It is most unfortunate most news coverage is now tweaked to selectively report enough information to elicit emotional reactions. Conversely, rumor mongers in this age of e-information, social media, and videography run with even less of said news to incite an inflammatory counter response. All these emotions and theatrics are orchestrated to have a short life cycle in order to make way for the next wave of inaccuracies and half-truths, leaving little time to validate anything.
Pope Francis spoke to the US Congress in 2015, but a summation of his speech would seem to usher an endorsement for socialist candidate Sanders. However, a simple review of his speech, readily available to anyone with initiative and curiosity, would reveal not only the context of those statements but the full statements which are not as reported.
President Obama spoke in Hiroshima this past week, to a gathering of dignitaries and residents. There were also interviewed, by international press, relatives of those who lived through the bombing, but no mention it brought about the conclusion of the Pacific Theater of World War II. The entire transcript of his speech is readily available, but nevertheless it is excerpts and summations which are publicized by design to elicit an uproar by some Americans. While it is true the President did not mention the historical reasons leading up to the bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nor did he mention why these cities were chosen. He did emphasize the magnitude of lives lost during the entire world wide conflict.
“In the span of a few years, some 60 million people would die. Men, women, children, no different than us. Shot, beaten, marched, bombed, jailed, starved, gassed to death. There are many sites around the world that chronicle this war, memorials that tell stories of courage and heroism, graves and empty camps that echo of unspeakable depravity.”
So, while some would like the President to shout out to the Japanese – “you started it” and “so we had to finish it” he chose to respectfully recite cause and effect of war and the age old conflicts of human nature vs peace.
Meanwhile, it might be more important to require our own press to recite facts why Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed; either within the story or an accompanying article. A historical piece for today’s generation, and grand-children of WWII veterans.
Therefore, let’s review a few facts.
- Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, our territory, Dec. 7, 1942 at 7:55am, which
- killed 2,403 Americans
- wounded 1,178 Americans
- sunk or ran aground eighteen ships (of which five were battleships)
- initiated the entry of America into the Pacific Theater of WWII
- President Truman, a Democrat, had been elected Vice President in 1944 but took office as President in April of 1945 upon the death of Roosevelt, who had been in office since 1933.
- The House & Senate were a Democrat majority and had been such all during Roosevelt’s/Truman tenure.
- Congress (1933-1935) 61% Dem + Senate 72% Dem
- Congress (1935-1937) 72% Dem + Senate 74% Dem
- Congress (1937-1939) 78% Dem + Senate 77% Dem
- Congress (1939-1941) 72% Dem + Senate 60% Dem
- Congress (1941-1943) 69% Dem + Senate 61% Dem
- Congress (1943-1945) 59% Dem + Senate 51% Dem
- Congress (1945-1947) 59% Dem + Senate 56% Dem
- US military adviser’s, to the President, had wanted to invade major cities of Japan, with the goal to end the war. However, President Truman knew the loss of life would be greater than the one hundred thousand Americans and three hundred thousand Japanese from our invasions into the islands in Saipan, Leyte, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
- President Truman attended the Postdam Conference July 17 – Aug 2, 1945 also known as “Berlin Conference of the Three Heads of Government of the USSR, USA and UK” Numerous historical reports cite July 26th as when the leaders demanded “unconditional surrender” from Japan. Some opinions indicate Japan agreed others say there was no response until the day after Nagasaki was bombed, on August 9th, 1945, three days after Hiroshima.
- Now read a letter from 1952 by then retired President Truman http://www.atomicarchive.com/Docs/Hiroshima/Truman.shtml
“I asked General Marshall what it would cost in lives to land on the Tokyo plain and other places in Japan. It was his opinion that
such an invasion would cost at a minimum one quarter of a million casualties, and might cost as much as a million, on the American side alone, with an equal number of the enemy.
The other military and naval men present agreed. I asked Secretary Stimson which sites in Japan were devoted to war production. He promptly named Hiroshima and Nagasaki, among others. We sent an ultimatum to Japan. It was rejected.
I ordered atomic bombs dropped on the two cities named on the way back from Potsdam, when we were in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. In your letter, you raise the fact that the directive to General Spaatz to prepare for delivering the bomb is dated July twenty-fifth. It was, of course, necessary to set the military wheels in motion, as these orders did, but the final decision was in my hands, and was not made until we were returning from Potsdam. Dropping the bombs ended the war, saved lives, and gave the free nations a chance to face the facts.
Rather than focusing on reports which are half-truths of what President Obama has or has not said in Japan, we might review what he DID say in Japan.
“On every continent, the history of civilization is filled with war, whether driven by scarcity of grain or hunger for gold, compelled by nationalist fervor or religious zeal. Empires have risen and fallen. Peoples have been subjugated and liberated. And at each juncture, innocents have suffered, a countless toll, their names forgotten by time.
The world war that reached its brutal end in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was fought among the wealthiest and most powerful of nations. Their civilizations had given the world great cities and magnificent art. Their thinkers had advanced ideas of justice and harmony and truth. And yet the war grew out of the same base instinct for domination or conquest that had caused conflicts among the simplest tribes, an old pattern amplified by new capabilities and without new constraints.
President Truman, who authorized the Bomb, to end the War in the Pacific, was elected by the people of the United States. While he was not the President who had been in office twelve years prior; he had the same resources. A majority House and Senate from his own party. Thus, the blood and process of entering, financing, and ending WW2 was on a political party which today embraces peace only through socialism.