Historian Gar Alperovitz shares the history of America’s use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Contrary to what most of us learned in school, many of the top military officers and intelligence officials were adamant at the time that use of the bombs was unnecessary to get the Japanese to surrender, which they expected to happen as soon as the Soviet Union invaded. The bombs were used instead as a political maneuver to intimidate the Russians, but which of course only led to the disastrous arms race of the cold war.
Discussed on the show:
“The War Was Won Before Hiroshima—And the Generals Who Dropped the Bomb Knew It” (The Nation)Potsdam Conference“The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003)” (IMDb)Sly and Able: A Political Biography of James F. ByrnesThe Tragedy of American Diplomacy (50th Anniversary Edition)
Gar Alperovitz is a historian, political economist, activist, and writer. He has taught at the University of Maryland, Cambridge University, and Harvard and is the author of Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam and The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb. Follow his work at his website www.garalperovitz.com.
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Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS—–Following is an auto-generated transcript of the episode.sorry I’m late. I had to stop by the wax museum again and did the finger that FDR We know Al Qaeda. Zawahiri is supporting the opposition in Syria. Are we supporting Al Qaeda in Syria? It’s a proud day for America. Ghad kicked Vietnam syndrome once and for all. Thank you. Very. I say it. I see it again. Bin These women are trying to simply deny things just about everybody else except Nas. Fact Ain Saud died way. Kila Bayh, Armey Khaleeq Illing Maale way Bol Beito like, say, I’m Gnehm Bin Say it. Say it three times the meeting of the largest armies in the history of the world. Then that’s going to be an invasion Arak. All right, you guys introducing Ge our Alpher wits. He wrote this well. First of all, he’s a historian who has written a tone of extremely important books, including the decision to use the Atomic Bomb and Atomic diplomacy, Hiro Sonoma and Potsdam. And he’s got this one in the nation from couple of weeks back. August 6th anniversary time. The war was won before Hiro Sonoma and the generals who dropped the bomb knew it. Welcome to show how are you doing? Garc. Great. Thanks for having you Very happy to have you here. And it’s such an important article that you wrote. There’s so much to talk about regarding the atomic bombing. But you focus, right. Awene was probably the most persuasive and educational point for the average American, which is all of the extremely credentialed criticism of the use of that bond, that contrary to what we’re all taught in fifth, afraid that this was an absolute necessity, Everyone who you would think agreed with that back then turns out, didn’t well, it’s certainly true that the top generals and admirals the ones at the very top, uh, almost all of them went public immediately after the war, which is very hard to imagine the president. United States have made a decision, and many of them went public saying that bomb was totally unnecessary. The war was going to end shortly in any way without an invasion, and it the bombing was almost entirely about civilians. Hiro Xinhua was Natta Military Center. There was that small installation there, but it was a very marginal. It was basically a civilian target and the generals and admirals, the many of them.
Scott Horton is director of the Libertarian Institute, editorial director of Antiwar.com, host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles, California and podcasts the Scott Horton Show from this website. He’s the author of the 2017 book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan. Visit https://scotthorton.org
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