Although several news outlets spent the day barking about the Afghanistan death toll crossing the 1,000 mark, the truth is that casualty counting is a little more complicated. Icasualties.org is where the media are grabbing that 1,000 figure. The Web site does report that that the death toll in “Operation Enduring Freedom” has crossed that many deaths, but with one caveat: “U.S. fatalities In and Around Afghanistan remain under this benchmark.”
Clicking one more link will take you to their actual toll for Afghanistan (including neighboring Pakistan and Uzbekistan), which is still 70 shy of the millennium mark. The rest of the servicemembers died in such far away countries as Cuba (GuantÃ¡namo Bay), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Yemen.
Some have asked me why I care where they died, as it’s still one war. True, but that’s 15 other countries where our relatives, friends and neighbors are dying in this worldwide war. It may not bring them back to notice the details, but it underscores how absurdly spread out the war machine has gotten. And for what purpose?
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
ADDENDUM (After 32 comments):
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:
McNamara: “He, and I’d say I, were behaving as war criminals.”
Was the â€œGood Warâ€ – World War II – Unnecessary?
Sure would mess up a lot of people’s favorite slogans if it was…
The Future of Freedom Foundation‘s Anthony Gregory reviews Pat Buchanan’s Churchill, Hitler and “The Unnecessary War”: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World in three parts.
At Scott Horton’s suggestion, I wrote Robert Stinnett, author of Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, and asked “about the new story [1,2] that the NSA has debunked the Pearl Harbor foreknowledge narrative.” His response is as follows:
Memo for Anthony Gregory:
I received your email which I believe you refer to the “Winds Code” story which I read in the New York Times on Sunday, December 7, 2008, based on a news release of the National Security Agency written by NSA “court historians.”
The story is NOT news. The “Winds Code” was introduced in the Congressional Investigation of 1945-46 in an attempt by Congress to divert attention from American success in solving the Japanese naval codes prior to Pearl Harbor. American newspapers and radio networks carried the story in November 1945.
The “winds code” was issued by the Japanese Foreign Office, not the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Foreign Office, certain the Allied nations would cut off communications, planned to use hidden word phrases in their world-wide news broadcasts aimed at Japanese Embassies and Consulates world-wide. Example “East wind Rain” in the weather report during the short wave news broadcast meant war with America; East wind North meant war with Russia. Ralph T. Briggs, a U.S. Naval intercept operator at Station “M”, Cheltenham, Maryland, intercepted the “Winds Code” broadcast on December 4, 1941, numbered the report and sent it to headquarters in Washington, D.C. The numbered report of Briggs is missing from U.S. Navy files.
While the Foreign Office report certainly revealed Japanese war intentions, the Japanese Navy also used a hidden war phrase: Niitaka Yama Nobore 1208, which translated meant “Climb Mt. Niitaka on December 8, 1941” (Tokyo time). This radio message originated by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander in Chief of the Imperial Navy and was intercepted by Station “H” in Hawaii. Yamamoto transmitted the Niitaka message on December 2, 1941, in the hidden word phrase, according to testimony during the Congressional Investigation 1945-46. RADM Edwin Layton, who was Admiral Kimmel’s intelligence officer said the message was received in Hawaii in the hidden word system.
The Imperial Japanese Army also had a hidden word phrase. I have not seen the message, but it reportedly was “The Black Kite will fly on December 8, 1941.”
Best regards, Bob Stinnett.
See here for more on Pearl Harbor revisionism.
Listen to the great Lew Rockwell, president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, interview John V. Denson, author of A Century of War: Lincoln, Wilson and Roosevelt, about the sort of World War revisionism that I would hope you’d have a chance to hear.
MP3 here. (10:00)