History

Year of the Dead

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The Baltimore City Paper says goodbye to the old year with its annual "People Who Died" feature, honoring some of the lesser-known notables who passed away in 2007. This year's profilees range from the stripping mafia moll Liz Renay to the Enola Gay pilot Paul Tibbets; from Momofuku Ando, inventor of instant ramen, to Robert Adler, co-inventor of the TV remote.

Music to read it by:

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  1. the Enola Gay pilot Paul Tibbets

    Why would he be lesser known? Did public schools stop referring to him as “the man who ended the war” or something?

  2. Did public gun schools stop referring to him as “the man who ended the war” or something?

    Sorry, fixed.

  3. If you all haven’t heard yet, late yesterday Dr. Walter William’s wife passed away. She had an unfortunate in-home accident, a fall, that led to a brain seizure of some sort.

    Those of us who are Rush Limbaugh fans and who have listened to Dr. Williams regularly on his show, know how he so adored his wife.

    She was 72.

  4. ED,

    That is indeed sad news.

  5. Condolences to Dr Williams.

  6. Lovley newspaper they have there in Baltimore

    from Paul Tibbets obit

    The story we learned was this: Because brave men dropped the first atomic bombs on a dauntless enemy, America did not have to invade the Japanese mainland, saving at least 1 million lives on both sides of the conflict. It is an enduring lie.

    We know it is a lie because, 62 years on, historians (see Joseph C. Grew, Gar Alperovitz, Greg Mitchell, James Hershberg, Martin Sherwin, etc.) have long reported what Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman knew before the bomb was dropped: Japan was about to surrender anyway. But this fact is entombed in thick books with copious footnotes, so most Americans still don’t know, and many of them deny it bitterly despite the evidence. Their patron saint is Paul W. Tibbets, who died in his Columbus, Ohio, home on Nov. 1, at the age of 92.

  7. If Germany had made us surrender by nuking two American cities, is there even the slightest ghost of a chance any American would call it anything but a war crime?

    But you can’t blame Tibbets.

  8. uh this is a weird thread to do it in, but I wish a happy new year to everyone.

  9. more

    In 2002, as the “war on terror” got under way, Studs Terkel put his microphone before Tibbets. “One last thing,” he asked the old hero. “When you hear people say, `Let’s nuke ’em,’ `Let’s nuke these people,’ what do you think?”

    “Oh, I wouldn’t hesitate if I had the choice,” Tibbets replied. “I’d wipe ’em out. You’re gonna kill innocent people at the same time, but we’ve never fought a damn war anywhere in the world where they didn’t kill innocent people. If the newspapers would just cut out the ****: `You’ve killed so many civilians.’ That’s their tough luck for being there.”

  10. Liz Renay was great in Desperate Living

  11. Jim Carroll rocks! The Basketball Diaries is still, in the words of the Village Voice, “the best street rap east of Zappa…”

  12. “If Germany had made us surrender by nuking two American cities, is there even the slightest ghost of a chance any American would call it anything but a war crime?

    But you can’t blame Tibbets.”

    Once again, joe, you prove yourself to be a total fucking idiot.
    It never ceases to amaze the people that claim Japan was somehow the victim of what occured at the end of WWII. This country had butchered its way across Asia even before it decided to wage an aggressive war agains the US.
    One only has to look at the casualties inflicted upon the Americans during the island-hopping campaign to know what would have happened had we invaded the home islands. And regardless of what the moron in that article claims, there is virtually no historian alive who will claim that Japan was on the brink of surrendering unconditionally prior to the dropping of the FIRST atomic bomb; even the hack Alperovitz has stated that American casualties would “only” be about 100,000 if we invaded the home islands.
    For christ sake, only the personal intervention of Hirohito after the SECOND bombing assured that Japan accepted the unconditional surrender. Claims that they were about to surrender prior to Hiroshima are pure, unadulterated bullshit.
    Furthermore, Japan’s war production facilities was deliberately spread throughout the major cities in order to make them more difficult to target by American forces; Hiroshima and Nagasaki were legitimate targets. To put the man who dropped the bomb that ultimately ended the war on the same level as the people responsible for the Rape of Nanking is a sickening moral equivalence similar to comparing Karl Rove to Goebbels or Bush to Hitler.

    But for the fucking geniuses who claim the bombing was unnecessary to end the war, I ask exactly what would you have done? Would it be worth sacrificing the lives of thousands upon thousands of American soldiers for your moral vanity? I think not.

    And joe, please spare us the stupid sarcastic questions you have a habit of posing when you think you are proving a point. You are too fucking dumb to get one-up on anyone.

  13. It never ceases to amaze the people that claim Japan was somehow the victim of what occured at the end of WWII. This country had butchered its way across Asia even before it decided to wage an aggressive war agains the US.

    The claim is not that “Japan,” a collective entity, was a victim. The claim is that hundreds of thousands of noncombatants, who did not butcher their way across Asia, were victims. I do not think that is a particularly controversial statement.

    But for the fucking geniuses who claim the bombing was unnecessary to end the war, I ask exactly what would you have done?

    Refrained from demanding unconditional surrender, thus avoiding the choice between dangerous invasion and nuclear assault.


  14. Refrained from demanding unconditional surrender

    Japan should have been allowed to dictate terms of their own surrender? Bizarre, particularly considering the ferocity of the conflict.

    The Japanese population largely saw themselves as a collective entity

    The Japanese people most certainly fared better
    under an unconditional surrender and American occupation than any other possible scenario although their future welfare prior to the end of the War is irrelevant.

  15. Mr. Walker,

    So, you wished for a weapon that could kill nothing but the Japanese high command without destroying a Japanese industrial areas, to include the workforce of those areas?

    BRAVO TO YOU!

    We are still working on it, but we don’t have John Bower Jack Rambo in a “fire and forget” package yet. My apologies, I will do my darndest to get it for you before the next time a bunch of rabid thugs attacks us.

    The FACT of the matter remains, Japan was offered unconditional surrender BEFORE Heroshima and they refused, they were offered it again after and they still refused (waiting to see if we had another bomb BTW) and then, FINALLY, accepted unconditional surrender.

    Please, spare me the lecture of how they were ready to surrender and that their only condition was “not unconditionally”.

    If they were “ready to surrender” then they would have. They did surrender when they were finally ready.

    I have plenty of bitches against FDR and HT, but this sure as hell is not one of them

  16. The Japanese population largely saw themselves as a collective entity

    Well, geez, let’s kill ’em all then. Whee!

    The Japanese people most certainly fared better under an unconditional surrender and American occupation than any other possible scenario

    The ones who died didn’t.

    So, you wished for a weapon that could kill nothing but the Japanese high command without destroying a Japanese industrial areas, to include the workforce of those areas?

    Can’t say I’ve wished for it before, but now that you bring it up, I agree that it sounds like a nice idea. A silly idea, but a nice idea. Next time I run into Tinkerbell I’ll ask for one.

    In the meantime, I’ll stick with the completely different suggestion I made in my comment.

    I have plenty of bitches against FDR and HT, but this sure as hell is not one of them

    I don’t blame FDR for it either, given that he was dead at the time.

    Please, spare me the lecture of how they were ready to surrender and that their only condition was “not unconditionally”.

    I’ll spare you the lecture. Feel free to read up on it on your own.

  17. Nicely done, Jesse. I have very little to add, except to repeat the un-addressed comment I made that inspired that little outburst:

    If Germany had made us surrender by nuking two American cities, is there even the slightest ghost of a chance any American would call it anything but a war crime?

    This, of course, demonstrates that I am “a total fucking idiot,” because of course that’s such an absurd statement. Take, for example, the highly emotional, handle-less hysteric that Mr. Walker evicerated so deftly; there is no way he would treat the incineration of Detroit (armored vehicles) or Los Angeles (war ships) with anything less than a stoic observation about their contribution to our warr effort making them fair targets. Not.

    Let me give a you little heads up, rob/chavez is a thug: if you find yourself so overwhelmed with emotion that you feel to the need to use “total fucking idiot” in your opening line, maybe you should step away from the computer until you get a handle on your feelings.

  18. The Japanese population largely saw themselves as a collective entity

    Well, geez, let’s kill ’em all then. Whee!

    Clever answer there Jesse. I hope you were “on the clock” when you came up with that zinger.

  19. If Germany had made us surrender by nuking two American cities, is there even the slightest ghost of a chance any American would call it anything but a war crime?
    Yes: liberals like joe would be convinced that we deserved it.

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