Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Famed film director (and history buff) Oliver Stone’s long-awaited The Untold History of the United States series debuted on Showtime last November 12. The series focused on the period just before and after World War II, and then carried the themes forward through various US wars (cold and hot) and other issues. It's now available on DVD and has also spawned a companion book with the same title, by Stone and historian Peter Kuznick.
The Hiroshima chapter makes a strong case against the use of the bomb.  

Stone and Kuznick focus on Russia’s entry into the war, as the U.S. had insisted, two days after we dropped the bomb. That shocking and cataclysmic event would have (likely) forced a speedy Japanese surrender without the use of the atomic weapon, which killed over 200,000—the vast majority civilians, mainly women and children—in the two cities. (See one of my books on the subject here on two US soldiers who shot historic footage in Hiroshima and Nagasaki—and then saw it suppressed for decades.)

Stone and Kuznick title the forty-eight-page Hiroshima chapter in their book "The Bomb: Tragedy of a Small Man." That man, of course, is President Truman. The book, and the TV series, make the claim that if progressive hero Henry Wallace had not been booted off the Roosevelt ticket in 1944 in favor of hack politician Truman, history would have been much different (concerning both the use of the bomb and the coming of the cold war). 

But how did Stone reach his conclusions on Truman’s misuse of the bomb? . . . 

Does this defending the use of the bomb make it easier for us and others to use the weapon again?
Without a doubt. And not just the bomb, any kind of space frontier weapon now in the works. It’s very dangerous where we are now, and how ignorant we are about our history.

Greg Mitchell is the author of Atomic Cover-up: Two U.S. Soldiers, Hiroshima & Nagasaki  and Hollywood Bomb (on an epic MGM 1947 drama censored by Truman and the military), with Robert Jay Lifton, Hiroshima in America.  

See his video on suppression of film footage from Hiroshima here.
Weapons of War Come Home
Welcome to Post-Constitution America

By Peter Van Buren

What If Your Country Begins to Change and No One Notices?  

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