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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:33 AM
Original message
"I've eaten raw rat. Nothing else could possibly be that bad"
The above is a comment my college algebra professor made when the class was chatting about how awful the food in the school cafeteria was. This then opened up an hour's discussion about what my professor had gone through during WWII. He was in his pre or early teens at the time, in Manila, when the Japanese invaded. He spent four years held as a civilian prisoner of war at the University. They were beaten & starved. The Japanese didn't care if they were beating or starving a man, a woman, a teenager, or a child, or if their victims lived or died. They started eating rats early on, coming up with different ways to prepare them, but by the end of the war, they were eating them raw. When they could find them. He watched as friends died of starvation before his eyes. The one bright note in this whole episode for him was the fact that since they were at the University & the professors were there too, they opened up a school for the children to give them all something to do. By the time Manila was liberated, he was about 15 or 16 years old, and just a little over 100 lbs. He went back home, tried to fit back in, but ended up graduating early from high school, thanks to the classes he attended in Manila. When I was in his class in the mid-80's, he was still very thin & said he still had health problems due to his internment, although he didn't go into details.

Earlier in my life, I met a survivor of the Bataan Death March & listened to his stories of the atrocities committed against the US soldiers by the Japanese. He let us see the scars he had on his back, from where the Japanese had beaten him for the crime of picking up a fallen comrade & carrying him. He too mentioned severe beatings & starvation.

So pardon me for not engaging in the yearly guilt trip some of you want us to be on over Hiroshima & Nagasaki. The Japanese have never, and will never, apologize or show regret for what they did to civilians & military prisoners of war. Until such time as they do, I will only do my best to make sure nukes are never used again.

dg
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mainer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. But many of the atomic dead were civilians, not soldiers.
I don't think the mass slaughter of civilians is ever justified.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. Civilians were already being slaughtered by the Japanese.
30 million of them to be exact.

This wasn't some rogue soldiers it was actions accepted by the Japanese population.

The Japanese race was genetically superior and the Chinese were simply vermin occupying future Japanese colonial land.

The Japanese were killing civilians at a rate of 500,000 per month. PER MONTH.

How much longer should we have dragged the war out to "spare" Japanese civilians? 3 months = 1.5 million more dead Chinese? 6 months, 12 months? Is it a war crime to not end a war when you can and allow millions of civilians to die.

The Chinese (and other Asian "lesser races") were the victims not the Japanese.

The bombs worked exactly as panned. The utter size and scope of the devestation made the council consider surrender. Russia invading Manchuria sealed the deal. It was a 1-2 bunch that even the arrogant Emperor couldn't ignore.
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AllieB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #7
44. Did you ever read the book 'The Rape of Nanking'?
It was horrifying-I could barely get through it.
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mainer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #44
50. Yes, it was horrible. I lost relatives there.
It's always horrible when soldiers -- or a government -- slaughters civilians.

It was awful when the Japanese did it to the Chinese. It was also awful when the U.S. did it to Japanese women and children.
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mainer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #7
51. I lost family to the Japanese. I'm fully aware of the atrocities.
Still, why drop the bombs on populated areas filled with civilians? If we needed to demonstrate the A-bomb's destructiveness, could we not have chosen another target, where fewer civilians would have died? The message would still have been received, loud and clear.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #51
74. Calculated risk.
We only had two bombs.

Even with both bombs on cities the council was still divided. Still. Japan did not want to give up the idea of an Imperial empire. Were they delusional at that point? Sure but delussional men can still be dangerous.

Two atomic bombs
8000 conventional bombing runs in last month (total explosive power equal to 5 atomic bombs).
Russia invading Manchuria.

and STILL the Imperial Council was divided (3 for and 3 against surrender even with a condition for protecting the Emperor).

After the Emperor forced a decision of surrender there was a military coup to prevent the Emperor from surrendering.

The point is even with 2 cities destroyed and Russia opening up a new avenue of attack the empire barely surrendered. Anything less and the war may have gone on for another 6 months to a year.


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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
78. Ends justify the means arguments are always bullshit.
Making a deliberate choice to take a act that is a mass killing of civilians is wrong. All the what ifs about "ending the war" or how many would have died by some other means is totally irrelevant and does nothing to excuse an act over which our country DID have control.

The fact that other people did bad things is completely irrelevant to how we act.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #7
83. civilians being slaughtered by americans. guess you deserve to die too.
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 02:19 PM by Hannah Bell
cause you haven't succeed in stopping aggressive wars by the us gov't in your "democracy" any better than japanese civilians did in their imperial dictatorship.
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #1
49. Sherman got that ball rolling with mass civilian slaughter
Yet he is hailed as a hero on here, because it was those dirty southerners he killed.

I have always loved DU's abiding double standards.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 05:51 AM
Response to Reply #49
127. What proof do you have to offer that
Sherman's armies "slaughtered masses of Southern civilians"? They did engage in combat with some Confederate forces during the march to Savannah, GA.
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cabluedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
77. You dont even bother to mention all the GI's that would have been killed in a land invasion, not to
mention all the Japanese civilians that had bamboo spears, dipped in feces, to kill them with, in addition to edged weapons. The A-bombs saved a lot more people then they killed and that's a fact.
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Moochy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #77
130. Actually thats a theory, not a fact
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 10:25 AM by Moochy
Get your terms straight at least when advocating slaughter of civilians.
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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:39 AM
Response to Original message
2. I was with you until you got to Hiroshima and Nagasaki
then your post became a huge non sequitur.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #8
65. If you read it as- The Japanese fully supported the genocide their military was conducting
and their political leadership was never going to surrender fully, you'd actually get the reality of the situation.

Why are YOU allowed on DU?

At the very least, you seem intent on constructing bogus arguments.t
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #65
66. It sounds like you and the Japanese have a lot in common
"The Japanese fully supported the genocide their military was conducting"

I am sickened that so-called progressives use the anniversary of Hiroshima to pat themselves on the back because the japanese "deserved" to be wiped out.
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Regret My New Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #66
112. These Japanese were not wiped out.
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Pharaoh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
3. But it is what all nations do in war
You dehumanize the enemy and that is how you get people to kill each other.

We do it too. Abu Ghraib is just the most recent example.

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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #3
13. I'm sure the OP
believes a couple of hiroshima-sized bombs should be dropped in the most populated US cities as payback for us torturing our prisoners. Otherwise, their post would be hypocritical.
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. We've got nothing to bitch about if that happens
which is why I've protested against the war from the beginning.

Nice try.

dg
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #15
22. A massive bombing in NYC would be nothing to "bitch" about?
nice.

Nice word choice, nice sentiment.
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #22
28. If done in retaliation for the US torturing Iraqis, nope nt
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. But justifying bombings in Japan
can be done by pointing to Japan torturing POWs. Got it.
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Regret My New Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #22
113. I think he's saying that's how the world works...
one gets the other side and the other side gets them. Then they both complain about how they are the good guys. But really, there are few "good guys" in this world.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #13
54. if it would teach us a little humility as a country...and how to be a better world citizen...
it might be well worth it.

the problem is that it would only serve to make us even more belligerent and bloodthirsty.
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Ex Lurker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #54
94. so atom bombs used against us would be deserved
atom bombs used BY us are a war crime. Got it.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #94
110. you seem somewhat confused...
when did i ever say or even imply that our use of nuclear weapons against japan was a war crime...?
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NoPasaran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm with you, Wolverine!
My high school math teacher had been in the Army in the Philippines when the war began. He was a survivor of the Bataan Death March and imprisonment in a Japanese POW camp. While he never really talked much about that, it was clear from the way he moved how he had been treated. Feel guilty? Sorry, not me.
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
18. Thanks, NoPasaran
Your math teacher probably knew the survivor I met. He was the husband of one of my dad's employees.

dg
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
5. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #5
20. Have they apologized for anything else they did?
Answer: No.

And if you read bigotry into what I wrote, might I suggest it is you who are the bigot.

dg
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #20
40. You mean like have they apologized yet for the Trail of Tears?
Oh, wait ...
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #40
46. Like the North apologized for Reconstruction?
Oh, wait....

dg
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #46
52. What about the trail of tears?
I'm still trying to figure out WHY you are:

1) claiming that Japan hasn't apologized for any of their treatment of POWs (despite that being untrue)

2) bringing up that they haven't apologized for all of their treatment of POWs when the original lie is pointed out, as if that's not what ALL governments do - as if the US has any better sort of track record. (Unless you're just trying to make the point that double standards are awesome.)

3) pretending that their nonapology for each and every offense is somehow tied to a justification of bombing them.

Abuse of POWs is common during war. Government apologies for abuse of POWs are rare. Is this news? Is it unique to Japan? Is there a reason you bought it into the thread - or a reason you didn't acknowledge the apology they made (and in fact denied its existence)?

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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #46
72. Trail of Tears is the same as the Reconstruction?
oh, wait...
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #72
97. Both atrocities committed by the US government
apparently, you approve of one......

dg
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #97
100. apparently your belief in your mind reading still outweighs reality. nt
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
6. My Wife's Grandfather Died in a Japanese Concentration Camp
The rest of the family was in a camp also, and endured horrible treatment, but her grandfather was marked for extreme punishment since he ran a sugar plantation and sabotaged it when the Japanese invaded. This was in Indonesia.

That being said, I think that whatever would have worked best with the least amount of carnage should have been done. Winning was critical, vengeance was not.

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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. It was. The bombs ended the war far sooner than any other method.
Japan was exterminating civilians at a rate of 500,000 per month. Any delay would have resulted in more deaths.

A sad fact:
An Allied POW in a German POW camp had a 6% chance of dying before liberation.
In a Imperial POW camp 30% never came home.

Japan was far more brutal and sadistic than anything Hitler could even dream of.
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #6
69. Until Recently, I Totally Agreed.
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 12:14 PM by MannyGoldstein
But then I read a quote (on DU) by Eiswnhower:

"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..."

Ike was an incredibly brilliant and pragmatic man of war, so his words carry at least some weight.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 05:58 AM
Response to Reply #69
128. Would Ike have accepted a surrender of German armed
forces that included leaving Hitler as Chancellor of German, German to retain their pre 1939 territory, German war criminals be be tried in German courts by German law, the Wehrmacht to remain intact. These were some of the face saving terms the Japanese wanted. I think not.
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varelse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
9. Do you still hate Japanese people for this?
Or are all the ones who deserve to be burned and mutilated for the crimes of their military and their emperor now dead and beyond reach of justice?
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. Where in there did I state I hate the Japanese? nt
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. It was pretty clear
Just a more cleverly worded version of this:

"I hated the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live." - John McCain
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #14
23. Read it again
I never said I hated the Japanese. If you read all that into what I wrote, that's your perception problem.

dg
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #12
17. No need to 'state something' when it's implicit
and pretty obvious
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #17
25. So telling the truth is now bigotry?
Wow, just wow.

dg
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #25
33. Your truth isn't The truth. It's just a jingoist's opinion. n/t
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #33
48. And Your truth isn't The Truth either; just an apologist's opinion nt
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #48
56. I think you're having trouble distinguishing
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 11:27 AM by noamnety
between facts, opinions, and conclusions.

I've never seen anyone here deny the facts of how the Japanese treated the POWs, no matter how many times you try to pretend that's the problem people have with your OP.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #25
35. Yes - that's ALL you were doing. Right.
Be honest - you weren't just "truth telling." Truth telling is "theses things happened, they were inhuman." If you'd stopped there, you wouldn't have revealed any bigotry. But you didn't stop there.

You could have drawn parallels to show that this is what governments do in general, you could have drawn parallels to show that we do similar things, that our entire country was built on similar slave labor.

You could have acknowledged how reluctant ALL governments are to apologize for anything. You could have acknowledged that it took the US until 2008 to apologize for slavery.

But no, instead you chose to take it in a different direction - to use it to justify genocide of the Japanese, because that's the "kind of people" the Japanese were. See, it's not "human nature" - it's the Japanese nature, so it was okay to wipe them out, according to your logic.


Meanwhile, we're still holding people who haven't been found guilty of anything in Guantanamo. I suggest you focus your anger on that.

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varelse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #35
70. Thanks
You and others in this subthread did a better job of responding than I could have. I appreciate that.
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Ex Lurker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #25
95. Some apparently believe professor is a racist for bringing up his wartime experiences
perhaps he should have considered his internment to be penance for the crimes of America :sarcasm:
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dem629 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #12
75. You didn't. They know you didn't.
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vanlassie Donating Member (826 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
11. Resentment - the Gift That Keeps On Giving.
Or, The poison YOU take while waiting for the other guy to die.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
16. Our side always suffers more and never does any harm
Bullshit.

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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #16
27. Go tell that to the Koreans & the Chinese & all the civilian POWs nt
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #27
37. Your replies are non-sequiturs
They don't make sense. Go tell what to Koreans & the Chinese & all the civilian POWs?
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Lagomorph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #16
55. Well, no actuallly....
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 11:32 AM by Lagomorph
...that's not how it's done.

You make the other poor bastard die for his country. - Patton

The nukes were simply more convenient than organizing those huge B-29 napalm bombing missions.

The Japanese were wise to surrender when they did, we had six more nukes scheduled for Japan. They were getting shipped as fast as they were built. There was another nuke on a ship heading for the Marianas when they surrendered.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
19. atrocity, justifying atrocity
doesn't work morally..
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #19
26. Apologist history never works either nt
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Lagomorph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #19
61. Yup
The circle of violence. Eventually, somebody has to let somebody off the hook. Punishing someone and then forgiving them, is not forgiveness, it's revenge.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #61
85. as much as people admire MLK
they rarely take his words to heart


"Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation. "

Martin Luther King, Jr..


"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."

Martin Luther King, Jr.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
21. Thanks for telling the politically incorrect truth!
:)
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
24. K&R. At least it's back to zero, now. n/t
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
29. Yes, Japan committed horrific atrocities routinely in its quest to run Asia.
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 10:07 AM by TexasObserver
Even using the atomic bombs barely ended the war. The top military of Japan opposed surrender.

Many are simply very, very ignorant of the decades long atrocities committed by the Japanese people against Taiwanese, Chinese, Koreans, and others in the region.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
31. Last I knew, two wrongs didn't make a right, but whatever...
And this, "We're not gonna be sorry because THEY aren't sorry"..or "Why should we apologize when THEY never did?"

I dunno...just seems kind of childish


:shrug:

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zbdent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
32. First off, I don't want nukes used.
now ...

According to Republican standards, these people weren't tortured ... they didn't suffer organ failure ...
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Iggo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
34. Oh, here we go again.
I doubt my A-bomb hidden thread count will ever rival my MJ hidden thread count, but it's giving it the old college try. That's for sure.
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
36. Its easy to be self-righteous if you are not the enlisted man likely to be killed
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 10:16 AM by stray cat
in an assault on the Japanese Islands. It is so easy to sentence others for protecting their own lives if there is no risk to yourself.
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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #36
41. that's not related to the OP
it's interesting when people mix acceptable rationalizations with unacceptable ones.
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cabluedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #36
79. How true. My late father was one of those GI's spared being killed in Japan, by the A-bombs.
Thankfully hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides were spared by the A-bombs. Had we not dropped the bombs, Japan would still have suffered awfully as the naval shelling and airborn carpet bombing of Tokyo and other major Japanese cities would have been non-stop, before the Allies sent our troops in to destroy the remaing land forces and occupy the main Islands.
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
38. Rec'd.
Context is everything. Pointing out one justification for ending a war in 1945 using the behavior of warriors in 1945 is not bigotry, racism, or any other bullshit posted upthread.

Although I'd say it's not exactly revisionist history to go through the annual hand-wringing, but rather just reflects an ignorance of context. A good question would be whether the Japanese culture goes through any hand-wringing on behalf of the treatment of civilians in wartime 1940s that reflects our annual discussion?

I have no idea the answer to that, and would be quite interested.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
39. No Japanese person alive today bears any responsibility for what
happened in WW II. Nor does any American alive today, no any Filipino or Chinese or Russian or German. All the responsible parties are dead and buried.

Let the dead bury their dead. Our task today is to make sure such things do not happen on OUR watch.
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greguganus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #39
71. Do you think any people alive today in the US bear any responsibility for slavery? n/t
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #71
87. How could they? They were not alive then? Now, if you wish to discuss
whether or not they are "haves" today because of what was done by their ancestors to the ancestors of some "have nots", then that would be an interesting discussion.

But no, one cannot be responsible for events which occurred prior to one's own existence.

I also don't believe in "original sin" for the same reason, lol.
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Moochy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #71
131. No responsibility for slavery, just sit back and reap the benefits!
HOORAY FOR the freedom of denying the "myth" of responsibility!
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XOKCowboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #39
111. It's why I can't look at everyone around me as genocidal conquerers...
since my both my grandmothers were Native American. As horrible as it was, that is history. As you said so well "Our task today is to make sure such things do not happen on OUR watch".
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Maru Kitteh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
42. In war, there is always an excess of shame to go around.
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HopeHoops Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
43. Ever try Jack-In-The-Box?
:puke:
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Umbral Donating Member (969 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
45. I see, it was revenge and that make it alright.
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 10:50 AM by Umbral
Sorta like those people that have tailgate parties at prisons when they have executions, it's just a-ok.
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
47. By that logic, Abu-Ghraib justifies the killing of American civilians.
I'm thinking what it justifies is the incarceration of a former sec of state.
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Hansel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #47
63. And Obama should apologize for it. And then be called an apologist
by the same people who would make the argument the OP has.

Everything about war sucks and is unfair. That's why you avoid them at all cost. I understand the rationale behind dropping the bomb. But many of the people who died were no more culpable for what the Japanese government was doing than we are for what the Bush administration did in Iraq. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that. There is nothing wrong with asking forgiveness for killing vast numbers of unsuspecting unarmed women and children. I'm sure that when Truman ordered the bombing he asked forgiveness in his prayers somewhere along the lines of "God forgive me".

You either make the war your own personal hell for the rest of your life, or you find ways to cope. The vast majority of survivors on both sides of the war found ways to cope. Some, like one of my old neighbors, drank himself to death while living his experiences in an endless loop. One of my good friends has spent his entire post Vietnam war life in and out of psych wards. These men encountered horrors that most of us could never relate to or even imagine. They never forgave, but it was not the enemy who was destroyed.

As a nation, we cannot let that happen. We have to move on. So we do. Part of moving on is forgiveness and acknowledgment of the suffering, and wondering out loud if maybe there was a better way. And the answer may very well be that there wasn't. That still doesn't mean that innocent civilians who suffered at our nation's hand do not deserve an apology, even if the suffering was unavoidable.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
53. I'm sure there were atrocites a'plenty to go around...
1) It's not a contest.
2) One atrocity doesn't justify another.
3) Raw rat sounds pretty fucking disgusting. On the other hand, I'm not very hungry at the moment.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #53
57. What rot. History is about what ACTUALLY happened, not platitudes about how everyone makes mistakes
:puke:
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #57
58. That's good, seeing as how I didn't say anything about "mistakes"....
Your outrage is noted.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #58
60. It was a puerile sentiment that can't be saved with quibbling over semantics.
:eyes:
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #60
64. (yawns)
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
59. Cool story bro.
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #59
117. I'm glad to see that Hercules icon making the rounds!
;-)
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
62. Count me in with you WGD
I've heard some pretty grizzly stories from some of our POW's from that war.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
67. Thanks for posting this, Wolverine. You've pulled all the knee-jerkers out of the woodwork.
They cannot comprehend that life is not so sweet and simple as it seems when one is "fighting" from the safety of one's computer.

Those who will not educate themselves about the horrors perpetrated by ALL nations, ethnicities, tribes, etc, are doomed to repeat those horrors.

This is rec #4.
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bahrbearian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
68. Happy Columbus Day
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dem629 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
73. Excellent post. Sadly, to some around here, nothing is worse than anything America does.
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
76. That's the stupidest rational for supporting bombings I've ever read.
It isn't about what others do to us. It's about who WE are when we make the choices we make.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #76
81. The Problem With Your Argument, Sir, Is Simple Enough
Any measure to force surrender on the Imperial Japanese military leadership was going to involve a good deal of killing, mostly indiscriminate. At the start of August the Imperial Japanese military leadership was not ready to accept cessation of hostilities on any terms that did leave them in power in Japan, and retain as Imperial Japanese possessions a large portion of their war-time conquests. The only real questions were who was going to be killed, and at what pace their killing would occur. All measures available besides the atomic weapons, whether blockade, continued aerial attack with conventional weapons, or invasion, would certainly produce very stiff casualty tolls, to which must be added the continued killings by Imperial Japanese forces of persons in their power, whether prisoners of war or interned enemy civilians, conscripted laborers, or simply persons living under their occupation. The terms desired by Imperial Japan at the start of August could not have been accepted, and this was known to the men who proposed them. The only sound ethical consideration here is to try and calculate which course might produce the least killing in the course of sealing the defeat of the militarist regime of Imperial Japan. No one opposing the use of the atomic weapons has yet produced a sound argument that other courses available at the time would have killed fewer people in the course of achieving that objective. None dare to argue that objective should not have been achieved, and the war ended with Imperial Japan still under militarist rule and in effective possession of most of its colonial conquests.
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #81
82. Further ends justifiy the means argumentation.
I consider ends justify the means argumentation to be immoral.

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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #82
84. You Will Have To Do Better Than That, Sir....
That statement is simply a declaration of forfeit.
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #84
89. I don't see how or why I would have to do better than that.
I simply do not accept ends justifying means arguments as legitimate.

I understand that not everyone shares that view, and this is certainly well within the realm of opinion. But I'm unclear as to what example I need to "do better" with.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #89
92. Because It Is Not a Position, Sir, That Can Survive Strenuous Testing
Too much of ordinary social existence, even of the basics of staying alive, resolves on examination into clear instances of the principle that the end justifies the means being invoked. It is not possible to escape it this side of the grave. The relations between states are drenched in it, war is nothing but a statement that the ends justify the means on colossal scale; war in its totality, not just any particular instance within a war. There simply is no effective pacifist response to aggression and atrocity; to refrain from resisting it is to collaborate with and enable it.
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #92
93. Give me an example of an inescapable ends justifies the means situation
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 03:41 PM by Political Heretic
If you can, I'm actually open to revising my statement.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #93
96. Had A Meal Lately, Sir?
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 03:47 PM by The Magistrate
Used an electrical appliance recently (a trick question, of course, as you are on a computer, whose inner workings bring up a whole other level of exploitation...)?

Own much of anything by way of property?

Exist measurably above the level of subsistence agriculture in the United States of America?

In all these things you are valuing you own well-being and comfort above that of others, and do not seem unduly bothered by the means by which your being and comfort and enjoyments are extracted from them.
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #96
101. None of those are ends justifying means examples
Ends justifying means as I am using it (if I should use another phrase, I'm happy to adjust) means this:

Choosing an action for which you have control and its consequences for the purpose of preventing predicted actions, assumed to be taken by others, but not yet occurring. Using power, isn't a means justifying the ends argument, because I'm not trying to prevent anything by my actions. Same for property, same for the rest.

In the examples you give, you're not talking about a choice to directly kill other people under the justification that maybe it might prevent even more people from being killed.

My use of electricity or not, does not change the reality of the inner workings of exploitation. That's bigger than me.

The property I own (the net worth of which totals under 500$) is similar. And so on.

But regardless of that, I reiterate - Using power, isn't a means justifying the ends argument, because I'm not trying to prevent anything by my actions. Same for property, same for the rest.

You show me an example where I'm defending my own choice to directly harm others by arguing that it will prevent greater future harm to others, and we'll talk. Indirect chains of events in which my action does not change an outcome (such as whether or not I use power) are unimpressive.

Similar ends justifying means arguments that I oppose would be the Bush doctrine of preemtive violence. In that case a person with direct control over direct action authorized murder that was directly within his pervue to order or stop, under the justification that not murdering would mean even more people would be murdered.



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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #101
104. Not So, Sir
You merely wish to confine the matter to immediate questions of life and death, but in fact it extends beyond that. You are by a variety of everyday actions saying that an end, your comfort, convenience, etc., justifies a means, a variety of exploitations by which these things are made available to you. You want the argument confined to one extreme of a possible spectrum, and wish to ignore the other end of it, which my examples open out for display. If you doubt people die, even, or suffer maiming, for your electrical power, the rare earths in a computer, the food on your table, you are not paying close attention to this world we inhabit....

"We're all rotten, Maude, rotten to the core."
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #104
119. No, its not about life and death. You are making and irrelevent point and here's why:
You're attempting to point out how much bad happens because I use to use power, and that I don't care and use power anyway. But that's an entirely different argument, not one I'm making.

When I use power, I'm not saying "I'll use power, so that something worse doesn't happen if I DON'T use power"

Get it?

Are you honorable enough to admit that you get it now, sir? Or do we have to keep arguing because you misunderstood and misinterpreted and pride can't let that go?

Obviously you can still justifiably disagree with me that the ends don't justify the means alone, and many people do - but the argumentation track you chose in regard to what I said is invalid, as I'm sure you now understand.




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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #119
129. Nonesense, Sir
That you cannot fathom, or more likely, simply choose not to see because it is uncomfortable, the identical character of the choices, does not alter the case. The 'worse' thing you are avoiding is simply your own discomfort, and nothing more. Now that may not be so grandly scaled a thing as the question of which course should be chosen if course A likely will result in a hundred thousand deaths while course B may result in half a million deaths, but that, too, does not alter the case.

The point of my original comment, of course, you have not engaged at all, so it may be worth re-stating it. A person who declares "The end never justifies the means!" can make no useful contribution to discussion of decision-making in wartime, and forfeits any part in an argument about any particular wartime decision. War is by its nature an exercise predicated on conviction that an end justifies the means, and all decisions concerning the use of military force are instances of calculating whether an end justifies the means used to gain it. One can object to war in its entirity on this ground, of course, but even so, a person who does this can have nothing useful to say on the subject beyond that objection. And a person who hews to that position, in the face of atrocious aggression, has a good deal to answer for....
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #129
133. Clearly the answer is, no you're not, despite all your pretense of civility. Pretty sad.
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 12:06 PM by Political Heretic
First, your comment wasn't original. It was challenging something I said.

You weren't talking about decision making in wartime. You weren't talking about war. You were specifically saying that my statement of saying "I don't consider ends justifying means arguments as legitimate" was hypocritical because I use:

- power
- eat
- own things

And I proceeded to show that those are not relevant. When I use power, I'm not saying "I'll use power, so that something worse doesn't happen if I DON'T use power" That's the heart of ends justify means arguments. I'm not making such an argument when using power, eating or owning things so none of those examples work.

Since they don't work, rather than being civilized and acknowledging that, you revert to saying "none of that matters because here's what I really meant.

I don't care what you really meant. I only responded to one thing, which is challenging you to give an example, and when asked, your example failed.


And a person who hews to that position, in the face of atrocious aggression, has a good deal to answer for....


Maybe. But that's another issue. Not the one I addressed with you. You were giving examples of use of power, eating and owning something as counter examples to opposition to ends-justify-the-means arguments. Which all fail because, as I've said a few times now, When I use power, I'm not saying "I'll use power, so that something worse doesn't happen if I DON'T use power" That's the heart of ends justify means arguments. I'm not making such an argument when using power, eating or owning things so none of those examples work.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #133
134. When You Are Ready To Stop Engaging In Special Pleading, Sir, It Might Be Possible To Argue Further
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 04:28 PM by The Magistrate
In all the examples above, you are indeed chosing a good over a worse, namely your own comfort and convenience over its lack, and obtaining same by means that injure others.

The point of making this explicit was not to indict for hypocrisy, which, when that is my intent, it is my custom to do by forthright statement, but merely to illustrate what occurs when your position is followed to its still reasonable extremes, and demonstrate it simply is not a feasible approach to life or ethics in a complex society.

The weakness of your position is highlighted in the other direction by pointing out its sterility when the issue at hand is dealing with aggression and atrocity, which, lest it be lost sight of, is what occasioned the Second World War, and led to the decisions which had to be made in what proved to be the closing stages of its Pacific course.

You do not seem able, Sir, to face up to either end of the position you affirm. Some might suggest that indicates dropping it and re-thinking the matter would be in order....

"I'm going home now. Someone bring me some frogs and some bourbon."
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #134
135. You're not listening, and I'm now convinced its entirely willful.
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 05:53 PM by Political Heretic
I have said, numerous times that I define an "ends justify the means argument" to refer to justifications in which the person claims that taking an action otherwise considered bad is justified because that action will prevent a potential future, greater bad.

I have said this, over and over and over again. By that definition, all of your examples fail.

You know they fail. This isn't about anything anymore other than the apparently absolute impossibility of you ever simply saying that your examples don't work.

Your I use power argument fails. It fails because its not about choosing good over worse. Choosing good over worse implies no cause/effect connection between the two, and thus is not an ends-means justification issue. I am not choosing to use power for the purpose, and under the justification that by doing so I will prevent something worse from happening.

You are hung up on the fact that actions have consequences. So that my using power be indirectly linked to inconvenience or outright exploitation of someone somewhere else. Thus, what you include as ends justifying means arguments is literally everything. Every choice we make has consequences, and when we choose to act we accept consequences, therefore every choice is an ends justifying means choice.

If you want to define it that way and then argue, great. But that's not how I defined it, and you'd be hard, hard pressed to find any intellectual source in history discussion ethical choicemaking and specifically using the concept or phrase "ends justify the means" in the same way. So you can define it that way if you want, and we can even discuss things given that definition, but in doing so you've elected to use an unconventional definition outside the mainstream.

Meanwhile, I maintain the conventional definition and understanding of ends-means arguments, which refer to justifying a decision to do something ordinarily unsavory under the justification that the need to prevent potential future worse events promote potential future great events outweighs the ugliness of the act itself.

Taking that and saying "oh yeah, well you use power don't you" is an absurd nonsequitor and I'm certain now that you fully know this.


he point of making this explicit was not to indict for hypocrisy...


Perhaps my choice of word was too strong.... point out contradiction, then.


but merely to illustrate what occurs when your position is followed to its still reasonable extremes, and demonstrate it simply is not a feasible approach to life or ethics in a complex society.


Except that, so far you've failed to demonstrate that, but being unable to create appropriate examples to make your case. The fact that choices have consequences has no connection to and is completely irrelevant to the question of whether or not the justification that an unsavory act is justified by claiming its potential to prevent potential future worse events or promote potential future great events is sufficient, ethical, or responsible.

The sad thing about this exchange is that we've reached an impasse of wills. You're too stubborn to simply acknowledge that your initial examples don't actually work for what I've been discussing and as I've defined it (remember you approached me, not the other way around) is matched with my being utterly sick of being pushed around by people who absolutely refuse to engage in adult exchange by doing things every much like this - so that neither one of us is particularly ready to let it go.

That's too bad, because we certainly could have a much more adult discussion about justifications for action when the outcomes are uncertain - and I'm fairly certain you could make a very strong case for there sometimes being virtues to a kind of rationale for decision making that I oppose. I even could imagine conceding the point.

But instead, you dug your heals in on loser examples that purely don't work and absolutely refuse to accept that and move forward.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
80. Thank you for this input, DG. Unlike the Germans, the Japanese have NEVER come to terms...
... with the atrocities they committed during WW II. They don't mention it in their history books, they don't want to hear about it from either our government or theirs.

I agree with you. I never want to see nukes or depleted uranium weaponry or anything of the sort ever used again -- and yet the US does that.

However, and this is a big one, during WW II the Japanese military routinely committed atrocities against civilians and POWs, fought with savagery, and made it clear with fanaticism that if invaded they planned to fight to the last man and woman even if they had to use sharpened bamboo poles.

Our hands are not the cleanest, but until the admin of Bush the Lesser hired Blackwater mercenaries, we could say that we never had a policy of behaving in anything close to that fashion. I hope we will recover our honor some day soon.

But back to WW II. President Truman and his generals had good reason to believe that invading Japan would result in unprecedented casualties of both US soldiers and Japanese civilians.

Hekate

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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #80
86. Well Said, Ma'am!
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #80
90. You don't want to see nukes used ever again, unless the conditions are right of course....
Unless another situation arises in which we can speculatively assume certain ends and guess that if we intervene with certain horrific, immoral, unethical violent acts we can "prevent" something bigger....

Then you'd be chanting burn, baby, burn, right?
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #90
99. BS. I neither said nor implied anything of the sort. nt
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #99
102. Of course you did.
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 04:28 PM by Political Heretic
That's what's behind the belief that bombing urban areas full of civilians indiscriminately was OKAY in one instance, but you'd "never want to see it again."

That means, by definition, that there are circumstances in which clearly you DO want to see it, because there's already been at least one... no, two.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #102
107. Describing historical fact, as I did, is not an endorsement of the nuclear arms race, the use of DU
... or any other such thing. In fact, I specifically said: "I never want to see nukes or depleted uranium weaponry or anything of the sort ever used again -- and yet the US does that." The US uses nukes in the form of weapons made of depleted uranium, that when are blown up become aerosolized. The sands of Iraq have been poisoned with DU since the first Gulf War.

I lived through the nuclear arms race, and it was terrifying. Photos of the carnage at Hiroshima were widely available and I saw those.

Other posters in this thread have been accused of some sort of hatred of the Japanese, so let me add that I grew up among Asian-Americans and "Jap" was considered a racial slur that had outlived its time and certainly had no place in describing Americans. But I also got to meet a survivor of a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines.

I was interested enough in Asian culture for my undergraduate major to be Asian history. My senior thesis was on Japanese literature during WW II and its aftermath. No one could fail to be moved by the description of civilian suffering in Ibuse Masuji's "Black Rain," which is about the survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima.

I have remained interested in that island nation, and bear the subsequent generations no ill will. After all, it all took place before I was born, too.

But whatever else may be, this is also a fact: Unlike the Germans, the Japanese have NEVER come to terms with the atrocities they committed during WW II. They don't mention it in their history books and they don't want to hear about it from anyone. Japanese historians who write about the Rape of Nanking, the prison camps, the "comfort women" (who were kidnapped and enslaved as prostitutes in the barracks of Japanese soldiers) and so forth are roundly condemned by the public, the parliament, the newspapers....

This denial allows them to believe they are simply victims, without any responsibility. In my opinion, this is inexcusable.

Knowing this and acknowledging this context does not make me an apologist for nuclear arms. Life is not that simple.

Hekate



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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #107
120. I only said what you already said: given the right conditions, you'd say "nuke the fuckers"
Because you've already show that's true, by saying so (even if you said it more "nicely")about a previous event.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #120
124. Not at all. Do not put lying words in my mouth.
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #124
137. No need. Here are your own words:
"I agree with you. I never want to see nukes or depleted uranium weaponry or anything of the sort ever used again"

You agree with the OP, which says that droping nukes was the right thing to. But you never want to see nukes or DU used again.


Well, you've already established by the statement "I agree with you" that there ARE conditions in which you'd say let the nukes fly. So if those conditions were to present themselves again, then.... you'd say push the button.

That's not putting "words in your mouth."

That's making you accountable for the meaning of your own words. If you don't like then think a little harder about what you're writing.
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XOKCowboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
88. My dad, an incredibly intelligent, tolerant and open-minded man, had only one prejudice... Japs!
His term, not mine. He served in Okinawa during WW2 and never got over his hatred of the Japanese. Koreans, Chinese no problem. He was opposed to the Vietnam War. Even in 1960's Oklahoma he railed against racism against blacks. It always struck me that the only racial epithet that I think I ever heard him use was against the Japanese.

Me? I can't hold a grudge about something that I wasn't involved in and I do mourn for thousands of dead civilians in a time of war. I refuse to condemn an entire country for the actions of a few. That smacks of how Muslims are being portrayed now by the Right Wing.
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #88
91. "That smacks of how Muslims are being portrayed now by the Right Wing." - yep.
It's just the acceptable prejudice at DU. One of them. There are many.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
98. Then go ahead,
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 03:58 PM by bvar22
and let the lowest of the low set the bar for your own morality.

You have a lot of company.
Many Americans justified torturing Iraqis because Saddam tortured, so its OK for us.
They are A-OK with letting Saddam set their limits for acceptable behavior.

Never made much sense to me.

My professor ate rats so its OK to drop Atomic Weapons on innocent civilians? :shrug:
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #98
103. "My professor ate rats so its OK to drop Atomic Weapons" - that is THE argument being presented.
Kind of falls flat, when you strip all the other stuff away. Certainly there are other, stronger arguments in support of the use of the atom bomb twice. But this one, when you pair it down, is simply "they deserved it" revenge. Pure and simple.


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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #98
114. The Australians just recently apologized to their indigenous population ...
... Harper apologized to the aboriginal people of Canada for those schools. In 1993 Congress passed a resolution apologizing for overthrowing the native Hawaiian population and in 2008 (or was it 2009?) Congress formally apologized for slavery and Jim Crow.

But, it looks like we're still working on apologizing to Native Americans (unless I'm reading that wrong).

So, it looks like some governments can apologize for atrocities, I'd just hope that one day the Japanese people can somehow satisfy the OP and have their suffering recognized without pre-conditions.

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A HERETIC I AM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
105. Spoken well.
And like a gentleman.

I've noticed this thread for several hours now and only just now read it.

The Japanese were our enemy and this concept is lost on many who did not live through it.

My father treated many survivors of Japanese atrocities while a medical corpsman on a Navy Hospital ship in Manila Bay during WWII.

My position regarding this discussion is, the Japanese got what they deserved.

Sorry to those of you that think otherwise, but that's how I feel.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
106. I knew a Dutch girl who had been interned in a Japanese
POW camp with her mother when she was only five years old. She told me the Japanese fed them rice once a week. These were women and children who were rounded up and marched to the camps after being separated from the men, most of whom died from death marches or being worked and starved to death. Many died enroute and many died in the camps from starvation and disease. She has life long health problems because of it but both her mother and she survived. It seems mom was able to find edible weeds around the camp that augmented their diet.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
108. Recommend
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
109. The Japanese do not deserve an apology for the A-bomb until they apologize for Nanking and etc..
Those hypocrites can STFU.
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #109
121. The idiocy of the notion that someone else's bad action justifys your (our) bad action is astounding
It's like talking to six year olds.

"She he started it!"

:eyes:
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #121
122. Anyone can Monday-morning-quarterback.
It was widely thought AT THE TIME that an invasion of Japan would result in millions dead and that the Japanese would not surrender. Whether that was true I don't know, but that is irrelevant in the context of the moment.
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #122
138. That's not the issue or the point the poster I responded to is making.
So your comments are irrelevant.

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XOKCowboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
115. What are your feelings concerning the genocide of the indigenous peoples of North America?
If you're of Native American descent I don't have to ask.
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #115
116. I believe Rev. Wright summed it up pretty much
I recall he had wide support for his "God Damn America" sermon here last year.

dg
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
118. Great story and post!
I've said before and I'll say it again. Dropping the atomic bombs was the best decision and way to end the war.

People do so much hand-wringing about the fact we used them, they forgot why we used them. We stopped a genocidal empire.
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tj2001 Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
123. This is generalized racism
Every country abused the "enemy" civilians and POWs they imprisoned.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #123
125. Not so. It is not racist to say that Germans perpetrated the Holocaust, nor is it racist to say...
... that the Imperial Japanese Army committed like atrocities during the Greater East Asia War. Nor is it racist to state that Germany has dealt with its evil past and Japan has not. These are historical facts. Both countries are now our allies and trading partners, and have been for several generations. But the past is what it is.

War is not a civilized act, but soldiers need not descend into barbarity. The Geneva Accords to which we used to subscribe and to which we are still a signatory, are the Western world's attempt to codify right behavior toward non-combatants, POWs and civilians.

The behavior of the US military during WW II was not the equivalent of the Nazi Germans nor the Imperial Japanese. It is not racist to say that.

Hekate


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Moochy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #123
132. Nationalism uses many tools
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 10:32 AM by Moochy
and forging a propagandistic lie that reads people into the myth of American exceptionalism, and this activation of ego politics is the key. Then the state has instantly marshalled all of the latent xenophobia and racism just below the surface of society to justify the state's murder of civilians in a time of war.

This thread is rife with defenders of this myth.
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JonLP24 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 02:41 AM
Response to Original message
126. Never liked the fact the US dropped such terrible bombs
Most dead were civilians including school children. Over 200,000 people died instantly. Also the long term effects killed many people years after the war from the radiation. I've seen the documentary War Games and it is scary stuff. I would not want to be there if a nuke is ever dropped near me. But it was way before my time so it doesn't bother me very much except I would never want another to be dropped ever again.
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Toasterlad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 05:55 PM
Response to Original message
136. What's Amazing Is That After All the Dialog On This Issue, Two Wrongs STILL Don't Make a Right.
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 05:56 PM by Toasterlad
What the Japanese did does not excuse what we did. And vice versa.

Or do you doubt that we've got soldiers over in Iraq and Afghanistan doing the same thing to prisoners that the Japanese did to our troops in WWII? How soon do you think it will be before the US issues an apology?
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