Truman Put Nukes in Guam and Gave the Order to Nuke North Korea

In 1951, the US placed nuclear weapons in Guam, and Truman gave the order to use them on North Korea. That order was not sent – literally, by accident.

The reason: Truman was in the process of removing General MacArthur “because he wanted a reliable commander on the scene” in case he “decide[d] to use nuclear weapons”. … “In the confusion attendant upon General MacArthur’s removal”, “the order [to nuke North Korea] was never sent.” (Prof. Bruce Cumings; The Korean War; pp 149)

Yet Washington still managed to kill millions of Koreans, many, if not most, with “oceans” of napalm produced largely by the Dow Chemical Company, which the US air-force “loved”, referring to it as the “wonder weapon” for its ability to wipe out whole cities of people.

One day Pfc. James Ransome, Jr.’s unit suffered a “friendly” hit of this wonder weapon: his men rolled in the snow in agony and begged him to shoot them, as their skin burned to a crisp and peeled back “like fried potato chips.” Reporters saw case after case of civilians drenched in napalm-the whole body “covered with a hard, black crust sprinkled with yellow pus.”

US “intent was to destroy Korean society down to the individual constituent”.

Cities were destroyed, civilians burned to death and blown to bits with zero “tactical or strategic value”. Killing was an “end in itself”.

The US soon began bombing the North’s major dams (which were “akin to many large dams in the United States”) to release hundreds of millions of tons of water and “destroy 250,000 tons of rice that would soon be harvested.”

A stunned anti-Communist reporter noted

‘”Everything which moved in North Korea was a military target, peasants in the fields often were machine gunned by pilots who, this was my impression, amused themselves to shoot the targets which moved.” There were simply “no more cities in North Korea.”’

The US ultimately refrained from using nuclear weapons, Cumings notes, ‘”for purely technical reaons: “timely identification of large masses of enemy troops was extremely rare.”

(ibid. pp 146-150)

Robert J. Barsocchini is a graduate student in American Studies and journalist. Years working as a cross-cultural intermediary for corporations in the film and Television industry sparked his interest in the discrepancy between Western self-image and reality.  ‘No other nation’ has made its past a ‘construct of the imagination’ to the extent done by the US. – Professor David H. Murdoch

Featured image is from the author.


Articles by: Robert Barsocchini

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