Which the Left, using a particularly noxious combination of their irrational, primitive, and superstitious horror of all things nuclear along with their visceral hatred of America, glued together with their usual gummy sargasso of lies, has turned into a putrid celebration of shame and contrition. Leaving aside any discussion of the simple fact that a nuclear weapon isn’t particularly evil in and of itself, one of their favorite lies is the one that insists we dropped nukes on an unsuspecting, unwarned civilian populace. And as usual (as our old friend Bill documents thoroughly in this must-see evisceration of “liberal” horseshit on the topic), it doesn’t stand up to two minutes’ worth of Googling:
On August 1, 1945, over one hundred US B-29 Superfortresses flew over Japan at around 20,000 feet. At this height they dropped 500-pound containers, each holding leaflets that warned the Japanese civilians of the necessity of surrender. At around 4,000 feet the containers opened and released millions of leaflets that fluttered down to the people below.
These leaflets were produced in Saipan, a US occupied island just north of Guam, by the US Office of War Information. Walter J. Cox, Jr. was stationed in Saipan and was able to acquire the above leaflets from a Red Cross worker who went “ashore” to Japan and brought them back. Cox in turn sent them to his wife back home.
These leaflets in the collection of the Virginia Aviation Museum were used as a propaganda tool in order to cause Japanese civilians to distrust their military leaders and to push for an end to the war. Of the five pamphlets that Cox was able to send home, the most significant is the leaflet at the bottom center in the above photograph. This was called the “LeMay bombing leaflet” after Major General Curtis E. LeMay who was the commander of the Pacific Theater of war during this time. It was he who requested that this particular leaflet be dropped over Japan. This leaflet was dropped over 35 cities, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The front of the leaflet depicts numerous American B-29s with hundreds of bombs descending and a list of potential targeted cities. The reverse reads in Japanese:
“Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or friend. In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique which they are using to prolong this useless war. But, unfortunately, bombs have no eyes. So, in accordance with America’s humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives. America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace which America will bring will free the people from the oppression of the military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan. You can restore peace by demanding new and good leaders who will end the war. We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked but some or all of them will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately”.
The truth, which as usual is too complicated and nuanced for “liberals” to trouble themselves to grapple with, is that the use of nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki indisputably saved millions of lives–including, ultimately, those of Japanese civilians. It hastened the end of a truly godawful conflict that would have otherwise dragged on for many more months–a conflict that America in no way asked for or “deserved,” but instead was brought to our very doorstep by an aggressive, belligerent, and purely evil tyranny. In this way (among several unlovely others), it strongly resembles our current struggle with mainstream Islam; where the similarity ends is that in 1941, Progressivism hadn’t yet sapped our vitality as a nation, and we still possessed the will, the self-respect, the courage, and the determination to prosecute a war to a victorious conclusion.
Update! A pluperfect example of “liberal” propaganda, positing that War Is Hell as if that would come as a shocking revelation–UNEXPECTED!–to anyone at all, examining the wartime suffering of ordinary people as if that alone stood as some kind of irrefutable indictment against a nation’s right to self-defense against an aggressive adversary. Weepy, juvenile handwringing like this–obvious, mawkish, childish, self-righteous, that to no degree takes into account certain unpleasant realities of life on this planet–is Progressivism’s primary weapon against adult sanity. Unfortunately, they’ve used it to great effect over the years.
Granted, clear, straight reportage on the events as they actually occurred has value. But presented as this is, without even the most perfunctory examination of the backstory leading up to those events–as if America in its rapacious evil just up and decided one morning to bomb these cities for no reason at all–amounts to nothing more than exactly what I said it was: propaganda. It is manipulative in a very cheap way: guileful, and profoundly immoral while offering an insidious pretense of higher morality. This maudlin passage is revealing of the author’s true intent:
Late in February, 1946, a friend of Miss Sasaki’s called on Father Kleinsorge and asked him to visit her in the hospital. She had been growing more and more depressed and morbid; she seemed little interested in living. Father Kleinsorge went to see her several times. On his first visit, he kept the conversation general, formal, and yet vaguely sympathetic, and did not mention religion. Miss Sasaki herself brought it up the second time he dropped in on her. Evidently she had had some talks with a Catholic. She asked bluntly, “If your God is so good and kind, how can he let people suffer like this?” She made a gesture which took in her shrunken leg, the other patients in her room, and Hiroshima as a whole.
“My child,” Father Kleinsorge said, “man is not now in the condition God intended. He has fallen from grace through sin.” And he went on to explain all the reasons for everything.
You can be sure that he, like the author of this tripe, did no such thing. He would almost certainly have left out Japanese imperialism, racism, and xenophobia; he would have conveniently failed to mention the immense suffering caused by the Japanese government–and the people who wholeheartedly believed in the divinity of their Emperor and the righteousness of his cause–in China and across the South Pacific; the horrors of Bataan, of Iwo Jima and Chichijima; the Rape of Nanking; the torture, murder and even cannibalism committed by Japanese troops; the Comfort Women; the futility and useless slaughter of and by the kamikazes late in the war. The only passage even hinting at Japanese culpability is this one:
Many citizens of Hiroshima, however, continued to feel a hatred for Americans which nothing could possibly erase. “I see,” Dr. Sasaki once said, “that they are holding a trial for war criminals in Tokyo just now. I think they ought to try the men who decided to use the bomb and they should hang them all.”
Father Kleinsorge and the other German Jesuit priests, who, as foreigners, could be expected to take a reltively detached view, often discussed the ethics of using the bomb. One of them, Father Siemes, who was out at Nagatsuka at the time of the attack, wrote in a report to the Holy See in Rome, “Some of us consider the bomb in the same category as poison gas and were against its use on a civilian population. Others were of the opinion that in total war, as carried on in Japan, there was no difference between civilians and soldiers, and that the bomb itself was an effective force tending to end the bloodshed, warning Japan to surrender and thus to avoid total destruction. It seems logical that he who supports total war in principle cannot complain of a war against civilians. The crux of the matter is whether total war in its present form is justifiable, even when it serves a just purpose. Does it not have material and spiritual evil as its consequences which far exceed whatever good might result? When will our moralists give us a clear answer to this question?”
Of course, there isn’t one. Which will never stop posturing, preening Leftist “journalists” from maintaining that there is, and that Americans will forever be on the wrong side of it.