World War 2 in a different light
When the U.S. killed 672,000 Japanese through civilian bombing, even Secretary of War Henry Stimson wondered why:
There is something wrong with a country where no one questions that.”
Two photos of post firebombing of Dresden
“...U.S. industrialists [are] hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant [American] democratic government and [are] working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi regime. They extended aid to help Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there.”
"U.S. industrialists [are] hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant [American] democratic government" Sounds extreme and unbeilivable?
(See more on the ignored history on the business tycon 1933 plot to overthrow the United States Government, foiled by General Smedley Butler)
Click here for more on the attempted overthrow
As one author writes:
Why, then, is this incident in U.S. history not better known?
Why don't children learn in school about the plot to seize the United States government? The answer is obvious to anyone familiar with how the American political system and press work.
Excerpts of the Flyboys
Testimonies of those who lived through Hiroshima
Articles by Zinn on Hiroshima
Extensive excerpts from the book Flyboys : A True Story of Courage, detailing the fire bombing of Japan
The Book Flyboys very even handily details both Japanese and American atrocities. For example: Japan practiced cannibalism on American prisoners of war and wantonly killed hundreds of thousands of Chinese. I focus on America’s war crimes here.
Nagasaki 1945 Before and after
AMERICA PRACTICES BOMBING CIVILIAN JAPANESE-STYLE HOMES IN UTAH
To test napalm’s potential on “industrial” Japan, the army had built a “Little Tokyo” at Dugway Proving Ground, eighty-seven miles southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah. Carpenters and designers who had worked in Japan constructed two dozen Japanese-style homes, using authentic Japanese wood. Japanese floors—tatami mates—were hard to come by, but some were found in Hawaii and shipped in. Authentic furniture was placed in the rooms. To simulate real living conditions, clothes were hung in closets.
Throughout the summer of 1943, the army air force had dropped different mixtures of napalm on Utah’s Little Tokyo. The winner was a new bomb called the M69. The M69 didn’t look like a bomb; it looked like a section of piped twenty inches long and three inches in diameter, and was not round but hexagonal with blunt ends. Inside the pipe was napalm packed in cheesecloth bags. The entire assembly weighed just six and a half pounds. This pipe bomb was dropped from a plane and floated to earth attached to a three-foot-long streamer that slowed its descent, preventing it from falling so fast that it would go right through a building and into the basement.
When the M69 hit the ground, it lay still for about five seconds—just an inert pipe. Then, with a bang, it shot out the cheesecloth bags. If there were no obstructions, the bags traveled a distance of a hundred yards. If the cheesecloth bags struck and object, its projectile force burst the bag and the flaming goo broke into hundreds of small chunks and splattered up to fifty feet in all directions.
Other incendiaries burned intensely, but they burned in one place. An old-fashioned incendiary might crash through your roof and start your floor afire, but the fire was localized and you might be able to put it out. The M69 didn’t start one fire, it started hundreds. And they kept burning.
Collier’s magazine highlighted the perfection of the M69 napalm bomb in a breezy article entitled “Tokyo Calling Cards.” Accompanying the article was a colorful illustration of Little Tokyo on the barren Utah salt flats. The article said the M69 was first tested against civilian homes. “Having proved itself in the comparatively simple job of demolishing houses, the bomb had to be capable of doing an equal job on industrial buildings, too, or the Army didn’t want it. During an incendiary bomb attack some houses do get burned—by accident—but the prime target is the enemy’s industrial plant.” The article did not question why, if industrial targets were the priority for destruction, meticulously constructed homes were the first targets of the tests. (Page 268-269)
LARGEST SINGLE-DAY KILLING IN WORLD HISTORY
[The surprise Tokyo bombing was] the largest single-day killing in world history had just taken place. The dead would surpass the later atomic toll at Nagasaki. Only Hiroshima would see more—slightly more—dead. (Page 276)
AMERICANS DIDN’T CARE ABOUT CITY FIRE BOMBINGS—MEDIA HELPED JUSTIFY GOVERNMENT
[General] Curtis [LeMay] had burned out the heart of one of the world’s greatest cities [Tokyo] with 334 B-29s on his first try. [General] Hap [Arnold] was now promising him three times that number to torch Japan.
Back home New York Times headlines proclaimed “B-29s FIRE 15 SQUARE MILES OF TOYKO”, hitting “Thickly Populated Center of Big City.” A day later, the paper’s headline drove home the same message: “center of Tokyo devastated by fire bombs” with “City’s Heart Gone” The times measured the destruction using a comparable area of Manhattan. The article referred to “jellied gasoline,” and a correspondent who accompanied the mission reported, “I not only saw Tokyo burning furiously in many sections, but I smelled it.”
Airmen in Washington were worried that if the public understood that Americans were pouring gasoline indiscriminately on civilians, there would be complaints—and with good reason. One of General Macarthur’s aides, Brigadier General Bonner Fellers, described the Tokyo raid in a confidential memo as “one of the most ruthless and barbaric killing of non-combatants in all history.” But instead of halting such raids, Washington sent a message to Curtis stating that U.S. “editorial comment [is] beginning to wonder about blanket incendiary attacks upon cities therefore [we] urge you [to] continue hitting hard your present line that this destruction is necessary to eliminate home industries and that it is strategic bombing.” Just to make sure he got the point, the message ended, “Guard against anyone stating this is area bombing.”
At a March 23 Washington press conference, army air force spokesmen didn’t speak of human carnage. Instead, everything was reduced to dry cost-benefit statistics: “1,200,000 factory workers…made homeless”” and “at least 100,000 man-months” of labor lost to Japan, and “360,000,000 sq. ft. of highly industrialized land…leveled to ashes.” As to the use of napalm, it was just “the economical method of destroying the small industries in these areas…of bringing about their liquidation.” When asked about “the reasoning behind this switch from explosives to incendiaries,” the spokesman dodged the question, claiming that the mission was still “the reduction of Japanese ability to produce war goods.”
In 1937, when Japan first bombed Chinese cities, the New York Times headlined two hundred deaths as a “Slaughter of Noncombatants.” The very idea of airplanes killing “civilian victims” was shocking front-page news. Not the press followed the American government line. Newspapers noted, “Tokyo is a prime military target, so recognized under the rules of war…and civilians remain there to man Japan's armament industries at their own peril.” And in case anyone was feeling bad about napalming women and children, the New York Herald Tribune Assured its readers that “the incendiary raids cause little loss of life but drive inhabitants into the country and destroy the industrial utility.” (Page 279-280)
Curtis was clearly much more effective than the American bombers had been in Europe. Bombing destroyed seventy-nine square miles of Germany’s urban area. Curtis destroyed seventy nine square miles of Germany’s urban area. Curtis destroyed more than twice as much urban area in Japan: 178 square miles. Germany's capital, Berlin, lost 10 square miles. Tokyo lost 56.3 square miles. In fact the damage of two Japanese cities, Tokyo (56.3 square miles) and Osaka (16.4 square miles), nearly equaled all the damage done to all German cities put together. (Page 300)
“A chilling report in August 1941 documented that only about one bomb in five landed within even a five-mile radius of the designated target.”…
The civilized English slaughter from the air was distinguished from the barbaric German and Japanese campaigns by an obfuscating cloud of euphemisms. The public was told British planes sought out strictly “military targets” and civilians were only killed by “mistake.” Churchill spoke of “dehousing.” indiscriminate bombing of civilian area was called “area bombing.” One U.S. Army Air Force instructor noted, “Most of the European nations are definitely contemplating [area bombing, but it is] repugnant to our humanitarian principles.” Instead, U.S. Army Force doctrine called for “high-altitude precision bombing.” (Pages 257-258)
[The] head of the Office of War Information, told the Joint Chiefs of Staff in February of 1945 how the American public felt: “There did not appear to be a great deal of opposition from the humanitarian point of view to the bombing of Japan but some opposition is being expressed to the continual bombing of Berlin.” Syndicated military analyst Major George Fielding Eliot called for “the complete and ruthless destruction of Japanese industry, so that not one brick of any Japanese factory shall be left upon another, so that there shall not be in Japan one electric motor or one steam or gasoline engine, not a chemical laboratory, not so much as a book which tells how these things are made.” (Page 263)
BIOLOGICAL WARFARE CONSIDERED BY AMERICA ON JAPAN
Hap Arnold’s…problem was that by October he would run out of cities to burn. Already American napalm had killed more than 400,000 Japanese and injured nearly 500,000. It had destroyed 2.5 million homes. Thirty percent of the urban population—9 million people—was homeless, trudging through the land with vacant stares and empty bellies.
…And after the B-29s burned out all of Japan’s cities, there were other aggressive plans if Japan did not surrender. “The rice paddies might be sprayed with oil, defoliants, or biological agents, and the production of fertilizer further attacked.” (Page 300)
JAPANESE WAR CRIMINALS GIVEN IMMUNITY
THE ALLIES’ MOCKERY OF ‘JUSTICE’
Perhaps Japan’s most egregious war crime was the biological and chemical warfare waged in China by Unit 731…when the…doctors offered the U.S. valuable information based on their gruesome experiments in exchange for immunity, Macarthur immediately approved…
Today many complain that Japan has not taken full responsibility for its involvement in World War II. But by letting the chief culprit off, by contorting justice with ex post facto laws (laws made after the fact), and by hiding some of Japan’s most horrific crimes (including cannibalism of American POWs) , the Allies made a mockery of any attempt to fix historical blame.
..One of the judges at the Tokyo war crimes trial was from the Soviet Union. [The Soviets] still held up to 700,000 Japanese prisoners captured in Manchuria. As the Tokyo trial wore on and a Soviet sat in judgment over Japanese, [Japanese] were being worked to death in Soviet prison camps. More than 62,000 Japanese POWs—almost twice as many as Allied POW deaths—would die in the gulag. (Page 319)
Nations tend to see the others side’s war atrocities as systemic and indicative of their culture and their own atrocities as justified or the acts of stressed combatants…As Ray Gallagher, who flew on both atomic missions against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, argues, “When you’re not at war you’re a good second guesser. You had to live those years and walk that mile.” (Page 329)
CLASSIC EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF HIROSHIMA
What is considered a classic and best book on the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima:
Hiroshima by JOHN HERSEY
EYEWITNESS’ ACCOUNTS OF THE FIREBOMBING OF TOKYO
The B-29s began lumbering down Guam airstrips at 5:35 P.M. on Friday, March 9, 1945…
By 8:15 P.M. 334 B-29s were in the air…(Page 267)
March 9, Hashimoto-san remembered was “very windy and cold.” A north wind was blowing over fifty miles an hour, “violent as a spring typhoon.” As the leading B-029 “pathfinder” planes winged toward the empire, radiomen tuned into Tokyo Rose…Just before midnight, a spokesman for imperial General Headquarters went on the radio to remind Tokyo residents that Army Day would be celebrated the next day, March 10. There would be a big parade in the center of Tokyo. As he signed off, he encouraged his listeners to keep their chins up. His last words were “The darkest hour is just before dawn.”
Minutes later, the pathfinder planes came whooshing over Tokyo at a height of only five hundred feet. Releasing their jellied gasoline, the seared a flaming X across the city.
“They took the most experienced crews and put them up about forty-five minutes before the bulk of the bomber stream arrived,” pilot Charlie Phillips said about the pathfinders. “They drew a fiery X on the ground. That formed four quadrants. We would have a designated quadrant to put our bombs into as we arrived.
Then the bombers arrived in groups of three, homing in on the flaming X/. The B-29s had timing devices called intervalometers that planted the five-hundred-pound clusters of incendiaries every fifty feet. “In this way, the bomb load of each bomber covered a strip 350 feet by 2,000 feet.”
The 334 B-29s dropped 8,519 bombs weighing 500 pounds each. These bombs burst open 2,000 feet above Tokyo and released a total of 496,000 individual 6.2 pound cylinders containing jellied gasoline. The cylinders floated down slowly with their little parachutes…
Seventeen-year-old Miyoko Takeuchi had jumped into the family dugout when the alert sounded. “I saw American planes dropping incendiaries like a shower, like a Niagara Falls of fireworks,” she said. “Everyone there in the dugout said ‘How beautiful!’ From the distant hills of the Jesuit Sophia University, Father Gustav Bitter thought the scene of falling cylinders with their parachutes resembled “a silver curtain falling like…the silver tinsel that we hung from Christmas trees in Germany…and where these silver streamers would touch the earth, red fires would spring up.” Danish diplomat Lars Tillitse later said the incendiaries “did not fall, the descended rather slowly, lake a cascade of silvery water. One single bomb covered quite a big area, and what they covered they devoured.”
Thousands of fired sprang to life. “The wind acted like a lid on the fire, keeping the heat and forcing the flames to spread out instead of up. Smoke and sparks were everywhere, and white-hot gusts came roaring down narrow streets.” Individual fires emerged into whirlwinds of flame that lashed out like dragons’ tongues. Within thirty minutes, the fire department was completely defeated. “At one station, the fire left only a tangle of corpses around a melted fire engine.” Recalled one pilot, “The whole area was lighted as if it were broad daylight when we entered the drop zone.”
Yoshiko Hashimoto was asleep with her one-year-old son and three sisters, mother, and father when the attack began. Her husband was away on duty. She heard the air-raid siren. She ran with her baby to the family’s dugout for protection. Her mother and father and sisters---Chieko, nineteen; Etsuko, seventeen; and Hisae, fourteen—came next.
Her father immediately sensed that this raid was different from the smaller ones Tokyo had already endured. “It’s dangerous to stay in the dugout, let’s run away!” He shouted to his wife and daughters.
“I tied m baby on my back and covered him with a big maternity cover,” Hashimoto-san told me. “I carried diapers, milk, and important family documents.” She didn’t yet grasp that this night would be a fight for survival.
The family took shelter underneath an elevated railway. But in just seconds, her father yelled again, “Let’s go!”
“I looked to the west—it was red like the sun setting,” Hashimoto-san said. “I saw many pillars of fire sprouting from the ground. Many B-29s were dropping bombs. They were flying so low I wondered if they’d hit utility poles. They were so large and their bellies were red from the reflected fire.
“Days earlier, the B-29s were small dots in the sky with a tail,” she told me. “But that night they were so big. And the sound of so many incendiaries going off was like listening to a train rushing by. The town was like day even though it was night.
“The fire was moving fast, driven by the wind,” she said. “It was a storm rushing at us with sparkles of fire inside.”
Nineteen-year-old sister Chieko decided to remain under the train tracks to guard the family possessions.
Now six family members ran from the galloping flames. Yoshiko carried her baby boy on her back as her family “took flight before the flames, through smoke that hung so thickly in placers that they could not see more than ten feet, all panting ‘huh, huh, huh’ as they ran.” She tried to hold her younger sister Etsuko’s hand , but seventeen –year-old Etsuko felt it was her responsibility to clutch a big pot of rice with both hands in case the family needed it. Etsuko fell behind and in the push and shove of the crowd, Yoshiko shouted back to her, “Little Etsuko, are you OK?”
“Big sister, please wait for me!” Etsuko screamed.
“The distance between us widened,” Hashimoto-san told me through tears. “I lost her in the crowd of people. I am eighty-one years old now. But I still hear her voice, ‘Big sister, please wait for me!’”
The seven members of the Hashimoto family now numbered five. The baby boy on Yoshiko’s back was screaming nonstop. The wind and the heat levitated whole portions of sheet metal roofs that sliced through the air like Frisbees. Sparks, bedding, and burned clothes whizzed past them.
Gunner David Farquar, high above the flames, remembered, “The missions were so low. The fires so intense, that oftentimes scraps and bits of burning material would end up in our bomb bays—little pieces of burning material would end up in our bomb bays—little pieces of shingle of little pieces of scraps and bits of things that had been burned.” The tremendous heat tossed planes five thousand feet above the flames. “The turbulence was so bad that some aircraft were flipped over on their back, the whole crews,” remembered pilot Harry George. “Imagine a piece of paper in a leaf pile,” gunner Ed Ricketson said, “Now imagine an entire city,” “My chair was bolted to the floor and tied to me with the seat belt,” radio operator George Gladden said. “when the wave hit, it jerked the bolts out, and I was struck against the ceiling with a chair tied to me.”
The fire was so hot that “superheated vapors rushing ahead of the wall of flames killed or knocked unconscious its victims even before the flames reached them.” The temperatures reached 1,8000 degrees fahrenheit. Babies exploded on mothers’ backs, and cars on streets were “consumed like crumpled paper.”
Iwao Ishikawa remembered being trapped by the fire in a group of about forty people. “Because of this inferno, this burning hell, a young father right next to me didn’t seem to know that the child on this back was on fire,” Ishikawa said, “People on the outer edge of the group fell one by one, dead from inhalation.”
Rivers of fire flowed down the streets. Canals boiled and human burst spontaneously into flames, blazing like matchsticks. People’s heads exploded in the heat, the liquid brains in their burst skulls bubbling an eerie fluorescence. The feet of the fleeing masses scrunched eyeballs that had popped under pressure.
Miho Yoshioka ran into a temple for safety. She remembered thinking that she saw “a lot of statues of guardian deities inside, just like the ones outside. I suddenly realized that they were really burned bodies, still standing upright.”
Nineteen-year-old Kimie Ono saw a mother and child running. “Suddenly a firestorm swpet out a finger to lick them, and in a second the mother and child burst into flames…Their clothes afire, they staggered and fell to the ground. No one stopped to help them.”
Hidezo Tsuchikua rushed with his two children to the Futaba School, famous for its large swimming pool. He went to the roof where flames lapped at them. Inside the school building, thousands were baked to death and “looked like mannequin, some of them with a pinkish complexion.” Tsuchikua will always remember the sight of the pool: “It was hideous. More than a thousand people, we estimated, had jammed into the pool. The pool had been filled to its brim when we first arrived. Now there wasn’t a drop of water, only the bodies of the adults and children who had died.
Yoshiko Hashimoto, with her baby boy on her back, continued to run with her parents and youngest sister toward the river. They dodged billboards and debris whirling through the heated air. Finally, they reached the bridge.
“People were burning to death on the bridge,” Hashimoto-san said. “Clothes would burst into flames. Everybody was stamping out fires. My hair caught on fire. Everyone was screaming.” And the little boy on her back had been yelping as loudly as anyone.
“Suddenly, I heard a big scream from him,” she told me. “I turned to see he had sparkles of fire in his mouth. His mouth was red inside. I scraped the burning sparkles out with my hand.”
The baby boy as the pride of the all-female family. Hashimoto-san placed him on the gound and wrapped her body around him for protection. Her mother and father did the same for her. They covered themselves with the maternity coat, but it caught fire.
“We’ll all die here!” Hashimoto-san remembered her father crying.
“At that moement I did think I was going to die,” she told me. “It’s so hard to realize you’re going to die.”
“Yoshiko! Jump in the river!” her mother screamed. “Jump! Jump!”
“It was March; the river was cold,” she remembered. “I had a baby in my arms. I didn’t have the courage to jump. But I had to.”
The metal bridge railings had been ripped out earlier to be melted down for weapons. Now the railings were logs, which were ablaze. To jump in, Hashimoto-san had to place her feet in the fire. She hesitated.
“My mother took her fire hood off and put it on my head,” she told me. “We were four girls in the family and I had the first son. Everybody loved the boy. We didn’t have many things. Our general mood was dark. For my mother, watching the baby boy grow was her only joy. I still remember here face. Her hair was standing on end, blown by the hot wind. The red of the nearby flames reflected in her face. I cannot forget her face. It was the last time I saw her.”
Yoshiko stepped onto the burning rails and leaped with her baby in her arms.
“I went from the heat to the piercing cold of the water.” She said. “The baby’s eyes opened wide. The water was cold and right above it was hot like a furnace. You know when you put something in a furnace and it immediately catches fire? That’s what it was like.
“I was swimming with one arm, holding the baby with the other arm. A raft of logs came along. I put my baby on a corner of the raft. I hung on. I reparably put water over his head. I sunk my head in the water and kept putting water on my baby.
“Right next to the raft was a small boat with two men on it. I screamed to those men—‘Please, save my baby. Only my baby is fine, you don’t have to take me.’ They came close to the raft. They took my baby and let me on the boat. We floated downstream.”
The two men saved Yoshiko and her little boy. She spent the night in and out of consciousness as the boat inched along with the roasted corpses.
“I heard moans all night,” she told me. “I still hear them moaning. Groaning and moaning like hunger big toads. All the rest of my life I hared hearing toads making that noise.”
“At five thousand feet, you could smell the flesh burning,” remembered Chester Marshall. “It’s kind of a sweet smell. We said ‘What is that I smell?’ Somebody said, ‘That’s flesh burning.’” Pilot Harry George: “The smell of burning flesh was putrid. It wasn’t nice at all.”</blockquote>
Testimonies of those who lived through Hiroshima and the A-Bomb WWW Museum.
The Progressive magazine:The Greatest Generation? (Howard Zinn was an American bomber in Germany)
The Progressive magazine:The Bombs Of August by Howard Zinn
Near the end of the novel The English Patient there is a passage in which Kip, the Sikh defuser of mines, begins to speak bitterly to the burned, near-death patient about British and American imperialism: "You and then the Americans converted us. . . . You had wars like cricket. How did you fool us into this? Here, listen to what you people have done." He puts earphones on the blackened head. The radio is telling about the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Kip goes on: "All those speeches of civilization from kings and queens and presidents . . . such voices of abstract order . . . American, French, I don't care. When you start bombing the brown races of the world, you're an Englishman. You had King Leopold of Belgium, and now you have fucking Harry Truman of the USA."
You probably don't remember those lines in the movie made from The English Patient. That's because they were not there.
Hardly a surprise. The bombing of Hiroshima remains sacred to the American Establishment and to a very large part of the population in this country. I learned that when, in 1995, I was invited to speak at the Chautauqua Institute in New York state. I chose Hiroshima as my subject, it being the fiftieth anniversary of the dropping of the bomb. There were 2,000 people in that huge amphitheater and as I explained why Hiroshima and Nagasaki were unforgivable atrocities, perpetrated on a Japan ready to surrender, the audience was silent. Well, not quite. A number of people shouted angrily at me from their seats.
Understandable. To question Hiroshima is to explode a precious myth which we all grow up with in this country--that America is different from the other imperial powers of the world, that other nations may commit unspeakable acts, but not ours.