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    Posted: 16-Jun-2009 at 12:09
So you would force a negociated capitulation out of the Japaneese?
You do know that these are the guys who pulled the trigger with their own toes not to get caught by the americans? :D
- I'm just thinking with the japanese mentality it wouldn't have ended before there had been and ground invasion of Japan. And like the Nazi-government they wouldn't care about the civilians now that their dreams of a great empire have been crushed.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2009 at 15:02
The fact is that after FRD unfortunate discourse no attempt was made by the Allies to discuss with Japan's representatives conditions for surrender.
Truman could have had the courage to end the war by offering some guarantees to the Japanese. One thing especially: maintaining the Emperor. That was what Japanese leaders feared most that would result from "unconditional surrender". Actually, MacArthur was among the prominent leaders on the US side who spoke openly about punishing the emperor and abolishing the Japanese monarchy.
The "mokusatsu" episode as the result of the Potsdam Declaration almost every time invocated by those who support the atomic bombing to held the Japanese responsible. I think that it only proves that in fact Harry was just looking for another excuse to drop the bombs since it was not an oficial response it was in fact a declaration published in Asahi Shimbun. You can find the text of the declaration and the following responses here: (http://ibiblio.net/pub/academic/history/marshall/military/wwii/declaration.of.war/jap_surrender.txtis)
I will quote the significanrt passage:
The Japanese Government are ready to accept the terms enumerated in the joint declaration which was issued at Potsdam on July 26th, 1945, by the heads of the Governments of the
United States, Great Britain, and China, and later subscribed to by the Soviet Government, with the understanding that the said declaration does not comprise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty as a Sovereign Ruler.

This was sent by Japan through Switzerland in the 10th of August. And it was rejected the second day by the US reply as follows:

"From the moment of surrender the authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government to rule the state shall be subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied powers who will take such steps as he deems proper to effectuate the surrender terms.

"The Emperor will be required to authorize and ensure the signature by the Government of Japan and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters of the surrender terms necessary to carry out the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration, and shall issue his commands to all the Japanese military, naval and air authorities and to all the forces under their control wherever
located to cease active operations and to surrender their arms, and to issue such other orders as the Supreme Commander may require to give effect to the surrender terms.

"Immediately upon the surrender the Japanese Government shall transport prisoners of war and civilian internees to places of safety, as directed, where they can quickly be placed aboard
Allied transports.

"The ultimate form of government of Japan shall, in accordance with the Potsdam Declaration, be established by the freely expressed will of the Japanese people.

"The armed forces of the Allied Powers will remain in Japan until the purposes set forth in the Potsdam Declaration are achieved."


I bolded the terms that really were troublesome for the Japanese.
I want to remind to all those who think that the two bombs ended the war that previously to the Potsdam Declaration Japan was trying to obtain a cease fire mediated by USSR and tha the Allies decoded all transmissions between Tokyo and Moscow. So they could have done something about it. Instead, they clang to "unconditional surrender".
The first answer to Potsdam Declaration from Japan was sent in the 10th of August, after Nagasaki and after USSR entered the war. The acceptance of surrender was sent on the 19 th of August after the Soviet forces crushed the Japanese and were on a full scale offensive. No atomic bomb was dropped between these two dates. The Soviets got their hands on some islands in the Pacific and set a foot in Korea.
The Korean war was a direct result of USSR joining the war against Japan.
 
The Japanese had committed horrible atrocities during their reign of terror. But while those who were the leaders that allowed these atrocities were eventually punished, a whole lot of innocent people died before it happened and also after.
If pursuing the retribution only leads to more bloodshed isn't it better to forget about it? 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2009 at 15:44
The Potsdam Declaration was a reitteration of the Allies' collective policy of "unconditional surrender."
 
Point five of the Declaration stated, quite clearly, that the terms for surrender would not be deviated from; there were no alternatives and there would be no delay acceptable.  The Japanese response did not conform to these terms as the Emperor remaining a sovereign ruler was incompatible with unconditional surrender.  His eventual status, as decided later, was a different matter for a different reality.
 
Japan was in no position to negotiate anything, and the onus for the bombs is on the Japanese government of the day, not on the President of the United States.
 
Grieving for innocent civilians in the Second World War is a pointless exercise.  The age was defined in large part by the corpses of innocent civilians lying about in all affected areas like so many cigarette butts.  Why should the Japanese have been spared?
 
The use of the two bombs worked.  The war ended.  Perhaps we are too detached from the emotions and passions of the time period to ralate to what happened during that period.  When the last step was in view as it was in 1945, obsessing over 100,000 additional innocents after 50 or 60 millions had been destroyed seems absurd.
 
  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2009 at 19:36
Originally posted by pikeshot1600

Grieving for innocent civilians in the Second World War is a pointless exercise.  The age was defined in large part by the corpses of innocent civilians lying about in all affected areas like so many cigarette butts.  Why should the Japanese have been spared?
 


eye for an eye then, that's fine, but then you can't claim moral superiority. then it's no logner 'good guys vs bad guys' but 'bad guys vs bad guys'. as simple as that.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2009 at 22:43
Originally posted by Temujin

Originally posted by pikeshot1600

Grieving for innocent civilians in the Second World War is a pointless exercise.  The age was defined in large part by the corpses of innocent civilians lying about in all affected areas like so many cigarette butts.  Why should the Japanese have been spared?
 


eye for an eye then, that's fine, but then you can't claim moral superiority. then it's no logner 'good guys vs bad guys' but 'bad guys vs bad guys'. as simple as that.
 
I am not claiming moral anything.  War is legalized mass murder regardless of which side one finds oneself on, and very many people involved in war behave like savages.
 
So why is it assumed by anyone that Harry Truman would have (or should have) been concerned about Japanese civilians?  His job was to be concerned for the interests of the United States.
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 17-Jun-2009 at 00:16
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2009 at 09:36

Originally posted by pikeshot1600

I am not claiming moral anything. War is legalized mass murder regardless of which side one finds oneself on, and very many people involved in war behave like savages.

That's the key word, pike. I will like first to bring forward two pieces of documents from here: http://www.dannen.com/decision/index.html

Appeal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Aerial Bombardment of Civilian Populations, September 1, 1939

The President of the United States to the Governments of France, Germany, Italy, Poland and His Britannic Majesty, September 1, 1939

The ruthless bombing from the air of civilians in unfortified centers of population during the course of the hostilities which have raged in various quarters of the earth during the past few years, which has resulted in the maiming and in the death of thousands of defenseless men, women, and children, has sickened the hearts of every civilized man and woman, and has profoundly shocked the conscience of humanity.

If resort is had to this form of inhuman barbarism during the period of the tragic conflagration with which the world is now confronted, hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings who have no responsibility for, and who are not even remotely participating in, the hostilities which have now broken out, will lose their lives. I am therefore addressing this urgent appeal to every government which may be engaged in hostilities publicly to affirm its determination that its armed forces shall in no event, and under no circumstances, undertake the bombardment from the air of civilian populations or of unfortified cities, upon the understanding that these same rules of warfare will be scrupulously observed by all of their opponents. I request an immediate reply.

In a radio speech to the nation on August 9, 1945, President Truman called Hiroshima "a military base." It seems likely, considering his July 25 diary entry, that he was not aware that Hiroshima was a city. Otherwise, he was being untruthful about the nature of the target.

Truman delivered his speech from the White House at 10 P.M. Washington time on August 9, 1945. By this time, a second atomic bomb already had destroyed the city of Nagasaki.

The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians. But that attack is only a warning of things to come. If Japan does not surrender, bombs will have to be dropped on her war industries and, unfortunately, thousands of civilian lives will be lost. I urge Japanese civilians to leave industrial cities immediately, and save themselves from destruction.

Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, Containing the Public Messages, Speeches and Statements of the President April 12 to December 31, 1945 (Washington D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1961) page 212. The full text also was published in the New York Times, August 10, 1945, page 12.

As for legal concerns, let's take a look at the Hague Convention, ratified by the US Senate in 1908:

ARTICLE XXII
The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited.
ARTICLE XXIII
In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden:
(a) To employ poison or poisoned weapons;
(b) To kill or wound treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army;
(c) To kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defense, has surrendered at discretion;
(d) To declare that no quarter will be given;
(e) To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering;
(f) ...
ARTICLE XXV
The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited.
ARTICLE XXVI
The officer in command of an attacking force must, before commencing a bombardment, except in cases of assault, do all in his power to warn the authorities.
ARTICLE XXVII
In sieges and bombardments all necessary steps must be taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to religion, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided that they are not being used at the time for military purposes.
It is the duty of the besieged to indicated the presence of such buildings or places by distinctive and visible signs, which shall be notified to the enemy beforehand.

And let's take a look at what draft rules of aerial warfare proposed by the USA in 1923:

ARTICLE XXII
Aerial bombardment for the purpose of terrorizing the civilian population, of destroying or damaging private property not of military character, or of injuring non-combatants is prohibited.
ARTICLE XXIII
Aerial bombardment for the purpose of enforcing compliance with requisitions in kind or payment of contributions in money is prohibited.
ARTICLE XXIV
(1) Aerial bombardment is legitimate only when directed at a military objective, that is to say, an object of which the destruction or injury would constitute a distinct military advantage to the belligerent.
(2) Such bombardment is legitimate only when directed exclusively at the following objectives: military forces; military works; military establishments or depots; factories constituting important and well-known centres engaged in the manufacture of arms, ammunition or distinctively military supplies; lines of communication or transportation used for military purposes.
(3) The bombardment of cities, towns, villages, dwellings or buildings not in the immediate neighborhood of the operations of land forces is prohibited. In cases where the objectives specified in paragraph 2 are so situated, that they cannot be bombarded without the indiscriminate bombardment of the civilian population, the aircraft must abstain from bombardment.
(4) In the immediate neighborhood of the operations of land forces, the bombardment of cities, towns, villages, dwellings or buildings is legitimate provided that there exists a reasonable presumption that the military concentration is sufficiently important to justify such bombardment, having regard to the danger thus posed to the civilian population.
(5) A belligerent state is liable to pay compensation for injuries to person or to property caused by violation by any of its officers or forces of the provisions of this article.
ARTICLE XXV
In bombardment by aircraft, all necessary steps must be taken by the commander to spare as far as possible buildings dedicated to public worship, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospital ships, hospitals and other places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided such buildings, objects, or places are not at the time used for military purposes. Such buildings, objects, and places must by day be indicated by marks visible to aircraft. The use of marks to indicate other buildings, objects, or places than those specified above is to be deemed an act of perfidy. The marks used as aforesaid shall be in the case of buildings protected under the Geneva Convention the red cross on a white background, and in the case of other protected buildings a large rectangular panel divided diagonally into two pointed triangular portions, one black and the other white.
A belligerent who desires to secure by night the protection for the hospitals and other privileged buildings above mentioned must take the necessary measures to render the special signs referred to sufficiently visible.

Yes, pike, war is not just mass-murder it is a legalized one. In order for the people to trust their leaders they expect them to behave according to the law. Because law is what keeps them in power. It's so funny that US citizens are more pissed if the goverment issues a new tax bill than if the goverment uses fake caonsiderations to justify war crimes. Not to mention the hypocrisy of bringing the enemy war criminals to justice and to play the high morality role.

One could say that once war starts there is no reason to follow any rules. Just make sure that by any means the opponent is defeated. If you have the power to do it and win, then there is no problem in justifying your actions. The vaporised people in Hiroshima cannot ask for compensations. And neither can their relatives, friends, etc. because they did accepted an "unconditional surrender".
The fact is that the existence of nuclear arsenals rule out the choice of respecting any rule. The real choice with the nukes is a terrible one: survival. In my first post in this thread I ended with a question. Too bad nobody answered it.

Originally posted by pikeshot1600

So why is it assumed by anyone that Harry Truman would have (or should have) been concerned about Japanese civilians? His job was to be concerned for the interests of the United States.

Oh, clearly, he was concerned about US interests. Just a quote from the same site that matches my opinion on the matter:

Q Do you feel that President Truman and those immediately below him gave full and conscientious study to all the alternatives to use of the atomic bomb?

A I do not think they did. They thought only in terms of our having to end the war by military means.
I don't think Japan would have surrendered unconditionally without the use of force. But there was no need to demand the unconditional surrender of Japan. If we had offered Japan the kind of peace treaty which we actually gave her, we could have had a negotiated peace.

This is in fact the real issue here. Most of those who find the bombings justified are focusing only on the invasion as being the one and only alternative to end the war with Japan. Maybe they fail to accept the fact that politically, the decision to cling to "unconditional surrender" was more harmful to USA than even an invasion. In my previous post I pointed out the cronology of events that ended with Japan accepting the Potsdam Declaration. It is quite obvious that this happened after USSR entered the war and after the succes of the Red Army's offensive, not just after the bombings. It's not like the bombings had no effect but the fact is that Japan accepted the terms of surrender ten days after the Soviet offensive and no bomb while imediately after Nagasaki they still wanted to come to terms.

On the other hand, if before Potsdam or even before the 8th of August Japan would have been offered the same peace treaty that was offered to her in the end, the USA would have gained far more, not to mention Korea and maybe even China.

It is not that Harry Truman acted intentionaly aginst US interests it is that he made the unapropriate decisions. Like you say, pike, no morals, just facts.



Edited by Cezar - 17-Jun-2009 at 09:36
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2009 at 14:46
Cezar,
 
Obviously you feel strongly about this, but I think you are grasping at straws with the statements of politicians, one at the very beginning of the war, and one at the very end of it.  The world was quite diferent in 1945 than it was in 1939.
 
The exigencies of the war made a political statement of 1 Sept., 1939 meaningless.  As for Hiroshima, what else was a politician to say?  Hiroshima was a modern statement of the nature of war - no different than Rotterdam or London or Coventry or Hamburg or Dresden.  The world was different, and so were many attitudes.
 
It is to be noted that neither Eisenhower nor MacArthur were in favor of the atomic bomb, but neither were they C-in-C.  Circumstances may have been interpretted differently by the commanders and by the President and Secretary of War, but the policy decision had been made, and going back to renegotiate everything with the other Allies was not reasonable.
 
As for the Hague Convention, those were good ideas, but how many civilians were whacked between 1908 and 1945, and by which powers?  I suspect most of those were signatories to the document.  It was a treaty, not a policy statement.  Treaties are abrogated all the time; that is why there are armies and navies.
 
Unconditional surrender was a policy statement of the Allies.  Japan was going to surrender unconditionally or else.  None of the Allies was in any mood to haggle over terms, and the war time behavior of the Japanese didn't entitle them to any.
 
This is a history forum, not a confessional.
 
  


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 17-Jun-2009 at 21:08
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jun-2009 at 18:08

How do you negotiate with a nation that had already thrown away what limited international agreements there were to protect nations and individuals? The Japanese military wasn't negotiating for peace in 1945, it was negotiating for a time-out to continue the conflict at a later date. The only other way to bring the war in the Pacific to a conclusive end was to invade Japan, which judging by the huge death toll on Iwo Jima and Okinawa would have been many times the deaths of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

It was a war of annihilation whos terms had already been set in stone by years of conflict in China and was driven mostly by the Japanese army with the support of the Emperor. The U.S. gets all the blame for the mushroom clouds over the two Japanese cities, but what of the responsibility of the Japanese Emperor, military and ultimately the Japanese people who provided the foundation of power in Japan. It's easy to claim they regarded the Emperor as a god and would do his bidding without question, that still doesn't absolve them of the great damage done to the world in their name and makes the neccessity of the bombs greater not less. It took such a devastating attack to wake the ENTIRE nation of Japan up from a very dark dream.
 
 


Edited by DukeC - 17-Jun-2009 at 18:17
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jun-2009 at 07:24
I don't know what happened with the answer I've posted yesterday. It was looking fine but now it's gone. Well, here I go again, maybe this time it will last.
Originally posted by pikeshot1600

Cezar,
 
Obviously you feel strongly about this, but I think you are grasping at straws with the statements of politicians, one at the very beginning of the war, and one at the very end of it.  The world was quite diferent in 1945 than it was in 1939.
Only if you live on another planet you can say something like this. First, politician's statements are the base of war, at least in modern times. War is fought by combatants but the politicians are those who start and end the wars. So their statements are in fact the most important things during the conflict. In 1939 US politicians, FDR on top of them shown in their declarations a lot of preocupation for innocent lives. Also during the conflict the discourse was not about terrorising enemy civilians but about attacking their military. The discourse of Truman in 1945 shows that he was very careful in chosing his words. Otherwise why would he called it a military target? The world was different in 1945 compared to 1939, but the politicians were not that different. And they were those who decided how things work. It's not like Paul Tibbets jut got in his cockpit with Little Boy and droped it were he thought it came handy. 
The exigencies of the war made a political statement of 1 Sept., 1939 meaningless.
The whole war was about before 1939 statements. Otherwise there would have been no war. If after Hitler's attack, France and GB had considered that political statements before 1939 were meaningless the maybe the WWII wouldn't have started.
As for Hiroshima, what else was a politician to say?  Hiroshima was a modern statement of the nature of war - no different than Rotterdam or London or Coventry or Hamburg or Dresden.  The world was different, and so were many attitudes.
The first to engage in a systematic and indiscriminate bombing campaign were the British in 1940. USA were attempting to go by the rules when they joined the war since they thought that they will be able to do it. They failed and switched to area bombing too, especially against Japan. True, that's an attitude change. Let's take a look at article six of the Charter of the Military International Tribunal of Nuremburg:
The Tribunal established by the Agreement referred to in Article 1 hereof for the trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis countries shall have the power to try and punish persons who, acting in the interests of the European Axis countries, whether as individuals or as members of organizations, committed any of the following crimes.
The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:
(a) Crimes against Peace: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a Common Plan or Conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;
(b) War Crimes: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war.  Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;
(c) Crimes against Humanity: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war,14 or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of domestic law of the country where perpetrated.
Leaders, organizers, instigators, and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a Common Plan or Conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.
The change of attitude is relevant: justice is not for all it is only against the defeated enemy. That's how those who started the war get all the blame for whoever commited wa crimes during the war.
It is to be noted that neither Eisenhower nor MacArthur were in favor of the atomic bomb, but neither were they C-in-C.
It is also to be noted that they knew almost nothing about the new bomb and they didn't take the decision of using it. I don't think what Ike our Doug did is relevant to this discussion. 
Circumstances may have been interpretted differently by the commanders and by the President and Secretary of War, but the policy decision had been made, and going back to renegotiate everything with the other Allies was not reasonable.
Oh, right. What other Allies negotiations? Potsdam Declaration was issued in late July. Before it and even before the 8th of August USA was dictating the policy in regard to Japan. There would have been no problem with Britain, and the USSR hadn't joined the war. There have also been changes in the Japanese goverment.  If there would have been no A bombs and USSR would not have wanted to join the war, couldn't a negotiated peace have been better than an invasion? 
 
As for the Hague Convention, those were good ideas, but how many civilians were whacked between 1908 and 1945, and by which powers?  I suspect most of those were signatories to the document.  It was a treaty, not a policy statement.  Treaties are abrogated all the time; that is why there are armies and navies.
That's good to know from a person who is a citizen from a NATO member country. It comforts me a lot to know that my country, not being such a superpower as yours, is a member too. I'm looking forward to see which will be the army that will abrogate NATO.
Unconditional surrender was a policy statement of the Allies.  Japan was going to surrender unconditionally or else.  None of the Allies was in any mood to haggle over terms, and the war time behavior of the Japanese didn't entitle them to any.
FDR's "Unconditional surrender" is one example of how a politician's statement can cause a lot of suffering.
This is a history forum, not a confessional.
And what's that supposed to mean?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jun-2009 at 08:00
Originally posted by DukeC

How do you negotiate with a nation that had already thrown away what limited international agreements there were to protect nations and individuals? The Japanese military wasn't negotiating for peace in 1945, it was negotiating for a time-out to continue the conflict at a later date. The only other way to bring the war in the Pacific to a conclusive end was to invade Japan, which judging by the huge death toll on Iwo Jima and Okinawa would have been many times the deaths of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
First, you don't negociate with a nation. It's not like FDR's "unconditional surrender" was issued after a referendum in the countrie that fought the Axis.
Second, Japan was attempting to end the war in 1945 not a cease fire. The idea of invasion being the only alternative to the bombing is a fake. The main concern of Japan's leaders regarding "unconditional surrender" was the Imperial House. All documents and facts prove that. Since in the end the peace treaty did nothing to the Emperor, I don't see why shouldn't such a step have been taken before Potsdam or the bombings.
It was a war of annihilation whos terms had already been set in stone by years of conflict in China and was driven mostly by the Japanese army with the support of the Emperor. The U.S. gets all the blame for the mushroom clouds over the two Japanese cities, but what of the responsibility of the Japanese Emperor, military and ultimately the Japanese people who provided the foundation of power in Japan. It's easy to claim they regarded the Emperor as a god and would do his bidding without question, that still doesn't absolve them of the great damage done to the world in their name and makes the neccessity of the bombs greater not less. It took such a devastating attack to wake the ENTIRE nation of Japan up from a very dark dream.
Okay, I think you misunderstand my posts. I don't blame USA or the US citizens or even the US military for the decision to use atomic bombs. I don't blame even Truman. All that I'm trying to do is to show that the decision was unapropriate. It was not the best way to act, that's all. Therefore, I'm not intending to discuss the responsibility of Japanese leaders for war crimes or to make a chart "who's the worse: Japan or USA?". They did started the war and it was also an unapropriate decision. The Japanese nation was not so suddenly awaken as you may think since by then communications were barely working in the Empire, not to mention that the media was under total control of the goverment. The fact is that prominent US miltary leaders also consider unapropriate but the way the bomb was used (http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/atomicdec.htm
 
On the whole, the military leaders of WWII who knew their stuff, were against indiscriminate bombings not because they were concerned for the lives of the enemy but because they saw these actions as being counterproductive. Therefore the politicians were those who decided eventually the use of military force against non military targets or even against military ones. As in the case of the two atomic bombs, the outcome was not always as expected. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jun-2009 at 17:41
Originally posted by Cezar

First, you don't negociate with a nation. It's not like FDR's "unconditional surrender" was issued after a referendum in the countrie that fought the Axis.
Second, Japan was attempting to end the war in 1945 not a cease fire. The idea of invasion being the only alternative to the bombing is a fake. The main concern of Japan's leaders regarding "unconditional surrender" was the Imperial House. All documents and facts prove that. Since in the end the peace treaty did nothing to the Emperor, I don't see why shouldn't such a step have been taken before Potsdam or the bombings.
 
What was there to negotiate, the Japanese military and Emperor gambled it all on the throw of the dice and lost. They violated all know international conventions and agreements and acted with a brutality almost unprecedented in history. If they wanted to protect the people of Japan they could have surrendered at any time after it became clear the war was lost. Even in 1945 the Japanese military was still putting up substancial resistance and after the loss of several hundred thousand Americans, Trumans priority was on ending the war, not playing more games with a regime that had already indicated it could not be trusted.
 
War is chaos and the Allies did well just to survive the storm of those years.
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lirelou View Drop Down
Samurai
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Joined: 26-Mar-2009
Location: Tampa, FL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jun-2009 at 02:15
DukeC and Pikeshot. I applaud you for fighting the good fight. It is depressing to see the same old arguments against the atomic bombing of Japan being dragged out. I also find arguments that the "poor Japanese people" had no control over their wartime government to border on the naive. To be sure, they did not. (Indeed, it had taken a coup to depose a government that was against military adventurism in the mid-1930s) However this does not equate to their being opposed to their governments policies. The Japanese population supported the Sino-Japanese War, and the Russo-Japanese War. Indeed, both were watersheds that added a a fair amount of "glory" to Japan's reputation in Asia. Koreans, Indians, and Vietnamese rushed to Japan to study its methods, and enroll in their schools, to include military academies. When the Japanese were leveraged out of Port Arthur, their citizens filled the street to protest their country being "robbed" of its rightful fruits of conquest.

You two at least take the time to answer and reason with those who exhibit such naivety. I cannot. All I can say is thank God that Harry Truman had the guts to drop the bombs. It shortened the war, saved lives, even Japanese ones, and made it possible for people like myself to be alive.  
Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì
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