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Defending our bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

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Today being the 72nd anniversary of our dropping an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, three days after the first one on Hiroshima, we get the renewed calls for America to “apologize” for its actions which finally succeeded in getting the Japanese Emperor, Hirohito, to surrender.

These criticisms, if taken at face value, are either ill-informed given the evidence that existed at the time, or willingly ignore the lack of a suitable alternative course of action. Those explanations assume, of course, that blatant anti-Americanism isn’t the cause.

The horrors of the atomic bomb, no matter its target, are manifest. But medieval warfare wasn’t pretty, either. Can you think of a “nice” way to die? Me neither.

For those readers feeling pressured to “understand” or “apologize” for what were necessary military actions, here are some reminders of the way things were in 1945. Stuff you and your kids probably aren’t getting taught in any school these days. As for my street cred on this, I did serious research on this as part of a college thesis which one professor recommended become a doctoral thesis (before law school interfered). I did enought research to make a compelling. competing viewpoint.

There were many factors which played into President Harry Truman’s decision to use this weapon of mass destruction. Here are some inconvenient facts:

First: Japan remained in the war despite the surrender of its European theater allies of convenience, Italy and Nazi Germany, in April 1945, and further despite a cascading series of losses in the Pacific theater forcing the universal retreat of its remaining, non-captured troops back from the Japanese Empire’s largest size (at one point, it held part of Australia in addition to much of the Far East and the entire Western Pacific).

Second: Notwithstanding our incredible wartime alliance with “Uncle Joe” Stalin, America had concern that the Soviet Union would try to permanently occupy any and all territories which its military controlled. This explains the Allies’ race in Germany to reach Berlin. This also explained the United States electing to proactively end the war with Japan as soon as possible instead of, for instance, bleeding them through a protracted air war and bombing the cities into utter ruin. Not only would the latter strategy almost certainly have produced even greater civilian casualties, but there was no assurance that Japan couldn’t and wouldn’t simply bunker down in its mainland, perhaps indefinitely. Japan historically was a self-sufficient country, not requiring contact with the outside world for sustenance. Blockading Japan would not be like laying siege to a medieval town, or one of the fictional city-states in Game of Thrones. Heck, we might still be blockading Japan today.

Third: If you’re thinking why the United States simply didn’t invade Japan the same way the Allies attacked at Normandy in June 1944, consider the differences in the enemy. The invasion of the European continent required fighting fellow European soldiers, of whom many (at least) were not terribly unlike the Allies culturally (consider the at least nominally-shared Christian faith), and I would argue, many were fighting more out of fear of their own regimes than a hatred of the British or Americans. But the Japanese were a different kettle of fish entirely.

The Japanese had earned a reputation for particular fierce and brutal fighting. The mentality which bred the kamikaze pilot was also expected to infuse its infantry — if not its citizenry. This was the ferocity encountered by American troops as they engaged in their successful, yet arduous, campaign of “island hopping” in the Pacific as they closed in on the mainland. There was no reason not to expect the same type of last ditch intense defense of the Japanese homeland if and when an invasion was launched. Furthermore, military intelligence reported that the Japanese had implemented a complex civil defense system. The result was the expectation that American soldiers would encounter hand to hand, street by street combat throughout Japan, and likely sustain significant casualties along with civilian casualties.

Fourth: Sustained air bombings of the Japanese homeland throughout 1945 succeeded in leveling some major cities. But they did not induce surrender. Japan’s apparent ability to withstand these bombings supported the belief that an invasion would be needed to end the war. As explained above, an invasion was believed necessary but also was not preferred.

One must understand all of these factors in order to see how the decision to use the atomic bomb could be made for humanitarian purposes with a legitimate strategic objective of ending the war as quickly as possible, minimizing civilian and military casualties to both sides and maximizing the chance of preventing a Soviet invasion and later subjugation of the Japanese home islands.

Of course, had the Japanese not attacked Pearl Harbor while using its diplomats in Washington, DC as decoys, this could all have been prevented.

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Entertainment and Sports

Binge-worthy show: The Night Manager shows why Tom Hiddleston should be the next James Bond

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Binge-worthy show The Night Manager shows why Tom Hiddleston should be the next James Bond

He’s too posh. He’s too pretty. He isn’t intimidating. He’s too big as a Marvel character. There are many reasons people have dismissed the notion of Tom Hiddleston playing the role of James Bond in the famed series. All of these reasons can be dismissed by watching The Night Manager.

Available on Amazon, the AMC-BBC collaboration is six episodes long. There are reports that it could be brought back for another series, but if it never comes back, rest assured the single series is still worth a watch. The funny part is that Hiddleston might be the main draw, but he’s not even the best overall performance. That honor goes to Hugh Laurie, the well-mannered villain of the show.

As usual, no spoilers.

Much effort is put into making the beautiful people look as beautiful as possible in lovely settings even when things get crazy. It opens with Hiddleston cutting through a crowd of protesters just prior to the ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. He’s on his way to work to engage in his craft as a manager at a high-end hotel in Cairo. Even through the chaos, Hiddleston holds an air of separation from both the protesters and the military holding them back. And he does all this while wearing cargo pants and an untucked linen dress shirt.

This is where the presence of Hiddleston comes into play and demonstrates why he would be able to play James Bond. His sharp eyes announce he’s not to be reckoned with while simultaneously charming the observer. As one character later notes, “Everybody is attracted to you.”

The men want to be on his side and the women (and one man) want him to be by their side.

His impish grin may have been perfect for playing Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it takes a more menacing turn in The Night Manager. We realize there’s grit behind his boyish looks that betrays two tours in Iraq and a personal grudge he’s held with him for years. If Daniel Craig brought emotionless chills to the Bond character, Hiddleston would bring an emotional fortitude. He’s only truly happy when he’s doing the right thing, which may go against the stereotypes associated with a world-class assassin, but luckily we’re in a world where stereotypes are being broken.

There’s another reason Hiddleston would be the right person for the role. Unfortunately, it’s a political one. Some are pushing for a minority or a woman to take the role to the next level. There’s nothing wrong with this as long as it’s done with the most qualified person in mind and not just to make a political statement about inclusion. With Hiddleston, it’s an opportunity to use the same formula while mitigating the damage that is sure to come if they don’t select a minority or a woman. Everyone likes Hiddleston. He’ll make the passing on a controversial choice easier to swallow.

There’s even a scene when he orders a vodka martini at a bar in Cairo. It was the most obvious nod to the Bond franchise they could have made without asking for the drink to be shaken.

If you only watch The Night Manager to verify my Bond assertions, so be it. If you watch it for its great acting, engaging espionage, and brilliant storyline, well that’s even better. Either way, get your six-hour binging snacks ready.

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Jonah Goldberg throws water on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Green New Deal

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Jonah Goldberg throws water on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Green New Deal

In a thought-provoking piece on National Review, senior editor Jonah Goldberg took a sober look at the ever-growing fire that drives the climate change debate. In the process, he threw water on their fire, particular the one being fanned right now but incoming-Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Green New Deal.

While acknowledging the science seems to support substance to the climate change debate, Goldberg points out the overstated ways in which the debate is being framed. People like Ocasio-Cortez tend to blow the alarms harder and louder than necessary and the policies that arise from their klaxon calls are usually overkill.

Climate Change Frenzy Clouds Our Judgment

https://www.nationalreview.com/g-file/climate-change-frenzy-clouds-our-judgment/Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is pushing a “Green New Deal.” As I’ve written 7 trillion times (give or take), progressives have wanted a “new New Deal” even before the first New Deal was over. Painting an age-old progressive idol green has nothing to do with science and everything to do with marketing.

As I suggested in the bit about the science-fiction story, I don’t think there is very much to do right now. Oh, I am very much in favor of R&D for all sorts of things. Cold fusion would be the equivalent of discovering faster-than-light travel. Personally, I am very interested in geoengineering — the science of actually fixing the problem. I am convinced the world has a low-grade fever that could get dangerously high in the future. That fever isn’t all bad by the way: E.g., it extends growing seasons and accelerates tree growth.

Whether climate change skeptics are right or not, there’s definitely reason to question the ways in which environmentalists are pushing their agenda. There’s a difference between having the debate and trying to quash it before it starts.

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Guns and Crime

Alexander Acosta is the swamp

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Alexander Acosta is the swamp

Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein served 13 months in prison. His deal brought no justice to his victims who were not even informed until after the deal was made. He was protected from federal prosecution and given every amenity possible during his stay in a private wing of his prison. All of this was made possible by Alexander Acosta, the current Labor Secretary in the Trump administration.

Epstein may have escaped justice, but Acosta should not be allowed to escape repercussions for his part in the Epstein deal. If the President ever really had intentions of draining the swamp, he should start by firing Acosta immediately.

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