Thursday, June 13, 2013

Truman


  • Early in the year I read both volumes of Harry Truman's autobiography and, to be honest, I had a hard time of it; popular opinion aside, there just didn't seem that much to like about him. Here are some thoughts I posted on social media at the time. I'm not sure why the formatting is so screwy, but I can't seem to fix it. 




  • There are few things more obnoxious than a "self-taught" man constantly showing off his knowledge - often knowledge half-understood and in the wrong context - in a vain effort to ease his inferiority complex. Harry S Truman, I'm talking to you.

  • Reading V2 of Truman's memoirs. Every time I'm impressed, he follows it up with something jack-assery.
  • Hyper partisan. Distrustful of 'experts'. Twists history 2 justify his decisions. Ever hungry 4 more gov't. What's not to luv about Truman?
  • Chp. 26 of his memoirs concern the a-bomb, and HST is far too cavalier about it. re Hirishima: " This is the greatest thing in history" ?!?!
  • Truman argued the Potsdam declaration was
  •  fair warning of & justification for the atomic destruction to come. I call b.s.
  • In Chapter 26 of Vol 1 of his memoirs he admits he had been advised by statesmen and 

  • military alike that taking the Emperor off the table – in effect, making “unconditional 

  • surrender” slightly less so – would all but ensure the surrender of Japan. He concurred, and

  •  in an awkward segue claims that Potsdam was his last, best attempt to offer the Japanese a 

  • way out under that umbrella. But if you read the declaration, there is no mention of such a concession, nor for obvious reasons is there mention of atomic weapons, merely the standard issue “surrender or we’ll destroy you”. and, as you know, we did amend our surrender demands to allow the Emperror to remain - after we dropped two bombs.There may have been a way out, and it was either squandered or subverted by the President. 

  • Whether or not its use was justified - and I lean towards 'yes’ for Hiroshima, but no for Nagasaki – and whether by the same token you can stomach the idea of consciously selecting an entire population center for extermination - one would hope you make the decision with careful deliberation and a ton of melancholy. Not so. At least as he wrote it, the decision was preordained, and he was at sea when the bomb was dropped. He then famously declared the news of Hiroshima’s fate to be “the greatest thing in history” and expresses no hesitation when needlessly bombing Nagasaki three days latei. 

  • Throughout the chapter its taken far, far less somberly than prior discussions over the partitioning of Germany and the division of the German merchant fleet. Even if he didn't give one fat fig about dropping the bomb, a proper respect for the opinions of mankind and mankind’s God decrees that some expression of remorse or solemnity find its way into his account

  • There is none.
  • Whether or not its use was justified - and I lean towards 'yes’ for Hiroshima, but no for Nagasaki – and whether by the same token you can stomach the idea of consciously selecting an entire population center for extermination - one would hope you make the decision with careful deliberation and a ton of melancholy. Not so. At least as he wrote it, the decision was preordained, and he was at sea when the bomb was dropped. He then famously declared the news of Hiroshima’s fate to be “the greatest thing in history” and expresses no hesitation when needlessly bombing Nagasaki three days latei. 

  • Throughout the chapter its taken far, far less somberly than prior discussions over the partitioning of Germany and the division of the German merchant fleet. Even if he didn't give one fat fig about dropping the bomb, a proper respect for the opinions of mankind and mankind’s God decrees that some expression of remorse or solemnity find its way into his account

  • There is none.
  • Whether or not its use was justified - and I lean towards 'yes’ for Hiroshima, but no for Nagasaki – and whether by the same token you can stomach the idea of consciously selecting an entire population center for extermination - one would hope you make the decision with careful deliberation and a ton of melancholy. Not so. At least as he wrote it, the decision was preordained, and he was at sea when the bomb was dropped. He then famously declared the news of Hiroshima’s fate to be “the greatest thing in history” and expresses no hesitation when needlessly bombing Nagasaki three days latei. 
  • Throughout the chapter its taken far, far less somberly than prior discussions over the partitioning of Germany and the division of the German merchant fleet. Even if he didn't give one fat fig about dropping the bomb, a proper respect for the opinions of mankind and mankind’s God decrees that some expression of remorse or solemnity find its way into his account

  • There is none.
  • Throughout the chapter its taken far, far less somberly than prior discussions over the partitioning of Germany and the division of the German merchant fleet. Even if he didn't give one fat fig about dropping the bomb, a proper respect for the opinions of mankind and mankind’s God decrees that some expression of remorse or solemnity find its way into his account
  • There is none.
  • There is none.
  • I would counter that paragraph one of my comment is not a question of morality per se ( though it is as well) but of practicality. Had we not had the bomb, the failure to amend the " unconditional" surrender despite correct pleas to do so would have had us incur needless economic, material, and personnel losses by dragging out the war. Offer that and have it refused, and you remove any moral questions regarding the use of the bomb.







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