Metallic Pea

Frustrating People Since 1971.

It Ain’t Exactly Hell–But It’s Close

with 2 comments


‘How the mighty have fallen,and the weapons of war perished!’  ~ II Samuel 1:27


Ashlee and I watched a documentary about Robert S. McNamara to-night (his middle name, fittingly, was Strange) that reenforced my cynical opinion about him and the warmongers he worked for as Secretary of Defense (Kennedy and Johnson) and served as an eye-opening glance into the world of the jaded Powers That Be for her.  I highly recommend ‘The Fog of War‘ if, for no other reason, McNamara describes the maniacle bloodlust that drove our firebombing of innocent women and children in Japan and Germany during World War II that many folks are unfamiliar with (or the many to whom it is just an abstract).  Most disturbing of all was McNamara’s mea culpa (and all before the film reached the point of his involvement in the Vietnam fiasco) regarding Allied actions during the Big One:

[McNamara] was a statistical control officer in the Army Air Forces during World War II, entering the service as a Captain and leaving as a Lieutenant Colonel. He worked beside General Curtis LeMay in planning almost a thousand pre-atomic firebombings of 67 Japanese cities, calculating in advance the number of Japanese civilians who would die. “In a single night,” McNamara remembers, “we burned to death 100,000 civilians — men, women, and children in Tokyo.” He says LeMay once told him, “If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.”



Written by ninepoundhammer

July 12, 2008 at 10:03 pm

2 Responses

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  1. We watched that movie in a War, Gender, and Society class a couple years ago. Definitely a huge patriotic-bubble-bursting. We read it alongside some book that looked at 50s and 60s political culture and how Red-baiting was constantly paired with homosexual- and weak-men baiting. The guy argued that as long as people like Johnson kept linking lots of bad things (Communism, Vietnam, wimpy men, homosexuals, Nazism), it would allow he and other policy-makers to avoid the real issues of just war. Interesting stuff, and I don’t often buy much of the gender-history discussions.


    July 12, 2008 at 10:31 pm

  2. When Biblical Law is abandoned, might shall always be the rule of what is right, for man cannot long agree to share immanent and therefore transient standards. One must have a transcendent standard that cannot be altered by finite and fallen individuals. The further we take our minds and our plans from the sure canon (the word means “rod for measuring”) of Scripture we shall find ourselves in the wake of atrocities. And if we think this axiom is true only of men who possess greatness and power, more is our shame and more is the woe upon our progeny.


    July 13, 2008 at 4:35 pm

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