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Monday, December 7, 2009

Pearl Harbor...68 years ago.

The process of destroying Imperial Japan began on this day 68 years ago. Both Roosevelt and Truman were intent on destroying Imperial Japan so it could never again threaten the world. It was the same with Nazi Germany. That was the right prescription. How often today do you hear the same tone about Al Qaeda or the Taliban? It is not even called the "war on terror" any more. That was a "bumper sticker" as Randy Parker Schmuck Hall of Shame member John Edwards called it. You call it want you want. Let them chop your head off. Not me baby. It is the war on terror and they need to be destroyed because that is what they want to do to you, unwashed infidel that you are.

P.S. Truman was CORRECT in dropping the bomb on Japan. Here at the University there are any number of conferences and seminars on how the U.S. was wrong to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Psshaw! is what I say to that. Army planners were looking at over 1 million + casualties to invade Japan. If you were a G.I. back then you were being shipped from Europe to Asia knowing your odds of seeing 1946 were slim, never mind 1947 and beyond. When Truman dropped the bomb many G.I.s wept...because they knew they were going to live. Look one of them in the eyes and tell him Truman was wrong. I bet you get a spirited answer.


John said...

Actually, it was 1 million *allied* casualties that were expected in the invasion of Japan. If Iwo Jima can be used as a predictor, there would have been at least three times as many casualties among the Japanese soldiers defending their homeland, and Japanese casualties were almost all deaths. Recall that the US had just come through the Battle of Okinawa, in which the Japanese launched an all-out kamikaze attack on the US Navy, sinking many ships and seriously damaging far more. Watch the Victory at Sea episode on that battle to see blind fanaticism in action. In light of that kind of fanaticism, it seems quite safe to assume that the Japanese were prepared to fight to the last man, taking as many allied troops with them as possible. There also would have been untold numbers of civilian casualties (see, for example, the Battle of Manila, Philippines). The two atomic bombs killed about 100,000 Japanese civilians in total. By sparing Japan the horror of invasion, the two atom bombs probably saved more civilian lives than they took. That's just *civilian* lives saved, to say nothing of allied and Japanese military lives saved. The bombs were terrible, but the alternative would have been far worse.

And yes, the allied troops did breathe a sigh of relief when the bombs ended the war. I know, because my father was one of them.

Randall Parker said...

Thanks for the elaboration John. I can't imagine the horror of having to conquer Japan fighting to the last man/woman/civilian.