Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] August 6th, 1945

David Norberg djnorberg@earthlink.net
Wed, 7 Aug 2002 22:54:22 -0700

Often the debate over the use of the bomb comes down to a discussion of the
bomb vs. full-scale invasion.  I think it's important to remember that
although the U.S. called for unconditional surrender, it actually granted
concessions - most importantly the emporer remained in power.  Thus, I think
that there were other options for ending the war.  If interested, see Gar
Alperovitz's "The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an
American Myth."  Here are a few relevant quotes:

"I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to
[Secretary of War Stimson] my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my
belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was
completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country
should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment
was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives."  -
Dwight D. Eisenhower

"[I]t always appeared to us that, atomic bomb or no atomic bomb, the
Japanese were already on the verge of collapse."  - Henry H. Arnold,
Commanding General, U.S. Army Air Forces

"[T]he use of this barbarous weapon at Hirshima and Nagasaki was of no
material assistance in our war against Japan...[I]n 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 war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won
by destroying women and children."   - William D. Leahy, Fleet Admiral, U.S.
Navy and Chief of Staff to the President


----- Original Message -----
From: Kate Adams <kate@dnki.net>
To: <powderworks@cs.colorado.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2002 6:12 AM
Subject: Re: [Powderworks] August 6th, 1945

> I'd probably be here, but my husband probably would not.  My Father-in-law
> was a US Marine who served at Guadalcanal.  Though his service records my
> Mother-in-law discovered that he did not make it back until mid 1946 - he
> was part of the force that cleared the last of the resisting forces from
> the outlying islands. (he never talked about it to most and rarely even to
> her ...).  The bomb only mostly, not fully ended the war and that total
> was difficult enough without a full-scale invasion.
> I find it really hard to second guess President Truman on that account.
> have a lot more information now and a lot more leisure time to remake his
> decision ad-infinitum or hold a wide ranging discussion or referendum on
> history.  The most important point, however, is that we now know for
> certain how terrible and horrible the use of nuclear weapons is and can be
> - and those bombs were hand grenades compared with subsequenly developed
> weaponry.  Given that terrible knowing, we have no excuses.
> At 12:07 AM 8/7/02 +1200, Brian Jacobs wrote:
> >You know, I've always had mixed feelings about the atomic bomb drops on
> >Japan.  You see, my grandfather was slated to be in the landing force on
> >Japanese D-Day.  There is a very real possibility that I wouldn't be here
> >if it weren't for the bomb.
> >
> >Also, I've always wondered if perhaps the knowledge of what really
> >when you drop a nuclear bomb on a city prevented it from happening more
> >than twice.
> >
> >Brian
> >
> >---
> >Rakastaai han maainen, seka kantaai rakas heitan hei tahtille taivassa.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >On Tue, 06 Aug 2002 19:15:19
> >  Jeff and Jane Scott wrote:
> > >This city of Blossom and Blood
> > >This city suffered more than it should
> > >These sidewalk silhouettes not washed away
> > >Not washed away...
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >Lest we forget
> > >
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> > >
> >
> >
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> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Kate Parker Adams
> kate@dnki.net
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> "She's gonna dream up the world she wants to live in,
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