Martha Goodings’ interesting review of Ward Wilson’s Five Myths about Nuclear Weapons (Oct-Dec 2013) made some very good points indeed.
She rightly refers to Tsuyoshi Hasegawa’s Racing the Enemy (not ‘Sun’ as printed).
These myths need to be exposed if we are to make progress.
But Racing the Enemy is not just important for showing why the Japanese did surrender. Even more significant is that it demolishes the myth that dropping the bombs was the only way to bring the war to an end.
The Allies knew very well that what was holding things up was the anxiety on the Japanese side to make sure that the Emperor was protected in any settlement which would bring the war to an end.
This was known at Potsdam, yet the insistence on unconditional surrender continued.
Once the surrender did take place and MacArthur was in power, the Allies gave the Japanese just what they had wanted.
The Emperor was never prosecuted as a war criminal and his status was protected.
The aim of using those barbaric weapons had more to do with keeping the Soviets out of the Pacific war, though in this they were not entirely successful.
But the war could probably have ended earlier with a Japanese surrender if, in advance, the Allies had given the Japanese what they eventually got.
Bruce Kent, London, UK
Vice President, CND
There are some advantages to being a retired senior. On October 1st, I had the time and opportunity to watch and listen to the President of Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu, addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations.
It was a long, well-polished, impeccably presented speech. The gist was to warn members of the Assembly that Iran is a very dangerous country, secretly developing nuclear weapons. Netanyahu described the president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani—who had previously spoken—as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, trying to pull the wool over the eyes of other members of the Assembly. Iran, he vehemently stated, could not be trusted. Of course he did not mention that Israel already has an arsenal of nuclear weapons.
I spent the next hour watching videos and commentaries about how Israel is demolishing homes to build settlements on Palestinian land, even though the UN has stated that, under international law, it is illegal to do so. Palestinians who refuse to leave may be imprisoned, or even treated more harshly.
In one particularly brutal case, a young Palestinian refused to leave his mother’s home. The Israeli soldier forced the young man to get down on his knees. In desperation the mother offered the soldier some money to not kill her son. The soldier thanked the mother for her kindness, and then fired five shots into her son!
Canada’s present government, even more so than Obama’s White House, repeatedly assures President Natanyahu that he has their full and unquestioned support. Why?
Leo Kurtenbach, Saskatoon