The Secret Back Story to Russia and Ukraine that Americans Never Learned In School

If We Don’t Learn Our History … We May Very Well Blow Off Our Own Foot

Preface:  We believe that Soviet communism was an abomination.  Stalin was certainly a tyrant: he killed countless political enemies or threw them into insane asylums.   We also have littler tolerance for useful idiots who defend communism as a force for good.  In short, we hate Soviet era communism.

And Putin also runs Russia like it’s his plaything, with little regard for the desires of his people.

But U.S. warmongers have also been hyping the Russian threat with self-serving lies – and committing atrocities and telling lies – for some 70 years.  As an American, my concern is keeping America from destroying itself.  And – unless we learn our history – we could get in a lot of trouble.

America Launched the Cold War Even Before World War II Had Ended

Joseph Stalin and the Soviets were key in helping the U.S. to defeat the Nazis.  20 million Russians died fighting the Nazis in World War II.

And yet the U.S. started competing against Stalin – and treating him like an enemy – before WWII had even ended.

Specifically, dropping atomic bombs on Japan had a duel purpose: defeating the Japanese, and sending a message to Stalin that the U.S. was in charge.

History.com notes:

In the years since the two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, a number of historians have suggested that the weapons had a two-pronged objective …. It has been suggested that the second objective was to demonstrate the new weapon of mass destruction to the Soviet Union. By August 1945, relations between the Soviet Union and the United States had deteriorated badly. The Potsdam Conference between U.S. President Harry S. Truman, Russian leader Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill (before being replaced by Clement Attlee) ended just four days before the bombing of Hiroshima. The meeting was marked by recriminations and suspicion between the Americans and Soviets. Russian armies were occupying most of Eastern Europe. Truman and many of his advisers hoped that the U.S. atomic monopoly might offer diplomatic leverage with the Soviets. In this fashion, the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan can be seen as the first shot of the Cold War.

New Scientist reports:

The US decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 was meant to kick-start the Cold War rather than end the Second World War, according to two nuclear historians who say they have new evidence backing the controversial theory.

Causing a fission reaction in several kilograms of uranium and plutonium and killing over 200,000 people 60 years ago was done more to impress the Soviet Union than to cow Japan, they say. And the US President who took the decision, Harry Truman, was culpable, they add.

***

[The conventional explanation of using the bombs to end the war and save lives] is disputed by Kuznick and Mark Selden, a historian from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, US.

***

New studies of the US, Japanese and Soviet diplomatic archives suggest that Truman’s main motive was to limit Soviet expansion in Asia, Kuznick claims. Japan surrendered because the Soviet Union began an invasion a few days after the Hiroshima bombing, not because of the atomic bombs themselves, he says.

According to an account by Walter Brown, assistant to then-US secretary of state James Byrnes, Truman agreed at a meeting three days before the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima that Japan was “looking for peace”. Truman was told by his army generals, Douglas Macarthur and Dwight Eisenhower, and his naval chief of staff, William Leahy, that there was no military need to use the bomb.

“Impressing Russia was more important than ending the war in Japan,” says Selden.

John Pilger points out:

The US secretary of war, Henry Stimson, told President Truman he was “fearful” that the US air force would have Japan so “bombed out” that the new weapon would not be able “to show its strength”. He later admitted that “no effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the bomb”. His foreign policy colleagues were eager “to browbeat the Russians with the bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip”. General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project that made the bomb, testified: “There was never any illusion on my part that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was conducted on that basis.”

University of Maryland professor of political economy – and former Legislative Director in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and Special Assistant in the Department of State – Gar Alperovitz says:

Increasing numbers of historians now recognize the United States did not need to use the atomic bomb to end the war against Japan in 1945. Moreover, this essential judgment was expressed by the vast majority of top American military leaders in all three services in the years after the war ended: Army, Navy and Army Air Force. Nor was this the judgment of “liberals,” as is sometimes thought today. In fact, leading conservatives were far more outspoken in challenging the decision as unjustified and immoral than American liberals in the years following World War II.

***

Instead [of allowing other options to end the war, such as letting the Soviets attack Japan with ground forces], the United States rushed to use two atomic bombs at almost exactly the time that an August 8 Soviet attack had originally been scheduled: Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9. The timing itself has obviously raised questions among many historians. The available evidence, though not conclusive, strongly suggests that the atomic bombs may well have been used in part because American leaders “preferred”—as Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Martin Sherwin has put it—to end the war with the bombs rather than the Soviet attack. Impressing the Soviets during the early diplomatic sparring that ultimately became the Cold War also appears likely to have been a significant factor.

***

The most illuminating perspective, however, comes from top World War II American military leaders. The conventional wisdom that the atomic bomb saved a million lives is so widespread that … most Americans haven’t paused to ponder something rather striking to anyone seriously concerned with the issue: Not only did most top U.S. military leaders think the bombings were unnecessary and unjustified, many were morally offended by what they regarded as the unnecessary destruction of Japanese cities and what were essentially noncombat populations. Moreover, they spoke about it quite openly and publicly.

***

Shortly before his death General George C. Marshall quietly defended the decision, but for the most part he is on record as repeatedly saying that it was not a military decision, but rather a political one.

General Dwight Eisenhower said, “Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary” and “the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”

And Truman’s chief of staff, Admiral William Leahy, who chaired the meetings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, claims:

The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.

America Has Waged a Brutal Dirty Tricks Campaign for 70 Years

Right after the end of WWII, the U.S. backed Nazi fighters in Ukraine in an attempt to dislodge Soviet control of that country.

Moreover:

In late September 1947, [George] Kennan urged Forrestal to establish a “guerrilla warfare corps”—a suggestion Forrestal heartily endorsed—although the [Joing Chiefs of Staff] recommended against establishing a “separate guerrilla warfare and corps.” In December, Truman approved secret annex NSC 4-A, authorizing the CIA to conduct covert operations. He had dismantled the OSS’s covert parmilitary operations capabilities in September 1945, but now he brought them back in force. In the summer of 1948, he approved NSC 10/2, which called for “propaganda, economic warfare, preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.” These activities were to be done in a way that would always afford the US government plausible deniability. In August 1948, Truman approved NSC 20, which authorized guerrilla operations in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe ….

***

Beginning with Truman’s first day in office, his receptiveness to the views of hard-line anti-Communists, his denial of Roosevelt’s understanding with Staling, the provocative and unnecessary dropping of the atomic bombs, his spreading a network of military bases around the world, Churchill’s speech at Fulton, Truman’s call for fighting Communism in greece, the division and remilitarization of Germany, the continued testing of bigger and bigger atomic and hydrogen bombs which he used to threaten the Soviet Union, Truman’s deliberate exaggerations of the Communist threat both overseas and at home and his persecution and silencing of those who challenged these distortions. In all these matters, with few exceptions, the United states, after successfully liberating Western Europe, was now signaling fear and aggression ….

The U.S. also admits that the U.S. and NATO also used false flag terror attacks to discredit the Soviets.  For example:

  • The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
  • As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in the 1960′s, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

The U.S. and NATO Have Been Trying to Encircle Russia Militarily Since 1991

President George H. W. Bush promised Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that – if the Soviets broke up the Soviet Union and dissolved the Warsaw Pact – then NATO would not move into those former Soviet countries. This assured the Soviets that NATO would not encircle Russia.

Similarly, Germany promised Gorbachev that NATO would not expand “one inch to the east.”  As Andrew Gavin Marshall explains:

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 prompted the negotiated withdrawal of the Soviet Union from Eastern Europe. The ‘old order’ of Europe was at an end, and a new one “needed to be established quickly,” noted Mary Elise Sarotte in the New York Times. This ‘new order’ was to begin with “the rapid reunification of Germany.” Negotiations took place in 1990 between Soviet president Gorbachev, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and President Bush’s Secretary of State, James A. Baker 3rd. The negotiations sought to have the Soviets remove their 380,000 troops from East Germany. In return, both James Baker and Helmut Kohl promised Gorbachev that the Western military alliance of NATO would not expand eastwards. West Germany’s foreign minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, promised Gorbachev that, ” NATO will not expand itself to the East.” Gorbachev agreed, though asked – and did not receive – the promise in writing, remaining a “gentlemen’s agreement.”

But Bill Clinton broke America’s promise, and the U.S. has pursued a campaign of encircling Russia ever since:

http://i.imgur.com/xgBMhBb.jpg

http://caelumetterra.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/bases-overseas.jpg

And NATO has also broken its promise, and now largely encircles Russia:

In 1997 – as part of the strategy of encirclement – former U.S. national security advisor and high-level Obama policy advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski called for the U.S. to take Ukraine away from Russia.

Cheney Has Controlled U.S. Policy Towards Russia with a Strategy of Global Domination For Decades … And Continues to Do So Today

The U.S. has also long exaggerated the “Russian menace” in order to justify its military spending and expansion.

For example, Dick Cheney made false claims exaggerating the threat posed by Russia’s weapons in the 1970s to ramp up cold war fears and justify huge increases in military spending.

Subsequent instances of fear-mongering by Cheney and his subordinates include:

  • New York Times and Wikipedia, 1992: “Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere .… We do not dismiss the risks to stability in Europe from a nationalist backlash in Russia or efforts to reincorporate into Russia the newly independent republics of Ukraine, Belarus, and possibly others.”
  • Toledo Blade, 2006: “Vice President Dick Cheney accused Russia of pursuing antidemocratic policies and using its vast energy supplies to blackmail neighboring countries”
  • Wall Street Journal, 2008: “The vice president … accused Russia of seeking to reinvent the old Soviet Union’s sphere of influence, and beat back the advance of democracy in Eastern Europe …. ‘Let us make clear that the enlargement of NATO will continue as and where the allies decide,” Mr. Cheney said. ‘Allies agreed that those nations will be NATO members, and the time to begin their membership action plans has come.’ “
  • Telegraph, 2008: “We believe in the right of men and women to live without the threat of tyranny, economic blackmail or military invasion or intimidation …. Ukrainians have a right to choose whether they wish to join NATO, and NATO has a right to invite Ukraine to join the alliance when we believe they are ready and that the time is right”

Todd E. Pierce – Major (ret.) U.S. Army Judge Advocate General – notes in a must-read article that “Cheneyism” has driven U.S. policy towards Russia for decades:

Dick Cheney’s ideology of U.S. global domination has become an enduring American governing principle regardless of who is sitting in the Oval Office, a reality reflected in the recent Ukrainian coup ….

The final form of this ideology took shape in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union when the world was then to be subjected to eternal U.S. military dominance, as revealed in the leaked “Draft Defense Planning Guidance” (DPG) devised by Cheney’s subordinates when he was Defense Secretary under President George H.W. Bush.

Since then, Cheney has been so successful in propagating this ideology of permanent U.S. domination abroad and rule by a “unitary executive” at home that it has now survived multiple changes of U.S. presidents largely intact. It is so much attributable to Dick Cheney that it merits his name: Cheneyism.

As unprecedented as Cheneyism may be – not even history’s most power-mad conquerors ever envisioned anything like “full-spectrum dominance” – President Obama has cemented Cheney’s ideological legacy by continuing his unilateralism and even expanding it ….

Cheney’s ideology combines militarism under a state of permanent war with an un-American, anti-constitutional authoritarianism. It also embraces an aggressiveness toward past, present and possibly future adversaries, especially Russia.

Robert Gates, who was CIA director in 1991, has written in his memoir Duty that with the collapse of the U.S.S.R., Cheney “wanted to see the dismantlement not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire but of Russia itself,” so “it could never again be a threat to the rest of the world.”

Little wonder that Russian President Vladimir Putin concluded that denying Russian access to Crimean ports via the coup in Ukraine was just one step in a larger U.S. plan to deny Russia a means of naval defense, just as he might have seen the Kosovo War in the late 1990s as a move against a Russian ally.

***

There is virtually no deviation in the United States from the core of Cheney’s ideology. That is, the unrelenting pursuit of total U.S. global military domination as outlined in the Defense Planning Guidance.

This February’s successful subversion of Ukraine’s democratically elected government by Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland is merely the latest example of U.S. policies first conceived and promoted by Cheney and like-minded ideologists, including Nuland’s husband, renowned neocon Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century.

If there was any doubt about the continuation of Cheneyism under Obama, the activities of Nuland – a Bush-43 holdover who was promoted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then Secretary of State John Kerry – shows there was no real break in foreign policy with the change of administrations in 2009.

As revealed by Nuland, there has not been a Russian policy “reset” by the U.S.; it was a mere subterfuge. And as Putin is learning, any objection to U.S. strategic expansionism is treated as “terrorism” or “aggression” and becomes a pretext for U.S. diplomatic, economic and military suppression of the “threat.”

In 1991, as conceived by Cheney and other Pentagon ideologues, such as Paul Wolfowitz and David Addington, this strategy of constantly violating other nations’  sovereignty has been waged both by military and political means ….

***

For Cheney, it was as if he saw the Cold War as having been a winner-take-all contest for global domination. When the U.S. “won,” the countries of the world were to submit to global U.S. domination. As stated in Harper’s Magazine, the United States would move from “countering Soviet attempts at dominance to en­suring its own dominance.”

***

Clinton preserved the general outlines of the force structure and strategy that had been worked out under Cheney and Wolfowitz. Cheney’s ideology of permanent U.S. dominance achieved its purest form under President George W. Bush, with Cheney as his influential Vice President. But Cheneyism also has maintained a strong foothold in the five years of the Obama administration.

***

Cheney’s geopolitical ideas have become the consensus of both Republicans and Democrats and have assumed a permanent place in “mainstream” American political thought and governance under Obama.

***

For a foreign government to anticipate how the U.S. will act, their analysts need to understand Cheneyism as a controlling ideology in U.S. policy, just as American intelligence analysts were steeped in theories of Marxism and Stalinism during the Cold War. U.S. citizens should understand the tenets of Cheneyism, too, since this arrogant ideology has the potential for disastrous consequences.

***

Indeed, there is a German precedent for Cheney’s ideology that is not Nazism. Following the failure of the Imperial German Army in World War I, philosophical militarists such as Ernst Junger and authoritarian legal philosophers like Carl Schmitt came together in the “Conservative Revolutionary Movement.”

Celebrating war and authoritarianism, they believed that Germany was the “exceptional” nation of Europe, deserving of military expansion in both eastern and western Europe. The German Conservative Revolutionaries didn’t all become Nazis, but they created a hospitable culture for them. With hindsight, they could have been called proto-Cheneyites.

Not only are Cheney and Neocons back … they never actually left.

The neoconservatives planned campaigns of destabilization all over the world 20 years ago, and Obama is implementing the same plans today.

The Bottom Line: Putin’s No Angel … But Americans Need to Gain a Little Perspective

Putin is no angel, and Stalin really was a murderous tyrant.

But Americans also need to understand that the U.S. and NATO have been seeking domination even before WWII ended.

Dick Cheney has dominated U.S. policy towards Russia for decades, and Obama is following Cheney’s playbook.

America needs to gain a little perspective.

See this  for other interesting and little-known facts about Russia.

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  • edwardrynearson

    not arguing but the entity you identify as the American empire is not “American” > it is the Zionist “British” Empire now a global financial empire > they control the dollar, the world’s reserve currency, and thus everything

  • Putin’s no angel, but he’s the best leader in Russia’s history, by a long shot, and 75% of Russians approve of his policies and trust him. No Western leader comes close to those stats.

  • Name

    “Joseph Stalin and the Soviets were key in helping the U.S. to defeat the Nazis.” Spoken like a true American who learned history from American WWII movies and TV shows.

    • 40degeesSouth

      Thank you for saying this. “…helping the US…” What a feckin’ bad joke mate! The US entry into WW2 was ALMOST too late. The mismanagement of relations with Japan that led to the attack on Pearl Harbour precipitated action by the US. Nothing to do with ‘democracy’ or ‘freedom’
      Your congress was obliged to pass a “Trading with the Enemy Act” before the long list of plutocrats, Henry Ford et al ceased funding and rearming the Nazis. The evidence is all there.
      The Red Army needed no permission from allied armies to enter Berlin – a long way from Stalingrad, Berlin…
      Ironically enough there were units from Ukraine and Byelorus in the first waves to enter the German capital.
      Meanwhile in the present day…

  • Carl_Herman

    US history is brutal: violating over 200 treaties with Native Americans when power was favorable, stealing half of Mexico on lies in 1846, stealing Hawaii, lying the US into WW1, dozens of “CIA wars” to control territory and resources, lie-started and illegal war in Vietnam, and today’s lie-started unlawful Wars of Aggression. The US public should recognize this history and present, demand arrests of our War Criminals, and then perhaps we could have a fair chance for truth from good-faith efforts at history leading to the present.

    Great analysis, GW. Thank you 🙂

  • george

    I suggest that the author of this obtain and read the book ‘Wars End’ by Major Charles Sweeney.
    He gives a firsthand reason for Japan’s surrender.

  • MrRedNeckParadise

    Putin has an 82% approval rating among Russian citizens. It would appear that the desires of the Russian are well served. Hmpf. 25% of them want to have his baby.
    Please. Get it right. You’re smarter than that.

  • Ernest Dettson

    Russia got to be the biggest country in the world because Russians are the the nicest people in the world. To this day every nation that has ever been ruled by Russians wants to be ruled by Russians again.
    Those who claim Russians murdered over 100 million in the 20th century alone are insane. Solzhenitsyn was a fabulist.
    Ah the world according to Bolshie sleepers and Trotskyites.

    • Name

      Yes, the world according to hate mongering intelligence trolls using obsolete derogatory labels is so much more accurate.

      • Ernest Dettson

        Russians holocausted far more people than Nazis. Don’t you think there should be at least one trial?

        • Name

          Right after the trial against the Americans for roasting alive the civilian populations of Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, etc.

          • Ernest Dettson

            Russians have a lot more kills of others and their own so the priviledge of being first belongs to them.
            Old Russian saying “scratch a Russian and see Asiatic Horde under skin”

          • Win-Win

            Hey buddy you need to do some more research not just trolling. How many people has the US been involved in killing over the recent years?

          • lucy

            Well, y,could begin with 6 or 8 million on account of the Vietnam adventure.
            Add a few million in the Middle East and environs, courtesy of the US or her Flower-girls,….and …
            Or, as another old saying goes:- Scratch an American and see a sactimonious genocidal Puritan colonialist.

          • lucy

            oops!…almost forgot the minor ‘corrective’ activities in Central and South
            America,(where even American citizens were targeted by US ‘special services’) though the figures are not specific, since so many of ‘The Disappeared’ were flown far out to sea and chucked out of (US-supplied) helicopters.
            …though not the helicopters used to “render” countless prisoners, secretly, to torture-camps all around the world for treatment that would even have turned Stalin’s stomach. —> http://www.globalresearch.ca/article/MCC409A.html
            …and “rendered’ a whole new chapter to the other nazi’s clumsy “Ve haff vays off making you talk!” techniques.

            …now what else have I forgotten?

  • jimmydominic

    So is Washington’s Blog completely against the idea of communism? or specifically against the Soviet/Chinese tyrannical form of communism? If it’s the former, can we at least admit it’d be way better than the system we have now? Thanks.

  • not authorized

    CHAPTER XIX Ratification and Signature is pretty specific in regards to the United States Government Obligation to UN Charter. Specifically, Chapter XIX Article 110-111.

    The Oligarchy is in deep deep deep trouble. Far more than people realize. They have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar. The only way out, is forward.

  • LiberatedCit

    George I know you lean left and are trying to be more libertarian, this article is pretty good but I think your leftist bias is showing in it.

    Meet The Americans Who Put Together The Coup In Kiev—Chapter and Verse

    http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/meet-the-americans-who-put-together-the-coup-in-kiev-chapter-and-verse/

    • Sally Backslash

      A media outlet who “leans left” is trying to sell you a bridge. Much better to contain and conform ideas that could eventually be used to challenge the status quo. The most basic exercise in managing consent is to have the status quo manufacture their own dissent.

  • Madison Cree

    I agree, it’s important for everyone to understand history and to hate US Capitalism during the Soviet era, and even more so now. Unfortunately, this careening grocery list of selective themes doesn’t mention Lenin, or the US’s role in creating, supporting and financing Nazi Germany. We have the name brands, from Ford to JP Morgan, we also have relentless denial, more so than are so-called enemies.

  • TR

    Oh No! Just read that C-word, communism.
    I have a major complaint with The Constitution. It’s the two mandatory requirements that Merikans have to buy products manufactured in COMMUNIST CHINA helping them to become a major economic power & investors have to buy into companies that produce products in China.

    Paul Mooney: “Keep it real,Don’t get it twisted.”

    Damn,Just realized the post is about Russia,so forget what I said & Happy Weekend to all the Communist China Sympathizers.

    I know,I should not have this much fun.

  • Chris Murray

    Good to see Gar Alperovitz’s book on the deliberate mass
    murder of civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki getting some attention. The reason the
    Japanese fought on long after they were beaten militarily is because the US
    demanded unconditional surrender. The Japanese, who had put out many peace
    feelers, wanted safeguards for their emperor, who they regarded as a god. In
    the end, even after the two bombs were dropped, Japan still did not
    specifically surrender unconditionally in spite of US telegram demands to that
    effect. An ambiguous Japanese telegram was accepted by the US, ignoring the
    ambiguity, and the US subsequently allowed the emperor to retain his position,
    something which could have been done weeks or even months earlier, if saving
    lives was genuinely the main criterion (See quote from General Douglas MacArthur below).

    So this notion, that deliberately
    butchering over a hundred thousand civilians somehow “saved lives”,
    is a myth, a propaganda triumph, even if most Americans have believed it up til now.
    Developing and testing the bomb, and planning the actual bombing, DELAYED the
    end of the war, and COST tens of thousands of lives, both Japanese and
    American. The main fear of some at the highest levels of American government at
    the time was that Japan might surrender BEFORE the US got a chance to use the
    bomb. After the successful test of the bomb in New Mexico, they deliberately
    refused, against almost all advice, to clarify the surrender terms re the
    Japanese emperor. Further, knowing that Soviet entry into the war against Japan
    might precipitate a Japanese surrender, they deliberately used negotiations to
    DELAY Soviet entry into the war, reversing previous policy, until they could
    first use their precious bomb, and fully control post-war japan.

    Truman was a relatively young,
    inexperienced president. He had been drafted onto Roosevelt’s ticket as a
    compromise vice-presidential candidate, leap-frogging over his mentor, the
    skilled and vastly experienced but divisive political fixer Jimmy Byrnes.
    Truman, upon accession to the presidency, appointed Byrnes Secretary of State
    out of guilt, was still in awe of him, and deferred to Byrnes’ anti-Soviet
    paranoia and ruthlessness. Byrnes wanted the bomb dropped as a signal to the
    Soviets, as a show of strength, to stop them getting any ideas about throwing
    their weight around in Europe or the Far East. Other motivations were to
    justify the time and money spent developing the bomb, and to end the war before
    the Soviets advanced too far into Asia. “Saving lives” was only the
    window-dressing.

    Don’t take my word for all this. Start by
    reading below what top US military and civilian leaders (General Eisenhower,
    General Douglas MacArthur, Admiral Leahy, Herbert Hoover, Nimitz, etc etc)
    actually said about that appalling, monstrous decision.

    “I voiced to him (Truman) 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 Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit
    them with that awful thing.” Dwight Eisenhower

    “When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was
    surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his
    advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the
    dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the
    United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the
    institution of the emperor.”

    Norman Cousins, The Pathology of Power, pg. 65, 70-71.

    President Richard M. Nixon reported that:

    [General Douglas] MacArthur once spoke to me very eloquently about it, pacing
    the floor of his apartment in the Waldorf. He thought it a tragedy that the
    Bomb was ever exploded. MacArthur believed that the same restrictions ought to
    apply to atomic weapons as to conventional weapons, that the military objective
    should always be limited damage to noncombatants. . . . MacArthur, you see, was
    a soldier. He believed in using force only against military targets, and that
    is why the nuclear thing turned him off. . .

    Admiral William “Bull” F. Halsey, Jr., Commander U.S. Third Fleet,
    stated publicly in 1946:

    The first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment. . . . It was a mistake to
    ever drop it. . . . [the scientists] had this toy and they wanted to try it
    out, so they dropped it. . . . It killed a lot of Japs, but the Japs had put
    out a lot of peace feelers through Russia long before.

    Rear Admiral L. Lewis Strauss “This was omitted from the Potsdam
    declaration and as you are undoubtedly aware was the only reason why it was not
    immediately accepted by the Japanese who were beaten and knew it before the
    first atomic bomb was dropped.”

    Commander in chief of the U.S. Fleet and chief of Naval Operations, Ernest J.
    King, “I didn’t like the atom bomb or any part of it.”

    Commanding general of the U.S. Army Air Forces, Henry H. “Hap” Arnold
    told Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker

    “When the question comes up of whether we use the atomic bomb or not, my
    view is that the Air Force will not oppose the use of the bomb, and they will
    deliver it effectively if the Commander in Chief decides to use it. But it is
    not necessary to use it in order to conquer the Japanese without the necessity
    of a land invasion.”

    According to (Leo) Szilard, (Jimmy) Byrnes was not interested in international
    control: “Byrnes… was concerned about Russia’s postwar behavior. Russian
    troops had moved into Hungary and Rumania, and Byrnes thought it would be very
    difficult to persuade Russia to withdraw her troops from these countries, that
    Russia might be more manageable if impressed by American military might, and
    that a demonstration of the bomb might impress Russia.”

    BRIGADIER GENERAL CARTER CLARKE

    (The military intelligence officer in charge of preparing intercepted Japanese
    cables – the MAGIC summaries – for Truman and his advisors)

    “…when we didn’t need to do it, and we knew we didn’t need to do it, and
    they knew that we knew we didn’t need to do it, we used them as an experiment
    for two atomic bombs.”

    Paul Nitze, From Hiroshima to Glasnost, pg. 36-37 (my emphasis)

    The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey group, assigned by President Truman to study
    the air attacks on Japan, produced a report in July of 1946 that was primarily
    written by Nitze and reflected his reasoning:

    “Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the
    testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion
    that certainly prior to 31 December 1945 and in all probability prior to 1
    November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not
    been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion
    had been planned or contemplated.”

    quoted in Barton Bernstein, The Atomic Bomb, pg. 52-56.

    In his memoir, written in 1989, Nitze repeated,

    “Even without the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it seemed highly
    unlikely, given what we found to have been the mood of the Japanese government,
    that a U.S. invasion of the islands [scheduled for November 1, 1945] would have
    been necessary.”

    Paul Nitze, From Hiroshima to Glasnost, pg. 44-45.

    HERBERT HOOVER

    On May 28, 1945, Hoover visited President Truman and suggested a way to end the
    Pacific war quickly: “I am convinced that if you, as President, will make
    a shortwave broadcast to the people of Japan – tell them they can have their
    Emperor if they surrender, that it will not mean unconditional surrender except
    for the militarists – you’ll get a peace in Japan – you’ll have both wars over.”

    “The use of the atomic bomb, with its indiscriminate killing of women and
    children, revolts my soul.”

    “…the Japanese were prepared to negotiate all the way from February
    1945…up to and before the time the atomic bombs were dropped; …if such
    leads had been followed up, there would have been no occasion to drop the
    [atomic] bombs.”

    “I told MacArthur of my memorandum of mid-May 1945 to Truman, that peace
    could be had with Japan by which our major objectives would be accomplished.
    MacArthur said that was correct and that we would have avoided all of the
    losses, the Atomic bomb, and the entry of Russia into Manchuria.”

    ADMIRAL WILLIAM D. LEAHY

    (Chief of Staff to Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman)

    “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and
    Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese
    were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea
    blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.

    “The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening.
    My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical
    standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make
    war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”

    List of Signatories to a letter questioning the official fairytale………

    Kai Bird, co-chair of the Historians’ Committee for Open Debate on Hiroshima

    Martin Sherwin, co-chair of the Historians’ Committee for Open Debate on
    Hiroshima

    Walter LaFeber, Professor of History, Cornell University

    Stanley Hoffman, Dillon Professor, Harvard University

    Mark Selden, Chair, Department of Sociology, State University of New York at
    Binghamton

    Jon Wiener, Professor of History, University of California, Irvine

    William O. Walker III, Ohio Wesleyan University

    Dr. E.B. Halpern, Lecturer in American History, University College London

    John Morris, Professor, Miyagi Gakuin Women’s Junior College, Sendai, Japan

    Gar Alperovitz, historian and author of The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb

    Stanley Goldberg, historian of science and biographer of Gen. Leslie Groves

    James Hershberg, historian and author of James B. Conant: Harvard to Hiroshima
    and the Making of the Nuclear Age

    Greg Mitchell, author of Hiroshima in America

    Gaddis Smith, Professor of History, Yale University

    Barton J. Bernstein, Professor of History, Stanford University

    Michael J. Hogan, Professor of History, Ohio State University

    Melvyn P. Leffler, Professor of History, University of Virginia

    John W. Dower, Professor of History, MIT

    Priscilla Johnson McMillan, Author and Fellow of the Russian Research Center,
    Harvard University

    Bob Carter, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Worcester College of Higher
    Education, England.

    Douglas Haynes, Associate Professor of History, Dartmouth College

    Bruce Nelson, Department of History, Dartmouth College

    Walter J. Kendall, III, The John Marshall School of Law, Chicago

    Patricia Morton, Assistant Professor, University of California, Riverside

    Michael Kazin, Professor of History, American University

    Gerald Figal, Asst. Professor of History, Lewis & Clark College, Portland,
    Oregon

    R. David Arkush, Professor of History, University of Iowa, Iowa City

    Barbara Brooks, Professor of Japanese and Chinese History, City College of New
    York

    Dell Upton, Professor, University of California, Berkeley

    Eric Schneider, Assistant Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of
    Pennsylvania

    Janet Golden, Assistant Professor of History, Rutgers, Camden

    Bob Buzzanco, Assistant Professor of History, University of Houston

    Lawrence Badash, Professor of History of Science, University of California,
    Santa Barbara

    Kanno Humio, Asociate Professor of Iwate University, Japan

    Robert Entenmann, Associate Professor of History, St. Olaf College, Northfield,
    MN

    Mark Lincicome, Assistant Professor, Department of History, College of the Holy
    Cross, Worcester, MA

    Kristina Kade Troost, Duke University, Durham NC

    Peter Zarrow, Assistant Professor of History, Vanderbilt University

    Michael Kucher, University of Delaware

    Lawrence Rogers, University of Hawaii at Hilo

    Alan Baumler, Piedmont College

    Timothy S. George, Harvard University

    Ronald Dale Karr, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

    Kikuchi Isao, Professor of Japanese History, Miyagi Gakuin Women’s College,
    Sendai, Japan

    Ohira Satoshi, Associate Professor of Japanese History, Miyagi Gakuin Women’s
    College, Sendai, Japan

    Inoue Ken’Ichiro Associate Professor of Japanese Art History, Miyagi Gakuin
    Women’s College, Sendai, Japan

    Yanagiya Keiko, Associate Professor of Japanese Literature, Siewa Women’s
    College, Sendai, Japan

    Sanho Tree, Research Director, Historians’ Committee for Open Debate on
    Hiroshima

    Eric Alterman, Stanford University

    Jeff R. Schutts, Georgetown University

    Gary Michael Tartakov, Iowa State University

    W. Donald Smith, University of Washington, currently at Hitotsubashi University
    in Tokyo

    Above quotes taken from “The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb”, Gar
    Alperovitz, 1995. Available
    fromhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/Decision-Use-Atomic-Bomb/dp/0006386806 , quotes
    reproduced at http://www.doug-long.com/guide1.htm

    • reader

      When I first read your post I thought that you did not know what you are talking about. A thorough study was done on what it would have taken to invade Japan. The Japanese were determined to fight to the death. There would have been millions of casualties on both sides. So, the rationale given for using the atomic bomb was to avoid this carnage.

      I did not know that the Japanese were actively trying to surrender. And the “unconditional surrender” doctrine was keeping them from being able to surrender. I had heard this statement of course, but you list a large series of impeccable sources that state this.

      The American commanders who stated after the war that they opposed the use of the atomic bomb, or were never told about it, knew the real numbers involved in the planned invasion of Japan. This invasion would have made Normandy look like the gunfight at the OK corral. They did not want to embark on this invasion. I always thought that simply effecting a total blockade on Japan, nothing in and nothing out, would have forced Japan to surrender at some point. Wedeyemer could have dealt with the Japanese forces in China.

      As you show the Japanese were already making serious attempts to surrender. If the American leadership had been serious about wanting to end the war they would have dealt seriously with these proposals. So, the question is a valid one, why did the American leadership insist on using the atomic bomb?

      • lucy

        Obviously the bombs were dropped because the looming ‘Cold War’ with the USSR really demanded that the newest military toy needed to be tested in a real-world scenario ~ both as a data-gathering exercise (impossible in desert-test-blasts) and as a warning to the emerging world power fingered be Churchill among others: USSR.

        In 1945 the Soviet military was easily the most powerful in the world ~ and had the added advantage of being centrally-placed to influence a post-war geopolitical world ~ so some other leverage was required if the US was to have any authoritative access to world MARKETS in the rebuilding of the war-shattered world and beyond. (Remember the scandals of high-tech microphones being incorporated into the embassies of ‘new’ world powers?)
        McDonalds and Ford. etc. had to have SOMEWHERE to set up a million franchises.

        And the ‘divine authority’ of the Armageddon Button under the control of the US guaranteed all that, and more.

        That’s why the world saw an unprecedented hysteria when the Soviets set off their own Doomsday Machine many years before it was expected (and before dealing with such a development was even considered).

        The disastrous prospective threat to US economic/financial/business hegemony sent shockwaves around the globe.

        The prospect of destroying the whole world was only a secondary consideration.
        Business is, after all, business.

  • tarapita

    Yet another supposedly progressive writer bemoaning how unfairly an ex-KGB oligarch is being misunderstood by the uninformed populace of the West.
    But to the facts. Russia started WW2 on the side of the Nazis. People who bother to read history will recall that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 divided Europe into “spheres of influence” for the Nazis and the Bolsheviks. When Nazi Germany turned on its erstwhile ally, the USSR ended up on the winning Allied side. Western Europe, free of Nazi Germany, recovered and rebuilt. Eastern Europe, which the Soviets refused to disgorge, became a Soviet backwater. Rebellions in Berlin in 1953, Hungary in 1956, and Czechoslavakia in 1968 did nothing to dislodge the Soviet presence. The best that the West could do was provide covert support to occupied Eastern Europe.
    Not until 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, and 1991, when the USSR collapsed, did the Soviet occupation end. If the Russians were such magnanimous patrons, the writer might want to explain why there were still 380,00 Soviet troops in East Germany in 1991, not to mention in every other involuntary member of the “union” of Soviet Socialist republics.
    When the inevitable collapse of the USSR finally came in 1991, the occupied nations of Eastern Europe could not reassert their sovereignty fast enough. American neocons were nowhere in sight- they were too busy liberating that paragon of democracy, Kuwait. The USA did not recognize the newly asserted independence of Eastern Europe nations until most of the rest of the free world had done so. To credit American neocons for this turn of events is an insult to the peoples of Eastern Europe, who deserve credit for liberating themselves without starting a war.
    No American president had the right to “promise”, and no Russian leader had the right to expect the denial of the right of any former Soviet satellite to join NATO. This was a deliberate strategy on the part of theses nations to ensure that the Russian bear would think twice about mauling them again. It was this sort of arrangement negotiated by mssrs Molotov and Ribbentrop that gave us WW2 and half a century of Cold War.
    Russia is “surrounded” by nations wary of its attentions not because of the supposedly nefarious machinations of American neocons, but because of the memory they have of 46 years of Soviet occupation. That they now prefer Western neoliberal kleptocrats to Russian oligarchs only illustrates their dilemma, and at some point, Americans should realize the events in Ukraine are a microcosm of this issue. Not every Ukrainian preferring a pivot to the West is a neo-Nazi who has been duped by American neocons in order to further some fantasy of American world domination.
    Lenin had his “useful idiots”- Western apologists who bring to mind the line: ” Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?” Apparently they are still with us.

    • Ginny

      Then all of the Europe entered WWII on the side of Nazis, considering they signed Munich agreement and used policy of appeasement right until Germany started the war. 60 years of “oppression” left those countries with much more developed infrastructure and industry than they would’ve ever had without it. Most of those territories were once a part of Russian Empire and hence had strong cultural and historic ties, and btw most of them joined willingly. As of right now, the whole world is weary of US intentions, because wherever US goes, destruction and mayhem will follow. Look at all of the Middle East. So yeah, Russia has every right to be concerned.

  • cettel

    This is one of the best blogposts anywhere anytime. Its author is a great historian.

  • bilejones

    “Joseph Stalin and the Soviets were key in helping the U.S. to defeat the Nazis”
    In Truth:
    The U.S. was of marginal assistance in helping Stalin and the Soviets in defeating the Nazis”.