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New Book Reveals Long-Suppressed First Dispatches from A-bombed Nagasaki

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 12:36 AM
Original message
New Book Reveals Long-Suppressed First Dispatches from A-bombed Nagasaki

Last year, just before the 60th anniversary of the atomic attacks on Japan, E&P broke the story in the U.S. that the dispatches filed by a famed American reporter from Nagasaki -- but suppressed in 1945 -- were about to be published abroad. Now a book that contains all of the dispatches, and a lot more, has been published here this week.

The book is "First Into Nagasaki," published by Crown, edited by the man who found the original suppressed stories, Anthony Weller. It was his late father, George Weller, who had written the historic dispatches for the Chicago Daily News -- where they never appeared, thanks to Gen. Douglas MacArthur's censorship office.

Walter Cronkite provides an introduction for the volume, hailing it as a reminder of the need for press and civilian "vigilance" in a time of war. The book also contains Weller's groundbreaking reports on prison camps in Japan and a prison ship where 1,300 Americans died (unlike the Nagasaki reports, these articles were published by his paper, but often in censored form).

One of the great untold stories of the Nuclear Age is finally available in book form. What was in the censored, and then lost to the ages, newspaper articles filed by the first reporter to reach Nagasaki following the atomic attack on that city on Aug. 9, 1945?

Among other things, Weller was one of the first to describe the bomb's "peculiar disease." Referring to "Disease X," he revealed: "Men, women and children with no outward marks of injury are dying daily in hospitals, some after having walked around three or four weeks thinking they have escaped."
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Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 12:40 AM
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1. Radiation poisoning and we did it to a civilian population
I only hope we did not know the effects.
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eggplant Donating Member (395 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 12:51 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Why else would we have done it?
We needed to find out exactly what it would do, and to show the rest of the world just how nuts we could be. :-(
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regnaD kciN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. No, we had to scare the Commies...
With WWII drawing to an end, it was time to gear up for WWIII -- this time between the victorious "allies," the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. We had to warn the Russkies not to try to extend their empire into the lands we'd designated as our empire, and so we had to let them know that we had a weapon that could wipe them out, too, if they stepped out of line.

The Japanese were just the guinea pigs -- and we had to do it without warning, because otherwise, if it didn't work out, we'd be humiliated. Besides, it didn't matter whether several hundred thousand civilians died because, after all, they were only nigg...I mean Japs. Quite dispensible as the cost of sending a message to Stalin.


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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 02:05 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. You're twisting things around quite a bit.
For starters, we didn't quite drop the bomb without warning: in fact, on July 26th, Truman (and the other Allied governments) issued a public declaration stating that if Japan didn't unconditionally surrender, that they would face prompt and total destruction. The Japanese military leadership knew about the possibility of a nuclear bomb, but most of them simply believed that we didn't have one, or that we didn't have more than one.

Arguments aside about the idea of a demonstration blast, it's not like it was just a random decision to drop the bomb on Japan. Even after the second warhead was dropped on Nagasaki, the Japanese military leadership still didn't want to surrender except on the conditions that there be no occupation, and that they would be the ones to handle disarmament and any war crimes prosecutions. Their solution might as well have been an armistice. It wasn't until the emperor himself stepped in and overruled them that the surrender was issued--and even then there was an attempted military coup to prevent it from being broadcast.
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ninkasi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 02:10 AM
Response to Original message
5. My father was on a ship
heading to Japan when the bombs were dropped. He would have been one of the Americans invading the country. He developed a deep respect for the Japanese people, and on his deathbed, still spoke of the family he befriended. His health was always poor, and of five sons, he died at the earliest age. My brothers and I always thought it might have been due to the after effects of the bomb.

Dad thought that we should have detonated a bomb someplace where Japan could see the devastation, and not bomb the civilian population. He figured that showing what damage we could inflict would have brought the Japanese to surrender. All I can say, is that he was there right after the bomb, and thought it was wrong. Had we not used the bombs, he knew that there was a very real chance that he would have been killed in the invasion of that country.
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groovedaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 07:53 AM
Response to Original message
6. War is Terrorism
The decision to target civilian populations is an act of terrorism. I would even go so far as to say that acceptable "collateral damage" is also an act of terrorism.
The fire bombing of Japanese cities in the the spring of '45 killed more than both the atomic bombs. When then Colonel Curtis LeMay (who led the firebombing raids)was asked about the morality of such actions, he responded: "War is immoral."
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architect359 Donating Member (544 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. No. War is Hell. It's as simple as that. eom.
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