Green Room

All We Are Saying – Is Give Nukes a Chance

posted at 9:12 pm on August 12, 2010 by

Last Friday, U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos attended the solemn commemoration of the Hiroshima atomic bombing that, coupled with the second bombing at Nagasaki, ended the Pacific theater of World War II and almost certainly saved millions of both American and Japanese lives. This was the first time the American ambassador had ever joined the memorial.

The annual commemoration plays to the anti-Americanism of many young Japanese; many of them are under the impression we attacked them out of the blue, while they were peacefully minding their own business… an ignorance fostered by the near blackout of the history of that war in Japanese primary and secondary schools.

But Mr. Roos attended Lowell High School in San Francisco and graduated from Stanford University, and he has no excuse; surely he learned at least something about our reasons for using nuclear weapons. You know, that whole “fascist military dictatorship bent on regional hegemony by force of arms, allied with Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany” stuff. And surely he must realize that had we not had atomic bombs, as they were called then, we still would have invaded the Japanese “mainland” (the island of Honshu), at a cost nearly incalculable in human lives and materiel.

So one might reasonably ask the ambassador why he not only attended the commemoration, but also joined Hiroshima’s Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba’s call to eliminate all nuclear weapons. Roos’ mere presence lent the imprimatur of the Barack H. Obama administration to the clarion call; but the ambassador went above and beyond to make clear the Obamic policy:

Hiroshima’s mayor welcomed Washington’s decision to send U.S. Ambassador John Roos to Friday’s commemoration, which began with an offering of water to the 140,000 who died in the first of two nuclear bombings that prompted Japan’s surrender in World War II….

“We need to communicate to every corner of the globe the intense yearning of the survivors for the abolition of nuclear weapons,” Mr. Akiba told the 55,000 people at the ceremony.

Mr. Akiba called on the Japanese government to take a leadership role in nuclear disarmament toward “turning a new page in human history.”

“I offer my prayers to those who died — we will not make you be patient much longer….”

Mr. Roos said the memorial was a chance to show resolve toward nuclear disarmament, which Mr. Obama has emphasized as one of his administration’s top objectives.

“For the sake of future generations, we must continue to work together to realize a world without nuclear weapons,” Mr. Roos said in a statement.

Just as a general question, has any anti-nuclear “peace” activist ever sat down and thought through what would happen if somebody waved a magic wand and made all American or all Western nukes “softly and suddenly vanish away?” I guess radical activists like Roos and Akiba — who, I suggest, see no distinction between nuclear weapons in the hands of America or Britain and similar weapons in the hands of Iran, Syria, Red China, North Korea, Russia, or Venezuela — would mindlessly shout, “We would finally have world peace!”

But why would anybody think that? Nuclear weapons did not exist until the end of World War II, the most destructive war in human history; which is ironic, because their very existence is testimony to the fact that their lack obviously does not create peace. So why would their disappearance?

  • Let’s take the most likely case first: Will aggressor nations abruptly mend their ways if, say, the West unilaterally disarmed itself of all nuclear weapons? The suggestion is especially risible, especially given that we already did unilaterally disarm ourselves of chemical and biological weapons — yet the global bad guys manifestly did not follow suit. I think we can reject this policy choice out of hand.
  • Even if the evil-doers running those countries named above agreed to such insanity, does anybody honestly believe they would abide by their agreement and not cheat? They always cheated in the past with impunity, so why stop now?
  • But suppose for some miraculous, occult reason Iran, China, et al, did dismantle their entire nascent or operative nuclear arsenals. Where does that leave us?

    Every one of those countries has an active and persistent program to develop, deploy, and use chemical and biological warfare (CBW). By contrast, as noted above, we destroyed our own capability.

    So if Iran, Syria, Red China, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela each knows that it has CBW capability, but the West does not, then that will make the former less inclined to attack or threaten us? (Why, because they’re too gentlemanly to use WMD threats to extort political power and treasure?)

  • But lets ship the whole hog: Assume the utterly absurd, that the nations fingered above agree to drop and destroy all WMD they may possess, and they actually do it. They somehow obliterate the knowledge from the computers, storage centers, and even the minds of their weapon scientists. Their nukes are all gone in a flash (perhaps I should use a different metaphor), taking their chemical and biological weapons with them. So then we’ll finally have peace — right?

    Don’t be hasty. Most of those thuggish nations have already shown a marked propensity for ordering suicidal human-wave attacks against their enemies, throwing hundreds of thousands or millions of their subjects into the maw of death; and the leaders didn’t shed a single tear, because they simply don’t care.

They are functionally sociopathic, even solipsistic, seeing the peons not as human beings like themselves but as inanimate weapons to be used, then discarded when broken. To claw one’s way to the top of such a regime, one must first become “comfortably numb.”

But Americans are not comfortably numb, and we would never use such tactics. We won’t even go back to the WWII strategic bombings of, e.g., Dresden or Tokyo, which only kill the enemy by the hundreds of thousands! So what are we to do when the enemy is not so solicitous, swarms across the border at us, but we haven’t any asymmetrical response — such as nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons to stop him?

I suppose Mr. Roos’ answer is: We surrender.

You cannot “give peace a chance” by unilaterally disarming; the proper term for that is to give subjugation to evil a chance. A simple Gedankenexperiment: Suppose Israel were to adopt the Rules of Roos and divest itself of all its weapons of mass destruction. The Arab and Persian response to such humility, brotherliness, and trust would be to… what?

I think we can all guess the grisly outcome of such an adventure in idealism. As Sachi says, The absence of war does not always mean peace; it can also mean surrender and enslavement.

The international Left objectifies war, just as the domestic Left objectifies violent crime. To avoid having to deal with evil and the messiness of real human beings and murderous regimes, the Left pretends that all violence is caused by the existence of certain technologies: Ban the technology, and war and crime will screech to a halt!

Nuclear weapons in all their manifold forms — bunker-busters to destroy enemy WMD, trip-wire defenses against human-wave attacks, nuclear-tipped Trident missiles on submarines to deter any thought of launching a sneak attack, even neutron bombs to kill an enemy force occupying a site whose destruction would unleash another holocaust, such as the Grand Mosque in Mecca (the siege already happened on November 20, 1979, and could certainly happen again) — such nukes are merely weapons, tools. They do not start wars any more than pistols commit crimes.

But the Left considers such technologies bad, because they give the West an “unfair advantage” over our enemies, both secular socialist (China, North Korea, Russia, Venezuela) and also the jihad-besotted radical Islamists in the ummah, the Left’s new ally.

“Progressives” are upset that the United States doesn’t suffer as many casualities and deaths as do the regimes we must fight. It’s as simple as that. So our new Ambassador to Japan, John Roos — whose sole qualification for the job appears to be raising half a million samolians for Barack H. Obama’s campaign — now wants to even things out by crippling the lone remaining world hyperpower, the United States of America. Progress!

Hope and change, readers; that’s what America voted for.

Cross-posted on Big Lizards

Recently in the Green Room:



Trackback URL


The whole idea of totally abandoning nuclear weapons is pointless any longer. We were only the first nation to make use of the Pandora’s box that had been open (Nazi Germany came rather close), and there is no real hope of taking away what is now the ‘ace in the hole’ of any nation of any real status in the world.

About the only hope would be some as-yet unknown technology that rendered all plutonium and refined uranium inert, all over the planet, within a VERY short time period. Because if it took too long, somebody hear the reports came in from elsewhere and either think “use ’em or lose ’em” or just plain panic. If it didn’t get everybody, the balance of power would radically shift, likely starting a war between new “haves” and the new “have-nots”.

Dark-Star on August 12, 2010 at 10:43 PM

What the Left so conveniently forgets is that nuclear weapons kept the peace for over 50 years.

Sure, surrogate wars flared from time to time…but they were not nuclear conflicts…just small wars fought with conventional and sometimes very old weapons…the AK-47 was invented in the 1940’s, still quite effective for its job over 60 years later. And the United States was involved in only a small percentage of those conflicts. Many wars of the 20th century following WWII were local, and pitted neighboring states against each other as there was no impediment, no reason from a military perspective, for them to do otherwise. Conventional weapons can be deadly in the wrong hands, very deadly.

But…the first half of the 20th century saw huge wars….millions and millions dead…all fought with standard artillery and rifles, grenades, tanks came into their own, as did armed aircraft. Whole continents involved. The second half of the 20th century saw no such wars, with millions and millions of deaths. Does the Left have a reasoned and rational response as to why?

There are times when some folks who do not like us do not want to sit down, hold hands around the fire and sing Kumbaya. Matter of fact, they’d sooner force us to lie down, bind our hands, toss us into the fire whilst they sing anything but Kumbaya…and gleefully.

[For those of us who are still unfamiliar with some basic tenets of Islam…keep this in mind…surrender is a worse sin than fighting. Other enemies and potential enemies have a similar view of a nation that chooses surrender rather than taking a hard stand against the evils that men do.]

As we have seen with al-Qaeda, stateless actors have nothing to lose.

But, keeping state actors at bay…well, it makes stateless actors a bit less able to act.

And today, like it or not, preventing an enemy from storming the gates comes with a price…eternal vigilance and a set of deployable nuke systems.

coldwarrior on August 12, 2010 at 10:47 PM

What the Left so conveniently forgets is that nuclear weapons kept the peace for over 50 years.

coldwarrior on August 12, 2010 at 10:47 PM

That’s true. But our future security will depend controlling the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The fewer weapons and nuclear armed nations, the better our own security in the long run.

lexhamfox on August 13, 2010 at 12:20 AM

lexhamfox on August 13, 2010 at 12:20 AM

No argument there.

Proliferation is a matter of money, materiel, a few scientists/engineers and access to the internet, essentially. So…we get rid of all our nukes…and so do the Russians and Chinese…then what? Any bunch of grad students with access to money, materiel and information could produce a workable nuke…and a delivery system could be as simple as a single engine private plane.

It’d be nice to not have to worry about any of this, but once that genie got out of the bottle, damn hard to get it back in again.

But, a world without nukes…then what? Peace breaks out all over the place?

The guys with the longest range most lethal artillery systems or most advanced bombers get the edge? Sort of like a replay of the Dreadnought race a hundred years ago.

Getting rid of all nukes is still a pipe dream. Do it precipitously…and we might get a lot more than we’d have hoped for. Until we develop the technologies to render the threat minor…sort of like the “Star Wars” concept of the 80’s that was met with all sorts of hoots and howls from the Left, anyone trying to produce such technologies would be facing the same derision. Too costly. Would take a decade to develop. Isn’t 100% effective. Did I mention, too costly?

Best guess is to counter with co-mutual economic development. Incentivize stability. But…in today’s economic realities, we cannot even afford to engage in that deterent.

coldwarrior on August 13, 2010 at 12:35 AM

Let’s quit this thread and rent “The Mouse That Roared” instead.

That movie says it all. And it’s hilarious!

landlines on August 13, 2010 at 2:15 AM

But Mr. Roos attended Lowell High School in San Francisco and graduated from Stanford University, and he has no excuse; surely he learned at least something about our reasons for using nuclear weapons.

(sarcasm on)
Yes, that we used them because we’re evil racists and we wouldn’t have used them if they were white. Oh and we used them to scare those Russians for no real reason.(Because communism is no threat to us and is actually a good idea)
(sarcasm off)

Come on, I couldn’t have been the only one to hear that spiel in university, right?

Dave_d on August 13, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Nukes have been, sense there first creation, the worlds best hope for World Peace.

It’s just that the hippies got their marching orders from people who were not interested in peace.

Count to 10 on August 13, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Let’s quit this thread and rent “The Mouse That Roared” instead.

That movie says it all. And it’s hilarious!

landlines on August 13, 2010 at 2:15 AM

…they made a movie out of that book? A good one?

I absolutely must see it.

Dark-Star on August 13, 2010 at 11:45 PM

The Nuke Truce will last until dedicated Muslims get their hands on a bomb. They will use it for allah and try to kill as many different Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus or Buddhists, and of course themselves as possible. It’ll happen in the 2010’s and it will be horrific.

Mojave Mark on August 14, 2010 at 1:31 AM

si vis pacem para bellum

Caststeel on August 14, 2010 at 5:25 PM

HotAir — Politics, Culture, Media, 2017, Breaking News from a conservative viewpoint
Top Pick


“Felix was out on bond after threatening another public servant and has a history of making threats.”

Chaffetz: House needs housing allowances?

Ed Morrissey Jun 27, 2017 8:41 PM

“There are dozens upon dozens of members living in their offices, and I don’t know how healthy that is long term.”

“This isn’t going to get a lot cheaper, it can’t, it won’t.”

“…what we failed to achieve with votes, we would do with weapons.”

“[S]o dumb it’s amazing we even have to have the conversation.”

“It was not necessary.”

“You’re inflaming everyone right here right now with those words!”

“Trump’s people said, ‘We’ll be writing the speech that the President’s Audio-Animatronic figure will be saying.'”

Excuses, excuses.

Not really a “kill all the lawyers” scenario

4 pm ET!

“it has not taken serious steps to end its own complicity in trafficking, including forced laborers from North Korea.”

Currently doing a search for “good international trade lawyers”

Ransomware attack spreads through Europe

John Sexton Jun 27, 2017 1:01 PM

“A massive ransomware campaign is currently unfolding worldwide.”

At least their address rarely changes

It just keeps on happening

“Trump is good for business right now.”

Start spreading the news…

“Now it’s time for the next step.”

A “cryptic” warning to Bashar al-Assad?

Jazz Shaw Jun 27, 2017 8:01 AM

The three strikes rule may be in effect

CNN reporters resign over retracted story

John Sexton Jun 26, 2017 9:21 PM

“The individuals all stated that they accepted responsibility and wanted to resign.”

Federalism’s greatest champion is now …

Ed Morrissey Jun 26, 2017 8:41 PM

“In the end, we’re a democracy.”

“Almost all controversial speech harms people, upsets or offends them…”

Obama: Back home again in Indonesia

Andrew Malcolm Jun 26, 2017 7:21 PM

The call to prayer and eating dog.

Testing the waters.

“primarily because the penalty for not having insurance would be eliminated.”

“If I were a Seattle lawmaker, I would be thinking hard about the $15 an hour phase-in.”

Days of future past

“Not only are taxpayers footing the bill, but people are dying unnecessarily because of this.”

Israel settles who can stand where at the Western Wall

Andrew Malcolm Jun 26, 2017 3:21 PM

Women to the right, men to the left.

Look on the bright side. There’s less snow in the summer

Big win … but for how long?

“Several Russian cities have unveiled monuments to Stalin in recent months.”

Massive disappointment