Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: History — Rick Moran @ 2:48 pm

It happens every year. A gigantic spasm of anti-Americanism breaks out all over the world on August 6th as people gather in every major city to condemn the use by the United States of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

And yet, there is no similar day set aside by the world to remember other tragedies of that war - tragedies that when taken together reveal that our incineration of Hiroshima was a godsend to both the American people and millions of people across Asia.

The city of Hiroshima was rebuilt as a “Peace City.” A large part of the city has been given over to remembrances of August 6, 1945. There are arches, monuments, a museum, and a Peace Bell.

Dedicated in 1964, the Peace Bell has become a focal point for the annual gathering of remembrance. Tens of thousands of people gather in Peace Park to hear the ringing of the bell at 8:15 AM, the time the bomb exploded. There follows a minute of silence.

I wonder what those tens of thousands of people are thinking of when that bell tolls?

Are they thinking about the 2200 Americans who were killed on December 7, 1941? Are they thinking of the sailors from the Oklahoma and other ships who were strafed by machine gun fire from Japanese airplanes as they fought for their lives trying to swim in the oil choked and flaming water.

When the bell tolls are they thinking of the Batan Death March where tens of thousands of Americans were shot, beaten to death, bayoneted, and left to die after collapsing due to the heat and exhaustion?

Any prisoner found with Japanese souvenirs was executed immediately, because the Japanese believed the soldier must have killed a Japanese soldier in order to get it. Many soldiers had found these items, such as money and shaving mirrors. Their own personal property was usually stolen as well.

Any troops who fell behind were executed. Japanese troops beat soldiers randomly, and denied the POWs food and water for many days. One of their tortures was known as the sun treatment. The Philippines in April is very hot. Therefore, the POWs were forced to sit in the sun without any shade, helmets, or water. Anyone who dared ask for water was executed. On the rare occasion they were given any food, it was only a handful of contaminated rice. When the prisoners were allowed to sleep for a few hours at night, they were packed into enclosures so tight that they could barely move. Those who lived collapsed on the dead bodies of their comrades.

When the bell tolls, are they thinking about the 230,000 prisoners of war who died while in Japanese custody?

One in three died in captivity at the hands of the Japanese, starved to death, worked to death, beaten to death, dead of loathsome epidemic diseases that the Japanese would not treat. From the beginning, what the Japanese did to their prisoners, body and soul, was humanly appalling. Even so, the prisoners stayed and took it. For them the stakes were: try to escape, with the chances of suffering and dying almost a hundred percent, or stay with what turned out to be a two-to-one chance of surviving.

When the bell tolls, are they thinking about the 80,000 women who were raped and more than 350,000 massacred in Nanking, China in 1937?

Between December 1937 and March 1938 at least 369,366 Chinese civilians and prisoners of war were slaughtered by the invading troops. An estimated 80,000 women and girls were raped; many of them were then mutilated or murdered.

Thousands of victims were beheaded, burned, bayoneted, buried alive, or disemboweled.

To this day the Japanese government has refused to apologize for these and other World War II atrocities, and a significant sector of Japanese society denies that they took place at all.

When the bell tolls, are they thinking about the estimated 200,000 Korean, Filipino, and other Asian women the Japanese army used as “comfort women?”

During World War II the Japanese Imperial Forces Ministries, the Foreign Office, the secret police, the military and naval police and local ‘recruiters’ ran a highly organised prostitution network to supply the military brothels with Korean, Taiwanese, Chinese and Filipino women. It should be added that this trafficking also included Dutch women from PoW camps, Eurasian and Indonesian females. It is important to note, too, that this trafficking was carried out by official Imperial Edict and was an established policy known and approved by such as convicted Class A war criminal and General Vice-Minister of War, Yashijiro Umezu.

Women, some as young as twelve when their ordeal began, endured years of coercion, violence, abduction, rape and wrongful imprisonment at the hands of the Japanese.

When the bell tolls are they thinking about the 15,000,000 Chinese civilians killed during the unprovoked war brought about Japan’s greed and militarism?

When the bell tolls are they thinking about the thousands of infants that Japanese soldiers used to impale on their bayonets just to amuse themselves?

When the bell tolls, are they thinking of the thousands of American soldiers killed after Japanese soldiers pretended to surrender only to pull the pin on a grenade and kill themselves and their erstwhile American captors?

If we’re going to remember the victims of Hiroshima, then we damn well should be remembering the victims of Japanese militarism. It was at least as odious an ideology as fascism. And the brutality it engendered in its soldiers had no parallel in modern history.

The arguments for and against dropping the bomb have been raging for decades. Each new bit of evidence that comes out changes few minds. My own view is that anyone who thinks the Japanese were ready to surrender before August 6, 1945 is sadly mistaken. My belief was buttressed recently by this excellent article in the Weekly Standard by Richard B. Frank that details some Japanese intercepts which make it clear that the militarists were bound and determined to fight to the bitter end.

At the time the bomb was dropped, there was hardly a stick or a stone left standing in any major city in Japan. The militarists were determined to resist any additional bombing campaign - a campaign that had already claimed the lives of as many as 1.5 million Japanese civilians. As for the Navy’s idea of blockading Japan and starving the island nation into surrender, that too would have killed millions of additional Japanese as well as failing to bring the Japanese government to heel.

As for an invasion, it’s been correctly pointed out that the Navy was extremely reluctant to participate in a venture that would have allowed it’s fleet to be exposed to as many as 10,000 suicide planes from the mainland of Japan. It’s problematic whether an invasion even would have been attempted much less succeed.

But what nobody can argue is that while the war raged, thousands of civilians in dozens of country were dying every day at the hands of the Japanese army. Despite all the protestations about why the US used the bomb, no one can refute this one simple point; dropping the atomic bomb saved lives.

The bell is silent now. It will remain so for another year. Do you think by this time next year the world would have begun to put our actions at the end of World War II into some kind of perspective? Or do you think that’s asking too much?


  1. Nice job Rick. Many of these justifications for punishing the enemy and ending the war without a suicidal land invasion of the Jap homeland flashed before me as I read some articles about the remembrance in Hiroshima and interviews with the surviving Enola Gay flight crew. It’s a pity that the War on Terror can not be dramatically terminated in simalar fashion.

    Comment by Bergbikr — 8/6/2005 @ 4:07 pm

  2. Rick;

    Good, contemplative post.

    Do you ascribe to the belief that another purpose of using “the bomb” was to send a warning to Josef Stalin?

    Comment by joe-6-pack — 8/6/2005 @ 4:16 pm

  3. The 60th Anniversary of Hiroshima

    It is nothing to celebrate, but rather it is a time to engage in contemplation as to why it was necessary.

    Trackback by geosciblog — 8/6/2005 @ 4:27 pm

  4. To say that we did not dropped the bomb to scare off the Soviets would be wrong.

    It would be equally wrong to say that was one of the major reasons we did so.

    By every rational account I’ve ever read, by far and away the major reason we dropped the bomb was the belief that it would bring an end to the war.

    From a political point of view, Truman’s friend Senator Byrne believed that if the war ended months later than it did wihtout Truman using the bomb, he would probably have been impeached. Every single mother and father and spouse who lost a loved one after the bomb had been proven to work would have cursed him until the day he died.

    I know my mother would have - my dad was a paratrooper ready to go for the invasion if we hadn’t dropped it.

    Comment by Rick Moran — 8/6/2005 @ 5:05 pm

  5. [...] and well written articles on the dropping of the bomb and the aftermath, 60 years later. Rightwing Nuthousehas an excellent post, incl [...]

    Pingback by My Own Thoughts » Hiroshima: 60 Years Later — 8/6/2005 @ 5:40 pm

  6. Very well done Rick,

    Hindsight is not always 20/20. The revisionist theories on why we should not have dropped the bomb ignore the anguish and desperation to win a war that had to be won. To portray the bomb’s use as simply some BS political adgenda, as some do, simply ignores the context of the times.

    After the battle of Okinawa it was obvious to the allied military that the Japanese were not willing to surrender. Even then their land and naval air forces were destroyed and their surface fleet gone and their economy destroyed. But yet they fought with fierce fanaticism.

    Fact is, we had then the backbone and resolve to do what had to be done for our survival.

    I wish so much that we, as a nation, had that same resolve now, for we face an enemy that is every bit as cruel, inhumane, and fanatical as the Japanese were on Bataan, China or the jungles of Burma and the stakes are just as high.

    Comment by Marv — 8/6/2005 @ 8:08 pm

  7. Another One Who Got Away

    But not for long. We tracked him down and he’s now chained to a desk in the Imperial Dept. of Politics. Ladies and Gentlemen: LC & IB Rick Moran at Right Wing Nut House….

    Trackback by The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler — 8/6/2005 @ 8:13 pm

  8. [...] h, bayoneted, and left to die after collapsing due to the heat and exhaustion? […] Rightwing Nuthouse: “SOME OTHER THINGS [...]

    Pingback by Common Sense Junction » Blog Archive » August 6: “It happens every year” — 8/6/2005 @ 9:40 pm

  9. It’s pathetic and sickening the way history has been revised especially with new information learned in the last few decades about the Japanese plans. What is reprehensible is the duplicity of educators and MSM in this revisionist history. I quiz my nieces, nephews and their friends about history all the time. It’s fun and makes them think and question just what they have been taught which is fiction.

    Comment by toni — 8/7/2005 @ 7:08 am

  10. My dad was in an artillery unit in Europe, after the Germans surrendered they were told to start getting ready to be shipped to the Pacific.

    Back to the peripheral issue of Stalin, if the U.S. had pulled too many troops out of Europe to deal with the invasion of Japan, might that have tempted Stalin to further flex his muscles?

    Just a few “what ifs?”.

    Comment by joe-6-pack — 8/7/2005 @ 11:52 am

  11. I’m not sure your comment concerning “..nary a stick or stone was left standing in Japan by the time the bomb was dropped…” is completely accurate.

    I may be wrong about this, but it seems I remember reading that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen specifically because they had not been bombed before in the interest of getting a better measurement of the effects of the blasts.

    Good writeup.

    Comment by bobdog — 8/7/2005 @ 5:11 pm

  12. The dropping of the bomb on Japan saved the lives of my father and his two brothers, who were all POWs at the time.

    From this Australian - thank you, America.

    Comment by dee — 8/8/2005 @ 2:51 am

  13. I’m an American living in London and I think this write-up is right on the money to say the least. After watching the BBC this weekend, the US was painted once again to be evil. The loss of life from the bomb was horrific but it did save lives. I remember learning this back in high school history classes. The BBC only interviewed one survivor (or only showed one clip) who said that the US wasn’t to blame because the Japanese government created the situation. The bomb also served as a wake-up call for other nations to not use nukes, so this probably saved additional lives during the cold war.

    Comment by UK Based — 8/8/2005 @ 7:34 am

  14. Bobdog:

    General Lemay was complaining as early as mid-July that firebombing was getting less effectve because most of Japan’s cities were in ruins.

    That said, you’re correct. In addition to Hiroshima and Nagasaki being relatively undamaged, Kyoto had been left alone due to both the religious nature of the city as well as it’s position as the center of Japanese culture.

    All other cities with 50,000 people or more were badly damaged as of August 6th.

    Comment by Rick Moran — 8/8/2005 @ 12:09 pm

  15. Rick,

    I’m afraid that you may be missing the point of the rememberance and the bell. The point of this ceremony is to help the world remember the horror of nuclear weapons, and to hope/pray that it will never happen again.

    In the US, there are celebrations of the D-Day landing, but the purpose is to commemorate and honor your soldiers, not to demonize the Germans that made it necessary or to list off all of their crimes.

    I agree that Japan (and the US, Canada, UK, etc) need to reflect on and apologize for atrocities, but this is a different issue than remembering the dead.


    Comment by Dan Beaulieu — 8/8/2005 @ 3:26 pm

  16. [...] e was presented on August 6 by Rick Moran on his blog site, Right Wing Nut House, entitled “Some Other Things the ‘Peace Be [...]

    Pingback by TMH’s Bacon Bits » Blog Archive » Nagasaki Nailed It - WW II Ended — 8/9/2005 @ 12:25 am

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    Pingback by TMH’s Bacon Bits » Blog Archive » Nagasaki Nailed It - WW II Ended — 8/9/2005 @ 10:35 am

  18. Hirohito = Bin Laden

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