Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hiroshima photos

Hiroshima photos found.
"On September 18, 1945, just over a month after Japan had surrendered, the U.S. Government imposed a strict code of censorship on the newly defeated nation. It read, in part: “nothing shall be printed which might, directly or by inference, disturb public tranquility.” "

Pascal added:

- In our "modern times", people have been prosecuted for "leaking" photos of coffins returning from Iraq. Nothing to do with intelligence/security issues, purely to control strictly the images of that war. This differs from censorship because...?

- I don't know everything about the end of WW2 in the Pacific (does anyone of those who would tell ever really know?), but don't you think three days is really short notice to declare "they didn't want to negociate/surrender, let's re-bomb them"? After three days, the survivors of Hiroshima hadn't even seen outside rescuers yet!
Okay, I'll immediately grant you that ALL SIDES committed a blatant war crime by mass-bombing civilian cities. (Aah, the nostalgic atmosphere of the Blitz, children sent to the countryside like in the Apprentise Witch or Narnia... Thanks, Adolf, for inspiring the stories!) But me, I'll consider that while the first A-bomb, Little Boy, was open to debate, the second, Fat Man, was needless and therefore a pure war crime. Probably intended as a dissuasive display of America's new weapon, "watch out world, we can kick ass real hard now".
I suggest you watch the very first Godzilla movie, knowing it's a metaphor of the atomic trauma as felt by the Japanese. Makes it the antithesis of the cheesy rest of the series.

- Are you fine as well that they "shockenawed" Saddam? When does the targeting, or the random "collateral damaging" of great numbers of civilians, cease being a crime to become legitimate war tactics? (To say nothing of the Iraq war's legitimacy in the first place.) Afghanistan is being lost for the cause, at best it'll be many very hard years more, precisely because the hot-head "liberators" are doing more damage than the Talibans themselves...
Causing Afghan women to be stuck between the hammer and the anvil. ("A rock and a hard place" in US proverbs, but the French version feels more relevant here, with the repeated pounding image.) Just yesterday, another group of schoolgirls was assaulted with vitriol to the face, three of them in very serious condition... in spite of their burqa being in the way of the acid.

- I know quite well and reliably, from living witnesses, that the German people were far from universally enthusiastic in supporting the nazi regime. It was mostly fear, just like in the Soviet Union later. Can any gaijin (stranger to Japan) claim for sure that the Japanese, even heavily indoctrinated like every population at war, were for the most part warm supporters of the military dictatorship that had taken control of Japan in the Forties? Even if they were, does this lift the Geneva convention: "No targeting the civilians"?

- History is ALWAYS written by the victors. Don't go thinking I believe anything my own country's schools taught me about the past without a few million grains of salt. (Hey, that might explain my hypertension issues at age 29! Hmmm...)

Just cogitational nutrition (food for thought), OK? No attack meant. I "judge ideas, not people." -- [The Disappearance Of The Universe]
I don't claim to know it all, not even to be right in anything here above. But I live by the principle that in politics one must doubt everything, and in war one must heavily distrust near-anything.

I live in Lebanon. War-like propaganda is a daily occurrence here for the last 33 years. (And that's just because I can't remember earlier times!!!) I'm far less depressive than the average citizen since I've decided to completely quit watching the national gall-oozing news.
:-/

"Oh liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name!" -- Manon Roland

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, November 11, 2008   8 comments links to this post

8 Comments:

At 13 Nov 2008, 03:16:00, Blogger Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"War is such a noble endeavour that we couldn't possibly tolerate to brag about it. Hence the 6-ton lid on everything likely to reveal the beauty of our manly heroics."

Not an actual George W. Bush speech line, but it could have been! :-P

 
At 13 Nov 2008, 21:19:00, Anonymous Raoul Hernandez said...

Not an actual George W. Bush speech line, but it could have been! :-P

It's funny how they could get away with imposing censorship in those days. Still, I'm fine with their having dropped those bombs. Why? It would have almost certainly cost the lives of thousands of U.S. soldiers (see Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, etc.) and the Japanese should have surrendered. They didn't surrender after the first bomb. They weren't dropped simultaneously.

 
At 14 Nov 2008, 09:15:00, Blogger Pascal [P-04referent] said...

I beg to differ, Raoul... on everything!

- In our "modern times", people have been prosecuted for "leaking" photos of coffins returning from Iraq. Nothing to do with intelligence/security issues, purely to control strictly the images of that war. This differs from censorship because...?

- I don't know everything about the end of WW2 in the Pacific (does anyone of those who would tell ever really know?), but don't you think three days is really short notice to declare "they didn't want to negociate/surrender, let's re-bomb them"? After three days, the survivors of Hiroshima hadn't even seen outside rescuers yet!
Okay, I'll immediately grant you that ALL SIDES committed a blatant war crime by mass-bombing civilian cities. (Aah, the nostalgic atmosphere of the Blitz, children sent to the countryside like in the Apprentise Witch or Narnia... Thanks, Adolf, for inspiring the stories!) But me, I'll consider that while the first A-bomb, Little Boy, was open to debate, the second, Fat Man, was needless and therefore a pure war crime. Probably intended as a dissuasive display of America's new weapon, "watch out world, we can kick ass real hard now".
I suggest you watch the very first Godzilla movie, knowing it's a metaphor of the atomic trauma as felt by the Japanese. Makes it the antithesis of the cheesy rest of the series.

- Are you fine as well that they "shockenawed" Saddam? When does the targeting, or the random "collateral damaging" of great numbers of civilians, cease being a crime to become legitimate war tactics? (To say nothing of the Iraq war's legitimacy in the first place.) Afghanistan is being lost for the cause, at best it'll be many very hard years more, precisely because the hot-head "liberators" are doing more damage than the Talibans themselves...
Causing Afghan women to be stuck between the hammer and the anvil. ("A rock and a hard place" in US proverbs, but the French version feels more relevant here, with the repeated pounding image.) Just yesterday, another group of schoolgirls was assaulted with vitriol to the face, three of them in very serious condition... in spite of their burqa being in the way of the acid.

- I know quite well and reliably, from living witnesses, that the German people were far from universally enthusiastic in supporting the nazi regime. It was mostly fear, just like in the Soviet Union later. Can any gaijin (stranger to Japan) claim for sure that the Japanese, even heavily indoctrinated like every population at war, were for the most part warm supporters of the military dictatorship that had taken control of Japan in the Forties? Even if they were, does this lift the Geneva convention: "No targeting the civilians"?

- History is ALWAYS written by the victors. Don't go thinking I believe anything my own country's schools taught me about the past without a few million grains of salt. (Hey, that might explain my hypertension issues at age 29! Hmmm...)

Just cogitational nutrition (food for thought), OK? No attack meant. I "judge ideas, not people." -- [The Disappearance Of The Universe]
I don't claim to know it all, not even to be right in anything here above. But I live by the principle that in politics one must doubt everything, and in war one must heavily distrust near-anything.

I live in Lebanon. War-like propaganda is a daily occurrence here for the last 33 years. (And that's just because I can't remember earlier times!!!) I'm far less depressive than the average citizen since I've decided to completely quit watching the national gall-oozing news.
:-/

"Oh liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name!" -- Manon Roland

 
At 14 Nov 2008, 17:34:00, Blogger Johnnie Walker said...

After three days, the survivors of Hiroshima hadn't even seen outside rescuers yet!

What does that have to do with it? The Japanese government and the entire world knew about that first bomb and that Hiroshima blowed up bigger than anything had ever blowed up before. They should have surrendered right then and there. They didn't, therefore the deaths that followed were their fault.

I know quite well and reliably, from living witnesses, that the German people were far from universally enthusiastic in supporting the nazi regime.

I'd like to know how you know this, considering the opposite is true. What living witnesses? The Germans? They're reliability itself when it comes to that. There is recent footage of SS members who served in death camps who are absolutely unrepentant about what they did. You think this was confined to the soldiers? Not bloody likely. There were towns around where the incinerators worked, spewing ash into the air. Do you think anyone was fooled into thinking this was really snow? Ridiculous! The German enthusiasm for war in 1939 and for several years leading up to and after that was very great, just as it had been before WWI.

Can any gaijin (stranger to Japan) claim for sure that the Japanese, even heavily indoctrinated like every population at war, were for the most part warm supporters of the military dictatorship that had taken control of Japan in the Forties? Even if they were, does this lift the Geneva convention: "No targeting the civilians"?

We don't have to, they've said this themselves. Even if they didn't, if you're a general and you've got a choice between having thousands of your own troops die or killing enemy civilians instead - what do you do? If you think it's the better moral choice to send your own people to their death instead, you need help.

the second, Fat Man, was needless and therefore a pure war crime.

It wasn't, for the reasons already given.

History is ALWAYS written by the victors.

Really? Because history actually tells us this isn't so. There are accounts of the Crusades on both sides, and someone lost that. Obviously the Europeans since they were eventually driven out completely.

Afghanistan is being lost for the cause, at best it'll be many very hard years more, precisely because the hot-head "liberators" are doing more damage than the Talibans themselves...

Another assertion not based on any facts.

Causing Afghan women to be stuck between the hammer and the anvil.

Things were working out so well for them before.

 
At 15 Dec 2008, 10:30:00, Blogger John Clifford said...

Jeez...

First, the reason the people who took photos of the coffins were FIRED (not prosecuted) is because they worked for a company that agreed NOT to take photos. This wasn't because we didn't know that soldiers were dying in Iraq. It was to respect the families of the dead. I know, many folks don't get this, but a very good friend of mine was killed in Iraq... and I understand. My friend didn't die so you could take a picture of his coffin to make a point he disagreed with. Make your point without dishonoring him and his wishes.

Re '3 days before we bombed again', the Japanese knew what happened. Read some of the accounts of the US POWs who were made to suddenly start digging massive air-raid shelters. Did you also know that the Japanese military leadership didn't want to surrender after the second bombing, too? In fact, the Japanese military launched a coup against the emperor that was fortuitously broken up by an American bombing raid that killed the conspirators as they drove to the palace to assassinate Hirohito. Only after these leaders were killed did the civilian leadership have the courage to end the war. If the Japanese leadership gave a crap about their people they would have surrendered a year earlier, when their Navy and Air Force was utterly destroyed.

And, did you also know that, at the end of the war, the US captured a Japanese sub with a dirty bomb, headed for the US west coast? And, two other subs with WMDs (biological weapons) on them were also captured? The Japanese weren't nice folks... ever heard of the Rape of Nanking, or the Bataan Death March?

Re Iraq and Afghanistan, how much do you have to strain credibility to blame the USA when ignorant, women-hating dickweeks throw acid on girls who committed the horrible offense of going to school? This is the problem with the Muslim world; they cannot look at their own wretched behavior but instead have to blame everyone else for their screwed up culture. And, what makes that culture such a problem for the rest of the world is the combination of medieval barbarism with petro-dollars. The idiot reporter who threw his shoes at Bush in Baghdad exemplifies this; he insulted the very man who gave him the freedom to throw those shoes without fear of being taken out and thrown into a paper shredder. How about going to Saudi Arabia and throwing shoes at the princes who fund the madrasas that indoctrinate the suicide bombers who kill innocents? Or going to Tehran and throwing shoes at the mullahs who have sponsored terrorism and mayhem throughout the Middle East? Or going to Damascas and throwing shoes at Baby Assad, the leader of the country that illegally occupies Lebanon, oppresses its people, and kills its political leaders?

 
At 14 Jan 2009, 02:39:00, Blogger Pascal [P-04referent] said...

So sorry for waiting this long before replying, people. With the electricity situation alone in Lebanon, one can see much non-vital matters severely delayed.

Well, John, that was some interesting insight. And informative, for me.

Still, "If the Japanese leadership gave a crap about their people", they wouldn't have STARTED a war in the first place.

"ever heard of the Rape of Nanking, or the Bataan Death March?"
I have. On a novel project I'm working on, there's some mention of it. Might earn me a ban in Japan...
Still, there might have been an aggressor and an aggressee, but once the war was started, everybody fought dirty. Japanese-born US citizens were parked in camps like so many assumed traitors. And the propaganda? Fundamentally embarrassing on all sides.
War is little more than a mutual contest of destruction and hate. I'm an expert on war. I've lived in Lebanon for the whole of the war that's still not over officially. Started in 1975. Considering I've traveled abroad for a total of three years (let's consider this as my well-earned vacations), that's more than 30 years witnessing, and lengthily analyzing, both a civil war and an international one.

I fully understand your point about the dignity of fallen soldiers in Iraq. But it cannot be made into a standard. War has this effect, that it steals away people's lives from their hands. Fiercely controlling/hiding the images of killed soldiers is both an act of modern propaganda (seeing has a lot more impact on morale than just "knowing"), and a form of indignity made to these soldiers by a denial of their fate and of the mess that brought it about.
I should remind you of a far graver indignity than publishing the photograph of a coffin under a neat flag: THE SURVIVORS. How many Iraq veterans do you know who came back alive, but mutilated? Care to remind us with how much "dignity" that warring government treats them? Hundreds of billions for Halliburton's contracts, but when it comes to the pensions of those who ruined their lives there and are still alive, nothing but cheapskates. They're an embarrassment, an annoying truth that needs be concealed, that this war is UGLY AND DIRTY.
It's Vietnam all over again.
I'm convinced the Boys are, for the most part [let's not put Abu Ghraib back on the table], very noble souls motivated by a high sense of duty and doing their best. Going beyond orders and duty. But the leaders? Just... yuck, man. All of them. Bush & Cheney, Saddam, the Jihadists... all crabs in one nauseating basket.
For the record, I feel the same about Lebanese leaders. With the difference that a lot of their partisans are anus-heads, you just can't find such abundant and high quality proctology in the USA.
When the goddamn lying leaders, be they American or AlQaeda or whetever, manage to con the peoples into war, then the Devil has tricked you into igniting the uncontrollable anarchic abomination which is always war, and Evil has won. Brother would turn against brother, father against son, for "patriotic" reasons that always sound most noble on the spot, and utterly meaningless a few years later. Don't you think my own family is in constant tension because of diverging views on local politics?

The unpleasant truth of WW2 is that ALL sides, by bombing non-strategic cities filled with civilians, showed heavy disregard for the established "laws of war". Claiming that the nazis with their concentration camps, or the Japanese with their literally savage methods, were the ONLY ones who stooped to atrocities, would be hypocrisy. Carpet-bombing Berlin during the Blitz was purely a response to the carpet-bombing of London: BOTH were totally unjustified militarily, strategically, and were a deliberate targeting of civilians for morale reasons. A competition in stooping, where everybody loses from the start. Once you get dragged into barbary, you've lost, no matter who survives or conquers.

"They didn't [immediately surrender], therefore the deaths that followed were their fault."
Now, with all due respect, Johnnie, that's a nasty thing to say. Countless bullies speak exactly the same, don't they? "If you refuse to yield to brutality, I have no choice but to hurt you, and it's all YOUR fault, you must blame yourself." But WHO is doing the violent act?
The honest "superior human intelligence" tells us one ALWAYS has a choice. We are always free to choose NOT to stoop, not to be violent. One word, man: Gandhi.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was ready to pay the price in human lives, in increased casualties in his own population, because he viewed the self-respect of his nation as more important than sparing a few lives by whatever low means.
I believe there is something similar in the Gospel: "If you're the Son of God, why do you let them do this to you, you could slay them all with a mere thought." Well, sure, every Christian believes this is true, and yet a lot of Christians act like the end justifies the vilest means. They take the sword and perish by the sword.
"What would Jesus do?" Well, as the Thief noted, Jesus let them crucify him, while he could have annihilated them out of existence with a mere decisive thought. "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" [Matthew 26, 53] Let the Crusaders remember their own basics.

A slaughter, I deeply believe, is a very extreme and soul-staining means, no matter what. Would the bombing of H & N in 1940 have avoided WW2, it would still have been at the terrible price of murdering civilians. Once war STARTS, everybody is a loser.

Let me put it this way, Johnnie: how far would YOU go for a "worthy" motive? Would you take BinLaden's mother hostage and threaten to slowly cut her into bits and slit her throat live on TV, if you expected it could force him to surrender? Or the mother of any horrible murderer, for that instance? There used to be such laws in many places, including among the arabs: punishing a criminal's family with death was deemed fair, no matter the stand of said family on that person's actions.

If you had a time machine, would you go back and shoot newborn Adolf Hitler in the head? Would you assassinate a baby because one day, that baby would grow up and do something horrible? But a baby's still innocent, what would that make YOU?
You definitely wouldn't have the "duty" to kill the baby. Why? Because we are each responsible for our own actions. Hitler was fully responsible and free in his own abominations.

What about an even more extreme example of ends justifying the means? Where do you draw the line? If some terrorist tells you: "Kill that random child, and I won't kill all those innocents, in fact I'll give myself up right now", if you KNOW for some reason he'll uphold that sick bargain... would you murder a random innocent yourself?

We always seek justifications for our own unpleasant actions. But the evolved spiritual truth is, you're always superiorly free to turn the other cheek, symbolically speaking. Where are our Christian values, the ones we'll wage wars for, and which we'll so readily betray in the most fundamental aspects?

I'm certainly not claiming I have any right to dictate anybody's decisions.
I'm just insisting on one thing: be honest about it. Straightforward/ Accept the objective truth about everything you choose to do. If you get blood on your hands, say "I have put blood on my hands".
Me, I'm not a vegetarian. I know that every time I eat meat, an animal has to die. Have you seen how adorable a piglet is? Or a lamb? Do you eat lamb, that tender, succulent, delicious, highly desired lamb meat? What has the fattest, ugliest, stupidest cow done to you? Couldn't you live just fine and healthy (and longer, thanks to avoiding all that cholesterol) without eating the flesh of animals? Well, I do eat meat. But I've accepted that it means I play a role in the deaths of comestible animals. I've had to come to terms with the fact that I'm behaving quite similarly to a fierce pack of wolves ripping a prey to shreads, being a killer of creatures in the food chain.
Still I do not feel the need to snicker at vegans and call them stupid. I don't need to declare everything in the world good or bad, and declare them in a way that arbitrarily fits my own ways.

Some things you just have to accept about yourself, or change about yourself. But I don't blame the cow or the lamb. If anything, I blame the Order of Nature, and I acknowledge that I've chosen to take part in comething natural but intrinsically cruel.
I also let my cat kill and eat mice or rats. I know it's cruel. I also know rodents are prolific, a problem if left unchecked, ultimately a danger to themselves should their voracious numbers explode. But do I blame the rodents for being rodents? Never. They're born that way, it's their nature. Maybe it's necessary that they die. In fact, I'm POSITIVE it is. But I'd never torture one "for fun".

Perhaps those nuclear deaths were all a necessary evil, the least bad choice, I don't know. I don't have the pretense of lecturing the world, and other intelligent people like, for instance you. Just don't blame them for being born Japanese, and don't say you had "no other choice" and didn't decide to actively kill. Otherwise phrased: please be honest with yourself and others about what you/we do.
Because that's something an Osama BinLaden, his holy excuse book in hand, will never do. I view myself and my friends as a bit more evolved.

We've discussed this many times before. Nearly everybody agrees that killing in clear self-defense is fully justified. But still, there remains that one fact: justified or necessary, you'll still have taken a human life. This remains a bad thing, by nature. It burdens the soul, it darkens you.
Most people who kill in self-defense don't like to talk about it again. Ever. Because they would've much prefered to never have killed.

Choices...

Cats are differents. Natural predators have it in their nature to feed. But for various reasons, as a general rule an animal won't kill without need. In general, I know there are a few exceptions.
Main exception: dogs twisted by unnatural relations with some humans. They kill because they're messed up in their heads. They've learned some of our human shortcomings.

For the rest of your comments:

"I'd like to know how you know this, considering the opposite is true. What living witnesses? The Germans?"
Two of my grandparents were prisoners of war in Germany during WW2. They've had unique opportunity to get to know some German civilians. Even making some life-long friends along the way.
What living witnesses do you have to declare that the opposite is true?
There was some very nice and fine people there. Germany wasn't populated with bloodthirsty monsters in 1940, who all miraculously turned into nice people in 1980 or 2008. [Have you seen Schindler's List? What an unpleasant opportunist he seemed and was AT FIRST, and yet...] Not all Russians, by far, supported Stalin. Smack in the middle of WW2, he'd send thousands of soldiers to sure death in absurd hopeless assaults decided by incompetent generals, and order any "deserters" to be shot immediately should they commit the high-treason crime of retreating in front of the enemy.
Trust me, there will always be people who see evil when they're faced with it. A whole nation is never completely stupid. There are "dissidents" everywhere, and everywhere you may find a silent majority.
I noticed that Americans who opposed that Iraq supreme mess were at one time called "9/11 traitors". But Americans, even though they're notoriously very patriotic compared to other nations, aren't stupid. They too, know evil when they see it.

I'm not shedding any teard over Saddam, of his psycho elder son Udai. But today, the Iraqis are far worse. Very few dictatorships are as abominable as the Red Khmers, so terrible that the complete anarchy of civil war isn't even worse. Under Saddam, at least people knew what to do to avoid trouble. Not anymore.

"Things were working out so well for [Afghan women] before."
Surely not. But now it's gotten worse. Under the Talibans, it was possible to "keep your nose clean". Nowadays, there are random car bombings, military operations that pulverize wedding parties, crossfire everywhere... and women have been given a false, uncertain impression of freedom. In theory, the Talibans, and their most extreme factions, hold the power no more; but you never know where one might lurk. So... dare to live, or not? Resignation has a few advantages.
Life in Afghanistan today, especially for women, life in Iraq in general, is like crossing a minefield that's been "75% secured and cleaned". Before, people didn't cross. And nobody forced them to cross by bombing the unmined zone, either.

I've lived 30 years of my life in the Lebanon war. I know anarchy like Darth Maul knows fear. Like a fish knows the sea. Not to brag, Johnnie, but I can consider myself an expert on Middle East SNAFUs and war in general from the POV of civilians.
:-/

"There is recent footage of SS members who served in death camps who are absolutely unrepentant about what they did. You think this was confined to the soldiers?"
The Waffen SchutzStaffel were psycho Adolf Hitler's private psycho militia. Even the Wehrmacht (regular army) officers trembled before them and cautiously concealed their occasional feelings of horror. Think of the Stasi or the KGB. And they were in charge of the Camps, not the Army.
Definitely not a representative sample of the average German. More like a representative sample of the worst. Imagine what a representative sample of the worst would be like in Saudi ARabia, Afghanistan, Iraq... or the good ol' US of A. Then shiver, there's really no shame in it.

"The German enthusiasm for war in 1939"...
Was liberally exaggerated by Western war propaganda, as always in such cases.
Good people are so easy to con into a war when they're angry, afraid and impoverished. All three elements that were paroxystic in inter-war Germany. You can call that enthusiasm that brought Hitler to power. I call it igniting a mob with a flamethrower.
What about Iraq, 2003? How would you describe the American people's position and decision... to an Iraqi civilian who's just been fiercely "collateralized"?

War is very ugly.
To speak in litotes.

"Can any gaijin claim that the Japanese were for the most part warm supporters of the military dictatorship?"
We don't have to, they've said this themselves.

You know, you'd be amazed, no: flabbergasted, at some of the things I'm supposed to "have said myself" as to political positions in Lebanon. For 15 years, the Syrian presences was "necessary, legal and temporary, and desired by the Lebanese people themselves".
Oh yeah, you can always trust the official declarations. Especially in a country at war...
:-(
Still today, it' would be very unwise to express contestation when some political rally brags endlessly about "representing the true will of the population". The "population" pleads the Fifth! ):-P

I hereby make you this pledge, people: I'm going to write a book telling exactly what it feels like to grow up in a place like the one I got dumped into on my zeroeth birthday.
And I bet it'll oversell Harry Potter.

"If you think it's the better moral choice to send your own people to their death instead, you need help."
A soldier, in theory, has signed up for going to combat and risk death. That's the differenciating definition compared to a civilian.
For the rest.. as I've said, it's all, always, about choices.
If you think there's only one possible and valid response to any given situation, you need help.
I'm kidding you! ;-)
Now, if a soldier says to me "Killing's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it", then I'll commend him (or her!) both for honesty and for wisdom. I don't judge decisions, just, please, acknowledge them for what they are. Honesty is such a precious virtue.
Don't you feel some slight sympathy for a movie villain who's straightforward about it? I do.

"There are accounts of the Crusades on both sides, and someone lost that."
This... is open to debate...
Anyway, every nation will claim to have won and write its own official history. In a civil war, or one equivalent to conquest like the ultimate defeat and splitting of Germany in 1945, you can bet your sweet tushie no pro-nazi movement wrote the History books... and that if victory had been the other way, you'd be learning in detail about how the Jew Vampires caused all that war by manipulating the decadent West into attempting the annihilation of the glorious and racially pure Aryan Reisch, green with envy as these sub-humans were before being neatly cleansed from the surface of the once-polluted planet.
Or something like that. Will it surprise you to learn that the once top-student that I was had the lowest grades of all his class in History-Geography? Somehow, I found all that nationalist/partisan lebanese propaganda junk about as motivating as watching paint dry on a static-filled TV screen. In a dark room.

I think that mysteriously, I was somehow BORN with a bullshit radar, coupled with a system that makes me sleep with my eyes open.
It also activated during many catechism classes.
Must've been a glitch... :-P

"Another assertion not based on any facts."
Like, ouch, man. I wouldn't give a fart if it came from a moron. But from someone with sense and whom I like? This hurts. Where's the love, people?
That's it: I'm NOT crowd-diving tonight!

FYI, Adolf Hitler justified "his" war as aimed at liberating the Europeans from the occult tyranny of the Jewish cancer...

"Did you also know that the Japanese military leadership didn't want to surrender after the second bombing, too? In fact, the Japanese military launched a coup against the emperor"
Well, there you have the real responsibles for the war, the ones who ARE guilty of dragging/conning a whole nation into the madness. The thing is, in Japanese culture, following authority is about as socially mandatory as keeping your shoes to yourself in a press conference given by the President. Only after WW2 did Hiro-Hito abrogate his statute as "Emperor = living god".
So, the Japanese people were even less accountable for following their country's line than in countries where contestation and free expression TEND to be permitted.
We all know that the Axis countries, a.k.a. the fascist regimes, had all become military dictatorships. Just remember this: no country is immune. Remember Napoleon, Franco, Julius Caesar... it always starts with noble-sounding excuses like patriotism, moral, security... and always leads to the wide and twisty. This is why liberties are so quintessential, including freedom of education, expression AND INFORMATION.
"One of the best ways of enslaving a people is to keep them from education. The second way of enslaving a people is to suppress the sources of information, not only by burning books but by controlling all the other ways in which ideas are transmitted." - Anna Eleanor Roosevelt
Military censorship, or if you prefer to call it so "company confientiality contracts", ARE a lie to the people. There is no strategic information to be preserved by prohibiting the images of killed soldiers (I doubt they ALL wanted to get buried in secret), just manipulation of the public opinion. The first noble-sounding step on a road that the Patriot Act has zealously paved.
I sure hope the sensible guy changes that most disturbing trend on the 21st.

Germany and Japan were defeated in WW2, but today they are winners. Because today they live in peace with their once mortal enemies. THIS is the true victory : ending the hate, killing the very SPIRIT of war.

On a side note, you're welcome to comment over the Gaza "affair" on my recent blog post. True to my freedom of speech principles, I have yet to receive a comment so extreme that I choose to moderate. [This is NOT a dare!] :-)
Provided you take due note that I bash fairly on ALL warmongers and naive attitudes, while never rejoicing at the death of a civilian.
In fact, even a Hamas leader getting blown to bits is firstly a victim of his own stupidity. His death may remove a practical obstacle for attaining sensible peace with the means at hand, but even then, killing is merely a "necessary evil". Necessary in some circumstances (war), according to some decision makers. Evil, intrinsically. "Thou shouldst not kill thy fellow human."

In an ideal world...

Hiroshima and Nagasaki MIGHT have been a lesser evil to end a most terrible war. I'll grant you it's a very plausible analysis and valid opinion (and I'm not merely being "PC"). They were still a terrible drama in a war which was all terrible dramas, and where many innocents suffered.
Glorifying warriors and strife in Humankinds most ancient traditions? What foolishness!
"These humans are crazy!" - (Obelix, Gaul, Asterix and the Roman Agent, last page, panel #5)

Fuck you, war! You stole my whole life.
The most ironic part? Today, in Lebanon, there ARE no winners of the war. Everybody lost or is about to.
Peace : the final victory. REAL peace, fair for all. As long as there exist enemies, it's not resolved yet.

"And, what makes that culture such a problem for the rest of the world is the combination of medieval barbarism with petro-dollars."
I'd say the addiction of the USA to gross energy wasting, ostentatious energetic luxury, plays a significant role in the maintaining of such medieval barbaric societies by befriending their worthless regimes. Namely and firstly, the supremely medieval and barbaric Saudi Arabia. One of the most socially backwards countries in the world, right after Afghanistan and Pakistan... and BEFORE Iran. Iranian society is far more lenient to women. The State even pays the surgery expenses of transsexuals who want to become women. Truth.

Now, about the William Tell wannabe of iraqi footwear, this is another discussion, but since you chose to, let's talk about it.
How would you feel if, say, the Soviet Union had militarily invaded the USA all bombs a-blazing to topple the wicked regime that had entered the Vietnam quagmire and sacrificed a whole generation? Who died and made Dick-in-the-Bush the world's sheriff? Forgive me for the blunt images, but this is EXACTLY how an ordinary Iraqi views the US intervention today. At best, a very dubious and brutal vigilante minding somebody else's business, and very clumsily at that. At worst, a new hypocrite tyrant, worsening things since Saddam because they're far less controlling the general anarchy and mayhem, all out of greed for oil and Halliburton contracts, desperate for a diversion from their general ineptitude at politics nationwide and worldwide.

"Bringing freedom to Iraq"? HAH! That's rich! Allow me to enlighten you about the US love of nations' liberties, namely my own country Lebanon.
The United States of Bush Sr. literally ABANDONED Lebanon as a prize in Syria's hands in the Nineties, to reward Assad Sr.'s supporting position against Saddam in the first Gulf War. When Assad Jr. took a less satisfactory stand for the second war, Bush Jr.'s administration suddenly "remembered" we were oppressed and started dissing the "evil Syrian regime" in every declaration. Like, hello? Welcome back to Earth! Today, instead of national reconciliation, we remain on the verge of a new civil war, mainly because the USA frantically support their local friends (or puppets) against the other half of the population and political class. Oh, thank you SO much, but no thank you, who in Hades needs such arsonist friends?
You want to know why Bush hates Hezbollah so much? Essentially, because they're opposed to the well known US plan to IMPLANT the Palestinian refugees stuck in Lebanon since 1968. The same Palestinians who STARTED the fucking war in Lebanon, enthusiastically helped with militias that are today among Condi's fave local buddies.

The exact same sordid methods that once got justified by the cold war never ceased after the Soviet Union crumbled to bits. This is the sad truth of the United States "liberators".

You know, John Clifford, you sound like a smart and informed man with comments that bring substance to the topic, but you really should view the rest of the world from outside the United-Statesian mediatic prism once in a while, this would further add to that bright mind of yours. (Not being ironic there, I mean it.)
The USA don'y give a shit about liberties, or Abu Ghraib would never have been tolerated. Dare you tell me with a straight face that you bought all that crap about "isolated incidents of rogue soldiers acting on their own"? Not you, you're too smart to fall for it, I can tell. Lynndie England & Co were just stupid fall guys, set up as a fuse. I've seen too many unpunished scandals with conveniently-placed fuses these last eight years.
You know, I like many others have great admiration for the USA as a nation. You've got some fucking awesome things going for you, including the constitutional right to sue the President's ass if his limo runs your dog over. For instance. But these last eight years, starting with the Florida vote farce, have saddened all the friends of Old Glory with the mostest disgustingest web of deceit and corruption ever to disgrace a civilized nation. (Yeah, sure, in Lebanon we know no such "limitations"!)

The journalist in question (let us at least mention his name : Muntadhar al-Zaidi) is a Shiite. The same community, oppressed by Saddam with genocides, which the USA expected to greet them with open arms, as liberators. Guess what? It never happened. Ungrateful bastards? After the first Gulf War, these oppressed "idiots" were encouraged to an uprising by the Americans... who then gave Saddam the green light to crush them with 150,000 dead! Same with the Kurds. They were gassed with chemical weapons provided directly by Great Britain as weapons in the war against Iran. This genocide met a deafening silence in the "noble" Western diplomatic circles at the time...
And yet, Saddam at least kept order in his "turf". Outside his own political management style, no criminal act was tolerated, not even the rape of a random woman. The massacres were usually retaliation against rebellion. When his mentally unstable older son Udai shot his own butler "just for laughs", Saddam gave his flesh and blood a stern lesson. He torched Udai's whole vast collection of clasic and luxury cars before his eyes! And they were NOT models... Bin Laden's buddies running free today (Saddam NEVER tolerated their hazardous antics) is undoubtedly a change for the worse. And Bush KNEW in advance. France's Prime Minister, Dominique DeVillepin, warned him in a historical speech at the UN assembly. Remember how this friendly nation was rewarded for it selfless honesty? Again in a manner that shames the honor of a great country such as the USA.
Justice-loving "liberators"? Excuse me while I roll on the floor with laughter.
Worst. American. President. Ever.

The shoes guy, Muntadhar al-Zaidi, has been speaking against Bush from day one. He's sick of seeing his people being treated as mere political clay, and watching the "collateral victims" pile up between the Coalition's many reckless SNAFUs and the civil war massacres, not to mention criminality running amok in this new Eldorado of gangs.
You have to give him fair credit for sheer balls. I'll grant you he's not been thrown into a paper shredder. Yet. He's just in prison awaiting a most unsure fate. According to the laws applied in more "civilized" Lebanon (pun intended), "insulting a friendly nation's leader" or harming said "friendly relations" can be assimilated to high treason. My guess is, only the fear of a national uprising because of the man's EXTREME popularity in Iraq and all of the Arab world do guarantee that he won't be executed. Might pay dearly for his gutsy move yet, probably many years in jail Midnight Express style, best case scenario. Unless Obama's arrival changes the Iraqi Govt decisions heads-over-tail...

 
At 14 Jan 2009, 03:03:00, Blogger Pascal [P-04referent] said...

P.S.: There are some things US media are careful not to talk about. Assad's Syria is currently undergoing many social reforms to conform with the obligations of the partnership they signed with the European Union. Including welfare income for the handicapped and the unemployed, as I heard just yesterday.

Nowadays, Syria is a better country to live in than "liberated" Lebanon. Why don't Syrians throw shoes at their ruler? Because he's acting like the "enlightened tyrant", something which the Arabs have always respected. Look what democratic elections brought to the citizens of Gaza : Hamas psychoes in power. And war. Again.

Meanwhile, the rampant corruption in the lebanese "friendly regime" has gotten even worse since the Syrian withdrawal. Makes me wonder what was the point of me taking part in the bold demonstration that ousted the Syrians nearly 4 years ago!

How come Saudi Arabia remains an excellent friend, ally and commercial partner of the USA, when THEY still deny women loads of fundamental rights?
In KSA, the legal age for selling a girl in marriage is still nine years old, under State islamic law. But the good Kingdom is a good friend of the Axis of Good. And a precious oil provider...

So, why ravage Iraq? Exceptionally repressed human rights? Nope, a very widespread situation. "Liberators"?

"Half of the Truth is the worst of lies." - Pascal [P-04referent]

 
At 15 Jan 2009, 01:35:00, Blogger Joe Dick said...

But WHO is doing the violent act?

I guess you've got to go back to who started the whole thing. I mean your bully analogy - if analogy is the word I want (Bertie there) - doesn't work. If the U.S. is the bully and Japan is the nerdy science geek being picked on, in that case the nerd walked up to the bully and kicked him in the nuts.

Btw I think this must be a new record for you - the most supremely long post in a history of supremely long posts. Just thinking about it makes me go a big rubbery one!

 

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