How could US drop the a-bomb on Civilians?

Discussion in 'History' started by aaqucnaona, Jan 18, 2012.


Was Us justified in dropping the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Oh, well if you don’t like how silly your positions are, whose fault is that?
    Well, you think more than that if your previous posts are to be believed. You have written on multiple occasions the US deliberately prolonged the war just so they could detonate nuclear devices on Japanese cities and kill children. And you made that claim as recently as your last post.
    And has been pointed out to you on numerous occasions with transcripts of the actual documents and fliers dropped on Japan, the US did warn Japan. Those fliers weren’t dropped on Japan by rouge officers. Those fliers warning the population and urging surrender were dropped on Japan because the US military command ordered it.
    You have repeatedly made the assertion that the US extended the war in order to drop nuclear bombs on Japan, where is the evidence? You have never been able to support your beliefs and claims.
    There was debate by US leaders with respect to the use of nuclear weapons on Japan and there was disagreement. But debate and disagreement doesn’t make for a secret cabal, nor does it make for the murderous intent you ascribe to US leaders for using nuclear weapons. Whereas you see nefarious cabals in debate and disagreement, I see that as a sign of thoughtful and good intentions. It is clear; the US didn’t take the use of nuclear weapons lightly. Great thought went into the decision to use them. That is why there were discussions. That is why there was disagreement.
    Pre previously referenced materials; the US had a decision, use the bomb to end the war early and in doing so save millions of lives both military and civilian. The US chose to US nuclear bombs to end the war early and in doing so save millions of lives. Unfortunately for you, your beliefs are just not consistent with known facts. Japan didn’t surrender easily. Even with the nuclear detonations, Japan wasn’t ready to surrender.
    As previously pointed out and documented Japan still had a 2 million man army on Japanese homelands islands, and still had possession of China and Korea. Japan was far from milk toast, as you would have us believe, when nuclear weapons were dropped on Japan.
    LOL…let me remind you, you asserted the US had not offered terms of surrender to Japan when in fact, it along with its allies, had offered surrender terms to Japan. As previously documented, it was called the Potsdam Declaration. Just because the Potsdam Declaration isn’t consistent with your beliefs, it doesn’t wish away the Potsdam Declaration. I previously posted the terms of Japan’s surrender which were declared in the Potsdam Declaration.
    What you are arguing for is an extension of the war with prolonged negotiations. Prolonging the war would have extended the bloodshed with no guarantee of a better outcome or even prospect of a better outcome. Need I remind you of the war crimes committed by the Japanese government (e.g. The Rape of Nanking).
    I’ll repeat myself for your edification, below is an excerpt from my previous Wikipedia reference.
    Japanese reaction
    On July 27, the Japanese government considered how to respond to the Declaration. The four military members of the Big Six wanted to reject it, but Tōgō persuaded the cabinet not to do so until he could get a reaction from the Soviets. In a telegram, Shun'ichi Kase, Japan's ambassador to Switzerland, observed that "unconditional surrender" applied only to the military and not to the government or the people, and he pleaded that it should be understood that the careful language of Potsdam appeared "to have occasioned a great deal of thought" on the part of the signatory governments—"they seem to have taken pains to save face for us on various points."[72] The next day, Japanese newspapers reported that the Declaration, the text of which had been broadcast and dropped by leaflet into Japan, had been rejected. In an attempt to manage public perception, Prime Minister Suzuki met with the press, and stated:
    I consider the Joint Proclamation a rehash of the Declaration at the Cairo Conference. As for the Government, it does not attach any important value to it at all. The only thing to do is just kill it with silence (mokusatsu). We will do nothing but press on to the bitter end to bring about a successful completion of the war.[73]
    The meaning of mokusatsu, literally "kill with silence," can range from "ignore" to "treat with contempt"—which rather accurately described the range of reactions within the government.[73] On July 30, Ambassador Satō wrote that Stalin was probably talking to Roosevelt and Churchill about his dealings with Japan, and he wrote: "There is no alternative but immediate unconditional surrender if we are to prevent Russia's participation in the war."[74] On August 2, Tōgō wrote to Satō: "it should not be difficult for you to realize that ... our time to proceed with arrangements of ending the war before the enemy lands on the Japanese mainland is limited, on the other hand it is difficult to decide on concrete peace conditions here at home all at once."[75] – Wikipedia
    Your response is the very definition of cognitive dissonance.
    Except they were warned, as previously documented, now they were given detailed plans. But why should they, this was war. You don’t detail your plans to the enemy and then send you men into battle to only be summarily executed because you warned the enemy you were coming.
    You have been repeatedly challenged to prove your assertions that the Japanese command wasn’t aware of that a major military site had disappeared until days after the fact. But you have yet to offer any evidence to back up that assertion.
    Yeah, I mean where is the evidence to support your assertions that the US delayed the war in order to drop bombs on Japanese, “We have his guaranteeing a six month war extension to ready a fancier Bomb design through deception and secrecy, keeping the Bomb a secret from its civilian targets rather than warning them, refusing to meet with Japanese envoys or permit any other possibility of negotiated surrender in the months of Bomb readying, firebombing Tokyo and other major Japanese cities while getting the Bomb ready, rushing the Nagasaki bombing rather than giving the Japanese time to comprehend Hiroshima, and so forth and so on. How much evidence of a more complicated agenda than merely "saving lives" or "ending the war" do you need?” – Iceaura. I thought my challenge was pretty clear.
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  3. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Contrary to your assertion, what the US had was a design specification.
    “The design specifications were completed in February 1945, and contracts were let to build the components. Three different plants were used so that no one would have a copy of the complete design.”
    A weapon design specification isn’t the same thing as having a weapon. Once you have a design, it must be built and tested and then put into production. There is no evidence the US delayed nuclear weapons development in order to fulfill some secret blood lust you attribute to the US. Once the nuclear weapon design had been tested, then and only then did the US have a credible weapon. An untested design isn’t for a radically new technology is far from the “credible” threat you believe it to be. The bottom line here is you have no evidence the US deliberately delayed nuclear weapons development or by extension the war as you have repeatedly claimed.

    Additionally, there is no rational reason to think Japan would have believed the US if it had informed the Japanese government the US had designs for a nuclear device. Even after the detonation of a nuclear device and official notification in writing that the US had developed a “new kind of weapon”, members of the Japanese high command refused to believe the US actually had nuclear weapons.

    “The Japanese Army and Navy had their own independent atomic-bomb programs and therefore the Japanese understood enough to know how very difficult building it would be. Therefore, many Japanese and in particular the military members of the government refused to believe the United States had built an atomic bomb” - Wikipedia

    So you think the Japanese high command would believe design plans when they refused to believe after a nuclear device had leveled one of their cities? And you think giving Japan our designs for nuclear weapons would be a wise thing to do, knowing full well Japan had a nuclear weapons program of its own? Nothing makes sense like giving your enemies access to your military secrets.

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    This really isn’t that complicated. The first nuclear bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945, Japan announced their surrender on August 15. It’s just simple math. That is 9 days. That is more than the one week you had asserted.

    Uh, seriously…..? The International Date Line has nothing to do with this. There is nothing magical about the International Date Line. The International Date Line doesn’t affect how these dates have been recorded in the US. The International Date Line isn’t a time warp.

    Here is the bottom line, you have no evidence to support your assertion the US delayed nuclear weapons development, much less for the pleasure of dropping them on Japan and kill Japanese citizens. Nor do you have any evidence or any rational reason to believe Japan would have believed the US if the US had told Japan it had design specifications for a nuclear weapon in February of that year. Hell, Japan didn't believe the US had a nuclear bomb after a bomb had been detonated on Japanese soil. As repeated endlessly in this thread, it took a Russian declaration of war, a second nuke, a lie from a tortured American pilot and a coup to get Japan to surrender, all of which you summarily ignore and pretend didn't happen.
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    I have written that the US deliberately avoided telling the Japanese about the Bomb for months after successfully developing one, thereby preventing any chance of the Japanese surrendering due to the threat of it, until after the implosion design could be tested and dropped with the gun Bomb. The US went so far as to avoid negotiating with the Japanese envoys altogether, while building the Bombs.

    That is just me posting the time line of historical event.

    The clear implications of that sequence of events are your own inferences from the facts. Of course these inferences are hard to avoid, and I believe that is the source of your continued attempts to revise and deny the historical record.

    Like this absurdity, repeatedly posted by you:
    Well, Japan was not aware that it had been warned. Japan was taken completely by surprise. The Japanese command had no idea what had happened to Hiroshima until well after the detonation. The Bomb was quite a shock, to the Japanese. So this warning you insist existed must have been of an unusual type - nobody in Japan knew about it.

    Not even Hiroshima knew that it had been warned: The doctors and nurses of Hiroshima were assembled at the main hospital in the center of town, the schoolgirls were out clearing fire lanes in the streets, distant (surviving) eyewitnesses describe seeing the plane and not thinking anything of it. Are you claiming some kind of mass suicide, at Hiroshima?

    The US had a complete working design for an atomic bomb in January, 1945. They did not tell the Japanese about it, and began refusing to meet with the Japanese envoys. They completed the design specifications - the actual mechanical drawings, dimensions, finish requirements, everything a machinist needs to physically make the thing - and let the contracts in February. All components were ready for drop assembly - an entire gun design Bomb was ready for transport to the assembly site, arming and deployment in the airplane - by the middle of March, 1945. It was never tested or "put into production", because it was considered both crude and completely reliable - it was just set aside, secretly, while a second and more sophisticated design was refined and built. The Japanese were not informed of this threat, and Japanese offers of negotiation for surrender were refused during this time. That was five months - March, April, May, June, July. During this time Tokyo was firebombed with the greatest loss of civilian life in a single assault ever recorded on the planet Earth, several Kamikaze assaults took many American lives, the battle of Okinawa took place, and in general the War with all its miseries was fought as if the Bomb did not exist and Japanese surrender were impossible.

    What most of them managed to comprehend within 48 hours of receiving very sparse information they were completely unprepared for, I see no reason to dismiss the possibility of their comprehending within four months of much more complete information and preparation time.

    And besides, that's irrelevant hindsight - nobody knew at the time what it would take to convince the Japanese command. What we do know is that the possibility was deliberately avoided.

    I think having well informed physicists is good reason to think they would have comprehended the threat without the atrocity of Hiroshima or anything like it. You're the guy claiming they wouldn't believe it was possible anyway, btw, so no risk at all.
    At so little risk, with so great a reward possible, and compared with burning schoolgirls alive as some kind of surprise demonstration of one's new toy, I think it makes perfect sense.
    None of those claims about my posting are accurate. You are making shit up again.
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
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  7. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Well, yes the US deliberately avoided telling Japan and everyone else for that matter that it was developing a nuclear bomb. As I previously stated, countries at war with each other don’t typically tell each other about the weapons they are developing. Japan didn’t tell the US about its nuclear weapons programs either.

    Two, your assertion that the US had a nuclear weapon and waited months to deploy it, like your other beliefs, is just not born out by the evidence. The first test of a nuclear device was the Trinity test which occurred on July 16, 1945. Thirty one days later, on August 6th, the US detonated the first nuclear bomb on Japan. It gets back to that math thingy, 31 days isn’t months as you have asserted. Until the first successful bomb test (i.e. Trinity), the US didn’t have a proven nuclear bomb. It’s one of those many details you like to ignore in favor of your beliefs.

    Where is the evidence to back up your claim that the US “went so far as to avoid negotiating with Japanese envoys altogether”? Let me guess, it’s with your claim the Potsdam Declaration didn’t contain terms for Japan’s surrender. It doesn’t exit and is contrary to known fact.
    When Japan declared war on the US, Japan withdrew its envoys.
    LOL, ah, just what timelines have you posted? None, what evidence have you offered to support your beliefs? None…you have offered none. You have made a number of assertions which run contrary to well-known and well documented fact (e.g. The Potsdam Declaration didn’t specify the terms for Japan’s surrender.
    It isn’t an absurdity; it is a fact and a fact that has been repeatedly proven in this thread. The truth isn’t absurd.

    Your repeated refusal to recognize the historical record in preference of your unfounded beliefs is indeed absurd. But the truth is never absurd.
    Japan was warned as has been repeatedly proven. Wither you chose to recognize it or not, well that is up to you. I suggest you do some homework. I have provided you the NPR links so that you can begin that homework.
    As I previously posted and documented, they had a design specification. A design specification is part of a design document. It doesn’t mean everything is workable. It’s a plan based on a set of requirements. It doesn’t mean the requirements are correct. It doesn’t’ mean the design isn’t flawed. A design specification is just part of the design process. A design specification doesn’t mean all the questions and problems have been resolved. It’s a starting point. It certainly isn’t a nuclear weapon as you have repeatedly asserted. Additionally, there is nothing magical about the word, “working”. Your post just reflects your ignorance of design and project management.

    You have repeatedly made the assertions you have just repeated in the above paragraph. What you haven’t done is prove them after being repeatedly challenged to do so.
    As has been repeatedly pointed out to you “well informed physicist” not making military and political decisions for the Japanese government, military leaders were. You believe that 4 months of negotiations would have brought Japan to the surrender table when 2 nuclear bomb detonations on Japanese soil were not. Ok, well that is your belief, but that is all it is. It is a belief based on ignorance and just isn’t consistent with the evidence.

    You believe disclosing US nuclear designs to its enemy who had begun the war with a surprise attack was low risk. I think most people would see the absurdity of your argument and characterization. War, nuclear or otherwise, causes people to get burned, mutilated, maimed and killed. There is this belief among folks like you that somehow instant vaporization is somehow less humane and more horrible than conventional warfare. Conventional warfare can be just as horrifying, if not more so, than the damage inflicted by the two nuclear bombs dropped on Japan. War, all war, is horrifying. One kind of warfare isn’t better than another as you and those like you seem to think.

    The unfortunate fact for you, and as previously proven, is using the nuclear bombs on Japan likely saved the lives of millions, allied lives as well as Japanese lives. War his unfortunate. The unfortunate fact for you is the US used its nuclear weapons to bring the war to an early end and in doing so saved millions of lives on both sides.

    The only one making shit up here is you Ice. The only one who has obfuscated and repeatedly refused to provide the evidence to back up his assertions here is you Ice.
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Once more, slowly:

    The Trinity test was for the implosion Bomb, dropped on Nagasaki. The Hiroshima Bomb was a gun design, built by March 1945, and never tested - it was too simple to need testing, and they didn't want to waste the expensive U-235 (the implosion Bomb used plutonium). The Hiroshima Bomb was built and readied more than four months before the Nagasaki Bomb was ready, from a design completed in early January, eight months before Hiroshima's obliteration. For those eight months, the US kept the Bomb a secret from the Japanese, thereby preventing any chance of early surrender from the threat of it.

    This is what, the fifth time I have had to repost the contents of your own links on this timeline business?

    The "warning" issue is even more odd:
    So for the proof that the Japanese were warned, the "truth", my "homework",

    Joe posts a link to a radio speech that Truman gave in English on August 9th, and the text of some leaflets scattered randomly among the citizenry after the Hiroshima bombing.

    I didn't pick the word "absurdity" out of a hat.

    One thing is looking up: My contention that Hiroshima has done psychological damage to the US has accumulated a good deal of evidence in support. Anyone rereading this thread is invited to simply list, one after the other, the proposed justifications and exculpations for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and compare them with the actual physical events and decisions in order, as they happened. Notice, for example, how the Japanese command is alternately incapable of recognizing the implications of US successful Bomb development, running an expensive and dangerous nuclear bomb program, not listening to their physicists, dangerously in league with their physicists, fanatically inured to civilian casualties, not persuadable except by killing civilians, already warned about the Bomb, too dangerous to inform about the Bomb, and so forth and so on. These people are in pain, in denial, flinching in all directions with no attempt at coherence or reason. What the US did at Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a seriously painful topic.
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

    The fliers you linked to were dropped AFTER the first atomic bomb was dropped. From the link you yourself posted:
    "We have just begun to use this weapon against your homeland. If you still have any doubt, make inquiry as to what happened to Hiroshima when just one atomic bomb fell on that city."
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    LOL, how about just once with a little relevant fact? The facts just are not consistent with your macabre machinations of the US. It really is that simple. Contrary to your many assertions, you have NO, ABSOUTELY NO, evidence the US delayed development or extended the war in order to drop nuclear bombs on Japan.

    You have been repeatedly challenged to support your assertions with evidence, and have been unable to do so.
    LOL, and what does that mean exactly? Every time you quote me you repost my links. Instead of reposting my links, you should be opening them and reading them, because clearly you are not.
    Except, you have no evidence to support your assertion the leaflets were randomly scattered, and those NPR links clearly document the fact Japan was warned which isn’t consistent with your beliefs and contrary to the claims you have made. So is your complaint now that the leaflets were not delivered via certified mail? Aside from the absurdity of it, do you really think the Japanese government would have permitted that?
    Oh, well where did you find it then?
    Ok, this is new. Where is the evidence to support this new contention? My guess it is with all your other assertions, it doesn’t exist. Unfortunately for you Ice, fact and reason do matter. And you have NONE. What you have are beliefs which you cannot support with fact or reason. You have been repeatedly challenged to produce evidence of your beliefs and you failed to produce even a shred of evidence.

    I find historical revisionism, which you have clearly demonstrated here, to be abhorrent. We should learn from the past. The past should be a guide to the future. And when history his revised for political or ideological reasons or out of sheer ignorance, it sets us up to repeat the failures of the past and it sets us up for new failures.

    The only one who has documented anything in this discussion is me.

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    Last edited: May 9, 2015
  11. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    I think you are confusing the leaflets with Truman's speech. Truman's speech to the American people occurred after the first bomb was dropped. There are two different events here.

    "For several months, the U.S. had dropped more than 63 million leaflets across Japan warning civilians of air raids. Many Japanese cities suffered terrible damage from aerial bombings, some were as much as 97% destroyed. LeMay thought that this would increase the psychological impact of bombing, and reduce the stigma of area bombing cities. Even with the warnings, Japanese opposition to the war remained ineffective. In general, the Japanese regarded the leaflet messages as truthful, but anyone who was caught in possession of one was arrested.[86][87] Leaflet texts were prepared by recent Japanese prisoners of war because they were thought to be the best choice "to appeal to their compatriots".[88]
    In preparation for dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, U.S. military leaders decided against a demonstration bomb, and against a special leaflet warning, in both cases because of the uncertainty of a successful detonation, and the wish to maximize psychological shock.[89] No warning was given to Hiroshima that a new and much more destructive bomb was going to be dropped.[90] Various sources give conflicting information about when the last leaflets were dropped on Hiroshima prior to the atomic bomb. Robert Jay Lifton writes that it was July 27,[90] and Theodore H. McNelly that it was July 3.[89] The USAAF history notes eleven cities were targeted with leaflets on July 27, but Hiroshima was not one of them, and there were no leaflet sorties on July 30.[87] Leaflet sorties were undertaken on August 1 and August 4. It is very likely that Hiroshima was leafleted in late July or early August, as survivor accounts talk about a delivery of leaflets a few days before the atomic bomb was dropped."

    The bottom line is the US had been warning and distributing leaflets for several months prior to the nuclear bombs. Those leaflets urged Japanese to abandon their cities and urge their government to surrender.
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
  12. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    No, I don't agree, I said it.

    In reply, I'm going to allow your insistence on these "forced delays", even while being fully and intimately aware on my own part of the machinations of government and how that might have contributed to those delays.
    Your "facts", while potentially (and, of course, subjectively) damning in their own right, are not as simple in terms of either strategic planning nor execution as you deem them to be.

    Having said that, however, the answer is really very, very simple.
    If the USA had negotiated a surrender, the impact on China and Russia would have been negligible. The USA knew very well that a simple negotiated Japanese surrender to them would not have stopped either one of the aforementioned from doing as they pleased afterward.
    What, do you really think China, with a hatred of Japan at the time still in evidence even in this decade, 75 years on, would simply have made peace with Japan just because the Americans did?

    Try to think of it this way:
    The dropping of the Atomic weapons on Japan had very little to do with the Japanese, nor with forcing their surrender. Those things were almost irrelevent, by that point.

    I'm going to assume you've seen "Troy", the one with Brad Pitt in it.
    There is a scene early in the movie, Achilles Vs Boagrius. Here:

    Now imagine Boagrius is Japan, and the Thessalonian soldiers are Russia and China. This scene is not about killing Boagrius; Boagrius is almost irrelevant.
    It is about doing it quickly, easily, and so convincingly that Achilles is able to simply walk up to the Thessalonians without looking back or breaking stride, knowing exactly what he'd just done, without a single one in an entire army making a move to stop him.
    "Is there no one else? Is there no one else!"

    It has nothing to do with morals. Nothing.

    Only those with the right and ability to sit behind their keyboards and criticize seven decades on have the luxury of crowing about morals.

    Yes, the Americans knew how to win a war in the 1940's.
    Their obsession with morality now is a major factor when one tries to understand why they haven't won one convincingly (one might even have an argument for using the words "at all") since.

    Of course it does. That is exactly why everyone hates revisionist history, or at least those with half a brain do. I'm beginning to wonder whose side you're on in this argument.
    Revisionist history, however, is propaganda, not history. Historians know that.
    The only ones who don't seem to know that are the ones revisionist history is written for.

    You see, I'm not arguing about your digging up documents in support of an American delay in dropping the bomb, or whether or not they should have warned the Japanese, or whatever. I'm not arguing that there is a certain amount of denial happening to one extent or another here, on both sides of this argument.
    I simply don't care.

    The mistake you're making here is that you consider only those implications perceived as resulting from your own morality as being pertinent.
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    I mostly agree with that.

    And that is the context in which the schoolgirls of Hiroshima were out in the streets clearing fire lanes, and the the doctors and nurses were collected at ground zero - the main hospital - when the Bomb built months ago and kept secret since was detonated over their heads. It had nothing to do with them, personally - they were just demonstration people burned alive awesomely, used to illustrate the power of America's weaponry and cow the Chinese, Russians, etc.

    So if the decision was a good one, we should be celebrating their surprise slaughter by firestorm - pointing to all the good we accomplished via ambushing them and terrorizing the onlookers.

    Unfortunately, what we seem to have accomplished via Hiroshima and Nagasaki is what we now describe as "The Arms Race" and "The Cold War", with compounded miseries worldwide and the degradation of our own lives at home. It turns out that bullied people don't necessarily want to stay bullied.

    There were plenty of people worried about morals at the time. And they seem to have been right. But the criticism here is not of the past - it's the present denial that is at issue.

    And the thing about morality is: it works. And nothing else does. It's not an impractical luxury, but a guidebook for major decisionmaking one can ignore only at peril. Hitler might well have won his war, had he not betrayed Russia and tried to rob and murder all the Jews in Europe. America might have won in Vietnam, had it joined the morally better side and fought the good fight.

    As the victory over Germany illustrated. But they screwed up with Japan - almost made it up in the postwar decency, but that business with Hiroshima seems to have lodged like a fishbone.
    And that obsession seems to have started with the denial of Hiroshima.

    Self-deception weakens legs. Betrayal destroys cooperation. Evil rots from the head.
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
  14. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Basically, yes.

    No, we should not be celebrating it. We can, however, acknowledge that the decision was, particularly in hindsight, a good one - "good" in the context only of American survival and dominance, of course.

    Supporting a decision is not the same as celebrating it. Only you choose to make that comparison.

    I see. You would have been happier had it been a little warmer, which would have been almost inevitable. You would have been happier if tens of millions more might have died, as long as you could say you did the right thing in one isolated instance.
    All of which is hypothetical, of course, but not something you appear to consider overly much. Deliberately so, I will add.

    What "degradation of our lives at home" are you considering to be the equal of the degradation which might have been suffered at home with another ten years of war in the offing?

    I'm not denying anything. The bomb itself, the aftereffects, all of those things must have been absolutely awful, and I'm using that word in a sense knowing that I can never imagine completely how utterly horrifying it must have been.
    But one must from time to time set aside these things, in order to prevent becoming a centipede gnawing on its own arse for eternity.
    But horrifying things are not the end of all things. They shape things to come.


    Yes, it does work. Of course it does.

    Another thing about morality, though, is that in order to thrive it must have a safe environment in which to do so.
    Sometimes, this requires that hard decisions must be made in order to ensure that survival. Philosophers throughout history have acknowledged that; hence my Machiavelli quote earlier, in this thread or another.

    ...I'm going to let that "morally better side" slide past.

    Germany had Dresden firebombed, just as an example and obvious rebuttal - there was very little difference in the conduct in either theatre. The media might have given you that impression, but the reality was far different.
    Germany suffered more during the war than Japan ever did, A-bomb or no A-bomb. Without the Marshall Plan, it was dead in the water. That the Marshall plan filled the coffers of those charged with enacting it, there is no doubt... but good came of it as well. And do you think that the modern-day Japan is so harsh a place?

    The A-bomb, as horrifying an event as it might seem to you, will become little more than a blip in history. An event of interest, a significant point in time which helped shape the world.
    Like the Mongol invasions. When was the last time you ever heard anyone debating the morality of Ghengis Or Tamir?

    Morality is a subjective thing, an amorphous blob of a concept which varies from individual to individual, from culture to culture.
    It has a role after the fact, in order to further examine consequences and help define , again, what is to come. And in that sense, of course it is important.
    But it cannot be applied, with any degree of honesty, to what has already happened.

    Nor can it be applied by the side that loses. They don't always have that luxury.
    Any more.

    What you might define as being "Good", on the other hand, as often as not, simply has it's head taken off.
    Is spite of what Hollywood would have you believe. Or that revisionist history you have a tendency to believe or not, as suits your purpose.
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Considering the damage it appears to have done, I would call it a bad mistake - considering the opportunity lost, a terrible blunder.

    Oh bullshit. Your crystal ball is set to "excuse mongering" - change the channel.
    Or imagine what we would have suffered if the Mexicans had take advantage of our wimpy negotiations to invade and take back Texas! Oh noes!

    Stuff it. Making an effort to end WWII months earlier without atrocity, maybe by using the temporary Jap territory Russia was coveting as our Bomb demo target, has very little visible downside either then or in hindsight. We crippled ourselves for no good reason, mostly because Truman was a small-minded man with a closet full of Communists.

    You are. You are denying the implications of your need for baroque hypothetical disaster as the presumed alternative to what the US did to Hiroshima. But more relevantly to the downside of Hiroshima, the US generally seems to be in denial - and it's been an expensive state of mind to maintain. Corrupted the whole anti-Soviet campaign. Got us into Korea, got us into Vietnam, messed us up in Central and South America - not a pretty picture.

    I'm an American, watching other Americans with American cultural values suffer from the consequences of denying what was in their terms a bad moral blunder.

    Like you have a clue about what I "might define as Good". This, say:
    from the guy finding his views illustrated in Hollywood movies I've never seen. (Apparently film versions of Greek epics: if you care, in the original this realpolitic you espouse leads to blunder and tragedy, while calm and firm adherence to wisdom, morality, and family values brings the hero home. I imagine the Hollywood version may have gone a bit light on the homebody virtues, same as they did in Lord of the Rings ).
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
  16. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Ah. Tantalizing little glimpses of the inner crackpot.

    Nothing much in the way of substance there to reply to, really.
  17. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    I'd say the opposite, that morality is most significant in a dangerous environment. It's easy to be "good" when it doesn't cost anything.
  18. Bells Staff Member

    Those ones were dropped after the first bomb was dropped, yes.

    But prior to the first bomb, the Japanese were warned that Hiroshima and Nagasaki (along with several other cities) would be destroyed and they were advised to evacuate. Millions of leaflets were dropped on several occasions to inform the Japanese of what was going to happen. These leaflets were dropped from June, through July. The Japanese Government instructed the Japanese people to turn them into the police and told to ignore them and failure to turn them in, or keeping the leaflets would result in harsh penalties for Japanese civilians:

    Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or a friend. In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories, which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique that they are using to prolong this useless war. Unfortunately, bombs have no eyes. So, in accordance with America's well-known humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives.

    America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique, which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace, which America will bring, will free the people from the oppression of the Japanese military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan.

    You can restore peace by demanding new and better leaders who will end the War.

    We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked, but some or all of them will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately

    They were also warned by radio, with constant radio broadcasts, telling the Japanese to evacuate from those cities because those cities were to be destroyed.

    By noon on 28 July, OWI’s presses on Saipan were rolling with notices warning civilians to evacuate 35 Japanese cities scheduled to be bombed within the next few days. About 1 million leaflets fell on the targeted cities whose names appeared in Japanese writing under a picture of five airborne B-29s releasing bombs. Given the extent of the effort, it is extraordinary that many Americans are not aware that Japanese cities were warned prior to being bombed. Even today, members of the B-29 crews recall their fears that the warnings would make them easier targets for Japanese planes and antiaircraft artillery. However, they concurred with Gen. Curtis LeMay’s proposal at the time.10 Military newspapers featured the unprecedented action under such headlines as “B-29 Command Now Calling Its Shots” and “580 B-29s Follow Up Leaflet Warnings With 3800 Tons Of Fire And Explosives.”11

    The suggestion that they should have been warned about what kind of bombs were to be used is a tad bizarre. They were warned that those cities would be destroyed and they were warned to evacuate immediately. And these warnings dropped from the sky in the form of leaflets and on radio continuously for over a month beforehand. To say that they should have been told that it was a nuclear bomb, who gives such detailed warnings to their enemy beforehand? It is akin to telling Bin Laden that his house would be invaded by navy seals carrying such and such weapons before his house was invaded. The Japanese were given ample warnings that their cities would be destroyed and more than enough time to evacuate.
  19. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

    On August 17th and 18th 1945, photo reconnaissance missions were flown over Japan to test ceasefire compliance. They were attacked by Japanese fighter aircraft, and on the August 18th mission Army Sergeant Anthony Marchione died from being wounded in that attack, giving him the dubious honor of being the last combat casualty of the war. The Japanese were fortunate that this did not result in yet another incendiary raid in retaliation.
  20. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

    "By August 13, it was obvious to die-hards within Japan’s government and military that Emperor Hirohito—shaken by the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki just days earlier—intended to accept the Allies’ demand for unconditional surrender. Though an attempted coup against the emperor had been foiled by loyal troops on the night of August 14, hardliners in the military swore to fight on. On August 15, Hirohito addressed his country by radio, announcing his intention to “bear the unbearable” and surrender to the Allies, intensifying the anger and sense of dishonor many in Japan’s military felt.

    Among those most capable of translating those feelings into action were the Japanese navy fighter pilots at Atsugi and Yokosuka airfields, outside Tokyo. At Atsugi, the 302nd Air Group was openly rebelling against Hirohito’s cease-fire order. And the Yokosuka Air Group included many pilots—such as aces Saburo Sakai and Sadamu Komachi—who felt Japan’s airspace should remain inviolate until a formal surrender document had actually been signed."
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Not one single flyer was dropped informing the Japanese of what was going to happen. That is why they were not in fact informed. The idea that an informed Japanese public would have collected its doctors and nurse at the centers of the targets, set teams of schoolgirls to clearing the streets in the open under the incoming bomb, etc, is just - what's the word - bizarre.

    Not half as bizarre as dropping one on a city full of schoolchildren without warning, or loudly and insistently claiming to have warned them without having done so.

    That second bizarre event is a psychological symptom, btw.

    Someone who has invented an atomic bomb, knows their enemy can do nothing to defend themselves from it, and knows that knowledge will quickly end the war they are fighting.

    It's a unique situation.

    They would do that in the hope of ending the war as soon as possible, and in the hope of never having used such a weapon to kill doctors and nurses in hospitals, burn schoolgirls alive, and so forth, merely to demonstrate it. One does not want that on the national conscience - look at the mental contortions being employed to deny the event.
  22. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Reminds me of a recent article in a local newspaper.

    Some bloke went on Facebook and said all cats caught out after dark should be fair game.
    Because of what they do to the local ecology, and all that. Everyone knows what cats do to the local wildlife, around here, but they prefer to ignore that because cats are.... you know, pets.

    So what image accompanies the article?
    A kitten. Picture the cutest kitten you could ever imagine. That's the picture they used.

    There's iceaura for you. schoolgirls.
  23. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Well Ice does have a flare for the dramatic, over statement, and a not so charming knack for ignoring inconvenient facts and rational thoughts. God forbid fact and reason should demolish Ice's many fallacious beliefs.

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