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Islam and terrorism
Posted: 27 May 2005 07:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]  
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[quote author=“Mark Starr”]Of course Takaki doesn’t agree with GVI’s historical revisionism because it is not true.  I haven’t read Takaki’s book, though I’ll probably get around to it someday. I have, however, read Richard Rhodes’ Pulitzer Prize-winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb, page 640 of which I now quote from:

On the short list of targets for the atom bomb, in addition to Hiroshima, Kokura and Niigata, was the Japanese city of temples, Kyoto. When the expert on Japan, Professor Edwin O. Reischauer, heard this terrible news, he rushed into the office of his chief, Major Alfred MacCormack, in a department of the Army Intelligence Service. The shock caused him to burst into tears. MacCormack, a cultivated and humane New York lawyer, thereupon managed to persuade Secretary of War Stimson to reprieve Kyoto and have it crossed off the black list.

Truman’s statements are well known, and actually prove my assertion that Hiroshima was not an act intended to kill civilians for its own sake, but rather to save lives in the long run.

And sorry, Mark, but I’ll take the word of Pulitzer-winning historian over yours any day.

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Posted: 28 May 2005 02:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]  
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[quote author=“global village idiot”][quote author=“Mark Starr”]Of course Takaki doesn’t agree with GVI’s historical revisionism because it is not true.

I haven’t read Takaki’s book, though I’ll probably get around to it someday. I have, however, read Richard Rhodes’ Pulitzer Prize-winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb, page 640 of which I now quote from:

On the short list of targets for the atom bomb, in addition to Hiroshima, Kokura and Niigata, was the Japanese city of temples, Kyoto. When the expert on Japan, Professor Edwin O. Reischauer, heard this terrible news, he rushed into the office of his chief, Major Alfred MacCormack, in a department of the Army Intelligence Service. The shock caused him to burst into tears. MacCormack, a cultivated and humane New York lawyer, thereupon managed to persuade Secretary of War Stimson to reprieve Kyoto and have it crossed off the black list.

Truman’s statements are well known, and actually prove my assertion that Hiroshima was not an act intended to kill civilians for its own sake, but rather to save lives in the long run.

And sorry, Mark, but I’ll take the word of Pulitzer-winning historian over yours any day.

Takaki speaks of this incident as well.  Takaki is a historian who, along with Alperovitz were amoung the first to see the declassified Truman documents.  It seems there was quite a difference between Truman’s public statements (and image) and his private corrispondences.  The selection of targets seems to have been strategic but not for military purposes.  Takaki’s interpretation is that the timing and target selection were for the Russians. 

Don’t you think it odd that the holy city Kyoto was even on the list to begin with?

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Posted: 28 May 2005 05:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]  
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[quote author=“global village idiot”][quote author=“Mark Starr”]Of course Takaki doesn’t agree with GVI’s historical revisionism because it is not true.

I haven’t read Takaki’s book, though I’ll probably get around to it someday. I have, however, read Richard Rhodes’ Pulitzer Prize-winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb, page 640 of which I now quote from:

On the short list of targets for the atom bomb, in addition to Hiroshima, Kokura and Niigata, was the Japanese city of temples, Kyoto. When the expert on Japan, Professor Edwin O. Reischauer, heard this terrible news, he rushed into the office of his chief, Major Alfred MacCormack, in a department of the Army Intelligence Service. The shock caused him to burst into tears. MacCormack, a cultivated and humane New York lawyer, thereupon managed to persuade Secretary of War Stimson to reprieve Kyoto and have it crossed off the black list.

Truman’s statements are well known, and actually prove my assertion that Hiroshima was not an act intended to kill civilians for its own sake, but rather to save lives in the long run.

And sorry, Mark, but I’ll take the word of Pulitzer-winning historian over yours any day.


Obviously GVI has descended into the realm of irrationality for which no direct reponse is possible.  The passage from Rhodes’ book that GVI quoted is totally irrelevant to the matter at hand.  It proves nothing except that MacCormack cried and Kyoto was removed from the list.  It is an irrefutable fact that civilians were killed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki—hundreds of thousands of them.  That fact, which GVI cannot spin or dance around, speaks for itself.

I can see now that with GVI, his personal beliefs come first, and then he searches for factoids to support them.  I am all too familiar with this backwards reasoning after reading some of the countless posts by The Champion.  Could they be one and the same?

Mark Starr

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Posted: 28 May 2005 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]  
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[quote author=“Mark Starr”]Obviously GVI has descended into the realm of irrationality for which no direct reponse is possible.  The passage from Rhodes’ book that GVI quoted is totally irrelevant to the matter at hand.  It proves nothing except that MacCormack cried and Kyoto was removed from the list.  It is an irrefutable fact that civilians were killed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki—hundreds of thousands of them.  That fact, which GVI cannot spin or dance around, speaks for itself.

I can see now that with GVI, his personal beliefs come first, and then he searches for factoids to support them.  I am all too familiar with this backwards reasoning after reading some of the countless posts by The Champion.  Could they be one and the same?

Mark Starr

Mark, you need to take a reading comprehension course. I’ve never denied that civilians were killed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Doing so would be pointless and foolish. Nor have I denied that terrorizing them was one of the goals of the attacks. I simply denied either attack was carried out for the sole purpose of killing civilians. The targets actually selected had military applications for the Japanese, which was among the deciding factors in their selection.

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Posted: 28 May 2005 08:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]  
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[quote author=“Anonymous”]The selection of targets seems to have been strategic but not for military purposes.  Takaki’s interpretation is that the timing and target selection were for the Russians.

I’m unclear as to your meaning here. Could you elaborate a bit?

Don’t you think it odd that the holy city Kyoto was even on the list to begin with?

No. I consider it normal. When planning any military action, a short list of targets is drawn up for any number of reasons. What’s notable—and, from an ethical standpoint in comparison to the enemy in WW2—is that our chain of command was open to dissent and moral persuasion, even in wartime. And also, again, that among the main the reasons Hiroshima and Nagasaki were settled on as the specific targets is that attacking them had legitimate prior military justification.

In other words, yes, it’s true that the strategic purpose of the A-bombing of Japan was to “scare” them into bringing a quick end to the war. But we didn’t bomb recklessly or wantonly; we selected specific targets for specific military reasons. If for no other reason than to assuage our own consciences, we picked cities that were considered legitimate targets under the laws of war, rather than ones considered strictly non-combative.

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Posted: 28 May 2005 09:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]  
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I guess the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were specifically targetted (in Hiroshima 130,000 died that week and another 25,000 died within a year from radiation) and “we” did manage to scare “them” into submission. However, it surprises me to discover that even conventional bombing could be catastrophic in terms of civilian caualites On March 10, 1945 in Tokyo a conventional bomb killed approximately 83,000 people (fires and building collapses included).  I wonder how strategic those “targets” were?

Bob

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Posted: 28 May 2005 10:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]  
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[quote author=“global village idiot”] I’ve never denied that civilians were killed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Doing so would be pointless and foolish. Nor have I denied that terrorizing them was one of the goals of the attacks. I simply denied either attack was carried out for the sole purpose of killing civilians. The targets actually selected had military applications for the Japanese, which was among the deciding factors in their selection.

GVI also wrote: “Truman’s statements are well known, and actually prove my assertion that Hiroshima was not an act intended to kill civilians for its own sake, but rather to save lives in the long run.”

From the realm of irrationality, GVI has now descended still lower into double-talk.  I think I’ve had enough.

Mark Starr

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Posted: 29 May 2005 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]  
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[quote author=“Anonymous”]... as soon as the West stops interfereing in their affairs, [Muslims] will acquire nuclear weapons and invade and conquer the whole world.

That undoubtedly is what WILL happen, and what is happening right now.  The fact that you—ostensibly a well-informed non-Muslim—are unaware that this is happening now is yet one more example of the key problem of our time. 

No policy recommendations are possible as long as most Westerners dismiss this obvious fact about Islam in the name of religious tolerance.  They are a waste of time because no one is listening.  No one believes that those poor downtrodden Muslims could be capable of such a plot.  And most of them would not be capable of such a plot without the mind control of Islam. 

It is their religion that is capable of such a plot.  Unfortunately, virtually all of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims accept unquestioningly what their religion tells them in the Koran.  It is the Koran that is the source of the problem.  Have you ever read it?  Muslims do what the Koran tells them to do.  No political belief-system—not even Nazism and Communism—has the totalitarian mind control over its subjects that Islam has.

No actions to avert this catastrophe are remotely possible as long as Bush and all Western governments maintain the fiction that “we are not at war with Islam.”  Carrots and sticks do not mean a thing as long as the West is still fooling itself.

No solution to the threat posed by Islam is possible until this unpalatable fact about Islam is accepted by all non-Muslims, not just an elite handful.  If some Muslim moderates can also be made to see the catastrophe toward which their unreformed religion is leading them, so much the better.  However, for the West to count on such internal reform of Islam by the moderates would be sheer madness.

Mark Starr

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Posted: 29 May 2005 09:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]  
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How is it double-talk? The calculation was simple: it was hoped that using the A-bomb would demonstrate to the Japanese the futility of fighting on to the bitter end. This removed the necessity for a land invasion of Japan, which would have killed millions of Japanese and Americans alike. Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed fewer people than a protracted land war would have, inflicted less damage, and was carried out for specific and justifiable strategic goals. In the long run, it prevented more deaths than it caused by quickly ending the Pacific war, which is exactly what it was intended to do. But, at the same time, the tactical decision about which cities to target wasn’t made wantonly; planners looked for targets considered legitimate under the laws of war, and ultimately overlooked targets that had no military justification.

It’s the difference between strategy and tactics. What part of this are you not understanding?

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Posted: 30 May 2005 12:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]  
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[quote author=“global village idiot”][quote author=“Anonymous”]The selection of targets seems to have been strategic but not for military purposes.  Takaki’s interpretation is that the timing and target selection were for the Russians.

I’m unclear as to your meaning here. Could you elaborate a bit?

Takaki asserts (and the documentation certainly seems to back him up on this) that Truman’s main objective had nothing to do with the Japanese.  He wanted to show the Russians (Stalin) that we had the bomb and would use it.  The reason we dropped two bombs was to show that we had mastered the technology and the first wasn’t a fluke or lucky shot.  Many of the Pacific command staff had long asserted that the war was nearly over and the Japanese would surrender if we didn’t make it unconditional (for one thing they wanted to preserve the Emperor).  Truman insisted on unconditional surrender so as to necessitate the use of the bomb.  The story was that this scared the Japanese, but both Japanese documents and our own show that the war was essentially over.  Truman needed to demonstrate the bomb as a show of post-war dominance.

[quote author=“global village idiot”]

Don’t you think it odd that the holy city Kyoto was even on the list to begin with?

No. I consider it normal. When planning any military action, a short list of targets is drawn up for any number of reasons. What’s notable—and, from an ethical standpoint in comparison to the enemy in WW2—is that our chain of command was open to dissent and moral persuasion, even in wartime. And also, again, that among the main the reasons Hiroshima and Nagasaki were settled on as the specific targets is that attacking them had legitimate prior military justification.

In other words, yes, it’s true that the strategic purpose of the A-bombing of Japan was to “scare” them into bringing a quick end to the war. But we didn’t bomb recklessly or wantonly; we selected specific targets for specific military reasons. If for no other reason than to assuage our own consciences, we picked cities that were considered legitimate targets under the laws of war, rather than ones considered strictly non-combative.

I really think you should read either the Takaki or Alperovitz books.  They find a rather different explanation for the actions we took.  The scare and save lives story were just for mass consumption in this country.  And it seems very many people want desperately to belive those reasons, because not doing so opens us up to moral scrutiny we don’t want.

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Posted: 31 May 2005 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]  
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[quote author=“Anonymous”]I really think you should read either the Takaki or Alperovitz books.  They find a rather different explanation for the actions we took.  The scare and save lives story were just for mass consumption in this country.  And it seems very many people want desperately to belive those reasons, because not doing so opens us up to moral scrutiny we don’t want.

I don’t see how. If we were afraid of moral scrutiny, we’d never have made the archives and records available to the likes of Takaki or Alperovitz. It’s more likely that officials felt justified in their decision, and wanted to clarify it for posterity.

In any case, I was reasonably certain that your Russian remark was referring to what you described, but I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions. I recall having read about it in McCullogh’s biography of Truman, and also possibly in Rhodes’ book (but it’s been so long I can’t recall which). It may not have been in either of those sources, though; I read so much, and so quickly, that sometimes things get mashed together.

But, I don’t quite understand the objection being implied. For one thing, there’s no reason the bombings couldn’t have been for all the motives described here, by all parties. For another, a good argument could be made that Truman’s anti-Stalin motives were morally justified, as well. Given the fact that the USSR had been a hostile state towards us right up until their pact with Hitler dissolved, and given that Stalin’s posturing and troop movements in the soon-to-be Warsaw Pact nations gave Truman every good reason to believe that Uncle Joe was about to pick up where Hitler had left off, and given that the Soviets, on top of all that, were known to be working on their own nukes, why not take out two birds with one stone? That is, end the war with Japan decisively, and put the Soviets on notice, at the same time.

There’s plenty of room for debate on the question, of course, but the original point was simply that the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombings were not the moral equivalents of 9/11, even if neither of them was morally justified. That is, some crimes really are worse than others; Hiroshima occurred in the context of a declared war; it was undertaken (in part) to end that war, not to escalate it (which saved more lives than it ended); and the logistical and tactical teams selected targets justified by the laws of war rather than exclusively civilian targets.  9/11, on the other hand, was calculated to inflict far more damage on the civilians of New York than it actually did (luckily), and was designed to escalate a war rather than end one. All of these factors must be weighed before a moral evaluation is reached.

A person can concede all those points and still believe that Hiroshima and 9/11 were both crimes, which was my original point of contention with dchwoller. My point wasn’t to defend Hiroshima as moral and 9/11 as not moral; it was to argue that they weren’t morally equivalent in any reasonable sense, even if they were both wrong.

Just as it’s possible to make a distinction between negligent homicide and first-degree murder while still conceding them both to be morally wrong, one can do and should do the same with Hiroshima and 9/11, and other acts of war.

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Posted: 01 June 2005 06:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]  
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The failure of religiously tolerant people to recognize the totalitarian nature of Islam may be due to a simple matter of terminology.  They (including our government) refer to Islamic terrorists, Islamic fundamentlists, Islamic extremists and Radical Islam.  If they would substitute Totalitarian Islam, that would cover nicely everyone who recites verses from the Koran.

Mark Starr.

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Posted: 07 July 2005 12:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]  
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To Islam:

Damn you

Damn you

Damn you

PIGS

So tell me all you fine Islamic boys and girls, do you get virgins to screw in paradise if you just detonate a bomb or do you actually have to blow your worthless self up along with it?

That’s what all your behavior is predicated on: what reward will I get up in the sky when Allah sees what I have done to kill and maim people in the name of Islam. That’s what you want. The big party in paradise. That’s the dirty little secret behind your miserable medieval throwback of a religion, just as it is with the rest. Surrender to nonsense and be rewarded. Oppress and be rewarded. Kill and be rewarded.

PIGS

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