Archive for the ‘AMERICA AND ITS WARS’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: DISTURBING NEW FINDING ON AMERICAN ATTITUDES ABOUT USING ATOMIC WEAPONS – SOME HISTORY OF AMERICA’S BRUTAL POLICIES OF WWII AND THE COLD WAR – JAPAN AND GENERAL CURTIS LEMAY – PRE-EMPTIVE ATOMIC WAR – FOOTNOTE ON THE VIOLENT RISE OF AMERICAN EMPIRE – AMERICA’S BRUTAL SOCIETY SEEN AS A TRAINING GROUND FOR THE REQUIRED FUTURE KILLERS FOR EMPIRE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

 

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY TOM O’CONNOR IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

“One-Third of US Backs Nuclear War on North Korea, Killing One Million”

 

A disturbing new polling study, sponsored in part by “The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,” found that fully one-third of Americans would support a pre-emptive American nuclear attack on North Korea, even when it involved killing a million innocent people.

Researchers said results confirmed earlier studies showing America “exhibits only limited aversion to nuclear weapons use and a shocking willingness to support the killing of enemy civilians.”

It’s hard to know what to say about such a result, except there are an awful lot of American cold-blooded killers.

But we should recall that we are talking about the only country ever to actually use nuclear weapons. It used them twice, on cities filled with civilians, cities determined to possess no military value as targets.

It was terror in the purest sense of the word, although perhaps no more so than the horrific fire-bombing of Japanese cities conducted by General Curtis LeMay previous to the atomic attack. There was a point reached in America’s bombing campaign when planners not only had no “primary targets” left standing in Japan but ran out of “secondary targets.”

The atomic attack came despite the now well-known fact that Japan had sent out serious feelers about surrendering, asking only that they be allowed to keep their emperor. America rejected that, demanding unconditional surrender.

Of course, after the atomic bombs, America got what it wanted, unconditional surrender. It then allowed Japan to keep its emperor. So, all those people died and America set its terrible precedent over American pride. Japan’s earlier secret feelers about surrender do put the lie to America’s widely-accepted excuse about all its soldiers who would have died invading the Japanese homeland.

LeMay in the early 1960s served as Air Force Chief of Staff and participated in serious planning for a pre-emptive nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, plans presented to President Kennedy, who afterward told an associate that he left the briefing sick to his stomach.

LeMay was a big advocate of massive bombing in Vietnam. He also advocated bombing the Soviet soldiers present in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, completely unaware that they had been armed with a number of tactical nuclear weapons. Had his advice been taken, there almost certainly would have been a nuclear war in 1962.

He later briefly pursued a political career, running for vice president under notorious segregationist, George Wallace, in 1968.  Such was the kind of man who held a high Pentagon position during the Cold War.

LeMay certainly wasn’t unique, either inside or outside the Pentagon. It is simply a fact that there never has been any notable American shame or regret over its use of atomic weapons.

Indeed, we have the rather unpleasant fact that the Enola Gay, a WWII B-29 bomber used to drop the world’s first atomic bomb on a city, not long ago was carefully restored and put on display at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington where it is viewed by millions.

This is, after all, a society that has been literally immersed in murderous colonial wars since WWII. Estimates range from about 8 million to 20 million killed aboard – there are even higher estimates – with not one of those wars having anything to do with America’s defense.

And today, week-in, week-out, America’s industrial-scale program of extrajudicial killing carries right on with young buzz-cut people sitting at screens in secret locations playing computer games with the lives of real people. Thousands have been killed without judicial process, just having their names put on a “kill list” by some CIA thug.

It is also a pretty brutal society at home. Police kill an average of three Americans per day, more than any terror group could hope to achieve.

America’s homicide rate is almost five times that of a country like Italy, and substantially higher than a place like Turkey, often popularly regarded in dark terms. It is lower than many countries, but they are mostly places in the Third World.

American prisons are notorious for brutal conditions and for brutal behavior by guards. And more Americans are held in prison than in any other society.

I sometimes reflect on the notion that America’s domestic brutality serves almost as a kind of early training ground for all the future killers who will be needed for tasks around the globe.

Such is the nature of empire. It is not built with decency or compassion or humane values.

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Response to a comment about America having been a nation of killers from the start:

I’m aware of that.

What I am emphasizing is America’s modern-era mass-killing warfare beyond the boundaries of North America.

America, in growing its early empire, was fortunate to have all pretty weak opponents.

An antiquated Spanish Empire, Indigenous people, Mexico, and native Hawaiians.

They were all treated very harshly, but the total numbers were relatively small when compared to Vietnam or the Neocon Wars of the Middle East.

Had Germany, in its march for empire, faced such as those early American opponents rather than the powerful states it opposed, it might well be ruling the world today.

America has always been a bit lucky in its expansion. Fairly weak enemies early on in the march West. Later, a world flattened by WWII which barely touched America.

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