Closing Thought–09Aug18

Ever heard of “Bock’s Car”?

Nope not some fanciful car from the past.

Would you know what I mean if I said….”Enola Gay”?

Almost all Americans know the name of the plane that dropped the first A-Bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

“Bock’s Car” is the name of the plane that dropped the second and final A-Bomb on Nagasaki that ended World War Two.

Today is the anniversary of the 2nd bomb dropped on Japan that devastated the town of Nagasaki just days after the bomb on Hiroshima.

By August 1945, U.S. Navy submarines and aerial mining by the Army Air Forces severely restricted Japanese shipping. The AAF controlled the skies over Japan and the AAF’s B-29 bombing attacks crippled its war industry. A plan for the invasion of Japan had been drawn up; Operation Olympic was scheduled for November 1945. Estimates of Allied casualties ranged from 250,000 to a million with much greater losses to the Japanese. To repel invaders, Japan had a veteran army of some two million ready, an army that had already shown its ferocity and fanaticism in combat. Some 8,000 military aircraft were available that could be used for devastating Kamikaze (suicide) attacks on U.S. ships. The draft had been extended to include men from age 15 to 60 and women from 17 to 45, adding millions of civilians ready to defend their homeland to the death, with sharpened sticks if necessary.

But why a second bomb?  Was the devastation of Hiroshima not enough?

Everyone knows that Nagasaki came three days after Hiroshima — but Nagasaki doesn’t get talked about nearly as much. The reason Nagasaki gets “overlooked” is pretty obvious: being the second atomic bombing attack is a lot less momentous than the first, even if the total number of such attacks has so far been two.

Just a little history to close my posting day.

Turn The Page!


Did The Nukes End The War?

World War Two kept raging even after the surrender of Nazi Germany….he US was locked into island hopping warfare heading towards the Japanese homeland…..Japan’s cities were fire bombed almost daily….and then Truman decided the only way to end the war was to use the new weapon….the Atom bomb.

After two nukes were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki the Japanese leadership decided they had had enough and they sued of peace and formally surrender shortly thereafter.

Ever since the first bomb was dropped there had been a debate on whether they truly did end the war……..

the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, followed three days later by the bombing of Nagasaki.

Residents of former Allied countries all generally agree on what happened next: An awed Japan surrendered and the world was spared the devastating human cost of a land invasion of the Japanese home islands. A particularly chilling fact is that United States has yet to use up the vast supply of Purple Hearts minted in anticipation of a bloody landing.

Arguments against the bombings usually take a moral tack. That whatever the ends, it’s never right to intentionally vaporize women and children. But in recent years an entire new argument has emerged: Bomb or no bomb, the war would have ended anyway.

Read more……….

Never let it be said that I only offer one side of a post… in all fairness this article on the choice the US had to make during WW2……

On the morning of August 6, 1945, the American B-29 Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later another B-29, Bock’s Car , released one over Nagasaki. Both caused enormous casualties and physical destruction. These two cataclysmic events have preyed upon the American conscience ever since. The furor over the Smithsonian institution’s Enola Gay exhibit and over the mushroom-cloud postage stamp last autumn are merely the most obvious examples. Harry S. Truman and other officials claimed that the bombs caused Japan to surrender, thereby avoiding a bloody invasion. Critics have accused them of at best failing to explore alternatives, at worst of using the bombs primarily to make the Soviet Union “more manageable” rather than to defeat a Japan they knew already was on the verge of capitulation.

Personally, I believe that these bombs were not necessary…..but then it was not my choice.

Could the Soviet Union entering into the Pacific theater have been another reason for the surrender of Japan?

At the Tehran Conference in Nov 1943 and at the Yalta Conference in Feb 1945, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin had agreed declare war on Japan three months after Germany would be defeated. On 5 Apr 1945, the Soviet Union informed Japan that the Soviet Union would not renew the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact of 1941, which ensured non-aggression between the two nations through 13 Apr 1946. At 2300 hours Transbaikal time on 8 Aug 1945, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov informed Japanese ambassador Sato that the Soviet Union was revoking the neutrality pact with a declaration of war effective on 9 Aug; at this point, the neutrality pact was still six months from its natural expiration.

My point is that there was more to the closing days of WW2 than the dropping of a couple of potent bombs.

Class dismissed!

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Closing Thought–07Aug18

History of the Day

On this day in 1782 General George Washington authorizes a medal for troops wounded in combat…….the Purple Heart.

All soldiers know that the Purple Heart is given to those who are wounded or killed while fighting in the nation’s wars. Most also know that those who are injured or die in terrorist attacks are eligible to receive the decoration, too. What most soldiers, and most Americans, do not realize, however, is that the Purple Heart is a unique military award. First, it is the oldest U.S. military decoration; General George Washington awarded the first purple-colored heart-shaped badges to soldiers who fought in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Second, until World War II, the Purple Heart was exclusively an Army decoration and, with rare exceptions, only soldiers received it; the Navy and Marine Corps lacked the authority to award it to sea service personnel. Finally, the Purple Heart is the only decoration awarded without regard to any person’s favor or approval; any soldier, sailor, airman or marine who sheds blood in defense of the nation is automatically awarded the Purple Heart. What follows is a history of this unique decoration and some of its soldier recipients

The Purple Heart is frequently described as the military’s oldest medal. Gen. George Washington created it in 1782 to recognize meritorious service — basically bravery in combat — but it soon fell into disuse. In 1932, to mark the bicentennial of Washington’s birth, Gen. Douglas MacArthur spearheaded an effort to revive the medal. It was designed to commemorate bravery, but also recognized soldiers with wounds.

To all service men and women and veterans that have been wounded in combat….Thank you for your service….I feel that saying is not enough to show our gratitude….please know that you are important to us here on IST…..Thank you and be well…..chuq

Jimmy, Thank You

The Far Right thinks that demonizing Pres. Carter is the way to make their policies law…..they are wrong and anyone that criticizes Carter are wrong….from a foreign policy point of view Carter was a success on many levels…..most notably in the Middle east….it is possible that if he had won re-election the complexion of the conflict would be different.  He seldom gets credit for the START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) which was suppose to eliminate all nukes in the future….and then Reagan shows up and the conflict talk gets louder…..his only “sin” was the failed rescue attempt of the hostages in Iran…..the failure was not the fault of Carter or his plan…weather and malfunctioning equipment caused the failure….but according to many on the Right it was all Jimmy’s fault…kinda like everything these days is Obama’s fault.  I will admit that Jimmy crapped in his corn flakes with the neutron bomb fiasco…..

There is no comparison with after presidency activism…Carter is far more down to earth than his wealthy greedy executives that followed…..but that aside let’s look at his foreign policy chops……

When the historian Walter Russell Mead in a Foreign Policy article published in early 2010, sought to criticize the Obama administration and warn it against the risks of “weakness and indecision” and “incoherence and reversals,” the essay’s headline evoked the threat of a “Carter syndrome.” The meaning was clear: a damning allusion to President Jimmy Carter’s famously weak foreign-policy record.

But there was a problem with Mead’s comparison: The conventional wisdom about Carter is wrong. Far from the feckless leader he’s often portrayed as today, Carter racked up more tangible successes in just four years than most other presidents have in eight.


Thank You, Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter deserves the atta boys he deserves…..not some made up BS from jealous politicos……my feeling is that the world would have been a better place if he had been given another term to implement his policies further……the Middle East may have looked different and nukes may have not been the bane they are these days……

Carter will always have a warm spot in my heart….even though I was a radical in those days his policies were well worth support.

Turn The Page!

Is There An Answer For Gun Control?

Oh boy this title oughta get the juices flowing from one of my readers….of course because I am what some mental midgets call a “liberal” (BTW a term most on the Left detest) they will immediately assume that this is some sort of Leftist diatribe on how to get everyone’s guns……if that is the case then stop here and make a comment that I will tear apart…..or continue to read and see what this post is about……

Babies, concert goers and high school students have been killed in recent mass shootings, but the grip of the NRA and the gun manufacturers on Republican politicians remains firm. In fact, the NRA, gun manufacturers and Republican politicians are hard to distinguish. The gun industry gives millions every year to the NRA in the form of grants and millions more in the form of advertising in NRA publications. In some cases, a percentage of the sale price of guns and ammo goes directly to the NRA. Politicians receive a similar kickback. In the course of their careers, Sen. John McCain has received nearly $8 million from the NRA; Sen. Richard Burr, $7 million; Sen. Roy Blunt, $4.5 million, Marco Rubio, $3.5 million, etc. All of them together, with compliant Republican presidents, have succeeded in creating a Supreme Court willing to change the plain meaning of the Second Amendment from sanctioning a “well armed militia,” to endorsing a nearly universal right to be armed.

If you read the entire article I would like to hear from you…….please let me know your feeling on this……

Kellogg-Briand Pact

Nope has nothing to with corn flakes!

War Is Hell!

I have always appreciated the times when our politicians looked to the future and tried to head off wars…….and you guessed it…..the old professor gonna drop some history…..

Most everyone knows that I am antiwar and have been so since 1972 plus I am a history wonk and have been studying World War One, The War To End War, well it did not work out that way…..but back in the 1920’s US SecState, Frank B. Kellogg and French Foreign minister Aristide Briand put together a pact for the League of Nations that would make war impossible……

After World War One, many Americans were determined that the United States should not become involved in another war. Their methods of trying to achieve this were varied – some pointed to the new World Court and the existing League of Nations as being the best forums in which to decide international disagreements, while others believed that disarmament was the first priority. The latter group tended to speak out in favor of the 1921 Washington Naval Conference and its successors.

A further group, generally given the title of peace advocates, went further and declared that war itself should be made illegal. Among the most prominent people to be involved with this faction were James T. Shotwell and Nicholas Murray Butler, who had close links with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. This organization had been set up by the renowned industrialist, Andrew Carnegie, in 1910, and had as its aim the promotion of internationalism.

Sadly just a short decade later and the pact was voided by the actions of Germany, who once again became the European aggressor.

Another sad thing is that a devastating war is never unavoidable…..simply because the active participants want the clash…..for whatever reason.

Side Note:  The idea of a League of Nations that would prevent war from becoming a major incident……The League arbitrated disputes between member countries in order to peacefully preserve sovereignty and territorial rights. The League encouraged countries to reduce their amount of military weapons. Any country that resorted to war would be subject to economic sanctions such as a halt to trade…… idea from American President Woodrow Wilson but was never ratified by the US Congress.

Without the US the League was weak and ineffective…..thus WW2 loomed large.

President Must Die!

Please if any of the Right wing noise machine is reading then let me say here and now….I am NOT talking about anything happening to Trump or his extended family.

Okay we all know that I do enjoy dropping some history from time to time…….this time I would like to let my readers know the most whacked out attempts to assassinate a president.

Anyone can change the course of history. You can start a movement, run for office, or if you’re too insane for that kind of thing, buy a cheap gun and try to kill the President.

Now killing the President requires a lot of planning, but when you’re crazy, planning involves casting imaginary spells and talking to ghosts. All of which makes it even stranger that some of the craziest assassination plots ever hatched by some of the craziest people came so close to succeeding.

History is a cool thing to keep track of….I mean there is so much to draw from…..and I try to draw as much as possible…..even those that find fault with history could learn a thing or two…..there is the rub….learning is not their strong suit.

Stay tuned………