For a couple of years now, August 6th has presented me with a problem for which I can find no solution. Until then, every August 6th I remembered with horror the one hundred thousand civilian victims of Fat Boy, when I found him I started to share the Secos e Molhados video and little else. One day, light was made and I was able (not to remove the beloved principle blindfold, but) to look beneath it with a gaze that goes beyond the sensitive tearing to enter into the brutal logic of war and its terrible ways of doing good. Thus, I was able to write this.
"The 20th century is generous in examples of how a war is won and how it is not won. At the beginning of 1945 the forecast for ending the Pacific War was TWO MILLION of lives lost among the Allies. President Truman dropped the bomb, killed a hundred thousand civilians and ended the conflict. Terrible in terms of overall human sensitivity and individual magnitude, the figure is 5% of the initial estimate and drops to 2% if we count eventual Japanese military human losses. So what do we have? An act almost unanimously condemned by the Academy despite to win 98 he chooses to lose 2.
What nonsense, right? What a killer! With all due respect for the civilian victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, don't fuck with me.
In 2012, that 98% is almost 4 million lives saved directly, which becomes at least 112 million more people alive in the world, direct descendants of those who didn't die then. (Four generations starting at 4 million in 1945, to two children average).
In that war, the same Yankees _____ (fill in the blank with the desired adjective phrase) decided not to listen to the recommendations of their Generals and stopped the advance into Germany, thus buying the rich problem of the Iron Curtain and possibly the Cold War and its firstborn, Korea. By not doing the right thing in it (which was half-brutal again) they allowed the country to be divided. Because of this, Pyong Yang is today more than "a pain in the ass" for enemies and benefactors of that time, an affront to evolution and a global nuclear risk.
We are not military, Lappe, you might say. No, hey: I barely allowed myself a strategic thought. I'm learning that saving lives is a principle we, civilians and military, share; just as we swallow the bitter to obtain sweeter results.
"Doing what needs to be done" as they call it.
America's ideological and political enemies will say I'm a hairy beast (not realizing the unintended double compliment). America's friends will say "It's good that you've grown up, Eldo, and no longer let yourself be guided by leftish sentimentality. My friends will say, "Good thing I love you anyway, baldy, because you're complicated, huh? My enemies won't say anything, because I don't have any. But all that matters little.
The hundred thousand innocents continue to shout at me from the bottom of their souls; and the sweet, poetic irresponsibility of Vinícius and Ney Matogrosso still has a discreet appeal for my extemporaneous adolescent sensibility. So I am, once again, a prisoner in the eternal and impossible dichotomy of the two ethics that I was taught: that of principles and that of responsibility, from the exercise of which I cannot depart. If I were a lawyer I would congratulate myself, because - knowing them well and being a good speaker, as I am - taking a path and defending one, I cannot help but be right.
It is a pity that being right does not make one happy.
Big Shit, the August 6th, whichever way you look at it.
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