Hiroshima survivor to speak at UNCA

Miyoko Watanabe, a survivor of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, will speak at 7 p.m. tonight at UNCA’s Karpen Hall.

Watanabe’s talk is part of a reception marking the arrival of a national traveling exhibition, “Hiroshima-Nagasaki: Images and Stories from Eyewitness Accounts.”  A delegation from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is scheduled to attend the reception, which is free and open to the public. The museum advocates for the peaceful disarmament of all nations possessing nuclear weapons by increasing citizen awareness of the effects of those weapons.

President Harry S. Truman ordered U.S. atomic attacks on Japan near the end of World War II, the first and only use of nuclear weapons in war. The bombs, dubbed “Little Boy” and “Fat Man,” killed an estimated 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki. On Aug. 15, 1945, six days after the Nagasaki bombing, Japan announced its surrender, effectively ending the war.

In a written account of her remembrance of the bombing, Watanabe describes the horrible destruction she witnessed the day of the Aug. 6 Hiroshima bombing.

“As I left the shelter, I saw a boy about junior high age burned and without hair except on the top of his head where he had been wearing a combat cap. He staggered along like a ghost with both hands held out in front of him. The skin on his cheeks had burst open and was dangling down. He was horribly burned and walking barefoot saying, ‘Water please! I’m so hot! I’m burning!’”

Watanabe also pleads for peace.

“Today’s peace is built on the sacrifices of war victims the world over. Wars are the worst possible misfortune. I only hope that we will have the tenderness of heart to feel the pain of others as our own. The voice of Hiroshima is calling for lasting peace.”

The exhibition, which includes graphic photos from before and after the bombing, will be on display in the lobby of Karpen Hall through Aug. 8. A peace vigil and a showing of the film White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be held at 7 p.m. on Aug. 6 in the Laurel Forum.

Click here to go to The Xpress Files and read Watanabe’s account of the Hiroshima bombing.

— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor

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123 thoughts on “Hiroshima survivor to speak at UNCA

  1. Chuck Connors

    A survivor of the invasion of the Japanese home islands that didn’t happen because of the Japanese government’s surrender should be invited to speak also and share their experiences in the Pacific theatre. How many people (perhaps you, reader) are alive today because your/their grandfathers and great-grandfathers weren’t killed on Japanese beaches due to President Truman’s decision?
    Let’s not forget that the ‘Imperial’ Japanese Empire attacked the United States first. Before Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the Japanese government had many opportunities to honorably (save face) surrender. They didn’t and consequently, provided the ‘occasion’ in the causal link which led to two of their own cities being destroyed rather than the United States being subjugated if events had led to our being the weaker of the two countries.

  2. Jim Shura

    The Japanese, on full war footing, had a small fraction of our 1941 industrial capacity, 20-some percent. That is why we adopted a Germany First strategy. After taking all the island bases from which they could have projected any type of military strength towards any American interest, we could have easily blockaded them into many types of insolvency. They were completely dependent on imports for all raw materials. No invasion was required.

    The atom bombs we dropped may or may not have saved us from an immediarte WWIII, but there was no Japan-based rationale for using them.

  3. William P Miller

    Hum, I wonder if there will be any survivors of the Japanese invasion of Nanking, China, in the 1930s. There the Japanese soldiers killed all the Chinese Army soldiers after they surrendered. They then went through the town and killed most of the people in the most barbaric way. They beheaded children and bowled with the heads. I kid you not. It’s online if you want to see the photos and read about it. The Japanese newspapers highlighted the grisly photos and the people back home congratulated the soldiers for their thoroughness.

    So we dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima to pout an end to a war. And the bomb was dropped on a populace that pretty much supported their countries brutal invasion of neighboring countries. Sorry, but I feel little sympathy.

  4. Carlos

    U.S. Foreign policy in the later part of the 20th century adopted more of a measured response attitude toward handling its aggressors. The comments posted previously seem to indicate that the decision to drop these warheads are justifiable in a tooth for tooth arguement, while overlooking that the premises for the arguement do not equate at all. Of course the same can probably be said about contemporary “measured response” policies. Take Iraq for instance, here we have a situation where the action by the agressors do not equate to the response, yet the war is still insueing after many years. It seems that not only do we not learn from our mistakes, but rather have found new ways to assert ourselves while alleviating the need to take responsibility for our actions. The arguements above sound a whole lot like the weak assertions made today justifying Iraq for 9-11. Noone likes to do it, but everyone should own their actions, good or bad. But to top it off, this conference has nothing to do with blame or the owning of our actions, rather it is a promotion for peace and anti-proliferation. Who deserved what has nothing to do with it, rather it is about sleeping better knowing noone has the ability to inflict this kind of devestation. Lets face it, we were the first country to prove that Nuclear warheads are not only a deterent and we established that within the infancy of the first nuclear program in history. I for one will be attending this conference. I only hope that people who feel contrary to these comments will be there too since you scare me the most.

  5. JDNC

    Those who say that the bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed more people than invading the mainland with conventional forces have not read history. The Japanese government was preparing the populace to fight to that last man, woman and child with pitchforks if necessary. Japan’s government was not going to surrender. Any other theory is typical revisionist propaganda.

  6. tatuaje

    So we dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima to pout an end to a war. And the bomb was dropped on a populace that pretty much supported their countries brutal invasion of neighboring countries. Sorry, but I feel little sympathy.

    You “feel little sympathy”?!?!?!?

    That is the most monstrous thing I have EVER heard….I am apoplectic over that comment…And I bet you consider yourself a “christian”….

    Why the bomb was not needed, or unjustified:

    * Japan was ready to call it quits anyway. More than 60 of its cities had been destroyed by conventional bombing, the home islands were being blockaded by the American Navy, and the Soviet Union entered the war by attacking Japanese troops in Manchuria.

    * American refusal to modify its “unconditional surrender” demand to allow the Japanese to keep their emperor needlessly prolonged Japan’s resistance.

    * A demonstration explosion over Tokyo harbor would have convinced Japan’s leaders to quit without killing many people.

    * Even if Hiroshima was necessary, the U.S. did not give enough time for word to filter out of its devastation before bombing Nagasaki.

    * The bomb was used partly to justify the $2 billion spent on its development.

    * The two cities were of limited military value. Civilians outnumbered troops in Hiroshima five or six to one.

    * Japanese lives were sacrificed simply for power politics between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

    * Conventional firebombing would have caused as much significant damage without making the U.S. the first nation to use nuclear weapons.

    DAMAGE CAUSED BY THE ATOMIC BOMB EXPLOSION (Nagasaki)

    * Levelled Area……………….6.7 million square meters
    * Damaged Houses:
    Completely Burned ——11,574
    Completely Destroyed—–1,326
    Badly Damaged————5,509
    Total——————-18,409
    * Casualties
    Killed——73,884
    Injured—–74,909
    Total——148,793

    (Large numbers of people died in the following years from the effects of radioactive poisoning.)

    I only hope that people who feel contrary to these comments will be there too since you scare me the most.

    Well said, Carlos…..I am absolutely bewildered by the callousness of some of my fellow human beings. Those attitudes give me little hope for this species. Opposable thumbs and consciousness and this is the best we can do…

  7. JDNC

    Nice revisionism Tat. Japan was NOT ready to call it quits. Not at all. Where did you get that idea? Also, intense firebombing had occurred all over the world in WW2. We had already burned down half of Tokyo to no avail. Civilian casualties were accepted on both sides – that shows you the intensity of all the feelings of the time. Not just US feelings, but the whole world. Unconditional surrender was the demand of that era …. by every country fighting, not just the US.

    War is terrible. That time in human history – and WW1 – was a black eye for all of humanity – and especially for the countries that started it all – Germany and Japan. You must remember that Japan had mercilessly hammered the entire Pacific and China before we were drug into the war. Using the very different sociology that exists today and placing it on a historic event is revisionism and will only frustrate you. Put it in the proper context and your apoplexy may subside some.

  8. William P Miller

    Also, ask the people of Burma, Indonesia, China, Korea how they feel about how they were mistreated by the Japanese in the 1930s. The Japanese were so barbaric at the Rape of Nanking, that a German Nazi officer told them to quit it and reported to Hitler that the Japanese were kill crazy monsters. Ask all the Korean women kidnapped by the Japanese and turned into “comfort girls” for the Japanese soldiers. Then the children born from the prostitution were second class citizens in Japan because they were half Korean and not considered citizens.

    Fortunately, Japan has changed it’s ways. But back in the time of the 1930s and 1940s, they were a very cruel fascist “empire” who wrecked so much havoc in SE Asia that when Japan tried to start a European Union style partnership in the 1980s, none of the other countries would go along. Extreme crueltry is not easily forgotten.

  9. [b]Sorry, but I feel little sympathy.[/b]

    We can debate the war and the “what ifs” all day, but I DEFINITELY feel sympathy for a bunch of civilians who had their ENTIRE CITY destroyed for a war they probably didn’t want to be involved in the first place. Look at how 9/11 impacted our culture — just a few big buildings and only a few thousand people were lost — and compare the heartbreak felt there to the utter destruction of two sizable cities. And it’s not even like there was a warning.

    It certainly ended the war, and maybe it did save American and Allied lives over a full-scale invasion, but that’s hardly a bragging point. It was easily the harshest, most violent and most destructive act ever done in any conflict in history.

    Allied goals and the results of the war to one side, I still feel plenty of sympathy for anyone who had to experience that.

  10. david

    Would the above person who says they ‘feel no sympathy’ feel that some other country could do the same to the US, if they felt that the U.S had committed such atrocities as well?

    Should citizen populations be killed in retaliation for Abu Graib or Guantanamo Bay?

    I think there is plenty of evidence out there in the real world to show that the real reason we dropped the bomb was to establish our authority as the New Superpower. We had nukes before everybody else, and in using them, the world realized we were calling the shots. Most historians now agree that the Japanese would have surrendered without this scale of attack. To speculate otherwise is to not acknowledge history. I dont doubt this statement will be the beginning of a flame war.

    It is wonderful that this women is brave enough to share her story with us. If others dont have anything nice to say, then…

  11. david

    It is interesting to me that history that reflects a bigger picture is referred to, derisively, as ‘revisionism’. As if revising a stance based on new, more accurate information is a bad thing.

    History that reflects more than what citizens were spoon-fed by our government and corporations is hardly a bad thing. Thats like saying that the world being round is revisionist, or that Columbus was a Murdering Psychopath is revisionist. History does not end when you leave High School.

  12. William P Miller

    There is a lot of untruth in history. All one has to do is look at the lies about the South in the War Between The States, published in northern history books. However, the history of Japan’s brutality in SE Asia is pretty plainly forthright. All one has to do is google “The Rape Of Nanking” to see real photos and hear the first hand accounts by a US diplomat. Japan committed horrific war crimes, and many Japanese civilians supported them.

    Japan was the aggressor. Japan invaded many neighbors in SE Asia. Japan attacked the USA. We kicked their butt on the high seas and in the islands. We had a lot of casualties in the process. The invasion of the Japanese mainland would have cost a lot more American lives. Truman made the correct decision to drop 2 atomic bombs, to bring the war to an end. Considering the barbaric cruelty of the Japanese military, and it’s supporters in the civilian population, I feel little sympathy for those affected. Where is the Japanese sympathy for the babies they beheaded in China? For all the innocents they murdered in Burma to terrorize the local population? The Korean women kidnapped and forced into prostitution to “comfort” the Japanese soldiers? The Japanese answer is to hide that part of it’s history and to deny.

    It is easy to be a gen-x’er and moralize and sympathize here when you have no sense of scale. No sense of the suffering caused by Japan. In fact, no life experience of real suffering at all.

  13. tatuaje

    From the wikipedia….

    On May 10–11, 1945 The Target Committee at Los Alamos, led by J. Robert Oppenheimer , recommended Kyoto, Hiroshima, Yokohama, and the arsenal at Kokura as possible targets. The target selection was subject to the following criteria: (1) they are larger than three miles in diameter and are important targets in a large urban area (2) the blast would create effective damage, and (3) they are unlikely to be attacked by August 1945. “Any small and strictly military objective should be located in a much larger area subject to blast damage in order to avoid undue risks of the weapon being lost due to bad placing of the bomb.” These cities were largely untouched during the nightly bombing raids and the Army Air Force agreed to leave them off the target list so accurate assessment of the weapon could be made.The Target Committee stated that “It was agreed that psychological factors in the target selection were of great importance. Two aspects of this are (1) obtaining the greatest psychological effect against Japan and (2) making the initial use sufficiently spectacular for the importance of the weapon to be internationally recognized when publicity on it is released. In this respect Kyoto has the advantage of the people being more highly intelligent and hence better able to appreciate the significance of the weapon. Hiroshima has the advantage of being such a size and with possible focussing from nearby mountains that a large fraction of the city may be destroyed

    War crimes are “violations of the laws or customs of war”, including but not limited to “murder, the ill-treatment or deportation of civilian residents of an occupied territory to slave labor camps”, “the murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war”, the killing of hostages, “the wanton destruction of cities, towns and villages, and any devastation not justified by military necessity”

    If any other country had done this, you can bet their leaders would have gone to the Hague. The US killed a quarter of a million INNOCENT PEOPLE! This is not revisionist….this is FACT.

    If Iran dropped an atomic bomb on Baton Rouge, for instance, a city of roughly 250,000 people, what would your reaction be? They could claim that whatever national guard infrastructure that is present in the city justified it as a military target. I don’t care what result came from it….I don’t care the reasoning behind it….killing 250,000 INNOCENT people is NEVER justified….And those that claim it is make me ashamed to be a human being….

  14. tatuaje

    the history of Japan’s brutality in SE Asia is pretty plainly forthright. All one has to do is google “The Rape Of Nanking” to see real photos and hear the first hand accounts by a US diplomat. Japan committed horrific war crimes, and many Japanese civilians supported them.

    Go google ‘Haditha’…Go google ‘napalm’…Go google ‘Tiger Force Vietnam war crimes’….i’ll wager that you “support” all of those…would that be justification for another country to drop a couple of nukes and entirely destroy two cities in the US full of innocent civilians?

    It is easy to be a gen-x’er and moralize and sympathize here when you have no sense of scale. No sense of the suffering caused by Japan. In fact, no life experience of real suffering at all.

    Let me repeat…..

    The US killed a quarter of a million INNOCENT PEOPLE! This is not revisionist….this is FACT.

    I don’t care what result came from it….I don’t care the reasoning behind it….killing 250,000 INNOCENT people is NEVER justified….And those that claim it is make me ashamed to be a human being….

    NEVER JUSTIFIED…

  15. Ken Hanke

    And those that claim it is make me ashamed to be a human being….

    Before you pick up the resignation form to the human race, please remember that not everyone is making that claim. Certainly, I’m not. Nor does it appear that Carlos, David or Mr. Shanafelt are aboard this hobby-horse.

  16. JDNC

    What the revisionists are ignoring is that the Japanese were going to defend their home land to that last civilian. The entire country would have been flattened by the end of the war if fought by conventional means. Fewer Japanese died because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It caused the Emperor to see the light much sooner than he would have if we had had to keep the war going as it had up to that point.

  17. JDNC

    Another issue many are ignoring is that Russia, Germany and yes Japan all had very advanced nuclear programs then. It was a race and everyone knew it. Whoever invented it first was going to use it to win the war with one stroke. If Japan had won the race, LA would have ceased to exist.

    Reviewing history and revising it are two very different things. Tat – no one was innocent in that war. There is your revisionism.

  18. JDNC

    If you are going to say that America was horrible for using the bomb, then you have to call all the major countries the same because they had the same goal. That is your revisionism. You are just America hating. If you are going to use the proper historical context from that time, every country in the war – especially those that started it – should be hated on equally.

  19. david

    “We kicked their butt on the high seas and in the islands”

    “We”? I was most certainly not there. And neither was the writer above. In fact, none of “us” were “there”

    It’s funny when people like to refer to the U.S. military as if its a sports team.

  20. JDNC

    David .. This may be a big surprise to you .. the Military does represent the US to the rest of the world. Whether you like it or not. Ask a decent sized group of people who were alive during WW2 what they think about that … they were certainly allowed to say “we”. As are people who weren’t alive then. Your revisionist opinions would make you extremely unpopular at a dinner party full of the WW2 generation. You seem to have no sense of community with your fellow citizens.

  21. travelah

    david, you do not know what you are talking about here. I know several WWII veterans who were indeed there. I can think of two right now who were in the battle for Okinawa and would have faced a mainland invasion of Japan had the war not ended. I know another who fought as a Marine on Tarawa and another who fought in the battle of Leyte Gulf. Unfortunately, for historical posterity, our WWII veterans are dying off now and it will not be long when you can accurately make your statement. By then I am sure the revisionist history of your fellows will take center stage.

  22. Ken Hanke

    david, you do not know what you are talking about here. I know several WWII veterans who were indeed there.

    No doubt, but I am at least moderately dubious that anyone posting on this thread was among them. Are you or Mr. Miller or JDNC claiming WWII veteran status?

  23. JDNC

    Ken – I never claimed WW2 vet status. However, I am a veteran of the War on Terror and have spent considerable time visiting elderly disabled Vets at the VAMC. Regardless, I don’t see how that’s relevant to this discussion. There are those that judge the actions of the past based on interpretation that came well after those events. Last I checked, the best a society can do is use the information at hand at the time. That is the discussion here. David, You and Tat have made your views of the US Military and past Military action clear by twisting history into an anti-American position. Address my points and quit changing the subject. The tactic of changing the subject is for those whose argument is beaten or cannot see through their own emotions.

  24. Jim Shura

    I’m still wondering why some of the posters here think that the allies needed to invade the Japanese home islands. Maybe I’m just Monday morning quarterbacking here, but I’ve done a fair amount of reading on this since the topic came up. It seems like the political and military commands in the UK and the US never even considered just continuing the air and anti-shipping campaigns.

  25. JDNC

    Just for the record, I’m sure Miyoko Watanabe lived a nightmare and perhaps still does. I lived near Hiroshima and have been to Peace Park many times. It is very humbling. The lesson to learn is for all countries to do their best to avoid Military conflict. However, there has never been a time in all of history without war. Every country has a Military and has used it for good and bad. We are part of a planet where nature uses intense conflict at every level. Are humans different? Don’t hate being a human.

  26. tatuaje

    Tat – no one was innocent in that war. There is your revisionism.

    No one was innocent?!?!?!? How many children under the age of 10 do you think were killed, maimed, disfigured, etc. by those bombs? What was their crime? What was their act of aggression in that war? That is NOT revisionism.

    Last I checked, the best a society can do is use the information at hand at the time. That is the discussion here. David, You and Tat have made your views of the US Military and past Military action clear by twisting history into an anti-American position

    That’s always the way….disagree with what American leaders do or say, in the past or the present, and you are immediately labeled unamerican and unpatriotic….Pigs from 1984, anyone?

    There are those that judge the actions of the past based on interpretation that came well after those events. Last I checked, the best a society can do is use the information at hand at the time. That is the discussion here.

    “…in [July] 1945… Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. …the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.

    “During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face’. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude…”

    Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, pg. 380

    In a Newsweek interview, Eisenhower again recalled the meeting with Stimson:

    “…the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”

    – Ike on Ike, Newsweek, 11/11/63

    Chew on that….

    “The use of the atomic bomb, with its indiscriminate killing of women and children, revolts my soul” Herbert Hoover

  27. tatuaje

    ~~~ADMIRAL WILLIAM D. LEAHY
    (Chief of Staff to Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman)

    “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at 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.

    “The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”

    – William Leahy, I Was There, pg. 441.

  28. tatuaje

    ~~~GENERAL DOUGLAS MacARTHUR

    MacArthur biographer William Manchester has described MacArthur’s reaction to the issuance by the Allies of the Potsdam Proclamation to Japan: “…the Potsdam declaration in July, demand[ed] that Japan surrender unconditionally or face ‘prompt and utter destruction.’ MacArthur was appalled. He knew that the Japanese would never renounce their emperor, and that without him an orderly transition to peace would be impossible anyhow, because his people would never submit to Allied occupation unless he ordered it. Ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign. Had the General’s advice been followed, the resort to atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been unnecessary.”

    William Manchester, American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964, pg. 512.

    Norman Cousins was a consultant to General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins writes of his conversations with MacArthur, “MacArthur’s views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed.” He continues, “When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.”

    Norman Cousins, The Pathology of Power, pg. 65, 70-71.

  29. Ken Hanke

    However, I am a veteran of the War on Terror

    What exactly do you mean by that?

  30. Ken Hanke

    Chew on that….

    While I agree with what you’re saying and doing, you cannot honestly believe that this is going to make a particle of difference to the people you’re throwing it at, can you?

  31. tatuaje

    So how about it JDNC & travelah? These are all quotes and viewpoints from people who were there! Please, please, oh pretty please call me revisionist again… Let me guess, Eisenhower, General MacArthur, and Chief of Staff Leahy were anti-american?

    Address my points and quit changing the subject. The tactic of changing the subject is for those whose argument is beaten or cannot see through their own emotions.

    Seems to me you need to take a wee bit of your own advice…

  32. tatuaje

    While I agree with what you’re saying and doing, you cannot honestly believe that this is going to make a particle of difference to the people you’re throwing it at, can you?

    I know, Ken…don’t know why I continue….the fact is I am in the minority…most people see what happened in Nagasaki & Hiroshima as a glorious victory for the US and proof of our rightful place of dominance in the world…

    I guess I just hope that if Miyoko Watanabe reads these posts she’ll at least see a smidgen of regret and sadness about what happened to her and her friends, family, and countrymen….. I try to truly feel what she had to say….

    “Wars are the worst possible misfortune. I only hope that we will have the tenderness of heart to feel the pain of others as our own. The voice of Hiroshima is calling for lasting peace.”

  33. david

    Again, the funny thing being that knowing History means you are “Revisionist” and “Anti-American.” To deny propoganda is to hate America? These folks concepts of what America both “is” and Isn’t” is quite dubious.

  34. JDNC

    I must say .. you’ve given me some things to chew on. Don’t fall out of your chair.

  35. “However, I am a veteran of the War on Terror”
    “What exactly do you mean by that?”

    Seconding this question. I’d really like to know the details here.

    Are you a Gulf War vet? Homeland Security? Details, please.

    Most veterans I’ve known are very much anti-nuclear war (and most are anti-war in general, as they’ve seen the impact of large-scale destruction firsthand). Even my pro-Bush the First grandfather, who was in the Pacific during WWII, was never too keen on the whole atom-bomb thing.

  36. david

    “david, you do not know what you are talking about here. I know several WWII veterans who were indeed there.”

    and yet, what i said was “I was most certainly not there. And neither was the writer above. In fact, none of “us” were “there””

    So, was william there? methinks not.

  37. JDNC

    My comment on being a vet was in response to the “we” and “sports team” comment from above. Because you asked, I was a weapons technician for the USN. My job was very dangerous, however, nobody shot at me and I don’t want to include myself in that group. Regardless, the threat to my life in my military duty isn’t relevant to this discussion.

    I never said I was pro nuclear war either. I’m sure I know more tech info about nuclear weapons than any of you. I’ve seen maps of potential damage that would make your hair curl. The last thing I want is for anyone to ever use one again. Read ‘Warday’ by Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka and what Iran and Israel are currently doing moves everything into a modern context.

    My point the whole time is that decisions were made in the past based on information at the time. There has never been 100% consensus on any military action ever. There was massive internal dissent to almost every operation in WW2 .. as well as every war.

    I can tell from the posts above that many of the quotes came from google searches and were very selective. There were pros and cons to what the US did. Both carry considerable weight. Its easy to be the arm chair commander.

  38. travelah

    No doubt, but I am at least moderately dubious that anyone posting on this thread was among them. Are you or Mr. Miller or JDNC claiming WWII veteran status?

    I know two WWII vets personally who read this publication. As for myself, I am too young to have fought in WWI however that wasn’t really the point, was it?

  39. Ken Hanke

    Whitley Strieber

    Whitley “I was abducted by alien proctologists” Strieber?

    Its easy to be the arm chair commander.

    That, too, can be said of everyone responding here on either side of the issue.

  40. Ken Hanke

    As for myself, I am too young to have fought in WWI however that wasn’t really the point, was it?

    Yes, actually, in this case, it was.

  41. [b]Its easy to be the arm chair commander.[/b]

    True, but I think what has gotten everyone riled up here is the idea that W. P. Miller put forward; that somehow the survivors of the attack aren’t worthy of American sympathy.

    As to the rest of the debate, I doubt there are many people, even on the far-far right of the political side, who would claim that nuclear war in pretty much any context is a peachy idea.

    It’s a bit late to play “what if” about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Who knows how the war really would have turned out if the U.S. hadn’t bombed them? Maybe it really did save lives, although I find that something of a far-fetched argument.

    Regardless, since the war is long over, and since Japan long ago stopped being our enemy, I can’t think of a reason not to have a simple, human-level bit of empathy for those thousands upon thousands who survived the blast, and for the millions who were impacted by the attack.

    It would be like a Japanese person today saying how sorry he felt for the lives lost and the tragedy caused by Pearl Harbor, only to have a jingoist claim that the Americans aren’t deserving of pity because of their acts of countless acts of aggression in the Pacific. The argument could be made that we deserved to be attacked for all the wrongs we’d handed out, and because we supported Russia in the European theater. It’s an absurd argument, but I’m sure one can see the parallels.

    It’s also worth noting that many Japanese were against the war, and it’s not like the country was one united being. There were anti-Imperial underground movements, most notably communist ones, before and during the war. These are people we’re talking about, and blindly nuking them — as much to see what the bomb could do as for any true military purpose — is something that I see as a failure of basic humanity by all involved.

  42. JDNC

    Ken – I can’t vouch for anything of his but this book. Its very different than you may think. You ought to read the reviews – especially since you are a reviewer! It works to discuss the horrors of nuclear war in a fiction novel. Its not exactly a happy read.

    On our ages, that’s what distorts the context of this whole discussion. The citizens and soldiers of that time had had enough of the war. Almost all of England, Europe, west Russia and the Pacific were in ruins. The US is lucky enough to have the best piece of real estate on the planet. That also distorts the context here.

  43. [b]Whitley “I was abducted by alien proctologists” Strieber?[/b]

    I was going to bring this up, but decided against it as it seemed to be distracting from the main thrust of my post. That said, anything written by a guy like Strieber shouldn’t be taken with a giant lump of salt. I personally think he’s a huckster, preying on paranoia to sell books and film rights, and would be very, very reluctant to take anything he wrote as anything other than late-night-AM-radio fantasy.

  44. tatuaje

    I can tell from the posts above that many of the quotes came from google searches and were very selective.

    uhhh…Who else can I quote? If two presidents, the relevant chief of staff, and the general in charge of the pacific theater at the time don’t satisfy, I’m not sure what will. Don’t have a direct line to any supreme beings, so you’ve got me at a bit of a loss.

    but I think what has gotten everyone riled up here is the idea that W. P. Miller put forward; that somehow the survivors of the attack aren’t worthy of American sympathy.

    Yep, that’s pretty much what got me riled up. Hell, it still does since I have yet to see any remorse for that comment… Because, unfortunately, that attitude pervades those in charge and with access to all the high tech murder toys. Just the fact that we have the term ‘collateral damage’ hurts my soul. We, as the US, have proven that the taking of innocent lives, even up to 250,000 of them, is acceptable if we achieve our objectives. And if it turns out that those deaths weren’t even necessary? Oh well….

    And before someone starts accusing me of US-bashing, of course it’s not just the US that participates in these atrocities. Humans in general seem to have an innate need to control others…by the most extreme violence if necessary.

    And that attitude, as events play out right now in the Middle East, make me fear for the future.

    I am not saying I have any answers. I am just one man who looks at mankind and can’t help feeling sadness at what we’re capable of doing to ourselves and others…sadness at the callous attitude, as displayed by at least one poster on this forum, about death and destruction, whether at Hiroshima, Bhopal, Haditha, or Bosnia. And to be completely honest, I feel we, as a species, have passed the point of no return…perhaps it was at Hiroshima….

  45. JDNC

    Tat – I agree with you on how this became so heated so fast.

    Talking about how horrible humans can be to each other is emotionally exhausting. Death and destruction are as old as civilization. Increased population pressure and limited resources aren’t going to make the future any easier.

    I’m signing off on this one. Its too depressing.

  46. William P Miller

    The self-styled arbitrator of American history. Ah, the long-at-the-tooth Steve Shanafelt. Got it all figured out at, what, age 32 Steve? -:) Say what are you doing over here anyway. Your balliwick is the forums, isn’t it?

    he Japanese hide and deny the horrific events they put into motion in the 1930s and 1940s. Before they ask us to be sorry for winning the war they started, I’d like to hear some heartfelt apologies from them. See above for a partial list of their atrocities.

  47. tatuaje

    Before they ask us to be sorry for winning the war they started, I’d like to hear some heartfelt apologies from them. See above for a partial list of their atrocities.

    You are kidding, right? IF they apologize to us, do you promise to apologize to everyone on the following list?

    Yes, violence and oppression exist all over the world, and the United States is not the only country that has done wrong and made mistakes. But there is currently only one country that has conducted destruction with such strong involvement on a global scale. There is only one imperialistic empire that has been so deeply linked to so many corrupt dictatorships, oppressive regimes, and corporate exploitations.

    This list includes interventions conducted both overtly and covertly. It includes the use of force through militaries armed, trained, funded, and directed by the US. Some of these atrocities only had a few US officials actively involved, but these puppet armies would never have been capable of such destruction without US financing, supplying, and assistance (as detailed following sections show). There are countless mass killings missing from this list that the US is responsible for, but this list covers the most violent crimes committed by the US government in recent history.

    Worthy of noting is that almost all of these slaughters have been directed at non-whites, and the vast majority of the victims of US militarism are civilians. These innocent lives are the victims of the relentless drive by the United States’ corporate and military elite for global economic domination. These victims have given their lives so that a small percentage of Americans can prosper.

    • 3,000,000 Vietnamese murdered over the course of about 30 years of US aggression.

    • 600,000 civilians were killed in Cambodia by US bombing between 1969 and 1975.

    • Over 500,000 people were killed in Laos when America subjected civilians to “secret bombing” from 1964 to 1973, dropping over two million tons of bombs on the country. Over one fourth of the population also became refugees.

    • 100,000 people were murdered in South Korea prior to the Korean War by a brutal repression supported by US forces in 1945. This includes between 30,000 and 40,000 killed during the suppression of a peasant revolt on Cheju Island.

    • Up to 4,500,000 Koreans were killed from 1951 to 1953 during America’s massive slaughter in the Korean War.

    • 200,000 were murdered when the Philippines were conquered by American forces. (This took place just over 100 years ago.)

    • 23,000 people were slaughtered in Taiwan by US-backed, trained, equipped, and funded forces (Chiang’s Nationalist Army) during the late 1940s.

    • 700,000 Indonesians (mostly landless peasants) were murdered in 1965 when the US armed and supported General Suharto.

    • 200,000 were slaughtered in East Timor in 1975 by General Suharto with US support.

    • 750,000 civilians were driven from their homes in East Timor by Indonesian forces in 1999 and 10,000 were killed.

    • Over 1,700,000 Iraqis have been killed by US bombings and sanctions, mostly women and children.

    • Over 1,000,000 lives were lost during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s in which the US used direct force and supported Hussein and Iraq.

    • 35,000 Kurds were killed, 3,500 villages were destroyed, and between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000 became homeless as a result of aggression by Turkey with US arming and training in the 1990s.

    • Over 1,000,000 people were killed in Afghanistan’s civil war from 1979 to 1992, in which the US strongly supported the Moujahedeen, the most violent and sadistic of the forces. (This also set the stage for the CIA-backed Taliban to attain power.)

    • 45,000 people were killed in South Lebanon since 1982 by Israel, always armed and supported by the US

    • Thousands have been killed in Palestine and millions (in both Palestine and Lebanon) were made refugees by US-backed Israel.

    • Over 150,000 were killed in Greece when America advised, equipped, and financed violent interventions in the late 1940s and late 1960s.

    • Over 75,000 civilians were killed and over one million refugees were created in El Salvador from 1980 to 1994 when the US intensely supported the efforts of a brutal regime and its death squads to eliminate a popular uprising.

    • 40,000 civilians were killed by the US-backed National Guard in Nicaragua over the course of almost 50 years.

    • 30,000 lives were killed by the US contras in Nicaragua from 1979 to 1989.

    • 200,000 Guatemalans were slaughtered from 1960-1990s by a military apparatus trained, armed, funded, and assisted by America.

    • Over 35,000 Colombian civilians have been killed during the US-supported Colombian war against left-wing rebels.

    • More than 4,000 innocent civilians were killed in Panama during the US invasion in 1989.

    • Hundreds of thousands were killed by US direct and indirect interventions in Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, and Argentina from the mid 60s through the 80s.

    • 50,000 Haitians were killed when the US military destroyed a peasant uprising in 1915.

    • Between 4,000 and 5,000 Haitians were killed in the early 1990s by US-established forces.

    • Thousands were killed in the Dominican Republic during the 1960s when US and Dominican troops crushed a pro-Bosch rebellion.

    • Over 3,000 were killed and countless others injured by US interventions in Cuba.

    • Hundreds were killed or injured when the US invaded Grenada in 1983.

    • Over 50,000 Somalians were killed between 1978 and 1990 by US-supported Siad Barre.

    • Up to 10,000 more Somalians were killed directly by US troops during America’s “humanitarian mission” in 1993.

    • In the US-supported Rwandan genocide, an estimated 800,000 people were killed in just 100 days in 1994.

    • Over 300,000 were killed and 80,000 were crippled in Angola from a US-supported civil war.

    • Tens of thousands were killed and up to 200,000 were tortured in Chad by Hissen Habre with US support during the 1980’s.

    • Over 1,000,000 were killed during Mozambique’s civil war (1980-1992), in which the brutally violent RENAMO forces were supported by the US

    • 1,500,000 were killed between 1980 and 1988 in southern Africa by the US-armed South Africa.

    • Thousands of people in Pacific islands, Puerto Rico, Utah, California, Nevada, Washington, New Mexico, and various other places have been killed, infected, or harmed as a result of US weapon experiments (especially nuclear weapons and weapons using depleted uranium).

    • Hundreds of civil rights activists have been beaten, tortured, framed, and killed in the US by government agencies in recent history.

    • Hundreds of Black Panther supporters and American Indians were framed, beaten, or murdered by the FBI and its cohorts in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

    • Over 1,200 immigrants and citizens in America (mostly of Arab decent) were detained after September 11, 2001, without evidence of law-breaking or terrorist activity.

    • Thousands have been killed during America’s recent “War on Terror.”

    • Over 4,000 US soldiers and over 94,000 Iraqi civilians have perished since George W’s recent invasion of Iraq.

    Well, guess what W.P. Miller? Japan did apologize….lots of times. Here’s a link to all of the apologies that have been issued over the years.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

    And the US? Have we apologized for any of the above atrocities? All of these posts and you still brazenly display your lack of basic human compassion. It’s people like you who make me fervently wish in the fairy tale called Hell….

    I’m done…there truly is no hope for people like him….

  48. William P Miller

    Tat, if you spent as much time researching the GOOD that your own country is, as you spend trying to run it down, you’d be a happier person. So you went to a college somewhere and your prof’s slanted your history lessons with hate-America rants. Get a sense of proportion and a sense of yourself as your own man, and become un-programmed.

    The USA is essentially a good country that has a moral, disciplined military. Period. Sometimes politicians involve our military unnecessarily. Pick a bone with THEM. Like the democrat LB Johnson. Like the democrat JF Kennedy.

    If you want examples of the gross misuse of military and political policy, look at the 20th century histories of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; the Empire of Japan circa 1930s and 1940s; the People’s Republic of China’s invasion and rape of Tibet…as well as their murder of student protesters in Tiannamen Square; the German Third Reich’s use of tanks against horse cavalry in their invasion of Poland…and of course their murder of millions of Jews and homosexuals in Concentration Camps.

    Tat, you are free to complain today because of the sacrifice of others. Freedom is not free. If I could turn back the clock, I would like to see compulsory national service still intact so that folks like you would have to serve your country in some way, and therefore have some appreciation for it. Military, VISTA, Peace Corps, VA hospital orderly. 2 years of some service would cure a lot of what is wrong with your generation.

    It is too bad the lady from Japan got caught in the middle. That is unless she proudly approved of what Japanese troops were doing in China…beheading babies and bayonetting pregnant women. Because many in the Japanese civilian ranks did support that kind of carnage.

    Japan: face your past and apologize to the people of Korea, China, The Phillipines, Burma, Indonesia, the United States of America. Your barbaric militarism caused a lot of unnecessary pain in the world.

  49. Ken Hanke

    The self-styled arbitrator of American history. Ah, the long-at-the-tooth Steve Shanafelt. Got it all figured out at, what, age 32 Steve?

    And at what age does one’s opinion become valid? I know some 25 year olds whose opinion I’ll take over quite a few people two and three times their age. But really, what is the magic age? I’d like to know so that I can put it with the magic southern birthplace you require, so I can figure out the exact specifications necessary for a person to be worth a damn.

    Say what are you doing over here anyway.

    I’ve long asked myself that question about several people.

  50. [b]The self-styled arbitrator of American history. Ah, the long-at-the-tooth Steve Shanafelt. Got it all figured out at, what, age 32 Steve? -:)[/b]

    Well, at least my fact-checking is better than yours. I’m 30, not 32. (It’s on my MySpace, not to mention it’s in the first line of the first hit for “Steve Shanafelt” on Google.) But, that said, I’m not claiming to be an expert on history. I AM saying that anyone who survives a NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST IN THEIR HOMETOWN maybe deserves a little sympathy, regardless of what nation they happened to be born in.

    [b]Say what are you doing over here anyway. Your balliwick is the forums, isn’t it?[/b]

    I’m the moderator and admin for the forums and the A & E blogs. I’m not the moderator on this topic, I’m just putting in my two cents.

    [b]The Japanese hide and deny the horrific events they put into motion in the 1930s and 1940s. Before they ask us to be sorry for winning the war they started, I’d like to hear some heartfelt apologies from them. See above for a partial list of their atrocities.[/b]

    No one is asking you to say that the Japanese are spiffy. Lots of awful things happened during that war, on all sides, and the Japanese certainly did their share. But the blog post is about a woman who survived a nuclear attack — she happens to be Japanese — its impact on her life, and how she is working prevent another.

    Your reply, whether you intended it to or not, comes across like, “Who cares? The Japanese are horrible people. They deserved it.”

    I find it really hard to see how Miyoko Watanabe or the other HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS who were impacted by the attack are somehow fair game for what the Japanese government decided to do. It’s not like they had a vote and opted to attack America en masse.

  51. [b]It is too bad the lady from Japan got caught in the middle. That is unless she proudly approved of what Japanese troops were doing in China…beheading babies and bayonetting pregnant women. Because many in the Japanese civilian ranks did support that kind of carnage.[/b]

    Why would you say this? Here is a woman trying desperately to get the world to understand the horrors of war, and you are hinting that, just because she happened to be born in Japan, she might support the exact kind of thing she’s trying to stop.

    Do you honestly believe that the Japanese citizens were sitting around saying things like “I’m glad our military is beheading babies in China! Thank goodness that is happening. In spite of the obvious contradictions, it’s exactly what Buddha wanted us to do, and definitely jibes with the basics of the Shinto faith.”

    The Japanese no more supported these things that most people in the U.S. support what happened at, say, Abu Ghraib. Do you really see the Japanese as monsters?

    Keep in mind that WE dropped an ATOMIC BOMB on THEM. We didn’t behead babies, we burned them to death in a nuclear hell. We did the same to grandparents, toddlers, stay-at-home mothers, the invalid and everyone else. We did it blindly, without regard for who was in the military and who was just a regular person living in a country we happened to be at war with.

    I’m not saying that it was the wrong call, either. I think it was done for the wrong reasons, but maybe it really, truly, honestly saved lives in the long run. But the issue here isn’t the war; it’s the idea that maybe wiping out an entire town with a nuclear weapon just because we think it would speed things up a little isn’t actually so hot when you weigh the long-term impact.

    Sympathy is cheap. You don’t even have to forgive the Japanese for what they did before, during or even after the war. You just have to understand that actions have consequences, and our action destroyed HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF LIVES. It’s honestly OK to feel a little pang of empathy for someone who had to go through that, and who lives with that experience — seeing everything and everyone she knew utterly destroyed — every day of her existence since 1945.

    Miyoko Watanabe didn’t bomb Pearl Harbor. She didn’t dive her Zero onto the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. She didn’t murder anyone’s baby in China. She just happened to live in Hiroshima, and she doesn’t want what happened there to happen anywhere else ever again. Can’t you understand why she might be worth listening to?

  52. tatuaje

    Oh my….where do I possibly begin? Steve, you have done a really good job of showing that the issue here is HUMANITY….but I can’t just let this guy spew so much ignorance and hypocrisy without rebuttal…must be some genetic flaw, but I simply can’t….

    Japan: face your past and apologize to the people of Korea, China, The Phillipines, Burma, Indonesia, the United States of America. Your barbaric militarism caused a lot of unnecessary pain in the world.

    United States: face your past and apologize to the people of America, Korea, the Philipines, Afghanistan, East Timor, Iraq, the entire continent of Central America, Palestine, Haiti, Mozambique, Angola,….and the list goes on and on. The list I posted above is an abbreviated list of atrocities committed by this country in only the last hundred years.

    Get a sense of proportion and a sense of yourself as your own man, and become un-programmed.

    The USA is essentially a good country that has a moral, disciplined military. Period.

    Wow, those two statements are in such conflict my head almost just exploded.

    First: a sense of proportion
    That seems to me what I’ve been trying to do all along at this thread. Trying to get a sense of proportion in relation to the amount of innocent lives lost to objectives gained. If that does not qualify, what does?

    a sense of yourself as your own man, and become un-programmed.
    I think I have a pretty good sense of myself that I have arrived at under my own terms, thank you. I am one of the people on these threads pleading for humanity and, vainly apparently, trying to appeal to those who have been programmed to blindly agree and condone with the actions of their respective governments to think about themselves and their fellow human beings and not simply regurgitate jingoistic rhetoric when confronted with the inherent problems that come with said governments….

    The USA is essentially a good country that has a moral, disciplined military. Period.
    Once again, I beg you to google ‘Haditha’, ‘Napalm’, ‘Tiger Force Vietnam war crimes’,….oh, jeez, the list could go on and on and on… If the USA is essentially a good country, please give me an example of a bad one….how, exactly, can a nation be essentially good or bad? That is the most ridiculous statement I have yet encountered on any thread.

    Freedom is not free.
    yeah…it’s $1.05 (Team America, anyone?)

    If I could turn back the clock, I would like to see compulsory national service still intact so that folks like you would have to serve your country in some way, and therefore have some appreciation for it
    So since I have never been forced to serve my country, I therefore have no appreciation for it?!?!? There is absolutely, unequivocally no logic behind that statement whatsoever. Who the hell are you to judge what sort of appreciation I have for my country? Because I challenge the actions of the government, past & present?

    “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” – Abraham Lincoln

    “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” – Elie Wiesel

    “Our purpose now is to reclaim democracy itself. We are here to affirm that when Americans stand up and speak their minds and say America can do better, that is not a challenge to patriotism; it is the heart and soul of patriotism.” – John Kerry

    It is too bad the lady from Japan got caught in the middle. That is unless she proudly approved of what Japanese troops were doing in China…beheading babies and bayonetting pregnant women. Because many in the Japanese civilian ranks did support that kind of carnage.
    I think Steve responded to that comment as well as anyone could…Can’t you understand why she might be worth listening to? Indeed….

  53. “The USA is essentially a good country that has a moral, disciplined military. Period.”

    Yes, just ask the folks in Guantanamo, Abu Graib, or anyone who experienced Napalm first hand.

  54. JDNC

    Wow atruth, cherry pick some stats why don’t you? If you read some history, you’d see that for every example you point out about the USA, the rest of the world offers up 10 that are worse. Your hatred towards your own country and the US Military is blinding you to the rest of human history.

    I can’t believe I was drawn back in.

  55. William P Miller

    ” Steve said: Well, at least my fact-checking is better than yours. I’m 30, not 32. (It’s on my MySpace, not to mention it’s in the first line of the first hit for “Steve Shanafelt” on Google.) But, that said, I’m not claiming to be an expert on history. I AM saying that anyone who survives a NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST IN THEIR HOMETOWN maybe deserves a little sympathy, regardless of what nation they happened to be born in.”

    Well put Steve. And I just took a guess at your age. -:) Yes she does deserve sympathy. But I have made valid points about the sins of the Japanese Empire. My points taken in this discussion come from my distaste for “blaming America first”, a common practice. I am 60 years old and have a lot of life experience under my belt. I speak from that place.

    I do think Truman did the right thing. But it is unfortunate that civilians were injured.

  56. William P Miller

    tat, did you read any of my last post, or are you so dead set against the goodness of America that you are unable to examine your position here? If I had so many gripes about my own country, I’d move.

  57. Ken Hanke

    If you read some history, you’d see that for every example you point out about the USA, the rest of the world offers up 10 that are worse.

    That’s about the worst argument I can imagine. Yeah, we’re bad, but they’re worse. Boy, that makes me proud.

  58. Ken Hanke

    I am 60 years old and have a lot of life experience under my belt. I speak from that place.

    I’m 53 years old (and, yes, I’m from the south) and have a lot of life experience under my belt, too, but almost none of it aligns with your view of things.

    I do think Truman did the right thing. But it is unfortunate that civilians were injured.

    For the most part they weren’t injured (what a happy downplaying), they were incinerated. And when your target is a city and not a military installation, it’s pretty likely that civilians are going to be killed. It’s not exactly some unfortunate by-product.

    If I had so many gripes about my own country, I’d move.

    Perhaps he’d rather try to help make his country become that which he wishes it might be rather than run away from the problems. Just a thought.

  59. quote

    Winston Churchill quote: If you are not a liberal at 20 you have no heart. If you are not a conservative at 40, you have no brain.

  60. William P Miller

    JDNC said: “Wow atruth, cherry pick some stats why don’t you? If you read some history, you’d see that for every example you point out about the USA, the rest of the world offers up 10 that are worse. Your hatred towards your own country and the US Military is blinding you to the rest of human history.”

    Good post JDNC. It’s good that there is at least one other person on here who has served in our military and is NOT of the “blame America first” crowd. The gen-x’ers have little life experience under their belts to make reasoned positions here, so they just google far leftwing websites and copy-paste hate America propaganda. It is ironic that these same complainers take their freedoms for granted, considering the sacrifices of others. I see a decline in America and it is primarily due to the younger generations coming up and having no appreciation for the freedom and opportunity that has been handed to them.

    For anyone interested in the horrific war crimes committed by Japan in China in 1937-1938, here is a site, by the respected BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/223038.stm

  61. tatuaje

    tat, did you read any of my last post

    Well, WP Miller, please refer to my last post and you will plainly see I answered you point for point…as I always do on any thread within the hallowed halls of MX forums. The only part of your post I didn’t directly respond to I made sure to mention the reason was because Steve had replied to it so eloquently…

    My points taken in this discussion come from my distaste for “blaming America first”, a common practice. If I had so many gripes about my own country, I’d move.

    Yeah, what Ken said is pretty much the case. I can’t tell ya’ll how sick I am of the jingoistic automatons of this country telling everyone who points out flaws in this system to shut the hell up and move if they don’t like it. When are people going to figure out that critiquing this government is not only necessary, but the duty of any true patriot? I gave, what I thought, were pretty great quotes on the subject above, but here are a few more.

    We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it. – Edward R. Murrow

    The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair. – H.R. Mencken

    To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. – Theodore Roosevelt

    I could go on and on…there are so many great thinkers who have expounded on this idea.

    And I still can’t believe that this thread is still going because of the outrage I felt over the lack of sympathy towards THOUSANDS of innocent victims. I’ve gone from defending the voiceless, the innocent, the stepped-on of this world to having to defend my own patriotism. And I realize it’s simply one obstinate voice who thinks he speaks from righteousness. Everyone else obviously feels human compassion despite political/idealogical differences.

    I simply can’t see where else this thread could possibly go. If there are people out there who simply can’t find compassion in their hearts for the innocent victims of this world, there is nothing I can do on these little posts to change that. If they cannot see dissent & disagreement as being patriotic, I imagine I won’t be able to change that either. So, unless I see a pretty compelling reason to reply further, I do believe this is adios…at least until the next hateful and/or ignorant comment under a blog gets me all riled up….

  62. JDNC

    Ken – Goodness on our earth is a relative thing. There is no ‘bar’ that sets the basis for behavioral goodness for each country to abide by. If you know of one, share it with us. Humans try the best they can. Some try harder than others. You may not like it, but that is the reality.

  63. Ken Hanke

    Ken – Goodness on our earth is a relative thing. There is no ‘bar’ that sets the basis for behavioral goodness for each country to abide by.

    Yeah, it’s real simple. It runs something like “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I’m surprised you don’t know it.

    Goodness is not relative. You’re merely trying to justify our own evil by saying there are people out there doing worse things. That doesn’t make what we’ve done any better.

  64. JDNC

    Ken – I’m going to drop a bomb on you .. get ready .. hold onto your chair .. this may rock your world. Not everyone on the planet has the same (your) belief system! Every country has a number of internal belief systems – religious and secular. It would be great if the world were as simple as you would like. Heck, I would like it that simple. The Golden Rule is a great rule. However, the simple truth is that humans and the world are wildly complicated.

  65. One last thing, and then I’ll let it drop …

    [b]The gen-x’ers have little life experience under their belts to make reasoned positions here, so they just google far leftwing websites and copy-paste hate America propaganda.[/b]

    I’m Gen-X, and I think this is bunk. Generation X is roughly defined by the population born from 1965 to around 1982. That means that the tail end of Gen-X is, at this very moment, fighting a war in Iraq. The first wave of Gen-X largely fought the last Iraq war too. They were the majority of the fighting force for every single conflict and U.S. mission in between. THEY ARE THE SPINE OF THE U.S. MILITARY and the majority of the workforce. For you to claim they their voices don’t count because you think you’ve suffered more is about as unpatriotic and un-American as it gets.

    You were born in, what, 1947 or ’48? You’re a baby boomer, one of the most self-absorbed generations ever to exist in history. The whole lot of you created the current financial mess we’re living in and are putting an insane drain on the federal government’s resources. My generation is the one footing the bill so that you can have Social Security in a few years. I wouldn’t exactly be throwing stones.

  66. quote

    Another try. Was I censored? I think it’s relative even if the monitors don’t think so. Again – a Churchill quote: If you’re young and not liberal, you have no heart, if you’re old and not conservative, you have no brain.

  67. Ken Hanke

    Ken – I’m going to drop a bomb on you .. get ready .. hold onto your chair .. this may rock your world. Not everyone on the planet has the same (your) belief system!

    I’m aware of that — just as you should be aware that not everyone shares your belief system. But that’s not what you asked for. You said that “goodness was relative,” and added, “There is no ‘bar’ that sets the basis for behavioral goodness for each country to abide by. If you know of one, share it with us.” I merely supplied you with such a bar. And it’s one that exists in one form or another in more than one religious/philosophical system. I didn’t claim it was adhered to, nor did you ask if it was. If it was adhered to, this exchange would not be taking place.

    But — and this to me is the point — I am not going to debase and corrupt my belief system by allowing myself the wiggle-room to go outside it and indulge in acts counter to it on the basis that “other people do worse.” You can’t control what other people do, only what you do.

    The logic you’re applying here is on a par with saying Leopold and Loeb weren’t so bad, they only killed that one kid. Look at Charles Manson.

  68. Ken Hanke

    I’m Gen-X, and I think this is bunk.

    I’m a Baby Boomer and I know it’s bunk. This business of trying to paint everything on a generational basis is not only the bunk, it’s counter-productive in the worst way. I know people who were born in the 1920s, the 1930s, the 1940s, the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s and the 1980s. They don’t neatly fall into categories based on their birth years.

    And as far as that goes, all those people protesting the Vietnam War or marching for civil rights or doing any other of those “un-American” things in the 1960s and 1970s weren’t Generation Xers. By and large, they were Baby Boomers.

  69. [b]And as far as that goes, all those people protesting the Vietnam War or marching for civil rights or doing any other of those “un-American” things in the 1960s and 1970s weren’t Generation Xers. By and large, they were Baby Boomers.[/b]

    And as long as we’re talking about war crimes, I should also bring up that the Baby Boomers — and W.P. Miller by generational association — invented disco music. You have no one to blame for the Bee Gees but yourselves.

  70. Ken Hanke

    You have no one to blame for the Bee Gees but yourselves.

    I’ll see you disco and raise you hip-hop.

  71. [b]I’ll see you disco and raise you hip-hop.[/b]

    I’ll never surrender the hip-hop, but I’ll gladly turn M.C. Hammer and Vanilla Ice over to you for their crimes. We can never atone for the popularization of parachute pants.

    Turn over ABBA and K.C. & The Sunshine band, and we can probably come to some kind of ceasefire agreement.

  72. Ken Hanke

    Turn over ABBA and K.C. & The Sunshine band, and we can probably come to some kind of ceasefire agreement.

    Well, let’s see…McHammer is the reason I’ve never seen the credits on The Addams Family, so he’s a good bartering chip. I’d gladly turn ABBA (care to join me for a screening of Mamma Mia! tomorrow night?) and K.C. and the Sunshine Band, but only if you’ll admit that I had nothing personally to do with their popularity and further admit that, in the case of ABBA, Boomers pretty much originally viewed them as top 40 crap when they were new.

  73. [b]I’d gladly turn ABBA (care to join me for a screening of Mamma Mia! tomorrow night?) and K.C. and the Sunshine Band, but only if you’ll admit that I had nothing personally to do with their popularity and further admit that, in the case of ABBA, Boomers pretty much originally viewed them as top 40 crap when they were new.[/b]

    Done. Now if we can just get those pesky kids off W.P. Miller’s lawn we can finally bring a little closure to this Great Generational War. We are, at long last, no longer 2 Legit 2 Quit.

  74. Ken Hanke

    We are, at long last, no longer 2 Legit 2 Quit.

    And once this is under control, we can sally forth to the home of whatever critic it was that referred to “the timeless music of ABBA” in his review of Mamma Mia! and have words with him.

  75. [b]”the timeless music of ABBA”[/b]

    [i]”You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
    Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
    You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
    See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen”[/i]

    Yikes. Still, it beats having the your hometown destroyed in an atomic furnace.

  76. david

    “I’ll see you disco and raise you hip-hop.”

    Please dont compare disco and hip hip, unless you want me to compare, uhh, some crappy movie with some really good movie.

  77. William P Miller

    Steve, yes I am a baby boomer. And you are correct that some in my generation are self-absorbed and anti-American. All you have to do is look at many of the college professors who teach socialism and hate in our universities. They are baby boomers. BUT, many more in my generation have served in the military and appreciate what this country has to offer. Because of the draft. And some didn’t want to serve in the military, but did alternative service. A cousin was a c.o. and emptied bedpans at the VA for 2 years.

    Most gen-xer’s HAVE NOT SERVED their country. Those in our voluntary military who served in Iraq, and are serving currently, have my utmost respect. But the truth of the matter is most gen-xer’s have not served their country in any way. You haven’t, have you Steve?

    The greatest generation was my parent’s generation who survived the great depression and WWII. Then made the great economy we are still enjoying, by building up this country in the 1950s. My hat is especially off to them!

    I would like to see compulsory national service return. Either military, Peace Corps, VISTA, or work in a VA hospital. For 2 years. With a view to teaching appreciation for this great country that we have where even complainers like tat can say their piece without fear of being arrested. God bless America!

  78. Ken Hanke

    All you have to do is look at many of the college professors who teach socialism

    This is all predicated in the assumption that we all believe socialism is a dirty word.

    BUT, many more in my generation have served in the military and appreciate what this country has to offer.

    Do you honestly think that one has to have served in the military to be able to appreciate that? That seems a little absurd to me.

    Most gen-xer’s HAVE NOT SERVED their country.

    You’re right. And a hell of a lot of Baby Boomers only did it because they were drafted. I was — as I see it — very lucky because the draft ended a month after my 18th birthday. I honestly do not feel that I am any less of a citizen because I didn’t join up.

    I’ll add that I know an awful lot of people who were in the military who have far more in common with the views expressed here by Steve and tatuaje, etc. than with you. These, by the way, include my late father who was was part of that generation you appear to think is in perfect accord with you.

  79. William P Miller

    Ken you were drafted? Cool. -:) And yes indeed, 2 years service DOES make citizens appreciate this country more. And it is only right that everyone contribute some service. Afterall, we are the recepients of the sacrifices of our forefathers who risked life and limb to keep out the Japanese and Germans in WWII. Who made it through the depression and build our modern economy in the 1950s. Who won our independence from Britain back in the 1770s. We live in a country that affords us unprecedented opportunity and freedom. This does not come free.

    “This is all predicated in the assumption that we all believe socialism is a dirty word.” HUH? Are you serious Ken? Would you like to live in Cuba or the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics? Stand in line for food. Have the government TELL YOU what your job will be? It certainly wouldn’t be reviewing movies. Would you like to live in a country that will arrest you if you criticize it’s leadership? I’ll tell you what, if we end up with a socialist government, you will look back with fondness on what we have here now. Socialism breeds government corruption and power grabs. Socialism breeds apathy and unhappiness in the general population. Yes, socialism sucks.

  80. “keep out the Japanese and Germans in WWII.”

    Actually, there was no threat of Germany invading the US.

    “Who made it through the depression and build our modern economy in the 1950s.”

    Yes, a depression caused entirely by rich factory owners and the like. The same people who the military interests serve.

    “Who won our independence from Britain back in the 1770s.”

    Yes, a bunch of rich, white, slave-owning self-appointed ‘leaders’. yes, they have much in common with William P. Miller.

    “Would you like to live in Cuba or the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics?”

    Neither of these are examples of socialism any more than America is an example of Capitalism or Democracy.

    “Would you like to live in a country that will arrest you if you criticize it’s leadership?”

    There are multiple examples of this occurring in this country all the time.
    http://www.progressive.org/mag_mc100406?cheney

    “Socialism breeds government corruption and power grabs. Socialism breeds apathy and unhappiness in the general population. Yes, socialism sucks.”

    Sure, very true. But do you see ANY difference between the current system in the US and your above characterizations?

  81. Ken Hanke

    Ken you were drafted?

    Read more carefully — “I was—as I see it—very lucky because the draft ended a month after my 18th birthday.” Perhaps that’s not clear enough, but I mean I was not drafted and I did not join up and I am not apologizing for either.

    Would you like to live in Cuba or the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics? Stand in line for food. Have the government TELL YOU what your job will be?

    That isn’t at all what socialism is except in terms of conservatwaddle scare tactics, but this is not something I’m going to debate with you, because I’d be better off talking to a brick wall on the topic.

    Would you like to live in a country that will arrest you if you criticize it’s leadership?

    You mean like the people you like to slap down as “America haters” if they so much as voice a reservation about the U.S. government, or suggest that we, as a country, haven’t always been in the right? Near as I can tell, you’re really only interested in free speech if that speech agrees with you.

  82. tatuaje

    Most gen-xer’s HAVE NOT SERVED their country. Those in our voluntary military who served in Iraq, and are serving currently, have my utmost respect. But the truth of the matter is most gen-xer’s have not served their country in any way.

    If by “serving their country” you mean serving in the armed forces, then most people of ANY generation have not served their country. Here are some stats for ya (although I’m not sure why I bother…you just don’t seem to cotton with stats & facts….)article, as always, linked below…

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3761/is_200412/ai_n9468428

    nearly 26 million Americans living today have served in the military-24 million of these veterans are men, 12 million are over age 60.

    The armed forces did not become a major institutional presence in the United States until the 20th century and did not become a major factor in the American occupational structure and labor force until the last quarter of that century. The United States was founded with a militia tradition of citizen-soldiers, and a cultural aversion to the excesses of the peacetime standing army of England’s King James II.3 A national army was raised during the American Revolution, but in 1783, after the United States won independence, the Congress discharged the Continental Army that had defeated the British, except for 80 soldiers retained to guard the military stores at West Point and Fort Pitt, plus a proportionate number of officers, none above the rank of captain. This congressional action set a precedent for a military force, composed exclusively of men, that was to be mobilized during wartime through calling up the militia, recruiting volunteers, and occasional conscription, and was to be demobilized during peacetime. This pattern persisted until the mid-20th century.

    For most of U.S. history, less than 1 percent of the population served in the military, except for brief periods when the country was at war (see Figure 1). There were notable surges in the relative size of the force during the first half of the 19th century for the War of 1812 and the Mexican War of 1846-1848, but the annual military participation ratio (MPR)-the percentage of the total resident population serving in the active-duty military4-did not approach 3 percent of the population until the U.S. Civil War in the mid-1860s. More than 1 million men, mobilized largely by militia call-ups and conscription, served under arms between 1861 and 1865. The MPR then declined again until the First World War, when almost 3 percent of the population-almost 3 million men-served. Again, mobilization involved calling up the militia, supplemented by selective conscription.

    The pattern of surge and decline in the size of the armed forces changed when the country mobilized for World War II. About 16 million people were brought into the armed forces in the 1940s, including more than 200,000 women. The men were largely conscripts (10.1 million); women were not subject to the draft, and all women in uniform were volunteers. The World War II armed forces represented about 12 percent of the population and included about 56 percent of the men eligible for military service on the basis of age, health, and mental aptitude.

    So, the largest percentage of Americans ever to serve in the military at any given time was 12% during WWII. So the rest of them, and us, are unpatriotic and simply don’t appreciate our country, huh?!?!

    The greatest generation was my parent’s generation who survived the great depression and WWII. Then made the great economy we are still enjoying

    This statement might be the most laugh-out-loud funniest by far… “Great Economy”?!?!?!!

    From a Newsweek article:
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/123811?tid=relatedcl

    It’s said that we’re in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Maybe. But remember the S&L;crisis of the early 1980s? Or the commercial banking crisis of the late 1980s (from 1988 to 1992, 905 banks failed). Or the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, which sent South Korea, Indonesia and other countries on a boom-bust roller coaster? All were frightening. But what distinguishes this crisis—which brought down Bear Stearns over the weekend—is that it involves the entire financial system, not just depository institutions, and it’s more mystifying than any of its predecessors.

    Hell, the economy is so bad, even the brothels in Nevada are taking a hit:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/29/brothels.fuel.ap/index.html

    Want more? The economy is so bad illegal immigrants are going home:

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/070508dnmetimmigrants.24395628.html

    Socialism breeds government corruption and power grabs. Socialism breeds apathy and unhappiness in the general population.

    Are you really trying to say, with a straight face, that our capitalistic system is free from corruption and power grabs?!?!?!?!

    Hahahahahahaha…

    man, really, WP Miller, you crack me up. None of what you post EVER has a single ounce based in fact….

  83. William P Miller

    Ken, Tat, & Posn, please be my guest. Y’all take a field trip to a socialist country and see for yourself first hand. Cuba is fairly close. Then there is Venezuela. Go ahead. And don’t do the tourist thing, live like the locals. In Cuba, the life is hard. Not much “meat” for the average citizen. No cars. No TV. If you tell a neighbor that you aren’t happy with the way things are going, better hope he isn’t a government spy. Because you have to be careful who you talk to in Cuba. Complainers are arrested and thrown in jail. But hey…they do have free healthcare! -:)

    But I doubt any of you are that willing to walk your talk. But how about this? Start living as a socialist NOW here in Asheville. Make out an austere budget. Grocery list: dried pinto beans, fatback, collard greens, brocolli, day old bread. Sell your car and TV and radio. Move into the cheapest apartment you can find. Take all your disposable income and go down to a poor section of town and redistribute it. Ken, quit your job and get a job at a factory. Y’all will get a taste for what life in a socialist country is like.

  84. [b]But the truth of the matter is most gen-xer’s have not served their country in any way.[/b]

    Tell that to someone born in 1979 who just had his legs blown off in Iraq. In fact, tell that to pretty much anyone in the armed services today. Tell them that your views count more because you think you’ve suffered more than them because you were born in the late ’40s. Tell them how it’ll be at least 2028 until what they have to say matters to you, and even then, since they didn’t know what it was like to live under the Johnson administrations, what they have to say will never be as important as those born around the time you were. Remind them about what it means to be a true patriot like you, and how they’ll never, ever compare.

    And why stop there?

    Tell every kid who was born with a birth defect caused by exposure to Agent Orange about how much you know about suffering. Tell that to every kid who had a dad who came home with a cracked brain. Tell it to every kid with a dad that didn’t come home how little he has given up for his country. Tell them about how great it was to serve, and how glad you are that their parent died to grease the wheels of a war machine, even if we still lost to commie pinkos.

    Tell all the families of those who died in the September 11 attacks who were born after 1965 that they don’t understand pain the way you and your generation do.

    Tell all the under-40 survivors of Hurricane Katrina, some of whom are still putting their lives back together, that you have more to say about the ills of the human condition than they do. Tell them how hard you had it growing up.

    And when you’re done, walk up to Miyoko Watanabe — a woman who had her life destroyed by people who thought they knew a whole lot about suffering, too — stare her straight in the eyes, and tell her this, right to her face: “The bomb was dropped on a populace that pretty much supported their countries brutal invasion of neighboring countries. Sorry, but I feel little sympathy.”

    Go on, I dare you. Don’t forget to bring a little flag to wave to show how much of a true American you are.

    Gosh, William, I’m in awe of your personal bravery, your unflagging service to your country and your deep understanding of the world and America’s place in it. Of course, as a Gen-Xer, I’ll never understand how gosh-darn wonderful your generation was. Thank heavens we have a true patriot like you on our side. You showed those Viet Cong, and those Cambodia-loving commies over at Kent State, just what’s-what.

  85. [b]Y’all take a field trip to a socialist country and see for yourself first hand.[/b]

    Yes, go to France, the U.K. or Canada. See for yourself how awful it is.

    [b]Take all your disposable income and go down to a poor section of town and redistribute it.[/b]

    FIXED THIS: It should now read … “Take all your disposable income and go down to a poor section of town and redistribute it like those pinkos at the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, ABCCM or MANNA Food Bank.”

    No need to thank me. I’m here to help.

  86. travelah

    OK, Steve … now follow through with it now that you have corrected it. … on another note, the French and British along with most of Europe are getting pretty fed up with socialist policies. If the Obammunists (read that leftist activists pretending to be moderates)win in the US, Obama will likely be the johnny come lately leftist standing alone among allies (and he is likely to win unless he begins speaking without a script again)

    How awful is Canada? Try sacrificing your Constitutional rights to free speech for starters. Their totalitarian Human Rights Commisions have zero tolerance for free speech rights. Just think! With the Democrats pushing for the “Fairness in Media” act you can then claim to be just like the admired Canadians!

  87. [b]the French and British along with most of Europe are getting pretty fed up with socialist policies[/b]

    So, can I expect they’ll be giving up their socialized health care, library systems, schools and “the dole” any day now?

  88. david

    “So, can I expect they’ll be giving up their socialized health care, library systems, schools and “the dole” any day now?”

    Not willingly, but there is no doubt that the Neo-Cons are at work dismantling these services in all First World countries, so that they more closely resemble the privatized world of Modern American Capitalism. Just look at what Steven Harper is doing in Canada, or Sarkozy in France…

  89. travelah

    So, can I expect they’ll be giving up their socialized health care, library systems, schools and “the dole” any day now?

    That is hard to say. They are certainly trading in their tired old Socialist politicians for a more conservative bent. I suppose we will see.

  90. William P Miller

    Steve said: “Gosh, William, I’m in awe of your personal bravery, your unflagging service to your country and your deep understanding of the world and America’s place in it. Of course, as a Gen-Xer, I’ll never understand how gosh-darn wonderful your generation was. Thank heavens we have a true patriot like you on our side. You showed those Viet Cong, and those Cambodia-loving commies over at Kent State, just what’s-what.”

    My my Steve, got your dander up a bit? My question to you is (I’ll give you a second chance to answer), have you, Steve, served your country? Huh? We had the draft back in my day and most served. Of course some like Ken slipped through without helping out. 4-F or college deferred, or? Ken perhaps you got that dress wearing routine of MASH’s Klinger early on. -:)

    So Steve, I will again reiterate my point. Compulsory service to our country gives citizens a since of contributing to our unparalelled opportunity and freedom. Freedom isn’t free. ALL should serve 2 years in some capacity.

  91. William P Miller

    Ken said: “What you describe is not socialism.”
    Au contrare Ken. It IS socialism. Full bore socialism. That was life in the Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics. You give the government too much power and they abuse it. Power to the people? Huh? No way. Power to a new elite, those who run the government, with the people trampled underneath.

    France’s economy is in the toilet because of socialism-lite. Guess what, they just elected a conservative president. Swedes got tired of very high taxes on the working people to support those who didn’t want to work. And the rampant corruption. They changed their government to be more conservative in the 1990s. In The Netherlands, not too far back, a conservative government was voted in. Good Dutch folk were sickened by the lack of any absolute standards in a country where dope smoking in coffee houses is legal, and child pornography is legal.

    Canada. Think things work well there? I have friends in Canada. When they came to visit me some years back, they loaded their van up with coca-cola for the trip back home. I asked why. They said the tax on soft drinks was very high there, as it is on cigarettes. In fact convenience store were being robbed at gunpoint for the cigarettes that were in turn sold on the black market. I have a friend in Minnesota who said Canadians come down all the time for health care because the lines are so long up there…and the care not the best in the world. High taxes for “free” health care that is substandard.

    Socialism sucks. Loss of freedom. High taxes. Lots of regulation. If our country ever goes that way, we will be sunk. Those that dream of a French socialism here are just not informed. Socialism ala France? Just a pipe dream. Better to keep the way we do things here in the USA, warts and all, where we have freedom and opportunity. Hard work pays off here. Personal responsibility rules the day. God bless America!

  92. William P Miller

    Steve’s go-to source for the final word. Wikipedia on SOCIALISM:

    Socialism refers to any of various economic and political concepts of state or collective (i.e. public) ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods and services, some of which have been developed into more or less highly articulated theories and/or praxis. [1] In a Marxist or labor-movement definition of the term, socialism is a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done with the goal of creating a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community. [2] This control may be exercised on behalf of the state, through a market, or through popular collectives such as workers’ councils and cooperatives. As an economic system, socialism is often characterized by state, cooperative, or worker ownership of the means of production, goals which have been attributed to, and claimed by, a number of political parties and governments.

    The modern socialist movement largely originated in the late–19th century working class movement. During this period, the term “socialism” was first used by European social critics, who spoke against capitalism and private property. Karl Marx, who helped establish and define the modern socialist movement, wrote that socialism would be achieved through class struggle and a proletarian revolution.[3] Marxism has had a lasting influence on most branches of socialism.

    Since the 19th century, socialists have not agreed on a common doctrine or program. Various adherents of socialist movements are split into differing and sometimes opposing branches, particularly between reformists and revolutionaries and Marxists and non-Marxists. Some socialists have championed the complete nationalization of the means of production, while social democrats have proposed selective nationalization of key industries within the framework of mixed economies, while libertarian socialists advocate cooperative worker ownership of the means of production. Some Marxists, including those inspired by the Soviet model of economic development, have advocated the creation of centrally planned economies directed by a state that controls all the means of production. Others, including Communists in Yugoslavia and Hungary in the 1970s and 1980s, Chinese Communists since the reform era, and some Western economists, have proposed various forms of market socialism, attempting to reconcile the presumed advantages of cooperative or state ownership of the means of production with letting market forces, rather than central planners, guide production and exchange.[4] Anarcho-syndicalists, Luxemburgists (such as those in the Socialist Party USA) and some elements of the United States New Left favor decentralized collective ownership in the form of cooperatives or workers’ councils.

  93. I can’t wait until our conservative politicians finally break the socialist stranglehold on this country. No more public schools, no more libraries or state-funded colleges, no more aid to the poor and no more Medicaid/Medicare/Social Security for those lazy retirees who won’t get jobs as greeters at Wal-Mart. We need to keep our economy moving, and all this charity is dragging the free market down.

  94. [b]I have friends in Canada. When they came to visit me some years back, they loaded their van up with coca-cola for the trip back home. I asked why. They said the tax on soft drinks was very high there, as it is on cigarettes. … Socialism sucks.[/b]

    Socialism sucks because Coca-Cola and Winstons aren’t as cheap? I’ll take the free health care, thanks.

  95. Ken Hanke

    Au contrare Ken. It IS socialism. Full bore socialism. That was life in the Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics.

    I now await the assertion that Nazis were democrats because the word democratic was involved…

    Power to the people? Huh? No way. Power to a new elite, those who run the government, with the people trampled underneath.

    Oh, you mean like life under the present administration?

  96. tatuaje

    This thread has gotten so off topic…Steve pretty much finished this thread with his post:

    And when you’re done, walk up to Miyoko Watanabe—a woman who had her life destroyed by people who thought they knew a whole lot about suffering, too—stare her straight in the eyes, and tell her this, right to her face: “The bomb was dropped on a populace that pretty much supported their countries brutal invasion of neighboring countries. Sorry, but I feel little sympathy.”

    but when I see WP Miller write something as laughable as: (while describing the evil Soviets)

    You give the government too much power and they abuse it. Power to the people? Huh? No way. Power to a new elite, those who run the government, with the people trampled underneath.

    You have described, exactly, the current status of these United States of America….

    WAKE UP….

  97. travelah

    Socialism sucks because Coca-Cola and Winstons aren’t as cheap? I’ll take the free health care, thanks.

    It isn’t free.

  98. Reality Check

    If you want your hospital or doc’s office to be as innovative and efficient as the “county garage” or the “IRS” or any other bloated pig of a bureaucracy, push for gov’t health care. Imagine the medicare/medicaid disaster times a billion. Better solutions exist.

  99. david

    Well, this has turned into a whole ‘nother conversations, but I must address this “Socialist” thing…

    “I have a friend in Minnesota who said Canadians come down all the time for health care because the lines are so long up there…and the care not the best in the world. High taxes for “free” health care that is substandard.”

    That is a complete lie, no matter how many time sit is repeated. My wife’s entire family is Canadian, and her father wont even come to the states without taking out a special insurance policy that will cover him in the states. He is SCARED TO DEATH of being trapped in the US “Care” system.

    It is humorous to me, as an American, to STILL hear this disinformation about the Canadian health care system. William, et al. Is it possible that you have had your head filled with lies by the very same politicians who are indebted to their health-care overlords like Blue-cross Blue-Shield/Kaiser, etc? Dont you realize they want you to believe the system doesnt work across the boarder so that Americans dont demand change at home?

    Let me make this clear: Canadians do not come to the states for health care. Some rich Canadians come here for ‘non-essential’ services, like tummy-tucks, or face-lifts, or gastral-bipass, whatevers, because they can afford to pay the high US prices for services the Canadian System considers “Frivolous.’ But, any Canadian who needs REAL CARE, will barely pay anything out of pocket, and WILL NOT wait in any lines.

    I havent been to a doctor in the states in over a decade, and my first experience with a Canadian Doctor was amazing. Not only was he present and helpful, but I waited a whole 10 minutes to see him about a broken bone, which was set at a cost to me (i’m not a canadian citizen, but my wife is) of $10! Yep. You know why i never go to a doc in the states? Because the same visit would have taken hours and hours, and cost me hundreds of dollars, and the doctor would have most likely been a rich jerk who wouldnt listen to anything I had to say.

    When I visit Canada, I am usually amazed at the high prices on many products. High taxes on Beer and Cigs make the prices seems outrageous. Beer is about 10 bucks a six-pack, cigs are 8 or 9 bucks a pack, (and they have pictures of cancerous lungs prominately displayed on them) So I ask folks how they can afford to smoke, at about 8 bucks a pack, and they shrug and say, well, the it pays for the health care so its worth it.

    In addition, many of the low prices on goods that we enjoy here in the states are because the prices are kept low by government subsidies. Milk products, for example. Gas prices. Anything that is made with plastic. Prices are higher in Canada because the Gov. doesnt GIVE taxpayer money away to companies so that they can keep their prices artificially low.

    So, in the states, we pay for things twice; Once at the grocery store, and again when we pay our taxes.

    Now, dont get me wrong. Canadians dont want you coming over the boarder to enjoy their glorious system. But if you found yourself over there without health care, you would find yourself WELL taken care of. To think any other way is to be a mouthpiece for the Kaisers of this country.

    Travelah-Your right. It’s not free. But the difference is, they know it’s subsidized, and it’s actually in the citizens favor! Not the big Companies who screw you out of your tax dollars.

  100. david

    “Socialism sucks because Coca-Cola and Winstons aren’t as cheap? I’ll take the free health care, thanks.

    It isn’t free.”

    And the coca cola is cheap because your govt subsidizes the prices with your tax dollars.

  101. And to further address the nonsensical post of William’s “I have friends in Canada.”…

    Your “Friend’s” would not have been able to bring in cases of coca-cola without paying a huge duty on them-150-300%, making it not such a practical endeaver. Methinks you are making the entire anecdote up.

  102. William P Miller

    LOL, I didn’t expect any good retorts, so Steve, Ken, and Tat don’t surprise me. You all do not add anything of substance to your argument that socialism is good. Steve’s assertion that public education falls under the umbrella of socialism is especially ignorant, and laughable. You all don’t know how good you have it here. If you want a big change, MOVE. The rest of us like the freedom and opportunity America provides. God bless America.

  103. Jim Shura

    Ok, the thread is traveling (not saying travelah did it) and I love to digress.

    I can’t speak for david but maybe he is referring to the various tax breaks that large corporations can take advantage of.

    Our government subsidizes big business at the expense of individual opportunity in many ways.

    If they had to pay the same taxes at the same rate that my own LLC pays-soft drinks would cost more.

    If they had to buy high-fructose corn syrup that was unaffected by various ill-conceived subsidies…

    If they had to truck it around the country using gasoline that actually cost enough to offset the harm that internal combustion causes…

    It’s not a left-right thing any more than nuking Japan was. That was a tough call for Harry and he was worried about the Soviets dicing up Asia the way they were Europe.

    Did anyone actually go see Miyoko? Rough approximation of a transcript?

  104. Reality Check

    Both parties are equally guilty of subsidizing their constituents. The DC power/money grab is out of control. Term Limits!

  105. travelah

    Mr Yuck, LLCs make a tax election when they are formed. Your LLC had the option of being taxed as a C-corp and if you chose otherwise, that was your doing. Secondly, dividend distributions are taxed again at the stockholder level in effect creating a double tax on the same corporate income. The net effect on net income is that there is almost no difference between your tax burden as an LLC and that of a corporation that elects to file as a C-corp. There are tax advanges at the state level. You are right that this digresses from the opening thread however I never cease to amazed by the lack of business knowledge expressed by so many (not speaking specifically of you, Mr. Yuck).

    One last note … one of the largest Government subsidy of all is the mortgage interest deduction. I do not hear too many people screaming about that.

  106. travelah-

    my post never made it up. It said that Coca Cola uses Corn Syrup, a highly subsidized crop in the states. In fact, outside of the states, most coca cola is sweetened with sugar, because it is cheaper than corn syrup when the market is more level. But I’m sure you know that.

  107. This is even more off topic than when I was paying attention. Even though I’m not to mod on this topic, I’d like to suggest that we move this discussion over to the forums, where we can argue more specifically.

    That is, of course, unless someone wants to talk some more about the Hiroshima survivor.

  108. William P Miller

    Steve compares public education with socialism? Steve, you’ve got to be kidding. And Ken, I never got an answer from you on your willingness to walk your talk. You can start living socialist lifestyle right here and now by giving all your disposable income to the poor, and living very simply. Let’s see some sincerity here! People in Cuba do not have cars, computers, TVs, and the like. Now that’s a real socialist lifestyle. But hey, they got free health care!

  109. [b]Steve compares public education with socialism? Steve, you’ve got to be kidding.

    From your earlier post: “Socialism refers to any of various economic and political concepts of state or collective (i.e. public) ownership and administration …[/b]

    Your claim, not mine. Public education is socialist by almost any definition.

    [b]All:[/b] Again, I’m suggesting we all move this discussion over to the forums. We’re off-topic enough as is.

  110. Jim Shura

    So nobody actually heard what the Japanese lady had to say? We all smell bad.

  111. Ken Hanke

    People in Cuba do not have cars, computers, TVs, and the like. Now that’s a real socialist lifestyle.

    No, that is a communist lifestyle, and that is why I’m not playing your walk-the-talk game.

    So nobody actually heard what the Japanese lady had to say? We all smell bad.

    Your assessment may be right, but I do find it curious that no one who went to hear her — I’m sure people did — has weighed in on this.

  112. William P Miller

    Steve said: “Public education is socialist by almost any definition.”

    Please list the definition that includes public education, Steve. Socialism is a system of government where there is no private property. The means of “production” is owned by the State. In a socialist country, education is more propaganda than actual learning.

  113. hippiejoe

    I for one would have liked to see Miyoko and hear her story from the point of view SHE has. Alot of these coulda, woulda, shoulda typers here might should have gone, listened, and learned. And then maybe have some enlightenment of real life strife will open the closed door of humanity and vision of peacefulness. Last time I checked we’re all still human screwing things up here on the ONE world we have as home!

  114. [b]Please list the definition that includes public education, Steve.[/b]

    I already did. By [i]your[/i] definition of socialism, public education is socialist. It is owned by the public — the taxpayers — not by private industry. Perhaps you have a bit of cognitive dissonance on the subject?

  115. [b]You all don’t know how good you have it here. If you want a big change, MOVE.[/b]

    Or you could move. America hasn’t been the way you want it to be for nearly 80 years. We’re already essentially a socialist country, although we don’t call it that. Just look at where your taxes go. Depending on who you talk to, as much as half goes to public assistance projects like Social Security. That’s a decidedly socialist thing to do. We live in a mostly socialist country, but we avoid that term because it’s politically loaded.

    Maybe you’d be happier somewhere else? There are lots of countries with no public safety net. Some are quite affordable. I mean, LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT, right?

  116. antinuke

    You folks might be interested in the showing of “White Light, Black Rain,” in which more Hiroshima survivors and some of the airmen on the Enola Gay tell their tales. 7 pm Laurel Forum UNCA Aug 6

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