MSNBC’s Brian Williams Says US Dropped Atomic Bomb ‘In Anger’
Pilot of bomber said: “I sleep clearly every night.”
Randy DeSoto May 27, 2016 | Western Journalism
MSNBC breaking news host Brian Williams once again is finding his on-air comments coming under scrutiny, after characterizing the United States’ use of the atomic bomb against Japan as being “in anger.”
The former NBC Nightly News anchor was responding to a point being made by his colleague, Andrea Mitchell, who was praising former Sens. Dick Lugar and Sam Nunn for their work on nuclear non-proliferation.
“[T]hat is still the threat that people worry about that this material will fall into the wrong hands,” said Williams. “If people have found the U.S. to be preachy in the years since Hiroshima and Nagasaki about the use of nuclear weapons, it’s because we’re the only nation to have used them in anger.”
“Sometimes, I am amazed that the world has been without these weapons all the years since, but it is a point of great pride by the people who have seen to it,” the MSNBC host added.
Obama observed that 60 million died during the war in all manner of brutality. “Yet in the image of a mushroom cloud that rose into these skies, we are most starkly reminded of humanity’s core contradiction,” he said. In other words, the United States, by choosing to drop the atomic bombs on Japan, was just as guilty of brutality as Nazi Germany or the Japanese.
He contended the images of those mushroom clouds, which resulted in the deaths of 140,000 in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nakasaki, bringing an end to World War II, eclipse the images of the 6 million killed by the Nazis in concentration camps and the hundreds of thousands killed, brutalized and raped by the Japanese in nations throughout Asia.
President Harry S. Truman, who made the decision to drop the atomic bombs in August 1945, said he never lost sleep because of it. In 1963, he penned a letter (see below) expressing appreciation for a columnist who supported the wartime decision against those in the years following who had second-guessed his call.
The former president observed, “You must always remember that people forget, as you said in your column, that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was done while we were at peace with Japan and trying our best to negotiate a treaty with them.”
“All you have to do is to go out and stand on the keel of the Battleship in Pearl Harbor with the 3,000 youngsters underneath it who had no chance whatever of saving their lives. That is true of two or three other battleships that were sunk in Pearl Harbor. Altogether, there were between 3,000 and 6,000 youngsters killed at that time without any declaration of war. It was plain murder,” he continued.
“I knew what I was doing when I stopped the war that would have killed a half a million youngsters on both sides if those bombs had not been dropped. I have no regrets and, under the same circumstances, I would do it again — and this letter is not confidential,” Truman concluded.
The pilot of the plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima also stated he believed he did the right thing. “You’ve got to take stock and assess the situation at that time. We were at war. … You use anything at your disposal,” Enola Gay B-29 bomber pilot Paul Tibbets said in a 1975 interview. “I sleep clearly every night,” he added.
Thirty years later, on the 60th anniversary of the bombing in 2005, Tibbets told The Columbus Dispatch, “I knew when I got the assignment it was going to be an emotional thing. We had feelings, but we had to put them in the background. We knew it was going to kill people right and left. But my one driving interest was to do the best job I could so that we could end the killing as quickly as possible.”
Enola Gay navigator Theodore Van Kirk, who was the last surviving member of the crew, said in a 2010 interview that countless veterans who were slated to invade Japan thanked him over the years for saving their lives.
He added that the Japanese were spared the far greater destruction and death that would have resulted from a full-scale invasion by the United States.
“Whether they will accept it or not, dropping the atomic bomb saved their lives and our lives. If we had had to invade Japan, the Japanese casualties would have been much, much higher,” Van Kirk said.
Leave it to Williams to say something like that and not be challenged on it, as if it were fact. It is not new for BS Williams, but to have an anchor state this on a TV report is stupidity on steroids.
After talking to a my friend Pepp, who noted the word angry is also a common euphemism used for Trump and his supporters, I think that could be part of the impetus for it. So could that have been part of Williams political motivation for saying it? But he was wrong anyway. And he’s not far from Obama’s rhetoric either.
What emotion could have caused Williams’ labyrinth of lies?