Why I Support Bolshevism, by René Marchand


By RENÉ MARCHAND (1888-1962)
Correspondent of “Le Figaro” and “Le Petit Parisien”

Rene Marchand

Translated from the French by EDEN and CEDAR PAUL

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On the 70th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki

This past Thursday [6th] and today mark the 70th anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The 14th will be the anniversary of the largest bombing raid in history, which the U.S. carried out against Japan after Emperor Hirohito surrendered. This is to say nothing of the numerous devastating fire-bombings, beginning in Tokyo, whose anniversaries have been coming and going since March.

I have often heard the atomic bombings justified by my fellow Americans as unfortunate but unavoidable, or ‘necessary’ to end the war. In some cases, the “surprise” attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese is offered as a perverse justification. They always say, as if in appeal to the last shred of my humanity, the loss of life would have been greater had there been an invasion.

Truman said, “Dropping the bombs ended the war.” He had only been President for 4 months, following the death of F.D.R., before he ordered the Enola Gay to drop an atomic bomb, nicknamed ‘Little Boy,’ on the city of Hiroshima. 3 days later, Truman ordered another, different, atomic bomb, the ‘Fat Man,’ to be dropped on Nagasaki. Hiroshima and Nagasaki, coincidentally, posed no military threat to anyone. The combined loss of life, predominantly women and children, totaled between 135- and 300,000. Were their deaths ‘necessary?’ Was there really no other alternative to atomic bombs than an invasion that would have incurred a much greater loss of life?

According to Peter Kuznick, author of The Untold History of the United States, before the atomic bombs were dropped, as early as mid-July, “the Japanese were trying to find an honorable way to surrender.” The Japanese wanted to keep their Emperor; the U.S. wanted ‘unconditional surrender.’ President Truman allegedly referred to an intercepted Japanese cable as “the telegram from the Jap emperor asking for peace.” Clearly he had no desire for peace.

In his book, The Power Elite, C. Wright Mills wrote, “It was no ‘historical necessity,’ but a man named Truman who, with a few other men, decided to drop a bomb on Hiroshima” (24). Mills’ comment suggests the possibility of alternative action. This is confirmed by no less than Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who said in an interview, “The war might have ended weeks earlier … if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.”

Admiral William D. Leahy, the President’s own Chief of Staff, wrote in his memoirs, “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 … in being the first to use it, we … 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.”

Other contemporary military figures who opposed the use of atomic bombs, or at least considered their use unnecessary, include: Gen. Henry “Hap” Arnold (who led the post-surrender air raids), Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy Lewis Strauss, Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz, Adm. William “Bull” Halsey Jr., Brig. Gen. Carter Clarke, Maj. Gen.  Curtis LeMay, and Gen. Dwight Eisenhower (who later warned of the ‘military-industrial complex’ in his presidential farewell address).