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America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

The A-Bomb 65 Years Later

Yesterday was the 65th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, one of President Harry Truman's two acts of butchery against Japan in August 1945. There isn't much to be said about those unspeakable atrocities that hasn't been said many times before. The U.S. government never needed atomic bombs to commit mass murder. Its "conventional" weapons have been potent enough. (See the firebombing of Tokyo.) But considering how the "leaders" saw The Bomb, its two uses against Japan stand out as especially heinous acts. The U.S. government may not have used atomic weapons since 1945, but it has not yet given up mass murder as a political/military tactic. Presidential candidates are still expected to say that, with respect to nuclear weapons, "no options are off the table."

The anniversary of the Nagaski bombing is Monday.

Mario Rizzo has pointed out that Americans were upset by the murder of 3,000 people on 9/11 yet seem not to be bothered that "their" government murdered hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in a few days.

As Harry Truman once said, "I don't give 'em hell. I just drop A-bombs on their cities and they think it's hell." (Okay, he didn't really say that, but he might as well have.)

Rad Geek People's Daily has a poignant post here. Rad says: "As far as I am aware, the atomic bombing of the Hiroshima city center, which deliberately targeted a civilian center and killed over half of the people living in the city, remains the deadliest act of terrorism in the history of the world."

Finally, if you read nothing else on this subject, read Ralph Raico's article here.

[This post appeared previously. It has been amended.]


Rich Vanier said...

You are so ignorant. The dropping of the A Bomb saved millions of Japanese and American lives. If you knew anything about WW2, you would know the Japanese were not close to surrendering before we dropped the bomb. Had we not dropped the bomb, we would of been forced to invade Japan in operation that was to be called X Day. Japanese civilian were preparing to fight to death. The carnage of Iwo Jima and Okinawa was a precursor of what laid ahead in the invasion of Japan. It was estimated that 1 million American Soldiers would be killed and several million Japanese civilian and soldiers would of been killed.

I just love how people can pass judgment on what happened 65 years ago without taking in consideration all of the facts. Many young American lives were saved because we did not have to invade Japan? Maybe your father, grandfather or uncle would have part of the invasion force. And if so, would they have survived?

How many Japanese were saved because we were forced to invade?

After reviewing your blog, I am sure I have wasted my words. You are part of the blame America first crowd. You spend your days blogging about how America is reason for all that is wrong with the world. I am sure you will post some irrational rant to rebut my arguments. I really don't care as I doubt I will stumble across your blog again.

jeffgough626 said...

"Had we not dropped the bomb, we would of been forced to invade Japan in operation that was to be called X Day."

Rich, great point. "We" would have been "forced" to kill even more innocent civilians. Hell, the Japanese should build a monument in Truman's honor to thank "us" for saving so many of "them"! USA! USA! USA!

Sheldon Richman said...

Rich, a little disaggregation if you please. I don't "America." I blame politicians, bureaucrats, and their clients in the so-called private sector. So unless they constitute "America" for you, I am not in the "blame America" crowd.

David Hart said...

A few points to counter the pro-bombing fraternity:

1. the estimate of "one million" American casualties expected in an invasion of the Japanese homeland was a complete guess, even a fabrication for political purposes

2. an important factor in galvanizing the Japanese public behind the failing war effort was the American demand for "unconditional surrender" which was stupid and counterproductive (they "let" them keep their beloved emperor anyway)

3. a number of senior American generals knew that if they had not won the war they would have been up for war crimes trials for what they had done

4. a number of senior generals involved in the Manhattan Project knew that if they didn't use the bomb then Congress would ask some troubling questions about the massive secret expenditure of so much money without congressional approval

5. Many scientists involved in the project withdrew after Germany surrendered because they (falsely) believed Germany was close to developing the bomb. They thought bombing Japan would be immoral and uncalled for

6. killing so many civilians (and POWs as well let's not forget) is wrong on the most basic of libertarian principles. Why do we keep having to make this most basic of points?

It seems some libertarians love their own state more than they love liberty.

Sheldon Richman said...

Hear, hear David.

Robert Higgs said...

It was not "necessary" to A-bomb Japanese cities; nor was it "necessary" to invade and occupy the Japanese islands. The Japanese were effectively defeated in every sense by August 1945. The Japanese merchant marine was almost completely destroyed, and Japan was surrounded by the U.S. Navy. Lacking most industrial raw materials on its own islands, Japan without imports was doomed to steady decline into starvation, and was already in terrible shape. It would have been quite simple for the U.S. authorities to spell out these realities for the Japanese -- perhaps with mass droppings of information leaflets to be read by the general population -- and to offer relief of this distress if only the Japanese government accepted reasonable surrender terms. Sooner or later the government would have been compelled to accept this offer, and this course would have spared everyone the terrible loss of life the A-bombs caused and the loss associated with an invasion of Japan's home islands. One need not have been an Einstein to have seen this potential way of ending the war.

Of course, Truman wanted to drop the bombs, for reasons of his own and reasons of (U.S.) state, so he did so -- a war crime if ever there was one.

Anonymous said...

I think you guys are on the wrong track here. It's fairly obvious from Rich's post that he values american lives more than foreign lives. So, if you accept his premise that anyone not American is a second class human, then he's right that the bombing saved lives. Pretend that the japanese are dogs and you'll understand his point.

dennis said...

People like Rich make me weep for humanity.

eric siverson said...

If United States is a christian country . I dont think dropping the bombs was a christian act . SO WE ARE SINNERS ! . It is good to disscuss , how we could have done things differantly . Haste makes waste . dropping the bombs ended the war fast . But I dont think we should have done it . But then again I would not have known how bad it was untill afterwards .
You should see those A bombed cities now , the most beautifull cities in Japan . I have apologized to my Japaneese friends for droppin the bombs . We have discussed this bombing many times Rich has just expounded the US govrnments oficial story which has been accepted as fact for yrs . I no longer accept official stories as true facts . libertians like to think for themselves . I just recieved a Email with many pictures of these two Japanese cities compared to Detroit Mich with the question GUESE WHO WON THE WAR ?? Its rather comical if it was not so sad . I have to compliment the Japanese government and their people on this great accomplishment .