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tv   Washington Journal 08062020  CSPAN  August 6, 2020 6:59am-10:07am EDT

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law enforcement involvement in recent protests. there will be a house subcommittee hearing on the coronavirus crisis examining the potential impact of the opening schools during the pandemic. senate is back at 9:30 and eastern to debate and vote on the nomination of john cronin to be a judge for the southern district of new york. armed c-span3, the senate services committee holds a confirmation hearing for several defense department nominees putting inspector general. that gets underway at 9:00 a.m. during. on washington journal, we are marking the 75th anniversary of the u.s. your bombings of hiroshima and nagasaki -- nuclear bombings of hiroshima and nagasaki. we are joined by author and historian ian toll.
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the eventsmore on that led to the bombings when we talk president harry truman's grandson, clifton truman daniel. ♪ 75 years ago today, the uso and the nuclear weapons bureau. gay,ed from the b-29 enola the bomb called little boy would explode with an impact of 15 kilotons and be responsible for the death of 237,000 people. that and the bombing of nagasaki on august 9 would propel japan to surrender and the end of world war ii. good morning. it is washington journal for this thursday, august 6, 20 20.
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we are going to spend the entire program on the 75th anniversary of the bombings of hiroshima and nagasaki and the end of world war ii. would like to hear from you. your thoughts on the decision to use the a-bomb, the end of the war and hiroshima's legacy. zones, and central time 202-748-8000. mountain and pacific 202-748-8001. world war ii veterans and their families 202-748-8002. japanese-americans, 202-748-8003 . that line also available for your texts. make sure you tell us where you are texting from. andre at c-span wj for your additional comments. later in the program we will be joined by author ian toll who is
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just releasing his trilogy on the war in the pacific. we will talk to harry truman's oldest grandson clifton truman daniel. your storiesar bombing iniroshima particular. on june 22 of that year, the marines declared that okinawa was secured after the battle there. successfully.s. tested the atom bomb in the new mexico desert. on july 26, was called the potsdam declaration called for unconditional surrender of japan's armed forces. on august 6, the u.s. dropping the atom bomb on hiroshima. it would be three days later,
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august 9. bomb would drop on nagasaki. daysoviets the same declared war and invaded manchuria. laterld be six days before emperor hirohito announced that japan would surrender unconditionally and the surrender ceremony happening aboard on september 2, 1945. 75th anniversary of hiroshima. eastern and central 202-748-8000 . mountain and pacific 202-748-8001. we hope to hear about the 75th anniversary ceremony in hiroshima. a scaled back memorial is the headline, a cry against rising nationalism.
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the mayor of hiroshima warned the world about the rise of self-centered nationalism. an appeal for greater international quote ration to overcome the coronavirus pandemic. speaking at hiroshima's peace matsui affirmed a piece declaration of field to japan's government to ratify the treaty proposing the elimination of. humanity struggles against a new threat, the novel coronavirus. he said when the 1918 flu pandemic attacked a century ago, it took millions of lives and terrorized the world because nations fight in were unable to meet the threat together. nationalism led to world war ii and the atomic bombings.
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civil society must reject self-centered nationalism and unite against all threats. 1945ate was august 6, president harry truman was in the middle of the atlantic on the uss agosta. recorded this film announcing the bombing u.s. citizens. let's take a look. ago, an american airplane dropped one bomb on hiroshima and destroyed its usefulness to the enemy. that bomb has more power than 20,000 tons of tnt. began the war from the air at pearl harbor. foldhave been repaid many and the end is not yet. addedhis bomb we have now a new and revolutionary increase in destruction to supplement the growing power of our armed
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forces. form, thesesent bombs are now in production and even more powerful forms are in development. it is an atomic bomb. basica harnessing of the power of the universe. the force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the far east. destroyow prepared to more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the japanese have in any city. we shall destroy their docs, their factories, and their communications. let there be no mistake. we shall completely destroy japan's power to make war. it was to spare the japanese people from utter destruction that the ultimatum of july 26 was issued at potts dam.
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their leaders promptly rejected that ultimatum. if they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a grain of war from the air the like of which has never been seen on earth. attack: seaterror and land forces in such power and with the fighting skill of which they are already well aware. host: president truman referencing the pop dam declaration calling for the unconditional surrender by japan which they would do on august 15 of 1945. the erats and sounds of and the bombings. we will take a look at a couple of key headlines happening this morning. let's hear from daniel on the line for world war ii family members. caller: yes. forather did volunteer
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world war ii and fought in europe. i just want to share that the nuclear bombing of hiroshima and nagasaki were horrible war crimes. wars are to be fought with military. any attack of civilians is a war crime. the development of nuclear weapons has given us a massive that'sof nuclear waste leaking all over the place. we have accidents like crazy if you want to listen to john oliver's show, the comedian. he will have you scared to walk out the door from all the accidents we had. paying for nuclear weapons is against the law. we should not be paying our taxes to the federal government as long as it has nuclear weapons. we are financing terrorism.
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nuclear weapons are a crime against humanity. host: margaret is next in leavenworth. caller: that was a very insightful comment. you know, we have to think about when we create something. when rumsfeld was all disappointed that he couldn't drop his 20,000 pound bomb because the war ended too early in iraq, that was disgusting. make something and you put years into it and then you've got to use it because you made it. necessary and we've got so much things we are not taking care of and beirut just blew up. do you think all our stockpiles of nuclear weapons are safe? presidentat, one dumb could do something really crazy. it's terrible. ok, thank you.
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video wee of the showed you, the man circling the nuclear shadows of the people who were vaporized instantly by the atomic explosion in hiroshima. darnell is in philadelphia. good morning. caller: good morning. i'm 64 and i live under the glory of america's world or to victory. but i would argue that the a-bomb was a pandora's box. was helds a child, it as the height of intelligence that america could create the atom bomb and i believed that, too. but i believe that it's opened a knowledge. even the parallel of the knowledge we have of the internet which ultimately i don't believe that mankind can handle. i don't believe mankind has the wisdom to handle the atomic knowledge. because sooner or later, an idiot is going to make one. it's no longer a secret how to
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make an atom bomb. when i was a child, that was held to be the supreme seek it. is getting the uranium. sooner or later some not is going to get the uranium. host: a piece that's available at reuters, in a flash, a changed world. i wanted to show you the different bombs. a look inside the two different bombs that were created and one dropped on hiroshima, the other dropped on nagasaki. august 6, 19boy 45. it's a uranium bomb. they show the detonator and they .ive a scale known as a gun-type fission device, it fires a mess of uranium into another to create a super fickle mass. this is the one that was dropped on nagasaki, fat man. it is a plutonium bomb.
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fission toapid produce an explosion. getting your thoughts on the 75th anniversary of hiroshima. arlington columbus, ohio. 1938 so iwas born in lived through it. think what trump -- host: truman? in 1945what truman did was absolutely correct. the germans were working on nuclear fission in the late 30's. so was the russians. .o somebody was going to get it i'm not at all put aside that he dropped the bomb. i'm glad we got it before anybody else.
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so that's my comment. host: in idaho, darrell. caller: good morning. the thing that's bad news with the entire war with the japanese is all the nations, the americans would surrender. russians, they would surrender by the thousands. the germans when they got surrounded, they surrendered by the thousands. the japanese would not surrender. every one of the wars we confronted those people with, you had to go to the last man and sometimes they had as many as 10 or 15 people would surrender out of the thousands. it was a case where i think truman had to look at the facts. they were preparing to even have the women take on even if they were pointed sticks. we were going to be faced with a situation where you're fighting
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a nation that as far as war goes, you can't find a braver nation than the japanese. they even drove their planes into our ships in okinawa. they were the very first cruise missiles. we are in a war right now where on nagasakidropped are firecrackers compared to what we have now. firecrackers -- there is enough firepower that competes with all of world war ii. we are in a situation where the world is really going into a position where one of these days it's going to be bad news and i don't know if i'm going to be alive when it happens, but i really think the scriptures predict what's called a great tribulation and you can be rest assured, we are all going to go -- hillary clinton wrote the book what happened. there you go. to send us awant
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text, 202-748-8003. in portland, why was it very to drop two bombs on populated areas. would it not have been sufficient to show we have the capability by dropping the bombs on relatively on populated areas. a question for ian toll. jodey sends us this. my parents took a selfie at the center of impact as they called it back then, not ground zero when america occupied japan. connecticut,from criminal, genocidal. these were civilians. the u.s. military could have dropped the bomb in the ocean. this was payback, vengeance and brutality of epic portions. shame is too weak a word. had it been used for a free power source and developed into a side he of forward thinking and technologically advanced
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humans instead of the destroyers. alan on, we hear from the line for world war ii vets and their families. the 72-year-old son of a world war ii veteran in the pacific. and i have a different take on this then specifically the dropping the atom bomb. the end of world war ii, the end of the second war of empires, because it was a war of empires just as the first world war was a war of empires, ended in an unusual way. and most people would not have insight to how the war was ended. but of course it was the surrender on the missouri. in southeast asia which had been coprosperityhe
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japanese empire, coprosperity mainly for japan. the japanese empire. we had the japanese empire, the nazi empire in europe, the british empire and the french empire all involved. shortly after war the surrender on the missouri actually was most represented i what happened in southeast asia, notably what we now call vietnam. british empire major general, douglas gracie, was responsible for securing the surrender of the japanese troop that had occupied through the japanese empire southeast asia. that was done in a strange way. the french empire which controlled southeast asia was not in a position to have their
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because francere was the weakest of the powers, weakest of the empires. it turned out that what was done was douglas gracie, the british empire's major general, orchestrated from the british empire the surrender in vietnam. done only within two weeks of the surrender on the missouri. host: was that two weeks after the september 15? caller: yes. in southeast asia. and the orders were, and douglas gracie the british empire's general was the senior person in southeast asia. he orchestrated surrendering the japanese troops surrendered to him.
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after theiately japanese troops surrendered to him, the british empire with coordination with the french empire and requesting american troops to be involved, actually re-equipped japanese empire troops who had previously been fighting the american and british forces in vietnam. and ordered them to be reequipped with sidearms only. because the japanese empire troops had been successful in suppressing the vietnamese people. in the territory that the british empire controlled. ahead and editt it. american troops involved at the senior level were willing to do that. american enlisted troops said
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basically, what the hell are we doing? we were fighting these japanese troops last week or two weeks ago and we are equipping them with sidearms and they will suppress any revolutionary aspects of the vietnamese. host: you said your dad was in the pacific theater? when did he come back home? caller: he didn't come home until 46. about may of 46. he was the xo to the commander city ofof the imperial kyoto. for your experience. we have a lot of people who want to get through. i appreciate the insight into southeast asia. next in sano david diego also on the world war ii vets and families line. caller: my name is dave.
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inks for taking my call. i heard a lot of comments and i just wanted to chime in. my dad was in the ninth infantry overseas in europe and p.o.w.. when he finally came back he , i thinklly told me they are fattening us up to send us back over there to japan. he was very happy that the war came to an end. a lot of us wouldn't be here because of that. sad things happen, it was a different time in the world it's just unfortunate. but people fight. that's just the way it is. host: a view from john in pennsylvania says the japanese
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tortured and executed american pows and forget pearl harbor. truman should have bombed tokyo. just some facts on the hiroshima bombing. the b-29 super fortress in nola gay. the name of the uranium bomb was a boy. bombxplosive force of that 15 kilotons of tnt. the population of hiroshima at the time, 290,000 civilians. 90 tothe casualties some 166,000 died in the four-month period after the explosion. the estimated killed 237,000 overall indirectly or directly from the bombing. we showed you the video of the time of the in nola gay. here's a more current picture from the washington post on the 75th anniversary. the headline enola gay carried 12 men, hope and the world's
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deadliest weapon. this plane is housed now at the bar hazy center, part of the air and space museum just outside the nation's capital. it has been in the past open for visitors. it's one of the main features of hazy center. james is next. caller: three uncles and my father served at home. i would like to bring up the fact that if the japanese had invented that bomb, imagine if they had dropped one on new york city and then dropped one on los angeles. to me.believable it's easy to criticize, but to do something like that, to me that is mass genocide. it is something this country will have to live with for a long time. thehould apologize to
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japanese. as brutal as they were, should drop those bombs is almost unforgettable -- unforgivable. pittsburgh.y is in good morning. caller: i suppose i have a different take. my father was a prisoner of war in japan for three and a half years. he is a survivor of the but and death march. without the dropping of this bomb, i probably wouldn't be speaking to you right now. i'm 68 years old. my father died in 2004. i suppose i have mixed feelings about it. back and hee came suffered for how he was tortured for those three and a half years. it affected his life, his emotional being and physical well-being. i'm a nurse. ironically, my father was never really truly bitter about what the japanese did he saw it in a
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different way because when they , thatdered input and culture, that was a boring to them. you fellarched, and if down, you were killed. he told me horrible stories of what happened to him. i suppose i have mixed feelings. i guess i'm just sort of disappointed in how things have transpired over the many decades. host: did your dad have mixed feelings about the bombing itself and overall, was he bitter about the experience of how he was treated in the pow camp? caller: first of all about the bombings, i think he at the time and you have to look at that generation. i don't know how he felt, but he was just happy to be alive. he was happy to come home.
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i suppose he saw it as a necessary. treated, iow he was think my father in some ways is governmentat his own because it took my father decades to fight to get disability coverage for what he went. , what they put them through. because when he came back, it john, he was sickly, was wasted, he was in the hospital in pittsburgh for several months. he went back to work in a steel mill. he had health problems but they said, just suck it up that's the way it was. when he came back and other people served in the war looked at him they said, you had it easy. you are a p.o.w.. we were out there fighting. it's kind of ironic isn't it? and i think about what just transpired.
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like i said, i wouldn't be here. and ironically in our family, i'm from western pennsylvania where there were a lot of people that were prisoners of war in japan. but my mother who he married after he came back, my mother's john.r, my own call he was also a prisoner of war in japan. so in our family we sort of had a unique situation there. sure did. thanks for calling in this morning. todd in california. caller: good morning. ink you for taking my call. caller,ing a previous the united states should never apologize to japan. they did sneak attack on us at pearl harbor and they got what they deserved it with the atomic weapons. i'm sorry innocent civilians
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died, that always happens in a war. as far as any nuclear weapons now going forward, if iran and north korea continue their nuclear proliferation, we should have no problem taking out their countries entirely. them -- we can't keep letting these threats go on unanswered. host: 202-748-8000 eastern and central. mountain and pacific. it is the 75th anniversary of the bombing of hiroshima. anniversaryl be the of the bombing of nagasaki. 202-748-8002 for world war
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veterans -- world war ii veterans and their families. 202-748-8003 japanese-americans. we want to show you some video from president truman. outtakes from a program he did looking at his presidency. he talks about his decision to the atomic bomb. >> so when we issue the to surrender,apan the only answer we got was to go to the devil. all this time, some of their people seem to be acting behind their backs back to the camera trying to sue for peace in one underhand way or another. will when they replied that way, we knew there was only one of two things to do. lose a million of our own men or drop the common home -- drop the atomic bomb. and still there was no reaction. we learned later that the japanese cabinet met and finally
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there were enough who agreed to surrender to split the cabinet in half. 1/2 in favor of surrender, the other determines to fight on. in this spirit, the emperor was finally calledfinally told to gs opinion. an unprecedented move. he did not want people dying anymore than he wanted to surrender. yet, the military still would not notify us of their capitulation. we had to drop the second bomb on nagasaki. that did it. without thoseu two bombs dropped on them to show them we meant business, they might never have surrendered. they would have killed 3 million more people on both sides. that is why there is no question that the view of the whole on thee military had
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people, the dropping of the bomb was the only sensible thing to do. it was the only thing to do. there are a lot of crybabies around who talked about what ought to have been done. i had the authority of the best man in the business. that is henry l simpson. it stopped the war. i don't care what the crybabies say now because they did not have to make the decision. president truman in the 1960's television program, there are outtakes there as well that he was taping for a series about his presidency, reaction from members of congress on the 75th anniversary of hiroshima, jim mcgovern, the congressman or massachusetts with this tweet. today marks 75 years since the atomic bombing of hiroshima.
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america has a responsibility to lead on nonproliferation. we can and must pursue a world where no nation has nuclear weapons. and the wonders of science are used to improve life and not ended. saysgressman from texas from 75 years ago, the united states dropped atomic bombs on hiroshima and nagasaki. this is an urgent reminder of america's responsibility to lead on nuclear nonproliferation. we should begin with extending the new start treaty with russia critical we force new agreements to prevent emerging technologies from undermining strategic stability. your comments also welcome on twitter and by text. the dropping of the two atomic bombs shorten the war, saved countless ally lives and an estimated one million americans. that would have been lost in an invasion of the japanese mainland. my father was in europe, guarding the topknot sees in nuremberg.
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he had his traveling orders for the pacific theater for the expected invasion of japan. vicki in wichita, kansas. at the time, japan was our sworn enemy. some of the comments i hear people making shows people do not know their history. what strikes me is that now japan is an ally and we helped protect them -- help protect them. america does not hold an entire race and enemy in perpetuity for the sins of their fathers. jeff in virginia says i believe the life of a soldier is equal to the life of a civilian and the u.s. soldiers life is more important than foreign civilians. the dropping of bombs in japan is justified as it saved u.s. soldiers lives. bill king, tweeting this. what is frightening is as destructive as those bombs were, they are puny to the current stock of nuclear weapons. it is time for a worldwide ban. let's hear from rory next in rancho mirage, california. excuse me, rancho, center
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margarita.- santos the atomic bombs, they had to be dropped. they had the russian invasion. if the one million americans had been killed in japan, talking to the officers, they could not have held their men back. they would have killed every man, woman and child in japan. the japanese troops on the mainland would have killed all of the asian population everywhere, until they were destroyed by other atomic bombs if japan had not surrendered. there is nothing right about that. it just plain had to be done. it was evil but it was absolutely necessary. that's it. host: brandy in massachusetts, your thoughts on this 75th anniversary. caller: good morning, c-span. i wanted to talk about a couple of things. the first is a lot more japanese
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civilians were killed in the conventional bombing of tokyo. and other japanese cities than ever were killed in the nuclear explosions. as truman mentioned, the war --inet of japan if we had dropped the bombs in the ocean or nonpublic areas, the odds of them surrendering were slim. i thought we did the right thing . i think people get a lot of history wrong. i think truman had no choice. we saved tens of thousands of american soldiers lives and even thousands of japanese civilian lives by dropping those bombs. that is all i had to say. thank you. herschel is on the line from georgia. my father was a world
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war ii writer. the japanese were some of the most ferocious fighters and the most clueless fighters -- cruelest fighters there were. i believe what truman did was the answer that was needed at the time. had invaded japan it would have been bloody for months, if not years. they did have a third bomb ready. and would have used it. thank god, the japanese [indiscernible] lose more of their lives and our lives. fighters,the cruelest just for no reason. they killed people for no reason. one lady is talking about the death march. out andt picked one beheaded them in front of everybody to instill the fear factor in them.
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that.aid the price for i am thankful that truman had no -- had the desire to get to the end of the war as fast as possible. has athe washington post chart on 75 years of nuclear detonations, talking here about nuclear testing. there chart shows the strongest tests performed through 2017. if we start this, we can get the animation going on it and across the world. the united states stopped nuclear testing, as the world did, a couple of years ago. through 2017, except for places like north korea, which has continued nuclear testing. they write that during world war ii, the soviets began spying on u.s. nuclear efforts. after the war, a nuclear arms race took shape. the competition to develop stronger nuclear devices took a
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human toll. both governments objected people at home and abroad to high radiation levels, sometimes with indifference. scientists in the 1950's were aware of risks posed by tests said jacob hamlin. military demands, not necessarily in wartime, provided a justification for exposing large numbers of people under the veil of secrecy. conducted has more nuclear tests than the unite states were set up its first atomic bomb in a test codename trinity in new mexico, several weeks before hiroshima. the barrage of tests that followed were on a trail of destruction that stretched across the continents. , ohio, we will hear from james on our line for world war ii veterans and families. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. spread by the japanese regime to their people
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resulted in a fanatical, .anatical population your harry truman clips stole some of my thunder. it is a fact, more than one million soldiers would have died if we had to invade japan. and probably millions of japanese people. propaganda by their wartime leaders would lead up in the japanese war with wars being perpetuated on the islands that we had to advance to to get to japan. look at the raping of nanking by the fanatical japanese. the, because the attacks. kamikaze attacks. look at them jumping off of the
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clips in saipan. they were told americans were going to rape and brutalize them. --y were told so the people of these islands suicide.her commit this is what they were told. shortened the war. the soldiers were overwhelmingly in support of this. they were relieved they did not have to invade japan. and suffer more losses. host: james, a similar sentiment, greg in dallas says this. many forget how brutal the japanese were. etched in my mind is the crowd of a japanese soldier with a baby skewered as they laughed. an invasion would have cost a million of our men instead of a few hundred thousand of theirs. no other decision was
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reasonable. from john in indiana, my dad fought in okinawa and they were rating -- waiting to invade the japanese mainland. they received a message that a bomb exploded in japan that cost flying debris at 20,000 feet. they stopped everything. going to liveare party. that is from john in indiana. this is silas. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am going to step out into another bit of information that is maybe true or may not be true. there is a book called critical mass, how's nazi germany by carter hydric. how there was a secret arrangement made between the nazis and america to transfer significant secret war
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technology. anduding bomb grade uranium aher technology with submarine that ultimately ended up in portsmouth, new hampshire. the user 234 log brook decide -- recites the details. the united states did not have the triggering device or enough uranium to produce the bomb. in thisthesis recited book and other books stated that uranium is used in both atomic and isropped on japan something the germans had manufactured and was surrendered on a submarine. very interesting theory. don't know if it is true. host: the name of the book you carter critical mass by
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hydric. caller: thank you very much for letting me get in on this conversation. i have my own goal that was in wasd war ii -- uncle that in world war ii. a lot of your callers asked -- answered questions about the dropping of the bomb. here is what goes on. because of the way the americans were treated after they returned home from the war, the movie of soldier -- a soldier story was a side ofie of the black the soldiers who returned home from world war ii. simply because of the way they the treated in france, when american soldiers got jealous of the black soldiers who were being treated better than they were at home, and my family
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right now is eight generations of military service. growing up, i joined the service. was from thens world war ii story because i was curious. i don't have much time. i thank you for letting me get my two cents in. host: a couple of stories to check in with what is going on in washington and elsewhere, the pandemic relief package, negotiations continue on capitol hill. hands off online bill. the majority leader has been careful to maintain his distance from the negotiations between white house officials and democratic leaders on coronavirus relief legislation. mcconnell's decision not to participate directly in talks mnuchinsecretary steven , mark meadows and democratic leaders has struck some colleagues as odd. senate republicans same a --
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is --cconnell another story this morning in terms of campaign 2020, the wall street journal on their reporting on the story, the headline biden stays home in homestay as convention goes virtual, writing the former vice president will not travel to milwaukee to accept the democratic presidential nomination later this month because of coronavirus concerns. he will instead deliver his speech from the home state of delaware. the convention will now be entirely virtual, according to a person familiar with the plan, something unprecedented in american political history. one more front page to show you. the reporting of the washington hearingning, in a recovered on c-span and c-span radio, they are live with the
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senate judiciary committee. yates says comey went rogue and the fbi investigation of flynn, republicans get no link to obama or biden in testimony. read more at washington our three hour program this morning focused on the 75th anniversary of the bombs of hiroshima on august 6 and on august 9, 1945 and the end of world war ii. mark is calling us this morning .rom hawaii good morning. go ahead. caller: good morning, how are you? host: fine. my grandfather was a construction worker. my father went to work at nasa. kennedy's chief of staff was involved in setting up the regime that firebombed 26
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japanese cities before the bomb was dropped. japan was being knocked off of their centerpoint. they had no oil. they did not have the means to announce our rebellion that we were going to invade. like there was a purpose to invade. the sacrifice of pearl, all of the people in the roosevelt administration who were there at the time basically confirmed that there was a nine point plan that was provided by military intelligence on the british side for the americans to implement. which would force japanese fire bombers into attacking us. because essentially we had all of their money and we control the flow of oil. we set them up. as we watched this documentary, you can judge for yourself if it is substantial. i think it is.
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than that, japanese people now, i love them. they are brilliant, they have the second most powerful economy in the world. if they can do that, this is an advanced culture in my opinion. host: mark, i appreciate your call from hawaii. he mentioned the firebombings of tokyo. this one, a text from eddie in los angeles says the united states dropped firebombs, killing hundreds of thousands at a time, prior to atomic. japan tried to surrender over four times but the u.s. wanted to look forced into war, an evil strategy of this government. from --ssman congresswoman from nevada with a tweet. she says on this day in 1963, john f. kennedy signed the nuclear test ban treaty. today, trump is considering
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needlessly putting nevadans in danger by testing nuclear weapons. she tweets a photo of the nuclear bomb case, joining the original fat man nuclear bomb case. it will be on display at the museum soon. thanking the folks that brought it to the museum in las vegas. here is eddie in arlington, virginia on the line for world war ii vets. sorry, eddie. i hit the wrong line. there you are. caller: thank you so much for c-span. i listen to it all the time. my father served on the intrepid aircraft carrier of world war ii. he never talked much about the war when i was young. saidi got in my 20's, he it was horrible for him, personally. he said a lot of his friends died. -- saw a lot of his friends died. he could see the aircraft coming toward the ship. they only had enough jet fuel to
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go one way. as they approached the ship, he would see some of them dropped off into the ocean because they were a -- ran out of fuel. kamikaze hit the ship and ran out of fuel. robe and myed in a dad said he was struck by the , 17 that he was a young kid or 18 years old. the other thing he said that struck me was that when his friends died, he said they would line them on the back of the ship, have them drape and they would drop them off into the ocean. they were all young kids too. thatly final comment is our leaders are so important in
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this. thank god that at the end of the war, whoever was making those made the japanese our allies as opposed to repressing them more because there was a lot of hatred toward the japanese. it had a major effect on him when he was young, he was in his teens and 20's. we are depending on our leaders to make good decisions in situations like this. i think he saw it as a necessary evil. host: when did he come home from the war? caller: my dad? i don't honestly remember. they brought all of them back to hawaii and he was in a position where he was recovering from i guess whatever
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they call it now. a few weeks for a couple of months, he was on the beach. just recovering from the trauma of that. i know he was caught below deck one time on the carrier. wereid some of his friends left behind. he was a small guy. he could hear his friends screaming behind him in the below decks. -- i realize how traumatic it is. it was -- yeah. good leaders. it is so important. thank you so much for c-span, i love listening to the opinions. host: thanks to you, thanks for your opinion. it is a connection to the war and we appreciate you calling in on that line. pat is on the line for world war ii vets and family members.
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caller: good morning. thank you, c-span. i have had a number of uncles, several on both sides of the war. army,ere in the italian they made up three quarters of forces at alamein. some survived the russian front. i had some in the united states that were in the military, one specifically in the air force. i was in the air force myself. listening to that story, while they were -- isget the first accounts really something special. , one offor the bomb your previous callers mentioned how japan was pretty much depleted in force. i believe that these bombs could have been dropped or one could maybeeen dropped on -- installations in japan.
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it would have left the same kind of impression on that government, seeing the disruptive power without having annihilated an entire civilian force in two cities. that is my personal view. i was reading something about albert einstein that he had the letter sent to truman encouraging the use of the bomb until the bomb was dropped at which point he publicly said he was sorry that he had done something like that, having seen the destructive power of it. the navy and i know the power of the virginia class subs. i think we have reached a point in our history where we have to use our god-given intelligence as animals, the human animal being the most intelligent so far, to be more productive than the destructive -- then destructive. destructive. i think we have to decide whether or not we are going to use our knowledge at this
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crossroad to survive ourselves or to justify in some way and we always do justify it, to destroy ourselves. there are ways of doing things that make the difference. and i am trying to describe some of them. i guess that is about it. thank you for your time. host: pat, to your point about we will talk to ian toll about this, but i believe in nagasaki in particular they were targeting two mitsubishi war production plants. even though that bomb was three quarters of a mile off target, that explosion wound up destroying both of those factories in nagasaki. christopher is in orangeburg, south carolina. good morning. caller: good morning. yes, i am a historian. i want to say every year, i listen to c-span.
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normallyay, because you cover the anniversary every year. i wanted to weigh in on the phone this time. there are a lot of myths and misconceptions. one of the big ones i want to tackle is that japan are doing things worse. certainly they do horrible things, they committed war crimes, absolutely undeniable. the atomic bombing, the idea that it was necessary, the million man statistic, you can go and read what the leaders of our country, the decisions they were making, they wrote it all down and they took notes. we havete diaries and them publicly available. it would be nice if people read them, rather than just saying things that are largely disproven at this point. host: ok, christopher in south carolina, the 75th anniversary of the bombing in hiroshima.
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it is the 55th anniversary of another important day in american history. this is an opinion piece on usa on voting rights. let's finish what my dad, lyndon johnson and john lewis started. it is from lucy baines johnson, she writes that the sum of the civil rights movement has captured the country. for me, it has been always so very personal. it's promise of a just world is the prayer of generations in my family to double. myfather, president -- family to double. my father, president lyndon baines johnson signed the civil rights act on my 17th birthday. this law opened our public accommodations to all people regardless of the color of their skin. it banned forever the whites only signs so painfully prevalent in my childhood. no one will ever get a better birthday present. 1965, i stood behind my father as he signed the voting rights act into law. great civil rights leaders and
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members of both parties stood in support. i stood there in all of his life changing law. standing picture behind president johnson, signing the voting rights act in the capital on this date in august of 1965. she is calling on the house of representatives and the senate to pass the recently named john lewis voting rights act that has been passed by the u.s. house. a couple more calls this hour but more ahead. let's go to chris on our lines for veterans and family members. newton highlands, massachusetts. caller: hi. in world war ii and was very involved. he served in iwo jima. and i had the chance at one of crew,unions to meet the including paul, who i think was a 28-year-old pilot that was eisenhower's pilot when he took
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over his pilot project. at the time, i was a different person. i was worried about karma from shaking his hand that something might happen. i don't think that much that way today. i see the crew there, they were just a bunch of old guys like my dad doing the jobs that they were told to do. involved withg the healing after the war, i got heavily involved in japanese karate. i visited japan twice. i think it is important to think about the fact that japan had a chance to surrender between the two bombs, unconditionally. they could have reached out and done that and they didn't. my dad thought perhaps the second bombing was unnecessary. i think the oil issues are valid. we cannot discount the generational nationalistic samurai ethic that was prevalent in the ruling class in japan at
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the time. host: a couple of comments on text, jeff from chicago says this, yes correct. pows harshly.oday my two uncles died in world war ii and my other family members are. thank you, c-span, forgiving the whole program to this anniversary. it is important for people to study history and develop nickel thinking skills to be an informed voter. like another caller, i may not be here if not for the bombs, but say "never again." to albuquerque, new mexico on our veterans and family line, go ahead. therese in albuquerque, make sure to mute your volume and then go ahead with your comment. caller: hello. yes, my father was a prisoner of survived theand he
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death march from the philippines ships survived the hell that took him to japan, and i really do not feel that the bomb was right and like a lot of other people, i would not have been here today if it was not bomb.e atomic hatrednever did hold any for the japanese, and if he was alive today, i think he would withbeen appalled what happened with the atomic bomb. he was a religious man, very forgiving. i feel that is what we should all do, just, you know, forgive and heal. host: feeding back a little bit,
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but appreciate your call. in maryland, good morning. caller: good and thank you for c-span. grandfather, dr. james myers, arrived in japan in 1893 as a methodist missionary and my grandmother ruth was born in the 1800s. she left for college in the u.s. in 1915 and mentioned the beauty of hiroshima and that our foreign community was very close. we always had thanksgiving together. that was a gathering of about 30 to 40 missionaries and two french priests. the wives outdid themselves in the way of food, the father's furnish their turkeys, and i usually had new dress. she wrote in her memoir, when i returned after the bomb, the only familiar landmarks i found where the old castle, beautifully restored, and the gardens where we used to run up and down the steep steps on the
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stone bridge built in a crescent form. then, the parade ground, now the memorial park. i long to see my birthplace, but after 50 years, how familiar would any of the city have been? it was completely destroyed. host: philip, thanks for that. we appreciate your call. more ahead on "washington journal," as we look at the 75th anniversary of the bombings of hiroshima and nagasaki. next, we will be joined by ,uthor and historian ian toll who has his latest trilogy on the pacific war. later, clifton truman daniel, grandson of harry truman, will join us. first, here's an excerpt from former president truman of ward the uss augusta on august 6, have seen the attack on hiroshima. [video clip] >> a short time ago, an american airplane dropped one bomb on hiroshima and destroyed its
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usefulness. that bomb has more power than 20,000 tons of tnt. the japanese began the war from the air at pearl harbor. they have been repaid many forward, and the end is not yet. with this bomb, we have now added a new and revolutionary increase in this direction -- in the destruction to supplement the armed power of our forces. in the present form, these bombs are now in production and even more powerful bombs are in development. an atomic bomb, the harnessing of the basic power of the universe. the force from which the sun draws its power has been used against those who brought war to the far east. destroyow prepared to more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the
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japanese have in any city. their docs,troy their factories, and the communications. let there be no mistake, we shall completely destroy japan's power to make war. it will spare the japanese people from outer destruction. on july 26, it was issued. their leaders rejected that ultimatum. if they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a reign of war from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth. behind this arotech will follow cm land forces in such large -- sea and land forces in such power that they have not seen, and with the fighting skills of which they are already well aware. host: ian toll is an author and
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independent scholar of pacific war history and is set to release his latest book " twilight of the gods: war in the western pacific 1944-1944." ian toll, welcome to washington journal on the 75th anniversary. guest: thank you. i am glad to be here. host: we have heard from harry truman after the hiroshima bombing. from your research and the study of the war and the bombings in particular, why did harry truman do it? i think the decision to use the bomb was really implicit in the manhattan project, so it was really assumed from the time, for the time truman came to office in ,pril after the death of fdr that this weapon, if it worked, it would be used. so it may be more accurate to
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say that there was a nondecision essentially. truman did not decide to projecte, to stop a that was very much entrained when he came into office. the assumption had been made that if we had built the bomb, if we had the bomb, we would use the bomb in order to bring the war to an end, but i think from the perspective we have now that the atomic bomb, you know, is different, essentially different, from general weapon, that is something we have with hindsight. for truman and his advisers in the summer of 1945, i do not think that was as clear to them that the atomic bomb was fundamentally different from conventional bombings, and we had already essentially wiped out an enormous percentage of japan's urban areas with conventional bombing at incendiary rates. so using the atomic bomb, in
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their view at that time, did not seem like sort of a break or departure from what they had been doing already. it is really with hindsight that we understand that webbing to be something basically different, in a different category. host: is it true when harry truman assumed the presidency in 1940 fiveeath that, one, harry truman did not know anything about the manhattan project, and two, how did he learn about it in the space of less than four short months? how did you become confident in his decision to use this weapon? true he wasit is not briefed on the manhattan project. he had been vaguely aware there is a very large and secret and expensive project underway. in the senate, for he was put on the ticket as fdr's presidential 1944, the thing that really made his name in the
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senate was he chaired a committee which investigated corruption and waste in the new nations industries, called the truman committee. in his capacity as chairman of that investigative senate abouttee, he had learned these enormous plants being built in tennessee and washington state, and he had begun to use his investigative resources to try and determine what was happening there. stimsony simpson, henry -- secretary stimson, harry stimson, secretary of war, he went to truman and said, we are doing something very secret and we would ask you not to inquire further. truman agreed. very suddenly with fdr's death and when he was elevated to the presidency, he was reefed on stimson and by james burns -- he was briefed i stimson and james burns -- by stimson and james
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burns. he was fully briefed within about 24 hours from assuming the presidency on the state of the manhattan project. host: it is the 75th anniversary of the bombing of hiroshima. we are talking about it with ian toll, whose new book is coming out in september, "twilight of the gods: more on the weston pacific, knight -- western pacific, 1944-1955." the lines the same as they were last hour, mountain and pacific, (202)-748-8001. easton, (202)-748-8000. for those who are world war ii veterans or family, (202)-748-8002. and our line for japanese-americans, (202)-748-8003. ian toll, one of the questions that came up a couple of times last hour is why didn't the u.s. do some sort of demonstration of the bomb to show the japanese its power instead of actually using it on a city? mean, i think
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that is a hard question. view, the really hard questions when it comes to the atomic bomb is not so much should we have used the bomb or not, given the circumstances in the summer of 1945, the urgent need to end the war quickly without invasion, and in those circumstances, using the bomb i think was defensible. dropping it on a city is a different question, and i think i am in the minority among military historians and this is a preference i had, that i would like to see the weapon used against a military target. the questions of demonstrations have been raised. there are arguments that a demonstration would have backfired, number one, and if it had not worked, that was a possibility, it would redouble japanese determination to resist. i do think there would be a way
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to demonstrate the bomb without running into that problem, dropping it very high in the atmosphere, off the coast, say ,f tokyo, of the tokyo bay would have made an enormous flash and send a message to japanese. i do not think that would have prompted a rapid surrender. so, the reason that you might have done that really is abstract, an abstract reason. and you do it because in the enhance the may country's moral standings. i do think that is important, but you have some callers who have fathers or grandfathers in the war and for american veterans, particularly those who would have invaded japan, the atomic bomb has never been an abstraction to them but something real. it is something they believe saves their lives, and that
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belief is it something i think we need to acknowledge and respect. that is essentially where i come out. came back, i would have liked to see the bomb used infinitely, particularly not dropped on a city, the first one dropped on a military target. i think that would have been more defensible. host: was there any military or rvs in any ofed those cities? guest: yes, hiroshima had an important regional military headquarters. stationed inmy was hiroshima. it had been an army town going back to the days of the samurai. so it was an important military target in hiroshima. for city was not chosen that reason, however. none of the four cities on the target list of the bombs,
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hiroshima, nagasaki, near the sea of japan, and the northern tip of the island. those cities had not been chosen because of their military character, and the military installations that were in those cities were not specified as the aiming points for the bomb. the cities were chosen because they had been relatively unscathed at conventional bombing raids, and the idea was he wanted to drop the bomb on a city that had the topography and conditions that it would provide the greatest demonstration to the bomb's power. yes? host: finisher.. guest: yak -- finish your thought. guest: yes, so it became true that it was an important army base in hiroshima. in the clip you played from president truman, upon announcing the first atomic
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bomb, he said we hit an important japanese army base. host: right. guest: hiroshima was the seventh largest city in japan with the base in it, so, you know, i think looking back with 75 years of perspective, in that situation, he would prefer the president of the united states look into the eye of the camera until the world exactly what we had done without missing words -- mincing words or using that. host: before we get to calls, was there a third bomb ready to be drop in case the japanese did not surrender? bomb would have become available by the end of august, so on august 6, we had hiroshima. on august 9, we hit nagasaki. it would have been another two weeks to three weeks for the third bomb. host: ian toll is our guest. first call is carlsberg richmond, virginia. caller: good morning -- call is
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carl in richmond, virginia. caller: good morning. it is very interesting and you hear about why they dropped the bomb. attackad pulled a sneak we did notrbor, and even know the war was going to start as soon as the war was declared, and japan did not do that. what happened when the bomb did notvailable, truman know thing about it. all you knew was he became president. they do not really like him, and they put it to him and said, look, we have this mom. to me, you cannot drop an atomic bomb and say, let's drop it tomorrow or next week. they had already planned for the bomb. what trumanooks at
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wasto say because he changing his words that the united states is going to drop the bomb. host: do you think the president had a say in that? guest: absolutely. the constitution confers virtuallyowers, unlimited power, as commander-in-chief and wartime -- in more. truman had the power to tell his weinet and military leaders will or will not use the bomb, we will use the bomb in the following way, so i do not think there was any question that he had the power to make the decision. i do think it is true, as charles said, that the motorboat revenge was in the mix. i think that was may, not the reason we used a weapon, but it context, did set the
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the sneak attack on pearl harbor, the japanese atrocities against civilians, the treatment of prisoners of war. those are all factors that played into the decision to use the atomic and burn down japanese cities with incendiary bombing rates. yes, truman certainly could have simply decided and would not have had to ask for position or ask is military chiefs to take a vote he could have simply said we are not going to hit a city, or we are going to explicitly warned the japanese we have this weapon. in his private diary on july 25, it was a strange entry where he actually says "i have instructed secretary stimson to use this weapon against military targets, and not against women and children, and i have also instructed him that we will make an explicit warning to the japanese and telling them to surrender."
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he did not give that order, but in his diary, he seems to have believed it or perhaps he wanted to have future historians believe that the whole decision had been made differently. certainly, he had the power. one of the fascinating counterfactual questions is if fdr had lived, how would have fdr decided to use the bomb? he certainly would not have hesitated at all to make his own decision. he was accustomed to doing that. host: let's hear from anthony in new york on our line for world war ii veterans and family. caller: good morning. i am calling for my father and his two brothers. my father went in the army in february of 1941. he fought in the philippines, hiroshima, and he was also an open hour, and he was also in the occupation of japan.
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wecame home late 1946, but never really found out -- he never really talked about the war until he got older. he was against them dropping the bomb. then he says if we would have had a fight, fight them and invade japan, i probably never would have came home. so it was a flip of a coin. if i had to make that decision, i would say, yeah. one was in normandy, a paratrooper in the 101. my other uncle was also a medic. so those people from that generation, they fought hard and they fought for our country. when i talk about my father and his brothers, i am proud of them because that is something today we may not be able to do. host: ian toll, on your book on one of the planned invasions, part of the planned invasion of japan, is that figure anticipated of one million u.s. casualties fairly accurate in
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terms of across-the-board? is that from your research, as well? well, no. if the question is at the time that we were planning operation downfall, operation olympic was the first stage. that was the invasion of southern island in japan. at the time, our military leaders were planning that operation, there was never a point at which they projected casualties on the order of one million. there has been quite a lot of work done on this by historians and researchers because of how often you hear that figure that we might have lost a million or half a million. the answer seems to be the casualty projections were significantly lower than that. it is a disputed point, and they were different ways of thinking about it. our militaryid leaders, while planning that operation, at what point did they expect something in the
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order of one million casualties, but projections were much lower. maybe as many as 200 for total casualties. now, that does not really tell us much about the atomic on decision. it wouldt say, well, have been lower, so we should that invaded. i think invading would have been a disaster, regardless of the casualties we would have taken. so avoiding a bloody invasion of japan was absolutely essential. that is why i think using the atomic was inevitable. as i say, using it against a city was a different question. i do not think we should have dropped it. that is my preference, my belief. mentioned, there are so many people in this country who have fathers, ran fathers, great, uncles who were
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veterans of that war and who really believe their lives were on the line. that is something that i respect very deeply. it is interesting that the caller said, i think it was his father, had been in japan with the occupation after the war. and his personal belief had been that we should not have dropped the atomic bomb. i really interesting phenomenon when you look at veterans from the pacific war, those in japan after the war with the occupying forces, they tended to have a much more nuanced view of the japanese. many of them came to like the japanese generally as a people. they were more ready to make the distinction between the way the fighting forces had behaved through the war, and the way the japanese people are in general. we were more than willing to make that distinction because of the personal exposure they had had to japan and the japanese in the nation of japan after the
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war. host: on our line for japanese-americans, (202)-748-8003. on that line, in los angeles, scott. caller: good morning. i am half japanese. my father was drafted in world war ii. my grandfather was drafted by the japanese army. whenp seeing every year they talk about pearl harbor that america was attacked unprovoked, which is not true. truman said on that clip that he has shown them like said on pearlll, that they bombed harbor unprovoked. that is not true. under thelying tigers president, and until 1996, when i think it was either reagan or acknowledged the flying
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tigers were part of the military to get the v.a. benefits and it did show that awg was under military payment from the united states government through a company. this japaneseing unprovoked attack when that is not true. i am not saying that the war was not a bad thing. it was a terrible thing on what it did to china, russia, philippines, to the americans and the people who ended up fighting with them, they were terrible things that happen. host: scott, we will get a response from ian toll. think theh, well, i count against the japanese for the way they began the war was not so much that it was an unprovoked attack. yes, fdr said it was unprovoked in his speech in congress the day following the attack, but there was no formal declaration of war prior to the attack.
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the idea of this sneak attack or surprise attack that really know,ated americans, you the attack had been planned undercover of diplomatic talks. we were engaged in negotiations directly with the japanese government to try and adjust the differences we had in the pacific. that attack suddenly defended on pearl harbor without declaration of war. i think that played into the particular brutality of the pacific war. scott did not say what his ,ather did when he was drafted but i think one of the most interesting stories about the pacific war and little heard is the role of japanese-americans who worked as interpreters or language officers who helped develop propaganda messages to a method japanese. it was an essential role in
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places like okinawa, the heroism of the japanese american soldiers who went down to the caves and negotiated with japanese voices, trying to encourage them to surrender. it was enormous personal risk. that is one of the greatest stories of the pacific war that is not familiar to people. host: pitching in maryland. ind morning -- jean maryland, on our line for veterans. caller: i was 12 years old when we declared war on the japanese. i was the youngest of five children, three brothers and a sister, all inactive duty in the military. one person ass, one family, we love truman's decision. my two brothers were in combat in the navy in the pacific, one
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a navy fuel tanker. both had close calls with death. i will never forget how my mother was absolutely terrified every time the telephone rang for about the last four months of the war. a second reason, and this is personal for myself, i am sorry, but the way japanese treated prisoners. my sister was a nurse at a hospital. there were 10 nurses. navy,nted to stay in the and she wanted to get married in october of 1941, and as a naval officer, she was not allowed to stay in the navy. she had to leave the navy to get married. and she used to come out to our home to play tennis, and they were full of life. they were just -- i will say
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this, they were part of the death march, and after the war, my sister called the supervisor and asked what happened to those young ladies, nine of them. went insane.d two they did not have medicine for what those goals went through. so there is one other fact, and this one i have never heard mentioned. i think it may be true. that the people killed in the hiroshima bomb were not all japanese. i believe in hiroshima, and killed by that bomb were more than 25,000 korean slave workers. and i think it is also true nagasaki. wereat true that there tens of thousands of slave workers who were killed in these bombings? it is never mentioned. host: ian? guest: yes, it is true. it is true. there were.
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i do not know but was 20,000, but it sounds like it might be about the right number of koreans who were working in hiroshima. you know, an enormous number of koreans. to a lesser extent, chinese were told in the atomic bombings, as well as the conventional bombing raids. also, there were others in japan . almost 1% of the population of japan during the second world war had been christians or were christians. some of them were secretly christians. so christianity had a foothold in japan going back several centuries because of the gesso at missionaries who had come from jekyll and spain -- just do missionaries who had come from portugal and spain. some of the most harrowing stories appear oshima came from priests who were european or
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hiroshima came from priests who are european or german. i would not say they were international, but to the extent they were foreigners living in japan, they tended to be in the large cities, so they were affected in both bombs. host: whether any american pows in either city to mark -- either city? guest: yes, they were pows in the area of hiroshima and nagasaki. the number of personal accounts about theirhe war having witnessed the bombings. there were even pows who believed they had heard or seen a flash in hiroshima and nagasaki, who gives you some idea of how far away they could see and hear these explosions. host: next is frank in lexington, north carolina. caller: good morning. thank you for letting me speak.
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i am calling in for my father. i had his new testament he carried and made notes and during his service made notes. he was a navy serviceman attached to the marine corps. this is the aftermath of the dropping of the bomb. , september, japan 16, 1945.he had been training for the invasion. september in japan 22, 1945. sasebo, japan, is the seaport next to or inland. there, twofter being weeks after being there, and he was on both sides of at least from the veterans administration of information, he talked to me some about treating the people
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who had been survivors. within two weeks, his soul unit got -- his whole unit got deathly sick. halfwaypoint, they were ,etween hiroshima and nagasaki which as his surviving son, my father passed away at age 541977. and all of his siblings -- at age 54 in 1977. all of his siblings lived a ripe age. whenis day, i believe that his whole unit was exposed, i think that was part of the reason for his premature death. he was questioned poorly by doctors -- thorley by doctors about his cancer and service in japan in 1977. my mother was a registered nurse, so he was asked a lot of questions. i was about 10 years old and i asked my father, i had heard the
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word armageddon at sunday school, i asked him about it and he said, son, i have already been there. you never want to see it. host: ian toll, your thoughts? guest: well, yes, of course, if you want to talk about how the atomic bomb was different from conventional bombings, radiation is one of the first things you consider. was the chairman of the joint chiefs after the war left a scathing passage in the postwar memoir, saying he thought it had been a moral trust to drop this weapon on a city, and it was this revelation that this was a poison weapon and he said he did not understand that until the bomb was dropped, and of course, you have the radiation whitening. i think our government and that general macarthur's commander
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after the war, they suppressed really all discussion of this issue of radiation, and they did so in a way that allowed some of our own serviceman to be exposed, which i think is really a great disgrace that we allowed our own forces to be exposed in notshima and nagasaki, allowing them to fully understand the risks involved in radiation. was his thing he said dad was a navy corpsman. they were, really the most heroic people on the battlefields. they exposed themselves directly to enemy fire to treat wounded on the battlefield and to pull wounded off the fields to safety and suffered some of the highest casualty rates in places like
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iwo jima and okinawa. host: ian toll is our guest, the hisor of the trilogy of latest and published book in september "twilight of the gods: war in the western pacific, 1944-1945." we welcome your calls and comments. (202)-748-8000 eastern and central time zones. (202)-748-8001, mountain and pacific. for those of you who are world war ii veterans or their families, use the line (202)-748-8002. and for japanese-americans, (202)-748-8003. ian toll, there is a photo in the book, and i think we have shown video of what part of tokyo was like after repeated fire bombings of that city. why did the u.s. not continue with that? it appears to be equally as destructive of photos and video we see of nagasaki and hiroshima.
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firebombingsthe were continuing right up until the end of the war. we were still running conventional bombing raids over japan even after nagasaki. as you say, those incendiary bombing rates most likely if you take all of the incendiary and conventional bombing rates of japanese cities, the number of japanese civilians killed in those conventional bombing attacks exceeded the number killed in hiroshima and nagasaki. firebombing or enormous firebombing in tokyo occurred on the night of arch 10 and 11th, 1940 5 -- march 10 and 11th, 1945. it is hard to say how many were killed, partly because the government records were destroyed. and you had people moving in and out of the city during that time of war. you can only really vaguely estimate how many people were
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killed. almost everyone in the japanese government who studied the issue believes it was at least 100000 and it could have and like 50,000 possibly. it is conceivable in one night firebombing rate that you had more people -- grade that you had more people killed in hiroshima and nagasaki combined initially if you do not count deaths from radiation afterwards. so the scales of these firebombing raids wasn't norma's. i think that was partly the reason -- was enormous. i think that was partly the reason of the assumptions of the reason we would drop the bombs on cities was not challenged by truman or his advisors because there was this feeling that we had already taken this step to start essentially attacking the japanese population centers from the air. host: let's hear from salt lake city. good knee. caller: good morning -- good morning.
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caller: good morning. my father fought in world war ii. because of that, i have always been extremely interested in american history and specifically world war ii. all the documentaries i have been able to find. i have cable television and access to audio channels -- 240 channels.- to 40 or inot have the education don't know what else to say about this gentleman you have had on here before, but i would like to say that i am from kansas city and i have been to the truman and eisenhower libraries, and it is my humble opinion based on these documentaries i have watched
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if they had not invaded japan, they would have thought as with everything they had. even textbooks. anything they could put their nail.on, tooth and every step of the way. how prepared where the japanese for an invasion? guest: how prepared with -- were they? at that point, japanese strength was down to its last drop. it is true, as the caller says that the japanese were essentially pouring all of their remaining strength, their military strength and their civilian population, they were preparing to meet the invasion and to fight us tooth and nail, as she says. the women and children were even
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organized into militias and being trained how to fight with spears, being told to use kitchen knives if necessary. i think avoiding an invasion of japan was absolutely critical. i think it was so critical that if it was really you could say the choice was to bomb two cities with an atomic bomb or launch a bloody invasion, it was one of the other commodore a or door b, i think that was true, that using the bombs exactly the way we did, hitting cities without warning, i do think you could defend that. the traditional way in which americans have understood the atomic, is it sets up this kind of forced binary, where you have to choose either hit these cities without warning, or launch an invasion. i personally do not think that is right.
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i think there were many other options other than just those two. i think you can make a pretty good case and it may be counterfactual that an invasion would not have been necessary with or without the atomic bombs. keep in mind that the invasion, the first stage of the planned invasion, the target date was november 1, almost three months after the bombing of hiroshima, so, the idea that the bombs were a last resort to an invasion was just about to happen, that is not quite right. as i say, veterans of that war had their own strongly held beliefs about what had happened at the end of the war. as a historian, as someone who has interviewed literally hundreds of world war ii veterans, i have never made it a
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practice to argue with world war ii veterans about this. i present my views, but i think it is important to recognize and to honor the feelings, the strong feelings that veterans have about the subject. host: "twilight of the gods" is your third in the trilogy. how many years have you worked on that trilogy? guest: a longtime. 14 years i would say. host: phil is next in california. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am 80 years old. my grandfather was in the air corps and served at wheeler field on december 7. my father-in-law served in the u.s. navy for three years. most of the time in the south pacific. ironically, the ship he was on was eventually decommissioned and was used as a ship for
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testing, the atomic tests that were done. i have a lot of feelings on this from humanitarian point of view. you know, the japanese power was really defeated in 1944. it was an island country, as were all the islands that the u.s. army and marines fought their way up to japan. of the civilians in japan was just, in my opinion, inhumane. the war was over. there were a defeated country. an invasion was not needed. the bombs were not needed. you have an island nation who lost their navy. they had no air force. their army had been defeated. we could have put an embargo surrounding the country for years if we had to.
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we occupied it for years afterwards. i think it set the stage for the future. i know as young men in the 1950's going through grammar age andfrom a nuclear the terror and all the rest of it, we have all had to live with it. i think it was unnecessary. it sets the stage for the bad things that have happened since and the threat of nuclear war in this world. host: ok, phil. one more thing on that, ian toll , tagging onto the question about would a naval blockade have been effective? a question from a viewer in michigan. our previous caller mentioned something like that. aest: well, you know, we had blockade in place at the end of the war.
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we essentially destroyed japan's marine, oil tankers. the background of the pacific war was that japan is a place that has virtually no natural resources at all. no oil to speak of, low-grade toll. very little mining minerals. outso, why did japan strike to seize this enormous empire in asia and the pacific? above all, i think it was this desire that the materialist imperious this regime -- imperious regime had the view that oil was most important. of sumatra and borneo, that is 3000 miles from japan, so they have the problem of having to import oil through this thousand mile artery that attacked, easily be
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and it was by our submarines, our airpower in the third month of 1945 when we essentially cut that line way. so it is true, i absolutely agree with the caller, that the japanese war machine was kind of sputtering to a complete halt by the time that we ended the war with atomic bombs. certainly is that you could make a good counterfactual haveent that if we do not the atomic bombs at all, yeah, most likely, the japanese would have surrendered by some point in the fall of 1945. host: so was the japanese fleet defeated at that time? guest: absolutely. the japanese fleet really did not exist. we had destroyed it, sunk all their ships.
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what little remained of their japanese we were attacking those ships at anchor with our carrier planes. the japanese navy was totally finished by the summer of 1945. host: you point out -- guest: yes, i do agree that a blockade most likely would have forced a japanese surrender. but how long would that have taken? that is hard to say. the japanese army, which i control of the country, the rank-and-file of that army was determined not to surrender. islly, what you are asking in tokyo, how would you have created the conditions for the emperor to be able to say, we are going to accept this unconditional surrender and to have that decision stick across the military? you know, as i say, i think you could make a good argument that would have happened, even without the atomic bombs, by the followed 1945.
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that is a common factual argument. as an historian and scholar, you have to acknowledge there is ambiguity. host: what was going on in the 90's between the bombing of hiroshima and the announcement by the emperor on surrender on august 15? what took so long? guest: you have turmoil in the capitol. the rank-and-file of the japanese army, the elite kind of middle exelon of the officer of the officern corps and at the army ministry were dead set against anything resembling surrender. the idea of letting an occupying army, let the enemy send an was when you had within the ruling group, you had a deadlock to those by that time
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were saying, we do not have any choice. the nazis have been defeated. we are alone. we have to surrender and be rational. hard,en the militarist fight on faction, there was a deadlock within the ruling group. it took all of that time to resolve that deadlock. onwe had hit hiroshima august 6 and on august 9 nagasaki. on august 9, the russians cleared war on the japanese, and they rolled their tanks and army and enormous numbers of troops from siberia to manchuria. so there was this sudden soviet attack. i think it was that soviet attack that was really sort of the final straw that convinced the ruling group of japan that they had no other choice and agree to the conditions with the
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emperor, who generally did not intervene to make decisions and was able to say, i am making the decision that we surrender, and the japanese military accepted that decision. it was a difficult process for them to kind of reached that point of consensus. that explains that delay. and the decision to surrender on the part of the japanese really theyon august 9, but responded to our demand for surrender by saying we want to preserve the status of our emperor. so there was a last round of negotiations between our government and the japanese government in those last five days, so that explains part of the delay, as well. host: here is bill in waynesboro, pennsylvania. go ahead. caller: hello. my dad was a medic in okinawa during world war ii.
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there who havele leprosy. i was proud of what my dad did during world war ii. i am ashamed of what my country did by introducing this terrible weapon to the world. the fact is, there were people in hiroshima and nagasaki who were instantly vaporized when the bomb was dropped. fleshwere people whose was burned off their bones. i read one account that said people walked around silently right after this happened, believing that they had died and gone to hell. this is the order of nuclear weapons. if we go to today, our nuclear weapons are hundreds of times more powerful than those original bombs, and we could destroy this entire planet very
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quickly if we did not kill all life immediately. everyone, everything would die after the nuclear winter from radiation, from the dust clouds that would lock out the sun. could i say one more thing? host: sure, go ahead. caller: it may sound crazy to say we should ban nuclear weapons, but how insane is it to maintain these weapons? i would like to ask your guest, how do you feel about a worldwide ban on pursuing a true ban of nuclear weapons as opposed to constantly updating and refining the nuclear weapons? toll?ian guest: yeah. well, just to take that last
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question, you know, if it was nukes in thean all hands of all governments around dealorld and to decisively with the potential problem of a nonstate actor getting access to a nuclear weapon, then, absolutely i think it would be in the interest of not just this country but the world to get rid of these weapons. you know, there is a silver lining in this conversation, which is we are 75 years today since the first weapon was used against the people of hiroshima and then three days later nagasaki, and in 75 years, we have not had another nuke used in any war, in any conventional war against any civilian or military population. we have never seen a new used -- nuke used.
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in 1945, people at the end of the war, americans at the end of the war looking forward, would have been surprised that would be the case. there was an assumption that this was a new era of warfare and we would see more of the bombs used. of course, throughout the cold war, this was a constant terror. we had generations who grew up having to do duck and cover drills and classrooms. we came close in several locations during the cold war to a nuclear exchange. in the cuban missile war, there were a few actions. we are fortunate we have not seen these weapons used again. i think that is something we can celebrate today. inst: we will go to bee crowley, texas. caller: good morning. that itanted to say seems awfully easy for a lot of
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people to be saying that we should not have done this or we should not have done that when they were not here and there were not living through this, but those of us who were were just damn glad when it was over. i had two uncles who were japanese pows and went through familyth march, and my just rejoiced when the war was over. people were getting killed this put an end to it a while, at least. host: ian toll, how soon after the bombings did americans know the news? guest: know the news of that we had dropped one of these weapons? host: yes. guest: well, you played the clip
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of president truman's newsreel announcement aboard the augusta on august 6, so the same day. in fact, just within one hour of the bomb being dropped, we had or the white house issued a statement explaining that we had this new weapon and we had dropped it. unfortunately, looking back with hindsight, we had said we had dropped it on a japanese military base, which really is not true. it would be like saying if you dropped a nuke on san diego and saying we hit an american naval base. well, there is a big city there, and if you are going to do that, you ought to be able to say, this is what we did. i think that looks better in the long lens of history. the last caller said for americans who were fighting in that war, these abstractions were not important to them.
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these are extractions. these are questions that we say, how does this make us look as a country in the long term? what does it do for our legacy? those are abstract questions. if you are fighting on the ground as a marine, soldier, sailor, you expect to be deployed in the final invasion of japan and you know, the issue looks much, much different. at that point, you are willing for your president to do anything at all to end the war quickly and without an invasion. in addition, it was the brutality of the war. i think in 1945, we should be clear, the american people polling shows this, they understood the atomic bombings in part as an act of revenge. this was an act of revenge against the japanese for the way they had treated civilians throughout asia and in
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particular the way they had treated our prisoners. is thethe way that orthodox or traditional defense of the atomic bombs we hear most likely now, the issue of revenge is removed from the equation. it is more we hit these two cities because the total number of dead would have been lower than an invasion, and it is sort of what we call utilitarian reasoning. the greatest good for the greatest number. that is the defense of the bombings, not as an act of revenge. the initial feeling we had that this was an act of retribution against a barbaric enemy, you know, that only survived the first year or two after the war. once we started getting graphic accounts of what had happened in hiroshima and nagasaki from john hirschi's article published in "the new yorker," a year after
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the bombings, august, 1946, then, that is when the american people really began to wrestle with this and to realize this is not how we think about ourselves as a country. we don't take revenge on women and children in cities. the explanation changed a bit to we had to do that. it was a horrible thing. terrible tragedy, but we had to do it because the alternative would have been even worse. host: in toll, the twilight of the gods, third and final volume of his pacific war trilogy. war in the western pacific, 1944 to 1945. we appreciate you joining us on this 75th anniversary. guest: my pleasure. our program continues. more of your phone calls ahead. joined thecked by an associated press reporter in japan calling us this morning from hiroshima
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who was reporting this morning on the 75th anniversary there. good morning. guest: good morning. not in japan. yes. good morning. host: what can you tell us about the ceremony that took place oday the peace park, is it, in hiroshima? guest: yes. it was at the memorial park. but this year has been significantly scaled down cause of the coronavirus problem. there were only about -- fewer than 1,000 people attended, which is about 1/10th of the usual attendance. host: the mayor of hiroshima spoke. what did we hear? guest: he said that despite the
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coronavirus scare that he called for world leaders to cooperate together more than ever. called world leaders to visit hiroshima, to see firsthand the reality of the atomic bombing so that they will to abandon pted their weapons. also he noted, and asked for the japanese government to do more r -- to take leadership in playing the bridge between nuclear states and nonnuclear states so that they would --
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they will -- work harder toward the nuclear weapons ban. host: you have been reporting this week on the survivors, victims of her roish ma -- hiroshima. how they have been stigmatized in japan. and here the urgency grows for the last of hiroshima's victims. how is japan helping to preserving the legacy of those survivors? guest: rather than the -- rnment, i think it's citizens groups and pacifist groups are helping, working with them more than the government. governments, local including hiroshima, are trying to set up occasion for them to
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tell their stories. to share with younger people so that they will learn their lifetime. their there are also projects initiated by hiroshima and some other cities to train young people to learn specific survivor stories so that they can continue to tell their stories on their behalf. host: associated press reporter mare yamaguchi joining us this morning. reporting on the 75th anniversary of hiroshima. thank you so much. guest: thank you. host: more ahead. another hour here on our program of our calls and comments. up next we'll continue our discussion on the anniversary with clifton truman daniel, grandson of former president harry truman.
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first up, here is the former president explaining his decision to use atomic weapons. this video is from outbreaks for television series that president truman taped in the early 1960's. looking back at the major events of his presidency. president truman: issued the ultimatum to surrender, the only answer we got was go to the devil. yet all this time of their people seem to be acting behind their backs, trying to pursue peace in one underhand way or another. well, when they applied that way we knew there was only one of two things to do. we could advance on japan and fight every inch of the way losing a mfl our men. or dropping the atomic bomb. we dropped the bomb. still there was no reaction. we learned later that the japanese cabinet met and finally there were enough who agreeed to
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surrender, to split the cabinet in half. one half in favor of surrender. the other determined to fight on n this spirit the emperor was finally called on to give his opinion. an unprecedented move. he didn't want his people to die . yet the military they still would notify us of their capitulation. we had to drop the second bomb on nagasaki. that did it. i'll tell you without those two a-bombs dropped object them to show we meant business they might never have surrendered. even though they knew they were beaten. but they would have killed three million more people on both sides. that's why there is no question that in view of the whole of the japanese military -- hold the japanese military had on their people the dropping of the bombs
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was the only sensible thing to do. it was the only thing to do. there are a lot of crybabies around talking about what ought to have been done. and they had a demonstration in japan before they killed all those people. i had the authority of the best man in the business and that is henry l. stimson, the only operation the japanese would understand is one that showed them what it was. that's what happened. it stopped the war. i don't care what the crybabies say now because they didn't have to make the decision. host: joining us from chicago is clifton truman daniel, the grandson of president harry truman. joining us this morning on the 75th anniversary of the bombing of hiroshima. mr. daniel, welcome to "washington journal." guest: good morning. thank you. host: you were 15 years old when your grandfather, when harry truman passed wavement you said in past conversations with us and elsewhere that you never had a chance to talk with him
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directly about the de significance to bomb hiroshima and nagasaki. what have you come to in terms of your -- his decision? what's your view of the decision to drop those bombs? why do you think your grandfather made that decision? guest: my grandfather always said that he made a decision to end the war and save american and japanese lives. i understand that that's a simplistic answer, but that was something that he stuck to all of his life. for me i have been listening a little bit to the previous program the previous guests. it is still today a complicated issue whether it was the right decision to end the war. whether a blockade would have done the same thing. whether or not we would have had to invade. for me working with survivors, working with the truman library, for me it's more important to listen to the stories, to
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understand why it happened, why the decision was made. so that we don't do it again. and more broadly so that we can avoid future conflict. i think if we look at all the reasons that we got to where we got in 1945, we'll have a bert understanding how to head it off again. although sometimes i don't have much hope for that. host: what sort of resources have you used in your quest to figure out that decision? where are you looking for information on your grandfather's decision? guest: just reading broadly. biographies of my grandfather, his own memoirs. writing books that he wrote after the presidency. from his point of view, but also on the other side talking to survivors, working with survivors of hiroshima and nagasaki. listening to the stories. trying to understand the japanese point of view. just generally whatever comes my way, whatever's new. whatever i think i might be able
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to get some more understanding from. host: you were well along in your career and profession, the life of a parent, when in 2012 you were the first truman to visit hiroshima as part of a visit there. a program we aired in with c-span back in 2012. what prompted your decision to go to japan? to go to hiroshima? guest: i'll try and shorten it. it's a bit of a long story. when my son, wesley, was 10 years old, he came home from school with a book. ."adako and 1,000 paper cranes for those who don't know the story, he was a real -- she was a real little girl that survived the bombing of hiroshima at the age of 2. she and her family were lucky. they survived largely unhurt. they lost their grandmother in
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the attack. she went on to develop radiation induced leukemia 9 years later at the age of 11. in the hospital she followed a japanese tradition that if you ld 1,000 or gamy pape -- origami paper cranes, crane is the sign of life in japan. she folded 1,300 cranes. sadly she died of leukemia in 1955 at age 15. there is a monument to her and to all of the children who were killed or sicken the or wounded by the -- sickened or wounded by the bomb in the peace park today. wesley's teacher didn't just give them the book. she taught them japanese culture, history. she took them to a japanese restaurant. they folded cranes in class. they had a tea ceremony. i came home one afternoon from work and found wesley in the living room wearing a kimono with green tea and sushy laid out on the coffee table behind him. so she and wesley brought all of
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japan into our house. on subsequent anniversaries of the bombings when japanese journalists called looking for a comment from a member of the truman family, i mentioned that story. i mentioned that we had read the story together. and i told wesley at the time that i thought it was important for him to understand his great grandfather's decision, his country's point of view, but also to understand what that cost the people of hiroshima and nagasaki. wesley said that he enjoyed the book. he remembered as a child enjoying the book. and what he said was it was different from all of his other children's books. and it did not have a happy ending. a ink it was in 2005 i had sadako's apan, from older brother, himself a survivor of the bombing. he had read japanese journalist account, read the interviews
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they had done with me. and asked me if we could meet someday. if we might be able to work together. and i said yes. it took us five more years. e did not meet until 2010 in new york city. him and his son were visiting the 9/11 museum. the tribute center. to donate one of sadoko's last original cranes as a gesture of healing for the never terrorist attacks. during that interview, he took a tiny crane from a plastic box he carries and dropped the crane into my palm and told me that that was the last crane that she had folded before she died. and at that point he and his father asked me if i would consider visiting hiroshima and nagasaki and going to the ceremonies. and i agreed. host: our guest is clifton truman daniel. we are showing video from that 2012 visit. video that we had as part of a
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program with you in that year in 2012. we are going to get to more from that in just a moment. we want to make sure folks know our phone lines are open. 202-748-8,000. for those in the east and central time zones. 202-748-8001 nountwran and pacific. for those of you who are world war two veterans or families, 202-747-8002. japanese americans, we welcome your calls on 202-748-8003. during that trip, mr. daniel, you spoke to several survivors. i wanted to play the video shot by your son, am i right, your son shot some of this. i want to show conversation one. survivors telling his story. we'll get back to your comments. >> i remove the rubble by digging around the area. and i managed to remove a felled tree. but in the front, the concrete
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foundation of our house was covered with a big pillar. i couldn't go forward. and mother was lying face up about a meter away. and her eyes were bleeding. since i couldn't make it to her side i asked her, can you move? she said, no. numbers you can remove this stuff from my shoulder i can't move. but i wouldn't. i was a mearl boy -- militaristic boy, i knew japan was cornered and going to lose soon. so i was always dreaming every day that i would get on a plane and throw myself directly on to the u.s. battleship. i never imagined such a horrible hing would happen to me. but i had to say to my mother the fire is spreading so fast that i can't help you.
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and my mother said, get away from here quick. and i said, go visit my father who passed away in may. i'll follow you shortly. so i went away from the scene leaving my mother knowing that she was going to die in the ire. host: clifton truman daniel, how did those stories and your 2012 trip change your perspective on the bombing of hiroshima? guest: listen to we listen to -- they call it testimony. survivors give testimony. my family and i listened to more than two dozen on that trip in 2012. but as hard as it is for me to listen to, you have to remember i have to remember it's much harder for the survivors
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themselves to relive it. they do day after day after day when they tell those stories. they are committed to doing that. again, so that we understand the horror of the nuclear attack. and prevent it. don't do it again. i was struck by the survivors -- by that kindness, that generosity that they are willing to retell these stories over and over again for our benefit. not one of them came to me in anger or recrimination or -- they simply wanted to tell me those stories. and asked me at the end of each interview that i would help keep telling those stories. again, in the name of disarmament and peace. host: those survivors obviously now 80 years or older, what do you see as your role, as those survivors die, pass away, what do you see as your role in telling the hiroshima story?
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guest: to keep telling the stories. to keep openly and honestly telling those stories on both sides, telling the human story the the atomic bombings, decision, effects, reasons to keep being opened about that and keep telling those in the name of honesty and accurate history. host: did it feel uncomfortable for you at all to be in the room knowing that decision was made by your grandfather? guest: no. and i will credit the survivors for that. and ors and my hosts companions through that. no, the atmosphere was respectful. again, open, blunt, factual, but respectful on both sides. i was not uncomfortable in that regard at all. host: we have plenty of calls waiting. our guest, clifton truman daniel.
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oldest grandson of former president harry truman. on this 75th anniversary, our line for those of you world war ii vets or family members, william in florida, good morning. caller: yes. when i was -- i landed on okinawa when i was an 18-year-old boy. 2,000 time had about landing crafts. these landing crafts are going to be used to invade japan. two 1/2 had over thousand kamikaze planes. bill, a very good friend of mine, he was involved with general macarthur and the invasion of japan. and i said to him, what would -- when was it going to be? he said well it was going to be november 1. i said we had a tremendous typhoon on ok in a ma with a --
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in okinawa in that month. i said what would have done for the invasion? he said it would have destroyed the invasion. he says, i know the winds were over 150 miles an hour. destroyed everything on okinawa. and there was no way that their invading fleet would survive. he says, in fact, general acarthur sent bill to japan to check out the area. he was the nirs american -- first american in japan after the atom bombs. he said the destruction was unbelievable. but what they had waiting for us, he says, was unbelievable, too. he said they had submarines. two-man subsequent. all kinds of fortfications. the civilians were all armed to their teeth waiting for the
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americans to invade. host: thanks for your call. mr. daniel. guest: i have heard similar stories. i'm not familiar with the typhoon that william mentioned. those are stories that i heard so from survivors that although they were -- some of them, of course, that feel that japan was defeated and that it was only a matter of weeks, months, days before they surrendered. at the same time the survivors tell stories of drilling with spears. of fighting with anything that they could. with kitchen utensils. civilians were going to be attached to groups of soldiers to fight side by side. those stories res. nate with me. -- resonate with me. at the same time civilians were terrified.
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this was not something that they -- they trained for, but this was not something that they expected. the japanese government was telling them they were all going to fall like the petals of a cherry tree, it was going to be a glorious mass suicide. that's in line with stories i heard in japan. host: ann in north carolina. good morning. aller: good morning. i am a student of american history. naturally for me i want to find ut more about the country. nd i'm residing. how would your guest answer the question -- would japan surrender without a bomb taking into consideration the decisions
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at the yalta conference in february that took place, 1945, when british prime minister winston churchill, president franklin roosevelt, and soviet leader joseph stalin decided that soviet union would enter the war against japan. nd it did. at that time when the bomb was dropped, the soviet union took so much -- territory that japan occupied and it was basically about to enter had a qaeda -- hakaida host: the soviets? caller: the soviet army was
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about to enter hakaida. exactly at that time when the bomb was dropped. so -- the first one. was it really necessary? because the soviet army would occupy japan. they were moving fast. japan, indeed, they were fighting fiercely, but at that time the power of the soviet union was huge. so they were moving very, very fast. they were right there. host: ann, i'll let you go. it clifton truman daniel, the survivors you talked to, what did they tell you that the state of the populace at that time. what was the population like? were they prepared for any sort of potential invasion be it soviet or america? guest: they were prepared. they were preparing for the invasion. drilling with the bamboo spears. drilling with army units.
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but at the same time they had -- ian was saying this in your previous segment, they had very little left in terms of -- the civilians had little left. no fuel. food was scarce. one of the survivors, the first survivor that i ever heard a gave the from, acceptance speech when the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons won a nobel price for peace, she gave the acceptance speech. she's a nearly lifelong disarmament advocate. when the bomb was dropped she was a 13-year-old school girl. she and 29 classmates were in an army building in hiroshima learning to use the japanese secret code machines. and as she told me when we met, we had nothing. we had no food. we had no fuel. you had school girls learning
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how to use the secret code machines in advance of the invasion. so while both was going on, both were happening, you had this -- you had them preparing for an invasion gearing up to fight american soldiers, but they were doing it with whatever they had at hand. host: how do the japanese generally view the post war occupation by the u.s.? guest: some of the stories i heard in japan, one of the ones that springs to mind was that after the bombings, survivors recorded their stories by writing it down. they wrote poetry. they wrote long hand. they wrote it out. wrote their experiences down. they drew pictures. there were a lot of japanese drew pictures of things they had seen and been through. the occupation government, the u.s. government, confiscated a it was at because inflammatory. they figured that if you had a lot of that out there, people
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really knew the horror of the bombings, it would make it harder to occupy japan. harder to rebuild. there's resentment over that. there's resentment over the atomic bomb casualty commission hospitals which were set up following the war to study radiation victims. they couldn't treat. they didn't know how. they didn't treat. they studied. on the one hand that was helpful to general understanding, not only to the patients' understanding of their disease but world understanding of racialation poisoning. but it felt like lab rats. host: who was running those hospitals? the us us? guest: that was us. yes. host: hear from kenshi in washington, d.c. good morning. caller: i just wanted to bring out two important facts that i'm just visiting from japan. first of all most people seem to be unaware that whenever the u.s. bombed, they would drop leaflets, a total of 70 million
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were dropped, that specifically saidarm you. we are working to bring peace to the country. and would specifically warn people to leave the areas they would be bombing the next day. over 70 million were dropped. second, when you speak to -- when you are in japan, they'll never tell you this, but especially the older people, i have heard from probably over 100 of them, they will tell you when they heard the news of the bombing of hiroshima, they danced in the streets. i'll give you a quote from -- because that meant the war would finally be over. the leader of the pearl harbor ttack, met in 1959 with paul tibbitts, one of the ones that dropped the bomb. s in his quote. you did the right thing. the japanese attitude at that time was fanatic. every man, woman, and child
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would have resisted the invasion with sticks and stones. and finally, it's very important that the -- this narrative now has developed, but when you speak to the people that actually were adults and remember, they were all say when they saw the american bombers flying overhead and then when they heard about the bombs, they were so happy because there was no way -- they felt terrible for the one that is had passed away, but they knew if the war came on land, approximately at that time about three million people would have died. so it was -- the interesting thing is, i was in baghdad before the war, and it was the exact same situation. the people were so desperate. nothing could lodge a bad ruler. they said let the americans come. we would rather have them bomb us. some of us will difmente at least we'll be free. two important facts. number one, over 70 million
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leaflets were passed -- distributed. if you go online you can see them all. they are just -- they say the world is with you, japanese people, hang on. everything will be ok. we are very sorry but the only thing we can do is bomb. you go so we let can get a response from our guest. guest: thank you. those are familiar to me. think of another story that she told. emperor'sed to the broadcast, surrendering on august 15, she and her family. they set up a loudspeaker or radio system, a hanging speaker from a tree. they had got up into the hills outside of the city to escape
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and she remembers people weeping, crying out, stunned, as you said, both in relief and stunned japan would surrender. and frankly surprised to be hearing the emperor's voice, it was certainly the first time all of them around the speaker had heard the emperor speak. he did not often address the japanese people directly. host: want to show our viewers some information on those leaflets. if you look at the atomic heritage association, an article about some of those leaflets and how they were used. california, next up. william, good morning. caller: good morning. quitee on all of this is different from what you have
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already heard. dads born in 1943, and my at that time, until he retired, was an administrative assistant admiral the submarine base. very important during that time, submarines were very important. eureka, lived in california, we lived in vallejo, mother's brother. he asked if he could live in the basement. he did the lettering on the doors to all of the offices and stuff like that. today, they have vinyl lettering. it had to be done at the time. anyway, as i was growing up, 1943, said, i was born in
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and as i was growing up, my uncle lived in the basement and my parents were always gone on the weekends and he was like a babysitter. he would be stone sober monday through friday, but saturday and sunday, drunk as a skunk and i could never understand that. i just thought that was the way he was. but he was suffering from what we now call posttraumatic stress disorder. what would happen as i got older, he started going into the war, talking about the war, he was in the army. one time he scared the living daylights out of me, i will never forget it. i went downstairs, he broke out his rifle, and then he reached into this private area he had and he brought out a bayonet, he put it on -- i did not know what it was -- he put it on the end
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of the gun and started telling me how he was killing japs -- that is what he called them. he got furious. and then he settled down, because i guess he realized i was just a little kid and he put it all away and he apologized and he never did it again, but he will talk about it every time he was drunk. my perspective is, my uncle did not want to kill anybody. he was the nicest person you would've ever met in your life. host: your response. guest: thank you. to talk about your uncle, i think of fred mitchell, who lived in pennsylvania, i don't know if mr. mitchell is with us any longer, he fought in the pacific. he was like your uncle, he never wanted to kill anything as a
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child growing up on a farm, he could not shoot deer when he went hunting with his father. he did not like to kill anything. he wound up fighting in the war in the pacific -- i think he was a radio operator on a destroyer. two kamikaze planes hit his destroyer and he was lucky to have survived. theas blown out by explosion. destroyed battery was and he lost most of his friends and he wound up in the water for hours, gasoline, burning water, and he was traumatized came back and was treated for ptsd. for decades afterwards, he hated the japanese, kept that hatred. it got so bad that his wife and his parents did not know what to do.
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they were a religious family, they attended church every sunday, but he could not shake this and they were worried about him. if he saw someone that even looked as if they were of asian descent, it did not matter -- chinese, korean -- he got angry. finally, he watched a program on television about a group of former marines who had fought on okinawa, and a group of former kamikaze trainees who had gotten together, they met in japan and talk to each other and put it behind them. one thing or another, he wound up doing something similar. he traveled to japan, he met with former kamikaze trainees and said we were just a bunch of old men talking to each other, they were just like me. he was in his 70's when this happened. he was finally able to put that hatred away. host: you talked to many survivors of hiroshima, i assume
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nagasaki as well. have you ever spoken to former crewmembers of the planes the dropped the bombs -- the enola gay? guest: i have not spoken to anyone on the enola gay. host: we will go to larry in gallup, new mexico. good morning. caller: good morning. nation andhe navajo i want to say a piece regarding the navajo code talkers. served on the islands, iwo jima, nagasaki. wereavajo code talkers -- they heard the
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the navajos were working in the south pacific headquarters they were told something was going to happen. that was the message they sent out. events in the bombing the navajo, some of code talkers were sent into nagasaki and hiroshima, confiscating weapons, distributing food and clothing. sentwas the message they after the occupation back to san francisco through navajo code. we don't know who the navajo code talkers were who sent that
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code, that was part of history. thank you. maybe you can say something andt the american indians their role in the post occupation of japan. host: clifton truman daniel. guest: i don't know the history of native americans and the ivajos in the occupation, but know someone who was also there with the code talkers. captain artillery fought his way across the pacific. invasion,he expected he was looking at maps of nagasaki, they were supposed to land in nagasaki near the port
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area. valley, is a deep japanese gun placements were going to be able to reign shells down on them -- down on them. he was worried they would not make it through the initial assault. he was hugely relieved they did not have to land at nagasaki. they ended up landing at nagasaki weeks later as part of the occupation and he was heartsick about the devastation. he said the hillsides were bear, nothing standing. no trees, no buildings. the u.s. army had disarmed the japanese officers, taken their weapons, taken their swords. there was a huge pile of swards, ceremonial swords.
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all of the men were urged to take these as souvenirs come otherwise the u.s. would have to destroy them. he was not a souvenir taker, but niceose the swords, a sword and scented home. over the years afterward, he did not put it over his mantle, he did not show it off, he kept it in the closet and had a devil of a time keeping his children and grandchildren away from it. over the years, he kept it clean, he wailed it, -- he oi led, he kept the blade clean. over the years, he wondered who it belonged to and if he should give it back. he tried off and on over the years to see if it could find the owner or the owner's family but never had success. when he retired 67 years after
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the war, through the st. paul, minnesota nagasaki, japan sister city, he found someone who could translate the wooden tag on the sword. ais tag was wooden and had name and address. through sheer luck and a lot of phone calls, they found the son of the owner of the sword, the owner who had to give it up. a japanese newspaper executive in nagasaki. he wrote to him and said he wanted to give the family back his father's sword. he came to the u.s. with his wife and two sons to receive the sword back. the ceremony was packed and it was very emotional.
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there was a writer who helped arrange this. she writes about survivors of hiroshima and nagasaki and she helped survive this. she said i can't get any work done because i keep getting phone calls with people who want to return swords. int: let's hear from joe wilmington, north carolina. caller: i am the son of a world war ii veteran who worked all the way up to czechoslovakia and saw nazis were using children and old people at the end. my father volunteered to be part of the european element of young soldiers. a that time he was 21-year-old staff sergeant. they went down to naples where
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they were building a ship and they kept them on board for three days. when they released him, they said there were bombs that had been dropped upon japan. beentainly may not have , my father served 30 years in the military and used to talk to a lot of people that were pows and survived different battles from iwo jima. when i was stationed in new mexico, i met a couple of navajo peoplelkers, which more should be talking about that element, as well. harbor, was no pearl there would be no issue about talking about that.
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japan's imperial force was in china in the 1930's. host: thank you for your call. you mentioned the code talkers. we have covered several programs. website,, you can find information. our guest is clifton truman daniel, talking about the 75th anniversary of hiroshima and nagasaki. mr. daniels is also the honorary chair of the board of trustees at the library institute. you have written a couple of books about your grandparents. did you ever ask your grandmother about the bombing of hiroshima? guest: no, i did not. going back to whether i asked my grandfather or grandmother, we
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saw them on family vacations. these were also vacations from school. the last thing i was looking for was another history lesson. host: [laughter] guest: my grandmother, the same way. i did not ask her about the bombings. i don't think my grandfather or my grandmother would have told me anything differently than they would have told you or anyone in the audience. was open andr consistent with his views and there is nothing family would have learned that the public did not know. let me go back for two seconds to say to joe in wilmington, it was nice to hear from someone in wilmington because i lived there for 15 years. it was in wilmington at the end of a day full of ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the end of the war in 1995 that i first met pacific war veterans
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and they were trying to get a hold of my mother, margaret truman. as we left an event, they were sleeve andnag her talk to her. my wife and i stayed behind and asked if there was something we could do for them. both of these men had tears in their eyes and we asked what was wrong. they said nothing, we just want to thank her. host: i understand you were also vocal in encouraging former president obama to visit japan in 2016. why was that? guest: in the interest of being open and honest about it. decisions were made, horrible decisions in a war. , iistorian and broadcaster listen to him years ago and one thing he said the atomic bombings were certainly an atrocity, but they were the last
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atrocity in a war of atrocities. it was a devastating war. people make decisions in wartime that are fatal to millions of people. if we are going to learn from this, you have to keep talking about it, you have to be open and honest about it. president you think obama accomplished in that trip? guest: i thought he did exactly the right thing. he went and he listen. peace park, he spoke to survivors. one of the survivors -- i believe he gave a hug -- he was a survivor of the bombing but also spent about 25 years of his life and a lot of his own money finding out exactly what happened to the 12 americans that were killed in hiroshima. they were prisoners, they were navy and army airmen, a mixed
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group that were prisoners in basement cells in the police headquarters in downtown hiroshima. nine of them died immediately in the explosion, three of them died within a day or two of poisoning. not much was known about what happened to them and their families back in the states did not know. he discovered a lot of the people he was interviewing for other survivors for other stories or drawing pictures of americans in hiroshima. he tracked down every lead and was able to find out what happened to the men. to let their families know in this country and memorialize them in another victims of hiroshima. host: about 10 minutes with our guest. mickey, good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to tell you, my
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and seven of my uncles were in world war ii. they fought together from europe all the way through pacific and all of this. my father was at normandie, rmandy andthe -- no walk into a concentration camp in germany. he said even though he had fought in two of the biggest battles in history, but he never realized how terribly a human being could treat another human being until he walked into that concentration cap. bombs, i wouldc like to put that into perspective. what the atomic bombs dropped on a war,id was it ended million tomated 70
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85 million people were killed during that war, and those atomic bombs put an end to it. thank you. the debate goes on. i find myself, as i said earlier, in the middle of district i cannot, will not, tell it pacific war veteran that those bombs were not a good idea. they had been through so much already. they had fought for their country and endured a lot. i also cannot tell a survivor of hiroshima and nagasaki that the bombs were a great idea. they too suffered. that is what i try to look at -- the human suffering, the sacrifice on both sides. you have to look at the human stories to understand what
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happened and what that means. host: new york, good morning. caller: hello. i want to tell another side. my father was an air corpsman in new guinea. i won't say anything negative about the japanese today, but my father was in new guinea. he was in three different groups, and every single person but him was the only one left. he never talks about the war. when he got married to my mother, used to get up in the middle of the night and have his arms around her neck, the only jap. jap is a dead he died at 56 years old because of it. had we not dropped these bombs, we would still be at work. my father died in 1976. the last year of his life, he
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talked to me constantly about the war so i knew a lot about it. this was protecting their god. this was not protecting their president, their country, this was protecting their god. if we had not dropped those bombs, we would still be in war today. severeer died with posttraumatic stress disorder, having a nervous breakdown and died at the age of 56 because of all of this. host: we will get a response. guest: thank you. just said it yourself, you separate the japanese of today -- you also have to separate japanese civilians in 1945 from the japanese military. wideinly, there was a range of emotion over the war among the japanese. there were those who were
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fighting for the last man, committing suicide, going down, and those who were brow beaten into that, who just went to live there lives and have peace and wanted the war to be over. i did a program with a survivor of the bombing of hiroshima. old when thears bomb exploded, she was badly burned, she came to this country in the 1950's. we were with a group of international students and when the time for questions came around, one of the students stood up and said, i am chinese. sympathy, -- you want you want understanding for the bombings, what about what the japanese military did to my people, to china? she said very quietly, we had no idea. we did not know what was going on.
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certainly, she did not. some japanese dent, they understood fully. you have a broad range of understanding. host: the headline we saw you from the associated press -- survivors mark the 75th anniversary of the world's first atomic attack. during your visit of 2012, what was your initial reaction of going into that peace park in hiroshima and how was your visit received by the media and the public? guest: my initial reaction in both hiroshima and nagasaki stuck, it should not have been a surprise but it was. peace parks both are like being in a church or a mosque. it is hallowed ground. ashes are three feet down in a
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layer of the soil which was called the sad layer of soil. you are on hallowed ground and you feel it. there is a feeling in both hiroshima and nagasaki, a feeling of peace, both cities are dedicated to peace. that was my initial reaction and it stuck. the reaction was positive. a couple of japanese journalists wrote positive articles about the upcoming visit. people were polite and kind, the japanese media was respectful. hitch, and i should have been expecting it but i was not, i got a question in the first interview i did in tokyo before we even went to hiroshima. the reporter got two questions
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into the interview and said, have you come to apologize? as i said, it caught me off guard, it caught me flat-footed. i said no, this is not what this is about. this is about listening to the living. she kept rephrasing. if you did not come to apologize, why bother? she kept coming back to the point where my translator was half out of her chair to intervene and stop the interview because it was rude in the japanese point of view. i worried about that question all that afternoon at an event at tokyo university all the way to hiroshima on a train. i thought, am i just going to wind up defending the apology thision, putting off doing the whole trip. i walked into the peace park the next morning and reporters hadnd the monument and -- i
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not seen him in two years. i had not seen him since we met in 2010. he came out and put his arms around me and hugged me and most of my worries evaporated that ment because he was showing in the japanese media and the japanese people that we were in this together. host: bonnie in ohio. two uncles in world war ii and one got captured by the japanese, him and part of his squad, and they threw them down in a pit and cover them up. every time to get out of the pit the japanese would kick them in the face with their boots and knocked him back down. after they came home, they never talked about it. firstd out my mom's
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husband was one of the guys who helped drop the bomb on hiroshima, when he came home he died a few months later. he said i don't ever want to see that again. you don't want to see it in your lifetime because it was very, very nasty. that is all i have to say. host: thank you. again, the last atrocity in a war of atrocities. host: let me ask you from this point out what you have been doing in staying in contact with some of the victims, some of the survivors and their families. does that work continue? guest: not as intensely as at first print when i first came back from japan, i spent four years working with a nonprofit in new york. the nonprofit over a period of
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eight years, they brought survivors to speak to more than 30,000 high school students in the new york city area and i worked with them for four years doing just that. up of the founders would get and talk about the current nuclear arsenal, the 17,000 or so nuclear weapons, all of them hundreds or thousands of times more powerful than the bombs that destroyed hiroshima and nagasaki, so many of them are on hairtrigger alerts. about are talking modernizing the nuclear arsenal. we feel like we are on the edge of another arms race. at the same time, there are countries working against nuclear proliferation.
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this still going on. i spent four years talking to students and i would tell the stories i am telling you now and then introduce a survivor and then he or she would tell his or her story about the day of the bombing and students were very receptive to that. high school students can be tough to reach. they slouched in their chairs, they look at their phones. none of that was going on. they were paying attention. selfies,s, they wanted they wanted to talk to the survivors, they wanted hugs and i got them. host: let's see if we can get a call or two more. michigan, good morning. you are on the air. we will go to cameron in missouri. good morning. caller: hi.
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i just want to say -- favor andyou do us a take your phone off speaker? it is a little hard to hear you. caller: i apologize. is that better? host: that is better, yes. caller: ok. i just want to say that starting a war the something we have done for years in the past. protests going on in america, looking back at our history, i realized that maybe there is a time coming when we don't have to fight war anymore. andan just come to peace live in that peace had not have to go back to fighting anymore. if we can come to that time, we would be better off and not worry about which country is going to get which country.
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it is a chaotic mess. if we continue to fight wars, all we will do is hurt each other and damaging our neighbors. daniel, ifon truman you can hold your thoughts for a minute. one more call from hawaii. caller: thank you so much. 2:30 in thep since morning to try to see this program. i am so happy to meet with you, the grandson of truman. am -- 1946. , a days ago, from nagasaki professional photographer, he just passed away at the age of 96 print he was also a survivor from the nagasaki bomb.
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he and my father were very good friends. my father also passed away a couple years ago. i really wanted to see this program. in 2020, i think it is the intelligent era and we have internet. what we need to know out of all this tragedy of humans killing each other, we should put an end to it. we have to learn to appreciate and study languages. can communicate with each other to a deep understanding, it is a cultural understanding. japanese people had a long years, for thousands of
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we went through the samurai era, modernization era, everything we do has changed. host: i really appreciate you waiting through on the line. we will get some last thoughts. guest: thank you. is nevada, missouri. story itof you, the brings to mind is a survivor of cavesmbing of nagasaki in that were built into the hillside. she lost her family, she wound up homeless. she was sick. her sister was so sick and disheartened that she committed suicide by stepping in front of a train after the war.
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she talks about her story, she speaks out in the name of peace. she had the quote that sums up what they were saying about war. she said simply -- i think peace , the basic idea of peace is to have some understanding of other people's pain and i think that is very true. host: clifton truman daniel, it has been a pleasure to have you share some time with us on this 75th anniversary. guest: i appreciate the opportunity. host: if you missed any of our conversation today with author ian toll or our guest, clifton truman daniel, or you want to arrogant, it will re-air on c-span3 as part of our primetime lineup on hiroshima, nagasaki and the end of world war ii.
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this sunday, august 9 marks the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the second atomic bomb on nagasaki. we will be back on washington journal with more discussion author,hard frank, an and a member of american americanies -- university. that will do it for us this morning here on washington journal. thank you so much for joining us. we will be back tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. eastern. have a great day. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] ♪


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