After Hiroshima and Nagasaki

On August 6 each year, the world commemorates the dawn of the atomic age by remembering the obliteration of Hiroshima. In May, President Obama laid a wreath in the Peace Park that marks ground zero there.

This is also the time each year when politicians, historians, veterans, and peace activists revisit the decision to use this new weapon for the first time, then for the second three days later at Nagasaki. The rationales are familiar: nukes would shorten the war, save American lives, and demonstrate the country’s overwhelming military and technological superiority. It did not last long. Stalin mobilized Soviet resources to break the American monopoly soon after receiving intelligence reports on the successful Trinity test in New Mexico. The arms race began to sprint before the nuclear dust settled in Japan.

After laying a wreath in Hiroshima, President Obama said, "among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them. We may not realize this goal in my lifetime, but persistent effort can roll back the possibility of catastrophe."

Why, then, is he planning to develop a new cruise missile and to rebuild our nuclear arsenal over the next 30 years at a cost estimated at $1,000,000,000,000? Yes, one trillion!

No nation monopolizes "new and improved" weapons forever, no matter what lead it might have at any given time. Where is the consistency in the president proposing a world free of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and improvements on existing ones in Washington? Former Secretary of Defense William Perry says new cruise missiles reflect outdated, Cold War thinking and would be "a grave mistake."

Since cities are the obvious target for nuclear weapons, urban dwellers are at added risk.  Mayors for Peace, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) whose home is the same Peace Park that President Obama visited, understands this as well as military planners. It promotes solidarity among cities to abolish nuclear weapons completely. Steve Lepper, its former head, says: "mayors are ahead of national politicians.  No municipality wants war in any form.  This always comes from central governments.  Cities are left to pay the price."  Mayors for Peace is now composed of more than 7,000 cities – more than 200 in the United States – from 161 countries.  Reducing stockpiles of nuclear weapons would be progress, but abolishing them is safer still: terrorists cannot steal what does not exist.

The U.S. entered World War II after Japan’s surprise attack on military targets at Pearl Harbor; it ended after surprise attacks destroyed two Japanese cities full of women and children. Of the nearly 100,000 humans who perished at Nagasaki, only 250 were military personnel. The ancient distinction between combatants and civilians – one a legitimate military target, the other not – had long since disappeared during what some call "The Good War."

This remains the case today as mass violence is just as likely to be directed against civilians as soldiers even when rules of engagement pay lip service to excluding civilians.

Following a request from the United Nations General Assembly, the International Court of Justice offered an opinion about nuclear weapons in 1996: it advised that the mere threat of using them is illegal, let alone actually doing so. In the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, do stockpiles make any of us feel safer? I can conceive of no sane reason to waste billions modernizing weapons that should never again be used.

Russell Vandenbroucke is director of the Peace, Justice & Conflict Transformation Program at University of Louisville and is syndicated by PeaceVoice.

38 thoughts on “After Hiroshima and Nagasaki”

  1. There are a few facts missing here and even distorted that should be addressed. The first thing to realize is that there is absolutely nothing liberals believe about history that is remotely true. Conservatives and libertarians need to stop spreading their propaganda. For most of the 20th century democrats backed eugenics, lynching, segregation and Soviet treason against this country. Sadly our history has been written by segregationists and now leftists more intent on teaching phony lessons than facts. There are universities that don’t teach one single battle and its tactics in our Civil War, instead they teach “social lessons”. Absurd.

    The facts are more horrific than you can imagine. The myth of the Japanese soldier fighting to the last man was created by not telling people we were shooting people trying to surrender. One of my heroes in Intel, Paul Linebarger ( author of PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE) saw film of Japanese soldiers taken prisoner and asked what Intel was gathered. He was told none, they were all shot after the cameras were cut off. Realizing this was causing casualties of our own in needless fighting he went to FDR and pleaded with him to stop the racist jargon and get soldiers to take prisoners. FDR two days later posed for a photo with the skull of an American soldier that had been fashioned into an ashtray. There would be no mercy from FDR, because the war in the Pacific ( on both sides) was a race war.

    Paul knew he had to go around his superiors and FDR but in a way that would not get him in trouble. He issued a memo to be read to all the troops on the care and handling of prisoners, stressing that by taking prisoners we could gather Intel to hasten the end of the war. The memo worked, and the Japanese began surrendering by the thousands once they realized they wouldn’t be shot. It was also genius that Paul used the wording, CEASE HONORABLE RESISTENCE

      1. As far as I know libertarians did not support lynching, the KKK, communist spies, segregation, the war in Vietnam ( look up BARRY GOLDWATER) , etc. It is time to drive a stake through that corrupt gang of thugs who use left wing rhetoric to hide their actual actions. Hey maybe I’m wrong, I’ll go back and look up Humphrey and the 1968 Democratic Convention, the KKK backing the prohibition and suffrage movement, the sypport of Hitler from 1938 to mid 1941, etc.

        1. The DixieCrats defected to the Republican party and said they had not actually left the Democrats, the Democrats left them. That’s an accident of southern speech that they used Democrat and Left twice in the same sentence. Still, David Duke never tried to run as a Democrat. He did run as a Republican and got quite a few votes. The VietNam non-war was handed over from the French to the United States on Eisenhower’s watch. Sometimes it’s really good to sit and listen to ones grandfather. My grandpa was in Asia for much of the 1950s in the Army. Also Austria and Germany immediately post-war and his last foreign post in the mid 60s just before he retired was to Germany. Don’t discount enlisted men as being completely out of any loops. Corporals and Sergeants are the ones who handle all the paperwork. The whole Empire/Counter-empire whirlwind started long before the formation of the United States and developed quite independently of our misbegotten two-party (in reality) system.

          1. Right and Left in America are a pitiful echo of international politics. We’re considered somewhat ignorant for assuming there’s much difference in the Duopoly. Sorry my post seems like a large block of text. On my other computer I don’t have the same problem, I can separate paragraphs. This browser has some kind of flaw in the code that has obviously gotten patched sometime in the 5 years since I installed it. I really need to be less lazy, and update a few things. I’m also going to stop procrastinating sometime in the next few months. But for a neat look at foreign parliamentary politics, look to Israel. Just a good bad example. Bibi and Likud consistently get less than a third of the vote. But he/they get coalitions together from all over the political spectrum, variations of left and right that Americans just don’t get with only two major parties.

          2. Major Charles Sweeney noticed a slight ongoing fuel leak on the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Bockscar. He could not call off the mission as time was of the essence. He had to drop the Fat Man on Kokura because the cameras had failed at Hiroshima. Truman had been told 2 weeks earlier from Stalin that the Emperor was trying to surrender, though Stalin didn’t tell Truman he had actually been trying to surrender for a year. At any moment Japan might surrender and ruin our chance to get footage of the blast.
            Truman knew he had to justify the incredible cost of out atomic program and wanted a clean image he could use. We actually did have footage of a test done two weeks before, but that footage was too sterile. Film of Japan being hit was to be used to silence those who questioned the program.
            Of all the wars that Democrats had begun or inherited in the 20th Century, the war in the Pacific was the only one it ever won.
            Major Sweeney had to understand that with a fuel leak he might not come back. No matter, two planes were meeting him to film and record the blast.
            The plane reached Kokura but the city was obscured by clouds and smoke, as the nearby city of Yawata had been firebombed on the previous day. Everything had happened so fast missions couldn’t be called off. It was impossible to film Kokura. The plane headed towards the nearby Christian city of Nagasaki.
            Nagasaki was the Christian capital of Japan. From the 16th through the 19th Centuries traders coming to the port made the city the only one in Japan with direct outside contact. The Japanese did not trust the Christians, and would not allow them in the military.
            Bockscar arrived over Nagasaki but the other two planes were lost in the smoke from Yawata. He flew round and round for a half hour using up precious fuel when one of the planes arrived and luckily had both cameras and measuring instruments onboard. The plane found an opening in the clouds and dropped the bomb.
            A firebombing of the cities hospital a few weeks earlier had convinced the townspeople to move the children out of the city. 80,000 people were vaporized within seconds. A lot of kids became orphans immediately. Tens of thousands more would die of radiative effects over the days and years. Now I know what you’re thinking. Did we get the film?
            YES! The greatest military success the Democrats ever had in the 20th Century was preserved on film. Sweeney’s plane made it back as well. Oddly, the film is rarely shown ( usually the test footage is shown) and Hiroshima takes center stage in news accounts. Also oddly, the record for number of people killed to make a movie has never been acknowledged.

        2. You’re correct. Libertarians — formerly known as liberals — did not support lynching, the KKK, etc. Conservatives did. First they did as part of the Democratic Party, then when the Democratic Party moved left, as part of the Republican Party.

          1. Ridiculous false and absurd. FDR threw Paul Robeson out of the White House for asking FDR to back the Republican calls to make lynching a federal crime. You can try to tell me FDR was a Republican, but I will laugh.

          2. I didn’t try to tell you that FDR was a Republican. I told you the truth: FDR ran as a smaller-government conservative, then after he won implemented Herbert Hoover’s proposals, renamed “the New Deal,” rather than the platform he actually ran on.

  2. I like the word trillion, because I get to show off a bit. Imagine a pile of money, one million dollars in the pile. Now picture a million piles of a million each. That’s a Trillion. And for one system out of many. That’s the kind of figures stockbrokers might notice. If they pull their heads far enough. The ones who have a Trillion handy, ready to invest, well… sure they’ll get some of it back by being the subsidized holders of War, Inc. Selling the parts and pieces, the assembly and delivery and and and …. and then some of them notice they’re getting far less in return than they’re paying. Whoa, Nellie! There’s a bit of a crisis on the horizon. Looks a hell of a lot like a mushroom cloud.

    and it’s all stuff that takes a lot of maintenance and a lot of dedicated almost cultic guardians (did I say “almost”? shame on me) to guard them, and the targeting systems, and the intelligence services so they can know where to direct them… hmmm. . these things are really damned expensive. And if they’re ever used there won’t be any advantage in money. Gold and silver maybe but gold is really not good for much. electronics and other crap that ain’t going to work anymore anyway.
    Ballistic properties are better than lead.

    It’s called the MAD principle for a reason. Then there are the moral considerations but Richie Rich and Scrooge McDuck don’t often dwell on that. It would drastically reduce the population (Hooray!) but the remainder will starve so that kind of nullifies the negative population growth. (Boo! Hiss!)

    Here’s a nother neat thought… What do the people who make large bread by selling weapons and bunkers for survivalists, what exactly are they planning to do with all that money when, as they cheerfully predict, Things Go Very Wrong?

    It’s like watching a religious oriented channel and getting the commercial for a Heirloom Bible, made to last for generations, 49.95 per each, you can only pay by credit cards, by preachers who tell us that we’re the Final Generation.

    There’s a logical disconnect there. Investing in failure. It’s the whole scam of War as Usual Business, just accelerated over the past 80 years. Spend your entire life and those of your fellow extant living above the grass humans working toward being extinct under the grass if there’s anybody left to bury the dead humans.

    it’s a known mathematic fact you’ll spend a hell of a lot more time dead than you’ll spend living.

    And, saving the best for last… You know how the Unknowable They say that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor thus they must have been fanatics who would stab you in the back and never surrender. The United States attacked Pearl Harbor 5 decades earlier, when Sanford Dole became the provisional president of The Republic of Hawaii when the United States rigged a revolution and coup. in the late 1880s. To protect the poor oppressed Hawaiian people and to make sure Imperial Sugar and Dole Pineapples would be able to have whatever territorial and shipping advantages. At a time when the Empire of America (and yes, they actually called it that… where did you think they got the name of the Empire State Building which hadn’t been built yet? Imperialism was an acceptable religio-political doctrine) and the Empire of Japan were very cozy one with another.

    All the usual explanations we learned in school have been really stinky piles of bull-poopoo. Chaos theory has at one point the notion that if an equation is based on false data the results will be false. If you keep repeating the algorithm, using each time the results of the prior flawed equation, it starts to multiply exponentially. Like that 1 million piles of 1 million each. It’s at a point now the entire economy of Earth ain’t going to satisfy the debt. It won’t stand the next iteration of the flawed equation.

    1. George Bush had Saddam Hussein lynched. OK so some might say he got full Due Process but the death penalty is not even a full step away from lynching.

      Also the term libertarian is very elastic, it can stretch to include a lot of right sorry bastards who will hide behind any label they believe will give them the most advantage. Much like people who do the same thing with the word Christian. Which the Klan does. Still.

      Ingrained into Christian as a title is a greek word for messiah which is sometimes used as a synonym for God. So they’re taking a name of God, and doing it in vain. A lot of people do that. I can’t stop them, Tom can’t, you can’t and God mysteriously gives them every chance to repent. Kind of a quandary when you or anybody wants to get really angry about labels.

      1. There are libertarians, there are Republican libertarians. Those aren’t labels, those are facts.

        1. Yes, there are Republican libertarians. I never said different.

          You seem to think that “Republican” means “conservative” and vice versa, and that “Democrat” means “progressive” and vice versa. They are actually four completely different terms. Two of them are ideological descriptions, the other two are organizational membership designators. Your logic is like saying that all St. Louis Cardinals play right field and all Chicago Bears are halfbacks.

    2. Actually the modern progressive movement ( not the party) started with Woodrow Wilson. You know, the klansman that loved THE BIRTH OF A NATION.

      1. Um, no. In fact, Theodore Roosevelt ran as the Progressive Party candidate AGAINST Wilson in 1912, having run the first thoroughly progressive presidential administration during his Republican presidency. The 1924 Progressive Party candidate was former Republican congressman, senator and governor Robert LaFollette.

        Sorry to burst your bubble, but progressivism was almost entirely a Republican phenomenon until the New Deal.

        1. The complications of any two humans sharing mutual concepts is well known, with regards to individual interpretations of history or perceptions of current events. No two witnesses of any event have the same perception and if they honestly describe how and what happened their narrative is going to diverge, slightly or greatly, and influenced on their individual prior experiences and their perceptions thereof. It’s how cops can tell if any group of people are in collusion. If they got together with the knowledge they would be interviewed, in order to “get their story straight”.

          We’re approaching a human population of nearly 8 billion which if we made a computer algorithm of all perceptions of any single event, and limiting the factors of each witness to (arbitrary) 8 factors, to keep it relative simple… we could come up with 8 billion squared times 8 squared and that would be the simplest combination of individual perceptions.

          It makes life a little less boring. There’s a Jewish saying that if you get two Jews together you’ll have three different opinions. Goes great with any group.

          The collective unconscious becomes a life of itself but totally dependent on all the shared components. Meaning the huge multitude of components which make one human being’s consciousness connected to all other human beings. Some believe that even inanimate objects share the consciousness, certainly animals and plants.

          I personally find it calming to consider those things. But I’m only one. In the Battle of Gettysburg there were about a half million participants and approximately 50 thousand killed and I don’t even know how many wounded, complicated by the notion that some large number of those wounded later died of their wounds. Your history assignment for today is to analyze exactly what happened there. There will be a test later that counts for 39.27% of your grade for this semester. Begin.

          1. I have no idea what you are talking about. I am a member of the Pritzker Military Museum and Library as an educator. I could care less what two random people make up about any incident. I have spoken with 4 star generals, including the former head of the NSA and CIA, I have spoken to CIA historians, had lunch with General Tommy Franks, read tons of declassified diplomacy and studies, a speech I gave on the bombs is shown every year in Japan and has been for 7 years. I quite clearly name the names of the people involved on the Japanese side, to disprove me you have to disprove those people did what I wrote they did. Not just make things up. Diplomacy is not open to interpretation, spying isn’t either. Nor is official policy. And no we are not all experts because we have an opinion.

      1. What, that people see subjective information differently? The Bomb was pure mass murder. That one group or another is responsible, yeah. That they were all Liberals or Progressives? Doubtful. Was MacArthur a liberal in any stretch of the word? Really? But he advocated bombing North Korean and Chinese troops with A-bombs. I would call him very right wing. That’s my perception. In your descriptions of the group responsible for mass murder in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, you characterized the entire group as being Liberals and or Progressives. And those terms are subjective. The premise of the article was that a mass murder happened, and I agree. What gets you wound up apparently is the assumption that liberals and only liberals were involved, Thomas said essentially “calm down, those are subjective terms” and you went off on him. That too is my perception. I’m going to switch computers now so I don’t have this massive square block of text.

        1. OK. The War itself wasn’t about liberal or conservative. It was about people who wanted power over other people.

          It’s a disease of the social mind. Some people want more than they ever earned, and convince other people to take it for them. It’s grown far beyond one person with a weapon or other measure of greater lethal force telling other people their land or other measures of wealth suddenly belongs to him. I think the human race blew way past that stage about 10,000 years ago.

          And the taking of possessions would include freedom.

          in the weapon wielding Very Bad Neighbor taking land, there’s a taking of freedom, Liberty, self determination.

          The evolution of war has followed one path: Worse.
          Now we have weapons that are so fierce they should be described as WEAPONS written in all capitals. The United States has used and still stockpiles all classes of WMDs, the Smallpox bit was first documented by Jeffery Amherst, who actually put in writing what he wanted his minions (I think that’s the best word) to do.

          Sold not given. They SOLD Chief Pontiac smallpox blankets.Buy your own death. Later uses of the practice weren’t so well documented

          But since the character of man has not gotten better, would you characterize the incident to be truly isolated? And if it was, would we still be stockpiling bioweapons? And spending taxpayer bread to develop them to be more efficient?

          Can you see what I’m saying? In the use of Da Bomb twice, intentionally, in Japan, we as in “our” government including senior Military and Diplomatic persons, which are professions not very full of any form of Liberalism, put us in the exclusive club of the only nation known to have used Nuclear-Biological-and-Chemical weapons of mass destruction.

          Whether we characterize the perpetrators with any subtly nuanced descriptions of their political bias doesn’t make much difference. We have so much of these things, nukes, Proto-nukes like the A-Bomb, gas, smallpox derivatives, drugs, systems to deploy them in whatever dose we want anywhere we want and by “we” I don’t mean thee and me. You could argue them to be Progressive or Masonic or Illuminati or Satan himself and it would make no difference. We as in everybody with access to information have a pretty clear idea of who the major contributors to the Warfare State are and it’s really a shame that nobody has stormed their castles. Take away whatever you wish from the discussion, what I’m seeing is a problem, a riddle if you will, Are we the people going to stop this stupid crap from continuing? That leaves only How and When.

          The Electoral option seems to be terminally flawed.

          1. And historians don’t agree on everything or, seemingly, anything. There’s debate among historians that Jesus or King Solomon never existed. Hitlers followers still insist on a far different version of the Holocaust or any other aspect of the time he spent as Fuhrer.

            I learned in Texas History in the 7th grade that slavery was actually beneficial for the slaves. It’s official history. so it must be right, yeah? The book “The Story of Texas” might have been radically rewritten in the past 45 years too. In that case, was it historical revisionism then, or now?

      2. If you’re talking about my “information” on the history of progressivism, my “information” is the only “information” that IS accepted by historians.

        It is a FACT that the first self-described progressive president was Theodore Roosevelt.

        It is a FACT that in 1912, the Progressive Party’s presidential candidate was former Republican president Theodore Roosevelt.

        It is a FACT that the Progressive Party’s presidential candidate in 1924 was former Republican congressman, Republican senator and Republican governor Robert LaFollette.

        It is a FACT that in 1932 Republican Herbert Hoover ran for re-election to the presidency of the United States on a platform of massive public works programs to reduce unemployment, expanded “social insurance” programs, etc., while his opponent, Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt, ran on a platform of balancing the budget and reducing the size of the federal government by 25%.

        You don’t have to like these facts. Facts are facts whether you like them or not.

        1. Wait. You read the book I linked to already? Doubtful. I won’t play semantics games with you until you do.

          1. I have, however, read a bit of the book. Such as page 1:

            “Traditionally, the 1912 election is understood as a contest between THE CHAMPION OF NATIONALIST PROGRESSIVISM, THEODORE ROOSEVELT (emphasis mine), and the relatively conservative Wilson.”

          2. I notice you have not answered one single charge I made on the atomic bombs. Not one. As for your segregationist progressives, I have nothing but contempt. Whether you start with Teddy or Woodrow ( Teddy’s liberalism did not survive, Klansman Wilson’s did.) But you disagree. Fine. Now, get over that and explain why I am wrong on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

          3. Next year I release my findings on the Democratic Party and segregation. If you think my studies on the atomic bombs are shocking, you are about to be devastated. Doesn’t matter to me which segregationist started modern liberalism. Just don’t insult libertarian Republicans by comparing them to that eugenics, murderous group. Which is how this started when you said libertarians were the new liberals. If Republicans were smart they would prepare for the Trump failure by arming themselves with what liberals did to African Americans for 80 years. Netanyahu is using the past to destroy the labor party in Israel over the kidnapping of children while they were in office. I think within 100 days Israels left will be destroyed. Republicans would be wise to use my segregation studies as H bombs on “progressives”.

          4. Well Thomas, you have used a propaganda technique a first year Intel agent could see through. You mistakenly left the word “traditionally” as the first word of the quote. When used that way doesn’t it mean the writer is about to refute the traditional belief? Here is what Thomas wants you to not read: Woodrow Wilson is best known for his service as the twenty-eighth president of the United States and his influence on American foreign policy in the twentieth century and beyond. Yet Wilson is equally important for his influence on how Americans think about their Constitution and principles of government.

            Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism highlights Wilson’s sharp departure from the traditional principles of American government, most notably the Constitution. Ronald J. Pestritto persuasively argues that Wilson’s unfailing criticism places him clearly in line with the Progressives’ assault on the original principles of American constitutionalism. Drawing primarily from early writings and speeches that Wilson made during his years as a scholar, Pestritto examines the future president’s clear and consistent ideologies that laid the foundation for later actions taken as a public leader.

            Engaging and thought-provoking, Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism gets to the heart of Wilson’s political ideologies and brings a fresh perspective to the study of American political development.”

          5. “Well Thomas, you have used a propaganda technique a first year Intel agent could see through. You mistakenly left the word ‘traditionally’ as the first word of the quote. When used that way doesn’t it mean the writer is about to refute the traditional belief?”

            Yes, probably so. But the claim of yours I was disputing was that “historians” disagree with me. According to your own source of resort, they don’t — the agrement of historians is what makes my version the “traditional” account.

        2. You deliberately misrepresented what the book is about. It is about the subversion of the Constitution by Wilson which shaped modern liberalism. I condemn date oriented history. Propagandists like you have clung to those dates to pretend they led to nothing and there weren’t other trends happening before or as a result of them. Last year at The Liberty Gala in Chicago a biologist and 2 military historians spoke and outlined a plan to take history away from progressives. It will not be easy. The revelations on Joe McCarthy are a good start, as is the teaching of diplomacy and strategy. over social lessons. Already 7 colleges have begun to change the way they teach history. Cling to your dates all you want. Lie about what a book is about until you are blue in the face. The historians you refer to are the problem. The way you were taught history is the problem. Sooner or later libertarians are going to have to deal with the military and Intel. Booing General Hayden was shameful. When the former head of CIA and NSA says he identifies with libertarians and is booed you have no idea what you are doing. ( He did not authorize mass spying- he wasn’t even head of anything when that happened) and he called for hearings on it when it became known. Obama squashed that the next day. He also said Trump’s orders as President would not have to be followed if they were illegal. AND HE WAS BOOED? Grow up. You are going to have to do more than take sentences out of context from books explaining how liberals abandoned the Constitution to try to twist them into something positive on liberals. Again I ask, where is the disagreement with me on the bombing? You know what, just let it go. No one else is commenting or cares about your word games. I hope the other moderators here are not trolls.

          1. Yes, I guess I deliberately misrepresented what the book is about if by “deliberately misrepresented what the book is about” you mean “quoted the book.”

            OK, so before, my error was that I was saying something historians disagree with.

            Now that I’ve pointed out that all the historians except your preferred ones agree with it, my problem is that I’m miseducated because all the historians except your preferred ones are mean ol’ poopyheads.

  3. Yep, FDR — the man who ran for president on a platform of balancing the budget and cutting the size of the federal government by 25%, but then turned out to be a progressive (not a liberal).

    1. He also came to prominence by blocking the number of Jews that could become lawyers and leading a crusade against homosexuality. We bombed every single train track in Germany- except those going to the death camps. In Democratic cities from Chicago to Boston, all over the nation newsreels showing the oppression of Jews were banned before and during the war. Truman continued this as he did not want our troops bothering with the death camps- which is why the Big Red One was shocked to discover the camps and were not prepared to deal with them.

      1. FDR, like Wilson, came from that lineage known as the Bourbon Democrats, the closest thing to a “classically liberal” party the United States has ever had. You know the party that produced the likes of Grover Cleveland(that being said, the libertarians of the day were fierce critics of Cleveland).

        FDR, like Wilson, did a complete 180 in office from what they originally ran on as candidates. It was those betrayals which set the stage for classical liberalism to become disassociated from its original lineage and become more associated with the “right” by the mid 20th century.

        And while what you write about the Democrats vis a vis the early 20th century progressive movement is true, it is also true that by the 1970s all that stuff migrated over to the republican party with the culmination of Nixon’s southern strategy. So, if we take seriously what you wrote to be true, we likewise would disassociate from the GOP today because of it. That is to say, if we actually cared about those things and not merely using them for partisan ends.

  4. I’m not sure who you think is claiming that the Nazis weren’t socialists. Otto and Gregor Strasser’s Berlin-based organization (liquidated after Hitler’s wing of the party prevailed and seized power) were more overtly left-socialist in rhetoric than Hitler (who tended to hearken back to the right-wing “anti-socialist socialism” of Bismarck), but the Nazi Party was ENTIRELY socialist in character.

    You continue to conflate progressivism and liberalism. They’re not the same thing.

  5. Recently I engaged in a semantics battle with a moderator at Anti war dot com over the term liberal and progressive. He insisted that libertarians are the liberals of today, I insisted that under no circumstances should either term ever be embraced by libertarians.

    He also insisted the our modern idea of liberalism was born of Teddy Roosevelt, I used a book as evidence that Wilson and his subverting of the Constitution was the actual source of modern liberalism. There you have it, no libertarian is going to embrace a system that is by its very nature is against the Constitution, endlessly looking for ways around it.

    Eugenics was the first big belief of liberalism, the idea we could breed a race of superman by eliminating the weak, the powerless and other races would capture Hitler’s imagination.

    Segregation. I am less than a year from presenting my first paper on the Democratic Party and segregation. It is devastating. We have never had a truth commision on the victims of segregation, although we supported those in Ireland and South Africa. We show kids a water fountain photo that says whites only and congratulate ourselves for not doing that anymore.

    That is what I call, the garbage version of history. Did you know 1/3 of those killed by the KKK, were Republicans?

    Then liberals dropped the atomic bombs on people trying to surrender. Race murder.

    Then they allowed every level of our government except the Supreme Court to be infiltrated by Soviet spies. The Court was infiltrated by the KKK.

    That brings us to Vietnam. Our first war with no definition of victory.

    Do you see what I mean? That brings us to the 1960’s and who on earth would want to embrace the term liberal? 22 trillion to “end poverty forever”, was as successful as liberals in the Vietnam War.

    There is only one force in the United States that has been true to its revolutionary roots. When I tell you which part of the government that is you will be shocked. Our military.

    Segregation was raging when blacks became a fighting force in our military. Debates raged about women in combat and the military over ruled the debaters and let them in. Some people can’t stand gays, but while they spread scare stories about gays- the military let them in. These changes did not come about from protests, liberals or political struggles. They came in because the military took the high road and created a generation that once returned to civilian life was not going to accept being second class ever again.

    I urge libertarians to avoid at all costs the term liberal, and to learn about our military. Would it kill you to know the chain of command?

    When Trump said he would have killed the families of terrorists, the next day 4 star General Hayden was the one that said the military does not have to obey illegal orders. When the scandal broke on the mass scale of surveillance going on, it was General Hayden who called for a complete and open hearing ( why not? Contrary to popular belief he did not initiate the programs when he was head of CIA and NSA). President obama went on the air within hours assuring the culprits there would be no hearing.

    Learn to speak military and listen to what they say.

    1. If you’re going to recount our discussion at length, you could at least be truthful about what I said. I never connected Theodore Roosevelt to liberalism in any way, shape, manner or form. I just pointed out that he was the first avowedly progressive president and the first presidential candidate of the Progressive Party.

      Progressive and liberal are not the same thing.

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