state terroism of the highest form

Terrorists dropped two atomic bombs on Japanese cities at the end of the Second World War.

Why, to save money and/or avoid risking American soldier's lives? But few today believe Japan was not about to surrender anyway, The agument was apparently specious even then, for "In 1946 the US strategic bombing survey came to the conclusion that 'Japan would have surrendered even if atomic bombs had not been dropped'."

[In the summerof 1945] Sixty-six of Japan's largest cities had been burned down by napalm bombing. In Tokyo a million civilians were homeless and 100,000 people had died. They had been, according to Major General Curtis Lemay, who was in charge of the fire bombing operations, "scorched and boiled and baked to death". President Franklin Roosevelt's son and confidant said that the bombing should continue "until we have destroyed about half the Japanese civilian population." On July 18 the Japanese emperor telegraphed President Truman, who had succeeded Roosevelt, and once again asked for peace. The message was ignored.

A few days before the bombing of Hiroshima, Vice Admiral Radford boasted that "Japan will eventually be a nation without cities - a nomadic people". The bomb, exploding above a hospital in the center of the city, killed 100,000 people instantly, 95% of them civilians. Another 100,000 died slowly from burns and effects of radiation.

Dresden could be invoked here as well, but additional examples aren't needed to give us enough of the historical perspective we ignore now at such risk.

Incredibly today we are told that only desperate individuals and the insurrections of which they may be a part can be terrorists, and that nations, at least the good guys, those that aren't "rogue," cannot.

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Published on June 30, 2002 2:30 PM.

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