RewriteI read with considerable interest the article in...


March 12, 1995


I read with considerable interest the article in the Book Section of Perspective (Feb. 12) by Thomas DiBacco entitled "Rewriting History." To say the material was a disappointment is an understatement.

What was produced on your pages on the controversy surrounding the Smithsonian's uncertainty over what to do about its Enola Gay display, and the way it was handled in the DiBacco report, pointed out serious weaknesses in academia, even among respected members of that group.

In fact, the review of the controversy by Mr. DiBacco perhaps would have better served Sun readers had it been included in an expanded version of the Joan Mellen piece in the same section. Ms. Mellen's article entitled "Biography: Victimized by Personal Agendas" could then have included history and historian without altering the contents of the thoughtful piece.

Mr. DiBacco attempted to deal with the Smithsonian's version of the plane which carried the bomb that ostensibly ended our war with Japan, and the ensuing reaction to the only use of an atomic weapon by one nation on another in history.

Lamentably, Mr. DiBacco's treatise reminded one of the Hegalian approach to everything: thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Or, if you have one foot on a hot stove and one foot on a cake of ice, you've comfortably managed your body temperature.

In a word, Mr. DiBacco missed the point of the controversy by miles. The United States used the awesome weapon to save lives -- ours and the Japanese.

Had he read the important work by John Toland, "The Rising Sun," he would have found out that after the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the Japanese Imperial Army, while the emperor considered surrender, had in action a plot to assassinate Hirohito.

It seems the emperor recognized at the time that the war was lost. But the army did not.

Forgotten also was that the second bomb, dropped on Nagasaki, successfully concluded this bloody and costly conflict less than 30 days.

It was unfortunate that Mr. DiBacco reported on how the Smithsonian propagandized its reasons for the uncertainty it felt about the mess it had gotten itself into. Smithsonian researchers and historians claimed incorrectly that our motives for dropping atomic bombs was "revenge."

What Mr. DiBacco, writing almost in defense of the Smithsonian, overlooked was that American forces occupied Japan in one of the most cooperative and friendly occupations of any conflict in history.

The Japanese surrendered and there were virtually no outward signs of hostility as the U.S. displayed no revenge motives.

American policy was never one of vengeance. Our goal, both in Germany and Japan, was to institute democracy in demilitarized nations that we were bound and determined to help rebuild.

These were our gifts to Japan and Germany and were gifts for which both nations are eternally grateful.

Eugene Blum


Check the Facts

Recent stories and deservedly critical editorials concerning Gov. Parris Glendening and Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke are somewhat analogous to locking the barn door after the horse is stolen.

If your reporters had really looked hard for pre-existing facts, you might not have been so gung-ho in endorsing these people for election.

Especially in the governor's race, there were some good candidates running in the primaries, but you chose to ignore them and were swallowed up in the multi-million-dollar campaign blitz.

Having been burned, you might want to consider avoiding political endorsements in the future, lest people decide that if The Sun supports someone, that's the one a voter should ignore on Election Day.

Richard L. Lelonek


Cover the Story

Regarding Barry Rascovar's Feb. 26 column, "The Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time Governor," please!

Mr. Rascovar blames the "leading newspaper" in Prince George's County for ignoring the "internal machinations of the Glendening administration" for the last 12 years.

And what is The Baltimore Sun, chopped liver?

It was the duty of The Sun, which manages to send its reporters all over the globe and, yes, even to P.G. County, to report on Mr. Glendening's many misdeeds, especially in an election year, for the benefit of its Maryland readership. But no, The Sun was so fearful that Ellen Sauerbrey might actually win the election that it conscientiously created its own hush campaign.

As to why "Ellen Sauerbrey never dredged up any of this data, either," she tried, oh how she tried. The (liberal Democrat) press refused to acknowledge, much less publish, many of her accusations time and again, and she lacked the funding for heavy advertising during her campaign. (Mr. Glendening outspent the notorious California Feinstein campaign on a per capita basis.)

In fact, after unremitting pressure from the Sauerbrey campaign, the fact that P.G. County did not have a balanced budget as previously claimed by Mr. Glendening, but was heavily in the red, did finally find its way to The Sun's pages approximately four days before the election, but was buried deep in its last pages.

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