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Wednesday, January 05, 2005 CE

For you to think...


Hiroshima

The single-day human toll of the tsunami is comparable to the single-day human toll of Hiroshima. Humans can be as bad as the worst of nature. The difference is that nature does not know if there is people living along the shores of the ocean. The Hiroshima bombers knew it.


Tsunami

25 Comments:

Blogger Marnie said...

I think another important point of note is that in natural disasters most animals survive unscathed while humans tend to fair far less well. In a man made disaster, everyone suffers.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Gindy said...

Very interesting comparison.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Puma said...

More than the bombers...the government knew it.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've thought about Hiroshima many times in my life. I've always wondered how those who made it possible were able to forgive themselves if they could at all.
And yet we seem to have no compunction at repeating the same action again. No doubt if Iraq had been able to put up any fight at all we would have destroyed it completely.

Nature may yet have more surprises for the all powerful human race.

Dianne
http://diannemaire.tblog.com/

5:18 PM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

Sarah: When I said "bombers" it was a symbol. Its meaning was broader, not just the pilots.

Dianne: It is said that human rights violations never legally disappear. Someday those reponsible for it will be held accountable and their memories stained forever...as it should be

6:26 PM  
Blogger Doctor Bean said...

The other big difference that you are all missing is that most military analysts agree that bombing Hiroshima saved tens of thousands of American lives that would have been lost in an invasion of the home islands of Japan. It may have even saved Japanese lives as many would have certainly been killed in such an invasion. (As far as I know Nagasaki is more controversial.) Tsunamis don’t save any lives. Tsunamis don’t take an imperial warrior society, crush it, and under American reconstruction give it a rebirth as a prosperous capitalistic democracy. Tsunamis don’t end wars. I am grateful that we melted Hiroshima. I am crushed by the loss of the tsunami.

1:14 AM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

The argument of "saving American lives" is very unfortunate. First of all, American lives are as equal in value to Japanese lives, Russian lives or Kenian lives. In addition, the Americans in Japan were soldiers, ready to die, and the Japanese in Hiroshima were women, children and old people, because the men were all at the fronts. Finally, lets hope that in the future no other country decided that their system is better than ours and decide that they should wipe out the entire population of our cities in order to achieve their goals.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Doctor Bean said...

"The argument of "saving American lives" is very unfortunate. First of all, American lives are as equal in value to Japanese lives, Russian lives or Kenian lives."

Huh? Of course all lives are equally valuable, but we were in a war. We were trying to convince the Japanese that they could not win. In a war that is generally done by killing lots and lots of the enemy.

"In addition, the Americans in Japan were soldiers, ready to die, and the Japanese in Hiroshima were women, children and old people, because the men were all at the fronts."

You sound like an earnest nice guy, but with much to learn. The Americans firebombed Dresden, Germany in the war, killing tens of thousands of civilians and burning the entire city down in about 72 hours. I don't have a problem with that, because I believe it was necessary to defeat the Nazis.

"Finally, lets hope that in the future no other country decided that their system is better than ours and decide that they should wipe out the entire population of our cities in order to achieve their goals."

Newsflash: there is a 'system' that has decided that theirs is better than ours and that they should wipe out as much of our population as stands in their way: Islamofascism.

You really need to start getting some politically balanced information. Subscribe to the National Review for just a year. You don't have to agree with it; just read.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Doctor Bean said...

Here's a link to National Review Online in case you'd like to start your political educational diversification!

3:21 PM  
Blogger Gindy said...

I am glad Dr. Bean found your site. This is an interesting exchange.

Off topic. I saw your comment Dr. Marco. What do you think about what is happening in Venezuela. You may have some insight that I don't. (I think you are vacation so if you are not able to answer I understand).

I hope you are having a good time in Peru.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

Dr Marco said: "The argument of "saving American lives" is very unfortunate. First of all, American lives are as equal in value to Japanese lives, Russian lives or Kenian lives."

Dr Bean said: "Huh? Of course all lives are equally valuable, but we were in a war. We were trying to convince the Japanese that they could not win. In a war that is generally done by killing lots and lots of the enemy."

********* I usually stand for what I write because I do not say it out of a moment of rage, but out of years of reading and thinking. There is a concept called "war crime" and it usually involves the murder of innocent civilians and unarmed, surrendered soldiers. Note that I used the word "murder" and not the word "killing". There is a reason for everything. The verb "to kill" dehumanizes people.

Dr Marco said: "In addition, the Americans in Japan were soldiers, ready to die, and the Japanese in Hiroshima were women, children and old people, because the men were all at the fronts."

Dr Beam said: "You sound like an earnest nice guy, but with much to learn. The Americans firebombed Dresden, Germany in the war, killing tens of thousands of civilians and burning the entire city down in about 72 hours. I don't have a problem with that, because I believe it was necessary to defeat the Nazis."


********* Dresden, Rotterdam, the V1/V2 campaign against Britain, the bombing of Stalingrad, Stalin´s artillery display over Berlin and countless examples of mass murder should be punished. (The German muderers have been indeed penalized). You probably do not have a problem with mass death in order to achieve political goals. That is your choice, however it is a dangerous one. The reply to "nice guy that needs to learn" will come at the end

Dr Marco said: "Finally, lets hope that in the future no other country decided that their system is better than ours and decide that they should wipe out the entire population of our cities in order to achieve their goals."

Dr Bean said: "Newsflash: there is a 'system' that has decided that theirs is better than ours and that they should wipe out as much of our population as stands in their way: Islamofascism"

******** The term Islamofascism is something you are repeating from someone else. The Islamic radicalism shares some characteristics with fascism, but you cannot give use the term fascist if you lack the economic principle of the corporate state.

Finally, you have diagnosed Doctor Marco to be a politically naive guy and you have given him advise with respect to reading certain material. I will certainly read what you recommend, as carefully as I read/listen/watch all the information I receive. Read my post about "The marks of free people" December 18, 2004. I do not know if your diagnosis is correct. Let me tell you somethings about my personal life. I was raised Catholic, I am very familiar with all its teachings and with the message of Jesus. I have lived most of my conscious life in a country attacked by communist guerrillas. I have witnessed car bombs very close to my own house. I have actively participated (I cannot tell you how) in the war against the Shining Path. I am familiar with Karl Marx and Adam Smith. I have actively participated in university politics in Peru (elected student representative of the main council). I have protested the fascist government of Alberto Fujimori, with the secret service recording tapes of us. I do not know if some of the people who write/comment with "authority" would have such a record.
And to finish, I have no problems in admitting my mistakes or when someone proves to be more thoughtful in a debate. You can read some of the exchanges I had with Sarah from "What is Past is Prologue". http://rebootd.blogspot.com A truly smart woman.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Doctor Bean said...

Dr Marco: I retract my suggestion that you lack information. I'm sorry. Anyone who has battled against Shining Path can teach me, not the other way around. I spoke in haste, though I strongly recommend National Review to anyone.

My only other addition is that defeating Germany and Japan in WW2 were not political goals, they were moral and humanitarian goals. The alternatives to what we did to Dresden and to Hiroshima would have been a world divided between the axis powers. You are clearly not a pacifist. Is there any war that you would agree was worth fighting and was fought morally?

8:46 PM  
Blogger Greg Stephens said...

It seems to a favourite line of Doctor Bean's to tell people they are undereducated! (for exampleHiroshima was completely un-neccessarily. The allied forces were advancing towards Japan. Russia was about to enter the fight against Japan, opening up another front, and with Stalin's care of his people (or lack of), it would have been finished quite quickly. Much of the random bombings of WWII were unneccesary such as Dresden. Bombing weapons factories and military installations is okay (given that it is a war), bombing civilians is wrong.
The death of any person is a terrible tragedy. Dr. Bean do you come from the "one death is a tragedy, a million is a mere statistic" school of thought? (that qoute is from Stalin).

Terms such as 'Islamofascism' will do nothing to prevent terrorism and is more likely to create it. Christianity has killed far more people in its name, invaded far more countries than Islam has. 'Christofascism' was a real force (the Crusades, anti-Semitism, Nazism, the entire colonisation/imperialism thing)

1:49 AM  
Blogger Greg Stephens said...

there should be a gap in between 'for example' and 'hiroshima'
I have to say I don't know much about the Shining Path, we don't here much of South America here in NZ.

At the time of WWII it was not known what was happening in WWII, hence it was not moral (in retrospect it is, but at the time it was not), they were political ends. The world was divided in power blocks anyway after the end of WWII, it would have been three way not two way.

A war to stop genocide is morally justifable as far as I am concerned such as Sudan. That said, it is also important that countries are self-governed, a war to stop genocide cannot then become a war to control the population and their natural resources (e.g. oil).

2:23 AM  
Blogger Doctor Bean said...

GS: "It seems to a favourite line of Doctor Bean's to tell people they are undereducated!"

I've only said it twice in many months. Once to you and once to Dr Marco. I retracted my remark to Dr Marco and appologized. That leaves once; hardly "a favorite line".

You then state without sources that Hiroshima and Dresden were unnecessary, taking the wonderful liberty to disagree with most military historians without citing any information. Good for you, but not persuasive! Fire bombing Dresden was not "random." The ultimate target in any war is the enemy's willingness to fight. All war is ultimately psychological. The destruction of Dresden was profoundly demoralizing, hence effective.

GS: "Bombing weapons factories and military installations is okay (given that it is a war), bombing civilians is wrong."

Again, stating it doesn't argue it very effectively. I disagree with you. Try giving me some reasons that it's wrong, or try citing people that have credibility with me that agree with you.

GS: "The death of any person is a terrible tragedy. Dr. Bean do you come from the "one death is a tragedy, a million is a mere statistic" school of thought?"

Here I would like to cite Dr Marco's important distinction between killing and murder (though I disagree with how he applied it). I would say that the murder of one is evil, the killing of a million is a tragedy, but perhaps a necessary one. Killing in war is not murder.

GS: "Terms such as 'Islamofascism' will do nothing to prevent terrorism and is more likely to create it. Christianity has killed far more people in its name, invaded far more countries than Islam has."

I am not using the term to prevent terrorism. I'm just using a term I think is acurate. Do you prefer Islamism? That term is OK with me too. I thing you're wrong about Christianity. First of all I don't blame Nazism or WW2 on Christianity, though Chrisitian Europe could have done much more to stop it. I'm happy to blame many of the Jew-murdering progroms on Christianity and much of the Jew-hatred in Europe before the 20th Century. The rest of the examples you cite are over 2 centuries old. I don't excuse any of them, but I think Islam may have killed more people than the Crusades, simply because there weren't as many people around during the Crusades. Compare that numerically to the Iran-Iraq war, Sudan, the constant fighting between India and Pakistan, and Islamic terrorism, and I think Islam may win the coveted most-responsible-for-mass-killing award (and that's without going back to the conquering of Spain and all the fighting over North Africa).

GS: "At the time of WWII it was not known what was happening in WWII, hence it was not moral (in retrospect it is, but at the time it was not), they were political ends."

Wrong. The Holocaust was not known, but Hitler's desire to conquer all of Europe was known. Stopping him from doing so was a moral goal.

Your final paragraph I agree with! Good night!

3:12 AM  
Blogger chikuado said...

wow! just stumbled onto your blog.. now this was one interesting discussion, although i really dont know much to comment on it.. what with such amazing insight pouring in from so many different people..!

oh, and your blog post by itself was really powerful. got the point across beautifully. :-)

3:38 AM  
Blogger P-H-A-N-T-O-M said...

Interesting Post..
Tx chikuado !!!

Thought you might be interested in knowing what we create by looking into

www.greenpeace.org

We probably are in greater danger with our pure human behaviour.

3:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will never understand the argument for war.

Dr. Bean said: "I am grateful that we melted Hiroshima."

Unbelievable that anyone would say this. Many of those responsible for the creation of the atomic bomb tried to stop the bombing. They felt a demonstration of the bomb's destructive power was all that would be necessary. But, of course this idea was nipped in the bud because at the time there were only 2 bombs and what if one of them failed? Better to go on and try them out on the population.

"...under American reconstruction give it a rebirth as a prosperous capitalistic democracy."

I want to make sure I understand you here. First we destroy the city then we reconstruct it into a society that suits us and serves us? Don't bother telling me we do it for the people. Our great economy buys and sells people everyday.

Dr. Marco said: "In addition, the Americans in Japan were soldiers, ready to die, and the Japanese in Hiroshima were women, children and old people, because the men were all at the fronts."

You included Dr. Marco's comment in yours but never responded to it.

"This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10th. I have told the Sec. of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital or the new." From Truman's diary

In a radio speech to the nation on August 9, 1945, President Truman called Hiroshima "a military base." It seems likely, considering his July 25 diary entry, that he was not aware that Hiroshima was a city. Otherwise, he was being untruthful about the nature of the target.
Truman delivered his speech from the White House at 10 P.M. Washington time on August 9, 1945. By this time, a second atomic bomb already had destroyed the city of Nagasaki. Because of the great length of the speech, most of which dealt with Germany, only the relevant paragraph is quoted here.

"The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians. But that attack is only a warning of things to come. If Japan does not surrender, bombs will have to be dropped on her war industries and, unfortunately, thousands of civilian lives will be lost. I urge Japanese civilians to leave industrial cities immediately, and save themselves from destruction."

Dr. Marco said: "Finally, lets hope that in the future no other country decided that their system is better than ours and decide that they should wipe out the entire population of our cities in order to achieve their goals."

Dr. Bean said: Newsflash: there is a 'system' that has decided that theirs is better than ours and that they should wipe out as much of our population as stands in their way: Islamofascism.

As the US proves itself to be unbeatable what do you think will be the choice of weapons by it's enemies when they attack? Of course...nuclear weapons. The US showed the world it was not above annihilating an entire city along with it's population. American generosity to those living outside the borders of the US is well known and therefore we get little sympathy.

We are living in an age where war will destroy this planet as we know it. It doesn't matter if one country has a larger stockpile of nuclear weapons than another. It only takes one. We will never stop the 'idea' of terrorism. Even if the only lives you care about are your own and your people this is a good reason to argue against war rather than for it. But, after reading your words I realize mine will fall on deaf ears. I certainly can't hope to compete with the godfather of American Conservatism. Perhaps I can recommend ZNet, Antiwar.com or Lew Rockwell to you to balance out your reading of National Review.

Dianne
http://diannemaire.tblog.com/

5:29 AM  
Blogger WhyNot said...

Great site, Marco. DianneMaire (http://diannemaire.tblog.com) pointed it out to me.

War and its justifications. What a wonderful topic.

Hiroshima, Dresden, Algiers, 9/11, Stalingrad, Fallujah, ... there is always such a great explanation & perfectly logical reason, whatever side it comes from. The angles differ, but the rhetoric is the same:

it HAD to be done, for the better of humankind and this planet. Look how many ppl we saved by killing so many.

Reminds me of when I lived in the US, and within days I was confronted with a really hilarious truth: "the more you buy, the more you save" (Eckerds pharmacies, Florida). Hey, that was 6 years ago, and we've progressed immensely since then. Now it's:

"the more you kill, the more you save".

WhyNot
http://whynot.tblog.com/

8:20 AM  
Blogger Puma said...

Thank you Whynot, for perfectly summarizing the American approach, and for doing it in what can only be called a truly American way: a soundbyte!
"The more you buy the more you save? Nah, the more you kill the more you save!"

Dr. Bean, if you really want to be perceived as educated, how about reading outside your comfort zone...say from some people who actually have been studying American interventionist policies for decades? There is also much to be gleaned from former CIA operatives, such as John Stockwell, a 13 year veteran and former Marine Corps major. The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity as well hold two characteristics you may or may not value: personal inside experience with these issues, and lack of motive. They have no reason to lie, and you might benefit from listening to what they have to say. Ask yourself what you gain by imagining persecution of everything American, when the reality is that we brought it upon ourselves? Or perhaps it is too frightening a realization for you. If you truly stop and think, you will see the great opportunity this concept presents: the chance for us to change, the chance to fix our government's misguided policies. Are you so unable to discern the one-sided nature of the US Media, from which you so clearly base your perceptions? They have billions of dollars worth of reasons to lie. America is not so virtuous as you might think, and to condemn those people (such as Carter on your site) who genuinely work towards peace and understanding is simply to highlight your ignorance. You are free in this country to make an ass of yourself if you like, but I am asking you to educate yourself before you denounce others for not doing the same.

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-159.html
http://www.serendipity.li/cia/stock1.html
http://www.usforacle.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/09/22/41516bdd9fc94
http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20041111-050116-4438r
http://www.yuricareport.com/PoliticalAnalysis/Veteran%20CIA%20Agents%20Memo%20to%20Bush.html

You might also want to educate yourself as to what Fascism actually is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism
http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/britt_23_2.htm

9:20 AM  
Blogger Greg Stephens said...

Doctor Bean: so do you think bombing civilians is legitimate? do you think 11 Sept 2001 was thus a legitimate attack in a war? Or are only foreign civilians acceptable to attack?
Nazism originates from the blaming of Christ's death on Jews. The Swastika is a broken cross representing the downfall of Christianity by the Jews. Nazism is Christian. The wars of Islam that you cite are either inter-Islamic (which means that all wars in Europe are Christian) or territoral (India-Pakistan over Kashmir is about the control over a river)

BTW: what is your doctorate in?

5:40 PM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

Thanks for all the comments. It is nice when discussion is stimulated by certain topics

Dr. Bean: I accept your apologies. In spite of our multiple disagreements, I can recognize a man of honor in someone who apologizes

Thanks Chikuado, Phantom and Whynot for your words. I will find time to check your blogs, even in my vacation time!
Thanks Sarah, Dianne, Gindy and Greg for your posts

10:58 PM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

Dr. Bean: There is a war woth fighting and it is the one against fascism. But war means also the battle of ideas, like the one many of us are fighting right now. I personally think that you should join many of us who think that fascism is not the way to go. (If you agree with us). Even if the military stage is reached, the mass murder of civilians should be avoided, war should be conceived in geostrategic terms, not in annihilation terms.

There are wars for freedom that are also worth fighting, they should be considered a subgroup of the wars against fascism. Again, at the intellectual level, we should fight for the concepts I mentioned in my post called "The marks of free people".

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr Marco,

I've ceased reading Sarah's blog because of her posts - like those found here.

She finds a few (literally) obscure opinons from people that think like her and lamely puts them together as facts that outweight all other sources. She never questions their hidden agendas or motives. And don't you dare do it either. Her classic response if you question one of her sources is - you are uneducated. All sources (not approved by her Majesty) are invalidated by the same argument - we are "trapped" by the government and media. But she knows better.

Then on top of all of this behaviour she is absolutely offensive to everybody that disagrees with her and even some people that agree with her - be careful when augmenting her comments, especially if you haven't read everything she has ever posted so profusely - she tends to ramble.

Bottom Line - She is fascist with her words and attitudes, at least on her blog.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Doctor Marco said...

Anonymous

I do not what happened with Sarah. I know that she had problems with other bloggers. Anyways, I might disagree with some of her manners, but I respect her very much.

7:13 PM  

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