Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., a Warfield Cousin and David Dellinger, a Dellinger Cousin

How many Americans are cousins to Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., who dropped the Little Boy on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, and also to David Dellinger, who, in October 1945  denounced the use of atomic bombs?

Dellinger’s "Declaration of War," 1945, in Direct Action:
"The atom bombs were exploded on congested cities filled with civilians. There was not even the slightest military justification because the military outcome of the war had been decided months earlier. The only reason that the fighting was still going on was the refusal of American authorities to discontinue a war which postponed the inevitable economic collapse at home, and was profitable to their pocketbooks, their military and political prestige, their race hatred, and their desires for imperialist expansion."

"The "way of life" that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki (and is reported to have roasted alive up to a million people in Tokyo in a single night) is international, and dominates every nation of the world. But we live in the United States, so our struggle is here. With this "way of life" ("death" would be more appropriate) there can be no truce nor quarter. The prejudices of patriotism, the pressures of our friends, and the fear of unpopularity, imprisonment, or death should not hold us back any longer. It must be total war against the infamous economic, political, and social system which is dominant in this country. The American system has been destroying human life in peace and in war, at home and abroad, for decades. Now it has produced the crowning infamy of atom bombing. Beside these brutal facts the tidbits of token democracy mean nothing. Henceforth no decent citizen owes one scrap of allegiance (if he ever did) to American law, American custom, or American institutions."

Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., and Studs Turkel  6 August 2002 05.26

ST: You came back, and you visited President Truman.

PT: We're talking 1948 now. . . . .Then he [Truman] looked at me for 10 seconds and he didn't say anything. And when he finally did, he said, "What do you think?" I said, "Mr President, I think I did what I was told." He slapped his hand on the table and said: "You're damn right you did, and I'm the guy who sent you. If anybody gives you a hard time about it, refer them to me."

ST: Anybody ever give you a hard time?

PT: Nobody gave me a hard time.

ST: Do you ever have any second thoughts about the bomb?

PT: Second thoughts? No. Studs, look. Number one, I got into the air corps to defend the United States to the best of my ability. That's what I believe in and that's what I work for. Number two, I'd had so much experience with airplanes... I'd had jobs where there was no particular direction about how you do it and then of course I put this thing together with my own thoughts on how it should be because when I got the directive I was to be self-supporting at all times.

On the way to the target I was thinking: I can't think of any mistakes I've made. Maybe I did make a mistake: maybe I was too damned assured. At 29 years of age I was so shot in the ass with confidence I didn't think there was anything I couldn't do. Of course, that applied to airplanes and people. So, no, I had no problem with it. I knew we did the right thing because when I knew we'd be doing that I thought, yes, we're going to kill a lot of people, but by God we're going to save a lot of lives. We won't have to invade [Japan].

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