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Hiroshima & Nagasaki - Genocidal 'display' killing of up to 300000 civilians
While the official narrative was that it would 'save lives' and 'end the War', both cities were non-military targets. A detonation on a Pacific Island would have had the same shock effect - if that were the real reason. The USA wanted, IMO, to 1] show off their new toy to the Soviets, and 2] do an experiment as to the actual effects of both types of bombs on real cities and real people. Secret [until very recently] data was kept by teams combing and recording immediately after the bombs - on location. The photos and films were kept Top Secret and away from the American Public. Now, they are available if you really search for them. This was an act of genocide and crimes against humanity equal to any of the Axis powers.

Terrorism from the Sky: the Destruction of Nagasaki

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by Peter N. Kirstein, Ph.D.
Sky full of fire, pain pourin' down - Bob Dylan1
The last time an atomic weapon was used in combat was the incineration of Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945. Most of the world's attention, however, has concentrated upon the first B-29 Enola Gay mission that rained nuclear death over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. During the fiftieth anniversary of the atomic attacks in 1995, a flurry of press coverage and specials emphasized the Hiroshima, "Little Boy" bombing. Both print and electronic media explored the decision to use the atomic bomb at the end of World War II, but virtually ignored its most recent application, when Nagasaki's civilian population was decimated. While the Hiroshima nuclear attack represented the first use of a weapon of mass destruction, the atomic slaughter is the tale of two cities destroyed for reasons other than military necessity. In part, it was driven by the terrorist policy of unconditional surrender, that prolonged the carnage and deterred the Axis Powers from seeking an armistice on terms that might conclude the conflict. As the debate over the nuclearization of World War II continues to rage almost sixty years later, one should remember that the indiscriminate slaughter from America's weapons of mass destruction, were visited upon two non-white civilian populations for revenge, a thirst for mass murder and atomic diplomacy.
Inside the world's oldest and largest avionics museum, the United States Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, is displayed the perfectly-restoredBokscar, the frequently ignored B-29 Superfortress that released over Nagasaki the plutonium, "Fat Man" bomb. Its commander was Major Charles Sweeney. Although the propeller-engine bomber bore the eponymous reference to Captain Frederick C. Bock, he switched aircraft prior to takeoff from Tinian in the Mariana Islands.2
President Harry S. Truman, through a White House-issued press release, announced the Hiroshima bombing on August 6. He finally gave an atomic warning to Japan, with a minatory promise that America would continue its nuclear attack in a manner, heretofore, unachievable through air power: the destruction of an entire people and nation:
We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. We shall destroy their docks, their factories, and their communications... If they do not accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth.3
Truman's threatening of the pastoralization of Japan, which was not dissimilar to the Morgenthau Plan for Germany, did not occur, but additional butchery and destruction were unleashed. As the pace of the scientific and technological revolution had already accelerated beyond humankind's capacity to control and harness it, three days later, Nagasaki became Truman's next victim of a "rain of ruin."
Kokura had been chosen as the primary target since it would be easier to demolish than Nagasaki. The latter was a less accessible countervalue target because the bomb's impact "would be wasted outside the built up areas." Target selection anticipated a diminution of Nagasaki's damage due to surrounding hills of the relatively intact city, a port on the west coast of the southern island of Kyushu.4 Kokura's residents were spared annihilation, however, because of cloud cover and the strict rules of engagement that required, in addition to radar, actual visual sighting of the target before discharge of the gravity bomb. Prior to abandoning its primary, Bokscar unsuccessfully attempted three bombing runs over cloudy Kokura. As the B-29 propeller-driven aircraft was running out of fuel, Sweeney and Commander Fred L. Ashworth, the weaponeer, raced to Nagasaki for one last desperate bombing attempt, before heading to Okinawa for an unscheduled emergency landing. Tinian was beyond return at this point. Nagasaki weather temporarily cleared to permit "Fat Man's" journey of death, and with two engines sputtering halfway down the runway, Bokscar landed at Okinawa.5 It was the first B-29 to appear on the island, and after refueling and concealing their atomic mission, the crew promptly returned their aircraft to Tinian.6
In the hours preceding the United States bombing of the city, there were several alerts of an impending air attack. A general alert had sounded at 7:48 a.m., with an air raid alert lasting from 7:50 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. While Nagasaki remained on general warning, there was no repetition of an air raid signal until 11:09 a.m., seven minutes after the bomb exploded in airburst fashion over the city. The weapon did not impact the Earth's surface, and was designed to implode in the atmosphere for purposes of maximizing its destructive-blast radius. Unfortunately, only 400 Japanese were in tunnel shelters which, had they been fully occupied, could have protected 30% of Nagasaki's population.
At 11:02 a.m., an atomic bomb exploded in the sky over Nagasaki. It completely eradicated one-third of the city with its unique sequence of blast, heat, shock wave and prompt and delayed radiation. The fission weapon killed initially at least 35,000 people, and an additional 35,000 perished from radiation sickness and other post-attack atomic injuries. "Fat Man" contained a core of Plutonium 239, weighed 4.5 tons, was eleven feet long and had a yield of twenty-one kilotons, equivalent to 21,000 tons of TNT. Some of America's current strategic-terrorist weapons dwarf the Nagasaki plutonium bomb, such as the W88 warhead inside the Mk-5 reentry vehicle, that is deployed on Trident D5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles. It contains a destructive yield of 475 kilotons.7
The fireball, a ghastly but hauntingly mesmerizing force, reached a zenith of 656 feet in one second. Shadows of bodies were burnt into the walls of the Nagasaki Fortress Command, which was 2.2 miles from the hypocenter, the area directly under a nuclear explosion. Humans that were approximate to the hypocenter were nearly carbonized.
The Mitsubishi Steel Works factory was reduced to rubble and schools full of children crumbled and collapsed.8 At Shiroyama Primary School, 131 out of 151 children were killed as the three-story concrete building collapsed around them. The catastrophe was repeated at Chinzei Middle School where only fifteen children survived out of a student population of 118. The force of the Bokscar bomb also ended the lives of 414 medical students whom were attending Nagasaki Medical University, a school founded by Franciscan missionaries. Of the seventy Nagasaki physicians in private practice, twenty died and twenty more were critically injured, leaving only thirty of them to provide medical treatment to a stunned, atomic-ravaged population.
Nagasaki had been visited by St. Francis Xavier in 1549, and was the most Christian of Japanese cities with 10% of its population being Catholic. It contained the largest Catholic cathedral in East Asia; during the atomic attack, its roof crumbled killing dozens of parishioners that were about to give confession. Of Nagasaki's prebomb population of 22,000 Christians, most of whom were Catholic, only 13,000 survived the A-bomb.9
In this second senseless nuclear holocaust, Americans also perished from a weapon allegedly intended to "save lives." Brigadier General Thomas F. Farrell was at Trinity in New Mexico when the first nuclear device, "The Gadget," was tested on July 16, 1945, and at Tinian. He was a powerful, yet still relatively obscure, military figure who played a significant role in the atomic bombings at the end of World War II. Serving as chief deputy to General Leslie R. Groves, the director of the Manhattan Project, Farrell exulted, in an extensive eyewitness summary of the bombings, how "all concerned should feel a deep satisfaction in the success of the operation."10
Farrell was also one of the first Americans to reach Nagasaki for bomb damage assessment (BDA) of the nuclear carnage. American BDA provided scant reference to "friendly" nuclear fire. Farrell states laconically, "there was a prisoner of war camp in Nagasaki and that some few [American] prisoners were made casualties by our bombing." While it had been previously reported that American POW were in Kokura, the Target Committee that developed the nuclear targeting plan rejected any consideration to sparing American lives that could give Japan a "prisoner's veto." While not knowing in advance that POW were in Nagasaki, nuclear targets were chosen regardless of the known or suspected presence of American military personnel.11
Initial American reports of the nuclear terrorism came from spotter aircraft that accompanied Bokscar. Their crews reported a city covered with smoke, and engulfed in a conflagration of twenty immense fires that emanated from the Mitsubishi Steel Works that was close to the hypocenter. Large explosions were frequent and visible for miles.12 Unlike American damage-assessment surveys that emphasized the destruction of buildings, infrastructure and raw numbers of dead and wounded, Japanese studies of the carnage included humanistic accounts of the impact of the atomic bomb on ordinary citizens, far removed from the counsels of war.
Dr. Masoa Shiotauki was a physician at the Omura Naval Hospital near Nagasaki when the explosion occurred on atomic Thursday. He described a "bright sunny day," during a dry spell of a Japanese summer, that would tragically facilitate the required visual sighting of the intended target. Then he witnessed a bright flash followed by a "thunderous roar." Subsequent to this initial, weapons effect of a nuclear explosion, was blast pressure that converted Dr. Shiotauki's hospital into a killing field where glass was transformed into deadly shards hurtling throughout the facility.
The physician rushed outside to an air raid shelter and saw "a large white cloud in the shape of an opened umbrella with a pink (or light orange) shadow." His city was destroyed "beyond description" in which every building was damaged or destroyed. Looking at the mountains surrounding the city, he noted later how the leaves had been scorched up to eight kilometers from the hypocenter. Although the date was August 31, Shiotauki noted how "it looked as though autumn had come."13
Shiotauki, however, soon returned to Omura Naval Hospital where he witnessed the medical consequences of nuclear war: Too many patients and too few surviving physicians to triage in an environment of mass casualties and symptoms unknown to Japanese medicine. Within hours of the explosion of "Fat Man," 600 Japanese were brought to Omura. Shiotauki stated starkly the condition of the hibakusha the atomic survivors:
The appearance of the patients...was horrifying. Their hair was burned, their clothes torn to pieces and stained by blood, and the naked parts were all burned and inflamed. Their wounds were contaminated by filth. Many among them had numerous pieces of glass and wood projecting from the skin of the face and back. Many were in such a state that they were with difficulty recognized as human beings.14
While most historians and political scientists confine their analysis of the decision to use the atomic bomb to geostrategic themes of motivation, strategy and nuclear proliferation, the A-bomb's impact on the Japanese population is usually peripheral to their core analyses. Nations that defend their war crimes, and liberal analysts who assess causes and rationale, frequently remain within the narrow international relations and national-security confines of realism and neorealism. Even the most significant historical-revisionist studies of the A-bomb seldom depict its impact on the hibakusha. Survivors or journalists dominate that terrain.15
Seventy-one patients had been transported by train on August 9, and received preliminary treatment at Zatsumura Elementary School in Omura. Then they were moved by truck on August 10, when they were finally hospitalized at Omura Naval Hospital. Fuyoko Araki was a forty-one year old "housewife," who was only 750 meters from the explosion. She received flash burns on her face, and contusions and abrasions on her lower extremities. On the morning of August 13, Araki suddenly lost her eyesight, and a spinal puncture produced "dark red blood." She died the next day on August 14.16 Hatsuko Ikei was a seventeen-year old female. She was about 1150 meters from the explosion and was severely burned. Her appetite was suppressed; her eyesight was deteriorating and she suffered brain damage. Ikei developed petechia: purple spots on her body that were as large as a thumb. She died at 4:30 p.m. on August 15, 1945. In Ward 12 at Omura Naval Hospital, a Japanese patient, Chizuko Yamada, was treated for abrasions on her chest, left arm and hip. Her medical condition degenerated into herpes, epilation (hair loss), fever and petechia. She died eleven days after the nuclear explosion. A young fourteen-year-old male student, Todachi Kusumoto, was a patient in Ward 6, and at the time of the "Fat Man" attack, was only one kilometer from the hypocenter. Initially, Kusumoto had no external signs of injury; there were no burns or wounds but he carried a fever and experienced total scalp-hair loss. Typical of radiation disease, hair loss is pronounced, and exacerbated even if touched by a wet hand. His body was covered with petechiae, and then he exhibited cardiac arrhythmia symptoms. Kusumoto became one of Nagasaki's 70,000 nuclear-noncombatant casualties on August 25, from what was probably radiation disease.17
One cannot effectively assess the decision to incorporate atomic weaponry into the campaign of strategic bombing without confronting Truman's decision to use a second A-bomb, the last significant military event of the war. Unleashed in combat only three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, it allowed insufficient time to determine Japan's response to this crushing new reality of American-military power. According to Barton J. Bernstein, the emperor was preparing to end this horrible war, and had decided to seek peace prior to the Nagasaki carnage.18Furthermore, Washington had neither anticipated nor expected an immediate Japanese response after the initial-atomic blast of August 6, 1945.
Was the decision to bomb Nagasaki based on reasons other than attempting to bring the four-year Pacific War to an end? It should be recalled, almost sixty years after the pivotal, but hotly-disputed Yalta Conference (February 4-11, 1945), that a pre-nuclear United States had prevailed upon the former Soviet Union to enter the war against Japan. Stalin, who did not want to fight a two-front war, agreed at the Crimean conference to initiate hostilities against Japan within three months after the defeat of Hitler. On August 8, exactly ninety days after V-E Day, Russia declared war on Japan, and launched cross-border military operations to liberate Manchuria from the oppressive occupation of a million-person Japanese army. The next day Nagasaki was bombed.
Possessing an atomic monopoly and a belief in its invulnerability, the U.S. abruptly abandoned its pursuit of Russian assistance in the war against Japan. This was the beginning of the containment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. With the proto-Cold War unfolding, the spectre of a joint Soviet-American occupation in Japan was unacceptable to hegemonic Washington. Given the unnecessary use of the A-bomb to defeat Japan, the weapon might forestall or limit a Soviet-Japanese war that could confer a postwar-Soviet sphere-of-influence in northern China and Japan.19
Avoiding a climactic invasion of Japan's home islands, with its projected casualties of thousands of Americans and Japanese, was not a legitimate excuse for using the A-bomb. A preliminary invasion, called "Operation Olympic," would not commence until November 1, 1945 on the island of Kyushu, and the full-scale landings on the Tokyo Plain ("Operation Coronet") were not planned before March 1, 1946, almost seven months after the Nagasaki bombing. Clearly other military or diplomatic options were available that could have obviated the nuclear-strategic bombing of civilian, noncombatant targets.20
Had the United States been willing to modify, even slightly, the policy of unconditional surrender, and allowed Japan before, and not after the atomic bombings to retain its emperor, an atomic attack on a now-reluctant belligerent may have been averted. Certainly, a preattack atomic warning, a demonstration on an unpopulated area such as Tokyo Bay or elsewhere (as Edward Teller has retrospectively advocated), the continuation of the naval blockade and conventional bombing, were options that might have concluded the Pacific War without the introduction of weapons of mass destruction into combat.21
As the controversy continues over the justification for Truman's epochal decision to incorporate nuclear weapons as a component of strategic bombing, the atomic memory of Nagasaki must be preserved.22 The last nuclear battlefield, perpetrated by a terrorist democracy that has long proclaimed itself as the ethical and moral model for the world, must not be driven from our history and its chroniclers censored or suspended into silence.23 During World War II, the United States committed war crimes that were equivalent to those of Nazi Germany and Japan. While public awareness of the war's tragic legacy appropriately recalls the deaths in concentration camps, the Rape of Nanking and the wehrmacht's ravaging of Soviet Russia, Nagasaki's destruction must also endure as a symbol of senseless inhumanity. Coming to terms with America's use of nuclear weapons, and its ruthless pursuit of victory over an Asian race, which it dehumanized and despised,24 requires that we never forget the tragic and haunting history of Nagasaki.

Editor's Note: Dr. Peter Kirstein is Professor of History at St. Xavier University in Chicago.

1 Bob Dylan, "Mississippi," Love and Theft, 2001. The album was released on September 11, 2001.
2 Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb (New York: Touchstone, 1986), 739.
3 Statement by the President of the United States, August 6. 1945; roll 6, file 74, Harrison-Bundy Files Relating to the Development of the Atomic Bomb, 1942-1946, Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, Record Group 77, National Archives-Great Lakes Region (Chicago, Illinois). (Hereafter referred to as H-B Files). It was delivered at 10:45 a.m., Washington time, August 6, 1945. The president was at sea on the U.S.S Augusta returning from the Potsdam conference.
4 Thomas F. Farrell, "Report on Overseas OperationsAtomic Bomb," September 27, 1945, 2; roll 13, Manhattan Engineer District History, Records of the Defense Nuclear Agency, RG 374, NA-Great Lakes Region (Chicago, Illinois). [Hereafter referred to as Manhattan Files].
5 "Nagasaki Plane Landing on Two Engines," ND and no author; roll 8, H-B Files; Ibid., 5.
6 The Beverly Review (Chicago), August 16, 1995, 10.
7 Robert Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, "Nuclear Notebook," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May-June 2003, 74-5.
8 Peter N. Kirstein, "Will Fat Man be the Last?" Op-Ed, Chicago Tribune, August 9, 1984.
9 New York Times, August 9, 1995.
10 Farrell, "Report," 6.
11 Ibid., 2.
12 Memorandum, 20th Air Force, Guam to War Dept. Headquarters, US Army Strategic Air Forces, Guam, August 9, 1945, roll 1, H-B Files.
13 Masoa Shiotauki, "The Effects of the Explosion of the Atomic Bomb on the Human Body," September 10, 1945, 1, Appendix 2, Preliminary Report of Findings of Atomic Bomb Investigating Groups at Hiroshima and Nagasaki; roll 14, Manhattan Files.
14 Ibid., 2.
15 Hideko Tamura Snider, One Sunny Day (Chicago: Open Court, 1996); John Hersey, Hiroshima (New York: Vintage, 1989); Michihiko Hachiya, Hiroshima Diary (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995).
16 Shiotauki, "Explosion," 6-7.
17 Ibid., 4-7.
18 Barton J. Bernstein, "The Atomic Bombings Reconsidered," Foreign Affairs (January-February 1995): 150.
19 Peter N. Kirstein, "The Tragedy of Nagasaki," Letter, Chicago Sun-Times, August 4, 1995.
20 Ralph A. Bard, "Memorandum on the Use of S-1 Bomb," June 27, 1945; roll 6, file 76, H-B Files. Gar Alperovitz, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of the American Myth (New York: Vintage, 1995), 85, 328-29.
21 Edward Teller, Memoirs: A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics (Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus, 2001), 215.
22 W. G. Sebald, On the Natural History of Destruction (New York: Random House, 2003). A pioneering work on memory and strategic bombing of primarily Germany but also Japan.
23 Martin Harwit, An Exhibit Denied: Lobbying the History of Enola Gay (New York: Copernicus, 1996).
24 John Dower, War Without Mercy (New York: Pantheon Books, 1986), 77-200.

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Real News In A Changing World

The Hiroshima Myth: American Genocide In The Twentieth Century

August 6, 2010: John V. Denson / Lew Rockwell via Information Liberation August 2, 2010
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Every year during the first two weeks of August the mass news media and many politicians at the national level trot out the "patriotic" political myth that the dropping of the two atomic bombs on Japan in August of 1945 caused them to surrender, and thereby saved the lives of anywhere from five hundred thousand to one million American soldiers, who did not have to invade the islands. Opinion polls over the last fifty years show that American citizens overwhelmingly (between 80 and 90%) believe this false history which, of course, makes them feel better about killing hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians (mostly women and children) and saving American lives to accomplish the ending of the war.
The best book, in my opinion, to explode this myth is The Decision to Use the Bomb by Gar Alperovitz, because it not only explains the real reasons the bombs were dropped, but also gives a detailed history of how and why the myth was created that this slaughter of innocent civilians was justified, and therefore morally acceptable. The essential problem starts with President Franklin Roosevelt's policy of unconditional surrender, which was reluctantly adopted by Churchill and Stalin, and which President Truman decided to adopt when he succeeded Roosevelt in April of 1945. Hanson Baldwin was the principal writer for The New York Times who covered World War II and he wrote an important book immediately after the war entitled Great Mistakes of the War. Baldwin concludes that the unconditional surrender policy ". . . was perhaps the biggest political mistake of the war . . . . Unconditional surrender was an open invitation to unconditional resistance; it discouraged opposition to Hitler, probably lengthened the war, costs us lives, and helped to lead to the present aborted peace."
The stark fact is that the Japanese leaders, both military and civilian, including the Emperor, were willing to surrender in May of 1945 if the Emperor could remain in place and not be subjected to a war crimes trial after the war. This fact became known to President Truman as early as May of 1945. The Japanese monarchy was one of the oldest in all of history dating back to 660 B.C. The Japanese religion added the belief that all the Emperors were the direct descendants of the sun goddess, Amaterasu. The reigning Emperor Hirohito was the 124th in the direct line of descent. After the bombs were dropped on August 6 and 9 of 1945, and their surrender soon thereafter, the Japanese were allowed to keep their Emperor on the throne and he was not subjected to any war crimes trial. The Emperor, Hirohito, came on the throne in 1926 and continued in his position until his death in 1989. Since President Truman, in effect, accepted the conditional surrender offered by the Japanese as early as May of 1945, the question is posed, "Why then were the bombs dropped?"
The author Alperovitz gives us the answer in great detail which can only be summarized here, but he states, "We have noted a series of Japanese peace feelers in Switzerland which OSS Chief William Donovan reported to Truman in May and June [1945]. These suggested, even at this point, that the U.S. demand for unconditional surrender might well be the only serious obstacle to peace. At the center of the explorations, as we also saw, was Allen Dulles, chief of OSS operations in Switzerland (and subsequently Director of the CIA). In his 1966 book The Secret Surrender, Dulles recalled that On July 20, 1945, under instructions from Washington, I went to the Potsdam Conference and reported there to Secretary [of War] Stimson on what I had learned from Tokyo they desired to surrender if they could retain the Emperor and their constitution as a basis for maintaining discipline and order in Japan after the devastating news of surrender became known to the Japanese people.'" It is documented by Alperovitz that Stimson reported this directly to Truman. Alperovitz further points out in detail the documentary proof that every top presidential civilian and military advisor, with the exception of James Byrnes, along with Prime Minister Churchill and his top British military leadership, urged Truman to revise the unconditional surrender policy so as to allow the Japanese to surrender and keep their Emperor. All this advice was given to Truman prior to the Potsdam Proclamation which occurred on July 26, 1945. This proclamation made a final demand upon Japan to surrender unconditionally or suffer drastic consequences.
Another startling fact about the military connection to the dropping of the bomb is the lack of knowledge on the part of General MacArthur about the existence of the bomb and whether it was to be dropped. Alperovitz states "MacArthur knew nothing about advance planning for the atomic bomb's use until almost the last minute. Nor was he personally in the chain of command in this connection; the order came straight from Washington. Indeed, the War Department waited until five days before the bombing of Hiroshima even to notify MacArthur the commanding general of the U.S. Army Forces in the Pacific of the existence of the atomic bomb."
Alperovitz makes it very clear that the main person Truman was listening to while he ignored all of this civilian and military advice, was James Byrnes, the man who virtually controlled Truman at the beginning of his administration. Byrnes was one of the most experienced political figures in Washington, having served for over thirty years in both the House and the Senate. He had also served as a United States Supreme Court Justice, and at the request of President Roosevelt, he resigned that position and accepted the role in the Roosevelt administration of managing the domestic economy. Byrnes went to the Yalta Conference with Roosevelt and then was given the responsibility to get Congress and the American people to accept the agreements made at Yalta.
When Truman became a senator in 1935, Byrnes immediately became his friend and mentor and remained close to Truman until Truman became president. Truman never forgot this and immediately called on Byrnes to be his number-two man in the new administration. Byrnes had expected to be named the vice presidential candidate to replace Wallace and had been disappointed when Truman had been named, yet he and Truman remained very close. Byrnes had also been very close to Roosevelt, while Truman was kept in the dark by Roosevelt most of the time he served as vice president. Truman asked Byrnes immediately, in April, to become his Secretary of State but they delayed the official appointment until July 3, 1945, so as not to offend the incumbent. Byrnes had also accepted a position on the interim committee which had control over the policy regarding the atom bomb, and therefore, in April, 1945 became Truman's main foreign policy advisor, and especially the advisor on the use of the atomic bomb. It was Byrnes who encouraged Truman to postpone the Potsdam Conference and his meeting with Stalin until they could know, at the conference, if the atomic bomb was successfully tested. While at the Potsdam Conference the experiments proved successful and Truman advised Stalin that a new massively destructive weapon was now available to America, which Byrnes hoped would make Stalin back off from any excessive demands or activity in the post-war period.
Truman secretly gave the orders on July 25, 1945 that the bombs would be dropped in August while he was to be in route back to America. On July 26, he issued the Potsdam Proclamation, or ultimatum, to Japan to surrender, leaving in place the unconditional surrender policy, thereby causing both Truman and Byrnes to believe that the terms would not be accepted by Japan.
The conclusion drawn unmistakably from the evidence presented, is that Byrnes is the man who convinced Truman to keep the unconditional surrender policy and not accept Japan's surrender so that the bombs could actually be dropped thereby demonstrating to the Russians that America had a new forceful leader in place, a "new sheriff in Dodge" who, unlike Roosevelt, was going to be tough with the Russians on foreign policy and that the Russians needed to "back off" during what would become known as the "Cold War." A secondary reason was that Congress would now be told about why they had made the secret appropriation to a Manhattan Project and the huge expenditure would be justified by showing that not only did the bombs work but that they would bring the war to an end, make the Russians back off and enable America to become the most powerful military force in the world.
If the surrender by the Japanese had been accepted between May and the end of July of 1945 and the Emperor had been left in place, as in fact he was after the bombing, this would have kept Russia out of the war. Russia agreed at Yalta to come into the Japanese war three months after Germany surrendered. In fact, Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945 and Russia announced on August 8, (exactly three months thereafter) that it was abandoning its neutrality policy with Japan and entering the war. Russia's entry into the war for six days allowed them to gain tremendous power and influence in China, Korea, and other key areas of Asia. The Japanese were deathly afraid of Communism and if the Potsdam Proclamation had indicated that America would accept the conditional surrender allowing the Emperor to remain in place and informed the Japanese that Russia would enter the war if they did not surrender, then this would surely have assured a quick Japanese surrender.
The second question that Alperovitz answers in the last half of the book is how and why the Hiroshima myth was created. The story of the myth begins with the person of James B. Conant, the President of Harvard University, who was a prominent scientist, having initially made his mark as a chemist working on poison gas during World War I. During World War II, he was chairman of the National Defense Research Committee from the summer of 1941 until the end of the war and he was one of the central figures overseeing the Manhattan Project. Conant became concerned about his future academic career, as well as his positions in private industry, because various people began to speak out concerning why the bombs were dropped. On September 9, 1945, Admiral William F. Halsey, commander of the Third Fleet, was publically quoted extensively as stating that the atomic bomb was used because the scientists had a "toy and they wanted to try it out . . . ." He further stated, "The first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment . . . . It was a mistake to ever drop it." Albert Einstein, one of the world's foremost scientists, who was also an important person connected with the development of the atomic bomb, responded and his words were headlined in The New York Times "Einstein Deplores Use of Atom Bomb." The story reported that Einstein stated that "A great majority of scientists were opposed to the sudden employment of the atom bomb." In Einstein's judgment, the dropping of the bomb was a political diplomatic decision rather than a military or scientific decision.
Probably the person closest to Truman, from the military standpoint, was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral William Leahy, and there was much talk that he also deplored the use of the bomb and had strongly advised Truman not to use it, but advised rather to revise the unconditional surrender policy so that the Japanese could surrender and keep the Emperor. Leahy's views were later reported by Hanson Baldwin in an interview that Leahy "thought the business of recognizing the continuation of the Emperor was a detail which should have been solved easily." Leahy's secretary, Dorothy Ringquist, reported that Leahy told her on the day the Hiroshima bomb was dropped, "Dorothy, we will regret this day. The United States will suffer, for war is not to be waged on women and children." Another important naval voice, the commander in chief of the U.S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations, Ernest J. King, stated that the naval blockade and prior bombing of Japan in March of 1945, had rendered the Japanese helpless and that the use of the atomic bomb was both unnecessary and immoral. Also, the opinion of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz was reported to have said in a press conference on September 22, 1945, that "The Admiral took the opportunity of adding his voice to those insisting that Japan had been defeated before the atomic bombing and Russia's entry into the war." In a subsequent speech at the Washington Monument on October 5, 1945, Admiral Nimitz stated "The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace before the atomic age was announced to the world with the destruction of Hiroshima and before the Russian entry into the war." It was learned also that on or about July 20, 1945, General Eisenhower had urged Truman, in a personal visit, not to use the atomic bomb. Eisenhower's assessment was "It wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing . . . to use the atomic bomb, to kill and terrorize civilians, without even attempting [negotiations], was a double crime." Eisenhower also stated that it wasn't necessary for Truman to "succumb" to Byrnes.
James Conant came to the conclusion that some important person in the administration must go public to show that the dropping of the bombs was a military necessity, thereby saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, so he approached Harvey Bundy and his son, McGeorge Bundy. It was agreed by them that the most important person to create this myth was Secretary of War, Henry Stimson. It was decided that Stimson would write a long article to be widely circulated in a prominent national magazine. This article was revised repeatedly by McGeorge Bundy and Conant before it was published in Harper's magazine in February of 1947. The long article became the subject of a front-page article and editorial in The New York Times and in the editorial it was stated "There can be no doubt that the president and Mr. Stimson are right when they mention that the bomb caused the Japanese to surrender." Later, in 1959, President Truman specifically endorsed this conclusion, including the idea that it saved the lives of a million American soldiers. This myth has been renewed annually by the news media and various political leaders ever since.
It is very pertinent that, in the memoirs of Henry Stimson entitled On Active Service in Peace and War, he states, "Unfortunately, I have lived long enough to know that history is often not what actually happened but what is recorded as such."
To bring this matter more into focus from the human tragedy standpoint, I recommend the reading of a book entitledHiroshima Diary: The Journal of a Japanese Physician, August 6 September 30, 1945, by Michiko Hachiya. He was a survivor of Hiroshima and kept a daily diary about the women, children and old men that he treated on a daily basis in the hospital. The doctor was badly injured himself but recovered enough to help others and his account of the personal tragedies of innocent civilians who were either badly burned or died as a result of the bombing puts the moral issue into a clear perspective for all of us to consider.
Now that we live in the nuclear age and there are enough nuclear weapons spread around the world to destroy civilization, we need to face the fact that America is the only country to have used this awful weapon and that it was unnecessary to have done so. If Americans would come to recognize the truth, rather than the myth, it might cause such a moral revolt that we would take the lead throughout the world in realizing that wars in the future may well become nuclear, and therefore all wars must be avoided at almost any cost. Hopefully, our knowledge of science has not outrun our ability to exercise prudent and humane moral and political judgment to the extent that we are destined for extermination.
Some of the Pictures They Didn't Want You To See
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
"By 1945 Hiroshima had a civilian population of almost 300,000 and was an important military center, containing about 43,000 soldiers." -

It's dropped-out of the hero-centric pat-narrative, but (understandably, in view of the resistance), US soldiers were tired; I've read that there was alot of concern in US command circles, as to the will/ability of the GI's to carry it forward much further.

Similar to Lieutenant General Sir Brian Horrocks line on Kleve - "Then they [Air Force] came to me and said, 'Do you want the town of Kleve taking out?' By taking out, they meant the whole of the heavy bombers putting onto Kleve. "Now I knew that Kleve was a fine old historical German town. Anne of Cleves, one of Henry the Eighth's wives, came from there. I knew that there were a lot of civilians in Kleve, men, women and children. If I said no, they would live. If I said yes, they would die. "Terrible decision you've got to take. But everything depended on getting a high piece of ground. The German troops would have to come through Kleve and we would have to breach the Siegfried Line and get there. Your own lives, your own troops, must come first, so I said, yes, I did want it taking out. But (when) all those bombers went over, the night just before zero hour, I felt a murderer. And after the war I had an awful lot of nightmares - and it was always Kleve." --General Sir Brian Horrocks, interviewed for "The World At War" programme 19, "Pincers, August 1944 - March 1945".
Martin Luther King - "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Albert Camus - "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion".
Douglas MacArthur — "Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons."
Albert Camus - "Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear."

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