The Nuking of Japan Led to the Spread of the Soviet Union

There’s this guy that always comments here about how great war is and how it’s always justified. He’s annoying. His last comment:

Yet again, a “libertarian” regurgitates Soviet/Fascist anti-capitalist propaganda as if it’s just an obvious fact. There’s a well known theory that peoples’ negative views towards Truman’s use of the bomb is in inverse proportion to their knowledge of Japanese conduct in WW2. You certainly conform to the rule perfectly.

Reflective people are happy that Japan was crushed and is now a productive and peaceful part of the international division of labour, rather than the epitome of bloodthirsty, destructive statism and are aware of the chain of causation that brought about this change. Infantile “libertarians” not so much.

First of all, I’m very aware of Japanese war crimes, but he thinks I’m not. I wonder if Gavriel has ever seen the movie “City of Life and Death.” There was a period about two years ago that I watched a whole litany of films on Japanese war crimes during the 1930’s. It started when I saw Ip Man, the movie about Bruce Lee’s martial arts Rebbe. Then I read about him and how he had run away from the Japanese.

I then saw this movie with Christian Bale called the Flowers of War. It’s about the Japanese rape of Nanjing, then capital of China. A mortician is trapped in a monastery with Chinese girls, preteens. The Japanese have conquered the city and attempt to rape the girls. One Chinese soldier saves them. Then the Japanese army demands the girls, and thankfully prostitutes replace them in a clandestine operation and the girls escape the city.

That was nothing compared to the movie City of Life and Death, which is a more historical account of the sickness that happened there. In that movie, the only good guy was a Nazi named John Rabe, who was trying to protect Chinese civilians from Japanese rapist soldiers. The movie had me rooting for a Nazi. The movie was sickening.

After that movie I read more about Nanjing, but Gavriel wants to think that I’m ignorant. The fact is that Gavriel justifies the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese people because of what the Japanese army did. Here’s Ralph Raico on that:

Puzzlingly, high decision-makers continued to justify the mass murder of Japanese civilians by reference to atrocities committed by Japan’s military. In May, for instance, Marshall met with General Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project and Henry (“Hap”) Arnold, commander of the Army Air Force. Marshall cautioned that “we should guard against too much gratification” over the success of the air campaign because of the number of innocent casualties. Groves replied that he wasn’t thinking of those victims but rather of the victims of the Bataan death march. When Groves and Arnold left, Arnold slapped his companion on the back, saying, “I’m glad you said that—it’s just the way I feel.”89 Arguments along these lines were used by many leaders, up to and including Truman.

It is difficult to come to grips with what these men were saying. How could cruelty on the part of the Japanese army—at Bataan, in China, or anywhere else—possibly validate the deliberate killing of Japanese innocents, let alone hundreds of thousands of them? Those who employed, or continue to employ, such a calculus live in a strangely amoral mental world.

Genocidal fantasies flitted about in the minds of some. Admiral Halsey, commander in the South Pacific, compared the Japanese unfavorably to the Germans. While the Germans were at worst misled, “at least they react like men. But the Japanese are like animals. . . .

They take to the jungle as if they had been bred there, and like some beasts you never see them until they are dead.” Such beasts had simply to be annihilated. At the first interdepartmental meeting of a committee on how Japan was to be treated after the war, a representative of the Navy recommended “the almost total elimination of the Japanese as a race.” Paul V. McNut, former Democratic governor of Indiana and before and after the war U.S. High Commissioner to the Philippines, was chairman of the War Manpower Commission. His recommendation was “the extermination of the Japanese in toto.”

Elliot Roosevelt, one of the President’s sons, proposed bombing Japan until “half the Japanese civilian population” was killed off.

Gavriel also says it is Soviet/Fascist anti-capitalist propaganda to be against the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Anti capitalist? What the hell is he talking about? In order to be a capitalist you have to support the nuclear bombing of civilians? How can Gavriel not be insane?

But there’s something even he, חכם שאין כמהו hasn’t considered. Maybe the nuking of Japan contributed to the spread of the Soviet Union and Maoist China. Raico again:

Establishment writers on World War II often like to deal in lurid speculations. For instance: if the United States had not entered the war, then Hitler would have “conquered the world” (a sad undervaluation of the Red Army, it would appear; moreover, wasn’t it Japan that was trying to “conquer the world”?) and killed untold millions. Now, applying conjectural history in this case: assume that the Pacific war had ended in the way wars customarily do—through negotiation of the terms of surrender. And assume the worst—that the Japanese had adamantly insisted on preserving part of their Empire, say, Korea and Formosa, even Manchuria. In that event, it is quite possible that Japan would have been in a position to prevent the Communists from coming to power in China. And that could have meant that the many millions of deaths now attributed to the Maoist regime would not have occurred.

Like all ignorant shills for murder, and Keynesians on economic theory, Gavriel does not think more than one step deep. The Japanese army committed war crimes. The Chinese army did too under Mao. The Soviets did as well. And the Nazis. And the American army just as well.

By Gavriel’s logic, the nuking of innocent civilians in America, Russia, China, Germany and Japan that had absolutely nothing to do with their respective army’s atrocities would all be justified and good. And if he doesn’t agree with that, he is “anti-capitalist”. That is the kind of world that Gavriel and other apologists for the nuclear atrocities are logically advocating for.

Because of people like Gavriel, there are atrocities in this world.

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4 thoughts on “The Nuking of Japan Led to the Spread of the Soviet Union

  1. First, I hope you’ll excuse my tardiness in reply, it’s the first time I’ve seen this.

    1) You continue to neglect my actual argument, which I will repeat again at the cost of some weariness. For the 60 years prior to 1945 Japan was one of the most systematically murderous exponents of statism the world has ever seen. For the 60 years since 1945 Japan has been a peaceful capitalist nation contributing to the international division of labour in the an almost entirely positive way. Such a quick transformation is little short of miraculous, especially in the light of what we know about the genetic (and therefore in the short term unchangable) basis of social phenomena and the consequent difficulty of fixing dysfunctional countries. This transformation is a consequence of Japan’s unconditional surrender and the subsequent American occupation, which in turn was caused by Truman’s use of the atomic bomb. Once one further takes into account the non-Japanese casualties that would have resulted from not dropping the bomb, it was clearly the right decision and one that caused enormous net benefit to the world.
    If you actually want I am happy to discuss longer term consequences, but I am not interested in playing a childish game where you cherry pick certain ramifications of complex social phenonemena to prove that every military intervention by the U.S. ever has invariably made everything worse.

    2) The distinction between civilians and legitimate military targets is a convention developed by early modern Christian nations as a way of navigating out of the periodic bouts of bloodshed they got themselves into. It’s a good convention and genuine contribution to human civilisation. One of the many downsides of democratisation is that it placed this convention under great strain and eventually led to its complete cessation in WW2. Now as I’m sure you’re aware this convention is entirely unknown outside the Christian (“western”) tradition or those who have adopted it. It is also obviously untenable from an abstract point of view (why is it acceptable to shoot some poor sucker who got conscripted and is sitting in a trench, but not some guy working in a factory to provide clothes for soldiers). Nevertheless, as I have said, it is a good convention and should be adhered to because it limits the destructiveness of war and makes it easier to resume peaceful commerce when it is over. In 1945 it is clear that this convention had already been abandoned by all sides, and was held in actual contempt by Japan and its allies. Selectively and pointlessly adhering to this convention by refraining from using the atom bomb, would only have resulted in prolonging the war and making it harder to turn Japan into a peaceful capitalist nation. That is to say it would have acheived the opposite of the positive results achieved when the convention is adhered to under normal circumstances. Certainly, I am not inclined to roll over and admit defeat when people turn this convention into a metaphysical absolute and then use it to try and discredit the capitalist nations and their victory in WW2, which literally saved human civilisation.

    3) My reference to anti-capitalist propaganda was one that would be obvious to anyone with a familiarity with Von Mises. Your incomprehension might be partly a consequence of what I might describe with a little charity as your difficulties in identifying allusions, but I suspect has more to do with the fact that you have barely read any Von Mises, and imagine that clownish rantings you read on Ron Paul fanzines represent an accurate account of his work.

    I will not deal with the rest of your critique, suffice to say a quick Google search using my email address will tell you that I need no lessons from you either in History or economic theory. I advise you, once again, to spend perhaps half of the time you employ in surveying the fantasies of cranks to reading Human Action. If you go slowly enough you might learn something. 🙂

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