Christianity and the Nagasaki Bomb

Though Christianity began as a religion of peace, it soon became a cloak for genocidal violence, such as the incineration of defenseless civilians in Nagasaki, including many Japanese Christians, 71 years ago, writes Gary G. Kohls.

By Gary G. Kohls

Seventy-one years ago, on Aug. 9, 1945, an all-Christian bomber crew dropped a plutonium bomb on Nagasaki City, Japan, instantly vaporizing, incinerating, irradiating and otherwise annihilating tens of thousands of innocent civilians, men, women and children. Very few Japanese soldiers were affected.

In a nation whose citizens are historically non-Christian (Shintoism or Buddhism are the major religions), a disproportionately large number of the Nagasaki victims were Christian (see below for the history of that reality). The bomb mortally wounded uncountable thousands of other victims who succumbed to the blast trauma, the heat trauma and/or the radiation trauma.

The ruins of the Urakami Christian church in Nagasaki, Japan, as shown in a photograph dated Jan. 7, 1946.

The ruins of the Urakami Christian church in Nagasaki, Japan, as shown in a photograph dated Jan. 7, 1946.

In 1945, the U.S. was regarded as the most Christian nation in the world. The bomber crew, as were the two Christian military chaplains of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki crews, were products of the type of Christianity that failed to teach what Jesus taught concerning violence (that it was forbidden to his followers) – which has been the case for the vast majority of Christians, both clergy and laity, for the past 1,700 years. For the first three centuries of its existence, Christianity was a pacifist religion.

Ironically, prior to the bomb exploding directly over the Urakami Cathedral, Nagasaki was the most Christian city in Japan, and the massive cathedral had been the largest Christian church building in the Orient.

Those Christian airmen, following their wartime orders to the letter, did their job, and they accomplished the mission with military pride. Most Christian Americans would have done what they did if they had been in the shoes of the crew.

And, if those Christians had never seen, heard or smelled the suffering humanity that the bomb caused on the ground, most of them would not have experienced any remorse for their participation in the atrocity – especially if they had been blindly treated as heroes in the aftermath.

Some of the crew did admit that they had had some doubts about what they had participated in afterwards. But none of them actually witnessed the horrific suffering of the tens of thousands of victims up close and personal.

“Orders are orders” and must be obeyed, and disobedience in wartime was known to be severely punishable, even by summary execution. So the bomber crew had no alternative but to obey the orders. Even the two chaplains had no doubts before they finally understood what they had participated in.

Hard for Japan to Surrender

It had been only three days since the August 6th bomb had incinerated Hiroshima. The Nagasaki bomb was dropped amidst massive chaos and confusion in Tokyo, where the fascist military command was meeting with the Emperor Hirohito to discuss how to surrender with honor. The military leadership of both nations had known for months that Japan had already lost the war.

The mushroom cloud from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.

The mushroom cloud from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.

The only obstacle to ending the war had been the Allied Powers insistence on unconditional surrender (which meant that Hirohito would have been removed from his figurehead position in Japan and perhaps even subjected to war crime trials). That demand was intolerable for the Japanese, who regarded the Emperor as a deity.

The USSR had declared war against Japan the day before (Aug. 8), hoping to regain territories lost to Japan in the humiliating (for Russia) Russo-Japanese War 40 years earlier, and Stalin’s army was advancing across Manchuria. Russia’s entry into the war had been encouraged by President Harry Truman before he knew of the success of the atom bomb test in New Mexico on July 16.

But now, Truman and his strategists knew that the bomb could elicit Japan’s surrender without Stalin’s help. So, not wanting to divide any of the spoils of war with the USSR, and because the U.S. wanted to send an early Cold War message to Russia (that the U.S. was the new planetary superpower), Truman ordered bomber command to proceed with using the atomic bombs against a handful of targets as weather permitted and as atomic bombs became available (although no more fissionable material was actually available to make another bomb after Nagasaki).

Decision to Target Nagasaki

Aug. 1, 1945, was the earliest deployment date for the Japanese atom bombing missions, and the Target Committee in Washington, D.C. had already developed a short list of relatively un-damaged Japanese cities that were to be excluded from the conventional USAAF (US Army Air Force) fire-bombing campaigns (that, during the first half of 1945, had used napalm, augmented by high explosives, to burn to the ground over 60 essentially defenseless Japanese cities).

President Harry S. Truman.

President Harry S. Truman.

The list of protected cities included Hiroshima, Niigata, Kokura, Kyoto and Nagasaki. Those five cities were to be off-limits to the terror bombings that the other cities were being subjected to. They were to be preserved as potential targets for the new “gimmick” weapon that had been researched and developed in labs and manufacturing plants all across America over the several years since the Manhattan Project had begun.

Ironically, prior to August 6 and 9, the residents of those five cities had considered themselves lucky for not having been bombed as had the other large cities. Little did the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki know that they were only being temporarily spared for an even worse carnage from a revolutionary experimental weapon that could cause the mass annihilation of entire cities and their human guinea pig inhabitants.

The plutonium bomb that had been field tested at Alamogordo, New Mexico, was identical to the one that was dropped at Nagasaki. It had been blasphemously code-named “Trinity” (a distinctly Christian term) and had been detonated in secrecy three weeks earlier on July 16, 1945. The results were impressive, but the blast had just killed a few hapless coyotes, rabbits, snakes and some other desert varmints.

Trinity had produced large amounts of an entirely new type of rock that was later called “Trinitite.” Trinitite was a “man-made” radioactive molten lava rock that had been created from the intense heat that was twice the temperature of the sun. Samples of it still exist in the desert at Alamogordo.

At 3 a.m. on the morning of Aug. 9, 1945, a B-29 Superfortress bomber (that had been “christened” Bock’s Car) took off from Tinian Island in the South Pacific, with the prayers and blessings of the crew’s two chaplains. Barely making it off the runway just yards before the heavily loaded plane could have gone into the ocean (the bomb weighed 10,000 pounds), it headed north for Kokura, the primary target.

Bock’s Car’s bomb was code-named “Fat Man,” partly because of its shape and partly to honor the rotund Winston Churchill. “Little Boy,” first called “Thin Man” (after President Franklin Roosevelt), was the code name of the uranium bomb that had been dropped on Hiroshima three days earlier.

Japan’s Supreme War Council in Tokyo, scheduled to convene their next meeting at 11 a.m. on Aug. 9, had absolutely no comprehension of what had really happened at Hiroshima. So the members had no heightened sense of urgency. The council was mostly concerned about Russia’s declaration of war.

But it was already too late, because by the time the War Council members were arising and heading to the meeting with the emperor, there was no chance to alter the course of history. Bock’s Car – flying under radio silence – was already approaching the southern islands of Japan, heading for Kokura, the primary target. The crew was hoping to beat an anticipated typhoon and the approaching clouds that would have delayed the mission.

The Bock’s Car crew had instructions to drop the bomb only on visual sighting. But Kokura was clouded over. After making three failed bomb runs over the clouded-over city and then experiencing engine trouble on one of the four engines (using up valuable fuel all the while) the plane headed for its secondary target, Nagasaki.

History of Nagasaki Christianity

Nagasaki is famous in the history of Japanese Christianity. The city had the largest concentration of Christians in all of Japan. St. Mary’s Urakami Cathedral was the megachurch of its time, with 12,000 baptized members.

The U.S. explosion of a nuclear bomb over Nagasaki, Japan, on Aug. 9, 1945.

The U.S. explosion of a nuclear bomb over Nagasaki, Japan, on Aug. 9, 1945.

Nagasaki was the community where the legendary Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier planted a mission church in 1549. The Catholic community at Nagasaki grew and eventually prospered over the next several generations. However it eventually became clear to the Japanese that the (Catholic) Portuguese and Spanish commercial interests were exploiting Japan. It didn’t take very long before all Europeans – and their very foreign religion – were expelled from the country.

From 1600 until 1850, being a Christian in Japan was a capital crime (punishable by death). In the early 1600s, Japanese Christians who refused to recant of their new faith were subject to unspeakable tortures – including crucifixion. After a well-publicized mass crucifixion was orchestrated, the reign of terror stopped, and it appeared to all observers that Japanese Christianity was extinct.

However, 250 years later, after the gunboat diplomacy of U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry forced open an offshore island for American trade purposes, it was discovered that there were thousands of baptized Christians in Nagasaki, living their faith in secret in a catacomb-like existence, completely unknown to the government.

With this revelation, the Japanese government started another purge; but because of international pressure, the persecutions stopped and Nagasaki Christianity came up from the underground. By 1917, with no financial help from the government, the re-vitalized Christian community had built their massive cathedral in the Urakami River district of Nagasaki.

So it was the height of irony that the massive Cathedral – one of only two Nagasaki landmarks that could be positively identified from 31,000 feet up – became Ground Zero. (The other identifiable aiming point landmark was the Mitsubishi armaments factory complex – which had run out of raw materials because of the successful Allied naval blockade.)

At 11:02 a.m., during Thursday morning confessions, an unknown number of Nagasaki Christians were boiled, evaporated, carbonized or otherwise disappeared in a scorching, radioactive fireball that exploded 500 meters above the cathedral.

The “black rain” that soon came down from the mushroom cloud also contained the mingled cellular remains of many Nagasaki Christians as well as many more Shintoists and Buddhists. The theological implications of Nagasaki’s Black Rain surely should boggle the minds of theologians of all denominations.

Nagasaki Christian Body Count

Most Nagasaki Christians did not survive the blast. Six thousand of them died instantly, including all who were at confession that morning. Of the 12,000 church members, 8,500 of them eventually died as a result of the bomb. Many of the others were seriously sickened with a highly lethal entirely new disease: radiation sickness.

Located near the cathedral were three orders of nuns and a Christian girl’s school. They all disappeared into black smoke or became chunks of charcoal. Tens of thousands of other innocent non-Christian non-combatants also died instantly, and many more were mortally or incurably wounded. Some of the original victims (and their progeny) are still suffering from the trans-generational malignancies and immune deficiencies caused by the deadly plutonium and other radioactive isotopes produced by the bomb.

And here is one of the most important ironies: What the Japanese Imperial government could not do in 250 years of persecution (i.e., to destroy Japanese Christianity) American Christians did in mere seconds.

Even after a slow revival of Christianity after WWII, membership in Japanese Christian churches still represents a tiny fraction of 1 percent of the general population, and the average attendance at Christian worship services across the nation is reported to be only 30 per Sunday. The decimation of Nagasaki crippled what at one time was a vibrant church.

Father George Zabelka was the Catholic chaplain for the 509th Composite Group (the 1,500-man USAAF group whose only mission was to deliver atomic bombs to Japanese civilian targets). Zabelka was one of the few World War II clergy leaders who eventually came to recognize the serious contradictions between what his modern church had taught him and what the early pacifist church believed concerning homicidal violence.

Several decades after Zabelka was discharged from the military chaplaincy, he finally concluded that both he and his church had made serious ethical and theological errors in religiously legitimating the organized mass slaughter that is modern war. He eventually came to understand that (as he articulated it) “the enemy of me and the enemy of my nation is not an enemy of God. Rather my enemy and my nation’s enemy are children of God who are loved by God and who therefore are to be loved (and not killed) by me as a follower of that loving God.”

Father Zabelka’s sudden conversion away from the standardized war-tolerant Christianity changed his Detroit, Michigan ministry around 180 degrees. His absolute commitment to the truth of gospel nonviolence – just like Martin Luther King’s commitment – inspired him to devote the remaining decades of his life to speaking out against violence in all its forms, including the violence of militarism, racism and economic exploitation.

Zabelka travelled to Nagasaki on the 50th anniversary of the bombing, tearfully repenting and asking for forgiveness for the part he had played in the crime.

Likewise, the Lutheran chaplain for the 509th, Pastor William Downey (formerly of Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota), in his counseling of soldiers who had become troubled by their participation in making murder for the state, later denounced all killing, whether by a single bullet or by weapons of mass destruction.

Wars That Ruined Their Souls?

In Daniel Hallock’s important book, Hell, Healing and Resistance, the author described a 1997 Buddhist retreat that was led by the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. The retreat involved a number of combat-traumatized Vietnam War veterans who had left the Christianity of their birth.

The veterans had responded positively to Nhat Hanh’s ministrations. Hallock wrote, “Clearly, Buddhism offers something that cannot be found in institutional Christianity. But then why should veterans embrace a religion that has blessed the wars that ruined their souls? It is no wonder that they turn to a gentle Buddhist monk to hear what are, in large part, the truths of Christ.”

Jesus delivering his Sermon on the Mount as depicted in a painting by Nineteenth Century artist Carl Heinrich Bloch.

Jesus delivering his Sermon on the Mount as depicted in a painting by Nineteenth Century artist Carl Heinrich Bloch.

Hallock’s comment should be a sobering wake-up call to Christian leaders who seem to regard as important both the recruitment of new members and the retention of old ones. The fact that the U.S. is a highly militarized nation makes the truths of gospel nonviolence difficult to teach and preach, especially to military veterans (particularly the homeless, psychologically tormented, spiritually-depleted, malnourished, over-diagnosed, over-medicated, over-vaccinated, homicidal and suicidal ones) who may have lost their faith because of horrors experienced on the battlefield.

I am a retired physician who has dealt with hundreds of psychologically traumatized patients (including combat-traumatized war veterans), and I know that violence, in all its forms, can irretrievably damage the mind, body, brain and spirit. But the fact that the combat-traumatized type is totally preventable – and oftentimes impossible to cure – makes prevention work really important.

An ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure when it comes to combat-induced PTSD. And where Christian churches should and could be instrumental in the prevention of the soul-destroying combat-type PTSD is by counseling their members to not participate in it (which should be obvious when considering the ethical message of the nonviolent Jesus, a message that guided the pacifist church in the first three centuries of its existence)

Experiencing violence, whether as victimizer or victim, can be deadly, and it can run through families like a contagion. I have seen violence, neglect, abuse and the resultant traumatic psychological and neurological illnesses spread through both military and non-military families – even involving the third and fourth generations after the initial victimizations.

And that has been the experience of the hibakusha (the long-suffering atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki), whose progeny continue to suffer disease – which has likewise been the experience of many of the progeny of the warrior-perpetrators who participated in the act of killing in every war.

Years ago I saw an unpublished Veteran’s Administration study that showed that, whereas most Vietnam War-era soldiers were active members of Christian churches before they went off to war, if they came home with PTSD, the percentage returning to their faith community approached zero. Daniel Hallock’s sobering message above helps explain why that is so.

Therefore the church – at least by its silence on the critical issues of war and war preparation – seems to be actually promoting (rather than forbidding) homicidal violence, contrary to the ethical teachings of Jesus, by failing to teach what the primitive church understood was one of the core teachings of Jesus, who preached, in effect, that “violence is forbidden for those who wish to follow me.”

Therefore, by refraining from warning their adolescent members about the faith- and soul-destroying realities of war, the church is directly undermining the “retention” strategies in which all churches engage. The hidden history of Nagasaki thus has valuable lessons for American Christianity.

Bock’s Car Crew and Chain of Command

The members of the Bock’s Car bomber crew, like conscripted or enlisted men in any war, were at the bottom of a long, complex and very anonymous chain of command whose superiors demand unconditional obedience from those below them in the chain.

The Bock’s Car crew had been ordered to “pull the trigger” of the lethal weapon that had been conceptualized, designed, funded, manufactured and armed by any number of other entities, none of which would feel morally responsible for doing the dirty deed because they didn’t have literal blood on their hands.

As is true in all wars, soldier trigger-pullers are often the ones unjustly singled out and blamed for the killing in the combat zone, and therefore they often have the worst post-war guilt and shame that is often the most lethal part of combat-induced PTSD (other than the suicide and violence-inducing aspects of many psychiatric drugs and the chronic illness-stimulating aspects of the over-vaccination schedules to which all military recruits are subjected).

However, the religious chaplains that are responsible for their spiritual lives of their soldiers, are also at the bottom of the chain of command and may share their guilt feelings. Neither group usually knows the real reasons their commanders are ordering them to kill or participate in the killing operations.

The early church leaders, who knew the teachings and actions of Jesus best, rejected the nationalist, racist and militarist agendas of whatever passed for nationalism 2,000 years ago.

And by following the Sermon on the Mount, true Christians of today similarly reject the homicidal agendas of the national security state, the military-industrial-congressional complex, the war-profiteering corporations, the mesmerizing major media, and the eye-for-an-eye retaliation church doctrines that have, over the past 1,700 years, enabled baptized and confirmed Christians to, if ordered to do so, willingly kill other humans in the name of Christ.

Gary G. Kohls is a retired physician from Duluth, MN, USA. He writes a weekly column for the Reader, Duluth’s alternative newsweekly magazine. His columns mostly deal with the dangers of American fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism, malnutrition, psychiatric drugging, over-vaccination regimens, Big Pharma and other movements that threaten the environment or America’s health, democracy, civility and longevity. Many of his columns are archived at http://duluthreader.com/articles/categories/200_Duty_to_Warn, http://www.globalresearch.ca/authors?query=Gary+Kohls+articles&by=&p=&page_id= or at https://www.transcend.org/tms/search/?q=gary+kohls+articles

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51 comments for “Christianity and the Nagasaki Bomb

  1. Avinash
    August 17, 2016 at 4:28 am

    The atom bombing helped shorten the war, and saved quite a lot of lives.A land invasion would have caused a lot of casualties especially that of American soldiers. That is why Truman felt that the bombing was the lesser of two evils.

  2. John Ellis
    August 12, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    A Christian is a pacifist, in honor of our Lord’s example.

  3. August 11, 2016 at 11:44 am

    “Though Christianity began as a religion of peace…”

    Don’t know what kind of history you’re reading.

    Most religious actions just prove the hypocrisy of official religions.

    • John Ellis
      August 12, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      Jesus said… “The law of Moses says, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’
      But, now I give you a new Command: Do not use force to overcome evil.
      If they strike you on the right cheek, turn to them the other.”

  4. john young
    August 10, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    “Thin man” was a gun type Pu weapon that was cancelled and replaced with the “Fat man” implosion device. You article stated that Thin man was replaced with the Little Boy uranium gun type device.

  5. August 10, 2016 at 5:23 am

    It is wrong to confuse the action of some leaders for the beliefs of the many. Be it Christianity, Islam or other. It is also wrong to confuse all denominations for each faith (for instance Christians differentiate between protestants, catholics, orthodox, evangelic, born again, etc. Muslims have Sunnis, Shiites, Wahhabism and others). Each denomination may have different point of view, and different mode to go about having a point of view about world events.

    Politicians first serve themselves and their own interest, then that of their country during their mandate. They put a facade of religion, to which they give lip service, so they can be re-elected. In no way the action of a politician should be confused for the faith of the whole population. The kind of rhetoric that put the responsibility of a politician on every people in a population group only foment hatred and wars.

    To say that “the church” has been silent on this matter is wrong. You should give more than one side to the argument. Every pope since the event, the Second Vatican Council, hundreds of bishops, and scores of distinguished theologians, apologists, and preachers have condemned it, and the Catechism is clear about the matter.

    Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation. [Cf. Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, 80 §3]

    Also see
    https://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=25774

    • J'hon Doe II
      August 11, 2016 at 9:06 am

      It is also wrong to confuse all denominations for each faith (for instance Christians differentiate between protestants, catholics, orthodox, evangelic, born again, etc.– Herve

      ::

      Thank you, Herve for the great example of institutional christianity – aka man made RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONAL INDOCTRINATION.

      Military basic training is indoctrination. It is inculcation. It is an instilled form of mind control, as is institutional christianity.

      • J'hon Doe II
        August 11, 2016 at 9:20 am

        BTW, Herve— nature lovers ought to be in awe of Spirit, as Native Americans always have been.

    • John Ellis
      August 13, 2016 at 6:37 am

      As 99% of those who call themselves Christian are not pacifists, does that not tell you that they are hypocrites? For it is written, “Do not use force to overcome evil. If they strike you on the right cheek, turn to them the other.”

      For this world has but one purpose, to reach the ultimate conclusion of evil and for an absolute, there can be nothing more evil then an ungodly and satanic Christian.

  6. Tristan
    August 10, 2016 at 2:24 am

    Let ye without sin cast the first stone. So it was written. But then someone found how to make a new stone. And we did, a very large one. To this day those who bear responsibility for the casting of it are still shorn of the sin. I surmise that in this world if you have the stone, you have absolution until that time when others are willing to use their stones upon you.

    My comment aside, this is a thought provoking article.

  7. Ana
    August 9, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    It’s amazing that people who are in charge of energy policy are so uninformed.

    (1) For one, nuclear energy is NOT carbon-free nor is nuclear energy clean.

    Each nuclear power plant releases huge amounts of Radioactive Carbon14 which converts to CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Repeat: Nuclear energy = Radioactive Carbon14 = CO2 = huge carbon releases into the atmosphere

    (2) Also, nuclear power plants release dangerous radiation into the air and water during their daily operations.

    Almost all drinking water now contains radiation from nuclear energy…and we wonder why cancer rates are skyrocketing.

    (3) Dr. John Gofman, Premier scientist, predicted thousands of cancer deaths per year due to nuclear energy.

    (4) Higher incidences of childhood leukemia and breast cancer have been found in populations living around nuclear power plants.

    (5) Nuclear power plants use massive amounts of precious water.

    Each nuclear power plant can use up to 30 MILLION gallons of water per HOUR.

    All of the above show why nuclear energy is NOT clean, NOT carbon-free, and NOT a smart choice.

  8. Realist
    August 9, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    “Orders are orders.” Unless you happened to be on the other side in that conflict. Then Nuremberg trials were called for, followed by capital punishment. How very Christian.

  9. John
    August 9, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    We must start at the beginning of exceptionalism ….The greatest myth ever told….

    Long ago and far away in the land of Ur there was a man named Abram who met the “Tribal God of War” Yahweh….
    Yahweh performed an unknown procedure on Abram….Remember now Yahweh is the “Tribal God of War”. After the procedure Abram becomes Abraham the father of many nations.. Yahweh also promises Abraham a son to carry on the genetic code. To test the success of the procedure performed on Abraham Yahweh commanded Abraham to sacrifice (indiscriminate murder) his son. Success !!

    Fast forward to the generation from the loins of Abraham who indiscriminately murdered the Canaanites…men women children and all the live stock…..

    Fast forward to King Saul whom Yahweh “The Tribal God of War hated ..Why ? Because Saul spared the lives of some folks….

    Next we have King David…Why did Yahweh say David was a man after his heart…King David indiscriminately murdered 10s of thousands…and was also a Great liar …..Remember King David is from the seed (genetic code) of Abraham….

    Fast forward to when the 10 tribes of the seed of Abraham are scattered to the ends of the earth where they continue to “seed” the entire earth with the genetic code of Abraham. Now the father of many nations

    Now enter one man…the man Jesus who taught the local masses a different philosophy …”there are no exceptional people”….so the exceptional people murdered the man Jesus. What else could they do…they are the children of “The Tribal God of War”

    Last but not least is the book in the bible called “The Revelation of Jesus the Christ” which in my opinion is the greatest “bait and switch ever !! Jesus’s teaching are completely turned around and the focus is once again on the exceptional people who bring down into the temple Yahweh “The Tribal God of War” who rules not with loving kindness but a “rod of iron”

    ** Abraham’s father was the “High Priest of the Deity Moloch”….these folks were highly skilled in bringing down deities from other dimensions….aka magick.

    No worries…it’s just a myth…..

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      August 16, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      That was anti-Semitic twisting of the Bible you juts did. Seed the entire earth? Ad Jesus never said anything about no people being “exceptional”, and are you saying Jews can’t help being violent? Are you saying Jews are Moloch-worshippers even though the Old Testament forbids Moloch-worship? Are saying, by “magick”, they are Wiccans or Crowley-style Satanists? Idiot, Christianity is descended from Judaism, Yahweh did not perform fellatio on Abram, and gods are not aliens! You clearly are a fan of the History Channel’s “Ancient Aliens”.

  10. Bill Bodden
    August 9, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Then there are all those other religions that have wreaked havoc all over the world: Democratic Party, Republican Party, capitalism, McCarthyism, and several other -isms.

  11. Jim Matson
    August 9, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Get a better spell checker. In the 3rd paragraph, you have Shintoism as “Shitoism”.

    • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
      August 9, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      It actually made me laugh……..sometimes innocent mistakes can have a good side-effect………….cheers.

  12. J'hon Doe II
    August 9, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Wars That Ruined Their Souls?

    …that cannot be found in institutional Christianity.

    Institutional christianity is relational to political party affiliation as rite of passage or familial heritage. As in “I’m republican because mom & dad have always been republican!” In that sense, a person is republican or democrat In Name Only. It’s the lean into the “family values” structure of life which was strongly prevalent in those times, in America.

    Yet so decidedly non-existant in today’s age/ world, as the ‘tie’ to “church,” as director (allegro) maintains disparagement and decline as very familiar forces in America. Institutional christianity is a by-product of falsified reality tied to a pledge of allegiance to a flag, and To The Republic For Which It Stands. This is so unrelated to Actual Christianity. We worship America. (God bless America.)

    http://letspleasegod.com/2009/11/institutional-church/

  13. Joe L.
    August 9, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Whenever I think of the atomic bombs now, I think of the article from the Chicago Tribune shortly after the Second World War ended.

    Chicago Tribune: “BARE PEACE BID U.S. REBUFFED 7 MONTHS AGO” by Walter Trohan (August 19, 1945):

    Washington, D.C., Aug. 18’ – Release of censorship restrictions in the United States makes it possible to announce that Japan’s first peace bid was relayed to the White House seven months ago.

    Two days before the late President Roosevelt left for the Yalta conference with Prime Minister Churchill and Dictator Stalin, he received a Japanese offer identical with the terms subsequently concluded by his successor, President Truman.

    The Jap offer, based on five separate peace overtures, was relayed to the White House by Gen. MacArthur in a 40 page communication. The American commander, who had just returned triumphantly to Bataan, urged negotiations on the basis of the Jap overtures.

    http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1945/08/19/page/1/article/bare-peace-bid-u-s-rebuffed-7-months-ago

      • Joe L.
        August 9, 2016 at 3:39 pm

        Zachary Smith… Yes, we have had this discussion before. People are free to believe what they want but the fact that this article was written about a Japanese surrender in January of 1945 certainly should have us question. Cheers.

        • Zachary Smith
          August 9, 2016 at 7:09 pm

          Kindly find the 40 page document and post a link. The rightwing Chicago Tribune’s condensed version is not to be believed – unless one supposes in the absence of any other evidence that American officials – both military and political – were willing to allow the war to continue when the Japanese were being so sweetly reasonable. Below is some of the “stuff” happening from February onwards.

          The Battle of Manila – 1,000 dead US troops. 17,000 dead Japanese troops. 100,000 dead civilians. Never mind the fighting and dying in the rest of the islands.

          Iwo Jima – 6,800 dead US troops. 18,000 dead Japanese troops.

          Okinawa – 20,200 dead US troops. 80,000 dead Japanese troops ~ 100,000 dead civilians.

          On top of all that, an average of 600,000 humans were dying every month in the Pacific region. Mostly in China where the civilians were routinely starved to death and casually murdered by the Japanese occupiers.

          Of course there was other combat going on as well. The firebombings of the Japanese cities hadn’t really started yet; British, Indian, and Australian troops were dying in battles we’ve never heard about.

          So if those US leaders deliberately prolonged the war and needlessly caused all those millions of deaths, their grave sites ought to be turned into public urinals.

          Problem is, the story probably has merely a grain of truth to it – if that much. That’s why we need to examine those 40 pages. The Chicago Tribune had already made two tries to greatly harm the US during WW2. That newspaper was not to be believed in the absence of rock-solid evidence.

          • Joe L.
            August 9, 2016 at 8:28 pm

            Is this memorandum authentic? It was supposedly leaked to Trohan by Admiral William D. Leahy, presidential Chief of Staff. (See: M. Rothbard in A. Goddard, ed., Harry Elmer Barnes: Learned Crusader [1968], pp. 327f.) Historian Harry Elmer Barnes has related (in “Hiroshima: Assault on a Beaten Foe,” National Review, May 10, 1958):

            The authenticity of the Trohan article was never challenged by the White House or the State Department, and for very good reason. After General MacArthur returned from Korea in 1951, his neighbor in the Waldorf Towers, former President Herbert Hoover, took the Trohan article to General MacArthur and the latter confirmed its accuracy in every detail and without qualification.

            Seems like former President Herbert Hoover verified the contents of the article with MacArthur himself. You can believe whatever you want but I have read about Japan feeling out peace from September 1944 into spring of 1945 and I believe the atomic bombs were unnecessary as most generals also do.

          • David Smith
            August 9, 2016 at 10:49 pm

            Joe L. your citation is an article in National Review? Not a reliable source, and “hearsay” is not evidence. Please explain who were the officials in the Japanese government that contacted the incompetent dolt MacArthur, and how they did it in a war zone. There should be testimony from the Japanese involved to confirm your fable, also testimony from Americans on the dolt’s staff. Your fable lacks significant detail.

        • David Smith
          August 9, 2016 at 9:24 pm

          Joe L. if Japan wished to surrender, the Emperor merely needed to issue an order for all armed forces to cease combat and “raise the white flag”. Japan could have surrendered anytime they wished, The United States was not stopping them. In fact, that is what happened, the Emperor did just that, three days after two atomic bombs destroyed two Japanese cities, why not before?

          • Zachary Smith
            August 9, 2016 at 11:19 pm

            Your remark goes to the core of the problem. All it took was the Emperor’s order. Obviously he had no interest at that time in ending the war.

            http://tinyurl.com/grzrb6a

            I just can’t find a free copy of the Bix article I mentioned earlier, but it’s important enough to be included in four Google Books. The link is to page two, so perhaps by using all of the books you might get an idea of the value of the piece.

          • Joe L.
            August 10, 2016 at 11:50 am

            David Smith… I am sorry but I think you are in denial. I have read quotes for Admiral Leahy, General MacArthur, President Herbert Hoover, President Dwight Eisenhower etc. which all support the notion that Japan was beaten and ready to surrender. Add onto that, “Even without the atomic bombing attacks,” concluded the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946, “air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion. Then we have the Trohan article in the Chicago Tribune which was published and not challenged by the US Government and supposedly it was Admiral Leahy, who is mentioned above, that leaked the article to Trohan meanwhile Hoover, also mentioned above, confirmed the information with MacArthur, also mentioned above.

            Here are some other things that I have read:

            In his 1965 study, Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam (pp. 107, 108), historian Gar Alperovitz writes:

            Although Japanese peace feelers had been sent out as early as September 1944 (and [China’s] Chiang Kai-shek had been approached regarding surrender possibilities in December 1944), the real effort to end the war began in the spring of 1945. This effort stressed the role of the Soviet Union …

            In mid-April [1945] the [US] Joint Intelligence Committee reported that Japanese leaders were looking for a way to modify the surrender terms to end the war. The State Department was convinced the Emperor was actively seeking a way to stop the fighting.

            Peace Overtures

            In April and May 1945, Japan made three attempts through neutral Sweden and Portugal to bring the war to a peaceful end. On April 7, acting Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu met with Swedish ambassador Widon Bagge in Tokyo, asking him “to ascertain what peace terms the United States and Britain had in mind.” But he emphasized that unconditional surrender was unacceptable, and that “the Emperor must not be touched.” Bagge relayed the message to the United States, but Secretary of State Stettinius told the US Ambassador in Sweden to “show no interest or take any initiative in pursuit of the matter.” Similar Japanese peace signals through Portugal, on May 7, and again through Sweden, on the 10th, proved similarly fruitless.

            By mid-June, six members of Japan’s Supreme War Council had secretly charged Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo with the task of approaching Soviet Russia’s leaders “with a view to terminating the war if possible by September.” On June 22 the Emperor called a meeting of the Supreme War Council, which included the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, and the leading military figures. “We have heard enough of this determination of yours to fight to the last soldiers,” said Emperor Hirohito. “We wish that you, leaders of Japan, will strive now to study the ways and the means to conclude the war. In doing so, try not to be bound by the decisions you have made in the past.”

            By early July the US had intercepted messages from Togo to the Japanese ambassador in Moscow, Naotake Sato, showing that the Emperor himself was taking a personal hand in the peace effort, and had directed that the Soviet Union be asked to help end the war. US officials also knew that the key obstacle to ending the war was American insistence on “unconditional surrender,” a demand that precluded any negotiations. The Japanese were willing to accept nearly everything, except turning over their semi-divine Emperor. Heir of a 2,600-year-old dynasty, Hirohito was regarded by his people as a “living god” who personified the nation. (Until the August 15 radio broadcast of his surrender announcement, the Japanese people had never heard his voice.) Japanese particularly feared that the Americans would humiliate the Emperor, and even execute him as a war criminal.

            I wholeheartedly believe that Japan was trying to surrender well before the atomic bombs were dropped. For me there is enough evidence from major US Military Commanders, former Presidents, the Chicago Tribune article, and the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946 to conclude that Japan was trying to surrender and that the atomic bombs were unnecessary.

          • Joe L.
            August 10, 2016 at 11:59 am

            David Smith… Here are the some quotes from some of the major people of the time – including an Admiral, Generals and Presidents (most of which are connected to the Trohan story in the Chicago Tribune – Leahy, Hoover, and MacArthur):

            ADMIRAL WILLIAM D. LEAHY

            (Chief of Staff to Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman)
            “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.

            “The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”

            – William Leahy, I Was There, pg. 441.

            HERBERT HOOVER

            On May 28, 1945, Hoover visited President Truman and suggested a way to end the Pacific war quickly: “I am convinced that if you, as President, will make a shortwave broadcast to the people of Japan – tell them they can have their Emperor if they surrender, that it will not mean unconditional surrender except for the militarists – you’ll get a peace in Japan – you’ll have both wars over.”

            Richard Norton Smith, An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover, pg. 347.

            On August 8, 1945, after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Hoover wrote to Army and Navy Journal publisher Colonel John Callan O’Laughlin, “The use of the atomic bomb, with its indiscriminate killing of women and children, revolts my soul.”

            quoted from Gar Alperovitz, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, pg. 635.

            “…the Japanese were prepared to negotiate all the way from February 1945…up to and before the time the atomic bombs were dropped; …if such leads had been followed up, there would have been no occasion to drop the [atomic] bombs.”

            – quoted by Barton Bernstein in Philip Nobile, ed., Judgment at the Smithsonian, pg. 142

            Hoover biographer Richard Norton Smith has written: “Use of the bomb had besmirched America’s reputation, he [Hoover] told friends. It ought to have been described in graphic terms before being flung out into the sky over Japan.”

            Richard Norton Smith, An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover, pg. 349-350.

            In early May of 1946 Hoover met with General Douglas MacArthur. Hoover recorded in his diary, “I told MacArthur of my memorandum of mid-May 1945 to Truman, that peace could be had with Japan by which our major objectives would be accomplished. MacArthur said that was correct and that we would have avoided all of the losses, the Atomic bomb, and the entry of Russia into Manchuria.”

            Gar Alperovitz, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, pg. 350-351.

            GENERAL DOUGLAS MacARTHUR

            MacArthur biographer William Manchester has described MacArthur’s reaction to the issuance by the Allies of the Potsdam Proclamation to Japan: “…the Potsdam declaration in July, demand[ed] that Japan surrender unconditionally or face ‘prompt and utter destruction.’ MacArthur was appalled. He knew that the Japanese would never renounce their emperor, and that without him an orderly transition to peace would be impossible anyhow, because his people would never submit to Allied occupation unless he ordered it. Ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign. Had the General’s advice been followed, the resort to atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been unnecessary.”

            William Manchester, American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964, pg. 512.

            Norman Cousins was a consultant to General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins writes of his conversations with MacArthur, “MacArthur’s views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed.” He continues, “When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.”

            Norman Cousins, The Pathology of Power, pg. 65, 70-71.

            DWIGHT EISENHOWER

            “…in [July] 1945… Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. …the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.

            “During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face’. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude…”

            – Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, pg. 380

            In a Newsweek interview, Eisenhower again recalled the meeting with Stimson:

            “…the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”

            – Ike on Ike, Newsweek, 11/11/63

          • Joe L.
            August 10, 2016 at 12:09 pm

            Also with information being in the National Review, I would point out that even today we have a Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist, Seymour Hersh, who could not have his findings on Syria published by any major US media and instead his work is published in the “London Review of Books”. I don’t think that is because Hersh’s work is not credible but simply because it does not fit the narrative that the US media is trying to put out (“Whose Sarin?” and “The Red Line and the Rat Line”).

            Also, David Smith (Mr. Patriot), it is not “my” story since it was written in 1945. Since it was supposedly “leaked” by Admiral Leahy then I am guessing that the memorandum was also classified. Overall, though, the Trohan article seems to line up with Admiral Leahy’s, Herbert Hoover’s, MacArthur’s, Eisenhower’s etc. accounts that the atomic bombs were unnecessary along with the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946. You can believe it or not…

            One other thing that also comes to mind about surrender and such is that we have the example today of US demands that “Assad must go” so, when I look at Japan’s overtures for peace to preserve the life of the Emperor, is it not surprising that the US rejected them since they were not “unconditional” and only accepted the exact same terms “after” they dropped the atomic bombs.

          • David Smith
            August 10, 2016 at 12:30 pm

            Joe L. , you commit ad hominem fallacy, and appeal to authority fallacy. Hagiographic screeds to Hoover& MacArthur are not sources. Manchester misspeaks himself, Japan did surrender unconditionally, and the US never demanded Hirohito’s abdication for surrender. You MUST provide Japanese sources to support your assertion that Japan intended to surrender on august 12th BEFORE august 6th.

          • Joe L.
            August 10, 2016 at 12:48 pm

            Like I said, David Smith, believe what you want. I have mentioned Japanese names that were looking for surrender. And there seems to be many sources that I also point to Japan wanting to surrender. The fact that you do not accept this or not, is not in my control, maybe it is patriotism – I don’t know. For me, the myth is that the atomic bombs needed to be dropped on Japan and the reality is that Japan was trying to surrender as early as September of 1944 – major generals, former presidents, and even a report by the US Government itself support my assertion.

          • David Smith
            August 10, 2016 at 2:55 pm

            Joe L. , you MUST provide a Japanese source that the government made the decision to surrender to the Allies on august 12th BEFORE august 6th. Government of The Empire of Japan deliberations are on the public record, so you have no excuses.

          • Joe L.
            August 10, 2016 at 3:13 pm

            David Smith… I kind of get the feeling that no matter what I provide you with that you are going to defend the use of the atomic bomb. I doubt you read Japanese but even if I provide you with translated cables then somehow you are going to say that they are no good. I have made my peace, which again, is supported by multiple sources. I am sorry but I don’t believe that Trohan’s article was some “conspiracy” and like, I have said before, his story is well inline with Herbert Hoover, Eisenhower, MacArthur, Leahy and the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946.

          • Joe L.
            August 10, 2016 at 3:29 pm

            David Smith… Here also is a link to work from Gar Alperovitz, Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland and co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, is a historian and political economist. He is the author, most recently, of America Beyond Capitalism and (with Lew Daly) Unjust Deserts. His work on the history of the decision to use the atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki spans over four decades; his 1995 book The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb remains one of the definitive accounts of the actions and motivations of the US in the last, tragic chapter of WWII.

            http://www.garalperovitz.com/2011/08/on-the-sixty-sixth-anniversary-of-the-bombing-of-hiroshima/

          • David Smith
            August 10, 2016 at 3:30 pm

            Joe L. , you MUST provide a source that the Imperial government made the decision, BEFORE august 6th, to surrender to the Allies on august 12th.

          • Joe L.
            August 10, 2016 at 5:10 pm

            David Smith… Well it seems that Professor Gar Alperovitz from the University of Maryland, who has been studying the use of the atomic bombs for 4 decades, has written books on the subject and has spoken about the US State Department believing that the Emperor was looking for peace as well as peace attempts through Sweden and Portugal where acting Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu met with Swedish ambassador Widon Bagge in Tokyo on April 7, 1945 and a similar process through Portugal on May 7, 1945 then again, through Sweden, on May 10, 1945. Or maybe you believe this is all one big conspiracy against the atomic bombs.

            Peace Overtures

            In April and May 1945, Japan made three attempts through neutral Sweden and Portugal to bring the war to a peaceful end. On April 7, acting Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu met with Swedish ambassador Widon Bagge in Tokyo, asking him “to ascertain what peace terms the United States and Britain had in mind.” But he emphasized that unconditional surrender was unacceptable, and that “the Emperor must not be touched.” Bagge relayed the message to the United States, but Secretary of State Stettinius told the US Ambassador in Sweden to “show no interest or take any initiative in pursuit of the matter.” Similar Japanese peace signals through Portugal, on May 7, and again through Sweden, on the 10th, proved similarly fruitless.

            By mid-June, six members of Japan’s Supreme War Council had secretly charged Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo with the task of approaching Soviet Russia’s leaders “with a view to terminating the war if possible by September.” On June 22 the Emperor called a meeting of the Supreme War Council, which included the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, and the leading military figures. “We have heard enough of this determination of yours to fight to the last soldiers,” said Emperor Hirohito. “We wish that you, leaders of Japan, will strive now to study the ways and the means to conclude the war. In doing so, try not to be bound by the decisions you have made in the past.”

            By early July the US had intercepted messages from Togo to the Japanese ambassador in Moscow, Naotake Sato, showing that the Emperor himself was taking a personal hand in the peace effort, and had directed that the Soviet Union be asked to help end the war. US officials also knew that the key obstacle to ending the war was American insistence on “unconditional surrender,” a demand that precluded any negotiations. The Japanese were willing to accept nearly everything, except turning over their semi-divine Emperor. Heir of a 2,600-year-old dynasty, Hirohito was regarded by his people as a “living god” who personified the nation. (Until the August 15 radio broadcast of his surrender announcement, the Japanese people had never heard his voice.) Japanese particularly feared that the Americans would humiliate the Emperor, and even execute him as a war criminal.

            Well, David Smith, so are you so vigorous with all of your pursuits of information? By this I mean that you come to Consortium News often but I have not seen the same veracity in challenging Robert Parry’s work. Do you not believe his stories if he talks about “sources” in US Intelligence when he talks about Ukraine instead of providing you with a word for word analysis along with the name of his source? I would say that if you need further “proof” then the best thing for you is to take it up with Professor Gar Alperovitz who can lead you to the source material for his books from his 40 years of study – his contact information is on his website.

  14. August 9, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    The author tries to emulate James Douglass in “JFK and the unspeakable” by putting a theological slant on the events of August, ’45. He tries to make everything black and white but forgets that good historians try to understand the mindset of the people making decisions in that particular historical moment. One of the finest books written on these moments is Richard Frank’s “Downfall”. In it Frank gives excellent descriptions of the planning for Operation Olympic, the invasion of Kyushu, set for Nov.1, and Ketsu-go, the preparations being made to annihilate the American invasion force at the beaches. He produces evidence that by the summer of ’45 the Japanese reinforcement of Kyushu was so formidable that American planners were turning against the invasion. By Oct. 15, they believed 625,000 troops, not even including armed civilians would be defending Kyushu. In the Philippines, Okinawa and Iwo Jima the Japanese had shown a willingness to fight almost to the last man, with death tolls ranging from 97% to 99%. At the same time, they inflicted casualties at the rate of one American for every two Japanese defenders. Prorating these statistics, it is easy to see how people at the time envisioned 600,000 dead Japanese and 300,000 dead and wounded American soldiers. It is no wonder that Truman wanted the Russians in the war and no wonder why he decided on the bomb’s use. Add to this so many of the ( easily googled ) recorded statements of the Japanese “Big Six” ministry’s members such as Admiral Onishi……on August 13, “let us formulate a plan for certain victory, obtain the Emperors sanction, and throw ourselves into its realization. If we are prepared to sacrifice 20,000,000 lives in a special suicide effort, victory will be ours!” Also….about 100,000 civilians in Japanese occupied territory, such as the Philippines, Dutch east indies, Malaysia, China and French Indochina were dying every month that the war continued. Needless to say, looking at this small selection of many facts available to people at the time, the decision to use atomic bombs was almost inevitable, and morally defensible. By the way…I have been reading the awesome Consortium News for 6 months now and this is my first post. The reader comments are always amazing and thought provoking. So many smart people here.

    • Zachary Smith
      August 9, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Bobby Kwasnik, you ought to locate Japan’s Delayed Surrender: A Reinterpretation (Bix) and examine it closely. It’s on the internet somewhere because I downloaded a badly scanned copy last year. If you or somebody you know has academic access, here is a link to a far better copy.

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-7709.1995.tb00656.x/abstract

      Revisionists have relentlessly worked to rewrite what happened in WW2, much like the Southern propagandists did when they successfully turned the US Civil War into a big misunderstanding they called The War Between The States.

      The Emperor wasn’t a figurehead during WW2 – he was totally in charge. Protecting him was a real problem for American strategists, for the man was as guilty as hell, yet a pretense HAD to be created that he was a clueless figurehead. Otherwise there would be what Truman said would be “an Okinawa from one end of Japan to the other.” But the dual problems of not obviously backing down on the Unconditional Surrender formula and of appeasing the majority of Americans who wanted the Emperor strung up on a long rope remained.

      The Japanese got off a lot easier than did the Germans, partly because MacArthur was put in charge. He built on the theme that the Emperor was a nice guy who was the puppet of the evil Military. Writing against this in the US gets you in conflict with the Peace Church types, but stepping out of line in Japan can get you shot.

      hXXp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11369971/Hitoshi-Motoshima-mayor-of-Nagasaki-obituary.html

      The Herbert Bix paper speaks in detail about the Emperor’s role in delaying the inevitable surrender. He was perfectly willing to have hundreds of thousands of Japanese die for him, but when his little white heinie was suddenly at risk, he started looking to end the war. And surprise! That’s exactly what happened.

      • August 9, 2016 at 5:15 pm

        Wow! Zachary Smith. Thanks for the Herbert Bix link. The first paragraph reads like an abstract of McNamara’s Fog of war movie. Great stuff!

  15. Bill Bodden
    August 9, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    “Orders are orders” and must be obeyed, and disobedience in wartime was known to be severely punishable, even by summary execution.

    The Nuremberg Principles rejected that dictum if the order was unlawful or immoral – a wise and civilized concept now rejected by most militaries.

  16. Bill Bodden
    August 9, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Many Christians in various sects, including their leaders and followers, are like Donald Trump and other unscrupulous politicians. They say whatever is politically expedient at the time even if it means a reversal of a previous statement. Then there is the Bible that Christians are supposed to be guided by but from which they pick and choose the words they like and reject those they don’t. If they all interpreted the Bible in the way Martin Luther King, Jr., Daniel Berrigan and others did, this world would be in much better shape and not at risk of Armageddon. Similarly, America would not be at risk of another Clinton presidency or a Trump presidency. Instead, of choosing the lesser evil every four years, Americans might participate in choosing the better person.

    • Joe B
      August 9, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      Exactly: the warmonger tyrant is a pure opportunist, and is found praising the lord and waving the flag of whatever nation he seeks power in. It is good to reject the specialness of our own traditions, although moral educational systems themselves are usually responsible for their educational failures primarily through ignorance of more effective educational techniques.

      Indeed the only rationale for religion is to train and guide their constituents morally, and they fail to do that precisely because they insist on irrational methods. Moral education may be non-rational, because moral conduct does not always serve individual self-interest, but insistence upon the irrational leads nowhere.

      Religions are falsely considered essential to moral education, because adherents don’t know how they adopted their moral principles. Bacon said that “the matters which reign in men’s morals” are moral educational techniques such as example, praise, reproof, and exhortation, without mention of tradition and implicit threats such as divine punishment. When parents, friends, and religions use those techniques they succeed. No rational person believes in divine punishment, and the scoundrels who lie, cheat, and steal their way to money and power, the oligarchy who own elections and mass media and run the country, obviously did not learn from their religions, despite their constant false claims. Religion is the principal means of hypocrisy. As H.L.Mencken noted, “A minister is a man hired by sinners to prove to them, by his example, that virtue doesn’t pay.” It just doesn’t work; it merely provides excuses for inaction, insignificant charities, and a facade of respectability for the selfish. It also provides the means for moral delusion of the ignorant, and is regularly used to propagandize them to support wrongful wars and the selfish creeds of the rich who own the mass media and elections. It just doesn’t work, and it causes far more harm by these means than any good its supporters are willing to pay for, or to work for.

      There are few if any religions that score well in moral effect over the course of history. In fact, religion is always cited by conquerors and enslavers to rationalize their grotesque inhumanity. Religious differences have been the principal cause of mass killing and enslavement throughout history, proof enough that humanity is far better off without religious organization, whether or not it has any value in moral education. Personal training and personal moral action, when organized only to serve rational humanitarian purposes, do not result in mass killing and enslavement.

      When one examines individual lives, it appears strongly that those who received a strong moral education within a religious tradition, those who went on to make great efforts and take real personal risks on behalf of others and of justice, would have done the same with any other religion, or no religion. They are the ones who simply developed sympathy with others when they were young, applied it in their formative years, and were practical and fortunate enough to apply their principles effectively. It is the science of encouraging sympathy and practical humanitarian action that is the active ingredient of religion, and it works as well or better without the tradition, bullying, and hypocrisy encouraged by public declarations of religion.

      So those who champion religion should be encouraged to use it only for moral education, and they must put it into practice, and never use it to persuade their own kind of public policies for which only rational, cross-cultural arguments can be valid. Let their religion be known for what it has done, not what it claims.

  17. Zachary Smith
    August 9, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Luis Alvarez has written that he, Bob Serber, and Philip Morrison wrote a letter (and two carbon copies) which he taped to the three parachute pressure gauges dropped at Nagasaki by the accompanying B-29s. They were addressed to a Japanese physicist he knew begging him to inform the Japanese military that, “since two atomic bombs had been dropped, it was obvious that we could build as many more as we might need to end the war by force.” These were of course recovered by the enemy, and it undercut the belief within the Japanese Military that they could end their war on their own terms by slaughtering Allied troops during the coming invasion. That strategy just wasn’t going to work.

    Perhaps Mr. Gary Kohls will someday write about the Bush/Obama/Hillary slaughters in Iraq. In Afghanistan. In Syria. Unlike with Japan, not a one of these small countries attacked the US. Those are war crimes with body counts which totally dwarf the A-bombings of Japan. Frankly, I don’t expect that to happen. That stuff isn’t part of the new “evil a-bomb” religion.

    • FobosDeimos
      August 9, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      Nothing of what you rightly say is incompatible with what Gary Kohls says about the abominable war crimes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nobody believes now the lies spread by Truman and the US “official” historians about the atomic bombs being “necessary” to stop the war. It was a genocidal and senseless show of force for Stalin’s eyes. As for the letters, tenderly attached to those gauges, how could they have survived the hellish apocalypse unleashed by the bombs?

      • Zachary Smith
        August 10, 2016 at 12:07 am

        Since you already know all about it, you’re probably not interested in the book Alvarez – Adventures of a Phsycist. The big canisters holding the gauges were in another plane, and were dropped 45 seconds before the bomb. That would have meant the gauges were at least a couple of miles away from the blast. They had to survive for the information they collected to be send back by radio.

      • David Smith
        August 10, 2016 at 12:23 am

        Three days after Nagasaki, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s surrender in a radio broadcast to the Japanese people, and you are suggesting there is no causation? In my opinion, the invasion of Japan would have been the psychological trigger for a finish fight and all preparations for that finish fight had been made by Japan. Your position assumes the inevitability of two unknowns: 1) Japan would surrender before invasion of Kyushu or 2) The invasion of Kyushu would cause surrender. IMO 2) is unrealistic, it would trigger the finish fight. The problem with 1) is an invasion of Hokkaido by the Soviet Union was imminent, triggering the finish fight. We have copious documentation of Japanese government deliberations in July 1945, and there is no consensus for surrender, perhaps that would have changed in the three months before Kyushu, but that is speculation. After the horror of Okinawa, The United States did not want the far greater horror of Kyushu, and the gargantuan horror of Honshu, and so it was inevitable there could be no good decisions, only degrees of regret.

        • Mei King Hei
          August 10, 2016 at 3:12 am

          “…In my opinion, the invasion of Japan would have been the psychological trigger for a finish fight…”

          Your opinion, however, is worthless when compared to the judgment of many high-ranking officers at that time. For example, President Truman’s Chief of Staff, Admiral William Leahy said, “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.” Maj. General Curtis LeMay, Commander of the 21st Bomber Command, spoke publicly, and on the record (Sept. 20, 1945), “The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all.”

          • FobosDeimos
            August 10, 2016 at 7:25 am

            Add to that Stalin’s fulfillment of his promise to declare war on Japan three months after VE Day. On August 8 the USSR invaded Manchuria and with that they obliterated any hopes that the Japanese militarists might still harbor. But what can you do when even intelligent people refuse to admit what Eisenhower and McArthur honestly acknowledged back then? The monstruosity of the nuclear crime must be too big a burden to bear for many Americans, but the truth remains and that horrible little man from Missouri surely earned his place in the history of infamy.

        • David Smith
          August 10, 2016 at 8:25 am

          Mei King Hei, watch your ad hominem mouth. Your quotes do not address the issue of invasion of Japan home islands triggering a finish fight(detailed Japanese plans intended such). I notice you do not acknowledge the “temporal causation issue”, Japan surrendered three days after Nagasaki. We now have the transcript of leadership deliberations, and there was no decision to surrender on august 12 before august 6, so what is your point? Or do you even know?

          • Mei King Hei
            August 10, 2016 at 1:14 pm

            Watch your own clueless, opinionated mouth—which ignores the military judgment of Admiral William Leahy, President Truman’s Chief of Staff, and Maj. General Curtis LeMay, Commander of the 21st Bomber Command (and of General George Kenny, General Dwight Eisenhower, and a 1946 study by the Intelligence Group of the War Department’s Military Intelligence Division). They’ve all ‘nuked’ your point.

    • John Ellis
      August 12, 2016 at 9:26 am

      If Japan had not been nuked by Empire USA, then Russia, China and USA would have been in a three-way race to establish dominance over the South Pacific.

Comments are closed.