nuclear weapons

Yes, we should still feel bad about nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki

This past week we witnessed the collective remembrance of a terrible, fiery explosion before the world. No, I’m not referring to the 24 million who tuned into the first Republican presidential debate. What I’m talking about is a real crime perpetrated by the amoral monsters in our nation’s capital.

The previous week saw the 70th anniversary of the day the United States government did the unthinkable: dropped a nuclear bomb on a living city. The fallout ended World War II but demonstrated just how dangerous nuclear weaponry can be. The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki didn’t stand a chance. It’s estimated that over 100,000 lives perished in the bombing.

There is still the popular understanding that the atomic bomb was instrumental in bringing Japan to its knees, and ultimately defeat. This sentiment was recently argued in a Wall Street Journal editorial by foreign affairs columnist Bret Stephens. Normally, the inanity and moral corruptness of the media hardly stirs me. But I could hardly keep down my lunch upon reading the title of Stephens’ article:

“Thank God for the Atom Bomb.”

Excuse me? Those words might as well have lept off my computer screen and kicked me square in the gut. The pit of my stomach actually turned while considering the meaning. How, in all of God’s creation, can someone speak such moronic, blasphemous nonsense? How can a person, flesh and all, bestow our Lord’s sanction on the instant killing of a hundred thousand people so blithely? Granted, Stephens stole the line from a 1981 essay by Paul Fussell, who was an American lieutenant fighting in Pacific theater before the bomb saved him from the prospect of invading Japan’s home islands. But even so, the total immorality of the utterance is bewildering. He might as well have said God bless sodomy or incest.

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Advice for conservatives: stop using liberal precrime narrative for your wars

War, the great American pastime.

Forget baseball; forget apple pie. Our country is no longer one that bonds over a shared language, religion, ethnicity, or tradition. No, what brings Americans together more than mass consumerism is a foreign hobgoblin that threatens our way of life.

How great is it then for the national spirit that many political figures in Washington are agitating for war with Iran? And how ironic is it that many of the bellicose voices are self-styled conservatives? I say ironic because the drumming for war is based not a direct threat but what Philip K. Dick called “precrime.” And the right-wingers imposing their precrime verdict of guilt on Iran are giving in to liberal ideology. If they continue, conservatives will only fuel the ambitious progressive agenda of eliminating free choice in everything from gun rights to health care. Oh, and they will lead us down the warpath in the Middle East again. Because we totally need another costly quagmire in the land where people can’t stop blowing each other up.

Let’s review. In the wake of a prospective deal with Iran over its nuclear program, Republicans are foaming at the mouth decrying the bargain. President Obama, they say, is unwittingly becoming the new Neville Chamberlain (there must be some variant of Godwin’s Law that that applies to Chamberlain references). They also allege Iran is a state run by full-fledged fanatics who want to commit suicide by threatening Israel and the West.

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