Thursday, May 29, 2008

OMNI member demonstrates sustainable living, travel

Please click on image to enlarge.

Town Branch neighborhood resident Richard Tiffany doesn't require shoes or expensive clothing or a car to travel across south Fayetteville.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Carbon Caps Task Force to welcome global-warming commission to NW Arkansas on Sunday

NWA Nonprofit Holds Reception for Arkansas' Global Warming Commission, Unveils Planetwork Initiative and PSA

Fayetteville, Ark., May 16 2008 — On Sunday May 18 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Springdale, AR, the Carbon Caps Task Force (CCTF), a committee of the Omni Center for Peace, Justice, & Ecology, will hold a reception for Governor Beebe's Arkansas Commission on Global Warming. At the same time, the group will also unveil the Planetwork initiative, a policy alert database used to raise awareness of state climate change policies that the 2009 Arkansas General Assembly will consider next year. The reception will be from 3:00 to 5:00pm. Attendance is free and an open invitation is extended to the public and all media.
With the event, the CCTF hopes to raise awareness of actions that Arkansas is taking to address climate change implications and support the Governor's Commission on Global Warming. Commissioners will describe their role and answer questions from those in attendance. Among those confirmed include Arkansas Representative and Commission Co-Chair Kathy Webb, Commissioner Steve Cousins, Commissioner Kevan Inboden, Commissioner Elizabeth Martin, Commissioner Robert McAfee, and Commissioner Cindy Sagers. Special invitations were sent to local and regional political leaders.
At the reception, the group will also explain their history and support with the Commission. The CCTF was instrumental in establishing the Commission, and on Sunday they will officially unveil a new project, called Planetwork. Planetwork is a legislative alert database which will be used in the 2009 General Assembly of the Arkansas State Legislature, while the policy recommendations put forth by the Commission are being considered. The group will also unveil a new PSA supporting the Commission and advertising Planetwork, which will be shown on state television networks.
The reception is an opportunity for the citizens of Northwest Arkansas to meet their commissioners and learn what they are doing to shape Arkansas climate change policy. A question and answer period will follow the Commissioners' talks, and a tour of the wind turbines that the church has recently installed will take place after the closing remarks.
Hors d'oeuvre and and beverages will be served, emphasizing a local and organic selection.
About the Carbon Caps Task Force – The CCTF is a committee of the Omni Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology (www.omnicenter.org), and was instrumental in establishing the Governor's Commission on Global Warming. Since the Commission was appointed, the CCTF has continued to support their work through other projects and continues to raise awareness of climate change issues in Arkansas.
The GCGW (www.arclimatechange.us) will consider, evaluate, and compile a multi-sector set of recommended policy options and present them to the Governor. Members are appointed by the Governor, the President Pro Tempore of the Arkansas State Senate, and the Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives. The GCGW comprises a diverse group of stakeholders who bring broad perspective and expertise to the topic of climate change in Arkansas. Members represent the following sectors: energy, agriculture, forestry, industry, business, non-governmental organizations, academia, and government. The GCGW was formed by Gov. Beebe in response to public input from the Carbon Caps Task Force and the Citizens' First Congress in 2007.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Meet members of the Governor's Commission on Global Warming on Sunday May 18 in Springdale

Keeping Arkansas Beautiful

Do you care about global warming in Arkansas?
Come meet the people who are making a difference.

Members of the Governor’s Commission on Global Warming
are coming to Northwest Arkansas just to meet you!


Reception 3 p.m. May 18, 2008
at St. Thomas Episcopal Church
48th Street and Watkins Ave
Exit Interstate 540 onto U.S. 412, then South on 48th Street
Springdale Arkansas
St. Thomas is the church with windmills east of Interstate 540

Wine and hors d’oeuvres
Sponsored by the Carbon Caps Task Force
of the Omni Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology

For details, call Robert McAfee, 479-638-0035
or e-mail Robertmca1@aol.com
Or
Gladys Tiffany, 479-973-9049 or e-mail gladystiffany@yahoo.com

Build Hill Place right or don't build it

From Aubrey Shepherd's blogs:

The maps based on aerial photos below are reasonably new, and people who live in some houses along the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River between Eleventh Street and Fifteenth Street who are paying on mortgages on their homes now have to pay for flood insurance.
A close look at the maps reveals that FEMA now acknowledges not only that many buildings in that stretch are either IN or immediately adjacent to the acknowledged flood plain but also that much of the infrastructure for the failed Aspen Ridge site was built in the flood plain between Sixth and Eleventh streets west of South Hill Avenue.
People who have lived in the neighborhood a long time know that the actual floodplain is much wider in places than the FEMA map shows.
While the developers of the Hill Place project are being required to remove a sewer line and blocks much of the flow under the bridge at Eleventh Street, they have not been told to build their proposed traffic bridge higher than the current walkiing bridge. In fact, they are proposing to build the traffic bridge LOWER than the walking bridge built in 2005 or 2006 across the stream. Because federal agencies will barely even look at the plans, the city must make the decision on this further construction in the floodplain.
In 2003 and 2004, the developers claimed that FEMA maps did not show floodplain in the area. Neighbors pointed out that the Town Branch FLOWED OVER much of that land frequently even though the government had not designated it as floodplain and that, not only did the stream flow over the bridge at Eleventh Street but sometimes flowed over the bridge at Fifteenth Street.
Just another example of NIMBIES being ignored in favor of developers and builders who don't care what harm their projects might do as long as they are able to reach the density level required to make a huge profit. People who say "Not in my backyard" in this neighborhood have seen the water there (and some have seen it in their houses or flowing in front of their houses); so they aren't talking about a trivial problem.
The lowest portion of the former wooded wetland at the southeast end of the project must be dug out and structured to pre-Aspen Ridge grade or lower to reapproach the historical flood-prevention capacity of that land.
No further paving should be done southeast of the existing walking bridge and the impervious fill dirt should be removed and water again should be allowed to soak into appropriate organic soil.
Developers claim their right to build as long as their project doesn't send more water off their land than flowed off there before.
They use voodoo mathematics that ignore overflow from the Town Branch and that ignore the nearly 100 percent permeability of the surface of the area before it was cleared and filled with rocky dirt and red clay.
They rely on the fact that water has threatened the downstream homes a little more each year during the decades the University of Arkansas has filled similar land on the campus and covered or dredged absorbent soil on the campus in favor of non-absorbent, non-organic soil and concrete.
Now is the time to begin to require developments to DECREASE downstream flooding, not aggravate it and blame the university for its building practices. Multiple wrong decisions don't add up to a right decision.

Monday, May 12, 2008

FEMA floodplain map of Aspen Ridge/Hill Place and streets downstream

Please click on image to ENLARGE.

Please click on image to ENLARGE.

NEWSLETTER #1 ON AIR WAR

 

OMNI

NEWSLETTER #1 ON AIR WAR, REVEALING REALITY OF US EMPIRE, May 12, 2008

Compiled by Dick Bennett

Contents

Bibliography

Dick’s Essay on US Violence and Air War

 “From Guernica to Iraq” by Tom Engelhardt, The Nation (Feb. 25, 2008), discussion of recent  bombings in Iraq in context of Guernica, London blitz, US firebombings of German and Japanese cities, N. Korea, N. & S. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, Gulf War,  and Iraq March 2003).  A longer version appeared on his website.   Engelhardt runs The Nation Institute’s Tomdispatch.com and is the author of  The End of Victory Culture now in a new edition, that deals with the crash-and-burn sequel in Iraq.  --DICK

 

 

          

Your continued donations keep Wikipedia running!     

Image:PicassoGuernica.jpg

Sources:

Barash, David.  ­Introduction to Peace Studies­.  Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1991.

Branfman, Fred.  ­Voices from the Plain of Jars: Life under an Air  War. 

          New York: Harper & Row, 1974.

Chomsky, Noam.  ­World Orders Old and New­.  New York: Columbia UP, 1994.

____.­  Year 501: The Conquest Continues­. Boston:South End/Verso, 1993.

Colhoun, Jack.  “Gulf War Revives Myths About Vietnam.”  ­Guardian­

(Feb. 27, 1991) 10-11.

Coryell, Schofield.  “The War Crimes Tribunal: Let the People

Judge.”  ­Minority of One­ 9.7-8 (July-August 1967) 14-15.

Daleiden, Joseph.  ­The Final Superstition­.  Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1994.

Dower, John.  ­War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific

War­.  New York: Pantheon, 1986.

Engelhardt, Tom.    “From Guernica to Iraq.”  The Nation (Feb. 25, 2008), discusses recent  bombings in Iraq in context of Guernica, London blitz, US firebombings of German and Japanese cities, N. Korea, N. & S. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, Gulf War,  and Iraq . A longer version appeared on his website.

Engelhardt, Tom.  The End of Victory Culture: Cold War America and the Disillusioning of a Generation.  2nd ed.  2007.  How America's "victory culture" returned in the George W. Bush era, only to crash and burn in Iraq. An updated analysis of the demise of victory culture, from Hiroshima to the Global War on Terror.

 

Garrett, Stephen.  Ethics and Airpower in World War II.  New York: St. Martin’s,

1993.  

Grayling, A. C.  Among the Dead Cities: The History and Moral Legacy of the WWII Bombing of Civilians in Germany and Japan.  2006.

Haught, James.  ­Holy Horrors: An Illustrated History of Religious 

Murder and Madness­.  Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1990.

Knoll, Erwin, and Judith McFadden.  War Crimes­ and the American

Conscience­.  Orlando, FL: Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1970.

 

Leahy, Michael.  “Murky Truths of War Not So Easy to Find.”  Arkansas Democrat-

Gazette (August 13, 1995) 2J.

 

Lewis, Anthony.  “The Bombing Ghost of Christmas Past.”  New YorkTimes

News Service, 1976.

Markusen, Eric, and David Kopf.  ­The Holocaust and Strategic

Bombing: Genocide and Total War in the Twentieth Century­.

Boulder, CO: Westview, 1995.

Melman, Seymour, et al.  ­In the Name of America­.  New York:

Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam, 1968.

Mumford, Lewis.  ­The Pentagon of Power­.  San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace

Jovanovich, 1970.

Omissi, David.  ­Air Power and Colonial Control­.  Manchester, Eng.: Manchester UP; New York: St. Martin’s,1990.

 

Pagels, Elaine.  ­The Origin of Satan­.  New York: Random House, 1995.

 

Planer, Felix.  “Religion and Cruelty.”  ­Superstition­.  Rev. ed. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1988.

Rosenberg, Stanley.  “The Threshold of Thrill: Life Stories in

the Skies over Southeast Asia.”  ­Gendering War Talk­.  Ed.

Miriam Cooke and Angela Woollacott.  Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1993.

 

Russell, Bertrand.  ­War Crimes in Vietnam­.  New York: Monthly Review P,

1967.

Shaffer, Ronald.  Wings of Judgment.  New York: Oxford UP, 1985.

Sherry, Michael.  ­The Rise of American Air Power: The Creation of

Armageddon­.  New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 1987.

Swomley, John.  U.S.A.’s Culture of Violence.”  ­Human Quest­

(Sept.-Oct. 1995) 6-7.

Wetta, Frank, and Stephen Curley.  ­Celluloid Wars: A Guide to

Film and the American Experience of War­.  Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1992.

Suggested Further Reading

Aron, Raymond.  The Century of Total War.  Boston: Beacon: 1955.

­The Air War and Political Developments in El Salvador­.  Congres

sional Hearing, Western Hemisphere Affairs, May 14, 1986.

Barnet, Richard.  ­The Rockets’ Red Glare: When America Goes to

War, The Presidents & the People­. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990.

Blum, William.  Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World

War II.  Monroe, ME: Common Courage, 1997.

Brightman, Carol, and Michael Uhl.  “Bombing for the Hell of It.”

­Nation­ 260.23 (June 12, 1995) 822-26.

Chomsky, Noam.  ­Deterring Democracy­. New York: Verso, 1991 (updated Vin

tage, 1992).

____.  ­Turning the Tide­.  Boston: South End, 1985.

Clodfelter, M.  ­The Limits of Air Power: The American Bombing of

North Vietnam­.  New York: Free Press, 1989.

Cockburn, Alexander.  “Bombs and the Baroque.”  Nation (September 30, 1996) 9-

10.

Doctorow, E.L.  “Mythologizing the Bomb.”  ­Nation­ 261.5 (August

14/21, 1995).

Gerassi, John.  ­North Vietnam: A Documentary­. New York: Bobbs-Merrill,

1968.

Griffin, Susan.  A Chorus of Stones: The Private Life of War.  New York:

Doubleday, 1992.

Guttmann, Allen.  “’Mechanized Doom.’”  Ernest Hemingway.  Ed. Carlos Baker. 

New York: Scribner, 1985.

Harvey, Frank.  Air War: Vietnam.  New York: Bantam, 1967.

Hochhuth, Rolf.  Soldiers; an Obituary for Geneva.  Tr. Robt. MacDonald.  New

York: Grove, 1968.

Irving, D.  ­The Destruction of Dresden  Orlando, FL: Holt, Rinehart & Win

ston, 1963.

Kennett, Lee.  A History of Strategic Bombing.  New York:Scribner’s,1983.

Korn, Peter.  “The Persisting Poison: Agent Orange in Vietnam.”

­Nation­ 252.13 (April 8, 1991) 440-42.

Levinson, J. L.  ­Alpha Strike Vietnam: The Navy’s Air War, 1964

to 1973­. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1989.

  O’Neill, William.  A Democracy at War: America’s Fight at Home & Abroad in World               War II.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1993.

  Paris, Michael.  ­From the Wright Brothers to “Top Gun”­.  Manchester, Eng.:     Manchester UP, 1995.

Reports. European War­.  U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey.  Washington, 1945-.  Also

series on Pacific War.

Veale, F.J.P.  ­Advance to Barbarism: How the Reversion to Barba

rism in Warfare and War-trials Menaces Our Future.­  Nashville, TN: Nelson,

1953.

Vonnegut, Kurt.  Slaughterhouse-five; or The children’s Crusade.  New York:

Delacorte, 1969.

Warner, Rex.  The Aerodrome: A Love Story (1941).  Boston:

Little, Brown, 1966.

Zinn, Howard. “Terrorism over Tripoli.” ­Failure to Quit­.  Monroe, ME: Common

 

The following essay was published in PeaceWorks. 

 

Bombing Iraq: United States Air Wars

“Beware men untouched”

James R. Bennett

 

Blood and destruction shall be so in use,

And dreadful objects so familiar,

That mothers shall but smile when they behold

Their infants quartered with the hands of war.

Shakespeare, ­Julius Caesar­

          

     Why is the White House-Pentagon-Congressional complex bombing Iraq?  Why is the public complicitly quiescent, or even cheering?  The larger question is: Why is the United States so violent?

       Recent killings of children, teachers, and parents by children have momentarily stunned a few leaders and a few citizens into questioning the causes of crimes in the United States.  Putting two million people in prison has provided an effortless (though extraordinarily expensive), thoughtless solution to crimes.  But now more people are asking: Why is there so much violence in the United States?  Why are laws so often broken violently?   Because of Guns?  Drugs?  Television and films?  Schools?  Parents? Overwork and stress?  The Bible?  Children themselves? 

     But are these the only questions?   By its actions around the world, what do the leaders of the United States teach its citizens?  What is their example for our children?  What behavior are Jack and Jill invited to imitate?

      Few people include, in their anxious questioning, the general acceptance—even the active promulgation--of mass slaughter from the air, in violation of international law, as the official war policy of the United States.  Its practice is now conventional, routine.  Children in the United States today play at war in a country committed remorselessly to massive maximum force.   And this violence violates international and domestic laws that prohibit the threat or use of weapons and practices that kill indiscriminately.  Treaties, compacts, and conventions signed by the President and ratified by the Congress become the law of the land (Article VI of the U. S. constitution) and bind all citizens, including the President, military commanders, and judges.  These agreements include the Hague convention IV of 1907, the Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare of 1925, and the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilians in Time of War of 1949.  By its air wars the United States has repeatedly violated its own laws.

      Why a violent nation?  Why bomb and bomb Iraq month after month, year after year, killing not only combatants but women and children and their husbands and fathers?   Let us recall our history.  The history of U. S. commitment to illegal, indiscriminate bombing of civilians, dissembled, from World War II to the Gulf War and to this day, by claims of precision bombing, partly explains both questions.

     For most of my life I thought the 1937 Nazi Condor Legion’s bombing of the Spanish town, Guernica, during the Spanish Civil War, was the first

aerial bombing of an unwarned civilian target in wartime.  Probably Picasso’s

powerful painting of the incident, with its arms and legs and heads screaming against

the atrocity (I kept a print of it on my office wall), and my dislike of Nazis, blocked

awareness of earlier mass civilian bombings.  Guernica was a momentous testing

town for the Nazi blitzkrieg bombing of Rotterdam and Warsaw, and the bombings

of Coventry and London, and other cities.

     But it was not the first bombing of a non-military city.   Earlier, in 1932 in Cuba, General Gerardo Machado’s planes bombed the town of Gibara to crush a local uprising.  During the 1930s the practice of air bombardment spread widely—of Ethiopians by Italy, of Chinese by Japan, of Finns by the Soviet Union.  Lloyd George expressed the British imperial and racist position, after ensuring that the 1932 disarmament treaty would not impede the aerial bombardment of civilians: Britain “reserved the right to bomb niggers” (Chomsky, ­World Orders­ 6). And earlier still, German zeppelins bombed English cities during World War I.  Again, Britain led the way philosophically.  Any weapon which will speedily terminate disorders on the frontier is justified, including poison gas, argued Winston Churchill in 1919, who authorized its use in air war against Arabs (Omissi).  And already the United States supported air bombing, when Woodrow Wilson’s Marines “slaughtered the niggers in Haiti  (Chomsky, ­Year­ 202).

From the beginning, some U.S. military officers supported aerial bombing of

cities.  [Addendum sent to me by a friend:   At the US Air Force Academy, they teach that the first use of military aircraft bombing on a civilian population was during the 1919? race riots in Tulsa,   It is described in detail in a great documentary by Oklahoma public television.   Important statistic, I believe, because it throws racism into the toxic mix of US Aerial Massacres.]   Billy Mitchell and other officers discussed the bombing of Japanese cities as early as the 1920s.  But President Roosevelt in 1937 and 1938 had the State Department condemn Japanese bombing of civilians in China as “barbarous” violations of the “elementary principles” of modern morality.  Secretary of State Cordell Hull also arranged an informal embargo on the sale of aviation

equipment to nations using “airplanes for attack on civilian populations,” with the

Senate cooperating in its own “unqualified condemnation of the inhuman bombing of

civilian populations” (Sherry 59-60).  Likewise, the Nazi and Spanish Fascist

bombings (Franco’s bombing of Barcelona in 1938) were universally condemned in

the US.

     Strong arguments were adduced against bombing cities on the argument

that it was counterproductive, would not affect an enemy‘s warmaking powers, but in

fact would stiffen resistance (62-3).  Even Winston Churchill took this position for

awhile, contending that “air bombing of the noncombatant populations for the

purpose of slaughter” would be counterproductive on both moral and practical

grounds (64).  Generally during the 1930s, the distinction between combatant and noncombatant was officially maintained in both countries.

     Nevertheless, strategic air war was becoming Anglo-American policy.  According to Markusen and Kopf, the hardening of RAF policy followed Nazi bombing of

Rotterdam on May 14, 1940 (153).  “By the time of the London ‘blitz’ [1940-41]

countercity warfare was virtually taken for granted” (Barash 450).  The U.S. also began manufacturing high-altitude, long-range (B-17) bombers prior to entering the war in 1941.  By 1938 Roosevelt had discussed the advantages of long-range terror bombing, and he ordered a significant enlargement of the Air Force.  By 1941 he was convinced of the value of aerial bombing for winning wars.

     However, when the US entered the war against Germany, its official air policy was to strike at military targets—submarine pens, ballbearing plants, fighter aircraft factories.  The U.S. therefore bombed their targets during daylight.  In contrast, the RAF, like the Luftwaffe, bombed cities at night—imprecisely, to slaughter civilians, to terrorize, although this was denied by Bomber Command.

The RAF Bomber Command’s second Hamburg raid in 1943 ignited the war’s

first great firestorm (Sherry 153) by dropping thousands of incendiaries and high explosives.  The air heated to 800 degrees centigrade (1500 degrees F.), to bake and melt, explode and asphyxiate 40,000 people.  It transcended all human experience and imagination (153), and anticipated Tokyo and Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The British had moved from rationalizing city bombing by claiming they were striking economic targets, to overt vengeance and reprisal, killing and rendering homeless as many Germans as possible (154).  The Imperial War Museum display of WWII strategic bombing states that “’between 300,000 and 600,000 German civilians died in the British bombing offensive’” (Garrett xi). (Many believe now that the terror bombings did not work, but only strengthened the grip of the Nazi state [155]).

      Evils often derive from good motives, or gradually, incrementally.  The U.S. bombings began as carpet bombing in front of advancing Allied ground forces. Then cities were bombed but against military targets, although precision bombing was never precise.   Eventually, the U. S. Army Air Force joined the RAF in terror/slaughter bombing of cities as cities. Many argued the bombings would end the war more quickly.

      Finally, the US joined Britain in indiscriminate “area” incendiary raids.  Darmstadt was incinerated in September 1944.  25,000 were killed in Berlin on Feb. 3, 1945.  And other cities.  The climax came at Dresden in February, 1945, when two British and one U.S. assaults created a firestorm visible to bomber crews 200 miles away.  The city, Germany’s cultural capital and only marginally a military target,  was clotted with refugees fleeing the Soviet armies.  Having been spared up until that time, it was completely unprepared.  Some 30,000 people died in the bombing (Sherry 260). 

     Despite the continued claims of precision bombing as the AAF’s mission, by the end of 1944, terror, not precision, bombing constituted three-fourths of U.S. raids.  Gradually, the distinction between precision and area bombing eroded until US commanders had no scruples against indiscriminate bombing.  By VE Day, U.S. bombing of Germany had claimed “between 800,000 and a million German lives” (Leahy).  So inured had the nation become to bloody destruction, it hardly noticed this new, horrendous addition to mass killing.

       In his book on the ethics of British bombing of German cities, Stephen

Garrett argues that after the spring of 1944 the assault on German civilians was “quite

without ethical justification.” Yet “about 80 percent of all the bomb tonnage dropped

on Germany by the Allied air forces came during the last ten months of the war”

(183).  Sir Arthur Harris, chief of Britain’s Bomber Command, sincerely believed

in the necessity of indiscriminate bombings.  But Garrett points out

the power of momentum.  By mid-1944 Bomber Command had over 1,000 heavy

bombers at its disposal and “frequently more aircrew…than there were planes to fly”

(184).  It was “unthinkable to allow this armada to even partially stand down” (185).

       In the meantime, in the Pacific, scruples were even less important.  While it took several years to jettison moral restraint over bombing European civilians, counter-city warfare was taken for granted against Japan in a clear reflection of racial prejudice.  As early as 1934 Secretary of State Cordell Hull warned Japan’s ambassador of his island’s vulnerability to air war, mentioning the recent flight of a U.S. plane from the U.S. to Japan.  U.S. anti-Japanese “fear, contempt, and aggression” permitted indiscriminate incendiary bombing without  agonizing over morality (Sherry 60, see Dower), although as usual a pretense was officially maintained of precision bombing of military targets. 

      In Nov. 1944 Tokyo as a city was bombed for the first

time since Doolittle’s raid.  In Dec. 1944 Gen. Curtis LeMay bombed Hankow,

China, a Japanese operation center.  Five of Formosa’s eleven principal cities were

destroyed in the spring of 1945.  Nagoya, Japan was torched on Jan. 3, 1945. 

      A climax was reached on March 9-10 when Gen. LeMay burned up 100,000 people in 1800 degrees F., a million people were wounded or made homeless, and sixteen square miles of the city burned out, in “the great Tokyo Air raid.” As in Europe, munitions were specifically designed to create firestorms—the big M-47 napalm bomb and the M-69 magnesium clusters--, and bombing patterns were employed to trap civilians within a ring of fire (Barash 450).  It was like “a flaming dew that skittered along the roofs” or like “flaming hair” (Sherry 275-76).  Sherry calls these bombings the “triumph of technological fanaticism.” 

     According to Stephen Ambrose, “From the beginning, the Japanese-

American war in the Pacific was waged with a barbarism and race hatred that was

staggering in scope, savage almost beyond belief, and catastrophic in consequence.”  

John Dower amply demonstrates their mutual xenophobia. 

      In opposition, Lewis Mumford called the saturation bombings of civilian targets the “unconditional moral surrender to Hitler,” and David Lilienthal warned, “The fences are gone.  And it was we, the civilized, who have pushed standardless conduct to its ultimate” (Barash 450).  But their voices were rare.  Recently, Eric Markusen and David Kopf have compared the Nazi Holocaust and the U.S./British strategic bombing of cities as examples of how governments will resort to genocidal killing if it is perceived to be essential to national security.  Mass killing is not mass murder when patriotic.

      The utter brutal immorality of total war by air was, of course, persistently denied and covered up by continued official asseveration of precision bombing (Sherry288).  Thus morally numbed by unceasing, deceptive propaganda of patriotic hatred, several years of incremental “area” slaughters,  and the ferocious battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the next step seemed natural or inevitable to most Americans, and consistent with successful vengeance.  The atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima August 6, and Nagasaki August 9, 1945. 

      As Markusen and Kopf suggest, the post-war reliance on nuclear weapons reflects a mindset similar to that which justified strategic bombing of cities.  Moral and tactical objections were raised, particularly by Navy officers, but soon the Navy accepted the air-atomic strategy of carrier planes and submarines (Schaffer 192-8).  And by 1948 the Strategic Air Command had selected urban targets in the U.S.S.R for nuclear bombing “with the primary objective of annihilating population” (191).  “Massive retaliation was [WWII] area bombing vastly multiplied””(213).  But concepts of precision bombing from WWII continued influential too, though again the precision was more in the claims than the performance. 

      And so air war continued: mass bombings of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia (more bomb tonnage then during World War II); the air attacks on the capitals of Libya (killing Gaddafi’s child) and Panama (a working class district destroyed); the invasion of Grenada; and the sustained helicopter terrorizing of the peasantry of El Salvador.  The bombing of Vietnam was unimaginably, horrendously atrocious (Clodfelter, Coryell, Gerassi, Knoll and McFadden, Korn, Levinson, Melman, Rosenberg, Russell).  During the Nixon/Kissinger administration alone (from 1969 to the end of the war in 1973), the U.S. dropped four million tons of bombs (the equivalent of over 250 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs) at a cost of $50 billion. The secret Christmas 1972 bombing of North Vietnam was, in the words of Anthony Lewis, “the most destructive single episode of international violence in recent history”: for eleven days U.S. B-52s bombed Hanoi and Haiphong over 2,000 times, for political not military purpose (to persuade ­South­ Vietnam to accept a truce).    

       Secretly and against international law, U.S. B-52s dropped over 75,000 tons of bombs (about six Hiroshima-size atomic bombs) on one area of neutral Laos from 1964 to 1969, seeking to annihilate the population through what Branfman labels “automated war.” Again in secrecy and illegally, the B-52s dropped 40,000 tons (about three Hiroshimas) in a little more than one year (1969-70) on Cambodia. 

      Ronald Schaffer observes with breathtaking understatement: “Among postwar civilian strategic thinkers and weapons designers there tended to be, as in World War II, mental detachment from the objects of attack and unwillingness or inability to focus on moral questions” (214).  The U.S. will bomb illegally anything its leaders of the moment determine to be a “national security” target—from turning a large area of Laotian villages into a moonscape to attempting to assassinate Libya’s leader (Zinn) to incinerating 1500 Iraqi civilians in an air raid shelter.

      The Al Amariyah shelter bombing was not an isolated atrocity.  During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the U.S. dropped 88,000 tons of bombs and over 300 tons of radioactive depleted uranium weapons on Iraq.  Hundreds of thousands of people—including at 150,000 civilians—were killed in the war.  And this state-sponsored terrorism against the population has continued for ten years through sanctions and bombings, causing the deaths of over two million people. 

      Why has the U. S. bombed Iraq for a decade?  That’s what the U.S. government does, and we are accustomed to it.   Blood and destruction are so in use.

  What can we do?  We must face the truth about U.S. aggression and tell others every way we can, to counteract the jingoistic and politically self-serving exaltation of U.S. virtue as contrasted to so-called “terrorist” enemies (Blum, Chomsky, Herman, Jacobs).  Frank Wetta and Stephen Curley in their book on U.S. war films declare: “Americans are a warlike people, their nation born, sustained, and expanded in conflict.  War is not an aberration but a fundamental element in the country’s history.”  They quote General Patton in the film Patton­:  “’Americans, traditionally, love to fight.  All real Americans love the sting

of battle’” (xv). 

       We must expose the hypocrisy which enables the violence.  While passing judgment on Iraq’s use of poison gas against comparatively few of its Kurdish population, our leaders suppress the history of U.S. chemical warfare against Vietnam, when the U.S. sprayed perhaps as much as eighteen million gallons of chemicals over the forests and the people of Vietnam (Colhoun). 

        We must not be deluded into thinking a “Christian” nation means a peaceful nation (Daleiden, Haught, Pagels, Planer, Swomley).

      We must hold our government to the principles of international

law—of Geneva, the Hague, Nuremberg (Barash 414)—and to the jurisdiction of the

World Court and the International War Crimes Tribunal.

We must listen to tribunals that have denounced U.S. war crimes on

the basis of international law (Coryell, Knoll, Melman,Russell). 

We must not make heroes out of pilots who bomb noncombatants indiscriminately and then deny it happened through a code and language of warrior masculinity (Rosenberg).

Anthony Lewis summarizes much of what we must do: “Beware obsession.  Beware secrecy.  Beware concentrated power.”  Particularly (my italics): “Beware men untouched by concern for the moral consequences of their acts,” for they will make even mothers unable to see, hear, or feel dreadful slaughter. 

Shakespeare has Macbeth express his emptiness, which is also that of the advocates of air wars against civilians, so far are they morally lost in killing without remorse in total war:

...I am in blood

Stepp’ in so far that, should I wade no more,

Returning were as tedious as go o’er.

While we bewail our violent nation, and desperately seek some scapegoat or other surface remedy, our preparation for ever more air wars reduces us to the level of all mass murderers.  What else can our children think?  What else can they do?

 

Works Cited

Arnove, Anthony, ed.  Iraq Under Siege.

Barash, David.  ­Introduction to Peace Studies­.  Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1991.

Bhatia, Bela, Jean Dreze, and Kathy Kelly, eds.  War and Peace in the Gulf. 

Blum, William.  Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II.  Monroe, ME: Common Courage, 1995.

___.  Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower.  Monroe, ME: Common Courage, 2000.

Branfman, Fred.  ­Voices from the Plain of Jars: Life under an Air  War. 

            New York: Harper & Row, 1974.

Chomsky, Noam.  ­World Orders Old and New­.  New York: Columbia UP, 1994.

____.­  Year 501: The Conquest Continues­. Boston:South End/Verso, 1993.

Colhoun, Jack.  “Gulf War Revives Myths About Vietnam.”  ­Guardian­

(Feb. 27, 1991) 10-11.

Coryell, Schofield.  “The War Crimes Tribunal: Let the People

Judge.”  ­Minority of One­ 9.7-8 (July-August 1967) 14-15.

Daleiden, Joseph.  ­The Final Superstition­.  Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1994.

Dower, John.  ­War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific

War­.  New York: Pantheon, 1986.

Garrett, Stephen.  Ethics and Airpower in World War II.  New York: St. Martin’s,

1993.  

Haught, James.  ­Holy Horrors: An Illustrated History of Religious 

Murder and Madness­.  Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1990.

Jacobs, Andy.  The 1600 Killers.  Alistair, 1999.

Knoll, Erwin, and Judith McFadden.  War Crimes­ and the American

Conscience­.  Orlando, FL: Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1970.

 

Leahy, Michael.  “Murky Truths of War Not So Easy to Find.”  Arkansas Democrat-

Gazette (August 13, 1995) 2J.

 

Lewis, Anthony.  “The Bombing Ghost of Christmas Past.”  New YorkTimes

News Service, 1976.

Markusen, Eric, and David Kopf.  ­The Holocaust and Strategic

Bombing: Genocide and Total War in the Twentieth Century­.

Boulder, CO: Westview, 1995.

Melman, Seymour, et al.  ­In the Name of America­.  New York:

Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam, 1968.

Mumford, Lewis.  ­The Pentagon of Power­.  San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace

Jovanovich, 1970.

Omissi, David.  ­Air Power and Colonial Control­.  Manchester, Eng.: Manchester UP; New York: St. Martin’s, 1990.

Pagels, Elaine.  ­The Origin of Satan­.  New York: Random House, 1995.

Planer, Felix.  “Religion and Cruelty.”  ­Superstition­.  Rev. ed. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1988.

Rosenberg, Stanley.  “The Threshold of Thrill: Life Stories in

the Skies over Southeast Asia.”  ­Gendering War Talk­.  Ed.

         Miriam Cooke and Angela Woollacott.  Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1993.

Russell, Bertrand.  ­War Crimes in Vietnam­.  New York: Monthly Review P,

1967.

 

Shaffer, Ronald.  Wings of Judgment.  New York: Oxford UP, 1985.

Sherry, Michael.  ­The Rise of American Air Power: The Creation of

Armageddon­.  New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 1987.

Swomley, John.  U.S.A.’s Culture of Violence.”  ­Human Quest­

(Sept.-Oct. 1995) 6-7.

Wetta, Frank, and Stephen Curley.  ­Celluloid Wars: A Guide to

Film and the American Experience of War­.  Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1992.

Suggested Further Reading

Aron, Raymond.  The Century of Total War.  Boston: Beacon: 1955.

­The Air War and Political Developments in El Salvador­.  Congres

sional Hearing, Western Hemisphere Affairs, May 14, 1986.

Barnet, Richard.  ­The Rockets’ Red Glare: When America Goes to

War, The Presidents & the People­. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990.

Brightman, Carol, and Michael Uhl.  “Bombing for the Hell of It.”

­Nation­ 260.23 (June 12, 1995) 822-26.

Chomsky, Noam.  ­Deterring Democracy­. New York: Verso, 1991 (updated Vin

tage, 1992).

____.  ­Turning the Tide­.  Boston: South End, 1985.

Clodfelter, M.  ­The Limits of Air Power: The American Bombing of

North Vietnam­.  New York: Free Press, 1989.

Cockburn, Alexander.  “Bombs and the Baroque.”  Nation (September 30, 1996) 9-

10.

Doctorow, E.L.  “Mythologizing the Bomb.”  ­Nation­ 261.5 (August

14/21, 1995).

Gerassi, John.  ­North Vietnam: A Documentary­. New York: Bobbs-Merrill,

1968.

Griffin, Susan.  A Chorus of Stones: The Private Life of War.  New York:

Doubleday, 1992.

Guttmann, Allen.  “’Mechanized Doom.’”  Ernest Hemingway.  Ed. Carlos Baker. 

New York: Scribner, 1985.

Harvey, Frank.  Air War: Vietnam.  New York: Bantam, 1967.

Hochhuth, Rolf.  Soldiers; an Obituary for Geneva.  Tr. Robt. MacDonald.  New

York: Grove, 1968.

Irving, D.  ­The Destruction of Dresden  Orlando, FL: Holt, Rinehart & Win

ston, 1963.

Kennett, Lee.  A History of Strategic Bombing.  New York:Scribner’s,1983.

Korn, Peter.  “The Persisting Poison: Agent Orange in Vietnam.”

­Nation­ 252.13 (April 8, 1991) 440-42.

Levinson, J. L.  ­Alpha Strike Vietnam: The Navy’s Air War, 1964

to 1973­.  Novato, CA: Presidio, 1989.

  O’Neill, William.  A Democracy at War: America’s Fight at Home & Abroad in World               War II.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1993.

  Paris, Michael.  ­From the Wright Brothers to “Top Gun”­.  Manchester, Eng.:     Manchester UP, 1995.

Reports. European War­.  U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey.  Washington, 1945-.  Also

series on Pacific War.

Veale, F.J.P.  ­Advance to Barbarism: How the Reversion to Barba

rism in Warfare and War-trials Menaces Our Future.­  Nashville, TN: Nelson,

1953.

Voices in the Wilderness.  1460 Carmen Ave., Chicago,IL 60640 (Kathy Kelly and delegations to Iraq).

Vonnegut, Kurt.  Slaughterhouse-five; or The Children’s Crusade.  New York:

Delacorte, 1969.

Warner, Rex.  The Aerodrome: A Love Story (1941).  Boston:

Little, Brown, 1966.

Zinn, Howard. “Terrorism over Tripoli.” ­Failure to Quit­.  Monroe, ME: Common

Courage, 1993.

 

NEWS RELEASE JULY 25, 2011

Contact:   Gladys Tiffany, 935-4422; Dick Bennett, 442-4600

 

Subject:  OMNI’S ANNUAL REMEMBRANCE OF HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI BOMBINGS (August 6 and August 9, 1945)

 

Events to take place at OMNI, 3274 Lee Avenue, on August 6 and 7, starting at 6:30 pm each night. 

 

 Saturday, August 6 we will show, Grave of the Fireflies, a Japanese animated film on the firebombing of Kobe (88 min.).  This film won many awards.  See below for Roger Ebert’s review.

 

Sunday, August 7, a film on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, White Light, Black Rain (86 min.).   An HBO production, the film won a Primetime Emmy and other awards.

OMNI’s Open Mic will follow the film.   Mark Prime will be our moderator.  Music, poems, and prose about Hiroshima and Nagasaki and air war are invited.    The names of victims will also be recited.   

 

Desserts and drinks will be available, and your contributions are welcome.

 

At OMNI: Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology, August 6 and 7, 6:30 p.m., 3274 Lee Ave. north of Office Depot.

 

 

66th HIROSHIMA-NAGASAKI (KOBE, JAPAN, AIR WAR) REMEMBRANCE,

SATURDAY AUGUST 6, 2011

 

 

     Compiled by Dick Bennett

Contents

Introduction

Grave of Fireflies animated film

Nevada Desert Experience Protest Walk

 

This Remembrance is OMNI’s oldest action (beginning in its first incarnation as the Peace Organizing Committee during the Vietnam War).    Because nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were so brutally and indiscriminately aimed at civilians, and because they began the nuclear arms race, the nuclear annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has particularly represented to the world the cruelty and madness of war and U.S. violence.   But today we wish to Remember all the victims of air war, the 800,000 Japanese and German civilians killed by US and (in Germany) British bombs.   The firebombing of Hamburg in 1943 killed 45,000 noncombatants.   More people were killed in the great firestorm bombings of Tokyo than were killed in Hiroshima.   The destruction of these cities is symptomatic of something larger—of the immeasurable violence unleashed in the 20th century, of the removal of all restraints over war during the century of mass killing, of the lack of moral and practical foresight by our leaders..  

     Kobe, Japan, was one of the city victims.    On March 17, 1945, 331 American B-29 bombers launched a firebombing attack against the city of Kobe, Japan. Of the city's residents, 8,841 were confirmed to have been killed in the resulting firestorms, which destroyed an area of three square miles and included 21% of Kobe's urban area. At the time, the city covered an area of 14 square miles (36 km²). More raids followed.  Eventually, more than 650,000 people had their homes destroyed, and the homes of another million people were damaged.  

      To read more about air war, Hiroshima-Nagasaki, and related subjects, go to OMNI’s web site newsletters http://www.omnicenter.org/newsletter-archive/

and to Dick’s Blog, “It’s the War Department.”:

http://jamesrichardbennett.blogspot.com/

 

 

AIR WAR AGAINST KOBE, JAPAN WORLD WAR II:  GRAVE OF FIREFLIES

 

 

 

 

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Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

BY ROGER EBERT / March 19, 2000

 

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In the waning days of World War II, American bombers drop napalm canisters on Japanese cities, creating fire storms. These bombs, longer than a tin can but about as big around, fall to earth trailing cloth tails that flutter behind them; they are almost a beautiful sight. After they hit, there is a moment's silence, and then they detonate, spraying their surroundings with flames. In a Japanese residential neighborhood, made of flimsy wood and paper houses, there is no way to fight the fires.

"Grave of the Fireflies" (1988) is an animated film telling the story of two children from the port city of Kobe, made homeless by the bombs. Seita is a young teenager, and his sister Setsuko is about 5. Their father is serving in the Japanese navy, and their mother is a bomb victim; Seita kneels beside her body, covered with burns, in an emergency hospital. Their home, neighbors, schools are all gone. For a time an aunt takes them in, but she's cruel about the need to feed them, and eventually Seita finds a hillside cave where they can live. He does what he can to find food, and to answer Setsuko's questions about their parents. The first shot of the film shows Seita dead in a subway station, and so we can guess Setsuko's fate; we are accompanied through flashbacks by the boy's spirit.

"Grave of the Fireflies" is an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation. Since the earliest days, most animated films have been "cartoons" for children and families. Recent animated features such as "The Lion King," "Princess Mononoke" and "The Iron Giant" have touched on more serious themes, and the "Toy Story" movies and classics like "Bambi" have had moments that moved some audience members to tears. But these films exist within safe confines; they inspire tears, but not grief. "Grave of the Fireflies" is a powerful dramatic film that happens to be animated, and I know what the critic Ernest Rister means when he compares it to "Schindler's List" and says, "It is the most profoundly human animated film I've ever seen."

It tells a simple story of survival. The boy and his sister must find a place to stay, and food to eat. In wartime their relatives are not kind or generous, and after their aunt sells their mother's kimonos for rice, she keeps a lot of the rice for herself. Eventually, Seita realizes it is time to leave. He has some money and can buy food--but soon there is no food to buy. His sister grows weaker. Their story is told not as melodrama, but simply, directly, in the neorealist tradition. And there is time for silence in it. One of the film's greatest gifts is its patience; shots are held so we can think about them, characters are glimpsed in private moments, atmosphere and nature are given time to establish themselves.

Japanese poets use "pillow words" that are halfway between pauses and punctuation, and the great director Yasujiro Ozu uses "pillow shots"--a detail from nature, say, to separate two scenes. "Grave of the Fireflies" uses them, too. Its visuals create a kind of poetry. There are moments of quick action, as when the bombs rain down and terrified people fill the streets, but this film doesn't exploit action; it meditates on its consequences.

The film was directed by Isao Takahata, who is associated with the famous Ghibli Studio, source of the greatest Japanese animation. His colleague there is Hayao Miyazaki ("Princess Mononoke," "Kiki's Delivery Service," "My Neighbor Totoro"). His films are not usually this serious, but "Grave of the Fireflies" is in a category by itself. It's based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Nosaka Akiyuki--who was a boy at the time of the firebombs, whose sister did die of hunger and whose life has been shadowed by guilt.

The book is well-known in Japan, and might easily have inspired a live-action film. It isn't the typical material of animation. But for "Grave of the Fireflies," I think animation was the right choice. Live action would have been burdened by the weight of special effects, violence and action. Animation allows Takahata to concentrate on the essence of the story, and the lack of visual realism in his animated characters allows our imagination more play; freed from the literal fact of real actors, we can more easily merge the characters with our own associations.

Hollywood animation has been pursuing the ideal of "realistic animation" for decades, even though that's an oxymoron. People who are drawn do not look like people who are photographed. They're more stylized, more obviously symbolic, and (as Disney discovered in painstaking experiments) their movements can be exaggerated to communicate mood through body language. "Grave of the Fireflies" doesn't attempt even the realism of "The Lion King" or "Princess Mononoke," but paradoxically it is the most realistic animated film I've ever seen--in feeling.

The locations and backgrounds are drawn in a style owing something to the 18th century Japanese artist Hiroshige and his modern disciple Herge (the creator of Tin Tin). There is great beauty in them--not cartoon beauty, but evocative landscape drawing, put through the filter of animated style. The characters are typical of much modern Japanese animation, with their enormous eyes, childlike bodies and features of great plasticity (mouths are tiny when closed, but enormous when opened in a child's cry--we even see Setsuko's tonsils). This film proves, if it needs proving, that animation produces emotional effects not by reproducing reality, but by heightening and simplifying it, so that many of the sequences are about ideas, not experiences.

There are individual moments of great beauty. One involves a night when the children catch fireflies and use them to illuminate their cave. The next day, Seita finds his little sister carefully burying the dead insects--as she imagines her mother was buried. There is another sequence in which the girl prepares "dinner" for her brother by using mud to make "rice balls" and other imaginary delicacies. And note the timing and the use of silence in a sequence where they find a dead body on the beach, and then more bombers appear far away in the sky.

Rister singles out another shot: "There's a moment where the boy Seita traps an air bubble with a wash rag, submerges it, and then releases it into his sister Setsuko's delighted face--and that's when I knew I was watching something special."

There are ancient Japanese cultural currents flowing beneath the surface of "Grave of the Fireflies," and they're explained by critic Dennis H. Fukushima Jr., who finds the story's origins in the tradition of double-suicide plays. It is not that Seita and Setsuko commit suicide overtly, but that life wears away their will to live. He also draws a parallel between their sheltering cave and hillside tombs.

Fukushima cites an interview with the author, Akiyuki: "Having been the sole survivor, he felt guilty for the death of his sister. While scrounging for food, he had often fed himself first, and his sister second. Her undeniable cause of death was hunger, and it was a sad fact that would haunt Nosaka for years. It prompted him to write about the experience, in hopes of purging the demons tormenting him."

Because it is animated and from Japan, "Grave of the Fireflies" has been little seen. When anime fans say how good the film is, nobody takes them seriously. Now that it's available on DVD with a choice of subtitles or English dubbing, maybe it will find the attention it deserves. Yes, it's a cartoon, and the kids have eyes like saucers, but it belongs on any list of the greatest war films ever made.


 

 

 

 

 

 

AIR WAR, HIROSHIMA-NEVADA TEST SITE ANNUAL PROTEST WALK, 66TH ANNIVERSAY

ANNUAL PROTEST WALK NEVADA TEST SITE

 

 

 

 

 

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Nuclear weapons testing has been conducted worldwide on lands taken from indigenous people. In the case of the Nevada National Security Site (formerly the "Nevada Test Site"), the land legally belongs to the Western Shoshone Nation by the Treaty of Ruby Valley (1863). Nuclear weapons despoil delicate ecosystems held sacred by those with the least political power, and declared expendable by those with the most. More than a thousand atomic weapons have been detonated at the NNSS making it the most bombed place on the planet.

We come to the desert to engage the destruction of violence with the constructive nonviolence. We seek reconnection with each other and the earth, by understanding and taking responsibility for the consequences of our actions.

Since the birth of NDE in 1982, thousands of people have come to our retreats and conferences to learn about the related issues of nuclear testing and gathered at the edge of Security Site for vigil, religious services, and nonviolent civil disobedience. NDE’s organizing seeks to honor all of God’s creation and the Beloved Community as we bear witness to sixty years of nuclear destruction.

While the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Non-proliferation Treaty have been resounding victories for our movement toward nuclear abolition, the United States is currently spending more American tax dollars on the nuclear weapons’ program than at any point during the Cold War. The Department of Energy has admitted the legacy of nuclear testing has left four tons of plutonium (the single most carcinogenic substance known to humans) in the desert soil. Now the government seeks to expand the repository capacity at the Test Site for highly radioactive materials. When we consider that all of this devastating reality resides up the road from Las Vegas, the fastest growing city in the nation, our call to action is deeply clarified.

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Bombing of Kobe in World War II

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

On March 17, 1945, 331 American B-29 bombers launched a firebombing attack against the city of Kobe, Japan. Of the city's residents, 8,841 were confirmed to have been killed in the resulting firestorms, which destroyed an area of three square miles and included 21% of Kobe's urban area. At the time, the city covered an area of 14 square miles (36 km²). More than 650,000 people had their homes destroyed, and the homes of another million people were damaged.[citation needed]

After the bombing of Kobe

On June 5 that same year, Kobe was bombed again. Incendiaries dropped from 473 bombers destroyed 4.4 square miles (11 km2) of the city.[citation needed]

In addition to incendiary attacks, Kobe was the target of a B-29 precision attack on industry, three mine-laying operations and one fighter-bomber sweep:[1]

·         May 11, 1945: 92 B-29s hit Kawanishi aircraft industry

·         June 18, 1945: 25 B-29s laid naval mines in several areas including waters near Kobe

·         June 28, 1945: 29 B-29s laid naval mines in three harbors including Kobe

·         July 19, 1945: 27 B-29s laid naval mines in several areas including waters near Kobe

·         July 30, 1945: Fighters attack airfields, railroads and tactical targets throughout Kobe-Osaka area

[edit] See also

Extent of destroyed areas of Kobe as surveyed in 1946

·         Pacific War

·         Pacific Theater of Operations

·         Bombing of Tokyo in World War II

·         Grave of the Fireflies (novel), a novel set during the bombing.

o    Grave of the Fireflies, an anime film based on the novel.

[edit] Further reading

·         Edoin, Hoito (1987). The Night Tokyo Burned. Garden City, N.Y.: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-01072-9. 

·         Werrell, Kenneth P (1996). Blankets of Fire. Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution Press. ISBN 1-56098-665-4. 

[edit] References

1.      ^ Air Force Historical Studies: U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 -- 1945

[hide]v · d · eWorld War II city bombing

 

 

Area bombardment · Aerial bombing of cities · Terror bombing · V-weapons

 

 

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US AIR WAR

See Pentagon, MIC,

 

6-4 there are 7 items here, find 2 more and publish

And check the 2nd doc by this title

 

The American Cult of Bombing and Endless Warby William Astore .  Common Dreams (6-4-19).   The very Dark Side of US air power

 



From ROOTS ACTION 5-26-19

Cancel the F-35

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The F-35 is a weapon of offensive war, serving no defensive purpose. It is planned to cost the U.S. $1.4 trillion over 50 years.

This is a new global/local effort to cancel it now.


Ban Weaponized Drones from the World

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Meticulous researchers have documented that U.S. drones are killing many innocent civilians in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere.  Drones are making the world less stable and creating new enemies.  We're going to ban weaponized drones from the world.

Please add your name today, and urge everyone you know to do the same.

 

 

 

“Boeing Ramps Up F-15 Line Near St. Louis.”  NADG (4-23-19).

Boeing ramps up F-15 line near St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Boeing is preparing to build F-15 fighter planes for the U.S. Air Force at its St. Louis County plant even though the military branch hasn't bought the jet in over a decade.

The Chicago-based company began ramping up its F-15 production line near St. Louis after the Air Force submitted a nearly $8 billion budget request last month that included eight F-15s next year and 72 in the following four years. The request came as a surprise to many since the U.S. military has moved toward stealth fighters, such as Lockheed Martin's F-35, in recent years.

Prat Kumar, Boeing International's vice president, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the company is investing before Congress approves the budget request so it can respond quickly should the Air Force seek rapid field deployment.

Engineers and manufacturing experts recently met at the St. Louis County facility to determine how to efficiently assemble the fighter jet with its modern defense, radar and operating systems.

The F-15 was first developed in the early 1970s, and foreign orders from Singapore, South Korea and Saudi Arabia have kept the Missouri manufacturing line running in recent years.

The line is equipped to build about one F-15 a month, but Boeing officials believe that minimal modifications can increase production to up to three of the jets each month.   -- The Associated Press

(This report seems to cover up more than it reports.  Boeing will fund building the planes before Congress has authorized the money, taking a huge risk?  Or does it know for certain it will get a contract?)

 

 

Gerry Sloan while visiting Japan June 2017

Hope you are well. It's our last day in Kyoto, a "tranquil city" (as one of my former exchange students called it). Having a wonderful time so far but trying to forget that we "fire bombed" (i.e. napalmed) 3 of the 4 cities we are visiting. Which set a terrible precedent for targeting civilians instead of soldiers in modern warfare. More than 10,000 victims in Osaka (where we landed), more than 100,000 victims in Tokyo (where we depart), plus 10 other cities in Japan. The Tokyo firebombing took a greater toll than the atomic bomb we dropped on Hiroshima. General Curtis Lemay, who ordered the firebombing, said he was glad we won the war or he would have been tried as a war criminal. And what we're enabling the Saudis to do to Yemen RIGHT NOW is every bit as horrific and shameful. Yet we promote this image of the USA as the eternal good guys (Captain America bullshit). Sorry to dump this at your feet, but I keep thinking of this whenever I see the Japanese school kids (about Brendan's age) in their caps and backpacks at all the sites we visit.  6-15

 

 

 

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THE BOMBING OF CIVILIANS IN WORLD WAR II

"The Prime Minister said that we hoped to shatter twenty German cities as we had shattered Cologne, Lubeck, Dusseldorf, and so on.  More and more aeroplanes and bigger and bigger bombs.  M. Stalin had heard of 2-ton bombs.  We had now begun to use 4-ton bombs, and this would be continued throughout the winter.  If need be, as the war went on, we hoped to shatter almost every dwelling in almost every German city.  "  (Official transcript of the meeting at the Kremlin between Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin on Wednesday, August 12, 1942, at 7 P.M.)

"The destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers, and the disruption of civilized community life throughout Germany [is the goal]. ... It should be emphasized that the destruction of houses, public utilities, transport and lives; the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale; and the breakdown of morale both at home and at the battle fronts by fear of extended and intensified bombing are accepted and intended aims of our bombing policy.  They are not by-products of attempts to hit factories." -- "Air Marshal Arthur Harris, Commander in Chief,  Bomber Commander,  British Royal Air Force, October 25, 1943 quoted in Tami Biddle, Rhetoric and Reality in Air Warfare: The Evolution of British and American Ideas about Strategic Bombing, 1914-1945(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002), p. 220.


Is the deliberate mass murder of civilians on a huge scale ever justified?  This article does not have an answer for this question.   However, it is important to note that this was a very specific goal of England and America in World War II as the quotes above show.   Germany and Japan also bombed civilians but the scale of what they did was a tiny fraction of their opponents.  More people died in the bombing of Hamburg alone that in the entire German bombing campaign against England.   Was the Anglo-American bombing necessary or moral?  Many serious military experts feel it was a poor choice in terms of military priorities.   What follows is documentation from both sides.   MORE  http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaster/Reading/war.crimes/World.war.2/Bombing.htm

 

 

Alan Grayson


The forgotten truth about modern warfare:

Yesterday

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·         Top Comments

Dave Miller, Hope E Ransom, Jeff Wilson and 4,901 others like this.

·         9,073 shares

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Kyle Faber We have become war, bringers of death and destruction...we used to send men to the moon and have a PEACE CORPS. SMDH

332 · Yesterday at 9:06am

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John Borstelmann Such a deal...for the military/industrial/national security complex.

217 · Yesterday at 9:06am

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Steve Lang Some of us have seen this foolishness from Korea to Vietnam until today in Iraq. Sure would be nice to build a thousand schools and medical clinics instead of a dozen aircraft carriers. Making enemies all around the world at great expense.

44 · Yesterday at 9:20am

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Jock Ames One suggestion would be for the 2/3 of registered voters who did NOT vote to get off their lazy asses and VOTE in 2016.

32 · Yesterday at 10:04am

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Janice Cragnolin LOL, and guess who paid for it? Could have been better spent, feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, healing the sick...

28 · Yesterday at 9:16am

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Jock Ames Looks like the Military/Industrial Complex will continue to be a big profit maker for the obscenely wealthy....damn shame we can't invest that kind of money creating jobs to repair our decomposing infrastructure.

 

 

(Following included in Nagasaki 2013)

Voices from the Plain of Jars
Life under an Air War (SECOND EDITION)
Edited by Fred Branfman with essays and drawings by Laotian villagers 

Foreword by Alfred W. McCoy 

New Perspectives in Southeast Asian Studies  
Alfred W. McCoy, R. Anderson Sutton, Thongchai Winichakul,
and Kenneth M. George, Series Editors 

“A classic. . . . No American should be able to read [this book] without weeping at his country’s arrogance.”
—Anthony Lewis, New York Times

During the Vietnam War the United States government waged a massive, secret air war in neighboring Laos. Fred Branfman, an educational advisor living in Laos at the time, interviewed over 1,000 Laotian survivors. Shocked by what he heard and saw, he urged them to record their experiences in essays, poems, and pictures. Voices from the Plain of Jars was the result of that effort. 

When first published in 1972, this book was instrumental in exposing the bombing. In this expanded edition, Branfman follows the story forward in time, describing the hardships that Laotians faced after the war when they returned to find their farm fields littered with cluster munitions—explosives that continue to maim and kill today.

“Today, the significance of this book’s message has, if anything, increased. As Fred Branfman predicted with uncommon prescience, the massive U.S. bombing of Laos during the Vietnam War marked the advent of a new kind of warfare—automated, aerial, and secret—that is just now emerging as the dominant means of projecting U.S. power worldwide.”—Alfred W. McCoy, author of Torture and Impunity: The U.S. Doctrine of Coercive Interrogation 

 

 

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)