[extropy-chat] In Fond Remembrence of Curtis LeMay

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Sat Apr 28 21:07:39 UTC 2007

On Sat, Apr 28, 2007 at 01:43:15PM -0700, Lee Corbin wrote:

> Despite the questionable practice of leveling Japanese cities with 
> incediaries---which may or may not have saved lives, may or may
> not have shortened the war---the *real* legacy of General Curtis

This guy here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtis_LeMay ?

"Critics have characterized him as a belligerent warmonger 
(even nicknaming him "Bombs Away LeMay") whose aggressiveness 
threatened to inflame tense Cold War situations (such as the 
Cuban Missile Crisis) into open war between the United States 
and the Soviet Union. LeMay is perhaps most famous for 
suggesting in a 1965 book that the United States should 
escalate its bombing of North Vietnam: "My solution to the 
problem would be to tell them frankly that they’ve got to 
draw in their horns and stop their aggression, or we’re 
going to bomb them back into the Stone Age.""

Some character indeed. Sounds like a great candidate for
a war criminal trial, or a great model for Colonel Arnold Hawthorne.

> E. LeMay was his leadership of SAC, the very pronunciation of
> which terrorized the Russian leadership.

Did it? I'm not sure we can reliably theorize about emotional
state of people past.
> In the early days of the cold war, when Soviet bomber fleets and
> American bomber fleets threatened to implement their government's
> policies of total nuclear war, the Soviets, in part thanks to their very
> effective spy network, knew that the Americans still held the edge
> technically.

How do you know? It's never been tested in practice. 

Also, whether you can do a 10000x overkill, or a 8000x overkill, it
doesn't matter that much in practice. Armageddon still results.
> It was at this time that Curtis LeMay uttered the immortal words:
> "If I see 'em massing for an attack, I'm going to knock the shit out
> of 'em."

I think we all can be really thankful that nobody really tested 
MAD in practice. 
> Notice that he did not say "we", or "the U.S.", but rather "I will
> knock" said shit out of the Soviets.

And the Russkies would have turned a large number of U.S. cities into
trinitite. None of us would be able to read this message. Most of us
would be dead, or never been born. The Internet wouldn't exist. The
world would be a very different place than it is now. I don't really
care much for that other alternate reality branch. 
Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE

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