Brian Williams: U.S. is only nation to have used nuclear weapons ‘in anger’


I thnk I liked him better when he was just making up self-aggrandizing stories about his own stirring adventures. At least then the nonsense was harmless and strictly personal. The inevitable problem, of course, is that the same people who imagine themselves in the middle of such heroic circumstances also tend to fantasize about who the bad guys are.

You can’t prove it, but you sort of suspect this is conventional left-wing wisdom about Hiroshina and Nagasaki (and that includes Barack Obama). I guess that’s why you say it on MSNBC, because you figure no one else is watching:

You and I hear this and say, “What did he just say?” But does the average MSNBC viewer? Or the average Democrat voter/Obama supporter? I seriously wonder if they – especially the ones under, say, 40 – really learned in school the calculations Harry Truman had to consider and why he decided as he did to send Little Boy and Fat Man on their missions. Contrary to what Brian Williams would have you believe, it had nothing to do with “anger,” as David French lays out so eloquently in National Review:

Japan’s rank-and-file military fought with a ferocity matched on the European Theater of Operations only by Hitler’s most dedicated fanatics. Japan’s troops fought to the last man, and when its military plight grew increasingly desperate, it launched a suicide-bombing campaign that dwarfs anything ISIS or al-Qaeda have ever imagined, much less attempted. Even many Japanese civilians demonstrated that they’d rather die than surrender — throwing themselves off cliffs to escape American forces.

As American forces approached the Japanese mainland, the blood flow became a hemorrhage — with the Battle of Okinawa demonstrating the scale of the carnage to come. In slightly less than three months of combat, more than 20,000 Americans died, over 70,000 Japanese troops lost their lives, and up to one-third of Japanese civilians perished. In other words, that one battle was deadlier than the Hiroshima bombing.

Americans today simply can’t imagine the horror that an invasion of Japan would have unleashed. Our country had already lost more than 400,000 men, with hundreds of thousands more grievously injured, and we stood to perhaps match or exceed that total in the great battle for the mainland. Japanese losses would have numbered in the millions. Could we have withstood suffering on that scale? Would the carnage have caused us to relent?

I suppose if Williams gets called on this at all, he’ll insist that “anger” was sort of a throwaway line and he didn’t really mean to discount the seriousness of Truman’s dilemma, but I don’t think he should be allowed to get away with that. People use words for reasons, and there was a clear sanctimony to Williams’s declaration that the United States was the only nation to have crossed this most horrible of moral lines – having been motivated by “anger” to do so. It’s the sort of simplified moral calculation that perfectly suits the self-righteous liberal who likes to make declarations like “no war”!

War is an easy thing to oppose in the abstract, but how do you then deal with the belligerent threats that are sometimes posed by malefactors with armies? Absent the willingness to fight, your moral vanity requires you to see all sides in a potential war as equally at fault, so one side’s decision to win the damn thing by unleashing a horrible weapon on the other must be the product of “anger” – regardless of the potential consequences of not doing so.

The use of force – even force this deadly – can be and often is the result of calm, rational consideration of options that offer nothing to feel good about. To listen to Brian Williams, you’d think Truman stood there in the Oval Office and screamed, “I’ve had it! Fry those f****** Japs!” It’s too bad our modern-day pro-Democrat media can’t engage in thought as serious as our long-ago Democrat presidents.

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