They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Bush: "This is only the beginning"

Speaking before U.S. Westpoint Military Academy graduates Bush compared his moment in presidential history to that of President Harry S. Truman.

"As President Truman put it towards the end of his presidency, 'When history says that my term of office saw the beginning of the Cold War, it will also say that in those eight years we set the course that can win it'

Ominously Bush stated "This is only the beginning."

If Bush is looking to model himself on Truman then it appears we are all in deep yoghurt. Likening the war on 'radicals' [the way he habitually uses this word as an alternative to 'terrorist' is Orwellian] to the 'cold war' is patently fanciful, but given that the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945 are widely considered to be the first blows of that 'war' shouldn't our alarm bells be ringing?. It is well known that the Americans are developing more 'usable' nukes, and they have made a point of not removing the nuclear option from 'the table' in the current confrontation with Iran. Bush's apparent identification with Truman might be further cause for concern.

Excerpted from the book 'Lying for Empire'[1]:
P. M. S. Blackett, a British Nobel Prize-winning physicist, concluded that:
... the dropping of the atomic bomb was not so much the last military act of the Second World War as the first major operation of the cold diplomatic war with Russia. But using civilians from a third country as a warning of America's new, highly destructive weapon has to rank as one of the greatest crimes against humanity. To sacrifice two cities and about 150,000 people to inform your post-war adversary that they may be next is unadulterated insanity.
In an interview with the Guardian [2] in 2001 Gore Vidal spoke of Truman's decision to use the A bomb[s]:
The brains behind Truman belonged to Dean Acheson, who was a brilliant man, very witty and very imperial. "If anyone disobeys the United States, we must destroy them." He was a throwback to an earlier time, but he was the one who helped Truman militarise the economy, create Nato and the CIA, interfere with elections and get rid of the Bill of Rights. I don't say he sat down and did everything in order, but that was the result.

So on the one hand you have the pressure of the military, who had developed these extraordinary weapons, which they wanted to test; and on the other palm, Truman vacillated, seeing that it was going to change the nature of warfare and knowing perfectly well the Japanese were defeated. So we made a big deal over "unconditional surrender". As it turned out, Japan completely collapsed after two bombs, but it was interesting the extent to which Eisenhower denounced it publicly. Admiral Nimitz, the great figure in the Pacific, denounced it. Curtis LeMay, who as a war-lover liked to blow up everything, denounced it. They all said the same thing: we didn't need it. And why use it twice? They were going to surrender.

I don't think there was one single general officer in that war who approved of it, and they all went public very quickly to denounce their Commander-in-Chief Truman, who had dropped it for one reason: to intimidate Stalin, keep him out of the Pacific war, let him have no share of the peace that we were going to impose on Japan, and just keep him nervous. And it worked. Then a year or two later we divided Germany, taking the best part for ourselves, and made Stalin the world's enemy to justify our military build-up, which then started all over again and continues to this day.