Atomic Bomb

Barack Obama Visit To Hiroshima Reminds Us Of Dangers Of Nuclear War, And Of Unstable Donald Trump Having Nuclear Codes!

Barack Obama’s visit today to Hiroshima, the site of the first atomic bomb attack on August 6, 1945, was a sobering moment.

Obama did not apologize for the attack initiated by the orders of President Harry Truman, but he spoke of the horrors of over 140,000 people dying from that event, and the aftermath of thousands dying from exposure to nuclear radiation there, and at Nagasaki three days later.

He spoke of the concern over the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the threat to the peace and tranquility of the world in the long term future.

While he did not say anything about Donald Trump at Hiroshima, it was clear there is, and should be, great concern over the thought of an unstable, egomaniacal, narcissistic Donald Trump ever having control of the nuclear codes, which would occur if he was elected President in November.

The world faces not only the threat of Kim Jong Un of North Korea and the Iranian government possibly breaking the agreement it has with the United States and five European powers about avoiding the development of nuclear weapons potential, but also that we could face a person in power who would be a threat to the entire world, or own potential future President!

Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Anniversary Coincides With Iran Agreement Debate And Hiroshima Anniversary

It is ironic that the debate over the Iran nuclear Agreement coincides with the anniversary not only of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings in 1945, but also the 52nd anniversary of the Nuclear Best Ban Treaty, signed by the US, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France in 1963.

President Obama gave a nearly hour speech yesterday appealing for Congressional support of the Iran Agreement, which is bitterly dividing the nation.

The American Jewish community is also clearly divided, and is presenting a problem for the Jewish Democrats in Congress, who also are taking different sides.

The purpose is to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and the issue of the best strategy to pursue, with Obama claiming the only answer is the international agreement, or else the alternative is war in the Middle East.

Never has the breach between the Israeli government and the US been so stark.

This is certainly the biggest foreign policy debate since the Iraq War vote in 2003, and the concern is to do what is best for the future, with no one certain of what that is.

70th Anniversary Of Hiroshima Atomic Bombing

Today, August 6, is the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, followed on August 9 by the bombing of Nagasaki, with the total loss of life estimated to be up to 250,000 human beings.

There had been firebombing of Dresden, Germany and Tokyo, Japan earlier, causing even more loss of life, but something about the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima and Nagasaki stood out as the ultimate destructive symbol.

The Atomic Age had begun, and ever since, the world has had to be concerned about the dangers of a nuclear war. First was the danger of conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War, most specifically in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, but generally a problem all along. Then the danger of nuclear proliferation with China, India, and Pakistan getting the bomb; and more recently the threat of North Korea and, presently, Iran, have led to alarm about the future.

Many praise President Harry Truman for utilizing the Atomic Bomb, as it saved many American and British, and possibly, homeland Japanese lives.

But others have seen what Truman did as immoral, unethical, and unconscionable.

This caused a controversy when the Smithsonian Institution canceled an exhibit in 1995 on the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombing, due to protests of veterans.

Now, there are very few veterans of the events of World War II in Asia still alive, and very few survivors of the atomic bombing left to testify on the effect on their lives, although there have been many oral histories and studies done of the subject.

This is a moment to pause and remember the victims; the sacrifices of our soldiers; and to pray that, hopefully, never again will any nation utilize nuclear weapons against any rival, as the monstrosity of nuclear war today is so much greater than the comparatively “small” bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Can The US Win Success In War On Terror By Utilizing Tactics Of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Communist North Korea, And ISIL?

It is clear that America lives in a different era since the September 11, 2001 attacks, and that our national security structure must do everything within legitimate limits to protect our nation!

There is no real argument with that fact, but the question arises whether this nation can win success in the War on Terror by utilizing tactics of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Communist North Korea, ISIL, and other despotic regimes throughout history.

If our government lacks any ethics, morals, and sense of decency in its actions against our enemies, it means our soldiers and civilians will be treated in the same despotic manner, whenever any of them are unfortunate enough to fall into the hands of the enemy.

But even if the enemy employs these despicable tactics is NO justification for us to do the same, as we are a democracy that believes in human dignity, human freedom, human rights, and the rule of law!

Torture is inhumane, and does not gain actionable intelligence by any measure we know of, but even if we think it does, it is against all common sense, as to become a “monster” in order to fight a “monster” is to lose our purpose as a nation which sets a standard of civilized behavior for the world.

Some will say that dropping the atomic bomb in World War II; firebombing Dresden and Tokyo in World War II; using drones in the War on Terror; and other similar tactics is the same situation, no better than CIA torture of detainees in prison.

But in actual fact, while the examples given are reprehensible, they are part of the laws of war, while brutal torture tactics are not so, as detainees are supposed to be treated with respect, which, of course, is why what happened with the Nazis in the Holocaust of World War II; the Cambodian Holocaust of the late 1970s by the Khmer Rouge; and other mass murders by ISIL and other groups is a totally different category of what must be called war crimes!

And sadly, what the CIA has done, and what George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have authorized and defended, IS a war crime, plain and simple!

The Wartime Presidency: From James Madison To Barack Obama

Now that it seems evident that America is to be engaged in a long drawn-out war against ISIL (ISIS), it means that we can expect the war to last possibly a generation, 20 years, and affect every Presidential election from 2016 through at least 2032.  It will also transform the Congress, and change the direction of American history, and it comes at a terrible time, as we have greater inequities economically now than even in the Gilded Age of the late 19th century.

But national security and defense always trump anything else, inevitably and necessarily!

So Barack Obama, who came into office determined to end the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars started by George W. Bush, is to be the promoter of a new war, against his desire.

So this is a good time to reflect on how many Presidents have chosen or been forced  to wage war!

James Madison reluctantly took America through the War of 1812, often depicted as “The Sorry Little War”, which led to the burning of the US Capitol and the White House by the invading British forces.

James K. Polk willingly took us through the Mexican War, leading to the acquisition of the American Southwest and California.

Abraham Lincoln took us into the Civil War, believing there was no alternative to “preserve the Union”.

William McKinley was convinced that the Spanish American War was a moral cause, and it led to the development of the “American Empire” in an age of expansionism and imperialism.  He also waged war to force the Philippines to accept American overlordship, after being “liberated” by the United States from Spanish control.

Theodore Roosevelt continued the fight against the Filipino revolutionaries, in what was well hidden for years and not taught in schools below the college level,, but was known to history as the Filipino Insurrection.

Woodrow Wilson took us into the First World War, after trying to avoid direct involvement for more than two years.

Franklin D. Roosevelt took us into the Second World War against Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan,  after isolationists bitterly opposed  such entrance, but forced by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor,  Hawaii.

Harry Truman continued our engagement in the Second World War, and used the atomic bomb against Japan, but also took us into the Korean War.

Dwight D. Eisenhower continued US involvement in the Korean War for the fist six month of his Presidency.

John F. Kennedy escalated our involvement in Vietnam, from 2,000 “advisers”under Eisenhower,  to over 16,500 Green Beret Special Forces by the time he was assassinated.

Lyndon B. Johnson massively escalated our involvement in Vietnam, reaching a grand total of 549.500 troops in 1968.

Richard Nixon continued the Vietnam War for four long years, causing a massive split in the nation, not seen since the Civil War.

George H. W. Bush took us into the Persian Gulf War, to force Iraq’s Saddam Hussein from keeping control of Kuwait, and being a threat to Saudi Arabia.

George W. Bush took us into war in Iraq and also in Afghanistan, and they became the longest wars in American history.

Barack Obama inherited both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, and ended our involvement in Iraq, and is soon to end involvement in Afghanistan.  But now the war against ISIL (ISIS) is forecast to last a generation!

So 15 Presidents were commanders in chief in wartime, and this does not include invasions or bombings,  or undeclared naval wars, or wars against Native Americans!

75th Anniversary Of Second World War Beginning: Nazi Germany Invades Poland!

75 years ago, the Second World War began, with Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland, becoming the most destructive war in human history!

It led to the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the Western world.

It led to the decline and fall of the British and French Empires.

It led to America becoming the most powerful nation in the world.

It led to the creation of nuclear weapons that would threaten the entire globe.

It led to the Holocaust, which killed nearly 13 million people, including almost 6 million Jews.

It is the most transforming event of the 20th century, but an outgrowth of the First World War.

Study of the Second World War abounds, and it is a constantly fascinating, as well as highly disturbing, subject, and always will be!

The Ugly Month Of August This Year And In History

August is known as the month of the usually greatest heat, and this month is no exception, with the tremendous drought affecting the western half of the nation, especially California.

August is also the month of disastrous hurricanes, as with Andrew in 1992 and Katrina in 2005, as examples.

August is also the month of many wars and provocations, as with:

The British burning of the US Capitol and the White House during the War of 1812.

The outbreak of the First World War in Europe in 1914.

The signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact which led to the beginning of the Second World War in 1939.

The dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, ending World War II in Asia in 1945.

The falsely reported Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964, which led to the escalation of the war in Vietnam under Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in 1990, leading to the Persian Gulf War and the introduction of American troops on a permanent basis in a number of Muslim countries over the next quarter century, provoking a greater level of Islamic terrorism against America and Western Europe.

This August, we have seen racial tensions and division grow over recent killings by law enforcement authorities in St. Louis, Missouri and elsewhere, making us aware that the election of Barack Obama has NOT lessened the race issue in America, and has made us aware of the militarization of the police forces, with equipment returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And we have become fully aware, finally realizing the threat from ISIL (ISIS), after the death of journalist James Foley, and it forecasts an escalation of involvement in the Middle East, adding to the fuel already created by the Gaza War between Israel and the Hamas Palestinian terrorist group which controls the Gaza Strip.

So again, August keeps its horrible reputation as a month full of tragedy and disaster, although clearly, every month has its share of these, but August does seem to have more than its fair share!

130th Birthday Of Harry Truman: A Man Of Courage And Decisiveness!

Today is the 130th Anniversary of President Harry Truman’s birth, a man of true courage and decisiveness!

Suddenly thrust into the Presidency on April 12, 1945, he made tough decisions to use the atomic bomb on Japan to end World War II; waged the Cold War with the Soviet Union; recognized the new nation of Israel; integrated the armed forces by executive order, leading the fight for civil rights; and took us into the Korean War, preventing the loss of South Korea to Communism, with South Korea today one of the leading economies in the world, and a democratic nation!

On his 61st birthday, one month after taking over the Presidency, we saw the end of the war in Europe, and the celebration of V-E Day, and although there was still a few more months of war, the “Greatest Generation” had succeeded in fighting Fascism and Nazism, and saved democracy in the world!

So this is a day to salute not only President Truman, but the millions of soldiers who fought in World War II, many of them sacrificing their lives, and the number of living veterans dwindling rapidly every day, 69 years after the war ended!

Presidents And Science: The Top 15 Chronologically

A very important measurement of Presidential leadership is to evaluate their interest in the advancement of science, and their willingness to support scientific research as a major part of their administrative goals.

Sadly, many Presidents have shown a lack of interest in the advancement of science, and presently, we have a group of KNOW NOTHINGS in the Republican Party who would rather promote religion in government, and deny evolution and global warming, and are generally antagonistic to any suggestion of the advancement of science, such as Barack Obama newly suggesting an investment through the National Institutes of Health to fund $100 million to work on the mapping of the human brain, which could lead to research and advancement in the study of mental illness, and such other major problems as Alzheimers Disease and Parkinson Disease. But in the Sequester environment we are now in, and the push for austerity by the GOP, it will be difficult for the vision of the study of the brain to be understood as a worthwhile and significant investment!

In any case, the Presidents who can be seen as having advanced science include the following,

Thomas Jefferson–arguably the most science oriented of all Presidents, a true genius and intellectual, who sponsored the Lewis and Clark Expedition for its scientific value, as well as the exploration of a large part of the American continent.

John Quincy Adams—a promoter of federal support of the arts and sciences, and helped to promote astronomical studies, and helped to form the Smithsonian Institution, for which he laid the cornerstone in 1846, as well as the US Naval Observatory.

Abraham Lincoln—-promoted the scientific study of agriculture, and signed legislation establishing the National Academy of Sciences.

James A. Garfield—tragically killed early in his term, but a promoter of mathematical studies, devising a mathematical proof of the Pythagorean Theorem, and promoted funding for agricultural research. Garfield was a great intellectual, and in many ways, was a tragic loss of a President whose potential for greatness was lost so quickly!

Theodore Roosevelt—was a great promoter of nature and conservation of natural resources, quadrupling our national parks and national forest lands. He also set up the US Forestry Service, and went on a dangerous trip to map the Amazon River Basin and discover new species of animal and plant life.

Herbert Hoover—a brilliant mining engineer, and elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences, and a great intellectual, who was sadly a disaster in the White House, despite his credentials.

Franklin D. Roosevelt—managed the challenge of the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression, in his promotion of forest conservation, watersheds, and agriculture, and also worked with Albert Einstein and others in development of the atomic bomb to help win World War II.

Harry Truman—signed legislation setting up the National Science Foundation, and saw the need for greater funding of scientific research.

Dwight D. Eisenhower—promoted the beginning of the space program and the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in response to the Russian putting of Sputnik I in space in 1957.

John F. Kennedy—promoted the space program goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s, and was a great promoter of science in other ways as well.

Lyndon B. Johnson—promoted the completion of the moon landing, and encouraged more students to go into science through federal fellowships and grants.

Jimmy Carter—received a Bachelor of Science degree with specialty in nuclear physics from the US Naval Academy, and promoted energy conservation research, with creation of the Energy Department in the cabinet, and signed legislation for the original funding of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Ronald Reagan—promoted the Space Shuttle and a space station, and although flawed, wanted to encourage a system to stop nuclear attack, known as the Strategic Defense Initiative.

Bill Clinton—promoted the Human Genome Project and the International Space Station as important for the advancement of science.

Barack Obama—is now promoting human brain research, and has called for action against global warming, and the importance of the study of evolution in science classes.

August 6th: The Ultimate Violence Remembered, As We See More Domestic Violence With Guns Than Even September 11 Represents!

Today, August 6th, is the day that Hiroshima, Japan was attacked by the first atomic bomb unleased by the United States, to end the Second World War, followed by a second atomic bomb on August 9 on Nagasaki, Japan.

It is important to commemorate this event 67 years ago, two thirds of a century ago, without criticizing what President Harry Truman did, as in wartime one must do many things that may be seen as objectionable, but necessary to end the conflict. Certainly, many American lives, British and other allied lives, and even Japanese lives were saved. But we should still acknowledge the loss of life, no matter what.

But today is also a day to reflect on domestic violence caused by lack of any real regulation of guns in American society. We are reminded of this just weeks after the Aurora, Colorado movie theatre massacre, with the killing of six members of a Sikh temple outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Sunday by a neo Nazi named Wade Michael Page, who had served in the military, and also engaged in the subspecialty in music known as Hate Rock, a genre that exploits and glorifies violence against any ethnic or religious minority that does not fit the description of white supremacy.

When one realized that it is expected, by statistics, that 48,000 Americans will be killed by guns in the next Presidential term, as compared to the approximate 3,000 killed on September 11 in New York City, Washington, DC and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, how can one react other than in mourning and disbelief?

We have an insidious disease in America–gun worship–which is causing the death in four years of nearly the entire loss in the Vietnam War, more than the Korean War, more than the Spanish American War, more than the Mexican War, more than the War of 1812, more than the American Revolution, and of course, more than the losses in the Iraq War or the Afghanistan War!

Somehow, something must be done to stop the blood letting in America, and to justify it on “the right to bear arms”!