August 9th, the 72nd Anniversary of the Bombing of Nagasaki: Unwelcome Truths for Church and State
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 14 Aug 2017
Gary G. Kohls, MD | Duty to Warn – TRANSCEND Media Service
“What the Japanese Imperial government could not do in 250 years of persecution (i.e., destroy Japanese Christianity) American Christians did in mere seconds.”
”…why should veterans embrace a religion that has blessed the wars that ruined their souls? It is no wonder that they turn to a gentle Buddhist monk to hear what are, in large part, the truths of Christ.”
– Daniel Hallock, author of Hell, Healing and Resistance
9 Aug 2017 – 72 years ago (August 9, 1945) an all-Christian bomber crew dropped a plutonium bomb on Nagasaki City, Japan, instantly vaporizing, incinerating, irradiating and/or otherwise annihilating tens of thousands of innocent civilians, mostly women and children. Very few Japanese soldiers were killed by the bombs.
In a nation whose citizens are historically non-Christian (Shitoism and Buddhism are the major Japanese religions), a disproportionate number of the dead were Christian (read on for more on the history of that reality). The bomb also mortally wounded uncounted tens of thousands of other victims who suffered the blast, the intense heat and/or the radiation sickness that killed and maimed so many.
In 1945, the US regarded itself as the most Christian nation in the world and the bomber crew reflected that reality. The small United States Army Air Force (USAAF) unit that was charged with dropping the atomic bombs (the 509th Composite Group) even had two Christian military chaplains assigned to it. They all were products of the type of Christianity that failed to teach what Jesus taught concerning homicidal violence (ie, that it was forbidden to his followers).
Of course, ignoring the powerful pacifist teachings of Jesus has been the norm for the vast majority of Christian theologians, clergy and lay-leaders for the past 1700 years. Indeed, it is often said that the only group that doesn’t know that Jesus was a pacifist is that group known as Christian. And the church’s leadership is most responsible for that erroneous stance.
Nagasaki was the most Christian city in Japan, and the city’s massive Urakami Cathedral was the largest Christian church in the orient – both in membership and physical structure. The cathedral was so large that it was visible at 31,000 feet, making it an easy aiming point for the Nagasaki bombardier.
<<<Using Atomic Weapons Against a Civilian Population is an International War Crime and a Crime Against Humanity>>>
Using the most monstrous weapon of mass slaughter in the history of warfare was soon to be defined by the Nuremberg Tribunal as an international war crime and a crime against humanity.
Of course, there was no way that the crew members could have known anything about what constituted a war crime at the time of the mission. Later on, some of the crew did admit that they had had some doubts about what they had participated in. But none of them actually witnessed the unspeakable suffering of the tens of thousands of their victims on the ground. “Orders are orders” in times of war and must be obeyed by subordinates. According to the laws of war, disobeying lawful orders in wartime is considered treason, and such an act can be punished by summary execution. So the bomber crew had no alternative but to obey the orders. Even the two chaplains had few doubts about the morality of the bomb until long after the war.
<<<Making it Hard for Japan to Surrender>>>
When Nagasaki was bombed, it had been only 3 days since Hiroshima had been decimated. There was chaos and confusion in Tokyo, where the military command was meeting with the Emperor Hirohito to discuss how to surrender with honor. The military leadership (of both nations) had known for months that Japan had already lost the war.
The only obstacle to ending the war months earlier had been the Allied Powers insistence on unconditional surrender (which meant that the emperor could be removed from his figurehead position in Japan and perhaps even brought before a war crimes tribunal). That demand was intolerable for Japan’s military leaders, who regarded the emperor as a deity.
The USSR had declared war against Japan two days after Hiroshima was bombed (August 8). They were hoping to regain some of the territories that had been lost to Japan in the humiliating defeat they had suffered in the Russo-Japanese War 40 years earlier. Stalin’s army had begun advancing east across Manchuria. Russia’s entry into the war had been encouraged by President Truman before he knew of the success of the atom bomb test in New Mexico on July 16.
But now, knowing how powerful the “Gimmick bomb” was, Truman and his strategists knew that they could force Japan’s surrender without Stalin’s help. So, not wanting to divide any of the spoils of war with the USSR, and because the US wanted to send an early cold war message to Russia (that the US was the new planetary superpower because they were the only nation that had such powerful weapons), Truman ordered bomber command to deploy the atomic bombs as soon as they became available.
<<<The Decision to Target Nagasaki>>>
August 1, 1945 was determined to be the earliest deployment date for the atomic missions, and over the previous months, the Target Committee in Washington, D.C. had developed a short list of relatively un-damaged Japanese cities that were to be excluded from the conventional terror-bombing campaigns that, during the first half of the year, had used napalm bombs (jellied gasoline) and high explosives, to burn to the ground over 60 essentially defenseless Japanese cities and their civilian populations).
The list of protected cities included Niigata, Kokura, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The intent was to preserve them as potential large population targets for the new weapon that had been developed in labs and manufacturing plants all across America under the auspices of the Manhattan Project.
Prior to August 6 and 9, the residents of those five cities had considered themselves fortunate for not having been fire-bombed as had the other large cities. Little did the residents of the doomed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki know that they were only temporarily being spared to experience a fate far worse than simply being burned to death.
<<<The Trinity Test>>>
A plutonium bomb similar to the one dropped on Nagasaki had been field tested at Alamogordo, New Mexico a few weeks earlier (on July 16, 1945). It had been blasphemously code-named “Trinity” (a distinctly Christian term) and had been detonated in secrecy with impressive results. Although the blast had just killed a bunch of hapless coyotes, rabbits, snakes and other desert varmints, it had done a tremendous amount of blast and heat damage to the inanimate surroundings. Part of the experiment was to discover what the effects of bomb radiation would have on soldiers, so dozens of American “atomic soldier” guinea pigs were told to advance towards Ground Zero within minutes of the detonation. The results of that human experiment on radioactivity was not to be fully appreciated until much later.
Trinity had produced large amounts of an entirely new type of geological specimen that was later called “Trinitite”, a man-made molten lava rock that had been created from the intense heat that was greater than the temperature of the sun. Samples of it still exist in the desert at Alamogordo. The rock still contains radioactive isotopes of plutonium, uranium, cobalt and barium.
At 3 am on the morning of August 9, 1945 a B-29 Superfortress named Bock’s Car (after the pilot who usually flew the plane on conventional bombing missions) took off from Tinian Island, with the prayers and blessings of the crew’s two chaplains.
Just making it off the runway before the heavily loaded plane almost crash-landed in the Pacific Ocean, Bock’s Car flew north for Kokura, Japan, the primary target. The 10,000 pound plutonium bomb in the hold was code-named “Fat Man,” partly because of its shape and partly to honor the rotund British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The slenderer uranium bomb that had been dropped on Hiroshima 3 days earlier was code-named “Little Boy” after first being called “Thin Man” (after President Roosevelt).
<<< Japan’s War Council was Considering Surrender Terms as Nagasaki was Being Incinerated>>>
Japan’s Supreme War Council in Tokyo was scheduled to convene at 11 am on August 9. The fascist leaders, half of them military leaders, had no comprehension of what had just happened at Hiroshima. So the members had no real sense of urgency about any new threats from that bombing. On August 9, the council was mostly concerned about Russia’s declaration of war the day before.
But it was already too late. Not having access to any of the information that they needed to make wise decisions, there was no chance for the Japanese leadership to accurately assess the situation.
Bock’s Car – flying under radio silence – was already approaching the southern islands of Japan, heading for Kokura, the primary target. The crew was hoping to beat a predicted typhoon and the approaching storm clouds that could have adversely affected the mission. They knew that they had to drop the bomb somewhere, given the fact that it would be unwise – indeed impossible – to land the B-29 with a 5-ton atomic bomb on board.
The Bock’s Car crew had instructions to drop the bomb only on visual sighting. But Kokura was clouded over. After making three failed bomb runs looking for a break in the clouds – using up valuable fuel all the while – the plane belatedly headed for its secondary target, Nagasaki.
<<<The History of Nagasaki Christianity>>>
Nagasaki is famous in the history of Japanese Christianity. The city had the largest concentration of Christians in all of Japan. St. Mary’s Urakami Cathedral was the megachurch of its time, with 12,000 baptized members.
Nagasaki was the community where the legendary Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier planted a mission church in 1549. The Catholic community at Nagasaki grew and eventually prospered over the next few decades. However, it gradually became clear to the Japanese leadership that Portuguese and Spanish commercial interests (with their Catholic priests that were attempting to “Christianize” Japan) were exploiting Japan’s resources and its people. It didn’t take very long before all Europeans were expelled from the country – along with their strange religion. Japanese Christians who refused to recant of their faith suffered severe persecutions, which culminated on February 5, 1597 when Paul Miki and 25 other Christian martyrs were tortured and crucified simultaneously in Nagasaki.
The reign of terror stopped when it appeared to all observers that Japanese Christianity was dead, and from 1600 until 1850, being a Christian in Japan was punishable by death.
However, 250 years later, after the gunboat diplomacy of US Commodore Matthew Perry forced open an offshore island close to Nagasaki for American trade purposes, it was discovered that there were thousands of baptized Christians in the Nagasaki area, practicing their faith in secret in a catacomb-like existence, completely unknown to the government.
When the secret congregation was discovered, the government started another purge but because of international pressure, the persecutions stopped and Nagasaki Christianity came up from the underground. And by 1917, with no financial help from the government, the re-vitalized Christian community built the massive cathedral in Nagasaki’s Urakami River district.
<<<Christians Killing Christians in the Name of Christ>>>
So it was the height of irony that the huge Cathedral – one of only two Nagasaki landmarks that could be positively identified from 31,000 feet up – became Ground Zero for Bock’s Car’s crew. (The other identifiable aiming point from that altitude was the Mitsubishi armaments factory complex – which had run out of raw materials because of the successful Allied naval blockade that had stopped production of war materiel.)
When the atomic bomb exploded over Nagasaki at 11:02 am on August 9, 1945, an unknown number of Nagasaki Christians attending mass were boiled, evaporated, carbonized or otherwise disappeared in a scorching, radioactive fireball that exploded 500 meters above the cathedral. The “black rain” that soon came down from the mushroom cloud contained the mingled cellular remains of many Nagasaki Christians as well as many more nearby Shintoists and Buddhists. The theological implications of Nagasaki’s Black Rain ingredients should boggle the minds of theologians of all religions.
<<<The Nagasaki Christian Body Count>>>
Most Nagasaki Christians did not survive the blast. It is estimated that 6,000 of them died instantly, including all who were at the church that morning. Of the12,000 members of St Mary’s, 8,500 of them died as a result of the bomb. Many of the survivors were seriously sickened with an entirely new, highly lethal disease: radiation sickness.
Located near the cathedral were three orders of nuns and a Catholic girl’s school. They all disappeared into black smoke, black rain or became black chunks of charcoal. Tens of thousands of other innocent non-combatants also died instantly, but many more were mortally wounded and/or incurably sickened. Some of the original victims (including their progeny) are still suffering to this very day from the trans-generational malignancies and immune deficiencies caused by their exposure to deadly radioactive isotopes that were produced by the bomb.
And here is one of the most important ironies: What the Japanese Imperial government could not do in 250 years of persecution (ie, to destroy Japanese Christianity) American Christians did in mere seconds.
Even after a slow revival of Christianity after WWII wiped out Nagasaki Christianity, membership in the many Japanese churches has risen to only a tiny fraction of 1% of the general population, with the average attendance at worship services across the nation is reported to be only 30 per Sunday. The decimation of Nagasaki crippled what at one time was a vibrant church.
<<<George Zabelka, the Catholic Chaplain for the 509th Composite Group>>>
Father George Zabelka was the Roman Catholic chaplain for the 509th Composite Group (the 1500 man group whose only mission was to deliver the atomic bombs to Japanese urban targets). He was one of the few post-World War II clergypersons that eventually came to recognize the serious contradictions between what his modern church had taught him about war and what the early church was committed to concerning all homicidal violence.
Several decades after Zabelka was discharged from his military chaplaincy, he finally came to the conclusion that both he and the Roman Catholic church had made serious ethical and theological errors in religiously legitimatizing the organized mass slaughter that is modern war. He had slowly come to understand that (as he articulated it) “the enemy of me and the enemy of my nation is not an enemy of God. Rather my enemy and my nation’s enemy are children of God who are loved by God and who therefore are to be loved (and not killed) by me as a follower of that loving God.”
Father Zabelka’s gradual conversion away from homicidal violence-tolerant Christianity totally changed his Detroit, Michigan inner city ministry. His absolute commitment to the truth of gospel nonviolence – just like Martin Luther King’s commitment – inspired him to devote the remaining decades of his life and work to speaking out against violence in all its forms, including the violence of militarism, racism and economic exploitation. Zabelka travelled to Nagasaki on the 50th anniversary of the bombing, tearfully repenting and asking for forgiveness for the part he had played in the crime.
Likewise, the Lutheran chaplain for the 509th, Pastor William Downey (formerly of Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, MN), in his counseling of soldiers who had become troubled by their participation in making murder for the state, later denounced all killing, whether by a single bullet or by weapons of mass destruction.
<<<Why Should Combat Veterans Embrace a Religion that Blessed the Wars that Ruined Their Souls?>>>
In Daniel Hallock’s important book, Hell, Healing and Resistance, the author described a 1997 Buddhist retreat that was led by the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. The retreat involved a number of combat-traumatized Vietnam War veterans who had abandoned the Christianity of their youth. The veterans had responded positively to the monk’s ministrations. Hallock wrote, “Clearly, Buddhism offers something that cannot be found in institutional Christianity. But then why should veterans embrace a religion that has blessed the wars that ruined their souls? It is no wonder that they turn to a gentle Buddhist monk to hear what are, in large part, the truths of Christ.”
Hallock’s incisive comment should be a sobering wake-up call to Christian leaders who seem to regard as vital both the recruitment of new members and the retention of old ones. The fact that the US is a highly militarized nation makes the truths of gospel nonviolence difficult to teach and preach, especially to pro-war military veterans (particularly the sociopaths, the un-employed, the homeless, the psychologically tormented, the spiritually-depleted, the malnourished, the over-medicated, the over-vaccinated, the homicidal ones and the suicidal ones) who may have lost their faith because of the horrors they experienced on the battlefield.
In my practice of holistic, preventive and non-drug mental health care, I dealt with hundreds of psychologically traumatized patients (including combat-traumatized war veterans and their secondarily traumatized partners and children), and I know that violence, in all of its forms, can seriously, sometimes irretrievably, damage the mind, body, brain, spirit and soul. But the fact that the combat-traumatized type of PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is totally preventable – while simultaneously being nearly impossible to cure – makes prevention work of ultimate importance.
An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure when it comes to combat-induced PTSD. Simply refusing to join any organization like the military that engages in homicidal violence is the key preventive measure. And where Christian churches should and could be instrumental in the prevention of the soul-destroying combat-type of PTSD is by counseling their members to simply adhere to the ethical message of the nonviolent Jesus and refuse to participate in the killing professions – which should be a no-brainer if one considers what guided the Christian church’s pacifism (ie, the active, courageous, nonviolent resistance to evil) in the first 3 centuries of its existence.
Experiencing violence, whether as victim or victimizer, can be deadly to the soul and psyche, and it runs in families (or a society) like a contagious disease can. In my career as healer, I have treated untold numbers of people that have asked my professional help to alleviate their emotional suffering which has almost always been caused by various forms of acute and chronic violence, chronic neglect and acute and chronic physical, emotional, spiritual or sexual abuse.
Tragically, the victims of those trauma-induced realities are far too commonly mis-diagnosed as having a “mental illness of unknown cause” – to the detriment of the traumatized patient who will then be mis-treated with cocktails of neurotoxic psychoactive drugs (which are commonly brain-damaging and often addictive) rather than with compassionate psychotherapy that could curatively deal with the root causes of the traumatic stress.
I have often seen the essentially contagious nature of traumatic stress as it spreads through the generations of both military and non-military families – even involving the 3rd and 4th generations following the initial combat trauma. And that contagion has been the experience of the hibakusha (the long-suffering atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki), whose progeny – as well as themselves – continue to suffer radiation- and trauma-related disease. Combat-induced PTSD inevitably haunts the progeny of the warriors who participated in the homicidal realities of war.
<<<What Should be the Church’s Role in the Organized Mass Slaughter That is War?>>>
Years ago I came across an unpublished Veteran’s Administration research study that showed that, whereas most Vietnam War-era soldiers were active members of Christian churches before they were sent off to war, if they came home with PTSD, the percentage that returned to their faith community approached zero. Daniel Hallock’s sobering message above helps explain why that is so.
Therefore, the church – by its silence on the critical issues of war and war preparation – is actually promoting (rather than forbidding) the participation in military violence by failing to teach what Jesus taught about violence and what the primitive church understood was one of the core ethical teachings of Jesus, who preached, in effect, that “violence is forbidden for those who wish to follow me”.
Therefore, by refraining from warning their adolescent members about the faith- and soul-destroying realities of war, the church is directly undermining the “retention” strategies in which all churches engage. The hidden history of Nagasaki thus has valuable lessons for American Christianity.
The church leadership in the first few centuries of Christianity knew the ethical teachings and actions of Jesus best and they rejected the nationalist, racist and militarist agendas of whatever passed for governmental and military authority 2000 years ago. And Sermon on the Mount-type Christians of yesteryear as well as the remnants that remain today both reject the homicidal agendas of the national security state, the military-industrial-congressional complex, the war-profiteering corporations, the militarism-complicit major media and the eye-for-an-eye retaliatory church doctrines that have, over the past 1700 years, enabled baptized and confirmed Christians, if ordered to do so, to willingly kill other Christians in the name of Christ.
If the church is sincere when it promises to “never again” allow its government to use atomic weapons, slaughter civilians or torture enemy combatants, it needs to take seriously the radical message of gospel nonviolence so clearly taught 2000 years ago.
Learning the lessons from the bombing of Nagasaki would be a good place to start.
Dr Kohls is a retired physician from Duluth, MN, USA. He writes a weekly column for the Reader, Duluth’s alternative newsweekly magazine. His columns mostly deal with the dangers of American fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism, malnutrition, psychiatric drugging, over-vaccination regimens, Big Pharma and other movements that threaten the environment or America’s health, democracy, civility and longevity. Many of his columns are archived at http://duluthreader.com/search?search_term=Duty+to+Warn&p=2; http://www.globalresearch.ca/author/gary-g-kohls; or at https://www.transcend.org/tms/search/?q=gary+kohls+articles
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 14 Aug 2017.
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2 Responses to “August 9th, the 72nd Anniversary of the Bombing of Nagasaki: Unwelcome Truths for Church and State”
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For Your Referece:
– Nagasaki: The Last Bomb: http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/nagasaki-the-last-bomb
– “But so would’ve been sending millions of Japanese and hundreds of thousands of American troops into the meat grinder when two bombs ended up being the closing chapter in this brutal fight. Yes, there’s the argument that Truman wanted to scare the Russians. Yes, we sort of lucked out since the Japanese thought we had more atomic bombs—we didn’t. Nevertheless, they surrendered, and countless lives were saved. That’s rather righteous.” – Matt Vespa: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2016/05/27/no-america-dropping-atomic-bombs-on-japan-was-a-good-thing-n2161273
– The Decision to Drop the Bomb: http://www.ushistory.org/us/51g.asp
– Researcher: U.S. Atomic Bombs Not Main Cause of Japan’s Surrender: http://www.ia.ucsb.edu/93106_archived/2005/May02/researcher.html
– The Atomic Bombs and the Soviet Invasion: What Drove Japan’s Decision to Surrender?: http://apjjf.org/-Tsuyoshi-Hasegawa/2501/article.html
– Release when Ready: http://www.fpp.co.uk/History/Churchill/Japan_surrender_attempts/MS.html
See also “What Made the Japanese Government Decide to Surrender? The Atomic Bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or Something Else?” in “AUGUST 15: 1945 Japanese Emperor, Hirohito, broadcasts to the Japanese public, at noon Japan Time, that his government accepted the Potsdam Declaration, which means Japan’s unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers. The Japanese representatives sign the Instrument of Surrender on September 2, 1945.” THIS WEEK IN HISTORY: https://www.transcend.org/tms/2017/08/this-week-in-history-141/
Some unexplored truths about Hiroshima.
May God be with you.
Begins . . .
The truth why Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuclear bombed in 1945.
Our Nuclear Fate – Is Our Destiny In the Hands Of – the US?
The atom bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were totally unnecessary for all US claimed reasons: Two types of nuclear bombs were used in order to test their effects on populations and infrastructure, the effects were kept secret. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen as they were ideally relatively unbombed cities. The Japanese were already defeated as their importing of food and supplies was prevented by US military means. The US had decoded Japanese communications four years previously and knew about Japanese offers of surrender long before the atom bombing. The Japanese only rejected US terms of unconditional surrender and wanted to retain their godlike Emperor, the US knew this and only accepted retention of the Emperor after the bombs were dropped. The US were desperate to drop the bombs before the Potsdam agreed date of August 15 1945 for Soviet entry in the war in southeast Asia and their fear of Soviet influence in the region; the US wanted the nuclear bombings of Japan to be a warning to the Soviet Union and the world of who was now in military control of the world. The US military were not involved in the final decision of the nuclear bombings of Japan, which was a purely political decision at the highest level. Now that US nuclear power dominates the world, it would undoubtedly make first use of nuclear warfare.
(Note: Regarding my heavy use of quotes: It is solely that it is most revealing and undeniable, especially to the most incredulous, to let Presidents, Prime Ministers and military leaders speak for themselves. I have always found through writing, tutoring, speaking engagements and general argument that quotes have a veracity of their own and have the strongest impact, far more than journalistic opinion or dialogue from me could possibly have. And if people in power say much the same thing, there’s sure to be a policy in there somewhere.)
“We have already lost Germany… If Japan bows out [surrenders B.M.], we will not have a live population on which to test the bomb … our entire postwar program depends on terrifying the world with the atomic bomb. … we are hoping for a million tally in Japan. But if they surrender, we won’t have anything.”
(US Secretary of State Edward Stettinius, May 1945.)
“Then you have to keep them [the Japanese] in the war until the bomb is ready.”
(US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles.)
“Keep Japan in the war another three months, and we can use the bomb on their cities; we will end this war with the naked fear of all the peoples of the world, who will then bow to our will. … We have to scare the hell out of em in order to browbeat the American people into paying heavy taxes to support the Cold War.
(US Senator Vandenberg.)
“Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen as targets because of their concentration of activities and population.” …
(US Strategic Bombing Survey Summary Report, July 1 1946.)
“the Air Force would have Japan so bombed out that the new weapon would not have a fair background to show its strength.”
(US Secretary of War Stimson to US President Truman, June 6 1945.)
“Hiroshima is the largest untouched target on the 21st Bomber Command priority list. Consideration should be given to this city. … The target used was Hiroshima, the one reserved target where there was no indication of any POW camp.”
(Declassified top secret US government memo of an April 27 1945 meeting of top military and nuclear scientists discussing the nuclear bombing of Japan.)
“It was strange to us that Hiroshima had never been bombed, despite the fact that B-29 [US] bombers flew over the city every day. Only after the war did I come to know that Hiroshima, according to American archives, had been kept untouched in order to preserve it as a target for the use of nuclear weapons. Perhaps, if the American administration and its military authorities had paid sufficient regard to the terrible nature of the fiery demon which mankind had discovered and yet knew so little about its consequences, the American authorities might never have used such a weapon against the 750,000 Japanese who ultimately became its victims.”
(Japanese doctor in Hiroshima at the time of the bombing Doctor Shuntaro Hida.)
“we brought them [the Japanese] down to an abject surrender through the accelerated sinking of their merchant marine and hunger alone… we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs. Many other high-level military officers concurred. … The commander in chief of the U.S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations, Ernest J. King, stated that the naval blockade and prior bombing of Japan in March of 1945, had rendered the Japanese helpless and that the use of the atomic bomb was both unnecessary and immoral.”
(US Brigadier General Clarke, in charge of intercepted Japanese communications, which the US had deciphered since 1940.)
“In this first testing ground of the atomic bomb I have seen the most terrible and frightening desolation in four years of war. … The damage is far greater than photographs can show. … Of thousands of others, nearer the centre of the explosion, there was no trace. They vanished. The theory in Hiroshima is that the atomic heat was so great that they burned instantly to ashes, except that there were no ashes. … Could anything justify the extermination of civilians on such a scale?” …”In Hiroshima, thirty days after the first atomic bomb destroyed the city and shook the world, people are still dying, mysteriously and horribly – people who were uninjured by the cataclysm – from an unknown something which I can only describe as an atomic plague. … I became very conscious of what would happen in the event of a new world war.”
(Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett. [Note: Wilfred Burchett was the first”western” journalist to enter Hiroshima after the atom bomb. His press permit was then withdrawn, Japanese film of the consequences of the bombing were confiscated, and after reporting other events the Australian government wanted kept secret, his passport was then taken away.])
“No Radioactivity in Hiroshima Ruin.”
(New York Times front page headline after the bomb was dropped.)
“First there was a ball of fire, changing in a few seconds to purple clouds and flames boiling and swirling upward … Entire city except outmost ends of dock areas was covered with a dark grey dust layer which joined the cloud column.”
(Leading US atom bomb project director Leslie Groves, in a recently declassified cable to the US government on August 6 1945.)
“On the ground, numberless people had fallen, groaning or crying for water, without anyone to help them. The neighbourhood was so full of agonising cries, it was hell on earth… Those who narrowly escaped being killed were left naked, their clothes burnt off. With their blistering skin peeling, they tottered about in the sea of fire… that is A-bombing. People who survived the bombing, and those who entered the city to search for relatives or help victims were struck down by radiation and died after losing their hair and bleeding. After the end of World War II, the US occupational forces and the Japanese government tried to conceal the real condition of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the public by suppressing all reports on the damage of these two cities caused by the A-bombs…”
(Hiroshima atom bomb survivor Sakao Ito.)
“the first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment… It was a mistake to ever drop it…. [the scientists] had this toy and they wanted to try it out, so they dropped it. It killed a lot of Japs, but the Japs had put out a lot of peace feelers through Russia long before.”
(Commander of the US Third Fleet Admiral Halsey, 1946.)
The US was deeply afraid of socialist influence in Asia as everywhere. They did not want the USSR to enter the war in the east. They were determined that the atomic bombs should be a political message to the Soviet Union and the rest of the world:
“The date for the Soviet attack [August 15 1945. BM.] made it all the more imperative for the United States to drop the bomb in the beginning of August, before the Soviets entered the war. The race between Soviet entry into the war and the atomic bomb now reached its climax. … Justifying Hiroshima and Nagasaki by making a historically unsustainable argument that the atomic bombs ended the war is no longer tenable.”
(Japanese born US history professor Tsuyoshi Hasegawa.)
“If surrender could have been brought about in May, 1945, or even in June or July, before the entrance of Soviet Russia into the [Pacific] war and the use of the atomic bomb, the world would have been the gainer.” …”Once Russia is in the war against Japan, then Mongolia, Manchuria, and Korea will slip into Russia’s orbit, to be followed in due course by China and eventually Japan.”
(US Under Secretary of State Joseph Grew.)
“In March 1944 I experienced a disagreeable shock. In a casual conversation, General Leslie Groves, the head of the Manhattan [nuclear bomb] Project, said, ”You realise, of course, that the real purpose of making the bomb is to subdue our chief enemy, the Russians!” Until then I thought that our work was to prevent a Nazi victory.”
(British physics Professor Joseph Rotblat, The Times July 17 1985.)
“There was never, from about two weeks from the time I took charge of this project, any illusions on my part, but that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was carried out on that basis. I didn’t go along with the attitude of the whole country that Russia was our gallant ally.”
(US General Leslie Groves, director of the 1945 Manhattan nuclear bomb testing project.)
“it wasn’t necessary to use the bomb against the cities of Japan in order to win the war but our possession and demonstration of the bomb would make the Russians more manageable in Europe.”
(US Secretary of State James Byrnes.)
“We now had something in our hands which would redress the balance with the Russians.”
(British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.)
The Japanese had no means of continuing the war, or importing food and supplies:
“I think that the Japanese were ready for peace, and they already had approached the Russians and, I think, the Swiss. …the Japanese war was really won before we ever used the atom bomb. …the Japanese were becoming weaker and weaker. They were surrounded by the Navy. They couldn’t get any imports and they couldn’t export anything.”
(US Under Secretary of the Navy Ralph Bard.)
“The Japanese position was hopeless even before the first atomic bomb fell because the Japanese had lost control of their own air.”
(Commanding General of US Army Air Forces Arnold, August 17 1945.)
“It seems clear however that air supremacy and its later exploitation over Japan proper was the major factor which determined the timing of Japan’s surrender and obviated any need for invasion.”
(US Strategic Bombing Survey, July 1 1946.)
“It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.”
(US Chief of Staff Admiral Leahy to President Truman. In his [Leahy’s] memoirs.)
The US knew about but rejected various Japanese offers of surrender, some of which were as early as September 1944:
“Went to lunch with P.M. [British Prime Minister Churchill] … Discussed Manhattan [atom bomb testing] (it is a success). Decided to tell Stalin about it. Stalin had told P.M. of telegram from Jap Emperor asking for peace.”
(US President Truman, in his diary July 18 1945.)
“The assertion that the new American bombs brought the Japanese war to an end is a myth. As we know, weeks before the appearance of the atom bombs, the Emperor Hirohito had already asked Stalin to mediate; thus openly admitting defeat. In reality Japan had been brought down by the interruption of her sea communications by Anglo-American sea power and the danger of a Soviet thrust across Manchuria cutting off the Japanese armies in Asia from home.”
(The Times Aug 16 1945.)
“The Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs did not defeat Japan, nor… did they persuade Japan to accept unconditional surrender. The [Japanese government] had decided as early as May 1945 that the war should be ended even if it meant acceptance of defeat on allied terms.”
(US Strategic Bombing Survey, July 1 1946.)
“the decision to use the atomic weapon against Japan was taken at the beginning of July, 1945. The first atomic bomb was dropped on August 6 and the offer of peace made by Japan on July 22 was not accepted till August 10.”
(British Prime Minister Attlee, Dec 5 1946.)
“weeks before the first bomb was dropped, on July 13 1945, Japan sent a telegram to the Soviet Union expressing its desire to surrender and end the war. The United States had broken Japan’s codes [in 1940] and read the telegram. Truman referred in his diary to ‘the telegram from Jap Emperor asking for peace.’ Truman had been informed … of Japanese peace overtures as early as three months before Hiroshima. Japan had objected only to surrendering unconditionally and giving up its emperor, but the United States insisted on those terms until after the bombs fell, at which point it allowed Japan to keep its emperor.”
(US historian and author David Swanson, in his book War Is A Lie.)
The US insisted on unconditional surrender, including the Emperor; whereas all Japanese offers of surrender were conditional on retaining their Emperor, which the US refused until after the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki:
“On July 20, 1945, under instructions from Washington, I went to the Potsdam Conference and reported there to Secretary Stimson on what I had learned from Tokyo. They desired to surrender if they could retain the Emperor and the constitution as a basis for maintaining discipline and order in Japan after the devastating news of surrender became known to the Japanese people.”
(US head of the OSS (now CIA) Allen Dulles.)
“This [non removal of the Japanese Emperor] was omitted from the Potsdam declaration [of July 26 1945] and as you are undoubtedly aware was the only reason why it was not immediately accepted by the Japanese who were beaten and knew it before the first atomic bomb was dropped.” …”It seemed to me that such a weapon was not necessary to bring the war to a successful conclusion, that once used it would find its way into the armaments of the world…”
(US Assistant Secretary of the Navy Rear Admiral Lewis Strauss.)
“when Russia came into the war against Japan, the Japanese would probably wish to get out on almost any terms short of the dethronement of the Emperor.”
(British Chief of Staff of the Minister of Defence General Ismay to Churchill.)
“I told MacArthur of my memorandum of mid-May 1945 to Truman, that peace could be had with Japan by which our major objectives would be accomplished. MacArthur said that was correct and that we would have avoided all of the losses, the Atomic bomb, and the entry of Russia into Manchuria.” …”The Japanese were prepared to negotiate all the way from February 1945…up to and before the time the atomic bombs were dropped; …if such leads had been followed up, there would have been no occasion to drop the [atomic] bombs.” … And on May 28 1945 to US President Truman:”I am convinced that if you, as President, will make a shortwave broadcast to the people of Japan – tell them they can have their Emperor if they surrender, that it will not mean unconditional surrender except for the militarists – you’ll get a peace in Japan – you’ll have both wars over.”
(US President Herbert Hoover.)
“His Majesty is extremely anxious to terminate the war as soon as possible… Our government therefore desires to negotiate for a speedy restoration of peace… For this purpose Prince Konoye will proceed to Moscow with a personal message from the Emperor.”
(Japanese Ambassador to Soviet Union Naotaki Sato July 12 1945.)
“See [Soviet foreign minister] Molotov before his departure for Potsdam … Convey His Majesty’s strong desire to secure a termination of the war … Unconditional surrender is the only obstacle to peace …”
(Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo to Japanese Ambassador Naotake Sato in Moscow, July 13 1945.)
“Japan is defeated. … We must face the fact and act accordingly.”
(Japanese Ambassador in Moscow Naotaki Sato to Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo, July 13 1945.)
“Retaining the Emperor was vital to an orderly transition to peace…”
(US Supreme Commander General McArthur.)
“We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces and to provide proper and adequate assurance of good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction.”
(The Potsdam declaration issued by US and Britain July 26 1945.)
“MacArthur’s views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed.” …”What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.”
(US journalist, author and world peace activist Norman Cousins.)
The nuclear bombing of Japanese cities was not a military decision, as most top ranking military officers were against it. It was a political decision at the highest level:
“The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military point of view, in the defeat of Japan. … 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.” …”The use of atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.” …”the decision to employ the atomic bomb on Japanese cities was made on a level higher than that of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
(US Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet Admiral Nimitz.)
“[Marshall’s] insistence to me that whether we should drop an atomic bomb on Japan was a matter for the President to decide, not the Chief of Staff since it was not a military question… the question of whether we should drop this new bomb on Japan, in his judgment, involved such imponderable considerations as to remove it from the field of a military decision.”
(US Assistant Secretary of War John McCloy.)
“[General Douglas] MacArthur… thought it a tragedy that the Bomb was ever exploded. MacArthur believed that the same restrictions ought to apply to atomic weapons as to conventional weapons, that the military objective should always be limited damage to noncombatants. … MacArthur, you see, was a soldier. He believed in using force only against military targets, and that is why the nuclear thing turned him off.”
(US President Nixon.)
“Just when the Japanese were ready to capitulate, we went ahead and introduced to the world the most devastating weapon it had ever seen and, in effect, gave the go-ahead to Russia to swarm over Eastern Asia. … I submit that it was the wrong decision. It was wrong on strategic grounds. And it was wrong on humanitarian grounds.”
(Deputy Director of the US Office of Naval Intelligence Ellis Zacharius.)
“it was not a military decision, but rather a political one.”
(US General George Marshall.)
“In [July] 1945… Secretary of War Stimson… informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan… I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face’. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude…” …”It wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing … to use the atomic bomb, to kill and terrorize civilians, without even attempting [negotiations], was a double crime.”
(US General, later President Eisenhower. [It is essential to note that the great majority of US and British government, scientific and armed forces involved were opposed to the use of the nuclear weapons on the Japanese. The most cynical act by the US was that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were deliberately kept relatively unharmed so that the two different bombs, uranium and plutonium, were developed and used in order to test their effects on people and cities.])
“The war would have been over in two weeks without the Russians entering and without the atomic bomb. … The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all.”
(US Major General Curtis LeMay.)
“The atomic bomb, in its present state of development, raises the destructive power of a single bomber by a factor of somewhere between 50 and 250 times… The capacity to destroy… is beyond question. …
(US Strategic Bombing Survey Summary Report July 1 1946. Today’s nuclear weapons are many, perhaps hundreds of times, more destructive.)
“If the Germans had dropped atomic bombs on cities instead of us,” …”Can anyone doubt that we would then have defined the dropping of atomic bombs on cities as a war crime, and that we would have sentenced the Germans who were guilty of this crime to death at Nuremberg and hanged them?”
(Leading Manhattan atom bomb project US scientist Leo Szilard.)
The US has always had the world’s largest arsenal of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons; and along with Britain, would undoubtedly conduct first use of them:
“We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. … This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10 [to prevent planned August 15 Soviet involvement in the eastern war]. … we will issue a warning statement asking the Japs to surrender and save lives. I’m sure they will not do that, but we will have given them the chance. … It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful.”
(US President Truman in his diary, July 25 1945.)
“Oh I wouldn’t hesitate if I had the choice. I’d wipe ’em out. You’re gonna kill innocent people at the same time, but we’ve never fought a damn war anywhere in the world where they didn’t kill innocent people. If the newspapers would just cut out the shit: ‘You’ve killed so many civilians.’ That’s their tough luck for being there.”
(US pilot of the plane that dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima Paul Tibbets.)
“You can have a limited nuclear war. The USA has already fought such a war, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Japanese not only lived through it but are flourishing.”
(Director of US Arms Control and Development Agency Eugene Rostow.)
Question: ”Do you honestly think, in the final analysis as a human being, a Christian, a father, you could actually recommend to the President to push the button and kill millions of people?” Brzezinski: ”Certainly I think I would and I certainly think I would without too much hesitation.” Question: ”Even though that might make the chance of regeneration of human society that much more difficult, even impossible?” Brzezinski: ”Well, first of all, that really is baloney… the fact of the matter is that if we used all our nuclear weapons and the Russians used all of their nuclear weapons, about ten percent of humanity would be killed… but descriptively and analytically, it’s not the end of humanity…”
(Polish born US Chief of US National Security Council, CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) and Bilderberg Group (of billionaires) member, Zbignew Brzezinski, interview, International Herald Tribune, Paris, Oct 10 1977.)
“Among the people who knew a great deal about the hydrogen bomb, I was the only advocate of it. … I’m the infamous Edward Teller. … I ask you, what is the difference between 30 million people dead and 130 million people dead? … With 30 million dead, the United States can survive.”
(Hungarian born US nuclear scientist Edward Teller, so called”father” of the hydrogen atomic bomb describing how the US might survive nuclear war.)
“If atomic bombs are to be added as new weapons to the arsenals of a warring world, or to the arsenals of nations preparing for war, then the time will come when mankind will curse the names of Los Alamos and of Hiroshima. … The peoples of this world must unite or they will perish.”
(US atomic bomb scientist Julius Oppenheimer.)
“The United States has not accepted a treaty rule that prohibits the use of nuclear weapons per se, and thus nuclear weapons are lawful weapons for the United States.”
(US Pentagon’s Law of War Manual, 2015. John Pilger in Counterpunch.)
“I am absolutely confident, in the right conditions, we would be willing to use our nuclear weapons.”
(British Defence Secretary and MP Geoff Hoon, the Guardian, March 27 2002.)
“Any discussion on the limitation of armaments should be pursued slowly and carefully with the knowledge constantly in mind that proposals on outlawing atomic warfare and long-range offensive weapons would greatly limit United States strength… The United States should realise that Soviet propaganda is dangerous (especially when American”imperialism” is emphasised) and should avoid any actions which give an appearance of truth to the Soviet charges.”
(US Special Council Report on American relations with the Soviet Union, 1946.)
“There was no division in the British public mind about the use of the atomic bomb, they were for its use.”
(British Prime Minister Attlee to US Secretary of State James Forrestal, 1948. [Which was a complete lie as there was already a massive peace movement developing.])
“We fought World War I in Europe, we fought World War II in Europe, and if you dummies will let us we will fight World War III in Europe.”
(US Rear Admiral Gene La Rocque.)
“We need to ensure that military superiority , particularly technological superiority, remains with nations, above all the United States, that can be trusted with it. We must never leave the sanction of force to those who have no scruples about its use.”
(British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. [I wonder who the peoples of Hiroshima and Nagasaki trust with scruples about its use.])
“Total war is no longer war waged by all members of one national community against all those of another. It is total… because it may well involve the whole world.”
(French writer Jean-Paul Sartre.)
“The American people would execute you if you did not use the bomb in the event of war.”
(US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles.)
“1. To evaluate the effect on the war effort of the USSR of the Strategic Air Offensive contemplated in current war plans, including an appraisal of the psychological effects of atomic bombing on the Soviet will to wage war…
9. Physical damage… 30 to 40 percent reduction of Soviet industrial capacity. This loss would not be permanent and could either be alleviated by Soviet recuperative action or augmented depending upon the weight and effectiveness of follow up attacks…
11. The initial atomic offensive could produce as many as 2,700,000 mortalities, and 4,000,000 additional casualties, depending upon the effectiveness of Soviet passive defense measures…
12. The atomic offensive would not, per se, bring about capitulation, destroy the roots of Communism or critically weaken the power of Soviet leadership…
13. For the majority of Soviet people, atomic bombing would validate Soviet propaganda against foreign powers, stimulate resentment against the United States, unify these people and increase their will to fight. Among an indeterminate minority, atomic bombing might stimulate dissidence…
18. Atomic bombing will produce certain psychological and retaliatory reactions detrimental to the achievement of Allied war objectives and its destructive effects will complicate post-hostilities problems.”
(US government Evaluation of Effect on Soviet War Effort Resulting from the Strategic Air Offensive. May 11 1949)
“Fundamental national interests require the United States to use military force in defense of our interests with comparative freedom if it should become necessary to do so not only in Europe, but in other strategically critical parts of the world. In my view – and I speak for President Reagan – this must remain the minimum goal of our nuclear arsenal.”
(Former Director of US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Eugene Rostow.)
“We thought we left the nuclear threat behind with the end of the Cold War, but now President Bush and Prime Minister Blair have said they are willing to consider pre-emptive strikes with nuclear weapons. It’s quite something… that the nuclear threats today should be seen first and foremost as coming from the Unites States of America and Great Britain… If I were a North Korean, I would be very, very worried.”
(Former US CIA officer Ray McGovern.)
“Possible U.S. Actions Regarding Indochina… The employment of atomic weapons is contemplated in the event that such course appears militarily advantageous.”
(US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Arthur Radford, May 1954. [The US offered the use of nuclear bombs to the French at Dien Ben Phu in Vietnam, and has offered or threatened to use nuclear weapons on several occasions since August 1945.])
“We will export death and violence to the four corners of the Earth in defense of our great nation.”
(George Bush, 2001.)
“We must be prepared for waging a conventional war that may extend to many parts of the globe. It will become increasingly difficult in the near future to protect US overseas interests with conventional weapons… I have in mind situations far from our shores,… where we would have difficulty, from a logistics point of view, at least, in reaching the areas in which we have considerable US interests. Such situations could well involve a non nuclear power… We just would not have the capability… to take care of the situation with conventional force…
Now, and for the future, we have an added motivation… That motivation is the need for the United States to look more and more overseas for the resources to provide economic strength… we will be looking increasingly towards Africa and the Middle East, as well as South America, for the materials required by our industrial economy… We will require free access and intercourse with many far distant nations of the world in order to remain a leading export – import nation
We may have confrontations with non-nuclear states such as Cuba. We may have confrontations with nuclear or non-nuclear nations whose geographical location is such that we have no adequate means of protecting our interests with conventional weapons… The use of nuclear weapons with varying capabilities might be the only effective method of accomplishing our objectives, protecting our interests… I think in the future we may get into areas where it will be increasingly difficult to maintain stability with conventional forces, and nuclear weapons will be our only alternative.”
(US Vice Admiral Gerald Miller, Congressional Testimony, March 18 1976.)
“…under certain circumstances likely to develop in Europe, we may be forced to make first use of nuclear weapons. We will never be able to put into effect our joint plans in this vital area unless quite exceptional efforts are made to check European tendencies towards neutralism, pacifism and unilateralism. To achieve this it is necessary, I feel, to emphasise the theme that the nuclear weapons balance, particularly in the European theatre, has changed sharply in favour of the East. We should constantly bear in mind the necessity of directing attention to the Soviet military threat and of further activising our collaboration with the mass media. If argument, persuasion and compacting the media fail, we are left with no alternative to jolt the faint-hearted in Europe through the creation of situations, country by country, as deemed necessary, to convince them where their interests lie. This would call for appropriate action of a sensitive nature which we have frequently discussed…”
(Ex US NATO Supreme Commander Alexander Haig, in a letter to Secretary General of NATO ex Nazi Joseph Lunz. June 1979.)
“We cannot afford, through any misguided and perilous idea of avoiding an aggressive attitude, to permit the first blow to be struck against us. Our government, under such conditions, should press the issue to a prompt political decision, while making all preparations to strike the first blow if necessary.”
(US Joint Chiefs of Staff directives 1496/2 and SWNCC 282.)
“[use atomic bombs to] create a belt of scorched earth across the avenues of communism to block the Asiatic hordes.”
(US General McArthur’s Director of Intelligence General Willoughby, The Times, June 2 1954.)
“Civilisation will rid itself of communism as a sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are being written just at this moment… The Western world won’t contain communism, it will survive it. We shall not be content to condemn it, we shall get rid of it.”
(Ronald Reagan, at Notre Dame University, May 15 1982.)
“You have survivability of command and control, survivability of industrial potential, protection of a percentage of your citizens, and you have a capability that inflicts more damage on the opposition than it can inflict on you. That’s the way you can have a winner…”
(US President George Bush, in a Los Angeles Times interview in 1980, explaining how a nuclear war could be won.)
“The simple fact of the matter is that… it is possible that with nuclear weapons there can be some use of them… in connection with what is up to that time a war solely within a European theatre.”
(US Defence Secretary Casper Weinberger, Oct 27 1981.)
“The idea of a ”limited” nuclear war is a myth… A nuclear conflict, even if it starts in Europe, will turn into a general nuclear war within hours, and its flames will spread to the US too.”
(US Admiral Gene Larocque, Director of the Center for Defense Information, Sept 5 1983.)
“In reality, any war in central Europe would rapidly escalate into an all-out nuclear war.”
(British American Security Information Council.)
“It would be advantageous to use tactical nuclear weapons and chemical weapons at an early stage. Options at this stage should include deep nuclear strikes.”
(From US Army Training Manual ”Airland Battle 86″.)
“I would request the use of theatre nuclear weapons at a time when I could not accomplish my mission conventionally.”
(NATO Supreme Commander in Europe, US General Rogers, two days after the Soviet Union’s pledge of no first use of nuclear weapons at the UN.)
“It is still possible, I believe, to fight some wars using conventional forces that don’t involve nuclear weapons… Any time you get into a war the possibility that you will use every weapon available has to be left open.”
(US Secretary of Defence Casper Weinberger, on being asked if he would have used nuclear weapons in Vietnam, January 6 1981.)
“High Military Officers in the Pentagon have been saying they cannot be expected to fight a conventional war for longer than a few days if millions of Americans are able to watch it night after night on their television screens. Public revulsion would create intolerable pressures to scale back or end the fighting altogether, as happened in Vietnam.”
(Washington correspondent of the London Evening Standard, Nov 5 1986.)
“The Americans had surrounded our country with military bases and threatened us with nuclear weapons, and now they would learn just what it feels like to have enemy missiles pointed at you; we’d be doing nothing more that giving them a little of their own medicine… After all, the Unites States had no moral or legal quarrel with us. We hadn’t given the Cubans anything more than the Americans were giving to their allies. We had the same rights and opportunities as the Americans. Our conduct in the international arena was governed by the same rules and limits as the Americans.”
(Soviet President Nikita Kruschev in his memoires Kruschev Remembers.)
“Let us keep repeating what has been said a thousand times already, in case it is left unsaid once too often!. Let us keep renewing our warnings even if they are like ashes in our mouths! For the wars of the past seem like tame experiments compared with those which now threaten humanity, and they will happen, beyond a doubt, if those who are preparing them in full public view do not get their fingers smashed.”
(German writer, poet and journalist Berthold Brecht.)
“Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. William J. Crowe Jr. was part of the crew that sold Saddam Hussein the deadly means to wage war with anthrax germs. That’s when the United States wanted the ‘Butcher of Baghdad’ to use anthrax on Iran.”
(US Air Force Major Glenn MacDonald. )
“I do not understand this squeemishness about the use of gas … I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be good…and it would spread a lively terror…”
(British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, 1919.)
“Biological warfare is the deliberate introduction of disease producing organisms into populations of people, animals and plants. The organisms are the same as those found in nature, but can be selected and cultured to be more virulent and resistant than those found in nature… It is difficult to prove guilt of an attack under certain circumstances… and if the organisms are delivered in stealth, it could be argued that the situation is the result of a spontaneous epidemic… Against unprotected populations the effectiveness of large scale biological attacks may be comparable to the effects of nuclear weapons… Biological weapons are extremely suitable for covert use, such as sabotage. They work by delayed action; they are difficult to detect, and only a small quantity is needed.”
(Declassified Special Subcommittee document, US Senate, May 1960.)
“People today are much more willing to accept the humane use of bacteriological and chemical warfare than most world leaders recognise… The Communists have claimed we are using chemical warfare and killing many people with these agents. These chemicals are relatively harmless to warm blooded animals including humans… I do not think chemical and bacteriological warfare has the horror it is pictured.”
(US Brigadier General Rothschild, Chemical Officer, US Far East Command, April 1966.)
“Within the next 5 to 10 years, it would probably be possible to make a new infective microorganism which could differ in certain important aspects from any known disease-causing organisms. Most important of these is that it might be refractory to the immunological and therapeutic processes upon which we depend to maintain our relative freedom from infectious disease.”
(US Department of Defense Appropriations, 1970. [US and British and NATO chemical and biological weapons are now much more fully developed and have been used against many countries.])
“The use of cluster bombs is entirely appropriate. Against certain targets they are the best and most effective weapons we have.”
(British Defence Secretary Geoffrey Hoon, November 2001.)
“Extensive areas of Australia have been contaminated.”
(Dr. Hedley Marston, investigating contamination from British nuclear bomb testing in Australia.)
“During the two and a half years I was there I would have seen 400 to 500 Aborigines in contaminated areas. Occasionally we would bring them in for decontamination. Other times we just shooed them off like rabbits.”
(Patrick Connolly, RAF officer during British nuclear bomb testing in Australia; after which he was threatened by the British Special Branch for divulging information.)
“There was this bang, really loud… black smoke came rolling through the trees and above the trees and passed right over us. I don’t know how many days after that, but most of the people became sick… some people died… I got sick… I went blind then… that’s a mystery to ordinary people. I think only the government people know. They wanted to make a weapon… they worried about some other countries; so they come over to Australia… they just wanted to make something big and powerful and blow somebody up.”
(Aboriginal Australian Yami Lester, British television documentary, May 21 1985.)
“You don’t know southerners. We carry our artillery in our pocket. If you don’t cut out all this stalling and let us get down to work, I’m going to pull an atomic bomb out of my pocket and let you have it.”
(US Secretary of State James Byrnes to Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, in London, September 1945.)
Destiny in the hands of God’s chosen people?
“I have long believed that there is a divine plan which has entrusted this land to a people with a special destiny.”
(US President Ronald Reagan, 1981.)
“What are they going to say about us? What are those people 100 years from now going to think? They will know whether we used those weapons… Well; what they will say about us a hundred years from now depends on how we keep our rendesvous with destiny. Will we do the things that we know must be done and know that one day down in history, a hundred years or perhaps before someone will say ‘thank God for those people back in the 1980s for preserving our freedom, for saving for us this blessed planet called Earth’.”
(US President Ronald Reagan, in his 1984 television election debate.)
“if we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us.”
(US Secretary of State Czech born Madeleine Albright, NBC Today, February 19 1998.)
“We are the chosen. … We are the highest species of humanity on this earth… we have a correspondingly high duty.”
“I believe that we have a historic duty to perform.”
(British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Tory Party Conference, October 1986.)
“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope for man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.”
(US President Ronald Reagan, 1964.)
“We are chosen by Destiny to be the witnesses of a catastrophe.”
“You know, I turn back to your ancient prophets in the Old Testament and the signs foretelling Armageddon, and I find myself wondering if – if we’re the generation that’s going to see that one come about.”
(US President Ronald Reagan.)
“I have read the Book of Revelations and yes, I believe the world is going to end.”
(US Secretary of Defence Caspar Weinberger.)
“If it takes a bloodbath… let’s get it over with.”
(US President Ronald Reagan.)
“At some point, we may be the only ones left. That’s okay with me. We are America.”
(US President George Bush, 2002.)
. . . ends.