Saturday, May 02, 2009

Wanna learn something? Bill Whittle wants you to

learn  something Jon Stewart does not know about Japan and atomic bombs(to begin the video, you have to choose the style of video feed on the lower left side).  Scott at Powerline calls Whittle's work here "a takedown for the ages."  Stewart has since apologized for calling Harry Truman a war criminal.  

Still, Whittle eviscerates the widespread meme that the U.S. could have provoked a Japanese surrender via dropping, off the coast of Japan, an atomic bomb as a demonstration and a warning.  The Japanese didn't even surrender after Hiroshima.  The Japanese took their sweet time before surrendering after Nagasaki.  The Japanese were willing to die in the tens of millions.  Japanese did not think like Westerners: neither sharing our valuation of human life, nor our valuation of merciful avoidance of brutality.  Japanese did not flinch in the face of death and brutality - whether on a small scale or on a massive scale.  An excellent introduction to Japanese culture and thinking is "Shogun", by James Clavell.

The Japanese were prepared to sacrifice 20 million citizens (i.e. many times the number killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki) in suicide attacks during a national effort to resist American invasion.  Children were being trained to strap on explosives and throw themselves under American tanks.  The Emperor, as he was travelling to the radio station to surrender his empire, narrowly escaped being kidnapped by military forces determined to continue the war and resistance.

President Truman made one of the great humanitarian decisions in all of history, as well as one of the most strategically successful decisions.  I do not see, even 60 years after the fact, a more strategically sound way to have induced the surrender of Japan.

More excellent Whittle: Did the media steal the election?

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