Jacob Hornberger


Jacob Hornberger, founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses the enduring myth of nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki to save the lives of countless U.S. soldiers, how FDR’s rejection of conditional surrender prolonged the war in Europe and the Pacific, how the US empire kicked into high gear after WWII, why purposely killing civilians is a war crime unless the Air Force does it, the firebombing of Japan that inflicted more casualties than Fat Man and Little Boy combined, operation Keelhaul and the forcible repatriation of Russian soldiers to certain death back home and the illegitimacy of killing civilians to save soldiers during wartime.

MP3 here. (20:40) Transcript below.

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is a regular writer for The Future of Freedom Foundation’s publication, Freedom Daily, and is a co-editor or contributor to the eight books that have been published by the Foundation.


Transcript – Scott Horton Interviews Jacob Hornberger, August 6, 2010

Scott Horton: All right, y’all, welcome back to the show. It’s Antiwar Radio, I’m Scott Horton. And our first guest on the show today is Jacob Hornberger. He’s the founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation. That’s FFF.org. And in fact, let me be more specific here. Check out FFF.org/blog for Jacob’s regular writing there. How’s it going?

Jacob Hornberger: Hey, doing great. It’s an honor to be with you. Boy, I hear nothing but good things about all the great work you’re doing, especially from my colleague, Sheldon Richman. You are one of his heroes for sure.

Horton: Well, thanks, that’s nice to hear. And, yeah, Sheldon is a great guy. And, you know, I’ve learned a lot about libertarianism from him, for sure. So, he goes way back.

Hornberger: Well it’s a mutual admiration society, because all he tells me about is how he can’t wait to listen to his latest podcast of your latest show.

Horton: Well the thing’s getting out of hand. Now I’m doing – I was doing four days a week, two hours. Now I’m doing five days a week, three hours. Plus I’m doing some KPFK shows. So far, it’s Friday now, I’ve done… this is the 16th interview this week, Jacob.

Hornberger: Yeah, I really don’t see how you pull it off. Not only – I don’t see how you do the interviews. I don’t see how you line up all these guests – [laughs]

Horton: Well, that’s Angela Keaton gets all the credit for that.

Hornberger: Well, that’s incredible.

Horton: She’s the one that makes that part happen. If it was just me, I’d be interviewing you every week and that’s about it.

Hornberger: Well, Sheldon tells me that you are fully prepped for each guest; in fact that you know as much as the guest does about each subject.

Horton: Well, we’ll see about that. All right, here, let’s try it:

Harry Truman had to nuke Hiroshima because the Japanese would never surrender and it would have cost a million American lives or more to invade their home islands, and nuking Hiroshima is fair retaliation for attacking Pearl Harbor.

Do I sound like I know what I’m talking about?

Hornberger: Well, yeah. [laughter]

Horton: It was 65 years ago today that the butcher Truman dropped the first atom bomb on human beings, Jacob.

Hornberger: Yeah. It was a war crime to the full extent. You know, Americans don’t want to face that. They operate under these little myths that are all ingrained in us from the first grade in our public schools. But this was an intentional targeting of civilians – of old people, of women, of children – and if an infantryman were to do something like that, like Bill Calley did, everybody would go after him for war crimes, but because they happened to be pilots, all of a sudden people look at it differently. It’s no different. These were war crimes. Wars are supposed to be waged between soldiers, not the intentional targeting of civilians.

Horton: Well, and you know, I think something that the American people are really – somehow this is like a secret they’re not let in on, or something. And that is that all of the military guys that we think of as Republicans – many of them actual Republicans like Ike Eisenhower, jeez what’s the name, MacArthur – all those guys, they all opposed it. Right? It was Henry Stimson in the war cabinet and Harry Truman who basically decided to do this over the objections of everybody else.

Hornberger: Well, yeah, and I mean, you know, as you know the Japanese were putting feelers out. I mean they were on the ropes. It was just a matter of time. Everybody knows that, and everybody knew it at the time. They had put the feelers out through the Soviets and through the Swedish government that they wanted to talk peace, and you know that raises this whole notion of this unconditional surrender demand.

You know, everybody just automatically assumes, well, gosh, there’s no alternative to unconditional surrender. Well, that’s just nonsense. You could have easily negotiated a surrender that let them keep their Emperor and their imperial system, which they ended up doing anyway, and that most likely would have satisfied the Japanese. But instead they go off on this idiotic unconditional surrender demand and kill 200,000 people just to get that unconditional surrender, and then let them have their imperial system anyway.

Horton: Well and by that time – August 1945 – there was no Japanese navy or air force left to speak of, right?

Hornberger: That’s right. And we had broken the Japanese military codes by that time – which they didn’t know – so any defense of Japan to an invasion could have easily been circumvented, but they’ve inflated the numbers, for decades they’ve inflated the numbers. They’ve said, “Oh, you know, half a million American troops would have died, or a million Japanese would have died,” but the estimates at the time ranged in the tens of thousands, if it had even come to that, which is very unlikely.

But even if it had, you know, this is war, and in war soldiers die, and it’s never a moral justification to say, “Well, look, we killed 200,000 of their civilians, their women, their children, their old people, but that saved the lives of X number of American soldiers.” That is totally illegitimate. You go to war, and soldiers are going to die. That’s the fact of it. If you don’t want that to happen, then negotiate a peace before this unconditional surrender demand is implemented.

Horton: Right. Yeah. Well, it really is – it’s just like the War Party nowadays. They always start off with a premise that’s completely preposterous. They must give us an unconditional surrender. Who ever heard of that? I mean that’s ridiculous. And yet – nope, everybody knows that’s the starting point.

It’s also the starting point from any argument that anybody has about Hiroshima today. How else were we to get our unconditional surrender? And nobody ever questions whether that was proper or not.

I mean we could have got a conditional surrender from the Nazis. They would have got rid of Adolf Hitler, and, you know, probably could have gotten the German army to get ride of the Nazi party and ended that war long before Stalin had rolled into all of Eastern Europe! But no, we have to have an unconditional surrender.

Hornberger: You got that exactly right. There was a section of Germans, including within the military – I mean, that’s what that assassination attempt on Hitler was all about, people like Rommel and stuff – that would have been willing to talk about, you know, ousting the Nazi regime and installing another regime that would have been more palatable to sign a peace agreement. And Roosevelt would not negotiate with any of them. He had this unconditional surrender demand.

And also, as you point out, if they had negotiated a peace – let’s say even sent Hitler to Brazil or something – we could have saved all of eastern Europe from the Soviets. But instead, no, they had this unconditional surrender demand. Then, the Soviet Union, the Communists or their allies – they end up delivering them all of eastern Europe and East Germany and then say, turn around right when the war was over and say, “Now we have to have a huge cold war and a couple of hot wars and a huge military industrial complex to fight what used to be our ally.”

Horton: Yeah. You know, here’s something too that – I think this is in “Hiroshima and Nagasaki” by Ralph Raico, which is a wonderful article at LewRockwell.com, that is where I learned this – that Harry Truman was asked years later, “Well, how come you didn’t use three?” Because I think it took them still till the 12th or something before they surrendered, the 13th, I forget. And he said, “Well, you know, we considered that. But I thought that, you know, all those women and children.”

And so there he is himself admitting that, yeah, he knew that he was slaughtering, and that was kind of the point and whatever, not that he could have been ignorant of it, but the debate had always been framed before as, “Look, these were military targets” – which was a lie of course, for both cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki – and, “You know what, it’s terrible, but you gotta do what you gotta do.” But then later in his own words, “Naw, we couldn’t do it again because all those women and children.”

Like, two bombs, two atom bombs’ worth of women and children, that’s one thing, but three? That might be pushing it.

So it sounds to me like under Harry Truman’s own standards, he ought to just be lynched on fire over and over again for all of eternity in Hell.

Hornberger: That’s an incredible story. I didn’t know that he had said that. But obviously if he said it about a possible third bombing, the exact same principle is applied to the first two bombings.

And, you know, we also should point out, Scott, that, you know, as bad as the atomic bombs were, that the U.S. government was still doing some pretty bad things in terms of their fire bombings of Tokyo and the other Japanese cities. I mean, this is the type of thing that America, even in the midst of war, that America should not be engaged in, and that’s the intentional killing of women and children and old people and civilians.

Horton: Well, the music’s playing here, so we got to go out to break. But I do want to talk about that in more depth when we get back. After all, the only reason they nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki is they’re the two cities that hadn’t already been burnt to the ground, and so they made good tests for the new technology. It’s Jacob Hornberger. We’ll be right back after this. Antiwar Radio.

* * * * *

Horton: All right, y’all, welcome back to the show. It’s Antiwar Radio. I’m Scott Horton. I’m talking with Jacob Hornberger. He’s the founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, which is a hell of a thing. You know, the War Party has their WINEP and their CFR and their JINSA and their Foreign Policy Initiative and their Emergency Committee for Israel and their American Enterprise blah – pardon me, I can’t list all the think tanks, it would take the rest of the interview – they got their think tanks, well, we got the Future of Freedom Foundation, Jacob Hornberger’s place there.

And now, before we went out to break, we were talking about the firebombing of the Japanese cities before they actually went to the lengths of splitting uranium and plutonium atoms apart in the presence of women and children and the elderly. And, really, as somebody in the chat room was pointing out, there were far more casualties from the fire bombing of Japan by the U.S. Air Force, Jacob, than there ever were from the nukes.

Hornberger: Well, that’s right. And the principle is no different. I mean, the U.S. should not have been involved in doing this type of thing. I mean, you know, even the Japanese, you know, when they attacked Pearl Harbor, they attacked the military installations there.

And I’m not suggesting that they hadn’t committed war crimes over in China, which of course they had and so forth, but the point is is that the U.S. should stand above this type of thing. I mean, we’re different from everyone else. We’re supposed to be different. And the thought of bombing cities with women and children in there, noncombatants, that is not something that we’re supposed to be doing as a nation. It violates everything that we stand for in terms of moral principles, religious principles, just war, waging of just war, and so forth.

Horton: Yeah. Well, you know, again I think this is kind of the history that doesn’t get told. I mean, people say, “Well, yeah, you know, they firebombed Tokyo. What does that really mean?” Well, it meant that like 100,000 people who jumped into the river to try to avoid the flames boiled to death in one night. That’s what it means. It means the worst kind of nightmares that anyone could ever imagine happening, at the hands of Harry Truman.

Hornberger: Right, right.

Horton: I mean, 100,000 people boiling in the river! I mean, what –?! You can’t – I can’t even imagine that, and I’ve got a very visual imagination.

Hornberger: Right. I think in Tokyo they killed some 85,000 people, and they were firebombing some 50 or 60 other cities. They killed I think it was in the neighborhood of 300,000 people. And we’re not talking about soldiers, we’re talking about civilians, noncombatants.

Horton: You know what, I might have got a decimal point wrong there. That might have been 10,000 that boiled to death in one night in the river. Anyway. That’s too many to be boiling to death in rivers, if you ask me. And, again, for a country that was already defeated.

And now let me ask you about this, Jacob, because it seems like there was a purpose, it wasn’t just stupidity, there was a real purpose in demanding unconditional surrender, and that was we wanted to replace the Japanese Greater Co-Prosperity Sphere with our own, and as – I forget who said it, but it’s so great I’m gonna repeat it anyway – Hitler annexed Poland, America annexed the entire Pacific Ocean, during World War II.

Hornberger: Well, yeah, I mean there’s no question but that this was the rise of the American empire after World War II. I mean the United States, you know, didn’t have to fight any of the war over on our homeland, and we ended up with this huge, giant military and military-industrial complex, a new official enemy, communism, Soviet communists, specifically, which had been our ally throughout World War II. And yeah, this was the rise of the U.S. empire that had gotten its start back in the Spanish-American War. And well, we had the Korean War that resulted, the Vietnam War, all the invasions, incursions in Latin America, the Middle East stuff, and it goes on and on.

Horton: You know, when people ask about my favorite interviews that I’ve done, it’s really hard to pin them down because it’s been a long time. It’s been, you know, I don’t know, more than 1,000 interviews, anyway, 1,300, 1,400 of them or something by now, and there’s lots of apples and oranges to compare, but as far as, you know, revisionist history, one of my favorites, Jacob, is my interview with you about Operation Keelhaul, which is the other theater of this war, although for all I know they pulled the same trick in the Pacific. But tell the people, kind of briefly, would you, about Harry Truman and the Russian prisoners?

Hornberger: Yeah, this was just an absolute horror story of World War II. I mean, it really goes to show you how war can degenerate a civilized people into doing some horrible things. One of the fascinating parts of World War II is: the real battle in World War II is really between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. And it was really a matter of who was going to win between those two. And so you had Communism fighting Nazism, and in the middle of this thing there’s a huge Soviet army that’s taken captive by the Nazis, and it’s headed by a guy – oh gosh, his name escapes me right now, does it ring a bell for you?

Horton: No, I’m sorry.

Hornberger: Okay, well a very famous Russian general. He had saved I think it was Leningrad and so forth. But he gets captured. And so they bring him back, and he starts doing some reflecting and he starts realizing the jerk that Stalin is, you know, just a you know Communist no-good, and he realizes that this is not good for his homeland, the Soviet Union. And so he tells the Nazis, “Look, I will help you defeat – ”

Horton: Vlasov, that’s who you’re thinking of.

Hornberger: Vlasov. It was General Vlasov. So he formed his own army under Nazi command to defeat the Soviet Union, the Soviet communists. It’s obviously somewhat naive, thinking that, you know, if they win that the Nazis would let him establish his own free country.

But in any event, so the war is over and Stalin, of course, knows what Vlasov has done, along with a lot of other Russians that were fighting against the Communists in their own country – the Cossacks, for example – and so he demands that the U.S. turn over these Russians to him. And there’s also some of them that are being held prisoner here in the United States.

And so what does the U.S. do? It honors this request. It’s just an absolute horror story.

I mean, what they really should have done was not forcibly repatriate these people to what was certain death. But they did. They deceived them. They rounded them up, told them that they were being trucked for some other purpose, and they turned them over to the Soviets. And the ones that they were taking to the ships over in Seattle and the other parts of the United States, they were actually – they were fighting, violently, with resistance to this, and then begging that the U.S. just kill them rather than turn them back over to Stalin. And of course we all know what the Communists and Stalin were susceptible of.

Well, they undoubtedly tortured Vlasov, and they tore his body into several pieces and hung the body parts around Moscow to send a message to everybody that this is what happens to traitors. And –

Horton: –This is what happens to people who trust Harry Truman.

Hornberger: Right. Well, and today, you know, what’s interesting – since the fall of the Berlin wall and the demise of the Soviet Union, Vlasov has been resurrected, I guess is the right word, where he’s treated as a hero now. I mean, the Russian people recognize that this was a man that was standing on principle. Yes, he was fighting against the government of his own country, but it was an evil government. He recognized that. And of course we ended up recognizing that it was an evil government, which was of course what the Cold War was all about.

Horton: Right, and of course they were evil all along, and Stalin had killed 30 million Russians before Hitler had ever even come to power.

Hornberger: Right.

Horton: Or at least during the same time that Hitler was coming to power.

Hornberger: Right. And that shows you, you know, that the other real horror story of World War II that – you know, Great Britain and France declare war on Nazi Germany for invading Poland, when actually the Soviet Union invaded Poland at about the same time, a couple weeks later, pursuant to the agreement they had, but the idea was that we’ve guaranteed Poland that we’re going to bring them freedom.

Well, what happens at the end of World War II? Well, you know, the Americans are celebrating, the British are celebrating, the French are celebrating. Well, the Poles are not celebrating. Because while they’ve been freed from Nazi control, they’ve been turned over to the clutches of the Communists, and stayed that way for the next 50 years. That’s why they don’t celebrate World War II like the U.S. and the Brits and the French do.

Horton: Yeah. And meanwhile, a border conflict between the Soviets and the Nazis inside divided Poland is, you know – without the deal that the Nazis and the Soviets, that really the Nazis cut with the Soviets in order that they could take the time to deal with Britain and France first – there would have been a war between the dictators quicker, and instead of going to the west and destroying all the Western democracies and killing all the people that died in Denmark and Belgium and France and the rest, and on down into southern Europe as well, he’d have just gone east. And the way I think it would have happened too, Jacob – which is just making stuff up because you can’t go back in time – but I think the Nazis probably would have been able to destroy the Soviet Union. But then they would have been destroyed attempting to occupy Russia. And of course the ideology of Nazism couldn’t have outlived Hitler anyway.

And, what, things could have been a lot different, a lot better – and especially that Keelhaul though is the – that’s the greatest treason, taking two million prisoners and sending them back to Stalin to be executed. That’s as bad as Hiroshima, right there, if you ask me. All right, well, hey, thanks, I really do appreciate your time on the show.

Hornberger: Thank you, Scott. Keep up the good work, man.

Horton: All right, everybody, that’s Jacob Hornberger. He’s the founder and the president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.

48 thoughts on “Jacob Hornberger”

  1. The droppings of NUCLEAR BOMBS on Japan were the most horrible acts that a nation can
    inflict against another nation,whatever the Reason/excuse may have been at the time supposingly, of saving the lives of american soldiers .
    I'm glad that this U S PRESIDENT Barak OBAMA,is dedicated his presidency to ERADICATE the BOMBS and make it a NO N B free world. If this is the case may GOD The Almighty, HELP him in this endeavour. Ameen

    1. Yeah, hold your breath waiting for O to do any good think he speechifies about. O's record is that he does the opposite of what he sez. True in this case too, as he's all about refreshing U.S. nukes & making them more efficient.

  2. U.S. & U.K. had spent the whole war targeting women & children in the bombing of Germany. As fir Japan, more innocents were killed in the firebombing of Tokyo than in N&H.

  3. The purpose of the atomic bombings in Japan was not to defeat an already defeated Japanese. It was to make a threatening gesture towards communism. The two attacks were an experiment, as Horton said, on two industrialized and relatively untouched cities. They were a message to the communists that the USA indeed had the capability of stopping Stalin's armies.

    They were not the closing shots of WWII, but the opening shots of the cold war.

    1. "They were a message to the communists that the USA indeed had the capability of stopping Stalin's armies."

      Stalin and the Soviets dealt with that fantasy in very short order. But that is exactly why the US indulged in the war crimes that were the two atomic bombs dropped on Japanese civilians.

  4. Poles go really shafted good. Roosevelt needed their votes so he didn't exactly tell them what he had in mind with Poland and already okayed with Uncle Joe until elections were over.

    Stalin's was all smiles during those times.

    The Poles who had been fighting on the allied side must have felt a little sting…

    1. The Poles were happy enough to get their little piece of Czechoslovakia when Hitler attacked, weren't they?

      They also refused Stalin's offer of an alliance with Britain, France and Poland, if Poland would allow the Red Army to cross Poland to meet the NAZI's on their own turf.

      The Poles foolishly refused.

      They then were shafted by their great ally Britain all through World War II.

      In fact Polish pilots won the Battle of Britain, and free Poles took Monte Casino after horrendous British bumbling, and Churchill did not even invite them to the victory parade.

      Interesting also that the Soviets did NOT expropriate the small Polish farmers–did they?

      1. They just wiped out Polish intelligensia after they invaded in 1939, along with the Soviet's key ally – Hitler. Yeah… those churlish Poles should have allowed the Soviet Union to gobble up their country without a fight. Big cuddly teddie bear! What hogwash.

        1. You are ignoring the before and after.

          Stalin and the Soviets had no interest in gobbling up Poland, or the Balkans, or Eastern Europe for that matter.

          This is clear in the now released archives.

          Poland's dalliance with Hitler and refusal to countenance letting the Red Army pass through sealed Poland's fate.

          It became clear to Stalin that Poland and Britain and France were dicking the Soviet Union around (by the way, Britain and France, as it turned out, were also dicking the Poles around)

          He then made the Hitler Stalin Pact and got as much as he could of Poland as a buffer for the attack he knew Hitler would eventually make upon the Soviet Union.

          Stalin's only surprise was how quickly Hitler broke the Pact.

          As for the Polish elite killed–as the Russians say, Stalin was no sweetheart. He didn;t even take chances with Russian POW's. And the Polsih elite was damned stupid and to blame for what happened to Poland in the after years.

          Without Stalin there is no Russia, and no Poland either.

          Plus the Soviets treated the Polish peasants well.

          Start facing uncomfortable facts, Senor. Without Stalin and the Soviets the only Polish Poles would be speaking would be housekeeper and serf and still begin and end with "Heil Hitler."

      2. If Polish pilots won the Battle of Brittain it wasn't by skill. The RAF lost twice as many planes
        in fighter to fighter combat. Because the Me109 had limited fuel capacity it could only protect the bombers for 10 minutes.
        As for Monte Cassino, the German occupiers withstood months of bombardments and attacks. A feat that the Brittish gerneral said could have been done by no other military. It was
        the use of Naval bombardment that finally desroyed the compound. For political/propaganda purposes the Poles were allowed to "take it".

        1. The Polish pilots has by far the highest kill ratio, and exactly because of their experience and skill.

          You are absurd on Monte Casino.

          The British blunders there were monumental from the beginning to the end. The Free Poles took the place after Juin and his Berber mountain troops took the mountains behind.

          But the Poles still deserve credit for the only successful assault.

          The British Commanders were so stupid the Texans under their command almost mutinied.

          Do some study, wide and deep, before before you pontificate.

        2. Your post is so full of error it is laughable.

          British were in charge of Monte Casino because Churchill wanted a British victory, and prevailed upon the American High Command, and that's what he got IN THE PRESS after all the British incompetence–mind-boggling incompetence.

          With not a bow to the Poles or Juin and his Berbers.

          It was actually the aerial bombardment that the British ordered that made the monastery, which the Germans had offered to evacuate and make neutral, near impregnable.

          The British officers sent attack after attack across the lower plain only to have then gunned down.

          That's when the Texans came close to mutiny.

          As for the Battle of Britain the Poles IN BRITAIN were flying British planes. Got it?

        3. Juin and his Berbers may have been one of the best mountain units ever assembled. It is retailed the German mountain units, who were very good themselves, were in actual terror of them.

  5. You will notice that all countries agree to changes in nuclear arms treaties at the same time? Because they all need to refresh their aging nuke stockpiles, considering most are of the same technology hence same age….

    Have a great day!

  6. You'll also hear the excuse"they shouldn't have bombed Pearl Harbor." Well that's just it, THEY didn't bomb Peal Harbor the military did. And they hit a US base not civilian cities in Hawaii.

  7. Former japanese defense minister clearly said that the bombings were inevitable and shortened the war. I dont agree with this "horrible crime" perspective, it was just as criminal as the fire bombings or the japanese invasions and massacres.

    1. Fumio Kyuma was born December 4, 1940–really persuasive authority there.

      Anyway the Japanese did not surrender because of the atomic bombs. They surrendered because after the atomic bombs were dropped the US in effect acceded to the one overriding stipulation they had asked for all along–that the Emperor not be removed, which, of course, he was not.

      The key is that the US had decided to drop both bombs even before the first was dropped, establishing that it had nothing to do with any Japanese response.

      As for Hirohito saying the atomic bombs were acceptable–what do you expect?

      All that is irrelevant to the issue.

  8. As soon as the Cold War got going strong, the US put all the old oligarchs and war criminals back in charge in Japan. Few Japanese accept the Tokyo War Crimes trials as legitimate, because so many people got off via political or other connections. E.g., everyone in Unit 731 got off, in spite of their vile Nazi-style experiments on human civilians.

  9. Remember now, folks, every time you see films of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs, you are watching American snuff films.

    Try not to get too hot and bothered.

    1. Yeah, just like the film of the attack on Pearl Harbor…it must be nice when you can be so selective with your indignation.

  10. Harry Truman–the failed haberdasher, the “Senator from Pendergast”–atom-bombed two civilian cities. No war crimes trial for Harry, though. You see, he was on the side that won. That makes all the difference, don’t you know. . . .

    In January 1945, MacArthur’s command received unofficial Japanese peace overtures via neutral Switzerland. MacArthur forwarded the Japanese proposals to Washington, with the recommendation that they be followed up on. Roosevelt, who was getting ready to leave for the Yalta conference, airily dismissed MacArthur’s recommendation. Thus, the possibility of a negotiated peace with Japan came to nothing.

    In August 1945, after press censorship had been lifted, Walter Trohan of the Chicago Tribune wrote a story describing the Japanese proposals and MacArthur’s recommendation. Trohan’s story was never refuted.



  11. The rightness or legality of bombing civilians aside (the JPese, like many nations, placed military facilities square in the middle of residential areas, btw), and despite the enormous and instantaneous loss of life, what really sets apart both the uranium-bomb and the plutonium-bomb from conventional demolitions used on Japan is, of course, radiation.

    I think it is easily shown that even few of the builders of the bomb had a good idea of what radiation was and could and would do over decades (i.e. the prolonged suffering) let alone the President and his war council. I truly believe that if Truman had known what kind of suffering he was letting loose he would not have let himself be persuaded by his circle to drop them (meaning if he had the benefit of hindsight, which is what we all have, having grown up with knowledge of the effects of radiation from childhood).

  12. "'"I truly believe that if Truman had known what kind of suffering he was letting loose he would not have let himself be persuaded by his circle to drop them"


    That is, naturally, also why the US has covered Serbia and Iraq with low-level radiation from the explosion of depleted uranium munitions, right?

    A kinder, gentler nuclear warfare.

    That is also why MacCarthur wanted to use nuclear weapons in Korea and some in the Pentagon (absurdly) wanted to use them in Vietnam.

    And, naturally, that also explains why the US is still after a nuclear first strike capability–including Stealth–financed with your tax dollars and why at one point the US seems to have had tens of thousands of nuclear weapons–enough to blow away the whole planet a hundred times over.

    Finally, that is why the US gave nuclear weapons technology to Israel, right.


    "Truly believe" is always a tipoff.

    1. US nuclear policy from Korea till now is irrelevant to a discussion of potential decisions made by the first president who had the A-bomb in his arsenal.

      We all grew up steeped in the horrible knowledge of radiation and the harm it does. Had Truman the same education, it's likely he would have foregone dropping the bombs (as subsequent presidents have wisely chosen to do). He was a decent man thrust into a difficult decision. The host of this program, sitting pretty as he is in his safe little modern world brought to him by the men and women who made decisions that changed (and saved) the world, makes me laugh.

      As do you and your straw men arguments.

      1. Truman was a political hack and a creature of the Prendergast Machine.

        He was also, like Roosevelt, a Corporate Fascist warmonger with a veneer of "being for the little guy".

        About the only qualification he had as a "little guy" was his hyper-jingoist belligerent little brain.

        Only in America–haha.

          1. "Sounds like you were there."

            Ah, as opposed to "I truly believe" then?

            The casuists must have got to you early–pistis and logos an all that.

            It is always a wonder how much more, and how much more easily, this or that thinks he "knows" supposedly by "having true belief", eh?

  13. The Imperial Japanese Empire was not defeated. They still controlled large areas of China, Vietnam and other places. What do you supposed would have happened in the occupied areas during the armistice discussions. I doubt the Japanese were willing to give up Korea and Manchuria, after all their sacrifice.

    For a better explanation of the 'nukes were unavoidable' argument:

    Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire – Richard Frank

    Pacifica radio program 'Weaponry' hosted by Tom Wisker – NYMAS.org

    Displaced persons overwhelmed Europe after WWII. They were looking for any excuse to send people somewhere else. Soviet Union, Palestine, anywhere but Western Europe. There was no 'nice' solution to the problem.

    1. Oh, they knew they were defeated all right, and don't underestimate how tough Chiang's Chinese armies were, and and Mao's northern guerrilla.

      What the Japanese really feared was the Soviets breaking the effective ceasefire that Zhukov had won in 1939 in Mongolia, when he wiped out a Japanese Army, and which finally occurred due to the prompting of the US.

      In fact Zhukov's defeat of the Japanese was also the single most important battle in regard to the European theater and the war against the Germans, for it allowed the Russians to move an endless supply of manpower westward against the NAZI's. And it was Russian manpower and tactics that defeated the Germans, not US and British air power or the Second Front, though the Second Front helped.

      Plus the Japanese found the USMC an unstoppable force in the USN island-hopping, which is what convinced a good number of the Army the war was lost.

      And in fact, besides the Chinese, if you are going to credit any force for defeating the Imperial Japanese in the Pacific, it is the USMC, NOT the atomic bombs.

  14. Moreover, there was no need for talks–all that had to happen was for the Emperor to give the order.

    That is also why the US finally acquiesced under the table to the continuation of the emperor on his throne–it would have been impossible otherwise to occupy Japan, surrender or no surrender.

  15. "Though the country was defeated, the hills and the streams were still left, together with the Emperor."

    Masanobu Tsuji (May 26, 1948)

  16. Surprise, surprise, they deleted my comment because it was unfavorable to the host of the radio program. No swearing, no name calling, mind you, just dissent on their views.


    1. I didn't delete anything by you. I mostly just delete Bill the racist jerk.

      -Scott (not Mike, that's a wordpress glitch.)

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