It Followed

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Writes Tim Moriarty:

Monday’s piece on the atomic bombing of Japan reminded me of an article you wrote a number of years ago when your columns were still carried by WND. (I used to read WND every day, but they moved off in a direction I didn’t care for, and instead I go to LRC every day.) Your article stated much of the same thing that appeared in the recent article. I, being an ignorant ass at the time, a product of typical American history classes in school and a military veteran, sent you a nasty-gram email to let you know how wrong you were, that the Japanese were never going to give up short of atomic bombing or invasion that would wreck the country from one end to the other, leaving few Japanese alive. (You probably recognize this train of thought that leads people to state the atomic bombings were a blessing in disguise for the Japanese.)

I was aware of some of the history of the Pacific war, how each island battle was more bloody than the last, and how there were huge casualties forecasted for an invasion of Japan. There was more than just a passing interest in it because my father had been at Isely Field on the island of Saipan. He was an enlisted man in an ordnance company loading bombs and ammunition onto B-29s of all four bomb groups of the 73d Bombardment Wing (Very Heavy), one of five bomb wings in the Mariana Islands under the 20th Air Force. As you can tell, I had a personal interest in the history of this part of the war and had thought I was better informed on it than most.

You sent a polite reply inviting me to look at the actual documents of the period and what numerous senior military officers said at the time. Of course, I didn’t believe it, but over time I learned it was all true and I’d been believing lies for years.

There’s a line in the film “Platoon” in which one of the GIs in Vietnam states, “Free your mind and your ass will follow.” Thank you for freeing my mind. My ass has followed.

3:39 pm on October 19, 2012