Thursday, November 1, 2007

Top of the world, Ma!

It's been an exhausting day over on the tennis blog, with the news of Martina Hingis' retirement and positive cocaine test at Wimbledon. But I can summon up the energy for a post here.

The Enola Gay pilot died today. I ought to look up his name, but why bother, when I don't know the names of any of the tens of thousands of Japanese he killed? I never knew much about him, except that he was so well brainwashed that he never regretted even for a moment having been the one to drop the bomb on Hiroshima (he didn't fly over Nagasaki). He was proud of how well the plan was executed.

It's probably best for that man's sake that he was, because otherwise he would have had one hell of a miserable life--and really, can you imagine the higher-ups sitting around a table picking a human weapon for the job? Interestingly enough, I read in his obit that he did have a crew, and presumably there were multiple crew members who dropped the bomb on Nagasaki, too. But this guy became the poster boy for the atomic bomb. I wonder what's happened to those others. ("Call him drunken Ira Hayes, he won't answer any more...")

Look, WWII is a war we look back on as a well-justified war, in contrast to this one, and it needed to end. But dropping nuclear weapons is nothing, I repeat nothing, that a so-called civilized nation should be proud of. And there's no doubt that racism made dropping those two bombs easier than it would have been over Germany. Rather, no doubt in my mind; there was controversy again over a Smithsonian exhibit in '95 or so, with the pilot and other groups protesting that it showed too much sympathy for the Japanese (those whining, dead, maimed, cancer-riddled bastards) and, this more reasonably, underestimated the aggression of the Japanese government and possible American casualties in an invasion of Japan. I guess no matter how often we try to flagellate ourselves with the notion that governments aren't people, it doesn't sink in.

Oh, and the Enola Gay? Named after his mom, apparently.

I was thinking to buy my mom a spa visit for Christmas.

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