God's Politics

God's Politics


Mitsuyoshi Toge: ‘How Could I Ever Forget That Flash’

posted by God's Politics

Mitsuyoshi Toge, born in Hiroshima in 1917, was a Catholic and a poet. He was in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped on the city on August 6, 1945, when he was 24 years old. Toge died at the age of thirty-six. His first hand experience of the bomb, his passion for peace, and his realistic insight into the event made him a leading poet in Hiroshima. This poem is from Hiroshima-Nagasaki: A Pictorial Record of the Atomic Destruction (1978).

How could I ever forget that flash of light!
In a moment, thirty thousand people ceased to be,
The cries of fifty thousand killed
At the bottom of crushing darkness;

Through yellow smoke whirling into light,
Buildings split, bridges collapsed,
Crowded trams burnt as they rolled about
Hiroshima , all full of boundless heaps of embers.
Soon after, skin dangling like rags;
With hands on breasts;
Treading upon the broken brains;
Wearing shreds of burn cloth round their loins;
There came numberless lines of the naked,
                all crying.
Bodies on the parade ground, scattered like
                jumbled stone images of Jizo;
Crowds in piles by the river banks,
                loaded upon rafts fastened to the shore,
Turned by and by into corpses
                under the scorching sun;
in the midst of flame
                tossing against the evening sky,
Round about the street where mother and
                brother were trapped alive under the fallen house
The fire-flood shifted on.
On beds of filth along the Armory floor,
Heaps, and God knew who they were …
Heaps of schoolgirls lying in refuse
Pot-bellied, one-eyed, with half their skin peeled
                off bald.
The sun shone, and nothing moved
But the buzzing flies in the metal basins
Reeking with stagnant ordure.
How can I forget that stillness
Prevailing over the city of three hundred thousands?
Amidst that calm,
How can I forget the entreaties
Of departed wife and child
Through their orbs of eyes,
Cutting through our minds and souls?


For Hiroshima-Nagasaki memorial service resources, please go to Faithful Security (National Religious Partnership on the Nuclear Weapons Danger).



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Russell

posted August 2, 2007 at 3:29 pm


The more i read this blog the more I am beginning to think that the original purpose of Sojourners seems to be wasting away. These articles are simply bashing conservatives and attempting to push forward a liberal agenda. This blog is doing more to divide christians than it is to bring them together. Can we please try to be unbiased and somewhat balanced? You argue that the WSJ will lose it’s integrity, but what is this blog accomplishing? All I have read is conservative-bashing and a blind allegiance to liberal ideals.



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Eric

posted August 2, 2007 at 3:44 pm


What does this blog post have to do with liberals or conservatives? It’s merely a poem about the horrors of atomic warfare. I’m a relatively conservative guy and I don’t like the prospect of an atomic war anymore than Toge did. It would be awful.



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Moderatelad

posted August 2, 2007 at 4:18 pm


Posted by: Russell | August 2, 2007 3:29 PM
You are correct – I don’t think you will find it on this site. The conservative bashing ranges from ‘in-between-the-line’ all the way to ‘in-your-face’. You get use to it and know what to expect from certain people. Hang in there.
Posted by: Eric | August 2, 2007 3:44 PM
Yes it is only a poem. But the underlaying message is ‘anti Iraq war’. The interesting fact is that many historians have stated that if the Allied Forces would have made a land assult against Japan. Hundreds of thousands of Allied forces and over a million Japanese would have lost their lives in that venture. By Truman dropping the bomb – he saved hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides.
Blessings on all –
.



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 2, 2007 at 4:28 pm


So much waste and horror used merely to keep the USSR at bay. And at the end of another war we provoked someone else into starting.
The A bomb was about world domination, a hobby taken up by US Presidents from the Barbary Wars, through the Monroe Doctrine, and magnified by T. Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet.
The USG ought rather to bring all our boys home and leave everyone else to their own devices.
But open the borders, and let in anyone who wants to live under the rule of law, and can pay their own way.
The church ought to, and does, work to bring as many refugees out from under tyranny into liberty as possible, but it must be careful to guard the conditions which make liberty possible.



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Elaine

posted August 2, 2007 at 4:36 pm


As people of faith, I still believe we’re called to find alternatives to any kind of war, especially nuclear war. This poem just reminds us of the human cost of atomic warfare. I personally can’t justify its use even though men and women of good will can and do justify it. Name calling, whether it’s demonizing liberals or conservatives, doesn’t bring us any closer to finding a faith-centered response to evil. Reading this blog is really depressing.



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Mick Sheldon

posted August 2, 2007 at 5:03 pm


Moderatelad said
The interesting fact is that many historians have stated that if the Allied Forces would have made a land assult against Japan. Hundreds of thousands of Allied forces and over a million Japanese would have lost their lives in that venture.
I interviewed one of the men that was scheduled to be in the invading force on the Mainland Of Japan who lives in the next town. I have a map he gave me that at that time was classified of how the American forces were going to do it . Quite interesting fellow , and his perception on this issue should receive attention and understanding .
I tried to hget our local school district to allow him come in and speak , but they did not think it was important I guess.
I just read a story of A bomb survivors living in this country in the Seattle paper , who receive medical checkups who were close to the first A Bomb droppings . They are getting on in years so it harder to tell . What a horrible thing to live through , the smell and death itched in your mind ,
War is hell .



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Don

posted August 2, 2007 at 5:15 pm


“and his perception on this issue should receive attention and understanding .”
So what was his perception? I’m curious. Does he challenge the oft-heard presumption, echoed by Moderatelad, that the dropping of the bombs saved lives?
“War is hell.” General William Techumseh Sherman first said that, and then he ravaged Georgia to prove it.
Peace!



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MadHatter07

posted August 2, 2007 at 5:36 pm


Thank God that men such as Harry Truman lived. Considering the millions of lives that were saved from continuing warfare and famine that would have resulted in the winter of 1945-46, Truman’s decision to drop the bomb and end the war is, while regretful, the absolutely correct decision. Unfortunately, it seems that too many people are ignorant of what was going on in Japan and elsewhere at the time.



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Gordon

posted August 2, 2007 at 6:40 pm


Russell said:
The more i read this blog the more I am beginning to think that the original purpose of Sojourners seems to be wasting away. These articles are simply bashing conservatives and attempting to push forward a liberal agenda.
That was the original purpose of Sojourners.



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Mick Sheldon

posted August 2, 2007 at 6:55 pm


Don said
So what was his perception? I’m curious. Does he challenge the oft-heard presumption, echoed by Moderatelad, that the dropping of the bombs saved lives?
His perception is the dropping of the bomb most likely saved his life and many of his friends .
I don’t think he was as full of the Gospel as you are, he just wanted to go home and be with his family back in those days . That is what I got from his perspective . I think that is an important perspective . He was quite a senior citizen , and kept track of the men he served with .
Sherman March to the sea was indeed taken to extremes in cruelty , perhaps not to the extent of what Japan did to China during World War Two , but quite bad . Don it did shorten the Civil War though . I don’t think there is a “nice” way to fight a war , its why they should be avoided.
I gather you are always against war Don ? To me there is a difference when you are speaking to say the likes of Great Britain and How Gandi did it , and Gandi trying to do use that method with say a Hitler . It worked with Great Britain because of his audience had basic principles of civility , Hitler did not . Hitler was evil as his policies were.
Or is this something you don’t consider as being important ? To me it would , I would treat someone differently coming at my family to do harm then how I would treat a person who was stealing my car . I don’t believe that is going against Christ or his teachings .
Love In Christ , Mick



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Don

posted August 2, 2007 at 7:18 pm


Mick, I have said in previous posts that I’m not a pacifist. However, I wonder if it’s possible to have a just war anymore. And as Walter Wink says, often the idea of just war is turned on its head to justify a particular war. I certainly think that was the case with the invasion of Iraq, which I found to be particularly unjust. I know I’ve written some strongly-worded things on this blog regarding how disgusted I was about that.
But you and your WWII veteran friend bring up a conundrum. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were and still are justified by many because of the presumption that they saved lives, of American GIs, their Japanese. Of course, nobody can really know whether or to what extent that is true. Nobody can know with certainty how a military invasion of Japan would have played out. But one of the criteria for determining just war is that noncombatants are protected. Almost all the victims of the atomic bombings were non-combatants. So one could argue that the potential saving of military lives does not justify the deliberate killing of so many civilians. (PLEASE NOTE: I’m not making that argument; I’m only saying that such an argument could be made.)
Actually, the case with Sherman is similar. Sure, his raping of Georgia probably shortened the war. But it also caused great harm to the South and killed many non-combatants.
War IS hell. There are no easy outs for these conundrums.
You mentioned Hitler. Walter Wink makes an interesting observation (Engaging the Powers). He says that every case where non-violent resistance to the Nazi regime was used, it was successful. Wink cites the resistance of Bulgarians to the deporting of Jews as an example; he claims that no Bulgarian Jews were lost in the death camps.
We tend to think that World War II was a just war, and overall I would agree. However, it’s just possible that other tactics besides outright warfare could have met with at least some success if they had been tried in other places.
Peace!



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Don

posted August 2, 2007 at 7:35 pm


I left a sentence unfinished (second paragraph):
The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were and still are justified by many because of the presumption that they saved lives, of American GIs, their Japanese counterparts, and civilians as well.
D



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bren

posted August 2, 2007 at 7:59 pm


Actually, if you read the history of the war, you will learn that the war was already won. They dropped the bomb because they wanted to see what it would/could do.



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D Fox

posted August 2, 2007 at 8:42 pm


>>>>>They dropped the bomb because they wanted to see what it would/could do.



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Jonah

posted August 2, 2007 at 9:04 pm


True Martyrdom
Two weeks ago, 23 South Korean missionaries, including 17 women, were taken hostage by Taliban thugs in Afghanistan. Two have been killed after deadlines issued by the Taliban for the release of terrorist prisoners passed. Were these Christians inciting violence in Afghanistan? No. Unlike the Taliban, they were actually trying to help improve the lives of Afghan citizens and were there providing volunteer medical aid.
What have the “main-stream” media and groups such as Amnesty International or the United Nations done? Virtually nothing. The United Nations calls the situation a “concern,” and a visit to Amnesty International’s website turns up nothing – not even a press release.
If an Israeli rocket inadvertently killed a Palestinian civilian who was in or near a militant compound, or if an American jet accidentally bombed a farm house in a strike against Al Qaeda terrorists, these groups would be up in arms, and the talking heads would be reporting the incident with furrowed brows.
In the past month alone, Amnesty International has issued two press releases blasting the United States – demanding we shut down the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and condemning executions of convicted murderers in Harris County, Texas. Yet, when Christian missionaries are executed by Muslim extremists, there is a collective yawn from leftwing groups and the media. Their silence speaks volumes.
But, my friends, here’s the bigger point: This episode is one more example of why it is so important for civilized nations to fight and defeat the Islamofascists.
The South Korean Christians were willing to risk their lives to help total strangers. Two have now died as martyrs for their faith and good deeds.
This enemy has its own view of martyrdom – dying while waging jihad for Allah and killing as many infidels as possible.
Where we celebrate life, they worship death. That is one of the defining differences between the civilized world and radical Islam. And as tragic as war is, losing Western Civilization to this cruel enemy would be immoral, and it would invite a second Holocaust.
from Gary Bauer’s End of Day – 8/1/07.
(These are the same thugs that want to turn you and me into the description in the above poem. They are working on building nukes right now because it is so “unfair” that we have them and they do not. Did you forget that 9-1-1 was the second attempt to fell the towers? Do you even believe we gave them two tries to get it done?)



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John

posted August 2, 2007 at 9:08 pm


>>>>>They dropped the bomb because they wanted to see what it would/could do.
They knew what it could do – they wanted to show the USSR what it could do. And its use probably did shorten the war and saved American lives. At the time, saving Japanese lives were not a high priority – nor should they have been.



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 2, 2007 at 11:33 pm


Why drop the bomb?
If the USG were winning already at that point, and had Japan on the run, why wasn’t that enough? Why not stop chasing them? Just war theory tells us that we are to exercise the use of force only to halt an aggressor, and then only to the extent necessary to halt the aggression. Once Japan stopped aggressing, and started retreating, the USG could have turned around and gone home.
But, why would the USG get themselves into a war if they could just get out of it again, with no new territories to control. The Philippines were nice, but just think, Tokyo! Geishas for everyone!
No, the USG was in it to demonstrate its power. For all to see. It was an adolescent, eager to flex his muscles.
Madhatter,
Too many people are ignorant of the way the USG provoked Japan into war. Too many people are ignorant of the Flying Tigers running sorties against Japan before official USG involvement. Too many people are ignorant of how the USG ran its battleships around their island, choking off their supply of natural resources. Too many people think that Iwo Jima was the worst battle of the war, when over 2 million died at Stalingrad. Too many Christians have accepted a second-rate pagan allegiance to the centralized state powers of the USG instead of maintaining monotheism and absolute allegiance to only One.
D Fox,
Your comment, “they never would have given up when they did” is the most frightening I have read. First, it demonstrates the effectiveness of USG propaganda. Watch “Why We Fight” or “Battle in the Pacific” and tell me these are something other than glorification of war and demonization of Germans and Japaneese. Second, it is historically inaccurate. Third it justifies any and all war on mere speculation.
Nathanael Snow



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Mick Sheldon

posted August 3, 2007 at 1:02 am


Don
“it’s just possible that other tactics besides outright warfare could have met with at least some success if they had been tried in other places.”
I have one concern I believe you are over looking Don is it is after the fact , and if the Bugarian method worked , would that had worked with Great Britain . Its an after the fact , hard to lay down your arms to a sociopath like Hitler . It may have worked , but you are taking a big chance , 6 million dead jews can never speak to that , but if they could they would .
Also regarding Japan , have you read about what they did to China . Ever hear of the Nanking Massacre On December 13, 1937, the Imperial Japanese Army stormed the Chinese city of Nanking, and during the following six weeks, 300,000 people were killed and over 20,000 women were raped. That is just an example that sometimes gets overlooked in history books ,
Japan left China after the A bombs . I think sometimes we Americans take too much credit for the wrong and right things we do . We think the world revolves around us , the government of Japan at that time was quite ruthless.



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kevin s.

posted August 3, 2007 at 1:53 am


This organization has yet to comment on the bridge collapse in my city, or the South Korean hostages. That is sad.



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 3, 2007 at 7:25 am


Japan did thus and such to China, Germany did so and so to Russia, Russia did you know what to Japan, and China did the same to the Manchurians.
This is the way the world works under statism. All the different centralized governments fight and scrape like wolves over the sheep. Only a few nations with limited governments were able to restrain themselves from this empire-building tendency. America was one of them, for a while.
What one nation does to another is no justification for a third to intervene. Doing so requires alliance with one of the evils. Better to let the wolves fight each other than to send our labrador in to mitigate.
The innocents are the final concern. I believe we should be rescuing innocents and relocating them into our homes, as Christians. This requires extending our necks a little individually, and personal sacrifice in the the face of others who will do nothing for the innocents. Doing so is the loudest proclamation of the gospel and demonstration of our peculiarity.
We ought never to choose sides among all of the pagan states. We ought to maintain a higher ethic and steadfast monotheistic dedication to natural law.
Nathanael Snow



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Don

posted August 3, 2007 at 7:55 am


I was going to comment on Mick’s reminder of Japan’s atrocities against the Chinese. But Juris’ comments reflect my thought here. Was it our job to avenge the Japanese rape and murder of Nanking? Doesn’t God say vengeance belongs to him alone?
Plus, Mick, I think you misunderstood my comment about non-violent resistance against the Nazis. I said it might have worked in other instances. This is all speculative, of course, but Wink raises an interesting question here. What I think he envisions is the possibility that other localized resistance movements, such as what happened in Bulgaria and also in, I think it was Norway, might have had some success. But they weren’t tried in part because the history of compliant nonresistance had conditioned people (especially the Jewish communities, who were used to nonresistance to pogroms and other discriminatory actions) not to imagine taking on a more activist role.
I never said the Allies should have abandoned the military option in favor of attempting some kind of concerted non-violent resistance campaign. I agree, that would have been a gamble not worth wagering.
Later,



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Moderatelad

posted August 3, 2007 at 8:20 am


Posted by: Mick Sheldon | August 3, 2007 1:02 AM
I think sometimes we Americans take too much credit for the wrong and right things we do . We think the world revolves around us , the government of Japan at that time was quite ruthless.
I agree – there are many factors that cause things to happen the way they do. Also – the documents from the Ambassidor of the Empire of Japan severing diplomatic relations with the US were delivered hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor and we, the US Gov’t made sure that they were allowed to leave our country in safety. I believe we did the same with Iran after they took over the US Embassy and the Gov’t of Iran supported the action – their Ambassidor and staff were escorted safely to the airport and allowed to depart. Too bad other nations do not have the same understanding on International Law.
Blessings to all.
.



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 3, 2007 at 8:38 am


If the allies really wanted to prevent the Axis from advancing they would have established a strong and effective assassination unit, like Switzerland did. Either that or arm the citizenry.
The Swiss were not attacked because their few assassination attempts failed, deliberately.
First of all, a Swiss sniper doesn’t miss. Ever.
These attempts were warning shots to the German officers saying: we can hit you any time, any where. And we are all armed. We won’t waste time shooting your infantry. We will find your officers, those issuing the orders, and shoot them. So stay out.
They did.
The reason most politicians are opposed to assassination as an effective tool is that they have a gentleman’s agreement. (Remember that a gentleman was an individual who had brown-nosed the king into granting him some special privileges.) Their agreement was that they would not kill each other, but instead let their toy soldiers die instead. It was so much more fun to manipulate the lives of others like pieces on a chess board than to get bloody and dirty oneself.
And the fun is in the playing. That’s why the USG got involved in WWI and WWII. Europe was throwing a war-party and America hadn’t been invited. We weren’t part of the Tyrants-R-Us club yet, so we crashed the gig to show that we belonged.
But we didn’t belong. The strength of America was in its people and in its liberty, not in its government or military. We were on our way toward increasing wealth and liberty the world over through trade and production alone. But the Roman disease was caught by our politicians, and they decided it would be a good idea to control the money and to tax people’s income. So the stage was set for the great depression 20 years later, for involvement in global wars for domination, and for greater concentration of power.
But the state will always act this way. As believers we must set ourselves apart from these methods, and find ways to relieve the suffering of innocents that don’t involve violence, or that restricts violence to halting the encroachment of perpetrators.
I have said before that rescue campaigns into places like Rwanda, Darfur, and Nazi Germany to deliver innocents are likely to face less armed resistance than military action that is determined to extract absolute surrender from the opponent. We must look for options such as this one, and resist the urge to manipulate the state into doing the gospel for us. The state is a wolf which will not be tamed.
Nathanael Snow



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Mick Sheldon

posted August 3, 2007 at 3:12 pm


Nathaneal,
What one nation does to another is no justification for a third to intervene. Doing so requires alliance with one of the evils. Better to let the wolves fight each other than to send our labrador in to mitigate.
I believe you missed my point entirely . Easy to do , I apologize for my gramar and vocabulary .
It was being pointed out that Japan attacked us mainly because of our policies . I was pointing out Japan was quite the bully . americans give us too much credit , the world really does not evolve around us . Sometimes nations do good or bad things on their own .
We did not come to China’s aid , that was 1937 . Four more years aoccured before we got into World War Two . What you are saying articulately has no foundationin truth . We ignored the rape of China , I do not know why you consider that a good thing , but you should be glad I suppose .



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 3, 2007 at 4:36 pm


Mick,
I’m wondering what portion of my post you find counter-factual, or inconsistent with the USG’s mode of operations.
I’m also curious whether you feel your patriotism under attack. I am quite patriotic. I love America and believe that it is the greatest nation on the planet. I just don’t like its government. Not in particular. I don’t like any centralized government. Of those out there, the US is still the best, and I want to work to keep it that way.
But the facts about Japan are real. The USG supported attacks on Japanese military entities before the attacks on Pearl Harbor. As you noted, 4 years before. The Flying Tigers is a well documented unit and their operations are public knowledge now.
The logic of the incident is consistent with USG ops since then as well, especially CIA activities overseas.
Whether it was right to support a communist government which eventually murdered many of its own in its fight against a fascist government seems absurd. Both are statist. Both are pagan. Both maximize arbitrary law. Both destroy liberty. Neither works.
The fact is that Churchill and Roosevelt were sympathetic with socialist ideas. So the USG supported China and Russia. If Britain really wanted to protect her own she would have brought them home from all their overseas posts and surrounded their island. She wasn’t willing to give up her empire, and instead got her cousin, the USG, to do her fighting for her.
This is not conspiracy-theory gobbledy-gook. This is the real deal. “You could look it up.”
Nathanael Snow



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Jonah

posted August 3, 2007 at 9:47 pm


Nathanael wrote:
And the fun is in the playing. That’s why the USG got involved in WWI and WWII. Europe was throwing a war-party and America hadn’t been invited. We weren’t part of the Tyrants-R-Us club yet, so we crashed the gig to show that we belonged.
I guess the Japanese didn’t r-e-a-l-l-y want us to respond when they destroyed our men and ships at Pearl Harbor… We only did it to be macho idiots? is that what you are saying? Hitler didn’t r-e-a-l-l-y want to rule the whole world… just half of it? I guess you were not Jewish in Europe in the 1940’s. Those people did not Actually exist… It was all smoke and mirrors…
And let me guess… you are just fine that no one shows pictures of 9-1-1 anymore… Those innocent men and women didn’t r-e-a-l-l-y die, they just stopped breathing for a few minutes while we try to pretend nothing happened, and we pretend that there are no evil people anywhere in the world except Washington (but only when one particular party is in office).
I hope you wake up before someone sticks an AK47 in your ear and makes you bow to allah in the east… (about 40 years from now at current rate).



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Mick Sheldon

posted August 4, 2007 at 5:19 am


Nathanael said
I’m also curious whether you feel your patriotism under attack.
Not at all , I just thought you were mistaken about history . I thought you were promoting the fact we came to China’s aid when Japan began their asault ,The fact of the matter we allowed many Chinese to be slaughtered for years by the Japanese before we ever got involved in WW 2 , years later . Did learn something about the Flying Tigers , thanks .
But from my brief reading it appears they were protecting Great Britains interest .
Would not question your patriotism , obviously you care about the people who live here . I do not have the same perception you have taken with our involvement in WW 2 .
I think that war was bigger then we realize , if we had not been involved , who knows what the world would be like today .
Too many John Wayne movies I guess.



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kevin s.

posted August 5, 2007 at 12:01 pm


“What I think he envisions is the possibility that other localized resistance movements, such as what happened in Bulgaria ”
Apparently Wink’s history is about as strong as his exegesis. Bulgaria passively aligned with Germany, and was permitted to occupy portions of Greece and Yugoslavia in return for its loyalty. They did send Jews to death camps from those territories.
If that is your example of non-violent resistance in action, I’ll respectfully decline to embrace your model.



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Mick Sheldon

posted August 5, 2007 at 4:34 pm


Kevin said
They did send Jews to death camps from those territories.
Your right about that Kevin , I just read up on this somewhat . They did appear to have better success with the Nazis though , and made a strong effort to get the Jews out .
At work a person was telling me about their trip to Paris and they went to Normandy while there . Her husband at low tide went down to where our soldiers stormed the cliffs. She said the Barb Wire is still there . I got chills from her explaining it to me . I believe those boys are heros , Nathanael appears to be coming from a view I respect , for it is based in his Faith .
But I don’t believe God wants us to allow the suffering to go on by tryants who appear to be taking orders from the evil one himself /
To stand up for Christ , can mean jumping out of a boat and running to a cliff , facing almost certain death so others can be free. I know if I was put in that situation , Christ would be with me , if nothing else to help make my legs move .



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Mick Sheldon

posted August 5, 2007 at 5:31 pm


Nathanael I have been into renting documentaries as of late , and recented watched one on Bonhoeffer. His spirtual and Christian walk , his dealings with the Jews and how it shaped his eventually part in the conspiracy to kill Hitler . He was hung by the Nazis for his part . But it appears as usual , some can speak to this issue better then me .
Martin Luther King Jr. once said of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “if your opponent has a conscience, then follow Gandhi. But if you enemy has no conscience, like Hitler, then follow Bonhoeffer.”



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Don

posted August 5, 2007 at 6:46 pm


FWIW, Here is Wink’s discussion of the Bulgarian resistance (Engaging the Powers 254):
“Bishop Kiril told Nazi authorities that if they attempted to deport Bulgarian Jews to concentration camps, he himself would lead a campaign of civil disobedience, and lie down on the railroad tracks in front of the trains. Thousands of Bulgarian Jews and non-Jews resisted all collaboration with the Nazi decrees. They marched in mass street demonstrations and sent a flood of letters and telegrams to authorities protesting all anti-Jewish measures. Bulgarian clergy and laity hid Jews. Christian ministers accepted large numbers of Jewish ‘converts,’ making it clear that this was a trick to escape the Nazis and that they would not consider the ‘vows’ binding. ‘Because of this and other nonmilitary measures, all of Bulgaria’s Jewish citizens were saved from the Nazi death camps’ [Wink's source: Sider, Ron and Richard K. Taylor, "International Aggression and Nonmilitary Defense," Christian Century 100 (July 6-13, 1983): 643-47.].
A footnote states:
“On the negative side, Bulgarian Jews were deported to camps in the Bulgarian countryside. Their property was plundered and they were pauperized, but they did survive. Bulgaria’s treatment of Jews in Macedonia and Thrace was, by contrast, vicious (Yahil, Leni. The Holocaust. Oxford Univ. Press, 1990).
So, Kevin, you and Wink are both right.
D



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Hali

posted August 6, 2007 at 2:35 pm


“Actually, if you read the history of the war, you will learn that the war was already won. They dropped the bomb because they wanted to see what it would/could do.”
They wanted to scare the Russians.



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Anonymous

posted August 6, 2007 at 2:48 pm


Jonah claimed,
“Yet, when Christian missionaries are executed by Muslim extremists, there is a collective yawn from leftwing groups and the media.”
Thou shalt not bear false witness, Jonah. As a member of Amnesty International, I can testify that this is an absolute falsehood. In fact, many of our actions are targeted to Islamic countries. Here’s the latest one, fresh of the AI site:
“Afghanistan: Amnesty International demands immediate release of all hostages
Amnesty International has made direct contact with the Taleban to demand the immediate and unconditional release of all Afghan and foreign hostages. Noting by way of example the plight of the remaining South Korean hostages, Amnesty International called on the Taleban to fulfil their earlier commitments to comply with international law.”
http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGASA110102007
Why don’t you mention that? Maybe the media YOU rely on are suspect.



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kevin s.

posted August 6, 2007 at 3:08 pm


“So, Kevin, you and Wink are both right.”
So what is Wink’s point? He said that every instance of non-violent resistance against the Nazis was successful. This is a curious barometer for success.
Every world war against the Nazis, however, was indeed successful.



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 6, 2007 at 4:53 pm


Mick,
I’ve got two netflix DVD’s about Bonhoeffer at home now, too!
Watched one night before last, and will look at the other one tomorrow afternoon (after I take my Physics final!).
I’m also reading his Cost of Discipleship, a bit at a time. Really great stuff. Certainly foundational to my perspective.
And I will agree with Dr. King’s assessment of the effectiveness of Bonhoeffer’s final decision. I fully condone assassination as a means for dealing with tyrants. Particularly assassinations freely chosen by individuals whom have struggled with the ethics of their decision, in contrast to snipers hired, brainwashed, and trained by governments to suit their own agendas. Bonhoeffer’s decision seems clearly to have been motivated by his concern for innocents, and his means did not require violation of any innocents’ rights, as opposed to the carpet-bombing adopted by English and American military forces.
Incidentally, the first movie on Bonhoeffer I watched, something of a dramatization, made a quick reference to the allies’ refusal to accept or assist the German resistance, opting instead for the necessarily more bloody and costly absolute surrender of all Germany.
Any government steps over the line when it goes beyond protection of its own borders to exacting revenge.
To the other posters, I will gladly take an AK-47 to the ear before I accept an existence enslaved to fear and in rejection of the ethical principles of liberty.
Nathanael Snow



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