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If you tell me you’ll pray for me, you better darn well mean it! August 7, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, General Catholic, Interior Life, sadness, sanctity, self-serving, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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That’s the short version of Boniface’s post at Unam Sanctam Catholicam, in which he laments the frequent lie many Catholics (and evangelicals, mainlines, etc) tell, perhaps unintentionally – that of saying “I’ll pray for you.”

We sign up for prayer chains with pious intentions, then neglect to actually offer the prayers we have committed to. Many of us have all but tuned out the “prayer intentions” section in our parish bulletin. When in hearing about others’ problems and calamities, we often sympathize and say, “I’ll pray for you,” but then when we do our rosaries and holy hours we are consumed with our own troubles – that is, if we manage to keep our minds from wandering totally. Yes, “I’ll pray for you” is probably the biggest lie we tell – surely the most well-intentioned lie, but an untruth nonetheless.

Sometimes we realize our neglect here. Sometimes, as we are going through our evening rosary, we remember how we took our friend’s hand and assured them of our prayers. Pricked with remorse over failing to pray for them, we will often retroactively add our friend’s “intention” to the rosary we are just wrapping up, or maybe say a few extra Hail Mary’s on their behalf. Such efforts, though better than nothing, signify our spiritual laziness when it comes to praying for others.

The mightiest prayer warriors of our Faith were all great intercessors; they derived great spiritual benefit from pleading the causes of others, and their prayers were heard because of their great love. The great intercessors were not simply content to mention the names of their people before their rosaries; they deeply held the concerns of their people in their hearts, brought them lovingly before the Lord in rapt prayer, wept on their behalf before the altars, sometimes praying all night for them. St. Francis spent entire days fasting and praying for the brothers of his order; St. Monica wept and prayed for Augustine for years, and the heart of the great Doctor of the Church was softened for conversion by the tears of his mother’s impassioned prayers.

When we pray for others, our prayers should be passionate. In this way we allow divine charity to bridge the gap between our own life and needs and those of others……….

……….What if we were to adopt Ven. Solanus Casey’s method? What if we were to carefully note the intentions people brought to us in a book, and keep this notebook among our treasured spiritual books we take with us to Adoration? What if we made a point to spend at least five minutes in impassioned, intentional and focused prayer on each intention in our book, going down the list? And how would our faith be strengthened and our souls edified if we were to also record the answers to these prayers, creating an ongoing chronicle of God’s goodness in the lives of those around us?

“I’ll pray for you.” Let us transform it from a platitude we say thoughtlessly to a core principle of our spiritual life.

—————End Quote—————

There is more good explanation at the post.  I have thought about this subject many times myself. In fact, whenever I tell someone I will pray for them, I always try to make a strong mental note to remember. And yet, I still probably forget, at least partially, probably 1/3 the time.  If I’m lucky, I will remember the promise later and then take it up then.  Nevertheless, there are surely sometimes I say I’ll pray and then totally blow it.

And, I have many other intentions I mean to pray for my daily Rosary but frequently forget.  My intention list has gotten pretty long. So, I had planned to do as Boniface (and Ven. Casey) recommended above, and keep a notebook of prayer intentions.  It might get onerous, we’ll see.  Most of my intentions are for others – at least partially!

Nevertheless, good topic. I’m glad someone brought this up.  I pray I take the reminder and actually do something about it.  Pray for me!

heh

Cool video on the Mass as Sacrifice of Calvary re-presented August 7, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Eucharist, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, Liturgy, martyrdom, priests, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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Reader Michael Sestak sent me links to a video he’s done that highlights the Mass as the re-presentation of Christ’s once for all time Sacrifice on Calvary.  It intermixes scenes from Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ with beautiful scenes from the Mass.  I recognize a few priests in the video!  I know I see Father Stinson in there!

This is really neat and powerful. I like this quite a bit.  I pray you find it moving and edifying, too:

What do you think?  If you like it, maybe you could leave Michael a nice comment on Youtube.

Thanks, Michael!  I’m all typed out, and needed some help!

 

Saint Peter Julian Eymard on sin August 7, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, unadulterated evil, Virtue.
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From The Eymard Library Volume V, the Eucharist and Christian Perfection Vol II (I know, a bit confusing), Saint Peter Julian Eymard on sin and its loathesomeness.  I thought much of the below very edifying:

What displeases God most on earth and in us is sin.  You must give this truth your attentive consideration.  The just and the Saints themselves are not exempt from sin.  And we, have we not at least venial sins on our conscience? Have we never had to weep for mortal sins?  [Sadly, I sure have]

There is only one evil on earth, only one thing which should fill us with dread: that is sin.  All created things please God, even those which seem obnoxious to us: neither the earth worm nor mud are offensive in the sight of God.  Those things are in their natural state. Sin, on theeymard_4_0008_edit contrary, is a perversion of the Divine Will, a degradation of God’s work, a contradiction of His nature and to His Divine Being.  Sin even tends to overthrow God Himself, because it denies and attacks His attributes, and those attributes constitute His Being[Wasn’t that the original sin, satan desiring to overthrow God’s Will?]

Sin is an offense and an insult to God’s sovereign authority, to His majesty, and to His empire; it is an insult of the creature to its Creator.

We easily believe that sin is not really opposed to God, that it does not touch Him so very much, because He does not get angry and punish the offense immediately.  And yet what is more serious than to be lacking in respect due to a superior?  To be lacking in respect toward someone in civil society is the cause of feuds, duels, and wars; it is a crime…….

……Well then!  Does God deserve that we treat Him with rudeness?  Is He not the Lord of lords, the King of kings, He to Whom all is subject in Heaven and on earth, He Whom the angels look upon with trembling and for whom His desires are commands?

The animals, the plants, and the inanimate beings recognize the dominion of God and obey Him.  They do so without being conscious of the fact, but their subjection is none the less a homage to God’s authority, which governs them.

eymard_11_0069-edit_lowThe sinner alone dares to disregard the Divine authority.  God lays down the laws, threatens and punishes the transgressor, but the sinner shows no regard for God, for His threats, or for His chastisements.

You might say that such was not your frame of mind. That is possible, but your actions bespeak it. If you do not insult God directly and to His face, you scorn Him by your indifference and your forgetfulness, and this evil is scarcely less grievous.

Be very careful.  On the Day of Judgment, God will make you see clearly your actions, your defiance.  He will say to you, “You have been obedient to men. Well, then, was I not as deserving of obedience as a man?  You showed respect to creatures and reserved your insults for your Creator; is that what I deserved?” And you will not know what to answer to that angry justice, whose light will uncover before your eyes the whole horror of sin, its incalculable consequences, and your most secret intentions.

“But so many others offend God!” – Do you want to damn yourselves with them!? And will you offend God because He does not punish offenders immediately?

As for us, we sin in the face of God, in the presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, of Jesus Christ living there as the God-man.  We act like 0802Eymard-thumb-244x351.jpgthose wicked executioners who came to insult Him to His face on Calvary!  At least the soldiers in the Praetorium covered His face when they insulted Him; they did not dare to do it under His direct gaze!  And we, through laziness, through negligence, and through other motives, commit, under His eyes, faults which are real sacrileges, venial perhaps, but sacrileges just the same!

If we had even a little delicacy of soul, we would never offend God.  There is no need of being scrupulous in order to avoid even the appearance of sin……it is sufficient to be delicate.  When we love someone, we do not think of insulting him.

The trouble is that men are visible, while God is not, and so we do not think of Him.

Have you no faith?  Faith is a true vision which certifies to us what concerns God more surely than our eyes show us exterior things.

We see with the eyes of faith as with the  yes of the intelligence.  Do you see with  your eyes scientific formulas, the law of numbers?  Yet you believe in them. Why do you not believe in God?  

Our worst faults are sloth, negligence, forgetfulness, and discouragement; these are indicators of our lack of faith, of respect, and of love. We are constantly seeking to avoid what is not.  How many times also we have been motivated by human respect and fear of public opinion!  We have abandoned God for men and transgressed His law for fear of what people might say.  What contempt of what indifference! And it is God Whom we treat thus!  

————–End Quote————-

Enough long posts today.  Great stuff from the Apostle of the Blessed Sacrament!

eymard.jpg

 

A brief history of the global warming/cooling panic from 1895 to present August 7, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, secularism, self-serving, silliness, Society.
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This is a great compilation on the estimable Watts Up With That site.  Scienticians and their media abettors have been ginning up global warming cooling climate change weather panic since 1895.  A few of the highlights, you can read the much longer, but still very partial, list at WUWT.  Note below how much of the reporting is contradictory, with reports of freezing and frying at the same time:

  • 1895 Geologists Think the World May Be Frozen Up AgainNew York Times, February 1895
  • 1902 – “Disappearing Glaciers…deteriorating slowly, with a persistency that means their final annihilation…scientific fact…surely disappearing.” – Los Angeles Times
  • 1912 Prof. Schmidt Warns Us of an Encroaching Ice AgeNew York Times, October 1912
  • 1923 – “Scientist says Arctic ice will wipe out Canada” – Professor Gregory of Yale University, American representative to the Pan-Pacific Science Congress, – Chicago Tribune
  • 1923 – “The discoveries of changes in the sun’s heat and the southward advance of glaciers in recent years have given rise to conjectures of the possible advent of a new ice age” – Washington Post
  • 1924 MacMillan Reports Signs of New Ice AgeNew York Times, Sept 18, 1924
  • 1929 – “Most geologists think the world is growing warmer, and that it will continue to get warmer” – Los Angeles Times, in Is another ice age coming?
  • 1932 – “If these things be true, it is evident, therefore that we must be just teetering on an ice age” – The Atlantic magazine, This Cold, Cold World
  • 1933 America in Longest Warm Spell Since 1776; Temperature Line Records a 25-Year RiseNew York Times, March 27th, 1933
  • 1933 – “…wide-spread and persistent tendency toward warmer weather…Is our climate changing?” – Federal Weather Bureau “Monthly Weather Review.”
  • 1938 – Global warming, caused by man heating the planet with carbon dioxide, “is likely to prove beneficial to mankind in several ways, besides the provision of heat and power.”– Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
  • 1938 – “Experts puzzle over 20 year mercury rise…Chicago is in the front rank of thousands of cities thuout the world which have been affected by a mysterious trend toward warmer climate in the last two decades” – Chicago Tribune
  • 1975 Scientists Ponder Why World’s Climate is Changing; A Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be InevitableNew York Times, May 21st, 1975
  • 1975 – “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind” Nigel Calder, editor, New Scientist magazine, in an article in International Wildlife Magazine
  • 1976 – “Even U.S. farms may be hit by cooling trend” – U.S. News and World Report
  • 1981 – Global Warming – “of an almost unprecedented magnitude” – New York Times

 

  • 1990 – “We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing – in terms of economic policy and environmental policy” – Senator Timothy Wirth
  • 1993 – “Global climate change may alter temperature and rainfall patterns, many scientists fear, with uncertain consequences for agriculture.” – U.S. News and World Report
  • 1998 No matter if the science [of global warming] is all phony . . . climate change [provides] the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” —Christine Stewart, Canadian Minister of the Environment, Calgary Herald, 1998
  • 2001 – “Scientists no longer doubt that global warming is happening, and almost nobody questions the fact that humans are at least partly responsible.” – Time Magazine, Monday, Apr. 09, 2001

I think that 1998 quote really hits home at the ultimate motivation for all this scarifying in the media.  It’s a great vehicle for massively increasing the degree to which a cabal of self-anointed elites among scienticians, politicians, and the media, can implement their vision of a rightly ordered, if draconian and totalitarian, society.  It would also help crush the middle-class, letting our new aristocracy safely distance itself from the hoi polloi.

Another factor to consider is how often “science” changes it’s mind.  How today’s “scientific certainty” becomes tomorrow’s laughable crudeness.  Science has done this constantly since it became a quasi-religious element in the culture, which is why I hold such all-encompassing theories like “evolution,” the creation of the universe, etc., in such disdain.  It is amazing the ability to which people will allow their thinking to be radically changed all based on nothing more than the opinion of some expert. That’s not to say all expert opinion is wrong, but when that opinion opposes common sense or demands huge suffering from mankind in order to deal with some ostensible “threat,” it is well to reflect on how often the experts have been proven to be fools.

Some salient factors regarding the atomic bombings of Japan August 7, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, General Catholic, history, Latin Mass, reading, sickness, Society.
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I heard a sermon last night that excoriated the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  I will admit to being nonplussed more than just a bit, not so much because of the conclusion reached – that the bombings were fundamentally immoral – but with many of the arguments used to reach that conclusion.  There are few issues in my life I have studied more than this one, and I wanted to hash out some of bad arguments, for the sake of accuracy and understanding.

What I will do is address some of the common claims made regarding the bombings and US strategic bombing strategy in general, and hopefully add some more context and possibly even refute one or two of the more common errors.  Much of the data below comes from Richard B. Frank’s seminal Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire, and Giangreco’s Hell to Pay: Operation Downfall and the Invasion of Japan, 1945-47.

  1. CLAIM: US Strategic bombing forces deliberately targeted civilians during the course of WWII.  Status of claim: Demonstrably False, with a caveat. It was never formal US policy, unlike that of the British, to deliberately engage in “terror bombing” of civiliains.  Throughout the war, the US went to great lengths to attack only militarily significant targets.  The daylight bombing campaign over Europe is the prime example of this, the US endured horrific losses for the first year and a half of that campaign, refusing to use British night-area bombing tactics in order to be better able to target strictly military targets with the very rudimentary technology available at that time.  Given that low level of technology, most bombs missed badly, and many civilian areas were hit, but those hits were incidental, not intentional.  Depending on the target, only 0.5% to 0.01% of bombs dropped actually hit the target.  US forces did not realize the ratio was quite that bad at the time, only post-war bombing surveys revealed that data. Nevertheless, many thousands of Americans died trying to avoid deliberately targeting civilians.  The caveat is regarding the atomic bombings themselves, which I will address later.
  2. CLAIM: Don’t the night incendiary campaigns over Japan disprove the claim above?  Wasn’t that just “terror bombing?”  Status of claim: False.  Once again, it was never US policy to deliberately target civilians.  This nation certainly had the means to inflict massively more civilian casualties in all theaters than it did.  Regarding the night incendiary attacks, Japanese industry was a special case.  Even today, much of Japanese industry consists of tens of thousands of mom and pop shops making widgets for one larger supplier or another.  Many of these only have a few major machine tools, like a mill, a lather, press brake, whatever, or even just one.  In WWII, this situation was even more exacerbated. In Tokyo alone there was estimated to be 20-30,000 small machine shops all playing roles in the war industry. Some of these made just a few parts for given weapon, others made hundreds or even thousands of different parts.  These shops were scattered all over Tokyo’s “residential” areas, which were actually a mix of residential and light industry (like Irving!).  Similar situations applied to lesser degrees in other cities.  Individually, these shops did not contribute much to the war effort, but collectively, they constituted between 10-15% of the entire Japanese war industry!  But how to attack them? Here special problems entered in.  Unlike Europe, Japan was subject to high winds, especially at altitude, that made the kind of high-altitude “precision” bombing done in Europe utterly untenable (the winds tending to scatter the bombs hither and yon).  This was tried for many months with dismal results. It was Curtis LeMay who introduced the idea of using area incendiary attacks to deal with the highly dispersed Japanese industry.  And since incendiary attacks had to be made at low level, it was decided to switch to night raids in order to give the bombers a chance to survive (Japanese low level defenses being much, much better than their high altitude defenses).  Now it was known even at the time that using such tactics would likely result in large civilian casualties, but this was seen as unavoidable due to that dispersed nature of the Japanese war industry. It was certainly not expected that the raid of March 9-10, 1945 on Tokyo would result in a firestorm that killed 100,000 (as many as died, at least from initial effects, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined).  That was due to unexpected atmospheric conditions and was not deliberate.  Not that many on the US side were upset about that result, and as the incendiary campaign ground on over the summer of ’45 targets of less and less value were struck with more and more bombs, but the results of Tokyo never even came close to being duplicated.  As the value/volume of bombing ratio deteriorated, it could be argued that, formal policy notwithstanding, the US was deliberately targeting civilians.  That’s an argument one can make on the merits, but involves detailed examination of the evidence beyond the scope of this post.
  3. CLAIM: What about all those high military officials who claimed to have opposed the atomic bombings after the fact?  Status of claim: dubious and self-serving. One can drag out quotes from Eisenhower, MacArthur, Leahy, and a few others in particular claiming – well after the fact, in most cases – that they “opposed” the bombings.  Of course, none of them aside from Leahy even lifted a finger to stop them.  I also heard a claim that even LeMay opposed the bombings, which is so ludicrous as to be mendacious, possibly even prevaricating. There was never a major US military leader in history that was more willing to use nuclear weapons that Curt LeMay, with the possible exception of his replacement as CINCSAC, Tommy Powers.  Both of whom were great men who built up the most awesome fighting force the world has ever seen, but neither had any compunction over the use of nuclear weapons.  On Eisenhower, he was thousands of miles from the action and had absolutely no real intelligence on the war in the Pacific.  He was busy handling post-war Europe, so his opinion really means little.  Eisenhower so disliked nuclear weapons that he later made them the centerpiece of his defense strategy and indicated great willingness to use them.  In essence, all these appeals to authority are really meaningless.  I could produce more quotes from high military figures supporting the use of the atomic bombs than can be found in opposition.  In addition, self-interest entered mightily into these claims. All the Navy and Army guys knew the budget would be slashed after WWII, they knew the Air Force would gain its independence from the Army, and they feared that if the Air Force had this “war winning” weapon, it would get the lion’s share of the budget.  Which did, in fact, occur.  That led to the “Revolt of the Admirals” in 1948 and all manner of other unpleasantness.  But again, appeals to authority are logical fallacies.
  4. CLAIM: Japan was going to surrender anyways!  And requiring “unconditional surrender” was immoral!  Status of claim: absolutely false and mostly false.  This is really the argument on which all opposition to the atomic bombings hangs.  Franks and Giangreco show definitively that the Japanese were nowhere near surrendering prior to the atomic bombings AND Russian entry into the war. It took three shocks and the direct intervention of the Emperor, amounting virtually to a anti-militarist coup, to effect the surrender.  Even then it was a close run thing, the militarists almost blocked the Emperor’s surrender speech and dang near put him on ice for the duration of the conflict. The Japanese militarists who ran the country were gearing up for the “mother of all battles” that would leave half a million Americans dead and force the US to leave the militarist clique in power.  That was the one real “non-negotiable” the militarists had. And they had the means to do it.  The invasion of Japan, by all evidence, would have been the bloodiest fighting the world had seen, period. It would have made Stalingrad and Berlin look like walks in the park.  As for the peace feelers sent out when the war turned against them, sure, they hoped the Soviet Union might somehow broker a favorable settlement, but that was really just wishful thinking.  So long as the militarists insisted on remaining in power, a negotiated surrender was never going to happen.  And let me say right now, the US never intended to remove the Emperor, and hinted strongly to the Japanese early on, that so long as the Emperor gave up his quasi-militarist ways (he had kind of gotten drawn into the weird eastern fascist bushido cum gladiator sickness that pervaded the whole of pre-war Japanese society – read John Toland’s The Rising Sun) he would remain as a figurehead.  So the demand for “unconditional surrender” came down to the adamant refusal on the part of the Allies to allow the militarists to remain in power.  Given that they had started the whole mess, that was not an unreasonable demand.  Had the militarists been allowed to remain in power, there would almost certainly have been a WWIII with a nuclear armed Japan by 1965 or so. The whole bushido death cult demanded Japan’s military culture have world suzerainty, much like Nazism desired.  But it can be argued that the willingness to keep the Emperor in place was never communicated clearly or well enough to reassure the Japanese (that’s because there was huge division in the US government over how he would behave and whether he could be “demilitarized”), and that the Potsdam Declaration demanding unequivocal, unconditional surrender was a massive, even immoral, mistake.
  5. CLAIM: But couldn’t the Allies simply have maintained a blockade or invaded, and wouldn’t that have been more humane? Status of claim?  Are you drunk? These two really get to me, and they are closely tied to number 3 above.  Each military service believed it had the way to win the war in the best way possible. The Army wanted invasion, the Navy blockade, and the Air Force bombing.  All had grave problems but also substantial merits on their side. When you hear those quotes from Halsey or Leahy stating the atomic bombings were unnecessary, what you don’t read is the second part of the sentence, wherein they state that blockade would have done Japan in a few months, anyways (a highly dubious claim).  Same for the army guys.  But at what cost?  Invasion would have resulted in hundreds of thousands if not millions of Japanese dead and tens if not hundreds of thousands on the Allied side. When I say that this invasion would have been a nightmare, believe me, it would have. It would have combined all the worst possible elements of the other options.   First of all, it was planned to “prep” the landing sites with atomic bombs.  Didn’t know that, didya?  Second, poison gas was going to be used in abundance.  The US had found it was hideously expensive to root a few Japanese hiding in some karst caves, and took a really long time.  Why not just gas them? Third, a naval blockade of Japan would have been ongoing.  So, you really get the worst of all possible worlds.  A naval blockade alone could have taken years to starve the Japanese into submission and I fail to see how starving millions to death is morally superior to bombing them. And while all these very long term events are playing out, 100,000 innocent Asians are dying per month at the hands of the Japanese.  Plus there were ongoing US casualties which in July ’45 ran at the rate of 7,000 per week. So even if the initial invasion of Kyushu somehow shocked the Japanese into surrender on 1 Nov ’45, 300,000 more Asians would have died (and the US incurred 84,000 more casualties) than occurred with the way the war ended in reality.  Thus, the atomic bombings ended the war with by far the fewest casualties possible.  They may have been immoral, but they have that fact on their side.
  6. CLAIM: Anti-Catholic protestants in the government bombed Nagasaki because they hate Catholics (Nagasaki being the ancestral home of Catholicism in Japan).  Status of claim:  False.  The original target on 080945 was Kokura, not Nagasaki.  Nagasaki was on the list for atomic bombings because it had not been bombed much at all.  Clouds socked in Kokura (sorry, got my ‘K’ cities mixed up!) so B-29A-40-MO 44-27297 “Bockscar” switched to the alternate target, Nagasaki.  A twist of fate resulted in Nagasaki’s destruction, it could just have easily been Kokura.
  7. CLAIM: Many of the men who flew the atomic bombing missions were afflicted with terrible guilt, most became drunks or suicides.  Status of claim: bogus  This is a common falsehood trotted out.  It is absolutely false. Not even one of the crew ever declared any regrets, nor did any become drunks or commit suicide.  Paul Tibbets, Charles Sweeney, the two commanders, and all the rest of the crew were utterly convinced their actions wound up saving countless lives by shortening the war and were proud of what they did. I have met both men personally several times.  I have a picture of me with General Tibbets somewhere.
  8. I thought you said there was a caveat surrounding the atomic bombings? I did.  Look, there were many military targets in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki (especially the latter, it was a more legitimate target, 90% of the city’s workforce was involved in war production).  The Air Force always argued it was going after those military targets. But that’s pretty weak tea, taking out two entire cities to go after targets that took up perhaps 5-15% of the land area of those cities was pushing things (but, perhaps, still arguable as a way to attack dispersed military targets).  Truman had great political instincts.  I think he knew the invasion MacArthur wanted so badly would be a bloodbath.  Truman had served in combat in WWI and knew war.  He was no dummy. He saw the atomic bombs as a way to shock the Japanese into surrender and spare US servicemen the horrors of an invasion. He wanted the war to be over.  He knew the Soviets were coming in around Aug 1.  So Truman reasoned that the simultaneous Soviet entry into the war, plus the use of this fantastic new weapon that leveled large parts of cities at a time, would shock the Japanese into surrender.  And having read so much on the course of the Japanese surrender, those cats were so fanatical even being completely blockaded, bombed to bits, having the Soviets (their one hope for a negotiated surrender) enter the war, and now these bombs  -even all that combined BARELY did the trick.  Most of the militarists, the officer caste, the Kempeitai secret police (who were everywhere), and even most of the enlisted men would have chosen to fight to a glorious death, even if it meant the death of the Japanese as a people -which it might well could have.  But the thing is, I don’t think Truman much cared if a bunch of Japanese civilians had to die to achieve his aim of ending the war as quickly and bloodlessly (for Americans) as possible.  I think the vast preponderance of the evidence also indicates the atomic bombings+Soviet entry (overrunning the vaunted (but by then, gutted and obsolete) Kwantung Army in Manchuria in a few days) was by far the most cost-effective way to end the war in terms of lives lost.  But a good end cannot come from an evil act, and I think Truman did intentionally kill approximately 100,000 Japanese civilians (the casualty claims from the atomic bombings are frequently grossly exaggerated, certainly 50,000 CIVILIANS died in Hiroshima (+30,000 military) but only about 20-30k in Nagasaki.  Those were the immediate deaths, another 20-30 thousand died from longer term nuclear effects) to bring the war to a speedy end.  From that standpoint, it was an immoral act to intentionally target civilians, and represented a tragic last minute change to US policy.  But given all the mitigating circumstances, I don’t think it was nearly as dastardly or evil as it is often made out to be.

So, this is a pretty quick and dirty analysis.  It has some holes, to be sure, but I’ve already spent ~3000 words and that’s too much for a blog post.  I could, quite literally, write a book.  And mostly from memory.

I will say I have seen it is almost de rigeuer among traditional Catholics to have a visceral hatred of the atomic bombings.  Which, OK, but much of that is based on ignorance of a very complex issue.  I agree they were immoral, but offset by enormous mitigating circumstances.  There is just so much misinformation out there on this topic.  Very early on, the Soviets through their many agents in the US stirred up a propaganda campaign in opposition to the bombings and pretending to loathe atomic weapons as immoral devices (this was the period before the Soviets acquired their own atomic device, greatly aided by stolen US designs – designs stolen by commies).  That effort morphed over time into one of the left’s sacred shibboleths of hating on the atomic bombings.  Being of the left, there are a lot of lousy arguments and false data out there. I have been exposed to many of these erroneous commentaries for decades.  This post hopes to correct many of those, but some remain.

One point I hope folks take away from all this, is that the decision to use the atomic bombs or not ultimately came down to one thing: to leave the militarists in power, or not (another alternative of lesser probability is Soviet domination of most of Japan. I wont’ get into that potentiality for now).  Invasion and blockade were demonstrably far worse alternatives for all involved.  So the issue comes back to negotiated surrender, and the one thing the militarists wanted was power, power to try again, to continue warping and twisting Japanese society according to their sick code, power to to come back and teach the US a lesson it would never forget.  Japan would have acquired nuclear weapons under the militarists by the mid-50s, even if Japan suffered severe economic sanctions and had to give up all its ill-gotten territories.  Then the world would have faced an even more intractably bizarre and evil Japanese culture, but nuclear armed, and hungry for revenge.

I don’t know how this will be received. I suspect many people won’t care, some will be outraged, some others might find the above enlightening.

We shall see.