today i listened to a podcast from kqed forum on whether the atomic bombing of hiroshima and nagasaki were necessary to end the world war or not. some of the experts claimed it was; the japanese-americans on the panel thought it wasn't. there was a lot of talk about how truman wanted to force the japanese to surrender unconditionally so that the americans could dismantle the militaristic regime there, and make the emperor nothing but a figurehead. the idea was tossed around that america had been so traumatized by pearl harbor that it was seeking revenge in any way possible.
eerie thought: perhaps one of these days al-qaeda supporters will suggest that 9/11 was a necessary act to end the 'war against mohammedanism' being waged by the americans. if america withdraws from iraq, that would be a prophetic statement, because the mohammedans would have won unconditionally.
another odd thought: why aren't the americans equally concerned about deposing the imperialist rulers of saudi arabia, who are funding mohammedan terrorism everywhere, thus posing a direct threat to america? why isn't 9/11 turning into american trauma against the saudis? instead of saudis, why are the americans attacking afghans and iraqis? why these double standards?
is this a symptom of imperial overstretch, or is it oil-money speaking, or is it that the state dept is not so clever after all? who knows?
so when mohammedan saudis attack and kill 3000 or so americans, they feel justified in going out and killing 20,000 or so afghans and iraqis in state-sanctioned retaliation. why isn't the same standard applied to gujarat if the killing of 59 hindus led to the killing of 750 mohammedans in state-abetted retaliation?
or is it just that white people are allowed to do these things? after all, world war II concentration camps and the atomic bomb were reserved for asian japanese, not european germans. and the japanese enemy was the 'japs', the japanese people, while the german enemy was the 'nazis', only those in the administration. the 'japs' were potrayed as bugs and roaches, inhuman, subhuman vermin. germans were not. one standard for white people, another for asians.
similarly, when indians are killed by terrorists, india has to take that in stride. but when white americans are killed, it is a big deal. by the way, when black americans die like flies in new orleans, that's not a big deal, either.
really, what has happened to america's moral compass? is the process of decay so far gone? it used to be a country that shone like a beacon, or so we thought. new orleans was certainly an eye-opener. where was the vaunted american volunteerism?
to put it bluntly, is such a country -- apparently racist -- worth looking up to? or allying with? perhaps for tactical alliances, but indians better be careful, especially now that india is (according to the pew survey a few weeks ago) the only country which has a positive opinion of america. no point hitching india's bandwagon to a fading power. did that already with the soviets, and it didn't help india that much. of course the alternative is much worse: allying with china, the least ethical and most imperialistic of powers.
the choices are pretty bleak. all in all, i'd prefer it if the americans got their act together again, since americans on average are really good people individually. but they have to go to fewer wars, really.
it's a sad 9/11 anniversary. september is the cruelest month. beslan anniversary. katrina's fury. and america, which i personally am very fond of, not looking like a world-beater any more.