I know it happened last week, but I’m still processing Obama’s visit to Hiroshima. There are three things I want to share with you, starting with the Leftist take and then leaving the gutter and heading for the high ground, where intelligence and morality live. The Leftist take revealed itself in a popular cartoon I found on my Facebook feed this morning. This cartoon, incidentally, boasted almost 8,000 shares when I grabbed it:
I haven’t forgotten that tomorrow is Memorial Day but today is still just another Sunday — laundry, bills, and blogging. The first two are done, so it’s blogging time.
America’s real class divide. I had a very interesting lunch the other day with Thomas Lifson (founder of American Thinker) and one of his contributors, who craves anonymity, so I’ll call her Meg. Inevitably, of course, the conversation turned to Trump. Thomas and I are both people who have made our peace with Trump’s candidacy, although he was not our first choice. I think of us as strong #NeverHillary types, with a grudging respect for what Trump is accomplishing.
Meg, however, loves Trump. She doesn’t trust him and has no idea how he’ll do as a president, but she thinks he’s got unique virtues that are worth applauding.
Since Meg is from the East Coast, she has more familiarity with Trump, not as a TV personality, but as a businessman. She says one of Trump’s virtues is that he’s incredibly good a getting things done. If he wants to do what any conservative should do — namely, get rid of the alphabet soup of agencies — he can make it happen. In this, he’ll differ significantly from Clinton, Obama, Clinton, and Bernie, none of whom ever got anything significant done before running for president.
Mostly, though, Meg loves Trump’s raw courage. He doesn’t give a flying whatsit for the political class or for the media. When he isn’t bulldozing over them, he’s playing with them.
If you haven’t read Jerome K. Jerome’s charming Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, first published in 1886, I recommend it. It is a pleasant antidote to today’s Sturm und Drang. But if you like to be mentally perturbed, you can’t do better than to read this post.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. During a Private Facebook discussion, a British graduate student quoted the Bible to support Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk. When this private discussion got publicized, the university decided it might have offended people, and immediately expelled him from its Master’s program:
Ngole’s future at the university was then subjected to the “Fitness to Practice” committee, which ruled that his conservative Christian beliefs about marriage would negatively impact his “ability to carry out a role as a social worker” and that his post “transgressed boundaries which are not deemed appropriate for someone entering the social work profession.”
The committee ruled that Ngole was to be “excluded from further study on a program leading to a professional qualification.” In late February, the school informed Ngole that he would no longer be recognized as a university student.
“Your student record will be terminated shortly and your library membership and university computer account withdrawn,” Ngole was told. “You may wish to contact your funding body for advice on your financial position.”
Ngole appealed the committee’s decision . . . and lost:
He was told by the university’s appeals office that his post was “inappropriate” and went against outlined conduct. The appeals committee determined that the expulsion was a “proportionate” punishment.
George Orwell published Animal Farm in 1945 and 1984 in 1948. He was prophetic, with 1984 becoming a reality only 32 years after he first predicted an all-controlling government.
Meanwhile, suffer the little children…. There’s not a speck of blood to be seen in this video, there are no bombs exploding, body parts flying, or knives flashing, yet it is one of the scariest videos I’ve ever watched:
I was feeling a little puckish, so I posted on my “real me” Facebook the same video about the atom bomb that I posted at Bookworm Room yesterday. In brief, it argues that, contrary to Leftist propaganda after WWII, Truman did not drop the bomb, killing tens of thousands of Japanese just to impress Stalin. Instead, as contemporary documents prove, he dropped it to save lives: The Japanese were refusing to surrender even though they’d manifestly lost the war, and all credible estimates (as it turned out, estimates from the Japanese side too) were that millions of Japanese would die if the war came to the home island. Additionally, and of much greater importance to Truman in a war that the Japanese had foisted on America, up to a hundred thousand or more American troops would die too.
With those predictions facing him, Truman made the logical, and surprisingly humane, decision to end the war quickly with the bomb. No matter how deadly it was, it wasn’t as bad as the alternative. War is like that: you have to choose between bad and worse. You can’t vote “present,” since a failure to decide and act is often the worst course of all.
One of my Facebook friends couldn’t have disagreed more strongly with this historically accurate premise. You can only fully appreciate her comments if you know that (a) she was one of the smartest kids in my high school and junior high school; and (b) she is first-generation Chinese-American, so you’d think that she’d have the memory of the Rape of Nanking living somewhere in her brain. Instead, in the 40 years since I first met her, she’s become a victim of Leftist thinking. (Note: I’ve slightly altered some wording in this woman’s comments so as to protect her privacy. The fact that she’s become a Leftist mush-brain doesn’t mean that she gave permission to have herself publicly humiliated. All commenter’s names have been changed.)
Sally Fu: I found a poem “Museum of Doubt : Nagasaki photos” (graphic images not suitable for children), by Kathleen Flenniken, a civil engineer turned poet, who spoke at Seattle’s Hiroshima to Hope festival.
Sally Fu: Japan was about to surrender. Truman only bombed Japan to impress the Soviets. While the results were good for America, Taiwan became a police state under an American-supported dictator who killed of Taiwan’s intellectuals. The US also turned Asia into a source of cheap labor. [Bookworm here: Who knew in 1945 that Truman was prescient enough to envision Mao’s successful Communist takeover of China four years later, which saw the Nationalist Chinese government retreat to Taiwan?]
Danny Lemieux (yes, our own Danny: Sally, where did you read that Japan was about to surrender? I’ve looked at myriad sources about WWII, including Japanese sources. Everything I read said that the Japanese government had ordered every man, woman and child to defend “every blade of grass” to the last person. Indeed, Emperor Hirohito opposed the military junta’s demands when he finally agreed to surrender . . . and that was only after the Nagasaki bombing.
Sally Fu: Danny, it’s okay if you to want to believe in the moral high ground. The fact is, though, that America’s militarism (in fact, all militarism) serves all sorts of goals, including security and economic goals. Whatever journalists say, Asia, and especially Japan, has a long history of resisting colonial rule/interference, while the US and other Western nations have a long history of using the military towards global economic dominance.
Danny Lemieux: But Sally, I was looking for an answer to a specific question: You stated that “Japan was about to surrender.” What support do you have for that statement? Japan attacked America, America fought a war, and America won that war. It’s really not that complicated.
Sally Fu: Simple is good, and a simple story is necessary to defend not one but two actions of horrendous inhumanity in the eyes of the world public and to teach as history.
Another Conservative Voice: There is no evidence whatsoever that Japan was about to surrender. To the contrary: it was defiant even after the US dropped the first atomic bomb. As to “using the military towards global economic dominance,” it seems, Sally, that you’re very disconnected from Asian history. The only reason Asia hadn’t attempted to become an imperial power was because the Asians had fought amongst themselves for centuries, both between countries and within their own countries. Europe was able to engage in imperial growth, not only because the rule of law and relatively orderly governments were the norm, but also because Europe had, by historic standards, exceptionally long periods of peace and prosperity. It was these stretches of time that enabled the economic luxury of exploration and discovery, not to mention economic, military, and/or cultural imperialism. Although it was a painful process for Asia, Asia was ultimately fortunate that the West did influence it, since the alternative would have been continued inter-Asian warfare. India is the world’s largest democracy because of – not despite – western influence.
I haven’t yet weighed in. The short statements “Sally Fu” made are so rich in errors that I haven’t yet decided how to go about introducing new ideas in her mind. Her soil may have been killed off by years of Leftist influence, but that once incredibly bright brain may just be lying fallow, and new ideas, introduced correctly, may eventually take root.
UPDATE: Tom Elia has also been struggling through conversations with liberals. He has a wonderful line of thinking that sustains him during those moments.
Dropping the atom bomb in 1945 was a good idea?! Yes, it was a good (and humane) decision; no, it was not just to show off to the Russians; and yes, given that my Mom was a Japanese POW, I am here because of the bomb:
For a further development of this same idea, I highly recommend Paul Fussell’s Thank God for the Atom Bomb and Other Essays.
The August 6 anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima has come and gone, but it’s not too late to watch Bill Whittle’s beyond brilliant deconstruction of Leftist moral idiocy regarding that bombing — in this case, moral idiocy as displayed by Jon Stewart, the intellectual light for too many leftists.
Longtime readers know that I routinely thank God for the Atom bomb. My mother, interned in a Japanese concentration camp, had reached the point of starvation that saw her lose interest in food. Death was days away. Instead, because of that bomb, this is a picture of my mother five months after Hiroshima:
As a P.S., it’s worth recalling that Japanese concentration camps were no picnic, especially for the Western men caught up in Japan’s Bushido madness.
Tomorrow is the 64th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, and you can expect the usual breast-beating about how unutterably evil we were to target Japan’s civilian population. Here in Marin, a “Hiroshima survivor” is going to read poems and speak about her experiences.
I freely acknowledge that this survivor went through a horrific experience that I hope is never again repeated. Still, I’d like to acknowledge the other Hiroshima bomb survivors. My Mom is one of those survivors.
My Mom wasn’t in Japan when the Americans dropped the bomb. She wasn’t anywhere near Japan. She was in Java, a civilian in a Japanese concentration camp, on the verge of starving to death. But for the fact that the atom bombs immediately terminated the war in the Pacific, she would have died. She didn’t have another month or even another week. She needed the war to end instantly. It was the bombing at Hiroshima that enabled her to survive the war.
Nor was my mother alone. Truman didn’t drop the bomb only to impress the Soviets or to play with an exciting new toy. He dropped the bomb because he’d been credibly advised that the Japanese were not going to surrender, but would fight the war on their own ground — and this was true despite the fact that the Japanese knew as well as the Americans did that the Japanese could not win. In July 1945, Truman was looking at the possibility of up to 50,000 more American deaths, plus all of the Japanese military and civilian deaths. (And that’s not even counting the Marines already suffering unthinkable torture in Japanese camps and slave works, or American, Dutch and English civilians imprisoned all over the Pacific). Given that the Japanese had started the war and then refused to end it (even though they were losing), one big bomb that would kill the same number of Japanese with no American casualties seemed like a very good idea at the time.
So as the media predictably inundates us with stories of Japanese Hiroshima survivors (or I assume it will based on past history), feel free to sympathize with their very real suffering. Please, however, take a minute to remember the other Hiroshima survivors, those whose suffering at Japanese hands was ended because of that same bomb.
UPDATE: Thomas Lifson, who was kind enough to link to this post, adds an important bit of information: D.M. Giangreco, a military historian who is one of the people most intimately familiar with the invasion of Japan, has written a book on the subject, Hell to Pay: Operation DOWNFALL and the Invasion of Japan, 1945-1947, which comes out in a month or two. I’ve corresponded with Mr. Giangreco and can assure you that he knows the subject intimately. If this subject is at all interesting to you, you should get the book.