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Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:04 PM

Under what circumstances is it justifiable to use nuclear weapons against a civilian population?

I must admit, I don't think the use of nuclear weapons against a civilian population can ever be justified.

Customary international humanitarian law is based on the principles of proportionality and discrimination. A military action must make reasonable efforts to discriminate between civilian and military targets. However, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings made no such efforts, they were deliberately calculated to kill as many civilians as possible. Therefore, they could never be justified.

There seem to be a few arguments circulating around for why the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were warranted:-

(a) "the Japanese started the war by bombing Pearl Harbor, therefore the US was justified in using nuclear weapons in response."

Leaving aside the issue of previous US sanctions against Japan, this would presumably mean that Vietnam would have been justified in using nuclear weapons against American cities in response to the Gulf of Tonkin incident, or that countries would be justified in using nuclear weapons wherever the other side "started it".

(b) "World War II between the United States and Japan was total war, therefore the normal rules regarding morality do not apply"

If that is true, then Japanese atrocities such as the Rape of Nanking, Unit 732 and the death marches in Burma would be as much justified as Western atrocities such as the firebombing of Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It would also imply that Japan would have been entitled to use nuclear weapons against American cities, had they discovered them first.

(c) "The atomic strikes against Japan hastened the end of the war, therefore they were justified"

This would seem to apply to potentially any war. The Korean War, for example, essentially ended as a bloody stalemate. Had the US used nuclear bombs against North Korean and Chinese targets, it would likely have won the war, and the North Korean population today would not be living under a dictatorship. A nuclear strike against Cambodia might have prevented the murderous regime of the Khmer Rouge. Et cetera.

I don't find many of these excuses very compelling, to be honest, although I recognise that for the patriotically minded person, the morality of US actions in WWII is something of an article of faith.

I have to say, that about the only decent argument you could mount for potentially justifying a nuclear strike against civilians is in relation to nuclear deterrence. To effectively deter an American nuclear strike, for example, the Russians need to demonstrate that they have the ability and the will to cause unacceptable losses to the United States, including potentially to their civilian population. Were the Russians to state publicly that launching nuclear strikes on civilian cities is unjustifiable, it would imply that they were unwilling to fully retaliate in the event of an American nuclear strike, and this would potentially undercut nuclear deterrence and correspondingly the level of peace and stability between those countries.

I don't think that this argument is entirely sound - for one thing, it would not require any country to actually conduct nuclear strikes, it would just require posturing from each that they were willing to do so. But in any event this argument would not serve to justify Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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Reply Under what circumstances is it justifiable to use nuclear weapons against a civilian population? (Original post)
shaayecanaan Aug 2013 OP
usGovOwesUs3Trillion Aug 2013 #1
RedCappedBandit Aug 2013 #3
pasto76 Aug 2013 #27
white_wolf Aug 2013 #57
damyank913 Aug 2013 #97
JaneyVee Aug 2013 #2
Ed Suspicious Aug 2013 #4
quinnox Aug 2013 #5
rug Aug 2013 #6
BlueJazz Aug 2013 #23
rug Aug 2013 #24
ZombieHorde Aug 2013 #60
Dragonfli Aug 2013 #67
BlueJazz Aug 2013 #71
quakerboy Aug 2013 #79
leftstreet Aug 2013 #7
PETRUS Aug 2013 #8
OnyxCollie Aug 2013 #51
TransitJohn Aug 2013 #9
truedelphi Aug 2013 #10
Fantastic Anarchist Aug 2013 #17
truedelphi Aug 2013 #70
Fantastic Anarchist Aug 2013 #81
truedelphi Aug 2013 #98
malaise Aug 2013 #11
Fumesucker Aug 2013 #12
shaayecanaan Aug 2013 #40
Fantastic Anarchist Aug 2013 #13
sarisataka Aug 2013 #14
oldhippie Aug 2013 #15
lumberjack_jeff Aug 2013 #16
shaayecanaan Aug 2013 #42
lumberjack_jeff Aug 2013 #53
shaayecanaan Aug 2013 #68
Dragonfli Aug 2013 #76
another_liberal Aug 2013 #91
lumberjack_jeff Aug 2013 #77
Dragonfli Aug 2013 #18
kestrel91316 Aug 2013 #20
BlueJazz Aug 2013 #25
Dragonfli Aug 2013 #28
usGovOwesUs3Trillion Aug 2013 #26
Dragonfli Aug 2013 #33
Hydra Aug 2013 #36
Name removed Aug 2013 #49
snort Aug 2013 #37
jeff47 Aug 2013 #43
Dragonfli Aug 2013 #63
jeff47 Aug 2013 #69
Dragonfli Aug 2013 #73
jeff47 Aug 2013 #86
Dragonfli Aug 2013 #93
treestar Aug 2013 #88
Dragonfli Aug 2013 #89
treestar Aug 2013 #92
Dragonfli Aug 2013 #94
polly7 Aug 2013 #19
99Forever Aug 2013 #21
PufPuf23 Aug 2013 #22
snort Aug 2013 #38
joshcryer Aug 2013 #44
Tien1985 Aug 2013 #29
japple Aug 2013 #30
Blecht Aug 2013 #31
bravenak Aug 2013 #32
Recursion Aug 2013 #34
snort Aug 2013 #35
tblue Aug 2013 #39
Marrah_G Aug 2013 #41
MrModerate Aug 2013 #45
mick063 Aug 2013 #46
jeff47 Aug 2013 #47
Savannahmann Aug 2013 #48
heaven05 Aug 2013 #50
Pab Sungenis Aug 2013 #52
another_liberal Aug 2013 #54
Phillyindy Aug 2013 #55
bobclark86 Aug 2013 #56
Deep13 Aug 2013 #58
arely staircase Aug 2013 #59
Nevernose Aug 2013 #61
Phillyindy Aug 2013 #66
Name removed Aug 2013 #80
Name removed Aug 2013 #84
ZombieHorde Aug 2013 #62
markiv Aug 2013 #64
dogknob Aug 2013 #65
HappyMe Aug 2013 #72
markiv Aug 2013 #74
prefunk Aug 2013 #75
AmyStrange Aug 2013 #78
HiPointDem Aug 2013 #82
bluedeathray Aug 2013 #83
kentauros Aug 2013 #85
LWolf Aug 2013 #87
hobbit709 Aug 2013 #90
Bake Aug 2013 #95
One_Life_To_Give Aug 2013 #96
shaayecanaan Aug 2013 #99

Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:06 PM

1. Only a terrorist would think it justified

 

imho

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Response to usGovOwesUs3Trillion (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 09:32 PM

27. replace terrorist with 'radical'

cause Bush 43 was very keen on developing 'nucular' bunker busters, and more tactical nuclear weapon systems.

The affect on civilians not even in the blast radius is so severe. Really, only a lunatic thinks a nuclear weapon is _ever_ justified.

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Response to pasto76 (Reply #27)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:50 PM

57. "tactical nuclear weapon systems"

That has to be the very definition of an oxymoron.

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Response to pasto76 (Reply #27)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 03:56 PM

97. Come on! Dubya's heart was in the right place...

...he was bringing freedom to those folks.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:08 PM

2. Never.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:08 PM

4. Never.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:09 PM

5. Excellent post. Yup, they are all just lame excuses

 

And people don't understand what they are advocating with their arguments either, if they are using these excuses. As you pointed out in your cogent analysis.

And another major one that many fail to grasp, if using nuclear weapons is justified, then doesn't that mean we should use them in the future? Why not? It follows that we should use nuclear weapons to settle conflicts if you accept these arguments. Which, of course, is pure insanity.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:11 PM

6. Only if we're overrun by zombies.

And even then, it's arguable.

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Response to rug (Reply #6)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 09:16 PM

23. If we see them coming, and screaming "We want Brains" (via Telescope)..I'll push the damn button.

I've watched enough of "The walking Dead" to know those Fuckers are up to no good.

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Response to BlueJazz (Reply #23)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 09:17 PM

24. Hell, I'll find everyone named Otis and throw them at them.

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Response to BlueJazz (Reply #23)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:55 PM

60. Don't let a few bad apples put us all in a bad light.

The vast majority of us just want to eat your flesh and convert your loved ones into one of us.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #60)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 11:12 PM

67. I get that, it is a form of extreme friendliness.

you just want to make more new zombie friends for the loving horde, literally make them, while of course taking a little well deserved nosh.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #60)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 11:19 PM

71. OK..OK...it's..it's not the brain-eating and stuff...I mean, I'm having a problem here. It's hard...

...to tell people these things but here goes and PLEASE don't take it personally...sigh,,,It's the breath thing...Yes...
I..I....almost want to puke when they start to eat my neck so I (naturally) run away. Sweet Jesus...can't you brush and floss
once in awhile ?? There's gum that would, at least, make it bearable....and mouthwash..(Yeah, I know it leaks out of your jaw but hey..we're all friends here). So how about it ??...no more rotten disgusting breath and we'll BOTH be happy

Ps: Bon appetite !!

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #60)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 12:31 AM

79. Boundaries

Gotta learn boundaries.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:13 PM

7. Never

Good OP

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:14 PM

8. Anytime it's profitable, of course.

If needed:

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Response to PETRUS (Reply #8)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:46 PM

51. I was going to ask, "Can you make money off it?" nt

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:14 PM

9. None. eom

n/t

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:20 PM

10. Our government and military's use of depleted uranium is a

Travesty. Although I mourn the loss of life in Japan, we were in a total war scenario, and we had been attacked first.

There was no excuse for Nagasaki, but until we bombed the Japanese at Hiroshima, most of our military analysts believed we were in serious trouble. We would be sending a half million of our service people into battle, going up against people of Japan and that there might be casualties as high as 100,000 killed, and another 100,000 seriously wounded.

But in Spring of 2003, we had no real reason to attack the people of Iraq. They now have sky high rates of birth defects and cancer, because of the depleted uranium that has been used there. Babies are born that look more like hamburger meat than infants. Some are born without eyes; some are born already suffering from blastomas and other deadly cancers.

Although depleted uranium is a rather benign material, if it is hardened and put to use in shielding tanks or jeeps, or being part of the shells for missiles, once the material experiences combustion, as it does upon explosion, it becomes vaporized and highly risky. Entire neighborhoods have been drenched with the stuff. And I and others believe this was done as part of a deliberate genocidal effort.

It was also allowed by "Western Civilization" against the people of Serbia, in our NATO war against them. And also against the people of Afghanistan.

There are two major repercussions for the USA itself - the male servicemen who have experienced a release of radiation from pulverized DU material release it through exchange of bodily fluid into their spouses, and there is the possibility of berth defects from that. The female service people have it directly inside them - so they are more likely to have infants with serious birth defects. There is also a much higher risk of cancer for service people who have absorbed the DU. And these women are of course also at a much higher risk of cancer.

Secondly, the fact of the matter is, as geo-physicist Leuren Moret has explained - any radiation release to any neighborhood on earth ends up fairly evenly distributed into the atmosphere, except for the small portion that is directly absorbed. So when a shell shielded with DU exploded in Bagdad, the radiation material that went int the soil is in the soil, there in Iraq. But the parts of the DU material that ended up, like much of the shell casing, exploding and being pulverized - much of that went into the atmosphere. There is debate about whether it is evenly distributed - some scientists now believe that more poisons end up over the poles that the other parts of the globe.

But in any event, we now have an atmosphere above us that contains five times the amount of radiation that was above human kind on Dec 31st, 1945. And that radiation does fall back to earth. very rare cancers are being experienced by infants and youngsters in the USA. As to be expected, more of these cancers are found among new immigrants from the Serbia and Croatian areas, and from the Middle East. And among our service people. But some of these cancers exist in children whose parents had nothing to do with the war, other than perhaps pay their taxes. The earth's atmosphere, and what we allow our corporations and governments to put up into it, is a great equalizer!

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Response to truedelphi (Reply #10)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:43 PM

17. No.

Our intelligence had already cracked their code and the war could have been ended in July 1945 (without all of the firebombing). Even as early as September 1944 (almost a full year prior), Japan was making overtures to Chiang Kai-Shek about possible peace scenarios.

There were many peace overtures through Soviet, Swedish, and Portuguese channels in April, May, and July.

Our intelligence believed that two things would have to happen for Japan to surrender. Our affirmation that they retain the emperor as sovereign (albeit under Allied Command authority), and the Soviet army invasion, which occurred on August 8th. We dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6th. Why then couldn't we wait two days before using atomic weapons on defenseless civilians? Logistically, if we had implemented any invasion of mainland Japan, it would have taken three months to plan. So, why then, couldn't we wait until August 10th when Japan did surrender, which was ostensibly conditional since they did get to retain their emperor as sovereign under Allied Command authority, something which could have been agreed upon earlier that June?

There was but one purpose for those "barbarous" weapons. It was in anticipation of a bi-polar superpower world where we would need to show how big our prick was first.

"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." ~ Robert Oppenheimer quoting Krishna

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #17)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 11:15 PM

70. I am aware of the things you are bringing up.

And in a very ideal and loving world, where everybody is all about forgiveness and peace and happiness, ideas like yours would have been carried through. And I can say that I would have been happier with that situation.


But at the time, the Japanese were hated. Most people in the nation were indifferent to how much the Japanese suffered. (Or for that matter, how much people in Dresden Germany suffered, when our bombers made that city into a furnace that incinerated its civilian population.)


So the people at the top of the military/scientific community here in the USA were fine with going ahead and doing this. The public certainly danced in the streets regardless of the death toll in Dresden, or Hiroshima, or Nagasaki.




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Response to truedelphi (Reply #70)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 02:48 AM

81. No, again.

And it didn't have to be in a world that is "very ideal and loving," or "all about forgiveness and peace and happiness." I appreciate you mocking such an ideal world, though.

The military practitioners of the war thought it was barbarous and militarily unnecessary. The war could have ended earlier in June or July saving about about 50,000 or 60,000 American lives. The people at home would have been elated to see more of their boys come home earlier.

Truman held through Potsdam knowing his intelligence community was intercepting Japanese messages regarding peace agreements with the via the Soviet Union, and through Swedish and Portuguese channels.

He wanted to use the bomb, and he got his wish.

Unforgivable.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #81)

Thu Aug 8, 2013, 07:22 PM

98. I was not at all mocking any such world.

You don't know me - don't assign values to someone you don't know.

Also, I doubt that Truman had the ability to do more than sign off on what the top military folks wanted to have done. He might have been enthused about doing it - but then, that would be their fault, as they didn't offer him the information needed.

And that same group of military/top scientists did not offer our service people much input, or our civilian populations much input. Entire towns and cities in Utah and Nevada were decimated by cancer rates once our above ground atomic testing was in place. Measures could have been in place to see to it that people didn't give milk or cheese to their kids, in the aftermath of those tests.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:21 PM

11. Under no circumstance

It's that simple.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:23 PM

12. You don't have to use nukes to kill a great many civilians.

Is it the method or the intent and execution that count?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Tokyo

The Operation Meetinghouse firebombing of Tokyo on the night of 9/10 March 1945 was the single deadliest air raid of World War II; greater than Dresden, Hiroshima, or Nagasaki as single events.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #12)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:13 PM

40. No

As the Confucian philosopher Mencius said "does it matter whether you kill a man with a sword or a club?"

I regard the Blitz of London, the bombing of Dresden, the firebombing of Tokyo, the Rape of Nanking and Hiroshima as all being war crimes.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:24 PM

13. Great post.

Also, a rarely mentioned argument you made regarding US sanctions. That's rarely discussed.

Your other points remain firm, concise and are actually quite irrefutable.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:25 PM

14. It is never justifiable to use

nuclear or conventional weapons specifically against a civilian population.

That said, the infrastructure that supports the military is inexorably entwined with the civilian population in every country. The greater the weapon used to target that infrastructure, the greater the civilian casualties will be. Nuclear weapons having the greatest destructive potential will cause larger numbers of civilian casualties, weapon for weapon.

There is good reason why we have not seen nuclear weapons used on civilian or military targets in nearly 70 years. Hopefully we have the wisdom to avoid using them for another 7000 years.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:26 PM

15. Justification is determined by ...

... the victors, at least initially.

Later on, historians (and just plain old folks, like us) will argue about it.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:32 PM

16. I think this is wankerism.

Would the world be better if Truman had made a different choice? Who knows, but I think it is unlikely.

What we do know is that nuclear weapons have never been used in anger since. I think it's unlikely that the same can be said about the 70 years following the development of any other weapon.

Humans learn important lessons not by success but by failure. The results so horrified us that we don't want to do it again.

For better or worse, humans have learned something about proportionality since then.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #16)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:16 PM

42. So there was a grace period?

The United States was entitled to use nuclear weapons once (or twice, as the case may be) but the use of nuclear weapons became immoral thereafter once we all learned how horrible they were.

You don't think that the US had an inkling of how bad nuclear weapons were previously?

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #42)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:48 PM

53. Entitled is your word

I'm saying that I'm not at all confident that the world is a worse place because we did.

And no. The US had a very clear perspective of how bad World War II was (a perspective that I think has dimmed with time) but a different perspective about the ways in which nuclear weapons differ from conventional warfare.

Of the 85 million people killed in WW2 (55 million of whom were civilians) 246,000 or 0.29% were killed by nuclear weapons.

Estimates of the number of Iraqis who have died due to the most recent war range from 174,000 to 1million+. I fail to see the logic that explains why one is worse than the other.

The quick end to the war is what enabled Japan to exit it with it's industrial capacity intact.

Contemporary advisers to Truman believed that the US military would experience 400,000–800,000 fatalities, and five to ten million Japanese fatalities.

Simply put: the only justifiable reason to kill someone is to save two others. Or in this case, 40 others.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #53)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 11:12 PM

68. You could say the same about my murdering Fred...

I bludgeoned Fred to death with a rusty tyre iron the other night. But I'm not at all confident that the world is a worse place because I did.

Fred, after all, drank far too much, and drove far too often when he did. He had already been booked three times before for drink driving, and it was only a matter of time before he sideswiped a bunch of kids waiting for their school bus. My murdering Fred saved more lives than it ended.

The world is a better place because I murdered Fred, therefore it is justified.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #68)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 12:00 AM

76. Think how many could be saved if we murdered all the Freds in two cities! You're onta sumpin!

edited to add: didn't that guy nearly kill a young boy not to long before you murdered him just because he was standing behind a deer and he couldn't see him? The basterd had it coming considering that and all the future drunk driving fatalities picked up by your pre-cog division.

Or I could be confusing him with someone else

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #76)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 12:26 PM

91. Carl has turned . . .

In my opinion, Carl has turned into one scary little fucker!

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #68)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 12:02 AM

77. "The matter of time" before Fred was going to sideswipe the school bus was "immediately".

The suicide note had been written, the bus schedule had been carefully examined, his route was determined and his car was on the road accelerating to 70mph.

Operation downfall was set to commence in October. Fortunately Japan surrendered in August. It wasn't a speculative exercise, it was a choice between a small array of bad options.

I see a lot of evidence that it was the least bad choice.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:46 PM

18. I keep getting posts hidden for pointing out that the lack of empathy required

to approve of and even cheer on the killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians (mostly women, children and the elderly) would make one a sociopath by definition. Many of the deaths were painfully and tortuously slow, many children that survived the initial atrocities died a few years later of cancer.

I really see the types of posters we now have, they applaud atrocities as clever and acceptable tactics and hide posts from someone that still possesses human empathy and knows the technical term used to describe those without human empathy.

Because I still have a soul and will not applaud a terrorist act I am not welcome to post here.

I also feel less inclined to post on a board loaded with so many cruel people devoid of human empathy. I feel like I wandered onto Stormfront, not the DU I joined a decade ago.





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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #18)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:53 PM

20. DU is overrun by RWers pretending to be Democrats. Sort of like the

entire Democratic Party these days........

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #18)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 09:22 PM

25. For what it's worth, I've always liked you.

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Response to BlueJazz (Reply #25)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 09:39 PM

28. Thanks! you liking me is more important than dozens that appear to hate me

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #18)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 09:24 PM

26. thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic

 

and many others.

I also appreciate them

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Response to usGovOwesUs3Trillion (Reply #26)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 09:49 PM

33. I like your posts. They reveal principles and integrity

that most here once possessed (back when we opposed Bush policies, many of which are still in place but only some of us still oppose)

You appear to already have made the poster hit least kept by The Third Way Yes Men Brigade of NeoLib Super Heroes that like to play hall monitor around here and you haven't even been here relatively very long, that honor takes talent and a moral compass.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #18)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 09:56 PM

36. Don't give up

I had posts hidden here during the Bush Admin about how we were destroying the Nuremberg Principles that we ourselves had established after WWII...basically declaring ourselves victorious and soulless hypocrites.

The truth doesn't change just because some people don't like it. Keep speaking it!

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Response to Hydra (Reply #36)


Response to Dragonfli (Reply #18)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:00 PM

37. A shame

DU lacks a rec button like DKOS 'cause I'd be pushing it now.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #18)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:19 PM

43. Which option should Truman have taken?

Option 1: Demonstration on uninhabited island

The premise is that the Japanese would agree to surrender if they knew the power of these weapons - the threat that we would use them against their cities would make them surrender.

The huge problem here is when we actually did use nuke against Hiroshima, they did not surrender. So why would they have surrendered due to a threat when carrying out that threat did not cause them to surrender?

Option 2: Invade

The invasion would have taken 2 years, and killed 1M allied troops, as well as 10-50M Japanese, mostly civilians. The wide range of that estimate is we don't really know what the civilians would have done. Virtually all the civilians on Okinawa either attacked US troops or committed suicide. It's reasonable to believe that a very large portion of the 78M Japanese in the home islands would do the same.

So that route would kill many, many more civilians than the nukes.

Option 3: Wait out the blockade

This option sounds nice and sterile. But that's due to careful word choice. This is really "win via famine". And that famine would again fall mostly on the civilian population. Making it a poor choice if your goal was to protect civilians. Unless you think it's somehow OK to cause civilians to starve do death, but not OK to directly kill them.

Option 4: Weren't the Japanese about to surrender anyway?

Nope. The "Big 6" were running the Japanese government and war effort. Before the Hiroshima blast, only 1 of the 6 was interested in surrender. The remaining 5 felt that they should engineer a massive number of casualties, on both sides, so that the US would give up on invading. It worked in the war with Russia 40 years earlier, so they felt they could do it again. Even after the two nukes, the "Big 6" were split 3-3 on surrender.

The problem here is the US wouldn't have just given up. We'd have gone with the "Invasion" option above and killed about 40M civilians.

So which option would you have used instead? And how is killing far more civilians via that option better than nukes?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #43)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:59 PM

63. Well I suppose we could kill all civilians, that would be in line with the theory that atrocities

are a pragmatic solution to a problem, lord knows Hitler was rather effective due to his superior sociopathic disregard for human life, some think emulating such people is clearly the right thing to do.

I would have done something less evil than my enemy would. I would not justify an atrocity while hypocritically condemning the axis for their atrocities.

I would choose honor over
terrorism and it's complete disregard for the lives of hundreds of thousands of women and children (an attribute shared by AQ) that I unlike some never will condone.

I would have used conventional methods against military targets and the military and royal leadership. I would not snatch up children and slit their throats simply to dishearten my enemy as some apparently would.

I would have listened to the top generals that thought there were viable options to adopting the dishonorable and sociopathic lack of morality displayed by Hitler (and rightfully loathed) in Europe and Hirohito (rightfully loathed) in China.

I am flattered that you think I am an expert in waging war in the mid twentieth century, so expert as to at least match if not surpass the likes of Generals Eisenhower and MacArthur and being so expert I would obviously then know the best military option to slaughtering hundreds of thousands of women and children with nuclear weapons as if they were pests to be exterminated, and so of course you want to know my apparently sagely in your eyes advice to Truman.

Alas, I am not the genius war tactician you mistakenly believe me to be, but Generals Eisenhower and MacArthur WERE and they thought there were viable alternatives to committing atrocities and I bet they could have come up with a much better plan than I to end the war in an honorable fashion and been able to better advise Truman.

I am not a four star general versed in WWII war technology and tactics and I am really confused by your assumption that I am.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #63)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 11:13 PM

69. It's a lovely post. Unfortunately, it also completely ignores what your choices mean.

I would have used conventional methods against military targets and the military and royal leadership.

Well, I'm assuming you're talking about using the "invasion" option here, since it is the only one where it would be possible to target the military and not civilians.

Your choice just killed 40 million civilians. Instead of a few hundred thousand from the nukes.

That doesn't seem like a choice which aligns with your goals of minimizing civilian deaths.

I would have listened to the top generals that thought there were viable options to adopting the dishonorable and sociopathic lack of morality displayed by Hitler (and rightfully loathed) in Europe and Hirohito (rightfully loathed) in China.

The only two other options those generals presented were invade, or use the blockade to starve Japan into surrender.

So again your choice killed tens of millions of civilians.

I am flattered that you think I am an expert in waging war in the mid twentieth century, so expert as to at least match if not surpass the likes of Generals Eisenhower and MacArthur

Well, let's take a look at those two examples you're trying to hide behind.

MacArthur tried to use nuclear weapons in Korea without Presidential approval. Now, some folks might actually notice that disparity, and realize that MacArthur's anti-nuke-Japan comments weren't exactly genuine. Good on you for ignoring that and using them anyway.

As for Ike, his comments were made in the 1960s when our new close ally, Japan, was being extremely helpful in the Cold War. Ike was always political - that's how he got his job in WWII. He didn't out-general others. He out-politiked them.

So your answer is you'd have killed tens of millions of civilians. And you want to pretend Truman was the immoral one.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #69)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 11:47 PM

73. Oh, I get it! YOU are a five star general expertly versed in WWII strategy

Thus you know for a fact that not cutting children's throats would inevitably have killed millions upon millions more vermin, er I mean Japanese.

A compassionate exterminator of women and children (who'd have thunk it) plus you're so brilliant and prescient as to know the exact outcomes of each and every alternate universe based on each and every series of non atrocity based decisions and that all of them would mean the death of billions upon billions of stars, er I mean millions upon millions of school children and puppies (but probobly the billions of stars as well).

I have to admit in your prescience you know atrocity is the only prudent, hell the only compassionate direction to take a conflict.
I bow to your expertise as a time travelling uber general from the era AND a slider that can explore alternate universes via some sort of an "Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky Bridge".

Now I realize I must defer to your supernatural knowledge.

Oddly you in your brilliance failed to realize part of conventional warfare included bombers at the time that could drop bombs on military and royal targets without an invasion force needed to carry the plane on their backs, and in combination with a navel ring around Japan and superiority in their air could have been fully explored by the honorable generals for a viable plan to force a surrender before billions upon billions of stars exploding killing most Japanese.

I realize the only compassionate thing to do was to nuke into ash women and children. But I am not brilliant enough to lack empathy and a moral compass and so being, inferior to pragmatists like Hitler and Hirohito I would still be too darn stupid to commit atrocities.

By the way, since this conversation is over, I should tell you I apologized to AsahinaKimi on behalf of all those like you that cheer or justify the nuking of civilians in the home of her ancestors, perhaps you can personally apologize to her and tell her how it was in fact a humane act that she should thank you people for.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #73)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 10:45 AM

86. Again, you are pretending that there were options which were not actually present.

But you've now moved on to attacking me, since discussing the results of the actual options isn't going your way.

Oddly you in your brilliance failed to realize part of conventional warfare included bombers at the time that could drop bombs on military and royal targets without an invasion force needed to carry the plane on their backs, and in combination with a navel ring around Japan and superiority in their air could have been fully explored by the honorable generals for a viable plan to force a surrender before billions upon billions of stars exploding killing most Japanese.

You appear to be confusing WWII bombers with modern "smart" bombs. As well as not understanding how the Japanese organized their industry and military.

WWII bombers could destroy a military target....by blowing up everything in about a 4-block radius. If they were being extremely careful. Which means strikes on military targets generally blew up far more civilian targets in order to destroy the military target.

Further, Japan used a 'cottage industry' model during WWII - a master mechanic would build an aircraft engine in a shed, and then walk home. Blowing up that "factory", a military target, meant blowing up his house. Because they were next door to each other.

And as I mentioned earlier, choosing the "blockade" option as you have done here is choosing to let famine kill millions of civilians. Which is an odd approach if your goal is to minimize civilian casualties. But hey, it wouldn't have been the evil US killing those poor civilians. It would have been their pesky need to eat occasionally.

By the way, since this conversation is over

Yep, because you keep saying the US should have killed tens of millions of civilians in order to save civilian lives, and just can't figure out how to get out of that contradiction. So instead you're just claiming moral superiority so you can ignore the mountain of dead your plan would cause.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #86)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 01:01 PM

93. for the record, I DO NOT keep saying "the US should have killed millions of civilians

in order to save civilian lives".

YOU are the one pushing the false narrative that using nuclear weaponry to specifically target civilians or killing "millions" of civilians by other means are the only two options a military has. I realize you believe the only options we have are terrorist tactics or other tactics specifically targeting even more civilians, but you are wrong, only tyrants like Hirohito and Hitler and terrorists that target civilians with planes and suicide bombers believe targeting civilians is the only sensible means of fighting one's enemies.

Because you believe this as wholeheartedly as characters like Bin Laden and a large array of psychopathic tyrants throughout history and because you appear to believe you are the undisputed expert in military tactics (with full Godlike knowledge of the outcomes of all possible military strategies), there is no point in continuing here. You are not open to my views and I will never believe that targeting civilians specifically is the only option a military could have (a rather silly notion of yours IMO).

We will always disagree.

My suggestion however that you apologize to Kimi and explain to her that Nuking civilian targets was an act of mercy towards civilians still stands.

After all your position is of the highest morality (far superior to my own) and your opinions do carry the weight of indisputable truth so I am sure she will be receptive, and even thank you as the proxy and voice of the peace heroes "Fat Man" and "Little Boy" for the heroic compassion of their service.

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #18)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 10:59 AM

88. You're just as lacking empathy with the Americans who would have/were killed

Let's not forget the Japanese caused this war and being civilian is an "excuse" only to a point. It's not unlimited. If your country is doing what Japan did in WWII you can't expect empathy and for your country's victims to consent to more death of their civilians in order to be "empathetic" to you.

It is just incredible to me that you discount completely our right to defeat the Japanese by any means possible in 1945. Like we had to worry about being empathetic toward them and worry about not bothering them too much as we did it. Worry about every civilian death and fret over it as to a country which had carried out many atrocities already against civilians. What progressive or Democrat would feel that way? What American could possibly feel that way? Heck even the Japanese would not have expected it. They knew what they had done.

I see all these posts about drone killings "done in our name" and how wrong it is. Yet when it's some other country, we are to bend over backwards and harm ourselves in the interests of protecting their civilians! What about ours?

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Response to treestar (Reply #88)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 11:46 AM

89. The Japanese and Germans agreed with you, they felt winning by any means necessary (even atrocities)

Was their God given right as well, Up to and including killing civilian women and children in a cowardly fashion as you so proudly advocate.

I simply disagree with their/your philosophy just as I disagree with the AQ philosophy that murdering two buildings full of civilians is justified because they are at war with us. I do not think we should be in the company of the tyrants and terrorists you appear to agree with.

I will not put a knife to a child's throat because the leader of the child's country bombed a naval base nor would I incinerate it's mother before it's eyes and consider it my "right" or "duty" - for such behavior is not my right or duty, it is IMMORAL AND DISHONORABLE and I lack the callous sociopathic nature required to commit such atrocities as others have (perhaps due to a complete lack of empathy towards innocent life).

IOW I still have a soul and I find the murder of children very upsetting even if others are too dead inside to feel such natural empathy.
I believe that an honorable fighting force differs from fascist or terrorist fighting forces in that an honorable soldier kills enemy soldiers and members of the enemies leadership and does NOT randomly kill civilians in the street, or burn them in ovens, or kill them with terrorist acts against civilian targets.

I believe we needed to protect ourselves and would have been fools if we hadn't raised armies and fought our enemies as if our way of life and our lives themselves depended on it, because those actually were the stakes. I also believe that marching woman and children into ovens in Germany, Slaughtering women and children in the streets of China and murdering concentrated civilian populations of women and children in cities using nuclear weapons were all immoral and criminal acts.

Having a soul means I still retain my natural human empathy and find all such acts deplorable so naturally my empathy extends to the victims of all of the above atrocities - so your claim "I lack empathy for only US citizens" is not only nasty, vindictive and an obvious projection of someone that feels the death of woman and children are to be applauded, but it is also quite inaccurate.

I do not wish to become a soulless killer of women and children that cheers on atrocities and the deaths of innocents, in fact I am not even wired to be capable of it, even if you are.


so·ci·o·path
noun Psychiatry.
a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.


psy·cho·path
noun
a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc.


Profile of the Sociopath

Glibness and Superficial Charm

Manipulative and Conning
They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

Grandiose Sense of Self
Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

Pathological Lying
Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

Shallow Emotions
When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

Incapacity for Love

Need for Stimulation
Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

Callousness/Lack of Empathy
Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.

Irresponsibility/Unreliability
Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.

Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.

Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.
Other Related Qualities:

Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
Authoritarian
Secretive
Paranoid
Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired

Conventional appearance
Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life
Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim's affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
Incapable of real human attachment to another
Unable to feel remorse or guilt
Extreme narcissism and grandiose
May state readily that their goal is to rule the world

(The above traits are based on the psychopathy checklists of H. Cleckley and R. Hare.) ...

More: http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html

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Response to Dragonfli (Reply #89)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 12:47 PM

92. Now you're just being unreasonable

American children should die at the hands of someone like AQ or the Japanese before we do anything to head that off if it means their civilians will get killed in the process. That's the side of your issue that you are ignoring. Even the Japanese would not agree with you.

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Response to treestar (Reply #92)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 01:07 PM

94. You must kill children to save children?




No, it does not work that way, except in the minds of terrorists and psychopaths. There are other ways of fighting an enemy without resorting to terrorism and intentionally killing hundreds of thousands of women and children. It has been done before, many times, mostly in fact, that's why those that use terror and target civilians stand out so much in the crowd.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:52 PM

19. Never. nt.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:54 PM

21. Never.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is a monster.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 08:57 PM

22. Never again. In WWII the first country to have achieved the technology

would have nuked civilians.

Twice is one time more than enough.

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Response to PufPuf23 (Reply #22)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:01 PM

38. In WWII the first country to have achieved the technology

would have nuked civilians.

And they did.

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Response to PufPuf23 (Reply #22)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:21 PM

44. Correct answer.

It was purely how the dominoes fell. Had Russia got the nuke first, or Germany got the nuke first (neither country was seriously pushing such a program), we'd be living in a different world. Give the Japanese Empire nukes and the 30 million civilians they killed (about 10x more than the US killed) would look like a footnote.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 09:41 PM

29. Never...

And as a long time lurker, I don't remember any other year on DU being so dirisive on this topic, but I guess I could have missed it.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 09:41 PM

30. Never, ever, ever...

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 09:45 PM

31. If you imagine that your daddy could have been hurt

I saw a thread like that here - slaughtering thousands of innocent people was worth it to keep his daddy out of harm's way. Otherwise he may not have been born! And what a travesty that would have been!

Killing civilians was wrong then, and it is wrong today, no matter what the weapon is.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 09:49 PM

32. Never.

Never ever ever.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 09:50 PM

34. If an invasion would kill more civilians

I notice you left that out.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 09:53 PM

35. I'm way ahead of you.

I don't think the use of weapons, any weapons, can ever be justified.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:05 PM

39. Never never ever!

Full disclosure: I'm part Japanese but I would oppose it anyway.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:15 PM

41. Excellent post

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:23 PM

45. As horrible as nuclear weapons are . . .

I don't see a moral difference between killing civilians with high explosives vs killing them with nuclear weapons. Or for that matter, killing them retail with handguns, AK-47s, machetes, or rocks.

There are moral questions surrounding the length of time nuclear blasts' aftereffects would continue to kill people (and animals, and plants, etc.) vs the long term effects of lesser weapons, but I don't think that's what you're talking about.

The notion that wars have 'rules' is a sad fiction that millions and millions and millions of people have learned over just the past century — lessons they learned at the last instants of their lives.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:24 PM

46. A story my dad told me:

 

His ship steamed into Yokohama to pick up prisoners of war. All the sailors topside agreed that an atomic bomb must have been dropped here as well, but the news had not gotten out yet.

"No", his division officer told him. "They only used fire bombs here."

My father simply could not believe the devastation. "Might as well had been an atomic bomb", he said.


link

True story

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:28 PM

47. When it kills fewer civilians than the other options.

Option 1: Invade

Death toll: 1M allied troops, 10-50M Japanese, mostly civilians. So the number of civilian deaths are 100 times higher.

Option 2: Wait out the blockade

This option is actually "Let famine do the job for us". That famine would have fallen mostly on the civilian population. We don't know how many it would kill, but it would be in the millions.

Option 3: Weren't the Japanese about to surrender?

Nope. The "Big 6" that were running the Japanese government and war were 5-1 against surrender. Their plan was to trigger a massive number of US casualties during the invasion so that the US would give up and seek an armistice. It worked for them 40 years earlier in the war with Russia.

Even after the two nukes, the "Big 6" were split 3-3 on whether or not to surrender. That really indicates they were not about to surrender.

But the bigger problem is we wouldn't have given up. Turning this into "Option 1" and it's massive number of civilian deaths.

Option 4: Use the nukes.

Killed less than a million.

Kinda becomes obvious which option to take if your goal is to minimize civilian casualties.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:38 PM

48. But where there Military targets there?

This is an issue I've thought about for a long time. In several other threads I've suggested that people listen to Dan Carlin's podcast called Logical Insanity. It is a brilliant dissertation on the issue of crimes against humanity.

However, for Hiroshima, there are some things you should know. First, it was a major convergence of rail and roads. The Japanese military routed troops and war materials through it all the time. Second. The bay was a major anchorage for Japanese Naval Vessels, the Japanese Naval Academy, their Annapolis if you will, is located just across the bay on an island called Etajima. Also, we had avoided bombing the city, so they had moved more of the military there, since the town was undamaged. Nasty trick, but it is what is done in war.

Japanese Naval Vessels would resupply at ports including Hiroshima and Kure right down the coast during the war. Hiroshima was located on the "inland sea" which was accessible only through the Bungo Straight. Yes, the same ones you've seen and heard about in all those old WW II submarine movies. Hiroshima was there, and that entire region was far more military than the term civilians would imply.

Now, I am not at this time defending the decision to use the bomb. We'll wait and discuss that later. For now, all I am doing is setting the record straight, or at least a little straighter on Hiroshima being a target.

The next thing to consider is this. We built huge centralized factories to build our war materials. Ford built a huge factory to crank out B-29's. Another was built to crank out thousands of tanks. The Japanese used cottage industries. Small shops all over the town to build small components that were mated with aircraft, and other materials later. A master mechanic would build aircraft engines in what would be a shed for us, on the same street that he and his family lived on. Often a few doors down, if that. This decentralized technique meant that you couldn't bomb one factory and take it out of commission, because the factory was literally spread all over. It also meant that the workshops that built the war materials was in the neighborhoods with the workers homes. Imagine that for a moment. You get up, walk a couple hundred yards to the shed where you work on building aircraft motors. At the end of the day you walk a couple hundred yards home past children playing etc.

Now, as to the dropping of the bomb. The first thing you must understand is that people will always shy away from their greatest fear, and the bomb was not their greatest fear. A World War I type of frontal assault was their greatest fear. It was the devil to be avoided at all costs. Anything was preferable to trench warfare frontal assault fighting to the American Generals, because that hell they knew all too well. World War I became so predictable, you would lose so many thousands of troops every day in a pattern of predictable attrition that you could literally plan for it long term.

That was the devil to those in charge at the time. That was not a choice they could make, ever. Many people say that the casualty estimates were grossly inflated. That is possible, and it is equally possible that they people who plan for such things just used worst case numbers out of World War I and applied them to the terrain of Japan, which would have been hell for the invaders as much as the defenders.

Today, our demon, our devil is those bombs. We fear them like nothing else. The loss of a few thousand lives is bad, but compared to the horror of the bomb, it's nothing. Our priorities, our points of view has changed.

Again, I am not defending the dropping of the bomb, I am merely putting it in context. I'll get to my opinion in a moment. But as bad as things with the bomb were, there were worse things. One General suggested using the bomb if it meant that they wouldn't have to firebomb cities anymore. He hated that like the devil, but it was effective given the construction materials used in Japan at the time.

Now, for my opinion. The people of the era for the most part considered it another military weapon. You used those as soon as you had them. Part of me feels that in many ways, we were like children. Children inevitably learn what hot is by touching something that is. They get burned, and the lesson is printed on their brains in a way that words never accomplish. Hot is dangerous, and we must be careful with hot. The bomb was the same thing. It was horrible in a way we could not imagine. We had to drop it on people to see the horror that it represented.

I do believe it was the horror of Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, that prevented us from ever using the damned things again. We got burned, and we learned what horror was. It was horrific in a way that took us another generation to generally accept as a people. Nukes were bad, and terribly dangerous things. It provided the horror that kept those who advocated the idea we could win a Nuclear War from gaining power to put their plans in motion. It was the backdrop that allowed men like Dr. Craven to design the MAD scenario that saw us through thirty years of saber rattling without anyone pushing the button. If I had a wish, it would not be that we refrained from dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It would be that the Trinity test failed to go boom. Then we could tell ourselves that the damned things didn't work, and never try to build them ever again. Because in that era, if it went boom, it was going to be dropped on the enemy.

Thankfully, it was so horrible that when danger reared it's head in the future, men refrained from placing fingers on the buttons. Because as bad as Hiroshima and Nagasaki were, and they were about as horrible as you can get. The Bravo device tested over Bikini atoll was much, much worse. Imagine that bomb turning a major city to dust. If we had not burned our hand on the fire of Hiroshima, I'm convinced that in 1962 the Cuban Missile crisis would have come to just that. Fortunately, the leaders, even the Soviet ones, had learned from Hiroshima, and understood that there was no winning a war with those damned things.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:41 PM

50. when

american 'authorities' says it's justified. Justified it twice that I an remember. hey war is horrible and getting more horrible with each war. Nukes are not justified under any circumstance, for any reason, by any opposing forces. Regular or irregular.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:48 PM

52. Only one possibly justifiable use

 

Decapitation strike in retaliation for comparable attack.

It's been US policy since the late 40's that if we are attacked by N.B.C. (nuclear, biological, chemical) that we will retaliate with nuclear weapons. And the only justifiable way to do that is to quickly cripple your attacker.

There will be civilian casualties in any attack on a military apparatus. Especially if the capital/control center is targeted.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:49 PM

54. It would mean a war crimes prosecution for anyone who ordered the attack.

We have signed international treaties which classify "Collective Punishment of Civilian Populations" as a major war crime. In the case of our using nuclear weapons in such a way, the civilian or military official who gave the order for such an attack would have no defense.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:49 PM

55. Lol, wow...

 

...apparently the reasonable people only post here at night, and the day is filled with conservative trolls or something. All day there was nothing but justifications and even applause at dropping nukes on civilians. Great post.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:50 PM

56. I would say...

the ONLY time it's acceptable is when the civilians have been infected and are playing host to chest-bursting aliens with concentrated acid for blood. At that point (when there is no other way of stopping the infection), you should proceed to nuke the site from orbit -- it's the only way to be sure.

Beyond that, fuck no. Just. Say. No. Your point B, the bit about Japan doing to us: I think they would have, but that doesn't make it OK. Americans like to talk about how we are the shining beacon on the hill and all that. We should ACT like it.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:52 PM

58. Only at the end of WW2 before any history of nuclear confrontation existed...

...before the brinksmanship of the 1960s, before the hydrogen bomb, before the USSR went atomic, before there were huge arsenals of ICBMs, submarine missiles, and bomber fleets. It was before mass opposition to nuclear weapons in the 1960s. In short, it was way before most people envisioned an end of the world scenarios.

The two cardinal rules of history:

1. We are writing a book, not an indictment. It is not for us to make absolute moral judgments about the past.

2. We must not judge past events, thinking, and people by present-day values. All of history including political and military events is the result of countless contingencies creating past events, thinking, and cultural values. There is no one that that could have been different to make the present better. And since it is impossible to change the past, why try?

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:53 PM

59. I can't justify it. nt

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:55 PM

61. If in possession of a time machine

Then it would probably be appropriate to drop a small nuclear bomb sometime in 1945.

Today? Not so much. It's easy to look at things in retrospect. It's also all-too common to apply modern morality to previous ages. In my view, it leads to a dishonest view of history.

And for the record: our bombing of Tokyo was worse than our bombing of Hiroshima in almost every possible respect.

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Response to Nevernose (Reply #61)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 11:08 PM

66. You're right, and by your logic...

 

We also should not condemn lynchings, the genocide of American Indians, or any atrocities of the past. It would be a "dishonest view of history". After all, basic human rights and morality didnt exist then...prior to 1950 burning a few hundred thousand innocent civilians alive wasn't as immoral as it is now.

Fail

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Response to Phillyindy (Reply #66)


Response to Phillyindy (Reply #66)


Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 10:56 PM

62. I hate war, and I love this OP.

Very good OP.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 11:05 PM

64. conventional bombing raids often killed more in an evening

 

yet acomplished and meant almost nothing

if they hadnt been used in 45, they probably would have been used in '62 or '83

that's a very ugly truth, yet truth nonetheless

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 11:06 PM

65. If they have stuff we want and they won't let us have it for less than nothing n/t

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 11:21 PM

72. I can't think of any

circumstance that would justify it.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 11:53 PM

74. the difference between a WWII soldier and a civilian

 

in many cases, was nothing more than a draft notice

the guy who got one, was a soldier

the guy who didnt, was a civilian

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2013, 11:55 PM

75. It is easy to find the amswer to that now. Not so much in 1945.

Hindsight being 20/20....

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 12:14 AM

78. Why?

-

do you know something the rest of us don't?

d

-

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 02:50 AM

82. never.

 

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 05:38 AM

83. Hold on, let me ask the NSA. How about it guys? nt

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 10:26 AM

85. "Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines."

General "Buck" Turgidson: Mr. President, we are rapidly approaching a moment of truth both for ourselves as human beings and for the life of our nation. Now, truth is not always a pleasant thing. But it is necessary now to make a choice, to choose between two admittedly regrettable, but nevertheless *distinguishable*, postwar environments: one where you got twenty million people killed, and the other where you got a hundred and fifty million people killed.

President Merkin Muffley: You're talking about mass murder, General, not war!

General "Buck" Turgidson: Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.


General "Buck" Turgidson: Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 10:48 AM

87. Never.

Not against "military populations," either.

Military populations exist on the planet, which supports all life.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 11:48 AM

90. Under what circumstances is it justifiable to use a drone against civilians?

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 01:07 PM

95. Your mind is already made up.

So why ask the question? Flame bait?

Sit at Truman's desk in the '40s and answer the question.

Bake

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Response to shaayecanaan (Original post)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 02:29 PM

96. What constitutes a Civilian vs other target?

In wars of Attrition and Logistics like the great wars the line becomes blurred. The Tiger Tank is still a target, but the replacement 88mm shells being shipped are targets. Likewise the factory producing them become targets and the factories producing powder, steel, ball bearings etc. It's not much of an additional step to conclude that Rosie the Riveter was a valid military target.

What was Customary and appropriate in 1939 was different from what became Customary in 1949. Blitzkrieg featured the intentional Strafing of Civilians to further cause mayhem and restrict the mobility of opposing forces. Yet the deliberate bombing of population centers was shunned as Barbaric at the outset. Once the first bombs hit retaliation dictated the each others cities, particularly the industries within them were fair game.

I don't see where we could have argued that bombing Wall Street would not have affected our ability to flood Europe with M4 Sherman Tanks. Just as much as hitting a Steel Mill or a Navy Yard. There are still plenty of remnants of Air Defense's put up around places the Pentagon determined were likely Soviet Bomber targets. Many of which defend the means of production.

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Response to One_Life_To_Give (Reply #96)

Fri Aug 9, 2013, 04:46 AM

99. Do you think that it is legitimate to bomb Wall Street?

I would say no, myself.

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