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The Use of the Atom Bomb against Japan

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  • #16
    Re: The Use of the Atom Bomb against Japan

    Originally posted by Good1 View Post
    When I turned in that paper back during my undergrad years, the Professor made us defend our position against the whole class (part of the reason I enjoy arguing today).

    The perspective of most of the students (at that Christian university somewhere near Los Angeles) was quite different from what most of you guys (from all sides of the political ideology, I might add) are expressing here.

    Most of the students in the class (the professor, wisely, remained silent and it is my guess, he actually read my paper) kept trying to move the goalposts over to the "morals" argument. I think I put them off when I absolutely agreed with them on THAT plane: But the issue on which I wrote was whether or not the use of the atom bomb against Japan was militarily justified... and they were miffed when I kept dragging them back to the question I actually answered.

    I don't see what "debate" there is if you don't factor in the human side.

    Why would it not be justified militarily? You have a big bomb, an adversary, plenty of targets, and a means to deliver it.

    Do you imagine there is any opposition which said that it costed to much to build the bomb and it would have been better to build conventional weapons with those resources?

    מה מכילות החדשות?


    • #17
      Re: The Use of the Atom Bomb against Japan

      Originally posted by erikvv View Post
      I don't see what "debate" there is if you don't factor in the human side.

      Why would it not be justified militarily? You have a big bomb, an adversary, plenty of targets, and a means to deliver it.

      Do you imagine there is any opposition which said that it costed to much to build the bomb and it would have been better to build conventional weapons with those resources?
      I think the equivocation comes in when an individual's mind simply will not let them lend any validation to such a horrific result.

      My guess is, they can grasp the concept of military justification just fine on an academic level. But come time to argue the point, their hearts simply are not in it as they still envision those pictures of all the terrible human ... and civilian at that ... consequences in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • #18
        Re: The Use of the Atom Bomb against Japan

        Originally posted by reality View Post
        Justified? I think you're looking at it from a right vs wrong perspective which is kinda not applicable to war. War is hell. War is waste. There is nothing "right" about it.
        We goaded the japs into attacking us, and they bit down on the bait real fucking hard. Both of us are wrong at that point. Then it just becomes a prison rules fight, survival being the only rule. Invading mainland japan would have wasted our troops lives. I guess from a moral perspective it would also have killed more Japanese civilians than the bombs did. Dropping the bombs ended the war decisively. One didn't do it. Two, one right after the other, did. You have the capability and it MIGHT waste less. Do it.
        Then hate yourself for it after. Such is war.
        Oy vey.

        מה מכילות החדשות?


        • #19
          Re: The Use of the Atom Bomb against Japan

          Originally posted by Commodore View Post
          Oy vey.
          Dude if you want to remain ignorant of the many not cut and dried factors that go into a global scale conflict then do so. Pardon me if I call you on it though.

          We passed some pretty serious economic measures against japan and the only way out of it for them was war. You back someone into a corner they are GOING to take a shot at you and you don't get to cry foul when they do. Like I said, NEITHER party had ANY moral standing for the conflict. Its a war: That's generally how it works out.

          Blind patriotism does not serve our nation in good stead. True patriots are able to recognize CONS as well as PROS in their nation's behavior.

          מה מכילות החדשות?


          • #20
            Re: The Use of the Atom Bomb against Japan

            Originally posted by reality View Post
            We passed some pretty serious economic measures against japan and the only way out of it for them was war. You back someone into a corner they are GOING to take a shot at you and you don't get to cry foul when they do. Like I said, NEITHER party had ANY moral standing for the conflict. Its a war: That's generally how it works out.
            We put sanctions on Japan because they invaded China. If your ok with that sort of thing just say so.

            מה מכילות החדשות?


            • #21
              Re: The Use of the Atom Bomb against Japan

              Originally posted by radcentr View Post
              I distilled it down to this point: We murdered more Japanese civilians with conventional bombing in the year (2 years?) leading up to the atomic bombing, than the 2 A-bombs took out.

              Those who make moral complaints about the atomic bombing, while ignoring the conventional bombing, miss half the argument. Those who acknowledge both but still complain, are whining about the speed of a murderous action, rather than the murder itself.

              Under the circumstances, the atomic bombing was no more and no less moral than other military operations involving civilians during that war. Not to support the Japanese in this, either. This is an exercise on the morality of certain military actions (and their targets) in modern warfare.

              The A-bomb had a marvelous effect on modern warfare, as an aside. It clearly prevented WW III. For that, I will be eternally grateful for the sacrifice made by those civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who proved a weapon could be made that scared the holy shit out of the toughest military hawks that walked the planet.
              This post pretty much nails it. I read some newspaper headlines from our fire-bombing campaigns over Japan and the newspaper articles of the time were basically gloating that we had destroyed numerous hospitals and schools in each firebombing attack. Schools and hospitals were considered key targets. In the context of 1943-1945 one of our main military goals was to bomb the hell out of civilian areas in Japan. Nukes merely gave us the way to do that with fewer airplanes and more buildings/people destroyed. In the long run I think fewer Japanese died because we DID drop nukes, and certainly fewer Americans died.

              The only moral argument I could see is we COULD have bombed remote areas instead of cities so that the Japanese could see the power we had. Seeing such power might have convinced them to surrender without destroying 2 cities. The argument against that logic is we basically didn't have more nuclear material to keep making bombs (it would have taken many more months to make more) so if the Japanese decided to nationally suicide by defying such power we wouldn't have ended the war with such demonstrations. Instead, by utterly laying waste to a city with a single bomb/airplane we overwhelmed their political/spiritual/national psyche and they simply had to surrender.

              In the long run I think its actually important for humankind to realize that humans have the mental capacity to willingly nuke entire cities full of civilians --- because we've already done it twice. I think that knowledge is what kept the cold war from erupting into nuclear war ... we (and the Soviets) KNEW that people actually WOULD use nukes - and consequently both countries kept hostilities below the boiling point.

              מה מכילות החדשות?


              • #22
                Re: The Use of the Atom Bomb against Japan

                Total war means that a nations entire economic output is dedicated to the war effort. Meaning that civilians who man the war factories become military targets.

                מה מכילות החדשות?


                • #23
                  Re: The Use of the Atom Bomb against Japan

                  Originally posted by Commodore View Post
                  We put sanctions on Japan because they invaded China. If your ok with that sort of thing just say so.
                  China wasn't our ally, nor were they clear of all blame or wrong doing either. Nor did we have any position from which to criticize Japan's actions having done many of the same things ourselves betimes.
                  Bottomline: If we wanted to take a "moral high ground" stance we should've invaded Germany after they broke the *holds nose from the stench* "peace in our time" *vomits anyway* deal chamberlain made. They broke faith, invaded Poland and france etc. If we are talking morality we would've got off our asses and done something about it LONG before the japs attacked us. FDR also had some warning about pearl harbor and he didn't do anything because America needed to have its nose bloodied to get the boys up and shooting. As I said there was nothing moral to consider in this situation. ALL the choices were immoral in some fashion. War isn't about morality. Its about NECESSITY. And necessary things are often the most immoral and the ugliest.

                  מה מכילות החדשות?


                  • #24
                    Re: The Use of the Atom Bomb against Japan

                    Originally posted by Commodore View Post
                    Total war means that a nations entire economic output is dedicated to the war effort. Meaning that civilians who man the war factories become military targets.
                    And again there is nothing moral about war. You're killing children and the infirm along with the able bodied. The only way to be moral in war is to pick your targets and that is a very quick way to lose a war SEE Afghanistan etc.

                    מה מכילות החדשות?


                    • #25
                      Re: The Use of the Atom Bomb against Japan

                      Originally posted by reality View Post
                      Dude if you want to remain ignorant of the many not cut and dried factors that go into a global scale conflict then do so. Pardon me if I call you on it though.

                      We passed some pretty serious economic measures against japan and the only way out of it for them was war. You back someone into a corner they are GOING to take a shot at you and you don't get to cry foul when they do. Like I said, NEITHER party had ANY moral standing for the conflict. Its a war: That's generally how it works out.

                      Blind patriotism does not serve our nation in good stead. True patriots are able to recognize CONS as well as PROS in their nation's behavior.
                      It's not blind patriotism. You note the sanctions we leveled at Japan as if they occurred in a vacuum: Without any provocation.

                      We might not agree with (or maybe we do) our reasoning for those sanctions, but the simple fact is Japan saw itself as the de facto, imbued by god leader of all of Southeast Asia and, more like, all of Asia. They were pretty much running over the Chinese army and even invaded Russia (bad move, as it turned out) whereupon they were dealt their first serious military defeat. By 1939, the U.S. was doing "all that it could do" without actually entering into the fracas (Flying Tigers notwithstanding): They were trying to economically subdue Japan.

                      By 1941, the U.S. and Japan were actually negotiating, trying to mitigate those strained relationships... Further, the attack on Pearl Harbor is only the one WE remember: On or around December 7, Japan also attacked Hong Kong (British owned at the time), and landed troops in Thailand and Malaysia, concurrent (or nearly so) with the Aircraft that were heading towards Hawaii.

                      I don't think it can be seriously maintained that poor little Japan had no choice but to attack (everyone). IMO, when Truman said "...a day that will live in infamy," he accurately summed up what Japan had done. A consequence of which was, they lost hundreds of thousands of people and got their asses kicked.

                      מה מכילות החדשות?


                      • #26
                        Re: The Use of the Atom Bomb against Japan

                        Originally posted by Good1 View Post
                        It's not blind patriotism. You note the sanctions we leveled at Japan as if they occurred in a vacuum: Without any provocation.

                        We might not agree with (or maybe we do) our reasoning for those sanctions, but the simple fact is Japan saw itself as the de facto, imbued by god leader of all of Southeast Asia and, more like, all of Asia. They were pretty much running over the Chinese army and even invaded Russia (bad move, as it turned out) whereupon they were dealt their first serious military defeat. By 1939, the U.S. was doing "all that it could do" without actually entering into the fracas (Flying Tigers notwithstanding): They were trying to economically subdue Japan.

                        By 1941, the U.S. and Japan were actually negotiating, trying to mitigate those strained relationships... Further, the attack on Pearl Harbor is only the one WE remember: On or around December 7, Japan also attacked Hong Kong (British owned at the time), and landed troops in Thailand and Malaysia, concurrent (or nearly so) with the Aircraft that were heading towards Hawaii.

                        I don't think it can be seriously maintained that poor little Japan had no choice but to attack (everyone). IMO, when Truman said "...a day that will live in infamy," he accurately summed up what Japan had done. A consequence of which was, they lost hundreds of thousands of people and got their asses kicked.
                        I didn't call them "poor little japan". I also noted not simply that WE had no moral standing but then NEITHER did the JAPS. What part of both groups acted immorally throughout the war and the years leading up to it don't you understand?

                        And we meddled in EVERY south American government and entered a few dust ups as well. Cmon dude you only have the high ground if you haven't done anything wrong.
                        Or as Christ said thou hypocrite why dost thou complain of the speck in thy neighbors eye while neglecting the beam in thine own?

                        Which is why, as I said, BOTH the US and JAPAN didn't have MORALITY to stand on for the war. What they had was NECESSITY.

                        מה מכילות החדשות?


                        • #27
                          Re: The Use of the Atom Bomb against Japan

                          Originally posted by reality View Post
                          China wasn't our ally, nor were they clear of all blame or wrong doing either. Nor did we have any position from which to criticize Japan's actions having done many of the same things ourselves betimes.
                          Oh, so now China deserved to be invaded by the Japanese, and we deserved Pearl Harbor because we looked at them funny for it. Keep digging.
                          Originally posted by reality View Post
                          Bottomline: If we wanted to take a "moral high ground" stance we should've invaded Germany after they broke the *holds nose from the stench* "peace in our time" *vomits anyway* deal chamberlain made. They broke faith, invaded Poland and france etc. If we are talking morality we would've got off our asses and done something about it LONG before the japs attacked us. FDR also had some warning about pearl harbor and he didn't do anything because America needed to have its nose bloodied to get the boys up and shooting.
                          Yes, isolationism is a disastrous policy that has failed every time it has been attempted, yet it still persists at both ends of the American political spectrum, and it ran rampant in America in the late 30's and 40's.
                          Originally posted by reality View Post
                          As I said there was nothing moral to consider in this situation. ALL the choices were immoral in some fashion. War isn't about morality. Its about NECESSITY. And necessary things are often the most immoral and the ugliest.
                          Originally posted by reality View Post
                          And again there is nothing moral about war. You're killing children and the infirm along with the able bodied. The only way to be moral in war is to pick your targets and that is a very quick way to lose a war SEE Afghanistan etc.
                          I would describe war as one of many tools to gain power. A tool is neither moral or immoral, but what you intend to do with the power you gain certainly is. Or isn't.

                          מה מכילות החדשות?


                          • #28
                            Re: The Use of the Atom Bomb against Japan

                            Originally posted by reality View Post
                            I didn't call them "poor little japan". I also noted not simply that WE had no moral standing but then NEITHER did the JAPS. What part of both groups acted immorally throughout the war and the years leading up to it don't you understand?

                            And we meddled in EVERY south American government and entered a few dust ups as well. Cmon dude you only have the high ground if you haven't done anything wrong.
                            Or as Christ said thou hypocrite why dost thou complain of the speck in thy neighbors eye while neglecting the beam in thine own?

                            Which is why, as I said, BOTH the US and JAPAN didn't have MORALITY to stand on for the war. What they had was NECESSITY.
                            Don't get me wrong, I do not complain that the U.S. was lily white in all of this.

                            But I thought I saw you painting Japan as "poor little" and "had no choice" because of the repercussions the U.S. put on them for their behavior circa 1939 or so.

                            If you say that's not what you meant, then mea culpa: I misread it.

                            Onward and upward.

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                            • #29
                              Re: The Use of the Atom Bomb against Japan

                              Originally posted by Good1 View Post
                              Don't get me wrong, I do not complain that the U.S. was lily white in all of this.

                              But I thought I saw you painting Japan as "poor little" and "had no choice" because of the repercussions the U.S. put on them for their behavior circa 1939 or so.

                              If you say that's not what you meant, then mea culpa: I misread it.

                              Onward and upward.
                              Well after their behavior triggered our embargoes they didn't have much choice especially with their culture (they would basically be kowtowing to us over mere economics. doesn't sit well with bushido OR bushido light), and its not like we did a very good job of negotiating (there is some evidence that FDR intended them to attack so he could get us into the war) nor is it that we had not pursued policies similar to theirs before. It was a pissing contest and the end result of a pissing contest is that everyone gets wet feet and reeks of ammonia.

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                              • #30
                                Re: The Use of the Atom Bomb against Japan

                                Originally posted by Commodore View Post
                                Oh, so now China deserved to be invaded by the Japanese, and we deserved Pearl Harbor because we looked at them funny for it. Keep digging.

                                Yes, isolationism is a disastrous policy that has failed every time it has been attempted, yet it still persists at both ends of the American political spectrum, and it ran rampant in America in the late 30's and 40's.


                                I would describe war as one of many tools to gain power. A tool is neither moral or immoral, but what you intend to do with the power you gain certainly is. Or isn't.
                                And where did I say that o wise and learned swami? O nowhere? I didn't say that at all? You're just being intellectually dishonest and pulling shit out of your asshole? k.

                                We had no business doing anything about china being invaded. We DID have business stomping the germans who were invading france et al willy nilly in flagrant violation of various agreements not to mention that the French and brits were our allies. We SHOULD"VE been over there if we wanted to claim "morality". But we weren't.

                                Except when it comes to placing embargoes on nations that threatened our PACIFIC INTERESTS. THATS what us and japan went to war over, the pacific not some moral point.

                                Killing civilians is not moral. War is not moral. That doesn't mean it isn't at times necessary and that when that happens you shouldn't play it total war style and end up with your boot on the enemy's neck. Doesn't make you moral for doing so.

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