The NSC-68 was a report issued by the United States National Security Council on April 14, 1950, during the presidency of Harry S. Truman. This document was written during the formative stages of the cold war. This document would shape U.S foreign Policy in the Cold War for the next 20 years. Truman officially signed NSC-68 on September 30, 1950. President Truman wanted to make people conscious about the terrible wars that the world had endured, and asked his colleagues to think of other strategies to put in place in order to avoid such terrible and bloody wars.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
During 1939 and ’40 she fought against the poll tax, along with Mrs. Roosevelt who was a supporter and friend all throughout the war. They were able to keep the fight going even though President Roosevelt could not really do anything further on the issue because he needed the support of many southern senators for the war effort.
Durr took an English family as refugees in her home who had connections to the British fascist party. On top of that she had a Japanese butler, who was constantly monitored by the FBI as a possible Japanese spy and lastly she employed several black women as servants. She later went under suspicion and vigilance of the FBI and when the period of McCarthyism and the cold war started she felt the effect almost immediately. She bacame associated with the Communist Party.
After that she continued to work against the poll tax where they had many offices in the Railway Building for free but Senator Wheeler told them they had to leave because they had “too many blacks coming into the office.” She then started to work with all sort of organizations such as: women’s, church, CIO, AF of L, ACLU, NAACP and was never scared. When the whole Roosevelt coalition fell thru, and the red-hunt and the hysteria started to emerge her husband decided to resign from the RFC and the FCC, move to Alabama and start his own practice. When he opened his law office, they were able to get in the middle of the whole civil rights fight along with Martin Luther King, E.D. Nixon, helped to get Mrs. Rosa Park of jail where they lived an exciting and thrilling experience.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
After the war was over Peter married and moved back to Santa Anita and started a family. He felt that he could not show his Japanese heritage and did everything the "American Way." He lived in an all-white neighborhood, taught his children all about America, and even celebrated all the American Holidays. His daughter later asked him about the relocation camps, and all Peter could do was tear and choke up. The terrible conditions he suffered during World War Two left him with many scarrs. He lost his mother, was separated from his father and sister, had to serve with the very men who were taking them away, and dealt with harrassment ontop of that. Although the camps were not as severe as the concentration camps in Germany, many Japanese-American families were emotionally and mentally broken.
Based on the novel by John Boyne, Young Bruno who lives a wealthy lifestyle in Pre-war Germany along with his mother, elder sister, and army Commandant father. The family re-locate to the countryside where his father is assigned to commandeer a prison camp.
A few days later, Bruno befriends another youth, strangely dressed in striped pyjamas, named Shmuel who lives behind an electrified fence. Bruno will soon find out that he is not permitted to befriend his new friend as he is a Jew, and that the neighboring yard is actually a prison camp for Jews awaiting extermination.
Bruno is lonely and confused by his new surroundings, and he doesn't understand why he can't wander the grounds or play at a nearby farm. The "farm," of course, is a concentration camp, though Bruno doesn't know this.
Shmuel is eight, the same age as Bruno, and the two form a timid, careful friendship, playing checkers and catch through the barbed wire fence. Bruno knows that his friendship with Shmuel is dangerous, but after witnessing brutal violence perpetrated against some very kind people, he has begun to question the Nazi doctrine of hate. He is no longer sure what to make of his soldier father, whom he once believed to be a hero. When he learns that Shmuel is in trouble, he vows to help him, and together the boys form an outrageous plan.
In this movie clip it will show you how the ending of the movie took place and how Bruno experienced the "life of a Jew", just within 5 minutes, and he was gone like the wind.
I posted this up bc it reminded me of the movie we saw in class "the night and fog"; a documentary film.
These are some pictures of Mr. Terkel just in case we did't know what he looked liked.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
A plant, which produced synthetic fuels, was successfully hit by the U.S. multiple times in central Germany. Truth is, The bombing on Germany by the U.S. and British had far less of an effect than they thought at the time. According to Galbraith there were three reasons for this; machine tools were relatively invulnerable and easily recovered, it was easy to decentralize production and move machinery to schools and churches as well as used substitutes to redesign equipment, and they were able to reorganize managements.
But what about the bombings in Japan? Japan did not have the same recovery as Germany. If Japanese plants were hit they would most likely stay out of production. This was mainly because during this time Japan was a small country with a small industrial base.
Galbraith states that the bomb did not end the Japanese war. There was already a decision for a peace treaty to get out of the war. The Japanese government at that time was very bureaucratic and the decision for negotiation took time to go into action. This decision was not known to Washington.
Galbraith goes on to discuss his personal view on what he has seen and how it has affected him. Galbraith grew up in Canada where his father was a major influence in the community(who eventually took a position on the draft board to be able to exempt anyone who didn't want to go) Many in this community had doubts about the justification of WWI. Because of this background Galbraith's approach to war was less enthusiastic. He knew that war was necessary for WWII for many reasons despite his background. Galbraith concluded by saying that "the visual impact of the air attacks and the horror of it is something I've lived with to this day."
Monday, November 9, 2009
He states that as it got later in the day he saw the mass hysteria form. He tells a story of getting stopped by a guard going over the Golden Gate Bridge. He later found out that night that a woman was killed for not stopping.
Well he was driving down town he explains how the city was in chaos. People were all over the city were smasing all the lights. The streets were packed and cars and the tolies couln't move. Rumors were flying like the Golden State Bridge was bombed and the city was being invaded.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I've only finished reading the first two chapters of the book, yet, the main idea that I feel that Fussell is trying to hammer home is the United States naive attitude and view about the war. Most felt here in the States that it would be a fairly easy war to win and that using old and outdated war tactics would still garner victory. WWII changed the thinking of most of our top military brass to think outside the box. And when all else fails, you must do whatever it takes, by all means necessary, to win the battle. New military tactics, strategies, and equipment like area bombing, fire bombing, island hoping, and development of newer, stronger tanks needed to be adopted. I'm sure that one could make a case that the United States and her Allies view on how war victory is achieved led the the deaths of many more soldiers than may have been necessary. Arrogance is okay to have, but cockiness will only lead to one's demise. And I feel that it was a cockiness sort of attitude that we and the other allies had at the beginning of the war. Both the Germans and the Japanese quickly taught us that conventional military tactics would not be the way to victory. And it wasn't until the U.S. embraced these new ways to wage war that the tide began to change more in our favor.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The debate over the decision to use the Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has always been a constant debate throughout the years ever since World War II ended. Was it necessary to end the war and save lives? Or was it an atrocity that should have been and always should be consider an inhumane act? Was its use just limited to the war or was it used to show power on a much larger scale out on the field (towards the Russians)? Were the Japanese ready to surrender or were they prepared to fight to the last man on the main island? These are few of the huge amounts of questions that are shown regarding the debate.
The before and after overhead pictures of Hiroshima.
The author of the article I looked at came from the New York Times bearing the title, “Blood on Our Hands?” by Nicholas D. Kristof. In his article he talks about the American perspective becoming negative over the years with the feeling that Japan would have surrendered eventually. The Japanese by the end of the war knew that victory was completely impossible by any means, and therefore it would seem that at some point they would have to give up. Kristof tries to counter this point by bringing up quotes from Japanese officials who participated in the move towards negotiation and surrender before the bombings. Some saying that the bomb was a “gift from heaven”, and that it helped move the Japanese government towards surrender. While on the other side of the table others thought that it would be best if the Japanese held out as long as possible, until either they were provided with a conditional surrender or in the worst case, completely wiped out. The bomb to the people on the idea of surrendering was a direct example of what the alternative of an immediate surrender would be, and that there would not be a heroic battle for the island because they would be blown right off of it. At the end Kristof concludes that although there might have been ways to maybe have prevented to bombing of Nagasaki or shown off the weapon on an uninhabited island, the death of those in both cities would pale in comparison to how many lives would have been lost to an invasion of Japan.
A draw up of Operation Downfall, the plans to invade Japan.
Now with all of these points that have supported both sides of both arguments I feel that the only real conclusion that can be brought to is that there cannot be any real answer for the things we do in times of war. Each decision made can go both ways, but the one chosen should not always be seen as the worst or best choice made. After World War II and to present day, atomic and nuclear weapons are only used as threats and not active weapons in war. Maybe it is possible to not look at the event as a whole but more of who and when. It is known that the development of atomic weapons was taking place in countries through the world, and naturally one of those countries would try and test it in a real conflict. The atomic bomb appeared on the battlefield on the end of a long and tired war, if the bomb was not dropped then when would it have been dropped? Even during the Korean War there were ideas thrown around about the use of these weapons, and thankfully they were not used. At the time of its use the Atomic bomb belonged to the United States and nobody else. If it were to be used later on, when other countries had the capabilities, it would be possible to assume that these weapons could have been used in unimaginable amounts during any of the conflicts that had occurred during the Cold War era. How would a country like China, with a very large population have reacted to a use of an atomic weapon on Northern Korea? (China borders North Korea.) What if the Soviet Union used one of its atomic weapons on one of its satellite states to make an example to those who did not accept Communism at the time? With these thoughts in mind it might be best to put away the argument of “Was it necessary” and think more about “When would have it become necessary?”
Monday, November 2, 2009
Timuel Black is depicted a great man who served his country and was loyal to his community and family in his interview with Terkel. His tone for his depiction of wartime is as always gripping in its detail but he is also satirical in his delivery. Mainly due to the fact that the war for him like many African Americans serving in World War Two wasn't just a war being fought on the fields of France, but it was also being fought along the lines of white and black. War was a struggle for Timuel Black just like every single Negro soldier who served during World War Two.
The fight for equality for Black was seen not only seen in the segregated regiments of the Army but also but the biased tests that the army gave to incoming draftees. As northern educated men such as himself was still put below in rank to his uneducated comrade solely in an effort to suppress what might be a substantial voice. Or how him and his other fellow man were put to being servants and supply carriers when many felt the need to fight and die for their flag.
Black describes the liberation of the Buchenwald prison camp and the storming of the beach at Utah. Describing it with a wit and charm, where most veterans would cringe and shutter at the memory of D-Day. He even describes himself as solemn as he watched his fellow man die and cry for mercy in the face of the big German gun. He described these horrific happenings during wartime, but was still so deeply disturbed by the horrors of American racism, segregation, and bigotry he describes more than once the desire to stay in Europe. He describes the open compassion Europeans showed the African American soldier as not a black man trying to overcome but as a liberator, a hero, and a friend.
This passage really gripped me and showed the split that there is an was in the United States armed forces when it comes to discrimination. Black's commentary on the war is shocking, in some respect. He describes the liberated French man as embracing and embracing his love of jazz music. Something so important in African American culture, can be enjoyed by a man who in France for over 3 years was in the death grip of Nazi control. When your white comrade who fights, bleeds, and dies for the same flag wont even use the same bathroom as you, shows just how un-united the United States really was.
He spent the year of 1942 in the hospital and he felt that he was a civilian casuality of the war. He took the foundry to court to try to prove negligence but they threw it out of court.
McFadden spoke about the zoot-suit riots. Zoot suit was a style of dress mostly worn by Mexican Americans. He explains a zoot suit riot began with some sailors confrontation with zoot suits. The word was that a sailor had been stabbed and many servicemen gathered and began grabbing anyone with a zoot suit on. McFadden and his brother heard the news on the radio and decided to get involved in the zoot suit riot.
McFadden and his brother wound up in jail because he hit a detective (without knowing it was a detective). The jails were full of Mexicans and they were the only non-Mexicans there. They were in jail, not because they did anything wrong, but because they were victims and the cops were trying to keep them from getting hurt.
A lot of people got hurt. McFadden saw a young man get beat up riding a street car just because he was Mexican. Servicemen would even go into movie theaters, make the projectionist turn off the film, and drag any zoot suiters they saw out of their seats and beat them.
McFadden felt the war pulled the United States out of isolation and pulled us out of the Depression. He said that it was an interesting time to be alive and that the war made him grow up a lot faster.
Wind, clouds, and turbulence all played factors in throwing the plane off. Also, bombing a target was hard to do even within anti-aircraft range and nothing else to put it off track. Due to the fact that bombing was so inaccurate, the term “precision bombing” became an oxymoron for the flight crews with a sense of black humor.
One unforgettable occurrence of this was on May 10, 1940 when the Luftwaffe accidentally bombed its own civilians. When the French and British heard of this act of violence, the German propagandists made people believe that the bombers hit what they aimed at.
There are many more accidental attacks aided by the B-17’s from the Allied Powers as well. Operation COBRA, an intense bombing mission to aid ground soldiers in France, went horribly wrong due to miscommunication. More American soldiers were killed and wounded than Germans in this two day mishap. These occurrences were so common that “enraged American units…opened fire on their own aircraft, a not uncommon practice among all the armies.” It was after this atrocity that Eisenhower vowed to never again “risk heavy bombing to assist ground attacks.”
It is noted that Hitler once proclaimed, “the loser of the war will be the side that makes the greatest blunders.” And if the outcome of the war was solely based on “precision bombing,” who’s to say that we wouldn’t have made the greater mistakes.
Another event that Baker recalls is his streets being machine-gun attacked by German planes. The planes were so close that no one had time to use their plan recognition skills to identify the enemy that was only about 100 feet above them. Then, to add to his adventure the children collected the spent bullets. Baker talks about this as is if it were a regular occurrence which is shocking to me because if machine guns were going off around me I would not be as calm.
Finally, something that truly added “adventure” to the war Baker was not experiencing was the bombing of Coventry, a town about 30 miles away. One night Baker remembers it being “terribly noisy.” This blitzkrieg attack was “one of the great blitzkrieg attacks of the war.” However, this attack was not considered as close as one might think. “You could bomb one part of town and nothing would be felt on the other end…The scale of terror has changed since then.” And that could not be more true.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
American citizens were first denied rubber. The Japanese seizure of Southeast Asia resulted in no more raw rubber imports. The purchase of tires was prohibited or restricted. Mainly to save tires, gasoline was rationed as of December 1, 1942. An ordinary person could only buy four gallons of gas per week, which was later reduced to three. To save gasoline, the "Victory Speed" was set in place, which created a 35 mile-per-hour national speed limit.
Food rationing began a month after Pearl Harbor.
The Americans hatred of the Japanese escalated after the Bataan Death March and the attack on Pearl Harbor. These events validated American thoughts that these "non-white" Japanese had to be animals. The skulls of Japs were cleaned and kept as trophies, even sent to loved ones as a souvenir. Because they did not consider Japanese as human beings, they felt this practice was as acceptable as hanging the head of hunted game. However, the thought of keeping the skull of an Italian or a German was considered practically sacrilegious.
During wartime brutal murder is inevitable, however Americans took it to another level because of their prejudges against non-white human beings.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Fussell retorts Walzer’s words and defends his standpoint. Fussell feels that they do not agree on an emotional level. Fussell says that his “article on Hiroshima was to complicate, even mess up, the moral picture” and that being portrayed as “terrorists” is oversimplifying it. He states that he was horrified by the bombing, as well as, happy because it saved his life. His objective of writing the article “was to offer a soldier’s view, to indicate the complex moral situation of knowing that one’s life has been saved because others’ have been most cruelly snuffed out.”
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Howard Zinn is a historian, playwright, and social activist. Zinn was raised in a working-class family in Brooklyn, NY. He was a shipyard worker and Air Force bombardier before he went to college under the GI Bill and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Flying bombing missions for the United States in World War II was an experience that influenced him to oppose war. In 1956, he became a professor at Spelman College in Atlanta, a school for black women. There he got involved in the Civil rights movement. He participated as an adviser to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and chronicled, in his book SNCC: The New Abolitionists. Zinn later collaborated with historian Staughton Lynd and mentored a young student named Alice Walker. When he was fired in 1963 for insubordination related to his protest work, he moved to Boston University, where he became a leading critic of the Vietnam War. He also wrote the influential book, A People’s History of the United States, which is widely used in college and University class room around the country.
Hiroshima: Breaking the Silence
In this article Howard Zinn argues that the dropping of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki goes beyond a country fighting facism, or the United States fighting a war with Japan. He argues that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were wiped out to make a point. Racism played a huge role in the decision to drop these two bombs. “The persistent notion that the Japanese were less than human probably played some role in the willingness to wipe out two cities populated by people of color.” According to this article there was plenty of evidence that showed that Japan would have surrendered even if the atoic bombs had not been dropped. The argument that casualties were going to be less if the atomic bombs were dropped than having a US invasion in Japan to Zinn is considered pointless. Japanese were on the verge of surrender, evidence showed that a simple declaration on keeping the position of the Emperor would have brought the war toa an end, and no invasion was necessary. Another argument that Zinn makes for the dropping of the two bombs is that were being used to try out new weaponry, since the Nagasaki bomb used plutonium and the Hiroshima bomb contained only uranum atoms. Human life was being sacrificed for techonoligical progress and “that is part of the history of modern civilization.”
The bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 within a few moments killed aprox. 140,000 men, women, and children. Three days later the bomb dropped in Nagasaki killed perhaps 70,000 instanly. In the next five years 130,000 inhabitants of those two cities died of radiation poisoning.
"Besides merging swing and sweet, city and town, Miller consciously sought to
build and all-American team that fused the ethnic big city and the Protestant
"Swing symbolized a war to defend an American way of life under attack."
These are just some of the posters I found online that were being printed back during WW2. It shows how the Japanese and Germans were portrayed, it has some racial tones that today would be unacceptable. But we need to remember that this was the 1940's, so these things were more common back then. I also put a couple here I found intresting, hope you find them all intresting as well. Here's the link
WWII posters - a set on Flickr