The Truth Game

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Ratings: 8.71/10 from 56 users.

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The Truth Game

John Pilger's penetrating documentary which looks at world-wide propaganda surrounding the nuclear arms race. When the two American atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, they were code-named Fat Man and Little Boy, and President Truman announced after the event: The experiment has been an overwhelming success.

These, says Pilger, were words used to describe the awful and horrific carnage of nuclear war. By using reassuring, even soothing language, this new kind of propaganda created acceptable images of war and the illusion that we could live securely with nuclear weapons.

Official truths are examined in connection with the bombing of Hiroshima, the buildup of arms by Russia and America, the siting of nuclear bases by the US in Britain and Europe, Ministry of Defence statements about the Cruise missile base at Greenham Common, and other US bases, the amount of government money spent on weapons, 'Civil defence' arrangements and a NATO 'limited' nuclear and chemical war exercise in West Germany, which Pilger describes as 'a dry run for the unthinkable'.

Many experts give their views, including Paul Warnke who thinks arms reduction is feasible - 'All we need is the political will to go ahead with it'.

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32 Comments / User Reviews

  1. OJ

    He said America was untouched by war, I guess he forgot Pearl Harbor.

  2. abfallmensch

    with all respect..that wasnt a war.

  3. Joey

    abfall, tell that to the 2000+ soldiers/sailors who were attacked and died at Pearl Harbor. I bet they'd strongly disagree. >=O

  4. Mark

    I guess he did overlook Pearl Harbour... though his point is not lost.

    Anyway... very good Doc

  5. tjo

    1983 - I was checking on the year and thought I'd share.

  6. Apramit

    John pilger is one of the best in the business of documentary production and presents impartial reports and whatever is shown in this documentary are totally correct

  7. Mike

    tell the families of the victims of pearl harbor to take it up with their government, it's been overwhelmingly shown that pearl harbor was not an accident. i shall now quote McLovin, "Read a F@#$%^&* BOOK"

  8. docugeek

    citing pearl harbour as precedent for not one but 2 nuclear attacks is not justification enough in my opinion. also there is significant evidence that u.s military, intelligence forces and even the president had prior notification of attack at pearl harbour and therefore could have avoided the whole incident.

  9. IzirAtig

    US army is killing people all the time around the globe. One f***ing Pearl Harbour is no excuse to blow two whole citys with nuclears.

  10. anyoldiron

    Perhaps John Pilger would show the opening of the BELSEN Camp and some of the others. As children and soon after the last War we were taken to the Cinema to see the opening of that camp so that we would "never forget" We never did. So, what went on in the other camps in the Far East? I know a little because a Cousin of ours was in one but were liberated by those Americans.

  11. jbeckham360 .

    No the hundreds of thousands that died at the hands of the Japanese after Pearl did, especially their suicide attacks. Not to forget that many many more would have died if we had to invade mainland Japan. You must have forgot all the other nations that were over ran before and after pearl by the Japanese including China. They were just as nuts as Hitler.

  12. jbeckham360 .

    What worry's me is while the U.S. stuck with the Treaty's with Russia and unzipped our fly the Russians started building newer more advanced ICBMs and Cruise missiles before 9/11. They would scrap one and make a newer one. These i*iots in Washington need to get a dam clue. Russia has some balls to whine about our missile defense systems while they have the same dam thing in the S400 system.. Hopefully HAARP or some other system really can knock them all down at once and that is why our brilliant leaders are not to concerned with the Russian updated nukes.

  13. Sythirius

    And yet with one atrocity, as many as a million people may have been saved.

    Wars are not as black and white as you make it out to be.

  14. a_no_n

    Oh good...so long as you can find a good excuse for the mass murder of hundreds and thousands of non combatants including children...the greater good and all that.

    It must be reassuring to know that the ends justify the means...after all it's better to kill families and children sitting defenceless in their homes than it is to let soldiers who volunteered for the job go out and fight.

  15. a_no_n

    Hitler isn't a good example... the Russians managed to deal with him without nuking Berlin.

  16. a_no_n

    would you be interested in asking the same question to the 160,000 non-combatant civillians who were murdered in their homes in Nagasaki and Hiroshima?

  17. a_no_n

    oh no, one strike on the frontier of the empire...surely nobody has ever had to deal with such traumatic events before or since.

  18. Sythirius

    Actually, for what it's worth, I disagree with the dropping of bombs. But things look different when you're going to lose tons of your own men when you can destroy a few cities. Tell me, what makes the lives of your own men any less valuable than your enemies? Don't start playing judge and act like you have the right to decide who is more valuable. There are also military objectives that must be completed to end a war, which ends combat and further losses.

    Also, how familiar are you with the state of Japan at that point? Japanese soldiers passed out weapons to children and told them to kill their families. There is one such child who talked about this after killing his own family shortly before being picked up by US military. This was a culture that had given much of its civilian population basic training exercises and had made plans to turn the noncombatants into combatants. Surrender was not an option, and their believe in the divine destiny of Japan, much as Rome in its infancy, was enough to continue the fighting.

    This wasn't a western culture. They had very different mindsets than Americans, and the casualties from going in there would have been enormous. Now remember, I am against the dropping of the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but don't think that being against is the only legitimate viewpoint and that those that used the bomb were irrational. Also consider that the bomb had never been tested in war, and no one knew its full effects until later

  19. a_no_n

    i think it's worth noticing that there is a very big difference between volunteer troops, and non combatant men women and children who are in there homes, of absolutly no threat and with no way of escaping.

    a lot of what ifs there...i'd just hope nobody starts making what if statements about you or I if that's all it takes to justify a genocide.

  20. Sythirius

    What if statements? They weren't "potentially dangerous." Japan's population had effectively become mixed into the war.

    And don't get me started on "volunteer troops." You either have no idea, or your lying, but we had this thing called a draft. Service was mandatory for men of military age.

    You seem to think blanket statements and pretty words are enough to so easily judge war and the action of men fighting each other, and I find that more disturbing. Yeah, try going back to any civilization up until now that had a military and tell them what you just told me. See how that works.

  21. a_no_n

    Not being an American it had actually slipped my mind that there was a draft...So yeah fair enough on that one.

    I'd like to point out that you are also making blanket statements and pretty words in justification of the bombs...For someone whose anti-bomb you seem awfully keen to completely justify the events in which they were used on civillians of whom 160000 including children were killed without trial or warning.

    If any other country dared to kill that many civillians in one go it would be called a terrorist nation, and it's actions would be called war crimes...

    No military before now ever had the ability to completly wipe out entire cities at a time without leaving the comforts of their own home.

  22. Sythirius

    Where I take offense is when people get so judgmental of people from the past when they have no right to do so (except maybe for the most heinous of men). Everything seems more obvious in hindsight, then it does at the time.

    If you are getting upset over war crimes, then you clearly don't understand war. War is not this pretty, idealistic thing where you go and you only kill certain things. From a strategic point of view, this is inefficient. If you fall into a pattern predictable to an enemy, then you can't win. Some of the most horrible atrocities on earth have saved countless lives.

    Now granted, this isn't morally upright behavior, and this logic is used by people to justify torture and assassination as well. However, it is clear why people do what they do from a tactical point of view. When you have an objective, you complete the objective and ignore anything that slows you down. This is why war should be avoided as much as possible, as the most effective commanders are often the most merciless. History has of course, already demonstrated this.

    I think your problem is in considering the lives of civilians as more important than the lives of soldiers, when all lives should be considered as worth the same. There is nothing inherently more valuable about a civilian than a soldier, and vice versa. Soldiers have roles for protecting civilians, but this should not be misconstrued as protecting someone else's civilians. Just because one guy has the ability to fight does not mean that he is less important of an asset. As you keep going on and on about civilians, I am left to conclude this, and the logic confounds me.

    Frankly, this is why my heroes are men like Erwin Rommel, who was courteous and a genius, but he also had mastered a type of warfare that had given him an advantage against his opponents from the beginning. He had advantages, and when you do not have those, you secure them. This is why the bombs were dropped.

    So the lesson of this should not be "let's go condemn those guys who did their job," because that's moronic and it's a foregone conclusion. This history should make you think about how we ought to behave now, in the modern world, with the destructive power we have. As you may have noticed, no one has been bombed since, and so the world has not turned a blind eye to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    edit: Ah, missed your point about such actions making one a terrorist nation. Terror is a part of war. If you don't strike fear into your enemy, then what do you do? I think however, that a big problem in today's society, is that we are terrorizing countries we are not at war with.

  23. bluetortilla

    Well hey, keep it up one someone's bound to blink. After the big nuclear war no one will be thinking about these advancements or any others for that matter. I'd say we would be very lucky if the surviving humans after a nuclear holocaust amounted in the millions living in isolated pockets. Extinction is not at all unlikely. Yet pundits like yourself continue to talk as if there is some to control these weapons. What is your vision? That one superpower would be so overwhelmingly powerful that no leader would dare ever challenge it? Do you think that we are that rational?

  24. bluetortilla

    The reactions I get have always greatly puzzled and troubled me when I bring up this topic with friends or in a forum like this. The likelihood (in actuality the inevitability) of nuclear war occurring- as long as we are not in the process of disarmament, is the greatest threat we have ever encountered and far out shadows any current crisis we face today. We show great concern for things like climate change (which nuclear war would catastrophically amplify anyway), while putting out of mind the real pot of boiling oil, which is nuclear war. It is the only real issue of such terrifyingly immediate and devastating proportions in geopolitics today, and yet even the most radical people I know are in a state of denial over its likelihood. We have governments that are willing to enslave billions and yet we think they would not be just as willing to slaughter us? If power does indeed corrupt, then can a leader be both corrupt and rational? For all my life I have felt uneasy that the human fate is going to be one of either collective suicide, or at best extreme decimation as a result of nuclear war and there have been no new developments in this world that have lessened that threat in the least. It is in fact a wonder to me that we have made it this long.
    When I first heard the term 'The Age of Anxiety,' I felt certain that it referred to condition caused by the threat of thermonuclear war hanging over our heads 24/7. In fact, my whole life has been lived under the threat of war of one kind or another, real or devised. I later found out it was a poem about life in the industrial age, but I find the constant specter of a war of self-annihliation more fitting. It explains the constant agitating state of subconscious anxiety that explains so much of both our denial and our irrationality. It makes every other social problem seem almost trivial, so easy to fix in comparison. And against such a possibility is the sorrowful conclusion that all we say and do today will have no future meaning anyway, so what exactly is the point of all this anyway? The only point I would say is to work toward disarmament- the thing that people seem to be least willing to do. One thing to me is certain: as long as these weapons exist and as long as there is no dialogue about what to do regarding their reduction and hopefully their eventual elimination, the chances of major nuclear war are very high.

  25. Bruce Black

    Thats a REALLY crooked way of thinking my friend.

  26. Sythirius

    To think otherwise is naive.

    Humanity kills to live. We have animals and fish for food, level forests and ecosystems for raw materials, and kill each other for resources.

    However, I would agree that necessity alone does not justify killing. For example, it may not always be clear what is necessary, and a subjective mind deciding who lives and who dies is unsound. Everything we then must do must be on a moral basis.

    Now, when a country attacks, it must be seen as attacking in order to defend its people, or it will cease to be a country. The rules of war in a "Christian" sense (referring to sociopolitical attitudes and not religious ones) are that you only have the moral right to attack in self-defense, when you yourself are attacked. On this basis alone, our war was justified.

    This leaves the question of the nukes, which is a question that honestly doesn't really have any good answer. From a post to another person who disagreed with me.

    "Actually, for what it's worth, I disagree with the dropping of bombs. But things look different when you're going to lose tons of your own men when you can destroy a few cities. Tell me, what makes the lives of your own men any less valuable than your enemies? Don't start playing judge and act like you have the right to decide who is more valuable. There are also military objectives that must be completed to end a war, which ends combat and further losses.

    Also, how familiar are you with the state of Japan at that point? Japanese soldiers passed out weapons to children and told them to kill their families. There is one such child who talked about this after killing his own family shortly before being picked up by US military. This was a culture that had given much of its civilian population basic training exercises and had made plans to turn the noncombatants into combatants. Surrender was not an option, and their believe in the divine destiny of Japan, much as Rome in its infancy, was enough to continue the fighting.

    This wasn't a western culture. They had very different mindsets than Americans, and the casualties from going in there would have been enormous. Now remember, I am against the dropping of the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but don't think that being against is the only legitimate viewpoint and that those that used the bomb were irrational. Also consider that the bomb had never been tested in war, and no one knew its full effects until later"

  27. bluetortilla

    Aside from your gloomy and fatalistic ramblings on the inevitable horror of war, you might want to note that at present we've pretty much run out any objectives for a large war. Not any that would leave many left standing.
    I think then the point of old history is to learn our lessons in order to prevent regional conflicts today while obviously dismantling the nuclear weapons which will surely be used sooner or later as long as they exist. We are at the bring of evolution- whether that evolution results in a stabler species or its own self-annhiliation remains to be seen.
    One thing is for sure 'defending one's country' (king of the hill) and all that rot belongs to our pathetic past. That you keep it alive as a basis for argument only shows your own morbidity.

  28. a_no_n

    They said manned flight would bring an end to the concept of conventional war...right before WW1 broke out.

    During that war Wilfred Owen and many others wrote in far better prose than you or I could ever manage about the true futility and pointlessness of war...Here we are nearly a century later, and barely anything has changed.

    Don't underestimate humanities capacity to find a reason to slaughter one another.

  29. bluetortilla

    a_no_n, I don't think it's prose we're writing here! :D

    We know our capacity for slaughter; what we don't know is our capacity for change. For constructivism...As long as I breathe I will never give in to feeling hopeless. Why not just jump off a cliff in that case? Time is wasted on those who feel they are doomed.

  30. a_no_n

    aaw...just a little pageantry...tis all i ask. lol.

    I don't think we're doomed. Far from it. In up to our necks in the slurry sure, but not doomed.

  31. Sythirius

    And this time I am in full agreement with you. War is f**king **itty, and everyone and their grandma seems to think that "well now we are civilized enough to stop doing this wretched business."

    Frankly we have a lot more to go.

    Glad to see someone else can see the bigger picture and also agree that we are not yet totally doomed. Gods, but how I wonder sometimes though.

  32. Fabien L'Amour

    We aren't doomed but nature will certainly follow its course with a massive reduction of population. Continuous population growth has to come to an end at some point in a closed system. The lack of sufficient resources per capita is always the precursor of a population reduction in nature. My take is in our societies, it will be a precursor of war.

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