a literary device, actualities of battlefield experience, and humankinds capacity for self-delusion through euphemism and out-and-out prevarication. "Thank God For The Atom Bomb.". Fussell is not sanguine about humankinds abilities to operate rationally.
Okinawa, where 101,000 Japanese and 24,000 Americans died, confirmed in the minds of responsible Allied leaders the "worst case." Fanatic Japanese resistance was a battlefield fact. (A flagrant example is MY sister AND I, purportedly written in World War II by a Dutch boy. Truman speculated that atomic weapons may have saved the Allies another 500,000 dead and the Japanese at least twice that many. One clique maintains Truman A-bombed "yellows" in order to impress Stalin. Fussell scorns Harvard prof and insistent anti-nuclear-nit John Kenneth Galbraith's twaddle that the A-bombs accelerated Japan's surrender by " Galbraith) "at most, two or three weeks.". And the Destroyer Escort Underhill was lost.". Declaring that "Hiroshima was a war crime" has become an anti-American academic racket. Apparently, the moral facility to condemn the bomb is directly related to one's distance, in space and time, from actual combat. Finding much ethical posturing to be self-serving, he defines his own mission as to mess up the moral picture. Allegiances to the eighteenth century surface in Fussells suspicion of all-encompassing theoretical systems and in his commitment to irony as a touchstone of civilization. In the latter category, Fussell attends the 1982 Indy 500 and investigates a nude beach on the Yugoslavian coast. Another clique absorbs itself in a debate over how "few" additional casualties the Allies would have borne had they invaded Japan sans A-bomb.
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