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Who has the right to “repent” for Hiroshima?

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on July 31, 2009 at 7:51 pm with 40 Comments »
July 31, 2009 7:51 pm

Father Bill Bichsel’s Journey of Repentance – an anti-war event in Hiroshima and Nagasaki – appears to be making a big splash in Japan.


A big enough splash that it brought the New York bureau chief of The Asahi Shimbun – Japan’s equivalent of the New York Times – to Tacoma yesterday to interview a supporter and an opponent of the event. Me as well.


Yamanaka Toshihiro, a lanky, soft-spoken man, wanted to talk about an editorial I’d written about the angry local reactions to the "journey" (which I uncharitably described as "moral preening"). The editorial neither defended nor attacked the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki all those years ago; I was attempting to place those bombings in the larger context of a war in which the mass killing of civilians became a deliberate strategy on both sides.


World War II – which left as many as 70 million people dead – was the worst thing that ever happened to humanity, at least in the space of so few years. (The smallpox vaccine might argue to the contrary, but it had centuries on its side.)


Yamanaka wanted to know why so many of our letter writers were upset about the Journey of Repentance. He said Bichsel and company would be received as celebrities in Japan, "like Michael Jackson."


Obviously, Americans and Japanese are going to have different takes on World War II, especially on the atomic bombings. The Japanese see the latter – quite accurately – as an unspeakable horror in which vast numbers of their countrymen (and women and children) were burned alive. Most Americans to this day tend to see the A-bomb as a brutal necessity that ultimately saved more lives than it destroyed by bringing the war to a quick end.


Still, many Americans have made gestures of sympathy to the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in years past without stirring up the kind of reaction we saw this time.



I told Yamanaka that I thought part of the explanation lay in the words "repentance" and "apologize." (The group’s petition stated, "I apologize to the people of Japan for my country’s atomic bombing … and ask forgiveness for these atrocities.")


The problem with the term "Journey of Repentance" is that repenting can be done only by the person who committed the wrong in question. If Harry Truman was wrong to destroy those two cities, it was up to him to do the repenting. Same with War Secretary Henry Stimson or anyone else connected with that dread decision.


But when someone who had no connection to the decision claims to be repenting, it sounds very much as if he is trying to repent on behalf of other Americans. Same with apologizing. The people with the right to "repent," and apologize on behalf of the country, are all dead.


There are probably some World War II veterans still left in this area who feared they would have had to take part in an invasion of Japan had it not been for the use of the bombs. There are certainly plenty of children and grandchildren of such veterans. A lot more believe the bombings were simply justified under the war’s dire circumstances.


Few of them, probably, feel like apologizing or repenting, and they probably resent what looks like a group of pacifists trying to do it for them.


This isn’t a defense of the bombings. Only a psychopath could be indifferent to the incineration of so many human beings.


But the calculus of lives saved vs. lives destroyed – and the persistent arguments over whether Japan would have surrendered without those holocausts – make this an extremely complex moral question. Nobody should presume to answer it for anyone else.

Categories:
Taking notice
Leave a comment Comments → 40
  1. m9078jk3 says:

    If I had a family member or relative who was killed by the Empire of Japan during World War 2 I would be so upset about this that without warning I’d probably justifiably violently physically assault the deluded members of repentance to show them my wrath especially because they would be dishonoring my family and would be essentially spitting on a family members grave.
    Fortunately for them none of my family or relatives were killed during World War 2.
    Instead my father had 50 bombing missions in the E.T.O. against the Germans and my uncle fought the Germans on the ground.One of my close friends was a B-29 bombardier who had bombing missions over Japan (yes he invaded it many times) and my father’s friend (still alive) had combat missions over Japan as a Corsair Pilot.
    Bichsel and his group are not welcome around my house.

  2. Flanagan says:

    Spot on Patrick !!!!

  3. ratujack says:

    Did a group from Japan apologise for their bombing of Pearl Harbor? That’s what started the war.

  4. notsurprised says:

    If it wasnt for Harry Trumans well thaught out decision, we would have suffered hundreds of thousands of more casualities, and that also means many of us would have never been born, Harry Truman made the right decision for our Country, that is just a simple fact . These people who went to Japan did not have any right doing what they did, and definately dont represent the overwhelming majority of Americans. If anyone was responsible for the results of the War it is the Leaders who led japan into War against Us, these people apoligizing for us should be seeking apologies from them. Harry Truman can rest in Peace and so can all the Men who have died whom served our Country in World War 2. The Men and Women from that era will never be Matched, they were the most courages people our Country has ever produced with out a Doubt. We should Thank Them and Honor them, but we should never apologize for them, With out them Our Country and the World could have Followed a Very different and painfull Past. Thank you to all the Vets everywhere whom have served Our Country with Honor, and to hell with all the people who should ever dishonor them in Any Way. enough said..

  5. nonstopjoe says:

    It’s a free country. If these self-appointed apologists wish to make fools of themselves, so be it. Too bad they don’t have anything productive to do with their time.

  6. jimkingjr says:

    Maybe Bichsel can next lead his sheep to China to repent and apologize for Japanese atrocities- let’s see how many Japanese would join him…

  7. nonstopjoe says:

    Good idea. Bichsel and his ilk can go to Nanking and apologize on behalf of the Japanese for the atrocities visited upon the Chinese, particularly the women and children. And, while they’re at it take along a few Japanese to lend legitimacy to such a venture.

  8. In the 70’s I was sent, as part of a Special Forces task force, to southeast Asia to repatriate downed American flight crews. In carrying out that mission, I took several lives.
    Sorry, I’m not sorry.

  9. toddboyle says:

    I am sorry that all of you are so wrapped up in your own heads that you can’t see the broader purpose of these journies– the purpose of course, is about the future more than the past. Journies like this, by veterans or religious or any other “type” of person, are very common and serve a good purpose.

    Whatever else can be said about the terrible happenings in the 1940s, can we agree on the big picture? They were hellacious, cruel, monstrous things, millions of people pitted in desperate warfare against each other– and all for what? I don’t think the average Joe in Japan, the average papasan or the average Jim had anything to do with it– I think they obeyed and conformed a bit too much and were’nt properly inoculated against tyrants. For that, they paid dearly. And we have the same disease here in America too. The gathering forces of a military turned against the domestic population, the snooping, the warrantless detentions, ever-growing “Homeland Security” etc. gives me the CREEPS.

  10. notsurprised says:

    Mr. Boyle, Exactly what purpose does it serve, Honestly … This is a Old argument thats been going on for decades ok , and every now and then it comes up and the masses always stand up and call BS. Personaly I feel the trips these people take are more than likely just vacations that get paid for. by Somebody?? The whole idea of this stupid journey of repetence was more than likely orchestrated just for that reason.So before you Start lashing out at us who think its Stupid, stand back and ask yourself why you (they) even did it, and really did it change anything that happened back in the 1940s… So with that being said, As Disfunctional and out of touch our Country has become,The one thing people of this Country still will not tolerate is for people to fly to Other Countrys and Dishonor our Vets, especially World War 2 Vets..So Maybe you need to look at the broader picture Mr. Boyle..

  11. JustACarrier says:

    Very well said, notsurprised.

  12. toddboyle says:

    Dear Notsurprised: you say,” the people of this country” will not tolerate people flying to other countries, to “dishonor” “our” veterans.

    First of all, “the people of this country” are not unanimous or monolithic. So I’ll assume you mean “some of the people”. I won’t guess what you mean by “won’t tolerate”. How would you stop them?

    I feel kind of silly talking with so many people with fake names. Why don’t you identify yourselves if you’re serious about your beliefs and feel they are right? What are you afraid of? (I suspect some of the names here are multiple names operated by the same individuals.)

    In any case, you’re destined to be very disappointed at the public’s perceptions of the U.S. military since WW2. It is not the public who dishonor the veterans— if you think clearly about it, dishonor is not something that comes from somebody else, it resides in the person who does honorable deeds.
    All the wars since at least WW2 have NOT been self defense, these have all been aggressions. The U.S. has killed millions of innocent people in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq. Those people never attacked the U.S. So why did we kill them? And why do we kill, throughout Afghanistan today and onwards, into Pakistan? Did those people attack America?

    90% of the people killed by the U.S. in all these wars have been noncombatants –even in Iraq this has not changed. Children, elderly, bystanders. The other 10% were equally innocent since they never attacked America.

    I condemn the U.S. Congress, the President, and the military. They have not served America. They disserved. The reputation and standing of the soldiers, the veterans, and the Congress and President institutionally AND INDIVIDUALLY, comes from the character of their actions, not by wishful thinking, or the daily propaganda exercises with flags, or holidays, to convince the public of their self-serving activities for which they are paid $Billions of dollars.

  13. jimkingjr says:

    toddboyle- “Blame America” is so old-fashioned. You are way behind the curve- but were always in the small minority anyway.

    Yeah, North Korea was a poor innocent victim of United States aggression. You go downhill from there, with no credibility.

  14. RetiredContractor says:

    My Dad was on his way to the Pacific Theater when the bombs were dropped. He had flown missions over Germany in 1944 and 1945 in a B-24 and was being transferred to the War against Japan.

    There is a very real possibility that I would not been here if not for the bombs. Nor would my kids and grandkids.

    Let Bichsel talk about the Death March, Kamikazes, Nanking, Pearl Harbor and all the thousands of atrocities committed by the Japanese and extract an apology from Japan.

    I can not in good taste express my feelings about Bichsel in this forum but will say he is an totally arrogant self righteous insufferable ass.

  15. notsurprised says:

    Boyle, Now your off the Origial Subject, Now your rambling like a typical Anti War, Anti Everything , blaming America for all the worlds Problems, It allways comes to this whenever one of you screw balls enter the debates. If you dont like our Country then Move elsewhere. And Honestly you want our Real Names, what kinda Nut Case are you anyway.

  16. toddboyle says:

    Dear Notsurprised: if my post was 50% off topic, yours is 100%.

    The nature of our disagreement is clear. We have different goals. This group is generally, a mutual admiration club indulging in your shared beliefs and your pride. In my experience, this is a pattern common in white nationalist groups. Call it whatever you want– the European cultural heritage.

    While, it is my goal to restrain U.S. policy from launching wars other than self defense. this is a dffirent goal than yours. You seem so unsympathetic to my goals that, to me, you seem pro-war as a matter of principle or policy. i.e. that generating war is a good thing, like growing crops or manufacturing cars is a good thing.

    As the worlds’ most heavily armed country, the U.S. has the option of disarming, building down, to the level necessary to defend against whatever country is threatening to attack or invade our territory that is our jurisdiction. The U.S. can do this without risk and at great economic gain.

    We *have* that option and we should take it. It would be very practical.

  17. notsurprised says:

    Whatever Boyle…Beleive me Im as Critical of our Current Goverment as anyone, but comparing our current situations with things that happened 60 years ago is a stretch to say the least.If you beleive in your cause so much then Start your own Newspaper and Distribute it, but beleive me,,If you wait around for me to buy one, you will go broke. enough said..

  18. m9078jk3 says:

    toddboyle you refer to the Korean War and the Vietnam War as aggressive wars.What you fail to comprehend is that after the defeat of NAZI Germany the eastern European countries liberated by Nazi oppression were not given self determination at all and just entered a new era of dictatorial oppression by Soviet communist control.
    The Soviets were hell bent on world domination (even allied with NAZI Germany on the attack on Poland in 1939) and starting from the post war Stalin era and especially the Krushchev era had developed extensive first strike plans with nuclear and especially biological weapons against the United States (The Soviet biological warfare program had 4,000 times the capacity of ours).
    The Soviets developed the worlds first I.C.B.M. the R-7 Semyorka back in the late 1950’s Oleg Penkovsky (Agent Hero) referred to Krushchev as “the atomic Hitler” and a madman.You verbally attack the United States yet ignore the aggression by the Soviet Union or Communist China like they didn’t even exist.
    The Korean and Vietnam wars were wars of proxy against communist aggression and expansion.In that way they were wars of self defense.
    By the way my father’s B-17 bombardment group was escorted on many occasions by the 332nd Fighter Group The Tuskegee Airmen so avoid bringing racial matters into this.

  19. toddboyle says:

    m907, I have not overlooked those facts. The cold war era was absolutely horrifying. The Soviets built WMDs and Americans built WMDs. The Soviets had core states and more peripheral ones. So did the U.S. and its allies.

    But the key thing was that it was the Americans, in Korea, killing Koreans and the same in Vietnam, and again in Iraq. This is crucial to a balanced judgment of what went on.

    What is happening is preemptive war, or preventive war, not self defense, under well established definitions. Even if done within some sort of mutual defense treaty, it was not self defense and the U.S. has killed a hell of a lot of people in these wars who did NOT attack America whatsoever.

    I honor and respect many people, and many institutions. It is something that comes up of its own accord in the mind, and cannot of course be dictated or directed by other people. So, when I look at the actions of the U.S. military since WW2, I don’t think they were honorable deeds. And many Americans do not feel authentic respect for them. You all should think more deeply, about what you’re askign for! I think you’re asking for something other than respect or honor for the military. You know perfectly well that that can only come from within the observer– Respect is not something we can give YOU and it is not something you “get” from outside, as if it were a coin. What I’m afraid you’re really asking for is our silence and our indulgence, not to oppose or disagree with the illusory portrayal of post war history. What I’m afraid you’re asking from us is really a political transaction, yes, a coin, for funding, for social status and so forth. But the U.S. military has not earned that– because we have not been under attack by anybody here. And you know perfectly well, no nation is going to attack America, which is protected by 10,000 nuclear weapons built by its corporations YES, we are all useless and surplus populations including the 1.5 million in uniform.

  20. Twisted, my friend. Really twisted. The boyles of the world just parrot the pacifist crap without making any moral distinctions as to who the bad guys and who the good guys are. And, of course, their pseudo-intellectual rantings are always directed at America. Because they can. I would have kicked that Japanese writer out of my office for having the gall to question why people here are so upset about the apology tour. What a self-righteous little prig. It’s a simple matter, my friends: THEY started the war. WE ended it. Period. THEY declared Total War. WE called their bluff. What on this earth does any American have to apologize for?For choosing not to bow and ceremoniously drawing a sword? But simply smashing these war mongers to smithereens? The fault for the death of the innocents at Hiroshima, Dresden, and all the other places lies exclusively with those that started the war! No more need be said.

  21. m9078jk3 says:

    todd using do nothing isolationist self defense policies has been tried before when Hitler marched into the Rhineland,Fascist Italy invading Ethiopia,Germany marching into Austria and Daladier and Chamberlain giving Hitler the Sudetenland and then having him take the rest of Czechoslovakia until it becomes too late to stop the aggression.That was one of the tragic lessons of the 1930’s.The Soviet Union and Communist Chinese did the very same thing as the NAZI’s and Fascists only with a different ideology.

    Here is what Harry Truman said “Communism was acting in Korea, just as Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese had ten, fifteen, and twenty years earlier. I felt certain that if South Korea was allowed to fall Communist leaders would be emboldened to override nations closer to our own shores. If the Communists were permitted to force their way into the Republic of Korea without opposition from the free world, no small nation would have the courage to resist threat and aggression by stronger Communist neighbors.”

  22. drlouisa says:

    What’s wrong with saying “I’m sorry”? What’s wrong with trying to make sure things like this never happen again?
    The group that has undertaken this journey has increased awareness of the horror that occurred and in that awareness lies the seeds of a better future.

  23. What’s wrong with saying “sorry?” Nothing,if you’re telling your spouse or significant-other you’re sorry for the fight you had, even though your spouse started it. Not so in world affairs. Aggression should not be rewarded in even the remotest sense. The potential aggressor has to know that the consequences are absolute destruction. Both Japan and Germany tried–when the war was starting to go badly for them–to negotiate a stand-in-place end to the war; i.e. they would keep their ill-gotten gains. When that didn’t work, they threatened a bloody fight to the last man, woman, and child. Don’t believe for a minute, that either Hitler or Tojo would not have used the atomic bomb (and the Germans were just about there, including missile delivery systems)–not as a last resort, but as a primary weapon of additional conquest. The “New York Rocket” was being assembled in Germany when the war came to an end. (And then we and the Russians grabbed the German Scientists to continue their work here and there.) The seeds to a better future lie in demonstratingn to the bad guys that they will NEVER succeed.

  24. kilarney says:

    M9, you are mistaken when you say that communism was happening in all these countries. Fascism was happening in most of those countries and it was a backlash to the fear to communism. By the way, there has never existed a communist or socialist nation, only some sort of a Stalinist degenerated workers state ran by a huge bureaucracy, in which every nation born out of would also be a distortion. The industrialists in this country actually supported Hitler coming to power because they were afraid that Germany was becoming communist through its electoral support of communist officials.
    We do not make wars. When was the last time you voted on a war? Our leaders and those who directly stand to benefit financially make wars… usually multinational corporations who seek out and pay crappy wages globally, war contractors, investors who have a stake in the World Bank, etc. We get duped into supporting these wars through politicians that don’t represent our interests and the flag waving dumbing-down corporate media like FOX News.
    There will always be more wars unless we organize society in the interests of all people rather than using the corporate profit model. Capitalism is in its decline, meaning that our standard of living will become much worse while corporations and the richest of the rich will increasingly benefit. As the demand for resources such as oil and water increases, we will see more global tensions, conflicts and wars.
    Fortunately, there are more of us than them but we all need to become analysts, economic and political… turn off the TVs and think outside the box. We have been spoon fed a history because those who conquer write the history and it maintains the status quo. Question things.. question your leaders and ask yourself if we could do much better with free universal health care, quality education and living wage jobs. We could all be living like we’re rich and everyone would have an incentive to work if they had something to show after working their butts off under a socialist system democratically ran by the people. Capitalism needs war because it has to be ever expanding and opening up new markets.
    Check out the link below on a debate regarding a WWII memorial at the UW.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Mv-IeaBqIw

  25. kilarney says:

    On that last paragraph, it should have read.. We could all be living like we’re rich and everyone would have an incentive to work if they had something to show after working their butts off in contrast to a socialist system democratically ran by the people. Capitalism needs war because it has to be ever expanding and opening up new markets.
    I read through this real fast but couldn’t go back and edit.. .Sorry. Hope that makes sense.

  26. toddboyle says:

    SaveMe played back his familiar song, which like golden oldies are so reliable in stimulating those dopamine responses in the brain: SaveMe said, “… The boyles of the world just parrot the pacifist crap without making any moral distinctions as to who the bad guys and who the good guys are. And, of course, their pseudo-intellectual rantings are always directed at America.”

    The reason his sound bite has been so reliable in getting the dopamine squirt, is that nobody ever pointed out to SaveMe, who is the attacker and who is the defender in past wars.

    It can’t be both ways.
    Did Korea attack America, or did America attack Korea? To win this argument, SaveMe will establish that America was the defender, acting in self defense.

    Did Vietnam attack America? Or did America attack Vietnam? Who was the aggressor? Who started the war?

    Did Iraq attack America? Or, did America attack Iraq? which is it?

    Know, the war mongers like SaveME are truly the lunatic fringe. Their role is to spread hatred against other peoples of the world, paving the way for permanent war. Invariably these people are connected with the military itself, or the bases economy or weapons makers in some fashion.

    Accept no more intimidation and insults from such people. Accept no moral superiority from them, as they justify and rationalize the killing of innocent people by the U.S.

    Know that their pretension to be patriots, to be our friends or protectors, are frauds, since those people who they kill did NOT attack America and in fact have never been a threat to America. Know, of course that the real threats to America –nuclear states such as the Stalinist Soviet Union or Israel, will never be confronted by the U.S. since it’s far too dangerous. Which brings me to my final observation about the war mongers in the U.S.– they only support wars against the weakest countries on earth– in other words, they are bullies and cowards. To justify attacking weak countries and steal their resources, the cowards point at the Holocaust in Germany or Stalin’s purges–it’s always the World War 2 crap.

  27. Oh wow. Kilarney and Boyle. Dumb and Dumber. You guys deserve each other. No need to call you looney tunes–you’re proving it all by yourselves. Universal free this, universal free that. Incentive to work? Why? Why would I work if I’m guaranteed universal free everything and we all live like rich people.Who pays for all this universal free stuff? Or do we head on down to the Universal-Free-Stuff Distribution Center where it all awaits us, and we all share in brotherly harmony? But hey, it takes all kinds. And all of us are blessed to be able to speak our minds. I shudder to think of what a utopian society might do with fruitcakes like y’all.

  28. drlouisa says:

    Hello, SaveMe. I like your name. I will attempt to fulfill it.

    Have you never worked because it gave you pleasure? Tend a garden? Help someone build a house? Made a meal and shared it? I have three jobs, not because I have to work, but because people ask me to do something and I say ‘yes’. We all have fantasies of what we would do if we won the lottery. I realized that I would not quit what I do, because I fulfill a need. I greatly dislike the fact that the majority of my taxes go to the military’s bloated budget. I would much rather it go to a Universal-Free-Stuff Distribution Center.

    I feel sad for those who are slaves to the corporations and can’t quit because they cannot afford health insurance on their own or because they have bought into the consumer lifestyle sold in this culture.

    BTW – Bugs Bunny was Looney Tunes, and he was one smart rabbit.

  29. Well, absolutely. I couldn’t conceive of not doing anything. But that’s not called “work.” That’s a hobby, or a pastime,a vocation, a passion.Sadly, in this world we’re destined to have to earn our bread by the sweat on our brows. It’s that Paradise Lost thing. Were I to win the lottery–let’s say the MegaMillions–first thing I’d do is set up a foundation. With my smart and hard-working kids on the Board. (Oh, oh, starting to sound like a Corporation..) Under my wise guidance, they would make grants to whole range of causes. The fundamental premise for these grants would be that they have to help people acquire the skills and means to help themselves. No direct give aways. You know: “Give a man a fish and you feed him one day. Give him a fishing line and you feed him for a lifetime.” Oobedi. Ooobedi. Oop. That’s all folks!

  30. toddboyle says:

    SaveMe said, “… The boyles of the world just parrot the pacifist crap without making any moral distinctions as to who the bad guys and who the good guys are. ”

    I asked SaveMe, who is the attacker and who is the defender in past wars.

    It can’t be both ways.

    Did Korea attack America, or did America attack Korea? To win this argument, SaveMe will establish that America was the defender, acting in self defense, as we drove our tanks up and down the Korean peninsula?

    Did Vietnam attack America? Or did America attack Vietnam? Who was the aggressor? Who started the war? Were we acting in self-defense as we drove our B52-s across the sky, dropping over a million tons of bombs on Vietnam?

    Did Iraq attack America? Or, did America attack Iraq? which is it? It is impossible for two people in a fight, to both be acting in self defense.

    The war mongers like SaveME are truly the lunatic fringe. Their role is to slander other peoples of the world, spread hatred among people, paving the way for permanent war. Invariably these people are connected with the military itself, or the bases economy or weapons makers in some fashion.

    No wonder his argument goes off-track into economics, revealing his real motives– tax cuts for the rich, capturing money for the war industries, etc. It’s just a business, for Paycheck Patriots that the Tacoma-Fort Lewis area is so famous for.

  31. drlouisa says:

    SaveMe said:
    “Well, absolutely. I couldn’t conceive of not doing anything. But that’s not called “work.” That’s a hobby, or a pastime,a vocation, a passion.Sadly, in this world we’re destined to have to earn our bread by the sweat on our brows. It’s that Paradise Lost thing.”

    Paradise is not that far lost. Take gardening again, as an example. Certainly sweat on the brow. But if you grow food, is it work or a hobby? I say there is no difference. What if we were all free to follow our passion? I say this, not as a fantasy, but as how I live my life. I do what I love to do and people pay me for it. I have even bartered and done pro bono. It is possible.

    The biggest problem with corporations, and even wisely guided foundations, is that the recipients have no power. With our system of government, there is the concept of “we the people” being the ones who are ultimately in control. Even though it is difficult, there is the possibility that we can make our voice heard with our votes.

  32. To drlouisa: Your view of the world is sweet. Wish it were so. The hitch in all of this is 300 million plus people living in this country. Billions around the world. They need to be fed, clothed, housed, etc. And pea patch gardening, or habitat for humanity home building just doesn’t cut it. You can’t feed Chicago with home-grown groceries. It takes organization and the profit motive to come up with ways to do it bigger, better, faster, and cheaper.Your world sounds a bit like a nice Amish Community. Wonderful. There is nothing that stands in the way of people banding together and sharing their resources in isolated communities. But it’s not the way of this fast moving, competitive, 21st Century world. But, don’t lose your optimism and obviously kind-hearted nature. At the end of the day, it’s more important to make those around you happy–family, friends, neighbors, than to try and fix a mighty tough world. And, somehow I think you do. Keep the Faith!

  33. TB, It’s time to turn the record over. You’re repeating yourself. But, here’s my view on who attacked who: A couple of thugs beat up on a guy in the alley. A cop stops by and staves off the attack, physically subduing the perpetrators, maybe even shooting them. Ted Boyle reads about the incident and starts yelling police brutality. Those poor thugs never attacked the cop. What business did he have wading in? Well, you might recall that Korea was a United Nations Police Action. Yes, yes, one of those contrived monikers for what’s really out and out war. Just so happened that–as usual–the US Millitary did the heavy lifting. And so it goes. It’s ridiculous to claim that the US willy-nilly goes around the world and attacks little freedom loving countries. Provocation and threats, alliances, national interests are what’s at play here. And that’s something that doesn’t fit into your view of a world without nations. FIne. Play another record: “Imagine there’s no countries…” Like I said: Wish it were so. But it isn’t. That’s where the distinction between good guy/bad guy comes in. You’ve made it clear that you don’t draw that distinction, unless you claim moral superiority for Al Quaeda, North Korea, the Viet Cong, Sadam Hussein, and whoever else. Peace, brother!

  34. Sorry about the “Ted.” Should have said “todd.” These war mongering old eyes get a little tired sometimes.

  35. drlouisa says:

    Yes, my worldview is sweet, isn’t it? It is also sustainable. The current culture of the US is not sustainable. It is all about growth. Without growth, the economy falters. Then, the country needs a war to beef up the economy, among other reasons. It is a vicious cycle.

    Your analogy about the thugs does not hold for the US war machine. Yes, the police stop those thugs. Maybe brutally, maybe in the most gentle way possible. But it is not enough to just stop those thugs. There are more thugs waiting in the wings. Thugs are created by the culture. They are driven by fear, desperation, hatred and/or pain. Unless we can address the roots of these behaviors we cannot stop the flow of thugs. That is why providing the Universal-Free-Stuff can benefit us all. Oh, and don’t forget education. We need tons more of that. How about taking 1% of the military budget and moving it to education? Now that’s a radical idea.

    Also, there is no way I can make anybody happy. That must come from within. And no community is isolated. We are all connected in some way. So I keep trying to fix a tough world, which is why I applaud those who went to Japan with a message of reconciliation.

  36. So if we provide the Universal-Free-Stuff, we’ll have fewer thugs? Wonder if that lowlife who needlessly shot the Walmart Security guy in the face was driven by fear or pain? I’d be inclined to think that he’s just a bad guy. And he’d be the one at the Universal-Free-Stuff-Distribution-Center who pushes to the front of the line to take all the good stuff, and then, as you make your way out, rob you of the stuff you managed to garner. Ever since Cain and Abel, this is the way of the world. It’s sad, and I sure do wish we could all put flowers in our hair and share the abundance of the planet in harmony. Selflessly working to provide what our fellow human beings need. And just in the most gentle way chide the few misfits who don’t play well with others. Maybe in another universe….

  37. drlouisa says:

    Here are my responses:

    "So if we provide the Universal-Free-Stuff, we’ll have fewer thugs? "

    Yes. Less resource guarding.

    "Wonder if that lowlife who needlessly shot the Walmart Security guy in the face was driven by fear or pain? "

    Could be either, or both. Have you ever been angry? (I’m assuming ‘yes’) What did you do? Yell? Throw something? Have thoughts about doing something more violent? Learning how to deal with these emotions is part of growing up. If someone does not learn this, their responses may be inappropriate. This comes back to education and preventing childhood abuse. I believe fear underlies aggression. It is the ‘fight or flight’ response. If any animal, including humans, is backed into a corner, they will respond with aggression.

    "I’d be inclined to think that he’s just a bad guy."

    I don’t know what that means. It is a relative term that gives me no information about the person.

    "And he’d be the one at the Universal-Free-Stuff-Distribution-Center who pushes to the front of the line to take all the good stuff, and then, as you make your way out, rob you of the stuff you managed to garner. "

    That depends on how the stuff was distributed. What you describe is anarchy, which is not what this is about.

    "Ever since Cain and Abel, this is the way of the world."

    Yes. Fear again. Cain’s offering was not respected. It doesn’t mean that humans must always respond like he did. We have a choice and we can learn to make better choices.

    "It’s sad, and I sure do wish we could all put flowers in our hair and share the abundance of the planet in harmony. Selflessly working to provide what our fellow human beings need."

    It isn’t impossible. There are lots of flowers this time of year. ☺

    "And just in the most gentle way chide the few misfits who don’t play well with others."

    As you must know, chiding doesn’t work and may only increase the bad feelings. Managing and preventing the situation along with responding to and reinforcing what you like are the ways to change attitudes.

    "Maybe in another universe…."

    There is only one universe. I am working to change this one.

  38. Oh boy. It’s hopeless.So the Walmart shooter had an episode of “an inappropriate response?” There was no need to shoot. He had the gun. He was not attacked. He did the robbing. It was pure evil at work here. And no amount of education or gentle management, or reinforcement of the appropriate response (sounds like dog training) will keep such evil from one’s door. So, go on your way peacefully and keep up your work to change our world. Like I said, it’s a sweet and kind viewpoint. But, my friend, incredibly naive. I think you know that. And why not–I sure would like to have more people like you in the world than the likes of that poor, abused-as-a-child(Do we know that?), responding-inappropriately Walmart Shooter. Bless You!

  39. drlouisa says:

    Yes, I will keep working to change our toxic society. And I am not naive. That implies youth. :)

  40. drlouisa says:

    You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…

    http://www.theifproject.com/

    This is by the Seattle Police Foundation.

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