Armchair Quarterback Theories

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about a recent comment by Pope Francis about the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima that essentially ended World War II.

The article reports:

“I will soon visit Nagasaki and Hiroshima, where I will offer prayers for the victims of the catastrophic bombing of these two cities, and echo your own prophetic calls for nuclear disarmament,” the pope told an assembly of the nation’s bishops in Tokyo Saturday evening, shortly after his arrival in the country.

“I wish to meet those who still bear the wounds of this tragic episode in human history, as well as the victims of the triple disaster,” he said. “Their continued sufferings are an eloquent reminder of our human and Christian duty to assist those who are troubled in body and spirit, and to offer to all the Gospel message of hope, healing and reconciliation.”

“Evil has no preferences; it does not care about people’s background or identity,” he continued. “It simply bursts in with its destructive force, as was the case recently with the devastating typhoon that caused so many casualties and material damage.”

This past week, Francis sent a video message to the people of Japan, denouncing the use of nuclear weapons as “immoral” just prior to his departure for a six-day visit to Asia, including Thailand and Japan.

“Your country is very aware of the suffering caused by war,” said the pope in reference to the U.S. bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in August 1945. “Together with you, I pray that the destructive power of nuclear weapons will never be unleashed again in human history.”

“Using nuclear weapons is immoral,” he said, speaking in his native Spanish.

The only part of that statement I agree with is his prayer that nuclear weapons will never be unleashed again. Unfortunately nuclear weapons are a scientific fact in our world. Unfortunately not everyone in our world cares about the human toll involved in using one.

I went to a website called Quora to find the other side of the story:

The Japanese Army effectively was the civilian government of Japan. They intended to make the war as costly as possible so that at some level they would remain in power after the war, if in a chastened, more peaceful form. They were probably right, as the US population and military was very war-weary and may have settled for a negotiated peace at some point.

The Allies, quite reasonably, thought that scenario would lead to a later war and an eventual return to conquest as Japanese foreign policy. It certainly would not have led to a free, democratic society.

This doesn’t really answer the question however. The war would definitely have been prolonged. By August 1945 the Japanese population was already on minimal rations, every harbor they had was mined and/or patrolled by submarines and larger ships. They had no real way to import oil, rubber, and the other necessities of war. They had dozens of divisions on the Asian mainland that would slowly wither away. Without the bomb, the Japanese would likely have tried to hold out longer, look for more favorable terms, and the starving Japanese population would have suffered even more greatly from privation, firebombing of all the major and most medium sized cities, and the US invasion in Operation Downfall, along with a Northern front of invading Soviet forces. If the US invasion failed, they would have maintained the bombing and blockade for a long time.

By the end of WW2 all sides had so dehumanized the enemy that it’s hard to say where the bottom was, but it would have been very bad and almost certainly worse for all sides than the state of affairs after the surrender.

World peace is a wonderful idea as is a world without nuclear weapons, but neither idea is rooted in reality. Reality is that there are those among us who want unlimited power and are not necessarily concerned about how they get it. Throughout history we have seen examples of that–Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot, etc. Until human nature changes (which it won’t), the good guys need the best weapons to protect the world from tyranny.

Moving Cautiously In A Time Of Crisis

Breitbart is reporting today that President Trump called off a military strike on Iran last night at the last minute. The strike would have been in retaliation for Iran’s shooting down of an unmanned drone.

The President is right to exercise caution here. The younger generation of Iranians are not happy about the way the Mullahs are running the country. The younger generation would very much like to westernize Iran. They tend to be pro-American. For America to launch an attack (justified or unjustified) might change that dynamic. That dynamic is what will eventually bring down the Mullahs.

The article reports:

President Donald Trump confirmed Friday he pulled back a military strike on Iran after he learned the number of possible casualties.

“We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on three different sights (sic),” Trump revealed on Twitter. The attack was planned in retaliation for Iran shooting down a U.S. surveillance drone on Thursday in international waters.

Trump said prior to the strikes he was told by a general the casualties could be up to 150 people.

“Ten minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone,” he wrote.

Trump added that he was in “no hurry” for additional military conflicts with Iran but warned them against obtaining a nuclear weapon.

The president recalled the recent history of the United States relationship with Iran noting that former President Barack Obama “made a desperate and terrible deal” that included over a billion in cash.

“Iran was in big trouble and he bailed them out,” Trump said. “Gave them a free path to Nuclear Weapons, and SOON.”

The president added that Iran continued to shout “Death to America” despite the deal, which he terminated as president.

“They are a much weakened nation today than at the beginning of my Presidency, when they were causing major problems throughout the Middle East,” Trump said. “Now they are Bust!”

There needs to be a response to the continuing aggression of Iran. However, that response does not have to be immediate and it does not have to involve civilian casualties.

Reykjavik Revisited

All Americans were hoping something good would come out of the meetings between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. It was understood that China was holding a leash on Kim Jong Un and that he was very limited in what he could agree to, but we hoped. Holding the summit in North Vietnam was a stoke of genius–the message it sent was ‘your country can have this kind of prosperity if you behave well.’ Unfortunately the talks ended without an end to North Korea’s nuclear policy and with no relief in sight for the starving, abused people of North Korea.

Fox News posted an article about the talks.

The article reports:

President Trump abruptly walked away from negotiations with North Korea in Vietnam and headed back to Washington on Thursday afternoon, saying the U.S. is unwilling to meet Kim Jong Un’s demand of lifting all sanctions on the rogue regime without first securing its meaningful commitment to denuclearization.

Trump, speaking in Hanoi, Vietnam, told reporters he had asked Kim to do more regarding his intentions to denuclearize, and “he was unprepared to do that.”

“Sometimes you have to walk,” Trump said at a solo press conference following the summit.

Trump specifically said negotiations fell through after the North demanded a full removal of U.S.-led international sanctions in exchange for the shuttering of the North’s Yongbyon nuclear facility. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the United States wasn’t willing to make a deal without the North committing to giving up its secretive nuclear facilities outside Yongbyon, as well as its missile and warheads program.

Removing sanctions without denuclearization would have been reminiscent of the Iran deal, which did not go well. Walking away was reminiscent of Reykjavik, which actually went very well (although it did not appear to go well at the time).

Let’s take a look at Reykjavik for a moment. Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and American President Ronald Reagan met in Reykjavik on October 11 and 12, 1986. The purpose of the meeting was to explore the possibility of limiting each country’s strategic nuclear weapons to create momentum in ongoing arms-control negotiations. The two leaders failed to come to an agreement because President Reagan insisted on America having the freedom to develop the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, mockingly known as ‘Star Wars’). SDI was still in the infant stages of its development at that point, but President Reagan wanted the freedom to develop it (and was willing to share the technology with Russia in order to create a situation where nuclear weapons owned by rogue nation states would be useless). Gorbachev refused to allow America to develop SDI, and President Reagan left the summit. The Soviet Union officially dissolved on December 26, 1991. The strong stand taken by President Reagan against the Soviet Union played a part in the end of the Soviet Union.

Hopefully the strong stand taken regarding North Korea’s nuclear program will also result in the dissolution of the tyrannical government currently in control of that country.

Lied To Again

I am running out of patience with supposed leaders who lie. It seems that in both local and national politics Americans have lost respect for each other. Our leaders don’t respect us and we don’t respect our leaders. This is understandable, however, when you consider that our leaders have not always been truthful with us.

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at PJ Media about recent claims by members of the Obama Administration that Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran had issued a fatwa against Iran having nuclear weapons.

The facts, as reported in the story, are somewhat different:

Indeed, as MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) elaborates, Khamenei was directly asked about the purported fatwa in a 2012 Facebook exchange:

[I]s it also forbidden to obtain nuclear weapons, as per your ruling that their use is prohibited?

He refused to answer the question:

Your question has no jurisprudential aspect. When it has a jurisprudent [sic] position, then it will be possible to answer it.

The notion that Khamenei actually believes nuclear weapons violate Islamic law and would issue a credible fatwa to that effect should be seen as absurd on its face. Put aside that Pakistan, which incorporates sharia in its law, has long had nuclear weapons. For over two decades, al-Qaeda has been trying to acquire nuclear weapons and has enjoyed essential support from the regime in Tehran.

The article concludes:

But even if you were inclined to such self-delusion, the fact is: Khamenei has not forbidden nuclear weapons.

As Breitbart’s Joel Pollak has observed, Kenneth Pollack, a serious national security expert who is particularly influential among Democrats, discussed the purported Khamenei fatwa in his book Unthinkable: Iran, the Bomb, and American Strategy. Pollack notes not only that the fatwa has never been formally issued but also that Iran disregards fatwas when they prove inconvenient to perceived national interests. Thus did the founder of the Iranian jihadist state, Ayatollah Khomeini, ignore his own fatwa against weapons of mass destruction during the long war with Iraq in the 1980s.

It would be lunacy, in a matter crucial to American national security, to rely on a fatwa from the head of a jihadist-terror state even if such a fatwa actually existed. But it doesn’t.

Lied to again.