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IKE: "the Japanese were ready to surrender & it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing"

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Faryn Balyncd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:28 AM
Original message
IKE: "the Japanese were ready to surrender & it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing"



Very interesting.


Today we "learn" from some on DU that nuclear bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki saved the lives of "2,000,000 Japanese" civilians, and that questioning, or remembering, our actions is "anti-US propaganda".


Amazing whose views would thus be condemned as "anti-US propaganda":






DWIGHT EISENHOWER, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe

"...in 1945... Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. ...the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.

"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. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude..."

- Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, pg. 380

In a Newsweek interview, Eisenhower again recalled the meeting with Stimson:

"...the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."

- Ike on Ike, Newsweek, 11/11/63










ADMIRAL WILLIAM D. LEAHY
(Chief of Staff to Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman)

"It is my opinion that the 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 because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.

"The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had 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."

- William Leahy, I Was There, pg. 441.







http://www.doug-long.com/quotes.htm












:kick:










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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. Very, Very Interesting
Thank you for this.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. FDR was going to drop it and Eleanor supported it.
Leo Slizard had an appointment on April 12th to speak to Eleanor about doing, first, a demonstration of the bomb to the Japanese.

Truman called her to the White House in June '45 to discuss the bomb. The press was told they were discussing Democratic party politics.

She always said, "I always worried about that second bomb." Yet, after a trip to Japan in the mid 1950s wrote Truman that the visit convinced more than ever of the necessity of doing so.
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #9
36. Up Until Now, I Fully Believed Those Bombs Were Necessary
But Ike was absolutely brilliant, an astonishing military tactician. Now I'm not sure what to believe.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #36
70. I am very glad to read that as I also believed that until I read the history
and especially the opinions of our military leaders in theater at the time... it was truly an eye opener, so I always try to pass the word now so as to hopefully prevent another political horror.

:hi:
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #36
227. That's bad logic...
One man's opinion (and that's what it is) changes your mind? Ike may have been a military tactician, but that has nothing to do with the decision of whether to drop the bombs or not. It was mainly political, something to get the Japanese to quickly surrender. Of course, I suppose a long, slow blockade to starve the Japanese out could have "saved face" like it did on all those little Pacific Islands.
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #227
228. I Think It's Reasonable to Respect The Opinion...
of somebody that has proven to be so brilliant in the area. It has not changed my opinion 180 degrees - but I'm sure not so sure anymore.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #227
233. But it is not just one expert/military leader of that time, it is many
not to mention that there is no denying that Japan was defeated militarily, that is a well known fact, so why would you nuke them, twice?

SHOCK-N-AWE.

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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #233
239. No, they were not defeated militarily...
They controlled their home island after all. They were defeated in the air, on the sea, and that's about it. They were still alive and kicking in Manchuria. In all honesty, Ike could have been pissed that "conventional" means were not used. No glory for the Army. Same with the admirals. It ended the war a little earlier than they wanted it ended in my opinion. Indeed, atomic weaponry was a threat to the very make up of the armed forces for which they served. What would be the purpose of having huge navies in the future when you have atomic weapons?

And, it's quite telling that the admiral was so SHOCKED that the US killed civilians, which is just utterly laughable. So death from atomic bombs is bad for civilians, but death from starvation by blockade or from firebombing are A-OK?

The utter hypocrisy of the idea that the atomic bombs were SO BAD but all the conventional weapons we used (which killed FAR MORE civilians) were just fine is what makes me think these guys all of their ulterior motives for being peaceniks when it comes to the Bomb.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #239
245. Well, I think you would have a very hard time convincing any serious person of that
Remember these folks were defeated, interested in negotiating terms for surrender, and this is the opinion of the military leaders in theater at the time, and with hindsight it is PLAINLY obvious.

AND these bombs are waaaaaaaaaaay worse than traditional bombs, yes... they keep killing long after the initial detonation, even reaching up into the womb and across generations.

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FreakinDJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #245
272. Your Full of IT - all estimates were 20% Casualties
That is why the bomb was dropped plain and simple and the above quotes and taken out of cronological order

In other words the poster's and your assesment is PURE BULLSHIT
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tclambert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 07:13 AM
Response to Reply #245
296. The big mistake was insisting on "unconditional surrender."
The Japanese were willing to negotiate a surrender with just a few terms, one of which was guaranteeing the safety of the Emperor. Our politicians absolutely refused. That stubbornness cost time and lives. And we ended up giving Japan pretty generous terms. The Bomb was only necessary to make the surrender unconditional.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #296
305. Just a "few terms" like
* no occupation of Japan
* Japan keeps all non European territory
* no disarming the Japanese military
* no war crime trials

Yeah I am sure the Taliban would "surrender" tomorrow if we would:
* Make them rightful rulers of Afghanistan
* Allow them to keep all influenced territory in pakistan
* remove all restrictions on weapons imports
* sign an agreement we will never place troops in Afghanistan.

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tclambert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #305
326. I think Ike wanted to negotiate acceptable terms instead of
dropping the A-bombs, or invading the Japanese home islands. Three options instead of two. If you take negotiating off the list, as Truman did, then dropping the bombs makes more sense than an all-out invasion.

Here's a little known fact: More people died during the fighting for Okinawa than in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki put together. 24,000 Americans, 110,000 Japanese, and 150,000 Okinawans (out of about 450,000), for a total of 284,000. 80,000 died in the bombing of Hiroshima, 40,000 in Nagasaki, though some estimate delayed casualties bring the totals up to 140,000 and 74,000 (total 214,000). That still falls short of the death toll from the invasion of Okinawa.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #239
259. +1
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #36
306. You would change your mind based on something written after the fact?
Where are the objections in writing before this took place?
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 05:17 AM
Response to Reply #9
343. FDR also opposed bombing the death camps and told Morgenthau to shut up about it.
Stopped being photographed with Morgenthau because he was upset that Morgenthau was getting brave men and women killed by raising a stink about the Holocaust and making fellow Dems criticise him for "too many Jews" influencing postwar policy in an attempt to get "their own issues" addressed.

(Michael Beschloss, The Conquerors)

The man was far from perfect.
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daedalus_dude Donating Member (327 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
2. Considering how right he was on the military-industrial complex...
...I'll take his word for it.
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
234. Too bad the hypocrite did everything he could to support the m-i-complex...
...while he was in office, with his 'containment'-policy and the coup d'tats in Iran and Guatemala.
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Jokerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
3. K & R
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #3
334. .
K
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vadawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
4. so i guess if general patreaus tells us that obama is wrong and we need to escalate
in Iraq, invade Iran etc etc then you are okay with that, or do you just think that its the generals who agree with your point of view that we should listen to over the elected president...
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
5. "wars cannot be won by destroying women and children"
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 10:45 AM by redqueen
"I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children."

Many would say the opposite is true... that those bombs did just that.
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tclambert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
325. Genghis Khan and the Romans won many wars that way.
And ask the Mohicans how well it worked in America. Oh, wait, you can't, because we exterminated them.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
6. But, they didn't. Not even after the first bomb. nt
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WeDidIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Anami was ADAMENT, NO Surrender
Hirohito was the one who decided to surrender, and that only after two atomic bombs.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Correctamundo. nt
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yowzayowzayowza Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #8
18. Still, the first one should have been dropped on...
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 11:03 AM by yowzayowzayowza
an uninhabited area to demonstrate the capability to the population and a longer interval before the second one to digest the enormity of the device. Don't think it would have convinced 'em, but we'd be in a better moral position.

eta: By that time in the war the military targeting was not particularly consequential.

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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 01:59 AM
Response to Reply #18
278. We dropped one on a city and they didn't surrender.
So I don't know how dropping one in an uninhabited area would help... Plus we dropped leaflets warning this, among other cities, were about to be "destroyed". They didn't know exactly how, but this is after the firebombing of parts of Tokyo, with conventional weapons, with a higher loss of civilian life than Hiroshima. We had the means to erase cities without using the atomic bomb, it was just a lot harder.

War sucks. The only way to 'win', is not to play.


In 1959, the man who led the raid on Pearl Harbor, Mitsuo Fuchida, met Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, which dropped 'Little Boy' on Hiroshima. Fuchida had this to say:

"You did the right thing. You know the Japanese attitude of that time, how fanatic they were. They'd die for the Emperor. Every man, woman and child would have resisted the invasion with sticks and stones, if necessary. Can you imagine what a slaughter it would be to invade Japan?"

I would also like to point out, the japanese navy, crippled as it was, managed to sink the USS Indianapolis, the ship that delivered the bomb components to a forward airbase for final assembly, and deployment. 2/3rds of the crew died, awaiting rescue that wasn't coming, because the ship's mission was top secret. Granted, it was one of the last Allied ships sunk.
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Sherman A1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 04:11 AM
Response to Reply #278
283. Interesting quote and glad you posted it.
I really wish we had not chosen to drop the bombs, but had I been in Truman's shoes at the time and with his information, I think I would have made the same decision. I respect Ike's thoughts, but it was not his choice to make and ending the war as soon as possible was the goal. One would point out that had the Japanese not chosen to start up the war in the first place, Truman would not have been making the decision on the use of atomic weapons.


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yowzayowzayowza Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #278
319. A warning leaflet tiz a far cry from an actual demonstration:
propaganda paper versus blowing the top offa Mt Fuji in a single blow for all to see. As I said, I don't think it would have convinced 'em, jus given us better moral standing for being the first to use such a device. Having lived in Japan I'm sure the second attack would still have been req'd to drive the situation home.
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joeybee12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #8
22. Yup...but apparently America has done everything wrong...
...this drives me nuts. The bombs were horrific, but he Japanese were willing to fight to their last man.
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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #22
98. We would have as well. But rather then have the men fight...


We were COWARDS ...We decided to wipe out whole cities and we did it twice. Babies, children, women, farm animals , pets etc ..and yes men as well ..old and young. Military or not.

Not to mention the radiation that would sicken them all for generations.

Barbaric.


Home of the brave and free my ass.

I do not hate my country .. I try to make it better.


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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #98
202. Cowards?
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 06:02 PM by Confusious
did any of your family members serve? Mine did. My grandfather snuck into japanese harbors and planted explosives on ships. cowards? you couldn't hold a candle for my grandfather.

The Japanese at the time were far worse. Rape of nanking. bataan death march. I have no sympathy for them.

You want to make this country better? know your history. Stop spewing out your ass.

War isn't about an even fight. its about making the other asshole die for his country.


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uberllama42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 04:04 AM
Response to Reply #202
282. You have no sympathy for anyone in Japan?
Are you saying all those kids deserved to die in the bombings or the aftermath because of atrocities committed by their country's soldiers?
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #282
330. Considering the higher death toll from conventional bombing...
Ultimately, the atomic bombs saved Japanese lives too.

The bombs weren't even terribly unusual. What was unusual, and fair to rail about, was the policy of total war, which led to things like the firestorm incendiary raids on Tokyo and Dresden. Neither had the aftereffects of cancer from radiation, but the total deathtoll was MUCH higher.


It sucks, and yes, I have sympathy for the civilian casualties, but the Atomic Bombs themselves weren't the problem.
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #98
229. The Japanese did the same to millions in China....
It was a total war. There is no moral equivalency.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #98
260. Cowards? After Iwo Jima and Okinawa?
don't think so. It was a stark acceptance of how bloody an invasion would be that made the atomic bombs necessary.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 04:58 AM
Response to Reply #260
286. Exactly
After Iwo Jima and Okinawa we knew what we were up against if we invaded the home islands. Every single Japanese soldier had to be physically removed from a cave or crevice usually after he killed several of our men.
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 02:05 AM
Response to Reply #98
279. War is an ugly thing.
The US has participated in some terrible things, in the name of winning wars. Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, not being the highest death toll on our hands.

But consider the enemy of the day, who killed over 10 MILLION of our Chinese allies. Not Chinese soldiers, they only had 1.2 million dead soldiers. That was 10 million CIVILIANS.


Everything is so pathetically sad, you know. During the MAXIMUM EFFORT bombing campaign over Europe, we shared airfields with the Russians, and they bore the brunt of turning the German Tide. We were friends. So much time, lost, between two people who should have been allies and friends, over political ideology. Same problem in China. We were friends. Fought alongside each other. Then came the 'cold war'... So sad. So many decades, wasted.
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clixtox Donating Member (941 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 05:36 AM
Response to Reply #279
346. But! But! You are not considering the unimaginably profitable results...


of having enemies to terrify the sheeple.

Empires need intimidating forces to squash dissent and maintain unrestrained exploitation.

Unneeded, poorly functioning, ridiculously expensive, weapons systems to fight imaginary foes.

Ain't it grand!
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 04:53 AM
Response to Reply #98
285. No conduct was more barbaric
than that of the Japanese during WWII.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #8
26. And even after the second bomb there was an attempted coup to prevent the surrender..
Japan wasn't going to surrender in any meaningful way.

Japan idea of surrender was it remained an imperial power, it kept all non European conquered lands, and it kept its military intact.

some "surrender".

It would be like the Taliban "surrendering" and in return we make them the legitimate rulers of Afghanistan, remove any restrictions on weapon imports, and "allow" them to keep any territory they occupy in Pakistan (sorry Pakistan, they want to "surrender").
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #8
57. And an attempted coup
those last four days of the war are fit for a LaCarre novel.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
84. Nope.
The Japanese High Command had made surrender overtures to the US BEFORE Hiroshima.
They asked for only one condition, that The Emperor remained as the leader of Japan.
The US declined, and demanded unconditional surrender, but oddly, granted the one condition AFTER the two Atomic Bombings.

So what was actually gained by the Atomic Bombings?
Nothing.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #84
114. You are absolutely wrong.
The "Japanese high command" absolutely, postively did NOT make "surrender overtures" before Hiroshima. The "surrender overtures" to which you refer were actually put out there by low-level state officials that had no power over the Japanese armed forces. Futher, the "surrender overtures" were actually feelers to discuss a negotiated armistice, not a surrender. There is a large, large difference between the two, as the folks in occupied Korea and mainland China would attest.

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WeDidIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #84
133. What part of "unconditional" do you not understand?
There was NO OTHER acceptable outcome.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #84
154. Not true
Japan made overtures AFTER the SECOND atomic bomb about a surrender w/ protection for Emperor.

Even then Japan council wasn't unified (it was split 3-3) until the Emperor.

Please provide a single historical quote, transmissions, document, newspaper article, anything that indicates Japan was willing to surrender prior to the atomic bombs.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #154
187. OK. For you education and reading pleasure:

In an article that finally appeared August 19, 1945, on the front pages of the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Times-Herald, Trohan revealed that on January 20, 1945, two days prior to his departure for the Yalta meeting with Stalin and Churchill, President Roosevelt received a 40-page memorandum from General Douglas MacArthur outlining five separate surrender overtures from high-level Japanese officials. (The complete text of Trohan's article is in the Winter 1985-86 Journal, pp. 508-512.)

This memo showed that the Japanese were offering surrender terms virtually identical to the ones ultimately accepted by the Americans at the formal surrender ceremony on September 2 -- that is, complete surrender of everything but the person of the Emperor. Specifically, the terms of these peace overtures included:

* Complete surrender of all Japanese forces and arms, at home, on island possessions, and in occupied countries.
* Occupation of Japan and its possessions by Allied troops under American direction.
* Japanese relinquishment of all territory seized during the war, as well as Manchuria, Korea and Taiwan.
* Regulation of Japanese industry to halt production of any weapons and other tools of war.
* Release of all prisoners of war and internees.
* Surrender of designated war criminals.

Is this memorandum authentic? It was supposedly leaked to Trohan by Admiral William D. Leahy, presidential Chief of Staff. (See: M. Rothbard in A. Goddard, ed., Harry Elmer Barnes: Learned Crusader <1968>, pp. 327f.) Historian Harry Elmer Barnes has related (in "Hiroshima: Assault on a Beaten Foe," National Review, May 10, 1958):

The authenticity of the Trohan article was never challenged by the White House or the State Department, and for very good reason. After General MacArthur returned from Korea in 1951, his neighbor in the Waldorf Towers, former President Herbert Hoover, took the Trohan article to General MacArthur and the latter confirmed its accuracy in every detail and without qualification.


You can find many, many documented references to Japan's attempts to surrender BEFORE Hiroshima.
Just use Google.

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DallasNE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #187
268. Where Did Gen. MacArthur Stand On This
My guess is that he was pushing it. How ironic then that Truman would have supported MacArthur here only to have to fire him later over Korea.
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foo_bar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 06:53 AM
Response to Reply #187
349. I dunno if neo-Nazis are the most unbiased source
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 06:56 AM by foo_bar
Is this memorandum authentic? It was supposedly leaked to Trohan by Admiral William D. Leahy, presidential Chief of Staff. (See: M. Rothbard in A. Goddard, ed., Harry Elmer Barnes: Learned Crusader <1968>, pp. 327f.) Historian Harry Elmer Barnes has related (in "Hiroshima: Assault on a Beaten Foe," National Review, May 10, 1958): (unsourced)

by Mark Weber <...>

Is this memorandum authentic? It was supposedly leaked to Trohan by Admiral William D. Leahy, presidential Chief of Staff. (See: M. Rothbard in A. Goddard, ed., Harry Elmer Barnes: Learned Crusader <1968>, pp. 327f.) Historian Harry Elmer Barnes has related (in "Hiroshima: Assault on a Beaten Foe," National Review, May 10, 1958):

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_Weber.html

By Mark Weber
August 2009

In fact, the often cruel and arrogant policies of Israel, and the often arrogant attitudes of what is called the Israel Lobby, the Jewish lobby, or the organized Jewish community, are not an aberration, but rather are deeply rooted in Jewish religious writings and in centuries of Jewish tradition. <...>

Time and again in history, Jews have wielded great power to further group interests that are separate from, and often contrary to, those of the non-Jewish populations among whom they live. This creates an inherently unjust and unstable situation that all too often has ended tragically in violent conflict between Jews and non-Jews.

http://www.ihr.org/judaism0709.html

see: http://www.nizkor.org/faqs/ihr/ihr-faq-04.html
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jbnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #187
352. Thank You nt
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 05:00 AM
Response to Reply #84
287. They made no overtures until
Edited on Fri Aug-07-09 05:01 AM by Enthusiast
after the second bomb. And even then they tried to get favorable conditions.
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Hobarticus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 07:12 AM
Response to Reply #84
295. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Naturally, no link, and for good reason.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #6
21. The only reason they DIDN'T surrender after the first bomb was because
they didn't know what hit them. They thought it was another massive firebombing.

If the first bomb had been dropped 10 miles offshore of Tokyo, where the emperor himself could have seen it, they would probably have surrendered that day.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #21
28. Total BS.
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 11:14 AM by Statistical
The blast served all communication lines instantly that doesn't happen in firebombing. People would be crying out on phone calls, sounds of explosions, calls dropping off one by one, etc. Instead it instantly "stopped". Hiroshima was a communication relay center. At the time of the bombing all phone calls (mostly used by military) stopped, telegraphs stopped printing mid word, all radio and air defense stations went off line, all power lines going through the city to other cities instantly went cold. The imperial command was instantly aware something "unusual". The effects of the weapon disrupted radio traffic through the affected area something no conventional weapon does. Stations on either side of the city could only communicate by sending it via a relay. Radio messages through the city "disapeared".

They dispatched a recon pilot within an hour. He reported back that the city was gone, not bombed, not business as usuual but something completely new.

The staff officer went to the airport and took off for the southwest. After flying for about three hours, while still nearly one hundred miles (160 km) from Hiroshima, he and his pilot saw a great cloud of smoke from the bomb. In the bright afternoon, the remains of Hiroshima were burning. Their plane soon reached the city, around which they circled in disbelief. A great scar on the land still burning and covered by a heavy cloud of smoke was all that was left. They landed south of the city, and the staff officer, after reporting to Tokyo, immediately began to organize relief measures.

The US also advised Japan about the weapon and threatened a second attack without unconditional surrender.
US bombers dropped propaganda leaflets advising Japanese citizens of the awesome power of this new super weapon and that resistance was impossible.

Japan didn't surrender because hardliners in Japan couldn't accept the idea of a non imperial Japan.
Even after the second bomb they didn't want to surrender.
Even after the Emperor decided to surrender they attempted a military coup to keep the war going.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #28
55. actually, Japan did NOT surrender until their 1 condition was met
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #55
62. More like half of one condition was met.
Japan initially had 4 points of opposition but eventually narrows that down to 1, the emperor to remain in power.

The US/Allies responded with this:

From the moment of surrender the authority of the Emperor and the Japanese government to rule the state shall be subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied powers who will take such steps as he deems proper to effectuate the surrender terms. ...The ultimate form of government of Japan shall, in accordance with the Potsdam Declaration, be established by the freely expressed will of the Japanese people.

So while the Allies conceded on completely removing the Emperor from power it was made clear to Japan that
1) the emperor would have no real power (being completely subject to the Supreme Commander of Allies)
2) the Allies would force a Democratic form of govt on the Japanese.

So one could say the US met Japan half way on one of the four points of contention. I however would say the Japanese got the point in little more than name only.

Of course Japan didn't agree to this for 4 days after the SECOND atomic bomb and at that time (due to tortured testimony on a B-2 pilot) they believed the US had almost 100 atomic bombs.
Also Russia had entered the war AND the US was running 1000 bomber runs PER DAY (equal in explosive power to 1 atomic bomb every 2 days).
Despite all that it took nearly 5 days for Japan to accept this condition.

After that there was a failed military coup to prevent the surrender.

So the idea that Japan had morphed into this non-imperialist, peace loving nation who was desperately trying to surrender as fast as possible is simply a fabrication.
Two atomic bombs, threat of 100 more, Russia entering the war, and the most intense convention bombing campaign of the war and it still took 5 days and an failed coup before Japan surrendered.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #62
65. the institution of emperor had been largely ceremonial for centuries
and their main condition was accepted, wisely or the Japanese would not have surrendered. everyone knew that was the main sticking point with the Japanese, too bad we didn't negotiate with them earlier... think of how many lives would have been saved.

But we had to SHOCK-N-AWE the world.

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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #65
68. We did negotiate with them.
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 12:08 PM by Statistical
They wanted to keep control keep conquered territory, keep the military intact, and be subject to no restrictions on the form of government (i.e no Democracy).

Japan response to the Potsdam Declaration:
I consider the Joint Proclamation a rehash of the Declaration at the Cairo Conference. As for the Government, it does not attach any important value to it at all. The only thing to do is just kill it with silence (mokusatsu). We will do nothing but press on to the bitter end to bring about a successful completion of the war. - Prime Minister Suzuki

Even after the first bomb and Russia entering the war the war council was split on accepting ANY surrender.

The second atomic bomb changed the negotiations but even then it wasn't just "one condition".
These "twin shocks"the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the Soviet entryhad immediate profound effects on Prime Minister Suzuki and Foreign Minister Tōgō Shigenori, who concurred that the government must end the war at once. However, the senior leadership of the Japanese Army took the news in stride, grossly underestimating the scale of the attack. They did start preparations to impose martial law on the nation, with the support of Minister of War Anami, to stop anyone attempting to make peace. Hirohito told Kido to "quickly control the situation" because "the Soviet Union has declared war and today began hostilities against us." The Supreme Council met at 10:30. Suzuki, who had just come from a meeting with the Emperor, said it was impossible to continue the war. Tōgō Shigenori said that they could accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, but they needed a guarantee of the Emperor's position. Navy Minister Yonai said that they had to make some diplomatic proposalthey could no longer afford to wait for better circumstances. In the middle of the meeting, shortly after 11:00, news arrived that Nagasaki, on the west coast of Kyūshū, had been hit by a second atomic bomb (called "Fat Man" by the Americans). By the time the meeting ended, the Big Six had split 33. Suzuki, Tōgō, and Admiral Yonai favored Tōgō's one additional condition to Potsdam, while Generals Anami, Umezu, and Admiral Toyoda insisted on three further terms that modified Potsdam: that Japan handle her own disarmament, that Japan deal with any Japanese war criminals, and that there be no occupation of Japan.<75>

They only dropped the other two points after both atomic bombs and the advise of the Emperor.

Japan was very clear that Japan would never give up its imperial status (disarm military, submission to foreign courts, give up territory) prior to the Atomic bomb. The situation was less unified after the second bomb but it was still divided.
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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #21
46. thx nt
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #21
123. That is incorrect - even after Nagasaki there was a faction that wanted to continue
Only the action of the Emperor ended the resistance.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #123
128. and even then there was a failed coup attempt to keep the emperor in isolation and continue the war.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #123
146. I say again,
If the first bomb had been dropped 10 miles offshore of Tokyo, where the emperor himself could have seen it, they would probably have surrendered that day.

That faction did not witness the bomb.

I contend that if the emperor had actually seen the blast, when his top generals kept pressing to continue he'd have said "Did you SEE that fucking thing? Hello!! It's OVER!"

Hearing about a city being destroyed is one thing. Seeing the power of a single atomic bomb is an entirely different thing. At his insistence, they would have surrendered immediately.

Neither Hiroshima nor Nagasaki were necessary.
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slampoet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:18 PM
Original message
YOU IDIOT! It took more than 3 days to get a diplomatic message to the USA from Japan back then.
We PLANNED to give them ten days to reply but the US Military decided to bomb early because weather was going to be bad in ten days.

Essentially the war effort stopped the Japanese from being given the chance to surrender.


Learn some history. Please read a book.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
125. If you read Prince or any other accurate history you would know that even after
Nagasaki there were vast elements of the Japanese Military leadership that were still committed to continuing the war and only stopped when the Emperor stepped in.

It didn't take 10 days for the Emperor to announce after Nagasaki and he could have after Hiroshima.


But to your ridiculous point that it took 3 days to contact the US, this is also nonsense. The US was monitoring radio broadcasts and there were none announcing a surrender and the Japanese still had telegraph contact with neutral countries.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
126. You should read a book.
Japan hadn't even agreed to surrender until 3 days after the second atomic bomb was detonated. Even with the second bomb detonating while negotiations were going on it still didn't lead to a unanimous decision (3 on war council wanted to surrender w/ protection for emperor, 3 wanted to keep military power + no war crimes + no occupation + protect emperor).

Detailed reports of the unprecedented scale of the destruction at Hiroshima were received in Tokyo , but two days passed before the government met to consider the changed situation. At 04:00 on August 9, word reached Tokyo that the Soviet Union had broken the Neutrality Pact, declared war on Japan and launched an invasion of Manchuria.

These "twin shocks"the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the Soviet entryhad immediate profound effects on Prime Minister Suzuki and Foreign Minister Tōgō Shigenori, who concurred that the government must end the war at once. However, the senior leadership of the Japanese Army took the news in stride, grossly underestimating the scale of the attack. They did start preparations to impose martial law on the nation, with the support of Minister of War Anami, to stop anyone attempting to make peace. Hirohito told Kido to "quickly control the situation" because "the Soviet Union has declared war and today began hostilities against us."

The Supreme Council met at 10:30. Suzuki, who had just come from a meeting with the Emperor, said it was impossible to continue the war. Tōgō Shigenori said that they could accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, but they needed a guarantee of the Emperor's position. Navy Minister Yonai said that they had to make some diplomatic proposalthey could no longer afford to wait for better circumstances.

In the middle of the meeting, shortly after 11:00, news arrived that Nagasaki, on the west coast of Kyūshū, had been hit by a second atomic bomb (called "Fat Man" by the Americans). By the time the meeting ended, the Big Six had split 33. Suzuki, Tōgō, and Admiral Yonai favored Tōgō's one additional condition to Potsdam, while Generals Anami, Umezu, and Admiral Toyoda insisted on three further terms that modified Potsdam: that Japan handle her own disarmament, that Japan deal with any Japanese war criminals, and that there be no occupation of Japan.

The full cabinet met on 14:30 on August 9, and spent most of the day debating surrender. As the Big Six had done, the cabinet split, with neither Tōgō's position nor Anami's attracting a majority. Anami told the other cabinet ministers that, under torture, a captured American B-29 pilot had told his interrogators that the Americans possessed 100 atom bombs and that Tokyo and Kyoto would be bombed "in the next few days". The pilot, Marcus McDilda, was lying. He knew nothing of the Manhattan Project, and simply told his interrogators what he thought they wanted to hear to end the torture.

The cabinet meeting adjourned at 17:30 with no consensus. A second meeting lasting from 18:00 to 22:00 also ended with no consensus. Following this second meeting, Suzuki and Tōgō met with the Emperor, and Suzuki proposed an impromptu Imperial conference, which started just before midnight on the night of August 910. Suzuki presented Anami's four-condition proposal as the consensus position of the Supreme Council. The other members of the Supreme Council spoke, as did Baron Hiranuma Kiichirō, the president of the Privy Council, who outlined Japan's inability to defend itself and also described the country's domestic problems, such as the shortage of food. The cabinet debated, but again no consensus emerged. Finally, around 02:00 (August 10), Suzuki then addressed Emperor Hirohito, asking him to decide between the two positions.


Only then did the Emperor intervene stating "I swallow my tears and give my sanction to the proposal to accept the Allied proclamation on the basis outlined by the Foreign Minister."


There was no need for Japan to get a diplomatic message to the US.
Even after the atomic bomb we continued our traditional bombing campaign.
Regular bombers dropped 7x as much explosive yield as the 2 atomic bombs combined.

Do you know what stopped the bombing campaign?
The emperor announced the surrender to his own people. We were intercepting and monitoring all the traffic. We also had broken Japan "purple code" some 6 months prior so we intercepted and decoded all internal diplomatic traffic.

When the Emperor surrender announcement was detected by Allied command all bombing runs were canceled in anticipation of offical diplomatic message.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
130. Too funny. nt
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
207. Any recommendations boss? Why are you calling people Idiots? Are you in the right blog? nm
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
118. And they didn't after the second bomb. They surrendered when we gave in, to prevent Russia
from conquering Japan instead. They made their conditions clear, and after two nuclear bombs they stuck to their conditions, and we surrendered.

The bomb was a message to the world, not just to Japan. That's why we dropped it.
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mix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
7. Thanks for posting this, k&r
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
10. 53. How many lives would have been saved IF we accepted their 1 condition earlier?


I'm haunted by that # whenever thinking about this terrible issue...

no Okinawa (March through June 1945)

http://www.ww2f.com/honor-service-valor/31553-ernie-pyl...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Okinawa

no Iwo Jima (February 19March 26, 1945)

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

Thank you for posting that important link to the historical debate :toast:
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. When you start a war, you run the risk someone else will finish it. nt
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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #12
27. John Wayne?
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #27
50. No, veteran of many peace marches. nt
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #10
29. The Chrysthanthemum throne remains the oldest hereditary monarchy, to this very day

In the end, the U.S. powers that be, finally negotiated a surrender, and accepted Japans major condition which turned out to be a very wise move... too bad we had decided to use TERRORISM as a way of dominating the world, and the only way to prove it to the world, was to show we had what it took to use it no matter how weak your position.

And we have led with terrorism to this very day, folks bring up Nanking as if that justifies our much greater, in scale, reach, and time, atrocities, without batting an eye over Fallujah, etc.

and so it goes...
:cry:
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 04:31 AM
Response to Reply #29
337. It's not TERRORISM when we do it.
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 04:36 AM by Leopolds Ghost
And besides, Americans are used to Kindergarten logic these days, since liberal arts curriculae (logic, debate, history, comparative culture, philosophy of rhetoric) are underfunded. "They did it first!"

Consider this: We dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki because of their symbolic connection to Pearl Harbor. After all that time, that's what motivated leaders, not Nanking, or Bataan, or Iwo Jima... their own "loss of face" at Pearl Harbor.

The accounts I find most interesting are Michael Beschloss' "The Conquerors" about anti-semitism in the Truman white house and how it led to the start of the Cold War; and the documentar "Fog of War" with Richard McNamara, half of which is about his experience in WWII and how his boss inaugurated the practice of firebombing civilian areas after the Nazis did it first. It was considered a war crime until we made it OK. Does that make what the Japanese did any less evil? No. And vice versa. Will killing a million people bring back ten million others?
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
93. That "one condition" myth doesn't become true by virtue of repetition. n/t
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #93
137. How about the fact that the Chrysanthemum Throne still exists to this very day?
And also it can not be denied that they were DEFEATED and looking to negotiate peace/surrender.

And that all of our military leaders in theater at that time thought it was not necessary.

Do you think it is necessary to NUKE a defeated nation's civilian population, twice, when they are looking to negotiate terms for surrender?



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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #137
139. The myth isn't that the throne still exists, but that it was their "one condition" to surrender.
It wasn't. Japan was not trying to surrender. One faction of the government (that had absolutely no control over the armed forces) was interested in discussing armistice. Do you understand the difference?

If all that was important was "peace" with Japan, we could have had that the day after Pearl Harbor if we'd wanted it. All it took is allowing Japan to retain its conquered territories, keep its military, and retain its government. What's so bad about that, right?
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #139
143. It was their MAJOR condition and everyone knew it
And you didn't bother to answer my question... do YOU think it was right to NUKE, a defeated nation's civilian population when they are seeking terms for peace and surrender, TWICE?
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #143
150. The only people that think it was the MAJOR condition to Japan's surrender are people that get
their history from quotes cut & pasted on the internet. Such a contention simply is not supported by the facts.

do YOU think it was right to NUKE, a defeated nation's civilian population when they are seeking terms for peace and surrender, TWICE?

There are few problems with your question's premises.

First, Japan had been "defeated" since at least mid 1944, but they continued to fight on at enormous cost. A war does not end when the winning side sees that the losing side no longer has a realistic chance at victory. That's how you play horseshoes, not wage war. The fact is that even though Japan couldn't "win" the war, it still occupied a large area of China and Korea, and still had tens of millions of people it held under its control that were not exactly thriving under Japanese occupation.

Second, Japan was not seeking terms for "peace and surrender." One faction of the government (which did not control the military) was interested in negotiating an armistice. Any such armistice would have, at a minimum, have had to allowed Japan to keep its conquered territories, keep its government, and keep its military intact. Would you have found such terms acceptable if it had been Nazi Germany seeking them?

Third, I don't think a lot things in war are "right," but using the bombs was the least horrible option in a set of incredibly horrible options.

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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #150
153. I have lived and studied in Japan for 5 years
I have relatives who are Japanese so please stop with the cut-n-paste straw-man BS.

I think I have stated the facts as clearly as I could and even provided relevant quotes and links for further context.

and you have still not answered the question...

do YOU think it was right to NUKE, a defeated nation's civilian population when they were seeking terms for peace and surrender, TWICE?

I have presented evidence from the historical record that none of our military leaders in theater at the time thought so.

So what say you with the benefit of hindsight?
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #153
156. Japan was not seeking surrender until AFTER the SECOND atomic bomb.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #156
160. People don't understand the difference between "surrender" and "armistice"
nor do they understand the differnce between the head of the Japanese government and/or military seeking negotiation and a low-level functionary putting out armistice feelers he has no authority to implement.

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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #156
166. That simply doesn't agree with the historical record
Operation Super Sunrise? Japanese-United States Peace Feelers in Switzerland, 1945
The Journal of Military History - Volume 69, Number 4, October 2005, pp. 1081-1120

In early 1945 Japanese navy circles in Berlin tried to begin peace negotiations with the United States. Using their contacts with the arms trader Friedrich Wilhelm Hack, they sent Commander Fujimura Yoshikazu to Switzerland, where he opened talks with Allen W. Dulles of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services. Though the Japanese navy and Foreign Ministry showed some interest, the peace attempts finally failed since neither side took the initiative to an official level. Fujimura confused his government by claiming that the Americans had made the first step, while the U.S. side waited for proof that the administration in Tokyo was backing the navy officer's initiative.

source...
http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/journal_of_mili...
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #166
172. You continually refuse to see the difference between a negotiated armistice and a surrender
They are not interchangeable concepts.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #172
176. I continually post facts, with links to their sources.
What do you got?

humana, humana... nadda, that's what you got. Just insults and your opinion.

cya

your "debate" reminds me of this video...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qV7E-6AvyE
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #176
182. Well, I, for one, know the difference between an "armistice" and a "surrender"
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 04:27 PM by Raskolnik
and I do not consider the posting of cut & pasted links (which you haven't even vetted, apparentely) to be useful discussion.

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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #166
175. Exactly Japan wanted to surrender under terms that were UNACCEPTABLE to the Allies
Terms such as:
* keeping all occuppied territory
* keeping military intact
* no occupation of Japan
* no war crime trials for Japanese soldiers

Timeline:

July 27th - Potsdam Declaration
July 27th - Japan war council wants to reject the Declaration On July 27, Togo persuaded the council not to do so until he could get a reaction from the Soviets. Japan neither accepted nor denied the declaration formally however internal documents show the 4 military leaders on the council would not accept the declaration due to the points above.

July 28th - Japanese radio & newspaper states the Decleration was rejected. Japan made no diplomatic move to correct this even though they were aware US was monitoring radio signals and would here the public rejection. Prime Minister Suzuki met with the press, and stated, "I consider the Joint Proclamation a rehash of the Declaration at the Cairo Conference. As for the Government, it does not attach any important value to it at all. The only thing to do is just kill it with silence (mokusatsu). We will do nothing but press on to the bitter end to bring about a successful completion of the war."

So as of July 28th the US had no diplomatic response to the Potsdam Declaration and both the Japanese media and Prime Minister indicated a rejection.

July 30th - Ambassador Satō (Russian ambassador) wrote "There is no alternative but immediate unconditional surrender if we are to prevent Russia's participation in the war."

August 2th - Tōgō wrote to Satō: "it should not be difficult for you to realize that ... our time to proceed with arrangements of ending the war before the enemy lands on the Japanese mainland is limited, on the other hand it is difficult to decide on concrete peace conditions here at home all at once."

No diplomatic effort was made by Japan from July 27th to August 6th to accept terms or ask for modified terms.

August 6th - Hiroshima Bombing
August 7th - detailed information of destruction of Hiroshima available in Tokyo. Military council considered it insignificant.
August 9th - Russia breaks treaty with Japan and invades Manchuria.
August 9th - Second council meeting on Potsdam Decleration and Hiroshima.

These "twin shocks"the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the Soviet entryhad immediate profound effects on Prime Minister Suzuki and Foreign Minister Tōgō Shigenori, who concurred that the government must end the war at once.<72> However, the senior leadership of the Japanese Army took the news in stride, grossly underestimating the scale of the attack. They did start preparations to impose martial law on the nation, with the support of Minister of War Anami, to stop anyone attempting to make peace.<73> Hirohito told Kido to "quickly control the situation" because "the Soviet Union has declared war and today began hostilities against us."<74>

The Supreme Council met at 10:30. Suzuki, who had just come from a meeting with the Emperor, said it was impossible to continue the war. Tōgō Shigenori said that they could accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, but they needed a guarantee of the Emperor's position. Navy Minister Yonai said that they had to make some diplomatic proposalthey could no longer afford to wait for better circumstances.

In the middle of the meeting, shortly after 11:00, news arrived that Nagasaki, on the west coast of Kyūshū, had been hit by a second atomic bomb (called "Fat Man" by the Americans). By the time the meeting ended, the Big Six had split 33. Suzuki, Tōgō, and Admiral Yonai favored Tōgō's one additional condition to Potsdam, while Generals Anami, Umezu, and Admiral Toyoda insisted on three further terms that modified Potsdam: that Japan handle her own disarmament, that Japan deal with any Japanese war criminals, and that there be no occupation of Japan.


As of August 9th half of the council did NOT support surrender despite 2 atomic bombs. 12 days after Potsdam Delceration no formal diplomatic effort has been made to alter surrender conditions because the council hasn't even decided if they WILL surrender.




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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #175
179. Unconditional Surrender were terms that were unheard of at that time
Getting to the peace table would have been better for everyone... removing the guarantee of the emperor from potsdam was stupid and arrogant as history has shown by the continuation of the worlds oldest hereditary monarchy.

anyways, here is a good article that outlines what is now known about the decision...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #179
189. Blah blah blah emperor.
AFTER dropping TWO (not one but TWO) atomic bombs AND Russian declaring war half the council STILL wanted to continue the war for 3 conditions (not disarm Japan military, no war crime courts, no occupation) TOTALLY unrelated to the Emperor.

There is no evidence they would have been more likely to surrender under any set of terms that would be acceptable to the allies prior to dropping the bomb.
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #179
204. Germany surrendered Unconditionally.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #204
230. yes, as the Nazis refused to surrender... yet, the Japanese Government did, with 1 condition
and even today, war's end are usually negotiated... that's my point, it wasn't necessary to go to such an extreme, imho, especially when it involves the slaughters of hundreds of thousands of innocent, men, women, and children and you have an interested party to talk to.

I hope that makes my point more clear.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #230
246. The Nazis put out numerous "peace feelers" analogous to those put out by the Japanese
before their eventual surrender. Do you also think we should have accepted their terms?
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #230
255. Would we have accepted a German Surrender if
the only condition was that Hitler could remain the head of the German State?
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #255
256. Not a good analogy.
A better comparison would be if Germany had conditioned its surrender on keeping Hitler as the head of state, keeping the Wehrmacht fully intact, keeping Belgium, Luxemburg, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, and avoiding any war crimes trials for the Holocaust.

That's a more parallel situation to Japan's position in 1945.
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #230
301. One of the unfortunate things about dropping the bombs is that this tragic
event has seared into our collective memory the suffering of Japanese civilians but it does so at the expense of the untold suffering Chinese and Korean citizens suffered at the hands of the Japanese.

Where I ask you are the commemorative public memorials for untold millions of slaughtered Korean and Chinese civilians?

To this day Japan refuses to educate Japanese students about Japanese atrocities. Are you aware that Japan had as many if not more concentration camps for the Chinese as the Germans had for the Jews but unlike the Germans, the Japanese razed these camps so there would be no historical evidence.
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #179
299. What's so precious about Japan's monarchy, non-democratic institution?
How did the dumping the British monarchy, which must the second oldest monarchy hurt Americans?
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 04:40 AM
Response to Reply #156
338. Um, so wait, there was no process to even begin surrender talks until between bombs?
What, did we run out of nukes while we waited for them to come to the table? Absolute nonsense. That is not how negotiations between nations work. I bet you think we "unconditionally" got the Soviets to back down all of a sudden on the last day of the Cuban Missile Crisis, too.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #153
158. Good for you, but that doesn't change the fact that you are quite misinformed
about what was happening in 1945. The premise of your question is fundamentally flawed, but I answered it nonetheless.

I don't think the bombs were any more "right" than the other hundreds of horrible acts that war makes necessary, but I do think they were the best option of a set of horrible options.

Now, since I have answered your question, please do the courtesy of answering mine: would you have found it acceptable to allow Japan to keep its government and military intact and retain its conquered territories as a condition of "peace?"
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #158
161. So you think they were necessary.
That's fine, you are entitled to your opinion, have a nice day.

BTW: My position is that we should have started negotiations for peace by late 44 and not ceded any of our or our allies colonies to the Japanese. We killed for them first!
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #161
165. You didn't answer my question, but I didn't expect you to.
Its all fine and dandy to wring our hands and decry the use of the bombs, just so long as we don't have to examine what the alternatives actually were.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #165
170. My position is...
would you have found it acceptable to allow Japan to keep its government and military intact and retain its conquered territories as a condition of "peace?"

My position is that we should have started negotiations for peace by late 44 and NOT ceded any of our or our allies colonies to the Japanese. We killed for them first!

FYI: We did leave their ceremonial institution of emperor intact (wise decision) and we left most of their political, military, police and secret police forces mostly intact. not to mention their heavy industries e.g. MITSUBISHI. another wise decision or we would have been left with the mess we have in iraq only worse.

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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #170
173. You're dodging the question.
Would you have found it acceptable to allow Japan to keep its government and military intact and retain its conquered territories as a condition of "peace?"
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #170
205. We completely dismantled the army and navy of japan

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Ground_Self-Defense_...

Japan accepted the Potsdam Declaration in 1945, and, based on Potsdam Declaration Article 9, the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy were dismantled. Both were replaced by United States Armed Forces occupation force, which assumed responsibility for the defense of Japan.

1954, they formed the self defense force.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #205
238. I don't think it is accurate to say we completely dismantled anything as many are still in existence
In Chapter five, Woolley considers the Persian Gulf War of 1991, and Japan's role in that conflict. Woolley characterises the decision to deploy JMSDF in the Gulf in April 1991 as a "drastic change in Japan's policy." Dismissing both critics and apologists of Japanese policy in the early '90s, Woolley asserts that, "the Japanese Government had sent minesweepers to the Persian Gulf because minesweeping was a routinized task, and among the organisational responses available to Japan this one was well prepared by both the and the JMSDF" (p. 97). In support of this notion, he traces Japanese minesweeping missions back to the Korean War of 1950-53, and argues that Japan's policy responses were predictable insofar as they were within the predictable range of organisational routines.

Chapter Six is an examination of Japan's contribution to United Nations' peacekeeping operations. Woolley contends that by the end of the Cold War Japan's stake in the economic status quo of the world order gave it both the interest and the capacity to contribute to the "defence of the international security of a peaceful, free-trading world order" (p. 111). Over the course of the 1990s, Japan contributed to peacekeeping operations throughout Asia and Africa, signalling that it "would continue to expand its geographic scope and build a record of success" (p. 126). The final chapter considers Japan's Navy as an important leg of the Japanese-American partnership that has evolved over the postwar era. Woolley contends that "the US Navy never really let the Japanese navy die, but resuscitated, nurtured, made use of, and encouraged the rebirth of Japan's maritime forces" (p. 133). Naval co-operation between Japan's navy and that of the post-Cold War's sole superpower has served both nations' interests, which have coincided with the general peace and stability of the Pacific area.

source...
http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=6189


reminds me of a famous quote...
The only thing new in this world is the history that you don't know. Harry S Truman
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #238
315. Yes, so?

Your statement was that we left them as they were. We did not. We tore them down, then put them back together. Same with the Japanese army.

The Japanese defense force was formed in 1953, via Wikipedia, 8 years they had no military.

You should look up the meaning of "resuscitated, nurtured, made use of, and encouraged the rebirth of Japan's maritime forces".

reminds me of a quote of mine:

You should study more history and stop trying to play word games.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #153
254. Would you have granted Germany an opportunity to surrender
if the only condition was the continued presence of Hitler as the head of the German State?
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 05:56 AM
Response to Reply #153
289. Would it have been better
Edited on Fri Aug-07-09 06:05 AM by Enthusiast
to have had Japan partitioned and occupied by both the Soviet Union and the U.S., as in Germany? Imagine an iron curtain like in East Germany where Japanese innovation and advanced manufacturing would never have happened. Half of Japan would have been stagnant like East Germany until 1989. Additionally the USSR's sphere of influence would have extended much further in the Western Pacific.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #143
167. Along with keeping occupied territories, no occupation of Japan, no democracy, no war crime trials..
no disarming the military.

Yup as long as the US agreed to all that they were willing to "surrender".

Most people (Allies included) wouldn't consider that a surrender.

Japan didn't drop other concessions until after the second bomb was dropped.

Even then it took a week of internal negotiations ending with the Emperor making a decision despite a divided council and Russia entering the war, and continual conventional bombing to force that decision.
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FreakinDJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
13. Hind-sight is always 20/20
"...the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."
Ike on Ike, Newsweek, 11/11/63


It might have been politically expedient for an Ex-president to say that in 1963

My father (active Navy 1937-1945) told me at the time of Japan's surrender people were dancing in the streets they were so relieved they would not have to experience the estimated 20% casualty rate
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Faryn Balyncd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Eisenhower's advise to Stimson was hindsight?
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
15. None of our military leaders in theater at that time thought it was necessary
For those who are interested in learning what our military leaders thought about it I encourage you to visit this site to learn more about this important topic.

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

here are a few quotes...

Admiral William D. Leahy, the President's Chief of Staff
The 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. . . .

In 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.


Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet
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
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.


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

These folks are not peace-nicks, or lefty's, and these folks, who were there at the time, unlike the revisionist of today or propagandist of yesterday.
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daedalus_dude Donating Member (327 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #15
30. but the DU history experts know it better of course....
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eyepaddle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #30
41. Maybe so, please see my response below.
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Moochy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #30
56. Revisionist Historians
Jingoists and Uber Nationalists should not refrain from writing histories.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #30
97. Than a bunch of out-of-context quotes lacking any analysis of the options available in 1945?
Absolutely.
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eyepaddle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #15
34. A couple of thoughts:
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 11:23 AM by eyepaddle
First, it is refreshing to see that some of our hardest and best fighters retained some sense of decency throughout the horror of world war two. However, I also note that they are coming at this from a naval perspective.

The Japanese were essentially done in 1943 when the US kicked them out of the Solomon islands, our forces had learned to integrate air, naval surface, and ground combat--and to use each effectively. From then on it was just a matter of deciding where we wanted to hit them and which of their forces we wanted to destroy, and then we did it. The only input the Japanes had in the course of the war from mid '43 on was how high the American price would be. Whatever losses they could infilct on us, we coiuld restore, whatever loss we inflicted on them, they could not, and were pretty much gone forever.

Nevertheless, this reality did not effect the ferocity of Japanese resistance one whit--they fought the hardest when we were invading islands near the home islands long after any hope for Japanese vistroy (or even favorable surrender) was gone. See Okinawa and Iwo Jima.

While the Admirals (and Generals) are correct that the Japanese were finished, they still planned for a war lasting into late 1946. They did not have to account for the reaction of the American public in response to the collapse of Germany--this reaction was along the lines of this war has gone on long enough, our boys have done their jobs now BRING THEM HOME, After the main struggle (with Nazi Germany) was concluded the patience for farting around in the Pacific evaporated. Plus, all the Green or lightly used forces in Europe that were being sent to Japan viewed their assignments as death sentences and maintaing discipline was becoming very difficult.

That's what Truman had to think about when he made the decision.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #34
52. Please read the links provided... they show the actuall climate at the time
The Japanese were defeated and had 1 demand, keep the institution of the emperor, which we finally accepted, when we ran out of bombs and only then did the war end.

It was a terrible thing that we did to a defeated nation's innocent civilians, looking to negotiate terms for peace.
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eyepaddle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #52
59. But the military men don't say when a war is over--tht's the politicians.
Japan was finished utterly in 1945 by the extensive mining of their coastal waters--which was how they moved nearly all of the necessities of life--which they had been short of since before 1940. This is what the Admirals and Generals were talking about. Japan was BEATEN, but they didn't quit, in fact there was an attempted coup even after Hirohito had finally called it off.

Most of the Japanese governament wanted to keep their gains in China and Manchuria--something which to us was unacceptable.

Truman (who couldn't communcate unpleasant necessities with nearly the ability of FDR) did not have the luxury to wait until Japan came to its senses--he didn't have the stature to pull that off.

The Japanese were defeated, but they hadn't quit and Americans wanted that horrible war over NOW, and so the decision was made...
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #59
63. true, but their opinions matter
if we wanted the war offer we would have accepted their 1 condition sooner, like the spring of 45.

no, we wanted to nuke them in order to SHOCK-N-AWE the world.

and the Japanese still did NOT surrender until we finally conceded to their 1 condition. and the emperor remains to this very day because of it.

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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #63
67. We only accepted a very very very water down version of their condition
From the moment of surrender the authority of the Emperor and the Japanese government to rule the state shall be subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied powers who will take such steps as he deems proper to effectuate the surrender terms. ...The ultimate form of government of Japan shall, in accordance with the Potsdam Declaration, be established by the freely expressed will of the Japanese people.

The Emperor has no real power today and Japan is a Democracy ("freely expressed will of the people) so the Allies got exactly what they wanted. Japan was able to save a little face by "negotiating" this term but it was hardly what they were asking initially and of course you forget the 3 other conditions they did not drop until after the second (not first) atomic bomb.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #67
72. The institution of emperor had been cerimonial for centruries, Japan had a multi party system
before the war even started.

FYI
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #72
79. Well the wording of our response must have created some concern.
They didn't accept it for 3 more days and it requires the Emperor himself to intervene and then led to coup.
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eyepaddle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #63
71. I think they only got to keep the emperor AFTER they surrendered, at the urging of
General MacArthur; I could be wrong on that detail. My main area of interest was the naval campaign leading up the end of the war, but it seems that the Japanese did surrender unconditionally, and then at the urging of MacArthur the emperor was kept in place to ease the occupation and make continued guerilla resistance less likely.

If it were up to me, the two cities would not have been nuked, but I don't think the decision to drop them bombs was done arbitrarily--and I don't think that US civillian public opinon on ending the war IMMEDIATELY can be discounted--not that the American Public had any idea what sort of devices we had at our disposal. Who knows how they would have felt about their use had they known what they were capable of before they were dropped on cities.

Another indication of American fatigue with the war was Operation Magic Carpet--the massive "drop all your shit, and get home by any means possible" demobilization that occurred following the end to fighting. The military leadership want to bring all the men and equipment home in an orderly fashion, the public wouldn't put up with that, and Truman knew it; so everything that floated or flew was loaded to the rafter with men and the equipment was left where it was and the boys came home.

I can't help but think that that mindset was an extension of the need to the "bring an instant end by any means necessary" thought process that led to the nuclear bombings.

All I am sure of is, then as now, there was a lot of debate over this issue.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #71
73. That is simply not true, do you think any general could make such a huge political decision alone?
The Japanese would have fought on if that had not been agreed to.
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eyepaddle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #73
76. Not any General who wasn't MacArthur. Let's just say that Doug had no perception of hi limitations!
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 12:28 PM by eyepaddle
As usual, that's one his limitations.

Many of the military leaders of world war two (on all sides) seem to have such massive egos that I don't think they had any real acknowledgement that anybody else truly existed, let alone mattered. I think many of them secretly thought that they were divine--or at least instruments of divine will. I think Patton was the most open in this belief on our side, but judging by his bevaviour in Korea, I am pretty sure that MacArthur felt this way too.

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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #52
64. Not true.
They had 4 demands.
1) retain imperial status
2) keep military intact
3) never accept a Democracy (Keep absolute power for emperor).
4) keep territory in China & North Korea.

It is ONLY after the SECOND atomic bomb did Japan narrow that down to one.

It is only after the US rejected that claim #3, and Russia entered the war AND the US applied a massive amount of conventional bombing did Japan accept a watered down version of #3 (Emperor remains but has no real political power).

Prior to the atomic bombs the only "peace" Japan was looking for was one that would leave it with the largest imperial empire in Asia with nearly 100 million sub-humans for use as slave labor, prostitution, medical experimentation, and eventual genocide (so the land could be given to real humans = Japanese).

Hardly "peace" if you were "living" in China or Korea at the time in a forced labor or prostitution camp.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #64
69. They were a defeated nation that wanted to negotiate peace, yet we still nuked them, TWICE
That is a stain we shall never remove.

Everyone knew if we had at least told them we would let them keep their emperor - which we finally conceded to - they would have ceased hostilities - shoot they couldn't even defend themselves when we nuked them, twice and they did not surrender until that 1 condition was met.

Also, the Japanese were looking at the west for how the world worked and we taught them it worked by colonizing people and resources, so as a good student they wanted a piece of the action. So, please do not try to moralize over that point.

What we did was TERRORISM on a scale never seen before.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #69
74. Japan was insisting on 4 conditions not one.
It was only after both atomic bombs, and Russia entering the war, and a week of conventional bombing, and threats of more atomic bombs and an invasion did they narrow it down to one point.

There is NOTHING. No historical text anywhere that indicates prior to Hiroshima Japan was willing to surrender by just keeping her Emperor. Hell even AFTER the bomb the decision wasn't unanimous and led to a failed military coup (which is successful would have prevented the Emperor from surrendering and continued the war).

You are just making up rainbows & unicorns for everyone history to support your position.

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Drunken Irishman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #74
265. Hussy ain't getting it.
You're talking in circles.

Seriously, you can tell the poster over and over again about the 4 conditions, but it won't matter.

Really. I feel like I'm reading the same page over and over again.
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #69
302. The terrorism on a scale never seen before is the terrorism the Japanese
inflicted on the Chinese and Koreans. You lose all credibility by pointing fingers at the West to explain Japanese atrocities.
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zipplewrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #15
66. You'll note the Navy connection
The navy was opposed, there was inter service rivalry even back then. And then navy had always shown a greater willingness to sacrifice troops on the ground than the Army. McCarthur was opposed because he expected to lead the invasion. It isn't clear how much of Ike's point of view is in hindsight. Truth is, there was already a rivalry forming between the Air Corps and the "ground pounders" in the army even back then. Dropping the bomb was seen by many as the Air Corps (soon to become the Air Force) taking control of war fighting. It wasn't popular. (similar tensions formed at the beginning of Naval aviation as the aircraft carrier replaced the battle ship). It also should be noted that the complaints weren't far off base. Post WW II military planning focused heavily upon air delivered atomic bombs. Ultimately, the navy got in the game with subs, and the army got shorter range atomic weapons. But the air force, with ICBM's was always the dominant player.

Hindsight is always a powerful tool, and unavailable to those who must make the decisions at the time. The biggest problem in looking back at decisions like this is separating out what people knew. There are three different conditions that are hard to know. There is the correct information that people knew, and believed. There is incorrect information that people were given, that they believed to be true. And there is correct information that people didn't believe. In war, especially in WW II, there was significant amounts of all three kinds of information. This is especially true with respect to the issue of Japan's willingness to surrender. We know now all sorts of things. Whether that information was available at the time or not, it isn't clear how much of it was believed. And what often gets lost to history, is the false understandings that people had.

What we do know is this. War is bad. We should avoid war, because once you're in a war, you're going to end up doing bad things. And once in a while, even with the best efforts, you to do something really bad, based upon bad information, or bad understandings of the information you have. We bombed Japan because we were scared, tired, and mad. That's a bad time to make decisions, but it wasn't going to change real soon. I've never met anyone who was in line to fight in Japan that thought, in hindsight, that the bombing was a bad idea. One more day for some would have been one day too many. They were glad it was over, however it was over.

Doesn't make it right though.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #66
83. Not just the navy, read the links please
The main point stands though, they were a defeated nation looking to negotiate terms of surrender.

However we had a political point to make to the world.

The original shock-n-awe
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zipplewrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #83
85. I understand
You'll note I discussed McCarthur as well. However, you're ignoring that everyone had their biases and they weren't all grounded in some sort of cheritable pacificism. They were a defeated nation, it isn't clear what they were looking for prior to the dropping of the two bombs. This much we do know, afterwards they accepted full and unconditional surrender. The reasons for demanding as such were far more complex than you suggest.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #85
94. We accepted their 1 condition - and the Chrysanthemum Throne remains to this very day as testimint
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 01:41 PM by ShamelessHussy
Think how many lives may have been saved if we had accepted this one condition earlier?

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zipplewrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #94
110. We did not "accept" it
After their surrender, we allowed the emperor to remain in place, but we did not allow the EMPIRE to remain in place. The imperial government was over. Their intent in keeping the emperor, was to keep the empire. It isn't clear that they would have accepted our version.
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backwoodsbob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #94
232. damn how many times do you have to hear it?
the ONE CONDITION wasn't all they wanted until AFTER Nagasaki AND continued air raids
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #94
303. Why enter into a historical discussion when you refuse to accept historical fact?
You seem emotionally committed to the belief that there was always just one condition despite evidence to the contrary. Isn't this the same sort of irrationality being displayed by birthers? :shrug:
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #66
132. Correct. Navy & Army didn't want to let the Army Air Corps win it. nt
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #15
87. You can add General MacArthur to those in the High Command...
...who believed that dropping the Atomic Bombs on Japan were unnecessary.

The Government Cover Story (propaganda) written into the US History Books remains strong 65 years later, and even has it advocates on DU.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:57 PM
Original message
Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
163. Quelle surprise! The man who advocated strategic high-altitude bombing as the future of all war
didn't think that the weapon rendering him obsolete was the all that important. Who'da thunk that?

Just as an aside, which do you think would have resulted in more pain and suffering for the Japanese population: the two atomic bombs, or six to eight more months of LeMay's strategic bombing?

And...are you really sure you want to cut & paste from IHR? Because that source tells me one of two things: either you don't bother to actually read the sources you're using, and you just cut & paste from a list of google search results, of you do read the sources, and you're comfortable using IHR. Neither of those choices is great, to be honest.
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #163
216. your conclusions are bizarre.
if anything, LeMay should have been thrilled the atomic bomb became the primary military weapon, since it was entirely based around the idea of strategic bombing. Just another sad American imperialist attempt to justify war crimes.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #216
244. No, the atomic bomb did not fit LeMay's doctrine of strategic bombing.
And who precisely are you accusing of being an American imperialist attempting to justify war crimes?
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #15
88. delete
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 01:24 PM by bvar22
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #15
95. More Doug Long quote-mining in place of actual historical analysis. n/t
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #95
104. I guess even the words of our military leaders in theater at that time do not matter to some
but I am sure they matter to others.

more info here...
http://www.doug-long.com
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #104
112. That's not accurate. The issue is that out-of-context quote mining is a poor
substitute for actual analysis of what was happening, and why those gentleman were saying what they were.

Do you have any suspicion about why officers who were preparing to win the war in the pacific with the greatest amphibious invasion in history might not take kindly to the war being ended with a couple of bombs designed by a bunch of eggheads in New Mexican desert?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #112
116. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #116
122. Yet you repeatedly just post links to two websites.
Linking to a website is not a substitute for actually understanding what was going on in 1945.

The Japanese were NOT trying to surrender prior to the bombs. There were low-level state agents that had put out peace feelers, but this is not even close to what you are suggesting for several reasons. First, the low-level officials that were putting out peace feelers had absolutely no control over the armed forces of Japan, and there is no serious historian that thinks the Japanese armed forces would have accepted a surrender prior to the bombs. Second, the difference between "surrender" and an "armistice" is not just one of semantics. Japan wanted to retain its wartime governemnt (NOT just the Emperor), keep conquered territory, and keep its military intact. Would you have found those conditions acceptable?
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #116
188. That's quite the source you've got there...
Anti-semite, holocaust deniers aren't usually quoted as a reference around here, but hey, knock yourself out.

Sid
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #188
190. I agree, I wish I could delete it...
sorry about that one I was not aware of their ideology but my point still stands.

It was wrong to NUKE a defeated nation's civilian population, who were interested in negotiating terms of surrender, TWICE, no less.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #190
198. Perhaps you should consider reading the sources from which you cut & paste?
Just an idea.
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #112
235. + 1 nt
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #104
209. Who Ike?

Or MacArthur who thought he was the second coming of king Arthur, and was a control freak? MacArthur changed his tune a few years later thought, didn't he. he was all for bombing China.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #15
131. Surprise, surprise!!! The Navy & Army didn't want the Army Air Corps to end the war in the Pacific.
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 02:37 PM by Captain Hilts
It's like the relief pitcher getting credit for a 'win'.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #131
134. No only that, but the Air Corps brass itself didn't exactly appreciate not getting
the opportunity to bomb Japan into dust via "conventional" strategic bombing. If LeMay had gotten his way, I'm not sure if there would have been a structure left intact in all of Japan.

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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #134
142. And Ordnance wasn't even told about the bomb!!!
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #142
151. Thank goodness, or they'd have dropped every single bomb they had trying to
end the war with strategic high altitude bombing. As horrible as the nuclear bombs were, six months of that shit would have have been no walk in the park, that's for sure.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 04:45 AM
Response to Reply #131
339. Surprise! You care more about inter-college rivalry than the morality of the act
We also didn't want the Soviets to share credit for the win. I suppose you view that as an acceptable justification for dropping the bomb, too.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #15
304. The Navy wanted to starve the Japanese, the Air Force wanted to fry them
they were not talking out of concern for all those innocent Japanese civilians - they had killing them en-mass and given the opportunity would have killed a lot more. They were hypocrites.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
16. The purpose of the bombs was to send the Soviet Union a powerful message. IMHO. nm
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reflection Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. Interesting.
Never thought of that...
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Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #16
23. BING BING BING, we have a winner folks!
It's obvious that the atomic bombs were more about sending a message to the Soviet Union than anything else.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #16
25. Why not drop them somewhere that's not a city full of people, if the purpose is a message?
Or are the needless deaths of innocents a part of the message?
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #25
48. That was one of the arguments against dropping the bomb on civilians.
The reply was that there wasn't enough material to make more than a couple of bombs.
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anigbrowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #25
91. Destructive power of such weapons is ultimately measured in lives
I am not a supporter of the use of nuclear weapons against Japan. But if they had dropped it on, say, Mount Fuji or in some isolated area, it would certainly not have scared Stalin that much. Of course, it's debatable whether the USSR would then have engaged in a nuclear arms race with the US, but I think that would probably have occurred anyway, and there would have been a higher likelihood of one being used later.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #25
171. Good question. I believe there were actually two main reasons for dropping the bombs.
To tell the Soviet Union to take notice. In case they thought they might take advantage of a "weakened" Europe, Asia or America, we had the bomb. This kicked off the cold war.

Also, to get a message to the Japanese Emperor that continuing the war would lead to the deaths of millions of Japanese civilians. He was concerned about their deaths not the military. The United States had already established that it would target civilians. Many think the fire bombing of Toyko was worse than the A-bombs.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #16
32. It was to send the WORLD a msg of TERROR - That we would use it no matter your weak postition
And we have continued down that path of terrorism ever since.
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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #16
40. Only message they got was "We need some of those" nt
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #40
141. No, that's not really accurate.
Stalin was scared to death about our nuclear monopoly, and for what its worth, it probably did check some Soviet behavior in the immediate post-war period.
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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #141
169. But they got some didn't they? And they probably stole it from us. nt
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #169
206. Actually they got a lot of help from one of our scientists because he was afraid that us having the
bomb with out them having one, would be dangerously out of balance. He wanted a balance to neutralize both powers. Kinda like the doomsday machine in Dr. Strangelove.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
17. Very glad to learn this about Ike! Didn't know it. Thanks for this post.
Same guy who told us to beware of the "military-industrial complex." Said the "military-industrial complex" is a grave threat to democracy.

And here we are now, having suffered the very thing he warned of: Hijacking of our military for corporate resource wars; our blood sucked dry by war profiteer vampires; our Constitution in shreds; stolen elections, a fascist coup for eight years, with only a very shaky restoration of the rule of law...

Ike sure knew what was what. Everything he and our parents' generation fought for, in tatters. War profiteers running the show. The U.S. acting like Hitler, invading helpless countries to steal their oil. It is appalling, really--and an immense, mind-boggling problem: How do we rid ourselves of the "military-industrial complex"?
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #17
96. In the original draft, it was "Military Industrial Congressional Complex",
but was edited at the last minute to avoid offending the most corrupt bunch (Congress).


"In the penultimate draft of the address, Eisenhower initially used the term military-industrial-congressional complex, and thus indicated the essential role that the United States Congress plays in the propagation of the military industry. But, it is said, that the president chose to strike the word congressional in order to placate members of the legislative branch of the federal government."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military-industrial_comple...


An interesting point.
I heard it on Hartmann the other day.
Probably deserves a thread of its own.
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daedalus_dude Donating Member (327 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
19. but, but ..... TEH TREWPZ !!11
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yodermon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
24. Ike, what the fuck did *he* know?
:sarcasm:
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #24
102. Well, for one, he was on the other side of the globe, and wasn't privy to much, if any,
intelligence regarding the war in the Pacific. His plate was a little full with that whole European Theater business, after all.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:15 AM
Response to Original message
31. Hiroshima is the 2nd most horrid word in the American lexicon
Succeeded only by Nagasaki - Kurt Vonnegut



That we NUKED a defeated nation, who wanted to negotiate terms of surrender, is a stain we shall NEVER be able to wipe away, and which continues to haunt us to this very day... for if we are able to do this, just imagine what the 'evil doers' are willing to do.

Do not ask for whom the bell tolls...
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #31
39. *
:hi:
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Faryn Balyncd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
33. Feaver & Gelpi showed that military leaders are more casualty averse than the general public.




....and the civilian elite having an intermediate position.

Their studies implications, that there is a direct relationship between actual responsibility and casualty aversion, seems to be consistent with the fact that moral & practical disagreement with the bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki was common in the higher echelons of the American military, whereas the general public viewed such dissent as unpatriotic.







Here is Feaver & Gelpi's survey question, and a breakdown of responses of the public, civilian elite, and military elite:






When American troops are sent overseas, there are almost always casualties.
For instance, 43 Americans were killed in Somalia, 383 in the Gulf War,
roughly 54,000 in Korea, roughly 58,000 in Vietnam and roughly 400,000 in
World War II. Imagine for a moment that a President decided to send military
troops on one of the following missions. In your opinion, what would be the
highest number of American military deaths that would be acceptable to
achieve this goal?

A) To stabilize a democratic government in Congo__________.*

B) To prevent Iraq from obtaining weapons of mass destruction__________.

C) To defend Taiwan against invasion by China__________.

Military Mission: Congo
Military Elite: 284
Civilian Elite: 484
Mass Public: 6,861

Military Mission: Iraq
Military Elite: 6,016
Civilian Elite: 19,045
Mass Public: 29,853


Military Mission: Taiwan
Military Elite: 17,425
Civilian Elite: 17,554
Mass Public: 20,172




http://www.endthewar.net/features/thirtythousand.htm

http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/apj/ap...






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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
35. I'll accept the facts summarized in the article "The Invasion That Didnt Happen".
The Invasion That Didnt Happen

Paul Tibbets and everyone involved in developing and dropping the bomb are heroes.
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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #35
43. Heroes? I would leave that judgement to God..if you believe in one. nt
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #43
49. Believe as you please as will I. n/t
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 04:47 AM
Response to Reply #35
340. Are they heroes for killing hundreds of thousands? How bout for nearly ending the world?
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 04:49 AM by Leopolds Ghost
To ensure a few leaders save face with their customs and traditions of conduct between nation states?

Einstein and Oppenheimer would disagree with you.

The Invasion that Didn't Happen didn't happen because it was unnnecessary.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #340
353. They're heroes for possibly saving my fathers life and my own if the war continued long enough. n/t
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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
37. We dropped them to save American lives. Japs were not part of the equation.

It was feared a land invasion would cost us a lot of lives.

We cared nothing for the "Japs" ... even the ones living here who we locked up in camps. Perl harbor was the 9/11 of its time.

These weapons should have never been used .. a demonstration off the coast would have had the same effect. But no we had to go ahead and kill and injure and poison millions of people ..women children pets included.

Burnt to a crisp.

The worst form of WMD on earth ..the US is the only country to have ever used one on another country.

Yet we invaded another on the false pretense they had them.

knr






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The Traveler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
38. Forever controversial
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 11:25 AM by The Traveler
Let's face it ... knowledgeable men worthy of our respect came down on both sides of that question. It is futile to try to settle this matter through debate ... but we feel compelled as people to understand the decision, the context in which the matter was debated, and all the horrible byproducts of the decision. I concede it is possible that an even worse outcome (in terms of both military and civilian deaths) might have been achieved had we attempted a conventional invasion. I further concede that any conditional surrender which left the door open for an eventual return to power of the fascist leadership that started this war was unacceptable.

But I gotta stand with Ike on this one. I think is was the wrong thing to do. There were other alternatives by which the necessary terms could have been obtained.

Trav
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zipplewrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #38
78. It's war
War is the "wrong thing to do". One of the many reasons is once you start, it can be hard to stop.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
42. Good post. nt
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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
44. Ike was right about a lot of things - no more nuke bombs!
nt
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #44
53. Then how come during his presidency our stockpile miltiplied by about 400X?
If the man was so very much against the bomb why is it that our stockpile of them went from approximately 5 bombs in 1952 to several thousand when he left office?
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #53
77. Perhaps that's why he said what he did, when he left. (nt)
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
45. Every year at this time we engage in this time wasting discussion.
No one has yet to convince the other side to change their mind. We just insult each other over and over. We will do it all day long today and again next year. It's part of the games we play I guess.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #45
47. I believe it very fortunate that this discussion happens at least once a year
Though it should be more.

Many folks are learning when this kind of information is posted, though some will never will.
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #47
54. Learning what? We all have our opinions and there is no teaching going on here IMHO.
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 11:42 AM by county worker
My belief is that dropping the bomb which killed hundreds of thousands prevented the deaths of millions. I was born in May of 1946. My mom went to visit my dad in Aug of 1945 after Japan surrendered and I was conceived there. My dad was at Fort Riley Kansas training for the invasion of Japan. Had he been in that invasion chances are he would have been killed and I would not have been born.
Had that invasion taken place millions would have died. Japan had no intention of surrendering unconditionally and we had no intention of letting them surrender with terms. Without the bomb we would have invaded Japan. That's just the plain truth.

Now what I said will have no effect on those who believe the bomb should never have been dropped. And telling me that it should never have been dropped will not change the facts I just stated.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #54
58. I have seen many post here giving thanks for the info, and there are many who just lurk/read
I will go with what our military leaders in theater thought at the time, it was not necessary and neither was an invasion, they were defeated and looking to negotiate terms of surrender, with 1 big condition, to maintain the ceremonious role of emperor, which we finally conceded to in the end + I ask you to consider this...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

so many wasted lived :cry:
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zipplewrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #58
82. The unknowns
Amongst he unknowns involved in conditional surrender is whether there will be a residual insurgency. One of the reasons for unconditional surrenders is that it functionally says "no one is in charge here". Everyone effectively has to decide to surrender. If anyone keeps fighting, the war goes on. There's a very good chance that if we had agreed to an earlier surrender, everyone would have gone along with it. Japanese society is highly ordered. However, there will always be some question because when they did surrender, there were organized forces attempting to prevent the surrender and exercise a coup. With a conditional surrender, there may have been the perception that the emperor had not been defeated, because he held onto his throne. With the unconditional surrender, even with the US allowing him to remain in place, it was exactly that the US "allowing" him. There could be no mistake that he was defeated.
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #58
159. I do not accept the idea that Japan wanted to surrender earlier.
If that were the case we would not have been planing an invasion of the mainland. We had to decide if we wanted to prolong the war or end it with the bomb. We made the right decision.

I read a book about the fire bombing of Tokyo and other cities. More people were killed in the fire bombing than in the nuclear attack yet Japan did not surrender. It was considered treasonous to even talk about surrender then. It is just not the case that we could have ended the war earlier by accepting a Japanese surrender plea because it just didn't exist in the command structure.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #159
192. here you go... Operation Super Sunrise? Japanese-United States Peace Feelers in Switzerland, 1945
The Journal of Military History - Volume 69, Number 4, October 2005, pp. 1081-1120

Society for Military History

In early 1945 Japanese navy circles in Berlin tried to begin peace negotiations with the United States. Using their contacts with the arms trader Friedrich Wilhelm Hack, they sent Commander Fujimura Yoshikazu to Switzerland, where he opened talks with Allen W. Dulles of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services. Though the Japanese navy and Foreign Ministry showed some interest, the peace attempts finally failed since neither side took the initiative to an official level. Fujimura confused his government by claiming that the Americans had made the first step, while the U.S. side waited for proof that the administration in Tokyo was backing the navy officer's initiative.

source...
http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/journal_of_mili...
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #192
200. Wait...you think that *supports* your position? n/t
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #200
222. That the Japanese were interested in ending the war before we nuked them? Yes.
Some folks do not know that the Japanese were sending out peace feelers long before we nuked them.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #222
240. Oh, they were interested in ending the war since Pearl Harbor.
But for the umpteenth time, you fail to acknowledge the difference between an armistice and surrender. Do you not understand the difference?
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #240
247. good day, sir
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #247
249. Obviously, that distinction between armistice and surrender causes you a bit of trouble.
But when your preconceived notion doesn't match reality, it's not reality's job to change.
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #249
308. Hear. Hear.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #54
101. Many are learning.
This discussion would not have been possible in the 50s or 60s.
As time passes, and History gains perspective, more are open to challenging the government cover story produced in 1945.
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county worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #101
162. The younger you are the farther from reality you are.
It is easier to be a revisionist today. Most revisionists talk completely out of context to what was going on because they are so far removed from that period of time that they simplify what happened not knowing or understanding the environment of the times.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #162
194. I'm not that young.
Are you discounting the value of historical perspective?
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #162
196. That's why I always use quotes from the military leaders who were in theater at the time
as well as provide links to more context so folks can decide for themselves.

e.g.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #196
199. Yeah, your sources are impeccable.
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 05:19 PM by Raskolnik
You've clearly spent a lot of time considering what they have to say, and you don't just cut and paste the results of a google search.
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Hobarticus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 07:18 AM
Response to Reply #47
297. Sadly, so many are still misinformed...
Yet emotions will always trump facts.
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #47
307. Oh the irony of "some will never learn".
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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #45
51. Perhaps we need to go through this again?

We condemn NK and Iran for seeking the very same thing that we used almost without hesitation when we thought we needed to.


These discussions are important because next time some of these bombs might be dropping on us.
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kgnu_fan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #45
61. When we forget our own history, we tend to repeat the same horror.
I think we don't study history enough in this country. People like Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky are invaluable... we need to learn so much.
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #45
113. Not necessarily
The past couple of years I've seen this topic come around, not many minds have been changed, but I always see a few questions with "I'm genuinely curious" specified, a few posts that get "Hmm, I hadn't thought of that" replies, a few personal accounts that are interesting, moving, or both. Those don't bother me at all, and there's usually a few things to read amidst the flaming and call-outs. Discussion where there's any civility at all is only rarely wasted.

Now, to ensure that we do keep insulting each over over and over and thus maintain balance in the world, you're funny-looking! :P
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #45
164. It's who we are. And if you think it is a waste of time, why did you respond? nm
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 04:58 AM
Response to Reply #45
341. Anyone who thinks the death of hundreds of thousands and the near destruction of human race
Is a time wasting historical curiosity, has no cultural memory, empathy, awareness, or understanding.

Maybe it's because all these people who feel no connection to lives lost except as it benefits them, don't expect to be remembered when they die either, except by immediate family members, so Schadenfreude takes over. Why should we give a shit about people who died back then? We're free now, and that's all that matters.

(If you think fining people who lack health insurance, or self-censorship out of fear of surveillance state of some sort, constitutes freedom -- they also don't remember that Americans were actually fighting for an ideal back then, and what that ideal was -- they've abandoned Roosevelt-style politics for most part)

The only connection between past and present becomes = they died so that we can live. That's all the justification most people need to justify anything. Humans are savage creatures when you come down to it, and most people have no problem with it.
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ecstatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
60. It was a racist attack. End of story nt
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #60
100. Now that is utter nonsense.
Roosevelt had every intention of using the bomb against Germany when it was ready, and if they hadn't surrendered in the spring Berlin would have been the first on the list.

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snailly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #60
271. That is absolute bullshit and you know it
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 05:18 AM
Response to Reply #271
344. Read Beschloss, The Conquerors n/t
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #60
312. If racism is a concern please direct me to posts you've started to condemn
Edited on Fri Aug-07-09 10:18 AM by snagglepuss
Japanese racist attitudes towards Koreans and Chinese? Are you aware that the Japanese had as many or more concentration camps in China than Hitler had in Germany? The Japanese were cleverer in that they had policies in place to destroy all camps so as not to leave evidence. Countless more Chinese and Korean civilians were ruthlessy killed and exterminated by the Japanese (10 of millions) than were killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I don't condone the bombings but I also don't appreciate that Japan's victims have not received the attention given to the Nagasaki and Hiroshima victims.


edit spelling
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
75. Don't know where Ike got his information, but that's the first time I've
heard anyone claim that.
Curtis LeMay was the AF chief for the Japan bombing raids - his B-29's bombed many Japanese cities, constructed mainly of wood, with many thousands of tons of incendiary bombs,burning entire cities, killing hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians and leaving nearly 750,000 homeless. All this in the month preceeding the atomic bombs - sometimes 5 cities per day.
The Japanese government REFUSED any surrender talks till several days AFTER the SECOND atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945...
Projections of the US invasion of the main islands of Japan were that the war would have gone on for another 5 to 10 years, with over a million casualties on the Allied side alone. The US and other Allied troops were abord ships on the way to invade Japan when the Japanese agreed to surrender.

Ike may have had inside information, but this is the first I have ever heard of it.

mark
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #75
89. Ike made his comments in 1963 opinions had changed after the fact.
The threat of nuclear full exchange with the Soviets hung over the American public.

Nuclear weapons weren't exactly popular when most Americans considered it likely that the world would end in a nuclear Holocaust.
Nothing indicates by official military documents that IKE had that opinion at the time on the ground.

The question isn't was it the right thing to do with a decade of hindsight but was it the right thing to do based on the information available at the time.

What did we know:
Continued blockade & bombing would result in hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths.
Invasion would result in hundreds of thousands of military deaths on both sides plus even more civilian deaths.
Nobody was going to invade without "softening" Japan up with kilotons worth of conventional bombs.
Japan wasn't going to surrender until after the bomb was dropped or after an invasion.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #89
103. Well,
....thats the government cover story anyway.
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #89
191. Look at the history of island invasions leading up to Japan- Iwo Jima
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 05:13 PM by old mark
was the first time the Japanese had large prepared fortifications and an extensive tunnel system. The island is 8 sq. miles in area and contained over 800 Japanese fortified positions. It was prepared with 10 weeks of bombine by US land based bombers, the heaviest of the war to date. The Marines landed a total of 70,000 troops, lost 4189 killed, 441 missing, 15308 wounded.
Japan started with over 27,000 troops, final # of captured was 1,083 (2 more surrendered in 1951, 6 years ater the end of WWII). US had underestimated their casualt rate by 80% - over 1/3 of all Marines landed were casualties.
This led to changes in US tactics for the invasion of Okinawa, which lasted 82 days and saw 12,000 US killed, but over 107,000 Japanese and Okiniwan troops killed, plus over 100,000 civilians killed, many by the Japanese themselves.

Invading Japan's Home Islands would have been many times worse, especially in the numbers of civilians killed.

mark
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 06:22 AM
Response to Reply #191
290. Nice post, old mark.
I can't understand how anyone would be an advocate of invading the home islands after reading your post.

My dad was part of the U.S. Army forces re-invading the Philippines.
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 06:31 AM
Response to Reply #290
291. The father of a good friend in high school was on a troop ship,
days away from the first landing on one of the main Japanese islands when Japan surrendered. He was a very luck man indeed. Remember,too, there was a famous last minute plot by military officers to abort the surrender and there were some Japanese soldiers who did not believe the war was over - some fought till the 1960's.

mark
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #291
294. I remember the plot.
I seem to remember that there was a program/movie that covered it. The officers involved were real hardliners.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
80. And then there was MacArthur.
"MacArthur biographer William Manchester has described MacArthur's reaction to the issuance by the Allies of the Potsdam Proclamation to Japan: "...the Potsdam declaration in July, demand that Japan surrender unconditionally or face 'prompt and utter destruction.' MacArthur was appalled. He knew that the Japanese would never renounce their emperor, and that without him an orderly transition to peace would be impossible anyhow, because his people would never submit to Allied occupation unless he ordered it. Ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign. Had the General's advice been followed, the resort to atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been unnecessary."

William Manchester, American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964, pg. 512.

Norman Cousins was a consultant to General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins writes of his conversations with MacArthur, "MacArthur's views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed." He continues, "When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor."

Norman Cousins, The Pathology of Power, pg. 65, 70-71.
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zipplewrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #80
90. Speaks to exit strategy
One of the big criticisms of both Bush wars in Iraq was that the terms or definition of "winning" were poorly defined. The first time around it was roughly speaking the expulsion of Iraq from Kuwait. However there was significant doubt about how far into Iraq to proceed. The second time around they were completely unprepared for the post war period. It is important, in military planning, to define when, why and how you are willing to end a war. The conditions for a negotiated end should be thought out in advance. In WW II, there was no real discussion of what "terms" we might be willing to accept to end the conflict. As wars progress, positions on both sides can harden and initial goals can be lost to basically desires for revenge or retribution. I suspect a big problem in WW II with Japan is that we got into the war without thinking about it much, and we never really considered what our goals were, other than beating Japan back. By the end, we had all sorts of goals, beyond just beating them and it caused us to miss opportunities to end it much sooner. Someone pointed out once that Japan was so defeated after the Phillipines that we probably could have just said "you're done" and gone home. They could have pounded their chests, but they were so defeated, they couldn't have attacked anyone for years. And they may have chosen not to do that again.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #90
111. Yeah I am sure the 100 million + Chinese and Koreans living in virtual slavery would have loved that
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zipplewrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #111
119. Not by then
By that time, the Japanese were largely unable to hold onto most of these places. We were island hopping to get to the mainland. The Phillipines was to be one of the staging areas. Japan was pretty much done by then.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #119
138. Look at a map.
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 02:56 PM by Statistical
We island hopped from west to east. Moving north east closer and closer to Japan until it was in range of Bombers.

Large portions of China remained under Japanese military control up to and after the signing of surrender.
At the time of the surrender Japan had about 1.1 million troops in China and had killed about 18 million civilians.

Japan was so defeated after the Phillipines that we probably could have just said "you're done" and gone home

True Japan no longer presented an immediate threat but I am not sure such a resolution would be politically possible.
Regardless it would have left millions of Chinese & Koreans under control of the military than exterminated more than 18 million of them.
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zipplewrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #138
185. Well, we were in China too
We weren't there in any numbers, but we (Dean Rusk amongst them) where there helping the Chinese against the Japanese. If we had focused on that, instead of Iwo and Okinawa, China could have been left in fairly favorable terms. (I presume something similar could have been achieved in Korea too). I'm not a big proponent of the strategy, but there is some argument to be made in that "surrounding" them may have been more effectively that working to defeat them on their home island, only to turn over to them afterwards.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #80
107. Thanks for posting those. (nt)
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #80
257. No surprise there. MacArthur was anti-communist and pro-fascist.
As were many of our military "elite".
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Johonny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
81. Funny cause IKE benefited from the dropping and he knew it
He is the President that ended the Korean war by telling the Chinese we would nuke them. This worked because we DID nuke Japan.

Is the above statement sound military advice or political propaganda said because he wanted to justify his own presidency? I think it's more the later than the former. He was not a commander in the Pacific and he has political reasons for wanting to make the Truman administration sound bad in comparison to his own administration. I mean Ike killed how many foreign leaders and wants to talk ethics?
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #81
86. MacArthur, Eisenhower, LeMay, Halsey...
All of them were lying for propaganda, but Harry Truman, of all people, would never ever tell a fib.
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Johonny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #86
221. lol

Well Mac, and Ike for sure had well known political reasons for saying that stuff and frankly it was Truman's call to make. Given who Ike and LeMay wanted to nuke or at least threaten to nuke later on, it seems a little odd for them to question this move. Anyways their threats were only that effective given Truman actually used the bomb and they knew that. To me this is a red herring.

I think we can all assume they all retell history for their own reasons. And yes Truman probably did this too. I'm pretty sure dropping the bombs on Japan was not out of context for how people (including Ike) fought WWII. I think it is less accepted now because a) it's far better understood how horrible the long term effects of radiation were b) bombing civilians doesn't appear to be a high gain scenario. While both axis and allies bomb civilians throughout the war, it's not clear it was ever very successful in destroying the will of the enemy to fight. Sure Nixon bombed the north Vietnamese to the negotiating table, but he got basically the same deal he was offered before he bombed c) we are no longer in WWII and most of the people that directly died or would have died are unknown to us. However if you actually meet someone that trained and was ready to die going into Japan, well it's harder to convince them. The ones I know aren't all that fond of the idea of refighting their war politically correctly, because it was their * on the line.

I think this more in line with what read somewhere "If Lee knew that in the civil war only 10% of frontal assaults would be successful, would he have attacked on the third day of Gettysburg?" The answer who knows there is only 1 world and in that world Lee attacked. Truman did drop the bombs and the war ended. That's the world we live in. There is no other world where he didn't to know with any probability what would have happen had he not. Sure the Japanese could have surrendered (if logic dictated the axis actions they would have surrendered far before they actually did), they might also have insanely continue the war. If Ike, you or any of these posters today actually could tell the history of events that didn't happen, I'd love to visit Vegas with yah.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
92. Quote-mining is not a substitute for actually knowing what was happening in 1945
And, seriously, Doug Long?
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #92
99. It is much more than just quotes...
GAR ALPEROVITZ AND THE H-NET DEBATE
http://www.doug-long.com/debate.htm

much more here...
http://www.doug-long.com

For those that are curious about the decision it is well worth reading up on the matter.

:hi:
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #99
105. I'm quite familiar with Doug Long's "scholarhip" on this issue, and it amounts to little more
than out-of-context quote mining, which ignores any facts inconvenient for his conclusions. He's considered kind of a joke by historians that work in this field, if you must know.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #105
117. It is not just him...
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 02:56 PM by ShamelessHussy

Hiroshima After Sixty Years: The Debate Continues



by Gar Alperovitz
This weekend marks the 60th anniversary of the August 6, 1945 bombing of Hiroshima. One might think that by now historians would agree on all the fundamental issues. The reality, however, is just the opposite: All the major issues involved in the decision are still very much a matter of dispute among experts. An obvious question is why this should be so after so many years.
Did the atomic bomb, in fact, cause Japan to surrender? Most Americans think the answer is self-evident. However, many historical studiesincluding new publications by two highly regarded scholars--challenge the conventional understanding. In a recently released Harvard University Press volume drawing upon the latest Japanese sources, for instance, Professor Tsuyohsi Hasegawa concludes that the traditional myth cannot be supported by historical facts. By far the most important factor forcing the decision, his research indicates, was the Soviet declaration of war against Japan on August 8, 1945, just after the Hiroshima bombing.

Similarly, Professor Herbert Bixwhose biography of Hirohito won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfictionalso writes in a recent article that the Soviet factor carried greater weight in the eyes of the emperor and most military leaders.

Many Japanese historians have long judged the Soviet declaration of war to have been the straw that broke the camels backmainly because the Japanese military feared the Red Army more than the loss of another city by aerial bombardment. (They had already shown themselves willing to sacrifice many, many cities to conventional bombing!)

An intimately related question is whether the bomb was in any event still necessary to force a surrender before an invasion. Again, most Americans believe the answer obviousas, of course, do many historians. However, a very substantial number also disagree with this view. One of the most respected, Stanford University Professor Barton Bernstein, judges that all things considered it seems quite probableindeed, far more likely than notthat Japan would have surrendered before November (when the first landing in Japan was scheduled.)

Many years ago Harvard historian Ernest R. May also concluded that the surrender decision probably resulted from the Russian attack, and that it could not in any event been long in coming. In his new book Hasegawa goes further: here were alternatives to the use of the bomb, alternatives that the Truman Administration for reasons of its own declined to pursue.

(On the other hand, one recent writer, Richard Frank, argues Japan was still so militarily powerful the U.S. would ultimately have decided not to invade. He justifies the bombing not only of Hiroshima but of Nagasaki as well. Japanese historian Sadao Asada believes that there was a possibility Japan would not have surrendered by November on the basis of the Russian attack alone.)

What did the U.S. military think? Here there is also dispute. We actually know very little about the views of the military at the time. However, after the war manyindeed, mostof the top World War II Generals and Admirals involved criticized the decision. One of the most famous was General Eisenhower, who repeatedly stated that he urged the bomb not be used: t wasnt necessary to hit them with that awful thing. The well-known hawk, General Curtis LeMay, publically declared that the war would have been over in two weeks, and that the atomic bomb had nothing to do with bringing about surrender. President Trumans friend and Chief of Staff, five star Admiral William D. Leahy was deeply angered: The 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. . . n being the first to use it, we . . . adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.

Some historians believe such statements may have been made partly to justify postwar funding requests by the various military services. Several years after the war General George C. Marshall did state publicly that he believed the bombings were necessary. On the other hand, long before the atomic bomb was used Leahys diary shows he judged the war could be ended. And Marshall is on record months before Hiroshima as suggesting that these weapons might first be used against straight military objectives such as a large naval installation and then if no complete result was derived from the effect of that... we ought to designate a number of large manufacturing areas from which the people would be warned to leave--telling the Japanese that we intend to destroy such centers....

Why was the bomb used? The conventional view, of course, is that it was to save as many lives as possible. But if this is so, several historians now ask, why did President Truman and his chief adviser Secretary of State James Byrnes make it harder for Japan to surrender? Specifically, why did they remove assurances for the Japanese emperor from the July 1945 Potsdam Proclamation warning Japan to surrender? The assurances were strongly recommended by U.S. and British military leaders, and removing them, they knew, would make it all but impossible for Japan to end the war.

A traditional theory has been that the President feared political criticism if he provided assurances to the emperor. But, other historians note, leading Republicans were fornot againstclarifying the terms to achieve a surrender, and were calling for this publicly. Moreover, American leaders always knew the emperor would be needed to order a surrenderand, of course, in the end they did agree to an understanding which allowed such assurances: Japan still has an emperor.

Hasegawa believes the assurances were taken out of the Potsdam Proclamation precisely because American leaders wanted to have the warning rejected so as to justify the bombingand, further, that they saw the bomb as a way to end the war before Russia could join the fighting. There is other evidence suggesting that policy makers, especially Secretary of State Byrnes, wanted to use the bomb to make the Russians more manageable in Europe--as he told one scientist.

(Full disclosure: My own viewas one of the historians involved in the debate--is that the bombings were unnecessary and that American policy makers were advised at the time that a combination of assurances for the emperor plus the forthcoming Russian declaration of war would likely bring about surrender in the three months available before the invasion could begin. I also believe the evidence is strong, but not conclusive, that American leaders saw the bomb above all as a way to impress the Russians and also as a way to end the war before the Red Army got very far into Manchuria.)

Why are historians still struggling over these issues? One reason is that few nations find it easy to come to terms with questionable actions in their past. Nor is this a simple left-right debate. In recent years liberals have been critical of the decision. At the time The Nation magazine defended the bombing while many conservative publications criticized itincluding Human Events, and later, the National Review. The use of the atomic bomb, with its indiscriminate killing of women and children, revolts my soul," former President Herbert Hoover wrote to a friend.

One of the most important reasons the issues dont seem to get resolved has to do with the historical record. The fact is most discussions concerning the decision to use the atomic bomb were simply not recorded. Not only were such matters handled in an extremely secretive manner, they were largely handled outside the normal chain of command. There is also evidence of the manipulation of some documents and of missing documents in certain casesand in some instances, evidence that documents were destroyed.

Perhaps one day we will know more and the long debate over Hiroshima will come to an end. We are unlikely, I think, to discover new official sources. However, a new generation of scholars may well be able to ferret out diaries, letters, or additional personal papers in the attics or basements of descendants of some of the men involved. An even more interesting possibility is that the Presidents daughter Margaret will one day donate additional papers to the Truman Library. (In her own writing Margaret reports details which seem clearly to be based on documentary sources. However, she has so far refused to respond to inquiries from historians asking for access to these.) A third possibility is that if, as some believe, the Soviets bugged the Truman villa near Potsdam, Germany (or the villas of other American or British officials who were there for the July 1945 meetings just before the bombings), there may be tapes or transcriptions of some key conversations in NKVD or other files in the Russian archives.

Gar Alperovitz, Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland is the author of Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam and of The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb.

source...
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0803-26.htm
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eyepaddle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #117
121. delete
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 02:55 PM by eyepaddle
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eyepaddle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #117
124. Delete
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 02:56 PM by eyepaddle
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eyepaddle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #117
140. Okay, I'll 86 mine as well.
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ShamelessHussy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #140
147. Thank You
I am an xUSN Pilot Rescue Swimmer who comes from a long line of Americans who have served in every major war in the 20th century and I happen to agree with our military leaders who were there at the time... Japan was defeated and looking to surrender so to nuke them twice was wrong.

As an American, I was not taught to kick someone when they are already down, in fact it even saved my stripes one time.

I say this just to let you know that I am interested in this debate not to stir the pot but to share information and opinions that are not widely discussed in our country though I feel very strongly that this debate needs to take place, with respect to all sides.

:hi:

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indypaul Donating Member (896 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
106. How about a dose of reality on this matter?
One can hardly ignore the efforts being made by both
Germany and Japan at that time to secure an atomic
weapon for their use. The fact remains we got there
first. Through a Herculean effort and the assistance
of some of the greatest minds known to man at that time.
Had either of our enemies secured such a weapon I feel
they would not have hesitated one minute to make full use
of it. We may never really know just how close they were
to securing same and what terrible consequences may have
developed. We can only second guess those who made the
decision but make it they did and it did accomplish the
end of the most terrible war yet known to mankind. As for
the respect of civilian populations ask the people of Nanking,
Amsterdam, Warsaw or even London about this matter. Don't take
the utterance of words made by persons 20 years after the fact
and were NOT in the position to make that decision.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
108. Never heard of this before. Thank you for posting it.
Recommend.
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JPZenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
109. I wish we had hit a military target ... once
I believe the Japanese would not have surrendered without use of the nuclear bomb. However, I wish it had been used on a more military target, vs. cities, and I wish it would have only been used once. We didn't give the Japanese enough time to respond before the second one was used. We also should have told them in advance they could have kept their emperor, which would have made surrender easier.

The stupidest thing FDR ever said was to demand "unconditional" surrender. He didn't clear it with the allies before he said it. That prolonged the war and cost millions of lives.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #109
120. FDR demanded no such thing. The Potsdam declaration did (and it was limited to military).
The Potsdam unconditional surrender only applied to military aspects of the treaty.

"We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction."

Despite the treaty having lots of conditions (emperor, war crimes, return territory, etc) the only time unconditional was used was in the sentence above.

Of course even Japan knew that.

While serving as Japan's ambassador to Switzerland, Shunichi Kase advised his government about the Potsdam Declaration which demanded the surrender of Japan. On July 27, 1945, Kase observed that unconditional surrender applied only to the military and not to the government or the people, and he pleaded that it should be understood that the careful language of Potsdam appeared "to have occasioned a great deal of thought" on the part of the signatory governments"they seem to have taken pains to save face for us on various points."<3> Nevertheless, Japan rejected the Potsdam Declaration, and soon thereafter atomic bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Then, on August 10, 1945, the Japanese Cabinet and Supreme Council voted unanimously to surrender, provided that the Emperor would remain in place. The announcement of the decision was dispatched to the United States and China through Shunichi Kase. Great Britain and the Soviet Union were notified through Japan's ambassador to Sweden.<4>

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

Of course Japan knew the US was willing to provide concessions on this point within limits (the Potsdam declaration doesn't specifically mention the emperor):

US response to inquiry by Japanese about Emperor:
From the moment of surrender the authority of the Emperor and the Japanese government to rule the state shall be subject to the Supreme Commander of the Allied powers who will take such steps as he deems proper to effectuate the surrender terms. ...The ultimate form of government of Japan shall, in accordance with the Potsdam Declaration, be established by the freely expressed will of the Japanese people.

Even with this Japan endured 3 more days of bombing by US bombers (which combined had more explosive yield than either Little Boy or Fat Man) and waiting for Russia to enter the war before the Emperor decided Japan must surrender.

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JPZenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #120
149. You are wrong - FDR Speech at Casablanca 1943
The opinion I expressed is widely shared by historians.

"At about noon on January 24, 1943, at the conclusion of the
Casablanca Conference President Franklin Roosevelt spoke for
about fifteen minutes before a press conference attended by
correspondents and photographers. After summarizing the decisions of the conference he added that he and Prime Minister Churchill "were determined to accept nothing less than the unconditional surrender of Germany, Japan, and Italy."

This statement was widely reported throughout the world, and had nothing to do with Potsdam.

http://www.archive.org/stream/unconditionalsur000259mbp...

Please check your sources before you criticize.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #149
152. And that vauge statement was codified by the Allies in Potsdam.
Which clearly indicated the "unconditional" applied to military.

Japan was aware of this, Allies were aware of this. Japan's diplomat even clearly is quoted as realizing the context was ONLY to the military.
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #109
213. I hate to tell you this

But even though it might have saved lives, it might have changed fewer minds.

We look back and have arguments about the bomb. The Japanese still do not admit they did anything wrong in world war 2.

Shorting the war in the short term may have cost more lives in the long term because more minds would not have seen the destruction that those ideas have.
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
115. If you're at all serious about understanding this subject...
you MUST read Gar Alperovitz' "The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth", (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995)

In particular, you will learn the history of projected casualty figures bandied about in the annual renewal of the debate over dropping the bomb, as well as the ways the actual decision making process diverged from the ones most reasonable people would suppose motivated Truman and his deputies. (Hint: military necessity with respect to the war with Japan was at best a negligible factor.)

I wouldn't say Alperovitz has the last word on the subject, and the book is rather repetitious in places, but if you believe the use of the atomic bomb was justified apart from whatever role it may have played in affecting relations with the Soviet Union you really do need to encounter the evidence and arguments Alperovitz provides. I used to subscribe to the version of conventional wisdom that refuses to find fault with the decision to use the bomb given the savagery of the Pacific fighting and the likely death toll (Allied AND Japanese) associated with ending the war via invasion or blockade, but now find that thinking untenable.
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kgnu_fan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #115
129. so much to learn about our history
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #115
214. conventional wisdom isn't always wrong.
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #214
220. I agree, but it must be examined
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
127. They said it after the fact for good PR.
The bombs were the right decision. As the descendant of two grandfathers who would have fought in Operation Olympic, I say they used the best card in a shitty hand.

Japan was not defeated until they signed the surrender documents. They wanted to keep their Imperial system of government and Korea. They wanted to deal but we were only going to accept unconditional surrender.
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #127
144. the key card was one that had nothing to do with the bomb
As others have noted, surrender was not immediate upon entry of the Soviets into the fray, or the bombing of Hiroshima. As those who think the bombing was the right move correctly note, the Japanese had proven themselves willing to fight suicidally and exact a heavy toll against overwhelming odds.

But Japan's military laid down arms not out of what we'd now call "shock and awe" over the bomb, but because the Emperor commanded it. And this was only possible because the Allies agreed to allow retention of the Emperor. This assurance was logically distinct from every other factor that doomed Japan in the war - the bomb, the Soviet attack, an invasion.

Assurances for the Emperor's position could have been offered at any time after the defeat of Japan was assured - months before August 1945. This would have removed the trump card of Japan's militarists. This did not happen until after the bombings, and surrender did not occur before this happened.

Olympic could not have taken place earlier than November, 1945. That means at least 2 months for blockade, the Soviet assault and diplomacy to make an impression on Japan's leaders before American forces would again be engaged in heavy fighting. And the bomb could still have been dropped, on a city if necessary, before loading up landing craft and sailing for the home islands.

I don't blame vets slated for further fighting one bit for feeling incredibly relieved at the news of war's end, nor for chalking that up to the bombs. But simply because an explanation is satisfying doesn't mean it reflects the historical decision-making process. I believe much the same thing you did for most of my life, but it turns out the simple "the bomb ended the war and saved lives" picture doesn't stand up to close scrutiny.
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #144
211. Hirohito's decision to surrender 6 days later

was just a coincidence.

How opportune!
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Politicalboi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
135. We can all debate surrender
But we didn't have to bomb them like that. We could have done it another way. Nothing compares to what we did to them. Japan was just unlucky for being an Island. Pearl Harbor and 9/11 have a lot in common. Some people think FDR had prior knowledge to Pearl Harbor. Some like myself think 9/11 was a power grab, and a reason to go to war. Japan, a reason to test the full result of our new toy, and a power grab, and another reason to go to war. A governments win win situation.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #135
136. "Some" are idiots. n/t
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kiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #135
193. "Japan was just unlucky for being an island"
And so it was OK for them to invade Manchuria, bomb Pearl Harbor, and rape and kill their way across Asia because the Japanese lived on an island? Maybe you should spend more time studying history and less time on tinfoil hat websites.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 06:33 AM
Response to Reply #135
292. FDR had no prior knowledge
of the Pearl Harbor attack. Our military intelligence knew full well that action was likely but an attack on the Philippines was considered far more likely. Who would have thought the Japanese would come halfway across the Pacific to launch a surprise attack?
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Stand and Fight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
145. Wow....
I had never heard this before. Certainly an eye-opener and thank you for posting it.
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newinnm Donating Member (323 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
148. The A bomb was a crime against humanity.
The mass slaughter of civilians was a war crime. Truman, Henry Stimson and Marshall should have been indicted and prosecuted for war crimes.

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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #148
155. How do you think the U.S. should have ended the war?
Continued conventional strategic bombing?

Blockade and starve Japan into submission?

Invasion?

Some combination of the above?

Or, should we just have set sail for home, and allowed Japan to retain its government, military, and conquered territories?
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #148
208. and so should the Japanese and Germans

Your playing the game of who was better. Do you think we would have gotten such good deals under the rule of NAZI Germany or fascist Japan?

Rape of nanking
bataan death march.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #148
258. As should be FDR. The vast destruction
in German and Japan occured during his tenure as President of the United States. He was party to the strategic bombing campaigns in both Europe and Asia.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
157. Whether they were ready to surrender or not, they had lost their offensive capability.
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 03:40 PM by rug
The war was already over.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #157
168. So...what should we have done in August of 1945? n/t
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #168
177. I answered this in the other thread you're in.
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #168
181. We should have told them we wouldn't hang the Emperor
Which could have been done at least as early as June 1945 after the fall of Okinawa.

From there, there's a good chance they would have simply given up... that assurance plus Soviet entry probably would have sufficed; historically, we got Soviet entry and the A bomb almost simultaneously, so it's impossible to say which carried more weight.

Failing that, we had several months before the next major commitment of US troops to major combat. We could have dropped the bomb in October just as easily as August if all we were interested in was ending the war with Japan. We'd pretty much run out of targets to bomb in Japan by then, so most of the civilian dying in Japan would be done not at the hands of conventional bombs but through starvation. Would that have equaled the toll from Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I genuinely do not know...

But what we were really trying to do, after we knew the bomb worked, was KO Japan without the Soviets being able to claim too large a share of the kill, as well as boost our diplomatic power in the developing struggle over the shape of postwar Europe (both instances of cold yet at least defensible realpolitik). Both those goals required use ASAP, which was early August.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #181
184. "there's a good chance they would have simply given up"
Which campaign in the war lends support to that contention?
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #184
195. That's a bit of a non-sequitur
The fact is that Japan was sending out all sorts of peace feelers. Every war has a final battle; why not Okinawa? Germany fought to the bitter end; France sued for peace shortly after Paris fell; Italy gave up before the fall of Rome. There's no hard and fast rule one can draw on as to when a nation will sue for peace, as every war and every warfighting nation is different.

In the case of Japan by mid-1945, there was essentially zero capability to do anything beyond extract casualties from the Allies. The question was simply how long it would take and how many would die how. It's exceptionally clear what factors drove Japan to continue a hopeless fight. A key factor was the militarists' need to justify, if not maintain, their hold on power. And the only tool they had for this was the claim to fight for the Emperor. Clarifying that a surrender that preserves the Emperor as a figurehead would be acceptable would have vitiated the most powerful argument for continuing the struggle. Certainly many in Japan would be reluctant to trust the future of the Chrysanthemum Throne to the word of the West, but at least the demand for "unconditional surrender" would no longer serve to provoke so much fighting spirit on the part of the Japanese. A clear assurance for the Emperor would have altered the power balance among the ruling clique, perhaps decisively.

I never claimed there was a 100% chance of this inducing surrender, or even a 50% chance. But a 50% chance is not at all implausible, and even a 10% chance looks pretty good against a few hundred thousand civilians killed in atomic bombings. If we'd done that much in June 1945, there would not be nearly as much debate today over incinerating cvilians in August 1945.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #195
201. Asking you to support your own statement is a non sequitur?
The fact is that Japan was sending out all sorts of peace feelers.

None by anyone that actually controlled the goverment or the military. And "peace feelers" seeking a negotiated armistice are a far cry from surrender, as I'm sure you're aware. Unless you think that allowing Japan to keep its government and military intact and allowing them to retain conquered territories was an acceptable form of armistice, there isn't any indication from the historical record that the high command would have accepted a "surrender" on anything approaching acceptable terms.
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #201
217. You didn't simply ask me to support my statement
The non-sequitur lay in asking me to support my statement in a patently impossible fashion.

The actual surrender is the best evidence that Japan was able to accept surrender on acceptable terms, unless you deem the actual surrender as unacceptable. What evidence have you that the best, let alone only, way to achieve that surrender involved atomic bombing of cities in early August 1945? My point is simply that, if you set aside Soviet relations, there was no reason to hurry because the invasion was months away, and a lot could have happened in that time.

I do not recall immediately exactly which officials made which contacts, but they were not made by low-level functionaries simply freelancing. Even when there was the last-ditch attempt to prevent the airing of the Emperor's broadcast it was not something the high command uniformly supported; there were definitely factions. The unconditional surrender demand always gave the hardline faction the upper hand politically. It only stands to reason that knocking out this external factor could only strengthen the hand of those looking for a way out.
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #181
215. "there's a good chance they would have simply given up"
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 06:52 PM by Confusious
Which understanding of Japanese society at the time supports that conclusion?

These are the same people who would commit suicide if they failed.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #168
262. Continued to make war on the Empire of Japan until they
accepted the terms of the Postdam accords.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #157
178. Yeah and a lot of territory was under Japanese control territory like China where...
most people aren't even aware Japan killed over 18 million civilians. 18 million and they were still in control of it at the end of the war.

Japan ability to act defensively would ensure 100 million people would be living under Imperial overlords who consider them sub-human.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #178
180. And Bush kept saying he liberated 50,000,000 people.
I don't buy that argument.

Besides, the USSR was about to liberate Manchuria, which is one of the underlying reasons for the U.S to accelerate the end of the war.
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
174. I'm with Ike.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #174
183. So instead of using the bombs, we should have ended the war using "conventional" means.
Do you think that would have resulted in a lower body count?
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #183
197. What did I just say? I agree with Ike. Therein lies your answer.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #197
203. Well, Ike thought we should have won the war using "conventional" methods.
He thought that we should have blockaded the home islands, continued conventional bombing, and if we were unable to starve them into submission, invade with an enormous amphibious assault force.
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #203
210. I'm typing this so I'm pretty sure I don't stutter in text.
Yes, I comprehended the OP.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #210
219. Nope, you didn't stutter.
Just out of curiosity, though, how many people do you think would have died had the war continued using conventional methods until Japan surrendered?
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #219
223. Four billion?
Maybe you'll get the hint now that this conversation is over?
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #223
241. If you think being unpleasant is somehow necesary, I'd ask you to reconsider.
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 07:48 PM by Raskolnik
I asked a question. If you don't feel comfortable answering, you don't have to.

Have a nice evening.
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #241
252. You're right that was unecessary of me.
Sorry, just been having an unpleasant day. You just happened to get in the line of fire.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #252
253. No worries.
It's possible that once or twice I may have not been the model of charity and light you see today. Hope your day gets better.
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #253
317. Au contaire. Your posts have been quite the model of clarity and light,
all very informative and I've enjoyed following your argument. You're definitely a pitbull but a gracious one.
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Arkana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
186. The decision to drop the bomb is probably one of the most contested in American history.
I honestly don't know. If the reports of projected American casualties are accurate, we saved a lot of American lives by doing it--but we opened up a can of worms that would haunt us for the next fifty years. Without the bomb, would the Cold War have been as terrifying as it was?
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
212. I guess we should have just continued the conventional firebombing campaign.
That would have been so much better. War is hell and woe to the motherfuckers that start one.

If you were one of the infantrymen waiting to assault the home islands, you would be DAMN GLAD we dropped the bomb.
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #212
218. My grandfather was.

and so am I!
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #212
225. That's right
My father's father would have been in the dirt in that invasion and my mother's father would have been dodging Kamikaze plane on the carrier he was stationed on. They both approved of the decision to drop the bomb.
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
224. I appreciate the arguments pro-bombing
and a year ago I would have agreed with 90% of them. But in the intervening year I've actually read some details of the history of the decision and, confronted by evidence, now regard it as much more questionable.

All I ask is that you, if you are interested in the truth, do the same with an open mind. Yes, quotes from generals and admirals saying we shouldn't have done it do not, by themselves, prove much of anything. But it's an equally shallow tactic to toss out casualty estimates for an invasion that never happened and might never have happened and cite the perfectly understandable relief of those who expected to die in that invasion and consider that to settle the matter.

And I am well-aware of the savagery of Japan's war machine and their aversion to surrender as soldiers. But surrender as a nation was never about the warrior code; the Japanese soldiers and sailors knew how to take an order, and it was the word of the Emperor - and his word alone - that could end the war. The high command was a political beast and not a suicidal monolith. The justification of a decision depends on the alternatives available, and to assert that the only options available to the US in mid-1945 were dropping the bombs on cities ASAP and a bloody invasion is simply false.

The only way to end the fighting was by order from the Emperor; I suspect that had we not assured his position we in fact would have either invaded Japan or dropped more fission bombs or both. The crucial act was not the bombing, it was the assurance that we would not hand the Emperor as a war criminal. Had we never done so we would have been fighting in Japan and also on the Asian mainland for months or years to come, rooting out pockets of resistance as we had to on island after bloody island. Because Soviet entry and the bombings were essentially simultaneous, there's no reason to conclude the bombs alone did the trick. Maybe both shocks were required; but we knew when the Soviets were going to join the fight against Japan. We could have waited a few weeks to drop the bombs IF the chief concern was bringing the war to an end well before an invasion.
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
226. Who cares?
Neither Ike or Leahy had the advantage of hindsight that we do today. Their comments were made in light of the Cold War and the threat of nuclear apocolypse. Either way, I think it's funny that Leahy says that "wars cannot be won by killing women and children" but that is exactly what we were doing with conventional bombings and the blockade etc. etc.

Just because Ike's opinion is different doesn't mean it's not wrong. The "scourge" of the atomic bombs is waaaay overplayed. Many, many, many more civilians died from conventional bombing and of course don't forget the Japanese slaughtering millions throughout China, something that gets less report than Nagasaki or Hiroshima. It was a total war and not out of the ordinary.
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
231. If some nation did it today, we would call it a war crime, even genocide...
But because it was done during the 'right war', and done by 'the great liberator' the USA, it is seen as a good thing. The dropping of the bomb was nothing else but a warning to the Soviet Union to stay out of there. If I had my way, Truman would have been held accountable and prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #231
236. Are you joking?
How about the firebombing of Tokyo? Or the bombing of Dresden? The atomic bombs killing civilians was nothing new in that war. It was a total war and you really can't apply any kind of morality to it. With your standards, every single world leader should have been prosecuted for war crimes.
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #236
237. Then let's have them all prosecuted! I'm not against that.
The bombing of Dresden was another war crime, yes, thank you for adding that one to the list. I don't know much about the firebombing of Tokyo, but somehow I suspect this is just an effort of yours to change the topic away from Hiroshima.
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #237
242. No, it's very directly related...
considering that they both were massive bombings of civilian populations.

It just seems rather starry-eyed of you to think that in a war of the proportions of WW2 and as high as the stakes were that it's a real shock that civilians were killed as part of the war effort. No civilian was considered innocent. Those same civilians made the war machine keep churning.
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #242
243. And your just a war crimes apologist who wants to rationalize it all away.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #243
248. How do you think the U.S. should have ended the war with Japan?
Continued conventional bombing? (that had already killed hundreds of thousands and would have killed several hundred thousand more had it continued)

Blockade? (which would starve the Japanese into submission)

Invasion? (which would have been remarkably bloody by even the most cautious estimates)

Pack up and go home? (leaving the Japanese government and military intact, as well as Japan in control of large amounts of Korea and China)
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #248
250. I'm not getting into this subject-changing non-discussion again.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #250
251. Because it demonstrates that, as horrible an option as the bombs were,
the other options were likely a damn sight more horrible. Which doesn't fit too well with your argument, so you choose to ignore it.
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #251
329. The 'what if'-scenario is simply not relevant to this discussion.
The debate was over whether or not the dropping of the A-bomb was a war crime. The 'alternative' is not relevant to that discussion, because 'the alternative' is not known. We can guess about it, speculate about it, we can have historians and military experts voice their predictions, but the fact of the matter is: we don't know what would have happened, because it never *did* happen. What *did* happen, though, was the dropping of the A-bomb and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, the total destruction of an entire city, and thousands of deaths in the generations that came after them because of the radiation. If that *isn't* a war crime, I would like to know what *is*.
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Raskolnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #329
333. Nonsense. If you don't examine an act in its context, you cannot intelligently examine it.
The alternatives available to the U.S. in 1945 *are* that context.
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #333
336. The alternative, or the context, is not an excuse for a war crime.
Even if the alternative, having the soldiers do an invasion of the Japanese main land, would have cost many more lives, that *still* doesn't make dropping the A-bomb 'the right thing to do'. There are always casualties in a war. There would have been more (or so they say), but it would be acceptable because it would be a part of the war. But dropping a bomb on a city full of civilians (women, children, elderly) is a cowardly act. And it *would* be deemed a war crime today, even 'in context'.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 06:40 AM
Response to Reply #237
293. The estimate is
that 250,000 lost their lives in the Tokyo fire bombing. Considerably more than the combined Nuclear attacks.
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Parche Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 09:20 PM
Response to Original message
261. If One American was saved, then it was worth it
But we know that more then 10,000 POW's were saved, so yes it was worth it

Dick Okane was saved, Pappy Boyington was saved, so yes it was worth it

:hi:
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ControlledDemolition Donating Member (901 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #261
264. So why then subsequently start bogus war upon bogus war? n/t
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Parche Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #264
328. that was NOT a bogus war
it was a real war
against a real enemy
the Japanese were ruthless at the time
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ControlledDemolition Donating Member (901 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #328
335. When you look at who financed Hitler in the first place...
... however, I agree, once Adolf Hitler really got going it was a good thing that he was stopped.

Knowing what I know about Operation Paperclip, and Gehlen's NAZI network being absorbed by the CIA near its inception, I have come to the conclusion that the Germans lost the war, and the Nazis won!
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Kaleva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
263. Fire bombing civilians was more humane & civilized
Dead is dead.
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frogcycle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
266. It had little to do with Japan
It was all about Truman showing Stalin we had it. The Cold War was well under way long before WWII was over, and Stalin had pushed an ailing FDR around. Truman knew nothing of the bomb until FDR died, probably did not actually comprehend it. He was the new kid on the block in the pushing and shoving with Stalin. The Japanese were "collateral damage" in the Cold War.
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italian_progressive Donating Member (8 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 05:27 AM
Response to Reply #266
288. Absolutely so.
As far I know, it was strategically necessary just for confrontation with USSR.
THe Allies had planned that USSR would have invaded Manchuria on 8th August 1945 and USA wanted to "win" before the Red Army arrived.
It was a pure choice of chess. No humanitarian choice.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
267. And what about the firebombing of Germany and Japan in the closing months of WWII?
Far more civilian lives were lost and yet that 'tactic' of burning out the cities and infrastructure of our enemies was not considered as heinous as the A-Bomb. I personally the firebombings were completely unnecessary and were simply done as revenge and punishment against the enemy by striking the civilians who were not part of their government's war machine.

http://www.bookmice.net/darkchilde/japan/fire.html

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,5819...

http://www.pr-inside.com/dresden-bombing-the-world-s-re...
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Faryn Balyncd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #267
273. Ike might have come to agree with you:
Edited on Fri Aug-07-09 12:06 AM by Faryn Balyncd



His son, Maj. John David Eisenhower, writing in the International Herald Tribune upon the 60th anniversary of D-Day, reflected on the emotional changes in his father as a consequence of his war experiences.

While the original link is no longer active, John Eisenhower's entire article is archived by the Wayback Machine at
http://web.archive.org/web/20040625124431/http://www.ih...

Although not without hyperbole, it makes an interesting read:






.....The experience of that 11-month campaign, plus Ike's later service as the first military commander of NATO six years later, produced profound effects on him, changing some of his convictions and confirming others. I would like to list some of them, not in the abstract but by the evidence of his later actions.

The most fundamental conviction that the period of Ike's command in Europe and the Mediterranean imprinted on his mind was the cruelty, wastefulness and stupidity of war. He saw at firsthand how war destroyed cities, killed innocent people (in which I include most of the participating soldiers), wiped out national economies and tore up the structure of civilizations. Its wastefulness cut him to the bone, and its specter never left him. As a result, as president he kept the military budget as small as was consistent with the safety of the nation. He expressed his convictions eloquently in April 1953, about three months after his inauguration as the 34th president of the United States:

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

"The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

"It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.

"It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.

"We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed 8,000 people."

Not surprisingly, the war that included D-Day had made a pacifist of the man who bore the responsibility, its supreme commander......



.....



Ike totally disapproved of "preventive war," and that conviction was put to the test early in his presidency. Some time in the early 1950s the Soviet development of the hydrogen bomb and the means to deliver it caused many Americans, some of Ike's advisers among them, to advocate launching a preemptive strike against the Soviet Union while the United States still enjoyed a preponderance of atomic power and the means of delivering atomic weapons. It would be preferable, these people argued, to remove the Soviet weapons of mass destruction. No legal or moral justification was required. A few million Americans would be killed, of course, but a far fewer number than if we waited and allowed the "Evil Empire" (not Ike's term) to strike first.

Ike would have none of it. Throughout his presidency he combined a policy of maintaining a military deterrent to war while at the same time extending the hand of friendship. The uneasy peace between the United States and the Soviet Union - the cold war - continued for nearly 50 years. It was expensive and it was dangerous, but civilization survived.

A less apocalyptic event demonstrated to the world that Ike's rejection of force as an instrument of national policy applied to everyone - to America, to America's friends, as well as to America's potential enemies. In the later months of 1956, in the midst of a presidential election, Britain, France and Israel, two of them NATO allies, launched an attack against Egypt's Gamal Abdul Nasser after his seizure of the Suez Canal. The Egyptian action, admittedly, had been an international headache, but Ike refused to condone the use of force, even by his friends. He sponsored a vote of censure in the United Nations, and the governments of those three countries, under the pressure of world opinion, withdrew their forces.

This action on Ike's part did not imply rancor against the offenders. It was simply an expression of principle. This he demonstrated in the immediate aftermath of the episode. In the course of the brief fighting, Nasser had sunk ships enough to close down the Suez Canal. Ike and his experts immediately sat down to plan ways to ensure at least a minimum supply of heating oil to bring Western Europe through the winter of 1956-57.


http://web.archive.org/web/20040625124431/http://www.ih...









The burden of responsibility was reflected in the note Ike kept in his pocket, for release should the invssion at Normandy go badly:




....So Ike went among the men on the eve of battle, shaking hands, looking them in the eye, exchanging words of encouragement. Privately, back at his quarters, he wrote a note to be released in case the landings went badly. Eisenhower wrote in his own hand that "any blame or fault . . . is mine alone."

His anxiety was such that he mis-dated the note "July 5." And at one point, he remarked to his assistant, "I hope to God I know what I'm doing."

http://www.backcountrynotes.com/frontpage-blog/2009/6/6...















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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
269. It would never have been dropped on a "Caucasian/European" country..
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #269
313. Plans were in the works to drop it on Germany and Americans certainly
wouldn't have thought twice to drop it on Russia during the Cold War.
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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
270. I remember seeing a documentary on World War II regarding this sordid episode
I believe it was called "World at War", which I was forced to watch because one of my parents had lived through WWII, and had survived Auschwitz before coming to America.

It stated very clearly that Japan was seeking a resolution through Stalin in order to save face. Stalin agreed to pass the communications to America, but Truman had boasted about this superweapon that America now possessed to Stalin, and Stalin called his bluff in order to see if power of the weapon was for real. Stalin knew of the weapon, but didn't know its capability.

I have no doubt that Stalin was cruel enough to do this, so I think that if America had just waited a bit, Japan would have capitulated in time.

It's not like they were a threat at that point in the war, but Truman had boasted about his new Bomb and was committed to its use.

When Stalin got a chance to see the results of the new Atomic bomb, Stalin now had reason to withdraw and protect himself, which began the Cold War.

Don't look now, but Bush and Cheney just spent a crap load on Nuclear technology and upgrades in the last 8 years, so nukes are not out of the picture by any means.

We had nukes flown across country and left hanging on the aircraft unguarded for several hours by accident back in 2007. Air Force investigates mistaken transport of nuclear warheads, yet this was one of the Dissappeared News items of 2007.

It makes me sick to think of the ineptitude that dwells within the Government Military system these days.
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ChimpersMcSmirkers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
274. Not so sure. We dropped one bomb on them and waited three days for them to surrender.
Instead we got crickets. Only after dropping the second one did they surrender.
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thread-bear Donating Member (58 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
275. A biography of Ike I read agrees with S.H.
For what it's worth, I remember reading a biography of Ike that said he was very angry at the use of the bomb,that he was in negotiations with the Japanese,and they had only one condition for surrender.
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ingac70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 01:07 AM
Response to Original message
276. Ugh.
"The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had 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." - William Leahy, I Was There, pg. 441.

Oh yes, carpet bombing was MUCH more humane.


:eyes:
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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 01:19 AM
Response to Original message
277. I have always
wondered what would have happened had the bombs not been dropped on Japan. People, you have to remember war is absurd. There is nothing well planned and well thought out about. In a war like WWII, it was especially unpredictable. This wasn't the olden days where you lined your men up in columns, one side fired then the other had a go, then we'd stop for tea, that we'd start up again. Hell No. This was a chaotic onslaught of novel killing weapons and untold destruction never before seen in history. The belligerents had to roll with the punches in order to stay afloat and eventually gain the upper hand.

The bomb was an unavoidable peculiarity. In 1939, FDR gets a letter from Einstein informing him that the Germans are working on an atomic like bomb that could vaporize an entire city. What were we to do, sit on our hands and wait and see. No, we took the advice of the world's foremost scientific authority, and undertook one of the most expensive, incredibly complex, and highly secret project to build such a bomb, if at all possible. In 1945, that question was answered. In the end, it was a seemingly unavoidable occurrence begun in the early 20th century with more understanding of nuclear physics etc. It was an unavoidable result of science and discovery, which more often than none results in good for humanity, but can sometimes result, as we saw with the bomb, in very bad course of history altering events. The bomb was going to be created and it was going to be dropped. The unfortunate targets ended up being Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

It could have just as easily been Moscow, Paris, London, or even New York City had the course of the war and thus history been tweaked just a little. The way everything played out, the Allies, not the Nazis, had the bomb. A cold war was going to happen along with an arms race. The tech for these bombs could never stay secret. The Russians would eventually get it, then the French, and the Brits, and so on. It just so happens that the aftermath of what happened to those two cities in Japan scared the utter crap out of everyone. There is a reason why we never dropped nukes on the Soviets nor did they us (although we did come stupidly close a few occasions) But if it had happened, it would have been because of a stupid mistake or miscommunication (a very scary thought) and not some calculated act by NATO or the Warsaw Pact. Nobody wanted the horrors that befell Japan to happen to them. It would spell the end of the world.

It is very easy for us to look back at this momentous event from a position of moral superiority. Like they say, hindsight is always 20/20. The dropping of the atomic bombs were an evil act. But was such an act a necessary evil? That is the debatable point. What is important to remember is that this event was a very important lesson for future generations, a grim yet important warning about the danger that the mind of men can release.

What really frightens me is nuclear weapons falling into the hands of some rogue state or terrorist organization who see such weapons as a veritable sword of god, to be used to smight the "enemy" even if it means killing the world in the process. Unlike the Soviets, people like that fear no death.
After the war, we hoped the United Nations could bring eternal peace. Technically, we did succeed in peace from traditional war as we knew it. With the advent of a tighter European community and networks like NATO, the chances of war breaking out between such states and us are slim to nill, as with most other major industrial nations. On this end, we did achieve peace. However, what we didn't consider was the developing world as a potential threat to stability. We shrugged them off as former colonies, protectorates, and puppet states. Now it is nations like these (India, Pakistan, Iran, etc) that pose a threat that we never conceived some 60 years ago.


Wow, did I rabble on or what?
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #277
314.  Well said. Excellent post. Your comment that an important factor to consider
about the war was its chaotic unpredictability is right on the mark.
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 02:07 AM
Response to Original message
280. We just wanted to see what the effect would be on a city full of civilian targets.
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johan helge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 03:40 AM
Response to Original message
281. The War Department's own study: The atomic bombs were unnecessary
Edited on Fri Aug-07-09 03:42 AM by johan helge
The United States Strategic Bombing Survey was established by the Secretary of War in 1944 (http://www.anesi.com/ussbs01.htm ). John Kenneth Galbraith was a leading member.

From Galbraith's autobiography "A Life in Our Times" (p. 232):

"Nor were the atomic bombs decisive. It has long been held in justification
that they made unnecessary an invasion of the Japanese mainland and thus
saved the resulting fighting and thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands,
of casualties on both sides. On few matters is the adverse evidence so
strong. The bombs fell after the decision had been taken by the Japanese
government to surrender. That the war had to be ended was agreed at a
meeting of key members of the Supreme War Direction Council with the Emperor
on June 20, 1945, a full six weeks before the devastation of Hiroshima. The
next steps took time. The Japanese government had the usual bureaucratic
lags as between decision and action. The means for approaching the Allies
had also to be agreed. And there was need to ensure the acquiescence or
neutralization of recalcitrant and suicidal officers and military units. At
the most the atomic bombs only advanced the decision.

The effect of the bombs on the Japanese surrender was the subject of
especially careful study by the Survey. The conclusion was as follows
(Summary Report (Pacific War), United States Strategic
Bombing Survey, Chairman's Office, July 1, 1946, p. 26 - and "Japan's
Struggle to End the War", United States Strategic Bombing Survey,
Chairman's Office, July 1, 1946, p. 13):

"Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the
testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's
opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability
prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic
bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even
if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

I had no part in writing this conclusion."
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Hobarticus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 07:21 AM
Response to Reply #281
298. Written in 1946....hindsight RAWKS!!!
Too bad they hadn't invented a time machine yet so they could go back and undrop the bomb, knowing what they knew almost a year later.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 04:44 AM
Response to Original message
284. There was resistance within
the ranks for surrender even after the bombs were dropped. And incendiaries dropped on Tokyo killed far more than both nukes combined yet they had NO intention of surrendering in the aftermath.
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bread_and_roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
300. These bombs were a war crime, plain and simple, just as we are committing war crimes today in
Afghanistan and did in Iraq. All people have to do is think what they'd be saying if Japan had dropped those bombs on NY and SF - because it was militarily advantageous. Slaughtering children is ethically indefensible.
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #300
310. War sucks, total war is worse..
however the use of the atomic bombs ended the war and saved millions of lives, both american and japanese. All else is revisionist horse shit.
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bread_and_roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #310
320. "lives saved" is speculation, and the issue is deliberate slaughter of non-combatants
the term I should have used is "crime against humanity" I suppose - since to the victors go the right to define war crimes. London the same. Dresden the same. Certainly the crimes of the Japanese against the Chinese and others the same. Deliberate slaughter is deliberate slaughter. All else is justification for acts that quite properly strike horror into any normal human being, ie, the deliberate slaughter of children, the old, the sick.

I am wondering - what were the initial reactions in the Press/politicians etc. when Germany first started bombing London?
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 05:07 AM
Response to Reply #310
342. I am sick of all these "war sucks, war is evil, get over it" people. Fallacy of irrelevant premise
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 05:12 AM by Leopolds Ghost
To justify a foreordained conclusion: The most popular form of sophistry.

Millions of lives would have been lost either way, GET OVER IT. Thereby rendering your "war is hell" argument pointless, sophistic, and tautological: a truism that does not demonstrate or refute anything other than "I got no problem with war in general. Lots of things suck, and they don't affect me personally." You guys like to stand back and let things happen. Like Dems are doing with Iraq right now. Letting the war continue. If 18 more American lives were being lost there every month, which thank God they are not, I bet you'd still be upset about our "own little war crime" of invading a country unprovoked, thereby "saving the lives of millions" according to some bullshit alternate reality scenario. which is all that matters to some. Those 18 or so extra lives a month justify someone else being sacrificed to meet your needs.
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #300
316. My issue is not the real tragedy of civilians lives lost but the fact that the bombings
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have obliterated from view the worse atrocities committed by the Japanese against tens of millions of Chinese and Korean civilians. It is terrible irony that the civilian causalities in the country that started the war get more coverage than those who were the victims of Japanese aggression.
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annm4peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
309. thank you for this
I sent my co-workers the reports of Hiroshima and Nagasaki earlier this week, and they forward to their right wing family members... now they are dealing with a whole lot of hate.

this will help with the "you hate the military" crap they always spew.
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jeff30997 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
311. K&R
I totally agree.
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caseymoz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
318. I'm surprised this is even still being discussed in this way.

First, and to say the nuclear bombs reached some new level of criminality that hadn't already been surpassed in WWII is just uninformed and naive, and Eisenhower and Leahy were just playing on ignorance and naivete. To put this in perspective: our firebombing of Japanese cities killed many times the civilians we killed in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. We firebombed 67 cities, and killed over 100,000 people in one bombing of Tokyo alone. General Curtis LeMay, who ran the firebombing operations, said (quoted by his protege Robert McNamara) said that if the US had lost the war they would have stood trial for war crimes. It is impossible to see the nuclear bombings as something morally worse. We probably killed more than a million civilians in those firebombings. (The nukes probably did save two million Japanese lives, simply because another month of two of war would have led to another one or two million casualties from our firebombings. That's not an angle usually taken with that claim.)

Second, when Harry Truman came in, he really knew nothing about what was happening in the war or what the nuclear weapons were. Roosevelt actually regarded Truman as a political enemy and had not briefed on anything. The military advisers around him had no expertise about nuclear weapons, and had little comprehension of what radiation was. One thing about the military brass was, they absolutely despised the Japanese. I find it unlikely that they would have said anything that would have discouraged Truman from using the bomb, and likely that they would have said as much to encourage him as possible. I find Admiral Leahy's statement to be utterly unbelievable without extraordinary evidence, and I believe his account of his "warning" is his effort to keep his name in the history books. Leahy's statement that "Wars could not be won by destroying women and children," totally falsified the strategy we used in his theater to win the war. Probably not under his command, but he was aware of it. Same thing with Eisenhower, and for him, his responsibility was Europe. Did he know anything about Japan, or how it ruthlessly sacrificed thousands of soldiers per one square foot of lava rock? The brass in the Pacific Theater watched how the Japanese sacrificed 26,000 lives at Iwo Jima in March, that's 20,000 Japanese with one thousand of them captured. It was a total of 46,000 casualties for seven square miles of rock and sand. Nothing about that said "ready to surrender." If anything it says "I might be finished, but I'm going to take your sorry ass down, too."

Would Japan have surrendered in another month or two? We simply don't know. However, it isn't fair to judge our people by what they couldn't know at the time, and of course, their interpretations about it are going to be colored by their own emotions as well. Anger and disgust at the Japanese, and frustration at their grim tenacity effected judgment, of course.

America committed atrocities on Japan, but the Germans and the Japanese got into their wars by choice and committed atrocities and crimes against humanity as their opening strategies. What Japan had done in China for over a decade was simply horrifying. Also, it says a lot that after the war any genocidal leanings the US had about Japan quickly dissipated. We could have easily continued to kill them after the war. It didn't happen even though the contempt ran high. That says a lot. Within a three generations there were practically no hard feelings toward the Japanese.





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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
321. Wow, a Republican implying a Democrat as wrong. Where have I heard that before???
And, when one just started in office and there was concern over how the last one died.

Hmm.

This is a good a thing to discuss now with the single option hidden from the table as it was to discuss it then with a murder investigation was being hidden while in progress.
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Faryn Balyncd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #321
322. When Eisenhower met with Sec. of War Stimson in Germany in 1945, he was not a Republican......
Edited on Fri Aug-07-09 03:46 PM by Faryn Balyncd




....Before the 1952 elections, he was, in fact, pursued as a candidate by both parties.





...Eisenhower had been chosen as President of Columbia University in July 1948, giving him a legal residence in New York City. He had been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate since 1945 . Unlike MacArthur, who had actively pursued the Republican presidential nomination since 1936, Eisenhower had shown little interest in politics. It was not even known if he was a Republican or a Democrat.

Some writers have said that Democratic President Harry S. Truman offered to stand aside in favor of Eisenhower at the 1948 presidential election, although Truman always denied this. In the lead-up to the 1952 election, he was pursued as a candidate by both the Democrats and the Republicans. Eisenhower initially refused to run, but was eventually persuaded to allow his name to be put forward for the Republican nomination. He said he chose the Republicans because the Democrats had been in office for 20 years and the country needed a change....


http://www.usa-presidents.info/eisenhower.htm








(And it's probably no coincidence that his son, Maj. John Eisenhower, and his granddaughter, Susan Eisenhower, left the Republican Party to support John Kerry and Barack Obama.)











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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #322
324. In 1963, 11 days before JFK dies, likable Ike was a Republican.
Edited on Fri Aug-07-09 05:52 PM by Festivito
This might even be when Repubs started getting the takeover juice, albeit behind the scenes, and not something likable Ike might have known, known more for likability and command, rather than savvy.

He only figures out the military industrial complex, dropping congressional for some reason, as he leaves.

I'd like to know his view of Smedley Butler at the beginning and then again at the end of his presidency. Probably dropped from his mind, or he just didn't know where to file it in his mind.

But, I'm guessing. You have your fun.

Eleven days later, we got a Johnson... ADDING: as people are reading this article saying Dems weren't so good anyway.
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Faryn Balyncd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #324
327. Do you think he would be one today?
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #327
351. It wouldn't be talked about.
Is Nixon lawyer John Dean a Republican yet, I don't even know. He's on our side though.

They have a remarkable ability to hold people and to obscure those they cannot hold.
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LongTomH Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
323. This issue will be debated for centuries!
The issues we should all agree one are: 1) These horrible weapons must never be used again, and 2) it's time to talk about banning them.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
331. MacArthur was running the Pacific War and "Ike" really wasn't in the loop..
spare us the history re-writing...

:argh:
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citizen snips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
332. this topic is rehashed too much what also needs to be talked about is japanese war crimes
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 05:23 AM
Response to Reply #332
345. The topic is whether people continue to actually endorse war crimes committed by us as necessary
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 05:24 AM by Leopolds Ghost
And by implication, would allow their leaders to commit worse acts in the future, if circumstances warrant.

A similarly active topic is whether there are Japanese who continue to endorse Japanese war crimes.

The facts of the war crimes themselves (as McNamara suggested) and that people supported them at the time is not in dispute. Doesn't make any of them justifiable. If nobody's justifying use of the bomb on Hiroshima, then the topic becomes moot since the key thing to be outraged about is support for the act of terror by either side.
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thelordofhell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 05:42 AM
Response to Original message
347. Firebombing killed more Japanese than the Atomic Bombs
The Atomic Bombs stopped the occupation of Japan by American forces.

The Atomic Bombs saved American lives.

The Atomic Bombs saved Japanese lives.


The Atomic Bombs are horrible things but they were used in war, and people saw the devestation, thus, after other countries developed the bomb, they had no interest to use it for they knew the destruction it caused. This fact alone has saved many millions of lives.
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tomm2thumbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 06:05 AM
Response to Original message
348. K&R
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 07:24 AM
Response to Original message
350. It Was A Sad Chapter In World History But HST Didn't Have The Benefit Of Hindsight
Also, Ike was in charge of the European Theater, not the Pacific Theater and he didn't like Truman.

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kgnu_fan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
354. sad nt
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