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An Affectionate and Respectful Objection Print E-mail
By Joseph Wood   
Tuesday, 02 June 2009

During his homily for Pentecost last Sunday, Benedict XVI referred to the mythological Prometheus and observed that:

having possessed himself of the energy of the cosmos - the 'fire' - man today seems to present himself as God, and wishes to transform the world while excluding, marginalising, or even rejecting the Creator of the universe. Man no longer wants to be the image of God but of himself, and declares his own autonomy, freedom and maturity. In the hands of such a person, the 'fire' and its enormous potential become dangerous. They can turn against life and against humanity itself, as history unfortunately shows.

All that is completely consistent with what this sensitive and brilliant leader has taught in the past, in particular his insistent message that our intellects, our reason, must be used in accordance with the truth of faith if we are to avoid disaster.

But then the pope added, “The tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain as a perennial admonition where atomic energy, used for bellicose ends, ended up causing death on an unprecedented scale." There is no more ardent set of defenders of this pope than those who write for The Catholic Thing, myself included. But this remark is wrong and ill-reasoned, and it raises questions.

First, the atomic bombs did not cause death on an unprecedented scale. The American firebombing of Tokyo and other Japanese cities that preceded the atomic bombs killed more Japanese. The Japanese rampage through Asia in the 1930s and ‘40s killed vastly more people than the atomic bombs. So did the Nazi war on European civilization. So did the German ovens in the concentration camps. So did the forced starvation of Ukraine – the horrible fire in the bellies of millions -- by the Soviet Union. Etc., etc.

Second, to say or clearly imply that those who decided to use atomic weapons on Japan, faced with the prospect of far more Japanese and American casualties in the event of an invasion of Japan, were men who were pursuing their own “bellicose ends” stemming from self-declared “autonomy” in defiance of God, is unjust. They may have been wrong. The debate rages. But to suggest that they were exemplars of the promotion of fiery godless violence is not on a level with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s many majestic books, the Regensburg lecture, or the pope’s speeches in America and the Middle East. Something just isn’t right here.

Maybe it was just bad wording. Even great minds miss logical or factual errors at times. Popes are infallible when all the requirements for an infallible statement are met, but they and their staffs are human, too. The comment about Nagasaki and Hiroshima, however, is a non-sequitur in the context of the rest of the homily. That suggests it was added with a purpose in someone’s mind.

One such purpose might be to reach out to President Obama. July could be a convenient time for a first meeting between the pope and Obama, who will be in Italy for the G-8 meeting. In April, President Obama spoke in Prague and outlined a broad nuclear disarmament agenda with a final goal of a world without nuclear weapons: “as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act.” He did not add that the United States is also the only power in history to have enjoyed such a military advantage over its enemies and not to have put it to wider use for worse aims.

The Vatican has long advocated nuclear disarmament. In announcing that priority, Obama was clear that a nuclear-free world is a distant prospect and that we will maintain an effective nuclear arsenal in the meantime. But broad U.S. moral guilt in nuclear and other matters – beyond the question of the specific circumstances of the atomic bombs – is certainly a reflexive anti-American assumption in some circles in both America and Europe (including some members of the Curia).

A second reason may have been to highlight the dangers of nuclear proliferation in the wake of North Korea’s nuclear test and Iran’s continued defiance of pressure to end its nuclear weapons program. The leaders of both those countries certainly fit the category of men who have sundered faith and reason for Promethean goals. But if this was the point, there was no reason to try to establish a specious moral equivalence between a United States trying to end a world war brought on by tyrants in Japan, Germany, and Italy, with an Iran that would destroy Israel or a North Korea that would destroy anything within reach. And the homily made no mention of the American rebuilding of devastated Japan and Europe after the war when atomic bombs were used; we should expect no comparable program from Pyongyang or Tehran.

Whatever the purpose of the pope’s remark, if any progress is to be made on disarmament or other ways of advancing the cause of peace, the debate must proceed based on facts and logic – reason – coupled with faith. And Pope Benedict XVI knows that better than anyone else on the scene today.

Joseph Wood is a former White House official who worked on foreign policy, including Vatican affairs.


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Comments (60)Add Comment
0
Only a Papal Gaffe
written by Willie, June 03, 2009
I agree the association of the US with the horror of WWII was out of character for Benedict. Above all people he is aware of the unprecedented murders commited in his own country, rendering his comment even risible. It is not unlikely that some progressive European prelate with anti-American feelings and God knows what other feelings, may have inserted the remark. Benedict is a most intelligent leader but in the course of 2000 years it would not be the first time the papacy was politically inept.
0
...
written by chris, June 03, 2009
So, not even the Holy Father can deign to criticize the apogee of utilitarian sacrifice of innocents? Enjoy your time with Moloch. I'll get my truly Catholic commentary elsewhere.
0
...
written by Chris Ryland, June 03, 2009
Yes, *all* the carpet-bombing we did in WWII was a direct attack on civilians, as was the use of nuclear weapons in Japan. All of them are directly and specifically prohibited by the Church. You're trying to defend the indefensible.
0
A Reader
written by Linda Smith, June 03, 2009
If just war requires that one never attack innocent, unarmed civilians, then to do so is forbidden, as in absolutely forbidden. The old men and women, young mothers and children, and the babies who died in the atomic bomb attacks were non-combatants. In retrospect we know that the Japanese feared we would humiliate their emperor. We should have reassured them. A demonstration in any unoccupied area might have convinced them to surrender. There is nothing dishonorable about repentence.
0
author
written by Joseph Wood, June 03, 2009
There is much in what Linda Smith and Chris Ryland say in their comments, and much more about the Church's teaching on just war than they or I could say in the space limits here. In this piece, I did not defend the decision to use atomic weapons, firebombing, or any other military means. I noted that debate continues, as it should.

For "chris," who seems to offer a final judgment (based on one column) that the Church reserves to God alone, I hope he finds solid Catholic commentary somewhere.
0
...
written by Brendan, June 03, 2009
The laundry list of horrible events mentioned by Mr. Wood that were statistically more destructive than the dropping of atomic bombs in Japan is unnecessary, at least based on the quote from the Pope's comments that he provides. The bombing of Japan illustrates how quickly we can wipe out a massive number of people in one instant. The illustrations provided by Mr. Wood show how we can wipe out massive amounts of people over a period of time. An innocent mistake.
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Know your Faith
written by Dust, June 03, 2009
Judging my the quality of thought of a couple of the previous commenters, it is safe to say here that many do not know or understand what the Catholic Faith teaches, and/or they don't know the facts of history. Pope Benedict made his comments without speaking "Ex Cathedra" - namely, he was offering his personal opinion with all the baggage that an individual brings to the thought process.
0
...
written by Michael Francis James Lee, June 03, 2009
Wood sounds angry and harsh.

When one considers that children are yet being born with birth defects resulting from the use of the atomic bomb, perhaps the carnage is greater in some sense after all.

I simply don't think that the Holy Father needs a lecture from a former political operative for the White House.
0
Bias
written by Dust, June 03, 2009
Without question the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were horrific. That they hastened the end of the war is a historical fact. How many readers today would not exist if we had invaded the Home Islands in 1946 because their fathers, grandfathers or great grandfathers would have been one of the estimated 1 million American casualties just in the invasion of Kyushu. Glad those complex decisions weren't mine to make as I couldn't do it, but ultimately, God judges those who did. Not you.
0
Indefensible
written by Robert Kennedy, June 03, 2009
At the time of the Second World War virtually the only systematic criticism of Allied bombing policies came from Catholic moralists. How ironic now that Mr Wood defends the indefensible and distorts the pope's words to do so. The US did a wicked thing to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki (to say nothing of the conventional bombing of Tokyo, Dresden, etc). The use of atomic weapons was indeed unprecedented (in destructive power from one weapon) and most certainly for a bellicose end.
0
...
written by Socrates, June 03, 2009
Yes, the Pope just must be wrong, for he dared to contradict neoconservative American mythology, and, even more scandalous, he dared to criticize the American use of military force, which is, by definition, always just, even when thousands of innocent civilians are killed. Shame on him.
0
Surrender
written by Howard Kainz, June 03, 2009
My understanding is that the Japanese were willing to surrender conditionally, but the U.S. wanted unconditional surrender, and the only way to achieve that was to use the atomic bomb.
0
Professor of Theology
written by Peter A. Kwasniewski, June 03, 2009
The use of the atomic bomb is manifestly contrary to the principles of just war as the Catholic Church has authoritatively articulated them. It is impossible to detonate a nuclear weapon over a city of hundreds of thousands or millions without intending the deaths of countless non-combatants. There is no way to apply the principle of double effect in this situation. I have long been consoled by the fact that nearly every educated Catholic I know easily recognizes the injustice of the bombing.
0
...
written by Paul, June 03, 2009
It would be nicer to learn to spell before learning to make comments. Leaves one to wonder.
0
...
written by Megs, June 03, 2009
Why does this come as a stunner? We saw too many leading Catholics in our nation rush to defend the Bush administration's actions in Iraq despite the various comments from John Paul the Great and the current Holy Father. The late Father Neuhaus, Weigel, Novak-they all put Caesar over Christ and the political kingdom over the greater one.
0
terrorism
written by W. Williams, June 03, 2009
The interesting question for me is the following: Given the general definition of terrorism in our society as "an attack directed at civilians," do the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki constitute acts of terrorism?
0
Why we did it.
written by Brad Miner, June 03, 2009
After Pearl, much intelligence effort focused on coded Japanese messages, which in ‘45 showed the militarists in Japan seeking Soviet aid in swapping peace for preservation of their power, even as the emperor called for a fight to the finish. Proof that the plea to the Soviets was a ruse comes from other documents showing official Japanese preparations for a last-man defense of the homeland and from the fact that Japan did not surrender even after Hiroshima. An invasion would have been hell.
0
...
written by Paul Michael, June 03, 2009
Pope Benedict, a Bavarian, whose Catholic faith was in a community that openly worshiped God. Trained by several noted theologians. Elected to a clerical office, his last biography said, "My life has come to an end." The life of Christ begins. He does not speak as an individual, or rule as he would like to see the Church go, rather, what would be good for the people that Christ would want. His opinions then have to be looked a in a theologically.
0
Student
written by Achilles, June 03, 2009
Mr. Wood is making an excellent point. No one doubts the horriffic nature of the dropping of the A-bombs, the death and destruction that followed is still only a drop in the bucket of the nearly 200 million violent deaths of the 20th century. It is the bias against the US in an age of relativism, multiculturalism and egalitarianism that makes the debate incoherant. Excellent essay, some of the myopic comments are very narrow.
0
Lofty Perch
written by Dust, June 03, 2009
It is always nice to be lectured by one's intellectual and moral betters as it always helps them maintain their own smug self-rightousness and condescending attitudes towards those who do not openly agree with them. But adds nothing to this discussion.
No one in this thread, to my knowledge, has stated they advocate(ed) the use of nuclear weapons. There were complexities to the decision to bomb that cannot be dismissed by an emotional wave of the hand in the matter.
0
Professorof Humanities
written by Thaddeus Kozinski, June 03, 2009
Benedict XVI has dismantled in one sentence the silly but lethal mythology of American neoconservatism which leads people like Michael Novak to evangelize the Pope on the justice of a manifestly unjust occupation of a sovereign country posing no imminent threat of attack, and people on this website to defend the absolutely indefensible and then accuse the Pope of "error" when he refuses to defend it. The pro-life movement will never be successful in stopping abortion if it supports unjust wars.
0
...
written by Liz, June 03, 2009
I had uncles & a dad who fought in WWII - some in the Pacific. I also had a cousin who at the time was a Maryknoll missionary in Japan. It is nice to look back & be a Monday morning quarterback with all the "what ifs" - especially if you weren't there. Pearl Harbor and what followed, was not exactly our idea. Wars have been fought since the beginning of time. Sometimes they are just wars, sometimes not. The atomic bombing of Japan was necessary.
0
Limits of Double Effect
written by Dust, June 03, 2009
Prof K et al.: You state there is no way to apply the principle of double effect with regards to Hiro/Naga. Apparently you are stating that there are limits to the application of double effect. Is it restricted to a single act of war like the bombing of Hiro or can it apply to an entire operation/campaign or theater of war? Is it morally better to end a conflict sooner and stop the carnage or prolong it causing the deaths of millions more? Those were the choices at the time.
0
...
written by Willie, June 03, 2009
I do not understand why this thread has led to a discussion of moral theology. The author seems to me to be expressing concern as to why the Pope by implication has singled out the US. Whether the bombing of Japan at that time was a morally reprehensable act or not is a debatable issue which the author is not debating. The Germans bombed London day and night and yes we saturation bombed Dresden. History is repleat with enemies attacking innocent civilians, including ancient Israel.
0
cont.
written by Willie, June 03, 2009
I do not think Mr. Wood seemed harsh, angry nor did he castigate the Pope in any way. There was no accusation of error. The Pope was giving a homily and part of it seemed out of character for Benedict. To equate these bombings with abortion is a leap. Have we been attacked by fetuses? The 'seamless garment' is not Church teaching. The author, I believe, is only saying that the remark, if it is indeed Benedict's, may be politically inept. Big deal!!
0
Literary Art
written by Marguerite, June 03, 2009
I came back to the Church in the time of Ratzinger, my admiration has yet to know bounds. I've never encountered such a top notch combo of intellect, holiness, and love of art and beauty. Remember, at times he insists on the perogative to write merely as Ratzinger. (I listened to the Mass and the music was sublime.) His homily theme was fire, wind, the energy of the cosmos. I think he meant to contrast the mighty power of the descent of the Holy Sprit with the mighty power of the bomb
0
An 'umble Mr.
written by Mack Hall, June 03, 2009
"The Pope is a most holy man, but like all lofty personages he is surrounded by men of a somewhat inferior stamp." -King Louis of France to Thomas Becket in Jean Anouilh's BECKET.
0
Quist
written by Paul, June 03, 2009
If Richard Rhodes' book "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" can be trusted, then both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings could have been avoided, since the Japanese were already making overtures for a conditional surrender. It was only the US's insistence on an "unconditional" surrender that led to dropping the bombs. According to Rhodes the A-bombs were not necessary to end the war justly. Perhaps the pope is more savy than you give him credit for.

Paul Q, Edmonton, Canada
0
Carter
written by William, June 03, 2009
Vatican II solemnly condemned using nuclear weapons against cities. After discussing new"scientific weapons" capable of "massive and indiscriminate destruction," the Council states:

"With these truths in mind, this most holy synod . . . issues the following declaration. Any act of war aimed indiscriminately at the destruction of entire cities of extensive areas along with their population is a crime against God and man himself. It merits unequivocal and unhesitating condemnation."

GS 5
0
Professor
written by Peter Kwasniewski, June 03, 2009
Dust et alia,
A basic moral law: "No one is permitted to do evil that good may follow." A classic illustration: If you could save a city by surrendering one innocent man to death, are you permitted to do so? The lives of thousands might be saved by condemning only one unjustly to death. The answer given, from Plato all the way through Pope Benedict, is: No, you may not do it. ln that sense, even if the war would have gone on longer, it may not be ended by a means intrinsically unjust.
0
...
written by WJ, June 03, 2009
Joseph Wood writes of those deciding to use the bombs: "They may have been wrong. The debate rages." But they *were* wrong, and there *is* no debate--unless Wood wants, on a blog entitled the Catholic Thing, to reject a foundational principle of Just War Theory. Does he? And, in response to Wood and Miner--whether and how many American soldiers would have died in an invasion of Japan is moot. To suggest otherwise is to deny the difference between comb. and civ., and to engage in consequen. arg
0
Wood's Obtuseness
written by WJ, June 03, 2009
Moreover, the pope's reference to the *only* instance of nuclear weapons ever to have been used in war is not, as Wood asserts, a "non-sequitur in the context of the rest of his homily," which addresses how the technological mastery of the "energy of the cosmos" may lead to man's self-idolatry: what better example to make his point than the US' harvesting of nuclear power for the slaughter of civilians? Either Wood is playing dumb or he is really very obtuse.
0
...
written by Robert Royal, June 03, 2009
A subject like this inevitably takes off on tangents, which is okay if the tangents are fairly framed. Jospeh Wood's argument deserves to be heard as what it is: among other things, that the pope conflated "Prometheans" with the people who decided to use the bomb on Japan. Harry Truman was a Promethean? Those bombs are morally troubling, as Wood admitted. But some comments here unfairly conflate Wood with people he may or may not agree with.Accuracy is part of fair moral judgment.
0
...
written by Austin Ruse, June 04, 2009
Mr. Lee,

Mr. Wood does not sound angry and harsh. You are listening that way.

Also, why resort to ad hominem attacks by calling Joe "a former political operative for the White House"? What you say is untrue. Mr. Wood was a foreign policy adviser to the Vice President not an electoral shill, not that there is anything wrong with being an electoral shill.

Lastly, his piece is very respectful and does not defend the atomic attacks on Japan, merely raises questions about the Pope's verbiage.
0
...
written by Dust, June 04, 2009
Prof K,
In a sterile academic environment a discussion of these issues may appear black and white . It is another thing in terms of prolonged terrible human suffering. The invasion of Okinawa caused the deaths of 140,000 native Okinawans by US estimates. That is a key fact. The bloodbath in terms of the Japanese civilians would have been in the millions if not tens of millions.
0
...
written by Dust, June 04, 2009
WJ-
(self-edited) Your words speak for themselves. Some people are just a near occasion of sin for other people....
0
...
written by JDS, June 04, 2009
Interestingly, both of our Professor K's, Humanities and Theology, are from Wyoming Catholic College. The Catholic Thing must be big in Wyoming! I don't particularly agree with either but it sure is nice to have some learned professors post here. I just wanted to thank and agree with Mr Wood for his very cogent (not obtuse) article. Wood states precisely what he disagrees with and supports that disagreement with reasoned arguments. Too bad all the comments didn't do the same!
0
Credentials
written by Dust, June 04, 2009
Since credentials are being tossed about here are mine: 31 years in uniform and about to retire. A Cradle Catholic who survived the post Vatican II catechetical nightmare of the 60s and 70s in this country and to become an obedient orthodox Catholic that frequents the Sacraments. My approach to this issue is not cavalier nor academic. It is personal and having a mature and well formed Catholic conscience is imperative. The possibility of taking human life in the course of duty obligates it.
0
Example Fails B16
written by Chris from Maryland, June 04, 2009
Pope B's characterization of the atomic bombings in WW2 as being "used for bellicose ends" is not persuasive, assuming his text was in English. Bellicose means "favoring or inclined to start quarrels or wars" (Webster's on-line). Pres. Truman used the A-bomb vs Japan to end the war, not "in favor of war." Pope B's text might be an apt assessment of the conventional bombings of Axis cities, acted out over years with dead and wounded numbered in the millions. But his words failed him here.
0
Prof. of Humanities
written by Thaddeus Kozinski, June 04, 2009
If any other country did what we did militarily to some other countries, like Japan and Iraq, and if the Pope had criticized these actions as being bellicose and tragic, you would see conservative Catholics criticizing him. But when it comes to America, the burden is on the Pope to defend his criticisms. This is American exceptionalism, where the natural law doesn't apply to all countries' use of force equally. The Pope doesn't suffer from this nationalist myopia, so let's learn from him.
0
...
written by Dust, June 04, 2009
You paint with a broad brush Prof Kos.
0
...
written by Thaddeus Kozinski, June 04, 2009
I made an error in my last post. the first part should read: If any other country did what we did militarily to certain countries like Japan and Iraq, and if the Pope had criticized these actions as being bellicose and tragic, you would probably not see conservative Catholics criticizing him for it.
0
...
written by Thaddeus Kozinski, June 04, 2009
Dust:
Sometimes a broad brush is necessary to paint accurately. Subscribing, however unconsciously, to any regime-created, mythological narrative which cloaks naked aggression, will-to-power imperialism, and messianic violence on the part of one's regime in moral sounding phrases like "defense of freedom" and "war on terror" is tantamount to idolatry. When others do bad things to other countries, it's "terrorism" and "imperialism," but when we do it, the city on a hill, it's "a force for good."
0
...
written by JDS, June 04, 2009
Dust,
Thank you for your service to our country! You are an obedient, orthodox Catholic "who" frequents the sacraments.
Chris from Maryland,
Exactly the point Mr. Wood was making in his article!
Prof KH (as opposed to Prof KT),
We finally agree on something, yes, America(USA) is exceptional, although we surely differ on the reasons for this adjective. O, and speaking of learning from the Pope, here's something you can learn from me about grammar...you misused the conjunction "but"..(TBC)
0
...
written by JDS, June 04, 2009
Oops, you beat me to it, Prof K
0
singling out
written by W. Williams, June 04, 2009
It isn't really fair to the Pope, we should say, to pretend as though he were singling anyone out. The point that he was making was not a particularly opaque one (whether we agree with it or not). Science represents a great power, and sometimes that power can be harnessed for massive destruction. In this contenxt, he offered Hiroshima/Nagasaki as an example of this. But it can't be called an unfair singling out because there are no other examples of such use of atomic/nuclear bombs.
0
...
written by Thaddeus Kozinski, June 04, 2009
Just to clarify: Loyalty to and love of America, gratitude for the sacrifices our soldiers make, patriotism, conservatism, etc.--none of these should ever be in dispute, and a Catholic should protect his country's good name and justify the forceful defense of his country when justice requires it. What I am talking about here is something fanatical that exceeds this and borders on idolatry, an idolatry which prevents one from recognizing when one's country was and is involved in unjust violence.
0
...
written by Dust, June 04, 2009
Prof Kosinski- Old saying: Assumption is the mother of all screw ups. 1. You assume that because I am military I supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003, which is not the case. 2. I am incapable of discerning right from wrong because you assume I am a political conservative. Excuse me, Professor but I think your ideological underwear is showing in this thread, not mine. It is you that used political terminology(conservative) in your comments, not me.
0
...
written by JDS, June 04, 2009
Mr. Williams,
Other than you, who said anything about "singling anyone out" unfairly or not? Certainly not the author, Mr. Wood, who quoted the sentence of PBXVI...
“The tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain as a perennial admonition where atomic energy, used for bellicose ends, ended up causing death on an unprecedented scale."
...and his objection...
"But this remark is wrong and ill-reasoned, and it raises questions."
I hate to single you out, Mr. W, but your comment is obtuse.
0
...
written by Thaddeus, June 04, 2009
Dust:

I am painting with broad brush, but I do not believe anyone on this blog, including yourself, actually subscribes in a full-fledged manner to the ideology I am identifying. That would be a judgmental and very fanatical accusation on my part, one to be rightly opposed. I do think, however, that this ideology exists, and that all of us are influenced by it, and that the first means of counteracting its influence is to identify it, to name it, just as naming the demon can take away its power
0
...
written by Dust, June 04, 2009
Prof Kosinski- I presume your good faith in this discussion and ask yours in return. I would argue that your broad brush appoach is hardly accurate if your intent was to paint me with it. I found it condescending. I concur that there exists a dangerous practice of practically canonizing members of our current military and our actions by some in this country. I find it worrysome. As for terminology, I suggest staying away from politically loaded words. Ideology has no place here. With respect.
0
...
written by Thaddeus Kozinski, June 04, 2009
Dust: I am simply identifying an ideological taint which I think best explains how a practicing Catholic could find any fault with the following statement: "The tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain as a perennial admonition where atomic energy, used for bellicose ends." Of COURSE, America used atomic energy for bellicose ends! How could one contest this? The only explanation that can make sense of this is the American exceptionalism ideology, not any "ill-reasoning" in the Pope's message.
0
Move on?
written by Brad Miner, June 04, 2009
To Messrs. Dust and Kozinski:
I wonder if it's time simply to agree to disagree?
-Brad
0
...
written by Dust, June 04, 2009
Cheers!
0
...
written by w. williams, June 04, 2009
JDS
see willie 25
0
...
written by Thaddeus, June 04, 2009
The Catholic position permits no exception to the natural law. The typically modern position rejects this, as expressed by Carl Schmitt: "The exception, which is not codified in the existing legal order, can at best be characterized as a case of extreme peril, a danger to the existence of the state, or the like. But it cannot be circumcised factually or be made to conform to a preformed law." Roe vs. Wade is Schmitt applied by the left, "preventive warfare" is Schmitt applied by the right.
0
Miss
written by JEMGEACH, June 05, 2009
Read Mr. Truman's degree (Anscombe). The problem with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was that it was willful murder of civilians: of innocents, i.e. those not directly concerned in the conflict. The acceptance of killing the innocent in war paved the way for the killing of babies in the womb: we are where we are because we accepted H.& N., and other direct killings of innocent civilians in war.
0
...
written by dymphna, June 05, 2009
I'm really sick of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki wailing. The war is over and we won, thank God. The Japanese were insane and willing to fight to the death. The bombs convinced them to quit. A war is not over until one side no longer has the will or ability to fight. I often wonder if the Hiroshima whiners wish that American soldiers had gone house to house killing eveyone inside because that;s what it would've taken for an invasion to have succeeded.
0
Professorof Humanities
written by Thaddeus, June 08, 2009
Dymphna:

That's a great caricature of the neoconservative, means-justifies-the-ends, warmongering, survival of the fittest, might-makes-right, jinogoist, nationalist-fanatical, national-interest-trumps-natural-law position on war! To bring out the absurdity of that way of thinking by clearly expressing it is itself a great argument against it. Thank you for showing just how anti-Catholic and irrational this way of thinking is.
0
...
written by Daniel, June 08, 2009
I cannot believe, although given the Smithsonian censorship in the mid 1990's I suppose I should, that people still adhere to the notion that the bombs were dropped to end the war. They were dropped to demonstrate to the USSR what military might we had. The Japanese were third party victims in the first shots of the cold war. Even if one could excuse the bomb on August 6, which I don't believe you can, dropping another atomic bomp on August 9 cannot be justified in any way shape or form.

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