Friday, August 6, 2010

Apologizing for the Bomb

On the 65th anniversary of the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by American atomic bombs, the American left is again calling for an official apology from the United States for dropping the bombs. They argue that Japan was fundamentally defeated and that we were doing fine with conventional air strikes. 

It must be wonderful to sit on Mt. Olympus and look back and judge your parents and grandparents. Anyone who believes we could have just downed tools and gone home, leaving Japan intact and everything would have been peaceful is living in a fantasy. You have to ignore vast amounts of information available to us about the Japanese leaderships mindset.  Someone found something in the Japanese archives that talked about surrender.  Nobody at the time said anything to us about surrendering.  All we heard were threats to fight ditch by ditch. The Japanese military were practically training suicide canoers and bicyclists. Everything that could have been used as a weapon was being put in the hands of the Japanese populace. They were being told we would eat their children if they didn't fight and die to the last man, woman and child.  We expected to lose more than a million soldiers in an invasion of the home islands.

So why didn't we just go away and leave them alone if they were "defeated"?

Remember who it was we were fighting at the time.  These guys anticipated Al Quaeda by 57 years, equipping suicide bomber warplanes with explosives to fly into targets in 1944. They invented the suicide attack.  They even built planes especially for suicide missions and named them after flowers. They were at the time of the Hiroshima attack, training women, children and old people to drive boats and cars and to carry bombs against American forces. I know bullies.  If you whip them only slightly, they come back later to get even. We'd still be fighting to this day, only it would be a steady rain of suicide bombers and guerrila attacks.

I would argue that an almost supernatural bombing attack such as the one at Hiroshima and demonstrating we could do it again if we wanted at Nagasaki was what destroyed the military leadership’s hold on the people.  Even then, a group tried to prevent the emperor from invoking “The Voice of the Crane”, the radio broadcast he made telling the Japanese people to surrender. 

The samurai warrior ethic allowed for giving your life to some purpose, but with the atomic bomb, the Japanese warriors faced the horrifying possibility of being annihilated where they stood with no chance to do anything to their enemy. Their ethos did allow them to surrender when it became clear that fighting was futile – they wouldn’t even be able to take any of their enemies with them.

The atomic bomb arguably saved millions of American and Japanese lives and led to 65 years of peace between out nations. It is only now, when we are busily formally abandoning our position of strength, that a new enemy, just as intractable, just as determined has risen against us. We could have ended our war with fanatical Islam and brought relative peace to the region by doing the same thing we did to the Japanese. We cannot, of course.  While nuking a couple of minor holy cities and threatening Mecca might have calmed things down, we will never do that. We have seen the consequences and whether it would work or not, we cannot bring ourselves to use nuclear weapons again. Especially not if our nation remains militarily strong.

If, however, we gut our military in the name of showing our enemies they mean them no harm, I believe we increase the nuclear threat a thousandfold.  Here’s why:

  1. Our enemies see weakness as an opportunity.  And they are enemies. They do not want to make peace with us. They want to destroy and replace us. They mistake America’s longing for peace as a lack of moral will. 
  2. We, as a people, don’t understand people like that because we have lived so long without war in our own land. We always try to put down our weapons after a war. We always have to pick them up again because people who live with constant war want what we have in this country—PEACE, Prosperity and Plenty. Because they have always lived in lands where the strong take from the weak, it’s the only way they know to get what we have.  They have to take it.
  3. Nuclear weapons offer virtually the only way for a handful of people to sacrifice their lives to accomplish what we did at Hiroshima and Nagasaki - victory! If they wish to make the mighty United States surrender, they MUST attack with overwhelming force.  Two bombs would do it.  One to strike fear; two to show they can repeat it when they like. It’s the only way for a third world power to conquer and conquering is what they intend.  We have deluded ourselves about what the atomic bombs and Hiroshima and Nagasaki accomplished.  Al Quaeda, the Taliban and Iran have no such delusions.
  4. Fanatic Muslims believe all infidels must be subdued and Islam made the supreme law of the world so that their messiah can make his appearance. This requires unrelenting jihad against all infidels.  If you are attacking the whole world, it’s like taking on a group on the playground.  The way to do it is to take down the biggest guy first in order to intimidate the rest.  As one Arab commentator wrote, the only thing the Arab culture respects is strength.  Because the U.S. is running around the world bowing and apologizing, we have signaled to these enemies that we are growing weak and vulnerable.
  5. We do not have the will to do what needs to be done to remove the nuclear weapons-making capacity of countries like Iran. We think they will be bound by the doctrine of mutually assured destruction.  At least we did believe that till the President announced we would not retaliate with nukes if we were attacked by a non-nuclear state.  This muddies the waters sufficiently to give terrorists the edge they need.  If they detonate nukes against us, because of our pledge we will not be able to return the favor, even if the terrorists are known so long as there is no “clear” connecting between them and the government of the country where they are hiding.  We’ve thrown off a piece of our armor and painted a big target round the hole. 
  6. Finally, I think we might be the ones to start the nuclear holocaust. If you attack people who fear and loathe war, suddenly and without mercy, those fearful people will reach out and grasp the first tool that comes to hand and strike back without mercy.  American liberal leaders have shown a penchant for getting even with their foes. They are not gentlemanly losers. If nuclear weapons go off in American cities it will frighten the wits out of a "liberal" government. I believe that a peace-loving, diplomacy first, free love, elitist president will squeal like a little girl and punch the launch button without another thought - high moral tone notwithstanding.  Only a strong man has the courage to carefully think things through before reacting when he is under fire.
I’d hate to see us apologize at this point. It won’t improve our relations with Japan and it will make us look even more weak to those who have adopted the same kinds of tactics that were used against us in World War II – a big sneak attack, suicide bombers, suicide attacks, wholesale torture and murder of captives to break our will to fight and the use of noncombatant civilians as shields to protect war making resources, weapons and facilities.  It’s the same thing all over again.

Last time we beheaded the beast with a one, two stroke.  That won’t happen again.  We saw the results and we’re far too decent a people to ever do that again. The world wouldn’t stand for it and besides, we don’t want to start a nuclear holocaust.  Our fanatical enemies do not share our scruples. Victory and the coming of the messiah is all they care about. Victory is everything. Life is cheap to the fanatic.

Remember, they get all those virgins if they die taking out the infidels. If they die to no purpose, however, the dynamic changes. Nobody wants to die for nothing. It would take the wind out of the terrorist community to face that terrifying fate.  But Americans are too decent a people to use the only tool the fanatics really fear against them – even to save ourselves.

The Japanese and people from the middle east are not bad people.  They did have (and in the middle east still do have) have some really awful leaders though. My comments are only about those who would use an atomic bomb willingly if they just had one. 

All I can say is Jesus better get here soon, if he's going to fetch us out before the big one goes off.  Even if the Son of God comes right now, He’s liable to need some kind of nuclear shielding when he passes over Iran. The bad guys will not take kindly to their mythology being challenged.  They'll probably do a lot of that shooting up in the air stuff as the cloud passes over.


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