Stalin and the POWs

Michael Hoover hoov at
Sat Aug 7 06:10:07 MDT 1999

> The decision to drop the bomb was made in the context of the entry of the
> Louis Proyect

Gar Alperovitz wrote a piece in mid-1960s when so-called 'revisionists'
(such as Staughton Lynd, William Appleman Williams, Howard Zinn) were
questioning both official and mainstream versions of US history that cited
a press conference held by General Curtis LeMay shortly after the
bombings and Japan's subsequent surrender...Lemay says that the war
would have been over in two weeks without the atomic bomb and that the
bomb had nothing to do with the war's end...

LeMay could speak with 'authority' on this matter, as commander of US air
power in the Pacific in 1945, he had unleashed months of cluster fire-
bombing on Japan, beginning with an attack on Tokyo that destroyed about
20 square miles of the city and killed 100,000 people...more than 60
cities had been destroyed and about 500,000 Japanese citizens had been
killed by the time the atomic bombs were dropped...

CM was a rabid and vociferous post-ww2 cold warrior who headed the
Strategic Air Command from late 1940s to late 1950s, supported a
nuclear attack on the Soviets after they tested their first atomic
bomb in 1949, goaded Kennedy to launch a nuclear attack during the
Cuban 'missle crisis' in 1962 (he was Air Force Chief of Staff at
the time), argued for bombing North Vietnam 'back to the stone age',
and was George Wallace's presidential campaign running mate in 1968...

I don't recall where the Alperovitz piece originally appeared but
the LeMay press conference remarks also appear in his books _Atomic
Diplomacy_ and _The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb_ (with Sanho
Tree and Peter Dimock)...  Michael Hoover

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