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Ichingcarpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:39 PM
Original message
Obliterate -never-before-published photographs Hiroshima- Graphic warning.
The Robert L. Capp collection at the Hoover Institution Archives contains ten
never-before-published photographs illustrating the immediate aftermath of
the Hiroshima bombing.

These photographs, taken by an unknown Japanese photographer, were found in 1945
among rolls of undeveloped film in a cave outside Hiroshima by U.S. serviceman Robert L. Capp,
who was attached to the occupation forces. Unlike most photos of the Hiroshima bombing,
these dramatically convey the human as well as material destruction unleashed by the atomic bomb.

Mr. Capp donated them to the Hoover Archives in 1998 with the provision that they
not be reproduced until 2008. Three of these photographs are reproduced in Atomic
Tragedy with the permission of the Capp family






More photos: http://faculty.ucmerced.edu/smalloy/atomic_tragedy/phot...




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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. Too bad images like that weren't available for our leaders BEFORE they made the decision
To use the Bomb.
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
22. May Hillary have the guts, no the balls, to look at these images every day before deciding to
obliterate a nation of 70 million people: may all militant politicos and military-types do likewise. :D
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #22
52. As long as that nation
doesn't obliterate another nation of 7 million, there won't be any problem.
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #52
123. Doesn't Israel have some 400 nuclear warheads?
I don't see why the U.S. would want to volunteer and sully itself by engaging in such a crime.

Also there is no logic in Zionism post Trinity. In nature genetic isolation leads to evolution or extinction. In a way the forced diaspora of the Jews may have prevented them joining the other extinct civilizations of the Mid-East.



The Carthaginians, the Assyrians, the Philistines, Babylonians, etc. All gone. Nothing lasts forever.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
91. They had pictures of equal carnage elsewhere
unfortunately, by 1945 the atomic bombs did not represent a new threshold in civilian deaths. I think everyone was simply numb to the deaths by then - with tens of millions dead world wide I could certainly see the desire to simply end it as soon as possible.
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Lady-Damai Donating Member (756 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. Wow....n/t
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. k&r. Tragic.
They remind me of the after tsunami photos, but our gvt did this.
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Were Heroshima & Nagasaki MIlitary Targets?
Hmmmmm..........?
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Didn't all the people just incinerate into dust?
The pictures are difficult to see, but need to be seen.
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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Many did but thousand jumped into water to escape the flames ...
.... and got killed there.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. I know. I was asking sarcastically, since I have heard this from people.
"That's why not many bodies show up in pictures because everyone instantly incinerates." Fools, ignorant, both. Many many many died and piles of bodies were made.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #7
29. Only people who were pretty close to the mushroom cloud were killed instantly
and vaporized. They were the lucky ones.

Those a bit farther away suffered flash burns, some fatal, some not.

Many of those who thought they'd escaped unharmed developed radiation sickness with a few days.

If I ruled the world, every leader of every nuke-owning nation would be required to tour the museums at Hiroshima and Nagasaki before assuming office and given a stern warning that yes, you could do this to your enemies, but they could also do it back to you.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #29
33. I know. I read Hiroshima as a middle schooler, and it has affected me for life.
John Hersey's book, that is.
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emmadoggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #33
88. Me too.
:cry:
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lumpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #33
90. Read Hersey's book in high school 1947. One of the best
accounts of the bombing/aftermath. I was in summer camp when the news came that Japan had been struck by the most destructive bomb ever developed. We were filled with awe and foreboding that such a weapon had ever been developed.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #90
93. It was one of the first books I got out when I was allowed into the adult sections
I don't remember why I searched for it, but I did and was very affected.
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 01:59 AM
Response to Reply #93
106. read it in middle school too
haunting

I wonder how many folks who think it's okey-dokey to bomb the crap out of other countries have been exposed to anything like it?
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #7
30. At Ground Zero, people did incinerate and become ash
Outside of Ground Zero, there are varying degrees of damage. And then once the initial blast has exploded, there is a firestorm in its aftermath.

And due to the weirdness of radiation - a person's injuries also depend on what they are wearing - you might end up seriously burned if you wear black or dark clothing, or less seriously burned if you wear white.

Then if the initial blast, and secondary firestorm don't get the victim, the survivor probably will succumb to radiation sickness. Over the next few weeks.

After that, the survivors are still at risk for cancer.

BTW the massive amounts of radioactive particles circling our globe are at least five times greater now than they were the day before the first nuclear explosion!!
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 01:39 AM
Response to Reply #30
34. Another oddity about the Hiroshima blast
was that people lived or died just a few feet apart. I was once in Japan for one of the anniversaries of the Hiroshima bombing, and there was a TV program that investigated the stories of people who had survived close to Ground Zero.

The most striking case was of some bank employees who were having an early morning meeting when the bomb fell. Their fate depended on where they were sitting in relation to the windows of the conference room.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #34
83. OH Lydia, it might be a wonderful thing for you to recount all your
Experiences there in Japan. Connected with the anniversary.

Maybe as an OP?? ANd if there isn't time for you to do it now, at some later date??
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #5
27. Hiroshima was deliberately left unbombed before August 1945
because the Americans wanted to see the effects of the bombs on an untouched city. They thought that if they dropped the bomb on a city like Tokyo, which had already been extensively bombed, they wouldn't be able to tell which damage came from what. Another factor that led to the designation of Hiroshima was its geography. It's located on a river delta, an almost flat city surrounded by mountains. The bombing of Hiroshima was a very cynical science experiment, in addition to being a military move.

Nagasaki was the victim of weather conditions. The original target was a city on the other side of Kyushu, called Kokura. (Some years ago, it was consolidated with two other cities and renamed "Kita-Kyushu.")

Anyway, the bomber pilots first headed for Kokura, but it was so clouded over that they couldn't see anything, so they headed for Nagasaki, which had the bad luck to be enjoying beautiful, cloudless weather.
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Angleae Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 04:24 AM
Response to Reply #27
37. Actually, Nagasaki also was cloudy
But a small break in the weather allowed them to drop (and missed by 2 miles).
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #5
103. They were industrial centers
Which in wartime is a valid military target. You're not suppose to deliberately bomb residential centers, but in the 1940's there was only so much you could do. There were clouds, smokescreens, darkness, flak, and defending fighters, and the limits to the mechanical sighting systems used to drop the. :shrug: We do much better now. We're actually putting JDAM and Paveway guidence heads on 250-pound bombs now, not the 1,000 and 2,000 pounders they usually were on, specifially to launch precision attacks on hard-to-hit targets.

The destruction there was no worse than the firebombings of, say, Dresden or Tokyo, although the radioactive aftereffects were of course much, much more serious and long-lasting than a similar chemical explosive would have done.

With the advent of strategic bombing, it stopped being army against army and became nation against nation. Before then, it was virtually impossible to attack anything more than 10 miles or so behind the front lines, and that was only by long-range artillery.

But by World War Two, you could attack an entire country even if you occupied only a little of it. US and British bombers pounded the hell out of Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe for over two years before a single allied soldier landed to fight the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
4. And bush wants a new generation of nuclear weapons.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #4
109. Doc film on Hiroshima/Nagasaki/current state of nukes, Original Child Bomb
Highly recommended on all counts as it doesn't take the typical ignore/trivialize approach to addressing the 26,000 active nukes in our world. Many prefer to think of this potential, unthinkable horror as a decades old threat that is no longer a legitimate concern for our species, when in reality, the threat is greater now due to greater global instability {that the U.S. in part creates, abandons long standing treaties, insane saber rattling and the like}. Typically American perception: the prevailing perceptions are bass-ackward from actuality.

http://www.originalchildbomb.com /
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #109
110. I've lived my life under the threat of total annihilation from the bomb.
The danger increased dramatically when the new world order (free market corporatist government) was pushed on Russia. It was during the transition to a neoconservative corporatist that Russia's nuke stockpile became a means of survival for starving workers at the nuke plants and storage facilities. Clinton tried to help protect those stockpiles by working with Russia to destroy and monitor them, but bush came in and stopped that process.
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #109
127. obliteration is more than just a puffing
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. This is why all humanity should work toward peace.
PBS had a program last fall where they traced the DNA of every human back to some some guy in Asia, we're all family.


Thanks for the thread, Ichingcarpenter.
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Sen Clinton said that she would Obliterate Iran if Iran
ever attacked Israel. Think about that for 30 seconds.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. I already knew that and it didn't take 30 seconds
for me to understand the ramifications of such talk.
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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
8. Awful images but the bomb saved millions .....
... if the U.S. and allies had to invade Japan then millions of Japanese would
have died along w/ @ least million American G.I.s ... good chance my Dad would
have been one of them. Also all the P.O.W.s in Japan would have been executed
if we invaded .... right after the bomb dropped the guards who had tortured our
men had a real "change of heart" ..... Although the 2nd bomb on Nagasaki
was very wrong.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #8
23. I know several people whose fathers were on deck to invade Japan
I can't blame them for feeling the way they do (or did, since most of them have died) about the Bomb.
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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. I had a neighbor in the 1980's .... he was a P.O.W. in Japan
He told me after the bomb dropped one man who had beat him
all the time was "real nice" to him.

The bomb was awful and brutal but it did save many many lives ....
By that time in the war we had B-29s and total control of the air
over Japan .... if we had invaded the "fire bombings" of Tokyo and
Dresden would have happened all over Japan.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #8
39. Not neccessarily so.
Japan had been making surrender overtures for months before we dropped the bomb. They wanted only one condition, to keep Hirohito as the Emperor. The US kept stating that it had to be unconditional surrender, and when the Japanese didn't back off the Hirohito issue, we bombed them. When Japan surrendered, we let them have one concession, keeping Hirohito on as Emperor.

If we had accepted Japan's initial surrender offer, your Dad wouldn't have had to invade Japan, and the bomb wouldn't have killed hundreds of thousands of people. Instead, the US just had to use this new toy it had, see how big a bang it made, show the Soviets that we were the biggest bad ass on the world stage.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #39
59. That is completely not true. I don't have the book in front of me, but here we go:
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #59
113. Geesh I love YouTube
amongst all the vids of skaters and cat spankers we find these gems. Thanks.
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verges Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #39
74. Yes,
but it would have been used some where down the line. The Soviets certainly would have figured out that we had it. They still would have developed it themselves, and the bomb might have been tried out against another nuclear power with the power to retaliate. In which case, even more would have been killed.
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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #8
41. That was propaganda to justify the act - it's been largely debunked.
The Japanese were already trying to surrender, and per the documentation available to historians, the bomb was dropped mostly as an implied threat to the USSR.

http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/atomic.htm
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #41
60. That's a theory some historians support. Others no.
If you read "Truman" by David McCullough you don't come to that conclusion. If you also watch this recent BBC documentary: http://youtube.com/watch?v=LIOqL86jfg4 it becomes clear.
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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #60
76. Oh sure, TRUMAN thought so, or said he did, but that doesn't mean
any of the people who knew what they were talking about did
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #76
128. Yet Zynx is correct. It's merely a theory at this point.
Yet Zynx is correct. It's merely a theory at this point.

For example, in Joesph Persico's "Roosevelt's Secret War", the author too attests (through documents, intercepts, etc.) that the "flexing our muscles to the Soviet Union" was merely an unintended (though advantageous) by-product of the two bombs.

I'd hardly state that conventional wisdom has been "debunked".
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #60
77. Agree, Truman would not have done that
He wasn't a psychopath like Bush, he was a good, principled man with terrible choices he had to make.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #8
75. My grandfather, too
and he'd already lost two brothers in law and many of the young men he grew up with in his community.

If you recall from Ken Burns recent documentary about WWII, most of the US troops who had been prepared to invade Japan were the "walking wounded" - troops who had already been through horrific battles in the South Pacific, wounded, patched up and sent back into combat.

The US didn't start the war, but they had to finish it with the least amount of damage to our own troops as possible.
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ChickMagic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
126. That's how my dad feels about it
He was one of the POWs in Bataan and later in the mines.
Unfortuately, he felt Nagasaki was necessary also.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
9. That's horrible and so was the "Rape of Nanking", the Japanese slaughtered over 200,000 civilians.nt
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. What's one got to do with the other?
:shrug:
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. Both deal with the horrors of war. Truman used atomic bombs because intelligence showed Japan was
determined to fight even in the interior until the last soldier was killed.

The U.S. had experience with that Japanese strategy from Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Philippines and other Pacific battles.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Intelligence showed Japan was defeated, and ready to surrender.
Are you sure you weren't trying to argue that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were somehow justified because of the rape of Nanjing? It sure sounds like it.

Because I'll bet there's some Japanese nationalist somewhere who thinks the Rape of Nanjing was justified because of some past atrocity committed by somebody from Nanjing.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. You and I are not going to agree on this issue so we end up disagreeing. Have a nice evening. n/t
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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #20
44. You should probably check your facts rather than "agreeing to disagree". This is a factual issue,
not a matter of opinion.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #44
46. Perhaps it is you who should check your facts. Apparently you rely upon sanitized, revisionist
versions of events leading up to Truman's decision to use the atomic bomb.

Hindsight can be dangerous when writing history and coupled to selective interpretation of facts.

The real question is precisely what facts were presented to Truman that led him to order the atomic bombs be used.

Truman correctly wanted to avoid more casualties if we were forced to invade Japan. To do that, he used the only two atomic bombs the U.S. possessed, not knowing whether either would work.

From a personal standpoint, Truman's decision meant my father and uncles would not face death in an invasion of Japan and if the war continued for five years, I also would not be called upon to fight in Japan.

Have a good day. :hi:
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #46
48. Your father was a soldier. Look at those corpses in that picture. I see the bodies of children.
Edited on Sat May-03-08 08:43 AM by AP
Do you have children? How would you feel if your children's bodies were in those pictures?
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #48
51. Why ignore the question, was Truman right in using the atomic bomb given the information he had?
IMO "yes".
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #51
55. Talk about ignoring the question!
And how in the world can I answer your question? Neither you nor I know what information Truman had. Furthermore, there's no correct answer to the question, "was he right?"-- that's a judgment call.

I'm asking you questions the answers to which you should know. Have kids? How'd you feel if those were their bodies in that picture? (Would you feel like that was just retribution for their country's actions in, say, Iraq?)
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #55
57. Your question has no relevance to Truman's decision to use the atomic bomb. n/t
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #57
58. Truman shouldn't have been considering deaths of over 100,000 innocent civilians, many of whom
Edited on Sat May-03-08 11:46 AM by AP
were just children?

From Wikipedia:

Other kinds of civilian casualties may involve the targeting of civilian populations for military purposes, such as the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed over 100,000 civilians. The legality of such action was at the time governed by international law found in the Hague Regulations on Land Warfare of 1907, which state "the attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited".<1> Also relevant, were the Hague Draft Rules of Air Warfare of 19221923, which state "air bombardment is legitimate only when is directed against a military objective". <2><3> The Rome Statute defines "intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population" to be illegal, but only came into effect on July 1, 2002 and has not been ratified by every country.<4>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilian_casualties
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #58
61. Yes! Truman's job as commander in chief was to end the war as quickly as possible with minimum
U.S. casualties.

That's what Americans wanted and we were happy when the war was finally over thanks to Truman's leadership.

You may not like it but that's the way it was.

Truman sent the Potsdam Declaration to Emperor Showa on 26 July 1945.

The Emperor rejected the Declaration and under Truman's orders the first bomb was dropped on 6 August 1945.

The Emperor did nothing and Truman ordered the second bomb be dropped on 9 Aug 1945.

After the second bomb, the Emperor finally decided to surrender but even then a group attempted a coup with the goal of fighting until the end.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #61
99. Emperors sure don't care about people!
Edited on Sat May-03-08 11:45 PM by AP
Why would you bargain with the lives of their subjects in the first place?
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #99
111. Sorry but that's the way wars are conducted, only the head of a nation may surrender. That's why
Edited on Sun May-04-08 11:50 AM by jody
groups sometimes try to assassinate a nation's leader, e.g. Hitler, hoping a new leader will surrender.

On the other hand, a group may attempt a coup to make the leader a puppet while they continue a war, e.g. the attempt on Japan's emperor just before the atomic bomb was dropped so the emperor would not surrender.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #48
81. There were children killed by the Japanese in every territory they invaded
Edited on Sat May-03-08 03:01 PM by truedelphi
Look up the Life Magazines from the early thirties. The Japanese indiscriminately bombed sections of Singapore, Shanghai and other Chinese cities. They killed and raped and murdered. They tortured their way across the Pacific, and left few nations unscarred. Including the areas of Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam. The Phillipines. Guam. Okinawa.

A good movie to watch in terms of what the Japanese did to the Chinese is to see "The Last Emperor." The Japanese felt that they were a superior race to the Chinese, whom they treated like dogs.

They were the enemy and it was war.

People who now say that we shouldn't have dropped the bomb forget the psychological effect created by the the Japanese attacks, especially on Pearl Harbor.

I confess that I WISH we hadn't dropped the bomb. But to leave out the fact that this nation attacked us and that many people in the USA feared our having to invade Japan is to ignore the psychological component. A component that affected Truman as much as anyone else.

My father was stationed in England awaiting orders to go to the Pacific theatre of war. In early August after the bomb fell on Hiroshima, he heard radio reports, and for the first time since Fall of 1944, he knew that he had survived WWII.

A feeling he did not have in March or April or May of 1945. Those months, he felt that though he survived the war in Europe, he was going to get "the bullet with his name on it" in the invasion of Japan.

The Japanese leadership had many opportunites to say "Uncle, we give up!" in July of 1945. They could have surrendered immediately after our Blitz on their city of Tokyo. But they chose to postpone the inevitable, in part out of deference to their Emperor. Not a wise choice. Those Japanese leaders share equally in the blame for what happened.

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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:41 PM
Original message
Who do you punish? Other children? Or their government?
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 01:26 AM
Response to Original message
104. How do you punish a government?
By destroying it by force of arms. By taking their territory until you fight your way up to the very leaders of the enemy government and capture them.

And all that implies.

Vast armies, navies, and air forces shooting and dropping vast quantities of munitions. Racing to develop new and better weapons, then deploying them as effectively as possible.

You win when you grind the other guy into surrender.

It's not a pretty process. All the wars we've fought in my lifetime, and my parent's lifetime, have been non-critical to the survival of America. Losing was embarassing and painful, but not fatal.

World War Two was a critical war, only the third in our nation's history. And it was a hell of a grind.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
120. I consider myself a pacifist on account of the fact that
From what I have observed, once a nation involves itself in war, unjust violence will occur to those who are among the most innocent.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #81
98. Who do you punish? Other children? Or their government?
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 01:47 AM
Response to Reply #48
105. That's an ad hominem.
The Japanese were strapping children into Kamikaze planes. War is hell.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 02:13 AM
Response to Reply #105
107. No more "ad hominem" than those pictures...
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #18
62. No, no it did not.
We gave the Japanese chances to surrender, but they did not relent. http://youtube.com/watch?v=LIOqL86jfg4
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #18
82. The point is this: The Japanese had nothing preventing them from surrendering
Edited on Sat May-03-08 04:28 PM by truedelphi
In fact, even AFTER the bomb was dropped, the Japanese High Command still insisted on one of their officials going to Hiroshima to see exactly what the scene there indicated.

It was only after those official(s) reported back that a new type of invincible weapon had been used at Hiroshima that the High Command became motivated to surrender.

I do agree that Nagasaki was unnecessary. But The Japanese High Command bears a great deal of responsibility in not surrendering BEFORE the initial bomb at Hiroshima.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #18
85. The real question is who had what intelligence. I'm not sure if
Truman was told everything the intelligence agencies had.
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #18
131. Eight months earlier, intelligence showed the precise same thing concerning Germany
"Intelligence showed Japan was defeated, and ready to surrender."

Eight months earlier, intelligence showed the precise same thing concerning Germany. The intelligence was wrong (illustrated by the Dec. offensive-- the largest German offensive in the West top date) and the intelligence community humbled, which is why many things from Jan. '45 till the end of the war were given a higher threat rating than hindsight dictates. For example, the National Redoubt, while almost nothing but fiction, was perceived by SHAEF asa very real threat.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #12
24. Both are examples of Total War
Warfare that does not discriminate between military and civilian targets.
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
13. And those who died instantly were the lucky ones
Those who survived took a few days or weeks to die as then-unknown radiation poisoning caused their skin and muscle tissue to simply slough off.

Shoulda put that genie back in the bottle while we had the chance.

Anyone know why Capp specified 2008?
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Ichingcarpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. I don't know and why has it taken 63 years ?
To release the photos? I'm curious if the japanese photographer survived
or will ever be known?
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housewolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
14. I need to go throw up now...
What incrediblly powerful, horrifying pictures. I can't even imagine what it was like to face that.


Thanks for posting, so important to remember and to see the reality. The Hoover Institute should send an enlarged, framed copy to the White House for permanent placement in the Oval Office.

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nosmokes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
21. These photos, like the signature photos of Nam and the graphic images
of other wars need to be impressed upon the American psyche.Deeply. Deeply enough to overwhelm all the Hollywood 'hero wins the blonde' image bullshit that gets shoved down our throats from the moment we exit the vaginal canal at birth and somehow makes flag lapel pins and the patriotism of a candidates maternal grandmother's preacher a campaign issue.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. It will have to compete with propaganda crap like Rambo; whose weapon
rarely if ever jams or runs out of ammo as he mows endless numbers of the enemy down while running through a swamp like a track course without ever getting killed him self.

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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #21
70. While some of our actions were not, our involvement in WWII was a net positive.
We need not be ashamed of it. Compared to the alternative of German and Japanese hegemony, I'm willing to cut us some slack.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #21
78. Why just Americans?
We didn't start WWI, WWII, Vietnam or Korean wars. Other nations, societies and cultures prone to beginning wars need to learn the same lessons.
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UndertheOcean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
25. We were good , the Japanese and Germans were evil !
We were good , the Japanese and Germans were evil !

We were good , the Japanese and Germans were evil !

We were good , the Japanese and Germans were evil !

la la la la ...
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #25
71. Actually, I have a hard time not saying that.
Were we all good? Absolutely not, but on balance I think it is safe to say the world is much better off for the fact we won. Germany alone is responsible for 50 million deaths in Europe. Japan is responsible for 20 million in China and many more in the rest of Asia from 1937-1945. All of our violence was aimed at stopping this rampage.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #25
94. The Nazi's were evil
a deliberate policy of racial extermination and slave labor can be described as nothing else but evil.
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Preston120 Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
31. Harry Truman knew what he was doing.
The American Navy lost more ships to suicide bombers while invading Okinawa. The Japanese High Command refused to surrender. To invade the Japanese home islands it was estimated that it would cost three million American lives. Yes, a lot of people were killed, but how many more would have died if we were force to invade? War is a terrible thing, I pray the next President realizes that before he starts "An Unjust and Immoral War".
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Horseshit.
"The end of dropping the bomb seems, from the evidence, to have been not winning the war, which was already assured, not saving lives, for it was highly probable no American invasion would be necessary, but the aggrandisement of American national power at the moment and in the postwar period... For the idea that any means - mass murder, the misuse of science, the corruption of professionalism - are acceptable to achieve the end of national power, the ultimate example of our time is Hiroshima."

-Howard Zinn

I'd post a bunch of links to the truth about this garbage American mythology but this is one occasion where I'd rather simply suggest you use the fucking Google.

As long as we make up bullshit lies to obscure the crimes of our past we will just repeat the same crimes over and over again.

Obliterate my ass.

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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #32
42. One day we'll see the real pictures
from Iraq.
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #42
122. yea, a country that did not do anything to us.
we in a way are paying for this illegal occupation with the deterioration of our own country, and still we do nothing to dislodge these idiots who are sitting in the WH.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #32
63. That's one interpretation, hardly the final truth.
Nothing I've read from first hand sources says what Howard Zinn implies.
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tsdraegeth Donating Member (84 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 01:45 AM
Response to Reply #31
35. "Forced to invade"
That is false. The Japanese Emperor had been trying to surrender for months. Admiral William Leahy, Chief of Staff to FDR and Truman, knew it and tried to get Truman to stop, but he was shut up and the bombs were dropped anyway.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #35
65. Truman's decision was made very soberly. If you read "Truman" by David McCullough
rather than those who like to demonize Truman you would understand this.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #65
79. "Revisionist history" re Truman is offensive
and incredibly ignorant as well as counter-productive.

Truman was a good, humane man who had to lead in difficult times. He was a veteran of WWI and knew the brutality and waste of war, so his decision wasn't made lightly. I doubt Roosevelt would have done differently.

Thanks for the reminder of "Truman". I may re-read it this summer.
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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 08:14 AM
Response to Reply #31
43. No, the invasion estimate was 250K US lives, and Truman knew that
He later handwaved a vague "2 million" figure, but was either talking about all possible casualities on both sides, or was lying intentionally for propaganda reasons.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #43
64. 2 million could well have been a total casualty estimate.
The estimates did vary widely. Admiral Nimitz estimated 1,000 caualties a day. The death toll on all sides would have been horrific. Easily into the millions.
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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #64
72. It's easy to second guess Truman
When your nation has been at war for 3+ years, and you've lost hundreds of thousands of troops, and then you've witnessed Japanese resistance on Okinawa and Iwo Jima -- and you're multiplying those losses times God knows what for an invasion of Honshu, the bomb looked like a really good option. Had we possessed the bomb 6 months earlier, we'd have used it on Germany; as it was, we did a pretty damn fine job on Dresden -- the main difference being that we turned most of the bodies to charcoal.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 02:30 AM
Response to Original message
36. For an account of the aftermath I highly recommend Masuji Ibuse's novel "Black Rain"...
This novel is no relation to Ozzy Osborn's CD or the Michael Douglas film. However there is a 1989 Japanese film called Kuroi Ame based on Ibuse's novel.

Ibuse based it on interviews and diaries of survivors. It is exceedingly well-written, grim, and moving. I read it in translation around 1970, as part of my senior thesis in Japanese History at University of Hawaii, and it is still in print. One of the scariest things in it -- knowing what we knew by then about the effects of radiation -- was that people from all over the countryside came into the city after the bombing to do rescue work, thus exposing themselves to the deadly environment.

As for the photographs that are just now coming to light -- this is a good thing. Based on what has been said here at DU in the past year, there's a whole generation of Americans who have never seen such photos before because of our propensity for historical amnesia.

I assure you -- I saw such photos by my early teens. They were out there, and they were not some kind of state secret. I don't know if Life magazine published some in the 1950s or if they were part of John Hersey's book and my parents brought it home from the library, but I saw photos of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the people who survived the blast. And read the descriptions.

Furthermore, fiction authors like Philip K. Dick used images of nuclear holocaust in their books -- which I also read while growing up.

Why the owner of these photos wanted to delay publication until this year I do not know. I only know that now is as good a time as any to have another generation be exposed to the truth. We have insane men in the White House who talk casually about "a new generation of tactical nukes" and "bunker busters" as though this makes some kind of sense. I don't question their sanity lightly -- but I have suspected Dick Cheney of being a madman ever since he and Rumsfeld floated that bunker buster idea back in (when was it) 2002.

Hekate
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JANdad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 05:06 AM
Response to Original message
38. But this was OK....right?
The Attack on Pearl Harbor4 of 12 Billows of Black Smoke
The USS West Virginia and the USS Tennessee burn. "A huge waterspout splashed over the side of the ship and then tumbled down like an exhausted geyser," remembers Japanese commander Matsumura Midori, who fired one of the torpedoes that hit the West Virginia. "What a magnificent sight."
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #38
40. Who said that?
Edited on Sat May-03-08 07:57 AM by JNelson6563
I have not seen anyone post that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was "alright". Everyone knows Japan launched a pre-emptive strike against us. Wiped out much of our navy and killed many. Show me one instance of anyone denying this or saying it was acceptable. Just one.

Now let us compare these atrocities....

Pearl Harbor; military target, a very strategic hit. Who died? Plenty of Americans were killed and I'd wager there were few civilians among them. It was a horrible thing to be sure.

Japan and the dropping of the bombs; not military targets. We didn't wipe out their air force or navy with these bombs. Who died? Civilians. Hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians. Men, women and children. A massive slaughter. We leveled homes, schools, shops, banks and the like.

Using your logic we owe Israel at least a couple of bunker busters in a city or two for that Liberty incident.

Julie--who marvels at the mental gymnastics of some

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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #40
69. Japan would have attacked civilians if they had the chance just as they killed 20 million in China.
At the time, by the standards of that war, attacking civilian population centers was the way war was done. It isn't right, but it can be explained in the context of the time.
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #69
73. and yet my point remains standing
Pearl Harbor cannot be compared to the dropping of the bombs. Other than the fact that both were surprise attacks I see no similarities. To count them as comparable is disingenuous to say the least.

Julie
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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #38
45. It was a despicable attack, but only 2400 died, almost all military. Compare that with
Hiroshima and Nagasaki: 100,000 deaths including children, as best anyone can figure.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #45
67. Japan killed 20 million people in China.
Let's be clear here, with the same technology Japan would have done exactly the same thing.
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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #67
80. Got a cite for that claim? The worst I can find is 300K victims at Nanjing
which is plenty bad enough, but not even close to ONE million.
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rockymountaindem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #80
89. You're woefully uninformed
The claim of 20 million is widely cited in many sources. If you want, you can take a simple look at wikipedia which indicates 3,220,000 military and 17,530,000 civilian casualties for the Chinese.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2nd_Sino-Japanese_War
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
47. I suspect racism is the reason those aren't pictures of a German city and German corpses
Maybe it's timing, but I doubt it.

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rockymountaindem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #47
50. No shortage of those either


That one's from the wikipedia article.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #50
56. You know what's sick about that...
Edited on Sat May-03-08 11:38 AM by AP
Studies after the war showed that the British strategy of bombing and sabotaging bridges, rail lines and roads (which made it impossible for Germany to move armies and war materials around) were much more effective than bombing cities. Similar studies showed that cutting off shipping lanes in the pacific (making it impossible for Japan to get rubber) limited their ability to fight the war.

However, there's so much more money for the military industrial complex building huge air forces, and making expensive bombs to drop on population centers, so those lessons were ignored.

Incidentally, civilian casualties in Dresden were 25k-40k, right? And I think most reasonable people accept that it was an atrocity and achieved nothing. However, Nagasaki and Hiroshima suffered much greater civilian casualties, and people are still arguing that it was a good thing.
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rockymountaindem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #56
87. I'd like to see those studies you're talking about
because the area bombing concept was most stridently forwarded by the head of RAF Bomber Command, Sir Arthur Harris. The USAAF preferred strikes against more specific targets.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #47
66. That is so much BULLSHIT.
The original project was designed for use against Berlin specifically. Japan happened to still be standing. What bullshit. You should be ashamed of yourself.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #66
100. Shame because it sickens me to see those pictures and I wonder how the minds work of the people
Edited on Sat May-03-08 11:47 PM by AP
responsible? Nope. Not ashamed. Not in the least.
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Squatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
49. War is hell.
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Retired AF Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #49
54. Yes war is hell
It just amazes me that the millions of deaths that Japan was responsible for that they like to play the victim.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #54
95. Those civilians, those children, were victims. Please don't confuse Gvt with People.
For all the deaths the bush administration is responsible for, yet the people of USA will play the victim if/when repercussions happen to civilians here?
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Owl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #49
86. And most always unnecessary.
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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
53. omg.
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
68. Send it to Hillary. Title it "Obliterated." n/t
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Fox Mulder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #68
84. Agreed.
But I don't think she'd give a shit.
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slowry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
92. Even if you accept that this definitely saved millions of lives,
would you want to be on this side of the equation? Also keep in mind that we're talking about civilians vs. military: what is the acceptable ratio of potential military lives lost, to instantaneous civilian lives lost, to justify nuking civilians? It's probably worth factoring in those who didn't die instantly, and those who were physically and mentally maimed, for the rest of their lives.

I don't have any answers; I just can't dismiss this with the same hand-waving mathematics that apologists do.
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dbmk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
96. Bombing civilian targets on purpose simply cannot be justified.
I don't care whos father would have died if they didn't. (The whole premise that the only other alternative was an invasion is BS)

The moment you decide to do what was done to Hiroshima and Nagasaki - your moral superiority vanishes and you loose the reason you should win.
Doing it twice was beyond cruel and evil. Seeing what the first did - the second one can only be explained by either pure numbness in terms of humanity - or it being an utterly calculated and evil demonstration.

At the moment it was done, Japan posed no significant threat to anyone. At most it could escape occupation and all out surrender. And even that seems unlikely given the blokade possibility.

The Dresden bombings are also a chapter in history that should not be forgotten, nor explained away or excused. It was pure untempered revenge.
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Cerridwen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
97. Kick. n/t
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
101. Historically speaking, the decision to drop the bombs were
Edited on Sun May-04-08 12:04 AM by rasputin1952
strategically and tactically correct.

Since there are many points of view, all must fall silent to the times we are speaking of. Facts are facts, and regardless of how horrific the situation had become, there was little choice in the matter if one wants to be realistic in the time of the events.

All things prior to the decision had shown the Japanese to be tenacious and essentially bent on suicide as opposed to surrender. Not many at the beginning of hostilities knew the japanese psyche at the time. (Even today, some of the "old ways" persevere, as there are classes to teach the Japanese to smile, something they were not known for). All that there was to go by, was seeing what they had done, and were doing in the times we are talking about.

Nanking, The Bataan Death March, slave labor, brutal military jurisdictions where life was considered nothing. Then there were the Island Battles, where extremely few survivors were taken prisoner, most of those far beyond the means to fight any longer. Kamikazes; the drilling of virtually everyone on the Home Islands to fight to the death, beginning on the shores and taking the battles inland, all with the knowledge that could not possibly win the war. The major cities of Japan had been firebombed into oblivion, some of the firestorms whipped up 600 mph winds that swept people into fire tornadoes of several thousand degrees.

Overtures were made to the Soviets in trying to work out a deal, but the Soviets stalled, as they had plans as well. Truman did not take this decision lightly, nor did Marshall or anyone else, (with the probable exception of USAAF Gen Curtis LeMay).

After the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the Japanese leadership decided to press the war to it's inevitable conclusion, willing to sacrifice the population in order to "save face" and live up to a code we find it difficult to understand. Tojo made the incredible statement that "the US could not possibly have 2 of these things." Denial and Group-think are powerful, and after Nagasaki, the Emperor himself had to step in take matters into his own hands. Some believed he did not have the authority to do this, and there was a short lived coup to keep the recording off the air about the surrender.

In essence, a small group were willing to have millions die on both sides so they would not have to go through the humiliation of surrender. Say what we will in 20/20 hindsight, at the time, there was little else that could be called a viable option.

FWIW...Stalin already knew about the Trinity test, and there was work going on at a fever pitch to get German scientists for both the American and the Soviet governments, (we found out that the Germans were pretty far off from getting a bomb, but who wants to take the chance at the time?).

One last item, the fire bombing of Tokyo killed more than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Very little of Tokyo was left, but the will to fight was as strong as ever. If that had happened here in the US, we'd fight it out as well, in some ways, humanity simply binds together under crisis, the British did during the Blitz, the Germans did in Berlin and Dresden, and the Japanese did after it's major cities had been burned to ash.

Ironically, the Japanese have been adamant about keeping nuclear weapons away from it's shores, and have been proponents for peaceful resolution of situations for many a year. The dropping of the bombs saved millions, paved the way for a new Japan, and helped stabilize a part of Asia.

However, another bomb should never be dropped, nor the threat of nuclear war should ever be proposed. Defense is one thing, but for anyone to threaten to unleash a nuclear holocaust is evil incarnate, regardless of who they are or their motives. HRC was speaking of retaliation, but here are some people out there that would have no qualms about tossing a nuke into the fray...they should see these pictures and listen to some of the first hand reports that survive. If they still brayed about such things, their nations should rise up from within and remove them from power, for the leaders will not suffer, but the citizens most certainly will.

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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #101
112. Well written. Looks like you and I have read the same books & perhaps grew up in the same times. n/t
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #112
115. Thanks...as a history loving person, I love to get as many
perspectives as possible.

I find it incredible that MacArthur thought the idea was horrid, not because of the devastation, but because of the fact the invasion of Japan was now a moot issue. On the other hand...Curtis LeMay thought this was the greatest thing since the invention of the wheel, and was willing to use it on the Soviets, the Chinese and in SE Asia...he was a nuclear nutcase, (he also believed that wars could be won by airpower alone, another absurd idea...people dig in, as wars have shown us time and again, and continue the fight. Far better...avoid war as best one can).

The citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were warned as well. Days ahead of the bombings, radio broadcasts and dropped leaflets warned the people of an impending disaster; at the least, they should have realized they were targeted for the same firebombing as the other major cities of Japan had seen. Point is, the warnings were there, the signs of impending destruction were there, the war was lost for the Japanese...and a few at the top rungs of power let tens of thousands die, and would have allowed millions more to die, for their own stubborness...(reminds me of bush and his cabal).

It has been said, that of all the people w/Truman the day the news of the successful attack, only Marshall was not cheering, nor smiling, and some say, they thought they saw a slight tear in his eye. Marshall was one of the most brilliant leaders this nation had ever seen, and he knew that the genie could never be be placed back in the bottle. He knew that the bomb, and the subsequent "advances" imperiled the world, and as Sec of State, did everything he could to keep a nuclear Armageddon from occuring...starting w/the Marshall Plan, a brilliant maneuver both humanitarian and strategic.
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LeftHander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #101
125. Strategically and tactically...but not morally correct.
The indiscriminate killing of civilians including women and children, elderly and ill with nuclear weapons is too easy and the result is a lazafare attitude to war. "Turn them to glass" we say now. "Collateral Damage" total obliteration, point and click.

Had the U.S. suffered a long grueling war with great sacrifice and suffering by all we would of probably thought more about starting any other wars.
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #125
137. The indiscriminate killing of civilians including women and
children had been going on since 1936 in Asia, and 1939 in Europe.

The fire-bombings of Dresden, Berlin and Tokyo were far more costly in lives and even more horrendous.

Look up the fire-bombing of Dresden, which was pushed for by Churchill...it was an act of terrorism. Dresden had virtually no militay importance, hundreds of thousands had gone there because they felt it would not be bombed precisely because it was not a military target. The firestorm that generated 600 mph winds sucked people into fire tornadoes, incinerating them almost instantly. The same thing happened to Tokyo, with only the Imperial Palace left unscathed.

You can most certainly stand on your position...but the 2 bombs dropped on Japan, ended the war w/far less #'s than if an invasion and bombing would have been the order of the day.

I'm not saying dropping nukes was a wonderful thing...but in the scope of things, they actually saved more lives than they took.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 12:44 AM
Response to Original message
102. IKE was ready, willing and able to do that to the Soviet Union.
His generals wanted him to, too.



The Real Eisenhower: Planning to Win Nuclear War

by Ira Chernus
CommonDreams.org
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Peace activists love to quote Dwight Eisenhower. The iconic Republican war hero spoke so eloquently about the dangers of war and the need for disarmament. He makes a terrific poster-boy for peace. But after years of research and writing three books on Ike, I think its time to see the real Eisenhower stand up. The president who planned to fight and win a nuclear war, saying he would rather be atomized than communized, reminds us how dangerous the cold war era really was, how much our leaders will put us all at risk in the name of national security, and how easily they can mask their intentions behind benign images.From first to last, Eisenhower was a confirmed cold warrior. Years before he became president, while he was publicly promoting cooperation with the Soviet Union, he wrote in his diary: Russia is definitely out to communize the world.Now we face a battle to extinction. On the home front, he warned that liberal Democrats were leading the U.S. toward total socialism.

Everyone knows that, in his Farewell Address, he warned about the military-industrial complex (MIC). But few recall the words that immediately followed: We recognize the imperative need for this development . Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, because the danger of the communist foe, a community of dreadful fear and hate<,> promises to be of indefinite duration.

This was not merely rhetoric for public consumption. Eisenhower never saw any hope of rapprochement with the Soviets. He always saw them as irredeemably treacherous, implacably hostile and seeking our destruction, as he wrote to Winston Churchill. Where in the hell can you let the Communists chip away any more? We just cant stand it, he complained to a meeting of Congressional leaders in 1954, as he considered intervening in Vietnam. (He held back only because Britain and France refused to support him.)

Ike wanted to avoid nuclear war, but not at all costs. He told his National Security Council (NSC): If the Soviets attempt to overrun Europe, we should have no recourse but to go to war. The U.S. must be willing to push its whole stack of chips into the pot when such becomes necessary, he told Congressional leaders, adding, We are going to live with this type of crisis for years. If World War III erupted during his term in office, he boasted, he might be the last person alive, but there wouldnt be any surrender.

In private conversations with foreign leaders he said: To accept the Communist doctrine and try to live with it would be too big a price to be alive. He said he would not want to live, nor would he want his children or grandchildren to live, in a world where we were slaves of a Moscow Power. The President said that speaking for himself he would rather be atomized than communized.

Eisenhower signed NSC 5810/1, which made it official U.S. policy to treat nuclear weapons as conventional weapons; and to use them whenever required to achieve national objectives. The only sensible thing for us to do was to put all our resources into our hydrogen bombs, he told the NSC. He found it frustrating not to have plans to use nuclear weapons generally accepted. He and his Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, were in complete agreement that somehow or other the taboos which surround the use of atomic weapons would have to be destroyed.

CONTINUED...

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/03/18/7742 /



Thank you for the information on the Robert L. Capp collection. I never would have known.

Here's an eyewitness you father and his friends may have known:



Voice and Silence in the First Nuclear War:

Wilfred Burchett and Hiroshima


by Richard Tanter
August 13, 2005

Hiroshima had a profound effect upon me. Still does. My first reaction was personal relief that the bomb had ended the war. Frankly, I never thought I would live to see that end, the casualty rate among war correspondents in that area being what it was. My anger with the US was not at first, that they had used that weapon -- although that anger came later. Once I got to Hiroshima, my feeling was that for the first time a weapon of mass destruction of civilians had been used. Was it justified? Could anything justify the extermination of civilians on such a scale? But the real anger was generated when the US military tried to cover up the effects of atomic radiation on civilians -- and tried to shut me up. My emotional and intellectual response to Hiroshima was that the question of the social responsibility of a journalist was posed with greater urgency than ever.

-- Wilfred Burchett 1980 <1>


Wilfred Burchett entered Hiroshima alone in the early hours of 3 September 1945, less than a month after the first nuclear war began with the bombing of the city. Burchett was the first Western journalist -- and almost certainly the first Westerner other than prisoners of war -- to reach Hiroshima after the bomb. The story which he typed out on his battered Baby Hermes typewriter, sitting among the ruins, remains one of the most important Western eyewitness accounts, and the first attempt to come to terms with the full human and moral consequences of the United States initiation of nuclear war.

For Burchett, that experience was a turning point, a watershed in my life, decisively influencing my whole professional career and world outlook. Subsequently Burchett came to understand that his honest and accurate account of the radiological effects of nuclear weapons not only initiated an animus against him from the highest quarters of the US government, but also marked the beginning of the nuclear victors determination rigidly to control and censor the picture of Hiroshima and Nagasaki presented to the world.

The story of Burchett and Hiroshima ended only with his last book, Shadows of Hiroshima, completed shortly before his death in 1983. In that book, Burchett not only went back to the history of his own despatch, but more importantly showed the broad dimensions of the coolly planned and manufactured cover-up which continued for decades. With his last book, completed in his final years in the context of President Reagans Star Wars speech of March 1983, Burchett felt it has become urgent -- virtually a matter of life or death -- for people to understand what really did happen in Hiroshima nearly forty years ago . . . It is my clear duty, based on my own special experiences, to add this contribution to our collective knowledge and consciousness. With apologies that it has been so long delayed . . . <2>

CONTINUED...

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=1...



The photographs at the Hoover Institution Archives fill in the story. Thank you.
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spinbaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
108. We visited Hiroshima last year
The museum is very sobering. There's this weird disconnect between the melted porcelain rice bowls and roof tiles in the museum and the bustling modern city outside the museum. I saw more children in HIroshima than anywhere else in Japan.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
114. Sorry... Unjustifiable
I don't care how people try spinning this.
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #114
116. Were you alive at the time? All things w/the decision have
to be in the perspective of the times in which they occured. To do otherwise really doesn't help in understanding the decision. I have spent a long time pondering the whole situation, it is not an easy subject to tackle.

As cold and calculating the process is...a chance to end a war w/100,000 casualties vs, several million and carrying on the war for at least another year minimum...the decision to drop the bomb was valid.

In the scheme of things...if the invasion of Japan would have gone on schedule...many of us here today would not exist, and millions of Japanese would not exist either. The carnage would have been far greater than it was.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #116
130. Sorry... I'm Not Convinced
Wiping out that many civilians is down right immoral and a bit disturbing.
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #130
132. It is not the only scenario during those times when there was
Edited on Mon May-05-08 05:47 PM by rasputin1952
massive loss of civilian life.

Looking at what the Japanese had done during their "reign of terror" gave the impression, if not the fact, that they were, at the time brutal in their occupations. Millions of Chinese were slaughtered, mostly civilians, under the Japanese; millions of Japanese died during the war, many of them civilians. Look at the fire-bombing of Tokyo...civilians died in a far higher # than at Hiroshima...and yet, the "official" line was to "continue to the death".

Whether you are convinced or not is irrelevant to the time, it happened because after great deliberation, it was deemed as the best option at that time.

How many more civilians would have died if conventional bombing of the cities and countryside continued? Millions...add to the potential Japanese deaths the # of Allied troops and the numbers cannot even begin to balance.

Children died in Moscow, Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden, London, Rome, Stalingrad, Nanking, Manila the world was littered with the bodies of the innocent. The relative few that died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which brought the murder to a close is no more nor less horrific than the others. It is the method that makes most agahst...not the #'s.

War sucks...we should have evolved far beyond it...but it appears to be enmeshed in our very fiber.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #132
134. You are Trying to Justify a Horrific Act
By giving examples of others of its time. I know war sucks, it doesn't make me accept it, and it doesn't make the act any less immoral to me. Sorry...
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #134
135. In the times, it was justifiable...
unfortunately, that is a fact.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #135
136. No... It's Your Opinion
based on facts of the time. And we will just have to agree to disagree.
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #114
117. Were you alive at the time? All things w/the decision have
to be in the perspective of the times in which they occured. To do otherwise really doesn't help in understanding the decision. I have spent a long time pondering the whole situation, it is not an easy subject to tackle.

As cold and calculating the process is...a chance to end a war w/100,000 casualties vs, several million and carrying on the war for at least another year minimum...the decision to drop the bomb was valid.

In the scheme of things...if the invasion of Japan would have gone on schedule...many of us here today would not exist, and millions of Japanese would not exist either. The carnage would have been far greater than it was.
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LeftHander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #117
124. We can't say that the war would of been worse....
Neither can the people who made the decision to create and drop that bomb.

Humans cannot predict the future of something as chaotic as war.

What was done was done. The victors determine what crimes were committed and who are to heroes.

Had Japan won the war despite the bombs being dropped no doubt, our leaders would of been convicted and hanged for crimes against humanity.

War is hell. The best way to end a war is to never start one. Something mankind simply cannot understand.

Everytime I think of what we did it really bothers me. And when our current leadership touts military intervention as a foreign policy tool it makes me feel that we have learned nothing from the deaths of countless millions in the wars we have fought and waged.

It is a moral dilemma, one that has no answer other than to reject war and violence flat out, else we leave behind more gruesome documentation for other generations to discover and debate over.


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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #114
119. Unless you were alive in 1945 and a potential casualty if the U.S. invaded Japan, then you have no
real appreciation of how important was Truman's decision and how wonderful it was to know your loved ones were not going to face death.

You can spin all you want and quote all the hindsight articles you want but you will never know how it was in 1945 unless you lived through it.

Have a good day and may you live a long and prosperous life under the umbrella of security fought for by an earlier generation.
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Shatov Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #119
121. The US had the war won; Japan couldn't have "forced" it to invade
That the decision to bomb largely civilian targets saved a million American servicemen's lives is by no means uncontestable.

Quite a number of prominent figures at the time, both civilian and military, opposed the bombing, on grounds that Japan had already begun pressing for peace. (http://www.doug-long.com/quotes.htm )


This was a wholly unnecessary act. Japan had by that time been decimated, deprived of any air force or naval assets of any value. What, pray tell, would have prevented the Allies from simply cordoning off the home islands? Were the Japanese really in a position to "force" Americans into invading?

The worse part of all is that the bombing was all for naught. After all, the Allies eventually agreed to Japan's pre-Hiroshima terms. Had they simply agreed to keep Hirohito on as a figurehead, 200,000 people would not have died.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-06-08 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #121
139. Sorry but Japan was given a chance to surrender but it refused. I've read the quotes you cite plus
many more supporting Truman's decision to use the bomb.

Like most subjective decisions, there are usually vocal groups of advisers both pro and con.

If you go back to July and August 1945 and put yourself in the place of troops en route to invade Japan, you would probably thank Truman for ending the war and possibly sparing your life.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #119
129. If My Opinion was so Easily Dismissed
Edited on Mon May-05-08 04:50 PM by fascisthunter
then why even reply with statement that tries to disqualify it? "No reall appreciation"? That's not what we are talking about. But thanks anyway.

Spin all you want.... and yes, my opinion is based on hindsight.. sue me.

Killing so many civilians is Stupid and to those who might be spiritual, it's sick.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-06-08 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #129
138. Sorry but we are talking about using atomic bombs to end a war that had already cost millions of
lives.

You sit here so comfortable in 2008, cherry-pick history and fantasize about a different ending to the horrors of WWII.

That's OK but if you were on a ship bound for Japan in August 1945, you would have a different set of memories.

I suggest you really educate yourself about that event by locating a few soldiers, sailors, and marines who were on such ships and ask them how they felt about Truman dropping the bomb.
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iamthebandfanman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-04-08 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
118. unpublished?
didnt u just post this the other day as a whole other thread?
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-05-08 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #118
133. I think this is that thread. It's been going for days.
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