On the use of violence for political ends

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I remember once, in the Christian Brothers primary school, being punished for having punched a younger boy. The Christian Brother made a little speech about how cowardly and detestable it was for someone to assault someone smaller and weaker than themselves. He then beat the tar out of me. I mention this, not because I’ve harboured a hatred of that Christian Brother ior CBs in general. I mention it because of British arms sales and because of a visit by President Barack Obama.

The UK, it seems, is selling record levels of arms to “human rights priority” countries – that is, countries where the most severe or most frequent violations of human rights occur. Notably to Saudi Arabia. Britain sold that country £1.7 billions-worth of fighter jets in May 2015, and £990millions-worth of air-to-air missiles. In September, Britain sold Saudi Arabia £62millions-worth of bombs. In March 2015, Saudi Arabia bombed civilian targets in Yemen.

Yet with all this, Britain never ceases to express her horror at  political violence, and urges all good people, including here,  to rally behind the cause of peace.

A few days back, President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima. He expressed his sadness at the loss of life in that city when the atomic bomb was dropped on it: “A flash of light and a wall of fire destroyed a city and demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself.” He forgot to add  two things. One, that the flash of light and wall of fire didn’t just materialise out of the sky: they were created and inflicted on Hiroshima by the United States, killing somewhere between 90,000 and 146,000 people. Three days later the US dropped another bomb, this time on Nagasaki, killing somewhere between 39,000 and 80,000.

As you probably know, President Obama’s visit was appreciated by the Japanese as the first visit to Hiroshima of a US president. What Obama’s remarks didn’t include was regret that the bomb had been dropped: he emphasised the dangers of nuclear warfare, but felt no need to apologise to the Japanese for inflicting such mass death on them. It was the ultimate example of terrorism, and it worked: within days the Japanese had surrendered.

I suppose you wonder what 100,000 dead people look like. It looks like the Omagh bomb being detonated every single day, including Sundays, for three years. Except worse, because the Japanese people were either vaporised or suffered appalling burns and radiation sickness, the effects of which some are still suffering.

And yet the US preaches to the world (we’re looking at you, North Korea, and you, Iran) about the immorality of building nuclear weapons. If challenged, Obama would probably, like most Americans, argue that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved the lives of thousands of US servicemen. Probably. Possibly. But the equation remains: in order to possibly/probably save the lives of thousands of US soldiers, the lives of tens of thousands of innocent Japanese civilians were sacrificed.

Where are the prominent commentators to denounce Obama’s pretend-regret and Cameron’s human-life-is-sacred stance? Both leaders have no moral authority to lecture Irish people or anyone else, since they’ve capped any Irish violence in recent years by 3,000%.Talk about the emperor having no clothes: neither leader has one-hundredth of a figleaf to cover their bloody deeds.

 

 

 

 

 

43 Responses to On the use of violence for political ends

  1. cushy glen May 31, 2016 at 10:57 am #

    Wasn’t it JFK who said “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”?

    We should know this in Ireland.

    Sadly if a regime comes to power violently, & there are many who have eg the British, French & Americans to name just three, there seems to be a law of nature that forces them to maintain their position through ongoing violence. History certainly shows this to be the case.

    • Sherdy May 31, 2016 at 4:38 pm #

      Think you’re talking about the first law of physics: For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction’!

  2. Ciarán May 31, 2016 at 11:10 am #

    Excellent Jude, rank hypocrisy on both supposed leaders/puppets. But that Jeremy Corbyn! How dare he espuose a fairer and just society or speak of peace, a bad man he should listen to me trump. Now there’s a man with peace on his mind.

  3. Scott May 31, 2016 at 11:29 am #

    Jude

    I agree with you about Britains and the USA but I’m a little confused about your position here.

    Are you saying that actions by the British and USA justify the violence carried out by the IRA?

    Did you support IRA violence and are trying to make the point that British and US condemnation of the IRA terror campaign is hypocritical?

    • Jude Collins May 31, 2016 at 11:48 am #

      I was trying to make the point, Scott, that those who perpetrate massive violence are in a weak position to condemn lesser violence in others. Sin é.

      • Scott May 31, 2016 at 11:57 am #

        But I’m asking do you still or did you support IRA violence?

        Also show me a nation with no blood on its hand. There’s no such thing as a lily white country

        • Jude Collins May 31, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

          Odd that you would raise this when the answer to your question has NOTHING to do with the point I was making. But to set your fevered mind at rest: Do I or did I (shades of Senator McCarthy) ‘support’ the IRA. I accept the right of an occupied country to try to rid itself of its occupier. However being, like my former classmate Eamonn McCann, by instinct if not conviction a pacifist, I have not and I do not lend my support (or even sell my support) to the IRA.

          Now, having satisfied I hope your inquisitive mind, I’d like you to tell me (i) Do you (or did you) support the threat of violence to create the state of Northern Ireland? (ii) Do you or did you support the acts of collusion here that led to the violent deaths of so many innocent people? (iii) Are you a pacifist, either by instinct or convictioin? (iv) Why are you so curious about whether I have or do support the IRA, since that had nothing to do with the blog in question?

          • Scott May 31, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

            Thank you for your answer Jude, here’s my answers

            (i) Reginise that the means used by ulster unionism in the early 1900’s were undemocratic and wrong and I do not support the threat of violence. Although I am sympathetic with there cause, I am above all a Democratic and I accept the democratic will of the people even if I don’t agree with it.

            (ii) I completely condemn any state sponsored collusion and if any is proved then the perpetrators should be jailed.

            (iii) I’m not sure if I’m a pacifist or not. On the whole there are very few reasons to justify the use of force, however I would not rule it out in all circumstances. My general opinion is violence only begets violence in a downward spiral.

            (iv) I was asking because the way I read your article you are calling Britain and the USA hypocritical for condemning the IRA’s use over violence. I was wondering was this you de facto saying that IRA violence was justified.

          • Jude Collins May 31, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

            ‘De facto’? Now there’s a leap

          • Scott May 31, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

            “‘De facto’? Now there’s a leap”

            Your may be right there Jude but that’s just how I read it between the lines.

            That’s why I asked for you to clarify it for me.

            If you ever need me to clarify any of my positions please don’t hesitate to ask.

          • Sherdy May 31, 2016 at 4:43 pm #

            But Jude, you haven’t answered yet, did you have relations with that woman?
            Without a fully sworn affidavit I’m sure I’ll not sleep a wink tonight.

          • jessica May 31, 2016 at 8:16 pm #

            “I completely condemn any state sponsored collusion and if any is proved then the perpetrators should be jailed.”

            It has been proven, over and over again Scott.
            So long as the state can and does destroy evidence or keep it out of the courts through the abuse of the power called national security, we will be told it never happened and those who suffered as a result will fight a lonely battle to have their voices heard.

            “I’m not sure if I’m a pacifist or not. On the whole there are very few reasons to justify the use of force, however I would not rule it out in all circumstances. My general opinion is violence only begets violence in a downward spiral.”

            It is confusing and complicated.
            In my own opinion, there is no justification of violence, full stop.

            There is no such thing as a just war as it really comes down to point of view.

            For example, some might say WW2 was a just war because of the persecution of Jews or the evil of Nazis etc… Does that mean it was just for the Nazis to go to war in the first place though?

            Don’t make the mistake of trying to justify violence.

            There is a point where provocation results in a choice, violence or cowardice.
            Each individual must make their own choice and live with it, not try to justify it later as you cant, not unless you are unhinged and you will make yourself unhinged by trying to.

            And you are absolutely right about it being a spiral. once it starts, it takes on a life of its own, and each act of violence leads to a new war for someone else.

            So you are not only taking responsibility for the violent actions you take, but quite possibly also for violence that follows.

            I understand totally how a loyalist for example who sees the damage from an IRA bomb and decides to fight back, just as I saw first hand the actions of the British army and security forces and I understand totally why the IRA fought and why I did fully supported them in that fight.

            Things are rarely black and white and there are many sides, twists and turns in Irelands troubled past.

            But as they say, you don’t make peace with your friends, you make peace with your enemies. And the best way to make peace with your enemies, is to make them your friends.

          • Scott June 1, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

            “In my own opinion, there is no justification of violence, full stop.”

            But Jessica in the very same post you said you supported the IRAs violent campaign. Also I heard you on this blog justifying the Easter rising and its use of violence.

            Is this not a contradiction

          • jessica June 1, 2016 at 3:17 pm #

            “In my own opinion, there is no justification of violence, full stop.”
            But Jessica in the very same post you said you supported the IRAs violent campaign. Also I heard you on this blog justifying the Easter rising and its use of violence.
            Is this not a contradiction”

            Another good question Scott.

            All I san say is what I mean is, there are situations were while you know something is wrong, and while I agree that two wrongs don’t make a right, there can come a point for some people where you have to make a choice whether not taking action feels like cowardice and you have to decide which you can live with more. And not everyone can live with the decision they make.

            I am not trying to justify anyone’s death or harm and I don’t believe there is any situation anyone should try to, but I am saying I understand how when conflict is brought to your door, human nature is what it is and some of us will choose to fight back and conflict involves killing and unleashing mayhem. It also changes you and makes you behave in ways you would not ever have before or would have had it not came about.

            Some blame only the hand that pulls the trigger. I blame the political leaders who allowed conflict to develop in the first place and the states who failed to do more to prevent them when it could have been nipped in the bud.

          • giordanobruno June 1, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

            Scott
            Good luck with that.
            If you can figure out jessica’s stance on violence you will be succeeding where many others have failed.

          • jessica June 1, 2016 at 7:58 pm #

            “If you can figure out jessica’s stance on violence you will be succeeding where many others have failed.”

            It would not be that difficult gio, if you were capable of seeing things from another point of view and not so wrapped up in your own.

            War is the killing and slaughter of a designated enemy, yet you believe this can be justified whereas I do not.

            We both know there are times where participation in conflict is necessary, you don’t like this but know it to be true. To ease your conscience in your support for one side over another in certain conflicts, just war theory fits the bill. It allows you to maintain your moral superiority while justifying your support for murder and mayhem based on the long term benefits and outcomes even though they could not have been known in advance.

            There are those who support war, who believe it is necessary, survival of the fittest.

            There are those who are pacifist, and would rather stand and watch their friends and family die than fight back.

            Then there are people like myself who know very well that violence is wrong, but who if faced with a choice of suffering or fighting back would be prepared to make such a choice and to do their duty after making it.

          • Scott June 1, 2016 at 7:34 pm #

            I get were your coming from Jessica. Many pacifists would believe that they would never use violence, until they were put in a extreme situation. We are all a product of are environments I guess

            I just struggle to imagine any situation were I would take another humans life. I never knew the troubles and was blessed with a peaceful, happy upbringing. I guess I’m just a product of my environment also.

          • jessica June 2, 2016 at 12:01 am #

            “I get were your coming from Jessica. Many pacifists would believe that they would never use violence, until they were put in a extreme situation. We are all a product of are environments I guess
            I just struggle to imagine any situation were I would take another humans life. I never knew the troubles and was blessed with a peaceful, happy upbringing. I guess I’m just a product of my environment also.”

            That why peace is so important Scott.
            It is great to see young people today who truly don’t give a damn and just want to get on with another.
            It is us oldies who have all the hang-ups.

  4. Iolar May 31, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    Perhaps it is time for “high vibes.” According to Lewis Elbinger, a 68-year-old Bernie Sanders supporter:

    “if this life is a dream, as the Buddhists say, then let’s make it like a Walt Disney musical — why make it like a nightmare?

    “That’s why we’re here,” says Elbinger, who has a remarkable ability to fold information he deems negative into his unified theory of ever-rising human consciousness.

    Speaking about the rise of Donald Trump Elbinger is of the opinion:

    “He’s needed — we are detoxifying, purging our system of the racism that occurred in the past.”

    Speaking about Hillary Clinton, Elbinger is of the opinion:

    “She’s representing the dying forces of the 20th century.”

    I find myself in agreement with Lewis except on one point, life should be like a musical but not a Disney musical.

  5. Wes May 31, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

    The Atomic bombs dropped on Japan were not for the saving of American lives at all. Before the bombs were dropped, the Japanese were ready to surrender within days. At the Yalta conference of “The Big Three”, Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill, Stalin was asked to join in the war against Japan when the European theatre was settled and Germany had finally surrendered. Stalin agreed to take part in the war against Japan but would not put a date on when he would start. This was the only ground that Stalin gave way to at Yalta. He refused to compromise on anything else. Because Russia held all of the cards,The USA and Britain could do absolutely nothing but to go along with everything Stalin suggested and wanted. This frightened the hell out of the West. The US were working on the Atomic bomb at this stage and no-one was sure if it would ever come to fruition. When they eventually had successful detonations, the only excuse they had to test it out was on Japan. This was not to force the quick surrender of Tokyo but to put the fear of God into Stalin. Until the bomb was dropped, USA were in the back seat as a super power and Russia was doing the driving. The Atomic Bomb put Stalin firmly in the back seat. It didn’t matter to the Americans that tens of thousands of foreign lives had to be sacrificed for this. They did the dirty deeds for their own rotten ends and to hell with the consequences.

    • gendjinn June 1, 2016 at 2:22 am #

      One wonders if what Stalin thought of taking on 3 bombs a month. Would Los Alamos continued making them if it meant bombing Europe?

      In the end Truman was more GWB than FDR.

  6. Belfastdan May 31, 2016 at 12:46 pm #

    It was purportedly FDR who came up with the phrase “He may be a bastard, but he’s our bastard.”, and that attitude has governed both America’s and Britain’s world view. Hence Russian arms sales bad ours good.

    America and Britain either directly or through their proxies have kill hundreds of thousands if not millions since the end of WW2.

    Many of the bombs, missiles and weapons systems that the Saudis have been using indiscriminately in Yemen come from the UK as evidenced when the remains of a cluster bomb with British markings was found after an attack that killed and injured civilians.

    These are the very people who were urging people here to abandon violence whilst at the same time inflicting suffering on a massive scale on a world wide basis.
    Hypocrisy is not an adequate word.

    • Ryan June 1, 2016 at 7:02 pm #

      Good points Belfastdan

      It exposes the empty words and hypocrisy of Western Governments when they are concerned about human rights abuses in China or North Korea, while their key ally in the middle east is Saudi Arabia, a country that only made slavery illegal in 1960 though some allege slavery is still being practiced in that country and across Sub Sahara Africa. Women were only permitted to drive, yes drive, in Saudi Arabia in the last few years and to the best of my knowledge a woman’s testimony in a court of law in Arabia is still only worth half that of a man.

  7. giordanobruno May 31, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

    Jude
    You have said yourself that conflict and violent acts should be judged on a case by case basis.
    In other words believing one act was justified and another not, does not make one a hypocrite.
    You cannot know that Obama’s regret is fake, how could you?
    For the record I do not believe the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings were justified
    Others disagree.

    • Jude Collins May 31, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

      You can usually tell a person’s philosophy by their actions rather than their words…The word ‘drone’ comes to mind…

      • giordanobruno May 31, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

        Jude
        I think you are in inferring quite a bit there.
        Do you agree that it is possible to view one act of violence as justified and another as unjustified? Murder not justified, killing in self-defence justified, for example.
        That is not necessarily hypocrisy is it?

        • Jude Collins May 31, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

          Not at all. But I’d be hard put to think of US use of drone bombs as self-defence…

          • giordanobruno May 31, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

            Jude
            Indeed. But the point is that a person may view different situations in different ways and therefore the charge of hypocrisy would not apply.
            You are saying Obama is a hypocrite and his regret is pretend, but you do not know how he has made his reasoning.

          • Jude Collins May 31, 2016 at 6:24 pm #

            Gio – I’ve given up trying to discuss issues with you. Sorry.

          • giordanobruno May 31, 2016 at 6:57 pm #

            Jude
            Fair enough.
            Life is too short too waste it talking to someone you don’t want to talk to.
            May I continue to comment or should I go and sit at the back of the bus?
            No need to respond,it was a rhetorical question.

          • gendjinn June 1, 2016 at 2:25 am #

            Jude,

            have you read any of Jeremy Scahill or seen him on the TV? Different tech and accents but not else different from our own Dirty War.

          • Jude Collins June 1, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

            Nope – but I’ll keep an eye out, gj – grma..

        • jessica June 1, 2016 at 12:59 am #

          You talk a lot gio about how wrong it is to kill, but then spend almost as much time trying to reassure yourself that in certain cases killing is justified.
          Some would indeed consider that hypocrisy.
          Personally, I think you have a bit of an unhealthy fetish about it.

          • giordanobruno June 1, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

            jessica
            I replied to the post by Jude. He selects the topic!

  8. Perkin Warbeck May 31, 2016 at 1:28 pm #

    ‘The Maltese Falcon’, the film noir based on the hard-boiled novel of Dashiel Hammet and directed by John Huston in 1941, supplied the names of the two big bombs dropped within three days of each other in August 1945 on Japan.

    ‘Little Boy’, the bomb with the uranium filling which flattened Hiroshima, was named after the character played by the unforgettable Elisha Cook, Jr while ‘Fat Man’, the bomb with the plutonium stuffing which levelled Nagasaki was called after the character played by the equally memorable Sydney Greenstreet.

    Something not entirely unapt about that: Malta had more bombs dropped upon it than London itself during WW2. Such is the price of loyalty to the crown/ half-crown.

    Hiroshima translates as ‘Broad Island’ while Nagasaki means ‘Long Promontory’ in Japanese.

    The spooky manner too in which the fictional story of Madame Butterfly, Esteemed Blogmeister, somehow foreshadowed the all too real story of Fat Man’s arrival in Nagasaki has always struck one as being more than a little passremarkable.

    Indeed, President O’Bama of Moneygall’s foreshortened reference in Hiroshima to ‘ a bright cloudless morning – a flash of light and a wall of fire ’ eerily, though unintentionally, by all appearances, echoed Madame Butterfly’s soprano aria ‘Un bel die’ in Puccini’s opera of 1904 – ‘one beautiful day we will see a puff of smoke on the far horizon’.

    The geisha girl, of course, was waiting, in vain, as it happened, for the bounder called Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton to return. And when he fails to honour his word, the geisha girl goes and commits hara kiri with her father’s sharp, short-bladed knife called the tanto.

    There is, as the ancient saw has it, nowt so strange as folk.

    By a quirky coincidence of sorts we the inclusive Irish down here in the Free Southern Stateen were going one – or was it two steps? – further than President O’Bama of Monegall (Motto; it’s all about the Money) whereas he bit his tongue when it came to expressing the a-word for the a-bomb we opted to pre-empt the aggressors by apologizing on their behalf in the wonderfully appropriate surrounds of, erm, Grangegorman.

    The Japanese have a phrase for Horishima and Nagazaki: skikata ga nai.

    Which translates as: ‘what cannot be cured, must be endured’.

    Is there an equivalent phrase in the Leprechaun?

    If one is to go by the paper of record, The Unionist Times, seemingly not. For – how many coincidences can one mere blog bear? – just as the Son of a Moneygall Gun was yesterday biting his lip in Hiroshima, loyal subscribers of TUT, even as they munched their cornflakes like corncrakes, were lipreading the following caterpillar of wisdom from, one, Rosita Boland.

    -Can anybody truthfully say that Irish is a necessary language ?

    The Unionist Times’s own Madame Butterfly of brainwavery goes on to joyfully commit a hilarious form of cultural hara kiri by plunging her daddy’s sharp tanto into her own abdomen : three strikes and she was out.

    -The fact is: I can’t speak Irish !

    Plunge.

    -I can’t read Irish !

    Plunge.

    -And I definitely can’t write Irish !

    Plunge.

    This is in keeping with The Unionist Times’s konsenusal koncept of West Britannia as a kind of karaoke keltic kountry where the compliant natives are bilingual:

    -We can all speak English (the besht in the Weshtern world, bejapers) while at the same time, and simulataneously, we can all hum Leprechaun.

    Mikado say to the Humming Chorus of T.U.T.-toting Toadies :

    Mas e Fas aon Oiche an Leiipreachan ar ‘Mushroom’ / If One Night Growth is the Leprechaun for Mushroom

    Cen fath nach e Bas aon Oiche an Leipreachan ar ‘Mushroom Cloud’ ?/ Why not One Night Death as the Leprechaun for Mushroom Cloud ?

    • Perkin Warbeck May 31, 2016 at 5:59 pm #

      PS

      Fascinating to see certain verbal patterns emerging in the historical process, Esteemed Blogmeister.

      In December 1921, for instance, during the Anglo-Irish Treaty Negotiations, D. Lloyd George was heard to growl. To the effect that, if the event of the Irish delegation not caving in immediately, there would be unleashed ‘a terrible and immediate war’.

      Less than quarter of a century later, the Paxologists of Britannia were at it again, this time at Potsdam, when they backed up the good man and true who was the then President of the USA. ‘Hurry up’ growled Harry to the Japanese, ‘and wave the white flag or else !

      Or else?

      -Prompt and utter destruction will follow.

      Prompt and utter destruction? Could even be a DNA link with ‘a terrible and immediate war’. Indeed, ‘prompt and utter destruction’ could well have applied a quarter of a century further on when, in the G-gang nudged a reluctant Doll’s House to pass some kind of draconian legistlation sorta thingy.

      Wasn’t actually expressed in those terms, of course, but the fact that this minor event is hardly if ever discussed – actually never – is a guarantee it was at play. Call it the Operation P.A.U.D. factor. Usually comes into play when there’s an, erm, offensive act of state to be perormed.

      One can even hear it being rather unsubtly being hinted at during the Brexit / Shannon Transit issues.

      No better fumblers in the greasy till that us down here in the Free Southern Stateen. Call us the Prompt and Utter Paudeens.

  9. Wolfe tone May 31, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

    Worryingly those weapons of mass terror dropped on the people Japan was the start of the Cold War that up to the present day has gathered a head of steam. In fact Obama has been the main agitator in igniting the Cold War mk2. He has encircled Russia’s borders with troops and weaponry of all sorts. Gorbachev has even roused himself to claim foul play by the US. The sinister reason he has visited Japan is not for peace and harmony but rather to urge Japan to confront China in the disputed territorial waters of that region. Btw when I was at school it was said that one of the conditions of Japan’s surrender in ww2 was that they were not to be allowed to build up a military force that could enable them to perpetrate a new war? If so, why or more to the point who has given them the permission to do just that?
    Meanwhile a similar story is happening with Ukraine. A crisis engineered by the EU(brexit anyone?) and egged on by the US. The sight of CIA useful idiots mc Cain and nuland urging on violent protesters to over throw a sovereign government is bound to cause worry in the Kremlin.
    Just like the last major world wars it seems we could be sleepwalking into another. In fact ominously Obama recently warned of a potential terror group detonating a nuclear device. Does he know something we don’t? I would suggest if it did happen that CIA fingerprints would be all over it, after all it wouldn’t be the first time a government used a proxy terror group to do its bidding.

  10. paddykool May 31, 2016 at 6:35 pm #

    There is a vast difference in living in a world that has experienced the atomic bomb and one that had no notion of that bomb’s appalling power before it was ever exploded. Some get a kick out of the destructive energy and loud bangs of weaponry. In the Gulf War , the military all -but- orgasmed at the notion of “Shock And Awe”. They had finally got the thing down to a fine killing art and it excited them as a video game would excite a teenager. You would hear that frenetic enthusiasm on news reports. Somewhere along the way we’ve forgotten that these weapons are designed to kill our fellow human beings in great quantities.
    Before the atomic bomb there was another world.After those first explosions , anyone with a little sense finally knew that the potential danger of nuclear weapons threatened life on earth. We couldn’t uninvent them of course but there is a very good argument for now never allowing anyone to develop them again.You might say that it’s fine to kill each other with conventional , if very sophisticated and clever weapons but let’s not finally cut off the only branch we haveto sit on by destroying our entire world.Men will always want to kill each other for reasons of fear and greed. Expansionism unbound created the situation we all live in here in Ireland and it created the Second World War ….and given the mindsets back in the mid 1940’s , it can be argued that the war with Japan might have gone on for years with the loss of even more Allied lives if the Atomic bombs had not been dropped.It was deemed better to curtail all that by killing lots of “enemy” lives, (rather than our “own”)… many albeit , innocent lives. That was seen cynically as collateral damage and those awful eruptions of atomic power put a stop to the war , finally. We know too that the Americans wanted to test the things on real live human beings and we all know the resultant deaths and vaporised cities.At the time it was seen as a victory but many people began to have second thoughts when they realised just how destructive we could really be.We really need to be reminded now and again and taught that lesson when young and at school.
    That was then. We now live in a post- atomic bomb scenario and the world knows that it could all end badly if a suicide bomber could lay waste to a city with one of these weapons or adespot could destroy everyone .Look at the destruction that can be done if some brain-washed pilot has the notion to crash an airliner into a tower block in one of the world’s cities. That is why we should strive for pacifist solutions before we resort to violence. We too easily revel in violence because it is a very basic part of our human nature to do so and it is usually kept in control in most of our societies, but sometimes some kind of force is needed. How else would Hitler have been dealt with? is one question that needs asking . How will Putin be dealt with ? He seems to want to re-run the ColdWar. Then there’s the like of Donald Trump who seems to represent many people who think that violent solutions can solve every problem.Where will that lead ? .

    • Wolfe tone May 31, 2016 at 7:41 pm #

      Paddykool, the narrative that dropping the atomic bomb on Japan speeded up the end of the war and thus saved lives doesn’t wash. The soviet army was on a roll. Not only had it broke the back of the nazis and seized the spoils(Berlin) it was now pushing the Japanese back out of China. The Japanese were all but defeated. The US couldn’t dare let the russkies seize Tokyo as well. The yanks marked their territory by dropping those bombs
      Up to the present day, it is indeed laughable to suggest Putin wants to re-run the Cold War. Gorbachev said there was a gentlemans agreement that with the iron curtain being removed both sides would not encroach any further on one and other. Alas since 9/11 the US/NATO has done just that under the cover of ‘protecting NATO members from Iran’s missiles lol.
      The Russians have long memories and fears. The prevailing fear stems from ww2 when they believed the allies stayed back and let the nazis and communists at it. In fact some US commanders stated after the war that communists were the real enemy. It was only when the Russians eventually, and through enormous sacrifice of its people, began to push the nazis back that the allies mounted their D day invasions. A race for the spoils of war had begun.
      Now factor into that and also the fact that the allies continue to ignore Russia’s contribution to defeating the nazis up to the present day? Is it any wonder they feel marginalised and threatened? Like most countries that refuse to roll over and do the west bidding eg Syria,North Korea,Iran,Cuba,Libya etc it is very likely the west will put manners into them. Is it any wonder Russia still fears that the allies, judging how the west has manipulated and lied to initiate conflicts in these other regions? Btw according to reports Putin has never been so popular amongst his people. He must be doing something right? Or perhaps they are brainwashed by Kremlin propaganda? Come to think of it, is it possible we are brainwashed by BBC/London propaganda? Judging by how the UK media sings from the same hymn sheet most of the time you would be forgiven for thinking so. North Korea could learn a thing or two from Murdoch and co that’s for sure.

  11. Ryan May 31, 2016 at 7:56 pm #

    The bombing of Dresden during WWII was another example of mass state terrorism. Indeed Gusty Spence even justified the UVF’s murders of Catholic civilians by quoting what Churchill did in Dresden. Many Brits would argue that Adolf Hitler did the same thing in Britain. But the vast majority of German targets were militarily targets, Belfast was targeted because it was an important centre of British industry, Coventry too. Dresden was targeted simply to massacre German civilians and to create a spectacle for the advancing Soviet Army, to basically show off Allied air power. Some historians argue the Atomic bomb was dropped on Japan for the same reason also, to show off this super weapon and to frighten the Soviets.

    The Atomic bomb was dropped over Japan for a number of reasons. The first one as already mentioned was to save the lives of an estimated 100,000 American soldiers, that was the estimation of the human cost of invading Japan. The second reason as I mentioned was to show off in front of the Soviets, by this point both the USA and USSR knew the Cold War was coming. The third reason was scientific, the USA wanted to test this new weapon and here was the perfect opportunity. The fourth reason was racism. The Japanese were despised by the American public at this time, for obvious reasons.

  12. Scott June 1, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

    It’s easy for us all to sit and condemn something, but put yourself in the shoes of the US president in 1945

    You were elected with a duty to protect and care for the US people.

    Japan’s beaten but refusing to surrender, the subsequent invasion of Japan could cost tens if not thousands of American lives.

    Russia is also potentially going to continue advancing into Western Europe, a new war in Europe that would cost millions of lives and might be unwinable.

    You have a weapon that will end the war without further loss of American lives and stop any potential invasion of Western Europe by Stalin.

    I’m sure it haunted the US president, but it’s totally understandable why he did it.

    • jessica June 2, 2016 at 12:09 am #

      “I’m sure it haunted the US president, but it’s totally understandable why he did it.”

      It is funny, but in my youth when blinded by hate, I would have happily dropped a nuke on England without any hesitation.

      Now i’m older and hopefully a little wiser, I would rather Ireland and all of its people were wiped off the face of the earth than we caused such devastation to any nation.

      Times they are a changin

    • Wolfe tone June 5, 2016 at 2:57 pm #

      ‘You have a weapon that will end the war without further loss of American lives and stop any potential invasion of Western Europe by Stalin’

      Yip that’s the standard tale taught at western run schools. However could someone please teach me at what point did the allies decide Russia was a threat? As far as I know Russia was an ally during ww2 but suddenly without much ceremony relationships broke down? It doesn’t make sense. If the allies were united in taking on the great threat of fascism how on earth did they manage to end up hating each other?
      Btw, in their effort to save US troops lives by terrorising Japan and much of the world, they soon forgot about those troops lives when they initiated more wars soon after in Korea etc.

      From the Russian perspective they believe that the allies weren’t entirely genuine in crushing the nazis(a bit like ISIS). They believed that the US/Britain allowed the nazis,even egged them on, to invade Russia. There was no real urgency for the allies in approaching mainland Europe until it became apparent that the red army had finally turned the corner in beating back nazis advances. For two years ten of thousands of US and British troops were camped in southern England awaiting word to advance on Europe. Stalin had pleaded with Churchill etc to help Russia by attacking the nazis on a 2nd front as Russia was under serious pressure of being crushed. The response he continually received was ‘we arnt ready yet’. The underlying belief was that the allies didn’t mind if the nazis destroyed the Russian people as communism was viewed as a bigger evil than fascism.
      The allied countries had many supporters of hitler and his policies. No amount of weak excuses can hide that fact. When one looks at hitler allowing 300 000+ British troops to escape from Dunkirk when at the mercy of the German army you can’t but conclude that hitler had a soft spot for Britain? Or else he wasn’t the ruthless monster we are taught? Which is it? Or maybe the Russians were right; the end game was to destroy communist Russia all along?

      If it’s too much of a conspiracy then one only has to look at the goings on in Syria and watch the Cold War being played out. Russia stepped in to prevent another country being destroyed and over run by fanatics and mercenaries. Once they stepped in the ‘allies’ reacted to Russian aggression and stepped in too. The underlying belief in these ISIS torn countries is that the west actually wants those countries to be toppled be it by ISIS or whatever. Russia threw a spanner in the works and now there is western outcry. Btw let’s not forget ISIS al Qaeda etc developed due to western aggression in overthrowing governments in countries were they intervened initially.

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