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Last Notes Song 1 NOTES - The Tower Next Notes
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Woman in Greek mythology who opened a box into which she was forbidden to look.  When she did, all the evils which now plague the world escaped before she could shut the lid.

The Bomb
First let me say hindsight is a luxury.  But learning from history demands it.  Let me also say those who really know me consider me a patriot.  I believe the U.S. is the greatest of nations, and I think I can give a compelling historic argument on this point.  But that is also why I hold the U.S. to a higher standard, which in part means I do not want our flaws swept under the rug.  This is a human nation with a human government, and our glory in respect to other historic nations should by no means blind us to the potentials of our own heart of darkness.

It was necessary because it was possible.'  I want to ask, "Why?"  Why did possibility create necessity?

Would our possessing the Bomb have protected us from a nuclear Hitler?  Only if we were prepared to turn all of continental Europe into a radioactive wasteland so there was no one left alive to attack us.  The threat of doing this, or even starting to do this, would certainly not have intimidated Hitler.  The smoking ruins of Germany after the war were testimony enough of what he would allow to happen to the nation.

Japan had no nuclear program, so fear of them having the Bomb could not have been the reason. We used the Bomb on Japan because we'd developed it out of this fear the Germans would.

So what happened was not, 'developing the Bomb is necessary because developing such a bomb is possible', but rather it became, 'dropping the Bomb is necessary because it is possible for us to drop it'.  A great distance lies between these two statements.  But a distance it did not take long to traverse.

It is said dropping the Bomb was justified by, 1 - the savagery of Japan during the war, 2 - that it killed fewer people than conventional bombing had in Tokyo, and 3 - that it saved American and Japanese lives in comparison to the invasion of the Japanese homeland.

1. Part of U.S. belief in our moral position in the war was that we did not commit the kind of atrocities Japan did.  Justifying our action, by saying they would have done it to us had the situation been reversed, would be saying this moral distinction did not really exist.

2. Casualty count has never been the primary factor in the horror over use of nuclear weapons.  This type of weapon, with it's vaporization and radiation, carries a unique brand of disgust.  Further, this argument is made specious by the fact that the Bomb was dropped on a city that had been set aside from conventional bombing precisely so the military could see a clear demonstration of the destruction wrought by this new weapon.  The argument inside this, that it had to be a civilian target so the destruction would be clearly demonstrated to the Emperor is disingenuous at best.  There were military targets within sight of cities whose destruction could not have gone unnoticed.  Use of these two Bombs might have not killed as many people as other bombing runs had, but the message was that we were ready to kill far more, far more quickly, than had been killed in the entire decade.

3. If you buy into invasion as the only alternative, then yes, the Bomb saved lives.  But is it reasonable to say the only options were invade or Bomb?  The island nation of Japan had lost it's navy and almost all it's air force.  Starvation alone would eventually have ended the conflict.

Let me say that Japan is not in a position to complain, as they carried the war to us.  Further, their conduct during the war forfeited any remaining claim they might have had to humane treatment.

But the victors in any conflict are those in the greatest danger of bending history to their own justification.  The signal we sent, particularly regarding the second Bomb, was that we were prepared to anihilate their entire race.  Our victory has allowed us to gloss over this message.  The entire Japanese race.  If you can think on this without a chill running down your spine, in my opinion you are not thinking this through.

My point in this discussion is that actions carry within themselves a momentum that is often unforseen, and that power is the greatest corruptor.  In the context of human history, modern civilization now holds great power.  But holding such power does not mean it will produce a desireable outcome, particularly if the WHY of actions are not given greater consideration than the HOW.

In the allegory, this song is the plot setting, namely the Tower project.

An old tower worker has grown disenchanted with the undertaking, questioning all the reasons for such consuming effort.  Because these doubts are considered subversive, he's never mentioned them to anyone.  But the doubts eats at him.  One day, in a flash, he realizes why he is so uncomfortable with the Tower.  It is not going up, but rather down, making it a common grave instead of a community monument.  But he is old and tired, and not prepared to take on the task of convincing people they are going the wrong way.  Yet he must do something.  Finally, just to get them out, he writes his thoughts in a song; which he of course also shows to no one.

On the epiphany level, this song is the old worker's epiphany as to the true nature of the Tower and the situation to which the young builder will awake.

(note this is not the song the old worker writes)

"The way back down" is that the longer the Tower Project goes on, the harder it is to turn back and admit the entire thing is a mistake. How hard it is for us to admit something in which we are heavily vested is wrong!

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Last Notes Song 1 NOTES - The Tower Next Notes
Home Page Works Series 1-Quest To Be Whole Album 4-Epiphany Song