Friday, August 10, 2007

Mokusatsu : ignore OR let's weigh this before we rush in ? ( updated)

" A mistake in translation may have triggered the atom bombing of Hiroshima. There is evidence that the word 'mokusatsu' used by the Japanese government in response to the US surrender ultimatum was translated as 'ignore' instead of its correct meaning 'withhold comment until a decision has been made"
(Cutlip, Center and Broom, 1985).

Flashback:

(1) Postdam Declaration on July 26 1945 to define the terms of Japanese surrender.


(2) "On July 27, the Japanese government considered how to respond to the Declaration. The four military members of the Big Six wanted to reject it, but Togo persuaded the cabinet not to do so until he could get a reaction from the Soviets. In a telegram, Kase Shunichi, Japan's ambassador to Switzerland, observed that unconditional surrender applied only to the military and not to the government or the people, and he pleaded that it should be understood that the careful language of Potsdam appeared "to have occasioned a great deal of thought" on the part of the signatory governments—"they seem to have taken pains to save face for us on various points." The next day, Japanese paper reported that the Declaration, the text of which had been broadcast and dropped on leaflets into Japan, had been rejected. In an attempt to manage public perception, Prime Minister Suzuki met with the press, and stated,
"I consider the Joint Proclamation a rehash of the Declaration at the Cairo Conference. As for the Government, it does not attach any important value to it at all. The only thing to do is just kill it with silence (mokusatsu) it. We will do nothing but press on to the bitter end to bring about a successful completion of the war"[...]The meaning of the word mokusatsu, literally "kill with silence", is not precise; it can range from 'ignore' to 'treat with contempt'—which actually described fairly accurately the range of effective reactions within the government. However, Suzuki's statement, particularly its final sentence, leaves little room for misinterpretation and was taken as a rejection by the press, both in Japan and abroad, and no further statement was made in public or through diplomatic channels to alter this understanding. [...] On July 30, Ambassador Sato wrote that Stalin was probably talking to the Western Allies about his dealings with Japan.
"There is no alternative but immediate unconditional surrender if we are to prevent Russia's participation in the war. ... Your way of looking at things and the actual condition in the Soviet Union may be seen as being completely contradictory." [...]On August 2, Togo wrote to Sato, " ... However, it should not be difficult for you to realize that ... our time to proceed with arrangements of ending the war before the enemy lands on the Japanese mainland is limited, on the other hand it is difficult to decide on concrete peace conditions here at home all at once. "
At 04:00 on August 9, word reached Tokyo that the Soviet Union had broken the neutrality pact, declared war on Japan and launched an invasion of Manchuria. [wiki ref here - basically the Soviets had no intention to lobby for Japan].



But what did the Japanese statement really mean ? It seems many articles were written about this such as for example William J. Coughlin (1953) says " the statement announced that the Cabinet had taken a stance of mokusatsu, which can be translated as either “making no comment on” or “ignoring” something. According to the article, when the statement was issued, Japan’s media construed the message to mean that the Cabinet was ignoring the ultimatum, while the intended message was that comment was being withheld pending an announcement. The article investigates Japan’s rebuffed attempts to get the Soviet Union to mediate a peace, the internal debate within the Japanese government over surrender, and the intent of the Cabinet’s message. The author asserts that Suzuki’s ambiguous choice of wording led directly to the United States government’s subsequent use of the atomic bomb against Japan."



This week was the anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, was this slaughter necessary to stop the war or was it an expression of a bigger ego and a chance to try the scientific feat and achieve world dominance ?


I know the Japanese were not the 'good' side here but I'm not sure about the H- bomb being so good either. (18-8-07 It is the A- bomb sorry and thanks for all those who pointed my mistake in the comment section).


If you want to read a brief chronology of the Japanese surrender please click here. If you are interested in more debate about translation of mokusatsu with which you may agree more than what is stated above click here.


I simply find this theory fascinating. If there was a time machine would events have gone differently?

34 comments:

The Lost Libyano said...

I know the Japanese were not the 'good' side here

Whats the definition of good? what is the meaning of this word?

Is your definition of Good and Evil based upon Islamic Moral's and Principal's? Is it based on Judeo-Christian principal's? Is it based on The European concived Universal Declaration Of Human Right's? I am not a moral relativist, but I would like to know the definitions of certain term's when discussing such matter's.

As a Muslim, my faith teaches me that I must obey God and his messenger, and that I am not allowed to have a diffrent opinion in the matter's already decided by the divine creator of the Universe.

And thus the Japanese where the BAD guy's, but so where the American's.

The Use of Nuclear Weapon's goes against my Islamic Law a divine law which no Muslim can deny.

Islamic Law the law which I must submit to in my daily life state's that it is PROHIBITED to kill women, children, the elderly, religouse folk's(monk's, priest's,ect) its prohibited to kill live stock, or destroy vegitation.

When fighting the enemy, its prohibited to use torture, burning combatants alive is strictly prohibited. The mutliation of dead bodies is also prohibited, as well as general decapitation as dictated by the Prophet(PBUH) himself. These are the limit's which Allah has sent and these are the limit's which Muslim's are commanded not to transgress. Their is no lesser of two evil's, right is right in Islam, and wrong is wrong, one can not go and rob a bank, and then tell me he did it to build a mosque. If mankind can not live up to these rule's then they should sit down and use their mind's and their mouth's and engage in Dialogue like God intended. NO MORE SENSELESS KILLING, NO MORE PRIMATIVE ETHIC's.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. by John F. Kennedy

Far from your "Bring It On attitude"

Highlander said...

I know what you mean Lost Libyano. But some people are going to tell you that so called Muslims are burning people and decapitating and killing children women and innocent what should we respond to that ?

Anyway to get back to the topic do you think a mistranslation can create havoc or do you think it was going to happen anyway unless the Japanese had surrendered immediately ?

programmer craig said...

Highlander,

Using your own quoted text:

I consider the Joint Proclamation a rehash of the Declaration at the Cairo Conference. As for the Government, it does not attach any important value to it at all. The only thing to do is just kill it with silence (mokusatsu) it. We will do nothing but press on to the bitter end to bring about a successful completion of the war

Even if we delete the entire sentence where "mokusatsu" appears, the intended meaning - a rejection of the ultimatum - is clear.

Unless you are prepared to argue that the rest has also been improperly translated?

It's also clear from the text you quoted that the Japanese weer well aware that the Soviets were about to enter the war in the Pacific, against them. By the way, preventing the Soviets from swallowing up large parts of China and Japan has been used as an additional justification for use of the Atom bombs to end the war swiftly. Who knows how long an invasion of the Japanese home islands would have taken?

The Lost Libyano said...

I know what you mean Lost Libyano. But some people are going to tell you that so called Muslims are burning people and decapitating and killing children women and innocent what should we respond to that ?

Well obviosly we would say that these action's are morally wrong, and we should condemn them. I dont think you can judge a religion or ideology by the action's of its so called follower's, but rather what the religion's actual text's teach. What if Muslim's start commiting adultry its become a part of the deen? If a Muslim starts stealing it become's permited? It goes for anything really not just religion.

If a self-proclaimed Communist Regime apply's Free Market's in the country, the outside on looker can clearly state that they are betraying their own set standard's, one may even go as far and state well they claim they are communist's but in reality they are..... do you get my drift.

It would also be useful to state that the law's of war do not apply to these so called Muslim's which commit these act's for they themselve's under Islamic Law are not legal commbatant's.

They are mearly mischeif maker's, those who spread chaos upon the land. How can any group raise the banner of Islam for Jihad if they themselves are not a ligitamate government? When they have not established power, recived bayat, they have not taken up the zakat nor have they distributed it,ect.

Who are these people? Where do we get in contact with them? Has Libya sent a ambassador to them?

Do they even have a P.O box? Hell give me a myspace, anything. Where do we get in touch with them? Its BEWILDERING highlander.

Its Pure Sillyness if you ask me. The fact that anyone would link them with us Muslim's or claim that we are responsible for their action's is insanity in and within itself.

Bin Ladin himself is a CIA agent,
nothing wrong with that I geuss the CIA is a ligitamate well respect organization its a fact he was on the CIA payroll during the USSR-Afghanistan War.

But with that being said if one of their agent's goes mad I do belive as a respectable organization they have certain responsibilites to take some accountablity for it.

I would suggest anyone who has lost a family member to hire a
lawyer and see if they have a case against the CIA to take this to a court of law.

Danial Pearl's wife is taking everyone who ever breathed the same air against her husband's alledged killer to court.

In July 2001, Bin Laden was
treated in a hospital in Dubai where he meets several senior officials in the CIA.

They where in contact with their agent, or ex-agent. I think they should hold a press confrence and apologise for the associate's actions, condemnn him, and clearly state that he is acting on his
own accord and that he does not represent the US Governtment or the Organization.

I have no idea why the Muslim advocacy group's are apologising for his action's he isnt a CAIR cardholder,sure they should condemn it, we Muslims condemn anything which go against our principal's weather its commited by a Muslim, or a Non-muslim, we are vice-reagent's, we set a positive example for mankind. But we dont come out a have press confrence's for everyone who commit's a crime.

Will the ADL come out and apologise for the action's of a member of the KKK? I think not.

do you think a mistranslation can create havoc or do you think it was going to happen anyway unless the Japanese had surrendered immediately ?

It was going to happen anyway, the US had something to prove, and they proved it.

I would even go as far as to say that even if the Japanese surrendered immediatly it would have been ignored, and the exact same thing would have occured.


By the way, preventing the Soviets from swallowing up large parts of China and Japan has been used as an additional justification for use of the Atom bombs to end the war swiftly.

Their is no justification for using Atom Bomb's.

PC I have stated the Islamic Position on the Atom Bomb and the ethical delima one is faced with.

Highlander said...

Hi Craig that was not all I said :P here is the beginning of the sentence :

"In an attempt to manage public perception"

...which in my opinion basically means that the PM made the statement for public consumption.
The subsequent statements show that the only source for what the PM said was the media. i.e no official statement was sent through diplomatic channels as one would expect in such a difficult situation.


By the way, preventing the Soviets from swallowing up large parts of China and Japan has been used as an additional justification for use of the Atom bombs to end the war swiftly. Who knows how long an invasion of the Japanese home islands would have taken?

Does the above imply that using the H- bomb was necessary to beat the Soviets to the control of China and Japan i.e the ultimate goal ? because the US could not let the Russians get any part of China or Japan.

Doesn't that contradict the claim that the Japanese declined to surrender which was why they were bombed ?

Highlander said...

Lost Libyano you make some interesting points except that we still cannot prove 100% that OBL is on the CIA payroll anymore until we get a scan of the money transfer :P Of course that does not mean we will not suspect him to be and put that into consideration after all he was very much present in Afghanistan and all the other 'circumstantial' evidence...still that's not the topic of the post :P

Back to Japan..you say
I would even go as far as to say that even if the Japanese surrendered immediatly it would have been ignored, and the exact same thing would have occured.

Which is in agreement I think with what Programmer Craig also stated :)

Claim 2B Wise said...

as for the bombing it was decided despite the japanese miss understood
statement.

the americans were dying to try their atomic bomb and japan was already loosing the war so there was no urge to use such brutal weapon

by the way mokusatsu is a combiation of two chinese characters mouku which means silence aor leav as is and it is also pronounced damaru
the second character satsu or korosu it definitly means murder or kill

But when it comes in combination it
gains a total different meaning as ignore.

Highlander said...

Hi Claim2B wise and welcome on my blog, I see you seem knowledgeable about Japanese language it is fascinating how one letter can change the meaning of a whole sentence.

programmer craig said...

Hiya H,

...which in my opinion basically means that the PM made the statement for public consumption.

He may well have.

The subsequent statements show that the only source for what the PM said was the media. i.e no official statement was sent through diplomatic channels as one would expect in such a difficult situation.

Which is pretty good evidence "Mokusatsu" was intended to mean "ignore" is it not?

What am I missing?

Are we arguing about Japan's response and the reasons for it, or US motivations for using the bomb? Because I'm not seeing any evidence that the intent of the Japanese was misunderstood, either in regards to the word Mokusatsu, or in regards to the Soviet Union.

As for the US using the bomb, I stated my opinions in your last two anniversary posts. I'm not going to defend something I don't agree with .

duniazad said...

I guess I sort of agree with PC on this one, the context seems to invalidate the quibbling over mistranslating a word.

But America wasn't going to drop a bomb in the middle of europe and they needed to diplay their "Little Boy"

it's tactical nukes that are really worrying now though, as they're more likely to be used in the current oxymoronic 'war on terror'...

Maya M said...

The days after the Hiroshima bombing and before the Nagasaki bombing were interesting. In his "Modern Times", Paul Johnson writes that in these days, the head of the Japanese nuclear program was summoned by the military commanders and asked whether the Hiroshima bomb was a true atomic one and, if so, whether he could make the same in several months. If true, this doesn't fit well into the picture that Japan was ready to surrender anyway before even the first bomb. It is a fact that they surrendered after the second bomb, and without knowing that there were no more ready bombs.
In these same days, the Soviet Union invaded Japan. "The invasion began on August 8, 1945... Due to the invasion, 56 islands of the Kuril chain, as well as the southern half of Sakhalin (i.e. the Northern Territories), were in 1946 incorporated into the Soviet Union" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet-Japanese_relations).
So, Highlander, I cannot understand you when you say "US could not let the Russians get any part of China or Japan". US DID let the Russians get a part of Japan. And I can witness that during all these pre-1989 years, the Soviet propaganda bashed US for A-bombing Japan and kept convenient silence that the USSR attacked Japan and took land from it thanks to this same bombing. Now, we see how successful the Soviet propaganda was. People believe and, worse, remember what it said and not what was.
Then, I don't quite understand the argument "it is very bad to kill people by atomic bombs and it is nice to kill them by beheading". I think the killing is what matters.

Perkunas said...

"I would even go as far as to say that even if the Japanese surrendered immediatly it would have been ignored, and the exact same thing would have occured."

That statement represents blind anti-Americanism, to which you are welcome to have your opinion, but it is certainly hypothetical. Just as many Americans do not know or understand the world of Islam, so too the people in Islamic countries do not understand the United States as well as they would like to imagine.

Highlander said...

Hi Perkunas, thanks for your comment. Interesting comparison.

Highlander said...

Maya M, thanks for bringing to our attention the 56 islands and other Japanese territories lost to the USSR.

I cannot understand you when you say "US could not let the Russians get any part of China or Japan".


I think you may wish to address that question to Craig :P as this whole paragraph below would probably clarify better the full context of my enquiry from him:

"Does the above imply that using the H- bomb was necessary to beat the Soviets to the control of China and Japan i.e the ultimate goal ? because the US could not let the Russians get any part of China or Japan."

I guess you and I are asking Craig the same question.


Then, I don't quite understand the argument "it is very bad to kill people by atomic bombs and it is nice to kill them by beheading". I think the killing is what matters.

What does the above statement have to do with the post? I don't recall anyone making that argument unless you are trying to say that beheading is OK?

programmer craig said...

Hi H,

"Does the above imply that using the H- bomb was necessary to beat the Soviets to the control of China and Japan i.e the ultimate goal ? because the US could not let the Russians get any part of China or Japan."

Are you saying it would have been a good thing if the USSR had ended up with Manchuria, Mongolia and Japan?

If you read the link Maya left, it seems that the USSR had plans to invade Japan *before* the US would have been able to do so. It was only Japan's near immediate surrender that prevented that.

If that's your position, I don't know what to say about it. I've never met anybody who thought the aggressive expansion of the USSR at the end of WWII was a good thing.

The worlkd would definately be a different place today, if that had happened. This is Japan and China we are talking about.

Highlander said...

As for the US using the bomb, I stated my opinions in your last two anniversary posts. I'm not going to defend something I don't agree with .

Hi Craig :) This is just a discussion about theories and hypothesis on war.It's not about you :P
Of course I know your noble position about the bomb as you stated; it is right there in my archive.

Adam said...

I agree with Claim 2B Wise. In my opinion the A-bomb ( splitting hairs: AFAIK not H-bomb HL ) was dropped irregardless of the translation of that little word, mokusatsu. Political pragmatism I'd say.

And yes I too think that they were fairly keen on field testing some newly developed technology.

So HL: I refuse to believe that the decision was hinging on the translation of a single word...

Craig: some of the stuff you said was new to me. I would like to ask, when did the US begin to regard the USSR as a threat. I mean they were WWII allies no? Thanks.

Maya M said...

Highlander, Programmer Craig seems to mean that preventing USSR from swallowing large parts of China and Japan has been used to justify the A-bombing after the bombing, while you imply that this may have been a goal before the bombing. This is why I addressed to you. BTW, Programmer Craig, a lot of people here in Bulgaria and in Russia think and say that the expansion of the USSR was a good thing. But most of them don't voice this view in the English-language Web or in any other English-language public space, so you don't come across them. English speakers often presume that the non-English public spaces are a sort of provinces of the vast English public space having the same sort of content, just smaller. In fact, in these spaces circulates very different information and different ideas! I sometimes wish to know, without the effort of learning Arabic, what is there in the Arabic public space. For what some Arabic speakers (including Highlander) translate and release to us, I don't doubt it is more than interesting.

Maya M said...

Highlander, my remark about killing by atomic bombing vs. killing by beheading was related not to your post but to LL's comment. I tried to be vague because, first, I didn't wish to show more Islamophobia than clearly needed and, second, I didn't want to directly confront LL because I feared that he'll again try and engage me in some discussion about Earth's shape :). But now I see clarity is needed.
Indeed, LL doesn't "recommend" beheading. On the contrary, he states that "general decapitation" is prohibited. But as far as I know, beheading is explicitly allowed in the source used by LL to define morality. And many people actually do beheadings based on the same source.
I grew instantly suspicious when LL asked what's the definition of good. I've learned from Popper that over-emphasis on definitions is a marker of poor argumentation and, in moral and political issues, often of an attempt to confuse the opponent's head. In fact, what LL did with the term "good" is very similar to what Plato did with the term "justice" in Popper's example (the "Republic" dialogue).
I've said before that if you are a religious person and so take as good what God says to be good, you have the problem that you cannot know whether the Scripture you are using really comes from God.
Some Christians have answered something like, "Jesus's words and deeds are, to me, what I would expect from the Son of God." I like this answer. In fact, I find it the only good answer to the problem. But here we arrive back to our own mind as the ultimate judge.
LL's "good" requires not to use nuclear weapons, not to kill women, children, elderly, religiouse folks, farm animals and plants, not to torture enemy combatants, burn them alive, decapitate (?!) them and mutilate their dead bodies - and all this in a war.
I wish to see an army that could do its business without violating ANY of these rules. If I want to be really nasty, I'd say that I wish to see LL as a participant in real combat.
Why does LL set the moral bar so high in the skies? Just to prove that "the Japanese where the BAD guy's, but so where the American's".
The good guys are, of course, the Muslims. But not any of today's Muslim nations and not any historical Muslim nation. They are imaginary people that have never existed on Earth and will never exist.

shlemazl said...

w1. The "H-bomb" wasn't even invented.

2. Even after Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japanese were reluctant to surrender. There was even an attempt to revolt after Hirohito's surrender broadcast.

3. By some estimates a full-blown invasion would have resulted in ~1 million death both as a direct result of warfare and as a result of starvation as food-producing regions would have been cut off from the rest of Japan.

4. Bin Laden CIA? Sure. Also, agent Highlander is employed by MI6. She's been to Europe, speaks English and works undercover. She was in Lybia when Americans attacked the Great and Wonderful Leader.

NOMAD said...

Shlemazl, you ignore that she speaks fluent french and works for our "renseignements generaux" too !
how can you explain the last Sarko success story :lol: LMA

programmer craig said...

Adam,

Craig: some of the stuff you said was new to me.

That doesn't surprise me, Adam. Despite your excellent English, you seem to base most of your opinions about the US on things other people say about us, rather than what we say on our own behalf.

I would like to ask, when did the US begin to regard the USSR as a threat.

From the beginning. We always viewed communism as an existential threat to our way of life.

I mean they were WWII allies no? Thanks.

An alliance of necessity. Germany would have (probably) won World War II without the Soviets being involved. And I only use the word "probably" because one can never be 100% certain about a hypothetical.

programmer craig said...

Hi Maya,

BTW, Programmer Craig, a lot of people here in Bulgaria and in Russia think and say that the expansion of the USSR was a good thing.

Well, the Russians thinking it was "good" doesn't surprise me, but for Bulgarians to feel that way does! I used to have Hungarian neighbors (an older couple) up until a few years ago. They used to talk about the Soviet invasion of Hungary all the time. The events of 1956 literally ruined their lives. Even after living in the US for over 30 years, it still haunted them every single day. I used to think they were exaggerating with some of the stories they told me about what happened, but I don't think people dwell on things as much or for as long, if they aren't deeply traumatized.

Adam said...

Hi HL! I just noticed your "nerdy" tag on this post. And it seems to me I had not read your own words carefully enuff. So I guess you do actually doubt the weight of this story, or should we call it amusing anecdote?

Craig! Thanks for the detailed answer. As for my "excellent" English, it sure has gotten even more excellent... after Firefox introduced their spell checker! :p

programmer craig said...

it sure has gotten even more excellent... after Firefox introduced their spell checker! :p

So, you admit the American spelling is superior? :D

Adam said...

So, you admit the American spelling is superior? :D

I like the honesty of you new picture. Finally you admit your innermost conviction, that the axe is mightier the word. :P

Adam said...

And... thanks for pointing that out, I will download the UK dictionary...

programmer craig said...

And what does a close up of a blue eye say, Adam? What's the "real" message you are sending with that? Should I make something up? :P

My eyes are bluer, I think. Maybe I'll take a close-up and switch my avatar?

Maya M said...

The psychopathology of living under a communist dictatorship developed, to some degree, in all countries of the former Soviet block, but its full extent can be seen in countries that were poor and predominantly rural at the time of communization.
The old elite was entirely at a loss, except a few who were bought to serve the new regime. But these countries had a very small elite class. The majority of the population had very little property, education, skills and need of uneatable things such as freedom and democracy. People of this kind are easy to bribe.
The new regime offered them carrots: free health care and education, full employment, guaranteed ownership of some miserable housing after being on a waiting list for 10 years and paying for another 20 years, the opportunity of a sea vacation every year. If you look at these goodies, you'll see that all of them, excluding the sea vacation, are actually akin to the good sides of being in prison!
On the other side, it wasn't easily allowed to move to another town or visit another country. Economic incentive and political activity were prohibited. But all this didn't matter to the majority of people. The executions, imprisonments and other repressive measures targeted mainly the elite, i.e. those who "deserved" them. But even when some poor worker was sent to a labour camp for nothing, his neighbours managed to convince themselves that he was in fact guilty (and, hence, it couldn't happen to them).
The regime was also turning ordinary people into accomplices. We were becoming "young pioneers" in 1st grade, "pioneers" in 3rd grade and Young Communist League members in 7th or 8th grade. People who wanted a good job were usually pressed to become either Communist Party members or secret service agents. Besides, the "free" education was given to us in a package with much propaganda that "the Party gave you the opportunity to study". Indeed, as the old professionals were executed, imprisoned or at least fired, many positions requiring high qualifications were occupied by people who in a normal society would live on menial jobs or welfare. These people dutifully parroted "The Party allowed me to study" and really, without the Party they would never study. But many good professionals were also convinced by the Party that they owned their positions to it. When the propaganda portrayed unemployment, homelessness and other evils of capitalism, the bottom line was, "Don't want capitalism because it's cruel and you are good for nothing. In a capitalist economy, there is unemployment because nobody hires people like you. So they sleep under the bridges."
Lives proceeded smoothly, as if on rails. People had to make few choices, the government was choosing for them. Many were used to like this and after the 1989 collapse were not only making bad choices but were frustrated and depressed by the mere necessity of making choices.
If an animal is kept long enough in a cage, it may not want to be free even if somebody opens the cage.

Adam said...

The boring truth, Craig, is that my avatar is nothing but than an unrecognizable pic of myself. But if you have a more amusing interpretation, why not take up the challenge and share it with us?

Adam said...

Yes Maya, that is a good description. I think that there are some variations within the former eastern block. Some, (for example Czechoslovakia or Hungary), that had managed a few small steps towards freedom prior to the 89 collapse, suffered a much smaller shock than for instance the DDR, and thus less much confusion and disillusion.

I know that mocking of the leadership (in closed circles) was prevalent in countries such as these three, but how was it in Bulgaria during the dark years?

While on the subject I really recommend this film:
http://imdb.com/title/tt0405094/
"Das Leben der Anderen" aka
"The Life of the Others" and I dare assume it is findable with English subtitles.

An excellent piece on life in the DDR in the 80's. It describes the paranoid situation, not only through the eyes of the people but also seen from the side of the Stasi, the security police.

Paranoia on both sides.

programmer craig said...

Maya, thanks for the explanation, good to have it detailed that way by somebody who knows :)

Adam, I just figured since you were looking for deep meanings in my avatar, there must be one in yours :P

The "simple boring truth" of this ax is that I put it up a week or two ago for a dumb joke in one comment, and I've been to lazy to switch it to something else.

Maya M said...

Adam, my answer became too long, so I made it into a post. You (and others) are invited to see it at http://mayas-corner.blogspot.com/2007/08/political-jokes-in-communist-bulgaria.html.

Highlander said...

And yes I too think that they were fairly keen on field testing some newly developed technology.

Adam, I agree with the above, I was wondering though if a more precise message would have made it harder to put the testing in place?

Maya, thanks for explaining what Craig meant. As for knowing what other people are saying for yourself there is no other solution than learning their language :P we Arabic native language speaking bloggers who know other languages have that extra advantage.

As for your remark about killing by nuclear bomb vs beheading thanks for clarifying I guess it is better to be precise and sound islamophobic. However, I think your comparison still does not apply even if it is with regards to LL now because beheading like hanging in other places or the electric chair in more modern times is a form of capital punishment. Which is why it would be allowed in that context, and not in the context of 'killing' per se or by comparing it to the atomic bomb.

Shlemazl thank you for your comment that was very interesting! OK I know German does that mean I work for the STASI :P

Nomad, euh, oops I'm busted - yes I had a hand with the Sarko success - cherchez la femme :)

Maya :) thanks for the explanation of living under communism, it's good to read about it from first hand experience.