Hiroshima: remembering ‘the White Man’s Bomb’

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Hiroshima: remembering ‘the White Man’s Bomb’

The atomic bombing of Japan was the culmination of Western powers' race war.

Mick Hume

Mick Hume
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This is an edited version of an essay originally written by Mick Hume for Living Marxism to mark the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1995. Much has changed since the 1940s, and, indeed, since the 1990s. But at a time when we are constantly being told that race hate is on the rise, and to look out for its insidious presence in everyday words and gestures, we at spiked believe it is important to put the contemporary obsession with race into perspective, and recall what an actual race war looked like, and how it developed during a time when, among Western elites, racism really was everywhere.

‘The only language [the Japanese] seem to understand is the one we have been using to bombard them. When you have to deal with a beast you have to treat him as a beast. It is most regrettable but nevertheless true.’ US President Harry S Truman, 11 August 1945, in a letter justifying his decision to drop the atomic bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

‘President Clinton said today that the United States owed Japan no apology for dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War Two, and that President Harry S Truman had made the right decision to use the bombs.’ Reuters, 7 April 1995

Why did the US government drop atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945? Throughout the past 74 years, the official Anglo-American line has remained more or less the same: that the bombings were justified because they ended the war early, and so saved countless American and Japanese lives that could have been lost if Allied forces had been forced to launch a costly invasion of Japan.

The notion that the Allies vaporised two cities as a humanitarian act was perverse even by the standards of wartime propaganda. That such a notion should have been so widely and uncritically accepted well into the 21st century is even more remarkable – especially given the evidence to the contrary.

The argument that the Bomb significantly shortened the Pacific conflict and made a bloody invasion of the Japanese mainland unnecessary was first rubbished almost immediately after the war, when the American government’s own Strategic Bombing Survey reported that Japan had been on the point of surrender anyway:

‘Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.’

But did President Truman and his advisers know that Japan was already nearing the point of surrender at the time they decided to drop the Bomb? If they did not, they must surely have been ignoring their own intelligence reports.

In 1993 the author Gar Alperovitz obtained hundreds of pages of US National Security Agency intercepts of secret enemy wartime communications. These revealed that US intelligence knew top Japanese army officers were willing to surrender more than three months before the Hiroshima bomb was dropped. For instance, one document intercepted by the NSA quotes a German diplomat reporting back to Berlin on the state of Japan on 5 May 1945: ‘since the situation is clearly recognised to be hopeless, large sections of the Japanese armed forces would not regard with disfavour an American request for capitulation even if the terms were hard’ (see New York Times, 11 August 1993). Alperovitz has noted that the president’s rediscovered diary ‘leaves no doubt that Truman knew the war would end “a year sooner now” and without an invasion’ (Nation, 10 May 1993).

Despite the evidence that they knew of an impending Japanese collapse, the US authorities not only blasted Hiroshima, they also dropped another bomb on Nagasaki three days later, before the Japanese had a chance to assess the Hiroshima damage and surrender. Even Dwight D Eisenhower, the wartime Supreme Allied Commander in Europe who went on to become US president, later admitted that ‘the Japanese were ready to surrender and we didn’t have to hit them with that awful thing’ (quoted in Newsweek, 11 November 1963). All of which begs the question, why did they do it?

The Japanese were considered legitimate targets because the Western powers considered them to be a lower race

The decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki clearly rested on something more than battlefield calculations about the specific state of the military campaign in August 1945. Two broader political considerations made up Truman’s mind. First, the politics of international power dictated that the US would definitely drop the Bomb somewhere, regardless of the state of the war. And second, the politics of racial superiority determined that that somewhere would definitely be Japan.

Having developed the Bomb, the US administration was always going to use it. Truman and his predecessor as president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, had invested $2 billion in the Manhattan Project to develop the Bomb, a massive sum at that time. The government was under considerable pressure from Congress to show some bang for its megabucks expenditure. That was one reason why Truman’s secretary of state, James F Byrnes, demanded that the atom bomb be dropped as soon as possible in order to ‘show results’. And international considerations proved even more influential in the Truman administration’s decision to use its new atomic weapon.

By the end of the Second World War, the US stood head and shoulders above every other nation as the leading economic, political and military global force. America’s new standing was perfectly symbolised by its massive nuclear-bomb programme, which gave Washington a unique power to destroy the world it dominated. To be effective as a tool of international politics, however, that power had to be demonstrated in practice. Detonating an atomic device at a time when no other state could come close to building one would be the ultimate demonstration of American supremacy on Earth – a demonstration to be aimed not merely at the Japanese regime, but at Stalin’s Soviet Union, the other Allies, the whole of Asia and indeed the world.

A detailed study by the Japanese Committee for the Compilation of Materials on Damage Caused by the Atomic Bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki puts the attacks in something like their proper international perspective:

‘[T]he A-Bomb attacks were needed not so much against Japan – already on the brink of surrender and no longer capable of mounting an effective counter-offensive – as to establish clearly America’s postwar international position and strategic supremacy in the anticipated Cold War setting. One tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is that this historically unprecedented devastation of human society stemmed from essentially experimental and political aims.’

In this sense, America’s bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was motivated less by a need to end the war than a determination to shape the postwar era in international politics.

If the US authorities always intended to drop the Bomb, it is equally certain that they always intended to drop it on the Japanese. There was no high-level discussion about using the Bomb in Europe against Nazi Germany. Only the Japanese were ever in the Allies’ nuclear bombsights. Here we come to the hidden history of Hiroshima: the story of the Allied powers’ race war against the Japanese, which culminated in the explosion of the White Man’s Bomb.

In 1939, Sir Frederick Maze, a top British official in China, described the coming conflict as ‘the Orient against the Occident – the Yellow race against the White race’

On 23 April 1945, General Leslie Groves, the director of the Manhattan Project, sent a memo to Henry L Stimson, the American secretary of war, on plans for using the Bomb. It included the striking observation that ‘[t]he target is and was always expected to be Japan’ (emphasis added).

When he unearthed this memo during research in the 1990s, Arjun Makhijani discussed its implications with leading scientists who had worked on the Manhattan Project. He reports that they were ‘amazed’ to learn of Groves’ attitude, 50 years after the event. Most leading members of the Manhattan project team were East European emigres, who had agreed to work on the Bomb only on the understanding that the Nazis were both the target and their competitors. Joseph Rotblat, the Polish scientist, told Makhijani that ‘there was never any idea [among the scientists] that [the Bomb] would be used against Japan. We never worried that the Japanese would have the Bomb. We always worried what Heisenberg and the other German scientists were doing. All of our concentration was on Germany.’ (1) All of the concentration of the political and military strategists, however, was on using the Bomb against the Japanese.

The first American discussion about possible targets for an atomic attack took place in May 1943, at a meeting of the high-powered Military Policy Committee. At that time, a year before the D-Day invasion and two years before VE-Day, Hitler’s Germany was still very much a player in the war. Yet the committee’s automatic assumption was that Japan would be the target. General Groves’ summary of the meeting records how ‘[t]he point of use of the first bomb was discussed and the general view appeared to be that its best point of use would be on a Japanese fleet concentration in the Harbour of Truk. General Styer suggested Tokyo…’

That Japan was already assumed to be the target was confirmed later in 1943, when the B-29 was chosen as the plane the US would use to drop the Bomb. The distance the B-29 could fly made it the only bomber suitable for use in the Pacific. As one study has observed, ‘had Germany been the primary target, the choice would hardly have fallen on an aircraft never intended for the European theatre’ (2). The targeting of Japan was affirmed during a September 1944 meeting between British prime minister Winston Churchill and US president Roosevelt. The official summary of the meeting makes no mention of any possible use against Germany, but reports the Allied leaders’ view that the Bomb ‘might perhaps, after mature consideration, be used against the Japanese, who should be warned that this bombardment will be repeated until they surrender’.

The fact that Japan was always the target, and that Nazi Germany was not considered, demonstrates a potent double standard in Anglo-American foreign policy. And the basis of that double standard was the issue of race. To the Allies, Germany was a fellow white power with which they had temporarily fallen out; but Japan was an enemy alien, a nation apart. That was why the architects of the Holocaust in Europe were never mentioned as candidates for a ‘humanitarian’ bombing such as Hiroshima. Instead, the atomic bomb was aimed solely at the Japanese. They were considered legitimate targets because the Western powers considered them to be a lower race; as president Truman put it in the letter quoted above, the Japanese were no better than ‘beasts’, and to be treated accordingly.

Japan had been seen as a problem by the Western elites ever since its victory over Russia in 1905 catapulted it on to the world stage. Japan had emerged as a major capitalist power, but was never quite one of the club; it was not, in short, a white man. The notion of racial supremacy and the ‘White Man’s burden’ lay at the heart of the ideology and self-image of the Western imperialists. An Asian nation could not be allowed to sit freely at the top table of world affairs.

The racial double standard in imperial politics was clearly demonstrated back at the Versailles conference which followed the First World War in 1919. While the Americans and the British affirmed their commitment to the new movements for national self-determination in Europe, they rebutted Japan’s attempt to include a clause on racial equality in the covenant of the new League of Nations (forerunner of the UN). As one account puts it, the rejected Japanese amendment was ‘palpably a challenge to the theory of the superiority of the white race on which rested so many of Great Britain’s imperial pretensions’ (3).

The run-up to the Second World War was marked by escalating tensions between Japan, the US and Britain over spheres of influence and trade in Asia and the Pacific. And always, the Western elites interpreted these conflicts through the prism of race. In 1938, three years before the Pacific War with Japan began, Antony Eden (later a Tory foreign secretary and prime minister) was already emphasising the importance of ‘effectively asserting white-race authority in the Far East’. In 1939, Sir Frederick Maze, a top British official in China, described the coming conflict as ‘not merely Japan against Great Britain’ but also ‘the Orient against the Occident – the Yellow race against the White race’.

The view of the Japanese as a less advanced race was so powerful, however, that many members of the Western elites – including Churchill – believed that Japan would not dare to fight the white powers, or would be quickly crushed if it did. Peering into Japanese-occupied China through the barbed-wire fences around British-occupied Hong Kong in 1940, the British commander-in-chief of the Far East described seeing ‘various subhuman species dressed in dirty grey uniform, which I was informed were Japanese soldiers… I cannot believe they would form an intelligent fighting force.’ The strength of this prejudice was such that, when war did break out and the British garrison at Hong Kong was strafed by enemy aircraft, many initially believed that German pilots must have been imported to do it, since the Japanese would not have been capable.

Even Hitler was reported to be ambivalent about the victories of his Japanese ally, complaining that with ‘the loss of a whole continent....the white race [is] the loser’

Against this background, the string of military successes that Japan achieved against the Americans and the British, Dutch and French colonialists between December 1941 and 1943 traumatised the Allied powers. The white imperialists had been beaten and humiliated by an Asian power, before the eyes of their colonial subjects. The effect, as one perceptive commentator notes, was to free the peoples of India and the rest of Asia from ‘the spell of European invincibility’ (4).

‘Japan’s attack’, wrote Dr Margery Perham at the time, ‘has produced a very real revolution in race relationships’ (The Times, 13 March 1942). The abject British surrender to Japan in Singapore and Malaya was particularly damaging to the image of the old empires in Asia, as the president of Singapore’s India Association was to reflect in 1945: ‘The running away action of the Empire, both officers and non-officers, created a very deep impression in the minds of the people throughout Malaya [and] brought great disgrace on the white race generally.’

Reading through the Allied leaders’ discussion of these events, the major concern which they voiced time and again was not so much about the loss of territory to Japan, but about the loss of prestige suffered by the white powers in the process. Islands and colonial outposts could always be won back; but the image of invincible racial superiority which the imperialists had built up over a century was lost forever. That is why, for the British authorities, the real impact of the loss of Singapore was ‘not a strategic one, but a moral one’ (5).

The fears over a loss of racial prestige also help to explain why the Allies were (and indeed remain) so sensitive about Japan’s mistreatment of their prisoners of war. Allied POWs held by the Japanese suffered terribly, but most fared no worse than many other wartime prisoners. One in four Western POWs died in Japanese captivity; only the same proportion of Russians held in German camps survived.

What made Japan’s mistreatment of Allied prisoners so uniquely controversial was the inversion of racial roles that it involved. In effect, the Japanese were treating white POWs in the way that white colonialists had treated entire Asian peoples – like coolies. General Thomas Blamey of Australia let the cat out of the bag when reporting on the mood of POWs released in 1945. ‘The thing that has hurt our fellows more than harsh treatment’, said Blamey, ‘has been the loss of prestige amongst the natives by British personnel due to the ignominious treatment they have received at the hands of the Japs in the sight of the natives’. Fears over the loss of racial prestige in the Pacific War were so widespread in the West that even Hitler was reported to be ambivalent about the victories of his Japanese ally, complaining that with ‘the loss of a whole continent….the white race [is] the loser’.

The Allies were acutely sensitive to the way that Japan’s wartime propaganda played upon their weak spots of racial and national oppression. ‘And everywhere’, wrote Selden Menefee, an American observer, ‘Tokyo makes good use of our greatest weaknesses – our past imperialism and our present racial discrimination’ (6). Under the slogan ‘Asia for the Asiatics’, Tokyo attacked Britain’s bloody colonial record and presented Japan as the champion of Indian freedom. After the surrender of Singapore, 45,000 captured Indian troops were addressed by a Japanese major. ‘Japan is fighting for the liberation of the Asiatic nations which have been for so long trodden under the cruel heels of British imperialism. Japan is the liberator and the friend of Asiatics.’ Around 25,000 Indian soldiers eventually changed sides, and joined the Japanese-sponsored Indian National Army to fight against the British.

When they came to attack America, Japanese propagandists concentrated on the treatment of racial minorities within the US. They made great play of the immigration laws which barred Chinese and Indians from entering the US. And the systematic segregation employed against blacks in America proved even richer pickings. In the article quoted above, Menefee noted that ‘the Deep South is our India’, and quoted this Tokyo radio broadcast of August 1942:

‘How is the United States transmitting her ideas of the four freedoms into her living, into her labour and racial problems? What about her ever-present negro problem? Her notorious lynchings [are] a rare practice even among savages….The Americans prove and advertise to the whole world by their actions that they have completely forgotten that negroes are just as much a part of humanity as they are themselves.’

The Allies had no effective answer to this kind of propaganda. It touched on the raw nerves of Western imperialists who claimed to be fighting a war for freedom and against fascism, while practising racial and national oppression themselves. As Mahatma Gandhi pointed out to Roosevelt in 1942, ‘the Allied declaration that [they] are fighting to make the world safe for freedom of the individual sounds hollow, so long as India, and for that matter Africa, are exploited by Great Britain, and America has the negro problem in her own home’. Indeed the Western elites had become so insecure on these issues that their fears of racial and colonial unrest being stirred up by the Japanese during the war often outweighed any real immediate threat. So there was a constant debate about the growing threat of Pan-Asian unity, even though that ‘movement’ was largely a myth. There was even a serious discussion among the fearful US authorities about the possibility that American blacks might actively side with Japan.

The racial dimension made the Japanese a very different enemy from the Germans. The Japanese posed not just a military threat to the old imperial order, but a political challenge to white power that could spark the fires of Asian nationalism. The leaders of the Allied powers saw the Pacific War as a life-and-death struggle to salvage the prestige of the Western elites. They had been humiliated by ‘Asiatics’. As a consequence they were fighting a race war, in which the enemy had to be not just contained, but crushed if the white powers were to retain any authority in Asia. The extent to which they saw the Japanese as different was reflected in the ruthless attitudes and actions adopted by Allied governments and forces during the Pacific War, culminating in the decision to drop the White Man’s Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The leaders of the Allied powers saw the Pacific War as a life-and-death struggle to salvage the prestige of the Western elites

Throughout the conflict, the Japanese were depicted and treated as a lower race. These attitudes predated Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. America’s president Roosevelt, the leader of Western liberalism, seriously considered the proposition that the Japanese were evil because their skulls were 2,000 years less developed than the white man’s civilised cranium, and that the solution might be to encourage some cross-breeding to create a new ‘Euroindoasian’ race that could isolate the Japanese. On the British side, Churchill was always noted for espousing the blunt racial attitudes of his Edwardian background, disparaging Asian peoples as ‘dirty baboos’ and ‘chinks’ in need of a good thrashing with ‘the sjambok’. And Churchill was far from the exception. In the months before the Pacific War began, the diary of Sir Alexander Cadogan of the British Foreign Office records Cadogan’s own views of the Japanese as ‘beastly little monkeys’ and ‘yellow dwarf slaves’.

Once the war with Japan had begun, these prejudices were no longer confined to the private diaries and dinner-party conversations of the Western elite. Instead, the politics of racial superiority were made public by Allied propagandists, and put into practice by the US and British military.

The American press branded Japan ‘a racial menace’, and routinely depicted the Japanese as monkeys, mad dogs, rats and vermin. Hollywood war movies emphasised the sadistic character of Japanese soldiers, who seemed to break the rules of ‘civilised’ warfare in every film. Allied propagandists made a clear distinction between their two major enemies. They showed the problem in Europe not as the whole German nation, but as Hitler and the Nazis. In Asia, by contrast, the enemy was ‘the Japs’ – an entire malignant race. As one of the best studies of the race war in the Pacific points out, ‘Western filmmakers and publicists found a place for the “good German” in their propaganda, but no comparable counterpart for the Japanese’ (7).

The racial denigration of the Japanese did not only happen in the movies. In America, the only German immigrants interned were those with suspected Nazi connections. Meanwhile, 120,000 Japanese-Americans, many of them born US citizens, were indiscriminately rounded up in camps. Asked to justify this treatment, General De Witt announced bluntly that ‘a Jap is a Jap’. Meanwhile in the Pacific war zone, working on the assumption that the only good Jap was a dead one, Admiral William Halsey of the US Navy urged his men to make ‘monkey meat’ out of the Japanese, and demanded that any Japanese survivors of the war should be rendered impotent.

The lower ranks took their lead from above. The US Marine Monthly Leatherneck counselled the extermination of the ‘Louseous Japanicus’, depicted as a vicious Asiatic cockroach. One US marine explained the racial outlook which made it easy for his comrades to slaughter the Japanese and mutilate their bodies on the battlefield:

‘The Japanese made the perfect enemy. They had many characteristics that an American marine could hate. Physically they were small, a strange colour and, by some standards, unattractive….Marines did not consider that they were killing men. They were wiping out dirty animals.’ (8)

There is no doubt, of course, that the Japanese did commit many atrocities during the war, against Allied troops and prisoners and especially against the Chinese and other Asian peoples, who they viewed as inferior races. Japan was an imperialist power rivalling Britain and America in the Pacific, and as rapacious as any Western power. The Anglo-American view of the Japanese as sub-humans, lice and rats, however, set them apart from the white great powers, and in many eyes justified the Allies’ ruthless use of force against them. After all, if the Americans were happy ‘wiping out dirty animals’ with bayonets and flame-throwers on the beaches of Pacific islands, why should they worry about wiping out two whole cities of ‘beasts’ with the atom bomb?

The myth that the bombing of Hiroshima was intended to save lives turns the truth completely on its head; the intention was to kill as many people as possible, in order to make the most dramatic impact on the world

At the same time as they were fighting a ruthless race war against the Japanese, the US authorities understood that there could be no return to old colonial arrangements in Asia after the war. The ‘revolution in race relationships’ triggered by Japan’s victories, and the rise of nationalist sentiment, saw to that. Washington’s concern was to reach an accommodation with the anti-colonial movements which would leave intact as much of the past power relations as possible, and so preserve the authority of the West. To that end, in 1942 the US government declared that the European powers’ Far Eastern colonies should be ‘liberated after the war, and such possessions should be placed under an international trusteeship to assist the peoples to attain political maturity’. The dual emphasis on reforming the colonial system while leaving the former colonies under ‘international’ (that is, Western) supervision reflected America’s ‘well-defined commitment to maintaining the prewar structure of Asian politics… not a concern with abstract rights and freedoms for Asians’ (9). In Washington’s vision of a new Asian order, the white powers led by America would still hold the whip hand over the ‘immature’ native peoples.

The Allied powers understood that crushing the Japanese remained the precondition for reaching such an accommodation with the new Asian nationalism. Japan had acted as the catalyst for change in the colonial world, and its victories over the white powers had revolutionised race relations in Asia. That humiliation had to be avenged and that threat extinguished before the Western powers could re-establish their dominance.

Admiral Leahy, Roosevelt’s close adviser, expressed the widely held fear that ‘unless we administer a defeat to Japan in the near future, that nation will succeed in combining most of the Asiatic people against the whites’. In May 1943, when a top US government committee first discussed the question of how to treat Japan after the war, the navy’s representative, Captain HL Pence, was in no doubt that ‘Japan should be bombed…so that the country could not begin to recuperate for 50 years’. The war was ‘a question of which race was to survive….we should kill them before they kill us’. The Japanese ‘should not be dealt with as civilised human beings. The only thing they would respect was force applied for a long time’. Two years later, in May 1945, a US official in China named Robert Ward warned that Japan had exposed the peoples of the East to ‘a virus that may yet poison the whole soul of Asia and ultimately commit the world to racial war that would destroy the white man and decimate the Asiatic’.

The myth that the bombing of Hiroshima was intended to save lives turns the truth completely on its head; the planning meetings which preceded the attack seemed to conclude that the intention was to kill as many people as possible, in order that the American bomb might make the most dramatic impact on the world.

On 31 May 1945, the Interim Committee (formed to advise the president on the use of the Bomb), met to discuss using atomic weapons against the Japanese. The committee comprised the leading political, military and scientific figures involved in the Manhattan Project. The two key players at this meeting were the top chemist and former president of Harvard University, James B Conant, and the secretary of war, Henry L Stimson. The minutes record their conclusions:

‘At the suggestion of Dr Conant, the secretary agreed that the most desirable target would be a vital war plant employing a large number of workers and closely surrounded by workers’ houses.’

Hiroshima fitted the bomb sights. On 6 August it was destroyed, followed by Nagasaki on 9 August. The racial aspects of the fearful bombing were not lost on either side. Canadian prime minister Mackenzie King was one of many to express his private relief that the Bomb had not been dropped on the ‘white races’ in Europe (see The Times, 3 January 1976). In Michael Ondaatje’s novel The English Patient, the angry reaction of Kip, the Sikh soldier, on hearing of Hiroshima captures the mood of many in the colonial world: ‘All those speeches of civilisation from kings and queens and presidents. American, French, I don’t care. When you start bombing the brown races of the world, you’re an Englishman’. For some reason that passage did not appear in the Hollywood film of the book.

Mick Hume is a spiked columnist. His latest book, Revolting! How the Establishment is Undermining Democracy – and what they’re afraid of, is published by William Collins.

(1) ‘Always the target’, by A Makhijani, Bulletin of AtomicScientists, May/June 1995

(2) The New World, by RG Hewlett and OE Anderson, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1962, p253

(3) The Far Eastern Policy of the United States, by AW Griswold, Yale University Press, 1966, p247

(4) ‘Racial aspects of the Far Eastern war of 1941-45’, by C Thorne, Proceedings of the British Council, 80, 1980

(5) Singapore 1941-42, by L Allen, Routledge, 1977, p259

(6) ‘Japan’s psychological warfare’, by SC Menefee, Social Forces, May 1943

(7) War Without Mercy, by J Dower, WW Norton and Company, 1986, p322n

(8) Quoted in ‘Trophies of war: US troops and the mutilation of Japanese war dead, 1941-45’, by J Weingartner, Pacific Historical Review, February 1992

(9) Power and Culture: The Japanese-American War 1941-45, by A Iriye 1981, Harvard University Press, p81

Picture by: Getty Images.

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Comments

Andrew Anderson

21st September 2019 at 2:55 pm

While I agree with the authors that neither atomic bomb should have been dropped on Imperial Japan (a travesty that left many innocent women and children dead/injured) I believe that the view of the author that the decision to drop the bomb was motivated solely by race is very shortsighted. As an American, whose grandparents and great grandparents (now deceased) grew up during that time, the answer as to why America of the 1940’s dropped atomic bombs on Imperial Japan was fairly simple: Imperial Japan attacked America without a formal declaration of war (Pearl Harbor). Germany and Italy never attacked the United States. In fact, in the aftermath the United States only declared war on Japan. When the Axis Allies in turn declared war on the United States the United States then declared war on Germany and Italy.
I suspect that a big reason the administration wanted to drop the bombs on Imperial Japan was not racial, but a revenge on Imperial Japan for attacking an unprepared Pearl Harbor/the United States and causing the death of many innocent American citizens. The bombs were also dropped to demonstrate American power to the Soviet Union (America’s ally during the war, but one the Americans never trusted).
Again, basing every historical decision on racial prejudice and hatred is shortsighted on the part of the author. The author is British, and the British outlook on WWII is still very different from the American outlook.

Chris Brown

27th September 2019 at 1:20 am

Your is very true, and educated. I get your words. My comment to the writers of this kind of crap is Race Really?
Have you not seen what the Japanese have become and accomplished? Twice as accomplished as the US and they are not as diverse in races as US, Are the racist too?

Ven Oods

18th August 2019 at 2:24 pm

I found the article to be interesting, if somewhat partial, but I learned rather more from reading the comments it elicited.

Ann Doshi

12th August 2019 at 8:30 pm

I’m bemused, why is this virtue signalling article appearing in spiked? This Marxist spiel is up there with The Protocols of Zion. The idea, that behind the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a giant conspiracy of white supremacy is absurd.
If you want to have clarity on this subject read historian Victor Davis Hanson.

Mick Hume’s article is nothing more than yet another example the progressive narrative, a fine example of the rot within – shame on spiked for publishing it.

Soteris Soteriades

12th August 2019 at 3:19 pm

How do you reply to the arguments in this video? Fr Miscamble claims that even if some Japanese army officials were open to the idea of surrender, there was no such mood or momentum when looking at the big picture.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmIBbcxseXM

Peter Simmons

12th August 2019 at 1:09 pm

There were undoubtedly plenty of reasons, racist and strategic, for dropping the bombs on Japan, but the fact remains that they were suing for peace long before Hiroshima, if that hadn’t been the case [pletny of proof for those who dismiss this article as Marxist propaganda, including the fact that all the top US generals were aghast at it, especially Eisenhower], but the overriding reason Truman decided to do it was simply Russia, which has entered the war against Japan and was poised to invade. It was the opening salvo of the Cold War, Russia had already been chosen by the US Arms Industry as the next object of fear after this war was completed, and it was necessary to show them what America could do. So the sacrifice of civilians, mostly women, children and old people, was as a demonstration to Russia, which naturally was impressed and terrified and set out to get its own. The eagerness of the scientists to see how well their baby did the job was also a strong motivation, tests explosions didn’t show the devastating effect on a large city and its population. Nagasaki was, if anything, a more morally disgusting show, more a ‘we’ve got two so may as well use them both’ than any strategic reason.

brent mckeon

12th August 2019 at 1:21 pm

Go through your message line by line and work out how many points are opinions or verifiable facts. With a huge event like the atom bomb there will be many different opinions and as time goes on these opinions become more extreme as their backers become more and more determined to shove their version of history on everyone else.

Hana Jinks

12th August 2019 at 4:54 pm

Bleater Dimmons.

I declare you to be an utter menace.

James Lawrence

12th August 2019 at 10:04 am

It doesn’t take three days to surrender commie, if they wanted to surrender a quick radio ‘please stop, we surrender’ wouldn’t have done the job after the first bomb was dropped.

What about British and American bombers flattening German cities, fire bombing on Dresden etc? Total German civilian deaths from bombing were estimated at ~300,000, more than the total deaths from the atomic bombs. The Brits and Yanks also allowed the Russians to take Berlin knowing full well what the Russians would do in retaliation.

The British and Japanese were good allies before the second world war and had also watched the Japanese smash two Russian navy fleets early in the century so they illusions of white supremacy had already been shattered.

James bowen

12th August 2019 at 5:07 am

The published article “Was the atomic bombing of Japan justified? appears at: http://www.pacificwar.org.au/AtomBomb_Japan.html

The above-mentioned published article provides very strong justification for use of the atomic bombs in 1945.

Thomas Smith

12th August 2019 at 4:49 am

my old pal, from the debsian Socialist Party list, Ben Burgis, “Did Marx Kill Millions?” On the idiots on the “Dark Web” (and on this Comments page): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0_RKOupV3k

Jonathan Swift

12th August 2019 at 3:34 am

The NSA wasn’t established until 1952, yet they knew the Japanese would surrender before the atomic bomb was used?

The Manhattan Project started as a result of what Einstein reported the Germans were doing but we never planned to use it against them? Well, maybe there were not specific targets planned, because we eliminated all the targets before the bomb was ready.

You must be a great mind reader to know the intentions of long dead people that you never met!

Thomas Smith

11th August 2019 at 9:40 pm

The filthy, idiotic anti-Marxist comments here are a testament to how far to the right sp!ked has travelled since its leading personnel led a fine journal like LIVING MARXISM. You made your bed when you a)renounced socialism (Brendan has done that) and b) uttered a blank check and warm support to every right wing populist movement, including the vote for Trump (btw, he won through the Electoral College, not through the “popular” vote). as somehow “the will of the people.” I still read your articles, which I still find valuable, but you need to clean up your act. You need to return to the greatness of Living Marxism.

Hana Jinks

12th August 2019 at 1:43 am

They do have some fine stories written by guests, but the Fey-Squad all still seem like hard-core commies to me.

John Knox

11th August 2019 at 12:12 pm

Forgive me for not believing something that was originally written in a Marxist rag especially given that Marxism has resulted in hundreds of millions of people being murdered or starved to death.

The idea that dropping the bomb on Japan was some sort of supremacist racial thing is laughable and what we expect from the Left as it is always about race for them.

The Allies were fighting against supremacist ideologies in both Germany and Japan. Their armies were made up of citizens of different colours, backgrounds, religions, ethnicities.

Marxism was little different to the ideology of Hitler, the Nazis, and Imperial Japan, and was just the other side of the coin.

I would challenge anyone who believes any of this Marxist nonsense to really think hard about what those mature considerations would have been for not dropping the bomb on Germany. They had nothing to do with race or the colour of someone’s skin and a lot more to do with something very obvious. Have a good long think about it.

One thing I think we can all agree on is that the results of an atomic bomb are horrific.

Until now the threat of mutually assured destruction has been something that has kept the peace since World War II.

We are now on the cusp of seeing nations obtain nuclear weapons for whom MAD is no deterrent and they are quite prepared to sacrifice their country for their beliefs in order to wipe out their enemies and this is something we should all be concerned about and wish to prevent.

Hana Jinks

11th August 2019 at 1:37 pm

Guess what, John? We should be able at any second now to anticipate the misplaced defiance in support of this diabolical and imbecilic horseshit, except that there is no defence, and so they don’t. They just get paid to propagate it, and so they have every intent on censoring any contradictory opinions to any of it.

Hana Jinks

11th August 2019 at 1:40 pm

Fey-squad.

This isn’t gonna go away. This is about how lame and hypocritical you are.

Hana Jinks

11th August 2019 at 11:16 am

My experience is that the Fey-Squad is ok with me insulting Steve Moxon and Steve Gray, ….

I saw how the Fey-Squad manifesto is a proponent of the kind of speech that offends, and yet l keep getting censored for offending the Fey-Squad.

One would hope that the Fey-Squad take note of the comments on this thread, and consider where you are. It’s as if it’s about football teams with you guys. I’ve had the same football teams since 1973.

Overall, I’d rate the site 10/10.. Despite the weird perspective on so many of the stories, the sheer volume of interesting stories and the website layout and user-friendliness, not to mention being able to comment in a more “open” way than many other websites…..it really is a good site.

The publication of this ‘story’ …seriously. ( edited).

While there are many truthful articles, there are also many that arent. Turn the mods off and learn a few things.

Hana Jinks

11th August 2019 at 11:30 am

( If you do though, then I’ll say something very embarassing towards the motives behind the values of the sire.)

Hana Jinks

11th August 2019 at 1:24 pm

I’ve been playing these kinds of games with them for almost a year, Claire, and their riposte is Ameliorate Cant and censorship. On a supposed, free-speech site.

Hana Jinks

11th August 2019 at 1:49 pm

They actually decided to change the comment-system because of me, and they’ve come up with censorship.

They have a banner proclaiming free-speech , Chris.

Hana Jinks

11th August 2019 at 2:00 pm

Sorry, Leftie-Chris.

Bill Cook

11th August 2019 at 9:42 am

I’m generally fan of Spiked, its firm and clear stance on free speech, and enjoy reading the articles whether I agree with them or not. But this one is such a flagrant nonsense of sheer ignorance and cherry picked facts that I now think less of them for publishing it. Sorry, but there it is.

Ven Oods

18th August 2019 at 1:58 pm

But, surely, publishing it and then allowing (unfavourable) comment is free-speech-ish?
I didn’t agree with some of the assertions, but when’s that not the case?
If you want echo-chamber stuff then pop over to the Grauniad.

Bill Cook

27th August 2019 at 12:34 pm

It’s not about being having an echo chamber. I think less of them for publishing it because many of the statements the article makes makes are factually inaccurate, not because I disagree with its principal argument.

Iain Cook

11th August 2019 at 7:37 am

Isn’t getting a Marxist to critique the morality of the atomic bombing of Japan somewhat akin to getting a Nazi to critique the morality of the formation of Israel? It’s not that fascists of either stripe can’t lay down facts we can all agree with, but putting up with the attendant moral posturing from the supporter of an ideology that has murdered decamillions is a bit rich.

Michael Lynch

11th August 2019 at 12:50 am

Slightly disingenuous to make these horrendous bombings the culmination of some sort of race war. Japan was always going to be the number one target after Pearl Harbor. Mick underestimates the shock to America when it happened and then the pure hatred for the Japanese that festered thereafter. It was a sneaky and cowardly attack and the loss of life and of the fleet haunted the American psyche. Mick seems to forget that the American Navy was at complete ease and not on any war footing at that time and that they were completely taken by surprise by the attack. In fact, the Japanese government and high command took great care to assure the Americans that they were no threat and lulled them into a false sense of security beforehand. The war in Europe was little more than a side show for America after that. They simply wanted revenge and they were determined to literally beat the Japanese into the ground. No, those bombs were out of pure hatred for an implacable enemy and not some sort of weird exercise to prove white superiority.

Mike Arthur

10th August 2019 at 1:53 pm

Hume’s comments are rubbish from first to last.

Example: Decision to use long range B-29 (Superfortress) for atom bomb was racist.
Little Boy (Hiroshima) weight 9,700 pounds.
Fat Man (Nagasaki) weight 10,300 pounds.
Bomb load (maximum) of B-17 (Fortress) 4,800 pounds.
Bomb load (maximum) of B-29 (Superfortress) 20,000 pounds.
There is also a question of bomb bay volume, a B-17 would have been unable to accommodate the atomic bombs.
The B-29 was the only USA bomber that could carry the atomic bombs, and all that were available were devoted, due to their long range, to attack Japan.

Operation Ketsugō:
”The Japanese planned to commit the entire population of Japan to resisting the invasion, and from June 1945 onward, a propaganda campaign calling for “The Glorious Death of One Hundred Million” commenced. The main message of “The Glorious Death of One Hundred Million” campaign was that it was “glorious” to die for the holy emperor of Japan, and every single Japanese man, woman, and child should die for the Emperor when the Allies arrived”.

This had occurred on Okinawa, where 50% of the pre-war population died in battle, by suicide, or went missing.

An invasion of Japan could have produced Japanese deaths in the tens of millions. Hiroshima (6/8/45) and Nagasaki (9/8/45) were the shocks needed to prevent that, and it still took to 15/8/45 for Hirohito to announce surrender, and still to 2/9/45 for them to formally sign surrender.

On 15/8/45, three hours after the military individuals concerned had heard Hirohito announce surrender, Japanese military murdered 17 American airmen prisoners of war. On 15/8/45, nine hours after the military individuals concerned had heard Hirohito announce surrender, Japanese military murdered Sub-Lieutenant Frederick Hockley RNVR, shot down and captured earlier in the day.

Richard Elsy

10th August 2019 at 3:25 pm

I’m puzzled by the complete lack of any references to the Japanese occupations of Korea and Manchuria/China and the manner in which the people were treated by the Japanese. If this were translated and published in those countries I’d be curious to read the comments.

Bill Cook

11th August 2019 at 9:38 am

Additionally, a post-war defecting Japanese scientist revealed that after the bombings he and his colleagues were asked by the Japanese military how long it would take them to develop nuclear bomb technology? Could they do it in six months? That was how long they believed they could hold out against the US. His reply was that they couldn’t do it in six years given that they’d had no communication with foreign nuclear scientists and would effectively be starting from theory. So much for the ‘the Japanese were in the verge of surrendering argument. The Emperor may have been willing to talk peace but the military were firmly pushing for more war.

Mike Arthur

11th August 2019 at 9:08 pm

To clarify the point about the murders of Allied prisoners on August 15 1945, after the Japanese military concerned had heard Hirohito’s surrender announcement.

Firstly, these were not impulsive acts by individuals, but the result of orders through chains of command.

Secondly, they illustrate the well-known policy of the Japanese military to immediately murder all Allied prisoners liable to be liberated by advancing Allied forces, and specifically in the event of Allied invasion of Japan: I can’t find a clear number for such Allied prisoners, but the likely number for those to have been immediately murdered is in excess of the combined casualties of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Hana Jinks

11th August 2019 at 10:56 pm

Great posts, Mike.

Peter Mott

10th August 2019 at 12:30 pm

Alex Wellerstein has a thread on Twitter at https://twitter.com/wellerstein/status/1159799358650499072 It gives a very different view.

Terence Ballard

10th August 2019 at 11:38 am

The Japanese are not a “brown race”.

And I though Spiked! was against all that identity politics garbage?

Hana Jinks

10th August 2019 at 9:51 am

Sick Spume.

There, now you have a name as well.

I’m pretty naive, and it sure has been an education to see just how anti-human you humanists actually are.

Bri -an

10th August 2019 at 9:07 am

“One in four Western POWs died in Japanese captivity; only the same proportion of Russians held in German camps survived”
Sorry Mick, but isn’t this just ‘moral equivalence’?
It’s highly likely you reject Cristianity, even many self identifying Christians do, in fact, not practice it.
One of the principle teachings in Cristianity is all are equal before God. Far too many create their own ‘gods’ which conveniently allows them to ignore their own faults and deficiencies.
It is very difficult to avoid your personal shortcomings, creating your own ‘truth’ (god) is an efficient way of doing just that.

Jake K

10th August 2019 at 8:50 am

Geography, silly. Compare invading Germany from several directions across relatively simple terrain to invading a nation of nearly 7000 islands (400+ inhabited) with interiors of mountain and forest.

Come on son. Think.

Dr Tom Lewis

10th August 2019 at 4:20 am

The anniversaries of the nuclear bombings always brings out accusatory articles. There will be hundreds of them this time next year.

The author might want to look at some statistics.

POWs captured by the Germans had an excellent chance of survival.

But of those captured by the Japanese; 35% of POWs were dying – a grim figure compared to those captured by the Germans during the war, with 0.9% there losing their lives.

Of 22,376 Australian prisoners of war captured by the Japanese, 8,031 died – 36% of those held.

Another analysis arrives at nearly the same figure: “Of the 140,000 Americans held by the Japanese, 34 percent – 47,000 – would die in captivity.”

Around 300,000 POWs were in captivity in mid-1945. The orders had already gone out for their execution the moment an invasion of the Home Islands started.

And the author reckons we were being racist and brutal?

Sources:
Australian War Memorial. “General information about Australian prisoners of the Japanese.” https://www.awm.gov.au/articles/encyclopedia/pow/general_info Accessed June 2017.

Sweeney, Major General Charles W. War’s End: an Eyewitness Account of America’s Last Atomic Mission. New York: Avon Books, 1997. (p. 142-3)

Hana Jinks

10th August 2019 at 7:44 am

The commies that write here seem insane.

Hana Jinks

10th August 2019 at 3:07 am

Virtue-signaller. The raison detre of a muslim is to chop the hands of shoplifters, and to run fags off buildings.

Hana Jinks

10th August 2019 at 3:08 am

@Amin.

Andrew Brown

10th August 2019 at 2:37 am

My grandfather was imprisoned in a Japanese POW camp in Burma in 1945; he had been so since 1942, following his capture at the fall of Singapore. During that time, he was a slave labourer building the Burma railway, daily enduring cruelty quite unimaginable to our modern, civilised minds from his Japanese captors and his Korean guards. He had been a farm labourer from Northumberland and although a Dunkirk veteran, was only 21 at the time of his capture and enslavement; I’m quite sure that he was thoroughly unencumbered by an notions of white privilege, or the loss of ethnic pride caused to those in Whitehall by the aforementioned Japanese victories. I imagine that he was more bothered by the murder of his mates by drowning in the barracks cess-pool, or the beating to death of the Australian stood next to him at parade by a Japanese corporal with a crowbar; but hey-ho, I’m sure if he was alive today, he would take great solace by Mr Hulme’s assertion that “he suffered no worse than any other POW”.

Equally, I can just imagine how much he would’ve felt a sense burning sense of injustice when arriving back at home to his parents, weighing less than 7 stone, when he realised that the American soldiers has carried even less regard for the Japanese than they had felt for him.

However, emotion at the direct suffering that my ancestor endured aside, my point is this: The Japanese knew they were losing; they had told my grandfather as much. They also said that all the prisoners would all be sealed up in one of the nearby caves and left for dead if the prospect of their liberation became close to a reality. The next day the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and the camp guards promptly deserted. Loss of civilian life on the scale of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a terrible tragedy and one which, god willing, will never be repeated; but it DID save lives, including that of my grandfather. Without it, I would not be here; and for that at least, I am grateful.

Hana Jinks

10th August 2019 at 7:47 am

Morally-bankrupt commies often resort to lies to make their point. Happens every day around here.

Jerry Owen

10th August 2019 at 10:38 am

Thank you for your post.
This article is why ‘ living Marxism ‘ needs to be ended.

Paul Dunmore

9th August 2019 at 10:56 pm

Thanks for the article. There were a couple of things that were new to me, but mostly it reminded me of the deep-seated racism that was a normal part of the Western world when I was growing up, and how far we have come. Any commentator who thinks that we were not like that was never there.
But the implied claim, that if the Bomb had been ready in January 1945 it would never have been used on Berlin, does not ring true. The Germans were also demonised, with “the Hun” being resurrected from World War I and brought back to full life in WWII. One demonstration blast in Germany and one in Japan would have been equally effective in showing American might to the world, and more effective at keeping the Soviets further east in Europe.

brent mckeon

12th August 2019 at 1:41 pm

Paul, i have traveled widely during the 80’s early 90’s and two things struck me re discussions with the “Other’; East, West, North or South. 1 decency of most people and 2 funny, referring to 1 a deep distrust of the other, only coming up after lengthy discussions. So guess not only the White’s back then were racist. The difference is we whites self flagellate (tks to the Marxists/fascists among us) a practice no other race does, their crits of themselves are strictly done in private.

Garreth Byrne

9th August 2019 at 9:47 pm

An atomic bomb is a weapon of massacre. It destroys everything within a radius of its airburst. Over weeks and years radiation sickens, genetically harms and kills many thousands more people over a wider radius. In simple terms, the atomic weapon does not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, between factories, shipyards and family residences. An ancient convention in western society – often ignored by pillage and rape after cruel battles – that uninvolved women and children should not be deliberately killed in war was violated by the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. By splitting the atom and releasing limitless power through nuclear fission the new ethical rule that the sky is the limit i.e. there is no limit, replaced the old western civilization rule that there are ethical limits. Within the judaeo-christian tradition in western culture the Ten Commandments sought to define ethical limits to human behaviour. Since the 1960s in western societies the Ten Commandments have gradually been replaced by amorphous new and self contradictory rules. Western civilization has largely ended and democratic societies try to find their way guided by different rules, with mixed uncertain results. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the beginning of something awesomely new.

Bri -an

10th August 2019 at 9:37 am

– to “distinguish between combatants and non-combatants” is a political construct that is as corruptible as any other. In WII Germany applied this to western (UK, US, Can. etc. POWs) but not at all to Russians, Romanians etc. These latter were not immediately exterminated like the Jews but their treatment more or less was matched by the Soviets. Do you not sometimes wonder how it was that, of the 91,000 German prisoners taken at Stalingrad, only about 5,000 ever returned?
At Stalingrad no distinction, as in many WWII encounters, was made between military and civilians. The slaughter in Normandy, where about 50,000 French civilians died, comes to mind.

Raoul Smith

9th August 2019 at 8:52 pm

What absolute rubbish. A “New Asian Order” ? Ask the Chinese or the Filipino’s how they felt about Japanese rule. Ask the thousands upon thousands of women (including White women) turned into sex slaves for Japanese officers. High-minded leftist academic horse-shit. “‘Western filmmakers and publicists found a place for the “good German” in their propaganda, but no comparable counterpart for the Japanese”. German-Americans had billion dollars worth of personal wealth confiscated by the U.S. government during the second world war. Not to mention the mass murder that the Western powers perpetrated on German civilians and surrendered soldiers (some as young as twelve years old) due to the Morgenthau plan. Go home Spiked, you’re drunk…………….and full of shit.

Hana Jinks

9th August 2019 at 10:50 pm

They’ll have dozens more stories like this next week.

Amin Readh

10th August 2019 at 1:56 am

@ Raoul Smith

“Ask the Chinese or the Filipino’s how they felt about Japanese rule. Ask the thousands upon thousands of women (including White women) turned into sex slaves for Japanese officers.”

Was the bomb dropped on Japan for this? No.

“Not to mention the mass murder that the Western powers perpetrated on German civilians and surrendered soldiers”

So it is okay to butcher the Japanese by the millions but not the Germans? How does that make any sense?

Let me be the first to point the finger: You are racist. We know which one…

Raoul Smith

10th August 2019 at 7:49 am

“So it is okay to butcher the Japanese by the millions but not the Germans? How does that make any sense?”

Talk about a complete misrepresentation of my statement. My point was that the author seems to believe that the Western powers went easier on the Germans because they were White.

Also, the bomb was dropped on Japan because the U.S. had performed casualty projections of an invasion of the Japanese mainland based on their experiences taking Okinawa, and had determined that the deaths would have been in the millions.

I could continue explaining why you’re wrong, but given that each of your comments on here is the usual empty-headed leftist tactic of ad hominem, I don’t think i’ll bother.

Jim Lawrie

10th August 2019 at 12:33 pm

Part of the Japanese plan was to win over India and its people. That utterly failed because The Indians understood what The Japanese had in store for them. The Indians stuck with the British and helped defeat Japan.

Chauncey Gardiner

9th August 2019 at 8:29 pm

Hmm … The engineers of the atomic bomb worked feverishly in anticipation of dropping The Bomb on Germany. But, Germany surrendered. And, yet, the bomb project continued. The same engineers of the same bomb were far less enthusiastic about the prospect of dropping the bomb on Japan.

Digging up some ostensibly racist comments is all well and good, but we’d like to situate a representative sample of comments relating to the Pacific War to a representative sample from the war in Western Europe … or the Eastern Front. Were folks any more “racist” in one theater of war then another? Was the war more brutal in the Pacific than the West …. or the East?

I am sure we could pull some fine quotes from Warsaw 1944. Or from any little town east of Breslau (now Wroclaw) post 1939.

What an animal, a self-righteous twit. Back to the twittersphere, please.

Hana Jinks

9th August 2019 at 10:52 pm

Someone in that office is obviously very pleased with it to want to have it republished…apropos of absolutely nothing.

mothman777 mothman777

9th August 2019 at 7:15 pm

The atom bomb was not the invention of the white man, it was invented and patented in London in England by Leo Szilard, in 1934, and it was Einstein, another of his people, who urged for its production.

In 1950, Leo Szilard modified the earlier design for the nuclear bomb by another, similar scientist who had settled in America, and created the ‘doomsday bomb’ a planetary killer, the cobalt nuclear bomb, a dirty bomb so lethal that he stated that the deployment of just 400 such devices would permanently exterminate all forms of life from this entire world.

Bill Cook

10th August 2019 at 9:49 am

Anti-semitic nonsense. Szilard patent the concept of the nuclear reactor. Einstein only urged the US to research the nuclear bomb once he realised Germany were already doing it themselves.

Adrian Harper

9th August 2019 at 6:07 pm

I wouldn’t rely too strongly on the US Strategic Bombing Survey as an indication of Japanese willingness to resist. The allied ‘bomber barons’ liked to make great claims for the efficacy of their doctrine. Arthur Harris, for example, argued against invading Europe because he felt that he could compel the Germans to surrender just by dumping bombs on it. The Survey is nothing more than an attempt to justify the tactics that didn’t work and secure the continued existence of a huge bomber force. And it worked.

Japan’s willingness to quit also needs qualification. There was nothing like a coherent idea or policy in the Japanese government. Many had the delusion that they could surrender and go back to the status quo ante, i.e. retain Korea and Manchuria and their Pacific possessions.

Hana Jinks

9th August 2019 at 6:03 pm

Those that inhabit that orifice-of-the-diabolical-idology should read the comments and learn something. On pretty much every story. When the ideology you support is based on lies, then it’s gonna be impossible to know what’s true. And that was Japan’s downfall as well, and why they lost.

A white, black or yellow Christian will all know The Truth, just as colour is irrelevant if you’re a commie or a moonie. Stop being so racist and imbecilic.

steve moxon

9th August 2019 at 5:59 pm

Most idiotically false statement in Spiked! history as the headline here?
Can Mike Hume be a rabid ideological fool? You bet he can.
So much for Spiked! being against ‘identity politics’.

steve moxon

9th August 2019 at 6:03 pm

So much for Spiked! being against censorship!
Perhps it should be laid out just what small portion of legitimate opinion actually can be said on this site without invoking ‘moderation’?!
Ridiculous, and a waste of everyone’s time.

Hana Jinks

9th August 2019 at 6:48 pm

I’d be happy if they told us which words were verboten. And also told us how a free speech needs mods. And their interpretation of the definition of doublethink. And whether the right to offend is still part of their manifesto. Things like that.

terence patrick hewett

9th August 2019 at 4:51 pm

Only someone who has never been in harms way can write such rubbish: it is simply a function of a very old fashioned decadence.

Amin Readh

10th August 2019 at 2:04 am

@ terence patrick hewett

Only a vile human excuses such suffering on other humans. Psychopath.

terence patrick hewett

10th August 2019 at 10:18 am

I am a professional engineer who has lived and worked on 4 continents – and I understand people like yr good self very well.

Jerry Owen

9th August 2019 at 4:37 pm

Perhaps the author will write a piece on the Dresden bombings.. smaller numbers clearly , but morally no different.

Jim Lawrie

9th August 2019 at 3:56 pm

Had the Japanese Ruling elite the same regard for the lives of their people as did the Americans, they would have acted to save them. Instead, they treated them like vermin, before, during and after the War.

The Japanese were utterly convinced of their own racial superiority. Still are.

John Little

9th August 2019 at 3:46 pm

Duh! I thought the war against Japan was er…..initiated by Japan. Didn’t they launch an unprovoked attack on an American naval base? I’m sure there were some casualties too. And am I right in thinking that they attacked Singapore? Weren’t they also carrying out barbarous atrocities in China and elsewhere as they attempted to build an empire. All of this aggression unprovoked? Not quite sure how race comes into that butchers bill. Weren’t the Japanese also just a tad racist in their attitude toward other Asian peoples, and whites too if I recall. And incidentally, isn’t it a little too easy to moralise about life and death struggles that occurred over 70 years ago, from a comfortable desk, warmed by a nice cup of tea or coffee, in England in 2019. By refusing to surrender, the militaristic Japanese government made the deaths of perhaps millions of their people inevitable, whether as the result of a protracted and bloody allied invasion, or as it turned out, the atom bomb.

Neil McCaughan

9th August 2019 at 2:44 pm

Worthy of Amelia Cantor in its unthinking, and unthinking hatred of white people.

Martin Luerssen

9th August 2019 at 1:39 pm

It’s very simple, really.
” it is the Survey’s opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945″..

Let’s make this simple. So let’s say, Japan would have capitulated on the 2. Nov 1945 instead of the 2 September, without the bombs. That means 2 more months of the second world war. About (at least) 20 Million Chinese died directly or indirectly because of the sino-japanese war from 1937-45. Makes about 208.333 chinese per month alone, which died because of the war. If dropping the bombs even only shortened the war by 2 months and even if only chinese victims are counted – the bombs still saved lives. Not counting the victims expected by the japanese ketsu-go strategy, not the victims of massacres like in the philipines etc. etc.

Regardless of whatever the intent may have been, regardless of how evil and scheming and dastardly racist and whatever not the always evil, horrible white men may have been, there remains one very simple truth: Droppingn the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki DID save lives, on the cost of fewer other lives.

Amin Readh

10th August 2019 at 2:02 am

Now take away the 150,000+ Japanese civilians that died.

Meng Fei

11th August 2019 at 7:30 am

Now add deaths from the millions of people in SE Asia still under Japanese occupation right up until the end of the war.

Martin Luerssen

11th August 2019 at 10:25 pm

You don’t get it, do you? That’s what I did and that’s how I came to the conclusion, that the bombs actually saved lives, Dropping the bombs: 150k dead japanese (and please…. by far not all civilian).
Not dropping the bombs: at least 2 months longer war, every month 200k Chinese killed by japanese.
Net loss of lives by not dropping the bombs: 400k-150k = 250.000 Lives.
And that does not take into account the japanese lives lost by the war lasting 2 months longer…..

Jim Lawrie

9th August 2019 at 1:00 pm

So Germany, in the midst of its own defeat, was running a diplomatic mission in Japan that was furnishing reliable information? A desperate attempt to factualise the author’s anti-American, anti-White and ant-Imperialist baggage and hitch it onto this event. Understandable, given that he has been carrying it for about 40 years.

Not a mention of the extensive Japanese preparations for an invasion, including thousands of Kamikaze craft. Nor of the fact that the Japanese experience of holding out against American landings was extensive and by then highly efficient for them in men and materials, and increasingly costly for the Americans. And that, for the Americans, was with artillery backing and air cover, none of which would be available until all Kamikaze assets were expended. Cherry picking, with White Americans expected to eat all the sour ones.

eli Bastenbury

9th August 2019 at 10:44 am

Have the Japanese apologised for the rape and murder of Nanking, for the ‘comfort’ girls of Korea? For the butchery of South East Asia, for the treatment of P.O.W’s, no. Do they teach this in schools. No they don’t.

Hana Jinks

10th August 2019 at 3:12 am

They issue an insincere apology, and then ten minutes later, the foreign minister is saying how grateful the Taiwanese should be that the Japanese introduced a proper education system. Then they issue another insincere apology, before the mayor of Osaka starts rambling on about how there isn’t any written proof of Korean sex-slaves.

They’ve been repeating this pattern for over forty years, and it’s a way to avoid paying reparations.

Simon Giora

10th August 2019 at 9:39 am

The first apology on the list you provided:
“1957: Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke said to the people of Burma: “We view with deep regret the vexation we caused to the people of Burma in the war just passed. In a desire to atone, if only partially, for the pain suffered, Japan is prepared to meet fully and with goodwill its obligations for war reparations. The Japan of today is not the Japan of the past, but, as its Constitution indicates, is a peace-loving nation.”

“vexation”. Perhaps the Americans should apologise for any inconvenience caused at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Hana Jinks

10th August 2019 at 10:20 am

Nobusuke is the grandfather of the current prime minister, and was lucky not to hang for his crimes, only to be saved by MacArthur with a view to being useful.

Bronk’s Funeral

9th August 2019 at 10:31 am

So your rationale for publishing this here, now, is ‘we’re not literally engaged in nuclear conflict, therefore there are no racial issues.’

That’s certainly a position.

Philip Humphrey

9th August 2019 at 10:16 am

If the Japanese leadership had been acting rationally they would have sought terms after they lost at Midway and then at Guadalcanal. After that it should have been obvious to anyone intelligent that Japan was in a war it could only lose badly. America could build new ships and planes much faster and better than Japan, and could provide the necessary troops as well. In 1945 it was by no means apparent to the Western allies that the Japanese had any intention of surrender. Given the butcher’s bill for Saipan, Tarawa, Iwo Jima and Okinawa etc., the likely casualty toll for Operation Downfall (the invasion of the main Japanese Islands) would have been horrific. The alternative, blockading and starving the Japanese into surrender was hardly humane. President Truman had a number of options, none of them good. Thankfully most of us will never be forced to make such a decision.

Martin Luerssen

9th August 2019 at 1:40 pm

Actually, they only would have had to reply sensically to the Postdamer Erklärung.

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