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Which Way the Trolley: America’s Hot Wars During the Cold War, Part 1

[4] Pedro Lange-Churion, “Venezuela and the Silence of the Left,” Counterpunch. Note that Counterpunch is a self-identified Leftist journal. Posted May 20, 2016.

[5] There is now considerable literature on the trolley parable, including a Wikipedia entry. Also, see Judith Jarvis Thomson’s, “The Trolley Problem,” Yale Law Journal 94 (1985) 1395–1415.

For a view of how a Stalinist child would solve the dilemma see this video:

[6] A similar moral dilemma was presented in one of the most popular of the Star Trek TV programs, “The City on the Edge of Forever” (episode #28). Dr. McCoy stumbles into time travel and winds up in New Your City in the 1930s. He falls in love with a lovely social worker named Edith who runs a mission for the poor. McCoy saves her life from a traffic accident but that act vastly changes history. In fact, the Star Ship Enterprise disappears. What happened was that Edith lived on to be the leader of a pacifist movement that postponed America’s entry into WWII. As a result, Hitler got the A-bomb first and conquered world. The earth descended into dark ages, and among other consequences, the Enterprise could not have been created. The situation is remedied as Captain Kirk arrives and explains the situation. The accident scene is represented and Dr. McCoy allows Edith to die without intervening. The Star Ship Enterprise reappears.

[7] Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study of Ethics and Politics (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1932). It is still in print, but also available online as a free PDF download.

[8] For a summary of Niebuhr’s seminal work, see: Matthew Burke’s review, “Moral Man and Immoral Society,” First Things. Posted March 1, 2000.

[9] A fair, thoughtful and well researched discussion of how the Allied leaders drifted into the concept of “total war” in which civilians were fair game is found in the work by George Cotkin, Morality’s Muddy Waters: Ethical Quandaries in Modern America (University of Pennsylvania, 2010), Chapter 2, “The Sky That Never Cared.”

[10] Berlin was bombed by British bombers before the Nazis retaliated and began bombing British cities.

[11] Mrs. Miniver (Film), Wikipedia. Sourced October 11 ,2016.

[12] See the excellent Wikipedia article, “dehousing.”

[13] Hamburg was where the fearsome Tiger tank, the best in the world, was being manufactured.

[14] German night fighters were extremely effective, and even towards the end of the war were inflicting up to 25% shoot down rate on British night bomber formations. See Johnen WilhelmBattling the Bombers (New York: Ace, 1958).

[15] Total German civilian deaths caused by the Allied air campaign have been estimated at approximately 600,000. Surprisingly, this is about 100,000 more than the total for Japan, produced by the American Air Corps, including the casualties caused by both Atom Bombs. See Cotkin, Morality’s Muddy Waters, 48-49.

[16] An infamous case was the bombing raid on the Erla Motor Works in the town of Mortsel, Belgium. The factory was producing engines for the German war machine, but from the 24 bombers attacking, only two bombs landed on target and the rest missed and demolished the adjacent neighborhood killing almost 1,000 civilians.

[17] He was lucky (Divinely protected?). The “shoot-down” rate of the Eighth Air Force bomber crews was 80%. Of course many of these bailed out and survived.

[18] The 1990 movie Memphis Belle, about the first bomber crew in the Eighth Air Force to cycle through 25 missions in and out, shows a similar incident.

[19] Reece Howells, the famous Pentecostal intercessor, whose prayers (possibly) helped turn the Battle of Britain, said that the victory of Nazi Germany would have ruined God’s plan for our planet. That radical theology, that man’ freedom to sin and God’s unwillingness to overturn the natural course of events unless his saints pray, is strange but has a ring of truth. See Norman Grubb, Rees Howells Intercessor (Ft. Washington: Christian Literature Crusade, 1967).

[20]The Nazis had begun the process by systematically gathering and exterminating the Polish intelligentsia, and planned to reduce the Poles to illiterate surfs under the German “master race.” Jürgen Matthäus, Jochen Böhler, Klaus-Michael Mallmann, War, Pacification, and Mass Murder, 1939: The Einsatzgruppen in Poland (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014); Preview.

[21] The sexual slavery of thousands of Korean women for the Japanese Armed forces has been covered by the media in recent years, yet that is only the tip of the iceberg of Japanese atrocities in WWII.

[22] See an insiders’ view of how Churchill managed the British bombardment of German cities in C. P. Snow’s Science and Government (New York; Oxford University Press, 1961).

[23] Churchill was also constrained from negotiating with the Germans by previous agreement with Roosevelt and Stalin.

[24] Cotkin, Morality’s Muddy Waters: 44.

[25] The United States in June of 1950, when the Korean War began, had many more nuclear weapons than the Soviet Union. But the US military had analyzed the two nuclear explosions over Japan and saw that the nuclear bomb used over Nagasaki, although more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, was much less destructive in its effect. This was due to the surrounding mountains which absorbed the shock wave of the bomb. Korea was a largely mountainous region, and nuclear bombs there would be similarly limited, especially when used against a sprawling army column that could stop or change direction.

[26] This was accurately, if dramatically, pictured in an early Hollywood picture about the Korean War, One Minute to Zero (1953) starring Robert Mitchum. In one scene an American officer is forced to call in artillery on a civilian group that was infiltrated with North Korean soldiers. Ironically, the South Korean units that fought in the Vietnam War were merciless in retaliation when harassed or shot at by the Viet Cong. The Viet Cong learned quickly not to mess with Korean troops unless they absolutely had to.

[27] South Korea, after a decade of dictatorship in which its legislature was powerless, became what its constitution promised – a working democracy with competing political parties. These have shown the ability to cede power and regain it again, which is a marker of real democracy

[28] As in all things spiritual, it is impossible to quantify which factor was most important in the formation of the robust state of Korean Christianity. One major factor was that Protestant missionaries in the late Nineteenth Century instituted the “Nevius plan” of church growth in which Korean converts were trained as pastors and quickly given governance over their own churches and the missionaries receded into the background as support. On this, see my article “The Rev. John L. Nevius: The Holy Spirit Gives a Lesson in Chinese,” Pneuma Review. Posted May 10, 2014.

[29] See the gruesome details, if you wish, in Charles Armstrong’s, The North Korean Revolution, 1945–1950 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013).

[30]Robert Collins, Marked for Life: Songbun, North Korea’s Social Classification System (Washington, D.C.: Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, 2012) 119, available at

[31] Thomas J Belke, Juche: A Christian Study of North Korea’s State Religion (Bartlesville: Living Sacrifice, 1999). See also the brief article on this from at

[32] Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland, Famine in North Korea: Markets, Aid and Reform (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007).

[33] The reason for this is that Communist ideology despises the “bourgeois,” the middle class persons, who usually manage and supervise quality control. At the same time Communism glorifies the “worker” as morally perfect (and thus cannot be fired for laziness, etc.). This is not often noted in the literature on Communism, and was brought to my attention by an engineer from the Check Republic who visited me at my station at GE. He described what a pleasure it was to work at a company where quality control was so high a priority and related that at his former company in Communist Czechoslovakia no one could be fired, and shoddy goods were produced and shipped out constantly.

[34] President Harry S Truman’s Address Before a Joint Session of Congress, March 12, 1947.

[35] Jason W. Stevens, God-Fearing and Free: A Spiritual History of America’s Cold War (Cambridge: Harvard University, 2010).

[36] Ronald Stone, “An Interview with Reinhold Niebuhr,” Christianity and Crisis, 29 (March 19, 1969) 50.

[37] Dwight Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe, (New York: Doubleday, 1948).

[38] John Earl Haynes, and Harvey Klehr, In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2005).

[39]Marxism was a pseudo-science masquerading as a science to garner the prestige of science. I examine this in my work, Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2015), Chapter 6, “Science as meaning and hope in non-Christian Europe.” I based my insights on this issue on the work of the famous philosopher of science, Karl R. Popper.

[40] For a romanticized view of Mao and his Red Army in the Leftist “denial” tradition, see the book that was immensely influential in the 1960s, Anthony Harrigan’s, Red Star Over China (London Gallancz, 1937), reprinted various times. In contrast, a realistic and de-mythologized view of Mao can be seen in the new work by Juan Chang and Jon Halliday, Mao: The Unknown Story (London: Jonathan Cape, 2005).

[41] See my blog on conspiracy theories where I discuss the right wing conspiracy theory that “Truman lost China to the Communists,” in my blog, “The Sinfulness and Destructiveness of Conspiracy Theories.” Posted July 6, 2015.

[42] Ilya Somin, “Remembering the Biggest Mass Murder in the History of the World,” The Washington Post. Posted August 13, 2016.

[43] Thankfully, there has not developed a pro-North Koreans apologetic among Leftist intellectuals to the degree that there was a pro-Stalin apologetic. To the contrary, under the rubric of “human rights violations” Western intellectuals and the press has been realistically critical of the Kim dynasty and its atrocities. See Andrew J. Nathan, “Who is Im Jong-un?” New York Review of Books. Posted, August 8, 2016.

[44] The Dulles family was among the most distinguished in government service. John Foster Dulles’ brother John served as chief of the CIA for many years, his sister Eleonore worked for the State Department in a highly successful career, especially in implementing the Marshall Plan for the economic recovery of Europe. John Foster Dulles’ son Avery converted to Roman Catholicism, became a distinguished Jesuit theologian, and eventually a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. See Leonard Mosley, Dulles: A Biography of Eleanor, Allen and John Foster Dulles and Their Family Network (New York: Doubleday, 1978).

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Category: Church History, Fall 2016

About the Author: William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major works include Quenching the Spirit: Discover the Real Spirit Behind the Charismatic Controversy (Creation House, 1992, 1996), Forgotten Power: The Significance of the Lord’s Supper in Revival (Zondervan, 2002), Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Wipf & Stock, 2015), and The Public Prayer Station: Taking Healing Prayer to the Streets and Evangelizing the Nones (Emeth Press, 2018). Bill pastored two Hispanic Anglican congregations in the Marietta, Georgia area, and is semi-retired. He continues in his healing, teaching and writing ministry and is the state chaplain of the Order of St. Luke, encouraging the ministry of healing in all Christian denominations. Facebook

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