T Nation

American Atrocities


#1

I found this on the world wide web. I believe it is spot on. Perhaps some here will vehemently agree or disagree with what the author states below.

AMERICAN ATROCITIES

Most political conservatives in the United States would like us to believe that America was founded by Christians, that it is the most moral country that ever existed, and that it has had the moral high ground in all the wars in which it has engaged. The truth is that America, like every other nation, has been and continues to be a fundamentally immoral nation. America is not blessed by God, and God is not on the side of America, because God has never blessed or been on the side of any particular nation after Old Testament Israel. The founding fathers of the United States were not Christians by any stretch. A Christian is not to be "proud to be an American" (or proud of anything, in fact) and is to pledge no allegiance to anything or anyone but God Almighty.

Atrocities abound throughout the history of the United States. The slaughter of the American Indians and the enslavement, brutalization, and oppression of Africans are two salient examples. There never has and never will exist moral justification for these heinous acts, which were blatant transgressions of God's Law.

The American government has repeatedly required its military to violate God's commandment, "You shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13). Let us look at a few specific examples.

On December 7, 1941, men in the Japanese military committed murder against men in the American military at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Hatred against those of Japanese descent increased. The commander of the Pacific forces, Admiral William F. Halsey, said to a press conference in 1944, "The only good Jap is a Jap who's been dead six months." He added, "When we get to Tokyo ... we'll have a little celebration where Tokyo was." Halsey's motto was, "Kill Japs, kill Japs, kill more Japs!"

The American military began firebombing cities in Japan, including Tokyo, in February of 1945. Firebombing was a tactic in which clusters of incendiary bombs created a firestorm in which the air above the bombed area became extremely hot and rose rapidly, while cold air rushed in from ground level, creating vortices in which the victims were literally sucked into the fire. In the firebombing of Dresden, Germany (in which the U.S. military took part), a woman witnessed a baby being sucked out of her mother's arms and into the fire.

The firebombings were obviously intended to wipe out significant parts of the civilian population in a city and to create terror. Tokyo was a particularly susceptible target because the city was made almost totally of wood. The fires were so hot that the clothing on individuals was actually ignited by the heat as they were running away. Many of the women were wearing turbans around their heads, and the heat ignited the turbans, totally consuming the heads of the women.

But there were some cities that were spared from firebombing - for a treacherous reason. Secretary of War Henry Stimson wrote the following regarding his conversation with President Harry Truman on June 6, 1945: "... I was a little fearful that before we could get ready, the Air Force might have Japan so thoroughly bombed out that the new weapon would not have a fair background to show its strength. He [President Truman] laughed and said he understood." This "new weapon" was the atomic bomb. Some cities were left unbombed in order to be potential experiments to determine how devastating the atomic bomb would be.

The Target Committee at Los Alamos chose Hiroshima to be the first target because of its large size, because the surrounding hills would have a "focusing effect," and because it had at least some military presence in order to justify the bombing (it had a supply and logistics base). Obviously, the military was intentionally targeting civilians; the Target Committee admitted the importance of the "psychological" (i.e., terror) effects.

On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, instantly killing an estimated 70,000 people. Subsequent death from radiation poisoning, injuries, and necrosis brought the total deaths up to an estimated 140,000.

On August 9, 1945, it was planned that the second bomb be dropped on Kokura; however, because of cloudiness over Kokura, the secondary target of Nagasaki was chosen. The bombing of Nagasaki instantly killed an estimated 70,000 people. It is estimated that another 10,000 people later died of radiation poisoning, injuries, and necrosis.

On September 2, 1945, Japan formally surrendered.

Eight years before the first atomic bomb was dropped (and 7.5 years before the first firebombing), the U.S. State Department issued a statement condemning Japanese bombing of civilian targets in China, arguing that "any general bombing of an extensive area wherein there resides a large population engaged in peaceful pursuits is unwarranted and contrary to principles of law and of humanity." Almost a year later, the State Department issued a similar statement condemning as "barbarous" the "ruthless bombing of unfortified localities with the resultant slaughter of civilian populations, and in particular of women and children." The hypocrisy is evident.

President Truman, the United States military, and most citizens of the United States were of the view that the bombings were justified because they hastened the end of the war, thus possibly saving a million or more American lives.

When any Christian thinks about this justification for killing over 200,000 people, he will see the horrible implications of this kind of immoral reasoning. It is the "numbers game"; i.e., it is okay to kill a certain amount of people (most of whom were non-combatants) in order that a larger number of people would be saved. This is "greater good," "ends justify the means," moral relativism at its worst. Is it okay to kill one person to save the lives of two people? ("Person" is not a person who is about to kill you or is threatening to kill you; it is the average person on the street who has no intention of harming or killing you.) Is it okay to kill ten people to save the lives of 100 people? Is it okay to kill 10,000 people to save the lives of 100,000 people? (And in the case of the atom bomb, we cannot be sure that a certain amount would be saved; the justification of the killing of hundreds of thousands of people is based on the possibility that a million or more people would have been saved.)

With this kind of reasoning, one can justify the murder of unborn babies in order to "harvest" the stem cells in order that millions of lives might be saved. The lives of millions of people with Parkinson's and diabetes and cancer will possibly be saved by the stem cells of unborn babies. The killing of a couple hundred thousand unborn babies could possibly save millions of lives.

Consider this scenario: Suppose there is a person who needs a heart transplant, another who needs a kidney transplant, and another who needs a liver transplant. Why not take a person off the street and shoot him, then take his organs and use them to save the lives of the three people? You have killed one to save three. That is the numbers game. And it is utterly repugnant.

But bombs are such long-distance killing. Let us bring it down to face-to-face killing. Using the numbers rationale for the slaughter of men, women, boys, and girls in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, one would then have to defend the following: What if U.S. soldiers invaded Hiroshima and rounded up the civilian population, then the soldiers picked out all the young boys, 10 and younger, lined them up, and began systematically shooting them, one by one, in the head, until the government of Japan surrendered. Suppose Japan then surrenders because it cannot take any more killing. Those who would use the "numbers game" to justify the bombings must also justify this heinous act, because, after all, this ended the war, and hundreds of thousands of people were possibly saved by just the shooting of a few thousand (or even a few hundred) boys. Any such thing could be justified, including systematic rape, systematic killing of families in gas chambers, or whatever, as long as more people are saved.

But the immorality of the American government and military did not stop in World War II. We have a war going on right now that was begun on the blatantly immoral doctrine of preemption. Preemption is attacking another country before the other country has attacked your country (for whatever reason - usually to get rid of "potential" or "eventual" threats). The justification for this immorality is "self-defense," although it is a perversion of the notion of true self-defense (defending yourself when someone is trying to attack you). America invaded a sovereign country (Iraq) and overthrew its government when that country did not attack the United States. The "weapons of mass destruction" excuse was used first (which still does not justify preemption, since they never used these "weapons" to attack us). The war was then named "Operation Iraqi Freedom," implying that the purpose of the war was to free the Iraqis from a dictator. However, if that was their purpose, why have they not invaded any other country that is ruled by a dictator? The hypocrisy is evident.

Because Iraq was invaded based on an immoral doctrine, then when any U.S. soldier killed anyone as part of this invasion, it was murder. American soldiers are guilty of murder, as are all who have commanded them, all the way up to President Bush.

I have not even begun to go into the culture of the military, which is blatantly immoral. It is a culture of sex and violence. From the pervasive use of prostitution and pornography to the intentional massacres of civilians that come with every single war, it is clear that the military is a den of iniquity. The culture of death and killing (even for enjoyment) and sexual immorality is disgusting to every Christian.

May we look at what America has done and is doing through the clear lens of God's Word rather than through the perverted lens of the flag-waving "support our troops" conservative talk shows and "God bless America" churchianity.


#2

What was going to be the "moral" way to end the War in the Pacific?

I'm curious...

Mufasa


#3

I believe the author of that little piece formed his conclusion that America and its military is evil and then tried to twist the facts to support his twisted thoughts.

His calling all soldiers that have had to kill the enemy in Iraq murderers is so moronic it is not worthy of further comment.

His discussion of the firebombing and the use of atomic bombs in Japan also shows he is cluesless.

The atomic bombs were used to end the war. The firebombing of Japanese cities obviously didn't do it.

The use of the atom bomb was justified.

I am sure some idiot will chime in with some revisionist history about how Japan wanted to surrender but we wouldn't let them, but that is so much bullshit.

More lives would have been lost invading Japan than were lost in the use of the atomic bomb.


#4

Oh, boy...


#5

Don't let me bring out my *chirps"...

What was going to be the "moral" way to end the War in the Pacific?

Mufasa


#6

My god... the author of this is incredibly ignorant.

Are all Christians moral?
Not by a long shot.

Are all Americans immoral?
Not by a long shot.


#7

Wonder what the op's other screen names are?


#8

Exactly.


#9

"Moral" solutions for the end of the War in the Pacific?

chirp, chirp, chirp...

(Seriously...I'll give it some time, because it should make for an interesting debate...)

Mufasa


#10

Yeah, I mean why on earth would we bomb out Japan to win, considering we could have just kept sending our people in to die for a few more years. That would have been much more wise, the original poster is an astute genius as much as Martin Luther King Jr. was the founder of the KKK.


#11

Well you could have demonstrated the bombs by inviting Japanese observers and nuking an unhabitated island, but back then the Sowjets became a bit uppity and you needed to demonstrate that you not only had the weapons but also the will to use them.

That does not mean I think it was the wrong decision, just that politic`s is a shitty business sometimes.


#12

   In complete agreement with that statement, Admiral William F Halsey was 110% spot on.
   There are still a large amount of Australians who are gratefull for American's role in the Pacific war and generally in ww2, my family lost 4 male members to the Pacific war, 2 were killed on the sadakan death march, my remaining uncle was a  veteran of the Pacific war drove a chev until the day he died, he would not allow anything made in Japan to be in his house. he stated that his achievment during ww2 was that he did not take one Japanese prisoner.

#13

Excellent, bravo!

This is the most salient point of the article. It is an ironclad, philosophical and logical refutation of the Christian absolute morality.

Indeed. Take the logic and go with it as far as you can.

Maybe so, maybe not. It's impossible to know for sure. And that's besides the point. Where were you when he wrote this:

The fundamental paradox for any Christian, then, becomes "do the ends justify the means"? Your actions reflect a "yes" answer. Your ideology compels you to say "no". This is a philosophical trap which you CANNOT escape from. It is as immutable as the laws of logic. The only way out of the paradox lies in the rejection of Christianity. Sadly and pathetically, many people willingly subscribe to a self-contradictory and completely unworkable philosophy.

I keep saying that everyone is selfish, that everything is relative, whether you "like it" or not - that's simply how the world works. Relativism is not a state of affairs that is wished upon the world -- it is a direct reflection of the condition of reality.

You're completely missing the point as well, Lion King.


#14

Nominal:

I'm very far from thinking I know it all. I'm VERY open to your thoughts on how I'm missing the point.

Let's discuss!

Mufasa


#15

Linguists, philosophers, and propagandists all know that the structure and wording of a question dictates the type of answer that will be recieved. This information has been used to great effect.

Mass compliance and indoctrination is achieved, not by compelling people to arrive at the "correct" answers, but by getting them to ask the wrong questions. Once this occurs, the answers are irrelevant - each one represents a loss for the individual and a win for the Collective. The House never loses, even when it takes a loss.

The irony of this scenario is that different groups of slaves will invariably reach different answers. This state of affairs contributes to the appearance of "diversity", even where there is none, and thus greatly aids the rulers enslave the sheepish masses. Americans are very fond of multiple-choice questions.
The vast majority of the population interpets reality solely through ingrained linguistic framework. This framework is entirely derived from society. Controlling people is as easy as controlling their language.

Questions are nothing more than linguistic traps.

I have noticed that you are a frequent user of such devices.

I'll address your question in a context different from the one in which it was phrased:

The "moral" solution to the War in the Pacific would have been to avoid antagonizing Japan into attacking us in the first place.

That is the only honest answer to your "question", which was obviously less of question than an linguistic trap.


#16

Okay, I'll go first. I say the following:

"The ends justify the means" is the basis for every human decision ever made. You are now in check, and it is your turn. How do you respond?


#17

Serious questions...

1) How was Japan antagonized?

2) Did we do the right thing by declaring war on Hitler's Germany? If so why?

3) Is being neutral on all issues therefore avoiding conflict the "right" way to live? And do you practice that in your life?

Please give me a short but complete answer on these issues, thanks.


#18

Oh, one more thing, where do you train your clients? I'm from Whitman, MA. Maybe we can meet up and discuss these things in person. The internet is SOOOOOOO impersonal.

EDIT: Crap. That reads like a vieled threat. It wasn't. Sorry if it came off that way.


#19

Nope...you're wrong.

It was NOT a "trap". It was a search for what others felt were the "moral" options for ending this VERY destructive part of Human History.

The World (not just the U.S.) was faced with the possibility of a War going into a new decade.

The poster of the article then states that the U.S. not only made a lot of "immoral" decisions to end the War, but in essence was an "immoral" Country. (That's another thread).

The question was simply what I asked; how does one end one of the most destructive of Human Endeavors, War (which is inherently "immoral"), in a "moral" way?

Now, about "devices" I use.

Too often people will be EXTREMELY critical of others, the choices others make when faced with difficult decisions, or the choices that HAVE to made that are often a choice between "bad" and "worse" (like dropping a Bomb vs dragging a War on for YEARS at the cost of millions); BUT THEN OFFER NO VIABLE ALTERNATIVES OR SOLUTIONS!

Quite frankly that irritates me and makes (in my eyes) the one who is critical one of the worst of hypocrites.

So... if making people defend themselves when they are critical of the tough decisions that OTHERS have to make is a "trap"...

Then so be it...

Mufasa


#20

Great point, Nominal!

I simply don't believe that "The end justifies the means", is an "absolute".

It HAS to have some "moral" (there's that word again!) context, or it "justifies" or "makes right" almost ANY human endeavor.

That's simply not true.

Ahhh...and YOU, my friend, threw out one of those "TRAPS" you accused me of!

ASK IT:

Are the lives of 200,000 Japanese worth the lives of countless MILLIONS?

I'm not God, nominal...but I do recognize that tough decisions often have to be made and ANOTHER man is not even remotely qualified to judge me on them.

Mufasa