mental health are contracted services.

  21. #21 |  Cyto | 

    I too recall footage and images from my childhood in the 70’s that included the burns and worse. Far worse than the images from the nuclear bombs was the Life magazine images of bodies burned by flamethrowers and heads crushed under tanks and rubble. Life had some horrific images.

    And I agree – everything back then happened in black and white. Most of the Vietnam war happened in black and white too. Even the color wasn’t all that good – mostly washed out. It wasn’t until much later that images of pre 1960’s became available in color.

    When I was a kid it was feasible to believe the Calvin and Hobbes bit about pictures from the past being in color – it’s just that the world was in black and white back then… Only make-believe places like Oz were in color.

  22. #22 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    Go read an account of the battle for Okinawa. The cold fact is that we could reasonable expect to have to kill more Japanese (and since they were arming the populace, the distinction between Military and Civilian was a trifle blurry) invading the mainland than we expected to kill if we literally wiped out both cities. The entire “We were so awful, bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki” narrative is substantially hogwash. Were we shining Paladins? No. Was the attack on Pearl Harbor “unprovoked”? No (We were being plenty provoking. In light of the behavior of the Japanese in Manchuria, we had cause.). But the atom bombings were a mercy to both sides. The bulk of the historical evidence that anyone has been able to find is that the Japanese Militarist government was planning to throw the Japanese people into the meat-grinder rather than surrender. Even after the first bomb, their reaction was “Can we make one of our own?”. It took two bombs AND the courage of the Japanese Emperor to stop that war … and there were abortive efforts to seize the poor chump and keep on fighting by some military factions.

    In war, one uses the weapons at hand. Or one loses. If you think losing would have been preferable to what happened, I suggest you take it up with any non-Japanese asians who had family in the countries that Japan occupied. Do it from a distance, though. Tempers are still running high on that one.

  23. #23 |  Woog | 

    I can’t comment on Christie’s appointment of the particular judge in question. Christie’s beratement of others who point out the threat posed by fundamentalist Islam, on the other hand, does indeed herald ignorance – by Christie.

    Sharia law is fact in footholds within the US, with Dearborn, Michigan, as the lowest-hanging fruit.

    For those who are interested in what Islamic scripture has to say, and how the “religion of peace” fits in with the whole self-detonation motif, the best single-source resource I’ve found is at

    The book in question is posted in its entirety on the site in multiple formats. Looking at the “source code” for Islam is quite enlightening.

  24. #24 |  Rojo | 

    Muslims in America amount to somewhere between 0.6 (CIA Factbook) to 0.8 (Pew Research Center) percent of the population and are, of course, far from homogeneous in their various political/legal ideologies (about a quarter of that total less-than-one-percent number are African-American Muslims of the Nation of Islam type, for example). Everybody whinging about the “Islamization” of America and the supposed dangers of Sharia law are not only bigoted, but very, very stupid.

    This is the first (and quite probably the last) nice thing I’ve ever said about Christie, but definitely good on him for calling out this tripe. One hopes that he’ll also do it for other incidents beyond his political allies getting smeared, but we’ll see.

  25. #25 |  Rojo | 

    Hindus amount to about the same percentage (this number would have been infinitesimally larger if my maternal grandparents were still alive), why is no-one carrying on about the creeping Upanishad-ization of America?

    Oh yeah, because hatred of Hindus is not as conducive to justifying fucking wars everywhere our foreign policy elites (Democrat and Republican) currently want to fight them and maintaining political support for our vicious little Middle East satrapy, Israel.

  26. #26 |  JOR | 

    Well, everyone’s got their reasons for mass murder. That’s no reason for people lying to themselves about the fact of what they do, or the fact of what was done, or whining about ‘maggots’ who react to mass terror-bombing apologism the way any of us would react to anyone elses’ excuses for what they do.

    You wanna know something? If the Axis had won WWII, it wouldn’t have mattered in the long run. In the long run, everything averages out, and we all die anyway. All the countries Japan would have tyrannized ended up tyrannizing themselves with various homegrown nationalist and communist dictatorships. Most of the countries Hitler had his sights on conquering ended up as Soviet satellites. 60 years later things don’t seem quite so bad, as they likely would not have 60 years after an Axis victory. They may get better or worse, as they might have done 60 years after an Axis victory.

    But here’s the thing: I notice nobody ever uses these ‘win at all costs’ arguments for the benefit of the Nazis/Imperial Japanese/Al Qaeda/whatever; well, I knew one particularly intellectually honest conservative who DID stand up and defend Nazi, Soviet, and Imperial Japanese repression and mass murder on those grounds, but intellectually honest war apologists are a rare thing. If the Axis had won, we can be sure some asshole somewhere would probably be telling some antiwar hippie that he should stop being such a whining maggot about Imperial Japanese atrocities because he owes everything to the Axis victory and all the actions that secured it, and you know what, if they had tried to be nice to their enemies they would have lost. And that would even be technically correct, though morally irrelevant.

  27. #27 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    If you think for one fat instant that anti-war hippies would be tolerated in a successful Thousand Year Reich there’s no point in disputing with you. you and I are not even going to be able to come to a meeting of minds on terms.

    I WILL say this; I think that the War Crimes trials that the allies held were a lousy idea. There was no structure under which the Germans or the Japanese could reasonably be “Tried” for “Crimes”. Any “Moral high Ground” we might claim because we put a bunch of swine on trial at Nuremburg we lost because representatives of Joe (hitler Was a Piker) Stalin were among the judges. We should have grabbed the individuals we were most annoyed with and shot them; the object lesson being “Don’t go out of your way to be a beast when you are winning a war if you can’t handle being shot like a beast if you eventually lose. The people you horrify (or just p*ss off) today may have a decisive say in your future – or lack of same – tomorrow. Not “You lost because God has judged you” but “You lost because you hacked off more people than you could handle, and not THEY propose to handle YOU, for good.

  28. #28 |  Marty | 

    #22 | C. S. P. Schofield-

    ‘The entire “We were so awful, bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki” narrative is substantially hogwash.’

    Remember, the winners also write history. Churchill and Truman put out amazing propaganda. That these cities weren’t military cities is not hogwash. That Japan was crumbling, whether we invaded or not, is not hogwash.

    I agree with you on the Japanese atrocities and the ridiculousness of having Russian judges at Nuremberg. I think we deviate substantially, otherwise.

  29. #29 |  Rojo | 

    inb4 “anti-Semite”

    And lest anyone suggest that I’m an anti-Semite for saying the above, let me say that my sniping at Israel has absolutely nothing to do with “the Jews.” The Jews, like the Muslims, the Hindus, the Christians, the Buddhists, etc. are pretty ideologically diverse. Yes the Israeli lobby is politically powerful, but that lobby is not exclusively Jewish, for one, and doesn’t represent the views of all American Jews, much less Jews in general, for two. The real problem, and the factor that has helped the Israel lobby to achieve such power, however, is that both of our societies are deeply committed politically to forms of absolutist hegemony (regionally (and ethnically), in Israel’s case and globally (and culturally) in ours) and believe that war and other forms of violence and attempted coercion are useful means of achieving such an ends, as absolutist hegemonists tend to do.

  30. #30 |  EH | 

    Rojo: I think of it this way, though it’s a bit of guilt by association: “Covering up for bad cops turns good cops into bad cops.”

  31. #31 |  Rojo | 

    EH: I’m not sure I entirely get your meaning. Who are the good cops and the bad cops in your analogy?

  32. #32 |  Rojo | 

    Oh, and let me add my belated “get well, Radley” wishes here.

  33. #33 |  Juice | 

    #9 | New York Cynic | August 5th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    I got to wonder how long till Gov. Christie is called a Communist Muslim loving liberal? Good for him being the bigger man.

    Just read the Youtube comments. :-)

  34. #34 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 


    I don’t think that anybody believes for an instant that the Japanese could have successfully RESISTED an invasion. What far too many people have said with little or no evidence in support (and LOTS of evidence to the contrary) is that the Japanese would not have tried. They would have tried. They were training their civilian population with fire-jardened bamboo spears. They were getting ready to commit cultural seppuku.

    Since the end of the War, numerous Japanese “historians” have published works claiming to ‘prove’ that Japan was on the verge of surrendering, and that the bombings were unnecessary. None of these stand up to examination. Many of the writers have proved, on examination, to belong to fringe groups that believe (or claim to believe) that the Rape of Nanking never happened, that the Korean slave-women brought to japan for the use of soldiers were volunteers, and the Gods alone know what all else. In short, they are on a par with the people who believe that JFK was assassinated by an alien that landed in Area 51. Reputable Japanese scholars have been fighting this swill for a while now. They seem to take it personally, just as many Germans take it personally when assorted vermin deny the Holocaust …. they aren’t proud of the truth, but they aren’t ready to forget the lesson they learned at so high a cost either. And they resent having to rub people’s noses in the stink of the sins of their Fathers.

  35. #35 |  Woog | 

    Rojo, I assume your non-factbook figure was a SWAG. However, using your numbers suggests there are 450,000 “Nation of Islam” types who adhere to the fundamental principle of Islam which is literal world war until “all religion is for Allah”. Consider also that the problem is not related to skin color.

    Compare and contrast the hubbub raised over gun-owning individuals who have banded together in an attempt to caution the American governments from acting illegally outside the law of the various Constitutions against the almost total lack of information about a group with known, written goals that call for the destruction of the US government and the imposition of a gender-imbalanced despotic theocracy?

  36. #36 |  Rojo | 

    Woog, try again. Start by trying to debunk this: “far from homogeneous in their various political/legal ideologies.”

    If you succeed in that task, which I find to be unlikely, then try to explain to me how, even were Muslims united in this alleged wish for “the destruction of the US government and the imposition of a gender-imbalanced despotic theocracy,” they could possibly achieve such a goal when they are less than one percent of the population.

    By the way, I’m a secret Hindu coming to plants dots on the foreheads of all your women, white people!

  37. #37 |  Rojo | 

    And I have no idea what you’re talking about when you say that one of those figures “was a SWAG”

    A SWAG?

    Anyone care to enlighten me?

  38. #38 |  Sam Paris | 

    “SWAG”= Scientific Wild-Ass Guess.

  39. #39 |  bill. | 

    Rojo — WAG is probably “wild-ass guess.” the “s” I don’t know.


  40. #40 |  Just Plain Brian | 

    SWAG = Statistic Woog Appears to Gainsay?

  41. #41 |  Marty | 


    I don’t know any Japanese scholars of any repute. Ralph Raico and Robert Higgs are well-respected historians who view these events dramatically differently than you. Studs Terkel has interviewed many participants in these events who hold views contrary to yours.

    You may be a little quick on the draw to dismiss other arguments. I suspect the truth might be somewhere in the middle of all of this…

  42. #42 |  Rojo | 

    Thanks Sam Paris for enlightening me as to what Woog apparently meant and thanks Just Plain Brian for the amusing definition.

    It’s interesting that Woog chose to single out the non-CIA Factbook figure as a SWAG, when the CIA figure was the smaller figure. Couldn’t bring himself to question the CIA? If so, that would definitely be a hallmark of an authoritarian mind.

  43. #43 |  Xenocles | 

    Marty, CSP, et al.-

    Missing in a lot of analysis is not just what actual political conditions were in Japan at the time of the bombing (i.e., were they about to surrender anyway?) but how much Truman knew when he gave the order. I haven’t read anything that indicates the Allies knew a surrender was possible even if it were.

    I think the atomic bombings are blown out of proportion because they involved nuclear weapons. It was a terrible way to end a terrible war, but it wasn’t even the worst thing the Allies did, let alone the worst thing of the war. Very little attention is paid to the various firebombings in both theaters or the widespread starvation rampant in Japan at the end (which would have continued indefinitely under the blockade which was one of several endgame options being considered).

  44. #44 |  Ariel | 

    C.P.S. Schofield,
    You’re right, Marty is wrong. I few simple searches (not that I really need to do this) show that he is wrong-headed, based on his own anachronistic prejudices. Here are some quick quotes from the Wiki: Hiroshima was “during World War II, the Second Army and Chugoku Regional Army were headquartered in Hiroshima, and the Army Marine Headquarters was located at Ujina port. The city also had large depots of military supplies, and was a key center for shipping” as well a communication hub and the center for the military protection of southern Japan; Nagasaki was “a center of heavy industry. Its main industry was ship-building, with the dockyards under control of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries becoming one of the prime contractors for the Imperial Japanese Navy, and with Nagasaki harbor used as an anchorage under the control of nearby Sasebo Naval District. These connections with the military made Nagasaki a major target for bombing by the Allies in World War II,” because, gee, it was a naval power center for a naval power. Of course, this is Truman and Churchill hogwash propaganda.

    If you look up “Operation Downfall” made up of two operations (Olympus and Coronet) and then the latest info released by Japan in the last decade, the estimates of a million Allies to 5 million Japanese (upward of 10 in some estimates) dead were made, or confirmed, after Truman and Churchill passed away (propaganda from the grave I guess). The Japanese knew we were going to invade Kyushu and were preparing. Allied estimates of Japanese planes still functional were off by about a factor of 5. The Japanese were preparing civilians, including children, for a fight to the death. There are films of this released by Japan, as well my own experience of talking to a High School friend’s mother who lived in Nagasaki but missed the bombing (anecdotal of course). It would have been a pile of bodies.

    We could have blockaded, but the estimates of Japanese losses were pretty nasty and the American public would not have put up with the war lasting until 1947 or so.

    An aside, a simple look at the world’s map on December 31st, 1941, would explain why the Allies were so damn afraid they had lost. War has a lot of luck to it, and the Allies were out of it at that time (Europe gone; all strategic bases in Asia gone including the crucial Philippines; Russia invaded; Europeans and Asians lining up with the Axis, the Vichy French attacked the British Navy; etc.)

    On hindsight (you know, the 20/20 of armchair moralists), Japan was finished after Midway and Germany after “Operation Barbarossa”. But damn it, Jim, they just didn’t know it. How silly of them.

    The Total War concept of WWII led to how we view war today, not then. But today’s view doesn’t mean the Allies’ view then was wrong.

  45. #45 |  Ariel | 

    Oh, BTW, the Japanese were also closer to the Bomb than we knew (they had an installation in Korea that was close to testing one). Of course, they would never have used it…

  46. #46 |  Mannie | 

    Anti war hippies are of a lower moral order than child rapists, and should be treated that way.

    We had two alternatives to defeating Japan in 1945. The one on the table, invading and conquering the place, was rapidly falling out of favor with our top brass, because we were realizing how expensive it would be in terms of lives. If we had carried through with it, we could easily have suffered a million casualties before we were done. The Japanese, who planned to starve a third of their own population to death to free up food for the Army, would have mobilized their civilian population, and then have been reduced to something less than a breeding population. Halsey would have been right, Japanese would only have been spoken in Hell.

    The second alternative, which had been our war plan since the 20s, would have been to blockade the island and starved it to death. We would have destroyed what was left of their transportation, herbicided their rice crop, shot up everything that moved and didn’t move, and soaked the countryside with Mustard and Lewisite. We had stockpiled hundreds of thousands of tons of gas. As with the previous alternative, Japan would have been reduced to something less than a breeding population. Halsey would have been right, Japanese would only have been spoken in Hell.

    The Japs ought to send us a thank you note every August 6th. Two nukes, with a trivial body count compared with Jap casualties so far, shocked them into surrender. Hiroshima and Nagasakidid not die in vain. They saved the Japanese race.

    God Bless Harry Truman.

  47. #47 |  Rojo | 

    Without actually intervening in the Hiroshima/Nagasaki argument, because I still feel I don’t have enough evidence to make up my mind, I’m still going to say that this is a pretty ugly sentiment: “Anti war hippies are of a lower moral order than child rapists, and should be treated that way.”

    I can’t imagine myself saying the same thing about the people that I view as my political opponents.

  48. #48 |  Dave | 

    “Anti war hippies are of a lower moral order than child rapists, and should be treated that way.”

    You don’t often see a post that starts off that bad and goes downhill from there!

  49. #49 |  Ariel | 

    Rojo, #46,

    If you look up the info I alluded to in my #45, you’ll start to understand that both by the temper of the times and current reasonable hindsight, Nagasaki and Hiroshima did more to save lives than end them. Look up Dresden and “Tokyo fire bombing”, both really bad, to understand that the only difference was in the number of bombs and planes needed.

    To keep it in perspective, look up “stuka strafing” from 1939 and anything the Japanese militarists did early, and later, in the war. The German Nazi diplomats (and the German regular military) actually thought the Japanese were over the top in medical experiments (Mengele was bad, the Japanese worse) and treatment of POWs, you had an even chance if you were Slav with the Germans that you did with the Japanese no matter who you were.

    We are so Eurocentric that we neglect understanding how bad the Japanese actually were (only the Holocaust stands out as sordidly exceptional, but the Japanese were doing similar on the Asian continent, though more “amorphous”).

    As for the “Hippies v. Child Rapists”, yeah, that’s over the top too.

  50. #50 |  Rojo | 


    I’m still withholding judgment, although I’m highly sympathetic to the argument that the fire-bombings of Dresden and Tokyo, etc. were on the same order. But to me, that just suggests that there were multiple indiscriminate targetings of civilians, some using conventional bombs and some using nuclear. I am, of course, under no illusions about the viciousness of the imperialist Japanese or the Nazis. But does their viciousness and war crimes excuse our war crimes?

  51. #51 |  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.

  52. #52 |  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.

  53. #53 |  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.

  54. #54 |  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…

  55. #55 |  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?

  56. #56 |  Ariel | 

    Gee, Marty,

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

  57. #57 |  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.

  58. #58 |  Marty | 

    #55 | Ariel

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

  59. #59 |  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.

  60. #60 |  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.

  61. #61 |  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.

  62. #62 |  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.

  63. #63 |  Stephen | 

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

  64. #64 |  Ariel | 

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

  65. #65 |  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?

  66. #66 |  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…

  67. #67 |  Stephen | 

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

  68. #68 |  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 ).

  69. #69 |  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)….

  70. #70 |  Ariel | 

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

  71. #71 |  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

  72. #72 |  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?

  73. #73 |  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.

  74. #74 |  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”?