Below is the 2 1/2 hour entirety of that Iran debate at UCR on April 1, 2010. Featured speaker was Reese Erlich. Panelists were Erlich, Larry Greenfield, Christopher Records and myself. The host was Louis Vandenberg. Thanks to Joe Briggs for putting this on his YouTube account.
One correction: After this conference, I learned from Syed Saleem Shahzad that the Jundallah that the CIA and JSOC use against Iran is different from the Jundallah that KSM used to be the leader of. However, they are both radical Salafi civilian-bombing terrorists, so same difference.
At 8:16 on the morning of August 6, 1945, the world got a glimpse of its own mortality. At that moment, the city of Hiroshima was obliterated by a fireball that sent waves of searing heat, then a deafening concussion, across the landscape. Three days later, a second bomb hit Nagasaki. … [President Dwight D.] Eisenhower said in 1963 "It wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing."
… Besides the Manhattan Project’s internal momentum was an external motive. Its leaders had to justify the $2 billion ($26 billion in today’s dollars) expense to Congress and the public… Byrnes…warned Roosevelt that political scandal would follow if it [the atomic bomb] was not used. … "How would you get Congress to appropriate money for atomic energy research [after the war] if you do not show results for the money which has been spent already?" …the U.S. had produced two types of bombs–one using uranium, the other plutonium. Whenever anyone suggested that the moment the bomb was dropped the war would be over, [bureaucrat] Groves countered, "Not until we drop two bombs on Japan." As [historian] Goldberg explains… "One bomb justified Oak Ridge, the second justified Hanford." Hiroshima was hit with the uranium bomb, nicknamed "Little Boy"; the plutonium bomb, "Fat Man," was used against Nagasaki.
From Why We Dropped The Bomb By William Lanouette, CIVILIZATION, The Magazine of the Library of Congress, January/February 1995
It’s hard for Americans who identify with the U.S. Government to accept the idea that that organization could have engaged in such horrendous acts – twice in three days – without pristine motives.
Here’s what Vietnam era U.S. Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara – who was part of Gen. Curtis LeMay’s command when the bombs were dropped – thought about it:
Kelley Vlahos has a great piece today on the Henry Gates affair and the larger problems of which it’s a symptom. One such problem is the ever increasing number of pretexts on which the authorities can interrogate, search, assault, and arrest citizens. The authority figure, equipped with endless excuses to initiate an interaction with the citizen, from an expired tag to a false burglar alarm to an alleged whiff of what might be a controlled substance, uses his or her superior knowledge of legal arcana to find some way to put the citizen behind bars.Â For instance, what struck me when reading the policeman’s account of the Gates incident was a small detail: the repeated use of the term “tumultuous.” It appears three times in the brief report in descriptions of Gates’ behavior. Why was the cop fixated on this SAT word?
Turns out, it appears in the Massachusetts statute defining disorderly conduct. The cop goaded the agitated Gates into stepping outside of his house (he made sure to give a reason for this in the report â€“ poor acoustics in Gates’ kitchen!) to create the grounds for an arrest.Â The cop already knew the specific â€“ though vague and debatable â€“ adjective he should use in his report to make the charge sound incontestable to the lawnorder crowd.
The proliferation of new laws in the wake of 9/11, all full of vague and debatable terms, has given the authorities infinite points of entry into all of our lives. They truly can arrest first and read the statutes later; you’re sure to have done something wrong. Even if they eventually drop the charges or fail to convict you, don’t count on getting any compensation for your anxiety, lost time, injuries, or legal fees.
An analogous situation prevails in international affairs, where the global police churn out endless legal pretexts for subjecting whole countries to full body-cavity searches, house arrest, assault, and capital punishment, and we’re watching it play out yet again in the case of Iran. But that’s a post for another day.