Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Total Lunar Eclipse Creates Red Moon

In a strange and tragic incident, a man leapt to his death in Newcastle during the height of the eclipse.

Perhaps even more disturbing are the recent declarations from Bush that he will not withdraw from Iraq, Vietnam, Sicily or any place. If anything, Bush is going to surge into Iran.

'The nemesis that follows injustice never falters nor sleeps.' Hubris, thy doom approacheth...

Sarkozy repeats the big lie about Iran

Left I on the News:
An article appeared in the Times (UK) yesterday with this headline: "Sarkozy talks of bombing if Iran gets nuclear arms". Here's the first paragraph (with emphasis added):

President Sarkozy called Iran’s nuclear ambition the world’s most dangerous problem yesterday and raised the possibility that the country could be bombed if it persisted in building an atomic weapon.

Later in the article come references to Iran's "nuclear aims" and how "a nuclear-armed Iran would be unacceptable." Charitably, one might describe all these references as indirect quotes, but not once does the article include even the most cursory of boilerplate language noting the fact that Iran has denied any such intention and that there isn't the slightest evidence that it is "building an atomic weapon."

Maybe the really big lie is the one about the Iranian President calling for a Holocaust against the Jews. Still, there is no doubt this one is a pretty big and important lie.

A US attack on Iran seems to me unlikely because even Cheney can probably see it would be a disaster, but I would say that this is world's most dangerous problem right now (after Iraq).

At the level of international diplomacy (and also national politics and corporate media) it seems to me that zero effort is being made to head off this possibility. Only the grassroots are protesting.

People like Sarkozy with this statement are, if anything, increasing the likelihood of an attack.

Isn't this grossly irresponsible?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Samantha Power, Bush & Terrorism

Chomsky on hypocrisy and double standards: This is a constant theme of Chomsky's, perhaps his most basic and important. The question of hypocrisy is an ordinary insight, but it assumes importance because of the intellectual 'culture' in which Chomsky lives and which he criticizes. What I call the 'Chomskyan Revolution' is the perception or sudden perception of this insight. An important moment in one's moral and intellectual journey if it happens. But some (many?) people cannot perceive this, even if it is explained to them. A few quotes:

[Powers'] was an interesting article, and her work, and its popularity, gives some insight into the reigning intellectual culture.

There are many interesting aspects to the article. One is that "terrorism" is implicitly defined as what THEY do to US, excluding what WE do to THEM. But that's so deeply engrained in the state religion that it's hardly worth mentioning....

What is interesting and enlightening is that no matter how many times trivialities like this are pointed out -- and it's been many times -- it is entirely incomprehensible within the intellectual culture. That reveals a very impressive level of subordination to authority and indoctrination, well beyond what one would expect in totalitarian states....

I've been intrigued to see how reviewers and commentators (Sam Harris, to pick one egregious example) simply cannot even see the comments, let alone comprehend them. Since it's all pretty obvious, it reveals, again, the remarkable successes of indoctrination under freedom, and the moral depravity and corruption of the dominant intellectual culture....

Insufficient attention has been paid to Orwell's observations on how in free England, unpopular ideas can be suppressed without the use of force. One factor, he proposed, is a good education. When you have been through the best schools, finally Oxford and Cambridge, you simply have instilled into you the understanding that there are certain things "it wouldn't do to say" -- and we may add, even to think.

It's a towering moment of shame in the vaunted 'Western' civilization. To fail to grasp it, even when it is explained in clear and simple language.

The famous quote from Gandhi is apropos here. When asked the question, What do you think of Western Civilization?, he replied: "It would be a good idea."

While we're quoting Gandhi, a couple of other teachings might have relevance to our violent and murderous 'Western Civilisation':

I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life....

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?...

It is my firm opinion that Europe does not represent the spirit of God or Christianity but the spirit of Satan. And Satan’s successes are the greatest when he appears with the name of God on his lips.

Friday, August 17, 2007

From Cold War to Class War

Wednesday, August 15, 2007: Michael Hudson audio interview comments on the global financial crisis: Its big, its bad, and its got to do with class war, land value, debt, dollar and empire.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Anatomy of a Colossal Defeat

Gilad Atzmon generates some striking phrases:

Limor and Shelah do not stop just with the Army and its commanders, they skilfully convey an image of a society that has lost its way, a society that has gradually become detached from its own reality and from its surrounding environment. A society that is facing total moral collapse, led by an egotistic, self-centred leadership, both politically and militarily.... Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and an insignificant number of warriors, proved to be the first Arabs to defeat the Israeli Army on the ground. Their victory left Israel in shatters [tatters?]. The Israeli power of deterrence disappeared completely.... The book is a glimpse into Israeli society in what seems to be its final dysfunctional yet destructive state. I am convinced that those Americans who have been moronically sponsoring the Israeli death apparatus for almost four decades, those who still believe that Israel is a ‘regional super power’ better read this journal of Israeli military cowardice and general political malfunctioning.

Though the book wouldn’t say it, the message is rather clear. Israel operates as a megalomaniac violent ghetto motivated by some bizarre murderous zeal flooded with American lethal technology.

As I've said before, one should negotiate from a position of strength, and therefore Israel should negotiate immediately a comprehensive settlement with the Arabs. The terms of the settlement are known and have been known for 40 years. 1967. Minor and mutual border adjustments. A practical resolution of the refugee question. But tragically of course, this is not going to happen, because of the fanaticism and blindness of Jewish Zionism (not to mention seemingly unlimited American financial, diplomatic and military support).

Israel and the global jewish community have yet to come to terms with the intrinsic evil and racism of the concept of a 'Jewish State'. It's somewhat similar to the Australian concept of a 'White Australia.' At a certain point (round about the 60s enlightenment for Australia) an awareness develops that this is an embarrassment.

Ok, most Australians might have agreed with this concept, many might still agree with it, and it could still be a predominantly White country, both now and in the future. But we're going to have to drop the concept of 'White Australia', and never mention it again. In addition, any laws, immigration or otherwise, discriminating against people on the basis of race will have to be systematically eliminated. There is no other possibility in a civilized society.

When the IDF was asked to engage some tiny groups of lightly trained paramilitary enthusiasts, it collapsed shamefully. It collapsed in spite of its technological superiority; it was defeated in spite of its overwhelming firepower, in spite of Bush’s and Blair’s disgraceful support. The Israeli Army collapsed because it was incompetent, it was not ready to fight, it did not know how to fight and most concerning for the Israelis, it didn’t even realise what it was fighting for.

Well, who would want to die for nothing, or for lies by corrupt government and military leaders? Time for a volunteer (mercenary) army, at least. In the early days, it was unity of people and leadership that made the Israeli army strong, while the 'Arab facade' leadership model made the Arabs weak and divided. But now with Hezbollah (and perhaps Hamas) the situation is reversed, as it inevitably must.

As time went by, with military failure becoming public knowledge, the more desperately Olmert, Peretz and Halutz tried to change the course of the war just to save their future careers. Though they realised that the chances of achieving a victory were melting down by the hour, they were determined to present the public something that would look like a victory or even simply as an achievement. This is apparently what political survival in the Israeli democracy means for real, you have to present something that may look like a victory.

This is the cold, monstrous evil of state power. Most people would be compassionate and sorrowful about the death of someone they knew or even just knew of; but for a narrow political or military advantage, maybe even nothing more than a temporary blip in the opinion polls, a human being could pointlessly condemn to death dozens of his own people, and never lose a minute's sleep over it.

Bush, Blair and Howard, acting criminally, based on obvious lies, have achieved the staggering slaughter of more than one million Iraqi people, and a good few thousand of their own citizens, and the astonishing destruction of a whole country. Would they be concerned about this? In the slightest?

Are you kidding me?

In order to save the political careers of Olmert and Peretz, the IDF launched more and more pointless risky operations with very limited tactical value. These operations failed one after the other without achieving a single thing. Yet they exposed the IDF’s weaknesses. They revealed an Army and a political leadership in a state of a panic. Towards the final hours of the war, some isolated patches of Israeli special units were stranded and starved along the southern Lebanese front with no access to water and food. A few units of Hezbollah warriors had managed to encircle top Israeli commandos. Seemingly, no one in Israel dared to risk logistic convoys into the battlefield. Food and ammunition that was dropped from cargo airplanes fell into the hands of the Hezbollah. In some areas, the wounded IDF commandos were lying on the ground, waiting many hours for rescue units. The defeat was total. The humiliation was colossal. Not only was the ‘Israeli Defence Army’ unable to defend Israel anymore, it even failed in defending itself.

Limor and Shelah expose many more interesting issues:

Brigadiers who failed to fight alongside their soldiers, instead they preferred to run the battle from secluded bunkers inside Israel.

Helicopter gunships were not allowed to enter Lebanese air space just to avoid the risk of being shot down, as a result, Israeli commandos were left to fight Hezbollah on equal terms (lacking air support).

A Lieutenant Colonel who refused to lead his soldiers into Lebanon admitted being deficient in operative tactical knowledge.

Reservist soldiers were heading towards the front with hardly any of their combatant gear because of some severe shortage in the army emergency stockrooms. Some of those reservists ended up spending their own money so that they could buy the necessary gear.

Its really a ferocious article by Atzmon, and as they say, go read the whole thing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Housing Busts and Hedge Fund Meltdowns: A Spectator’s Guide

Housing Busts and Hedge Fund Meltdowns: A Spectator’s Guide: Nice image from the New York times helps explain some of the action in the subprime/ hedge fund markets. Crack open a tinnie and pull up a chair - this could be fun to watch.

It seems to me to be a classic george/hoyt/harrison 18-yr land boom and bust cycle, with a few features that could make it special. First, the Conservative Reaction against Socialism and the Sixties means we have had a good couple of decades of deregulation, privatisation and laissez faire behind us to help prepare for the big bang. Bascially, stagnant or falling wages, increased profits/surpluses and less regulation and control. Second, fancy new thingummies like computers, securitization, hedge funds and derivatives means we don't know how much credit has been created, what the risk is, who owns it or how to control it, or if it can be controlled. This has led to a land boom that the Economist magazine has described as the biggest bubble in history. Put it all together and the bust could be like the good ole days of 1890 or 1929. Third, the US army is doing a slow motion Barbarossa and Stalingrad with their Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL) and Battle of Baghdad. Fourth, US current account deficit, dollar, budget deficit and economy could all go bust in a historic realignment of global hegemonic power - nothing less than the end of white power after 500 years of war and colonialism. And I haven't even mentioned peak oil and global warming.

Dr Strangemoney adds some thoughtful comments on the affair:

dr strangemoney: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bubble

General "Buck" Turgidson: General Ripper called Strategic Air Command headquarters shortly after he issued the go code. I have a portion of the transcript of that conversation if you'd like me to to read it.

President Merkin Muffley: Read it!

General "Buck" Turgidson: Ahem... The Duty Officer asked General Ripper to confirm the fact that he *had* issued the go code, and he said, uh, "Yes gentlemen, they are on their way in, and no one can bring them back. For the sake of our country, and our way of life, I suggest you get the rest of SAC in after them. Otherwise, we will be totally destroyed by Red retaliation. Uh, my boys will give you the best kind of start, 1400 megatons worth, and you sure as hell won't stop them now, uhuh. Uh, so let's get going, there's no other choice. God willing, we will prevail, in peace and freedom from fear, and in true health, through the purity and essence of our natural... fluids. God bless you all" and he hung up.

General "Buck" Turgidson: Uh, we're, still trying to figure out the meaning of that last phrase, sir.

President Merkin Muffley: There's nothing to figure out, General Turgidson. This man is obviously a psychotic.

General "Buck" Turgidson: We-he-ell, uh, I'd like to hold off judgement on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in.

President Merkin Muffley: General Turgidson! When you instituted the human reliability tests, you *assured* me there was *no* possibility of such a thing *ever* occurring!

General "Buck" Turgidson: Well, I, uh, don't think it's quite fair to condemn a whole program because of a single slip-up, sir.

[discussing the Doomsday machine]
President Merkin Muffley: How is it possible for this thing to be triggered automatically and at the same time impossible to untrigger?

Dr. Strangelove: Mr. President, it is not only possible, it is essential. That is the whole idea of this machine, you know. Deterrence is the art of producing in the mind of the enemy... the FEAR to attack. And so, because of the automated and irrevocable decision-making process which rules out human meddling, the Doomsday machine is terrifying and simple to understand... and completely credible and convincing.

[Strangelove's plan for post-nuclear war survival involves living underground with a 10:1 female-to-male ratio]

General "Buck" Turgidson: Doctor, you mentioned the ratio of ten women to each man. Now, wouldn't that necessitate the abandonment of the so-called monogamous sexual relationship, I mean, as far as men were concerned?

Dr. Strangelove: Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious... service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.

Ambassador de Sadesky: I must confess, you have an astonishingly good idea there, Doctor.

Decoder ring for the kids at home:
nuclear weapons -> derivatives
post-nuclear war survival -> bailout

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Stop Bush: Rally at Sydney Town Hall, 10am, Saturday September 8

Stop Bush protest swells: "A coalition of student activists and two unions are expecting double the number of protesters - 10,000 - to attend a rally during the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in September.

"The main student protester organisation, the Stop Bush Coalition, had originally estimated that 5000 people would March on Saturday, September 8.

"The APEC Taskforce expects 5000 summit-related delegates to attend the summit, while there will be a contingent of more than 5000 police and defence force in Sydney during Leaders' Week from September 2 to 9."

"The protesters now intend to march from Town Hall, in George Street, to outside the US Consulate in Martin Place - in the APEC declared area - before having a festival in Hyde Park, according to an attendee at the meeting."

"The protesters are also angry with police who accuse them of planning violent protest during the summit."

That would be pure projection on the part of the security authorities. Bush is responsible for an estimated one million deaths in Iraq (or 21 million survivals in Pentagon PR speak), and more deaths in Afghanistan, Somalia and no doubt elsewhere. But who among the powers that be will accuse and arrest him?

Hogeland on the Whiskey Rebellion

The Whiskey Rebellion: The writer makes some good points about abuse of executive power and violation of the Bill of Rights, but 'libertarianism' is a dumb-ass philosophy if ever there was one.

Nothing but a tool of the republican hard right. Get these dimwits to fail to understand the world and vote Republican. They are as silly and manipulated as the American evangelicals. In fact the Republican vote is made up of a coalition of corporate oligarchs, protestant evangelicals and right 'libertarians'. The 'libertarians' are probably held in greater contempt by oligarchical operatives than even the evangelicals because of the pretence of a philosophy and an education that they hold out.

He uses the word 'liberal' in the derogatory sense of the modern Republicans. Surely any serious thinker would avoid this. The name-calling of people as 'liberals' is an empty political and polemical tactic which brands the speaker as a Republican tool.

In reality classical liberalism, or enlightenment and the rights of man, is what the US Constitution and democratic republic is about (not 'libertarianism').


"Can the rise of the welfare state, say, be only coincidentally related to the simultaneous rise of rogue operations of the CIA?"

Hello. There is more than one country in the world besides the United States. Every developed country has a welfare state, and a better one than the US has (lucky for us).

Maybe the CIA has got something to do with American empire and global hegemony instead of the welfare state?

And from where on earth comes this whackjob idea that the welfare state (aged, sickness, unemployment benefit; health and education) is a bad thing? I know, I already said: it comes from the reactionary oligarchy that is trying to wind things back to the good ole days of monopoly capitalism and wage slavery. What I don't understand is why anybody who wasn't a fully-propertied member of the oligarchy could have any interest in such ideas.

Regarding the Supreme Court, it seems to have been packed almost to absolute majority with extremist rightists, people who are prepared to endorse the concept of the 'unitary executive', ie Fuhrer Principle.

Its a tragedy of modern america that issues like abortion have been used as a trojan horse to get these extremists into the court.

I think the world will conclude that a Constitution Bill of Rights is not a good idea - it inevitably leads to a politicisation of the judiciary. A statutory bill of rights is a better way to go.

We might also conclude that an elected president with powers of executive, military and pardon is also a serious error. This is virtually a military monarchy or an elected dictatorship. The head of state and head of government should be separated; and the head of government be a member of and fully answerable to parliament or congress, ie they must have the power to dismiss him by no confidence. This is the Westminster system and surely is better.

In the latter part of the article when he partially drops the strictures of libertarian dogma and discusses aspects of the rebellion the writer gets more interesting. Obviously, an anarchist, georgist or socialist reading of the rebellion makes a lot of sense.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Nice IOZ post has a welcome jab at the 'blogosphere'

The tiresomely ignorant and in denial democratic/'progressive' blogosphere: "For many decades now, people like Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky and James Bovard have been airing what we now call the imperial critique, which, as someone once said, has the unique benefit of being correct. Men like Chalmers Johnson have affirmed it from the inside. Its basic tenets are empirically demonstrable. Its fundamentals comport with nearly everything we know about American policy at home and abroad. It provides a basic intellectual framework through which all the events, actions, and outcomes that so puzzle Democrats ("I'll never understand why we went to war in Iraq in the first place. How could this have happened?") become understandable and predictable. It provides a clear history of the precedents to our current politics and current wars. It allows us to easily grasp the linkages between our militant posture abroad, our system of worldwide military satrapies, our inability to extricate ourselves from ill-conceived foreign adventures, our slow militarizing of the mechanisms of law and law enforcement within our own borders, and the otherwise inexplicable complicity of the supposed opposition party in all of these things. It is plainly, clearly, almost self-evidently true, and for fifty years at least it has been scorned as a conspiracy theory or an intellectual parlor game for bored old men, crank writers, and the comfortably tenured.

"The United States finished the Second World War and never stepped down from its war footing. The entire government of the United States was methodically rearranged to support imperial ventures. The threat of the Soviet Union was consciously and carefully manipulated, exaggerated, and propogated to justify the construction of the vastest military capacity the world has ever known--and, hopefully, ever will know. Intelligence services were created with the specific capacity and intent to control, influence, undermine, and subvert foreign governments. A long series of territorial skirmishes in Asia, Africa, and Latin America commenced. A complex system of proxy wars, client states, and puppet governments was begun. Post-War affirmations of universal rights were conspicuously repurposed, as goes the current neologism, as "humanitarian intervention," which, you'll note, is a euphemism for military actions in foreign territory for purposes other than immediate self-defense. The phrase "vital national iterest" entered the lexicon as a euphemism for using the military to control resources, access, and assets. This is not some hidden, secret history. It requires no special discipline or competency; no access to state secrets; no extraordinary skills as an analyst or historian or economist. It is neat, accessible, and sitting in plain view for anyone with the slightest inclination to shed the enforced--and not very skillfully, I'd add--doxologies of the American Empire, principle among them: That America is not an empire.

"Nonetheless, I have listened to these ideas mocked or dismissed since my earliest recollection of political awareness by people who call themselves "liberals" or now "progressives" or always "Democrats." These are the people who now claim to be antiwar, who have spent the last six years rightly lamenting the horrors wrought by the present executive, finding that the institutions of representative democracy have been seriously undermined and exist at present mostly as formal ritual and tradition, and discovering that their party of identification is not actually interested in taking concrete measures to rectify any of it, although they'll occasionally complain about it before voting to authorize this or that further expansion of military funding, presidential power, domestic surveillance, ad inf. These are the people who coined cute phrases like "the new Naderism" and who treat as children anyone who notes that the line they toe is naught but dust on a windy day. They say to those of us who absent ourselves from the current liturgies and catechisms of phony democracy that we're lazy, have no program, and take no action. But of course the whole purpose of writing this history day in and out is to try to convince enough people of it to create a program and to have something to do. Even then, I wouldn't be optimistic, but enough people could at least put a small wrench in the imperial works from time to time. And when we seem cranky, irritable, and misanthropic, it's because so very many of these liberals and progressives and Democrats are willing to walk right up to the edge, as Greenwald does, and to acknowledge the legitimacy of our critique, and to acknowledge that it's true their party has sold them out again and again and again because it is dedicated to the bipartisan, imperial governing consensus, only to come back, a day or two later, pimping some Democratic Party nonsense and some Democratic Party candidates and telling us that we are assholes once again for refusing to make the expression of our political will the choice between a blond imperialist from Chappaqua and a balding imperialist from Manhattan."

It is tiresome to the point of being comical how so many people refuse or fail to recognise the validity of the 'Imperial Critique.' I feel, however, that the ideological control is breaking down, and could fail rather suddenly. Opportunity abounds.

Nevertheless it remains true that one ought vote Democratic rather than Republican to try and minimise the harm. US politics is seriously impeded by 'first past the post' voting, which places such a great obstacle in the way of forming a third party. At least in Australia with preferential voting the option is there to create or join a more progressive party (ie, the Greens) and direct preferences to Labor.

Howard warns against 'overreaction' to soldier video

Soldiers preparing for new duty in Northern Territory: "Prime Minister John Howard has warned against an overreaction to a video showing Australian soldiers [in Darwin] binge drinking and one person dressed in a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) outfit."

Are these the fellows Howard is going to send in to aboriginal settlements to fix up alcohol and abuse problems?

As a desperate political stunt leading up to the election, Howard pressed again the militarism button by proposing that 'the army' be sent in to sort out alcohol and abuse problems among Northern Territory aboriginals. Binge drinking klansmen however, is not a good look, even for Howard. Let's hope these fellows and their unit have 'other duties'.

Watered-down plan wins Nats over

Watered-down plan wins Nats over: "THE Howard Government has settled a Nationals revolt against its $10 billion Murray-Darling Basin takeover by specifically ruling out the forced acquisition of farmers' water entitlements.

"The backdown received support from Queensland Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce, who had led a revolt against the takeover over fears irrigation communities would be robbed of water.

"Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull said yesterday draft legislation expected to go before federal parliament this week would rule out compulsory acquisition of water rights."

I guess the water holders don't much like the idea of being forced to sell in a depressed market, any more than landholders would like being forced to sell in a land bust. Wait till the rain comes and get some more from the government.

Water trading, water rights and water entitlements are another example of what I call enclosurism, or the tax-free privatisation of natural resources, or 'kapital', ie the kapitalized (exchange) value of politically guaranteed unearned incomes. The problem has arisen because the giveaway of water has exceeded the amount of water their actually is. It's as if the government made land grants to squatters and selectors but then found out they had granted more land than existed.

In principle, water and other natural resources ought be the property of the whole population, and should be allocated on an annual basis at market rates, limited in quantity to what is environmentally safe and socially equitable (a certain minimum free allocation must be regarded as an inalienable human right for every person).

This would gain revenue for the public, guarantee necessary social and environmental flows, and ration commercially exploited water to its most efficient use.

The Government's proposals to 'buyback' non-existent water allocations amount to a huge $10b taxpayer grant to private persons for something they don't own and which doesn't even exist. These private parties are saying to the government, you gave us an allocation of water but because it didn't rain we didn't get any so you will give us $10b instead. Classic Kapitalism. A corporate/conservative government of course, which serves kapital not people (or the environment), hastens to comply and calls it 'reform'.

Monday, August 06, 2007


The 'official' story is something like this: we had to drop the bomb on Japan to force them to surrender and thus save heaps of lives - allied soldiers and Japanese civilians who would all be killed in huge numbers when we invaded Japan.

This, it appears, would be a pack of lies invented after the fact of the bombings, setting aside the fact that even if it were true, it is no justification. Cut off from oil and overseas empire, Japan was totally defeated already. Invasion and further killing was not necessary - surrender or no surrender.

The atomic bombings were a war crime, a crime against humanity, an act of barbarism and state terrorism on a gigantic scale. A blunt and ruthless message to the Soviet Union and in fact the entire world.

It goes something like this: 'We've got a bomb. It's a big bomb. We're gonna drop it on a city and wipe it out. See that? We did it. You don't believe we could have done that? Wiped out a whole city and all it's people? You better believe it. There. We did it again. Got that?'

What makes the Holocaust horrific above all other crimes is that such a large number of innocent people could have been deliberately and cold-bloodedly murdered in a concentrated period of time, for no good reason, by a scientifically and technologically advanced society. The atomic bombing of Japan is in a somewhat similar category.

America lost its soul when it permitted itself to commit this crime. Since then, the postwar era could be described as a sustained struggle against the evil of US global hegemony, which has proved itself with its warcrimes and atrocities to be a kind of slow motion nazism. Many millions of victims over more than six decades on several continents. De-militarization, de-nuclearisation, de-nazification and dismantlement of the United States could be the only remedy.

On Aug. 9, three days after the Enola Gay dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and hours after Bockscar dropped it on Nagasaki, Truman announced, "The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians." Actually, of course, it was not a military base, but a city, a fact that Truman must have known before he made the decision. And if he didn't know it, then how horrible is that? Someone who wants to drop a nuclear bomb on a target should surely do due diligence to find out what the target is. That seems like a minimal requirement.

In response to a clergyman who criticized his decision, Truman wrote:

"I was greatly disturbed over the unwarranted attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor and their murder of our prisoners of war. The only language they seem to understand is the one we have been using to bombard them. When you have to deal with a beast you have to treat him as a beast."

It's a sad fact of humanity that once war starts the hate and killing is all but impossible to restrain. Another reason why the concept of 'humanitarian war' is such a nauseating fraud.

And how regrettable was it to Truman? He later wrote, "I telephoned Byrnes [his secretary of state] aboard ship to give him the news and then said to the group of sailors around me, 'This is the greatest thing in history.'"

"Careful scholarly treatment of the records and manuscripts opened over the past few years has greatly enhanced our understanding of why the Truman administration used atomic weapons against Japan. Experts continue to disagree on some issues, but critical questions have been answered. The consensus among scholars is that the bomb was not needed to avoid an invasion of Japan and to end the war within a relatively short time. It is clear that alternatives to the bomb existed and that Truman and his advisers knew it."

Fleet Admiral Leahy, for instance, the chief of staff to the president and a friend of Truman's, thought the atom bomb unnecessary. Furthermore, he wrote, "in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages."[4] Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, commander in chief of the U.S. Fleet and chief of Naval Operations, thought the war could be ended well before a planned November 1945 naval invasion. And in a public speech on Oct. 5, 1945, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, said, "The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace before the atomic age was announced to the world with the destruction of Hiroshima and before the Russian entry into the war."

Many Army leaders had similar views. Author Norman Cousins writes of Gen. Douglas MacArthur:

"[H]e saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor."

What about the idea that the Japanese would fiercely resist an invasion of their main islands? It is one of those myths that have come about with few apparent facts to support it. The various military men who were close to the action were quite confident that the Japanese had been so thoroughly bombed and their infrastructure so thoroughly destroyed that there was no need for the atom bomb. The literature is rife with quotes to that effect.

Henderson goes on in his article to describe how, after the bombing, there was ongoing criticism from a number of sources, including Einstein, and so therefore they had to craft an official response. It was in this way that the 'saving American lives' story was invented, years after the fact.

(Photo is Seizo Yamada's ground level photo taken from approximately 7km NE of Hiroshima)