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US Nukes? Good! Everybody Else's Nukes? Bad!

Reported by Nancy - August 10, 2005 -

Today (8/10) on FNL, David Asman marked the anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki -- a few days late -- by interviewing Peter Canellos (Boston Globe) & Charles Krauthammer (right-wing ideologue & frequent talking head on FNC). Krauthammer was so eager to justify US actions that he got his facts wrong

At 12:23pm Asman asked "Did we do the right thing?" Krauthammer immediately said "of coruse we did" then went on to repeat the oft-repeated claim that it "saved hundreds of thousands of" American lives, adding that the "fireboming of Tokyo killed far more people."

Comment: Numbers of killed & wounded are always estimates for major disasters, both natural & man-made. Nevertheless, there are some "accepted" estimates available for all major disasters. Here are estimates from The Associated Press, The Japan Times Online, wikipedia & The Hiroshima Archive (at Lewis & Clark College): The Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombings (8/6 & 8/9/1945): 120,000 (immediately) + 240,000 (over the next 5 years) killed, 130,000 injured (immediately); the grandchildren & great-grandchildren of the survivors are still being born with radiation-related birth defects & diseases. The Tokyo firebombing (03/10/1945): 100,000 killed, unknown number wounded Sorry, Charlie. Not even close.

Canellos agreed that the US had done the right thing, but said "I don't think most question Truman's decision" while noting that "hindsight" is providing a lot of interest & people are asking questions about it. Asman picked up on Krauthammer's statement & claimed that "historical records now show" that Japan was prepared to fight to the last & "millions might have died."

Canellos said "people are interested in seeing the faces of the victims" because there's a "palpable fear [of] ... nuclear terrorism." Asman opined that "we came a little closer to that today" with Iran, & asked "what's to stop the terrorists" from getting nukes. Krauthammer proclaimed that "it is THE problem of our time" & that "Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world." Asman asked if they thought "a nuke will be exploded in the US eventually?" Krauthammer gave an unequivocal "yes" but Canellos was reluctant to make such a prediction. Asman said that "talks [with Iran] have led to NOTHING," that "talks by the Europeans have led to the Iranians going ahead" & wondered what can be done to stop nuclear proliferation. Canellos said that "declassified documents show" treaties have worked (he cited old estimates that there would be 25+ nations with nuclear capabilities today, as compared to the actual "7 or 8"), so "we should continue negotiating." Asman commented, "yeah, a nuclear state is one thing, nuclear terrorists another..."

General comment: I find it fascinating that so many people, including these 3, can calmly sit around & discuss how the US was justified in using nukes, is justified in having a nuclear arsenal that could turn the planet into a cinder, & should develop bigger & better bombs ("bunker busters") -- but as soon as nukes might be used on us, then "nukes bad!" & those who would use them even worse. Talk about double standards -- but before you do, note that my comment here is NOT leveled solely at Fox or at Asman, Canellos, or Krauthammer. The ONLY criticism I make in this post that is directed solely at a "Fox contributor", Krauthammer, is about his mis-statement of the death tolls for the Tokyo firebombing & the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki (see comment above).

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (the bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki, Asman's interview, Krauthammer's "mistake"). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.