Here is the speech that I wish President Obama would give about the Iraq War, but which neither he nor any other president ever will.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 08, 2010
CARRIER-KILLING MISSILE BEING DEVELOPEDEric Talmadge August 5, 2010, 5:43 PMABOARD THE USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (AP)Nothing projects U.S. global air and sea power more vividly than supercarriers. Bristling with fighter jets that can reach deep into even landlocked trouble zones, America's virtually invincible carrier fleet has long enforced its dominance of the high sea.China may put an end to that...Read the rest of this witless, jingo bombast here.Nothing projects the American spirit of Miles Gloriosus as much as this sort of chest thumping.And nothing misreads what the next--perhaps the ultimate--Sino-American confrontation is going to look like. The Chinese need not risk the dangers inherent in blowing up the U.S. military-industrial complex's favorite toy.They merely need to keep the Renminbi pegged to the U.S. Buck and steadily decline to roll over the proceeds of their U.S. Bond holdings as they come due..
Friday, August 06, 2010
Every August, upon the anniversaries of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, comments resume about American decisions at the end of World War II. Despite the passage of 65 years, heated opinions are repeated as fact and myths become immortalized as truths. Beyond distorting the historical record, wishful thinking leads us to repeat past mistakes in new ways against new enemies.
Among the inaccuracies :
1. Japan was ready to fight to the end.
Facts: In an intercepted cable of July 12, 1945, Japanese Emperor Hirohito revealed his decision to intervene to end the war. In Harry S. Truman’s journal, the U.S. president characterized the message as “telegram from Jap Emperor asking for peace.” Tokyo was prepared to surrender unconditionally if the monarchy would be retained, the very position the Allies accepted after Hiroshima.
Five days later, Truman predicted that Stalin would “be in the Jap war by August 15. Fini Japs when that comes about.” Nevertheless, he ordered the bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6. The USSR entered the war on Aug. 8. Truman ordered the Aug. 9 bombing of Nagasaki anyway.
2. Dropping the bomb was necessary to prevent an American invasion.
Facts: In 1946, a U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey report based on intelligence available to the White House concluded: “Certainly prior to Dec. 31, 1945, and in all probability prior to Nov. 1, 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russian had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”
3. Dropping the bomb saved lives.
Facts: Stanford historian Barton Bernstein’s study of declassified documents found that the worst-case scenario by military planners was 46,000 deaths if the U.S. invaded both Kyushu and Honshu islands. Since Hiroshima, these estimates have grown exponentially as if to justify using the bomb. In notes, Truman cites 250,000 casualties (dead, wounded, missing). His published memoir raises the number to 500,000 dead. Still later, he referred to saving a million lives. In 1991, President H.W. Bush claimed that the bomb saved “millions.”
Since both presidents, among countless others, ignored the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey conclusion that an invasion was unnecessary, it is no wonder average Americans do the same. All of these morbid calculations ignore the stark fact that more than 187,000 humans died at Hiroshima.
Russell Vandenbroucke, professor and chair of theatre arts at the University of Louisville, is the author of “Atomic Bombers,” a play that was broadcast on public radio to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Hiroshima. This column was provided by the PeaceVoice Program of the Oregon Peace Institute.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
The devastation wrought by the great recession is still all too real for millions of Americans who lost their jobs, businesses and homes. The scars of the crisis are fresh, and every new economic report brings another wave of anxiety. That uncertainty is understandable, but a review of recent data on the American economy shows that we are on a path back to growth.Omigod! We've turned the corner. Happy Days are Here Agai.... What's that? There's still a little downside?
While the economy has a long way to go before reaching its full potential, last week’s data on economic growth show that large parts of the private sector continue to strengthen. Business investment and consumption — the two keys to private demand — are getting stronger, better than last year and better than last quarter. Uncertainty is still inhibiting investment, but business capital spending increased at a solid annual rate of about 17 percent.
Together, private consumption and fixed investment contributed about 3.25 percent to growth. Even the surge in imports, which lowered the rate of increase of G.D.P., actually reflects healthy and growing American demand.
We have a long way to go to address the fiscal trauma and damage across the country, and we will need to monitor the ups and downs in the economy month by month. The share of workers who have been unemployed for six months or more is at its highest level since 1948, when the data was first recorded, and we must do more to ensure that they have the skills they need to re-enter the 21st-century economy. Small businesses are still battling a tough climate. State and local governments are still hurting.Train millions of 45-year olds to take jobs in the service sector at half their former income? Is this what you mean Mr. Geithner?
And while making smart, targeted investments in our future, we must also cut the deficit over the next few years and make sure that America once again lives within its means.Yah! We're talking about cutting Social Security; making sure that your new job as an on-line customer service rep (which you stole back from some guy in Mumbai or Manila by undercutting his wages) will be still there for you until you're 75, and finally eligible for a pension.
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- Jim Bouman
- Waukesha, Wisconsin, United States
- Of my biblical allotment of three score and ten I have lived only three of them more than a bicycle ride from one of the Great Lakes. I'm a "somewhat combative pacifist and a fairly cooperative anarchist," after the example of Grace Paley (1922-2007). I'm always cheerful when I pay my taxes (having refused--when necessary--to pay some portion of them). And I always, always vote.