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Bill Whittle, Jon Stewart and WWII. Was dropping the bomb a war crime?

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rainy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 09:38 AM
Original message
Bill Whittle, Jon Stewart and WWII. Was dropping the bomb a war crime?
I watched the episode of Jon and another guy discussing if Truman was a war criminal because of the bomb. Jon said yes. My dad sent me a video of Bill Whittle explaining why the bomb was necessary. I am looking for info that will explain the real reason for WWII and the bomb and cant find too much. I like what Michael Parenti says about it but can't even find much on that. Can anyone send me in the right direction. I'd really like to counter this Bill Whittle guy. Please help.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. I recently read correspondence between Eleanor R and Harry T in which ER
Edited on Sun May-31-09 09:43 AM by Captain Hilts
completely backed up Truman's decision to drop the bomb. This letter was written to HST after a trip she made to Japan where she visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

As one of the few folks who knew about the bomb, he did consult her before dropping it. Her comment at the time was "It was the second bomb I always worried about." The day FDR died Leo Slizard had an appt. with her to discuss a 'demonstration' of the bomb to Japan before actually dropping it on them.

So, had FDR become a vegetable rather than dead on April 12th, and the decision was up to peace, love and granola Eleanor, she'd uh dropped it.

People were really tired of the war and the casualty estimates for an invasion of the Japanese mainland were huge. The battle for Okinawa underlined that.

Remember, that for folks Truman's and Eleanor's and Churchill's etc. ages this was the SECOND world war they'd been through. People wanted it over and done.
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rainy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. There is no way in my mind that the bomb was necessary. My understanding
is that Japan was ready to surrender with a few concessions.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Possible, but they didn't surrender after the first bomb.
It's hard to say these many years beyond the event. The mentalities in Japan - and Washington - were not only very different from right now, they were both very fatigued and very stressed.
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BlueMTexpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. What I understand is that everything in Japan was in such disorder
after the first bomb that no one even knew what was going on. Communications and coverage of the blast and its aftermath were not really happening, certainly not at the pace we are used to today. Japan may actually have been trying to surrender before the second bomb. The first bomb may possibly have been justified in light of what information was available, but the second bomb was definitely one bomb too many. Just MO.

Possibly the only lasting good that resulted from this devastation was that there is major hesitation ever to use such a weapon again, at least among all rational human beings.


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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. It was, but that's completely unrelated to the decision to surrender.
The Supreme War Council was aware of what had happened, deliberated for hours, and decided to not offer an unconditional surrender. They would have refused to surrender after the second bomb if not for the intervention of Emperor Hirohito (who had been an entirely passive figure throughout the war until that point).

"Trying to surrender" is nonsense. It does not require any "trying." All that need happen is a radio announcement or telegram be sent claiming unconditional surrender.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. "Surrender with a few concessions" was not acceptable.
The "few concessions" would have included maintaining the military/imperial government, and would have allowed Japan to continue its brutal occupation of Taiwan, Korea, and northeast China. That would have done nothing but set the stage for yet another war. Just as with the Nazis in Germany, unconditional surrender and occupation was the only acceptable outcome.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #3
56. your understanding is very poor...
and that is an understatement...
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
63. No. Japan was not ready to surrender
Some factions wanted to stop the war, but the Emperor and his people did not. The US offered a truce after the first a-bomb was dropped, Japan refused. They did not even accept after the second bomb, and there was a coup attempt before the official surrender on August 15, 1945.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrender_of_Japan is an excellent and pretty exhaustive article about the end of the war with Japan.

Various plans for invading the Japanese territories had been drawn up and discussed. In all of them, the casualty levels were enormous. Again, Wikipedia has a very good article on this:
Casualty estimates were based on the experience of the preceding campaigns, drawing different lessons:

* In a study done by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in April, the figures of 7.45 casualties/1,000 man-days and 1.78 fatalities/1,000 man-days were developed. This implied that a 90-day Olympic campaign would cost 456,000 casualties, including 109,000 dead or missing. If Coronet took another 90 days, the combined cost would be 1,200,000 casualties, with 267,000 fatalities.<37>
* A study done by Adm. Nimitz's staff in May estimated 49,000 casualties in the first 30 days, including 5,000 at sea.<38> A study done by General MacArthur's staff in June estimated 23,000 in the first 30 days and 125,000 after 120 days.<39> When these figures were questioned by General Marshall, MacArthur submitted a revised estimate of 105,000, in part by deducting wounded men able to return to duty.<40>
* In a conference with President Truman on June 18, Marshall, taking the Battle of Luzon as the best model for Olympic, thought the Americans would suffer 31,000 casualties in the first 30 days (and ultimately 20% of Japanese casualties, which implied a total of 70,000 casualties).<41> Adm. Leahy, more impressed by the Battle of Okinawa, thought the American forces would suffer a 35% casualty rate (implying an ultimate toll of 268,000).<42> Admiral King thought that casualties in the first 30 days would fall between Luzon and Okinawa, i.e., between 31,000 and 41,000.<42>

Of these estimates, only Nimitz's included losses of the forces at sea, though kamikazes had inflicted 1.78 fatalities per kamikaze pilot in the Battle of Okinawa,<43> and troop transports off Kyūshū would have been much more exposed.

* A study done for Secretary of War Henry Stimson's staff by William Shockley estimated that conquering Japan would cost 1.7 to 4 million American casualties, including 400,000 to 800,000 fatalities, and five to ten million Japanese fatalities. The key assumption was large-scale participation by civilians in the defense of Japan.<1>

Outside the government, well-informed civilians were also making guesses. Kyle Palmer, war correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, said half a million to a million Americans would die by the end of the war. Herbert Hoover, in memorandums submitted to Truman and Stimson, also estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 fatalities, and were believed to be conservative estimates; but it is not known if Hoover discussed these specific figures in his meetings with Truman. The chief of the Army Operations division thought them "entirely too high" under "our present plan of campaign."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Downfall#Estimat...


The civilian casualties with an invasion were expected to be higher than the deaths from the atomic bombs - and the American military casualties would have crippled this country for years. THAT is why the bombs were dropped - to save lives on both sides.

I take this personally - my father spent the last year of the war on a submarine in the Pacific.
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Marksbrother Donating Member (653 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
2. Here's a good source to check out

First, let me say that nothing about WWII has generated more heated controversy than the use of the atom bomb.

You will like this book: "Downfall. The End Of The Imperial Japanese Empire", by Richard B. Frank.

In it, he examines all of the major questions surrounding Truman's use of the atom bomb.

After reading it, you will be in a much better position to form an opinion about Mr. Whittle's explanation, and to
counter it if you wish.

As you read and reflect on all this, keep in mind the legal definition of a war criminal, and ask yourself if
Truman fits the definition.
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rainy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Thanks for your response. I will look into the book. It's worth understanding
how we got to that point. I can't help think that no matter what it was a mistake. I still think our reasons for entering the war were not as history would have us believe.
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LeFleur1 Donating Member (973 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Is War Necessary?
If war is truly necessary why not use all you have to survive?
A war should only be fought on those grounds, and if countries are fighting over something less there should be no war.
I don't get the idea that sending people to war to die and kill for less than survival is okay, but using all you have to stop a war is not.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
5. The bomb may or may not have been necessary. However, when passing judgement, what we ought look at
Edited on Sun May-31-09 10:35 AM by Occam Bandage
is not whether the bomb was necessary, but whether Truman had sufficient cause to believe it was necessary. The casualty estimates (American, Japanese army, and Japanese civilian) for an invasion of the Japanese mainland were all abhorrent, and the only advisers of note who suggested that the bomb was not a better solution were those who believed the Japanese were so committed to a final battle that the bomb would not have any effect. There were six days of heavy firebombing, an ultimatum was delivered, and the Japanese ignored it despite no longer having any military power to resist. This was a fairly clear sign to the American government that the Japanese indeed had no intention of surrender until they absolutely literally had American knives at their throats.

As for the second bomb? The American demand was unconditional surrender. Unconditional surrender does not require any planning or deliberation beyond the decision to surrender or to not surrender. After three days of silence, the Americans believed the Japanese did not choose to surrender--and believed correctly, as documents released after the war demonstrate; the Supreme War Council majority opinion was that the Americans most likely could not build more than one nuclear device, and so surrender was not necessary. It was only after the second bomb that Hirohito intervened in the Supreme War Council and forced them to accept the demand of surrender.

A report commissioned and completed in 1946 demonstrated that the Japanese economy, military apparatus, and population were in far shabbier shape than Truman realized, and heavily implied that most of the Pacific war was completely unnecessary, and that a full commitment to a combination of submarine warfare, aerial mining, and carrier-based conventional strategic bombing raids would have ended the war sooner than our military strategy could have, at lower cost. However, you cannot blame Truman (and FDR) for not acting on information he did not yet have.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #5
14. +++++++10! nt
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #5
17. Is torturing people necessary, or is there reason for the president to believe it to be?
That seems like a loose argument that is a cop out for any and all behavior.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. Invalid comparison.
Edited on Sun May-31-09 11:07 AM by Occam Bandage
Torture is a discrete decision a President can make: do it or don't. If you do it, someone is tortured. If you don't, they aren't.

Bombing of major industrial/population centers is part and parcel of total warfare. In total warfare, civilians and soldiers die at atrocious and ongoing rates; the primary concern is how to stop the death as soon as possible. Had the war been prolonged another month, many more Japanese civilians would have died from firebombing, disease, and starvation than died at Hiroshima. Ending the war by starving Japan to death through mining and bombing might well have have killed millions or tens of millions of civilians.

Had an invasion been mounted, many, many times more civilians would have died. That was not all, for America was beginning preparations to endure as many as four million America casualties, with perhaps a million American deaths, and we estimated that Japan would lose at least four times as many soldiers and conscripts, to say nothing of civilian deaths.

Had America simply stopped the fighting, and let Japan keep her colonies (aside from those the Russians would conquer) and her military apparatus, it would have set the stage for yet another war in the next decade, once the fanatical military dictatorship had successfully rebuilt the nation's industry and military. The world learned after World War One that half-defeating, impoverishing, and shaming a nation was only a recipe for a World War Two; occupation and reconstruction was the only way to ensure peace. Additionally, it wouldn't just lead to another war down the road, it would also prolong the Japanese war in China (where 85% of all Japanese casualties, and tens of millions of civilian deaths, occurred); it wouldn't even be trading peace now for war later. It would have meant more death then, and more death later.

The decision Truman had was not "kill civilians and soldiers" or "don't kill civilians and soldiers;" it was "how will civilians and soldiers die?" He was in a situation in which there were absolutely zero options that did not lead to enormous casualty figures. He went with what he had sufficient cause to believe would kill the least number of people.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. A comparison of actions isn't being made, but of justifications.
No one has a crystal ball. With the best available evidence, and the interpretation and perception of such, one may *believe* that dropping a bomb will save lives. With the best available evidence, one may also *believe* that torturing someone will save lives. The issue is that you are justifying the Means with the "best" estimate (which is subject to both emotion and ignorance) of what the future realities may be. In neither such scenario, do we ever know beforehand what will truly happen if we pursue an alternative course of action. This is a loose justification that could go so far as the excuse a mass terrorist bomber who (through interpretation, perception and perhaps mental illness) attempts to bomb the world into a Utopia by destroying all people except a few. "Well at the time, the terrorist had every reason to believe he was acting justly". Well, fuck that reasoning, and the underlying principle of "belief" in it.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. Stripping out the alternatives to a decision when judging that decision is useless.
Edited on Sun May-31-09 11:23 AM by Occam Bandage
It means that any lesser-of-two-evils decision must be judged as evil. Politics, and especially war, are not so clear-cut that there is always a good option (such as not torturing people) and a bad option (such as torturing people). In the final days of World War Two, there were multiple bad options: continue the incredibly destructive campaign of starvation and bombing, mount an incredibly destructive invasion, give up and allow an incredibly destructive war to continue (and restart later), and drop a shockingly destructive bomb. No matter which option Truman had picked, your means of analysis would declare that option the wrong one. Any framework for judgement under which a decision that is made is the wrong one by virtue of having been made is a means of analysis that is absolutely useless except for the most shallow possible discussions on the internet.

I absolutely cannot agree with 'fuck using the best possible evidence to interpret data and choose the course of action that will most likely lead to the least amount of human suffering.' A President, after all, must choose to do something; even choosing to do nothing is a decision that can have profound negative repercussions. Truman could not avoid making a decision that would lead to mass suffering. He could do nothing but attempt to find the decision that would lead to the least amount of mass suffering.

Your comparisons to terrorism are absolutely and completely absurd. Never mind that your argument amounts to "acting rationally? Someone insane could act irrationally and think they were acting rationally, so fuck rationality." Even under that impressive display of nonsense, there isn't a comparison. The terrorist has the option of "cause death in hopes things get better," and "don't cause death," and he is acting without due diligence in seeking analysis and justifications for his opinion. Truman did not have a "don't cause death" option, and he went with the option that all evidence and all outside analysis declared would cause the least death.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #22
29. "Truman did not have a "don't cause death" option"
You seem to think dropping the bomb or an invasion were his options. How about a truce? Did anyone try that? Or consider it? Just curious. I know a conditional surrender wasn't even an option that was considered fully, so I doubt a truce would of been.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #29
45. I listed two other options as well.
1. A continuation of the bombing/starvation campaign, which in only a few weeks would have resulted in greater death than the atomic bombs, though distributed evenly and not in a single shocking event. This might have been the best option, but Truman was not aware until after the war ended just how close Japan was to the breaking point. All reports suggested Japan would hang on for months; possibly even indefinitely. Had the United States adopted this option fully in 1942 (and not gone island-hopping), the Pacific war might have ended in 1944, and without the battles of Iwo Jima, Okinawa, &c, and with millions fewer Chinese deaths.

2. A premature peace. This likely would have done nothing to halt the war in China; neither Mao Zedong nor Jiang Jieshi had any intention of stopping the war until China was Chinese (and Communist/Nationalist) in its entirety, including Manchuria. No amount of American pressure would have been able to convince either to simply allow the Japanese to control any part of China. China, of course, is where the overwhelming number of deaths occurred in the Pacific theater. 85% of the 2.1 million Japanese military deaths occurred at the hands of the Chinese, and over twenty million Chinese died in the war. Japan never offered to completely leave China in any of its peace feelers, nor did it ever offer to leave Korea.

A truce would have been bizarre indeed. Never mind that it would have outraged the American electorate and the rest of the Allies; they would correctly see it as madness to give an enemy time to recover once you have him on the ropes. The Soviets would almost certainly not go along with it, especially since they had just broken their own truce with the Japanese and entered the war. The Chinese of course would not assent either. With the war continuing, would we have allowed the Japanese to reopen their ports, and would we stop our blockade? That would be tantamount to fueling and feeding both sides of a brutal war. Would we have kept up the blockade? Then it wouldn't really have been a truce; it would have simply been a cessation of bombing for no discernible purpose.

The Japanese military leadership was not a rational actor. They had launched a massive invasion of China in an attempt to form an economic and military trade partner/buffer state to allow them to better resist a potential Soviet threat. They joined the Axis in an attempt to secure allies against the Soviet Union. Even after the first atomic bombing, with the complete destruction of their industrial capacity, after the sinking of their navy, after the loss of their air capability, and with their dwindling army being overrun in China and Manchuria, they refused to surrender. They pinned everything on drawing out the war, hoping the Americans would lose the will to fight to the end, and would allow them a favorable peace under which they could rebuild. As it turned out, their plan was flawed; though neither they nor Truman realized it at the time, Japan would have collapsed beneath them had the blockade gone on much longer. A truce, though, would have been the fulfillment of their desperate desires. I cannot imagine how giving them the breathing room they wanted to help them keep up the fight would have inspired them to disarm, and I cannot imagine what reason the Soviets or the Chinese would have to honor the truce.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #45
50. A quibble on your math concerning proportions of Japanese military deaths in China.
I saw you talking about this yesterday and your numbers don't wash. While the wiki pages say 2.1 million total, and the second Sino-Japanese war http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Sino-Japanese_War lists estimated casualties (not necessarily deaths) at 1.8 million (perhaps they are counting Chinese collaborators too). Anyway, your numbers don't was as the Burma campaign had 144K dead http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma_Campaign, Okinawa 100K dead http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Okinawa and Philippineshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippines_campaign_(194445) another 336K, which adds up to considerably more than the 300,000 your calculations would allow for.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #5
19. BINGO - even someone as peace, love and granola as Eleanor thought it
was necessary. That's the information they had.

The fight the Japanese gave us at Okinawa made us think there was more fight in them than they actually had left over. We had no way of knowing that at the time.

It's too easy to condemn the decision in 2009.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #5
25. You have Put The Essentials Very Well, Sir
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #5
26. Well said. Hindsight is often 20/20 but Truman acted in good faith. n/t
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #5
49. This. nt
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SemiCharmedQuark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
62. I've done two papers on this subject, arguing both sides.
My opinion on this has grown over the past few years. I used to be staunchly in the camp of "The U.S. was committing a war crime in dropping that bomb." But now, having gone through an exhaustive look at what was known on both sides and the kind of war that was being fought, I find myself--not in the pro-bomb camp---but on the side of "it was not an easy decision and it is impossible to condemn Truman or FDR for it based on what we know now rather than what was known then."
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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
9. it was a war crime. I was a kid during WWII and knew it was a crime


it was horrible! what the bombs did was horrible. talk about it now seems to smooth it over but nuke bombing is a bombing that keeps on giving.
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
10. Yes - but I don't disagree with it - war is not a cakewalk with gentleman agreements
Neither side of almost any war refuses to ever target any civilians under any circumstances if doing so would win a battle or war. All military personal do not always get treated with respect due them with the Geneva convention.

If something is necessary to save many more lifes is it a crime? - only if you are on the losing side.
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Vickers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
12. Of course it wasn't.
That's absolutely ridiculous, but I wouldn't expect a non-military guy like Stewart to understand that.

There are people out there that think ANY bombing is a war crime.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
13. Was bombing Pearl Harbor a war crime? NT
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Uzybone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
16. FWIW, Stewart came out and apologized for that dumb remark
Edited on Sun May-31-09 10:46 AM by Uzybone
he said he was speaking passionately and wasn't thinking of what he was saying. I believe he had that ghoul; Frank Gaffney on that night.
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Larkspur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
21. My mother who served n the Army during WWII believed that dropping the A-bomb was just
because as far as we know the Japanese government were willing to sacrifice every Japanese citizen so that they would not surrender. Militant Japanese culture at the time saw surrender as dishonorable, which is why they treated US POW's horribly. And based on how fierce the Japanese kept fighting even though all reason said they were going to lose, made our leaders and people like my mother support dropping the A-bomb on Japan to bring the war to a quick end. Invading Japan would have cost millions of lives and Truman would have been impeached if he chose invasion over dropping the A-bombs.

In a way, dropping those A-bombs on Japan, most likely prevented using atomic bombs during the Cold War because we saw how horrible they were.
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #21
52. Many true points.
If we hadn't used them in Japan, we probably have used them in Korea five years later. My mother's father was on a carrier in the Pacific and would been a target of the 10,000 kamikaze planes Japan was preparing and my father's father was in a infantry division that was in the process of moving to Saipan to take part in the invasion.

I've read a lot on the subject and dropping the bomb was by far, less bloody then an invasion.
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818181 Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
23. Hiroshima is the 2nd most HORRID word in the American Lexicon
succeeded only by NAGASAKI. - Kurt Vonnegut

Japan was utterly defeated and defenseless. They were actively trying to negotiate terms of surrender... primarily they wanted to keep their figure head emperor... after we ran out of bombs we granted their request and the chrysanthemum throne remains to this day as the world's oldest hereditary monarchy.

indiscriminately nuking men, women and children... young and old, even our own service men, TWICE... was one of the greatest war crime in history.

this is not just looking back with hindsight this is what most of our Military Leaders at that time thought also... it was NOT necessary and immoral.

To see what the thinking was at the time I suggest visiting this site for more detailed information on this question...

"THE DECISION TO USE THE ATOMIC BOMB"
http://www.doug-long.com/debate.htm

The question i often ask myself is how many lives would have been saved if we had accepted their offer earlier... how many lives would have been saved if there wasn't an IWO JIMA or Okinawa?

think about it...
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. They did not "primarily want to keep their figure head emperor."
They also wanted to keep their military leadership, keep their military intact, and wanted to keep most of the territories they conquered before we entered the war (which would amount to them returning the Philippines and a few islands, and keeping Korea, Taiwan, and Eastern/Northeastern China under their control). Their "offer of surrender" was nothing like a surrender at all; it was a request for some breathing room so they could recommence their absolutely brutal attempt to conquer China.

Your claim that "most of our Military Leaders thought...(the bomb was) NOT necessary and immoral" is absolutely unsupported by fact. The majority of officers thought the bomb was the best option. Those that did not were adherents to the military invasion (which would have been far, far, far more destructive), or were sea power buffs who thought that continued bombing and starvation would be the best options (which, again, would have resulted in many times more civilian deaths). If anyone suggested that the war could be ended with fewer than the 250,000 civilians deaths the bombs caused, not one person suggested so to the President through any channel through which we kept any records.
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818181 Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. well, that is when they finally surrendered and if you read the quotes at the link provided
you would see otherwise.

I will be happy to post them if you like.
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818181 Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #28
33. here are a few quotes to what our military leaders at that time thought + link

* In his memoirs Admiral William D. Leahy, the President's Chief of Staff--and the top official who presided over meetings of both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Combined U.S.-U.K. Chiefs of Staff--minced few words:



(T)he use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender. . . .

(I)n being the first to use it, we . . . adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children. (THE DECISION, p. 3.)



* On September 20, 1945 the famous "hawk" who commanded the Twenty-First Bomber Command, Major General Curtis E. LeMay (as reported in THE NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE):



said flatly at one press conference that the atomic bomb "had nothing to do with the end of the war." He said the war would have been over in two weeks without the use of the atomic bomb or the Russian entry into the war. (THE DECISION, p. 336.)



The text of the press conference provides these details:



LEMAY: The war would have been over in two weeks without the Russians entering and without the atomic bomb.


THE PRESS: You mean that, sir? Without the Russians and the atomic bomb?

. . .


LEMAY: The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all. (THE DECISION, p. 336.)



* The day after Hiroshima was bombed MacArthur's pilot, Weldon E. Rhoades, noted in his diary:



General MacArthur definitely is appalled and depressed by this Frankenstein monster (the bomb). I had a long talk with him today, necessitated by the impending trip to Okinawa. . . . (THE DECISION, p. 350.)



* Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, in a public address at the Washington Monument two months after the bombings stated:



The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace before the atomic age was announced to the world with the destruction of Hiroshima and before the Russian entry into the war. . . .The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military standpoint, in the defeat of Japan. . . . (THE DECISION, p. 329; see additionally THE NEW YORK TIMES, October 6, 1945.)



* Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., Commander U.S. Third Fleet, stated publicly in 1946:



The first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment. . . . It was a mistake to ever drop it. . . . (the scientists) had this toy and they wanted to try it out, so they dropped it. . . . It killed a lot of Japs, but the Japs had put out a lot of peace feelers through Russia long before. (THE DECISION, p. 331.)



* In his memoirs Eisenhower reported the following reaction when Secretary of War Stimson informed him the atomic bomb would be used:



During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. . . . (THE DECISION, p. 4.)




more...
http://www.doug-long.com/ga1.htm

it is very scary that so many folks today still believe the propaganda of that time that nuking two cities "saved lives" to me that seems to be be the doctrine of OSAMA BIN LADEN and his ilk.

think about it...
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #33
41. And you will note that every single one of those quotes came after not only the surrender of Japan,
but after the 1946 report as well. That is why you are posting quotes from the late '40s and '50s, and are not posting quotes from briefings and documents that predate the end of the war.
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818181 Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #41
44. are you saying then that they are lying about their thoughts on wether or not it was necessary?
sorry, but i will go with the men who were there and the indisputable fact that by late date in the war they were utterly defeated.

none of our bombers were even challenged on their missions to nuke two cities.

think about it...

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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. No, but you're taking their thoughts out of context.
Edited on Sun May-31-09 12:50 PM by Occam Bandage
Both Nimitz and MacArthur thought a continued blockade and bombing campaign, culminating in an invasion, were necessary to end the war. They thought the atomic bombs were flashy but useless toys. Both saw the 1946 report as a vindication of their beliefs (which it was), but yet neither believed the end of the war was merely two weeks off at the time the bomb was dropped. If the war had continued a month, more Japanese would have died of bombing, disease, and starvation than died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.

The Japanese were unable to sustain a naval or air war effort, yes. But they still refused to surrender, and the war continued in China. They did not even surrender after the first bomb was dropped. They would not have surrendered after the second bomb if not for Hirohito's unprecedented intervention. They could not fight us, but they believed they could not be destroyed either, and they were planning on enduring the bombs as the British endured Hitler's, until like Hitler we realized that bombing alone would not work, and we had to face the dismal prospect of a multi-million casualty invasion. They were mistaken in their beliefs; they would indeed have collapsed shortly. But neither Truman nor any of his advisors believed in August 1945 that the Japanese were close to collapse.

You keep saying our military leaders at the time told Truman the bomb wasn't necessary. Where are the memos in which they say that? It's all public record by now. The only memos arguing against the bombs are saying the bomb wouldn't be enough, rather than saying the bomb would be too much.
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818181 Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. they are specifically referring to wether or not nuking japan was necessary to end the war
i don't see how that is "out of context" to the question at hand.

only a fool could believe that the Japanese were not defeated at that late date, especially when all your military leaders in theater at that time were telling you so.

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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #47
51. And they are quotes from 1946 onwards, citing information that was only available in 1946 onwards.
Edited on Sun May-31-09 02:43 PM by Occam Bandage
Again: none of your quotes are things that were said before Japan surrendered. If you want to prove that generals and admirals were arguing the bomb was too much, then find statements in which they are saying the bomb is too much before the bombs were dropped.
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818181 Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #51
57. Sorry but you are wrong
Please read the links provided.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-01-09 03:37 AM
Response to Reply #57
75. TOMBSTONED!
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jehovas_waitress Donating Member (86 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #47
66. Military Intel also thought Germany was defeated until
SS Panzer divisions ripped through the Ardennes in the Battle of the Bulge and caught the Allies with their pants down.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #44
67. I bombers were not challenged to save fuel.
Air defense did identify the bomber group but the the return echo was so small that they determined it wasn't a threat.
They thought it was a recon patrol and notify ground crews but scrambled no fighters.
This is also why they didn't even sound the air-raid sirens.
Had people been in shelters the number of casualties pass the 1km ring would have been substantially reduced.
Of course this is clearly documented.

On Nagasaki a convention bomber raid was used to hit two radar stations creating a gap. The japanese were still working on repairs when Nagasaki was hit.
Once again clearly documented.
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818181 Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #67
71. i believe that only illustrates my point
they didn't even have enough gas, let alone planes or qualified pilots.

the indisputable fact is that they were DEFEATED militarily and practically DEFENSELESS, yet some still think it was necessary to NUKE civilian cities, TWICE, no less... scary.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #28
34. The link doesn't even reference the Soviet Union
Japan has released documents that the Soviet Union invading Japan was a finalizing catalyst.

Japan feared domination by the Soviet Union almost as much the continued use of atomic weapons.

August 9th, 2009 the Soviet Union deployed nearly a million men into Manchuria.
The intent was to completely occupy the Japanese empire and bring all those lands into the Soviet Union.

By the close of the war it was becoming obvious that the Soviet Union had no intention on returning territory captured during the war.

The combination of the atomic bombs & the invasion by the Soviets convinced the emperor that Japan would lose no matter what.
Delaying the surrender would only rack up more pointless casualties and risk the Soviets ruling Japan for far longer and under far worse conditions than the Americans.
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818181 Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #34
35. yes it does, there are many pages at the link... i also posted some quotes by OUR military leaders
that specifically mention russia.

here is the link again for reference...
http://www.doug-long.com/debate.htm

don't believe everything you think...
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rainy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #23
39. is this info condensed anywhere. Wow, lots to read there. Is there a summation? nt
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818181 Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #39
43. not that i am aware of but my original post is my poor attempt of a summary of the facts presented
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

1. japan was defeated militarily
2. they were actively trying to negotiate terms for surrender
3. germany was defeated
4. our military leaders at the time thought the bomb unnecessary
5. we finally granted their primary condition for surrender, allowing them to keep their institution of emperor, only after nuking them twice and they still refused to surrender.
6. think of how many lives would have been saved if we had accepted their condition earlier

however please take the time to read through the information at the link...
http://www.doug-long.com/debate.htm

and come up with your own summary :hi:



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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #43
53. A complete revision of history.
Edited on Sun May-31-09 04:54 PM by Statistical
Sorry historical documents on all sides show this as a hindsight = 20/20 view of the world.

1 Japan only condition was not their emperor. Period. Anyone saying otherwise is whitewashing the situation. Japan has released historical documents showing that they were holding out on 4 conditions:
1) Their emporer
2) Retaining all territories occupied (Greater China, Manchuria, Korea, and a slew of lesser islands)
3) Retaining their entire military and all infrastructure to rebuild their navy.
4) No restrictions on the size, scope, or deployment of the Imperial armed forces

So lets just imagine the US had agreed.
We already agreed with our allies on the conditions over which the war in Pacific would end at those were not them.
So we would be breaking our agreements with allies.

Russia would certainly not accept that and would continue their invasion.
China wouldn't accept that and would continue to fight against Japanese aggression.

So essentially we would be signing a non-aggression pact with an Axis power to the detriment of Allied forces.

WTF?

Not only would it not have worked. Neither China or Russia would back down but Truman would have been impeached.

The world had been fighting the Axis powers for 7 years. Americans had lost countless lives and suffered under a real wartime economy. They war was nearing an end and we would provide aid & comfort to an enemy so they could continue to kill other Allied soldiers?

If Truman hadn't been impeached he would have been assassinated.

Their are recorded minutes of Japanese High Command. They clearly would accept no truce that required them to leave China or put restrictions of their military.

It was a matter of faith. Japan was going to be a military empire. Period.
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818181 Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #53
55. Sorry but I think I will go with the opinions of our military leaders who were there
Also, do you seriously doubt that by the summer of 1945 that japans military was not utterly defeated?

That is what I would call revisionist history to the extreme.

Why can some not admit our mistakes, even our most obvious ones?

To me the defense of this indiscriminiate mass murder sounds like something OBL would say.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #55
59. On ANY decision there are disenters
Always. Every decision the govt or military has ever made their are dissenters.

To after the fact find a few dissenters and ignore the reams of evidence on the other side is a revisionist.

It would be like me posting ONLY cheney, rumsfeld, and GW and using that as absolute PROOF that Iraq had WMD. Want me to dig up the quotes? Will that be absolute proof that the Iraq war is justified?

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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #55
64. If Japan was so ready to surrendy why was there an attempted military coup
AFTER both bombs were dropped to stop acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration? Those who participated were near the top of the Japanese military and possibly could have carried it out, but their timing was off enough that the Japanese authorities accepted the terms of surrender before the coup was complete.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrender_of_Japan#Attempt...
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818181 Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #64
68. japan was defeated militarily there is no question about that
and therefore it was clearly unnecessary to NUKE a defeated nation, twice, not only does hindsight tell us that but also the military leaders who were there at the time.

there will always be a few dead-enders who will refuse to surrender in any country but that doesn't change the facts.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #68
72. But Japan was not willing to surrender until AFTER the bombs were dropped
It took that and the Russians to stop being neutral to convince them to accept surrender. And it took both bombs - they were given a chance to surrender after the first bomb and did not. It was a week after the second before they finally gave in. And the military coup guys did not stop trying to overthrow their superiors until they found out that they had accepted the surrender. Otherwise, they may have tried to take over and continue the war.

No, I do not like that our country was the first to use atomic weapons on another country, but given what was known at the time, our leaders felt that was the better path than an invasion of a country filled with fanatical followers.

My father was on a submarine in the Pacific in 1944-45. Without the bombs, he could have been among the casualties of the invasion and I wouldn't be here to argue with you. ;)
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
24. Traditional bomber runs killed a magnitude more people
By the time of the battle of Philippines and Burma it was obvious that Imperial Japan could no longer win the war.
The end of hostilities in Europe only sealed the deal.

Both the Soviet Union and the US had been fighting two wars. Japan was losing with only have war resources being devoted to the Pacific theater.
Now with Germany gone the war effort was essentially gone to double. Imagine losing playing tennis against one player and then they add another player to the other side.

What is surprising is the ferocity of defense that the Japanese put up even once their fates in individual battles were sealed.

We could have continued the war in a traditional manner. Slowing inching towards the mainland, with continual daily carpet bombing of cities, and eventually a D-day style invasion of Japan itself and finally a brutal city battle with block by block warfare that turned Japan into a ghost town.

We could have done that it simply would have:
1) take another year or so
2) involved death of tens of thousands more soldiers on both sides
3) involved the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians
4) utterly destroyed Japan infrastructure and ability to rebuild after the war

Given the enormous costs required to win the war on both side the A-bomb was a gamble.
It was a gamble that the "shock & awe" of such a powerful weapon would make the Japanese high command realize no victory was possible.

BTW: The Japanese had no idea we only had 2. For all they knew we could drop an A-bomb every day for a year. If Japan would have called our bluff it would have been at least 9 more months before we had enough plutonium to make another bomb.
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818181 Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #24
30. the bomb that reaches up into the womb, across generations is much more deadly
Edited on Sun May-31-09 11:55 AM by 818181
than traditional ordnance by orders of magnitude.

BE THAT AS IT MAY... and to keep this thread on track, I firmly believe that indiscriminately killing innocent civilians by high explosives or nuclear weapons, especially when your foe is utterly defeated and on it's knees trying to negotiate surrender, is without a doubt a WAR CRIME.

edit: spelling - thank you Captain Hilts for pointing that out.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. 'Ordinance'. A law. 'Ordnance', a munition. nt
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #24
31. The bombing of Tokyo killed far more people.
Obviously, the long-term costs were very different.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #31
36. The long term costs of the traditional bombing of Europe had no costs?
40 million civilians lost their lives, approximately 25% of that was from the direct & indirect effects of long term bombing campaigns.

10 million killed by conventional bombs.

100,000 Japanese killed in one bombing run (10 March, 1945).
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. Who said it didn't? Not I. This conversation has focused solely on Japan. nt
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #24
48. The Soviet Union had only been fighting one war.
Part of the Yalta conference was the decision that the USSR would enter the war against Japan within 90 days of Germany's defeat. On August 9th Soviets invaded Manchuria while the second bomb fell, exactly 3 months after VE day (May 9th Moscow time)

Also, we didn't have only two bombs. We had a 3rd waiting for the next week, and were expecting to have 3 a month for the foreseeable future.

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB162/72.pdf
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
37. Truman worked like hell to contain atomic weapons after the war
Knowing what devastation they wrought, knowing like no other the burden of making the decision to use such a weapon... Truman worked like hell for the rest of his presidency to make sure such weapons would never be used again. One of his major accomplishments, but rarely heralded, was his creation of the Atomic Energy Commission, whose purpose was not only to harness the energy unleashed by the bomb for peaceful purposes, but most importantly, put the control of atomic energy into civilian hands. Only the president can authorize its use - no MacArthurs or their ilk would have that authority (don't think for a moment that certain generals didn't want the authority). Unfortunately, the genie was long out of the bottle, and the arms race was well underway. We also know that atomic energy is not without substantial risks (Cherynobl or Three Mile Island). But his intent was clear: atomic energy for peace, and with civilian control. Truman absolutely NEVER wanted ANYONE else to be burderned with such a decision as he made regarding Japan.

After so much expense, effort, and secrecy went into the research and development of the first two atomic bombs, it seems unlikely the decision to use them would have gone the other way. The decision practically guaranteed itself. "Surrender" was not in the Japanese vernacular. Militarily, they knew they were losing, but losing is not the same as surrendering.

Decisions like the one Truman made are the most difficult for soft, hindsight-benefitting, armchair judges (with their utterly stark black & white world view and unparalleled moral clarity - of which we should all aspire to when we are not envying it) to grasp, because they fail to understand that decisions of this magnitude are often between many horrible options. Was it awful, wretched, terrible, and even morally repugnant to use the bomb? Yes. Was the alternative - a mass invasion with even more civilian deaths than the bombs wrought, and untold military deaths on both sides, perhaps endless years of guerilla warfare and an unstable occupation, etc., any less so? No.

Be glad you didn't have to make such decisions. I sure as hell am.
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818181 Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. that doesn't answer the question though does it?
was nuking a defeated nation's civilian population, TWICE, a war crime?

our military leaders at the time even said that it wasn't necessary... that is NOT "hindsight-benefitting, armchair judges" is it?

see for yourself...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

more...
http://www.doug-long.com/debate.htm

don't believe everything you think...
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #37
42. David Lillienthal's memoirs have a lot about this.
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
54. It was not a war crime.
A war crime would have been invading Japan and killing hundreds of thousands of GIs and millions of Japanese civilians.

The atomic bomb was the best card in a shitty hand.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #54
58. It was not a warcrime - agreed...on all points...
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #54
60. Some people can't ever see that.
They expect every hand to be a royal flush. Sometimes you get a crappy draw and make due with what you got.

The sad thing is the revisionists still wouldn't be happy. If Truman had done that and it resulted in a million more deaths they would call him a monster for NOT using the A-bomb and ending the war in a week.

If we sat back and the Soviets annexed Japan behind the iron curtain they would say the blood of those dead civilians in work camps are on us.

If we let Japan retain and military and defend them from the Soviets (our allies at the time) then we would look at the genocides in China & Korea at the hands of the Japan military and they would say we should have done anything to stop that.
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-01-09 12:45 AM
Response to Reply #60
73. There will always be people questioning this act.
I don't even think it's a bad thing but I tend to think people look at this issue way too emotionally.

Truman made the best decision he could. I have to convince people on this point. Japan was still ready to fight and this was least bloody way to convince the Emperor and the military government that unconditional surrender was the only option.

The Soviet part of the equation is important one. People say, "Oh, they just dropped the bomb to scare the Soviets." I say that it was part of the decision and why is that a bad thing? Stalin had 10 million soldiers in Europe, armies in Korea, China. I think that showing Stalin that he wasn't unstoppable was a good thing. We did prevent Japan from suffering behind the Iron Curtain.

Look at the horrors of North Korea and Communist China. Those and other issues remind us that there were far worse options.

I say Thank God nukes have never been used again. I have read the studies of what Operation Olympic/Downfall would have been like. To this day, it's horrifying.


:hi: from a history buff!
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818181 Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #54
69. that is a myth born of propaganda that sadly lives on to this very day
however NUKING a defeated nation that was looking to negotiate terms of surrender IS a not only a war crime but inhumane.

but don't take my word for it look at what the military leaders who where there thought...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-01-09 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #69
74. It's interesting that all those quotes are from after the fact.
I disagree that it's a myth/propaganda. As for the quotes, realize that the nuke was and always be conversational, a certain amount of those quote was those leaders CMAing for the sake of history.

The other options? Blockade: Millions of Japanese starve to death. Invasion: Hundreds of thousands US KIA/WIA and millions of Japanese KIA/WIA. Because they were preparing for all-out resistance. Remember Iwo Jima and Saipan. Let the Russians invade: Brutal ground war (Russians are not kind occupiers) and Japan suffers under the cloak of Communism. All-Out Bombing campaign: Hundreds of thousands of Japanese dead. Remember that the fire-bombing of Tokyo, which killed more people then Hiroshima.

Dropping the bomb was not a good thing. But we're all looking through a historical lens. Consider this, we have lived in a era of limited conflict, we can't know what its like to live during a Total War. That's part of the info/POV that we have but 64 years ago they didn't.

The decision to drop the bomb should always be debated and analyzed. It's part of the way we make sure it will never happen again.

The bombing ended a lot of lives but I believe it also saved a lot.
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SemiCharmedQuark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
61. FWIW, Jon Stewart started the very next show by saying that it WASN'T a war crime.
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818181 Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #61
70. and john stewart is a comedian who depends on popular opinion to make a living
look at what the military leaders who where there thought...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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billyoc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-31-09 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
65. Dropping a hand grenade on civilians is a war crime.
The question is beyond stupid.
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