Hiroshima Day

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Mad Howler
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Re: Hiroshima Day

Postby Mad Howler » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:49 pm

Bludgeon wrote:This is the legacy of the Manhattan project.

'Tis.
What happens when we run through enough rounds of proxy war?
Will there be 'proxy' left on our 'side'?
I cannot remember whether Goliath was good or bad,
In my mind it was the asymmetry of the narrative that brings one in on the side of David.
So, Bludge, I think you are right.
America, Israel, Russia, and China are the serious nuc powers on the dance floor and have kept the ultimate WMD in the bottle.
Although, as we continue to work through conflicts by proxy over economics,
The economics of tossing nuc's looks more plausible.

green union terrace chair
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Re: Hiroshima Day

Postby green union terrace chair » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:36 pm

Bludgeon wrote:Image

I find myself wondering lately if most people would have the guts to be pacifists if they didn't have this ultimate fear of the bomb. I sort of hate to waste a good thought on a JH thread where he just spams everything until nobody wants to talk about it anymore, but what occurs to me is what is perhaps obvious to others, that the invention of this weapon has been a serious deterrent to large scale war between modern industrialized nations. Not that the idea had eluded me previously, more that I never took a step back and thought about the actual impact this deterrent has had on recent and modern history, as well as the 20th century.

You look at world history, it's hard to find a sustained reach of time where two or more of these major nations are not locked in military combat, especially during economic crisis such as the ones we and every other western nation are currently enduring. I hope there's never a war, but I keep asking myself, what's the difference between then and now? The answer may be self evident, but the implications are not. What are the practical implications of a military deterrent so strong that almost no cause for real war is worth it, to anyone?

This is the legacy of the Manhattan project.

Throughout human history, whenever the top world powers could reach each other, they went to war ... until the arrival of nuclear weapons.

The idea of Mutually-Assured Destruction has allowed us to live in a fearful peace for decades.

Detritus
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Re: Hiroshima Day

Postby Detritus » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:45 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:The idea of Mutually-Assured Destruction has allowed us to live in a fearful peace for decades.

I would argue that it has also allowed to to engage in an endless string of proxy wars, secure in the realization that, as long as the war only involves proxies, we won't have to face the consequences.

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Re: Hiroshima Day

Postby green union terrace chair » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:47 pm

Detritus wrote:
green union terrace chair wrote:The idea of Mutually-Assured Destruction has allowed us to live in a fearful peace for decades.

I would argue that it has also allowed to to engage in an endless string of proxy wars, secure in the realization that, as long as the war only involves proxies, we won't have to face the consequences.

I would agree with that.

If no nation had ever developed nuclear weapons, do you think the U.S. and U.S.S.R. / Russia would have had a full-out conventional war by now?

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Re: Hiroshima Day

Postby snoqueen » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:10 pm

Nah. We had the war in surrogate form -- it was just economic, not war-war. USSR/Russia lost when it ran out of money before the US did.

Bludgeon
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Re: Hiroshima Day

Postby Bludgeon » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:49 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:Throughout human history, whenever the top world powers could reach each other, they went to war ... until the arrival of nuclear weapons.

The idea of Mutually-Assured Destruction has allowed us to live in a fearful peace for decades.

Thinking about this recently, following the first deployment of this class of weapon, I am not surprised that these kind of awesome, superhuman spies Russia had at the time were able to ultimately make the difference in procuring the secret of the bomb for the Soviet Union... but I've always been amazed that they were able to do so under the leadership of a paranoid bungler like Stalin.

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Re: Hiroshima Day

Postby Detritus » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:56 pm

Bludgeon wrote:Thinking about this recently, following the first deployment of this class of weapon, I am not surprised that these kind of awesome, superhuman spies Russia had at the time were able to ultimately make the difference in procuring the secret of the bomb for the Soviet Union... but I've always been amazed that they were able to do so under the leadership of a paranoid bungler like Stalin.

Given what Stalin did to his generals just before Hitler tore up the non-aggression pact and rolled his tanks eastward, I'd say Stalin is possibly the most successful paranoid bungler in history.

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Re: Hiroshima Day

Postby johnfajardohenry » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:18 pm

Bludgeon wrote:I sort of hate to waste a good thought on a JH thread


And yet here you are anyway.

It's OK with me. I have no problem with diversity of opinion.

John Henry

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Re: Hiroshima Day

Postby johnfajardohenry » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:39 pm

Whatever one thinks of Hoover's presidency, he led a very interesting and successful life. He is probably responsible for saving 15-20mm civilian lives during and after WWI.

He and Theodore Roosevelt are also probably our two best presidential writers. I highly recommend his 1st 3 volumes of memoirs. You can download them from the Hoover Library.

So I've been working my way through Volume 4, released last year and got to the section about the end of WWII and Hiroshima.

Hoover was against the bomb on moral grounds. He was a Quaker and pacifist so no big surprise there. What did surprise me was that MacArthur and LeMay were against it. Not on moral grounds. They both thought that it was unnecessary because the war would have been over in another week or two anyway.

I had not heard this about LeMay before and went poking around. I found a lot about him but very little about his opposing the bomb. One article I did find said that he thought fire bombing was more effective than nuclear but that sounded pretty bizarre.

I pulled my copy of Manchester's American Ceasar down and looked at that section. It makes very little mention. It does say that MacA thought the end of the war was "very close", before Hiroshima but has nothing on his thoughts on the bombing itself.

LeMay went on to form and command SAC which was the primary delivery of nuclear weapons. He advocated their use during Vietnam. MacArthur advocated their use during Korea. So I don't think either had any moral squeamishness about the use of nukes.

Hoover also has quite a bit about the Yalta Conference. Basically FDR and "Uncle Joe" Stalin negotiated an "agreement" that if Russia entered the war against Japan, they would get 1) Kurile Islands, 2) All of Sakhelin Island 3) Mongolia would be independent of China, 4) Russia would get the use of Port Arthur and Darien, 5) Russia would get control of the Manchuria railway.

This explains why Russia was in such a hurry to get into the war on August 8 before the Japanese surrendered and they lost all their goodies.

This was really a treaty but was called an "agreement" to keep it secret from the American Senate and people.

I went back and looked in the Churchill bio. Manchester/reid say that FDR carried on 2 sets of meetings, 1 with everyone involved, then a second in which only FDR and Stalin took part.

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Re: Hiroshima Day

Postby johnfajardohenry » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:43 pm

johnfajardohenry wrote:What did surprise me was that MacArthur and LeMay were against it.


Just to be clear, both Enola Gay and Bochscar were part of LeMay's command, at least nominally.

John Henry

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Re: Hiroshima Day

Postby Igor » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:00 pm



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