Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 06, 2020

Addicted To Nuclear Weapons - Why U.S. Policies Never Change

On August 6 1945, seventy five years ago, the U.S. military dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. A few days later another one obliterated Nagasaki.

The question of why the United States used the nuclear bombs has more than one answer. The decision involved various persons with differing motives. Some of those people, especially in the military, were against using the bomb. Japan was ready to surrender even before the nuclear bombs were dropped. It did not surrender because the bombs destroyed two of its cities.

A major reason to use the new bombs was to demonstrate to the Soviet Union - already selected as the next enemy - that the U.S. had superior weapons. But it did not take long for the scientist in the Soviet Union to catch up and to test their own nuclear device.

It then dawned on some in Washington that a world with nuclear weapons is less secure than one without them. For 75 years they tried to stop the race for more nuclear weapons and to create a path to their total abolishment. But the hawks were more numerous - they still are - and they won out each and every time.

A history of that process is well caught in Scott Ritter's opus "Scorpion King - America's suicidal embrace of nuclear weapons from FDR to Trump".


Scott Ritter has studied the Soviet Union, worked in military intelligence and as a United Nations weapon inspector in Iraq. He is extraordinarily qualified to write about nuclear weapon policies.

The book is an updated version of the 2010 edition. It is comprehensive and covers the decision processes of every U.S. administration with regards to nuclear weapons, nuclear arms control, non proliferation and nuclear disarmament.

Over the first decades many new nuclear arms and delivery systems were introduced. There was always a demand for even more. The nuclear capabilities of the Soviet Union were widely exaggerated. The U.S. assessments of Soviet power were often fake. One commission after the other was setup to make nuclear war plans, to decide which cities should be obliterated, how many million people should be killed and to calculate how many additional weapons were needed to achieve that.

Over time the insanity of the nuclear arms race became more obvious. But when presidents tried to negotiate arms control agreements, and to lower the number of nuclear weapons, there were always people who worked to hinder them. Some successes were made. Nuclear tests were banned. A number of strategic weapons were restricted. Anti-ballistic missiles, introduced to prevent an enemy's response to an offensive first strike, were limited. Certain categories of intermediate nuclear weapons were abolished.

But then came the breakup of the Soviet Union. The U.S. no longer felt a need to restrict itself. Its 'unilateral moment' had begun. Since the 1990s it has once again tried to gain an absolute nuclear supremacy. It has encroached on Russia's borders and reintroduced anti-ballistic missile capabilities to make a nuclear first strike against Russia possible.

The attempt failed when Russia in 2018, a decade after warning the U.S. to back off, introduced new weapons which can evade any attempt to counter them. The Obama administrations had failed to draw the right consequences from Russia's warning. Under Trump more nuclear treaties were abolished and soon there will be none left. The world is today more in danger of a nuclear war than it ever was.

As Ritter diagnoses:

The United States is a nation addicted to nuclear weapons and the power and prestige, both real and illusory, that these weapons bring. Breaking this addiction will prove extremely difficult. This is especially true given the lack of having any real nuclear disarmament policy in place since the dawn of the nuclear age. The failure of the United States to formulate or to implement effective nuclear disarmament policy has placed America and the world on very dangerous ground. The longer America and the world continue to possess nuclear weapons, the greater the likelihood of nuclear weapons being used. The only way to prevent such a dire outcome is through abolition, and not the reduction of control, of all nuclear weapons.

The book gives a detailed history of the nuclear decision processes of every U.S. administration since the dawn of the nuclear age. It digs into the motives of many of the involved persons. It documents how - throughout many administrations - the general nuclear policies were kept unchanged. The differences were only gradual.

With 501 pages, including end notes, the Scorpion King takes more than one evening to fully comprehend.

But I for one am grateful to have had the chance to read it all the way through. Scott Ritter's opus will now be THE work of reference to consult when I write about nuclear policies.

The book is available as paperback for $29.95 or electronically for $19.00.

Posted by b on August 6, 2020 at 18:38 UTC | Permalink


Thx b.
Matter of proliferation and hypocrisy in foreign policy ...

Permitting Pakistan to develop the Islamic nuclear weapon !

Posted by: Oui | Aug 6 2020 19:14 utc | 1

“The president has made clear that we have a tried and true practice here. We know how to win these races and we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion. If we have to, we will, but we sure would like to avoid it,” Special Presidential Envoy Marshall Billingslea said in an online presentation to a Washington think tank. [Reuters, May 21, 2020]

One problem with this thinking is that Putin is a maniacal tightwad, believer in balanced budget and rainy day funds, and he seems to have some control over military costs. Russian experts and most of all, their bosses, take home many times less that their "American partners", projects are selected more carefully, old technologies are maximally reused. American MIC is a horde of hungry pigs that are world's top expert at inflating costs, plying fanciful technologies that sometimes work, but often do not (after spending many billions) etc. Repeating the past glories of "spending into oblivion" will not work again.

Second problem is horribly illustrated in Beirut (and in few places before, Tianjin comes to mind). We have a huge pile of highly explosive substances, but they are stored and handled properly, so nothing will happen, right? Or we have best possible software to automatically launch nuclear missiles when an attack is detected, but it is 110% reliable, and the international tensions will always be handled with care to prevent "hair trigger" status, right?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 6 2020 19:25 utc | 2

Nukes are a self-licking ice-cream cone for the protection racket.

USA power-elite are not addicted to nukes, they're addicted to power.

This is easily seen via the supremacist ideologies that they subscribe to:

  • neoliberalism: a form of fascism;
  • neoconservativism: a form of aristocracy;
  • zionism: a form of colonialism.

Together, these distill the worst impulses of Western civilization and form a mindset of might makes right that is better known today as the "rules-based order".


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 6 2020 19:32 utc | 3


You're in fine form today. Succinct and to the point.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Aug 6 2020 19:39 utc | 4

@ Jackrabbit # 3

I would only offer a point of clarification to your comment. That clarification would be that its the global power-elite, not USA, and they are addicted to owning the tools of Western private finance which is the source of their power.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 6 2020 19:46 utc | 5

It's fear. Many Americans (not just the power elite) see themselves living in a hostile world. Probably goes back to the Mayflower. And Hollywood. If it's not natives and Russians it's sharks and spiders. They think having lots of nukes will protect them.

Posted by: dh | Aug 6 2020 19:49 utc | 6

Thank you for supporting Scott Ritter. I saw him speak at a small book store in Schenectady NY before the Bush II genocide on Iraq and Afghanistan. Myself and my wife will never forget his words and strengthened our resolve to try and stop the war by protesting in NYC,Boston and our small town of Saratoga NY. I hope that Mr Ritter continues his work to awaken others to the truth of what a sad pathetic country the USA is. I wish him well.

Posted by: So | Aug 6 2020 20:08 utc | 7

Just had to get ‘Trump’s’ name on that headline. He probably wouldn’t have used that line of it was Hilary in the Whitehouse.

Posted by: Arne S | Aug 6 2020 20:22 utc | 8

@ Posted by: Arne S | Aug 6 2020 20:22 utc | 8

He had to put Trump's name because, otherwise, he would overshadow the important year of 2018 (when Putin announced Russia's new weapons).

Posted by: vk | Aug 6 2020 20:33 utc | 9

Another reason things don't change is because of the media. The media keeps the people placated, or at least tries, and in fact succeeds to a great extent. See this new article Palace Eunuchs or: Why Mainstream Media Fears the Truth to see how this has happened. It wasn't always like today. But over time the media has been bought out. And they work with and for the MIC.

Posted by: Kali | Aug 6 2020 21:22 utc | 10

thanks b... i agree with jackrabbit - it is all about being addicted to power and trying to hold onto it ( as it slips away )..

this hate on for russia is mystifying.. i think - is this a bunch of war on commies relics from the past driving usa foreign policy? or is it a bunch of sore losers like browder and friends from the 90's? or is it just a case of your usual garden variety insanity on display pretty frequently, from the usa establishment?? i still don't get this hate on for russia... it makes no sense, other then the money it generates for the military complex..

Posted by: james | Aug 6 2020 21:39 utc | 11

Good Evening! A discussion about nuclear weapons should take into consideration the scientific and technical progress since 1945 - though the latter may be hidden from broader public. Yesterday @Schmatz referred to arcticles of Meyssan regarding the explosion in Beirut. Today some more information was published on The German tests of 1944 and 1945 were of the same type (hybrid, lithium, fusion). Israel is not the only gang to have this type of mini-nukes. Big nuclear bombs are out of date. War today has another face. BE AWARE! Nations and states are out of date, too. The war now is against mankind itself. The only remedy against this destruction is mentioned in my preceding comment. Kind Regards, Gerhard

Posted by: Gerhard | Aug 6 2020 21:42 utc | 12

Nuclear War and the Ultimate Game of Hardball

The assassination was a continuation of the Cuban Missle Crisis.
US planes were launched towards Cuba immediately after the assassination, but recalled in time.

It wasn't until 1995 that people had the book "The Spy That Saved The World" - Oleg Penkovsky.

The voluminous technical missile details this spy revealed allowed the US to determine the state of readiness,
or rather unreadiness, of the missiles being deployed in Cuba. Thus, Kennedy knew he had a window of time to
take the path of diplomacy, and without this key information his decision making process would have been quite different.

But there was another critical window that the spy Penkovsky revealed.
Khrushchev famously threatened that his factories were producing like "sausages" ICBM capable of reaching the US;
Khrushchev could make it rain ICBM. The spy Penkovsky revealed that this was simply a bluff.
Khrushchev might be able to launch ONE experimental ICBM towards the US but that was it.
The window however, Penkovsky revealed, was only reliable for three years. Penkovsky believed that within as
little as three years the Soviets could be producing ICBM in large numbers.

The Joint Chiefs Of Staff, as history records, contained men with the right stuff, right enough to inspire "Doctor Strangelove".
They wanted to take out the Soviet Union while we could. Kennedy, however, did not want to go down in history
as the greatest mass murderer of all time.

It was a game of Super Hardball Poker. The ICBM Window was closing down like a guillotine,
Kennedy had his bellicose generals and Khrushchev had his own hardline generals to contend with.
What move in this game could Kennedy make?

The US generals had WANTED the Soviets to run the blockade of Cuba and "cross the line" to war
and Khrushchev didn't know that his ICBM bluff cards were exposed.

Kennedy's move: he could let Khrushchev know of his slim poker hand.
Kennedy was also proving to the Soviet generals that here was a US President that wanted to deal,
which would be useful later when seeking treaties. Did Kennedy also blunt the US general's urge for war
by closing a key vulnerability in the Soviet defenses? Penkovsky had also revealed to us key Soviet
defense vulnerabilities.

Did Kennedy, in this game of Super Hardball Poker give up the spy, codenamed HERO, to the Soviets?
Did Kennedy reveal the depth of knowledge HERO had given us about the Soviets?

Oleg Penkovsky was arrested by the Soviets on the seventh day of the Cuban Missle Crisis.

One year later the assassination created a different stalemate.

The plotter's plan was to blame Cuba for the assassination of our President thus bringing a retaliatory strike
against Cuba. This would escalate to full out war with the USSR. Robert Kennedy immediately wanted to thwart
the plans of his brother's killers. Before that bloody day was done, instead of blaming Cuba Robert Kennedy supported
a safer alternate theory, the lone gunman theory.

Vice President Johnson was heading for a fall before the assassination, his criminal past was going to catch up with him.
The Kennedys were going to drop Johnson from the ticket during the second presidential term.
The Joint Chiefs Of Staff brought Johnson into the plot late in the game; but, he double-crossed them after
the assassination and didn't give them the war against the Soviets (by first attacking Cuba) they had wanted.

As an insider Johnson had the goods on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and they in turn had the goods on him. Stalemate.
Robert Kennedy had knowledge of Johnson's criminal past, but the Kennedys acting as tipsters to the Soviets
in the Oleg Penkovsky affair put a sword over Robert's head. Just as importantly Robert Kennedy would make
an already dangerous world more dangerous if he made it known publicly that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had tried
to launch a war that day and were willing to assassinate presidents in order to carry this out.

Robert Kennedy supported the hoax that was the Warren Commission to protect his brother's reputation and his own,
but more importantly to deter nuclear war. Johnson was high in the saddle as President and thus supported the Commission,
and he retired key members of The Joint Chiefs of Staff. With his reputation intact Robert Kennedy planned to
later become President and once he had power he would bring justice against his brother's killers.

Posted by: librul | Aug 6 2020 21:55 utc | 13

@ Kali | Aug 6 2020 21:22 utc | 10

"It wasn't always like today. But over time the media has been bought out."

Sorry, but that is incorrect. The "news" media in the US has always been the knowing tool of the oligarchy. Should anyone doubt that, just read Jack London's 1908 novel "The Iron Heel." In addition to describing to a "T" the devices the oligarchy uses to keep down and punish the proletariat, he describes the use of the press to silence, punish and do away with troublemakers such as socialists.

The fictional revelations in the novel will be immediately recognizable to MOA members as present-day techniques of repressing the proletariat and corrupting the media.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Aug 6 2020 22:14 utc | 14


"The Iron Heel" is available online.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Aug 6 2020 22:15 utc | 15

The historian b links at the beginning of his piece makes the point that the building of the bombs was taking place well before Truman came to office and basically had no knowledge of what had been going on. The timeline for that circumstance is horribly short, and here is how Peter Kuznick describes it in the interview I linked to at 25 on the open thread:

"...65% of potential voters [in a Gallup poll] said they wanted Wallace back as vice president, 2% said they wanted Harry Truman. But Truman gets in there, is vice president for 82 days, Roosevelt dies, Truman becomes president on April 12th, 1945, the day that shall live in infamy. And so Truman on April 13th, his first day in office, Secretary of the Navy, Forrestal sends his private plane down to Spartanburg, South Carolina, to bring James Byrnes back to Washington. Truman was desperate. He sits down with Byrnes and he says, I don’t know anything, Roosevelt didn’t talk to me about what was going on, or the agreements at Yalta, I don’t know anything, fill me in on everything and Byrnes then starts to lay it out. That the Soviets can’t be trusted, that you know, that they’re breaking their agreements. So that’s a Truman who was inclined to think that way anyway, starts hearing it from Byrnes.

And even though that was the opposite of what Roosevelt believed and Roosevelt said right up to his dying day, Roosevelt was sure that the US and the Soviets would get along after the war..."

I wouldn't want to make any other observation than that as b's historian suggests, there were many influences behind the scenes of the fateful decision. Just to point out the similarity in the apparent railroading out of Wallace at such a critical time. It does remind one of politics today.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 6 2020 22:20 utc | 16

I distinctly remember reading somewhere that at the height of the insanity the USA had so many nuclear warheads that it had difficulty finding worthwhile targets for them. So much so that the ended up designating one nuke to destroy a post office in Siberia. A Freaking Post Office.

For all I know they pointed two some poor postmistress. You know: one to obliterate the mailboxes, and the other to make the rubble bounce around a bit....

Mad as Hatters, the lot of 'em.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 6 2020 22:32 utc | 17

Fascinating book review and important commentary. Thanks b.

(PS on English usage. In paragraph 4 I think you meant "It then dawned on some in Washington...". If I am 'daunted' by something I am hesitating out of fear or scale [e.g. I was daunted by the huge task that lay ahead...]). Sorry if that sounds pedantic, but I like your posts a lot and am impressed by your grasp of idiom in a second language.

Posted by: Patroklos | Aug 6 2020 22:40 utc | 18

sounds like an excellent book, i'll order as soon as i finish "the deficit myth".

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 6 2020 22:58 utc | 19

james @ 11,in the Paul Jay interview, Peter Kuznick makes the point that early on, when the weapons were first used on Japan, there wasn't a formidable military industrial complex, so Truman seems to have made the decision solely on the advice that the Russians were not to be trusted. Still, behind the scenes, that complex had to be in its infancy, as Eisenhower warned before he left office.

And psychohistorian is correct, it morphed into the entity that now is the main driver of world finance, not just in the US. So it is not the people of the US who are addicted to horrible weapons; it is that huge military/industrial/banking complex feeding off hapless Americans as it also feeds off the rest of the world, under the umbrella of neoliberalism: 'austerity for you but not for me.'

Grim stuff, and hopefully its days are numbered.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 6 2020 23:03 utc | 20

kennedy was a long time warmonger prior to the cuban missle crisis. he ran to the right of nixon, claiming nixon and eisenhower had left american vulnerable to a mythical "missle gap" which was not close to being true. both sides had ample weapons to destroy each other; what difference did the u.s.s.r. having a few more in cuba to match the u.s. placing some missles in turkey. this is often portrayed as j.f.k.'s shining moment, instead of a astoundingly reckless course of action that took the world close to a nuclear war. the russia missles in cuba would not have given them any sort of nuclear advantage, it would have taken them to the parity of being able to destroy american cities as many times as the americans could destroy russian cities, a meaningless equality. indeed the us withdrew the turkish missles, from what i remember, after the crisis.
it was the worst single example of american military overreach since needlessly blowing up hiroshima and nagasaki, an incredibly ill judged attempt to maintain u.s. superiority at all potential costs, and this time it was against an adversary that could destroy the united states. sound familiar? it should, it's been the strategy of the u.s. empire at least since 1945.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 6 2020 23:09 utc | 21

Nukes exist to be paid for. Corporate welfare. The Russians and everyone else got them because the US had them. Peiod. End of story. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 6 2020 23:36 utc | 22

It is very costly trying to live up to your ego. Many within the US government have big big egos, but who will pay the cost?

Posted by: Dick | Aug 6 2020 23:44 utc | 23

Lots of good discussion and links to excellent essays on the subject. Here are four, John Pilger's essay, "Another Hiroshima is Coming… Unless We Stop It Now;" Dave Lindorff's essay, "Unsung Heroes of Los Alamos: Rethinking Manhattan Project Spies and the Cold War;" H. Bruce Frankiln's essay, "How the Fascists Won World War II;" and Robert Jacobs and Ran Zwigenberg's essay, "The American Narrative of Hiroshima is a Statue that Must be Toppled." Of course, there are dozens more written over the years at each anniversary of Hiroshima Day. As a former teacher, I found the last essay to be perhaps the most important as it details the great effort expended to keep that Narrative as THE ONLY OFFICIAL NARRATIVE to be allowed. But also as AntiSpin said, the fixing of the facts around the policy has gone on for 100+ years.

We humans face an EVIL GANG that's worse in its goals than Hitler was. Most are situated within the Outlaw US Empire, with the remainder sprinkled within its satrapies. They are mostly members of the Rentier Class psychohistorian rails about constantly for good reason, but others are traditional imperialists and fascists. All constitute what is known as the Donor Class--the controllers of the Duopoly within the Outlaw US Empire and of the satrapies abroad. But in a great many ways that do matter, they are outed now as more people globally become aware of their existence and designs. Much discussion here revolves around the issue of how to deprive them of the power they wield. Other discussions are subsets, such as the attempt to launch a new Cold War aimed at China. IMO, the key involves dragging ALL the skeletons from the closet and having them dance for all the world to see. Part of that is condemning the Outlaw US Empire for its genocide of the Japanese people in the nuclear fires and those that preceded them.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2020 23:48 utc | 24

juliania shared a link in the open thread which fits here as well.. thanks juliania...

Why Did Americans Accept Barbaric Slaughter of Japanese Civilians?

Posted by: james | Aug 7 2020 1:21 utc | 25

@ 20 juliania.. thanks.. i agree with pyschohistorians view @5 - global power elite are behind this.. however, they need the assistance and help of the american military and political leaders too... do you think pompeo would act any different here?? he has proven beyond doubt that the usa on most levels, is not to be trusted.. let me quote from your link from the other thread, which i have linked to above @ 25..

"In fact, Major General Haywood Hansell, the head of the 21st bomber command that was doing the bombing in Japan, resisted orders to abandon precision bombing at the end of’44. He didn’t want to bomb urban areas. So Hap Arnold sacked him and installed General Curtis LeMay as commander of the 21st Bomber Command and LeMay had no such compunction. The large-scale bombing on the night of March 9th through 10th when 324 aircraft attacked Tokyo and killed probably one hundred thousand people, destroyed 16 square miles, injured a million, at least 41,000 seriously injured, more than a million homeless. The air reached eighteen hundred degrees Fahrenheit. LeMay says that the victims were scorched and boiled and baked to death. He referred to this as his masterpiece."

it takes more then the global power elite to enact these types of horrific acts as i see it.. if ordinary people like general haywood hansell can say no to this, so can others... but as we see general curtis lemay had no compunction murdering 100,000 innocent people.. someone might be pulling the levers, but it has to be followed thru by more ordinary people who need to resist it..

Posted by: james | Aug 7 2020 1:30 utc | 26

I did not know that today it was the anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, after all I was not even born then...

But, knowing now, it makes even more sense that the governor of Beirut compared ( I imagine that as ignorant of the date as i am...) the port blast with a destruction equaling that of Hiroshima...Who I fear that do not ignore this are other people...

I do not go to the heights of other people looking for signals everywhere, but after some years of reading info I do not think any more some events are coincidences...

Look at this other oddity...

In the afternoon of this Thursday a fire was reported in the World Trade Center tower located in the city of Brussels, in Belgium

The fire occurred at 4:00 p.m. (local time) and would not have left victims so far

What I find odd enough is not only that the building is named World Trade Center....but, also that it has a banner in its fachade which reads "The future is here"...

What kind of future?

Then just saw this front page of The Economist at Daniel Estulin Twitter account...

Intriguing to say the least....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 7 2020 1:31 utc | 27

Truman's statement following the destruction of Hiroshima is interesting to read. He starts off by describing Hiroshima as "an important Japanese Army base" rather than a city filled with civilians.

He later says "We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. We shall destroy their docks, their factories, and their communications. Let there be no mistake; we shall completely destroy Japan’s power to make war".

Nothing there about wholesale slaughter of the population or destroying their food supply or drinking water, just attacks on military-related targets.


Posted by: BillB | Aug 7 2020 1:52 utc | 28

Gordon Duff, even a broken clock is correct ... well you know the rest

I do NOT believe this was a nuclear attack on Beirut but it does look like a missile strike.
Yes, the Lebanese govt is corrupt, negligent, and awful but that doesn't exclude the possibility that a foreign actor took advantage of the situation. I am wondering if Israel just had to use their new toy, that cargo ship, container missile and I still think it's possible that if they did attack Lebanon that they only meant to hit the fireworks warehouse. In any case, I think this vid is worth looking at.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Aug 7 2020 2:02 utc | 29

@28 Yes very interesting. You may find the Potsdam Declaration interesting too. The Japanese were given an opportunity to surrender. They turned it down.

Posted by: dh | Aug 7 2020 2:07 utc | 30



Posted by: librul | Aug 7 2020 2:28 utc | 31

@31 Wars are heavy. They are fought to some kind of conclusion. Not sure why Hiroshima was the target. I imagine other targets were considered but the basic idea was to create a major impression.

Posted by: dh | Aug 7 2020 2:41 utc | 32

@31 Sorry librul. I guess you weren't talking about Hiroshima.

Posted by: dh | Aug 7 2020 2:53 utc | 33

I have become comfortably numb. This happened some time ago coinciding with the release of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. 80,000 people died immediately in Hiroshima on this day in 1945. With Nagasaki, the total was over 220,000 in two single incidents. Do shape-shifting lizards from another dimension control our world behind the scenes? Most likely. Global policies lack humanity. They also lack intelligence, being born of a lizard brain. This is the end game. This is the Kaliyuga. Billions will die while we remain comfortably numb, armchair pundits. March on Scott Ritter, stalwart Marine!

Posted by: jadan | Aug 7 2020 3:27 utc | 34

dh 33

I read the two Japanese cities were selected because of their geography. Surrounded by hills to contain and concentrate the blast for better effects.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 7 2020 3:31 utc | 35

Christian J. Chuba 29

Why do you post the duff shit here? Should be plenty of UFO and other nutcase forums it can be posted on.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 7 2020 3:36 utc | 36

@35 Possibly. I think it was the psychological effect they were going for,

Posted by: dh | Aug 7 2020 3:41 utc | 37

Peter AU1

Surrounded by hills


psychological effect

My understanding is that they chose it because it was had experienced very little previous bombing. And they had deliberately withheld bombing there for some months before dropping the bomb.

They were as interested in learning about the effects of a nuke on a city as they were in sending a 'message' to the Japanese Govt.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 7 2020 3:55 utc | 38

@38 "They were as interested in learning about the effects of a nuke on a city as they were in sending a 'message' to the Japanese Govt."

I'm sure that was a factor. They probably wanted to send a message to the rest of the world as well.

Posted by: dh | Aug 7 2020 4:12 utc | 39

DH and others,

One reason the US dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was to send a message to the Soviets that it had nuclear weapons - and was prepared to use them.

Japan had petitioned the US to surrender on the condition that it be allowed to retain its monarchy. The US insisted on unconditional surrender.

Hibiki Yamaguchi: "Can the Atomic Bombings on Japan Be Justified? A Conversation with Dr. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa"

"... [A dilemma] Truman faced was the so-called unconditional-surrender demand. Under Roosevelt, the United States had been demanding unconditional surrender by Japan, and Truman followed this policy faithfully. This was because Japan had engaged in military aggression causing the war (unjust war) and had committed all kinds of atrocities against American and Allied soldiers (violations on justice in warfare). In order to defeat Japanese militarism so that Japan could never rise up again as a military power, the United States and its allies should impose on Japan unconditional surrender.

But, as the war developed, there were certain people, very influential people within the government – such as Secretary of War Henry Stimson, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, and Deputy Secretary of State and former Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew – who thought it necessary to define what “unconditional surrender” exactly meant. Particularly important was the status of the emperor. If the United States were to insist on unconditional surrender, particularly if it were to insist on, for instance, trying or punishing the emperor, as some within the administration insisted, the Japanese would fight on to the very last man. Therefore, in order to terminate the war, the US government would have to define the terms in such a way that it could allow the Japanese to preserve the monarchical system, even under the current dynasty.

In fact, before the Potsdam Conference began, Stimson presented the president with the draft proposal for the Potsdam on July 2. This draft included two important items. First, it anticipated the Soviet entry into the war. In fact, the Operation Division of the Army General Staff, which had worked on the proclamation draft, thought the most effective means of forcing Japan’s surrender was to time the issuance of the ultimatum to Japan so that it coincided with the initiation of Soviet entry into the war. The second provision was that the Allied powers would allow Japan to preserve the monarchical system under the current dynasty.

What happened with these provisions? When the actual Potsdam proclamation was issued, it stated nothing about the Soviet Union and nothing about unconditional surrender. Those two conditions were rejected because of political considerations.

So the first assumption – that the atomic bomb was the only alternative for the United States to end the war – turned out to be false, a myth. The fact is not only that Truman did not choose those alternatives, but also that he just rejected them out of political consideration ..."

In the end, Japan surrendered once the Soviets declared war on that country, and eventually the US allowed Japan to retain its monarchy and to keep Hirohito on the throne.

Incidentally Nagasaki was selected for bombing because it was on a list of potential targets on which Kokura was first, but on the morning of 9 August 1945, the weather over the town was cloudy and the crew of the B-29 bomber could not see the target city clearly. Nagasaki was second on the list. The bomb hit a Roman Catholic cathedral during a celebration of Sunday Mass.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 7 2020 5:11 utc | 40

b writes, My notes in brackets: "when presidents tried to negotiate arms control agreements [Kennedy was assassinated], and to lower the number of nuclear weapons [Nixon was driven from office], there were always people who worked to hinder them. Some successes were made. Nuclear tests were banned. A number of strategic weapons were restricted."

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 7 2020 6:47 utc | 41

Jackrabbit @ 3 -- USA power-elite are not addicted to nukes, they're addicted to power.... supremacist ideologies.... fascism.... aristocracy.... colonialism.... the worst impulses of Western civilization.... a mindset of might makes right.... the "rules-based order".....

Beautiful description of the power-hungry elite / oligarch class.

Their "rules-based order' is a bully's code-speak for "never do what we do, but do what we say to do."

Such are the "western values" emanating from the exceptionally indispensable shining city on the hill for others to emulate in order to become "normal nations".

Posted by: kiwiklown | Aug 7 2020 7:01 utc | 42

psychohistorian @ 5 -- "it (is) the global power-elite, not USA, and they are addicted to owning the tools of Western private finance which is the source of their power."

I agree with your elaboration. Three ideas:

Firstly, the elite / oligarch class is global in disposition. Wherever possible, they actually ensconce a scion in every major financial centre in order to have a global footprint. They operate globally, and have no loyalty to any nation. The world is their oyster.

Vitally, power on its own is nice, but the capacity to make money off of that power is nicer. So, the elite / oligarch class measure their power by the money flows they can activate / interdict when they pick up the phone to call in a favour. They are all about the flow of money into their pockets whenever they exercise the power they have "possess".

Finally, private finance is to their advantage, while public finance is to their detriment.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Aug 7 2020 7:15 utc | 43

Thank god the Long Descent away from global hitech industrial 'civilisation' has already begun, and should in time make such abominations as nuclear weapons literally impossible to produce and use. This non-negotiable, irreversible geophysical tide is also what's tipping the US into the same rubbish-bin of history into which the USSR slid 30 years ago: An early victim of the same Long Descent which is now crumbling USAmerica, and the whole Anglozionist empire. ASAP, please god!

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Aug 7 2020 8:08 utc | 44

The reason for the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are much simpler than what people can imagine today.

World War II had been the biggest catastrophy of mankind, with millions over millions of dead. World War I had been sligthly less bloody but equally horrible. We look today with sympathy to Beirut and the people of Lebanon but this was nothing when you apply world war standards. The utter destruction of whole cities was normal, not with a hundred dead but with tenths of thousands of victims, each time. All politicians, military people, scientists etc. etc. had essentially been grown up in World War I, if not physically as participating soldiers than at least mentally. To them that had been normal. We today shiver when we think about it but for them such forms of "warfare" had been their normal live since the had been young adults.

Note that the Cold War quickly ended when the World War II generation had died out in the 1980s. This is no coincidence.

Posted by: m | Aug 7 2020 8:27 utc | 45

I like simplifications which despite being inaccurate capture a lot. And when talking about US foreign policy there is one concept to rule them all: hegemony.
I think that most governments , while they may be involved in nasty competition, still think in terms of status quo and deterrence. With the US that is not so. WW2 for them was about dominance. It was about conquering. The US entered WW2 because it could. It conquered Japan because it could. It used nukes as soon as they became available in order to assert dominance. US dominance was the driver behind the nuclear arms race. In that respect the bipolar world is a myth.
The threats the US perceived were 'threats of future threat' and threats of insubordination.
If you look at what Gareth Porter says about the 20 years of Vietnam war: the Chinese and the Russians had challenged the US in Korea and the US had asserted its dominance. After that the US felt free to operate in Vietnam. If you look at what Ellsberg says about the Cuban missile crisis: Russia had 4 ICBMs at the time. With missiles in Cuba Russia would have been able to achieve some balance of terror but this was unacceptable to the US.
After the demise of the Soviet Union the task was : consolidate dominance. Now the conflict with China is about US dominance. There is no notion of coexistence or status quo.

This is also why it is so hard to come to an agreement with the US. If you are willing to negotiate it only means you are weak and therefore they should only press harder to maximize dominance. If you resist then you challenge their dominance and have to be destroyed.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 7 2020 8:28 utc | 46

m 45

The cold war ended quickly when the soviet union collapsed. US mindset lived on. How many countries in how many years? Not to mention drone hits on weddings and funerals.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 7 2020 8:35 utc | 47

Iran on the other hand provides an extraordinary guiding example. A shining beacon showing us the way forward. For pragmatic and moral reasons they decide nukes are a no-go. We should learn from their wisdom. Note that China also has shown a lot of restraint about their nuclear weapons. They're not deploying them.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 7 2020 8:39 utc | 48

karlof1 @ 24 -- "Part of that is condemning the Outlaw US Empire for its genocide of the Japanese people in the nuclear fires and those that preceded them."

Yes, we need to point out, call out,"Murderer! Thief! Hypocrite!"

Here is another example why we appreciate your writing, even if you sometimes feel like you are preaching to the choir! Like another commenter here, I too have just joined the choir, and have noticed your well-informed ideas and backgrounders.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Aug 7 2020 10:08 utc | 49

Tuyzentfloot | Aug 7 2020 8:28 utc | 46 -- "The threats the US perceived were 'threats of future threat' and threats of insubordination....There is no notion of coexistence or status quo."

Exactimo. Do as I say, not do as I do, or die, says the god of exceptionalism from his throne on the shining city on the hill ( at least that's how they describe themselves ).

Which gives the West a bad name, no?

Gives the Christian god a bad name, no?

Posted by: kiwiklown | Aug 7 2020 10:37 utc | 50

Peter AU1, if this site is too sacred to reference loons w/loon theories then how would we know if there was a missile attack in Beirut, who would investigate it, the ever competent Lebanese govt, the U.S, the UN, or the Russians who look the other way while the IAF pounds Syria?

Maybe it was an accident but an honest investigation that excludes an external actor diffuse tensions because I bet the Lebanese are thinking about it. If this gets swept under the rug, even if it really was an accident, it will remain a festering wound because doubts will linger.

Suggesting Israel as a suspect is NOT crackpot. I just watched a year old video where the IDF threatened the Lebanese govt. Israel bombs Beirut, Hezbollah blows up one militatry vehicle in response and then Israel then threatens to torch the entire country, talk about having a short fuse. Israel frequently overreacts. Why shouldn't we consider the possibility that they acted on one of their many threats since they do so many bomb strikes. I bet that massive crater didn't leave much evidence of the welders (or missile fragments).

Here is a link to the video that bypasses Gordon Duff so that people do not have to feel sullied going to Veterans Today.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Aug 7 2020 11:14 utc | 51

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Aug 7 2020 11:14 utc | 51

That is nothing less than the same video that Meyssan used to support his "New weapon" thesis. It just happens that this is merely an inverted color video being passed on as an infrared capture of the so called missile (hint: infrared maps heat sources).

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Aug 7 2020 11:59 utc | 52

@Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Aug 7 2020 11:14 utc | 51

Not to mention the info linked by Meyssan below his new article on Netanyahu showing just the epicenter of the blast as a military objective in the UN in past UNGA...

In front of Trump´s low polls, Israel has seen they have a short two months window of opportunity to obliterate Hezbollah from Lebanese government and Lebanon and even the region itself...

If he were a common citizen, no one supported by the whole banking/media mafia, any judge would had already placed Netanyahu under precautionary jail and exhorbitant bai, plus getting his passport off, after having evidence of him showing of the map of objective in public, menaces expressed publicly by his coalition government partenr, and obvious motives...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 7 2020 12:21 utc | 53

Christian J. Chuba

The fake video is tow video clips put together. The second video where a number of people can be seen near the smoke is this one.

Duff writes fiction. No different to a writer who writes a fiction novel roughly based on some event.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 7 2020 12:26 utc | 54

Thank you once again, b. I enjoyed reading this. It also depresses me to think that sanity might never come to the American ruling class, until the nuclear disaster hits. When it would be too late to do anything about it.

Posted by: Steve | Aug 7 2020 12:37 utc | 55

Meyssan is asking, in a new aclaratory short note, refussing the infrared video as a prove, anyone who could provide a photo which is not under copyright of Netnayahu at the UNGA showing the exact point of the blast to email him...

If a free to post photo is not avaialble, why not to go to the UNGA session video recorded on Natanyahu speech at that time?

I use to follow the UNGA sessions and several outlets including RT and Sputnik use to offer the most relevant speeches to the geopolitical moment..I think it should be publicly available...even at UN website archives...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 7 2020 13:02 utc | 56


“ US planes were launched towards Cuba immediately after the assassination, but recalled in time.”

Where is the evidence for this? Though I agree that the Kennedy family never seemed to want to get to the bottom of the JFK assassination. In fact, quite the opposite with RFK’s man Walter Sheridan trying to torpedo the Garrison effort and RFK himself taking possession of autopsy specimens.

Posted by: Kevin | Aug 7 2020 14:12 utc | 57

@Christian J. Chuba | Aug 7 2020 11:14 utc | 51

That video is not infrared. It is simply with inverted color channels, probably to enhance the claimed missile.

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 7 2020 14:34 utc | 58

Both SIPRI and the FAS seem to deliberately undercount warheads, by restricting numbers to bomber/ICBMs, if one reads the fine print, while ignoring submarine nukes. Then Israel's 80-90 becomes gospel, while I think it's bigger. What's up?

Posted by: Imagine | Aug 7 2020 14:50 utc | 59

The Yankees are so full of shit - juvenile, pathetically puerile shit.

When I want some comic relief, I load up John Pilger's 2016 doco The Coming War On China, fast-forward to circa 3 minutes in, then sit down and listen to Chinese social scientist, Eric Li, and laugh right along with him as he tells Pilger..

"One myth, I think, that really needs to be dispelled is that somehow, China is aiming to replace AmeriKKKa, and gonna run the world. Ha ha ha. Well, first of all, Chinese are not that stupid. It's The West with it's Christian roots who are about converting other people into their beliefs. The Chinese are not about that.
Er, um, I'm not degrading Western culture. I'm just pointing out the inherent nature of the DNA of two different cultures.
The Chinese, 2000 years ago, built the Great Wall to keep the Barbarians out, not to invade them."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 7 2020 14:56 utc | 60

to liberal #13. One of the most interesting posts I've ever read. Other than Oleg Penkovsky's book, what are your other sources, if you don't mind sharing? A long time reading, one thinks.

I always thought that Bobby was the greatest of the Kennedys. Now I know how great he was. What a tragedy for 'murka which has been going down hill ever since.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Aug 7 2020 15:06 utc | 61

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 7 2020 13:02 utc | 56

Meyssan is asking, in a new aclaratory short note, refussing the infrared video as a prove

I congratulate you for sharing Meyssan's retraction with us. Though the direct link would have been appropriate too:

Correction and clarification
Voltaire Network | 7 August 2020

On the night of 6 August 2020, we posted an article by Thierry Meyssan titled “Israel destroys East Beirut with a new weapon”. To illustrate our point, we included a video showing a missile striking the alleged Hezbollah warehouse in the port of Beirut.

This video, whose origin we acknowledged that we didn’t know, turned out to be a fabrication made from CNN footage.

It has now been removed from the article. It could have been left out altogether since it was not necessary. We apologize to our readers for this illustrational misstep.

Moreover, Benjamin Netanyahu’s photo is not the correct one. It shows the Hezbollah site next to the highway near the airport, instead of the one in the port area. This is the only copyright-free image that we could find. If you have access to the correct photo that is also copyright-free, please send it to us so that we can replace the current one.

Finally, it should be noted that Hezbollah had removed its weapons from this warehouse after Netanyahu’s speech in 2018 ... something that Israel seems to overlook.

Why we fall for this shit in this day and age?!? If it smells like bulshit, have the courtesy to do the dirty job of dissecting it before publicising it and deceiving yourself and others with mounting speculations, PLEASE!

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Aug 7 2020 15:11 utc | 62

Supergenius Feynman in "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" discusses his investigation of the Challenger space shuttle explosion. In the "Fantastic Figures" section, he tells this story: 5 out of 127 rockets inspected had failed, so the engineers thought failure rate of a carefully-built, manned space shuttle should be perhaps 1 in 100, maybe 1 in 200. The lead engineer moved estimates back to 1 in 1,000 under pressure. But management was extremely confident that carefully-built rockets fail only 1 in 100,000 times, if ever.

"...I had the definite impression that I had found the same game: management reducing criteria and accepting more and more errors, while the engineers are screaming from below, 'HELP!' and 'This is a RED ALERT!'"

I believe this thinking about rockets carries over into nuclear munitions.

Posted by: Imagine | Aug 7 2020 15:20 utc | 63

"Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism" is a great book that covers this in a comic-book format easy enough for high-school thinkers to understand. Worth giving as presents.

Posted by: Imagine | Aug 7 2020 15:34 utc | 64

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 7 2020 8:28 utc | 46 quote -

"This is is also why it is so hard to come to an agreement with the US. If you are willing to negotiate it only means you are weak and therefore they should only press harder to maximize dominance. If you resist then you challenge their dominance and have to be destroyed."


Posted by: james | Aug 7 2020 16:55 utc | 65

kiwiklown @49--

Thanks for your kind reply! I'm not too different from Ron Kovic who's life story was made into the film, Born on the Forth of July, when you see the milieu he grew up in at its beginning, but I wasn't old enough to get drafted. My attitude toward my nation and its myths began to change in 1968 as after MLK, RFK and the massive series of riots I read the Warren Report and discovered its lies and cover up of JFK's murder. I figured if they lie about the present, then they likely lied about the past, and that's what motivated me to become a student of the Outlaw US Empire and everything connected to it, which means far more than just its history.

Horasewhisperer @59--

Thanks for sharing that excellent citation!

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 7 2020 16:56 utc | 66

"Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 7 2020 8:28 utc | 46 quote -

"This is is also why it is so hard to come to an agreement with the US. If you are willing to negotiate it only means you are weak and therefore they should only press harder to maximize dominance. If you resist then you challenge their dominance and have to be destroyed." "

Excellent summation.

Notice that North Korea and Iran now refuse to talk to the empire. Russia is reluctant, but China and Venezuela seem to think that some negotiation is still possible.

Posted by: arby | Aug 7 2020 17:10 utc | 67

@Miss Lacy | Aug 7 2020 15:06 utc | 60

"What are my other sources?"

The list is too long to want to even picture. I am old enough to remember the day that they let us out
of school to learn of the assassination in the streets. Two kids at the bicycle racks were shooting at each other
with finger-guns. That is how I first learned of the assassination. Years later I began reading from dozens of sources,
books, articles and films over many many many years. I visited Dealey Plaza. For a few years I became an assassination devotee.
I moved on from that a long time ago, thank goodness. From it, though, I had put together what I believe is a cohesive picture.
I am at peace with it.

A subtitle for my post would be:
Devils that were also heroes. Heroes that were also devils.

There were circumstances that could have destroyed the world and the right people were there to get us through it,
Johnson included.
When I say "right people" I don't necessarily mean "good and descent people". Imagine if Jimmy Carter (who I
respect very much) had been President during those fateful years. I don't think he could have been
cutthroat enough to do what Kennedy needed to do.

Lyndon Johnson was a devil. He had his own personal, real life, honest to goodness, hit-man.
But he played, in that moment of history, a role that stopped WWIII. A devil and a hero.

There was JFK, mythologized as from Camelot, a hero who also outed a valuable spy, sending him to his certain

Then there was Oleg Penkovsky, codenamed HERO. He was essential in getting us safely through the Cuba Missile Crisis.
But, he wanted us to nuke his own homeland. He gave us vulnerablities in the Soviet defenses
and urged us to use them. (Penkovsky's father had been purged by the Soviets. I expect that that was a
defining experience for him.)

So, (and this is in response to Kevin @57, as well) as to my sources. You can find them in the stacks at your
library. The JFK books, last time I looked, are copious in number. I am not going to reignite my fever
for assassination research, the thought of going down that aisle at a library makes me ... (very uncomfortable).
I parted ways with my own personal library even before 2001.

I remember when the September 11 Atrocity happened, I knew people would be making deep dives into unraveling that,
and they are still deep down there! To myself, I wished them well and hoped that they would succeed, but I wasn't going
to give a great deal of devotion to it. Not another deep dive, not again. I monitor their offerings and am grateful for their summaries.

With my post above @13 I offered up honestly, from years of work and from memory. The sources are there for you.
You may get to different conclusions and that is fine.

Posted by: librul | Aug 7 2020 17:41 utc | 68

I urge anyone interested in nuclear weapons and nuclear war to listen to an interview done by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Nuclear Winter with Alan Robock and Brian Toon.

Drs. Brian Toon (physicist, Univ of Colorado Boulder) and Alan Robock (meteorologist, Rutgers University) begin by describing a war fought with a total of 100 atomic bombs (similar in explosive power to those dropped on Japan) detonated in the large cities of India and Pakistan. Their peer-reviewed studies predict that the nuclear firestorms ignited by these weapons would likely cause at least 5 million tons of smoke/soot to go above cloud level into the stratosphere; there it would form a global stratospheric smoke layer, which would block enough warming sunlight (7% to 10%) from reaching the surface of the Earth to cause the coldest average surface temperatures in the last 1000 years. The results would be a 20% to 40% drop in food production for three years, and a 10% to 20% drop in the following five years, which would likely cause at least 1-2 billion people to die from famine.

100 atomic bombs have about 1% of the explosive power of the launch-ready nuclear weapons of the US and Russia. Toon and Robock detail how the detonation of US and Russian nuclear arsenals would create nuclear firestorms that would put 150 to 180 million tons of smoke into the stratosphere, which would block about 70% of sunlight from reaching the surface of Earth. This would create below freezing temperatures every day for one to three years and create average weather conditions that would prevent crops from being grown for 10 years or longer. Most humans and animals would perish from starvation.

The audio interview done with Toon and Robock was done in 2016. Since then, these scientists and their colleagues have published more findings, including a study that describes a possible future war between India and Pakistan in 2025, which could cause up to 36 million tons of smoke/soot to reach the stratosphere. The effects of this war would approach those of a large US-Russian-Chinese nuclear war.

To date, US political and military leaders have rejected the nuclear winter studies. Thus, we continue to sleepwalk towards nuclear oblivion.

Posted by: Perimetr | Aug 7 2020 17:44 utc | 69

Strategic Culture Editorial echoes John Pilger's essay linked above, but uses stronger language:

"In this context, the remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki takes on an altogether more urgent purpose. It has to be recognized that Washington used nuclear annihilation as a terror weapon and it continues to play the same nefarious tactic to this day. There has never been an official apology out of Washington for the monstrous crime it committed in August 1945 because the American rulers have always wanted to maintain the 'right' to terrorize others. The current warmongering out of Washington towards Russia and China amid baseless, provocative accusations, as well as military force build-up in sensitive regions, against the backdrop of unfettered arms control, all can only mean one thing: Washington is trying to use the terror card to subjugate others while running the diabolical risk of inciting a nuclear war." [My Emphasis]

The Why? was provided in the previous paragraph:

"The return of Cold War mindset in Washington is a concomitant of political and economic crises besetting American power as its presumed global empire lurches towards collapse." [My Emphasis]

There being no statute of limitations for murder, terrorism, genocide, etc., the following is the formal charge made against the current rulers of the Outlaw US Empire who are the current party responsible for:

"an act of fiendish, premeditated mass murder – genocide – with the political objective of instilling terror against all perceived adversaries of American ambitions for global dominance."

All the evidence points to a verdict of Guilty. Former Nazi prison guards are still being arrested, prosecuted and jailed. When will the same measures be applied to every past actor with every US administration over the past 75 years--all of them, for the Outlaw US Empire's policy regarding the use of Terror hasn't changed since then as the editorial describes.

One essay I failed to endorse and provide a link is "ATOMIC BOMBINGS AT 75: The Illegality of Nuclear Weapons,":

"The mere possession of nuclear weapons violates the Nuremberg Principles (decreed a day before Nagasaki) and other international laws, argues international law professor Francis Boyle."

Boyle's essay is damning since he proves Truman and his aides knew the use of such a weapon would violate the rules of war as they already existed--even without the additional Nuremberg Charter that came into force on 8 August 1945. Yes, there was a very big need to try the victors for their crimes as well as the losers, which in some cases the winners were worse.

IMO, much of the world outside of the West understands the need for such a trial and arresting of current and former officials for their and their Empire's crimes, but many within the West remain ignorant or are supportive of those crimes--the Germans know of their crimes, but how many Americans and British know of theirs? And until those two latter societies become aware, IMO it's highly unlikely the world will ever know peace.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 7 2020 19:08 utc | 70

The liberal explanation for the US atomic bombings doesn't stand up well.

The Japanese army wasn't ready to surrender - very few of their troops and officers surrendered on Saipan, Okinawa, Philipines, Iwo Jima or the other horrendous battles leading up to the atomic bombings.

It's the Japanese Army that counted and that was going to have to be defeated in costly ground fighting in taking the Japanese homeland.

Bureaucrats in Tokyo, or an effete distant emperor, wanting to surrender wasn't going to be decisive in ending the fighting if the Japanese Army officer corps still wanted to stick with their death cult culture. It was going to take something huge and dramatic.

And, losing the Manchuko forces to the Soviets is not a credible cause of surrender - that force was lost to having any effect in defending the home islands, there was no way to get the troops and equipment across the US Navy controlled Sea of Japan alive.

As for the bombings being done to intimidate the Soviets, they had already seen lots of conventionally destroyed cities in their own lands and in Germany, the US started withdrawing forces from Europe shortly after the fighting ended, no major US/UK demands on the Soviets were ever made, it took some years before hostilities did break out (in Korea) and that was done by Soviet equipped North Korean forces aided by Soviet fighter pilots, all with Stalin's approval. That doesn't sound like the Soviets were intimidated by the atomic bombings.

Posted by: xeno | Aug 7 2020 23:14 utc | 71

@68 "..... an effete distant emperor,...."

Hirohito was lucky to be effete and distant. It probably saved him from a death sentence.

Posted by: dh | Aug 8 2020 1:11 utc | 72

There is a ZH posting (no link) about an AP story of Russian Generals drawing lines

The quote
"Russia will perceive any ballistic missile launched at its territory as a nuclear attack that warrants a nuclear retaliation, the military warned in an article published Friday," AP writes.

What about if it is aimed at China and then turns?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 8 2020 3:14 utc | 73

One thing people almost always overlook as to why the US dropped the bombs on Japan is bureaucratic inertia. The US had spent a stupendous amount of money* and materiel DURING WARTIME, when such was in perpetually short supply, and had to be USED RIGHT on pain of military disaster, on the atomic bomb program. Just as the war was ending, the bombs became available for use. The bureaucratic pressures to use them were large and widespread across all the associated parts of the government that were involved in the Manhattan project. There was also the democratic notion of accountability to consider--Congress would have to be briefed some time in the future about the bombs and where all that money went, DURING WARTIME, whether we used the bombs or not, and the questions that the military would be facing from Congress about why if we had them we didn't use them are questions that they wouldn't want to face, understandably. Nor the US executive branch, either. The inherent tendency of both scientists and military to be gadgeteers in love with their new toys was also a major factor in the decision, one that doesn't get discussed much either. And then there is the inevitable shutting off of certain key moral faculties that most everyone does during wartime, which is useful for most people in their facing or avoiding the moral questions about what the war is about and what the morality is of what they are doing for it. Educated people are probably better at this rationalizing/shutting down than the uneducated, something that proponents of higher education never talk about.

Yeah, we wanted to rub Stalin's nose in the dirt with it. But that was by no means near the all of why we dropped the bombs on Japan.

*For all the talk of the stupendous costs of the Manhattan Project, one of my favorite factoids is that the US B-29 program cost about 50% more than the Manhattan Project. Similar bureaucratic drivers there in play with our decision to firebomb Japan as with the atomic bomb decision.

Posted by: Daniel N. White | Aug 8 2020 3:26 utc | 74

Re: james | Aug 7 2020 1:30 utc | @26

Curtis LeMay is an anagram of "City Maulers"

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Aug 8 2020 3:40 utc | 75

and "Mislay Truce"

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Aug 8 2020 3:41 utc | 76

Hoarsewhisperer @ 60 -- "Well, first of all, Chinese are not that stupid."

Just as Russia will not "take" Ukraine because they will then have to govern the unruly mess, so China will not "take" the West. Trade is in the Chinese blood. Will they desire full spectrum dominance when they then become saddled with the shitty streets of San Francisco; the rioters of BLM; AOC; Fredo Cuomo and his noxious governor brother; Hideous Hillary; Plastic Pelosi; Scheming Schumer; Pomp-Ass; Bolt-On; 17 "intelligence" agencies; et al ???

Posted by: kiwiklown | Aug 8 2020 10:34 utc | 77

I live near Los Alamos, NM, site of an attempt to supersize Rocky Flats locally.

My Hiroshima oped on the subject titled “Truth Shall Set You Free” is linked to on the Los Alamos Study Group’s. Website (the second item under “Recent Products and Presentations”. The site is an excellent source for how the nuclear weaponsindustr operates.

Posted by: erichwwk | Aug 8 2020 12:33 utc | 78

@75 and @76 anagrams are a kick.

According to this article Curtis LeMay was known as "Old Iron Pants".

A very interesting read in itself, JFK's generals answer for everything
was, "nuke 'em".

JFK vs. the Military

“The first thing I’m going to tell my successor,” Kennedy told guests at the White House,
“is to watch the generals,
and to avoid feeling that just because they were military men,
their opinions on military matters were worth a damn.”

Had forgotten but George Wallace and Curtis LeMay were running mates
in the 1968 presidential election.
Did Curtis LeMay really say this?

"Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing.
But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you're not a good soldier."

Posted by: librul | Aug 8 2020 14:30 utc | 79

@ 75 jon in au... i never thought about anagrams!

@ 79 librul.. that is an outrageous statement at the end by lemay... i can't imagine someone saying that and getting away with it..

Posted by: james | Aug 9 2020 15:40 utc | 80

@ james | Aug 9 2020 15:40 utc | 80

The latter part of LeMay's Air Force career covered the whole time that I was in the Air Force (two hitches).

He was well-known for really outrageous, mostly off-the-cuff comments.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Aug 9 2020 18:39 utc | 81

AntiSpin | Aug 6 2020 22:14 utc | 14

I think the only way accurately to describe the MSM is as "The Propaganda Arm of the Ruling Class". This avoids all the distracting (and irrelevant) questions of "who owns what?"

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 9 2020 18:50 utc | 82

juliania | Aug 6 2020 23:03 utc | 20

james @ 11,in the Paul Jay interview, Peter Kuznick makes the point that early on, when the weapons were first used on Japan, there wasn't a formidable military industrial complex, so Truman seems to have made the decision solely on the advice that the Russians were not to be trusted. Still, behind the scenes, that complex had to be in its infancy, as Eisenhower warned before he left office.

On the contrary, by the end of the war, there was a huge industrial complex, turning out Tanks, Airplanes, truck and Jeeps, bombs, ammunition, ships, arms of all sorts. It supplied not only the US Armed forces, but some to the USSR and the other allies as well. Much of it was of poor quality, but the volume was enormous!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 9 2020 19:07 utc | 83

AntiSpin | Aug 9 2020 18:39 utc | 81 .. thanks! well then i guess he said that and more! bizarre how someone like this was put in a position of power... he sounds sick...

Posted by: james | Aug 9 2020 19:18 utc | 84

foolisholdman | Aug 9 2020 19:07 utc | 83.. i think that comment juliania made was in reference to where this hostility to the ussr started, although she did say more then that... i recall from reading margaret macmillians book 'paris 1919' how the west under uk and usa leadership had a clear hate on for russia due the Bolsheviks and etc.. it seems this hostility expressed by western political leaders back as early as 1919 must have gotten baked into the system on a more permanent basis... there is no rationale i can come up for why it started and why it has continued on into today..

Posted by: james | Aug 9 2020 19:22 utc | 85

Jackrabbit | Aug 7 2020 3:55 utc | 38

They were as interested in learning about the effects of a nuke on a city as they were in sending a 'message' to the Japanese Govt.

The Cold War had been planned from 1942 at the latest and the bombs on Japan had several purposes: To test the bombs' effect on civilians and cities, to end the war before the USSR could conquer any more of Japan and to frighten the USSR into caving into the USA. It is at least arguable that the Manhatton Project was not aimed so much at the NAZIs as at the Soviets. In which case the so-called "traitors" (who were all communists) had been recruited to work on it, on a false prospectus.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 9 2020 19:30 utc | 86

fom 86
"the so-called "traitors" meaning Alan Nunn-May and K.E. Fuchs and others like them.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 9 2020 19:33 utc | 87

Christian J. Chuba | Aug 7 2020 11:14 utc | 51

Well said!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 9 2020 19:45 utc | 88

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 7 2020 12:26 utc | 54
Is the very large crater in the solid rock fiction?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 9 2020 19:49 utc | 89

@ foolisholdman | Aug 9 2020 19:49 utc | 89

The "solid rock" is fiction.

Assuming that you have a brain, use it properly.

Was the wharf carved out of solid rock? Was the wharf formed naturally in that shape?

Or was a quay wall constructed and backfilled with sand dredged from the sea, like mosts ports are constructed?

Besides,it doesn't look at all like a deep hole anyway. Where is all the debris that originated from what is now a crater lake?

Suuuure everything is explained perfectly rationally by sekrit nookoolar mizzles. It makes sooo much sense to just assume that and not question any assumptions.

Posted by: Lurk | Aug 9 2020 22:13 utc | 90

Posted by: james | Aug 9 2020 19:18 utc | 84 -- ".... bizarre how someone like this was put in a position of power... he sounds sick..."

Isn't it odd how a sick person like Pomp-Ass is put in a position of power even today?

Or, for that matter, a Susan Rice (with her scary sidelong glance).... or a Schemer Schumer (glaring maliciously from behind the glasses perched on his hooked nose).... or a Shitty Shiffty (with his bulging eyes, trying to fake sincerity).... or Bolton (hiding his inferiority complex behind his walrus bushiness).... or a Bidet Biden (that nice old geezer sniffing young girls' heads).... or Hideous Hitlery (no introduction needed)....

Why is the US leadership so sick?

Posted by: kiwiklown | Aug 10 2020 5:19 utc | 91


The foolish old man has worked hard to earn his username. He also appears to be intent on living up to it.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 10 2020 5:37 utc | 92

I don’t dissent Scott Ritter “is extraordinarily qualified to write about nuclear weapons policies”. Such voices are needed more than ever. Seventy-five years after the end of the Second World War, and the first use of atomic weapons, we appear to be moving inexorably towards World War Three – nuclear war. The horrors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima have not deterred that march to annihilation; even the threat of annihilation itself cannot break this “suicidal embrace”. In my conclusion, the answers lie in the human psyche and history, but the warnings are not being heeded.

Posted by: peter mcloughlin | Aug 10 2020 10:23 utc | 93

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