Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: American History  (Read 29309 times)
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madupont
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« Reply #1965 on: February 19, 2008, 11:20:44 PM »

Maddie,

Actually, Hogan put more blame on Truman, and later Eisenhower for allowing the military to bulldoze their invention into an accepted belief by the American People. Nixon and Kissinger were mentioned early in their careers, but the book covers the years 1945-1954. The book focuses on what was happening with in the White House and behind the doors of the high administrative officials. Only the last chapter looks are how the American public perceived these goings on, and even then it promises a study of things such as letters to the editor, but mostly talks about the editorial writers.



December 1, 1950 – January 1, 1953 was when Nixon was in the Senate (prior to that, in the House,1946) and he got to the  Senate by --" In the 1950 mid-term elections, Nixon defeated Democratic Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas to win a seat in the United States Senate. Accusing her of being a fellow traveler with Communist sympathies, Nixon called her "the Pink Lady" and said she was "pink right down to her underwear." Gahagan, for her part, bestowed upon Nixon one of the most enduring nicknames in American politics: "Tricky Dick".

Read this section from wikipedia, 2 House and Senate:1946-1952, it's about three short paragraphs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Nixon
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caclark
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« Reply #1966 on: February 20, 2008, 11:47:26 AM »

Weezo: "How was the behavior of "the little people" of Japan more or less deserving of a death sentence than "the little people" of America who cheered when the bomb was exploded? The loss of innocent lives needs to be eliminated as an objective...."

Taking innocent lives was not the objective in the decision to use the atom bomb on Japan in 1945. Ending the war as quickly as possible was the objective and in the end Truman’s decision probably did indeed save more lives than it cost overall. But there is no getting around the brutal truth that dropping the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were acts of use of a terrible weapon of mass destruction against an unarmed civilian population rather than a military target. That’s why the decision to use the bomb against Japan is still debated after more than six decades and still gives us moral headaches.

As for the decision to develop the atom bomb in the first place, the United States didn’t have much choice given the political realities of 1942 when the decision was made to launch the project. Defeat of the Axis powers took priority over all else for the Allied powers and indeed it had to.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 11:52:21 AM by caclark » Logged
Lhoffman
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« Reply #1967 on: February 20, 2008, 12:11:59 PM »

There had been conventional bombing going on over Japan from 1942 up to 1945, with hundreds of thousands of Japanese left dead, and at hundreds of thousands left homeless.  These bombings seemed to have no impact on bringing about a close to the war.  At the time Truman decided to drop the first atomic bomb, American forces were planning a land offensive.  This would have meant many more deaths...of Japanese soldiers and civilians and of American forces as well. 
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johnr60
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« Reply #1968 on: February 20, 2008, 12:14:29 PM »

Howard Zinn, Peoples History of the US:

"It was known the Japanese had instructed their ambassador in Moscow to work on peace negotiations with the Allies. Japanese leaders had begun talking of surrender a year before this, and the Emperor himself had begun to suggest, in June 1945, that alternatives to fighting to the end be considered...

The Russians had secretly agreed (they were officially not at war with Japan) they would come into the war ninety days after the end of the European war. That turned out to be May 8, and so, on August 8, the Russians were due to declare war on Japan, But by then the big bomb had been dropped, and the next day a second one would be dropped on Nagasaki; the Japanese would surrender to the United States, not the Russians, and the United States would be the occupier of postwar Japan.
In other words, Blackett says, the dropping of the bomb was "the first major operation of the cold diplomatic war with Russia.. .." Blackett is supported by American historian Gar Alperovitz (Atomic Diplomacy), who notes a diary entry for July 28, 1945, by Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, describing Secretary of State James F. Byrnes as "most anxious to get the Japanese affair over with before the Russians got in."
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caclark
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« Reply #1969 on: February 20, 2008, 12:38:24 PM »

The complexion of the Cold War would have been quite different with Japan partitioned into US and USSR sectors in the same manner as the divided Germany. Use of the atom bomb avoided that.

I hope I'm not talking too loudly for readers of American Prometheus. I'll try to keep my voice down.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 12:44:59 PM by caclark » Logged
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« Reply #1970 on: February 20, 2008, 01:14:23 PM »

Nuclear proliferation during the Cold War helped turn Oppenheimer into a tormented man. This was the monster he had helped unleash. But the atom bomb was all but certain to be developed by someone at some point. It was just a matter of time and circumstance. Fortunately, the United States got it first.

How differently the history of the last six decades would have been had Adolf Hitler ever gotten his hands on the atom bomb. He never even got close. But there was no way for Albert Einstein to know that when he sat down to write his famous letter to FDR that got the ball rolling on the Manhattan Project.
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weezo
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« Reply #1971 on: February 20, 2008, 03:00:06 PM »

Somehow, I cannot imagine that the Japanese soldiers and sailors whose lives were spared by dropping the atomic bomb were better off having lost their families and loved one, but themselves remained alive.

Rushing to drop the bomb to keep Russia from declaring war on Japan is not a good defense for the loss of life involved. Perhaps if we had been better allies with the Russians we could have saved untold amounts of money wasted on munitions during the cold "war".

As it stand, history documents that the first nation to develop the Atomic bomb was both the first and the last to actually use it. Forrestal was one of the folks who believed that we should make a pre-emptive strike against Russia, with atomic bombs, to prevent the Russians from acquiring the technology. Despite the fact that Russia developed the Atomic, and later Nuclear, bomb, they have NEVER used them against innocent civilians. Only the Americans committed such an immoral act!

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caclark
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« Reply #1972 on: February 20, 2008, 03:30:41 PM »

Weezo: "Rushing to drop the bomb to keep Russia from declaring war on Japan is not a good defense for the loss of life involved.....Only the Americans committed such an immoral act!"

Russia aside, Japan’s intractability was all the justification America needed to use the bomb. Many in Japan knew that it was all over and that they were licked. But the Japanese government was still controlled by the fanatical military faction that was resolved to hold out to the bitter end. Japanese women, children, and the very elderly were being trained in the use of bamboo spears to use against the American invaders in a plan that would call on the entire population to defend Japan. Make no mistake about it, Weezo. An invasion would have been God-awful bloody for both sides. Then reconsider just what was moral or immoral.

That of course can never erase the harsh ugliness of what happened to those poor innocent people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki who paid the price for their government’s intractability. War forces unpleasant choices on nations and Harry Truman was in that position in late summer of 1945. He was up to it. Dropping the atom bomb on Japan is the decision he is most remembered for. Call it immoral if you must, but I think he did the right thing.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 03:44:00 PM by caclark » Logged
thanatopsy
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« Reply #1973 on: February 20, 2008, 03:50:01 PM »

~~ Call it immoral if you must, but I think he did the right thing. ~~


Based on my limited knowledge of his bio history, HST never lost even one minute of sleep over that fateful decision.
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caclark
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« Reply #1974 on: February 20, 2008, 03:59:52 PM »

I read somewhere that after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Winston Churchill urged President Truman to mass produce the atom bomb and drop one on every city in the Soviet Union. I don't know what Truman's reaction was to that suggestion and I can't recall where I read it. If I find it, I'll post it.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 04:02:18 PM by caclark » Logged
caclark
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« Reply #1975 on: February 20, 2008, 04:15:23 PM »

There is a 1995 movie titled Hiroshima that dramatizes that event with great fidelity to the historical facts. It’s out in DVD now for anyone who wants to check it out. I recommend it. The Canadian actor Kenneth Welsh brings Truman to life in a performance so stunning that it was almost as though I were seeing the real life Harry Truman.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 04:32:24 PM by caclark » Logged
Lhoffman
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« Reply #1976 on: February 20, 2008, 04:32:25 PM »

Caclark...I'm always up for movie/book links.  Thanks for the recommendation.
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caclark
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« Reply #1977 on: February 20, 2008, 04:47:14 PM »

Lhoffman,

Hiroshima is one of those well-crafted films that tells the story from the point of view of both sides, the Japanese and the Americans. For me, watching it had quite an emotional impact.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #1978 on: February 20, 2008, 07:05:30 PM »

CaClark...Is this it?  Seven bucks...a steal.

http://www.amazon.com/Hiroshima-Wesley-Addy/dp/B0006N2E9Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1203552213&sr=1-1
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caclark
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« Reply #1979 on: February 20, 2008, 07:14:36 PM »

Lhoffman, ..... Yes, that's the one. And you're right, it is a steal.
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