August 5, 2005

It’s the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima, and the WSJ has the best perspective.

In 1945, Paul Fussell was a 21-year-old second lieutenant who’d spent much of the previous year fighting his way through Europe. At the time of Hiroshima, he was scheduled to participate in the invasion of the Japanese mainland, for which the Truman Administration anticipated casualties of between 200,000 and one million Allied soldiers. No surprise, then, that when news of the bomb reached Lt. Fussell and his men, they had no misgivings about its use:

“We learned to our astonishment that we would not be obliged in a few months to rush up the beaches near Tokyo assault-firing while being machine-gunned, mortared, and shelled, and for all the practiced phlegm of our tough facades we broke down and cried with relief and joy. We were going to live.”

Mr. Fussell was writing about American lives. What about Japanese lives? The Japanese army was expected to fight to the last man, as it had during the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Since the ratio of Japanese to American combat fatalities ran about four to one, a mainland invasion could have resulted in millions of Japanese deaths–and that’s not counting civilians. The March 1945 Tokyo fire raid killed about 100,000; such raids would have intensified had the war dragged on. The collective toll from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings is estimated at between 110,000 and 200,000.

Nuclear weapons are often said to pose a unique threat to humanity, and in the wrong hands they do. But when President Truman gave the go-ahead to deploy Fat Man and Little Boy, what those big bombs chiefly represented was salvation: salvation for young Lt. Fussell and all the GIs; salvation for the tens of thousands of Allied POWs the Japanese intended to execute in the event of an invasion; salvation for the grotesquely used Korean “comfort women”; salvation for millions of Asians enslaved by the Japanese.

Not least, and despite the terrible irony, the bombings were salvation for Japan, since they prompted Emperor Hirohito to intervene with his bitterly divided government to end the war, thus laying the groundwork for America’s beneficent occupation and the country’s subsequent prosperity. To understand the roots of modern Japan’s pacifist mentality, so at variance with its old warrior culture, one need only visit Hiroshima’s peace park.

Here are the numbers for the invasion of Okinawa in April-June 1945:

Gilbert, History of the Twentieth Century

Japanese soldiers killed: 107,500 bodies counted + 20,000 burned in caves + 7,800 Japanese aircraft shot down. [= 135,300]

Okinawan civilians: 80,000+ k.

US: 7,613 k. on land + 4,907 k. at sea [=12,520]

The Journal concludes:

Yet the notion that the nuclear genie can be willed out of existence through the efforts of right-thinking people is as absurd as it is wrongheaded. Just as guns and knives will be with us forever, so too will the bomb.

We need bunker busters because North Korea and Iran are using underground facilities to build weapons that threaten us, and we must be able credibly to threaten in return. We need to have nuclear tests because the reliability of our principal warhead, the W-76, has been seriously called into question, and China must not be enticed to compete with us as a nuclear power. In neither case does the U.S. set a “bad example.” Rather, it demonstrates the same capacity for moral self-confidence that carried America through World War II and must now carry us through the war on terror.

Looking back after 60 years, who cannot be grateful that it was Truman who had the bomb, and not Hitler or Tojo or Stalin? And looking forward, who can seriously doubt the need for might always to remain in the hands of right? That is the enduring lesson of Hiroshima, and it is one we ignore at our peril.


Go For It, Tone

August 5, 2005

Blair has promised to deport or lock up Muslims who incite terror. For consistency and to avoid the taint of racism, he’s going to have to do the same to home-grown terror-inciters.

Hat tip EU Rota. My emphasis.

Tony Blair has said the “rules are changing” as he outlined a series of measures to deport and keep out of the country Islamic militants.

Anyone condoning or glorifying terrorism, not just in this country, but anywhere, will not be welcome.

“Anyone who has preached (terrorism), or anything to do with it anywhere will be refused asylum in this country,” the Prime Minister said.

He also said the use of control orders would be extended to British nationals who could not be deported.

OK, sounds like al-Qaeda’s 2IC won’t be able to emigrate to the UK from his cave in Pakistan
“As for the British, I tell them that Blair has brought you destruction in Central London, and God willing, will bring more destruction. O nations of the crusade alliance, we proposed that you at least stop your aggression against the Muslims. The lion of Islam, mujahid Sheikh Osama bin Laden, may God preserve him, offered you a truce until you leave the land of Islam. Has Sheikh Osama bin Laden not informed you that you will not dream of security until we live it in reality in Palestine and before all infidel armies leave the land of [the prophet] Muhammad, may peace be upon him. You, however, shed rivers of blood in our land so we exploded volcanoes of anger in your land.

But then this terror-lover is just asking for a control order.

US forces are ineffective because the great bulk of the population will not give them intelligence voluntarily. Therefore elements within the US military are led to resort to ritual humiliation and torture. This does not yield remotely sufficient information. Therefore US forces are led to relatively blind strikes against those opposing them – inevitably killing innocent civilians. This, of course, has the effect of alienating the population further.

And this nutter will have to be deported to Scotland:

George Galloway has sought to justify lethal attacks on British troops on the grounds that the rebels “are defending all the people of the world from American hegemony”.

Iran’s Turn

August 5, 2005

In 1986, in response to a string of terrorist attacks, President Reagan launched airstrikes against Qaddafi in Libya, almost killing him. He became a changed man – still a nutter, but a subdued nutter. Iran has offered the US much broader provocation than Libya ever did, so it’s time to send the Predators and B-2s this guy’s way.


This report confirms my suspicions, hat tip LGF.

Shipment of high explosives intercepted in Iraq
Most sophisticated of roadside bombs reportedly coming from Iran

PENTAGON – It’s the number one killer of American troops in Iraq: roadside bombs.
The massive roadside bomb that killed 14 Marines Wednesday flipped their 37-ton vehicle on its top and blew it some 40 feet down the road.

Tonight, there’s disturbing information that some of the most sophisticated of these deadly weapons are reportedly coming from Iran.

U.S. military and intelligence officials tell NBC News that American soldiers intercepted a large shipment of high explosives, smuggled into northeastern Iraq from Iran only last week.
The officials say the shipment contained dozens of “shaped charges” manufactured recently. Shaped charges are especially lethal because they’re designed to concentrate and direct a more powerful blast into a small area.

Military officials say there’s only one use for shaped charges — to kill American forces — and insurgents started using them in Iraq with deadly effectiveness three months ago.

Intelligence officials believe the high-explosives were shipped into Iraq by the Iranian Revolutionary guard or the terrorist group Hezbollah, but are convinced it could not have happened without the full consent of the Iranian government.

And Thursday, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld accused Iran of attempting to derail the democratic process in Iraq.

Iran’s Shiite government has also struck up a seemingly strange alliance with Sunni insurgents to try to drive the American military out of Iraq.

“They are desperate to get us out of Iraq” says Michael Ledeen, author of “The War Against the Terror Masters” and resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute. “If we succeed in Iraq they will be surrounded by elected governments.”

Military officials acknowledge that these explosives are only the tip of the iceberg… and predict the deadly bombings in Iraq are far from over.

Unless that is, there are some deadly bombings in Iran.

Google Obituaries!

August 5, 2005

Google could boost its Mideast revenues by launching “Google Obituaries”. It would provide the usual bio, but illustrate it with an AP image of the freshly killed/dead corpse of the subject . It could start with retrospectives on Arafat and King Saud.

I dumped Google while keeping tabbed browsing by swapping Opera for FireFox. It was easy.

1. Downloaded and installed Firefox from http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/

2. Installed.

3. Imported my bookmarks etc from Opera using File/Import.

4. Tidied up toolbar using View menu.

5. Hosed out Google by selecting Yahoo (for the moment) as search engine & deleting google.src and google.gif from the install directory.

Firefox scrolls a few % slower than Opera, and the GUI graphics are marginally cruder. But it uses significantly less screen real estate (important on my 14″ screen laptop). Two popups got though its defenses, but I’ll find out which sites generate them & blacklist them.

And I keep on finding out nice things about FireFox – for example if you go to a Permalink, then Back, it displays the correct address!

Google’s Barbarism

August 5, 2005

Google yesterday illustrated its story on the murder of Steven Vincent with an AP photograph of his mutilated corpse – hat tip LGF. So Google is a barbaric culture (we already know AP is), and I will never use them again.

Barbarians display dead people to diminish people’s memory of them – for most friends and relations of the dead, the last image is the one they remember. Barbarians don’t want that to be strength, happiness and life, but rather a mutilated corpse. Google and AP want their readers to remember Vincent as a recumbent bloody lump of meat, shrunken in death.

Iraqi barbarians have taken the display of death to new depths, publishing videos of them slaughtering their bound prisoners and displaying the eviscerated body of a Brit nurse to meet the US marines entering Fallujah. The Japanese army in WW2 mounted heads of prisoners they had killed. As recently as 300 years ago, the Brits showed the heads of executed people on spikes at the Tower of London and London Bridge.

Google isn’t the first barbarian news source. Some years ago the London Sunday Times printed a large photograph of the face of the corpse of Marilyn Monroe after 2 weeks in the morgue, with a caption noting that she was no longer attractive. This left its readers with an image of Monroe of corruption and decay, rather than life, energy and beauty. Mrs G still can’t get this image out of her mind.

So, just as we never read the London Sunday Times, I will never use Google again.

Which is a pain, since it’s wired into Opera and (I think) Firefox, so back to IE. All other suggestions welcome.