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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This is what Clifton Daniel would prefer happened:
TENS OF MILLIONS of Japanese dead.
But at least they would have died the traditional way, by fire, famine and disease. That would have been morally far superior.
So what? Did he say anything negative? All I see in your blog pimping is your pissed about him attending at all. Where is your indignation about any US citizen or political offspring visiting Dresden or Hamburg?
With the world growing smaller, the Japanese are not sequestered in any line of thought because they live on an island. Sure you are going to have the anti-nuke goofs no matter where you go but, you also have many starting to see the reality of just how many lives it did save, on both sides.
Well at least Japan learned not to attack American territory without warning on Sunday, December 7th, 1941.
Japan was isolated.
Italy was under Allied control.
Germany was under Allied control.
The Japanese had been kicked out of most of Asia and were concentrated on their home island.
By July of 1945, their naval and air power was inconsequential.
The Russians were mobilizing eastward towards Japan.
They were surrounded, isolated, no secure way to get supplies in or shipments out.
It really was over.
To be honest, I think we could have waited them out with occasional bombing raids on any remaining factories and military installations.
At this point, they were utterly defenseless from air raids. The planes that dropped the atomic bombs met no opposition at all.
An invasion likely would have been unnecessary.
I don’t know why the a-bombs were used, really. Perhaps it was to end it before the Russians could get involved and divide Japan the way they did Europe.
We may never know for certain.
Didn't read the cited story, did you?
I guess it would have been better if we had used biological weapons on the Japanese. The Japanese killed hundreds of thousands of Chinese with bubonic plague and anthrax during WW2 - and the problems lingered long after the war.
The Japanese would not have surrendered. It would not have been acceptable to them. Also, they had a biological weapons program plannned for the United states. If we had waited them out we may have given them time to execute it.
Ask Mr. Alton Frost of Wortham Texas if he thought it was necessary. He had flown 95 combat missions as a USMC fighter pilot.
I had the privilege of shaking his hand at the WWII museum on New Orleans this past May. His thought was that President Obama should come and visit the museum before apologizing to the Japanese.
And since my father was a Pacific theater veteran I’m kind of glad we didn’t wait either.
[ I dont know why the a-bombs were used, really. Perhaps it was to end it before the Russians could get involved and divide Japan the way they did Europe. ]
I’ll bet it was this reason. Russia could have claimed all of Japan or half of it...
It was probably about intimidating the Ruskies too.
And let 50 million of them die of famine and disease?
Wait - let me guess - you call yourself a "humanitarian", right?
You do know that there was a faction in the Japanese army that attempted to overthrow the Emperor after they found out that he had decided to surrender, right?
GUILT is a potent weapon in the hands of leftists.
While watching the focus on the UK these past few days, I realized that the British have been trained by their ruling class to have widespread historical guilt and shame - and in that way, they look at themselves, and view their recent history much like the Germans (and to some extent, the Japanese), even though the British have not lost a war or have not been conquered.
I realized as well that controlling such attitudes are quite a tool in the hands of Leftists
I was born in Wortham..God bless Alton Frost and your father.
It was necessary to drop the bomb..It saved a lot of lives in the end..theirs and ours.
Is there any truth to the rumor that he and Ronny Reagan (the Jr. the idiot) are getting married?
In his statements, he came a hair’s width from condemning his grandfather. He actively refused to support him.
The fact that he stood with those who want to rewrite history and did not correct them in any way demonstrates that he is at a minimum a political pawn for their ends (which is what the article says).
I dont know why the a-bombs were used, really. “
No personal offense, but are you really that ignorant of history?
There are many ways/sources to read up on what Japan and us were preparing for in an invasion.
You really should be aware of the hundreds of thousands of casualties that were expected.
The A bombs saved many many lives....
Sheesh; shouldn't have someone post that on a conservative website.
The unrestricted American attacks on Japanese merchant shipping in 1944 and 1945 were devastating to Japan.
Imports of iron ore, coal, petroleum, lumber, tin, soybeans, rice, etc plummeted during that period.
Japan needed imports of these materials and could not survive without them.
The firebombing campaign against 65 Japanese cities was also devastating and dramatically reduced industrial production.
By July 1945 Japan was crippled. Unable to supply its troops and unable to produce significant amounts of anything.
The Japanese would have certainly surrendered before 31 December 1945 even if the bombs had not been dropped.
But I think the use of them was still a wise decision.
Opinions and posteriors, you know the drill.
A hair’s width when viewed with a different view looks like a power pole.
By not addressing the issue by all sides the assumption is that the one not there has something to hide or is embarrassed to be there, in such prolonging all of the perceived things those in attendance use to justify their opinion.
Westbrook should read rather than opine. There are informative books on the subject with answers.
They should be happy the military chose Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They could have chosen Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Yokohama or Nagoya the most populous cities in Japan.
After Pearl Harbor, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, and the Bataan Death March they had every right to kill EVERYONE.
On what do you base your "certainly" assertion, other than wishful thinking?
Even if they did surrender in 1945, there would have been several tens of millions fewer to surrender, those having been killed by starvation and disease.
You have no idea what you are talking about. Learn a little bit and dig deep into the invasion of Okinowa and what the civilians did to avoid not only capture, but simple contact with our forces. Ask the Marines who bore the brunt of the assault on Iwo Jima. The closer we got to the main islands the worse it got.
I'm not nearly as well read as I should be. But it's a very basic fact about the end of WW II; and what Japan was prepared to do.
Not even debatable....
Very basic research will show this.
U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey Summary Report
Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.
How you like to have been Truman, and to have faced the American public, in December 1945 (as you propose), or 1946, or 1947 - and have said "yes, we had these really powerful bombs available in August 1945, but we decided to let the war run another year, rather than possibly seem cruel. It only killed another 50,000 or 100,000 of your sons and brothers."
At the cost of how many millions?
They didn’t breach that question now did they?
Maybe they are the same strategic planners who came up with the concentration camps that thousands of American citizens were thrown into just because of their heritage and not only Japanese whose families were here for generations.
Detailed investigations in hindsight are always 20/20. All we had to make that decision on was what we knew at the time but you want to cite an “investigation” on woulda, coulda, shoulda.
The reality is that we will never know any more than we knew at the time on the ground to make a decision with. Accept it, learn from it, and move on.
"All the facts" probably includes "Several hundred B-29s coming over every night shoveling out several thousands of tons of fire on every city, town, village and hamlet that hadn't already been burnt to the ground".
The surviving Japanese may have said that after the war.
To capture Iwo, we had to kill 99% of the defenders.
To capture Okinawa, we had to kill 90+% of the defenders.
We're really supposed to believe the main islands of Japan would just roll over and surrender?
Quite true. In August 1945 the Japanese were dying at the rate of something above 250,000/week.
So if the Bomb shortened the war by more than a week or so, it was a net save for Japanese lives. Leaving American casualties out of it.
The whole argument over whether we should have used the Bomb is so idiotic I hardly know where to start. It is not based on the revulsion as to the number actually killed by the two Bombs dropped, which could have been (and was) easily duplicated using other methods of bombing. Instead it is based on retrospective acknowledgement that the more powerful Bombs developed later actually could mean an end to civilization or even all human life.
My favorite is the claim, which I’ve actually seen made, that we didn’t use the Bomb on the Nazis because they were white.
The Germans having surrendered before the Bomb was available had of course nothing to do with it.
The claim that the Bomb was dropped only to intimidate the Russians assumes (without bothering to make the argument) that this was an evil choice. Not even considering that an unintimidated USSR might have launched WWIII in a year or two.
Now that was rich. Accept a supposed abstract of a study from an anti-nuke site. You can’t do better than that? I have relatives who were there in both theatres and on both sides of the European. I’ll take that experience long before I will accept some anti-nuke outfit web site.
I misread your link; I thought it pointed to the Strategic Bombing Survey.
It actually points to some peacenik’s interpretation of the Strategic Bombing Survey.
So, you shouldn’t be citing the Strategic Bombing Survey, you should be citing the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
"It always appeared to us, atomic bomb or no atomic bomb, the Japanese were already on the verge of collapse."
"It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.
> And let 50 million of them die of famine and disease?
It is extremely unlikely anything that severe would have happened. In a blockade, there would likely have been fewer deaths than resulted from the atomic bombs. Food and medicine would have been provided, but industrial capacity would have continued being destroyed.
> Wait - let me guess - you call yourself a “humanitarian”, right?
Not at all.
I’m a Christian. I endeavor to make my focus Christ, not humanity, though compassion for fellow human beings is part of what Jesus taught.
And I’m not the only one who believes the atomic bombs were not as necessary as is commonly thought, as moonshot925 posted here.
The second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki just three days after the first, even before the Japanese government had fully understood what had happened in Hiroshima.
Don’t know what I would’ve done in Truman’s shoes, though.
The U.S. had suffered a LOT of casualties, and the Japs were particularly maniacal. That did not work in their favor in the end.
Hindsight is almost always 20-20.
Had relatives and older friends who served in both theaters. They didn’t talk about it much.
Did watch the “Victory at Sea” series more than a few times, though. That was when most American journalists were still Americans first.
> Sheesh; shouldn’t have someone post that on a
> conservative website.
Being pro-life is conservative, and AFAIK, my post follows all the rules of this forum.
He’s a Democrat - any questions?
Yes so was Harry, but even stopped clock is right twice a day.
You are free to your opinion. I strenuously disagree with it based on historical fact.
I am glad the we dropped the 2 atomic bombs on Japan killing tens of thousands.
Not glad about the tens of thousands; but glad that leaders realized either hundreds of thousands could die in an invasion, or tens of thousands with atomic bombs.
They had a hard choice to make and made it correctly.
Could have said that about the Japanese forces on Iwo and Okinawa, too.
Didn't turn out that way.
Given the ferocity of resistance at those two islands, it doesn't make any sense that they would just roll over and surrender a couple of months later.
Even after seeing Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuked, there was still an attempted coup with a goal of preventing a surrender.
They may have been on the verge of collapse - doesn't mean they were on the verge of surrender.
Are you really suggesting that, absent Little Boy and Fat Man, in late 1945 we would have blockaded Japan, continued to bomb their industrial capacity, but ferried food and medicine ashore "for the starving chirruns"?
What color is the sky in your world?
> What color is the sky in your world?
Same as it is in yours, or we would not be able to converse.
Air-dropping humanitarian aid was not difficult to do, even if industrial capacity was still being hammered.
Personally, I don’t believe a blockade would have lasted very long.
Glad I didn’t have to make the call, though. Either way, a lot of people will reckon you a villain.
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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