Fifty Years of Deceit and Self-Deception
|"There is no word in the human language capable of consoling
the guniea pigs who do not know the reason for their death." --A survivor of Hiroshima (quoted
by Elsa Morante, in History: A Novel, 1974/1977)|
real reason? Not one that could be discussed in public. The nuclear bomb was dropped on Japan to let
the Soviet Union know who would be running the Post-War
world. It was the first shot
in the Cold War." -- David McReynolds (ref. URL no longer exists)|| |
· ATOMIC BOMB: DECISION (valuable source documents)
· Nagasaki links....
· The Nuclear Files: Experiencing ethical and political challenges of the nuclear age
· Pearl Harbor: Mother of all Conspiracies
· Pearl Harbor Attack Hearings
· Miscellaneous Documents
relating to Pearl Harbor
· The Myths of Pearl Harbor
· Japanese Army's Atrocities -- Nanjing Massacre
on this page is posted for personal scholarly research purposes only (no reproduction rights
have been obtained; I am operating under my understanding of "fair use"; I will
remove any material upon request from the copyright holder).
I do not pretend to be an expert on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
or the events which led up to it (including those of 7 December 1941 at Pearl Harbor and
the Philippines). I believe the following material is worthy of consideration, but I cannot
vouch for its accuracy or completeness. Caveat lector!
Read at your own risk, and draw your
own conclusions. If it does nothing more than cause you to respond to the next
official government statement you hear with: "Is that really true? Has
anything relevant been left out?...", this text will have done some good in the world.
Since facts are always subject not just to elaboration but reversal, I believe that, wherever
possible, action should be based on more secure premises, the sturdiest of which are to be found
in reflective cultivation of the
always evanescent and fragile moments of (to quote Hans-Georg Gadamer:) "the conversation that
we are". However, this is not a line of thought which is appropriate to elaborate here. And
conversation must perforce often concern itself with the interpretation of "things".... The
two best sources I have found to help in trying to understand the bombing of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki and its context are:
A fine book to help understand the soldier's experience of modern
warfare is: Richard A. Gabriel, No More Heroes: Madness and Psychiatry in War
(Hill and Wang, 1987).
- Gar Alperovitz, Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam (2nd expanded edition), Pluto Press, London and East
Haven CT, 1994.
- D.F. Fleming, The Cold War and Its Origins (2 vols), Doubleday, Garden City NY, 1961.
The reader may disagree with the viewpoints of and claims made by sources cited here.
I am certainly not expert on these matters. But I am convinced that official sources
of information, here as often, have proven themselves untrustworthy. And, as the
Proposal for the December 1997 Princeton conference on the 1937 Nanking Massacre
urges: "a healthy tendency
to be skeptical about the fragmentary and biased nature of all versions
of the past need not preclude an attempt to
gain a clearer understanding of what actually occurred through debate and
emphasize that I in no way wish to detract from the sacrifices and suffering of the
ordinary men, women and children who participated in World War II, either as soldiers or
civilians. I believe all "vets" deserve our gratitude. Certainly, those disabled, and their
the families of those who died "in the service", should receive the very best assistance we who
have benefitted from their losses can provide. However, if any suffered or died
unnecessarily, the causes need to be found out, that the future may not further augment their number,
which would be too large even it was "only" one instead of many millions.
I believe power must be limited to trusteeship (see, e.g., Elias Canetti,
Crowds and Power, Seabury Press, New York, 1978). I also believe, as Bertolt Brecht argued,
that the well-being of a society is indicated not by its having heroes but by its not needing
Dallas Patterson <email@example.com>, Re: Paranoid US Citizens on Homefront,
from news:soc.history.war.world-war-ii (ed. note: hi-liting added).
Contrary to current popular opinion, Japan represented a very dangerous
threat to the American mainland all the way to the end of the war and
beyond. Japan only needed a submarine, aircraft, or balloon to deliver a
catastophic weapon of mass destruction. Until American and Allied
occupation forces took possession of Japan's nuclear, biological, and
chemical warfare weaponry and assets in Japan, Korea, and Manchuria, the
American mainland was at risk from Japanese forces hell bent on suicide
and retribution. Because of the secrecy surrounding the very existance of
such weaponry, the public has remained largely ignorant of their
existance and the consequences to American war policy to this very day.
John F. McManus (President, John Birch Society)
Dropping the Bomb
Why did the U.S. unleash its terrible weapon?
Prevailing wisdom concerning the August 1945 atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki holds
that those twin horrors were undertaken to force Japan to sue for peace. Had the bombs not been employed (so the
"wisdom" goes), an enormous number of American troops would have perished in an inevitable amphibious operation
against the Japanese mainland.
During much of 1995, controversy engulfed plans by Washington, DC's Smithsonian Institution to exhibit the Enola Gay,
the B-29 bomber that delivered the A-bomb over Hiroshima. Incredibly, the exhibit's original commentary intended to
empathize with Japan and portray the United States as perpetrators of a "war of vengeance." The planned text even declared
of the Pacific conflict, "For most of the Japanese, it was a war to defend their unique culture against Western imperialism."
Much of the historical perspective on the era holds that the Japanese were prepared to fight to their very last man,
and that until the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been visited upon their homeland Japanese leaders had no
intention of surrendering. But in fact the Japanese had sent peace feelers to the West as early as 1942, only six
months after the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. More would come in a flood long before the fateful use
of the atomic bombs.
In his 1966 book No Wonder We Are Losing, wartime U.S. official Robert Morris stated that the undefined
demand for unconditional surrender was "frightening" to the Japanese. Working for Naval Intelligence as an expert
in its Psychological Warfare Department, Morris reported that careful interrogation of Japanese prisoners
confirmed that "the Japanese would yield most readily if they were assured that they could keep Emperor
Hirohito." Morris also stated that "intelligent prisoners ... consistently reported that Japan would prefer to surrender
before the Soviet Union entered the war [because they] feared the Bolshevization of the home islands."
One of the most compelling [Japanese
attempts to surrender] was transmitted by General MacArthur to President Roosevelt in January 1945, prior to the
Yalta conference. MacArthur's communiqué stated that the Japanese were willing to surrender under terms which included:
Full surrender of Japanese forces on sea, in the air, at home, on island possessions, and in occupied countries.
Amazingly, these were identical to the terms which were accepted by our government for the surrender of Japan seven
months later. Had they been accepted when first offered, there would have been no heavy loss of life on Iwo Jima (over
26,033 Americans killed or wounded, approximately 21,000 Japanese killed) and Okinawa (over 39,000 U.S. dead and
wounded, 109,000 Japanese dead), no fire bombing of Japanese cities by B-29 bombers (it is estimated that the dropping of
1,700 tons of incendiary explosives on Japanese cities during March 9th-10th alone killed over 80,000 civilians and
destroyed 260,000 buildings), and no use of the atomic bomb.
- Surrender of all arms and munitions.
- Occupation of the Japanese homeland and island possessions by allied troops
under American direction.
- Japanese relinquishment of Manchuria, Korea, and Formosa, as well as all territory seized during the war.
- Regulation of Japanese industry to halt present and future production of implements of war.
- Turning over of Japanese which the United States might designate war criminals.
- Release of all prisoners of war and internees in Japan and in areas under Japanese control.
Kei Watase (Australian Broadcasting Company, "Tokyo's Burning")
On the other side Japan could not avoid war because we are scarce of oil and food and I
don't know which side are wrong, America or Japan. But nowadays I appreciate American
people because they are very generous and they save our lives. If it were Japanese army,
never do that.
Only I was sixteen years old. I have not enough education to criticise (the) Japanese army.
Also my feeling towards tenno - Emperor - he is war criminal, actually. So I don't care
whether the Emperor (is) still existing or not. Don't care.
Obata Masatake (Australian Broadcasting Company, "Tokyo's Burning")
It was incredible that even after this raid [the firebombing of Tokyo, March 10 1945], when it was obvious to anyone, that enemy
planes could fly right in, day or night, that the Emperor didn't end the war. How could
anyone have seriously believed we could win the war?
Everyone was against it going on, everyone except the bloody military. They wouldn't
listen to anyone except the emperor, and what did he do? Nothing. Maybe he seriously
believed some divine wind would spring up and blow the enemy away! It was ridiculous,
we didn't even have the oil to keep on fighting, let alone turn the thing around.
Defeat was absolutely inevitable. No question.
I believe the Emperor was responsible for many more deaths. The idea that he was a peace
loving man is a complete and utter lie. You have to realise that in those days he could have
got his own way. He could have told them to stop fighting and the war would have ended
For 22 years I had to wear a mask to cover my face, the scar was so bad before I had a
skin transplant. I used to walk everywhere looking down, because kids got scared if they
saw my face.
I sometimes think I would have been better off if I'd been bombed by the atomic bomb, at
least those victims were recognised and got some financial compensation.
Robert Guillain: interview (Australian Broadcasting Company,
The essential fact is that the Japanese knew the war was over and they hated that war.
They hated their chiefs, they hated their generals, they had enough after nearly 25 or 30
years or this horrible military regime, so that this explains a remarkable fact which I
watched just after the war, that when the Americans finally landed, nobody was hurt, there
was no incident, and just the contrary, the whole people of Japan went to the Americans,
made friends with them and everything was turned over and the accusation was against
General Tojo and all the men and admirals who had put Japan in that horrible position.
Shinichiro Kurimoto, Member of the House of Representatives, Liberal League
I think it was a senseless act by the US government. The US public should know that the bomb was dropped after
victory in the war had already been achieved and that the real aim was bolstering the US position in post-war
What was even more cruel than the dropping of the atomic bombs, was the move to ring a major city of a
civilized nation with incendiary bombs so that a wall of fire was created through which the citizens could not flee.
In that bombing, two of every three children fleeing died not through fire caused by incendiary bombing but
through direct hit of dropping bombs. I am referring here to the incendiary bombing of Tokyo in which more than
This kind of cruelty toward non-combatants of a civilized country is rare in the history of warfare.
On the other hand, doubts about whether the US knew that a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was coming and let
it proceed anyway won't go away. As for myself I consider this "doubt" something close to a nearly proven fact.
The people of the US should debate the facts of the last war with Japan with the Japanese people and without
taboos. All that they know has come through the filter of controlled and limited information.
The country that pushed Japan to war must still reflect on what it has done. This kind of reflection and Japan's
serious reflection on its own wartime history are a separate matter.
Mitsuko Shimomura, Journalist
What has given Americans opposed to the Smithsonian exhibit an excuse, is the view that although Japan fought a
war of invasion 50 years ago in Asia, Japan is even now working to try to justify its actions in that war.
Unfortunately, that's a fact. I think this domestic movement in Japan is related here to the US decision to cancel
the planned exhibit. If Japan had been more forthcoming and clear-cut in its own assessment of the role it played
50 years ago, it would be easier for Japan to speak with a clear voice now. In that sense, criticism from Japan
now lacks a certain power to persuade.
At some point, once Japan comes fully to terms with its own wartime role, the truth of the atomic bombing needs
to be proclaimed to the world. I think Japan should take the historical materials of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and--on
its own--sponsor an exhibit on the atomic bombing in America.
Hiromasa Nakayama, Chancellor, Meiji Gakuin
On this 50th anniversary of Japan's defeat in the War, I have confessed and apologyzed for Meiji Gakuin's
involvement in the war of aggression as well as for its failure to make it known to the
public. (Please refer to "The
Responsibility of Meiji Gakuin during and after the War: A Confession")
The point is that organizations in all walks of life, such as schools, media, corporations, various government
ministries and agencies, must commit themselves to self-examination, and if necessary express remorse after
reflection. What we need, I believe, is such a steady effort. It would never amount to a national effort if only
politicians passed a resolution just to suit the occasion and other people remained mere onlookers.
It is never too late; each should start a sincere self-examination of their responsibility during and after the War.
Such an effort becomes a force which will keep us in the right track in the future. I merely and sincerely pray that
our effort will trigger the national endeavor in the same direction.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Al_Kirke), GTE net 214-574-3777, Re: Was Pearl Harbour Intentional?,
In article <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org
>I have heard the suggestion from time to time that FDR had
>advance intelligence indicating that the Japanese were planning
>to attack Pearl Harbour.
>I wonder whether this is a mainstream historical belief, a
>credible but unproven theory, or pure malarky. Anyone know of
>any supporting evidence (or respected historical texts) which
>support this suggestion?
Yeah, Orville, lots of it.
The pivot is JN-25, the operational code of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
This is the code that was used in the messages sent from Tokyo to the
Pearl Harbor attack fleet as it was staging and on it's way. It is
different from Purple, the Japanese diplomatic code. The Purple
traffic has been freely available to the public. The JN-25 has not.
A good starting place is John Toland's book, Infamy. It was published in
1982-1984, and gives detail on the five(?) Pearl Harbor investigation
conducted by the US Congress, Army, Navy, etc. It give some of the
drama. Note, all of these investigations were conducted while the
Democrats had control. Note that the 1944 Army Board report, which
castigated General Marshall and the Washington brass, was suppressed
by Roosevelt. The top secret part, which was particularly severe,
wasn't in the report.zip file that I downloaded from ftp.purdue.edu
But the coded Japanese traffic was pivotal in allocating blame
for the disaster. The administration did it's best to make it
unavailable to Short and Kimmel, the commanders at PH.
The next book is Eddie Layton's book, And I Was There. Layton
was Pacific Fleet Commander Nimitz's intelligence chief. He
delayed writing his book until a lot of the Japanese wartime
traffic was declassified. He details a lot about JN-25, from the
time it appeared in June of 1939. It was used by the Japanese
navy throughout the war. We had been reading it for the year
preceding the PH attack. Layton knew the files. He has a
A somewhat sensational book is Betrayal at Pearl Harbor, written
by James Rusbridger and Eric Nave. He has some farout theories
about Churchill. But the book in general is a good read, and
he has images of JN-25 messages sent to the attack fleet printed
in the appendix. Rusbridger tells of the marvelous sensitivity,
even at this late date, of the US government, the to old wartime
message traffic. There is also a marvelous quote from the US
archive wienie stating the the wereabouts of the records of the
JN-25 work that preceded Pearl Harbor is not known. It is not
classified. It is missing. How about that.
It is a facinating story.
"Asked why he had wanted to cooperate with the continuing trial involving
Unit 731, Mr. Shinozuka delivered a long and highly personal meditation
on guilt and forgiveness. "The government made no apology at the time,"
he said, "and has kept the same attitude ever since. They remain silent.
"But all these years I've thought about who received the germs I created,
and how much they must have suffered. I thought about the bereaved,
and about the survivors, people whose lives were forever damaged. I
thought about the victims of vivisection, and I felt these acts must not be
buried away, or else we are condemned to go from darkness to
darkness." (The New York Times on the Web, 21Dec00,
"Japanese Veteran Testifies in War Atrocity Lawsuit", by Howard W. French)
|Note: I originally prepared this web page in late
Spring 1997, as part of my participation in
the Japanese television network NHK's:
Internet forum on atomic weapons.|
||/Return to page about
my (BMcC) participation in NHK atomic weapons Internet
forum (Above).|| |
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Copyright © 1998-2001 Brad McCormick, Ed.D.
30 August 2002