Community Commentary: When will the 'War Party' ever learn?

Seventy years ago, the United States became the first, and only, nation to use nuclear weapons in pursuit of its foreign policy goals. Today, the United States and its ally, Israel, are poised to repeat this mistake if the “War Party” consisting of right wing demagogues in each country has their way.

Nuclear weapons do not further the legitimate needs of the population of any country. Rather, they show our declared enemies that we are so totally irrational in pursuit of our policies that we will sacrifice tens of millions of civilians, not military troops, in pursuit of those goals.

According to a recent article appearing at TomDispatch.com by Christian Appy, professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, when nuclear weapons were first considered for use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, “six of seven five-star generals and admirals of that time believed that there was no reason to use them, that the Japanese were already defeated, knew it, and were likely to surrender before any American invasion could be launched.” Appy goes on to state, “(Truman) and Secretary of State James Byrne believed that a graphic demonstration of power of the new bomb ... might make (that) Communist power more ‘manageable’ in Europe.”

In pursuit of this policy goal of containment of Communist power in Europe, our leaders, again according to Appy, were perfectly willing to kill twice as many civilians in Nagasaki and Hiroshima as the number of American troops killed during the entire Pacific War.

And here we are again.Republican contenders for president and their party in Congress are willing to kill tens of millions of Iranians in pursuit of goals that have yet to be clearly articulated but which must include (as they always do): control of Middle East oil fields and the blocking of Chinese and Russian influence in that region. The first two goals are irrational, based on research into the cause of global warming. The second is irrational because we intend to use nuclear weapons to further the commercial interests of U.S. corporations in the Middle East instead of relying on diplomacy and agreement to carve out spheres of mutually beneficial interest with our economic and political competitors, Russia and China.

Left unsaid is what any nuclear exchange will do to balance the power in the Middle East. I would argue that one reasonable result of any exchange of nuclear weapons between Israel/US and Iran will be to not only obliterate millions, but also result in the end of enmity between Shia and Sunni Muslims and a combined focus from the radicals in both sects against he common enemy, the U.S.

And what if Pakistan, a real nuclear power, believes itself threatened as a result of U.S. first-strike nuclear policies? What about China or India? The genie cannot be put back in the bottle once the chicken hawks in Congress unleash it through their stupidity.

Patrick Evans is a native Oregonian who lives in McMinnville.


Don Dix

Patrick -- I agree that 'the nuclear option' is a scary prospect, especially in the ME.

However, if one looks at history, the US has formally declared war only 5 times (not counting Revolutionary War).

--The War of 1812 -- President, James Madison, Democratic Republican (whatever that means)

--Mexican/American -- President, James Polk, Democrat

--Spanish/American --President. William McKinley, Republican

--WWI --President, Woodrow Wilson, Democrat

--WWII -- President, Franklin Roosevelt, Democrat

The 'armed conflicts' in and around these 'wars' are fairly divided between the Ds and the Rs (noting except the war on terror which is not directed at any government in particular).

Based on the history, the left is no less culpable than the right, unless the desire is to label 'the other party (Rs)' as warmongers.

And you should study in complete form the claim that humans are causing climate change. The fact is a real scientist will tell you SCIENCE IS NEVER SETTLED, so believing man's miniscule contribution of CO2 (0.002% of total atmosphere) will overwhelm the entire climate system is a fool's errand of epic proportions.

If CO2 is a pollutant, to be feared, why is the Earth so much 'greener' than it was 100 years ago? (Hint: it wasn't the enviro-nazis)


History always looks so much more neat and clear with 20/20 hindsight. The revisionist theory that the atomic bombs weren't really about Japan at all has been a staple of anti-nuclear historical guilty historical consciences since the 1960s. That historians can cherry-pick undoubtedly correct evidence about the unease and internal debates about the use of the bombs is however, not the slightest bit convincing as evidence for the anti-Soviet conspiracy theory. The same argument has been made, usually by right-wing historians, about the fire-bombing of Dresden; that supposedly also wasn't about defeating the Nazis, but impressing the Soviets with what Allied air power could do.
That Japan was supposedly already defeated and would have surrendered without the bombs is a cheap argument to make for a historian, since hypotheticals can never be proven wrong.
And since we're talking hypotheticals: I believe this commentary is in reference to the Republican and Israeli opposition to the proposed deal with Iran.
To my knowledge, nobody in Israel or here (except for some right-wing nutjobs like Breitbart, who are not part of any serious discussion) so far has at any time proposed a nuclear first strike on Iran. The issue at hand is the lifting of the sanctions.
Let me add that I fully support the Iran deal, not because it is particularly good, but because there are no viable alternatives, and if we reject it, Russia, China, and the Europeans will lift the sanctions anyway, and the US will be isolated with no options left. That is in no one's interest, especially not Israel's.
But to accuse the Republican opponents (and of course Democrats like Sen. Schumer, too) of getting ready to want to kill tens of millions of Iranians is an example of hyperbolic histrionics that should have no place in a debate about a serious topic like this.