[extropy-chat] In Fond Remembrence of Curtis LeMay

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sat Apr 28 21:59:48 UTC 2007

Eugen writes,

>> 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 ?

That's the one.  Great article.  I'm glad you read it first before
"bombs away", er, or in this case, "words away" as is our usual

> "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.

Yes, but his idea to actually bomb Cuba may have been all right---
as you say, we don't know.

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

Oh, I wasn't commenting so much on his character.  What I was
commenting on was his achievement during the early stages of
the cold war.

\> Also, whether you can do a 10000x overkill, or a 8000x overkill, it
> doesn't matter that much in practice. Armageddon still results.

Again, in the late 50's, we don't know just how many bombs would
have gotten through.  As you again say, we never ran the experiment.
But it's safe to say that there wasn't much real overkill back then.
>> 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.

Are you following the scenario?  He said, "*If* I see them massing
for an attack...", which to me indicates that in the late 50s it was
possible for secret spy planes and what not to give one a heads-up
on impending attack.  So in the scenario described, i.e., knowing
what "If" means, then even more U.S. cities would have been
destroyed and even more lives lost. 


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