My all-time favourite film is the black-and-white masterpiece ‘Casablanca’ starring the inimitable Bogart and Bergman, as well the masterly performance of Claude Rains as the corrupt, yet strangely incorruptible Casablanca Police Captain. My favourite scene and words were :-
Captain Renault: What in heaven’s name brought you to Casablanca?
Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
Captain Renault: The waters? What waters? We’re in the desert.
Rick: I was misinformed.
Towards the end of this morning’s ‘Toady’ Programme on the Beeb, we were treated, if that is the appropriate term, to the usual left-wing, biased and totally one-sided critique of the American decision to end the War against Japan. That end, encompassed in total by the release of two atomic weapons, jolted the Japanese military out of their self-imposed security blanket which itself was comprised of a million volunteers for suicide, all presumably carrying explosives or grenades, who had pledged to protect the Emperor and the Homeland; along with a still-impressive and dedicated Army, and the tattered remains of the once –proud Air Force, itself a shadow of its former grandeur, and mostly comprised of the Kamikaze elements, whose pilots had been taught how to take off, but little else.
The American (had to be an American) named Schlosser, was himself of the ‘Flee, for we are all doomed’ mentality, argued in level, apocalyptic tones that all fissile material should have been surrendered to the UN in 1946 (just imagine those clowns being in charge of 16,000 warheads anywhere in the present day, when the former head of the UN Human Rights Committee was Libya, then run by the totally reliable and lucid Muammar Quaddaffi), and whilst the present-day technology to supervise was American, and therefore the best, these warheads were still an accident waiting to happen. We were also given a glance at the writings and broadcasts of John Hersey, who wrote of the awesome and awful consequences of those atomic weapons, and how terrible it all was, and America should have done something else besides drop two bombs which stopped the war. America should have invaded, he opined; and counted the cost of a prophesied million-odd American military lives as one worth spending, against the ruthless killing of approximately 250,000-odd enemy lives killed in two split seconds by one uranium-, and one plutonium- bomb. We were also told that Mr. Schlosser has a new book out, but we were not told that his book is yet another well-researched (by him, with his slants, and his editorial input) blast against the nuclear weaponry which has, strangely enough, kept the global peace since those days in early August 1945.
Speaking purely for myself, as I always do; I am more than happy to be reassured that we had the likes of F.D.R., and after him the business-like Harry Truman in charge of the business of War; mainly because they were interested in one thing, and one thing only; how to end the war whilst protecting American and Allied lives. If they could do so by wiping out two cities, and thus impress the Japanese military that much more was to follow, their job was done. Afer all, the Japs started that particular shin-dig, and it was up to the Americans to prove that they could be just as ruthless towards the enemy, as that enemy had proved ruthless towards America.