Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More Evidence About Japan's Refusal to Surrender

Those who cling to the untrue doctrine that violence never settles anything would be advised to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms. -- Robert A. Heinlein
As is so often the case, Heinlein provides indispensable perspective about the news that Prime Minister Tojo of Japan resisted surrendering even after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Also worth noting:

The stridency of the writings is remarkable considering they were penned just days after the U.S. atomic bombs incinerated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing some 200,000 people and posing the threat of the complete destruction of Japan. At the time, Japan had begun arming children, women and the elderly with bamboo spears, in addition to the aircraft and other forces it had marshaled, to defend the homeland against a ground invasion.
It was the violence, the naked force, of the United States that finally gave those favoring peace in the militarist Japanese cabinet the political power to overcome the war camp led by Tojo. Would that we could have settled these issues without the horrific application of such violence, but sadly that just isn't the real world.

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