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Andy Martin on the Death of General Paul Tibbets

November 2, 2007

Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”




(CHICAGO)(November 2, 2007) General Paul Tibbets died yesterday. He flew the B-29 that bombed Hiroshima.

Tibbets was born in Quincy, Illinois. Like many young men of the early 1930’s his family drifted away, to Florida. Later Paul joined the Army Air Forces and became a respected pilot.

Ultimately he was chosen to lead the secret team that planned the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I can only say “Thank heaven” for these men.

We forget the absolute brutality of the Japanese military forces, and the atrocities committed against Chinese, Koreans, Americans, British and any others who encountered Japan in World War II. The Japanese raped Nanking in 1937 and bayoneted pregnant women; it was one of the world’s great atrocities in history. China was helpless, and other nations did nothing to help stem the Japanese rampage.

When I began as a student at the University of Illinois, two years of basic ROTC (Reserve Officer’s Training Corps) was still mandatory. Later, I was accepted into the advance corps ROTC for a military commission, and enlisted in the Air Force Reserve.

The men who trained us were mainly World War II and Korean veterans. They had flown over Nazi Germany, and reduced Hitler’s Thousand Year Reich to rubble. They also leveled the Japanese war machine. They turned the tide in Korea. One of the officers/professors, Major J. D. Faulk, wanted me to be a fighter pilot in the worst way. But the clandestine life, rather than the uniformed services, held more allure for me. Despite the Major’s encouragement, I did not become a pilot.

More than half a century later, we tend to see World War II, and war itself, in soft, sepia tones. Some people question whether bombing Japan was necessary. Pacifists condemn the United States for doing so. I do not.

Bombing Japan was absolutely necessary. Japan would have never surrendered.

The U. S. Marine battles of Okinowa and Iwo Jima had presented graphic evidence of the bloody conflict that lay ahead. Thousands of Marines died subduing tiny islands.

My late Uncle Bill Vasiliou was an enlisted man in the Pacific. My uncle brought home war souvenirs, as did many soldiers. He often told me of the brutality of the enemy and the fear men had of being captured—and tortured—by the Japanese. The Army was preparing to land on the Japanese homeland. My uncle said he was a dead man if his unit was in the initial assault. Casualties would have been enormous. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, at a minimum, would have died to subdue the Japanese.

When I later went to prep school in England one of my friends was a young master who loved gory World War II books about Japanese prison camps and the abuses committed in them. Later, I read actual histories of the war in the Oxford Public Library. There is still much that WW II can teach us, about weakness, evasion, prevarication and procrastination. WW II also teaches there is no substitute for victory.

Today, because of the Holocaust, we remember the medical experiments and other atrocities committed by the Nazis more vividly than we remember the evils of Imperial Japan. Almost everyone has forgotten the horrific torture and unbelievably criminal medical experiments committed on human beings by the Japanese. The Japanese empire was every bit as evil as the Nazi regime.

Japan today bears almost no comparison to the Japan of World War II, although occasionally streaks of the old militarism surface. It is to America’s credit that after conquering the Japanese, we civilized them, and imposed on them institutions that have ensured peace into this century. There is no glory today in being a Kamikaze pilot or dying for the Emperor. Young Japanese do not bayonet pregnant women.

My father also served with great distinction in WW II as a commando in the Mediterranean; that is why I have read so much military history. As a little boy I assumed that warfare had become extinct. As a young man I saw in Viet-Nam that it had not. Today we are at war again, though under very different and tragic circumstances. Having survived enough wars and revolutions for one lifetime, I salute General Tibbets for his great accomplishments, and hope he is on a flight plan straight to heaven.

General Tibbets saved my father’s life, and my uncle’s life, and the lives of hundreds of thousands of other American fathers and uncles, not to say countless of hundreds of thousands of Chinese, Koreans and others who risked savagery and death at the hands of Dai Nippon if WW II had continued.

Well done, General. And Thank You.

Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers regional, national and world events with forty years of experience. He is also a candidate for United States Senator from Illinois. Columns also posted at and Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Web sites:;


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