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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zaitsev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 08:59
Originally posted by Peteratwar Peteratwar wrote:

If you think the citizens of a country who are at war with another and who are 'doing their bit for their country' are the same as hostages taken by criminals then there must be something wrong with your thinking. They don't even rersemble hostages nor are they even used as such


I never said they were the same, only similar in the respect that they are helping your opponent based primarily on their physical location at the time.

Of course civilians get caught up in fighting, but you tell me how exactly such a large portion of Hiroshima was going to get caught in the fighting? Perhaps you could tell me how people today would still be born deformed because of fighting?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peteratwar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 11:03
Originally posted by Zaitsev Zaitsev wrote:

Originally posted by Peteratwar Peteratwar wrote:

If you think the citizens of a country who are at war with another and who are 'doing their bit for their country' are the same as hostages taken by criminals then there must be something wrong with your thinking. They don't even rersemble hostages nor are they even used as such


I never said they were the same, only similar in the respect that they are helping your opponent based primarily on their physical location at the time.

Of course civilians get caught up in fighting, but you tell me how exactly such a large portion of Hiroshima was going to get caught in the fighting? Perhaps you could tell me how people today would still be born deformed because of fighting?
 
You miss the point they aren't just helping the opponent, they are an integral part of the opponents.
 
a large part of Hiroshima gets caught up in fighting just the same as any other city would that is bombed attacked etc. What deformations are still appearing ? Searching medical records show this is not being reported to them at any rate
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 12:05
Nobody forced the Japanese to bomb Shanghai, or go riot in Nanking or bomb Calcutta, or actually do anything in the war.
 
Defending their homeland was the Japanese militarys repsonsibility, not the Allies.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 18:23
Originally posted by Zaitsev Zaitsev wrote:


Actually I believe that such a moral decision would be easy to judge at the time. Killing hundreds of thousands of people by using a weapon that many scientists believed risked igniting the atmosphere in a huge reaction is simply wrong. What you are giving examples of there basically amount to "Am I going to get fewer votes engaging in mass-slaughter of civilians or prolonging the war?".
 
As has already been pointed out, hundreds of thousands were already being killed in Japan by massive B-29 raids. Many millions had been murdered by the Japanese in China in a war of aggression that was 12 years old by 1945 and hundreds of thousands of deaths across the entire Pacific region can be laid at the feet of the Emperor and the military men who served him. Trumans responsibility was to the men under his command and to the citizens who he represented, not to a nation that had been waging aggressive war for over a decade.

Quote In addition, an invasion was unnecessary and the war in China was looking to resolve itself rapidly, especially with Japanese supplies cut-off and reinforcements from the US and Australia sure to arrive if the war did not end.
 
An invasion was neccessary for the Allies to meet their objective of unconditional surrender. This policy was created to avoid the same, "you didn't really beat us in the last war so we're going to fight it all over again" philosophy that led to WW II in the first place. While Japan didn't have the forces to mount offensive operations in late 1945, they were more than capable of using suicide tactics like the Kamikazes to make an invasion very expensive in lives on both sides though.

Quote While I hate to point out the obvious... the holocaust in Europe, affectionately dubbed "the Holocaust", was actually larger than the one in China when you consider the number of Slavic persons killed, also victims of Hitler's hatred.
 
That's debatable, as how many of those deaths can be laid at Stalins own feet, a man who already had the deaths of millions of his own citizens on his hands long before WW II and who had decapitated his army shortly before the war began. It's a toss up whos' hatred was worse for the slavic people, Stalins or Hitlers, 6 million Ukranians died in the famine caused by Stalins insane policies alone.
 
Quote The remnants of the Japanese military fighting on would have been small and demoralised. The Emperor was revered in Japan and his word, and the cultural connotations of said word, were the main causes for the fanaticism of the Japanese soldiers.
 
The Japanese were still fighting on beyond all hope in late 1945 and causing more Allied casualties with suicidal attacks than in combat earlier in the war. It was the horror of the bombs that finally woke the Japanese nation up to the futility of continuing to oppose the Allies. Yamamoto was right about waking the giant in 1941, he just didn't understand the full dimensions of the situation.
 
Quote I have to say that this is terrible logic. It is akin to promoting the execution of shoplifters as they may well have ended up doing something worse. To argue otherwise would simply be conjecture.
 
The U.S. was projecting a million ALLIED casualties with an invasion of Japan, who knows what the civilian casualties would have been but it certainly would have greatly exceeded the numbers killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Japanese had already demonstrated a total contempt for international conventions and human rights, claiming they would have honored an armistice and peace treaty under the Emperor and military government is naive. Like I said, the Japanese government had an opportunity and every reason to surrender long before 1945 but it would have meant execution of many senior officers for war crimes and removal of the power structure then present in Japan.

Quote While my example is slightly different and far more radical, I do so for the point of criticising the moral ground on which you base that statement. You could just have easily argued that we should have just let Hitler conquer the world and continue the holocaust. In the end, it may not have resulted in as many deaths as the fighting.
 
The bombs were dropped to end a war not start one, something they succeeded in doing and equating the Allied cause with the Nazi one is hardly relevant. Claiming a negotiated peace would have resolved the conflict ignores the past actions of the Japanese Emperor and military who had TOTAL control of Japan. There were no civilian authorities to negotiate with, they had all been removed or eliminated by the military.
 
Quote So I propose the question to you, from the opposite perspective. Would you feel that the right thing was done if a foreign power deployed a nuclear weapon and slaughtered your family and loved ones in order to preserve the life of its own soldiers?
 
I'm Canadian, we don't tend to try and take over the world. Faced with the kind of threat posed by the brutal dictatorships present in Germany and Japan in WW II I think all options were on the table. It was called total war for a reason. The democracies were fighting for their lives and the lives of their civilians. It's a warning for all totalitarian governments to understand what the stakes are when you go to war with a powerful nation governed by it own people

Quote Would it be acceptable for, say, Afghanistan to have nuked major American cities to save itself from launching an infeasible invasion?
 
The U.S. isn't in Afghanistan waging a war of aggression, it's there to remove a threat that has already taken the lives of thousands of American civilians.


Edited by DukeC - 21-May-2009 at 18:34
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 19:56
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

Originally posted by Zaitsev Zaitsev wrote:


Actually I believe that such a moral decision would be easy to judge at the time. Killing hundreds of thousands of people by using a weapon that many scientists believed risked igniting the atmosphere in a huge reaction is simply wrong. What you are giving examples of there basically amount to "Am I going to get fewer votes engaging in mass-slaughter of civilians or prolonging the war?".
 
As has already been pointed out, hundreds of thousands were already being killed in Japan by massive B-29 raids. Many millions had been murdered by the Japanese in China in a war of aggression that was 12 years old by 1945 and hundreds of thousands of deaths across the entire Pacific region can be laid at the feet of the Emperor and the military men who served him. Trumans responsibility was to the men under his command and to the citizens who he represented, not to a nation that had been waging aggressive war for over a decade.

Quote In addition, an invasion was unnecessary and the war in China was looking to resolve itself rapidly, especially with Japanese supplies cut-off and reinforcements from the US and Australia sure to arrive if the war did not end.
 
An invasion was neccessary for the Allies to meet their objective of unconditional surrender. This policy was created to avoid the same, "you didn't really beat us in the last war so we're going to fight it all over again" philosophy that led to WW II in the first place. While Japan didn't have the forces to mount offensive operations in late 1945, they were more than capable of using suicide tactics like the Kamikazes to make an invasion very expensive in lives on both sides though.

Quote While I hate to point out the obvious... the holocaust in Europe, affectionately dubbed "the Holocaust", was actually larger than the one in China when you consider the number of Slavic persons killed, also victims of Hitler's hatred.
 
That's debatable, as how many of those deaths can be laid at Stalins own feet, a man who already had the deaths of millions of his own citizens on his hands long before WW II and who had decapitated his army shortly before the war began. It's a toss up whos' hatred was worse for the slavic people, Stalins or Hitlers, 6 million Ukranians died in the famine caused by Stalins insane policies alone.
 
Quote The remnants of the Japanese military fighting on would have been small and demoralised. The Emperor was revered in Japan and his word, and the cultural connotations of said word, were the main causes for the fanaticism of the Japanese soldiers.
 
The Japanese were still fighting on beyond all hope in late 1945 and causing more Allied casualties with suicidal attacks than in combat earlier in the war. It was the horror of the bombs that finally woke the Japanese nation up to the futility of continuing to oppose the Allies. Yamamoto was right about waking the giant in 1941, he just didn't understand the full dimensions of the situation.
 
Quote I have to say that this is terrible logic. It is akin to promoting the execution of shoplifters as they may well have ended up doing something worse. To argue otherwise would simply be conjecture.
 
The U.S. was projecting a million ALLIED casualties with an invasion of Japan, who knows what the civilian casualties would have been but it certainly would have greatly exceeded the numbers killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Japanese had already demonstrated a total contempt for international conventions and human rights, claiming they would have honored an armistice and peace treaty under the Emperor and military government is naive. Like I said, the Japanese government had an opportunity and every reason to surrender long before 1945 but it would have meant execution of many senior officers for war crimes and removal of the power structure then present in Japan.

Quote While my example is slightly different and far more radical, I do so for the point of criticising the moral ground on which you base that statement. You could just have easily argued that we should have just let Hitler conquer the world and continue the holocaust. In the end, it may not have resulted in as many deaths as the fighting.
 
The bombs were dropped to end a war not start one, something they succeeded in doing and equating the Allied cause with the Nazi one is hardly relevant. Claiming a negotiated peace would have resolved the conflict ignores the past actions of the Japanese Emperor and military who had TOTAL control of Japan. There were no civilian authorities to negotiate with, they had all been removed or eliminated by the military.
 
Quote So I propose the question to you, from the opposite perspective. Would you feel that the right thing was done if a foreign power deployed a nuclear weapon and slaughtered your family and loved ones in order to preserve the life of its own soldiers?
 
I'm Canadian, we don't tend to try and take over the world. Faced with the kind of threat posed by the brutal dictatorships present in Germany and Japan in WW II I think all options were on the table. It was called total war for a reason. The democracies were fighting for their lives and the lives of their civilians. It's a warning for all totalitarian governments to understand what the stakes are when you go to war with a powerful nation governed by it own people

Quote Would it be acceptable for, say, Afghanistan to have nuked major American cities to save itself from launching an infeasible invasion?
 
The U.S. isn't in Afghanistan waging a war of aggression, it's there to remove a threat that has already taken the lives of thousands of American civilians.
 
A good post!
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 11:58
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

An invasion was neccessary for the Allies to meet their objective of unconditional surrender. This policy was created to avoid the same, "you didn't really beat us in the last war so we're going to fight it all over again" philosophy that led to WW II in the first place.

Don't know what history the second sentence is referring too.
Quote The U.S. isn't in Afghanistan waging a war of aggression, it's there to remove a threat that has already taken the lives of thousands of American civilians.

You got the question backwards. Not to mention that sentence is highly debatable (but I'm not really interested in debating it again right now just so you know)


What has to be remembered is that the US thought that Nuclear weapons were just another bomb, and they were not aware of the long lasting fall out from radiation. They only found out about that in tests after the surrender. If they were to drop another bomb now, that would be worse because they aren't dropping it in ignorance. (Not saying it was right or wrong in the first place, just saying it would be more wrong now we have the knowledge of the full effect)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 12:09
Depends on the preconditions of what constitutes a necessity. It was not necessary for the US to nuke Japan in order to defeat them militarily and achieve a favorable outcome of the war. It was however necessary in order to spare the cost of a land invasion and further bombings, to test the new nuclear technology in practice and to frighten Russia, whose armies badly outmatched the West in 1945. Three flies with one stone.
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hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 17:42
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

Don't know what history the second sentence is referring too.
 
The belief of many Gerrmans that they weren't really defeated on the battlefield in WW I leading directly to a rematch in WW II.
Quote You got the question backwards. Not to mention that sentence is highly debatable (but I'm not really interested in debating it again right now just so you know)
 
The question wasn't very well worded, and is hardly relevant to this discussion anyway. The 9-11 attacks were the initial act starting the current conflict in Afghanistan which would make that country the aggressor even if the Taliban didn't directly participate. The Al Qaeda bases were located there.



Edited by DukeC - 22-May-2009 at 17:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zaitsev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-May-2009 at 16:14
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

As has already been pointed out, hundreds of thousands were already being killed in Japan by massive B-29 raids. Many millions had been murdered by the Japanese in China in a war of aggression that was 12 years old by 1945 and hundreds of thousands of deaths across the entire Pacific region can be laid at the feet of the Emperor and the military men who served him. Trumans responsibility was to the men under his command and to the citizens who he represented, not to a nation that had been waging aggressive war for over a decade.


I may firstly point out that you are now applying a slight moral perspective to one decision and not the other. With power comes responsibility, yes. With power comes responsibility to use that power in the most just an appropriate manner possible. That includes upholding the moral principles embodied by the US legal system and culture, which it likes to regularly use to portray itself as morally superior to its foes.

We, in our modern world, look with great disdain and great disgust upon individuals who would use weapons of mass destruction against civilians. The decision to use a nuclear weapon to make a struggle easier is no different between nation and individual. I again challenge you to justify a nuclear attack by terrorists, Iraq, North Korea or anyone against the US. In fact that would be a skewed comparison as the US is still a powerful state. I challenge you to justify the US, at this moment, launching a nuclear attack against Baghdad. Iraq is already beaten, but there will be future casualties. In your mind, would it be just for America to launch a nuclear attack on cities in Iraq?

Quote An invasion was neccessary for the Allies to meet their objective of unconditional surrender.


Again, this was a flawed policy that was specifically engineered to bring about a result in which the US COULD test its nuclear arsenal.

Quote This policy was created to avoid the same, "you didn't really beat us in the last war so we're going to fight it all over again" philosophy that led to WW II in the first place


That philosophy really had nothing to do with World War 2 at all. What exactly are you even talking about?

Quote While Japan didn't have the forces to mount offensive operations in late 1945, they were more than capable of using suicide tactics like the Kamikazes to make an invasion very expensive in lives on both sides though.


Again, an unnecessary invasion.

Quote That's debatable, as how many of those deaths can be laid at Stalins own feet, a man who already had the deaths of millions of his own citizens on his hands long before WW II and who had decapitated his army shortly before the war began. It's a toss up whos' hatred was worse for the slavic people, Stalins or Hitlers, 6 million Ukranians died in the famine caused by Stalins insane policies alone.


Regardless of what you think of Stalin, without him the war would have been lost. It is doubtful that these deaths can be attributed to Stalin at the time and there is no strong evidence to link him to such things which makes that a simple stab in the dark.

 
Quote The Japanese were still fighting on beyond all hope in late 1945 and causing more Allied casualties with suicidal attacks than in combat earlier in the war. It was the horror of the bombs that finally woke the Japanese nation up to the futility of continuing to oppose the Allies. Yamamoto was right about waking the giant in 1941, he just didn't understand the full dimensions of the situation.


That really doesn't answer what you quoted at all. We were talking about negotiating surrender with the Emperor, and you talked about what happened before that could be done.

 
Quote The U.S. was projecting a million ALLIED casualties with an invasion of Japan, who knows what the civilian casualties would have been but it certainly would have greatly exceeded the numbers killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Japanese had already demonstrated a total contempt for international conventions and human rights, claiming they would have honored an armistice and peace treaty under the Emperor and military government is naive. Like I said, the Japanese government had an opportunity and every reason to surrender long before 1945 but it would have meant execution of many senior officers for war crimes and removal of the power structure then present in Japan.


Again you speak of an unnecessary invasion. I may also point out that, while the Japanese did commit a number of terrible atrocities, the US certainly did so too. Including afterwards engaging in a witch hunt amongst the officers of the Japanese military. While they killed a lot of horrible people, they also executed people solely for being successful.

Continuing however, you demonstrate a poor understanding of Japanese culture at the time. The Emperor was not just a politician, he was a God to the Japanese people. His word is the CAUSE for the fanaticism experienced. If he ordered a stand down I can tell you that the vast majority of Japan's military would stand down. Also, Japan had no reason to surrender long before 1945. When, in 1945, they did have a reason to surrender it was refused by the Allies so that they would have opportunities to play diplomacy and test their new toys.

Quote The bombs were dropped to end a war not start one, something they succeeded in doing and equating the Allied cause with the Nazi one is hardly relevant. Claiming a negotiated peace would have resolved the conflict ignores the past actions of the Japanese Emperor and military who had TOTAL control of Japan. There were no civilian authorities to negotiate with, they had all been removed or eliminated by the military.


You just argued that the Emperor would be ignored, and now you say he had total control? You seem to be contradicting yourself. However, the original German advance DID NOT start a world war. You could equally claim that US sanctions against Japan started that conflict. The World War was started by Britain and France. Just or not, it is a similar decision.
 
Quote I'm Canadian, we don't tend to try and take over the world. Faced with the kind of threat posed by the brutal dictatorships present in Germany and Japan in WW II I think all options were on the table. It was called total war for a reason.


It was called total war to justify despicable actions on all sides.

Quote The democracies were fighting for their lives and the lives of their civilians. It's a warning for all totalitarian governments to understand what the stakes are when you go to war with a powerful nation governed by it own people


Again, you ignore the fact that it was Britain and France that started the war. You also argue that democracy is an inherently superior government. It is not. Democracy is, in its purist form, xenophobic, discriminatory, protectionist and tends toward mediocrity. Totalitarian governments, or more appropriately called autocracies, tend to more harsh extremes which may be both good or bad.

Quote The U.S. isn't in Afghanistan waging a war of aggression, it's there to remove a threat that has already taken the lives of thousands of American civilians.


If you believe that I find it quite amusing. The U.S. is in Afghanistan to justify a number of extreme internal policies and to keep people subdued. The President also needed to appear as if he was acting on a threat which never really originated from Afghanistan. While there were definitely a number of terrorist targets in Afghanistan, the international consequences of an invasion were only going to create more terrorists than the US could kill. In fact, in many ways, the war on terror made terrorists legitimate soldiers in many respects. The US was justifying their enemies' cause through what WAS a war of aggression.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zaitsev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-May-2009 at 16:17
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

The belief of many Gerrmans that they weren't really defeated on the battlefield in WW I leading directly to a rematch in WW II.


Not so. The treaty of Versailles coupled with the harsh economic circumstances of the time and the rise of Communism to the East led to Hitler's rise to power and the inevitable confrontation. The treaty alone would have led to problems, regardless of who came to power as it was brutally one-sided and opposed by even the Allies, with the exception of France.

In addition, one can quite well argue that policies of appeasement led to World War 2.

Quote The question wasn't very well worded, and is hardly relevant to this discussion anyway. The 9-11 attacks were the initial act starting the current conflict in Afghanistan which would make that country the aggressor even if the Taliban didn't directly participate. The Al Qaeda bases were located there.


Once could argue, with equal validity, that the terrorists receive flight training in the US, making it a civil war.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-May-2009 at 20:09
Originally posted by Zaitsev Zaitsev wrote:


I may firstly point out that you are now applying a slight moral perspective to one decision and not the other. With power comes responsibility, yes. With power comes responsibility to use that power in the most just an appropriate manner possible. That includes upholding the moral principles embodied by the US legal system and culture, which it likes to regularly use to portray itself as morally superior to its foes.
 
Yes, with power does come responsibility, and the first responsibility of the U.S. government was to defeat the powers that had been threatening the very existance of international law and respect for basic human rights with whatever means it had at hand.
Quote We, in our modern world, look with great disdain and great disgust upon individuals who would use weapons of mass destruction against civilians. The decision to use a nuclear weapon to make a struggle easier is no different between nation and individual. I again challenge you to justify a nuclear attack by terrorists, Iraq, North Korea or anyone against the US. In fact that would be a skewed comparison as the US is still a powerful state. I challenge you to justify the US, at this moment, launching a nuclear attack against Baghdad. Iraq is already beaten, but there will be future casualties. In your mind, would it be just for America to launch a nuclear attack on cities in Iraq?
 
Yes, because we in the modern world understand the full implications of nuclear and other WMDs, as Omar points out many of the implications around nuclears weapons were poorly understood at the time. It was another big bomb to many political and military leaders whos' first priority was to end the most destructive war ever. With the advent of total war the line became very blurry between combatant and civilian in WW II. Entire nations were mobilized to produce the armies and the arms to fight across the entire planet.
 
A nuclear attack by terrorists would probably be counter-productive as terrorism has more of a political agenda and objective than military. In WW II the objective was to defeat the Axis powers as rapidly as possible to end the great loss of military personel and CIVILIANS on all sides.
 
I don't think the U.S. was legaly justified in launching a conventional attack into Iraq, let alone nuclear.
 
Quote Again, this was a flawed policy that was specifically engineered to bring about a result in which the US COULD test its nuclear arsenal.
 
When the policy was implemented it wasn't even known if nuclear weapons were pracitcal, now you're being reductionist.

Quote That philosophy really had nothing to do with World War 2 at all. What exactly are you even talking about?
 
We're going to have to disagree on that one, much of the anger Hitler and the Nazis tapped into was due to a widespread belief among many Germans that its' armed forces had not been defeated on the battlefield, but that Germany had been betrayed at the bargaining table at Versailles.

Quote Again, an unnecessary invasion.
 
And you're putting your faith in a government that had already diplayed it had no credibility when it came to respecting international agreements, which would include an armistice and peace treaty. An armistice with the Allies could have easily been used by Japan to buy more time to continue the war. 

Quote Regardless of what you think of Stalin, without him the war would have been lost. It is doubtful that these deaths can be attributed to Stalin at the time and there is no strong evidence to link him to such things which makes that a simple stab in the dark.
 
Without Stalin Hitler wouldn't have been in a position to start the war in the first place. It was the secret facilities in the U.S.S.R. like the one at Kama that allowed the Germans to circumvent Versailles and lay the foundations to rebuild its' armed forces in the first place. It was the destruction of the Red Army officer Corps in 1937 that left the nation so vulnerable and it was the 1939 pact Stalin made with Hitler that gave him free reign in Poland. Stalin was no hero.

I'm out of time today, I'll try and get around to answers some of the other points latter.

 


Edited by DukeC - 25-May-2009 at 20:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zaitsev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2009 at 04:21
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

Yes, with power does come responsibility, and the first responsibility of the U.S. government was to defeat the powers that had been threatening the very existance of international law and respect for basic human rights with whatever means it had at hand.


I would like to point out that you are saying the the US had to prevent the massacre of civilians by massacring civilians. This seems a touch morally dubious and counter-intuitive.


Quote Yes, because we in the modern world understand the full implications of nuclear and other WMDs, as Omar points out many of the implications around nuclears weapons were poorly understood at the time. It was another big bomb to many political and military leaders whos' first priority was to end the most destructive war ever. With the advent of total war the line became very blurry between combatant and civilian in WW II. Entire nations were mobilized to produce the armies and the arms to fight across the entire planet.


Again, the term total war is a fallacy invented for the purposes of allowing the targeting of civilians. At all times in history civilians have fed and equipped armies, nothing changed in the 20th century in that regard. The only change was that weapons had extended in range so that those people COULD be killed, and this needed to be justified.

In addition, ignorance is not an excuse for a gross violation of human rights. If the US cared about this issue, they could easily have tested the bomb more extensively, but this would have weakened the advantage they would gain internationally.
 
Quote A nuclear attack by terrorists would probably be counter-productive as terrorism has more of a political agenda and objective than military. In WW II the objective was to defeat the Axis powers as rapidly as possible to end the great loss of military personel and CIVILIANS on all sides.
 
I don't think the U.S. was legaly justified in launching a conventional attack into Iraq, let alone nuclear.


To a certain extent you're correct. A better example I could have used was Hezbollah nuking Jerusalem in their recent conflict.
 
Quote When the policy was implemented it wasn't even known if nuclear weapons were pracitcal, now you're being reductionist.


While it was not known for sure, the US certainly wanted to find out. The war was already at a stage where loss was unforeseeable, so delaying the ending to test their weapon was something they were willing to do.

Quote We're going to have to disagree on that one, much of the anger Hitler and the Nazis tapped into was due to a widespread belief among many Germans that its' armed forces had not been defeated on the battlefield, but that Germany had been betrayed at the bargaining table at Versailles.


While betrayal at Versailles was definitely key, I don't believe the feeling they had not lost was really a key factor in any way. There were much more significant influences at the time.

Quote And you're putting your faith in a government that had already diplayed it had no credibility when it came to respecting international agreements, which would include an armistice and peace treaty. An armistice with the Allies could have easily been used by Japan to buy more time to continue the war.


Unlikely, as their equipment was already destroyed and the surrender could easily have been on conditions of observation and still been accepted.

Quote Without Stalin Hitler wouldn't have been in a position to start the war in the first place. It was the secret facilities in the U.S.S.R. like the one at Kama that allowed the Germans to circumvent Versailles and lay the foundations to rebuild its' armed forces in the first place.


While the facility at Kama was quite useful to Germany, it likely would have occurred anyway. At any rate, without Stalin's policies of industrialisation Russia would have lost as terribly as it did in the first world war. Germany would likely still have developed appropriate military tactics and Hitler still would have risen to power.

As for Poland, one can equally blame the Allies and their weak-willed policy of appeasement, while Stalin was calling for immediate action to stop Hitler.

Quote Stalin was no hero.


I agree.

Quote I'm out of time today, I'll try and get around to answers some of the other points latter.


Look forward to it.

 
[/QUOTE]
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2009 at 18:11
Originally posted by Zaitsev Zaitsev wrote:


I would like to point out that you are saying the the US had to prevent the massacre of civilians by massacring civilians. This seems a touch morally dubious and counter-intuitive.
 
The entire nation of Japan had been subsumed by the military into the war effort, by what imaginary criteria are you defining the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as civilians. 

Quote Again, the term total war is a fallacy invented for the purposes of allowing the targeting of civilians. At all times in history civilians have fed and equipped armies, nothing changed in the 20th century in that regard. The only change was that weapons had extended in range so that those people COULD be killed, and this needed to be justified.
 
The modern militaries of WW II couldn't function without the massive mobilization of the participating nations to supply the personel, weapons and supplies needed on a constant basis. The scale and duration of combat underwent a revolutionary change in the 20th century. The only close comparisons in history would be prolonged campaigns like Napoleans invasion of Russia, the Mongol conquest of most of Asia and perhaps Alexanders campaign. In earlier times most of the armies involved consisted of professional soldiers with years of training using weapons produced by artisans. WW II and the war before it saw masses of civilian soldiers using mass produced weapons on an industrial scale. I guess by your logic the allies shouldn't have bombed the Ruhr because they might kill some "civilians"- even if it was where most of the weapons the Nazis were using to try and annihilate the rest of European civilization were produced.

that's all the time I have for this today.


Edited by DukeC - 26-May-2009 at 18:15
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zaitsev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-May-2009 at 15:46
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

The entire nation of Japan had been subsumed by the military into the war effort, by what imaginary criteria are you defining the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as civilians.


While it would have been easy to use a simple dictionary, I made sure to find the most applicable definition I could.

Originally posted by Additional Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention Additional Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention wrote:


Article 50: Definition of Civilians and Civilian Population
  1. A civilian is any person who does not belong to one of the categories of persons referred to in Article 4 A 111, lIl, (31 and 161 of the Third Convention and in Article 43 of this Protocol. In case of doubt whether a person is a civilian, that person shall be considered to be a civilian.
  2. The civilian population comprises all persons who are civilians.
  3. The presence within the civilian population of individuals who do not come within the definition of civilians does not deprive the population of its civilian character.
Article 51: Protection of the Civilian Population
  1. The civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against dangers arising from military operations. To give effect to this protection, the following rules, which are additional to other applicable rules of international law, shall be observed in all circumstances.
  2. The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.
  3. Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this Section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.
  4. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are:
    1. those which are not directed at a specific military objective;
    2. those which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or
    3. those which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by this Protocol; and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.
  5. Among others, the following types of attacks are to be considered as indiscriminate:
    1. an attack by bombardment by any methods or means which treats as a single military objective a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located in a city, town, village or other area containing a similar concentration of civilians or civilian objects; and
    2. an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.
So by international standards now established that would also be classified as a gross violation of human rights and a war crime.

Quote The modern militaries of WW II couldn't function without the massive mobilization of the participating nations to supply the personel, weapons and supplies needed on a constant basis. The scale and duration of combat underwent a revolutionary change in the 20th century. The only close comparisons in history would be prolonged campaigns like Napoleans invasion of Russia, the Mongol conquest of most of Asia and perhaps Alexanders campaign. In earlier times most of the armies involved consisted of professional soldiers with years of training using weapons produced by artisans. WW II and the war before it saw masses of civilian soldiers using mass produced weapons on an industrial scale.


Again, you're right. You're also only talking about scale, not the simple fact that civilians produced equipment for armies long before WW2. Simply because it happened on a larger scale does not change the morality of the issue.

Quote I guess by your logic the allies shouldn't have bombed the Ruhr because they might kill some "civilians"- even if it was where most of the weapons the Nazis were using to try and annihilate the rest of European civilization were produced.


Actually no. I'll refer to the definition I used above, where bombing manufacturing facilities would be deemed acceptable because it's a specific military target.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-May-2009 at 20:27
We could go around in circles on this forever.
 
The fact is war itself is immoral and no nation adhered to the Geneva Conventions in WW II, some like the Soviet Union didn't even sign them which left millions of Soviet POWs without even rudimentary legal protection.
 
Roosevelts policy of Unconditional surrender wasn't intented to just defeat fascism, its' goal was to destroy the roots of the movement and was implemented several years before atomic weapons were successfully tested. The bombs were used to end one of the most brutal regimes on the planet and a war that had claimed the lives of millions. Taken out of context, yes they were immoral, it's just as likely that given the overall objective of the Allies-who were the only real moral authority in the world at the time- if they had gone ahead with the invasion of Japan they would have been condemned for the resulting slaughter by the same people who condemn the nuclear attacks. I think it had more to do with Cold War rhetoric and a Stalinist government that wanted to deflect attention from its' own dismal human rights record than it does with real history.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-May-2009 at 21:42
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

We could go around in circles on this forever.
 
The fact is war itself is immoral and no nation adhered to the Geneva Conventions in WW II, some like the Soviet Union didn't even sign them which left millions of Soviet POWs without even rudimentary legal protection.
 
Roosevelts policy of Unconditional surrender wasn't intented to just defeat fascism, its' goal was to destroy the roots of the movement and was implemented several years before atomic weapons were successfully tested. The bombs were used to end one of the most brutal regimes on the planet and a war that had claimed the lives of millions. Taken out of context, yes they were immoral, it's just as likely that given the overall objective of the Allies-who were the only real moral authority in the world at the time- if they had gone ahead with the invasion of Japan they would have been condemned for the resulting slaughter by the same people who condemn the nuclear attacks. I think it had more to do with Cold War rhetoric and a Stalinist government that wanted to deflect attention from its' own dismal human rights record than it does with real history.
 
I cannot understand why people keep seeing a difference between SU in  Cold War and America. Yes, Stalinism was brutal but it ended in 1953 and communist regime became more calm in later years with exception of Afganistan. Count how many wars did America start since 1945 and how human rights were violated in occupied contries. And justification in most cases is the same -- end of brutal regimes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote warwolf1969 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-May-2009 at 22:55
The fact is war itself is immoral and no nation adhered to the Geneva Conventions in WW II, some like the Soviet Union didn't even sign them which left millions of Soviet POWs without even rudimentary legal protection.
 
Therefore the acts that were outside of the Geneva Conventions were illegal as well as immoral.  Thank you for sorting that out.  The problem is not to do with the cold war.  It is simply that the allies convicted both German and Japanise leaders of war crimes.  But the actions of the allies during the war were often just as bad.  If the allies accept that their actions are war crimes then they would have convicted and executed a number of people for the same crimes they commited.  Who would have tried the allied commanders then?  Unfortunately people still refuse to accept the idea that the allied bombings of places like Dresden, Tokyo, Nagasaki etc were actually war crimes.  For the simple reason that they look on WW2 as war of right vs wrong.  And because the allies were 'in the right' everything they did was automatically right.  But to use a quote, two wrongs don't make a right.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Husaria Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 01:03
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 17:05
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

 
I cannot understand why people keep seeing a difference between SU in  Cold War and America. Yes, Stalinism was brutal but it ended in 1953 and communist regime became more calm in later years with exception of Afganistan. Count how many wars did America start since 1945 and how human rights were violated in occupied contries. And justification in most cases is the same -- end of brutal regimes.
 
Because the two societies were diametrically opposed to each other, one very open and one very closed. I guess it's inevitable they would come into conflict considering Americans desire for open governments and markets to deal with abroad after WW II and the Kremlins desire for control at any cost.
 
And Stalin may have died in 1953, but the men who came after him were molded by the system he created and were only lesser in their degree of brutality and paranoia, not free of it. The Soviet Union remained a modern terror state under them with the worlds largest internal security force and prison system.
 
And while the U.S. demobilized after WW II the Soviets never did. The whole Soviet state was based on creating an illusion of constant outside threat to justify the almost complete control it demanded over the lives of its citizens.
 
This also resulted in aggressive actions like violently crushing any independence movements in Eastern Europe and supporting wars in Greece and Korea. The U.S. was caught flatfooted by Korea, it had only one combat-ready division, the 82nd Airborne, all others were on occupation duty or at partial strength due to deep military cutbacks. Something the voters demanded as the war ended. It was only by recalling thousands of WW II veterans and pulling mothballed equipment out of storage and rushing it to Korea that the country was held by the slimmest of margins. The U.S. almost ran out of munitions in the first months of the conflict because production had been slashed to nothing, that hardly sounds like a nation bent on world domination in 1950. On the the other side the North Koreans had seven fully armed, trained, equipped and Soviet "advised" infantry divisions and an armored brigade of 250 T-34/85s that did so well in the last years of WW II. Plus an impressive airforce and all the artillery the army needed. All courtesy of the U.S.S.R.
 
After the crisis in Korean it was deemed neccessary in the U.S. to spend much more on defence and begin a program to oppose further Soviet expansion.
 
Who do you think was more responsible for the origins the Cold War, a former shoe salesman from Missouri named Harry...or a professional revolutionary who already had the blood of millions on his hands?


Edited by DukeC - 30-May-2009 at 17:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 17:23
Originally posted by warwolf1969 warwolf1969 wrote:

 
Therefore the acts that were outside of the Geneva Conventions were illegal as well as immoral.  Thank you for sorting that out.  The problem is not to do with the cold war.  It is simply that the allies convicted both German and Japanise leaders of war crimes.  But the actions of the allies during the war were often just as bad.  If the allies accept that their actions are war crimes then they would have convicted and executed a number of people for the same crimes they commited.  Who would have tried the allied commanders then?  Unfortunately people still refuse to accept the idea that the allied bombings of places like Dresden, Tokyo, Nagasaki etc were actually war crimes.  For the simple reason that they look on WW2 as war of right vs wrong.  And because the allies were 'in the right' everything they did was automatically right.  But to use a quote, two wrongs don't make a right.
 
Ask yourself what this world would look like if the Nazis and Imperial Japan had won WW II, something that looked to be very possible in early 1942 before Midway, Stalingrad, Alamein and other allied victories turned the tide. Allied victory may seem inevitable to us now but at the time governments and entire nations were fighting for their lives. We wouldn't even be discussing human rights and international law now, just the greatness of Hitler and Hirohito.
 
Unleashing armies is never neat and tiddy, which is the real lesson of every war.


Edited by DukeC - 30-May-2009 at 18:34
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