No Combat Experience, No Opinion: Parallels in Pro-bombing and Pro-choice Rhetoric

Paul Fussell, a literary critic and World War II veteran, wrote an essay in the 1980s with the arresting title “Thank God for the Atom Bomb.”[1] A passionate defense of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Fussell’s essay is still sometimes invoked today by bombing supporters.[2] However, Fussell’s argument is seriously flawed—and notably … Continue reading No Combat Experience, No Opinion: Parallels in Pro-bombing and Pro-choice Rhetoric

Keeping Rivalry from Becoming War: Lessons from “China, the U.S. and the Risk of Nuclear War”

Peace activists everywhere should be concerned with the rising tensions between the United States and China. The two countries’ relationship has been worsening for some time and shows little sign of improvement. During the Trump administration, the United States and China were at odds, with trade policy and later the response to the Covid-19 pandemic … Continue reading Keeping Rivalry from Becoming War: Lessons from “China, the U.S. and the Risk of Nuclear War”

The Danger That Faces Us All: Hiroshima and Nagasaki after 75 Years

The nuclear age turns 75 years old this summer. Over seven decades have now passed since the first test of a nuclear weapon in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945, and since the first use of nuclear weapons in wartime, against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima (on August 6) and Nagasaki (on August 9). … Continue reading The Danger That Faces Us All: Hiroshima and Nagasaki after 75 Years

“Remember Pearl Harbor—Keep ‘Em Dying”: War and Racism in the Pacific

American planes dropped firebombs on Tokyo 75 years ago, on the night of March 9-10, 1945, killing an estimated 80,000-100,000 people.[1] The firebombing began a six-month-long American bombing campaign against 66 Japanese cities that culminated in the two atomic bombings and killed roughly 400,000 people in total.[2] This killing campaign was the climax of a … Continue reading “Remember Pearl Harbor—Keep ‘Em Dying”: War and Racism in the Pacific

The Wages of War, Part 2: How Forced Sterilization Came to Japan

World War II’s devastation of Japan, and the politics of the post-war American occupation, led to the Japanese Diet [parliament] passing the Eugenic Protection Law 70 years ago, in 1948. The law legalized abortion in Japan, with millions of Japanese children being killed in the womb over subsequent decades.[1] The law also legalized a non-lethal but still … Continue reading The Wages of War, Part 2: How Forced Sterilization Came to Japan

The Wages of War: How Abortion Came to Japan

“I hate Japs. I’m telling you men that if I met a pregnant Japanese woman, I’d kick her in the belly.” — Remark attributed to Admiral William Halsey, commander of US naval forces in the South Pacific during the Second World War[1] “Tsubachan, I’m sorry I couldn’t give birth to you. I would have loved … Continue reading The Wages of War: How Abortion Came to Japan

“More Lives Were Saved”: Annihilated Cities and Choosing the Lesser Evil

The American atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (whose 72nd anniversaries were this past summer) have long been defended because they supposedly saved more lives than they destroyed. By using atomic bombs to force Japan’s surrender in August 1945, the United States (so the argument goes) avoided either an American invasion of Japan or a … Continue reading “More Lives Were Saved”: Annihilated Cities and Choosing the Lesser Evil

Distorted Ethics: A Review of The China Mirage

The United States imposed an oil embargo in mid-1941 on Japan, which was then engaged in the military conquest of China and parts of Southeast Asia. As the United States was Japan’s leading oil supplier, this embargo threatened the future of Japan’s expansion, and the Japanese ultimately compensated for the loss by embarking on a … Continue reading Distorted Ethics: A Review of The China Mirage