New informational grist for the mill, from The Jewish World Review:
|Newly opened archives of radio intercepts of messages between Tokyo and its diplomats abroad, which President Truman was sworn never to talk about, ever, reveal that the Japanese generals and their emperor did not consider themselves defeated. Some of these intercepts were conversations between Tokyo and diplomatic officials of U.S. allies. They reveal that even if Washington agreed to preserve the emperor that Japan regarded as “divine” there was no likelihood that Japan was ready to cry uncle.|
|The conversations between President Truman and his service chiefs further reveal, as historian Richard B. Frank writes in the current Weekly Standard magazine, that the Army and Navy were at bitter odds over whether the Japanese home islands should or could be invaded. The Army said yes. The Navy, having taken casualties at Okinawa in April and May that exceeded those in the Normandy landings, said no, a naval blockade and ship-to-shore bombardment was the way to go.|
|“Finally,” he writes, “thanks to radio intelligence, American leaders, far from knowing that peace was at hand, understood … that ‘until the Japanese leaders realize that an invasion [of the home islands] can not be repelled, there is little likelihood that they will accept any peace terms satisfactory to the Allies.’ “|
Mr. Franks sums it up:
|We were a different America then. No one apologized for a survival strategy of “whatever it takes.”|
He also mentions how hard it would be to imagine Harry Truman fretting over what to call the war. Harry S. wasn’t one to mince words.
Which reminds me of a story most people know, but one that shouldn’t be lost from our American mythology: once a reporter asked Mrs. Truman why the President couldn’t be more presidential. Why did he use words like “manure,” for instance. To which Mrs. Truman replied that it had already taken her a long time to train him to use “manure” instead.
Earth to President Bush: If Truman’s picture is not in your office, please put it there. Then quit listening to your aides and start calling this global slaughter by jihadist murderers what it is: World War IV.
Via The Jewish World Review from the original essay in The Weekly Standard by Richard B. Frank, “Why Truman Dropped the Bomb“