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Nukes

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: Modern History
Forum Description: World History from 1918 to the 21st century.
Moderators: Constantine XI, The Hidden Face, Pikeshot1600, Sparten, Leonidas, gcle2003
URL: http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=18063
Printed Date: 18-Jun-2019 at 16:12
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Topic: Nukes
Posted By: Jonny Starcraft
Subject: Nukes
Date Posted: 22-Feb-2007 at 17:05
Little boy ( Hiroshima ) and Fat man ( Nagasaki ) - NecessityThumbs%20Up or crimeThumbs%20Down?
How do you think?


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Replies:
Posted By: pekau
Date Posted: 22-Feb-2007 at 18:39
Crime. Even if it was necessary, mass murder is mass murder. Killing most of the citizens and leaving the survivors to die a slow death by radiation is crime. Mass destruction for sake of others does not make it right, in terms of morality.

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Posted By: Centrix Vigilis
Date Posted: 22-Feb-2007 at 19:12
depends on the viewpoint of how much morality one wishes to ascribe to modern warfare and it's neverendings means of waging it....vs. the period in history where very little morale concern was exhibited to wit just prior to the end of the 19th century and upon the completion of WW1 with it's horrific casualtie rates, altho a case may be made for earlier dating as far back as 1864....ala the orginal Hague treaty.  http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/5KZGE6 - http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/5KZGE6
 
The answer to the question above deals with many factors, to include ongoing war crimes of the period, the numbers of projected losses in an invasion, death of non-combatants in the potential millions etc.
 
In the end those who believe war to be a form of murder in any of it's facets and or types will never be convinced of the rightness of anything but their position....so it's a moot issue.
 


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The dead remain dead only the living cry foul.

High up on the Llano.


Posted By: Adalwolf
Date Posted: 22-Feb-2007 at 20:41
Necessity.

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Concrete is heavy; iron is hard--but the grass will prevail.
     Edward Abbey


Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 22-Feb-2007 at 23:05
Necessity. Dead people are dead people, whether they did from a nuke or from a conventional bomb. A nuke is a VERY large explosive device. Nothing else. I don't see how Hiroshima differs from Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo, Kobe, London, Shanghai and a dozen other cities in that respect.
 
It ended the war.
 


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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: kasper
Date Posted: 23-Feb-2007 at 00:58
A crime; and Sparten, who says the firebombing of Tokyo and Dresden wasn't a crime? 


Posted By: Knights
Date Posted: 23-Feb-2007 at 01:01
Depends how you look at it I suppose; a necessary crime?

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Posted By: Adalwolf
Date Posted: 23-Feb-2007 at 11:37
Originally posted by kasper kasper wrote:

A crime; and Sparten, who says the firebombing of Tokyo and Dresden wasn't a crime? 


I do. World War II was a total war, everything was a target. The point of the mass bombings was to cripple the Axis morale and production capabilities, and it succeeded.


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Concrete is heavy; iron is hard--but the grass will prevail.
     Edward Abbey


Posted By: pekau
Date Posted: 23-Feb-2007 at 12:31
Originally posted by Adalwolf Adalwolf wrote:

Originally posted by kasper kasper wrote:

A crime; and Sparten, who says the firebombing of Tokyo and Dresden wasn't a crime? 


I do. World War II was a total war, everything was a target. The point of the mass bombings was to cripple the Axis morale and production capabilities, and it succeeded.
 

Total war or not, attacking defenseless is a crime by definition. Criminals can try to justify his action by saying it was for greater good... but so what? You killed people that never attacked you before. Look at War in Iraq. You barge into other country for the crime that is never proven, and then try to justify your actions... I remember the quote from the Kingdom of Heaven...

 

You see, none of us chose our end really. A king may move a man, a father may claim a son. But remember that, even when those who move you be kings or men of power, your soul is in your keeping alone. When you stand before God you cannot say "but I was told by others to do thus" or that "virtue was not convinient at the time. This will not suffice. Remember that.

 
- King Baldwin IV, from the Kingdom of Heaven
 

Some may say claim that it was a dirty job, but someone had to do it. That may be so, but whoever did the job still acted the crime. Yes, it was necessary for the Americans to save more American soldiers' lives, but crime nevertheless..

 



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Posted By: Genghis
Date Posted: 23-Feb-2007 at 14:27
Necessity, enemy civilians are still the enemy.

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Member of IAEA


Posted By: Spartakus
Date Posted: 23-Feb-2007 at 15:28
First point of view,the Japanese character:we must take under consideration somebody who was the leading actor in his own drama.The Japanese.The Japanese would never surrender to the Americans so easily and without a bloody fight.That's why they were even training civilians to learn how to hold swords ,guns and how to fight with them.If the Americans never threw that bomb,then it would ,be most likely, a massacre of almost the same climax.So,by throwing the bombs ,the Japanese surrendered,without the massacre and the destruction of a possible American invasion in the Japanese islands.

From this point of view:nessecity.

Second point of view,the information of the American goverment:Before the attack with the bombs,the Japanese goverment had already taken under heavy consideration the choice of surrender.A few months before,in 18th June 1945,the Supreme Military council of Japan took for the first time under consideration the case of surrender.There was already the imperial intention for negotiations of peace through the USSR.The Americans,already by the 12 July 1945-date when Japan turned diplomatically to the USSR,had a strong evidence of a Japanese intention for capitulation .Moreover, they had already broken the Japanese communication codes,thus being aware of the Japanese diplomatic and military movements,through the ULTRA network and the MAGIC reports.

From this point of view:the American goverment knew that their Japanese counterparts wanted peace.Yet,they through the bombs.Crime.

Third point of view,military status quo of Japan:A landing of the American forces to the Japanese islands,and especially that of Kiusu (if i spell it right) could end up to be a disaster.The Japanese goverment had gathered there thousands of men and women,more specifically 14 infantry divisions,7 small indepedent brigades,3 tank brigades etc.There were also 12.725 army and navy aircrafts,most of which would be used for kamikaze attacks.The Imperial Navy had 2 cruisers ,23 destroyers which could be used in static positions as heavy land and AA artillery ,45 submarines,115 "koryu" submarines,300 "Kairyu" submarines,120 "Kaiten" manned torpades which could be used in kamikaze attacks,plus the 4.000 "Shin-yo" and "Maru-ni" special attack crafts,also for kamikaze attacks.In a few words,the Americans could have heavy losses in a possible landing,thus being not succesfull.

From this point of view:A nessecity.

Four point of view,the  intentions of the American goverment:The fact that there were intentions of creating a third nuclear bomb,showed that the Americans did not care about civilians.In fact,it's  intentions was to devastate Japan with the worst attack,thus giving a quick end.A quick end would ensure that Japan would stay in the American sphere of influence,thus diminishing the danger of an important Soviet influence in the Far East.The target from the beginning was the Japanese people,in order to wear down the Japanese fighting spirit and to de-legitimize the Japanese goverment to the eyes of the common Japanese civilians,thus eliminating those goverment members who would ask more capitulation conditions.

From this point of view:A bloody crime.

Fifth point of view,the bomb itself:We must admit ,that during that years,nobody really knew the exact consquenses of a nuclear bomb in  land ,air and human body,in the shorterm and in the longterm.So,a nuclear bomb would be ,in the eyes of the American military and political leadership,nothing more than a cheaper and quicker solution of strategic bombing,a strong bomb.The Japanese ace Saburo Sakai ,said in one of his interviews ,that he would also do the same thing if was asked to throw a nuclear bomb,because ,simply,nobody really knew what a terrible weapon it was.

From this point:A crime of ignorance.









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"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
--- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)


Posted By: pekau
Date Posted: 23-Feb-2007 at 15:50
http://www.allempires.com/forum/member_profile.asp?PF=439&FID=16 - Spartakus has a good point.
 
From my point of view, however... I do not believe that human beings have the right to take someone else's life... no matter what he/she did. God created all human beings for a reason, and he will decide the justice and their fate... but not by our own judgement. Of course, that's just my belief. You want to argue about religion? Go to intellect forum, not here. I tried to debate about science religion debate... but I gave up. It's a sticky topic that I dare not to get involved unless it's necessary...


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Posted By: Spartakus
Date Posted: 23-Feb-2007 at 16:03
You have right,nobody has the right to take the life of sb else.There are many things who i,as a human being,fear in life.The most important things i fear is God's wrath ,and generally the wrath of the supernatural, as well as human arrogance and ignorance. But ,by studying history,i discovered that there are many factors,parametres and different points of view about one issue,thus making it more complex and making me more carefull when dealing with it.

In the bottom line,though,i agree.War is a stupidity.


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"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
--- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)


Posted By: Adalwolf
Date Posted: 23-Feb-2007 at 16:12
Nonesense, the Christian god gave you free will, so by that reasoning you are free to do want you want, even kill! 

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Concrete is heavy; iron is hard--but the grass will prevail.
     Edward Abbey


Posted By: Spartakus
Date Posted: 23-Feb-2007 at 16:15
Well, he gave me free will in dealing with myself,not with others.Wink

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"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
--- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)


Posted By: Centrix Vigilis
Date Posted: 23-Feb-2007 at 16:40
ah yes in dealing with yourself, most assurdely and yet that too encompasses, in the real world, dealing with others...it may be appreciated differently and probably should be in the spiritual...but alas as you yourself just pointed out, history shows different.
 
Is war stupid? absolutely.
 
Are it's tools and mechanisms horiffic and illogical to a platonic state of spirtiual bliss? most definitely.
 
 
But all that, merely begs the historical  social and cultural developement of the creature known as man; and until something supernatural and or ultra scientifcaly advanced from beyond this planet comes along and deals with it... in effect remakes the psychological causes that help promolugate it, it shall remain nontheless the norm.
 
Hence you better prepared to wage it or fall victim to those who will and think nothing is amiss when they kill you. Pacificsm and associated spiritual/religious philosophies are delightful in theory, atrociously immaterial in historical reality.
 
best
CV


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The dead remain dead only the living cry foul.

High up on the Llano.


Posted By: Spartakus
Date Posted: 24-Feb-2007 at 12:35

Pacificsm and associated spiritual/religious philosophies are delightful in theory, atrociously immaterial in historical reality.

This is purely subjective.


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"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
--- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)


Posted By: Anton
Date Posted: 24-Feb-2007 at 20:08
Originally posted by Adalwolf Adalwolf wrote:

I do. World War II was a total war, everything was a target. The point of the mass bombings was to cripple the Axis morale and production capabilities, and it succeeded.
 
Originally posted by Genghis Genghis wrote:

Necessity, enemy civilians are still the enemy.
 
 
So, basically, following your logic,  bombing of London wasn't a crime? Or Pearl Harbour and Bataan Death March? Or attack of some buildings in NY not so recently? Hm...


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Posted By: pekau
Date Posted: 24-Feb-2007 at 21:06
Originally posted by Adalwolf Adalwolf wrote:

Nonesense, the Christian god gave you free will, so by that reasoning you are free to do want you want, even kill! 
 
No, that's not the case. God gave us free will, but that was when Adam and Eve did not know how to sin... so free will should mean that we can do anything we want to praise and build the relationship with God... but He most definitely did not gave us the freedom to sin... then Satan should not be viewed as the evil darlord or something...
 
You want to question religion? Go to intellectual discussion. Don't do it here...


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Posted By: Adalwolf
Date Posted: 24-Feb-2007 at 22:40
Originally posted by pekau pekau wrote:

Originally posted by Adalwolf Adalwolf wrote:

Nonesense, the Christian god gave you free will, so by that reasoning you are free to do want you want, even kill! 
 
No, that's not the case. God gave us free will, but that was when Adam and Eve did not know how to sin... so free will should mean that we can do anything we want to praise and build the relationship with God... but He most definitely did not gave us the freedom to sin... then Satan should not be viewed as the evil darlord or something...
 
You want to question religion? Go to intellectual discussion. Don't do it here...


You brought up God, I was just pointing out that he gave free will, and people can do as they please.


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Concrete is heavy; iron is hard--but the grass will prevail.
     Edward Abbey


Posted By: pekau
Date Posted: 24-Feb-2007 at 23:00
I answered your question, but I did not bring it up. If you can recall, I was the one that warned about this in the first place. Ok, whoever started... it ends here. No more, please.

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Posted By: Adalwolf
Date Posted: 25-Feb-2007 at 01:44
Why not? If religion plays a part it people's beliefs about nukes, it should be a relevant part of the discussion.

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Concrete is heavy; iron is hard--but the grass will prevail.
     Edward Abbey


Posted By: Genghis
Date Posted: 25-Feb-2007 at 16:14
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

So, basically, following your logic,  bombing of London wasn't a crime?
 
Which one?  The world war bombings or the recent ones?
 
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

Or Pearl Harbour
 
 
No, that was a brilliant military operation that ran into some execution problems, but still smart nonetheless.
 
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

Bataan Death March?
 
That's a crime of course, it was the murder of people who had already surrendered, which the Japanese hadn't at that point.
 
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

Or attack of some buildings in NY not so recently? Hm...
 
I don't know what I'd call that.  It was a very successful operation and example of assymetrical warfare, at least in a tactical sense.  In a strategic sense, it was a disaster as it lead to the loss of Afghanistan as a base for Al Qaeda operations.  I don't really look at it as a crime, but an attack in an unconventional war which must be answered by retaliation.


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Posted By: Anton
Date Posted: 25-Feb-2007 at 18:47
Originally posted by Genghis Genghis wrote:

 
That's a crime of course, it was the murder of people who had already surrendered, which the Japanese hadn't at that point.
 
Why's that? You said yourself that enemy civilians are still enemies.
 
 
Originally posted by Genghis Genghis wrote:

 
I don't know what I'd call that.  It was a very successful operation and example of assymetrical warfare, at least in a tactical sense.  In a strategic sense, it was a disaster as it lead to the loss of Afghanistan as a base for Al Qaeda operations.  I don't really look at it as a crime, but an attack in an unconventional war which must be answered by retaliation.
That's a new point of view for me... How many Americans think like you?


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Posted By: Anton
Date Posted: 25-Feb-2007 at 18:49
Which one?  The world war bombings or the recent ones?
I mean WWII bobmbings but tell me about both.


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Posted By: Genghis
Date Posted: 25-Feb-2007 at 21:54
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

Originally posted by Genghis Genghis wrote:

 
That's a crime of course, it was the murder of people who had already surrendered, which the Japanese hadn't at that point.
 
Why's that? You said yourself that enemy civilians are still enemies.
 
Japan had still not surrendered at the time the bombs were dropped, they were still at war with us, justifying the full use of our entire arsenal on whatever targets we saw fit to force their surrender. 
 
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

Originally posted by Genghis Genghis wrote:

 
I don't know what I'd call that.  It was a very successful operation and example of assymetrical warfare, at least in a tactical sense.  In a strategic sense, it was a disaster as it lead to the loss of Afghanistan as a base for Al Qaeda operations.  I don't really look at it as a crime, but an attack in an unconventional war which must be answered by retaliation.
That's a new point of view for me... How many Americans think like you?
 
Probably not too many, but most Americans probably haven't dissected the nature of the 911 attacks.  Most of us just want vengeance, and whatver we call 911 doesn't affect that.


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Posted By: Genghis
Date Posted: 25-Feb-2007 at 21:57
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

Which one?  The world war bombings or the recent ones?
I mean WWII bobmbings but tell me about both.
 
The bombings of world war II would fall under the same category as Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that of attacks on the enemy in war.  The recent terrorist bombings would fit into the same category as 911, an attack (be it unconventional or criminal or whatever other adjective, with which we could describe it) that should simply be avenged.


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Member of IAEA


Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 26-Feb-2007 at 00:48
As for the so called crimes of Dresden, Berlin and the rest, well lets see
 
1) Its war. And anything that shatters enemy morale or will to resist is a perfectly legitamate action.
2)In a total war could someone tell me what is the difference between the man shooting and the man (or woman) making the gun? For a soldier none at all.
 
 
 


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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: Anton
Date Posted: 26-Feb-2007 at 06:21
Originally posted by Genghis Genghis wrote:

  The recent terrorist bombings would fit into the same category as 911, an attack (be it unconventional or criminal or whatever other adjective, with which we could describe it) that should simply be avenged.
 
Nice ligitimization of terrorism. And how are you going to avenge? To kill equall amount of civilians in some countries? Or to be sure, not equal but double or triple amount?


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Posted By: Genghis
Date Posted: 26-Feb-2007 at 15:30
I had hunting down and killing the perpetrators in mind.

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Member of IAEA


Posted By: pekau
Date Posted: 27-Feb-2007 at 19:46
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

Originally posted by Genghis Genghis wrote:

  The recent terrorist bombings would fit into the same category as 911, an attack (be it unconventional or criminal or whatever other adjective, with which we could describe it) that should simply be avenged.
 
Nice ligitimization of terrorism. And how are you going to avenge? To kill equall amount of civilians in some countries? Or to be sure, not equal but double or triple amount?
 
History proved that revenge never ever stopped violence. NEVER!


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Posted By: Adalwolf
Date Posted: 27-Feb-2007 at 23:27
Originally posted by pekau pekau wrote:

Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

Originally posted by Genghis Genghis wrote:

  The recent terrorist bombings would fit into the same category as 911, an attack (be it unconventional or criminal or whatever other adjective, with which we could describe it) that should simply be avenged.
 
Nice ligitimization of terrorism. And how are you going to avenge? To kill equall amount of civilians in some countries? Or to be sure, not equal but double or triple amount?
 
History proved that revenge never ever stopped violence. NEVER!


Well, people are always going to want revenge, and will always commit revenge. Just look at history...


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Concrete is heavy; iron is hard--but the grass will prevail.
     Edward Abbey


Posted By: hermeslyre
Date Posted: 04-Mar-2007 at 16:43
Nescessary Crime. We won the the war, Not because of the bomb but because of japans fear of Russia joining the war effort, though the bomb was  helpful.. We were and still are allowed to justify our actions because we were the victor. If it had been the other way all of japan would call our actions a crime and consider theres nothing but necessary.. 


Posted By: Voltigeur
Date Posted: 14-Mar-2007 at 15:07
America was sick of war by year 5, and wasn't about to give up another year and 100,000 gold stars.


Posted By: Giordano
Date Posted: 28-Mar-2007 at 09:10
To kill civilians is a crime and it doesn't matter who did it.If your enemy killed civilians this doesn't give right of to kill civilians.According to US citizens point of view ,this is necessity,i wonder that if Japanese or german could use the atomic bomb in an american city,can this change you opinion?May be it became a crime for your point of view.
Tokyo,Dresden,London,Hiroshima,Nagasaki etc. all of crimes.
And for US to use nuke is necessity because decreasing US lost,right,but for US,not an objective point of view.


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War is delightful to those who have had no experience of it.
Desiderius Erasmus


Posted By: warwolf1969
Date Posted: 10-May-2009 at 00:04
Crime.  The US goverment knew the Japanise leadership was going to surrender when Russia declared war.  They knew it and still dropped the bombs.  If they had wanted to avoid casuaties they should have waited until Japan surrendered.  Hirosima and Nagasaki were more about showing the USSR the power of the bomb than stopping Japan. 


Posted By: Zaitsev
Date Posted: 10-May-2009 at 02:00
The United States' decision had nothing to do with ending the war. The decision to use the nuclear arsenal against civilians was for the dual purposes of testing the power of nuclear devices for future reference, and to send a message to America's rivals across the globe, especially the USSR.

Regarding the morality of the incident, it is inexcusable. To employ weaponry of any kind directly targeted against civilian populations is reprehensible and shows a complete moral bankruptcy.


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Straw Man - a weak or sham argument


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 10-May-2009 at 02:18
Simplistic, half thought-out BS from Dick and Jane's Book of the Cold War.
 
Warfare has been directed at civilians at least since the Assyrians incinerated whole populations to make a point.  The substance of the last two posts are not only horrendously misinformed, they are "complete intellectual bankruptcy." 
 
In 1945 the US had no rivals across the globe.  The understanding at Yalta was that the USSR would have hegemony in north Asia - just like in east Europe, because no one could do anything about it.  The Russians were not going to walk across the sea to Japan, through the US navy.  The best information is that the Russians knew about the bomb beforehand anyway. 
 
The Japanese Imperial authority did not direct surrender until AFTER the second device had been detonated.  The tactic worked; the war ended.
 
Get off your soap boxes and analyze the history - don't try to moralize it.
 
 


Posted By: warwolf1969
Date Posted: 10-May-2009 at 11:25

I have analyzed the history at the end of WW2, and I was not on a soapbox.  But it is time that the allies except that it was not only the Germans who carried out war crimes.  The bombings of Dresden etc were a war crime.  As was the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan.  The US goverment knew that Japan would surrender when Russia entered the war.  The dropping of the nukes was more about showing the USSR the power of the weapon than stopping the war.  During WW2 the US always viewed Russia as a neccesary evil.  As long as they were fighting the Germans they were allies.  But they knew that after WW2 it would be Russia who was their main competator in world power.   As for the Russians knowing of the bomb there is a big difference in being told and seeing the power of a weapon.



Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 10-May-2009 at 13:50
Warwolf,
 
Sorry if I came on strong there, but I think you have some misconceptions of the history of the end of WW II.
 
As far as Dresden, Hamburg, Hiroshima (Rotterdam, Coventry, Warsaw, Nanking, etc., etc., etc.), war is not a Sunday school lesson, nor is it a videogame.  Terror tactics have been used forever as force multipliers or as political statements.  Their criminality is not relevant.
 
Sometimes that works; sometimes it doesn't.  At Hiroshima/Nagasaki it worked.  In 1945 that was more important.
 
 


Posted By: Zaitsev
Date Posted: 10-May-2009 at 14:14
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

The substance of the last two posts are not only horrendously misinformed, they are "complete intellectual bankruptcy."


I'm glad you can maintain a mature demeanour in discussing the issue...
 
Quote In 1945 the US had no rivals across the globe.


That statement is false in its entirety and demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the world political climate of the time. Prior to World War 2 the new government of Russia and the United States of America had already engaged in hostilities on a smaller scale. Political tensions between the two nations were already building prior to the commencement of World War 2 and the mood never thawed.

Stalin had mistrusted the Western powers since he argued against appeasement and was ignored. The United States was also mistrustful of the new industrialised Russia and socialism as a phenomenon. The race to 'appropriate' the technological advances of Hitler's Germany at the end of conflict in Europe demonstrates the atmosphere quite admirably.

Quote The understanding at Yalta was that the USSR would have hegemony in north Asia - just like in east Europe, because no one could do anything about it.  The Russians were not going to walk across the sea to Japan, through the US navy.  The best information is that the Russians knew about the bomb beforehand anyway.


Firstly, this is mostly irrelevant. The agreement of Yalta was one of convenience rather than a long-term plan. It was basically an agreement to put their issues aside until the war had been resolved. You can argue the positions and the objectives all you like, but the fact is that it was a meeting of two opposing positions, making arrangements so that one war won't lead to the next.

The Russians' ability to invade Japan or their knowledge of the weapon is hardly relevant to the discussion. The Russians were also likely to be curious as to how the weapon would work.
 
Quote The Japanese Imperial authority did not direct surrender until AFTER the second device had been detonated.  The tactic worked; the war ended.


The war was, for all intents and purposes, already over. The Japanese military machine had been crushed, their factories were destroyed and the will of their people beaten down. They no longer possessed the ability to engage in military action of any significance. An invasion was also unnecessary, as invading would achieve little. With even a loose blockade the Japanese empire would be forced to capitulate rapidly, and there is strong historical evidence that it was already likely to happen in the near future.
 
Quote Get off your soap boxes and analyze the history - don't try to moralize it.


While I appreciate the 'von Ranke' approach to history, when issues of history still retain a strong and direct effect on modern times, they must be analysed both empirically and through a lens of morality in order to gain an understanding of its impact on modern times and so that we may draw conclusions on what can be learned from such occurances.

While the morality of the issue does not change the past, the unnecessary nature of the attack, the maliciousness with which it was repeated and the complete disregard for human life that was demonstrated carries through to a current national government and system of governance. In addition, people remain alive at this time who have both witnessed the event or have in other ways been involved. The perceptions of the morality of the issue, through from pre-detonation to modern day is itself a legitimate historical issue of some social signifiance.


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Straw Man - a weak or sham argument


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 10-May-2009 at 14:59
Zaitsev,
 
Thanks for your interpretation.  Mine is different from yours, and we are going to disagree.
 
As for Yalta, yes I agree that it was an expedient.  The acknowledgement was that the Red Army was in eastern Europe, and would be in north Asia and there was nothing to be done about that.  Economically, the USSR was more exhausted; more in debt than we were; had lost 10% of it's population and was in no position until years later to contest the US away from areas of Russian direct control.  That was in 1945.
 
The whole morality issue is a guilt trip and has no real place in historical analysis.  It belongs in a religious seminary.
 
  


Posted By: Zaitsev
Date Posted: 10-May-2009 at 15:16
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Economically, the USSR was more exhausted; more in debt than we were; had lost 10% of it's population and was in no position until years later to contest the US away from areas of Russian direct control.  That was in 1945.


While it was true that Russia was economically exhausted, it has to be recognised that their military might in 1945 was actually on the rise. The Stalinist economic reforms also meant that, despite being strained, production across industries was rapidly restored post-war and remained reasonable despite heavy damage to many agricultural and industrial centres.

Neither the US nor the USSR was in a position to fight a war of aggression, but this itself demonstrates that there was a rivalry there. A rivalry that neither could immediately act upon, but a rivalry nonetheless.
 
Quote The whole morality issue is a guilt trip and has no real place in historical analysis.  It belongs in a religious seminary.


I respectfully disagree on this issue. The debate on whether morality should be analysed has been ongoing for centuries, if not millennia. I doubt we can settle that issue here and now. I agree that morality should not always be considered, but I believe in this case the moral assessment of this incident can provide lessons for the future that may be invaluable. This would be a case of "those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it". I think we can all agree, from our individual perspectives, we would wish to avoid experiencing such an event.


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Straw Man - a weak or sham argument


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 10-May-2009 at 15:55
Originally posted by warwolf1969 warwolf1969 wrote:

I have analyzed the history at the end of WW2, and I was not on a soapbox.  But it is time that the allies except that it was not only the Germans who carried out war crimes.  The bombings of Dresden etc were a war crime.  As was the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan.  The US goverment knew that Japan would surrender when Russia entered the war.  The dropping of the nukes was more about showing the USSR the power of the weapon than stopping the war.  During WW2 the US always viewed Russia as a neccesary evil.  As long as they were fighting the Germans they were allies.  But they knew that after WW2 it would be Russia who was their main competator in world power.   As for the Russians knowing of the bomb there is a big difference in being told and seeing the power of a weapon.

Absolutely.
 
The former allies should stop to claim for themselves WW II as a sort of religious cause for the good values of mankind, when it is well know allies commited lot of crimes against humanity during that terrible war: Dresde and Hiroshima are just two of those crimes.
 
Mass killing civilians is genocide, and that was what WW II was all about: massive genocide on civilians. Both sides were guilty of that, and the discussion can only go to determine which side was more brutal or which side started the first. Both sides should be ashamed of the largest massacre the world ever witnessed
 
 
 
 


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"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)


Posted By: DukeC
Date Posted: 14-May-2009 at 21:14
Once again it's easy in hindsight to sit in judgement of terrible choices made under pressures we have a hard time understanding now. Not only did Truman have the wellfare of the potential victims of nuclear weapons to consider, he had the lives of hundreds of thousands of U.S. personel and millions of Chinese.
 
It's important to remember that the U.S. was not the only power to use WMDs in WW II. The Japanese weaponized Anthrax, botulism and other pathogens and used them in China. At the time the bombs were dropped the Japanese still held large areas of China and were still engaged in the largest Holocaust of WW II that saw probably over 30 million Chinese killed. From a humanitarian side there are strong arguments for the use of ANY weapons to stop the Japanese in 1945.
 
And it's still open for debate how long the Japanese would have held out if the weapons hadn't been used. Even after the Emperor surrendered there were still factions in the Japanese armed forces willing to fight. How much more substancial would that movement have been without the two atomic attacks.
 
What we do know is that the bombs ended the war, all else is conjucture. I think given the level of technology and the drive by ALL sides to aquire weapons of mass destruction during the war it's inevitable they would be developed and if neccessary used.
 
Truman had a terrible choice to make, one that took many lives. But one that also saved many.


Posted By: Klaus Fleming
Date Posted: 17-May-2009 at 19:22

I don't see morality as being the issue here. Rather this is a question of proportionality. We shouldn't ask whether Hiroshima was right or wrong, instead we should ask whether the use of nuclear weapons in August 1945 was proportionate to the danger presented by the Japanese Empire. And instead of pointing the finger towards the US, we should include Japan in this debate as well: what was the Japanese responsibility for the mass destruction that not only devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but every other major Japanese city as well? The fire-bombing of Tokyo on March the 10th had already killed some 100,000 people - this was in fact the most devastating attack of the entire war, more so than either Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Yet the Japanese military government had insisted on continuing the war in the face of total annihilation. They seemed quite prepared to pull the temple on themselves, and that in my mind is the real controversy over the atomic bombs: the Japanese intransigency that effectively forced the Americans' hand. How moral was that decision to continue the war when Japan's cities were being wiped off, one by one? How proportionate was that cost for the ultimate aim of 'saving face' and protecting the integrity of the Japanese 'military honour'?



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Quae ante pedes


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 17-May-2009 at 19:48
Originally posted by Klaus Fleming Klaus Fleming wrote:

Yet the Japanese military government had insisted on continuing the war in the face of total annihilation.



you brought up an interesting point, because you're implying that the Americans were conducting a war of total annihilation themselves in the first place. the question is not why Japan refused to surrender because every living being or group of beings has a natural mode of survival, it will do everything to ensure it's own survival in face of danger and in 1945 this was definately the case.

the real question here is this: how far would the US go to bring down Japan in case they would not negotiate surrender...


Posted By: DukeC
Date Posted: 19-May-2009 at 19:15
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:


you brought up an interesting point, because you're implying that the Americans were conducting a war of total annihilation themselves in the first place. the question is not why Japan refused to surrender because every living being or group of beings has a natural mode of survival, it will do everything to ensure it's own survival in face of danger and in 1945 this was definately the case.

the real question here is this: how far would the US go to bring down Japan in case they would not negotiate surrender...
 
Japan wasn't fighting for its' survival in 1945, the Emperor and the military elite were fighting for their lives and position of power. Japan could have surrendered at any time and faced international justice. It would have been much less destructive to Japan as a whole than trying to carry the war to the bitter end.
 
The Japanese were waging unlimited warfare in the western Pacific long before the U.S. entered the war. Making an unprovoked, undeclared attack on Pearl Harbor gave the U.S. all the justification it needed to carry the war against Japan out on any terms it felt neccessary. Atrocities like the Bataan Deathmarch just hardened U.S. determination to end the war as quickly as possible.


Posted By: Zaitsev
Date Posted: 20-May-2009 at 15:04
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

Once again it's easy in hindsight to sit in judgement of terrible choices made under pressures we have a hard time understanding now. Not only did Truman have the wellfare of the potential victims of nuclear weapons to consider, he had the lives of hundreds of thousands of U.S. personel and millions of Chinese.


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?".

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.
 
Quote At the time the bombs were dropped the Japanese still held large areas of China and were still engaged in the largest Holocaust of WW II that saw probably over 30 million Chinese killed. From a humanitarian side there are strong arguments for the use of ANY weapons to stop the Japanese in 1945.


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.
 
Quote And it's still open for debate how long the Japanese would have held out if the weapons hadn't been used. Even after the Emperor surrendered there were still factions in the Japanese armed forces willing to fight. How much more substancial would that movement have been without the two atomic attacks.


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.
 
Quote What we do know is that the bombs ended the war, all else is conjucture. I think given the level of technology and the drive by ALL sides to aquire weapons of mass destruction during the war it's inevitable they would be developed and if neccessary used.


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.

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.
 
Quote Truman had a terrible choice to make, one that took many lives. But one that also saved many.


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?

Would it be acceptable for, say, Afghanistan to have nuked major American cities to save itself from launching an infeasible invasion?


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Straw Man - a weak or sham argument


Posted By: Peteratwar
Date Posted: 20-May-2009 at 15:58
Originally posted by Zaitsev Zaitsev wrote:

[QUOTE=DukeC]
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?".

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.
 
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.
 
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?

Would it be acceptable for, say, Afghanistan to have nuked major American cities to save itself from launching an infeasible invasion?
 
If killing thousands by other means is justified, merely using one bomb to do the same is not different. (Only SOME scientists so believed)
 
There was no evidence that an invasion would not be necessary. The Japanese weren't in any way surrendering anywhere else eben in the most hopeless situations
 
I would not be happy if my loved ones were shot or bombed either. As the enemy I wouldn't much worry


Posted By: Zaitsev
Date Posted: 20-May-2009 at 16:04
Originally posted by Peteratwar Peteratwar wrote:

If killing thousands by other means is justified, merely using one bomb to do the same is not different. (Only SOME scientists so believed)


Firstly, the issue is not the same. Killing thousands of innocent civilians is never justified. Engaging with armed and willing combatants is another matter entirely. How many scientists believed it is irrelevant, the point is that there were not unimportant figures. It shows great irresponsibility to take that gamble.
 
Quote There was no evidence that an invasion would not be necessary. The Japanese weren't in any way surrendering anywhere else eben in the most hopeless situations


Actually there is evidence. The Japanese leadership had been discussing the issue for some time. If the Americans had not insisted on an unconditional surrender, it may have already come to be.
 
Quote I would not be happy if my loved ones were shot or bombed either. As the enemy I wouldn't much worry


You didn't answer the question. The question was whether you would, in your position, think the right thing had been done.


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Straw Man - a weak or sham argument


Posted By: GökTürk
Date Posted: 20-May-2009 at 16:22

Crime!

Cuz in that two cities,innocent civilian people has been bombed.They were people outside of the war.

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TENGRİ TEG TENGRİDE BOLMIŞ TÜRK BİLGE KAĞAN-
TURK WISE KHAN WHO BECAME IN SKY LIKE SKY-GOD
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tengir ordo(people of Tengri-God-)                 


Posted By: Peteratwar
Date Posted: 20-May-2009 at 16:27
No unfortunately they weren't.
 
Who do you think makes the armaments, arranges for the transportation of them, creates and distibutes the supplies to the armed forces ?
 
This was total war


Posted By: Zaitsev
Date Posted: 20-May-2009 at 16:33
There's no such thing as 'total war'. Civilians have always, without exception, been a part of every war effort. At least for so long as distinctions have been drawn between combatants and non-combatants.

What you have are varying degrees of targeting civilians. 'Total War' is a term coined to justify military action against non-combatants on the basis of "everyone else was doing it". Time proved it was an ineffective military strategy.

Regarding the specifics of Japan, the production infrastructure had mostly been destroyed. Taking out the entire city for the few that remained is the moral and realistic equivalent of approaching a hostage situation with C4, just to make sure the hostage-takers don't get away. I suspect people would be a little more concerned if the police acted in such a manner.


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Straw Man - a weak or sham argument


Posted By: Peteratwar
Date Posted: 20-May-2009 at 16:36
Originally posted by Zaitsev Zaitsev wrote:

Originally posted by Peteratwar Peteratwar wrote:

If killing thousands by other means is justified, merely using one bomb to do the same is not different. (Only SOME scientists so believed)


Firstly, the issue is not the same. Killing thousands of innocent civilians is never justified. Engaging with armed and willing combatants is another matter entirely. How many scientists believed it is irrelevant, the point is that there were not unimportant figures. It shows great irresponsibility to take that gamble.
 
Quote There was no evidence that an invasion would not be necessary. The Japanese weren't in any way surrendering anywhere else eben in the most hopeless situations


Actually there is evidence. The Japanese leadership had been discussing the issue for some time. If the Americans had not insisted on an unconditional surrender, it may have already come to be.
 
Quote I would not be happy if my loved ones were shot or bombed either. As the enemy I wouldn't much worry


You didn't answer the question. The question was whether you would, in your position, think the right thing had been done.
 
In total war there are few innocents, who supplies/creates the sinews of war ? In any event more had died in the Tokyo fire-bombing.  BTW the scientists who expressed their concerns weren't those involved.
 
Surrender had been discussed within Japan but nothing firm or concrete had appeared to make the Allies even think of suspending operations. Why should they subject their troops and others to further death and agony if it could be avoided.
 
Intellectually I would say the right thing had been done, emotionally no. As I said it would be the same if they had been shot or stabbed etc


Posted By: Peteratwar
Date Posted: 20-May-2009 at 16:39
Originally posted by Zaitsev Zaitsev wrote:

Regarding the specifics of Japan, the production infrastructure had mostly been destroyed. Taking out the entire city for the few that remained is the moral and realistic equivalent of approaching a hostage situation with C4, just to make sure the hostage-takers don't get away. I suspect people would be a little more concerned if the police acted in such a manner.
 
Hardly, the citizens of Nagasaki and Hiroshima weren't hostages, they were actively assisting the armed forces of their country.


Posted By: Zaitsev
Date Posted: 20-May-2009 at 16:41
Originally posted by Peteratwar Peteratwar wrote:

In total war there are few innocents, who supplies/creates the sinews of war ? In any event more had died in the Tokyo fire-bombing.  BTW the scientists who expressed their concerns weren't those involved.


Well of course the ones who expressed concerns weren't the ones involved. Would you really work on a device you thought would end the world? Better yet, would you hire someone to work on something after they said it was the worst thing you could possibly do?

See above for my view on total war.
 
Quote Surrender had been discussed within Japan but nothing firm or concrete had appeared to make the Allies even think of suspending operations. Why should they subject their troops and others to further death and agony if it could be avoided.


Again, had the US not insisted on an unconditional surrender it was likely something more 'concrete' could have appeared. Why does it matter how many are subjected to death and agony if the result is the same?
 
Quote Intellectually I would say the right thing had been done, emotionally no. As I said it would be the same if they had been shot or stabbed etc


Why are people getting shot or stabbed? That really doesn't factor into it. We're talking about people who are not soldiers nor are likely to be caught in fighting. They are not going to be shot or stabbed, nor are they likely to engage in shooting and stabbing.


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Straw Man - a weak or sham argument


Posted By: Zaitsev
Date Posted: 20-May-2009 at 16:42
Originally posted by Peteratwar Peteratwar wrote:

Hardly, the citizens of Nagasaki and Hiroshima weren't hostages, they were actively assisting the armed forces of their country.


They were assisting the armed forces because they happened to be located in Japan. Just as hostages assist hostage-takers because they happen to be in the wrong place.


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Straw Man - a weak or sham argument


Posted By: Peteratwar
Date Posted: 21-May-2009 at 08:19
Originally posted by Zaitsev Zaitsev wrote:

Originally posted by Peteratwar Peteratwar wrote:

Hardly, the citizens of Nagasaki and Hiroshima weren't hostages, they were actively assisting the armed forces of their country.


They were assisting the armed forces because they happened to be located in Japan. Just as hostages assist hostage-takers because they happen to be in the wrong place.
 
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


Posted By: Peteratwar
Date Posted: 21-May-2009 at 08:20
Originally posted by Zaitsev Zaitsev wrote:


Why are people getting shot or stabbed? That really doesn't factor into it. We're talking about people who are not soldiers nor are likely to be caught in fighting. They are not going to be shot or stabbed, nor are they likely to engage in shooting and stabbing.
 
You mean if an enemy invades your country the civilians don't get caught up in it ?  Better tell that to the millions who so suffered


Posted By: Zaitsev
Date 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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Straw Man - a weak or sham argument


Posted By: Peteratwar
Date 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


Posted By: Sparten
Date 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.


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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: DukeC
Date 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.


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date 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!
 
 


Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date 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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"O Byzantines! If success is your desire and if you seek right guidance and want your empire to remain then give the pledge to this Prophet"
~ Heraclius, Roman Emperor


Posted By: Reginmund
Date 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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Hwæt! wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum,
þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.


Posted By: DukeC
Date 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.



Posted By: Zaitsev
Date 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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Straw Man - a weak or sham argument


Posted By: Zaitsev
Date 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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Straw Man - a weak or sham argument


Posted By: DukeC
Date 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.

 


Posted By: Zaitsev
Date 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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Straw Man - a weak or sham argument


Posted By: DukeC
Date 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.


Posted By: Zaitsev
Date 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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Straw Man - a weak or sham argument


Posted By: DukeC
Date 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.


Posted By: Anton
Date 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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Posted By: warwolf1969
Date 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.


Posted By: Husaria
Date Posted: 30-May-2009 at 01:03
Winners make the rules.

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"The best tank terrain is that without anti-tank weapons."
-Russian military doctrine.


Posted By: DukeC
Date 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?


Posted By: DukeC
Date 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.


Posted By: warwolf1969
Date Posted: 30-May-2009 at 19:54
How did killing tens of thousand of civilians stop Hitler or Japan.  It didn't, what did stop them was the military victories.  Attacking civilians is, and always will be immoral and illegal.  That is why the geneva convention was made.


Posted By: DukeC
Date Posted: 30-May-2009 at 21:05
Originally posted by warwolf1969 warwolf1969 wrote:

How did killing tens of thousand of civilians stop Hitler or Japan.  It didn't, what did stop them was the military victories.  Attacking civilians is, and always will be immoral and illegal.  That is why the geneva convention was made.
 
The term civilian was relative in WW II. Mass production of weapons and equipment was neccessary to keep modern armies functional in the field as was constant reinforcement and replacement of fresh personel. All these came from the "civilian" populations mobilized into wartime economies. Those German and Japanese civilians weren't busy making peaceful consumer products to be sold for profit, they were busy building planes, tanks, cannons, small arms, ammunition and naval vessels and whatever else their empires needed to keep rolling over the rest of the world. Their kids were going into the military to learn how to kill the troops of the Allied nations.
 
As for the allied bombing campaign in Europe it had no significant effect on German wartime production till late in the war due to the inherent inaccuracy of high level bombing( for each 1,000 feet an unguided iron bomb drops it drifts about 50 feet off target) hence the area "carpet" bombing. What it did do was force the Nazis to redeploy significant forces for defence against the bombing campaign. Most of the Luftwaffe fighter strength eventually ended up defending German home soil and at its' height the German anti-air defences had over 1,000,000 personel. All those fighters, personel and flak guns weren't available for the eastern front where they could have been well employed shooting down the thousands of aerial flying tanks and tactical fighters of the Soviet airforce. At a time when the western allies lacked the ability to engage the Germans on a second front the bombing campaign helped draw off significant forces that might have turned the tide in the Germans favor on the Eastern Front. In a sense it was a second front.
 
The Geneva Conventions were made to codify treatment of combatants in war, IIRC treatment of civilians was secondary to that before 1949.


Posted By: Anton
Date Posted: 30-May-2009 at 22:20
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

 
This also resulted in aggressive actions like violently crushing any independence movements in Eastern Europe and supporting wars in Greece and Korea.
The mess created by Americans in Vietnam cannot be even compared to "violent crushing" of Eastern Europe independence movements and supporting Greek civil war. And this is not the only example. Who is more agressive after all?
 
Quote
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?
It was a result of geopolitical competition between two superpowers and had nothing to do with self defence.


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Posted By: DukeC
Date Posted: 31-May-2009 at 00:12
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

The mess created by Americans in Vietnam cannot be even compared to "violent crushing" of Eastern Europe independence movements and supporting Greek civil war. And this is not the only example. Who is more agressive after all?
 
I seem to remember a communist involvment in that conflict.
Quote
It was a result of geopolitical competition between two superpowers and had nothing to do with self defence.
 
A nice way to put a shine on the crap apple that was Soviet communism, please explain to me things like the Red Terror and the Great Purge before you ask me to take a bite. The Bolsheviks used terror from the start to impose what was little more than bloody anarchy on a population that didn't really support them and all else followed from there.


Posted By: Anton
Date Posted: 31-May-2009 at 01:05
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

 
I seem to remember a communist involvment in that conflict.

What I remember is that USA caused more death of civilians than "Evil Empire" in postwar period.
 
Quote
 
A nice way to put a shine on the crap apple that was Soviet communism, please explain to me things like the Red Terror and the Great Purge before you ask me to take a bite. The Bolsheviks used terror from the start to impose what was little more than bloody anarchy on a population that didn't really support them and all else followed from there.
 
We were talking on the postwar period.  Otherwise why don't you remember brutal Oprichnina times or, for instance, how Peter the Great acted.
I do not try to defend Soviet Communism, my point is  -- while criticizing Sovient Union, western world did (and still do) their brutal things -- Hiroshima and Nagasaki, carpet bombings in Vietnam, other wars etc. etc. justifying their actions by human right violations in those countries and self defence. Typical demagogy in good old Soviet Union traditions. And honestly do not understand how people believe that.
 


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Posted By: DukeC
Date Posted: 31-May-2009 at 14:43
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

What I remember is that USA caused more death of civilians than "Evil Empire" in postwar period. 
 
I find that very debatably given the widepread destruction communist regimes caused wherever they tried to seize and hold power starting in Russia. Violence and terror were seen as acceptable and even neccessary to further the communist cause as far back Marx. It's probably why the ideology attracted sociopaths like Stalin, Mao and so many lesser murderers in the first place. You don't create equality and stability in a society through murder, torture, and widespread repression.
 
It was the destabilizing effect on the whole world that Soviet communism created that was behind most of the violence and upheaval of the Cold War. Americans are businessmen for the most part, they would have been just as happy selling cars, refrigerators and TVs to the rest of the world instead of having to fight a bunch of foaming at the mouth radicals bent on giving us a worldwide workers paradise even if it meant killing most of us. Whos' the aggressor anyway, a nation that for most of it's history was content to mind its own business or one that had violent and ongoing revolution that was supposed to be some sort of cathartic cleansing as a founding principle. I wouldn't be sitting in an independent Canada right now if the U.S. by nature was in constant and violent expansion. We're talking about a nation that for most of its history had the smallest military for a country of its size in the world. Before WW II its army was 19 largest in the world, smaller than Portugals. It took a massive suprise attack by Japan and a declaration of war by the Germans to change that, the American people who really run the country didn't want to participate in the violence engulfing the world even in late 1941. We wouldn't even be dealing with the subject of this thread if not for the rude awakening that occured against most Americans will. How is America the most violent and aggressive nation when given its own choice it would pick commerce over violence as a way of life.
 
Even after WW II it would have gone back to that pattern and was heading that way before events engineered from far away once again changed the course of the nation.
 
I don't think there is anything moral, justified or even desirable about the way of life communism and particularly the Soviet version offered. It robbed people of their freedom, dignity, health and often their lives in a misguided pursuit of a utopian ideal that was never and could never be reached. You want equality in a society, give people a vote that means something and let them have a free press. You want peace and a better world, don't kill off the most productive and motivated members of a society and then wonder why production plummits and millions starve to death.
 
It was the violence created by the Bolsheviks to, at first, hold power in Russia then expand it that was at the root of much of the conflict in the last century, the Americans were called on not once but many times to sort out the mess that "people" like Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and others were busy creating for their own limited gains. There's a reason the Soviet Union fell apart and it had nothing to do with western aggression. It was rotten from the start and represented what is worst in us as a species, not best.


Posted By: Anton
Date Posted: 31-May-2009 at 15:37
All this tirade has nothing to do with my point. My point was comparison of methods and justifications used by USA and USSR. They are very similar. Much more similar than you think. I do not defend communism at all. I agree with your assessment of communism but still American actions around the world were not different -- killings, destruction, massacres and military dominance required by some economical/geopolitical reasons. 




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Posted By: Anton
Date Posted: 31-May-2009 at 15:48
Quote
It was the violence created by the Bolsheviks to, at first, hold power in Russia then expand it that was at the root of much of the conflict in the last century, the Americans were called on not once but many times to sort out the mess that "people" like Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and others were busy creating for their own limited gains. There's a reason the Soviet Union fell apart and it had nothing to do with western aggression. It was rotten from the start and represented what is worst in us as a species, not best.

This is funny. Take a look the methods they used to sort it out: Operation Ranch Hand, My Lai Massacre, Operation Menu, Operation Cyclone in Afghanistan etc. etc. etc. What kind of mess did they sort out by these methods? I would rather say, they only increase the mess there.




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Posted By: DukeC
Date Posted: 31-May-2009 at 16:37
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

This is funny. Take a look the methods they used to sort it out: Operation Ranch Hand, My Lai Massacre, Operation Menu, Operation Cyclone in Afghanistan etc. etc. etc. What kind of mess did they sort out by these methods? I would rather say, they only increase the mess there.
 
It still doesn't change my point that Vietnam and so many other conflicts never would have happened without the communist influence.
 
And there's no doubt that large standing armies do have a corrosive effect on democracies as I think Jefferson said and Ike reiterated in 1961. But what choice did the U.S. have, lie down and die or fight back, those seemed to be the two options when you examine the communist agenda and record closely and devoid of all the smoke and mirrors.
 
The U.S. today would have been a very different nation without the poisoning effect communism had on its development. It survived the conflict whos' roots were in the  paranoia and fear spreading out from the Kremlin for years, but not unscathed. You want to look for the source of much of the worlds woes, just turn your eyes northeastwards? from where you are.
 
 


Posted By: Anton
Date Posted: 31-May-2009 at 17:43
Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

 
It still doesn't change my point that Vietnam and so many other conflicts never would have happened without the communist influence.
 


USA started several wars after fall of USSR with the last one having clearly economical reasons -- control over large oil resources. It has nothing to do with communism and paranoia spread by Kremlin. I don't think your point is right. Besides, even though you think that Vietnam war wouldn't happen without communism ideology, those acts performed by Americans in Vietnam  cannot be justified by this logic. I shall remind you that for most cases nobody was convicted and thus many people nowadays suffer from this impunity.


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Posted By: DukeC
Date Posted: 31-May-2009 at 18:32
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

 USA started several wars after fall of USSR with the last one having clearly economical reasons -- control over large oil resources. It has nothing to do with communism and paranoia spread by Kremlin. I don't think your point is right. Besides, even though you think that Vietnam war wouldn't happen without communism ideology, those acts performed by Americans in Vietnam  cannot be justified by this logic. I shall remind you that for most cases nobody was convicted and thus many people nowadays suffer from this impunity.
 
Like I said, large standing armies are corrosive to democracies. They're also neccessary to deal with the kind of threat the Soviets posed to freedom of choice worldwide. Giving none to their own citizens, Soviet leadership felt it was their right to try and deprive us all.
 
 Vietnam was a brutal war on both sides. Ho may have apologized for the communist terror in the North after the defeat of the French that took thousands of lives but it didn't bring the dead back or stop his successors from doing the same thing in the south. Over 1,000,000 people fled south Vietnam to escape the communist violence after 1975, almost a third died in the attempt.
 
 
 
 
 
 


Posted By: Anton
Date Posted: 31-May-2009 at 20:54
"Giving none to their own citizens"???? Actually Soviet Union provided quite a lot for their citizens, although I agree that freedom is not among those things.
 
"Vietnam was a brutal war on both sides. "
Exactly! This proves my point -- there was NO difference between those two sides.


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Posted By: Cezar
Date Posted: 01-Jun-2009 at 11:56

This thread has been interesting from the beginning. Before I make a point I would like to quote some of the participants to highlight some opinions:

Originally posted by Adawolf Adawolf wrote:

World War II was a total war, everything was a target. The point of the mass bombings was to cripple the Axis morale and production capabilities, and it succeeded.

Originally posted by Genghis Genghis wrote:

Necessity, enemy civilians are still the enemy.

Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

The Japanese Imperial authority did not direct surrender until AFTER the second device had been detonated. The tactic worked; the war ended.

Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

What we do know is that the bombs ended the war, all else is conjucture. I think given the level of technology and the drive by ALL sides to aquire weapons of mass destruction during the war it's inevitable they would be developed and if neccessary used.

Truman had a terrible choice to make, one that took many lives. But one that also saved many.

Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

The Japanese were waging unlimited warfare in the western Pacific long before the U.S. entered the war. Making an unprovoked, undeclared attack on Pearl Harbor gave the U.S. all the justification it needed to carry the war against Japan out on any terms it felt neccessary. Atrocities like the Bataan Deathmarch just hardened U.S. determination to end the war as quickly as possible.

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.

Originally posted by pekau pekau wrote:

Crime. Even if it was necessary, mass murder is mass murder. Killing most of the citizens and leaving the survivors to die a slow death by radiation is crime. Mass destruction for sake of others does not make it right, in terms of morality.

Originally posted by pekau pekau wrote:

Total war or not, attacking defenseless is a crime by definition.

Originally posted by giordano giordano wrote:

To kill civilians is a crime and it doesn't matter who did it.If your enemy killed civilians this doesn't give right of to kill civilians

Originally posted by warwolf1969 warwolf1969 wrote:

Crime. The US goverment knew the Japanise leadership was going to surrender when Russia declared war. They knew it and still dropped the bombs.

Originally posted by Zaitsev Zaitsev wrote:

The United States' decision had nothing to do with ending the war. The decision to use the nuclear arsenal against civilians was for the dual purposes of testing the power of nuclear devices for future reference, and to send a message to America's rivals across the globe, especially the USSR.

Regarding the morality of the incident, it is inexcusable. To employ weaponry of any kind directly targeted against civilian populations is reprehensible and shows a complete moral bankruptcy.

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

The former allies should stop to claim for themselves WW II as a sort of religious cause for the good values of mankind, when it is well know allies commited lot of crimes against humanity during that terrible war: Dresde and Hiroshima are just two of those crimes.

Mass killing civilians is genocide, and that was what WW II was all about: massive genocide on civilians. Both sides were guilty of that, and the discussion can only go to determine which side was more brutal or which side started the first. Both sides should be ashamed of the largest massacre the world ever witnessed

Originally posted by Zaitsev Zaitsev wrote:

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.

I selected these because I think they are more related to the topic than other. But the thing I find strange is that most of those who support the bombings show a quite restricted view on history and use some sort of twisted logic to justifiy that event.

In my humble opinion, the two nuclear shows were nothing than a political move. The Japanese surrendered after the bombings, yes, but did they do it because of the bombings? Or better said just because Hiroshima&Nagasaki? I think that the most important trigger was the USSR entering the conflict. Up until the end the Japanese goverment was hoping to make a deal with Stalin. Why is it that some people forget the fact that most of the Japanese forces were on the continent, not on the home islands?
One thing that constantly pops up when people are justifying the bombings is that Japan had been committing crimes all along the war. I think that's quite strange. Let's see, the Japs and the Jerry's are the bad guys because they are killing innocents from our side. Therefeore we should kill innocents on their side to show them that although we are the good guys, we can be worse than them. So USA is good just because it has more power. So WWII was not about good against bad it was just power. Mainly, the justification of killing the civilians comes from the idea that the "bad guys" did it first and the "good guys" had no other choice but to do the same in order to win the war. Is it so? Let's focus on some events.

The war in Europe started with the Germans apllying a new tactic. But the first to sistematically start bombing cities were not them. The Allies decided to do it in May 1940. Almost everywhere this is justified by two attacks of the Luftwaffe: Warszaw and Rotterdam. But these two were only episodes. And the bombing took place in the tactical theater. Both cities were bombed by the Luftwaffe while german ground forces were besieging them. Even in the BoB the Luftwaffe hardly targeted indiscriminately the British cities. But the Blitz also shows something people forget to realise: the fact that bombing civilians doesn't destroy their morale. I'm sure the English were affected by the loss of lives but did that had the effect of setting Britain out of the war? On the other hand the British were acutely aware that the Bob was in fact a close call because should the Luftawaffe had maintained an all out offensive against the Fighter Command bases in the South the outcome might have been different. So the facts were there: the most effective way to eliminate the enemy is to attack their military forces. But what was the decision? Build more big bombers and start a bombing campaign against German population. Boost results so that the people don't question the decision. Does anyone who is so fond of the strategic bombing campaign knows that by 1943 the RAF BC was in fact a waste of resources? Except for the death toll of bomber crews and German civilians, off course. Some say that in fact the strategic bombing campaign, especially after USAAF joined in, caused the fall of the Luftwaffe. But the fact is that the bombing were directed against the German (and their allies) cities. The Luftwaffe needed to engage the bombers but how many raids were directed against the German airbases? If the goal is to achieve air supremacy why attacking targets that are not directly related to the Luftwaffe?

The fact is that the Allies waged the bombing campaign because they could and because they were not afraid that their adversaries could retaliate. Not on the same scale, anyway. The fear of rtaliation was in fact what spared the civilians (and combatantas) on both sides to be submited to chemical warfare. We know for sure that the Germans and the Japanese were trying to develop biological weapons. They used humans for their experiences something that the other side could not because their were democratic, human, etc.etc.Maybe the fact is that we do not know yet if and how the Allies and/or USSR were researching bioweapons. Germany was also researching the possibility of developing a nuke. But with the resources available there was no chance to compete with USA. In the end the fact remains that a mass destruction weapon was developed and used by the "good guys". And it happend at a moment when the enemy was no more a real threat for the "free world". My personal opinion is that a demonstration of the power of the new killing toy would have had similar results.

To keep on saying that the bombs ended the war is not being aware of what those who are in power seek. Most likely it was just a game to justifiy the stupidity of "unconditional surrender". Great words. But these words were used by both sides to continue the slaughter. Hitler (Goebbels) rejoiced when they heard that. It was one of the most needed boosts they were looking for to keep their power. The same goes for Japan. If the goal was to punish those guilty for the war and for war crimes how come that such an enlighted character as FRD is portrayed couldn't come out with something more substantiate. He, and not just him, was only doing what he best knew: manipulating people to stay in power. The lives of US soldiers and citizens? They couldn't care less about them unless their chances to be reelected went down with them. The real problem is that people think that the number of people killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was lower than the number of people that would have died in an invasion. The real issue is that an invasion would have resulted probably in Harry & Co. losing their power. Because they would have find it difficult to explain that an US soldiers must lose their lives for an "unconditional surrender" of Japan. That goes for Britain and the other too. The only one who would have gained if the war was prolonged was USSR. Actually, I think Stalin was more than happy with the stupidity of Roosevelt's sintagm.

Some say that the need for retaliation was what determined the Allies to begin their bombing raids. I can go for it but should they have kept on doing it after the war was beginning to look bad for the Axis? And while most people feel the need for revenge are we electing our leaders to act based on emotions? Those who want power more than anything thrive on emotions. Because it is way harder to be constructive than destructive. And much harder to keep control of the people without panem and circens (gladiators and blodshed included in the package). Japan was "evil". That doesn't automatically make USA "good".

This is bcoming really long so I would like to end with a problem:

You are the president of the USA. Russia has just launched a full scale missile (nuclear) strike targeting USA. Your choice is simple:

A. retaliate and the end of human life on Earth is almost certain.

B. do not fire back and give human race a chance to survive and maybe learn something.

What is your choice?



Posted By: DukeC
Date Posted: 02-Jun-2009 at 18:47

I didn't say the U.S. used atomic weapons based on the precedent created by the Japanese atrocities in China, I said they were used in part to stop the atrocities that had been ongoing there for more than a decade. There's a big difference.

I've said about as much as I'm going to say on this topic as I have limited online time now.
 
 

 



Posted By: Sun Tzu
Date Posted: 03-Jun-2009 at 18:25
Not only that but if you read a history textbook Japan and Germany were the aggressors, too bad that bombs were dropped on Japan i'm sorry for that comment. If your the aggressor you either win or you get severely punished for your folly in enacting war on any country,Japan was screwed from the beginning as Yamamoto once said "I fear we have awoken a sleeping giant." If it was anyone's fault it was the Japanese govt. that forsook it's own people it is charged with protecting by striking another country especially for not even declaring war.

Bombing Japan was wrong and I am still ashamed that my country will always be known as the first to use nuclear weapons.

So what I am trying to get at is that although I will never praise my country for using the bomb to end the war for military and political reasons. No matter who you are if you hit first you are going to be hit harder because noone likes an aggreessor (bully) and it is one of the reasons why war is hell.

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Sun Tzu

All warfare is based on deception - Sun Tzu


Posted By: Cezar
Date Posted: 04-Jun-2009 at 15:19
Originally posted by Sun Tzu Sun Tzu wrote:

If your the aggressor you either win or you get severely punished for your folly in enacting war on any country (...)
 No matter who you are if you hit first you are going to be hit harder because noone likes an aggreessor (bully) (...)
OH, really?
In 1938 Chechoslovakia was dismemered because Hitler (the bully) took advantage of France and Great Britain political ambigousness. Poland took part in the carnage and.
In 1939 Germany invaded Poland. Basically, Hitler hoped that F&GB would not dare to go to war especially since he knew that USSR would not. USSR too invaded Poland (agressorAngry!).
In 1940 USSR attacked Finland on matters similar to those that stood at the base of Germany invading Poland. Finland gets beaten and nobody does anything.
In spring 1940 Germany invades Norway, which was a neutral country. It was one of the accusations for "war crimes" at Nurnberg. The fact is that the Germans beated F,GB&Co. at invading Norway since we know that they too were on their way to invade that country. Both parts were agressors but only Germany lost the war.
In 1940 Italy too begins a series of agressions in Europe and in Africa. At the end of the war, although, Italy is considered a cobeligerant on the Allied side.
In 1940 Romania gets teared apart by Hungary and USSR. F&GB were no more able to offer guarantees. A political choice is made to side with the Axis because of what Hitler promised to Romania in exchange for resources and military support. For three years Romania fights beside Germany. Then, in August 1944, Romania changes sides and actively supports USSR against the Axis.  Unlike Italy, the cobeligerant status is not granted. Thus, without being the agressor we get a beating and almost 50 years of dictatorship.
Finland gets a similar treatment though less painful for their people since they manage to not be "turned red".
I could go on with examples of "agressors" not being beaten and "agressed" getting out really ugly.
Let's see: there are a whole lot of people who think that in 2003 USA commited an agression in Iraq. There are also lots of people who think US soldiers are commiting atrocities out there (actually it seems that not only there, does Guantanamo Bay rings a bell?). How about nuking two US cities to stop that? Off course, according to your logic and DukeC's if something like that will happen it would be US govt fault. 
 


Posted By: Sun Tzu
Date Posted: 05-Jun-2009 at 02:10
There is a saying that says "Evil prevails when good men fail to act and sometimes evil prevails." It really is terrible that England and France failed to act early when they could. The U.S. should have acted early as well but most Americans did not want their sons dying for a foreign war.For some reason we don't seem have any respect for in the world anyomore with thousands of my countrymen that died for other people's petty disputes. I wouldn't want to die for another country would you?? especially when it doesn't seem to garner any respect for my country today.

Oh and do you really want to go on about Iraq?!?!?!?!?!?! I will agree that the war in Iraq was aggression. Waterboarding at Guantanamo is torture, another unpleasant thing that the U.S. has done but it is nowhere near to overtly conquering other countries and sending over 6 million to their deaths. Besides it is always easy to consider a country an aggressor especially when that country is larger and more powerful.

As for Iraq... when the U.S. starts sending martyrs out to blow themselves up to kill innocent people then I'll consider my country aggressive. As far as I'm concerned, The U.S. has it's own share of trangsgressions, but no where near other countries. Your from Romania right; well it is easy for you to criticize anyone. For one your country isn't the most powerful in the world. If almost anyone goes to war with Romania, Romania would be considered the victim. I'm really looking forward to the day the U.S. is no longer a superpower so that we won't be so easy to criticize.

So I would not call my country a "bully" you really have to look at the parameters of the situation and I would like to see the information about U.S. soldiers blowing up innocents. I would also like to hear what "atrocities that U.S. soldiers are committing." please write some facts that you know are true and from what sources you find these facts from.

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Sun Tzu

All warfare is based on deception - Sun Tzu


Posted By: Etnad
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2009 at 14:39
Necessity. Imagine what a ground invasion of Japan would have resulted in?



Posted By: Anton
Date Posted: 07-Jun-2009 at 21:19
Originally posted by Sun Tzu Sun Tzu wrote:



So I would not call my country a "bully" you really have to look at the parameters of the situation and I would like to see the information about U.S. soldiers blowing up innocents. I would also like to hear what "atrocities that U.S. soldiers are committing." please write some facts that you know are true and from what sources you find these facts from.
Haditha incident, Hamdania incident, Ishaqi, Mahmydiyah killing, bombing of wedding party in Mukaradeeb, Abu Ghraib prisoners abuse.


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Posted By: Cezar
Date Posted: 16-Jun-2009 at 10:49
Originally posted by Etnad Etnad wrote:

Necessity. Imagine what a ground invasion of Japan would have resulted in?

Imagine what a "negociated capitulation" instead of "unconditional surrender" would have resulted in?



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