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Author Topic:   Was the Use of Atomic Bombs Against Japan Justified?
Artemis Entreri 
Suspended Member (Idle past 603 days)
Posts: 1194
From: Northern Virginia
Joined: 07-08-2008


(1)
Message 46 of 113 (623569)
07-11-2011 4:28 PM


Luckily they surrendered after the 2nd bomb. I say luckily because the United States only had two atomic bombs. Japan had to think we had more, but Nagasaki was going to be the last bomb for a while.
  
dronester
Member
Posts: 1108
From: usa
Joined: 11-19-2008
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 47 of 113 (623700)
07-12-2011 4:43 PM


Sorry for the delay.
Sorry for the delay.

hey Taz,

Taz writes:

I'm sorry, but your view on the situation is very immature.

Taz writes:

Japanese boys were trained to appear innocent and then go for American crotches.

Hypocrisy so hot, it burns like the radiation from an atomic bomb.

hey Rahvin,

Rahvin writes:

. . . your level of debate thus far has exclusively consisted of mockery . . .

Rahvin writes:

. . . did you leave your brain at home today?

Hypocrisy so hot, it burns like the radiation from an accident-prone nuclear power plant.

It seems participants are claiming that it is only with 60+ years hindsight that I am NOW saying that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was unnecessary and criminal. Check out the quotes from that time, below.

quote:

Dwight Eisenhower
"...in [July] 1945... Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. ...the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.
"During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude..."
- Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, pg. 380

ADMIRAL William Leahy
(Chief of Staff to Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman)
"It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.
"The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children."
- ADMIRAL William Leahy, I Was There, pg. 441.

HERBERT HOOVER
On May 28, 1945, Hoover visited President Truman and suggested a way to end the Pacific war quickly: "I am convinced that if you, as President, will make a shortwave broadcast to the people of Japan - tell them they can have their Emperor if they surrender, that it will not mean unconditional surrender except for the militarists - you'll get a peace in Japan - you'll have both wars over."
Richard Norton Smith, An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover, pg. 347.
"...the Japanese were prepared to negotiate all the way from February 1945...up to and before the time the atomic bombs were dropped; ...if such leads had been followed up, there would have been no occasion to drop the [atomic] bombs."
- quoted by Barton Bernstein in Philip Nobile, ed., Judgment at the Smithsonian, pg. 142
On August 8, 1945, after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Hoover wrote to Army and Navy Journal publisher Colonel John Callan O'Laughlin, "The use of the atomic bomb, with its indiscriminate killing of women and children, revolts my soul."
quoted from Gar Alperovitz, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, pg. 635.

GENERAL DOUGLAS MacARTHUR
In early May of 1946 Hoover met with General Douglas MacArthur. Hoover recorded in his diary, "I told MacArthur of my memorandum of mid-May 1945 to Truman, that peace could be had with Japan by which our major objectives would be accomplished. MacArthur said that was correct and that we would have avoided all of the losses, the Atomic bomb, and the entry of Russia into Manchuria."
Gar Alperovitz, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, pg. 350-351.
MacArthur biographer William Manchester has described MacArthur's reaction to the issuance by the Allies of the Potsdam Proclamation to Japan: "...the Potsdam declaration in July, demand[ed] that Japan surrender unconditionally or face 'prompt and utter destruction.' MacArthur was appalled. He knew that the Japanese would never renounce their emperor, and that without him an orderly transition to peace would be impossible anyhow, because his people would never submit to Allied occupation unless he ordered it. Ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign. Had the General's advice been followed, the resort to atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been unnecessary."
William Manchester, American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964, pg. 512.
Norman Cousins was a consultant to General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins writes of his conversations with MacArthur, "MacArthur's views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed." He continues, "When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor."
Norman Cousins, The Pathology of Power, pg. 65, 70-71.

JOHN McCLOY, Assistant Sec. of War
(Assistant Sec. of War)
"I have always felt that if, in our ultimatum to the Japanese government issued from Potsdam [in July 1945], we had referred to the retention of the emperor as a constitutional monarch and had made some reference to the reasonable accessibility of raw materials to the future Japanese government, it would have been accepted. Indeed, I believe that even in the form it was delivered, there was some disposition on the part of the Japanese to give it favorable consideration. When the war was over I arrived at this conclusion after talking with a number of Japanese officials who had been closely associated with the decision of the then Japanese government, to reject the ultimatum, as it was presented. I believe we missed the opportunity of effecting a Japanese surrender, completely satisfactory to us, without the necessity of dropping the bombs."
McCloy quoted in James Reston, Deadline, pg. 500

ALBERT EINSTEIN (local smart guy)
"Prof. Albert Einstein... said that he was sure that President Roosevelt would have forbidden the atomic bombing of Hiroshima had he been alive and that it was probably carried out to end the Pacific war before Russia could participate."
Einstein Deplores Use of Atom Bomb, New York Times, 8/19/46, pg. 1.

BRIGADIER GENERAL CARTER CLARKE
(The military intelligence officer in charge of preparing intercepted Japanese cables - the MAGIC summaries - for Truman and his advisors)
"...when we didn't need to do it, and we knew we didn't need to do it, and they knew that we knew we didn't need to do it, we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs."
Quoted in Gar Alperovitz, The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb, pg. 359.


and more from:
http://www.doug-long.com/quotes.htm

Ok, in this thread, it appears to be mostly me against . . . the world. I would like a few British participants to weigh in as the British are America's not-so-distant cousins and usually co-imperialists (Mod?, Strag?, Britanica?). Most/all of you in this thread repeated hegemonic-american-talking-points, so I am not gonna waste time and energy replying to duplicated assertions individually. However, if one of you think I missed something, or glossed over something, I am sure you will tap me on the shoulder (or worse, you are pro-atom-bomb, right?).

These are my two MAIN arguments. If you reply, please include these two items in your replies (not merely previous hegemonic talking points):

1. The RUSH to drop the first bomb, then the RUSH to drop the second bomb was criminal. Japan WAS beaten and not a threat to the US. america could have "suffered" a few more days or weeks for successful negotiations of VERY SIMILAR eventual surrender terms. Or waited a few extra days after dropping the FIRST bomb so Japan could FULLY (F U L L Y) address Hiroshima's damage (that some of you believe that just a few days was sufficient for a beaten country and the shock of a new doomsday weapon sufficient is absurd). Or simply waited a few EXTRA days after the Russians declared war, . . . all to allow defenseless Japanese woman and children to live. Perhaps 500,000+ people died (no one knows exactly how many by radiation sickness), and they were overwhelmingly civilians. How can any one say a few days, or a few weeks delay, for the chance of 500,000+ people to live is TOO LONG? Especially when it would have cost america relatively nothing to wait? I am surprised by the blood-thirst so far exhibited in this thread. Even for americans.

quote:
What could be more horrible than the burning, mutilation, blinding, irradiation of hundreds of thousands of Japanese men, women, children?

In fact, the bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not forestall an invasion of Japan because no invasion was necessary. The Japanese were on the verge of surrender, and American military leaders knew that. General Eisenhower, briefed by Secretary of War Henry Stimson on the imminent use of the bomb, told him that "Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary."

After the bombing, Admiral William D. Leary, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the atomic bomb "a barbarous weapon," also noting that: "The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender."

The Japanese had begun to move to end the war after the US victory on Okinawa, in May of 1945, in the bloodiest battle of the Pacific War. After the middle of June, six members of the Japanese Supreme War Council authorized Foreign Minister Togo to approach the Soviet Union, which was not at war with Japan, to mediate an end to the war "if possible by September."

Togo sent Ambassador Sato to Moscow to feel out the possibility of a negotiated surrender. On July 13, four days before Truman, Churchill, and Stalin met in Potsdam to prepare for the end of the war (Germany had surrendered two months earlier), Togo sent a telegram to Sato: "Unconditional surrender is the only obstacle to peace. It is his Majesty's heart's desire to see the swift termination of the war."

The United States knew about that telegram because it had broken the Japanese code early in the war. American officials knew also that the Japanese resistance to unconditional surrender was because they had one condition enormously important to them: the retention of the Emperor as symbolic leader. Former Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew and others who knew something about Japanese society had suggested that allowing Japan to keep its Emperor would save countless lives by bringing an early end to the war.

There is also evidence that domestic politics played an important role in the decision. In his book, Freedom From Fear: The United States, 1929-1945 (Oxford, 1999), David Kennedy quotes Secretary of State Cordell Hull advising Byrnes, before the Potsdam conference, that "terrible political repercussions would follow in the US" if the unconditional surrender principle would be abandoned. The President would be "crucified" if he did that, Byrnes said. Kennedy reports that "Byrnes accordingly repudiated the suggestions of Leahy, McCloy, Grew, and Stimson," all of whom were willing to relax the "unconditional surrender" demand just enough to permit the Japanese their face-saving requirement for ending the war.

Yet Truman would not relent, and the Potsdam conference agreed to insist on "unconditional surrender." This ensured that the bombs would fall on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
It seems that the United States government was determined to drop those bombs.


http://www.peacecouncil.net/pnl/05/744/744bombs.htm

2. The reason for rushing to drop the bombs was NOT about preventing an invasion and the casualties resulting. (Some of you listed a possible million US casualties from an invasion. These numbers were certainly exaggerated since the end of WWII to allow americans to sleep easier–as if americans have consciences). No, the real reason for dropping the bomb was all about the Russians.

quote:
Fortunately, we are not operating without the benefit of official
estimates.

In June 1945, Truman ordered the U.S. military to calculate the cost in
American lives for a planned assault on Japan. Consequently, the Joint
War Plans Committee prepared a report for the Chiefs of Staff, dated
June 15, 1945, thus providing the closest thing anyone has to
“accurate”: 40,000 U.S. soldiers killed, 150,000 wounded, and 3,500
missing.


http://health.dir.groups.yahoo.com/...p/du-watch/message/933

quote:
There has been endless discussion about how many American lives would be lost in an invasion of Japan. Truman said “half a million.” Churchill said “a million.” These figures were pulled out of the air. Historian Barton Bernstein’s research could not find any projection for invasion casualties higher than 46,000.

http://www.zcommunications.org/...the-silence-by-howard-zinn

quote:
Gar Alperovitz, whose research on that question is unmatched (The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, Knopf, 1995), concluded, based on the papers of Truman, his chief adviser James Byrnes, and others, that the bomb was seen as a diplomatic weapon against the Soviet Union. Byrnes advised Truman that the bomb "could let us dictate the terms of ending the war." The British scientist P.M.S. Blackett, one of Churchill's advisers, wrote after the war that dropping the atomic bomb was "the first major operation of the cold diplomatic war with Russia.

http://www.peacecouncil.net/pnl/05/744/744bombs.htm

quote:
President Truman’s secret diaries were not revealed until 1978. In them Truman referred to one of the messages intercepted by American Intelligence as “the telegram from Jap Emperor asking for peace.” And, after Stalin confirmed that the Red Army would march against Japan, Truman wrote: “Fini Japs when that comes about.” It seems he did not want the Japs to be “fini” through Russian intervention but through American bombs. This explains the obvious rush to use the bomb in August, days before the Russians were scheduled to enter the war, and months before any planned invasion of Japan.

http://www.zcommunications.org/...the-silence-by-howard-zinn

quote:
General Leslie Groves was less cryptic: “There was never, from about two
weeks from the time I took charge of this Project, any illusion on my
part but that Russia was our enemy, and the Project was conducted on
that basis.”

During the same time period, President Truman noted that Secretary of
War Henry Stimson was “at least as much concerned with the role of the
atomic bomb in the shaping of history as in its capacity to shorten the
war.” What sort of shaping Stimson had in mind might be discerned from
his Sept. 11, 1945 comment to the president: “I consider the problem of
our satisfactory relations with Russia as not merely connected but as
virtually dominated by the problem of the atomic bomb.”

Stimson called the bomb a “diplomatic weapon,” and duly explained that
“American statesmen were eager for their country to browbeat the
Russians with the bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip.”

“The psychological effect [of Hiroshima and Nagasaki] on Stalin was
twofold,” proposes historian Charles L. Mee, Jr. “The Americans had not
only used a doomsday machine; they had used it when, as Stalin knew, it
was not militarily necessary. It was this last chilling fact that
doubtless made the greatest impression on the Russians.”


Rahvin writes:

Show me that the casualties from an invasion were projected to be lower than the projected casualties of war.

Rahvin writes:

Given the projected [invasion] numbers at the time of decision . . .

Some of you in this thread asserted the mythical number: one million casualties. Pity that I have not so far found my very detailed article about the exaggerated casualty numbers. I still suspect it is from Zinn's book. But I did find a few sites that relates the TRUE numbers. Here is from Howard Zinn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Zinn) . . .

quote:
There has been endless discussion about how many American lives would be lost in an invasion of Japan. Truman said “half a million.” Churchill said “a million.” These figures were pulled out of the air. Historian Barton Bernstein’s research could not find any projection for invasion casualties higher than 46,000.

http://www.zcommunications.org/...the-silence-by-howard-zinn

quote:
Fortunately, we are not operating without the benefit of official
estimates.
In June 1945, Truman ordered the U.S. military to calculate the cost in
American lives for a planned assault on Japan. Consequently, the Joint
War Plans Committee prepared a report for the Chiefs of Staff, dated
June 15, 1945, thus providing the closest thing anyone has to
“accurate”: 40,000 U.S. soldiers killed, 150,000 wounded, and 3,500
missing.

http://health.dir.groups.yahoo.com/...p/du-watch/message/933

Rahvin writes:

Recognizing that something is inevitable and not necessarily a crime is rather different than supporting it.

But that is not what you previously wrote. Your goal-posts have been moved previously from:

Rahvin writes:

And while targeting civilians to simply cause death would certainly be a war crime, it is ACCEPTABLE IN WAR . . . that civilians will be killed when the military significant assets they work in or live near are targeted.

You go on to write:

Rahvin writes:

Destroying a major shipping harbor and weapons manufacturing center is a major military target and is fully legitimate.

and

Rahvin writes:

the nuclear weapons targeted military and construction facilities in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Comical assertions. Show me that in the FINAL DAYS of the war, with American ships fully BLOCKADING the ENTIRE island nation, that Hiroshima or Nagasaki were a MAJOR SHIPPING harbor (LOL) or a weapons/construction manufacturing center. Back your shit up with numbers and data or concede that you have no idea what you're talking about.

Rahvin writes:

The casualties actually inflicted were unanticipated even by the American military . . .

Well, no kidding. When Bush Jr. and Chaney invaded Iraq, they told america's military and public to anticipate being greeted by american flags for their "liberators", a short Iraqi war of a few months, and a total military cost of under 10 dollars and change. Believing highly biased american military war projections is both comical and sad.

Rahvin writes:

Why did they do it [drop the bombS] in the first place?

Rahvin writes:

The reason, quite simply, is the threat of an invasion of Japan.

Utterly wrong. America wanted to show the world, particularly the russians, that america had numerous big weapons. Re-read the quotes above.

Rahvin writes:

Remember the american military had suffered heavy losses while "island hopping".

At the end of the war, the Japanese were beat, they had no energy resources or military hardware. That you tried using the invasion of Normandy as a comparable event is comical.

Rahvin writes:

WWII had already involved mass-bombings.

You are using the same bad argument as others on this thread: since Hitler or Churchill committed war crimes, then everyone else can commit war crimes? Really?

Rahvin writes:

As for dropping two, we didn't want to give impression that we only had a single weapon.

As I stated before, America could have dropped the FIRST bomb over the water, or at least in the nearby harbor to significantly reduce casualties. THEN, A second bomb could then have been followed up to SUPPOSEDLY show Japan and the world we had unlimited weapons. Why is this so difficult to grasp? Yeah, some Japanese STILL preferred to fight till death, I get it. No matter how many times we firebombed Tokyo with incendiaries (see below) or even dropped a million atom bombs, some Japanese crazies would STILL choose to fight on. Should america murder defenseless woman and children because of some crazy people? If a soldier has his foot on the neck of a defenseless infant, and the infant's family refuses/is unable to declare surrender, would it be ok for the soldier to step on the infant's neck and crack it?

quote:
One month after the Dresden bombing, on March 10, 1945, three hundred B-29’s flew over Tokyo at low altitude, with cylinders of napalm and 500-pound clusters of magnesium incendiaries. It was after midnight. Over one million people had evacuated Tokyo, but six million remained. Fire swept with incredible speed through the flimsy dwellings of the poor. The atmosphere became superheated to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. People jumped into the river for protection and were boiled alive. The estimates were of 85,000 to 100,000 dead. They died of oxygen deficiency, carbon monoxide poisoning, radiant heat, direct flames, flying debris, or were trampled to death (Masuo Kato, The Lost War: A Japanese Reporter’s Inside Story).
 
That spring there were more such raids on Kobe, Nagoya, Osaka, and in late May another huge bombing of what remained of Tokyo.

http://www.zcommunications.org/...the-silence-by-howard-zinn

Rahvin writes:

There's talk of surrender, but no surrender had been offered. Until there's a surrender, the war keeps going, end of story.

"end of story"? And yet the Korean war has stopped hostilities without surrender. When you state things peremptorily you appear comical.

Japan knew they were beaten. They knew after the first 6 months of fighting that if the americans didn't quickly surrender to profitable Japanese terms, america's nearly-infinite resources would eventually turn the tide for america. That is why late in the war the Japanese were asking russia to mediate a surrender for some possible positive surrender terms (before the bombs were dropped). America intercepted these messages. America knew that Japan knew they were beaten. America held ALL the cards. Japan could not attack american targets. A drunken monkey could have negotiated a very SIMILAR outcome of acceptable terms of surrender with Japan withOUT extending hostilities, IF americans cared about human life . . .

Rahvin writes:

as for the actual casualties caused by the US of two nuclear weapons, they turned out to be higher than anyone anticipated.

Wow, I'm shocked, shocked to hear that dropping an ATOMIC BOMB on a city of mostly civilians could possibly cause high casualties! Who could have known dropping atom bombs on cities was a risky and dangerous activity?

Rahvin writes:

The Japanese constructed mass bomb shelters in case of a bombing attack. These shelters were concrete and would have protected the population from harm.

More comical assertions. America firebombed Tokyo, repeatedly. The casualties were high because most structures were wooden which aided in the fire-storming. I doubt that Negasaki or Hiroshima had credible concrete shelters that would have withstood an ATOMIC BOMB blast or the radiation aftermath. Back your shit up with numbers and data or concede that you have no idea what you're talking about.

Rahvin writes:

Japan did not want to accept terms of surrender set down by the americans, which was the entire issue.

Yes, Japan did not originally want to accept VERY similar terms of surrender as theirs set down by americans. That is why they were contacting the russians to hopefully mediate very slightly better terms of surrender.

Rahvin writes:

Three full days lapsed between the first and second nuclear weapons-ample time for a declaration of surrender, which was not offered.

Ample time?, says you. The nation's communication systems were completely broken, all MAJOR cities were smoldering from repeated airstrikes, there wasn't a radio-operator within miles who wasn't torched, and there was internal japanese fighting themselves for leadership. Japan was a mess. Back your shit up with numbers and data or concede that you have no idea what you're talking about. (BTW, I love it that after the first bomb, you assert that the japanese had ample time to surrender, yet somehow the americans did not have the equally leisure time to investigate the "unanticipated" high casualty rate of the first bomb. IF they cared so highly about human life)

Rahvin writes:

When you're at war, and you don't surrender, it's expected that the enemy will continue to attack!

More comical assertions. Japan was a completely broken nation before america dropped the bombs. How many times and ways can this be stated? Do you really believe a starving woman with a pitchfork is a credible threat to the US military fleet? Until an american invasion, just how were the japanese going to attack american military? Be specific.

Rahvin writes:

You don't waste a weapon by detonating it over water.

How proud you must be. Are you related to war criminal Madeline Albright:

Madeline Albright writes:

"What's the point of having this superb military you're always talking about if we can't use it?"

Rahvin writes:

But in the absence of a surrender or negotiations, the military had two choices.

Sheesh, how limited you are. What about a very short delay? America knew Russia would declare war imminently, and the japanese would surrender quickly after. One day after Russia declared war, america detonated the second bomb. For the sake of another 100,00 civilian lives, I think a few more days delay would have been sane/moral. But america didn't want russia elbowing into our party, so we dropped the second bomb quickly. It was fully clear that the terms of negotiations were NEARLY acceptable to both sides, and in the meantime, the japanese could not attack the usa.

Rahvin writes:

Japan's ability to make war on the us and its allies were significantly degraded by the August of their surrender, yes.

Wrong, they were COMPLETELY degraded. Japan was a beaten nation. This can't be over-stated. Re-read the quotes from the military people WHO WERE THERE, above. Then re-re-read them again.

Rahvin writes:

That's the whole point of war, to force certain concessions through surrender to force of arms.

Wrong, when it includes war crimes, such as the unnecessary targeting of civilians, war is called terrorism.

Rahvin writes:

The civilian deaths were the result of massive overkill, not deliberate targeting.

So you seem to concede that civilians were MASSIVELY OVERKILLED? "Overkill" meaning a disproportionate number of civilians over military personnel? In other words, a war crime of targeting civilians. At the very least, the second bomb was criminal, because america had previous knowledge of the OVERKILLING destructive capabilities of the first bomb.

Rahvin writes:

it would seem that your definition requires that all acts of war are war crimes.

Ok, Crashfrog, nice strawman. Where did I write that attacking only military targets is a war crime. Be specific.

Rahvin writes:

Given that hostilities were going to continue, there were TWO options, invasion or nuclear weapon.

Comical assertion. Hostilities from a starving woman with a pitchfork? Japan was a beaten nation. This can't be over-stated. Re-read the quotes from the military above. There were many options at the time before the first bomb was dropped. Just a few common-sensical/moral ideas (some repeated from the american military above):
a. negotiate VERY similar terms of surrender
b. use the first bomb as a warning, or at least a non-direct hit in the harbor
c. investigate the horrible first bomb's effects BEFORE dropping the second to reduce casualties
d. use the second bomb as a warning, or at least a non-direct hit
e. Delay a few dayS/weeks AFTER russia joining the war to prompt a Japanese surrender
f. Having blockaded the islands, america could have slowly starved the inhabitants to prompt surrender (Given the choice, I'll take my chances with starvation rather than a direct ATOM BOMB BLAST to the face)
g. ?

1. Considering that other options WERE AVAILABLE, the RUSH (like the rush to invade Iraq based on lies before an ignorant and blood-lusting public could catch on) to drop both bombs on Japan was CRIMINAL.
2. The show of american strength toward Russia and the quickness to keep Russia out of the war's outcome was the paramount reason for dropping the bombs. Human life (american or Japanese) was hardly a consideration.

Edited by dronester, : typo: replaced "second bomb" with "first bomb"


Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by Taz, posted 07-12-2011 6:37 PM dronester has not yet responded
 Message 49 by Modulous, posted 07-12-2011 6:41 PM dronester has not yet responded
 Message 50 by Taq, posted 07-13-2011 12:21 PM dronester has not yet responded
 Message 74 by Itinerant Lurker, posted 07-14-2011 6:24 PM dronester has not yet responded

  
Taz
Member
Posts: 5040
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 48 of 113 (623710)
07-12-2011 6:37 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by dronester
07-12-2011 4:43 PM


Re: Sorry for the delay.
Are you actually disputing with the fact that japanese were training their population to fight an american invasion force? Are you actually disputing with the fact that japanese children were being trained to fight the bigger size men that wrre the american soldier?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by dronester, posted 07-12-2011 4:43 PM dronester has not yet responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 6274
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 49 of 113 (623711)
07-12-2011 6:41 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by dronester
07-12-2011 4:43 PM


my unstudied view of the situation
Ok, in this thread, it appears to be mostly me against . . . the world. I would like a few British participants to weigh in as the British are America's not-so-distant cousins and usually co-imperialists (Mod?, Strag?, Britanica?).

My view is that if the defence for murdering hundreds of thousands of people is that it was for the greater good, the evidence supporting that assertion needs to be cast iron. As far as I can tell, the evidence might support the notion, but not sufficiently to justify the action. I am cautious that the impression sometimes painted of the Japanese as being suicidally loyal to the bitter end, man woman and child is a dehumanising one. Yes, there were men who were willing to die for their country, but this is true for all sides in the war, even if the Japanese expression of this willingness was reputedly more direct.

If we don't demand this absolute certainty we could easily find ourselves justifying the deployment of nuclear weapons in countries where we fear a lengthy guerrilla war with the citizens, many of whom are thought to be fanatical killers who will kill themselves to take out the enemy. Much like some of the very wars that are being carried out today.

Especially when it would have cost america relatively nothing to wait

Indeed.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by dronester, posted 07-12-2011 4:43 PM dronester has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Taq, posted 07-13-2011 12:27 PM Modulous has responded

    
Taq
Member
Posts: 5138
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 50 of 113 (623788)
07-13-2011 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by dronester
07-12-2011 4:43 PM


Re: Sorry for the delay.
Japan WAS beaten and not a threat to the US. america could have "suffered" a few more days or weeks for successful negotiations of VERY SIMILAR eventual surrender terms.

That is complete speculation. The fact of the matter is that the Allies DID PRESS FOR SURRENDER, AND JAPAN REFUSED TO SURRENDER. If the atomic bombs had not been dropped it would have required an invasion of the Japanese homeland in order to get that surrender. The invasion of previous islands had taught us this. Japanese soldiers charged machine gun nests with nothing but a drawn katana instead of surrendering. Japanese civilians jumped from cliffs to their deaths rather than be captured by the Allies. This was on islands that were not considered to be sacred like the Japanese homeland. The precedent had been set. The Japanese did not surrender when they were beaten. Ever.

The second lesson is WW I. In that war, Germany was allowed to stay intact. What resulted was a continuation of war just 30 years later. That is why the Allies pushed for the removal of all government officials involved in the making of war and the establishment of a government that the Allies could work with. The Japanese did not agree to those terms of surrender.


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Taq
Member
Posts: 5138
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 51 of 113 (623789)
07-13-2011 12:27 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Modulous
07-12-2011 6:41 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
I am cautious that the impression sometimes painted of the Japanese as being suicidally loyal to the bitter end, man woman and child is a dehumanising one.

It isn't a painting. That is exactly what happened. You are aware of the Kamikaze pilots, are you not? German pilots did not strap themselves to bombs and hurl themselves at the Allied soldiers, but the Japanese did. German citizens did not commit suicide in droves to avoid being captured by Allied troops. The Japanese citizens did.

quote:
At the end of June, Hirohito sent out an imperial order encouraging the civilians of Saipan to commit suicide.[2][unreliable source?] The order authorized the commander of Saipan to promise civilians who died there an equal spiritual status in the afterlife with those of soldiers perishing in combat. General Hideki Tôjô intercepted the order on 30 June and delayed its sending, but it went out anyway the next day. By the time the Marines advanced on the north tip of the island, from 8–12 July, most of the damage had been done.[2][unreliable source?] Over 20,000 Japanese civilians committed suicide in the last days of the battle to take the offered privileged place in the afterlife, some jumping from "Suicide Cliff" and "Banzai Cliff". In all, about 22,000 Japanese civilians died.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Saipan


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Modulous
Member
Posts: 6274
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 52 of 113 (623792)
07-13-2011 1:32 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Taq
07-13-2011 12:27 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
It isn't a painting. That is exactly what happened. You are aware of the Kamikaze pilots, are you not?

As I said, there were people prepared to die for their country on both sides, and that the Japanese's expression of this may be more direct.

Further, regardless of the accuracy of the painting, I am cautious of it's dehumanising impact. Even if every man woman and child was prepared to kill and die, it doesn't render them less than human, but the picture might help people think of them as less than human - a common and easy state of mind to slip into. Surely the impression does not, for instance, extend to babies?

German pilots did not strap themselves to bombs and hurl themselves at the Allied soldiers, but the Japanese did.

I suspect that at least some German pilots and infantry died performing an act they knew was as good as suicide but would help achieve the goals of their nation.

Facing suicidal troops is not sufficient justification for nuking the country they live in.

Incidentally, you realize that your wiki article is filled with 'unreliable source?' marks. I think my initial point was about the level of confidence we have in the 'greater good' type arguments and how we don't have it.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


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Taq
Member
Posts: 5138
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 53 of 113 (623805)
07-13-2011 2:42 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Modulous
07-13-2011 1:32 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
As I said, there were people prepared to die for their country on both sides, and that the Japanese's expression of this may be more direct.

To put it as objectively as possible, the Japanese expression of patriotism was difficult for western cultures to understand. In Europe, neither side was committing ritualized suicide instead of surrendering. Entire Allied brigades were not charging the Japanese lines with nothing but a sword in hand. It just wasn't part of western culture, and so it was quite shocking to the Allied troops. This wasn't going to change if an invasion of the Japanese homeland did occur. In fact, it would probably be much worse. While the Allied casualties may have been under 100,000 (maybe), the casualties on the Japanese side would have been horrendous.

Facing suicidal troops is not sufficient justification for nuking the country they live in.

Why not? Japan attacked the US. To use a school yard truism, they started it. They refused to give up. The math was 100,000 US troops dead and millions of Japanese civilians dead or 100,000 Japanese dead and no US troops dead. They were a little off on their estimations of civilian deaths due to the bombings, but not that far off. The cold, hard math is really in favor of nuking their country.

quote:
Incidentally, you realize that your wiki article is filled with 'unreliable source?' marks. I think my initial point was about the level of confidence we have in the 'greater good' type arguments and how we don't have it.

The description in the Wiki article is on par with several other documentaries and accounts I have seen. Healthy skepticism is a good thing, but there are many independent accounts that relate the same story. Some reports may have 10,000 civilian casualties while others may have 20,000, but the fact remains that a lot of Japanese citizens committed suicide rather than surrender.


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Replies to this message:
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Modulous
Member
Posts: 6274
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 54 of 113 (623811)
07-13-2011 4:07 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Taq
07-13-2011 2:42 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
To put it as objectively as possible, the Japanese expression of patriotism was difficult for western cultures to understand. In Europe, neither side was committing ritualized suicide instead of surrendering. Entire Allied brigades were not charging the Japanese lines with nothing but a sword in hand. It just wasn't part of western culture, and so it was quite shocking to the Allied troops. This wasn't going to change if an invasion of the Japanese homeland did occur. In fact, it would probably be much worse. While the Allied casualties may have been under 100,000 (maybe), the casualties on the Japanese side would have been horrendous.

I understand all of this, but I haven't seen an argument that justifies murdering civilians on a massive scale. As I said, I need more than, 'they might have fought relentlessly and more of them might have ended up died if we didn't press ahead immediately'. My position is that we should have something more concrete than that.

Facing suicidal troops is not sufficient justification for nuking the country they live in.

Why not?

If it were, that same justification would have us nuking Afghanistan and Iraq. If you don't think that's a problem, fair enough, but I do.

Japan attacked the US. To use a school yard truism, they started it.

When a military makes a military strike against a military target, the appropriate response doesn't seem to be to murder hundreds of thousands of civillians. If Japan had dropped a nuke on New York - then your 'they started it' line would have more merit.

The math was 100,000 US troops dead and millions of Japanese civilians dead or 100,000 Japanese dead and no US troops dead.

And I've yet to see this math, supporting to a degree that would sufficiently justify murdering as many people as they did.

The description in the Wiki article is on par with several other documentaries and accounts I have seen. Healthy skepticism is a good thing, but there are many independent accounts that relate the same story. Some reports may have 10,000 civilian casualties while others may have 20,000, but the fact remains that a lot of Japanese citizens committed suicide rather than surrender.

But that doesn't justify murdering other citizens, right?


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 Message 53 by Taq, posted 07-13-2011 2:42 PM Taq has responded

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 Message 56 by Taq, posted 07-13-2011 11:28 PM Modulous has responded
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GDR
Member
Posts: 3711
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 55 of 113 (623842)
07-13-2011 11:00 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Modulous
07-13-2011 1:32 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Modulous writes:

Further, regardless of the accuracy of the painting, I am cautious of it's dehumanising impact. Even if every man woman and child was prepared to kill and die, it doesn't render them less than human, but the picture might help people think of them as less than human - a common and easy state of mind to slip into. Surely the impression does not, for instance, extend to babies?

But isn't this what war is always like. If we are going to see people as the enemy with the intent of killing them we first have to dehumanize them in our minds, or at least find some other way of detaching ourselves from the killing. Don't we always seem to label the enemy with racist names?

In the end, even if we are victorious I believe that we wind up doing to one degree or another, irreparable physiological damage to the young soldiers that get sent out to fight these wars. Ultimately,we all wind up being somewhat dehumanized.

I'm not trying to justify anything, but I think that the sense that the enemy is sub-human plays into decisions during war time. Now that it's well over half a century behind us, we look at the decision to drop those bombs through a very different lens.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Modulous, posted 07-13-2011 1:32 PM Modulous has acknowledged this reply

    
Taq
Member
Posts: 5138
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 56 of 113 (623845)
07-13-2011 11:28 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by Modulous
07-13-2011 4:07 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
I understand all of this, but I haven't seen an argument that justifies murdering civilians on a massive scale. As I said, I need more than, 'they might have fought relentlessly and more of them might have ended up died if we didn't press ahead immediately'. My position is that we should have something more concrete than that.

Why does it matter if a civilian dies from a bullet or from an atomic bomb?

If it were, that same justification would have us nuking Afghanistan and Iraq.

If Afghanis and Iraqis had conquered nearly the entire Pacific theatre and laid waste to our Pacific fleet you might have a point, but you don't.

When a military makes a military strike against a military target, the appropriate response doesn't seem to be to murder hundreds of thousands of civillians. If Japan had dropped a nuke on New York - then your 'they started it' line would have more merit.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military targets. Nagasaki was a vital sea port, not to mention the industry that produced ordinance and ships. Hiroshima was just as important.

And I've yet to see this math, supporting to a degree that would sufficiently justify murdering as many people as they did.

Every able bodied Japanese civlian was being trained to fend of an invasion. What do you think would happen? What did happen on other islands that the Allies invaded?

But that doesn't justify murdering other citizens, right?

Collateral damage occurs in every war, even with standard ordinance. The firestorm in Tokyo produced by Allied bombing killed 80,000 civilians in a single raid.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 9:27 AM Taq has responded

  
Taz
Member
Posts: 5040
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 57 of 113 (623858)
07-14-2011 2:04 AM
Reply to: Message 54 by Modulous
07-13-2011 4:07 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Modulous writes:

And I've yet to see this math...


Help me understand your position. Do you just ignore what happened on all the other islands where the civilians were either fighting to the death or jumping to their deaths? Why are you ignoring what the Americans encountered on all the Japanese islands during the island hoping campaign? Is this like one of those willfull amnesia thing that creationists often use to ignore evidence?
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 Message 54 by Modulous, posted 07-13-2011 4:07 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 9:29 AM Taz has responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 6274
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 58 of 113 (623882)
07-14-2011 9:27 AM
Reply to: Message 56 by Taq
07-13-2011 11:28 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Why does it matter if a civilian dies from a bullet or from an atomic bomb?

It doesn't. Which is why I didn't say it does. Why would you even ask this question?

German pilots did not strap themselves to bombs and hurl themselves at the Allied soldiers, but the Japanese did.


Facing suicidal troops is not sufficient justification for nuking the country they live in.

Why not?


If it were, that same justification would have us nuking Afghanistan and Iraq.

If Afghanis and Iraqis had conquered nearly the entire Pacific theatre and laid waste to our Pacific fleet you might have a point, but you don't.

Your response is nonsensical. I was answering your question as to why 'Facing suicidal troops is not sufficient justification for nuking the country they live in.'. It seems you now agree that it isn't, and you want to say that conquering a certain amount of territory is an important factor.

When a military makes a military strike against a military target, the appropriate response doesn't seem to be to murder hundreds of thousands of civillians.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military targets. Nagasaki was a vital sea port, not to mention the industry that produced ordinance and ships. Hiroshima was just as important.

Even if that were true, it doesn't seem to address what I said.

Every able bodied Japanese civlian was being trained to fend of an invasion. What do you think would happen? What did happen on other islands that the Allies invaded?

What does it matter what I think would happen? We know what would happen if the bombs were dropped: huge civilian deaths. I am just saying the justification for doing that had better be cast iron, and I don't think it was. If you want to persuade me otherwise, you are free to do so.

Collateral damage occurs in every war, even with standard ordinance. The firestorm in Tokyo produced by Allied bombing killed 80,000 civilians in a single raid.

And I condemn the firebombing of Dresden, the blitz on London and the above mentioned attacks on Tokyo.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Taq, posted 07-13-2011 11:28 PM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by Taq, posted 07-14-2011 10:18 AM Modulous has responded

    
Modulous
Member
Posts: 6274
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 59 of 113 (623883)
07-14-2011 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by Taz
07-14-2011 2:04 AM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Help me understand your position. Do you just ignore what happened on all the other islands where the civilians were either fighting to the death or jumping to their deaths? Why are you ignoring what the Americans encountered on all the Japanese islands during the island hoping campaign? Is this like one of those willfull amnesia thing that creationists often use to ignore evidence?

No.

If you want to understand my position, I wrote it down in Message 49


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Taz, posted 07-14-2011 2:04 AM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by Taz, posted 07-14-2011 1:02 PM Modulous has responded

    
Taq
Member
Posts: 5138
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 60 of 113 (623886)
07-14-2011 10:18 AM
Reply to: Message 58 by Modulous
07-14-2011 9:27 AM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
It doesn't. Which is why I didn't say it does. Why would you even ask this question?

I ask this question because if we had not dropped the atomic bombs then just as many citizens, if not more, would have been killed by bullets and conventional bombs.

Your response is nonsensical. I was answering your question as to why 'Facing suicidal troops is not sufficient justification for nuking the country they live in.'. It seems you now agree that it isn't, and you want to say that conquering a certain amount of territory is an important factor.

Both the Iraqi and Afghani governments were overthrown in a matter of weeks. Their troops surrendered without much to-do. The total number of US and NATO troops killed over the last 10 years is on par with a week of fighting against the Japanese during WW II. The vast, vast majority of citizens in each country are not using suicide attacks against US and NATO troops. I guess I fail to see how the two are even comparable.

And I condemn the firebombing of Dresden, the blitz on London and the above mentioned attacks on Tokyo.

If not for the atomic bombs, there would have been a long campaign of conventional bombing raids with just as many, if not more, civilian deaths. Add to that the thousands and thousands of Japanese civlians that would have been put on the front lines, probably without a firearm. It would seem to me that there were going to be hundreds of thousands of dead japanese civilians no matter what.


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