Friday, February 12, 2010

US Vice President Joe Biden & 'Non Functioning' Democarcy in Pakistan - 1

Quite amazing isn't it that the American Vice President Joe Biden is "Worried about Pakistan" and even if that was not enough he is worried about the Non Functioning Democracy in Pakistan. After all those years of Strong US Support to several Pakistani [and elsewhere as well] Military Dicatators {General Ayub Khan 1958 - 1969}, General Yahya Khan {1969 - 1971}, General Zia {1977 - 1988} and latest General Musharraf {1999 - 2008} the US Vice President has the audacity to lecture Pakistan about Non-Functioning Democracy whereas Obama's own administration key member had opined very recently that "The US secretary of state acknowledged on Tuesday that Washington had not been consistent in its dealings with Islamabad. Talking to reporters at the Foreign Press Centre and the White House, Hillary Clinton said “it is fair to say that our policy towards Pakistan over the last 30 years has been incoherent. I don’t know any other word”. REFERENCE: US wronged Pakistan for 30 years, admits Hillary By Anwar Iqbal Wednesday, 20 May, 2009 06:53 AM PST

Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., 47th Vice President of the United States - Former Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Former Chairman of the International Narcotics Control Caucus - Fromer Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations - WASHINGTON: US Vice-President Joe Biden has said the security situation in Pakistan worries him the most, more than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Iran’s nuclear programme. In an interview with CNN, Mr Biden also warned that if Iran acquired nuclear weapons, other Middle Eastern countries would do the same. “Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, what worries you the most?” asked interviewer Larry King. “What worries me the most is Pakistan,” Mr Biden deadpanned. “Pakistan?” asked the interviewer. “You heard me say this for the last 10 years,” said Mr Biden who headed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before the 2008 presidential elections. “I think it’s a big country. It has nuclear weapons that are able to be deployed. It has real significant minority of radicalised population,” said the US vice-president while explaining why Pakistan worried him the most. “It is not a completely functional democracy in the sense we think about it. And so that’s my greatest concern.” Comparing the situation in Pakistan with those in other countries, Mr Biden claimed success in Iraq. “I am very optimistic about Iraq. I think it can be one of the great achievements of this administration,” he said. REFERENCE: Pakistan is my biggest worry: Biden By Anwar Iqbal Friday, 12 Feb, 2010 Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.


Let me help you Mr. Joe Biden by taking back you to not too distant History that USA not only wronged Pakistan but almost every nation in the World particularly in the Third World, and Yankees didn't even spare their own citizens what to talk of Children of Lesser god i.e. Third World...

In the best-selling version of popular myth as history, U.S. "goodness" peaked during World War II (aka America's War Against Fascism). Lost in the din of trumpet sound and angel song is the fact that when fascism was in full stride in Europe, the U.S. government actually looked away. When Hitler was carrying out his genocidal pogrom against Jews, U.S. officials refused entry to Jewish refugees fleeing Germany. The United States entered the war only after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour. Drowned out by the noisy hosannas is its most barbaric act, in fact the single most savage act the world has ever witnessed: the dropping of the atomic bomb on civilian populations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The war was nearly over. The hundreds of thousands of Japanese people who were killed, the countless others who were crippled by cancers for generations to come, were not a threat to world peace. They were civilians. Just as the victims of the World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings were civilians. Just as the hundreds of thousands of people who died in Iraq because of the U.S.-led sanctions were civilians. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a cold, calculated experiment carried out to demonstrate America's power. At the time, President Truman described it as "the greatest thing in history". Is this what you called Democracy???

Let me help you Mr. Joe Biden by taking back you to not too distant History!


Pic is the Courtesy of pkpolitics

Elite Class in Pakistan doesn’t have any Religion, Caste, Ethnicity, or Tribe particularly the Military and Civil Bureaucrat instead they have Vested Interests [through inter-marriages in every sect and ethnic group: Read Pakistan Kay Siyasi Waderay by Aqeel Abbas Jaffery published by Jang Publisher] and to serve it they can go to any extent. In particular reference to serve the US DEFENCE ESTABLISHMENT our Ruling Elite from the very begining no matter Urdu Speaking, Punjabis, Pathan, Sindhis or Baluch left no stone unturned to get what was, is and will be needed. For your kind perusal the History of US-PAK RELATIONS, read it yourself:


1. Even in its nascent phase, Pakistan willingly undermined itself by playing second fiddle to the United States. Liaqat Ali Khan, Pakistan's first prime minister, refused Soviet overtures, choosing instead to pay a visit to the White House. That decision permanently palled Pakistan-Soviet relations.

2. In 1954 Pakistan joined SEATO and CENTO, the US-led defense alliance against the Soviet Union although Pakistan per se had no dispute with the USSR.

3. In 1955 Pakistan became a member of the British-led and US-backed Baghdad Pact. The purpose of the Pact was to contain possible Soviet influence in the Middle East. Strangely, Pakistan did not belong within the geographical arrangement of the Pact. It joined just to please the Americans.

4. In 1959 Pakistan allowed the US to establish secret intelligence facilities near Peshawar so that the Americans could spy on the Soviet Union. Pakistan constantly denied Soviet allegations that the US was spying on it using Pakistan’s territory. In 1960 the infamous U-2 spy plane was shot down by the Soviet army. The plane had as usual taken off from Peshawar. Khrush- chev threatened to attack Pakistan if the Peshawar-based espionage facilities of the US were not dismantled. Pakistan partially complied.

5. In March 1959 Pakistan-US signed a bilateral security agreement which called upon the US to take such appropriate action, including the use of armed forces. This was a total act of subordination on Pakistan's part because the commitment was restricted to instances of communist aggression. It made no reference to the US coming to Pakistan's help in the event of a conflict with its most likely adversary, i.e. India.

6. In January 1961 the new Kennedy administration increased assistance to India to $1 billion annually, while giving only $150 million to Pakistan. Pakistan had done nothing to deserve this ill-treatment.

7. In 1964 President Johnson conveyed his distress over Pakistan's good relations with China, but after a few years it was Pakistan which served as a go-between when the US and China began to normalise their relations.

8. In September 1965 Pakistan and India went to war. The US responded by suspending military and economic aid to Pakistan.

9. In May 1974, following India's "peaceful nuclear explosion," Z.A. Bhutto, then Pakistan's prime minister, pledged to press ahead with Pakistan's nuclear program. The US pressured him not to, but he stood up to the Americans. In 1976 he was threatened by Henry Kissinger with "horrible" consequences for pursuing a nuclear program. (Kissinger's exact words: "We will make a horrible example out of you." See Endnote 1.) Soon after, he was deposed and executed by the Pakistani Army.

10. From 1979 to 1988 Pakistan fought the American cold war against the Soviet Union. Knowing full well that the Afghan crisis of the late 1980s could have destructive consequences for Pakistan, its rulers (the generals) became willing instruments of the Americans. This resulted in Pakistan's becoming a centre of mercenaries, illegal arms and heroin.


General Ayub and US Vice President later President of the US Lyndon B Johnson having fun

Pakistan First Chief Martial Law Administrator / Dictator General Ayub Khan with Democrat US President J F Kennedy and US Vice President Lyndon B Johnson


Immediately after independence in 1947, Pakistan’s apprehension about the designs of a hostile large neighbour, India prompted it to try to develop friendly defence relations with large powers (US and later China). Very early in the game, politicians lost the control of defence related matters due to their lack of experience and constant squabbles. This allowed the British trained bureaucrats and military officers to take control of the affairs especially those related to defence. Defence and foreign policy are closely linked to each other, therefore, invariably a particular decision about defence has both foreign policy and domestic impact thus complicating the picture. A glimpse of thought process of the decision makers will help to understand why a particular decision was taken whenever they got the chance of acting on their thoughts. Governor General Ghulam Muhammad during his conversation with Vice President Nixon, pleading for military aid stated that, “... were the US not grant aid now, especially in view of all publicity, it would like taking a poor girl for a walk and then walking out on her, leaving her only with bad name”.

Foreign Minister Zafrullah Khan was more candid when in 1954, during a meeting with Governor Stassen asking for more aid stated, “It was Pakistan’s belief that the “beggar’s bowl” should never be concealed”.

Ayub Khan frustrated with slow pace of negotiations with US during his visit to Washington went to Henry Byroad’s office and told him, ‘I didn’t come here to look at barracks. Our army can be your army if you want us. But let’s make a decision’.

In 1950-53, a flurry of Pakistani officials landed in US asking for assistance. Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan, C-in-C Ayub Khan, Foreign Minister Zafrullah Khan, Foreign Secretary Ikramullah, Finance Minister Ghulam Muhammad, Defence Secretary Sikander Mirza and special envoy Mir Laiq Ali made US visits with main theme of getting aid. Each one of them believing that he is the most capable one who could do the job of getting American assistance better than anybody else.

Once US decided about Pakistan’s role in the defence of the region and containment of Communism, it was the armed forces of Pakistan and not the political leadership, which was seen as potential partners. Ayub Khan obsessed with modernization of the armed forces in shortest possible time saw the relationship with US the only way to achieve his organizational and personal objectives. In meeting with US officials during his April 1958 visit, Ayub stressed that armed forces are the strongest element. He was of the view that if elections were held in the prevailing circumstances, the left wing politicians will come to power which will not only destabilize Pakistan but will affect US strategic interests.Pakistan was seen by US in military terms which was quite natural as US national interest was related to security. In 1953, Pakistan was described as a country with many qualities, which were, “... a volunteer army of 3,000,000... it is not neutral but anti-communist... As a possible ally for US, Pakistan displays a tempting picture of power — potential and actual”.Pakistan army was seen as ‘a disciplined, well trained army whose morale and bravery are unquestionable’.Some events in Washington regarding Pakistan became comical. In 1953, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles while arguing for wheat aid to Pakistan told sub-committee on Agriculture and Forestry during hearings that, ‘the people of Pakistan had a splendid military tradition and that in Karachi he had been met by a guard of honour which was the ‘finest’ he had ever seen’.Apparently, he did not tell the agriculture department what on earth the wheat aid has to do with the military. After the signing of first mutual defence treaty in May 1954, large-scale interaction between US and Pakistani military started. Pakistan became one of the seven members (other members included Thailand, South Vietnam, Taiwan, Philippines, Laos and Cambodia) of elite ‘Defence Support Countries” in South East Asia. A US Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) was established in Army Headquarters in Rawalpindi. A Military Assistance Programme (MAP) was started. Pakistan army was divided into MAP and Non-MAP units depending on their role. MAP units were oriented towards safeguarding US interests and non-MAP units along Indian border.

The objectives of US and Pakistan were different in this military alliance. For US the arrangement was to safeguard US interests in southwest Asia and Middle East and not against India. Pakistani military establishment saw the relationship as a short cut to modernization of its armed forces but failed to comprehend long-term strategic interest of Pakistan. One frequently hears the complaints of Pakistani officers from top to bottom about ‘betrayal’ and ‘abandoning’ by America. The fact that US was following her national interest while mediocre Pakistani military leadership were more in wishful thinking rather than planning for safeguarding their national interest. There was nothing secret about US policy. In several public statements and documents, US objectives have been clearly stated, if Pakistani generals could not see them, this was their own folly. The general principles of these security agreements were that United States will enter a security agreement when:

- There is a genuine threat to US interests.

- The mutual security pact will significantly contribute to preserve these interests.

- The final judgment of US troop commitment will be made by elected representatives.

- Allies will contribute their fair share in terms of personnel, weapons, resources and government support.

As early as 1962, Colonel Jordan wrote about US position as far as Pakistan was concerned, “... because of their deployment, the Pakistani forces in Eastern Pakistan and Kashmir (Non-MAP supported) are the ones most likely to become entangled with the Indian Army should an incident arise. US responsibility for such non-MAP Pakistani forces is no greater than for Indian Army units, which have indirectly benefited by the massive US economic aid given to India”. While Colonel Jordan wrote with precision and clarity, Major General Fazal Muqeem Khan was baffled. Muqeem wrote, “It would be interesting to know why the United States did not take over the responsibility of supporting the entire standing army at the time of the agreement. Those parts of the army, which are now in Kashmir and East Pakistan, and some other units, do not have military assistance. Similarly, no training establishments or static installations are supported”.These few words speak a volume about the intellectual level of senior leadership.

In July 1959, Pakistan agreed for establishment of US base near Peshawar to be operated by US officials. General Khalid M. Arif while commenting on U-2 incident (U-2 was a US spy plane operating from Badaber base near Peshawar. It was shot down by Soviet SA-2 missile and its pilot Gary Powers was captured. The incident severely compromised Pakistan security and brought the Soviet ire on Pakistan. Soviets paid back Pakistan within a decade during East Pakistan crisis) states that, ‘Pakistan felt deceived because the US had kept her in the dark about such clandestine spy operations launched from Pakistan’s territory’.Statements like these from such highly placed officers don’t speak well for Pakistan. As early as 1959, when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, as acting foreign minister wished to visit the facility, the American base commander replied that, ‘the minister would be welcome to visit the cafeteria where he would be served coffee and sandwiches’.An American air force base located in the border area of Pakistan near Soviet territory where spy planes were parked, run by Americans where even the highest Pakistani officials could not enter was not suppose to bake cookies or train pilots for aerial aerobatics. Ayub Khan was fully aware of the operations. He was in London at the time of U-2 incident. When the CIA station chief gave Ayub the news, he shrugged his shoulders and said that he had expected this would happen at some point.In 50s there was increasing number of Pakistani officers who got training in United States. The military doctrine shifted from British to American. Fazal Muqeem points to the change of thought process of officer corps. “Such healthy and friendly contacts were bound to have a decisive influence on the ideas of the officer corps. They soon made their impact on the thinking of Pakistani commanders and staff. In the re-organization of the army, American ideas influenced the planners in a number of ways”.The influence was not limited to the knowledge of new weaponry and defence strategy and tactics. According to Colonel Jordan, the purpose of training of officers in US was not only to train them in particular fields but also to groom them for non-military activities (leadership, management and economics). In addition, MAAG officers were in agreement that the off-shore trained officer is more receptive to continued military advice and suggestions than his colleagues”.It is interesting to note that officers from different countries (Asia, Africa, Latin and South America) trained in US quite confident of their newly acquired skills took power in their own countries.

In the early phase after independence, US military assistance undoubtly increased Pakistan’s defence capability vis-a-vis India in short term. On the other hand, it strengthened the hands of non-representative segments of government (military and bureaucracy) compared to representative segment (politicians). Armed forces by opening a direct channel to a superpower effectively bypassed the budgetary nuisances, the single most important factor for effective civilian control of armed forces. The non-representative group thus energized by the material and moral support of US very easily strangulated the nascent democratic process. On domestic front, concentration of all armed forces in West Pakistan caused apprehension in East Pakistan. The reason was two fold. One, Eastern wing being encircled by India on three sides was more vulnerable to Indian attack but had nominal troops. Second, the economic benefits of military aid (job opportunities, civilian contracts and beneficial effects on local economy) were concentrated in Western wing. The defence policy makers failed to adjust from a colonial mould into that of an independent nation. The simple fact that no group in a multi-ethnic society like Pakistan want to see itself as dispensable or less important and not worth defending. The absurd defence concept of defence of Eastern wing from Western wing which was inherited from the colonial rule, convinced Bengalis that they were dispensable. The democratic tendency and anti-American sentiment was stronger in East Pakistan. When the mutual defence treaty was announced in February 1954, there was a great outcry in eastern wing. Many demonstrations were held and 162 newly elected members of East Bengal Provincial assembly signed a statement, which denounced Pakistani government for signing a military pact with United States.

The first twenty-year period after independence was crucial in terms of international relations. One factor which most Pakistani historians have ignored is that in the period of 1951-53 there was high level meetings between Pakistani and Indian counterparts at different levels including Prime Ministers about Kashmir issue. India had accepted Kashmir as a central issue between two countries. The two Prime Ministers had met in August 1953. India had agreed in principle about the plebiscite and it was decided that a Plebiscite Administrator would be appointed by the end of April 1954. Pakistan’s joining of American sponsored pacts gave Nehru the golden chance to renege completely on all assurances. With the benefit of hand sight one can only guess that probably at least by delaying the announcement of mutual treaty with US would have provided the opportunity to test Indian sincerity.Pakistan’s alliance with US naturally brought the anger of Soviet Union. Soviet Union’s early neutral stand on Kashmir quickly changed to a pro-India stance. On international scene, Pakistan was effectively kept out of the non-aligned movement. Several newly independent countries in Asia and Africa were either neutral or actively hostile to Pakistan. In 50s, there was a favourable opinion of Pakistan in US government executive and legislative branches and media. When the relationship with US took a downward turn during Kennedy and Johnson administration, Pakistan was totally lost as how to respond to changing scenario. It maintained membership in all security pacts thus still taking the heat from antagonists of US. At the same time it stopped taking part in military exercises or in Intelligence Assessment Committee studies thus not getting any tangible military benefit. It continued to attend the meetings but its delegates neither participated in discussions nor took part in the drafting of communiques.

Pakistan's Second Martial Law Administrator General Yahya Khan with US Republican President Richard Nixon.


As per Ms. Anjum Niaz

(Sealed off as 'Top Secret' by the State Department and CIA, now after three decades, 46 declassified documents - some 'sanitized' - and a audio clip of Nixon-Kissinger offer a compelling peek at President Nixon and his security advisor Henry Kissinger giving a sly wink to the Pakistan army to kill, rape and terrorize innocent East Pakistanis during the 1971 India-Pakistan crisis)

Inside the Oval Office, August 2, 1971, an exasperated President Nixon and his national security advisor Henry Kissinger curse India for wanting to pick up a fight with Pakistan. Actually, the timing is skewed for Nixon who has clandestinely taken a shine to Chou En-Lai facilitated by Pakistan President Gen.Yahya Khan. But the "god-damn Indians" - as Nixon and Kissinger call them - are giving the Americans a run for their money by refusing to sit and watch silently the two siblings - East and West Pakistan - slug it out with each other.

"We have already given 100 million dollars to India for the refugees (pouring in from E. Pakistan)," Kissinger informs Nixon who is convinced the US is "making a terrible mistake" by heaping dollars on New Delhi. "India is economically in good shape, but no one knows how the god-damn Indians are using this money. They are not letting any foreigners enter the refugee areas. Any foreigners, and their record is outrageous!" keens Kissinger.

The White House conversation comes the day after the Beatle George Harrison and his soul mate Ravi Shankar, the Indian sitar player hold a "Concert for Bangladesh"(months before its birth) to raise money for the refugees escaping the reign of terror unleashed by Pakistan army after Mujibur Rehman's Awami League has swept the polls in East Pakistan during the 1970-71 general elections but is now being outlawed.

"So who is the Beatle giving the money to - is it the god-damn Indians?" asks a frustrated Nixon. "Yes," says Kissinger flatly, adding that Pakistan has also been given $150,000 food aid but the major problem "is the god-damn distribution." Nixon jumps in, "we have to keep India away". Kissinger couldn't agree more: "we must defuse the refugee and famine problem in East Pakistan in order to deprive India (read Indira Gandhi) of an excuse to start the war with Pakistan."

"We have to avoid screwing Pakistan that outrageously. It could blow up everything," concurs Kissinger. And the solution according to him is: "we should start our god-damn lecturing on political structures, as much as we can and while there will eventually be a separate East Bengal in two years (he says it so very casually) but it must not happen in the next six months."

As per David Corn

Hundreds of thousands were killed. Kissinger blocked US condemnation of Khan. Instead, he noted Khan's "delicacy and tact."

Famous Pakistani Laureate par excellence Late. Mr. Eqbal Ahmed in one of his interview with David Barsamian had said,

"That was something you couldn't do doing the military rule?

That was something I could not do for thirty years.

Because of the military rule?

Yes. In the first military rule of Ayub Khan, there was a warrant of arrest on me. In the second military government of Yahya Khan I was put on a death sentence. In the third military government of Zia ul-Haq I was a persona non grata for over eleven years. Now I am able to go back. Parliamentary government has been restored. It's at least formal democracy. I would like to see it become a truer democracy, but I would also like to see the United States become a truer democracy. What is more interesting about Pakistan is that greater freedom of speech and association has drastically reduced the power and influence of the Islamic movement. More people are able to speak out challenging the premise of fundamentalism, and fresh air seems to blow away the worst of religious right-wing thinking. I am mentioning this because countries like Egypt and Algeria, which are constantly facing the fundamentalist threat, should learn from it. A great deal of Islamic fundamentalism thrives on absence of freedom, as it did in the Iran of the Shah. Dissent has no place to go except the mosques. The answer to the fundamentalist divide is more democracy, not more dictatorship. The tragedy is that the United States government, while opposed to fundamentalism now, I say now because I'll come back to it later, supports dictatorships in Algeria, in Egypt and repressive monarchies in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. So the United States is actually supporting both fundamentalist and non-fundamentalist dictatorships in the Middle East, from Saudi Arabia to Algeria. This has to stop. If there is a democracy, I think the battle can be fought in an open field and we are going to win. By "we" I mean the secular Muslim forces.

Pakistan's Third Martial Law Administrator General Zia

General Zia with US Republican President Ronald Reagan


U.S. government under President Ronald Reagan approved Pakistan's military dictator, Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, a five year, multibillion dollar armaments package with Congress overriding legislative requirements on human rights and nuclear proliferation. Likelihood of augmentation of political repression by the praetorian regime; Destruction of the judiciary system of Pakistan by the regime of Zia; Constitutional order passed by Zia on March 25, 1981.

Zia was born in Jalandhar (in India) in 1924. He completed his initial education in Simla and then at St. Stephen's College, Delhi. He was commissioned in the British Indian Army in a cavalry regiment in 1943 and served during World War II. At Pakistan's independence, Zia joined the newly formed Pakistani Army as a major.[red] He trained in the United States 1962–1964 at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Zia was stationed in Jordan from 1967 to 1970, helping in the training of Jordanian soldiers, as well as leading the training mission into battle during the Black September in Jordan operations. On 1 April 1976, Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto appointed Zia-ul-Haq as Chief of Army Staff, ahead of a number of more senior officers.

As per a book “Charlie Wilson’s War by George Crile during the so-called Afghan Jihad following things did happen;

“He told Zia about his experience the previous year when the Israelis had shown him the vast stores of Soviet weapons they had captured from the PLO in Lebanon. The weapons were perfect for the Mujahideen, he told Zia. If Wilson could convince the CIA to buy them, would Zia have any problems passing them on to the Afghans? Zia, ever the pragmatist, smiled on the proposal, adding, “Just don’t put any Stars of David on the boxes” {Page 131-132}.

Pseudo Commander of the Faithful General Zia ul Haq appointed a ‘Society Lady’ Joanne Herring as Pakistan’s honorary Consul in Houston, Texas USA, earlier her husband Bob Herring was offered the post but he declined and gave his wife’s name.

“She was Zia’s most trusted American adviser, as per Sahibzada Yaqub Khan, She absolutely had his ear, it was terrible,” “Zia would leave cabinet meetings just to take Joanne’s calls. “There was no affair with Zia,” Wilson recalls, but it’s impossible to deal with Joanne and not deal with her on sexual basis. No matter who you are, you take those phone calls.” {Page 67-68}.

Lt General Retd. Hamid Gul [Former ISI and MI Chief]

Former Director General (DG) of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Lieutenant General (Retd) Hameed Gul’s anti-American rhetoric in post-retirement phase makes headlines off and on in national news media/even on ARY GEO AND INDUS VISION too. It is interesting that when he was DGISI, US ambassador attended the meetings of Afghan Cell of Benazir government. In fact the major decision of Jalalabad offensive in 1989 was made in one of those fateful meetings. To date there has been no evidence (no statement by any other participants of those meetings or by General Hameed Gul himself) that Mr. Gul made any objection to the presence of US ambassador in these meetings, which had wide ranging impact on national security. It is probable that Mr. Gul was at that time a top contender for the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) race, therefore he didn’t wanted to be on the wrong side of the civil government. When he was sacked, then he found the gospel truth that US was not sincere. Another example is of former Chief of Afghan Cell of ISI, Brigadier (Retd) Muhammad Yusuf. For five long years, he was a major participant in a joint CIA-ISI venture of unprecedented scale in Afghanistan. During this time period, he worked with several different levels US officials and visited CIA headquarters in Langley. In his post-retirement memoirs, he tried his best to distance himself from the Americans. His statements like, ‘Relations between the CIA and ourselves were always strained’, ‘I resorted to trying to avoid contact with the local CIA staff’, ‘I never visited the US embassy’ and vehement denial of any direct contact between CIA and Mujahideen shows his uncomfortability of being seen as close with the Americans. "Pakistan’s former foreign minister Agha Shahi in a conversation with Robert Wirsing said that in 1981 during negotiations with US, he gave a talk to a group of Pakistani generals on the objectives of Pakistan’s policy toward US.

He stressed the importance of non-alignment and avoidance of over dependence on superpowers. Few days later one of the generals who attended Shahi’s briefing met him and told him that Americans should be given bases in return for the aid. "General Zia and DGISI Akhtar Abdur Rahman had very cordial relations with CIA director William Casey. To offset that uncomfortable closeness with Americans, Zia and Akhtar were portrayed as holy warriors of Islam and modern day Saladins. According to one close associate of Akhtar, ‘They (Casey and Akhtar) worked together in harmony, and in an atmosphere of mutual trust’. Brigadier Yusuf made the most interesting remarks about the death of CIA Director, William Casey. He states that, “It was a great blow to the Jehad when Casey died”. He did not elaborate whether by this definition one should count Casey as Shaheed (warrior who dies in battle in the cause of Islam). It will quite be amusing for Americans to know that one of their former CIA director is actually a martyr of Islam."

On page 503 in Charlie Wilson’s War, the author quoted “but it was losing Zia that crushed Charlie. At the state funeral in Islamabad, with a million Pakistanis and Mujahideen crowding up to him, Charlie made his way to Akhtar’s successor, Hamid Gul, and broke into tears. “I have lost my father on this day,” he said.

There is nothing new in Musharraf's help of USA in the region.

For Further reading

1- Tale of a love affair that never was: United States-Pakistan Defence Relations Columnist Hamid Hussain analyses an ON and OFF affair.

2- Pakistan: Why is Musharraf Smiling these Days?

Guest Column-by Hari Sud (The Views expressed are his own and not of SAAG)

3- PAKISTAN - A DREAM GONE SOUR Roedad Khan Oxford University Press 1997 Group Captain (Retd) ATHAR HASSAN ANSARI reviews the book written by ROEDAD KHAN, a consummate bureaucrat for being in the eye of the storm

4- LETTER FROM PAKISTAN Is Pakistan on America’s Hit List? By Abbas Zaidi

5- When America looked the other way declassified documents on the US role in India-Pakistan's 1971 war by Anjum Niaz

7- Interview with Eqbal Ahmed India, Pakistan, Palestine, Bosnia, etc. by David Barsamian



Paul Wolf, Attorney at Law P.O. Box 11244 Washington DC 20008,

COINTELPRO is an acronym for a series of FBI counterintelligence programs designed to neutralize political dissidents. Although covert operations have been employed throughout FBI history, the formal COINTELPRO's of 1956-1971 were broadly targeted against radical political organizations. In the early 1950s, the Communist Party was illegal in the United States. The Senate and House of Representatives each set up investigating committees to prosecute communists and publicly expose them. (The House Committee on Un-American Activities and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy). When a series of Supreme Court rulings in 1956 and 1957 challenged these committees and questioned the constitutionality of Smith Act prosecutions and Subversive Activities Control Board hearings, the FBI's response was COINTELPRO, a program designed to "neutralize" those who could no longer be prosecuted. Over the years, similar programs were created to neutralize civil rights, anti-war, and many other groups, all said to be "communist front organizations." As J. Edgar Hoover, longtime Director of the FBI, put it

The forces which are most anxious to weaken our internal security are not always easy to identify. Communists have been trained in deceit and secretly work toward the day when they hope to replace our American way of life with a Communist dictatorship. They utilize cleverly camouflaged movements, such as peace groups and civil rights groups to achieve their sinister purposes. While they as individuals are difficult to identify, the Communist party line is clear. Its first concern is the advancement of Soviet Russia and the godless Communist cause. It is important to learn to know the enemies of the American way of life.

The United States and Middle East: Why Do "They" Hate Us? by Stephen R. Shalom, December 12, 2001

Stephen R. Shalom

The list below presents some specific incidents of U.S. policy in the Middle East. The list minimizes the grievances against the United States in the region because it excludes more generalized long_standing policies, such as U.S. backing for authoritarian regimes (arming Saudi Arabia, training the secret police in Iran under the Shah, providing arms and aid to Turkey as it ruthlessly attacked Kurdish villages, etc.). The list also excludes many actions of Israel in which the United States is indirectly implicated because of its military, diplomatic, and economic backing for Israel. Whether any of these grievances actually motivated those who organized the horrific and utterly unjustified attacks of September 11 is unknown. But the grievances surely helped to create the environment which breeds anti-American terrorism.

1947-48: U.S. backs Palestine partition plan. Israel established. U.S. declines to press Israel to allow expelled Palestinians to return.

1949: CIA backs military coup deposing elected government of Syria.1

1953: CIA helps overthrow the democratically_elected Mossadeq government in Iran (which had nationalized the British oil company) leading to a quarter_century of repressive and dictatorial rule by the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlevi.

1956: U.S. cuts off promised funding for Aswan Dam in Egypt after Egypt receives Eastern bloc arms.

1956: Israel, Britain, and France invade Egypt. U.S. does not support invasion, but the involvement of its NATO allies severely diminishes Washington's reputation in the region.

1958: U.S. troops land in Lebanon to preserve "stability".

early 1960s: U.S. unsuccessfully attempts assassination of Iraqi leader, Abdul Karim Qassim.2

1963: U.S. supports coup by Iraqi Ba'ath party (soon to be headed by Saddam Hussein) and reportedly gives them names of communists to murder, which they do with vigor.3

1967_: U.S. blocks any effort in the Security Council to enforce SC Resolution 242, calling for Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in the 1967 war.

1970: Civil war between Jordan and PLO. Israel and U.S. discuss intervening on side of Jordan if Syria backs PLO.

1972: U.S. blocks Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat's efforts to reach a peace agreement with Israel.

1973: Airlifted U.S. military aid enables Israel to turn the tide in war with Syria and Egypt.

1973_75: U.S. supports Kurdish rebels in Iraq. When Iran reaches an agreement with Iraq in 1975 and seals the border, Iraq slaughters Kurds and U.S. denies them refuge. Kissinger secretly explains that "covert action should not be confused with missionary work."4

1975: U.S. vetoes Security Council resolution condemning Israeli attacks on Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.5

1978_79: Iranians begin demonstrations against the Shah. U.S. tells Shah it supports him "without reservation" and urges him to act forcefully. Until the last minute, U.S. tries to organize military coup to save the Shah, but to no avail.6

1979_88: U.S. begins covert aid to Mujahideen in Afghanistan six months before Soviet invasion in Dec. 1979.7 Over the next decade U.S. provides training and more than $3 billion in arms and aid.

1980_88: Iran_Iraq war. When Iraq invades Iran, the U.S. opposes any Security Council action to condemn the invasion. U.S. soon removes Iraq from its list of nations supporting terrorism and allows U.S. arms to be transferred to Iraq. At the same time, U.S. lets Israel provide arms to Iran and in 1985 U.S. provides arms directly (though secretly) to Iran. U.S. provides intelligence information to Iraq. Iraq uses chemical weapons in 1984; U.S. restores diplomatic relations with Iraq. 1987 U.S. sends its navy into the Persian Gulf, taking Iraq's side; an overly_aggressive U.S. ship shoots down an Iranian civilian airliner, killing 290.

1981, 1986: U.S. holds military maneuvers off the coast of Libya in waters claimed by Libya with the clear purpose of provoking Qaddafi. In 1981, a Libyan plane fires a missile and U.S. shoots down two Libyan planes. In 1986, Libya fires missiles that land far from any target and U.S. attacks Libyan patrol boats, killing 72, and shore installations. When a bomb goes off in a Berlin nightclub, killing three, the U.S. charges that Qaddafi was behind it (possibly true) and conducts major bombing raids in Libya, killing dozens of civilians, including Qaddafi's adopted daughter.8

1982: U.S. gives "green light" to Israeli invasion of Lebanon,9 killing some 17 thousand civilians.10 U.S. chooses not to invoke its laws prohibiting Israeli use of U.S. weapons except in self_defense. U.S. vetoes several Security Council resolutions condemning the invasion.

1983: U.S. troops sent to Lebanon as part of a multinational peacekeeping force; intervene on one side of a civil war, including bombardment by USS New Jersey. Withdraw after suicide bombing of marine barracks.

1984: U.S._backed rebels in Afghanistan fire on civilian airliner.11

1987-92: U.S. arms used by Israel to repress first Palestinian Intifada. U.S. vetoes five Security Council resolution condemning Israeli repression.

1988: Saddam Hussein kills many thousands of his own Kurdish population and uses chemical weapons against them. The U.S. increases its economic ties to Iraq.

1988: U.S. vetoes 3 Security Council resolutions condemning continuing Israeli occupation of and repression in Lebanon.

1990_91: U.S. rejects any diplomatic settlement of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (for example, rebuffing any attempt to link the two regional occupations, of Kuwait and of Palestine). U.S. leads international coalition in war against Iraq. Civilian infrastructure targeted.12 To promote "stability" U.S. refuses to aid post_war uprisings by Shi'ites in the south and Kurds in the north, denying the rebels access to captured Iraqi weapons and refusing to prohibit Iraqi helicopter flights.13

1991_: Devastating economic sanctions are imposed on Iraq. U.S. and Britain block all attempts to lift them. Hundreds of thousands die. Though Security Council had stated that sanctions were to be lifted once Saddam Hussein's programs to develop weapons of mass destruction were ended, Washington makes it known that the sanctions would remain as long as Saddam remains in power. Sanctions in fact strengthen Saddam's position. Asked about the horrendous human consequences of the sanctions, Madeleine Albright (U.S. ambassador to the UN and later Secretary of State) declares that "the price is worth it."14

1991-: U.S. forces permanently based in Saudi Arabia.

1993_: U.S. launches missile attack on Iraq, claiming self_defense against an alleged assassination attempt on former president Bush two months earlier.15

1998: U.S. and U.K. bomb Iraq over the issue of weapons inspections, even though Security Council is just then meeting to discuss the matter.

1998: U.S. destroys factory producing half of Sudan's pharmaceutical supply, claiming retaliation for attacks on U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and that factory was involved in chemical warfare. Evidence for the chemical warfare charge widely disputed.16

2000-: Israel uses U.S. arms in attempt to crush Palestinian uprising, killing hundreds of civilians.


1. Douglas Little, "Cold War and Covert Action: The United States and Syria, 1945_1958," Middle East Journal, vol. 44, no. 1, Winter 1990, pp. 55_57.

2. Thomas Powers, The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA, New York: Knopf, 1979, p. 130.

3. Andrew Cockburn and Patrick Cockburn, Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein, New York: Harperperennial. 1999, p. 74; Edith and E. F. Penrose, Iraq: International Relations and National Development, Boulder: Westview, 1978, p. 288; Hanna Batatu, The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq, Princeton: Princeton UP, 1978, pp. 985_86.

4. U.S. House of Representatives, Select Committee on Intelligence, 19 Jan. 1976 (Pike Report) in Village Voice, 16 Feb. 1976. The Pike Report attributes the quote only to a "senior official"; William Safire (Safire's Washington, New York: Times Books, 1980, p. 333) identifies the official as Kissinger.

5. UN Doc. # S/11898, session # 1862. For a full list of U.S. vetoes in the Security Council on Middle East issues, along with full text of the draft resolutions, see the compilation by David Paul at

6. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Power and Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Adviser, 1977-1981 (New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1983), pp. 364-64, 375, 378-79; Gary Sick, All Fall Down: America's Tragic Encounter with Iran (New York: Penguin, 1986), pp. 147-48, 167, 179.

7. Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Le Nouvel Observateur (France), Jan 15-21, 1998, p. 76.

8. See the sources in Stephen R. Shalom, Imperial Alibis (Boston: South End Press, 1993, chapter 7.

9. Ze'ev Schiff, "Green Light, Lebanon," Foreign Policy, Spring 1983.

10. Robert Fisk, "The Awesome Cruelty of a Doomed Poeple," Independent, 12 Sept. 2001, p. 6. Fisk is one of the most knowledgeable Westerners reporting on Lebanon.

11. UPI, "Afghan Airliner Lands After Rebel Fire Hits It," NYT, 26 Sept. 1984, p. A9.

12. See, for example, Barton Gellman, "Allied Air War Struck Broadly in Iraq; Officials Acknowledge Strategy Went Beyond Purely Military Targets," Washington Post, 23 June 1991, p. A1. See also Thomas J. Nagy, "The Secret Behind the Sanctions," Progressive, Sept. 2001.

13. Cockburn and Cockburn, Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein, chap. 1.

14. Cockburn and Cockburn, Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein, chap. 5. Albright quote is from CBS News, 60 Minutes, 12 May 1996.

15. On the dubious nature of the evidence, see Seymour Hersh, New Yorker, Nov. 1, 1993.

16. See Seymour Hersh, New Yorker, Oct. 12, 1998.

A Tale of Two Cities: “Original Child Bomb” An extraordinary documentary looks at the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki By RAYMOND A. SCHROTH National Catholic Reporter, July 29, 2005

“It is a thing of beauty to behold,” wrote The New York Times’ William L. Laurence of the atomic bomb nestled in the belly of the B-29, Aug. 9, 1945, on the way to Nagasaki. Did he feel any pity or compassion for the “poor devils about to die”? Not when he thought “of Pearl Harbor or the Death March on Bataan.”

Awestruck, he watched the black object fall and the ball of fire rise. His imagination struggled to match metaphors to what he saw: It was a “new species” being born, a flower, a mushroom 45,000 feet high topped by creamy foam, a thousand Old Faithfuls, a decapitated monster growing a new head.

When the first bomb hit Hiroshima three days before, my family was on vacation on a farm in Pennsylvania. When we heard the news on the radio, I remember looking up “atomic” in the dictionary. That night on a horseback ride I saw a comet course across the sky. Was this an omen of world peace? I was 12 years old.

It was not until I read John Hersey’s Hiroshima, with its description of the 20 men whose faces had been turned upward when the bomb exploded, that I knew what happened to those “poor devils” below: Their eyeballs had melted and run down their cheeks. Around 1949, Fr. Schiffer, a Jesuit who had survived Hiroshima, addressed our high school, St. Joe’s Prep. I remember the scars from the shattered glass on his bony face.

“Original Child Bomb,” first released in 2004, is an extraordinary documentary on the moral impact of dropping the first atom bombs. Directed by Carey Schonegevel and produced by Mary Becker, it is, in a sense, made to educate “children” like me. The American and Japanese generation with any memory of August 1945 is dying out. We turn to the visual arts, to its graphic depiction of human suffering, to render today’s viewers more compassionate.

Ms. Becker’s father was a U.S. sailor in the Pacific when the bomb dropped. Inspired by Thomas Merton’s poem “Original Child Bomb,” haunted by her visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the 9/11 images of the planes hitting the Twin Towers and bodies tumbling through the air, she has moved toward this documentary for more than 20 years. She has woven together long-suppressed film footage and photos, drawings and animation, interviews with survivors and contemporary teenagers, statistics on the carnage, and Merton’s text.

The film opens with old color footage of pre-bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki street life in 1945. Children exercise, play baseball and dance. Men and women circulate in the outdoor market, cut wheat, eat lunch. A plane appears in the sky. The screen erupts in an animated blast. A woman’s body flies through the air. America celebrates. WAR IS OVER. President Truman proclaims the “biggest achievement of organized science in history.”

Then -- red, withered faces; chests, backs, breasts, legs blistered, torn, gone. A witness told Ms. Becker her friend had looked like “a fish on a charcoal grill.” In a few days came the effects of radiation -- vomiting blood, diarrhea, paralysis.

By the 1960s, a cloistered Trappist monk, writing daily in his cell, had become the religious voice of the antiwar movement. Merton’s prose-poem, a 41-stanza narrative, moves from President Truman’s first learning about the project in April to the 70,000 killed by the first bomb, which the Japanese called “original child” because it was the first of its kind. The poet’s brutal ironies illuminate the moral madness behind the decision: Many advisers opposed its use, yet some insisted that using it just once or twice “would produce eternal peace.” The president’s committee picked Hiroshima because “it had not been bombed at all. Lucky Hiroshima! What others had experienced over a period of four years would happen to Hiroshima in a single day! Much time would be saved, and ‘time is money.’ ”

In a classroom discussion among American students who have viewed the Hiroshima pictures, one asks, when will the blind cycle of Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima -- they BOOM us, we BOOM them -- stop? Another concludes: “Americans have a hard time feeling compassion for people other than themselves.”

In a creative riff, the producers send a present-day Hiroshima teenager in a backward baseball cap and earphones on a walk through the modern city, leading into the wreckage of 1945. He hears the voices of victims pleading with a woman with milk in her breasts to share it with another’s starving baby.

The film ends too quickly with its warning that the Bush administration has not learned the futility of atomic war: While the United States threatens Iran and Korea lest they develop nuclear capabilities, we order a whole new family of tactical nuclear weapons we are all too ready to use.

“Original Child Bomb” will be shown on the Sundance TV Channel Aug. 6 and 7.

Jesuit Fr. Raymond A. Schroth teaches journalism ethics at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City.

Headlines like “Jap City No More” soon brought the news to a joyous nation. Crowds gathered in Times Square to celebrate; there was less of the enemy left. Rarely are victors encumbered by remorse. President Harry Truman declared: “When you have to deal with a beast you have to treat him as a beast. It is most regrettable but nevertheless true.”[ii] Not surprisingly, six decades later, even American liberals remain ambivalent about the morality of nuking the two Japanese cities. The late Hans Bethe, Nobel Prize winner in physics of Manhattan Project fame and a leading exponent of arms control, declared that “the atom bomb was the greatest gift we could have given to the Japanese”[iii].

Bin Laden And Hiroshima by Pervez Hoodbhoy August 06, 2005

A New Look at Hiroshima and Nagasaki August 06, 2005 By Frank Brodhead

For the last 60 years we have been taught that the atomic bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended World War II. To be sure, there has been an intense debate about whether the bombs were necessary to end the war, or whether there were alternatives. Now a new study argues that not only were there alternatives to using the atomic bombs, but that the atomic bombs were essentially irrelevant in ending the war.

This argument is presented in Tsuyoshi Hasegawa's meticulously researched study, Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan. While building on an immense amount or research by many historians, Hasekgawa uses U.S., Japanese, and (for the first time) Soviet archives to take a new look at the Japanese decision making process that culminated in Emperor Hirohito's "sacred decision" to "bear the unbearable" and surrender to the allies. This hour-by-hour examination of why and how the Japanese leadership decided to surrender finds that it was the Soviet declaration of war on August 8th – and not the Hiroshima bomb on August 6th or the Nagasaki bomb on August 9th – that led to surrender. As Hasegawa notes in his conclusion, "Justifying Hiroshima and Nagasaki by making a historically unsustainable argument that the atomic bombs ended the war is no longer tenable" (pp. 299-300).

Why the Soviet declaration of war, and not the atomic bombs, was the critical event leading to surrender will be discussed shortly. But it is worth noting at the outset that Hasegawa's chronology and his interpretation of the U.S. government's diplomacy toward Japan in July and August of 1945 leads to some very disturbing conclusions.

The first conclusion largely supports the so-called "revisionist" interpretation of why the atomic bombs were used. Where the "traditional" interpretation argues that the bombs were used to end the war before an invasion of the Japanese home islands was necessary, and that there were no realistic alternatives to using nuclear weapons, the "revisionist" interpretation argues that there were additional factors or motives within U.S. policy making circles that were pressing for their use. According to the "revisionist" argument, Truman and his advisers did not consider alternatives to the bombs because, in addition to ending the war against Japan, they wanted to demonstrate the power of the bomb– and thus the greatly increased military power of the United States – to the Soviet Union. In using atomic bombs against Japan, therefore, the United States not only ended the war and opened the "Nuclear Age," but it also opened the era of "atomic diplomacy" and gave a powerful boost to the emerging Cold War.

Secondly, Hasegawa makes a strong case that Truman was so determined to use the atomic bomb on Japan that that he rejected alternatives that might end the war before the bomb was available. In addition to the factor of "atomic diplomacy" noted above, Truman also wanted to revenge Pearl Harbor and the special savagery with which the Pacific war was fought. Any possible modification of the demand that Japan surrender "unconditionally," therefore, was rejected not only for objections to any particular modification – for example, that the safety of Emperor Hirohito be guaranteed – but because there was the danger that Japan might accept such terms and the opportunity to use the atomic bomb on Japanese cities would be lost.

As Hasegawa notes, the responsibility of Japanese leaders, including the Emperor, for the tragedy of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was very large. Their continuation of the war after the loss of Okinawa was totally irresponsible and demonstrates how little the well being of their countrymen counted against the mystifications of preserving the Emperor system and the virtues of military glory. But the declaration by the Japanese government on August 10th that the United States was guilty of a "crime against humanity" is surely accurate, and judgment should be rendered, at least in our understanding of the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The United States, the Soviet Union, and Japan

The use of the atomic bombs in the context of the US-Soviet rivalry at the end of the Pacific war has been explored by many historians. At the Yalta conference in February 1945, the Soviet Union reaffirmed its earlier pledges to enter the Pacific war three months after the end of the war in Europe. At the Potsdam conference in July 1945, Stalin told Truman and Churchill that the Soviet Union would declare war on Japan shortly after August 15th.

Once information about the power of the atomic bomb test in New Mexico reached Truman in Potsdam on July 21st, observers reported that Truman appeared very energized and became more aggressive toward the Soviets in negotiating the many outstanding issues on the table regarding especially the postwar settlements in Europe and Asia.

In addition to Truman's "atomic diplomacy," the atomic bomb appeared to offer the Americans a way to end the Pacific war before the Soviets could enter it. Truman immediately authorized the use of two atomic bombs against a short list of Japanese cities that included Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bombs were to be used as soon as possible; the understanding was that this would be on August 3rd or as soon as weather conditions over Japan permitted. Truman hoped, and expected, that the bombs would force Japan to surrender before the Soviets could enter the war.

For their part, the Soviet Union planned to declare war according to the timetable noted above in part to secure the territorial concessions that it had been promised by Roosevelt and Churchill at the Yalta conference in February. This was mostly territory seized from Russia by Japan at the conclusion of the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-5. As the relations between the United States and the Soviet Union deteriorated after the death of Roosevelt in April, the Soviets saw their entry into the Pacific war as increasingly urgent, no longer trusting the United States to fulfill its earlier pledges. Stalin also expected to be included in the postwar settlement and administration of Japan, along the lines of the four-power occupation of Germany that accompanied the end of the war in Germany.

Throughout the war in Europe, the Soviet Union had a Neutrality Treaty with Japan, though they had given the Japanese notice in April 1945 that it would be terminated in 1946. As Japan's military prospects collapsed in 1945, keeping the Soviets out of the Pacific war became the main focus of Japanese diplomacy. In addition to not wanting the power of the Soviet military brought to bear against the Japanese forces in Manchuria and Korea, the Japanese Foreign Office somewhat ludicrously hoped that the Soviets would agree to broker or mediate a peace treaty with the United States and Britain that would be less severe than "unconditional surrender." Because it had broken the Japanese diplomatic code, the "Magic intercepts," the United States was aware of these diplomatic moves; and Japan's offers were also communicated to the Allies by the Soviets.

But the importance of this diplomacy to the Japanese "peace party" has not been thoroughly explored until now. Realistically or not, the Japanese leaders maintained the hope that the Soviets would save them right up to the declaration of war by the Soviets on August 8th. It was only at that point that they realized that all was lost. Similarly, the Japanese military's unrealistic belief that it could achieve consolation and glory by one final battle against the invaders of the home islands could not stand up to the prospect of a Soviet invasion of Manchuria and the northernmost home island of Hokkaido. And finally, the great fear shared by all the Japanese leaders that domestic unrest would overthrow their leadership from within was amplified by the prospect of communist armies on their soil.

By contrast, records of the Japanese government deliberations show that the military leaders appeared unfazed by the bombing of Hiroshima, and the bombing of Nagasaki was barely mentioned in the cabinet discussions of that day. Indeed, regarding the bombing of Hiroshima, Hasegawa observes that, "If anything, the atomic bomb on Hiroshima further contributed to their desperate effort to terminate the war through Moscow's mediation" (p. 186).

The Potsdam Proclamation and the Japanese Surrender

According to Hasegawa, the United States constructed its end-game diplomacy with Japan not to seek its surrender, but to justify using the atomic bomb. This was the import of the Potsdam Proclamation and the US insistence on retaining the stance of "unconditional surrender."

The allied conference at Potsdam began on July 7th and ended on August 2nd. Both the United States and the Soviets brought to the conference the draft of a proclamation calling on Japan to surrender. Both of them contained the demand for unconditional surrender. The American draft promised that if Japan did not surrender, it would be met with "prompt and utter destruction." This was the only "reference" to the atomic bomb in the proclamation, though it obviously could not be understood by the Japanese to refer to such weapons.

The original plans for a joint proclamation demanding Japan's surrender envisioned that it would be issued at the time of the Soviet declaration of war on Japan. Once the news from New Mexico had been received that the atomic bomb test was successful, and the United States could attempt to end the war by using the atomic bomb before the Soviets could declare war on Japan, it became vital that the Soviets be excluded from being a signatory to the proclamation. The British and Americans accomplished this essentially by lying to the Soviets, hoping in this way to exclude the Soviets from the postwar settlement if the war ended quickly. Ironically, by excluding Stalin's signature from the proclamation, the Japanese were misled to believe that there was a division between Stalin and Truman and Churchill. This encouraged them to continue their diplomatic strategy with the Soviets for a mediated settlement, and lessened the pressure within Japan's leadership circles to consider the proclamation as the basis of surrender negotiations.

But the most important point about the Potsdam proclamation, according to Hasegawa, was that it was drafted with the intention of being rejected, and thus justifying using the atomic bombs. Referring to James Byrnes, Truman's Secretary of State, Hasegawa summarizes his stance at Potsdam thusly:

In Byrnes's mind the atomic bomb ... would force Japan to surrender and forestall Soviet entry into the war. The atomic bomb had to be used. In order to drop the bomb, the United States had to issue the ultimatum to Japan, warning that the rejection of the terms specified in the proclamation would result in ‘prompt and utter destruction.' And this proclamation had to be rejected by the Japanese in order to justify the use of the atomic bomb. The best way to accomplish all this was to insist upon unconditional surrender.... Byrnes knew even before the Japanese responded to the Potsdam Proclamation that the document was the prelude to the bomb. (158)

The proclamation was "issued" by broadcasting it over the radio. When the Japanese government did not directly respond to the proclamation – intensifying its diplomacy with the Soviets, as noted above – the Japanese press stated that the government had chosen to "ignore" the proclamation. On the basis of such press reports, Truman maintained then and to his dying day that the Japanese had rejected the allies' ultimatum. As one conservative US diplomat put it, "There seemed to be an eagerness for grasping at any excuse for dropping the bomb" (170).


Though Truman maintained that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military targets, the bombs killed 110,000 civilians and 20,000 military personnel instantly. Tens of thousands more died later from radiation sickness. Many historians reasonably argue that the fire-bombing of Tokyo, Dresden, and other cities had so eroded the protections that the laws of war were supposed to extend to noncombatants that the atomic bombings were simply more of the same. Others note that the loss of so many lives in a single instant, and the lingering deaths suffered by so many thousands who fell victim to radiation poisoning, marked the atomic bomb as a qualitatively new kind of weapon of mass destruction. In either case, the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki opened an age of terror that is still with us. But it can no longer be maintained that the bombs helped to end World War II and in saving many lives by shortening the war were therefore justified.

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