1946

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The Jewish Attack on British Headquarters

FYI, Alex Shrugged is Jewish, but he will do his best to remain balanced.

Currently, the British have the mandate to govern Palestine, but their colonial interests are in conflict and they are running out of money as their war debt mounts. To save money, the British are limiting Jewish immigration, but this has trapped Jews in European Displacement Camps. Jews enter the Promised Land regardless of British immigration law, only to be turned away by British bayonets. (It looks bad.) Some Jews have formed a militia group called the Haganah (hah-gah-NAH). It will become the core of Israeli Defense Forces and it is under military discipline, but the Irgun (ear-GOON) is a Jewish terrorist group with all the ugliness that entails. Are there Arab terrorists? Yes, but the British are the ones in charge, so they are the focus. The King David Hotel is called "the nerve centre of British rule in Palestine", and that makes it a military target. The hotel switchboard receives a bomb warning from the Irgun, but it is ignored and now it is too late. Over 700 pounds of explosives take out part of the south wing, killing 91 people. Great Britain becomes very firm, as they should, but the more they crack down, the more they look like Nazis. The British are on their way out. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Dr. Ruth Westheimer is a sex therapist, but back then she was a member of the Haganah (ha-gah-NAH). In an interview she claimed that she could still disassemble and reassemble a machine gun with her eyes closed. Obviously, she feels perfectly fine having been part of the Jewish militia. Jews could no longer depend on the good will of others. If they wanted a homeland, they would have to carve one out for themselves. After the murder of one third of all Jews, the debate was over. They would take back the Promised Land or die trying. It was not necessarily a religious movement. Often, religious Jews objected to the establishment of a Jewish homeland without the leadership of the Messiah. For a better understanding of this religious disagreement, I suggest the movie, "The Chosen" (1981). Two Jewish boys from radically different religious groups, find friendship, but separate over the controversy of a Jewish homeland. The book is excellent as well. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

The Bikini Experiments and the Control of Nuclear Power

The military have been doing a bomb damage assessment of the atomic blasts that hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The US Navy is especially concerned with the kind of damage they might sustain (and the kind of damage they might inflict) in a nuclear engagement at sea, so they assemble a fleet of decommissioned ships including the submarine USS Skate, the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, and the Japanese battleship Nagato, along with cargo ships, and landing craft. The fleet is sent to the Bikini Atoll for a test. The ships are carefully placed along with ammunition loads, food and military equipment to measure the effects of the radiation. Cameras are rolling and airplanes on remote control will be sent through the mushroom cloud. (The narrator of the film I am watching says that flying through a mushroom cloud is "certain death!" Yet I know that a Japanese flyer cut into the mushroom cloud over Nagasaki and lived, but don't try it at home.) The Saratoga survives Test Able with very little damage, but Test Beta is an underwater detonation. Ships leap from the water and fall back to their destruction. Admirals and generals see it with their own eyes. My God. What have they done? And what are they going to do now? [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
As they say, "You can't put the genie back in the bottle,", but they tried with something called the Baruch Plan (pronounced bah-ROOKH). In Hebrew, it means "blessed", and the word is often used as a name. Bernard Baruch was an economic advisor to Woodrow Wilson and FDR. He was famous for meeting with government officials while sitting on a bench in Lafayette Park. His plan called for turning over all nuclear arms to a central clearing house called the United Nations which met for the first time the previous year. It also called for regular inspections to check for violations. The Soviet Union objected because it perceived the UN as a tool of the United States. (I WISH!) The Soviets had their own secret "Manhattan Project" going as did the British. This first nuclear disarmament plan failed, but there were many more thereafter. One more interesting thing came out of the Bikini experiment... the French bathing suit of the same name. It exploded onto the scene, or made quite a splash. Pick your puns. [11] [12] [13]

An Iron Curtain is Dividing Europe

"...it is not impossible that tragedy on a prodigious scale is unfolding itself behind the iron curtain which at the moment divides Europe in twain."
-- Winston Churchill, addressing the Commons on the subject of missing war refugees. [14]

Occupied Europe has been divided up amongst the Allied forces for the purposes of keeping order and to act as interim governments while nations get on their feet again. Not all of it comes from the well of human kindness, though. The Soviet Union has taken the opportunity to expand into other territories such as Iran, Syria, Libya, Bulgaria, A good part of Germany, and Poland are under Soviet control, and secrecy. Thus the term "Iron Curtain" has come into use. Over time, the curtain will become a fence, often of barbed wire. Other times it will be made of brick and stone such as in Berlin. One wonders why guard towers are needed to keep people within the Soviet Paradise... or is it to keep the corrupting influence of the West out? Probably a little of both. Thus begins the West's policy of "containment" of the Soviet Union that will continue into the modern day... long after the Soviet Union is no more. [15] [16]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It was not all "communists under the bed!", and silliness like that. The Soviet threat was real enough, but ignorance of what was happening there caused imaginations to run wild, and people became jumpy. You can see that jumpiness in TV shows like the Twilight Zone episode "The Shelter", when a Civil Defense Warning (meaning a possible nuclear attack) causes a panic, and a man with a bomb shelter must fend off his neighbors who had laughed at his preparations only the day before. Today, an underground home makes sense in terms of saving fuel for heating and cooling, and as a shelter from tornadoes. But would I build an underground shelter for the sole purpose of surviving a nuclear attack? Not now, but back in the 60's and 70s? You betcha. [17] [18]

Notable Births

  • Bill Clinton (Living): President of the United States after George H. W. Bush. [19]
  • George W. Bush (Living): President of the United States after Bill Clinton & son of George H. W. Bush. [19]
  • Laura Bush (Living): First Lady and wife of George W. Bush. [19]
  • Donald Trump (Living): President of the United States after Barak Obama. [19]
  • And in Entertainment...
  • -- The Directors (Living): Oliver Stone, Steven Spielberg, and Ivan Reitman. [19]
  • -- In Music (Living): Dolly Parton, Naomi Judd, Keith Moon and more. [20]
  • -- Sylvester Stallone (Living): Rocky series, Rambo series, and Demolition Man. [19]
  • -- Tim Curry (Living): Rocky Horror Picture Show, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, and The Hunt for Red October. [19]
  • -- Susan Sarandon (Living): Rocky Horror Picture Show, Thelma & Louise and a political activist. [19]

**Note: (Living) means they were alive when I checked.

This Year in Film

  • Song of the South: Disney's version of Uncle Remus stories. [21]
  • The Best Years of Our Lives: Returning US servicemen readjusting to normal life. [21]
  • It's a Wonderful Life: Starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. A discouraged man wishes he was never born. [21]

This Year in Music

  • (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons: Nat King Cole. [22]
  • The Christmas Song: Nat King Cole. [22]
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!: Vaughn Monroe. [22]

In Other News

  • The ENIAC computer is introduced (Pronounced: EN-ee-ack): It can calculate a trajectory 2400 times faster than a human. (Why would someone need a trajectory calculated? Hmmmm?) [23]
  • Ho Chi Min resumes his fight against French occupation: He asks for US recognition of Vietnam's independence. The OSS (an early version of the CIA) had been supporting him against Japan, but now... "Ho Chi Who?" [23] [24] [25] [26]
  • World War 2 continues: For the purposes of military occupation of Germany and Japan, the war will continue for 5 more years. [23] [27]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1946, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. Haganah - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 5 February 2017. “Haganah (lit. The Defence) was a Jewish paramilitary organization in the British Mandate of Palestine (1921–48), which became the core of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).”
  2. Oren, Michael B.. Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present. W. W. Norton. ISBN 9780393058260. 
  3. Alex Shrugged notes: Some of my remarks are supported by Michael Oren's book, "Power, Faith and Fantasy", but I've known most of this for years. My remarks about Dr. Ruth are from my memory of an interview I saw.
  4. King David Hotel bombing - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 5 February 2017. “At the events to mark the 60th anniversary of the attack, Benjamin Netanyahu, then chairman of Likud and Leader of the Opposition in the Knesset, opined that the bombing was a legitimate act with a military target, distinguishing it from an act of terror intended to harm civilians. He said, 'Imagine that Hamas or Hizbullah would call the military headquarters in Tel Aviv and say, 'We have placed a bomb and we are asking you to evacuate the area.' They don't do that. That is the difference.'”
  5. Potok, Chaim. Chosen, The. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0449911543. 
  6. The Chosen (1981) - IMDb (2017). Retrieved on 5 February 2017. “In 1944, in Brooklyn, two Jewish kids become friends. One is from a very conservative family, and the other is more liberal. The issues of importance of tradition, parental expectations and the formation of Israel cause constant friction.”
  7. Dr. Ruth.com: Becoming Dr Ruth. drruth.com (2017). Retrieved on 5 February 2017. “From fleeing the Nazis in the Kindertransport and joining the Haganah in Jerusalem as a scout and sniper, to her struggles to succeed as a single mother coming to America, Becoming Dr. Ruth is filled with the humor, honesty and life-affirming spirit of Karola Ruth Siegel, the girl who became 'Dr. Ruth', America's most famous sex therapist.”
  8. Becoming Dr Ruth. becomingdoctorruth.com (2017). Retrieved on 5 February 2017.
  9. Project Crossroads - Nuclear Test Film (1946) - YouTube (2017). Retrieved on 6 February 2017. “Courtesy: U.S. Department of Energy 0800002 - Project Crossroads - 1946 - 41:30 - Black & White - Project Crossroads was a series of two nuclear tests, Able and Baker, the first tests conducted at the Pacific Proving Ground, near the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. These were the fourth and fifth nuclear detonations in history, following the Trinity test in July 1945 and the two weapons dropped on Japan to end World War II. The two bombs used in Crossroads were of the Fat Man configuration, very similar to the implosion-type weapons tested at Trinity and dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. It had a plutonium pit. The only other nuclear weapon available at the time was the uranium gun-type Little Boy, which was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. The Fat Man was a more complex weapon than Little Boy, thus needing more testing to gain experimental data. On July 24, 1946, the Baker shot was set off in the Bikini lagoon at a depth of about 90 feet with a yield of 21 kilotons. Two million tons of water were contained in the eruption and two million yards of sediment were removed from the lagoon floor. Nine ships were sunk.”
  10. USS Saratoga (CV-3) - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 6 February 2017. “Saratoga was surplus to postwar requirements with the large numbers of Essex-class carriers in service, and she was assigned to Operation Crossroads on 22 January 1946. This was a test conducted at Bikini Atoll to evaluate the effect of the atomic bomb on ships.”
  11. Bernard Baruch - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 6 February 2017. “Baruch was well-known, and often walked or sat in Washington, D.C's Lafayette Park and in New York City's Central Park. It was not uncommon for him to discuss government affairs with other people while sitting on a park bench. This became his most famous characteristic.”
  12. United Nations - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 6 February 2017. “After months of planning, the UN Conference on International Organization opened in San Francisco, 25 April 1945, attended by 50 governments and a number of non-governmental organizations involved in drafting the United Nations Charter. 'The heads of the delegations of the sponsoring countries took turns as chairman of the plenary meetings: Anthony Eden, of Britain, Edward Stettinius, of the United States, T. V. Soong, of China, and Vyacheslav Molotov, of the Soviet Union. At the later meetings, Lord Halifax deputized for Mr. Eden, Wellington Koo for T. V. Soong, and Mr Gromyko for Mr. Molotov.' The UN officially came into existence 24 October 1945, upon ratification of the Charter by the five permanent members of the Security Council—France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the UK and the US—and by a majority of the other 46 signatories.”
  13. Bikini - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 6 February 2017. “The name was coined in 1946 by French engineer and clothing designer Louis Réard, after the recent nuclear tests at Bikini atoll —often better known than its namesake—and with the slogan 'an anatomic bomb'. Fashion designer Jacques Heim, also from France, re-released a similar design earlier that same year, with a name along the same lines, the Atome.”
  14. DEBATE ON THE ADDRESS (Hansard, 16 August 1945). hansard.millbanksystems.com (16 August 1945). Retrieved on 6 February 2017. “Sparse and guarded accounts of what has happened and is happening have filtered through, but it is not impossible that tragedy on a prodigious scale is unfolding itself behind the iron curtain which at the moment divides Europe in twain.”
  15. Iron Curtain - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 6 February 2017.
  16. Oren, Michael B.. Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present. W. W. Norton. ISBN 9780393058260. 
  17. The Shelter (The Twilight Zone) - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 6 February 2017. “Everyone is especially friendly and jovial, even when mention is made of Bill's late-night work on a fallout shelter which he has built in his basement. Suddenly, a Civil Defense (CONELRAD) announcement overheard by young Paul is made that unidentified objects have been detected heading for the United States. In these times, everybody knows what that means: nuclear attack. As panic ensues, the doctor locks himself and his family into his shelter. The same gathering of friends becomes hysterical and now wants to occupy the shelter. All of the previous cordiality is now replaced with soaring desperation; pent-up hostility, searing racism, and other suppressed emotions boil to the surface.”
  18. The Twilight Zone S03E03 The Shelter - YouTube. youtube.com (2017). Retrieved on 6 February 2017.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 19.7 1946 Births - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
  20. 1946 Births - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 1946 in film - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 27 January 2017.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 1946 in music - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 1946 - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
  24. Ho Chi Minh - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 5 February 2017. “He oversaw many successful military actions against the Vichy French and Japanese occupation of Vietnam during World War II, supported closely but clandestinely by the United States Office of Strategic Services, and later against the French bid to reoccupy the country (1946–54).”
  25. Alex Shrugged notes: The USA is balanced on a knife's edge. It is anti-communist, and Ho Chi Min is communist, but more than that, France and Britain have been war allies. The USA objects to their colonialism, but France and Britain are more important than Vietnam in the short-run. Yes. They know "the long run" is more important. They simply do not know HOW important. There is probably no good answer here, except one of principle. That is... even though everything will be screwed up no matter what we do, at least we could tell our children that we acted on principle... but now we can't even say that.
  26. Drone Nation, Drone Nation: The Political Economy of America’s New Way of War, Lexington Books. “The military was the dominant US actor in Vietnam and was unwilling to change its tactics. One reason the French failed in the 1946-54 period, Andradé confirms, was its opposition to any kind of reform and its desire for a "return of the old inequitable ways of running village affairs."” 
  27. Proclamation 2714 - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 5 February 2017. “The declarations of war against Japan and Germany in 1941 were officially lifted as follows:
    * September 8, 1951: Forty-nine nations sign the Japanese Peace Treaty in San Francisco, officially ending World War II and re-establishing Japanese sovereignty.
    * October 19, 1951: President Truman signs an act formally ending World War II, after having Congress abolish the state of war with Germany.”

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