1 year ago

How the decision was made to drop ‘The Bomb’ will change your perspective on Pearl Harbor forever

Computer recreation of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. (Photo: History Channel)
Computer recreation of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. (Photo: History Channel)

Several thousand years ago, King Solomon wrote, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Most people remember that adage or at least find it familiar. There is, however, a second sentence the king included in that particular Proverb (15:1). Rarely recalled, it is this: The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly.

I supposed it goes without saying that the opposite is true as well: The tongue of the unwise uses knowledge wrongly. Note that often, when this happens today, the word “unwise” could be replaced by “evil,” just as the word “wrongly” might be exchanged for “maliciously.” Neither substitution would change the reality of what happens when a society becomes unaware of the truth.

I was taught by my parents not to lie at an early age. They also taught me that half the truth is a lie and that one can lie by omitting a part of the truth.

As I grew older, I didn’t always live up to their teaching—or their expectations that I would—but I must say that I cannot recall a time when a lie was productive in the long term. In fact, as I rifle through the years in my mind, the consequences of lies distinguish themselves ten fold or more over the consequences of simply telling the truth—even when telling the truth felt like the last thing I wanted to do.

And so I have come to what most call the “middle age” of my life whereupon I realize just how much I hate lies. Lies are destructive in the same way a tornado is “bad weather.” You can think you have survived both. You can think the danger is safely away only to have them reverse course and roll right over you, destroying everything and everyone you hold dear.

America, as dysfunctional as we sometimes appear to be, is, at its core, a family. At least I’d like to think so. A great family stands together. A great family disciplines its own members. A great family does not tolerate being lied to. And a great family never tolerates being lied about.

Well, tomorrow is December 7, and amid all the ceremony that goes along with remembering the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, there will be an undercurrent of disinformation being doled out to our children and us from segments of the media, lecture halls in high schools and universities—even some of our national leaders will be sure to get into the act.

In case you haven’t noticed, there are those who will not let December 7—“the date that will live in infamy”—pass by without at least a subtle reference designed to demonize America for ending the war Japan started at Pearl Harbor by dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In May, President Obama delivered a spellbinding speech in Japan. “We come to ponder a terrible force unleashed in the not so distant past,” he said with tears in his eyes. “We come to mourn the dead.” The Japanese people, we are told, received the president’s message enthusiastically.

Tomorrow, you’ll hear the media stoically deliver those numbers. First, of course, they’ll give us the Pearl Harbor number: 2,403 dead and 1,178 wounded. Then, as an afterthought, we will hear Hiroshima’s death total: 140,000—this from the immediate blast and long term radiation poisoning—and Nagasaki at 70,000.

The numbers are accurate, but the malevolent subtext has been promoted for years, and as decades unfold, the tongues of the unwise are increasing their volume. And really, why wouldn’t they? When lies and half-truths are presented as fact—unopposed by anyone who might actually know the facts—well, it is the easiest playground these bullies ever took over. But they can say whatever they want and provide the masses with whatever version of history they prefer. We have encouraged them by our ignorance.

Frankly, I don’t know whether they know the truth or not about why President Truman decided to drop the bomb, but I do know that most of us do not. Either that, or you and I are cowards…for our country is being disparaged unceasingly with barely a peep in reply from us.

Personally, I’d rather not think of us as cowards. I prefer to think that at least some responsibility for our silence lies with a few of those who are actually paid to teach history in this country. Not all. Just some. Sadly, results from the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress exam in U.S. History showed that only 12 percent (and that’s not a typo) scored above the base level of “Proficient”. This should not be surprising…

Today, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, 87 percent of our nation’s students taking a music course in public school are taught by a teacher who holds a college degree in music and is certified to teach in the field. Meanwhile, only 26 percent of our nation’s students in public school are taught by a teacher with a history degree who has been certified to teach the subject.

So tomorrow, when those who are so sure you’ll remain silent begin to speak (and they’ll be MUCH louder August 6 and 9—the anniversary of when the bombs were dropped) I want you to be prepared with the facts. These are facts one can easily find with a bit of research, but don’t waste time looking through your child’s history textbooks. You won’t find any of this information there.

Fact One:

America was not the aggressor in World War II and, in fact, to the consternation of many at the time, the US government did everything they could possibly do to stay out of any part of it. The point? Hiroshima and Nagasaki could have been totally avoided…by the Japanese!

Consider how completely they destroyed Pearl Harbor. Why? Because it was a surprise attack. The Japanese? No one was even thinking about the Japanese. We were focused on what was happening in Europe (though despite Churchill’s pleas to Roosevelt, we were not involved there either). The Manhattan Project to develop an atomic bomb was a joint venture of the Americans, British, and Canadian military machines. Under the direction of American General Leslie Groves, the Manhattan Project was not even put in place until 1942.

On December 11, four days after Pearl Harbor was attacked, Hitler declared war on America. At that point, our country had no choice but to defend itself to the west and in the east.

Fact two:

After five and one-half years, with American troops closing in on the island nation of Japan, President Truman assigned General George C. Marshall to provide him information concerning an American invasion. How long would it take? What would be our likely casualty rate?

Not long after, Marshall delivered this disturbing news: During the 68 months of our war against Japan, not a single Japanese platoon had ever surrendered. Additionally, the Emperor of Japan had just delivered a speech to his people warning of an invasion and urging them to fight to the last man, woman, and child. Indeed, as American troops captured outer islands, that is exactly what happened until the Japanese civilians were cornered or surrounded. Then, with their own children in tow, the civilians committed mass suicides.

The evidence was clear, if American troops invaded Tokyo Plain, the soldiers would literally have to fight house to house, apartment to apartment, and door to door across the entire country. Marshall told Truman that our troops could expect no less than 250,000 casualties in an invasion.

To drive that number home to you today, check out the next fact…

Fact three:

Within days of Marshall’s report, the president approved the War Department purchase of body bags. Records show they ordered, paid for, and received 250,000 of them.

The War Department also authorized the increased production of Purple Hearts. As you now know, because of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, America did not have to invade Japan. Thus, the body bags and Purple Hearts were not needed.

The rubber-sheeted body bags eventually deteriorated and were disposed of. The Purple Hearts, however, are still being used. Throughout Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all the other more minor conflicts in which America has been involved throughout the world, the War Department has never needed to order another Purple Heart Medal.

Fact four:

It all came down to this…while none but a very few even knew about the existence or possibility of some super bomb, President Truman did. As he made the decision to deploy the device, he recorded this thought. “I am the first president since the beginning of modern warfare to have experienced combat. During the first World War, I would have given anything, paid any price, to end the death and suffering I saw my friends endure. And now, here I sit, the commander in chief with the ability—no, the responsibility—to end this war and bring our boys home.

“Yes, I am scared of this weapon and concerned about what it might mean for the future of this world. However, it must be done. How could any president face the mothers and sons and daughters of these American servicemen if, after the slaughter of an invasion of Japan, it became known that there was within our arsenal a weapon of sufficient force to end the war and it was not used?”

I urge you to read the four facts again. Put yourself in Truman’s place. What would you have done?

And finally, I can’t help but wonder how many of the 250,000 Americans who were not required to give their lives in service to our country were our own grandfathers and great grandfathers. In other words, how many of us would never have existed to defend the truth, if a tough president had not made a tough choice?


Andy Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of The Traveler’s Gift and The Noticer. Sign up for his free weekly newsletter designed to help you live a more inspired life at AndyAndrews.com.
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5 hours ago

#FakeRacism — Alabama cops were justified in Waffle House arrest

They’re out here saying those white cops who arrested that black lady last weekend at the Waffle House in Saraland, Alabama were racists.

Reality Check: When a cop places you under arrest and you do anything other than passively comply, you may wish for him to say, “Oh, you don’t want to be arrested? My bad. I’ll just leave now.” But here’s what will actually happen, every time, and like Michael Jackson sang, “it don’t matter if you’re black or white.”

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“Outrage growing over black woman’s arrest … by white police officers,” read the headline on AL.com, followed by an article reporting that local protestors were then “confronted by white police officers and one black man was handcuffed.”

Are y’all as sick of these #FakeRacism stories as I am?

That ugly scene could have been avoided if that lady had followed the advice my father gave me years ago.

“Don’t argue with the cops, son,” he told me. “Whether you’re wrong or right, the police deal with criminals all day long and don’t need any lip from some kid.”

“So if they ever say ‘Get out of here,’ or ‘Sit on that curb and shut up,’ then do it without a word of backtalk,” he warned. “Or they might crack you upside the head with that baton they carry or you’ll spend the night in jail.”

A version of that advice called “The Talk” is given in the black community because of their experience with the law enforcement, especially in decades past.

I personally believe those days of systemic racism are gone, but the advice should remain — obey the law.

Or you might end up looking like a fool on Youtube for being arrested at a Waffle House … and it don’t matter if you’re black or white.

@jpepperbryars is the editor of Yellowhammer News and the author of American Warfighter

6 hours ago

Alabama judge tosses charge accusing ex-warden of leaking to blogger

An Alabama judge is dismissing criminal charges accusing a former jail warden of illegally leaking information to a blogger critical of a sheriff.

The Decatur Daily reports that a judge dismissed the charge of computer tampering at the request of former Morgan County jail warden Leon Bradley after several days of testimony.

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Bradley was fired in October by Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin. His lawyers claimed Franklin and three employees lied to get warrants and have Bradley arrested.

The blogger’s grandson testifies that Franklin threatened to arrest him and derail his plans to join the Army if he told anyone about being a confidential informant or didn’t provide information harming his grandmother.

Two law enforcement officers testify Franklin asked them to issue search warrants they believed unjustified.

Franklin denies wrongdoing.

(Copyright Associated Press 2018)

7 hours ago

Steve Marshall and Troy King most well-known, well-liked Republican candidates for Alabama attorney general, according to poll

New polling obtained by Yellowhammer News offers a peek into Alabama’s attorney general race, with the edges in the Republican primary bid at-the-moment being given to current Attorney General Steve Marshall and former Attorney General Troy King.

The poll, conducted by WPA Intelligence, found that 24 percent of Republican primary voters have a favorable view of Marshall and 26 percent have a favorable view of King, while 5 percent have an unfavorable view of Marshall and 15 percent have an unfavorable view of King.

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The other two Republicans running, former U.S. Attorney Alice Martin and Judge Chess Bedsole, have 13 and 8 percent favorability, respectively.

King has the highest name identification at 61 percent, with Marshall’s at 43 percent. Martin’s name identification is at 32 percent and Bedsole’s at 28 percent.

(WPA Intelligence)

Survey Methodology: WPA selected a random sample (n=500 Republican primary voters) of registered voters from the Alabama voter file using Proportionate Probability Sampling (PPS) who were contacted by phone April 15-17, 2018. The sample was stratified based on geography, age, and gender, and the study has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent in 95 out of 100 cases.

The primary election is on June 5, and the state-wide general election is November 6.

Rep. Byrne: A tax code that works

Each April, Americans across the country face great frustration and inconvenience in filing their taxes.

Fortunately, this Tax Day marked the last time Americans would file their taxes under the old tax code. Thanks to passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Americans will now have a simpler and fairer tax code. I was proud to work with President Trump to reform our tax code and make the process easier for taxpayers.

Starting next year, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will bring Americans relief when filing their taxes under a more streamlined, straightforward tax code. However, making the overall filing process simpler and more convenient was just one of the many ways we worked to create a tax code that benefits and works for the American people.

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One of the most important reforms under the new tax code is the doubling of the standard deduction. This provision increases the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples. Combined with new lower tax rates, almost every Alabamian should see a tax decrease.

Also important, the new tax code prioritizes American families by doubling the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000 per child. It is no secret that raising a family is not cheap; so, this increase provides additional support for families struggling to pay for childcare and other necessary expenses associated with parenting.

To provide even more support for families, the bill preserves the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, as well as the Adoption Tax Credit. Even more, the bill makes improvements to saving options for education by allowing parents to use 529 accounts to save for elementary, secondary, and higher education.

Most people will not have to wait until the next tax season to see the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Already, many hardworking Alabamians are seeing more money in their paychecks each month. That means your hard-earned money is ending up back in your pockets, rather than the coffers of the federal government.

Tax reform has also helped spur overall economic growth. Our bill helps to level the playing field for American businesses, creating new job opportunities and finally causing wages to rise after years of stagnation.

Many businesses have also handed out bonuses and improved benefits to their workforce. Since passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, I have had the pleasure of personally handing out bonus checks at multiple businesses in Southwest Alabama. Trust me, these workers were thrilled with the extra money.

We aren’t stopping now either. The House passed a package of bills last week to help cut down on identity theft and to hold criminals accountable for IRS scams. It is important that these crooks be punished for trying to defraud hardworking Americans, including our nation’s senior citizens.

Equally important, the House also passed bills to make the IRS more efficient, effective, and accountable. The IRS should be a customer-friendly organization that responds to the questions and concerns of the American people.

In the past four months, we have seen tremendous growth right here in Southwest Alabama because of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. From our small business owners handing out bonus checks to our single-income families taking home extra money in their paychecks, evidence shows that allowing Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money is a huge boom for our economy.

As we bid farewell to an old, outdated tax code, Americans can rest easy knowing they have a simpler, fairer tax code to work with in the future.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope.

7 hours ago

Abortion is not a human right, says State Dept. official

The State Department released its Human Rights Report for 2017 on Friday, and State Department officials acknowledged it purposely left out a section on “women’s reproductive rights,” which had been included in previous reports during the Obama administration, noting that the administration does not consider abortion a human right under international law.

“When the State Department is talking about this represents our values as Americans, the removal of sections on women’s reproductive rights – why is that not included in values as Americans?” a reporter asked State Department officials.

“I’m going to explain why it was removed. It was introduced six years ago into the report. It hadn’t been there before,” Michael Kozak, ambassador for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, said.

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“It’s one of the few terms that are used in the report that isn’t derived from an international treaty that has a definition or derived from U.S. law, where there’s a clear definition to the term, and in this case, the previous administration intended it to mean look at the availability of contraception, at the – whether the government tried to impose or coerce people in making decisions about reproduction,” Kozak said.

“In the statements that were made – this was derived from the Beijing Declaration that was done in the ‘90s. At that time, it was very clear and our delegation made a very clear statement that this has nothing to do with abortion. It doesn’t mean abortion,” he said.

Kozak said the use of the term “reproductive rights” means different things to people on both sides of the issue.

“Unfortunately, over the last few years, groups on both sides of that issue domestically have started to use the term, and both seem to think it does include abortion and then argue about it,” he said. “So our thought was let’s just not use a term that has the opposite meaning from the one we intend.

“We went back to the term that’s used in the U.S. statute that requires the Human Rights Report, which is coerced family planning, namely coerced abortion or involuntary sterilization,” Kozak said. “I might mention too, because I went back and looked at last year’s report, the question being asked was, ‘Were there obstacles opposed to getting contraception information and means?’

“The answer in virtually every country was no, there were no obstacles other than, in almost every country, including our own, the availability in rural areas is less than it is in urban areas. But we were taking a lot of space to explain that,” he said.

“So what we’ve done, we’ve kept that information in there. We’ve done it now by a hyperlink. We used to take that information from the WHO report and put it in. We said let’s just use a hyperlink, and then there’s actually more information available that way. So that’s the rationale behind that,” Kozak said.

“It’s not a diminishment of women’s rights or a desire to get away from it; it was to stop using a term that has several different meanings that are not all the ones we intend,” he added.

A reporter later questioned whether Kozak was saying “there are no obstacles for women to get contraception in any country except for if there’s a remote issue.”

“I said with some exceptions, and the exceptions were and still are – and we’ve really gotten at it by flipping back to the original U.S. statutory language. It’s in places like China, where in order to enforce their two – now two-child policy, that there are reports of coerced abortion and involuntary sterilization,” Kozak said.

The ambassador said North Korea also engages in forced abortion, although it’s usually used for political punishment. Also in the country of Belarus, women in state hospitals or who are institutionalized are forced to have abortions or if the woman or baby has disabilities.

“In North Korea, where the government also coerces or forces abortion – although sometimes that’s for political punishment rather than family planning, and we uncovered it,” Kozak said.

“So as we were digging through trying to reduce the bulk of some of this report, I found in the old country I served in, in Belarus, that it turns out that the doctors in the state hospitals, and particularly in the institutions there, if they have a woman who is pregnant and who is a woman with disabilities, the doctors insist on an abortion. Or if they believe the fetus has a disability, they’ll insist on an abortion. So we’ve called that out too,” he said.

“So it’s not – those were the cases, though, in the – under the previous formula where you would say there was a restriction on family planning, freedom of family planning. For most countries, it said, there isn’t any restriction except for the ones imposed by economics and rural-urban type thing,” Kozak said.

“So just to be clear just on that, so taking out the language about those cases therefore means that the U.S. doesn’t believe that the inability for women to get an abortion physically or by law is an abuse of human rights?” a reporter asked.

“Correct, under the previous administration and this one and the one before that. We have never taken the position that abortion was a right under – a human right under international law,” Kozak said.

“This is supposed to be internationally recognized human rights, and it’s an issue on which – some countries prohibit abortion. Some countries, like our own, pretty much no restriction on it, and we don’t say one of those is right and one of those is wrong. We don’t report on it because it’s not a human right,” he said.

“It’s an issue of great policy debate. You can have a good discussion, but there’s no internationally recognized standard as to what’s the right treatment, but the other, yes. The – it is internationally recognized that somebody shouldn’t coerce you to have an abortion or force you to be sterilized,” Kozak added.

(Courtesy of CNSNews.com)