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Good old Harry Truman

By Owen Paine on Monday August 11, 2008 03:44 PM

63 years ago last Saturday, the US army air force committed a wild senseles atrocity -- it dropped a second A-bomb on Japan. You might say the first one was the last act of the old era, and the second one was the first act of the new. Our world entered the era of American hegemony -- and saw how America was willing to enforce it. That era has far from run its course.

Why'd they drop the second one? They had only three to begin with. They were hard to make and time-consuming back then. We tested one, leaving two. Wouldn't want to waste it. So we dropped 'em both.

Obviously no point made by the first drop needed the reinforcement of the second, other than maybe this point: we're willing to kill the innocent, and kill them massively, even without the remotest purpose.

That second bomb drop casts the proper light on the first. Neither could have been dropped for the reasons presented in the official narrative, or the second bomb would never have been dropped. We only stopped because we ran out of bombs.

Comments (9)

I've always leaned toward the theory that Nagasaki was done to ensure no USSR at the surrender.


i suspect u are giving the likes
of stimson and marshall
more strategic long view powers
then they had at the time
as late as potsdam one mnth earlier
we were encouraging the soviets to declare war
on japan
recent scholarship in japan
suggests this was smart

japan if it needed any further push
toward peace
got it with the russian attack in manchuria
after a war declaration aug 8
--one day b4 nag got nuked--
apparently the imperial hawk faction
predicated any continued resistence
to surrender terms
on keeping the russians out of the asian war
an old stand by of the hawks
since their collective decision
south strike not north strike
in early 41
--nb the sov-j
neutrality pact of spring '41
even with a post Unternehmen Barbarossa
second look in july the imperial high command and gub-hawks
stuck to the position formed in the spring
if "forced " into an undeclared attack
to hit south at the anglo americans
not north at the soviets

it may be
the nasty outcome
of their undeclared border war
with the soviets
in 38- 39
had left an impression on the japanese army

plato's cave:

Good insight, OP. Somehow the second bomb observation never occurred to me. I have always thought, however, that our terrifying and unnecessary nuclear arsenal was intended to intimidate not only our enemies and allies, but our domestic population too. At least it's always scarred the hell out of me.

Son of Uncle Sam:

My Dad, Uncle Sam told me it's all clearly explained in a song released in the 50's.

Western Union by The Five Americans.

Not sure what you're saying, Op-san.

That the Japanese hardcores were holding off on surrendering until they could draw in the Rooskies? That the Rooskie entry hardened their resolve to never surrender?

My mind can't parse your poetry this time...


sorry md

here's the point :
the high command
stacked the continued hold out
on keeping the soviets neutral
their belated entry on august 8th
not the atomic slaughter
was the real proximate cause
of the surrender

Well, I'm very interested in this topic, despite the inherent complexity and secrecy and guesswork involved.

I suppose my own view is that Nagasaki happened because of several factors, including your "Smoke em if you got em" point, plus racism, and also a measure of blame for the Tojoids, who could and should have reacted to Hiroshima with the white rag.

But if the scholarship is confirming that the ultras in the J-elite were wanting Stalin in the bout, I take that as pretty string evidence that scaring the Russians was near the top of Truman's mens rea.


" if the scholarship is confirming that the ultras in the J-elite were wanting Stalin in the bout"

once again i mangled my comment

latest results
from digging in the j-archives :

the j high command
hoped to keep the soviets out

and it was when the soviets
that at long last
the hawks in the j high
agreed it was time
to call it a day...

white rag time

but nothing about any of this
required more then patience
and waiting em out
to have it end by negotiation
and occupation
the peace faction was bound to prevail
within weeks
one way or the other
nukes or no nukes
with a soviet manchurian blitz krieg
or without one

"but nothing about any of this
required more then patience"

Agreed, completely. I'm only interested in this question as evidence of the depth of the Empire's depravity, as well as very important suppressed history.

But, in that vein, doesn't the patient route lead to pressure to include Uncle Joe at the table? I think had to be a factor, if not the only one.

And I also find it fascinating that the ten-no racket (near pun intended) was not decapitated after Nagasaki, despite it being a big sticking point before.

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