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Old 12-16-2003, 05:58 PM   #46
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Why should it matter?
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Old 12-16-2003, 05:59 PM   #47
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Originally posted by verte76
I'm not against showing weapons. I still have fond memories of seeing that cannon at Edinburgh Castle, which is one of my favorite places on the planet. My ethnic background is partially Scottish. I don't mind the info that goes with the displays either.
I loved that place....i will never forget it.
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Old 12-16-2003, 06:04 PM   #48
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
Why should it matter....what the weapon?
I'm not opposed to displaying the plane. I'm opposed to showing it without acknowledging what the plane was used for.

Your post stated that you objected to the display of weapons in Edinburgh castle and made no mention of information displayed alongside the weapons.

They're two seperate arguments.
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Old 12-16-2003, 06:09 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Why should it matter?
Wars are fought over one and not the other. Do you honestly not see the point?


When I went to the Smithsonian they displayed Archie Buncker's armchair. They didn't display it as an armchair they put it in context.

Like someone said you wouldn't display the gun that shot a president as just a gun. You wouldn't display the guitar of Elvis Presley as just a guitar.

Then why would you display the vehicle unto which delivered the atomic bomb without stating that its the bomber which delivered the atomic bomb. If it's an aircraft museum, then for crying out loud just display a regular B-29 without any specificity.
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Old 12-16-2003, 06:26 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
its proper context
And this is the core of the protests. What is the "proper" context? Merely the fact the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb? That thousands died from the bomb? Whether Hiroshima was a valid military target? That the US tried all alternative methods to ending the war? We can go from the historical context of the Enola Gay to a widespread discussion on the appropriateness of atomic weapons very quickly.
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Old 12-16-2003, 06:36 PM   #51
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The proper context is that the plane dropped an atomic weapon. This resulted in the deaths of thousands of Japanese people.

I'm not asking for a historical discussion of whether the decision to use atomic weapons was correct or not. That's a subject for people to read about or to debate in schools or homes about.

To display the plane without acknowledging its use is not only disrespectful to those who were killed, it also makes the display meaningless, just as it would be meaningless to display, for example, the pair of ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz without an explanation. Otherwise you'd just have a pair of red shoes on display.
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Old 12-16-2003, 06:51 PM   #52
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So, the display only covers half of what you want. You feel that the line "this resulted in the dealths of thousands of people" is needed to make the context proper.

What is the principle that prevents similar statements by all other weapons displays? No one is protesting the thousands of other items of military equipment on display in museums.
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Old 12-16-2003, 06:55 PM   #53
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Nbc, you can't think there is a fair comparison between the plane which dropped the first atomic weapons and which killed in the region of one hundred thousand people within minutes, and displays of conventional weapons.
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Old 12-16-2003, 07:14 PM   #54
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All I'm saying is save it for the display of the Little Boy and Fat Man.
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Old 12-17-2003, 09:45 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader

I think I'll let you ponder this further. But consider the number of people who died because the Emperor declared a divine nature and the people belived him.

And if you condemn the use of the atomic bomb in this situation, work through the alternative solutions available in 1945.
I haven't explained myself properly. I am not condeming or justifying the use of the bomb.

I am saying it should be lamented that it came to that. It is a failure on everybody's part, it is tragic.

Nationalism can be just as destructive as a divine Emperor.
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Old 12-17-2003, 11:01 AM   #56
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I suppose you are talking about Japanese nationalism?or militarism?
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Old 12-17-2003, 12:39 PM   #57
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American history IS morally pure and patriotically correct.
Ugly History Hides in Plain Sight

The Smithsonian's display of the Enola Gay bomber sidesteps any controversy over the atomic attacks on Japan.

By Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin
Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin are co-authors of a forthcoming biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer, to be published by Alfred A. Knopf.

December 17, 2003

This week, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum unveiled a fully restored, finely polished artifact of World War II — a Boeing B-29 "Superfortress." This particular airplane — the Enola Gay — is the centerpiece of the museum's sleek new $311-million annex.



Visitors to the museum will read a brief label identifying the Enola Gay as "the most sophisticated propeller-driven bomber of World War II, and the first bomber to house its crew in pressurized compartments."

Schoolchildren will learn that the plane's wingspan is 141 feet and 3 inches, and that it had a top speed of 339 mph.

But does such a history lesson justify a field trip to a museum? Isn't there something more important about the Enola Gay that our children should know?

Of course there is, and the museum's brief label provides a hint. Its final sentence notes, almost as an afterthought, that "On August 6, 1945, this Martin-built B-29-45-MO dropped the first atomic weapon used in combat on Hiroshima, Japan."

Some curious children might want to ask questions about that last sentence. What does an atomic bomb do when it is dropped? Why was one dropped on a city? What happened to the people in Hiroshima? Was it necessary to drop it?

The answers to these questions should be part of any American child's (and adult's) education, but retired Gen. John Dailey, the Air & Space Museum's director, insists that that aspect of their education is not the museum's responsibility: "We are displaying it [the Enola Gay] in all its glory as a magnificent technological achievement…. Our primary focus is that it was the most advanced aircraft in the world at the time."

In other words, the consequences of its historic mission are beside the point.

This is as ridiculous as it is disingenuous.

The Smithsonian doesn't limit its observations to technological advances when it displays weapons invented and used by other nations. The exhibit of Germany's V-2 is accompanied with photographs of the slave workers who built the rockets and the bodies of civilians killed by them.



Displaying the Enola Gay as just another B-29 is a charade — undertaken because our national museum is afraid to deal honestly with the consequences of the plane's historic mission.

The first and most immediate of those consequences was the death of 140,000 people — 95% of whom were civilians. After that, the consequences become contentious.

According to President Harry Truman, one direct consequence was the decision of the Japanese to surrender — after the Soviet Union declared war on Japan on Aug. 8 and the U.S. dropped a second atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki on Aug. 9. But others have insisted that the atomic bombings were not necessary to end the war.

It is an interesting and relevant fact that this controversy was initiated in 1945 by conservatives such as Time magazine publisher Henry Luce, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, New York Times military correspondent Hanson Baldwin and David Lawrence, editor of U.S. News, who wrote in October 1945: "Competent testimony exists to prove that Japan was seeking to surrender many weeks before the atomic bomb came."

This is a view that historical research has confirmed. The discovery of President Truman's handwritten private diary, for example, revealed that on July 18, 1945, he had read a "telegram from Jap Emperor asking for peace…. Believe Japs will fold up before Russia comes in. I am sure they will when Manhattan [atomic bomb] appears over their homeland." And again, on Aug. 3, 1945, Walter Brown, an aide to Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, noted in his diary that Truman and his aides "agreed Japs looking for peace…. "

How nations deal with their histories can be an exacting litmus test of national character.

Throughout Asia, the Japanese are reviled for their dishonest refusal to acknowledge their barbarous behavior during their occupations of China, Korea and the countries of Southeast Asia. Our nation's uneasy relationship to the historical debate over the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is such a test and, despite history's patient annual re- administration of it, the U.S. has yet to achieve a passing grade.

As a result, we find ourselves — ironically it must be said — in the same remedial national history class as the Japanese. And we are certain to remain there, mocked by world opinion, as long as our misguided sense of American exceptionalism continues to dictate that public displays of American history be morally pure and patriotically correct.
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Old 12-17-2003, 12:42 PM   #58
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*hands Ms. Bird & Mr. Sherwin their own pain sticks*
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Old 12-17-2003, 02:53 PM   #59
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I visited the Air & Space Museum in Washington and the Space Center in Houston, and I loved it. I like planes, and I liked Space Shuttles, and the Columbia was the best. It was classical and the Enterprise was more new and... yeah.

Regarding the discussion, I think the loss of innocent lives should be mentioned.
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Old 12-17-2003, 03:24 PM   #60
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I don't think this type of exhibit is necessarily the place for debate, but it should be mentioned that the atomic bomb was dropped from the aircraft, and 'x amount' of people, were killed.

If you see photos of Auschwitz, do you label that as "buildings" or buildings where thousands of innocent people perished?

It's not a matter of judgment, it's a matter of accurately portraying history. A) The Enola Gay dropped the bomb and B) many people on the ground died as a result of the bomb being dropped. Neither of these is debatable nor is it subjective nor it is some kind of judgment. It is a statement of fact. As such, the exhibit should have included such a paragraph.
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