Tag Archives: Japan

The Truth About Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by Greg Mitchell

I grew up in Los Alamos and have a deep interest in the atomic bomb story. While that story is one of the most important of the twentieth century, it surely is one of the least investigated and analyzed. From Greg Mitchell at antiwar.com:

What Chris Wallace didn’t tell you on the Fox News special adapted from his new bestseller.

Chris Wallace of Fox News has published his first book, Countdown 1945. It’s about the final days of the run-up to dropping the atomic bomb over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You might have hoped that it would be a bit contrarian – like some of his interviews and commentary on that network.

Would he question what Robert Jay Lifton and I have called “The Hiroshima Narrative” that has held sway in the media and popular culture since President Truman announced the attack on August 6, 1945? That narrative has insisted that the bomb, and only the bomb, could have ended the Pacific war against Japan and thereby saved hundreds of thousands or even a million American lives.

Sadly, based on the evidence of an hour-long Fox News special, which he hosted this past Sunday night, and on his book – now a national bestseller – the answer is no. The only thing remarkable about Wallace’s arguments are that they offer nothing new, as if no challenging evidence or counter-narratives have been raised over the past 75 years.

Why does this matter today? Among the many issues Wallace failed to mention on Fox: America’s official “first-use” policy, initiated in 1945, which enables any president to respond to a non-nuclear attack or threat by launching our nuclear missiles, remains fully in effect today. The enduring defense of the use of the bomb against two cities in 1945 to “save American lives” can only encourage, or at least enable, possible future use – by the U.S. or any other country. In fact, polls show that large numbers of Americans say they would support a nuclear first-strike in response to a grave danger posed by North Korea or Iran.

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Our Real Existential Crisis — Extinction, by Patrick J. Buchanan

Demographics can be destiny, and the demographics of the peoples responsible for much of Western Civilization portend a bleak future. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

Our Real Existential Crisis -- Extinction

If Western elites were asked to name the greatest crisis facing mankind, climate change would win in a walk.

Thus did Time magazine pass over every world leader to name a Swedish teenage climate activist, Greta Thunberg, its person of the year.

On New Year’s Day, the headline over yet another story in The Washington Post admonished us anew: “A Lost Decade for Climate Action: We Can’t Afford A Repeat, Scientists Warn.”

“By the final year of the decade,” said the Post, “the planet had surpassed its 2010 temperature record five times.

“Hurricanes devastated New Jersey and Puerto Rico, and floods damaged the Midwest and Bangladesh. Southern Africa was gripped by a deadly drought. Australia and the Amazon are ablaze.”

On it went, echoing the endless reports on the perils of climate change to the planet we all inhabit.

Yet, from the inaction of the carbon-emitting countries like India, China, Russia and the USA, the gravity with which Western elites view the crisis is not shared by the peoples for whom they profess to speak.

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Get Ready For An Economic Wake-Up Call This Holiday Season, by Brandon Smith

Is the economic slowly circling the drain? From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:

If we are to measure the concept of “economic recovery” in real terms, then we would have to look at the fundamentals (not stock markets) and whether or not they’re improving. Unfortunately, not all economic data is presented to the public honestly. Very often it is mired and obscured in a fog of disinformation and false standards.

I would point out, though, that there is relatively accurate information out there in certain areas of the global economy, and it tells us our economic structure is destabilizing. Beyond that, even the rigged numbers are moving into negative territory. But what does all this mean for the holiday retail season, one of the mainstream’s favorite gauges of US financial health? And, if 2019’s holiday profits sink, what does this tell us is going to happen in 2020?

First, let’s start with what we know…

Since we live in a “globalized” economy where everything is supposedly “interdependent”, it helps to examine international export numbers. The US doesn’t manufacture and export much of anything anymore beyond agricultural products, but global markets do expect us to consume the goods of other nations. A decline in exports indicates a failing global economy, but in particular a failing US consumer economy.

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Betting on a Pair of Deuces, by Jeff Thomas

In competition with Asia, the West has a weak hand. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

pair of Deuces

I’ve never been much of a gambler. On the rare occasions I’ve played poker, I almost always came out ahead, but I almost never bluffed and, probably more important, I always played with amateurs like myself, never with players who really knew what they were doing.

Of course, the business of governance is far more important than a friendly poker game between friends. All the more reason why, when political leaders are making their assessments as to the national future, they should make sure they have a winning hand, prior to betting heavily.

Every day, we’re reminded that the Asian powerhouse is moving ahead at a pace that’s unheard of in the West. It’s almost as though the clocks stopped in the West ten years ago, but Asia kept on advancing in every way.

This is clear to anyone who has had feet on the ground in Asia in recent years. Yet, every day in the Western media, the illusion is presented that the West is still running the show, and Asia is a lesser player.

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Trump, FDR, and War, by Jacob G. Hornberger

Just because a president tells you he’s not taking the country into war doesn’t mean he won’t take the country into war. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

President Trump’s campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran reminds me of President Franklin Roosevelt’s similar campaign against Japan prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

After England declared war on Germany, owing to the latter’s invasion of Poland, the American people were overwhelmingly opposed to entry into the war. That was because they recognized that U.S. interventionism into World War I, which cost the lives and limbs of tens of thousands of American soldiers and severely infringed on the liberty of the American people, had accomplished nothing.

Americans had no interest in doing it again. Their mindsets were similar to those of our American ancestors, whose founding foreign policy was to avoid involvement in Europe’s forever wars.

In his 1940 campaign for president, Roosevelt told the American people that he was with them in their opposition to foreign wars. He said to them, “I’ve said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”

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Japan and Germany Hysterically Race to Shut Down Nuclear Power (and Their Sovereignty), by Matthew Ehret

Wind and solar power aren’t working out as planned in Germany and Japan, and because they’re shutting down their nuclear power, they’re more at the mercy of imported hydrocarbons than they’ve ever been. From Matthew Ehret at strategic-culture.org:

Recently, the Japanese government announced that they will be shutting down the remaining 7 nuclear reactors at the Daiichi plant that was hit by a major earthquake and tsunami in 2011. This will bring the total number of nuclear reactors down to 33 (compared to 54 in 2011), only 7 of which are in active operation at any given time. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a good thing.

Since the tsunami hit on April 11, 2011 killing 18 000 civilians, there has been a tendency to refer to the event falsely as “Japan’s nuclear crisis”. The fear that has spread across the world resulted in one of the most devastating attacks on sovereign nations which could have only been executed had we done this to ourselves.

Japan – a nation which became the world’s 3rd largest economy due largely to its commitment to advanced scientific and technological progress and early embrace of nuclear power, has lost much of the energy self-sufficiency it once enjoyed when 25% of its electricity came from nuclear which today has fallen to 3%. Since the shutdown Japan has been forced to massively increase its imports of oil, natural gas and coal bringing in 9 million barrels/day and building 45 new coal plants. This dependency has not only subject it to the whims of the speculative markets, but also to the uncertain stability of the Middle East oil production.

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Don’t Whitewash the Hiroshima Bombing, by Peter Van Buren

Is wiping out some 140,000 civilians in a nation suing for peace moral? From Peter Van Buren at theamericanconservative.com:

It reveals a dangerous strain of vengeance in U.S. foreign policy.

Ruins of the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall on August 6, 1945.  Everett Historical / Shutterstock

August 6 usually doesn’t make headlines in America. But mark the day by what absence demonstrates: On the 72nd anniversary of the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and some 140,000 non-combatants, there is no call for reflection in the United States.

In an era when pundits routinely worry about America’s loss of moral standing because of an offish, ill-mannered president, the only nation in history to employ a weapon of mass destruction on an epic scale, against an undefended civilian population, otherwise shrugs off the significance of an act of immorality.

But it is August 6, and so let us talk about Hiroshima.

Beyond the destruction lies the myth of the atomic bombings, the post-war creation of a mass memory of things that did not happen. This myth has become the underpinning of American war policy ever since, and carries forward the horrors of Hiroshima as generations of the August 6 anniversary pass.

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Yikes! Japan has more people over the age of 80 than under the age of 10, by Simon Black

There is no way Japan will be able to continue to fund the present level of old-age benefits. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

Earlier this week the United Nation’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs released its 2019 world population report… and there were a number of very interesting findings:

1) World population continues to grow slightly, but the rate of global population growth is at the lowest level since at least 1950.

 2) Global population growth rates are unevenly distributed. Developed nations (including the US, Japan, Western Europe) suffer from alarming declines in fertility rates, while developing countries are experiencing rapid population growth.

The 47 least developed countries in the world (mostly in Africa) are the fastest growing, and just NINE countries are expected to make up HALF of global population growth over the next three decades.

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Meanwhile, over on Planet Japan, by Simon Black

The Japanese government is in massive denial about its pension crisis. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

It was only a few days ago that the Japanese government’s Financial Services Agency published its oddly-titled “Annual Report on Ageing Society”.

(Like everything in Japan, English translations often hilariously miss the mark…)

This is a report that the Ministry of Finance puts out every year. And as the name implies, the report discusses the state of Japan’s pension fund, and its future prospects for taking care of its senior citizens.

Bear in mind that Japan has the oldest population in the world; Japan ranks #2 in the world for average age (46.9, just behind Monaco), #1 in the world for the greatest percentage of citizens over the age of 70, and #1 in the world for life expectancy.

In a nutshell, this means that Planet Japan has more people collecting pension benefits, for more years, than anywhere else.

Yet at the same time, Japan’s pension fund is completely insolvent. There simply aren’t enough people paying into the system to make good on the promises that have been made.

At present there are only 2 workers paying into the pension program for every 1 retiree receiving benefits in Japan.

The math simply doesn’t add up, and it’s only getting worse. Planet Japan’s birth rate is infamously low, and the population here is actually DECLINING.

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Japan on a Larger Scale, by James Rickard

Go deep enough into debt and you can’t climb out, as Japan has found out and as the US and Europe are finding out. From James Rickard at dailyreckoning.com:

In my 2014 book, The Death of Money, I wrote, “The United States is Japan on a larger scale.” That was five years ago.

Last week, prominent economist Mohamed A. El-Erian, formerly CEO of PIMCO and now with Allianz, wrote, “With the return of Europe’s economic doldrums and signs of a coming growth slowdown in the United States, advanced economies could be at risk of falling into the same kind of long-term rut that has captured Japan.”

Better late than never! Welcome to the club, Mohamed.

Japan started its “lost decade” in the 1990s. Now their lost decade has dragged into three lost decades. The U.S. began its first lost decade in 2009 and is now entering its second lost decade with no end in sight.

What I referred to in 2014 and what El-Erian refers to today is that central bank policy in both countries has been completely ineffective at restoring long-term trend growth or solving the steady accumulation of unsustainable debt.

In Japan this problem began in the 1990s, and in the U.S. the problem began in 2009, but it’s the same problem with no clear solution.

The irony is that in the early 2000s, former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke routinely criticized the Japanese for their inability to escape from recession, deflation and slow growth.

When the U.S. recession began during the global financial crisis of 2008, Bernanke promised that he would not make the same mistakes the Japanese made in the 1990s. Instead, he made every mistake the Japanese made, and the U.S. is stuck in the same place and will remain there until the Fed wakes up to its problems.

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