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Censored Nagasaki Bomb Story Found 1246

Posted by Zonk
from the light-on-old-topics dept.
EccentricAnomaly writes "In 1945 journalist George Weller snuck past the American occupying forces and became the first American Journalist to see the devastation left by the atomic bomb that fell on Nagasaki. His story infuriated MacArthur, who had it quashed. The Japanese paper, Mainichi, has now published Weller's account. CNN has a story discussing how it was found." From the Mainichi article: "As one whittles away at embroidery and checks the stories, the impression grows that the atomic bomb is a tremendous, but not a peculiar weapon. The Japanese have heard the legend from American radio that the ground preserves deadly irradiation. But hours of walking amid the ruins where the odor of decaying flesh is still strong produces in this writer nausea, but no sign or burns or debilitation."
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Censored Nagasaki Bomb Story Found

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  • Nuclear myths (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 20, 2005 @05:44AM (#12861542)

    A lot of people go "OMG! teh nukes!" like Fallout is what would happen after a nuclear war :)

    Nuclear myths [aussurvivalist.com]

    ---

    European zine. Guns, hacking, survival [eurohacker.mine.nu]

    • misleading (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cahiha (873942)
      The link is misleading because it tries to dispell myths that few people seem to have. If you look at the portrayal of post-nuclear war environments in recent film and fiction, radiation and fallout are generally not the biggest issues, but destruction of infrastructure, manufacturing capacity, public health services, and government are.

      Nevertheless, while nuclear fallout and radiation would not be the main problems a post-nuclear war society would face, that doesn't mean that they are harmless. Fallout
    • Re:Nuclear myths (Score:5, Insightful)

      by smchris (464899) on Monday June 20, 2005 @08:14AM (#12862339)
      Nuclear myths

      "Always look on the bright side of life."

      That link says some pretty bizarre things. Instead of one 20 megaton warhead, we are supposed to take comfort that MIRVs carry a dozen warheads of "only" 300 kilotons and "therefore" the cities wouldn't really be destroyed. According to Wikipedia, the Nagasaki bomb was a whole whopping TWENTY kilotons. So call me crazy but I figure a MIRV would effectively destroy a metropolis.

      Remember, nothing will work. CARS newer than the early seventies won't work. The EMF will take out everything solid-state. In WWII electronics meant tubes and cars were mechanical. Without an intrastructure, will offshore oil rigs have a port to unload in? Will there be oil refining? How will it get transported and distributed? Even if you have a nuke plant outside of town and can string some distribution back up, will even a nuke plant run forever without lubrication or is beef tallow adequate?

      A person better hope oil gets distributed because, even with the die-off, those cans in the grocery store won't last long. And plows and combines don't run on hay. How many farmers _have_ work horses (did you know there are differences between riding horses and plow horses?), much less have the equipment and knowledge and two-bottom plow to hitch them up to?

      It is tempting to say that we would only slip back to the Romans without oil and electricity but we would still have to relearn how to create the intense fire in a primitive iron foundry.

      And there would still be the sticky little problem of overpopulation. Tribes _are_ a social organization. Tribes are not a post-war state of anarchy. And according to my old anthropology book even in established hunter and gather societies:

      "Equipped with knowledge of virtually every edible plant and with effective means of exploiting most vegetables and animals, population density varied according to the abundance of resources. It ranged from one person per square mile--and rarely more than this--to one person per 50 to 100 square miles." (Anthropology Today, CRM, 1971)

      Do the math of what the first few years of a post-nuke world would be like without an infrastructure for gas and electricity.

      In the main, it really needs to be said that survivalists are losers. They are so often people who are marginalized and fantasize that if society were only shattered, they would have the opportunity to rise to the top. Because society hasn't valued them, they dismiss the importance of society. But instead of some noble savage fantasy, a post-nuke world would more likely offer them the opportunity to club a widow to steal the last can of spaghettios from her children.

  • by cyberkahn (398201) on Monday June 20, 2005 @05:44AM (#12861543) Homepage

    by the Slashdot effect.
  • by tuxpert (512567) <ravi...giri@@@gmail...com> on Monday June 20, 2005 @05:47AM (#12861555) Homepage
    "The atomic bomb may be classified as a weapon capable of being used indiscriminately, but its use in Nagasaki was selective and proper and as merciful as such a gigantic force could be expected to be."

    Certainly disagree with the choice of words here. Selective and proper ? Maybe. Merciful ? definitely not !
    • by PakProtector (115173) <cevkiv AT gmail DOT com> on Monday June 20, 2005 @05:57AM (#12861584) Journal

      I've said it before and I've said it again. It saved lives.

      It saved the lives of approximately One Million US Service Personnel, and it saved the lives of Millions of Japanese Civilians and Soliders -- you see, atleast during WWII, alot of people really took that "Death before Dishonor" thing seriously, and could not be made to surrender. So the only way to force an unconditional surrender was a rather raw display of power. The Bombs were a way of saying, "We don't need to use people to decimate you -- we can do it in a manner that you cannot possibly defend against. Now, will you give up?"

      Go here [wikipedia.org] and learn.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 20, 2005 @06:14AM (#12861654)
        No matter how often you say it, it still doesn't make it true.

        The argument that it save a million lives has been refuted time and time again. First of all the casualty figures are far from certain and it's far from certain that these were indeed that casulty figures the US had to expect had an invasion taken place.
        Further, there are rather strong arguments for the assumption that Japane would have surrendered without an invasion and without the use of atomic bombs.
        Finally, you discard all the eveidence that has been brougth to light by historians that suggests that the US did indeed have at least some additional reasons for using the atomic bombs, namely the begining confrontation with the Soviet Union.

        Just one quote for you:

        ""...in [July] 1945... Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. ...the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.

        "During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude..."

        - Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, pg. 380

        In a Newsweek interview, Eisenhower again recalled the meeting with Stimson:

        "...the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."

        - Ike on Ike, Newsweek, 11/11/63 "
        http://www.doug-long.com/quotes.htm [doug-long.com]

        Finally:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hi roshima_and_Nagasaki [wikipedia.org]
        How about going there and learn yourself...
      • by VP (32928)
        I think one of the main reasons was to make sure the Soviets did not take over Japan. The Red Army had just defeated the main Japanese army in Manchuria [sp?], and after demonstrating that losing 20 million people in the war against Germany did not prevent them from marching to Belrin, it would have been very likely that they would have taken over Japan in due time.
    • Merciful ? definitely not !


      when is war "merciful"? Was firebombiong of Tokyo "merciful"? Was firebombing of Dresden "Merciful"? Was Battle of Stalingrad "merciful"?

      Bombing of Nagasaki was as merciful as other major operation in the war was.
  • So many questions... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ndogg (158021) <the.rhorn@gmaiIIIl.com minus threevowels> on Monday June 20, 2005 @05:57AM (#12861585) Homepage Journal
    This isn't meant to be flamebait, and only meant to be a serious question.

    Why did MacArthur give Japan only three days to respond after Hiroshima? Why not at least a week?
    • by Chess_the_cat (653159) on Monday June 20, 2005 @06:04AM (#12861619) Homepage
      Why did MacArthur give Japan only three days to respond after Hiroshima? Why not at least a week?

      I think a better question would be "Why didn't the Japanese surrender immediately after Hiroshima?"

  • Censored pictures... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ndogg (158021) <the.rhorn@gmaiIIIl.com minus threevowels> on Monday June 20, 2005 @06:14AM (#12861653) Homepage Journal
    One thing I remember from history classes is that pictures of survivors of the atomic blasts were censored.

    Makes me wonder what else has been censored within the last century, particular for historically significant events. Was there anything censored that could have been historically significant had it not been censored?
    • by famebait (450028) on Monday June 20, 2005 @06:31AM (#12861734)
      They're taking the effort to censor right now reports and imagery from Iraq right, of death, injuries and suffering to locals and americans alike, even coffins returning to America, so clearly someone fears that allowing this full publicity in the US would have some significant effects...
    • by weave (48069) *
      There's different reasons for censorship, like during an active military campaign you just can't let the press report a lot of what's going on since it will tip off the enemy.

      Then there's the censorship to move or alter public opinion. Is that what is happening in Iraq today? There are way too many conflicting reports about what's really happening there.

      For example, one can read Iraqi blogs like Baghdad Burning [blogspot.com] to get an insider view, but there's been claims she exaggerates stuff as well, and I've never

  • by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Monday June 20, 2005 @06:24AM (#12861702)
    One big problem with his report is he didnt know that:
    • It wasnt a deliberate, precise and selective strike.

      Nagasaki wasnt the primary intended target. The intended target was Kokura, but the spotter planes that went ahead found it to be completely socked in with clouds, so the bomb plane diverted to their secondary target, Nagasaki.

    • Nagasaki too was almost completely clouded over, but of course they were anxious to drop the bomb, so they aimed by using radar, which was very poor in those days, and they were WAY OFF, like miles from the intended aiming point. A lot of the blast was lost in the hills.
    • Not a red-letter day for the USAF. Most of this info was casually surpressed at the time.
    • A lot of the blast was lost in the hills.

      I'm not sure I would consider the explosion and later fallout going into an unpopulated area to be a "loss".

      Not trying to nit-pick your comment, but thousands of people died and generations are still seeing the adverse reprocussions of the radiation poisoning. I guess I just wanted to make sure that a respectful sympathy is honored, most all of those killed by the blast were civilians.

    • by Phanatic1a (413374) on Monday June 20, 2005 @07:09AM (#12861910)
      Nagasaki wasnt the primary intended target. The intended target was Kokura, but the spotter planes that went ahead found it to be completely socked in with clouds, so the bomb plane diverted to their secondary target, Nagasaki.

      How does that make it not deliberate? Having secondary targets was standard practice for conventional bombing raids as well. They were planned just like the primary targets were, it's not like they decided to just drop the bomb on some random city just because their primary was visually obscured.

      , so they aimed by using radar, which was very poor in those days, and they were WAY OFF, like miles from the intended aiming point.

      What? The bomb detonated pretty much right between the two principal targets in the city, both Mitsubishi armaments factories. That's about the best place they could have hoped to put it. And the bomb was placed visually, through a break in the clouds, not with radar.

      Most of this info was casually surpressed at the time.

      Misinformation should be suppressed, yes.
  • Hiroshima (Score:4, Informative)

    by sodaquad (849437) on Monday June 20, 2005 @06:27AM (#12861715) Homepage

    If you found this interesting you might want to read John Hersey's account of the Hiroshima bomb. Published in 1946 and still in print, it's pretty much the definitive version.

    It's written in an extraordinarily calm style, almost without emotion, but is strangly fascinating and moving.

    Try a search for 'Hiroshima John Hersey'.

  • by NZheretic (23872) on Monday June 20, 2005 @06:46AM (#12861793) Homepage Journal
    Get a true feeling of the times, listen to 1946's THE FIFTH HORSEMAN [nyud.net]:
    NBC SUSTAINING Special Series Thursdays 10:30 - 11:00pm
    Cold War propaganda concerning uses and threats of Atomic Energy
    WRITER/DIRECTOR: Arnold Marquist
    MUSIC COMPOSED and CONDUCTED by: Thomas Palouso
  • by hengist (71116) on Monday June 20, 2005 @07:19AM (#12861977)
    is largely misplaced.

    The Japanese occupied China for 12 years. In just one incident, they slaughtered more than a quarter of a million Chinese in retaliation for the Doolittle raid on Japan. Thousands of prisoners were abused, tortured and murdered by the Japanese. They performed experiments with chemical and biological weapons on living people. Chinese are still being injured by leftover stocks of Japanese chemical weapons, yet the Japanese still refuse to take responsibility for what they did.

    While the nuclear strikes were terrible things, when one remembers the brutality and sheer animalistic behaviour of the Japanese, it's hard to not think "what goes around, comes around". The Japanese people were treated a hell of a lot better after their surrender than any of the peoples they conquered.

    • by Pecisk (688001) on Monday June 20, 2005 @07:25AM (#12862016)
      I guess you maybe be right, but until people will understand that revenge never brings any kind of justice, only it expands circle of violence...

      Violence will never end.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 20, 2005 @07:56AM (#12862232)
        Actually, in this case it did end. The Japanese surrendered, we (the US) spent millions rebuilding it, and Japan is now a thriving nation and respected world citizen. The US has a good relationship with Japan, and vice versa. Within the US citizenry, there is very little latent dislike or hatred of Japan. China, on the other hand, still remembers their brutal treatment by Japan, and they resent Japan's failure to really come to grips with and acknowledge their behavior.
    • by vaceituno (665272) on Monday June 20, 2005 @07:58AM (#12862246) Homepage
      Your reasoning is fallacious. If a japanese kill someone in china, killing an innocent japanese in Nagasaki doesn't "cancel out" anything. There is not "collective responsibility" but for the higher levels in the government. Unless we see people as individually responsible for their actions, there will always be racism, nationalism, and other hate-sims.
  • by neomantra (558333) on Monday June 20, 2005 @09:00AM (#12862697)
    A form of Pentagon-supported censorship... http://www.democracynow.org/static/hiroshima.shtml [democracynow.org] summary: After the bomb drop on Hiroshima, press are confined to a barge off the coast of Japan. Wilfred Burchett, an independent journalist, decides to go and see things first hand and writes about it ("I write these facts as dispassionately as I can in the hope that they will act as a warning to the world."). William L. Laurence of the New York Times, and on the Pentagon payroll, writes a series of stories discrediting Burchett and gets the Pulitzer Price. Democracy Now is trying to get the Pulitzer stripped from the NYT. from http://archive.webactive.com/pacifica/demnow/dn200 10806.html [webactive.com] Soon after the bombing, as reporters converged on a ship off the coast of Japan to cover the surrender of the Japanese, one independent reporter named Wilfred Burchett took a train for 30 hours to Hiroshima. He couldn't believe what he saw: people with their skin melting off them, images of people engraved on the sides of buildings. He sat down with his Hermes typewriter in the rubble, and tapped out the words, "I write this as a warning to the world." He talked about something he called, 'bomb sickness', that he had never seen before. Another reporter did a ten-part series on the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was William Leonard Laurence of the New York Times. He was also on the payroll of the Pentagon. One of his headlines was, "No Bomb Sickness Found." He won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting. Wilfred Burchett died of cancer decades later, but always traced it to Hiroshima.
    • by neomantra (558333) on Monday June 20, 2005 @09:06AM (#12862751)
      A form of Pentagon-supported censorship...

      http://www.democracynow.org/static/hiroshima.shtml [democracynow.org]

      Summary:
      After the bomb drop on Hiroshima, press are confined to a barge off the coast of Japan. Wilfred Burchett, an independent journalist, decides to go and see things first hand and writes about it ("I write these facts as dispassionately as I can in the hope that they will act as a warning to the world."). William L. Laurence of the New York Times, and on the Pentagon payroll, writes a series of stories discrediting Burchett and gets the Pulitzer Price. Democracy Now is trying to get the Pulitzer stripped from the NYT.

      (sorry, accidentally pushed submit instead of preview)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 20, 2005 @09:40AM (#12863086)
    The reprint is still spoofing the truth ... as shown on part 4 of the article. There it says, quoting roughly, that Disease-X was being treated on an experimental basis with ... [illegible] drug.

    The drug was opium. It helps the immune system, mainly kidneys and liver, organize formation, collection and elimination of salts which contain radiation minerals, and thus accelerates curing. Withing a few years after the bombings, the contaminated populations had completely recovered, including hair, reproductive and immune system capacity, and etc.

    The reason this is still "top secret" is that the planet's annual production capacity in opium is limited (by geographic and political availability of alkaline soil, accessible mountainous exposures with cheap labor, supervised by loyal warlords, dark nights, for complete formation of plant alkaloids, etc.) to approximately one-tenth of the size of the "national medical reserve" the U.S. alone would require to stabilize its own "designated survivor" population, in the event of a nuclear wars between the U.S. and Russia, China, France, etc. If amongst the powers on this planet, the U.S. maintained exclusive control of the entire production of the planet's maximum production capacity in opium-based pain killers, it would take the U.S. alone ten years to acquire its required "two-balled" military "entirety" for a nuclear war.

    Oddly, or contrary to our Hollywood-created popular opinion, survival ("continuity of government") in a nuclear war is not determined by the bombing phase, which is relatively shortlived, using missiles which the media generally portrays as "sexy" and/or "terrifying. Survival in a war by mass contamination, and diplomacy by threat of mass contamination (read: state-sponsored terrorism), is based on not on the bombing phase, but on the longer and economically more arduous restoration phase. This more crucial phase starts with medication-stabilization programs of the government/military/fema, to treat the "designated survivors." The only know treatment for 500rem+ radiation sickness, on a mass contamination basis, is by production control and medical delivery of opium-based painkillers and treatment alkaloids.

    That was the purpose of the experiments on Tuskeegee prisonors. (The controlled contamination and experimental treatment of black prisoners was for national-security dosage determinations, required for determination of (a) the size of the designation population which could be expected to survive (with any degree of continuing political stability), and then the ten-year annual production capacity of the planet, for treatment of the U.S.'s designation survivor population alone.

    Is it by accident that this article just happens to blotch out and make that word illegible, while be bomb and control the most critical of the opium production areas of the planet, Afghanistan?
  • by iabervon (1971) on Monday June 20, 2005 @12:38PM (#12864783) Homepage Journal
    Is it just me, or might MacAuthur have been disturbed by the section which discribed Nagasaki geography in terms of Manhatten, and been ill-disposed to the rest of the article because of it? That's just a bit too much identification with the enemy for comfort, plus they probably didn't want to give the citizens of NYC particular nightmares. And, even though the article reports that most of the stuff destroyed was factories of military contractors, it associates it with a residental and business area.

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