It is interesting to have these short essays (see below, “Two Days in August”) in the local twice-a-week newspaper where local events, school sports, the police log, food and dining and art and human interest stories line up next to long obituaries and funny pet stories.
It’s me barking up the wrong tree, for sure, and I wrote this as a way to bring light to the dark days that unleashed, as the title tells, 28,000-plus days of conspiracies. If you can murder Japanese in two cities, experimenting (sic) with uranium and plutonium bombs on civilians, you can carry out any number of other terroristic programs. You can have hit squads getting guns for coke, or you can murder your own president, or you can fake the Gulf of Tonkin, or you can help murder Allende in Chile, or you can drop plague-laced insects and rodents into Korea. The beat goes on, until the chickens come back to roost.
Imagine all the people seeking some light in the dark corridors of pancaking buildings — World Trade Center Towers — and a pancaking Building Number Seven that sustained zero hits.
These bombs did not end the war or save hundred of thousands of American soldiers’ lives.
You can fool yourself believing we are enlightened, exceptional, but how does that really happen, this collective fooling?
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Chinese Proverb
That is an ancient one, but in a world with Hearst and Pulitzer and Facebook and CIA and FBI infiltrating media, the press, academia, and with amazing stealth and concerted zest of a bad-bad education system (K12) that turns youth and creative souls into drudgery, into compliance, into non-thinkers, into sheep, we are not fooling ourselves. It’s in the DNA, until we get the Ivy League and elite colleges around the world producing (like an assembly line) neoconservatives, neoliberals and truly predatory folk, and now, folk who are not thinkers, not creative and who are compliant to the corporations, the lobbies, the others in the Deep State and the Deep Morass of Money.
The topics of the day, in 2022, are now virtrual landmines. You can’t talk about sex, drugs, religion, politics, science, policy, international issues, pharmacuticals, medicine, abortion, education, social work, military spending, culture, the current generation and next one. Or, you can bring these topics up, but be ready for closed minds and mean discourse and broken debates. Yelling and shouting and hating and breaking ranks and estrangement and isolation and locked down thinking, and reaching the metal ceiling of prejudice, bias and backward thinking.
[sinking of the Lusitania]
[attack of the USS Liberty by Israel]
[Tuskegee syphillis experiment (sic)]
[illegal bombing of Cambodia]
[Gulf of Tonkin False Flag]
[Colin Powell nad yellow cake lies]
[18 years in prison for telling the world about Israel’s illegal nuke program]
[murder of Salvador Allende]
So, all of that, all those precursors to plutonium and uranium bombs, and since then, we get the picture. Even Robert F. Kennedy Jr is getting in on the fascism with a new short book:
Of course, Naomi Wolf did that fascism accounting years ago:
We are still in the Kill the Messanger mode:
And here we are, the Press, the so-called liberal media, dead on arrival with this hero:
Here it is, my 1,000 word column coming out Friday, August 5, Friday, per the editor’s guarantee.
Two Days in August
By Paul Haeder
I recognize August 6 and 9 as evidence of my country’s cruelty to humankind.
How many News Times readers remember the classroom drills: Duck and Cover? That was the mantra for me growing up in the 1950s and ‘60s. The US and overseas schools ran these nuclear attack drills all the time.
Students now practice active shooter lockdowns and room clear protocols in case of an unruly, violent fellow student.
For most of my adult life as a teacher and journalist, it has been an uphill battle trying to inform my fellow Americans about history. One sticking point includes the ignorance of the great sacrifices Russia made in defeating the Nazi’s. To this day, I have 60-year-old friends who think the Second World War was won by the US and believe the number of casualties and deaths suffered country by country puts the US on top of the death toll.
That baseline, much of what Americans get wrong about that war, Russia, Europe, the US’s role in things – to include the hatred the British and Americans had toward the Soviet Union, and what reparations really were about – keeps Americans locked in a magical thinking La-La Land.
Before we get to “The Bomb,” here’s the WWII count: Soviet Union – military deaths, 8,800,000 to 10,700,000; total deaths including civilians, 24,000,000. For the United Kingdom they had 383,600 military killed and 450,700 combined military and civilians. For the United States the totals, respectively, are 416,800 and 418,500.
Shifting to the two bombs the US dropped on Japan, I call these moments in August 1945 days that should live in infamy – the needless bombing of two “virgin” Japanese cities that did not end the war with Japan but rather was “a message to the Soviet Union.”
I was a college instructor for various military organizations, including at the US Army’s Sergeants Major Academy. I had career soldiers cry reading their personal essays aloud: narratives about their own childhood traumas, and sometimes the trauma of battle. I’ve had military students challenge my background and knowledge of world history and the history of both World War I and II.
Some of them, however, backed me up when I taught about the reality of why President Harry Truman dropped the bomb twice on Japan.
Using the atom bomb to vaporize a Japanese city was the stratagem to intimidate the Soviets and coerce them into making concessions with respect to postwar arrangements in Germany, Poland, and elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe. Just a few weeks after those two bombs destroyed two Japanese cities, Truman’s secretary of state, James F. Byrnes, declared that “the atom bomb had been used because such a demonstration of power was likely to make the Soviets more accommodating in Europe.”
Truman’s message to the world concerned the US’s unmatched power by dropping the atom bomb on a big city. However, some of the scientists involved in the development of the bomb, in the Manhattan Project, lobbied to have the bomb dropped on an uninhabited Pacific Island.
This is our history: Truman did not want a weapon-to-end-all-weapons tro misfire or fail completely. He wanted the bomb to be dropped, unannounced, on a virgin city. The capital, Tokyo, was out of the question since it already had been flattened by “conventional” bombing.
Our war department was strategic: by early August 1945, there were only ten Japanese cities with 100,000 or more inhabitants that remained more or less unscathed by bombing raids.
Imagine: Hiroshima and Nagasaki qualified for this inhumane experiment. The bomb was ready to be deployed before the USSR got involved in the Far East. Hiroshima was flattened on August 6.
The Japanese did not react with an immediate unconditional capitulation because while the damage was great, it was not greater than the March 9 and 10, 1945 attack by thousands of bombers on Tokyo that caused more destruction and killed more people than that “virgin” target of Hiroshima.
The surrender of Tokyo did not occur by August 8 – three months after the Germans surrendered in Berlin. The USSR declared war on Japan and the Red Army attacked Japanese troops in Northern China on August 8, 1945.
A second bomb, just one day after the Soviet Army battled Japanese in the Far East, was dropped. On August 9, another “virgin” city, Nagasaki, was destroyed by Truman’s bomb. Many Japanese Catholics perished. A former American army chaplain later stated: “That’s one of the reasons I think they dropped the second bomb. To hurry it up. To make them surrender before the Russians came.”
This chaplain might not have been aware that among the 75,000 human beings who were instantaneously incinerated, carbonized and evaporated in Nagasaki were many Japanese Catholics as well an unknown number of inmates of a camp for allied POWs, whose presence had been reported to the air command, to no avail.
The myth of how the Japanese were defeated or surrendered was embedded in Americans when I first taught classes in 1981, and then in 2000 when I taught at the NCO Academy, in 2011 when I taught in Seattle at a Jesuit school, and in 2022 when my friend argued with me about who and how the war was won.
Admiral William Leahy, in command of U.S. Pacific forces, said, “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.” Sixty-five Japanese cities were in ashes. General Dwight D. Eisenhower said in a Newsweek interview: “The Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”
Japan capitulated not because of the atom bombs but because of the Soviet entry into the conflict. Those 226,000 mostly civilian Japanese perished in two cities because the US wanted to send a message to the USSR.
Seventy-seven years later the US is deploying a similar military stratagem in Ukraine.