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  Nostalgia ain't what it used to be

Saturday, 20 January, 2018
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The Bomb (Final part of two)

Date: 20 August, 2017

By: Chief

To read part one.

Imageelcome back.

Trinity

Prior to the Trinity test, not one single solitary person on this backwater, border town of a planet had any factual idea of the amount of:

a nuclear blast would have.

We just did not have a clue. However, after the Trinity detonation we sure as hell did. Physicists most certainly did and brother it scared them something fierce. It should have. It scares me today.

The brilliant, and I do not use that word lightly, J. Robert Oppenheimer, boss of "The Hill" (Los Alamos) and all of the scientists assigned thereto was the person who named the site. Upon detonation Oppenheimer had two thoughts (I believe he is the only person on the planet who would have two distinct comprehensible thoughts in under a second at such a time). Quoting Wikipedia:

"If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one. . .[.]

And:

"I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

Both verses are from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita. I also have no doubt whatsoever he knew just how right he was.

Well, by God. The trinity test was a resounding success. This meant that We, the Government of the United States, now possessed the most powerful weapon — on Earth. Period. The only question remaining was what were we going to do the blasted thing? Use it or let it gather dust on the shelf? Regrettably, we all know the answer.

The reason(s)

In the final analysis the reason(s) or justification (your choice) for the use of atomic arms against two Japanese cities was simply this:

Nothing else, and I do fully mean, nothing else makes any cotton pickin' sense. At least not too me.

To show the people of the world just how utterly destructive nuclear weapons actually are does indeed make sense. This way we would (hopefully):

on the people and governments of the world that war is no longer winnable. Please keep in mind these were incredibly primitive weapons compared with what we have today.

As much sense as 'showing the world' makes — vengeance makes a whole lot more sense. It is also a far more human reason. Vengeance for:

I have left quite a few out, however, those were the big ones (kinda), for us anyway.

Quoting Fleet Admiral Leahy, Chief of Staff to both President Roosevelt and Truman on the use of atomic weapons against Japanese cities:

[. . .]"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... My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make wars in that fashion, and that wars cannot be won by destroying women and children."

I fully agree and like his attitude.

Here are some examples which just may have contributed to the decision to use atomic weapons on Nippon.

Quoting the Wikipedia caption of the NARA image:

"U.S. medical men are attempting to identify more than 100 American Prisoners of War captured at Bataan and Corregidor and burned alive by the Japanese at a Prisoner of War camp, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippine Islands."

It was not until 1944 the Bataan death march finally became public knowledge. General George Marshall is quoted by Wikipedia as stating:

"These brutal reprisals upon helpless victims evidence the shallow advance from savagery which the Japanese people have made. [...] We serve notice upon the Japanese military and political leaders as well as the Japanese people that the future of the Japanese race itself, depends entirely and irrevocably upon their capacity to progress beyond their aboriginal barbaric instincts."

That "future of the Japanese race itself, depends entirely and irrevocably" pretty well sums up most Americans' feelings at the time I should think.

Then we have the battle and occupation of Wake Island, quoting Wikipedia:

"On 5 October 1943, American naval aircraft from Lexington raided Wake. Two days later, fearing an imminent invasion, Japanese Rear Admiral Shigematsu Sakaibara ordered the execution of the 98 captive American civilian workers who had initially been kept to perform forced labor. They were taken to the northern end of the island, blindfolded and executed with a machine gun. One of the prisoners (whose name has never been discovered) escaped, apparently returning to the site to carve the message "98 US PW 5-10-43" on a large coral rock near where the victims had been hastily buried in a mass grave. The unknown American was recaptured, and Sakaibara personally beheaded him with a katana. The inscription on the rock can still be seen and is a Wake Island landmark."

Let us not forget the Battle of Iwo Jima. Without doubt the bloodiest and most costly battle ever fought by our Marine Corps (actually the Battle of Okinawa was worse). Indeed, we must not forget Marine Private Ralph Anthony "Iggy" Ignatowski. Iggy was just 18 years old. Quoting Wikipedia:

"Official reports revealed Ignatowski was captured, dragged into a tunnel by Japanese soldiers during the battle, and was later found with his eyes, ears, fingernails, and tongue removed, his teeth smashed, the back of his head caved in, multiple bayonet wounds to the abdomen, and his arms broken. [. . .]."

Now, if you desire to read about an actual horror, a true horror, on a large scale, all you must do, other than not eat, is read about the Rape of Nanking during the Second Sino - Jap war (1937 - 1945). It is enough to turn anybody's stomach.

The bottom line is all of these atrocities were not just committed by one or two or even a few mis-understood individuals. Oh no. Not even close. These atrocities were committed by thousands of Nips. Why? Because it had been inculcated into their culture — for centuries. Period.

Thus, vengeance can go along way in assuaging one's feelings, and in making decisions (even though they may not be logical). Furthermore, it can and will ease one's conscious. And this may have occurred. Using an atomic weapon in order too get even and show the Nips who is boss. You bet. It would not surprise me at all if it was given some serious (or more) thought.

Epilogue

One need only look forward a mere 17 years and two months too realize the agony, death and destruction brought about by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — may, just may — have been the reason thermonuclear war was avoided and the "Missiles of October" never flew; but were boxed up and sent, by ship, from Cuba back to Mother Russia.

It has been 72 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There have been literally hundreds of tests, mostly underground, in order to 'improve' our weapons. Gee, now isn't that a lovely thought? Who says man doesn't use his brain for altruistic purposes. Key-rist. We really did fall out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down.

Incredible as it seems we are all still here (just keep everything crossed but your eyes).

Too close, I must admit, I do not like in anyway shape or form what I have written. I like what we did even less, no matter the reason(s). I do believe what I have written is true. Nothing else makes any sense.

That is what really sucks.

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