Celebrating Hiroshima, WSJ columnist insinuates US should nuke Iran

Middle East
on 21 Comments

The increasing likelihood that the Iran Deal is going through has fostered desperation among some of its opponents. And they’re bringing up… Hiroshima. In a positive light!

First, George Jonas in the National Post last week, on why nuking Hiroshima was necessary and why the west should be prepared to do it again:

Dropping the bomb is a harsh but possible method of stopping proliferation; banning the bomb through international treaties is not. Ban-the-bomb campaigns and negotiated agreements ensure only that the most aggressive and fanatical regimes possess the most destructive weaponry.

Negotiated agreements– that’s about Iran. Jonas is a big supporter of Israel.

So is Bret Stephens. The neoconservative true believer has been campaigning against the Iran Deal, and never lacking for certitudes, went to Hiroshima last week for the Wall Street Journal to discover that Japan is thriving today because it went through the necessary horror of being nuked. Who knew!

The bomb turned the empire of the sun into a nation of peace activists…

Modern Japan is a testament to the benefits of total defeat, to stripping a culture prone to violence of its martial pretenses… It is a testament, too, to an America that understood moral certainty and even a thirst for revenge were not obstacles to magnanimity. In some ways they are the precondition for it…

There are lessons in this city’s history that could serve us today, when the U.S. military forbids the word victory, the U.S. president doesn’t believe in the exercise of American power, and the U.S. public is consumed with guilt for sins they did not commit.

Watch the lights come on at night in Hiroshima. Note the gentleness of its culture. And thank God for the atom bomb.

There are a number of Iran dogwhistles in there. Like, the lessons that can serve us today, when the “U.S. president doesn’t believe in the exercise of American power.” And there’s the neocon doctrine, that our magnanimity toward an adversary should only follow on “moral certainty” and the “thirst for revenge.” That’s a rebuke to everyone who wants to normalize relations with Iran.

Stephens told a Christian audience two weeks ago that rather than the Iran Deal he would prefer an option in which the Congress rejects the deal and Iran goes on to pursue a nuclear bomb. “It gives the next president more options than [Obama has now].”

Stephens was on a panel at Yeshiva University when Sheldon Adelson said that President Obama should nuke Iran, in the desert, to get them to give up their nuclear program. Stephens had no objection to the comment at the time. Later he defended Adelson against the charge that he was supporting genocide, and Stephens went on to say “I’m opposed to dropping nuclear weapons in deserts or anywhere else.” He has now thought better of that position.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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21 Responses

  1. Citizen
    August 10, 2015, 2:24 pm

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Japan offer to surrender on the condition they could keep their Emperor? And didn’t US refuse, yet allow them to keep said Emperor after the atomic bombing? If so, how is this historic act applicable here?

    • Stephen Shenfield
      August 10, 2015, 4:46 pm

      The atomic bombing was only one of several factors that induced Japan to surrender, unconditionally if need be. Others were the shortage of supplies and Russia’s entry into the war against Japan. Although there were some military men who wanted to fight on the emperor himself had had enough and knew that the homeland could not be defended effectively. So he threw his support behind the pro-surrender faction. So there was no “need” to use the A-bomb (except to send a message to Stalin and halt the Soviet advance in East Asia).

      Iran used to have an imperial family (the Pahlavis) and they were allied with the US. Perhaps the neocons want to restore them to power?

  2. Krauss
    August 10, 2015, 2:40 pm

    Modern Japan is a testament to the benefits of total defeat, to stripping a culture prone to violence of its martial pretenses…

    A culture prone to violence!?
    That sounds a lot like the culture in the one and only Jewish state!

    The best way to spot a psychopath is to find stated “beliefs” which are not really principles but rhetorical devices employed to destroy other people and/or things because you have no empathy – or even a soul. And that passage can only be written by a psychopath who has never seen war.

    Bret Stephens, were he born in 1830, would have fought for slavery, viciously.

  3. ckg
    August 10, 2015, 2:40 pm

    And don’t forget, this year Israeli Defense Minister Ya’alon cited Hiroshima and Nagasaki as models for dealing with Iran.

  4. eljay
    August 10, 2015, 2:41 pm

    First, George Jonas in the National Post last week, on why nuking Hiroshima was necessary and why the west should be prepared to do it again:

    Dropping the bomb is a harsh but possible method of stopping proliferation; banning the bomb through international treaties is not. Ban-the-bomb campaigns and negotiated agreements ensure only that the most aggressive and fanatical regimes possess the most destructive weaponry.

    According to Mr. Jonas, nuclear-armed America and Israel are among “the most aggressive and fanatical regimes”. I would have to agree.

    • johneill
      August 11, 2015, 9:18 pm

      That’s just what I thought; they can be even more dangerous if, like Israel, North Korea, India, and Pakistan, they are not party to those agreements.

  5. amigo
    August 10, 2015, 2:50 pm

    “So is Bret Stephens. The neoconservative true believer has been campaigning against the Iran Deal, and never lacking for certitudes, went to Hiroshima last week for the Wall Street Journal to discover that Japan is thriving today because it went through the necessary horror of being nuked. Who knew! – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/celebrating-columnist-insinuates#sthash.3kdFfrUt.dpuf

    So when did Iran attack Pearl Harbour or who have they occupied in the last 200 +years.

    These Neo cons use any possible analogy–no matter how weak to try to convince people to go along with their genocidal war mongering diatribe.The world needs laws to outlaw these renegades before they destroy us all.

    I wonder if these people have space ships hidden in underground hangars ready to take them and their families out of harms way just before the Shtf.

  6. eGuard
    August 10, 2015, 2:52 pm

    Dropping the bomb is a harsh but possible method of stopping proliferation

    Time to force Israel to sign the NPT. These guys are lunatics.

  7. bintbiba
    August 10, 2015, 4:45 pm

    @eGuard

    “Dropping the bomb is a harsh but possible method of stopping proliferation

    Time to force Israel to sign the NPT. These guys are lunatics ”

    I could add ‘ these guys are psychopathic demented lunatics !!’

  8. Bandolero
    August 10, 2015, 5:06 pm

    There are lessons in this city’s history that could serve us today, when the U.S. military forbids the word victory, the U.S. president doesn’t believe in the exercise of American power, and the U.S. public is consumed with guilt for sins they did not commit.

    So, is it now a respected opinion to say:

    – the U.S. public is consumed with guilt for sins they did not commit, so the U.S. public should for example forget about the holocaust?

    – the U.S. president shall lead the military into the battle until victory when he is fighting with the Israeli head of regime?

    – and taking the good lesson of Hiroshima the US president should nuke a large Israeli city in his fight with that radical regime, for the sake of a quick and decisive American victory?

    Following the argument of respected WSJ columnist Bret Stephens that should be an acceptable plan to come up with and be a respected columnist in a moderate and respected US main stream business paper. Nothing radcial in that opinion, isn’t it?

  9. unverified__5ilf90kd
    August 10, 2015, 10:32 pm

    Some of these Israel-partisans are quite dangerous. Those against the Iran deal keep telling us about the crazy clerics in Iran and how they might nuke someone if they had a bomb. In my opinion I see the people you describe in this article and their right wing colleagues in Israel as much more dangerous, unpredictable and pathological. I am constantly amazed about some of these people who appear to be highly educated and sophisticated but when it comes to Israel they are irrational and unhinged. Excellent article about even more outrageous examples of irrationality for Israel. Thank you very much.

  10. JLewisDickerson
    August 10, 2015, 11:30 pm

    RE: “Dropping the bomb is a harsh but possible method of stopping proliferation; banning the bomb through international treaties is not.” ~ George Jonas

    ERGO: Let’s tell Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea that thay must give up their nuclear wepons and submit to inspections or we will nuke them! ! !

    THE “LOGICAL” EXTENSION OF JONAS’ MADNESS: The biggest problem we have is that other countries do not believe the U.S. will use our nukes against them because it has been so many years since we used them on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Consequently, the U.S. needs to find an excuse (i.e., pretext) to nuke several urban targets in order to show the world that we are perfectly capable of (and willing to) use our nukes on heavily populated areas. Yes, the tens of millions of deaths will be unfortunate, but fully re-establishing our nuclear deterrent will save many more lives in the long run by creating a more docile, orderly world (a thousand year Reich, of sorts)

  11. traintosiberia
    August 11, 2015, 6:05 am

    Japan eventually internalized the concept of pacifism and rejected war as a solution . It wouldn’t have happened if the calamities were restricted to financial losses and deaths to some lower classes ,poor,marginalized people or soldiers.
    It woke the nation up .
    America has suffered tremendously financially and has seen the poor marginalized school drop out filling up the cannon fodder in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bret and Joanas are no stake holders. They don’t suffer.
    Neither their payers . Before peace gets internalized among American elite., US has to suffer much more and Iran war will do same that WW2 did to Europe forcing the thinking that the seeking of peace as the only alternative.
    Only them columnists like Bret will be hauled before court for incitement to violence and for conspiracy to commit murder or terrorism.

    • RoHa
      August 11, 2015, 7:59 am

      In case anyone hasn’t noticed, the Japanese Self Defence Force is a pretty powerful military. GFP ranks it at number nine.

      http://www.globalfirepower.com/country-military-strength-detail.asp?country_id=japan

      It is (even with recent policy adjustments) only supposed to be used in defence of Japan, but that is still a long way from pacifism.

      And, as far as I can tell, the Iranian and Russian militaries are also supposed to be for defence only, even though neither country has (as yet) been nuked by the USA.

  12. traintosiberia
    August 11, 2015, 6:12 am

    George Will on Fox denigrated the whole deal on Sunday .
    Certain mindset never changes . Didn’t he excoriate Iraq war after supporting it? Either he is too coward to learn and apply or he is too obsessed with the opportunism afforded by being part of the team but never giving up the option to jump the ship like the rat does .

  13. Bandolero
    August 11, 2015, 6:32 am

    Meanwhile, there is some news from Sheldon Adelson’s anti-Iran lobby group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI). It’s not in the Onion, but Newsmaxx:

    Joe Lieberman Named Chairman of United Against Nuclear Iran

    Former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman has been named chairman of United Against Nuclear Iran, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and advocacy group that opposes the nuclear deal recently negotiated with Iran by the Obama administration.

    Also, the group’s president is stepping down because he favors the deal, but will remain on its advisory board.

    “UANI has led the effort to economically isolate the Iranian regime, and its bipartisan and international expertise makes it a highly respected voice on the merits of the Iran agreement,” Lieberman said in a press release from the group. “I am honored to assume this new leadership role at this important time.” …

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/joe-lieberman-chairman-uani/2015/08/10/id/669420/

    Couldn’t make it up. Jason Ditz at Antiwar has that story, too:

    Anti-Iran Lobby President Steps Down, Now Supports Iran Deal

    A new press release from United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), one of the many Sheldon Adelson-funded lobbying groups trying to kill the Iran nuclear deal, hyped the appointment of former Sen. Joe Lieberman to an unspecified “leadership role” in the group. Lieberman has recently been appointed to key roles at a number of these lobbies.

    Buried within the release, however, is a much more interesting story. UANI’s President Gary Samore, who has served in that role since September 2013, has announced his resignation from the post, because while UANI is lobbying against the deal, Samore supports it. …

    http://news.antiwar.com/2015/08/10/anti-iran-lobby-president-steps-down-now-supports-iran-deal/

  14. Vera Gottlieb
    August 11, 2015, 11:57 am

    Come hell or high water…lets start WW3. As Einstein is supposed to have said…’I don’t know with what weapons WW3 will be fought, but WW4 will be fought with sticks and stones’. Assuming, of course, humanity survived.

  15. Kay24
    August 11, 2015, 10:28 pm

    How these zionists talk so casually about dropping nukes on other nations. It was the same story about Iraq too. The fact that thousands of innocent civilians will be wiped out does not seem to matter to them in the least. The fact that the US killed thousands and thousands of Iraqis does not make them remorseful, and they thirst for more blood.

    I wonder how he will feel if someone in the US suggested that Israel should be nuked too – after all it worked in Japan, and it will end up with gentler culture (long overdue).

  16. traintosiberia
    August 11, 2015, 10:50 pm

    Japan has to go through this process to get to where it is today.
    Never heard such a glorification of mass murder ,never I could have imagined it ,let alone someone writing this in WSJ .
    Is it some kind of a purification process by the finest human sacrifice at the later of progress ?
    Wait a sec., was there an European version of it? Like the journey on a train to Auswotchz?
    Someone really has to be messed up to make the connection . Some one has to lose his mind before to allow a piece like that to be published in WSJ .

    By the way ,before 1945″Japan was pretty well ahead in lot of indices that measure human development . It was pretty close to UK and US in terms of other manifestation of progress- occupying and torturing the non white natives in faraway lands.

  17. Boomer
    August 12, 2015, 1:29 pm

    “harsh” . . . why yes, I guess it would be. The diction says so much. Though the effect, I do believe, would not be what Stephens wants and predicts.

    Why oh why must our MSM be dominated by such mentality?

    I would like to subscribe to WSJ for the news coverage, but hate to subsidize . . . and appear to endorse . . . the editorial page.

  18. Marnie
    August 12, 2015, 1:47 pm

    “The bomb turned the empire of the sun into a nation of peace activists… Modern Japan is a testament to the benefits of total defeat, to stripping a culture prone to violence of its martial pretenses… It is a testament, too, to an America that understood moral certainty and even a thirst for revenge were not obstacles to magnanimity. In some ways they are the precondition for it…”

    Oh the hubris. To hear Bret tell it, the US did the Empire of Japan a favor by dropping Little Boy and Fat Man. Why it was downright humanitarian to provide Japan the segue to becoming the modern, pacifist nation that it is today. I bet the Japanese people get up every day and give thanks to the United States for their generosity. I wonder how many survivors of Little Boy and Fat Man old Bret spoke to, to experience the fullness of their gratitude to Pres. Truman for giving them the experience of American ingenuity and largesse first hand. Maybe Bret had the opportunity to speak to those Japanese citizens who continue to feel that magnanimity almost 4 generations after the bombs were dropped.

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