Scott talks to Peter Van Buren about the effects of war on American culture. They discuss the fact that America has been at war almost constantly for its entire history, ever since the nation was formed by overthrowing the British. Having an external enemy supposedly allows people to put their differences aside and feel unity as a country, but it comes at the cost of money, lives, and an ever-increasing encroachment of government power into the private sphere. Van Buren also discusses his recent article about the bombing of Hiroshima, and the ways the government and military sought to bury the truth from the American public.
Discussed on the show:
- “Don’t Whitewash the Hiroshima Bombing” (The American Conservative)
- “The Untold History of the United States” (IMDb)
- “The decision to use the atomic bomb” (Harper’s Magazine)
- The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner
Peter Van Buren worked for 24 years at the Department of State including a year in Iraq. He is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and the novel Hooper’s War. He is now a contributing editor at The American Conservative magazine.
This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Washinton Babylon; Liberty Under Attack Publications; Listen and Think Audio; TheBumperSticker.com; and LibertyStickers.com.
Following is an auto-generated transcript of the episode.
sorry I’m late. I had to stop by the wax museum again. Did the finger that FDR We know Al Qaeda Zawahiri is supporting the opposition in Syria. Are we supporting Al Qaeda in Syria? It’s a proud day for America. Ghad Kice, Knut Gnehm syndrome once and for all. Thank you Very I say And I see it again. Bin are trying to simply deny things that just about everybody else except as fact Saud died way Kila Bayh, Armey Mutawakil Ind Maale we Bol Beito like, say I’m Ain Bin Say it. Say it three times the meeting of the largest armies in the history of the world. Then that’s going to be an invasion. Hey guys, check it out on the line. I’ve got Pieter Van Buren, former State Department whistleblower, author of We Meant Well And also Huu Purse wore a Memoir of Natta memoir something about World War Two Japan. How are you doing? I’m doing well, Scott. Thanks for having me back. It’s always a pleasure to be here. Help me with that subtitle Manan Seri The novel of World War Two Japan That’s what I meant to say. Yeah, a novel of world War two Japan, and it’s a book about moral injury. It’s a book about what happens to people in in war, and it’s his book that set in World War two as a so called neutral setting that will hopefully allow us tow. Have a conversation about these topics without bringing in the external politics of more modern wars. Because, unfortunately, the things that wars due to human beings, whether they’re the the targets or or the trigger pullers are universal and haven’t changed a lot since since the early Greeks and whether it’s Afghanistan or Okinawa or a fictional battle as I created my my book, Cooper’s War. The stories, unfortunately, are very much the same. Yeah, man, you know, it’s funny because everybody knows that everybody says that. Sherman said that war is hell, and everybody knows that guys come home from or and then stand intersections, asking people to help him get by before they die. Ah, I grew up with Vietnam veterans on the side of the road constantly, you know, is that my old thing? And like, um so everybody knows that. But at the same time, we also know that war is what makes us Great War is what makes us us Without that. What are we accept? Just a bunch of, you know, disconnected individual community, less beings. Andar Armey. That’s the thing that makes us the USA Together. It’s kicking butt and stopping bad guys and stuff. It really is. I mean, it comes as close to, ah national religion as anything else. Certainly a national obsession. Um, the idea that a few things that pull us together are when the United States is quote under threat from abroad. Um, and whether that threat is somewhere on the rial scale or somewhere on the completely made up scale is is largely irrelevant if you want to look back. I mean, I’m not a big fan of sort of the single theory of history where Wone event tower Wone theme sort of controls everything. Ah, the New York Times, of course. This week has released their 16 19 project, which posits that everything in America is based on slavery and those type of looks, whether it’s slavery or whether it’s war are simplistic. But at some point there’s validity buried in there, and the idea that America must exist in a state of conflict. That an external enemy is always necessary has a lot of validity. Our country was founded on, ah, that the fighting the external enemy of the British. And there’s been relatively few periods in our history where we haven’t done that. About the only significant time where we haven’t summoned an external enemy is, of course, when we used an internal enemy during our Civil War period, the kind of substitute for it, you know that the problem with that is that the casualties were usually multiplied by double. And, uh, you know, making out the bad guys when they speak the same language gets a little tricky. So if we’ve luckily corrected that mistake and haven’t repeated it since 18 65. So Cem good news is mixed in as well. Yeah, a little bit. Um well, you know, it’s always seemed to me that partially just because history in American education is so neglected that really people don’t know anything about George Washington or even Abraham Lincoln when it comes to you know, America’s founders that really what we have is FDR Huu Lead America Atto, War against Hitler and save the economy. Doing so, they say brought the unemployment rate down by conscripting 16 million people, and they stopped one of history’s greatest tyrants. And so, um, that’s really where we Bin stock ever since then, right? Is World War Two. Yeah. Then when you talk about American history, it’s very interesting, because I it would be amused to find, ah, someone to point out a ah high school in America that accurately and thoroughly, even even gets into the history of America. Post World War Two. Um, it’s been a couple of years since I’ve been in high school, but ah, you know, I watch my kids go through it. I see friends and neighbors. Kids go through it in American history is incomplete. And as poorly taught as it is from, uh, you know, the founding up through World War Two sort of tapers off into a grey fuzzies. Oh, Gn! And then World War two in Korean. Uh, Nixon was Badr Andrei, and that was kind of it. Cem. Wonderful attempts, and I’ll put in ah, quick pitch for an Oliver Stone project. That’s I think it’s on Netflix right now, but it alternates between Netflix and Showtime and Amazon and those things Khader Gn Untold history of the United States and it basically, uh, piggybacks on Howard Zinn’s work and some other ah, fine scholars. But it presents in a fairly lively documentary form the history of the last 80 years of the United States, Um, in a little bit, Maura, uh, objective point of you talking about the underlying themes that we’ve just touched on very briefly and sarcastically here. But this idea of dominance, of empire, of the need for an external enemy looking into the the value of the Cold War. If you’re a politician running for office now, it’s an Oliver Stone project. And so you there’s places where it can’t help itself but go over the top. But that is just kind of a little little spice along the way. There’s a lot of very good history in there. And if the listener is saying, Well, all right, fine. Scott, you’ve convinced me I need to educate myself. You could start in worse places than watching a couple hours of that. Yeah, well, you know, one of the benefits of being a libertarian is that you can indulge all you want in leftist historical revisionism or for that matter. Right wing historical revisionism, Awene Whatever issues Ind, you don’t have to abandon your identity in order to look into something like that. Where is a conservative? Mike? Oh my God! Oliver Stone and his Com Lille story and co author. I can’t Beirt toe peek through my fingers at what they might say. I don’t want to know, and I don’t want anyone. I don’t want to think that I have anything in common with anybody like that. But when you’re libertarian, reject like me, no problem. And there’s great value in that Siri’s. And in fact, once they start to get into the terror wars, I turned it off because I didn’t want to copy them in any way. I was in the middle of writing Fool’s errand at the time, and there’s too much good stuff in there, and I don’t wantto um, you know, I wanted to prevent myself from sounding too much like what they were doing, so I I will look much on the on the word revisionism because I I understand exactly how you mean it, and it’s a valid word. But be cautious up for people out there about that word because it’s oftentimes flung about when you think someone is sort of revising things, telling you that what you knew was was wrong. But I like the word incomplete. Is, um, almost better trying to say the same thing? Of course. The idea. Well, I kind of like the confrontation in that. That Guess what, pal. The official history of everything has written is all false. So if you want to be straight about anything, you’re gonna have to go back and look at critics. I mean, look at the way they lied to you every day on the news. That’s the history. Next year, you could read in American History Book right now in, you know, probably Eni College in America will tell you the Branch Davidians Awal committed suicide. Well, you know what you need, Cem historical revisionism, Because that’s not what happened. For one example, the thing is, is what concerns me. And ah, I’m actually I just came back from Germany, and this part of that trip I made ah visit to two. Dakhil and I spent a little time poking into not the roots of Nazism and things like that. I think if someone is out and out, putting out falsehoods those If you’re willing to engage with the material you can you can kind of poke those down fairly quickly. But what is what is more dangerous is incomplete. Is, um if I’m going to coin a phrase here is the idea that we’re gonna tell you enough true stuff, but not all of it. And, you know, here’s a set of facts that on their own arm or or less accurate but lead you to a false conclusion, as opposed to saying I mean what, for example, that the theme of what I’m writing Awene is those who claimed America is, you know, Germany in 1933 know nothing about Germany of 1933 you could pull up little little points of connection and you ca Gn try to argue that that silly elementary school tweets are the equivalent of the Nuremberg speech. But in fact, those air false conclusions, they give you bits of fax that lead you to something. But they are so incomplete that they lead youto to an end. I mean, elephants have legs, grasshoppers have legs. Nobody wants to claim an elephant is a grasshopper and that’s the thing. And that’s what that becomes. Very dangerous. Because if I come right out and say something completely false and silly, then you could kind of shoot that down. Even even a quick drive through Wikipedia might be enough. But if I give you Cem riel information and let you kind of with the idea of walking you toward a particular conclusion, well, then it’s more difficult because you go back and you say, Well, gosh, you know, the looks like the Japanese weren’t really ready to surrender. So maybe blowing up Hiro Shima Nagasaki was necessary and simply the fact that there were problems with arranging the Japanese surrender, which is true. But by presenting Awene Lee that bit of information and nothing. Maura, I’ve led you to conclude that the annihilation of two civilian cities was perfectly justified. And that’s where things get nasty and a little bit difficult. Well, you know, one thing that I learned very recently in the, you know, kind of annual discussion of the atomic bombings, which, by the way, is why I brought you on today. Don’t whitewash that Hiro Husham. A bombing, uh, is the subject here, but little anecdote. And I don’t think this came from from your piece. It was something else. I read that right after the war, Stimson said, or maybe even still during the work, the secretary of war said we ought to go ahead and give the atomic bomb plans to Stalin because they’re gonna get him anyway. And by doing by, you know, uh, hoarding the secret, we’re just gonna make the USSR distrust us more. We’re gonna get the whole post war era off on the wrong foot. We could end up in arms race against him in all of this stuff, so we should try to keep it. So just knowing that that was there and he was overruled, of course. And the Russians got nukes two years later, three years later, something anyway, um, and in fact, there were. You know, there’s plenty of good reason to believe that Americans did transfer nuclear technology to them in order to help with that regardless, But it just goes to show that that was the Secretary of Wars advice to the president at the time, which you don’t have to agree with that at all. I’m not sure I agree with that necessarily. But it sure is important to know that that’s there, because at the very least, it shows you that the way things turned out, it didn’t necessarily have to be that way. It could have been some other way, whereas the way were, you know, present, especially when we’re kids in school, is that essentially everything that happened had to happen. You think Truman, our great president whose name was true man, would nuke people if he didn’t have to? That the American people would have elected a man who would have Newt people if he didn’t have to? No way. It goes without saying that it had to be. Or else it wouldn’t have been. So you get a little fact like that and you go Wow. Okay, maybe, you know what? If Arthur Vandenberg had had a heart attack and didn’t give a Cheny didn’t have a chance to tell Harry Truman scare the hell out of them. Come on, let’s build up the US says Sorry, that just lost tens of millions of people in this war and pretend they’re about to conquer the Earth. If we don’t stop him, what if those people hadn’t been there that week, things might have been entirely different. And this is why we’re talking about Hiro. Shima, an event of 75 years ago is because historians study history to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, whereas politicians manipulate history in order to set up what they want to do in the future. And there’s really not a better case study. If if you will, then then Hiro Shima and the aftermath of the atomic bombing you basically had from a historical perspective, you had, Ah, an action taken in the midst of war that happened the way it happened. And we can go back and look at it and say, Did was it truly necessary for the United States to annihilate two cities full of men, women and children? Non combatants for the in almost 100%. But what the politicians did in America was to manipulate a set of fax and take advantage of Cem very skillful propaganda to repurpose that historic those historical questions for the future to set up what they expected to be a nuclear conflict with the Soviet Union and their example, they were going to use Hiro Shima not as a way of reflecting on our Cont Awene are our actions in World War Two, but as a way of preparing the American people for the atomic conflict that they felt was was imminent. And the way that people are manipulated by history by constrained use of fax is very, very, very relevant. Most of your listeners have lived through the post 9 11 years where the events of September 11th were manipulated into, ah, nearly endless series of wars that are continuing even through today. Many ah have been with us for the last year where a, uh of the events of so called Russia Ge Ayt have Bin failed to be successfully manipulated to end the Trump presidency. Um, these lessons are not in abstract. This isn’t grad school, you know, five pages with footnotes. If you want the B plus, this is extremely relevant stuff. And by using a historical example, we have a wee Ge Ain the advantage of perspective be we may be removed some of the immediate emotion and also we take advantage of the fact that we have a more full set of of information to work with than we have Ardmore contemporary events. It it, unfortunately in our transparent democracy, takes decades for information to finally slowly creep out of government hands. Because course, controlling what information is public allows you to control the conclusions the public reaches. Hey guys. Scott here for Liberty under Attack Publications looking for a Liberty Focus publisher Liberty Under Attack publishes books and strategy guides for individuals looking to increase their personal freedom. They assist authors through the entire publishing process. Proof reading, editing, cover designs, paperback and kindle formatting and full audio book narration and post production. Tell him Scott sent you and get 20% off a full service deal. To get Cem one of a kind books, or for more information, visit Liberty under attack dot com. Hey, guys, check out, listen and think audio books. They’re listening, think dot com and, of course, Awene audible dot com. And they feature my book Fools Ehren, Time to End the War in Afghanistan, as well as brand new Out Inside Syria by our friend Reese Erlich and a lot of other great books, mostly by libertarians. There, Reese might be one exception, but essentially they’re Awal libertarian audiobooks. And here’s how you can get a lifetime subscription to listen and think audiobooks. Just donate $100 to The Scott Horton show at scott Kortan dot or Ge slash donate. Now there’s Cem important truths and narratives that were coming out of the atomic bombings at the time that you’re saying they weren’t just, you know, covered up for, you know, reasons of the American government losing face for doing such a thing to two places that were, in fact, not military bases as originally claimed. And all that, but really to set the American people up to get usedto life in the era of atomic wars. And so, uh, talk a little bit more about that, and you’re like in specific How do you know that? What are the examples of where they decided that this is what we’re doing? And this is why we have to spin it this way? We’re going to jump ahead here of the question of worthy atomic in. If you’re sitting in the Oval Office in late July 1945 and someone says, Hey, Mr President, should we drop these atomic bombs? Let’s set aside the question of truly were those bombs necessary to end the war at that point in time. And it’s a difficult just preference that by saying it is a difficult question, particularly when you’re looking backwards and trying to place yourself in that room, you know, in late July 1945 and think like 1945 people, not not 2019 people. But let’s just skip ahead and used as a starting point that the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and decimated two undefended cities almost entirely populated by Non Non combatants. And and the war ended, which it absolutely did end. The American people at initially were fed ah, line of that. So that’s then we go back and look at at the messaging as we talk about it today. The original announcement of the bomb by Harry Truman was an absolutely vengeful statement. I mean, biblical proportions, as they say, he said. I we’re now prepared to obliterate Mordor rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. That’s not like, Hey, we’re gonna destroy their power to make war. Eni. I mean, he was pretty straightforward with his word choices in that particular speech went on to talk about mass casualties and spoke of cruelty at levels previously unknown on this Earth outside of biblical times. That message of vengeance was the initial messaging, and it played well to a population that was weary of war. And basically that’s what stood for about a year and 1/2 to the extent that people even focused on it. And when, in writing what was a fictional book about World War two I. I read through an awful lot of archive materials, and not there wasn’t as much conversation about the nuclear bombing of two cities as you might think. Would would. Would it be engendered. It was focus. The focus was on something else. The end of the war, Foer Wone of, ah, focal point. It was John Hershey’s 1946 article in The New Yorker. That kind of began the change in conversation. It wasn’t when you when you study history, you pick out these events because it make. It’s a great way to talk about history. It’s not like prior to her, she’s article no one talked about Khera Shia Monde, you know, suddenly it fell from the sky, so to speak. It isn’t that case it Awal g uys were coming back. Photos were leaking. This was, ah, time when when information spread very differently and much more slowly. The point is, is that John Hershey, Ga. Was one of the first reporters that went to Hiro Shima to report on what happened there. End was not censored. The war had ended. People were no longer the military was less concerned about sitting on these type of articles, and there was certainly no tactical information that could be accidentally given away. And her, she wrote, Ah, brilliant article, which later became a book which explained in in terrifying, horrific detail, what happens to a civilian population undefended when they are Newt. And this caused a coupled with the timing of it. It was a It was a year and 1/2 or so after the war. Americans were anxious to forget as much as they could, and this was a Gn economic boom that was starting. We all know the story of the post war economic boom for most people in the United States, and suddenly there was a Gn opening for reflection about who we were and what we did, and Hershey Foer like I’ll say, almost by accident, stepped into that. Now the problem was, is that this period of reflection over how America made war was coinciding with what the government knew was the beginning of what we call the Cold War. Inside Washington, they were no longer thinking about having defeated the Nazis in the Japanese. All eyes were on Moscow, and everyone was planning on how this next war was going to play out. We were, Ah, not long away, a year or so away from what became known as the Berlin Airlift, the Iron Curtain. I mean, all this stuff was percolating in Washington, and they knew this was coming. And the idea of softening the American people to the idea of nuclear war did not fit with the Program Ind. John Hershey’s article and the introspection that it caused just Werth Wrong messaging Foer in America that Washington knew they were going to push into the Cold War and the Cold War was good, was was a nuclear conflict and was going to involve the annihilation of multiple Russian and door Chinese cities. And ah, we didn’t need any soft selling Awene that something had to be done, and what was done was essentially the last 60 years of propaganda. But it started again for lack of a pinpoint starting point. It started with a 1947 article by Secretary of War Henry Stimson. Huu, I think you mentioned earlier, um, he actually wasn’t the author. And because history does enjoy irony, the author was Makki George Bundy Huu your listeners will recognize as one of the best and the brightest in the John F. Kennedy crowd that drove America into Vietnam and the atrocities that characterized that war. So Mich. George Bundy wrote this article, basically creating the talking points for the American government and the American people for the next 70 some years that the atomic bombs were necessary to end the war quickly, that the atomic bombs not only saved the lives of and by the way, the numbers jumped from from every time you Goa through a historical reference that the numbers get bigger, you know, jump from 10,000 dead Americans repeating Japan to 100,000 to a million on the beaches. And that’s a President Bush senior had said that Hato 1,000,000 American Boyz would have died invading Japan. Yeah, and you can find references to that. But the interesting thing is, as you walk, those are if you walk back the stories and articles and references and think tank pieces that the number of Americans that was going to be killed in that invasion increased by a factor of a hundredfold. Um, in the five years after the war ended. But more importantly, Stimpson began laying out. But the idea that not only did we save American lives in the use of the atomic bomb, we save Japanese lives, too. That, you know, is that Woodword, as they say, You can’t make make this stuff up. I mean, the this article, which is really the beginning of it all it’s in. Ah was in Harper’s magazine in February of 1947. And maybe you could post a link to my article which has all the references. Khair Pillay will. But I mean, the idea is it say we save Japanese lives because dang it, if we would have had to ah, conduct a land invasion of Japan, we would have had to kill more of them little yellow fellers. So you know the people who died Id Hiro Shima and Nagasaki Man. They they were kind of the crumple zone for the rest of Japan were going to kill more of them. And there was in in, in a sense, in February 1947. And it written form the creation of the what I call the Hiro Shima myth and which became the basis of the Cold War that annihilating cities was part of the way nuclear war was going to work, that Americans were ready for this and that Ge Osh. In a way, it’s actually gonna help them because, you know, the more Russians we kill in that initial blast, the less likely they are to kill. Continue the war, et cetera. It became it’s no, no, no joke. That was a little Freudian slip there about the Russians, right, because it was a demonstration for the Russians. Oh, that’s that’s another. That’s another line of argument, one of the when we go. That’s why I started. Where I did is the bomb dropped? I started with that point because one of the arguments about the unnecessary nous of the Khera Huma Nagasaki bombings at all was that they weren’t needed to stop the war. They were done as a proof of concept for the Russians, you know. Look what we got. You want to mess with us? This is what you’re messing with. So I kind of skipped over the arguments against dropping the bombs because I wanted to focus forward here on how America manipulated this. I only brought it up now because you just called the Japanese Russians, so I thought I would Okay. Are they different? It was It was, you know, it’s a slip. Was Awal Yeah, this is a matter because they’re not Americans. And that’s where I important. They’re all Russians, everybody or they’re all Japanese. Same difference. Whatever the enemy, the enemy is really how is really what matters. And so there was this creation of of these of what I call the Hiro Shima myth. And it has survived mightily because in many ways it became the core of convincing Americans that the Cold War was a noble cause and what we were going to have Atto eventually do. And and it was almost a certainty. If you read back through the archives in the 19 fifties, it was almost a certainty inside Washington that we were going to go to nuclear war with Russians, possibly also the Chinese. It really wasn’t until the sixties, when the Russians started to to get a little stronger about this. And and I think there was a little bit Hmmmmm Aurdic instance between World War Two that American government started to kind of imagine, maybe we weren’t. This wasn’t as inevitable. I haven’t looked into it is closely, but potentially, you could argue. Somewhere around the Cuban missile crisis, it changed from inevitable to maybe something we could avoid. Um, not ready to go to the mat on that statement. But I think it’s it’s one that’s worth exploring. What if you haven’t read the Doomsday machine by Dan Ellsberg yet? Definitely do. The bottom line is that Hiro Shima was the aftermath of Hiro Shima was a myth that was specifically created. Foer propaganda purposes by the United States, too. A pair of the American public Foer the inevitable nuclear conflict to come. It served the interests of the United States government long past the Cold War and still kind of pops in around the edges of when you’ve got to explain away accidentally droning a wedding party in Afghanistan to kill Wone terrorist. The Hiro Shima myth is underneath all that. It underlies these type of things. You hear military people and politicians today saying things like, Hey, if the people of Fallujah didn’t harbor terrorists, we would wouldn’t have been necessary to destroy them in the in the process. So there are There are hints and there are notes of the Hiro Shima myth that persists Awal through modern time Itsu proven to be an extraordinary piece of propaganda. Um uh and it’s still very much a part of us today. Yeah, man, you’re right about that. It’s like a big Milgram experiment or something. Hey, it’s required that you continue to endorse. This is Everybody else does. And you don’t want to look like a hippie. OK, good. That’s good enough. And think about just how shallow and ridiculous this argument is that to save American G uys admittedly conscripts. I mean, don’t get me wrong. But to save American G I s we get to nuke women and children. Ralph Rico, In his article, Hiro Chaman, Nagasaki says, Well, what if we’re you know, we’re just talking about the Nazis who didn’t have nukes, but instead they would just round up women and children in the town square and then just machine Ghanem like that. Would that have been okay for the Americans to go into Khera Shima with our Infantry and round up the population into the center of town? Ind. Just straight machine gunned them all to death like the Gestapo in order to get the government in Tokyo to surrender. Because that’s what the Gestapo would do. The enemy in this story that might be with the Japanese imperialists would have done. Yeah, it’s brutal, is they were, But that’s who we are now and then. But somehow this is, as you say, totally good enough. In fact, Lider, look awake Oo again. Well, we got to get that David Koresh. Yeah, but there’s a bunch of women and children in their Ghad aying. Dave Karesh. I heard he deals Drugs blah, blah, Ge kill them all. You gotta we gotta save the lives of a couple of cops who picked this fight in the first place. It comes down to ah, very core part of America Andar I’ll just say policy, I don’t want to even say foreign policy and that is, expediency always seems to trump morality. Minni, you know the right thing to do under difficult circumstances is kind of how this stuff gets spun. You know, nobody. Nobody is proud of, ah, killing women and children. But there’s always the butt butt, you know, we got to get bad guys off the streets and, you know, if there’s some collateral damage that’s sad but unfortunate reality of things. And that, in a way, describes Iraqs Jima. In a word, it describes thehe Trotksy cities that fueled the Vietnam War. It describes every civilian drone strike in Afghanistan or Iraq or limit on, or Syria or Libya or wherever. Um, do we need to spell it out? Sure. Why not? Yeah, at Libya, you know the idea that we had to get rid of Khadafy for? Because he was Ah, a Gn evil guy justified the destruction of the country and turning it into an ungoverned wasteland where we had to burn the village in order to save it. In a way, you know, this is that’s the Hiro Shima, Mich? Yep. You know, there’s a new one for our time to which is George W. Bush is absolutely unprovoked, aggressive invasion of Iraq in 2003 when they just marched the Marines and the third Infantry Division straight in from Kuwait. And now anything less than that is fine. You look a There is a great example. This was Jeremy Scahill on the show with Bill Maher Wone time on HBO a few years back during Obama years and skate Khel saying, Look, I mean Obamas murdering people. You’re mentioning wedding parties? I’m pretty sure that was one of the points he made. Their tiny, innocent people are being killed by these drones. Ah, £500 bombs, Natta scalpel and kills innocent people and Bill Margo’s Yeah, but compared to George Bush marching the third Infantry Division into Iraq, that’s nothing. It is a surgical in comparison to this other bigger thing. So we could drone strike all damn day. Yeah, and this idea that evil scales, um in that becomes Maury evil or less evil. And that somehow matters. Uh, I just have a hard time with that, but it rests at the core of America’s actions. We we’d like to imagine ourselves as nice people, and we want tohave things like the hero she Momot or what you were just describing as a way to kind of remind ourselves that we are nice people. Um that, you know, hey, make mistakes. Everybody does. One of the things that has become so offensive to me as a thinking human being over the last three years is how all this gets garbled when it’s run through the trump filter. And, you know, we were in where we have revisionism about George W. Bush and how he did it. And certainly we have completely whitewashed the Obama years of war to the point where we’re now. Ah, I Every time I see an article about Yemen, I might My Awal searches grows that I’m like the group. You know, the my ulcer grows 10 times more because, you know, it’s like, Well, Trump is doing this in Yemen. Yes, he is. But did we already forget how we got started in Yemen? We did. We did forget that, didn’t we? And in a way, it’s like, man, I wish they could just forget that Obama did it that way. They’ll finally raise their voice against Trump. At least that is now. When it matters, you know, because you’re right, cause you never turn against their savior, the Democrat from Illinois. And this idea that history is that malleable. And we are that manipulable is why essentially the Hiro Shima myth has survived 75 years after being birthed in a magazine article in February of 1947. We we are willing participants in all this, Um, and it’s really quite quite quite shameful. I had a really, uh, kind of branching off of this and interesting ah, experience being in Germany. Um, and having lived many years in Japan, you know, when you go to Khera Sonoma, the museum there, everything starts on that August 6th morning. There’s no sense in Hiro Shima that Japanese imperialism started 30 years earlier and inexorably led to justified or not what happened in here. Oshima the Germans for for to give them some credit, have a much, much deeper sense of this and are willing to talk about it. Ind Dakhil, for example, the museum’s starts with the events of World War I and what happened in Germany between the wars, the stuff that that made the rise of a strong man who happened to be Hitlers could have been Eni number of a bunch of other guys, but Hitler was was was the one who made the rise of a dictator. Assn. Khowst Oo inevitable is as history allows and you walk away with a much better sense of having Bin Bin educated of understanding things help pieces fit together. I guess that’s so. I mean Khera the Hiro Shima myth. I I would be remiss to say that has been strongly driven and supported by the Japanese themselves. They are thrilled to death to claim as much victims status as possible for for those two terrible days. But they work closely with us to make sure that those days stand in isolation from everything that happened before in their case and everything that happened afterwards in our case. And so in a way, the politics of the Cold War contributed to the victims themselves supporting ah, false narrative because it tended to work out for everybody. Yeah, well, and you know, it’s sort of like what you were talking about with slavery and war at the beginning here in America, where same kind of thing in Japan, there, where people don’t like looking back and being honest about what’s going on there, too. They identify themselves with the collective too strongly, and so it’s an attack on their own psyche. I mean, that’s what this is all comes down to, right in social psychology. And whose side are you on? And what would your dad think of you if he knew that you changed your mind? And you agree with Jane Fonda about something now or whatever it is? And so therefore, kill them all before you think that you are like Michael Moore, which makes sense to me to write. No, Who wants to be like Michael Moore? But that’s the way everything is framed. So you’re here pro America or you’re not. And so if you’re willing to say, Look, slavery was absolutely this bad, and the genocide of the Indians and the end of the Filipinos and everybody else, for that matter, was this bad. Uh, if you’re willing to do that, essentially, it almost always comes packaged with a full scale anti Americanism. From the point of view of the right, it’s hard to find people who are American patriots but who also are perfectly happy to explore all this toe. Find out exactly what Awal it means for us then and now and in the future and this same kind of thing, and so it’s pretty easy to reject that. That was if I’ve really wanted to do this interview, right, Peter, what I should have done at the beginning if we want to really persuade people the first thing I should have done was lead with. Let’s talk about all the conservative Republicans and generals and admirals who opposed the war, because that’s the thing that gets through to people the most. And I’ve had people freak out about and heard a lot of stories to people freak out. If you’re against new Cannes, Japan, you must be the most anti American Communist piece of garbage in the world. And then you show him that, Oh, yeah, well, that’s what MacArthur thought, too. And that’s what Eisenhower and Nimitz thought. That’s what Leahy, the admiral chief of staff to the president, said, Don’t do this. I was not talk to make war against women and children, what in the world and so and then they go, 00 my God! A bunch of admirals and conservatives and Republicans and MacArthur, of all people, was against new Cannes, Japan, and it becomes very difficult. Mean the term cognitive dissidence is is to admit you’re wrong, too. Admit that you made sacrifices for the wrong cause is is humanly very, very, very difficult. And it’s perhaps even unfair to expect people who made those sacrifices themselves or sent their sons and daughters to make those sacrifices. It’s perhaps even unfair to try to ask them to to see this, true as it truly is, but we’re not them. And our job as historians auras, thinking people auras, folks who are a step or two removed is to try to look at these things. Maura objectively honest to God, if if I lost a Gn arm in the Vietnam jungles to try to tell me that that was all a complete waste of time, that’s a hard thing for me to get my self around right? I agree with that thesis. I see these thes the parkland kids on TV in the Park, Lindh dads on TV, and I just feel for them because to try to get someone who’s suffering the loss of a child, too. Objectively talk about these issues. It’s impossible. It’s not even fair to expect them. Unfortunately, there’s plenty of folks who will exploit that for their own political goals. But when you pull back a step or two steps or three steps were supposed to be smart enough to do that. And that’s why in talking about these issues and and in the book I wrote, I said it in a fictional portion of World War Two in hopes of giving the reader and myself, um, that distance, Yeah. Um, the book Evo Lt revolves around, ah, fictional struggle, and it’s all true, but it didn’t happen. And that means that hopefully we can look at these events as objectively as human beings are capable. Well, you know, you were in Iraq War, too. Not as a soldier is a State Department official. Ah, but doing work. I read the book. Finally we talked about it. I don’t know a year ago or something. Ah, the great book we meant well, And you’ve been able to, I guess, even while you were there Ah, you’re getting over it and and, you know, started blowing the whistle and about what was going on to the American people even during that time. But you know what? You’re not alone. There are a lot of people who served in, as they call it in Iraq War two and in Afghanistan and in other wars over there. Um, you know, in this century who have changed their mind about this, who are now remember Sentir Caesars Ons. I don’t claim Eni Eni Eni virtue because I happened to see through it while it was happening to me. What I’m saying is, is that it’s unfair to expect everyone to be able to do that. Agree? Yeah, No, I agree with that. I’m just saying Yeah, I mean, I don’t I do antiwar radio here, but the point is not to, like, seek out the fathers of dead veterans and tryto argue with them or anything like that. Or even the guys Huu who were in the war to confront them with it necessarily because, well, as you’re saying, you know, these were people who suffered losses. I don’t know some guy who was in Iraq war to I don’t know how many of his friends died in front of him. I’m not trying to pick a fight with a guy like that. He’s the implementer of the foreign policy. My fight is with the guys at the E e I and the Defense Department who got us into the war, of course, you know, and just his individuals there. I mean, just as an individual myself, there parts of my life I’ve been able to be introspective about in their parts of my life that I haven’t been able to reach that Ind. That I stumbled into it with Iraq. Good for me that I didn’t do it with something else. Ah, bad for me and I don’t expect that of other people, and it’s unfair to ask it of other people. What is fair is to ask folks who do already have that distance to be a lot more thoughtful about it, and then that either have that distance because they’re personally removed from a modern event or because we’re looking back at history at events that that none of us have more than 2nd 3rd generation Alaa contact with. And at that point, our excuses for not being introspective start to get a whole lot fuzzier. The idea of historically looking back, for example, I mean, we we’ve We’ve Peled around The question throughout this interview about where the atomic bombs actually necessary is intellectually a Gn interesting question. And it it’s It’s something that is worth talking about two to a certain extent because it informs the future. That’s where the value always is. I mean, you can go back and look at it. And the key is always is there some way that in the present that you can pull in some of the perspective, that of the future? In other words, you, you, you make it. You’re making decisions in your life right now. But, you know, I should I should I buy a new car? Should I? Who should I vote for? Should I do this? That or the other thing I mean, you know, we’re constantly doing that. And of course, in retrospect, when you look back at decisions, you have Maurine formacion and more distant. You know all that good stuff. So I mean, the key is always is there any way that to let what that bring that perspective in? So when you zoom into the Oval Office in June of 1945 and say, you know, Ms President we’re nearing the point where we need a decision on the atomic bomb. If you simply confine yourself to that window of time and say that Harry Truman, you know, had a had a birth defect that require refute, that didn’t allow him to think ahead. Whatever you know, then the decision to drop the bomb becomes Azzam obvious as it seemed to be Atto Harry Truman in 1945. The thing is, is that you hope that our leaders ah, are figure men and women than that. And that’s what didn’t happen in 1945. I’m gonna leave aside the question about that. This whole thing was a demo for the for the Russians. I don’t think that was a driving force in the decision to drop the bomb. I think it was in Harry Truman’s mind, you know, He was that he was a diarist. He kept I know how he had time to do anything else. He kept incredible diaries. Stimpson kept diaries as well. His diaries Air, actually, uh, available in the Yale Yeah, Yale Library and actually read through some of them. He has this incredibly neat handwriting. It’s really very easy to work with So both of these. We knew a lot about what these guys were thinking. Um, we’re not trying to put words in their head. We knew we knew what they were thinking. And Truman, for his part, was not really thinking very far ahead. And so I don’t I think, while the Russian thing was certainly probably Maura on the mind of some of his generals, Um, in Truman’s mind, he was a simple man, and he was told that we got a bigger bomb that’s going to make a bigger mess. And that’s the kind of we feel that the Japanese air Neads just Wone. They need a big push to get them to take the next step, which is to surrender, and this bomb is going to do that. And we’ve been working on it all these years, and it’s ready to go sign here, sir, and I don’t know from my own reading that it was it was a lot more complex that then that we had been blowing up people for a long, long time. In World War. Two civilians had been Awene had been targeted from from the opening days of the war long before America was even involved. And I think, without fully understanding what how evolutionary nuclear weapons were. I think in July of 1945 this was just seen as the obvious next step. Um, that said, Like I said, we hope that our leaders are bigger people than that. And think further ahead than that. Truman didn’t thing about bombing Kyoto and bombing Cem other places. You know, Stimpson was the one who argued against Kyoto. There was a target list drawn up, and it was essentially a series of cities that had not been heavily bombed. Otherwise, for whatever reasons, um, the military definitely wanted to blow up something that hadn’t been blown up before. They really were interested to see how this weapon worked. Keep in mind, they only they only had a lot of theory and, ah, handful of small scale tests that out in the desert in the United States, they didn’t really fully I know exactly what was going to happen. And they wanted to know exactly what was gonna happen. Because this this was gonna be the weapon. They were gonna be going forward with post World War Two. So there was clearly Hatin Kyoto was on that list because it hadn’t been bombed during World War Two. And, ah, Stimpson said, You know, Hey, I took my honeymoon there. It’s a World Heritage site A couple of the other people in the State Department said, Hey, if we blow up Kyoto, it’s gonna piss everybody off because it’s a World Heritage site And Truman said, Fine, I don’t care what we blow up. What’s next on the list? There wasn’t really an argument per se. It was more of a fine. You don’t want to blow up Kyoto Cannes. We blow up number two. What’s that? And that was kind of it. It’s like you and I are walking down the street and there’s three or four restaurants and I say, Hey, Scott, how about this one? And you say, Now let’s go that one, okay? I mean, it’s really that kind of casualness. So ticking over an ant pile. Yeah, and it was fine. I mean, the idea was Nagasaki itself was the secondary target right there. Would they was supposed to be ah city in Fukuoka. I’m not sure now, but that’s the idea. It doesn’t matter. It didn’t matter as long as it was more or less a virgin target. It didn’t matter which one it was. So in 1945 the decision was, I think, seen as not that big a deal. I think the big deal came afterwards when we truly understood the power of these weapons, and particularly as we moved into the Cold War, where the way that nuclear war was envisioned was not, as a Capt. Stone, 245 years of conventional conflict like World War Two, was kind of building up to this, but that nuclear weapons and the destruction of whole cities was going to be the opening of the new war that, you know, that’s where you get into the vengeance kind of thing. It’s like, Well, if the Japs hadn’t bombed Pearl Harbor and here’s a list of Japanese atrocities throughout the war, and you know, we lost all those guys in Guadalcanal and so they were really spoiling for this. Yeah, it fits, and it’s a very nice narrative that you know that Etit Atto, America’s Anger Rose and finally our righteous smiting occurred. But it got trickier when you’re talking about what was supposed what was believed to be headed in the future. Where Awene Monday morning. Moscow was a happy little city, and by lunch time it was a smoking ruin. And that was the opening shot and possibly the closing shot of a war. And so the destruction at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I think, caused people to start to think about this in ways that, honestly, I don’t think Truman was considering in July of 1945 mothers were but not Truman. Hang on just one second. Hey, guys, I got to tell you about Wall Street window dot com. It’s the great Mike’s Wansa Gn ah, he made a killing on Wall Street back in the day, and now he sells advice for reasonable prices. Do you need to know what to do to protect your assets? Wall Street Window, Dakar Hey, guys, I know you’re going to love Will Greg’s new book We just published at the Libertarian Institute. No quarter. The ravings of William Norman. Greg, It’s wonderful. It’s terrible. It’s devastating. Yul laugh. You’ll get angry. Yul Ms Him. You’ll be inspired to fight for freedom with Perfect Cover Art by Scott Alberts and a brilliant introduction by Will’s great friend and protege Thomas are bedlam. It is a fitting legacy for a brilliant man and nearly tireless defender of liberty. Get no quarter the ravings of William Norman Greg in paperback or kindle Awene Amazon dot com. Hey, tell me something. What year did you start working for the State Department? I joined the State Department in 1988. Ronald Reagan was president. I left in 2012 when Obama was present. So you joined. I was going to say you remember the core you joined right when the Cold War was ending and the Soviet Union was falling apart? Yeah, we were. We were We were there for it. It was It was, Ah, a heady time, as they like to say. I was actually in London working at that. I worked two years in London, Um, 1991 to 1993 which was a fascinating time because that’s things. You know, the wall went down in 89 but they took a while for things to really happen. And so we were being flooded with the Russian stuff, Uh, during those years in London because of London, as we all know, was always one of those magical crossover points, like Vienna or Prague, where the good guys and the bad guys saw Cem neutral territory. And so it was an amazing time. Um, we saw, for example, this great exodus of Russian scientists who poured through London, guys who worked on a lot of all sorts of nasty weapons programs and stuff who wanted to go to the United States or we’re moving to the United States, and we saw them pour through places like places like London. So no, it was a very exciting time. All right, so because what I want to ask you about is the threat of nuclear war now, because I have read things by people who seemed to be really responsible types. Um, for example of William Perry, who was Bill Clinton’s secretary of defense, saying that now is Azdi and he’s not alone. There are other people saying this to that. Now. The threat of nuclear war between the United States and Russia is as great or even greater than any time during the Cold War, the original Cold War. And that’s because I guess of NATO expansion so that the the buffer zone is now essentially non existent, but also the advent of hypersonic missiles and the shortening of warning times and all these things. What do you think? I can’t subscribe to that theory. Um, one of the things that was so pretty prominent during those years was how the threat of nuclear war had diminished because one of the great benefits was backing down all of the hair trigger stuff. Um, the hair trigger stuff, the idea that you might launch against me. So I better be ready to launch against you. And while you’re ready to launch against me because I’m Radia, lunch gets you. So I better be extra ready, don’t you know? And this kind of built up to the point where everybody had their their their finger on the trigger and was starting to apply it just enough pressure to get Goa the ball rolling. That all kind of tuned down. And in the aftermath of the Cold War, during those years when I was in the State Department, the stuff I was seeing and reading and being told was all built around accidents. Um, the great fear was that the Russians would lose control of nuclear weapons that they would end up in the hands of third parties, that the fact that people stop kind of caring the Russian military stop doing all the maintenance that they needed to do on the weapons meant that there was danger of accidents and things like that. Um, you know, you have to ask you way. I think we have a firm enough understanding that the use of a nuclear weapon between the United States and any other nuclear armed country means we’re racing thio Armageddon. We’re not that there’s not a stop point easily found in this game, and this was always what restrained during the Cold War, right was the idea that there was no halfway on this stuff, and I don’t know. I can’t think of a justification to explain why anyone would think there’s a halfway in it now and at the point where there were both sides acknowledge there’s no halfway. Once we start, we’re both going to be more or less obliterated. Um, that was an extremely powerful disincentive Tito war during the Cold War period, and I can’t imagine it doesn’t exist now. I also can’t imagine why anyone would I mean there’s plenty of reasons to keep the Ki building weapons. I mean, you know, that’s the industrial military complex. But to use them, it’s a different story. This is t just enlarge. And this is the whole idea about why there will never be a nuclear weapon holding Iran. The day that Iran has a first nuclear weapon will be the day that the United States and Israel obliterated, because the idea that they would that we could reach a Gn Armageddon situation in the Middle East is simply not acceptable. The there’s only 11 and 1/2 nuclear powers in the Middle East, that’s the United States and Israel, and that’s it. It will not be allowed to change. And I think the Iranians also know that, by the way. But that’s neither here nor there. There, there, there can’t be a nuclear standoff in the Middle East. It simply will not happen, and the United States and Israel will. Sure it won’t happen if you’re not sure if I’m right. Police guy, go back and look at what the Israelis did to the Ah Osirak reactor when Iraq was getting even vaguely close to ah developing something what they did to the Syrian reactor that supposedly the North Koreans help them build et cetera, et cetera. You know you’re not going to get there. The mistakes of the Cold War and that sense or learned, um, the Americans who wanted to destroy Russia’s nuclear capability. And whenever it was 1940 seven, Ayt whenever that was, you know, that argument has resonated with the United States and Israel in the Middle East. Yeah, well, in other words, that an LBJ should have preemptively attacked China before Maor was able to get his hands on Wone to Then you don’t know the problem with China is Israa was Russia. I mean, it wasn’t a Wone Awene Wone deal. You couldn’t have attacked China without bringing Awene nuclear war with Russia. The thing is, is that you can you could have I’m not advocating. But you could have attacked Russia at its nascent nuclear stage, and nobody else would have done a damn thing about it. Now, as far as the standoff between the US and China, the U. S. And Russia that hey, nobody wants to lose their capital city, they’d be crazy to use these nukes because then they’d be dead. I’m not so sure that precludes the possibility of war. I don’t know what the chances are of this kind of thing, but when you look especially at, sort of like we’ve been talking about this whole time, the level of just total nonsense and just lies and false premises and ridiculous points of view and regurgitated propaganda talking points about what is even going on here from the American side about containing and defending the world from Russian aggression and all his crap. That’s just not really what’s going on here. It all that America is attempting to force our world empire even Awene Russia and China who are powerful enough to be independent from us and so we can’t stand it. But if you tell anyone in Washington D. C. Come on, you guys know the Clintons and Bushies picked this fight caused this problem. They would deny it. No, it’s Awal Putin Ds fault. Harvard Boyz. What’s that? That’s ancient history. You know the warring for against Serbia? No, I don’t know what you’re talking about. The color coded revolutions. I’ve never heard of those. But what I do know is Russia, Russia Russia, Russia, Russia. And so that’s the kind of thing that makes me think that we can get into a war is that these people are like in a in a sense, insane, right? Like they’re thinking is so off base that I could expect anything to happen. Well, let me reassure you. And that is in a way that I think will resonate. And that is, war is not as profitable as preparing for war. Oh, I understand that. So if you look at it from the people who run Huu really run the United States, there is way more money to be made in making and maintaining nuclear weapons than in risking the use of them. And in that sense, if there’s if you needed nothing else to reassure you, maybe maybe hang on to that one that Ind. No, I just mean like, well, for example, I am. And I understand that, but say there’s a naval confrontation in the Baltic Sea or in the Black Sea, and then people start making ultimatums to each other. And then there’s another coup. Ind Belarus this time, or whatever it is, I mean, she can get out of hand No, but it happened constantly during the Cold War. The Russians in, you know, poke their their their, um, Armey into into countries all over the Middle East are all over Eastern Europe. The United States had its own little ah, forward front Awal through Central America that we were constantly bumping into each other with with submarines and surface ships and airplanes in all the coastal areas. There were little flare ups on the Korean board inter Caree, Ind board or whatever. It happened constantly during the Cold War, but it was in nobody’s interest, financial or otherwise, for it to get too far out of hand. End. You know, the military Zerg good at following orders. And the idea was that in each and every case, somebody back was told to back off and somebody backed off. And in that historical record is is should not be dismissed lightly. Yeah, I understand. Hey, who wants hydrogen fusion over their head? Nobody. Nadi Oo Grotius Tair Clinton’s but you know Okay, So here’s my last best point about this then. Which is what Pat Buchanan says about how we used to draw the line at the Elbe River and So when the Soviets crackdown in Hungary and Czechoslovakia and in Poland during Eisenhower, LBJ and Reagan, the American said Bayh, not my problem. Sorry, Charlie. You know, Karsi, I might have encouraged you to do it, but we’re not doing anything for you now, sucker. Um, but don’t you Soviets come in tow Western Germany? But that was seeding a hell of a lot to them, of course. Is the right kicked and screamed ever since Yalta. But point being that now we’ve drawn the line at Russia’s western border, and we have a military alliance with the Baltic states. And we keep working on overthrow Nas. Many governments we have to in Ukraine until the situation is is ah, you know, right for bringing them into NATO as well. And that this is the kind of thing where maybe the Russians would do something that we would severely disapprove of, but that I, Ge Eisenhower, would have let slide, but that now we can’t. Because now you’re turning your back on Article five of the NATO alliance and all of these things. Yes, yes, maybe. But I think you know this. Two conflicting arguments Atto. Ansar that But I think one or one of them will be the one that that that happens. And that is either that the Russians were smart enough to realize that the rules are a little different end. I understand that they have to participate within different rules or that that the U. S side will Nz recognize that the rules are made to be flexible. And you know, this little sliver of lot via that the Russians have always wanted their hands on or something is absolutely not worth nuclear war. Um, I don’t pretend to know enough about Ukraine to get into the nuts and bolts, but I can say that both sides have done an awful lot of weird, violent, nasty shit in Ukraine. And we’ve not gone to war over it, right? And and going back to the Cold War two when the CIA supported the Nazi right back then, too Well, I mean, that’s that’s a long tradition for us, But I mean, my point is is that the Russians let us do what we’re all the Dashty stuff we’ve been doing in the Ukraine. We’ve made a lot of noise about what the Russians have done in the Ukraine. But you know the troops we haven’t We haven’t dropped the paratroopers Ind to push them back or anything. The point is, is that I think both sides recognize the value of flexibility. Um, saber rattling and fist shaking serves everybody’s Neads, but actual war serves. Nobody’s Neads. And I think in the end of the day, as during the cold War of that will be what keeps the peace, possibly for all the wrong reasons or whatever, but I don’t think we’re going to war with Russia. Well, there you go, everybody. Humanity is going to survive after all the optimistic take from Pieter Van Buren today. And I’m sorry. You know what? I think you did respond, but I was still talking over here about when I mentioned Ellsberg Ds book the Doomsday Machine. Have you read that? Oh, yeah, of course. Of course. I have read everything Daniel Ellsberg has written. He’s a hero of mine. And one of the highlights of my whistle blowing career was when Dan reached out and introduced himself. And I got a chance to sit down and have dinner with him. Very cool. I had dinner with Dan Ellsberg, Hubble that that is very cool. I’ve got to interview him a few times and he blurred my book. So Yeah, that’s that’s not quite dinner, though. That’s great. But yes. Oh, that book will give you the heebie jeebies. And I guess he you know, for people who haven’t read it, he comes into power as the deputy assistant. Whatever in the White House overlooking nuclear stuff in the Jack Kennedy years. And he comes to find out that the plan is that if anybody shoots, anybody in Berlin were gonna nuke every city in Russia and China, and there is no other plan. And by the way, the war could start accidentally. About 150 different ways. And it was his job to go. Whoa, whoa, whoa. And try to rewrite all of this stuff and try to get the military to even admit what their plans were and all this Int Ind to try to make it Ah, nuclear doomsday machine a little bit safer to operate. Um, but then, you know, he kind of ends it with I am Bin there in a long time. I don’t know how they do it now and sea. I’m a subscriber to what? I’m I think I’m gonna start calling the George W. Bush Theory of History, where all of our presidents are nothing but George W. Bush. Winston Churchill. Nothing but George W. Bush. All of these guys are nothing but a bunch. I mean, look at the you would think Eisenhower would have been wise, but every bit of our mess in the Middle East is because of him and and his predecessors and successors. But you know what I mean? With that 53 coup in Iran and the aftermath and all of these things And so, um, I could see him screwing up. I could see him getting us all killed accidentally. Honestly, you know, possibility of accidents happening remains. This has been my theory on the Koreas, by the way. I’m just to throw this in. So everybody ca Gn tell me I’m right as as we as we watch the last sunset it is. Never mind that we’re gonna have a nuclear war with North Korea. I’m deathly afraid. Ofra. Chernobyl, like level accident in North Korea. That triggers the next thing. Um, that’s a good point. Yanover Yongbyong reactor. I’m sure you do know was built by the Soviets and is run off of pretty highly and rich stuff or certainly can be. It used to be run off. Even weapons grade uranium was fueling it back then. It’s harder than it is now. Exactly what Bhd is a big thing in North Korea. And so, no, my my great fear there is, isn’t Aksa Menagh Chernobyl level accident that causes the next thing whether that next thing would be, for example, the Chinese to intercede or a massive refugee flow into the South or some kind of military coup. Ibn pick. Pick your favorite nightmare. But those kind of things are far more concern to me because they lack logic. Atto The end of the day Whatever you want to say about Putin, whoever is the next Russian leader. These air still people that are trying to think these things through, albeit in a childish, ridiculously stupid way. But there’s still a thinking process that means there’s still a chance to retain her seat. But when you’re talking about accidents that trigger spontaneous reactions, there is no logic there. It’s just people running, and that’s the most dangerous situation of Awal of all time, right? Yeah. You know, there was that time they the airforce accidentally dropped a thermonuclear Gn North Carolina and eight out of nine safeties failed. I think they say right, you gotta wonder if that h bomb had gone off. Would they have been able to admit that it was an accident? Or they would have had to say it was an attack and respond as though it was an attack, you know? Yeah. So the accidents I think are right now would would worry me far more than Eni Williamsport Aires thoughts that the Russians are gonna launch a nuclear war or whatever. Yeah, well, Sanju I know it sounds like you got to go. But now we’re talking about Korea. So I want to know what’s your take on the latest coming out of those negotiations there. The latest mike by taking is the same take that. I’ve been offering Foer for two years now. There is room to negotiate. Always, and the United States may or may not have the skill and we may or may not give our diplomats the time in space they need. North Korea is an ultimately in an untenable position. They are going to have to engage with the world at some level, some point in order to to to survive and and to thrive. I think Kim Jong un understands that. I think he wants to find a way to engage with the world. He will not do that without the umbrella of nuclear weapons. He has seen far too many examples across the Middle East of what the United States is capable of doing to a country it doesn’t like that can’t defend itself. And the United States will I face the choice of engaging with a nuclear armed North Korea as a starting point, or we will continue to just kind of noodle along as we have for the past 75. Some years, Um, I am in favor of engaging with the nuclear North Korea of accepting that they will maintain a nuclear deterrent at in the initial stages of their re entry into the world, and I am adamant that their re entry in the world will ultimately result in their backing off of that nuclear deterrent. But we’re talking about decades of careful diplomacy here, Um, American Media, which is insistent that everything Trump does is wrong is not going to to move the needle on this in any way. And my hope is that some resolution or some positive steps Cannes continue to occur before Ah, an accident occurs. Kim Jong Un is a young man, but life spans in North Korea. Cannes could be cut short fairly quickly, and I I don’t know that there’ll be another up opportunity following him. I don’t know who would possibly succeed him could be a military coup, at which point there’s no more negotiations. Kim, I think ca Gn be diplomatically I don’t want to say manipulated, positioned into seeing himself as his store as a historical figure, the dung Shaoping of his nation, the man who preserved North Koreas sovereignty and what they want to call their culture while at the same time moving it into the modern world. If you had skillful diplomacy that gave him that opportunity to make himself that historical figure, I think there would be room to negotiate. I don’t know that the United States has ever been capable of that subtlety. I think in the current circumstances, between Trump’s sort of need for short term things and the American Popular population Ind Media’s desire to see him fail at every step. Um, I don’t think this trump is is capable. Ah, second term Trump. I’m not sure about that either. Eni of the Democrats currently, that would win in 2020 Natta chance at all. I think they would instantly back burner North Korea and we’d go back to just nothing. I think there is a window. Um, I’m seeing it closing now. And it’s a shame, I think, a year ago, year and 1/2 ago we history will say that way blew it. We missed a real chance to, ah, break down some of these barriers that could have led in the future to, ah, Non nuclear North Korea Doocy. Yeah, well, you know the one little piece of good news from this week is that Stephen be Guen? However you say it. The State Department negotiator on this who had previously said what you said that Hey, we’ve got to recognize that denuclearization would be nice, but it’s not first on the list we got to get, you know it’s okay. Thio, go ahead and make peace first and work out. Denuclearization later. Come on the only realistic approach here. And then he was overwritten on that Lider. Anyway, My point was that he was offered. Or at least they were talking about moving him to the Russia job, ambassador to Russia to replace Huntsman. And he declined it, even though apparently speaks Russian and is a great Russia expert. And he decided, No. I want to stay working on the North Korea case. Or maybe he had a a conversation with Pompeii like that or something, and he’s staying, so you know, it’s not. It’s not unthinkable, even in the current State Department. You know, he said that at a speech, and then was obviously overridden. But, like you’re saying is, it’s so obvious. It’s the only thing. And, you know, I don’t know if if Trump fails to do this, if only for political reasons. So he has something to claim as a victory. Um, then he’s worse than I thought, because he could do it himself. He didn’t need the Congress to ratify anything. He could just start lifting sanctions and normalizing relations in ways that you know can mean real progress toward normalization of relations. Sign a peace treaty to end the war from 1950 through 53 there. Yeah, you know it runs head on into the Siri’s or problems. Trump seems to want a big splash that he ca Gn use for the kelp Id Minh 2020. The rest of America seems to be rooting for failure so that in addition to the recession that they can’t wait to happen. They ca Nz a. Something else went wrong. Um, and the clock is running in North Korea. You know, we we like to think of Kim Ah and other dictators as thes Ghad kings that make decrees. And but Kim functions like every every so called dictator Kim functions inside of a system. Now he doesn’t have Nancy Pelosi and Deo see, but he has power centers in his country, economic power centers, military power centers, other political power centers that he has to juggle. And he has to keep on board and those internal windows open and close, the same as they do in the United States. They’re not as obvious to us, and they’re not is extreme. But Kim, on his own can’t just do this and he can do certain things but he can’t do everything. And skillful diplomacy takes that all into account. I’m sorry to say that. I just don’t see Pompeii. Oh, I wish there was somebody there that was a little bit Maura of a diplomat. I think Pompeii Neo Cees himself. As you know, Trump’s emissary to the State Department and Hmmmmm or keeping it all under control than than actually driving these issues. It would be nice in a second trump term or ah, maybe if Pompeii Oo quits sooner than that, Atto have someone there who is willing to play Amore active role and be a secretary of state. Maybe take this issue Awene Nas as their signature issue with Trump’s backing, Um, I mean, the president could only do so many things. He’s only one person, and there’s so much head water on this issue that it would be nice to get somebody. Huu isn’t named Trump kind out in front of it in hopes that the media and Democrats would would leave him alone long enough to try to get something done. Yeah, it’s too bad that he just, you know, uh, he has a few good instincts. A lot of them are really bad, but some of them are not so bad. Like, let’s get along with Russia and let’s make peace with Korea and maybe pull our troops out of Syria and a couple of things. But he appointed Awal Hawks to serve him in all the most powerful positions, so he can’t permit any of that stuff. All they do is argue with him all day long, and he gives in over and over again because he didn’t have anyone to stand by his side and say, No, you guys, he’s right. You know, Mr President makes a great point here. It’s it’s, you know, and his his instincts, they’re just that right there, hardly informed at all. So he he can’t win in an actual discussion or argument with anybody about stuff, you know, They tell him, Boy, if we leave Syria, Iran will take over and he goes, Oh, no, really, boy, I better not do that. Then and then that’s it. And we get kind of goofy partial solutions where we pull most of the troops out of Syria. But we don’t pull all of the troops out of Syria. Um, and she’s like, Okay, all right? Yeah. All right, well, but there’s not gonna be a nuclear war, so that’s good. Yep, we’re we’re safe on that. So, uh, yeah. Pay your credit card bills, folks, Student loans. You’re still gonna be on the hook for that story. But still, don’t whitewash the Hiroshima bombing. That’s the piece at the American Conservative magazine, the American conservative dot com. Thanks. Thank you. Peter. Graeme Beirt Neo Oo. Also check out we meant well, is his great website. All right, y’all. Thanks. Find me at Libertarian Institute dot or Ge at scott Kortan dot or Ge antiwar dot com and reddit dot com slash scott Horton Show. Oh, yeah. And read my book Fool’s Errand Timed and the War in Afghanistan at Fool’s errand dot us.
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