Monday, August 10, 2015

Hate-filled do-gooders

Twitter and other social media outlets seem to have a disinhibiting effect on what people say. Writers there reveal sides of themselves that we would not normally see. The comment from Australia below is therefore interesting for showing how often do-gooders reveal on social media that they are also great haters who lash out in all directions. Their belief in their own righteousness seems to unshackle them from all tolerance and decency -- and replace that with a frightening savagery.

What we are seeing there, of course, is Leftism in the wild, Leftism red in tooth and claw, Leftism with the gloves off, Leftism with the mask off.  Leftists too are great do-gooders.  Do-gooding is their stock in trade.  Presenting themselves as "compassionate" is what they do.

And in power they too are great haters and destroyers.  Mrs Obama liked nothing about America until her husband became president. And Obama's pastor ranted about "AmeriKKKa".  Obama himself is too wily to let  his hatred be seen -- though we can readily infer it.  In countries where their power and influence can cease at the next election, Leftists in a democracy have to be cautious like that.

But where they have untrammelled power we see what Leftists really are.  It took the loudly do-gooding Leftist Hugo Chavez to reduce oil-rich Venezuela to poverty -- where no amount of  money can buy many basics, such as toilet paper, and where most cars have to be bought secondhand at exorbitant prices.  And forget freedom of the press in Venezuela of course.  The more influence Leftism has, the more its hates are impoverishing and destructive.

And that regime most beloved of America's Left, Cuba, is another case in point.  Under Fulgencio Batista, Cuba was a middle-income country, on a par with Belgium.  Now, of course it is a poor country, with the basics strictly rationed and in short supply.  And Castro himself lives more opulently than Batista ever did.

I grew up in a region of Australia that produces large amounts of sugar for export.  There were three sugar mills in the town where I was born. And Cuba too was once a big sugar exporter.  So when Fidel Castro took over and was so destructive in his hates as to reduce Cuban sugar production to a trickle, there were many people in my town who had a kind word for him.  By noticeably reducing the world supply of sugar, he bumped up prices for it.  A lot of Australian sugar farmers were able to pay off their debts at that time.

So the association between do-gooding and aggressive hate has long been with us.  It has always been visible on the political scene for anyone with eyes to see.  Only now has it become so visible on the individual level.  We will see more of it

WHAT is it about goodwill that makes people go feral?  “Give, but give until it hurts,” the always well-meaning Mother Teresa taught us. But in a couple of perplexing examples just this week, that touching sentiment seems to have been somehow misinterpreted as: “Give ... until you’re inspired to hurt someone”.

Just this week, a do-gooding current affairs program inspired thousands of Australians to reach out to a suffering family, but also — probably unwittingly — inspired a bit of corporate hate.

Sharon Chan’s ordeal is tragic. The story of the pregnant Sydney mum — whose husband died suddenly of a heart attack last week, leaving her to raise two sons, one with Down syndrome and leukaemia, and another child due any day — touched so many viewers that the Rotary page set up to take donations for the family repeatedly crashed.

But the charity site wasn’t the only online victim of this injustice. Well-meaning Australians, filled with rage at Ms Chan’s situation, took to the Facebook pages of major supermarkets and other television shows as, it seemed, they felt the need to direct their frustration towards The Man.

“Give to Sharon and her boys from the ACA current affair program,” one post to Coles’ Facebook page read. “Give free groceries for her and her boys ... petrol, money, something ... show people you are not a heartless company out for profits.”

And there were others demanding the corporate giant mirror their goodwill. "Everyone in Australia is on board and you should be too. Show people you are not just about profit ... deliver free groceries for a year, or give free petrol ... you decide.”

Conservationists, also with good intentions, have been pushed to the point of being abusive this week.  Glamorous American game hunter Sabrina Corgatelli was accused of rubbing salt in the wound as animal lovers reeled from the killing of Cecil the lion.

Their protests at her posing with a dead giraffe and sharing the image online were valid — some people don’t want to see innocent and protected animals hunted for sport.

But how does Photoshopping the woman’s head onto the slain animal’s lifeless body help the cause? And then there were the shocking death threats over her proposed visit to New Zealand: “We should all book on these (hunting tours) and then when we go don’t hunt the animal hunt the **** Sabrina!!!”, “We’ll have a hunting party ready and waiting for YOU. Evil b****”, and “I will personally cut your head off and mount the **** on my wall”.

The logic here appears to be that threatening to hunt and murder a woman, and make a trophy of her genitalia, makes up for the hunting of a giraffe.

It’s charity driving us to hypocrisy and it’s all a bit weird.



More forgotten history:  The atomic bombing of Japan was just another act of bloodthirsty Leftism

It is uncontroversial that the Democrats under FDR and his successor were far-Leftists in economic policies, but it is equally true that, in Truman, they produced a great Leftist murderer in  foreign policy.  I have been arguing for years that the blockade alone had already made Japan harmless by the time the bombs were dropped but the detail below from sources from the time reveals just how unneccessary the bombing was.  A quarter of a million people -– mostly children, women, and old men – needlessly suffered horrible deaths in the blasts and firestorms. Truman didn't get as many as Hitler or Stalin but it was still mass-murder on a gigantic scale

As we approach the 70th anniversary of the atomic age, inaugurated in a radioactive blast at Hiroshima, know that the information below, which will prove shocking to some, has previously been collected, developed, verified in both newspapers and research tomes. It has been reported by time-tested journalists and noted historians. It has been confirmed and declared by top military figures and world famous political leaders. It is information that belongs to the American people, but it is information that is virtually lost to us, "disappeared" from what is well-described as our "court history," written not to shed light on events but to burnish the ideologies that be. Yes, more American betrayal.

Today's subject, then, is not only the two atomic bombs that the US dropped first on Hiroshima and then on Nagasaki, but also the fairy tales we tell each other about them.

To be honest, I used to believe and tell these fairy tales, too. I used to believe that the decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan was a display of heroic presidential strength -- a gruelingly difficult but also moral and strategically empowering decision that ended the war in the Pacific against Imperial Japan as quickly as possible, and, most important, saved one million American men from becoming casualties in a dreaded military invasion of the Japanese main island.

If the choice is between dropping the A-bomb or losing one million Americans, there is no choice. That is, drop the Bomb and save American lives -- and countless Japanese lives which would also have been lost in any such major military onslaught. But what if there were other ways, less harmful ways, to get the Japanese to sign that surrender?

Our customary focus on the up-down decision by Truman -- see, for example, the WSJ's Bret Stephens' "Thank God for the Atomic Bomb: Hiroshima and Nagasaki weren't merely horrific, war-ending events. They were life-savers" --  has had the effect of blinding us to the timeline preceding Hiroshima that is marked by Japanese peace bids (in itself a shocking concept), and, post-Hiroshima, suprisingly high-level military objections to the notion that the Bomb ended the war in the first place.

Japanese peace overtures included a set of surrender terms laid out in a document sent by Gen. Douglas MacArthur to FDR in January 1945, two days before the president set off for the disastrous Yalta conference (where FDR and Churchill would, among other things, bless Stalin's seizure of territories in China and elsewhere in exchange for five days of war-fighting against Japan). FDR turned down the January 1945 surrender terms. They are, however, virtually identical to those accepted by President Truman in August 1945. In between, of course, there was more to the Pacific war than the two atomic bombs on Japanese cities. In between came the epically costly American assaults on Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and the liberation of the Philipines.

A terrible question forms: Was this bloody final phase of Allied and Japanese carnage actually necessary to bring World War II in the Pacific to an end? The answer that the record-less-traveled strongly suggests is, No, probably not.

It was the Chicago Tribune's Walter Trohan, who, just after the Japanese surrender in August 1945, first broke the January 1945 Japanese peace bid story. His source, later revealed, was impeccable: Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, FDR's chief of staff. In 1965, Trohan wrote again about this January 1945 surrender bid, which was re-confirmed by MacArthur in 1953 (American Betrayal readers will relate to Trohan's discovery that the original MacArthur document had disappeared from defense department archives). His article also includes highlights from the pre-Hiroshima Japanese attempted-surrender saga that had emerged since.

The Trohan story headline on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Japanese surrender reads: "Ignored Japanese Peace Bids Plague U.S., West, with What Might Have Been."

And what might have been?

Trohan reports on a November 1944 peace bid conveyed by Swedish ambassdor to Tokyo Widar Bagge. He notes also that in 1948, Rear Adm. Ellis M. Zacharias, wartime director of the office of naval intelligence, revealed that Japan had made five secret peace bids through the Vatican and the Kremlin.

In 1947, Trohan writes, " the Japanes disclosed in Tokyo that Premier Kuniaki Koiso proposed to discuss peace with Britain and the United States in 1944 and 1945. After the Koiso government fell, it was replaced by the government of Adm. Kantaro Suzuki, who undertook the negotiations for peace through Russia."

A disastrous idea, Trohan succinctly explains:

Russia stalled the [peace] negotiations in her determination to secure a dominant position in the Orient.

Aha. As discussed in American Betrayal, Stalin, unlike his British and American allies, was not fighting only to destroy Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan (further, he was not fighting Imperial Japan at all, not until the last five days the Pacific war). Stalin was fighting to supplant them. This is a big difference, but it is seldom pondered. It means that as far as Stalin was concerned, war could easily have ended too soon -- before the Red Army had fought its way *safely* outside Soviet borders; before Communist allies were ascendant; in the case of Japan, before Stalin could enter the Pacific war under favorable conditions and, more important, seize the territories promised him at Yalta. This is something to keep in mind when trying to assess Stalin's actions, also those of his agents and assets covertly embedded in Allied (also Axis) governments, regarding the strategy, pace and scope of the Allied fight.

And what about the role the Bomb is supposed to have played in ending the war in August 1945?

Today's Gospel-shorthand tells us it was the A-Bomb, and only the A-Bomb, that forced Japan to surrender, but that is not at all what many leading military and political lights of the day believed.

The following quotations come from Herbert Hoover's history of WWII, Freedom Betrayed:

On August 19, 1945, the AP reported:

Secretary of State ... Byrnes challenged today Japan's argument that the atomic bomb had knocked her out of the war.

He cited what he called Russian proof that the Japanese knew that they were beaten before the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Foreign Commissar Vyacheslaff M. Molotoff informed the Americans and British at the Berlin [Potsdam] Conference, Mr, Byrnes said, that the Japanese had asked to send a delegation to Moscow to seek Russian mediation for the end of the war -- an act that Mr. Byrnes said interpreted as proof of the enemy's recognition of defeat.

On September 20, 1945, Major General Curtis LeMay, who directed the air attacks on Japan, stated to the Associated Press:

The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war ... The war would have been over in two weeks without the Russians coming in and without the atomic bomb.

Hoover adds: "There were present at this interview two American Generals who were engaged in action against Japan -- General Barney Giles and Brigadier General Emmett O'Donnell -- both of whom agreed with General LeMay."

On October 5, 1945, Admiral Chester Nimitz told the Associated Press "he was convinced that the end of the war would have been the same without the atomic bomb or the entry of the Russians into the war:" On the same day Nimitz told Congress:

The atomic bomb did not end the war against Japan. The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace before the atomic age was announced to the world with the destruction of Hiroshima and before the Russian entry into the war. ...

Hoover quotes the memoirs of White House chief of staff Admiral Leahy, who wrote:

It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon against Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.

It was my reaction that the scientists and others want to make this test because of the vast sums that had been spent on the project ...

Here is one final quotation from Admiral Zacharias from How the Far East Was Lostby historian Anthony Kubeck. In a 1950 Look magazine article called "How We Bungled the Japanese Surrender," Zacharias wrote:

The Potsdam declaration, in short, wrecked everything we had been working for to prevent further bloodshed and insure our postwar strategic position. Just when the Japanese were ready to capitulate, we went ahead and introduced to the world the most devastating weapon it had ever seen and, in effect, gave the go-ahead to Russia to swarm over Eastern Asia. ... I contend that the A-bombing of Japan is now known to have been a mistake ... It was wrong on strategic grounds. And it was wrong on humanitarian grounds. ...

I could go on, but I think the cracks in the consensus are clear. Bomb-love is blind to the historical record.

SOURCE.  Another commentary on the matter here


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C. S. P. Schofield said...

I must say, I am disappointed to see you joining the "We should never have dropped The Bomb" chorus of the Anti-War (that doesn't spread Communism) Left. Is there some concatenation of circumstances in which an outbreak of divine wisdom on both sides could have prevented Hiroshima? Probably. But playing that is a mug's game.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not really all that much worse than the conventional bombings of, say, Dresden. The Japanese were not, and are not, simple misunderstood peace lovers (they are, in fact, superficially polite raving bigots). Racism plays a part on the bombing less because of Truman than because FDR's largely unfounded sense of intellectual superiority lead him to underestimate the Japanese in the run-up to war.

The lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are similar to the core lessons of all wars; when you lose a war, especially a war you started, bad things happens to you. Considering how the Japanese behaved in China (and elsewhere), they got off damn lightly.

Malcolm Smith said...

That article about the Japanese surrender is all very interesting. However, it must be pointed out that Japan did not surrender after the first atomic bomb was dropped. It waited until the second had fallen. That might suggest that its intention to surrender was not quite as strong as many assume with the benefit of hindsight.