Skip to comments.Truman Grandson – Political Pawn
Posted on 08/06/2012 1:03:34 PM PDT by Shout Bits
Today is the 67th anniversary of the US's bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. As with each anniversary, many Japanese hold a ceremony designed to promote peace and prevent the use of nuclear weapons. It is hard to judge these people, as the bombing is of course regrettable, but like the Austrians and Italians, these people have a convenient lapse in memory regarding their culpability in WWII. Most regrettable, however is the attendance of Pres. Truman's grandson at the event. While Clifton Daniel stopped short of decrying his grandfather's leadership in the decision to end the war, his presence was a blithe insult to the seriousness of the war against Japan.
Japan, like the other nations the US defeated in WWII, is now a peaceful and stable nation whose government cannot pursue war without the consent of its people. It is easy to condemn an atomic attack against today's Japan, but 67 years ago Japan was a vicious and intractable enemy. While the Japanese considered their emperor a walking god, Japan was also controlled by a military-industrial complex that was every bit as brutal as was Germany's. Before the Pearl Harbor attack, Japan had been a blatant aggressor in its region. Japan's treatment of the Chinese and Malays was inhuman, and the Rape of Nanking will be remembered as one of history's worst crimes. It is beyond rational dispute that the Japanese would have defended Honshu to the last man, including civilians. In short, Truman did not have the option of not killing many Japanese.
Another angle of attack against Truman is that the atomic bombs killed mostly civilians. Apart from the fact that there were no real civilians in Japan, this criticism again misrepresents the nature of war at the time. Targeting individual buildings while avoiding civilian casualties is a luxury of modern technology that Truman did not enjoy. Even at the end of WWII, bombs were inaccurate. Because of this, it was necessary to use incendiary bombs in places like Dresden and Tokyo. While fire bombs sound less scary than atomic bombs, these raids were devastating to the civilians. The atomic bomb was an extension of this strategy. Long before WWII, the doctrine of total war required the destruction of civilian capabilities used to support industrialized war.
Misguided revisionists, of which Clifton Daniel appears to be one, will never rest until the US apologizes for its atomic bombs. A WikiLeaks document suggests that Pres. Obama may have been ready to issue such an apology in 2009, or at least diplomats had discussed an apology. Such a move might appeal to those who need to see the US as the perennial villain and aggressor, but it would not serve the truth. Truman was faced with a choice of unleashing a powerful weapon or authorizing a land invasion. The Japanese alone forced such a terrible choice. Viewed from a reasonable historical perspective, Truman made the only choice that ended the war quickly and likely saved more lives that it cost. Clifton Daniel should not allow himself to be a political pawn to those who would rewrite the truth of Truman's call 67 years ago.
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Have you really thought this through?
The islands are blockaded, famine and disease run rampant.
Then, food and medicine suddenly starts falling from the sky, marked “For Humanitarian Purposes Only”, in Japanese, and big red letters.
Do you seriously believe, for an instant, that the IJA wouldn’t instantly claim every bit of it for itself?
If you manage that willful suspension of disbelief, how would it even be logistically possible?
The Berlin Airlift managed to supply West Berlin, a city of a few million as opposed to a nation of 70 million, a 20-minute flight away rather than a 7-hour flight (3 or 4 if you’re trying to run it from Iwo). And that was “just barely” for a long time.
The unpleasant truth you’re doing your absolute best to ignore is that Little Boy and Fat Man saved the lives of tens of millions of Japanese.
Gen. Curtis LeMay, commander of the 20th Air Force, which actually carried-out the bombing of Japan:
(quoting from memory, not having my copy of Mission With LeMay handy) “It might, just might have been possible to starve Japan out of the war with bombing and mining. Just might.”
He had no regrets on dropping the bombs.
> Have you really thought this through?
Whether or not you believe it, yes I have. I did a great deal of research in this very matter some 40 years ago, when research was done in libraries and typewritten on onion skin paper.
I don’t have all the references handy right now, and my paper has long since been lost.
Suffice it to say that there were other forces at work to compel us to use The Bomb, as well as good reasons not to have used it.
We may have been able to successfully blockade Japan, but we may not have been able to keep the Soviets from mounting an invasion.
For all intents and purposes, by Aug 6, 1945, Japan had been effectively blockaded for months, while their industrial capacity was being destroyed from the air.
They had no air force, no navy, and the emperor was becoming more and more concerned with the survival of his people.
Non Sequitur aka Drennan Whyte, aka Kstater, aka SOJOCo.
In April of 1945, Germany had no (usable) air force, no navy, and the High Command probably had more concern about the survival of their people than did the Emperor.
But they didn't surrender until the country was overrun with American, British and Russian tanks.
If the Emperor was concerned with the survival of his people, why didn't he surrender in March '45 when 100,000 of his people were being incinerated every night?
C.A. Frost, is my great Uncle. His story is fascinating. I am 30 years old and have served in the Navy as a hospital corpsman since 2001. We had a Frost family reunion in Wortham in 2006. Alton had never spoken about his tour of duty with any of the children or grandchildren. My granddad, his older brother, had said that he had been shot down in Japan but none of us knew the story behind it. Until, that reunion. He knew I’d become a corpsman and had just returned from the Philippines where he served for a time. My father, 30 years deceased, has a cousin that brought up the fact that Alton had never told any of us his story. He described his failed ordnance drop and his decision as a order following Marine to turn about and attempt his ordnance drop again. His wing man was too nervous and did not turn about with him. That made him nervous and he sped forward to release without climbing back to the proper altitude to avoid ground to air attacks. His ordnance dropped and hit his target but it was too late, he was fired upon and had to crash land. He said he radioed his position, dismantled his radio, an waited for the Japanese to either capture him or kill him. He said he remembers being able to hear them talking just over the surrounding hills. However, they never attempted to take him. Several hours later he was picked up and returned to report to his Navy Capt. It’s a true honor to have relation to Uncle Bugs, as we call him. His service motivated my father, a few of my second cousins, and myself to serve this great nation. I’ve served in Iraq and I can say this, almost every politician in the last 20 years is in dyer need of a history lesson. Especially before apologizing to a nation that committed such hideous atrocities a Japan did during that time. We need a president that has at least served this country knowing that their life good be taken away in sacrifice for the freedoms we exercise, and for their brothers and sisters in arms.
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