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. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Here's a specific nugget, such referred to above:
    So not only do you claim that the US was not contemplating invading Japan after the invention of the bomb, but you actually go so far as to say that to believe such is crazy!? Wow. But:

    So in fact, the US was planning for the invasion of Japan right up until Japan surrendered. Now, perhaps you may try to argue that these preparations were fake or not serious, but to claim mental illness causes people to believe something that is mainstream/at face value true is, itself crazy.
    joepistole likes this.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Once again, an entire post almost completely devoted to various versions of "No, I didn't say that."

    Not quite. I claim the US avoided the opportunity of possibly ending the war. Avoided giving Japan information the US knew might persuade it to surrender, avoided negotiating with Japanese envoys, and used the time to prepare the implosion Bomb so that it could drop both ready Bombs on populated cities by surprise.

    Yes. Absolutely. That's plain historical fact.
    Not "prolonged" - prevented the possibility of curtailing. Not the same thing.

    And test them for ourselves, of course. We were curious about what they would do, especially the implosion design.
    It's not a matter of prolonging the war, but of preventing any chance of the threat of the Bomb persuading the Japanese to capitulate. Avoiding, on purpose, any chance of ending the war early.

    The direct evidence for that has been posted by me a half dozen times now - unless you think the Bomb was kept secret from January until August, and the manufactured gun bomb kept in storage from March until August, by accident?

    The delay in informing the Japanese of the Bomb, the refusal to meet with the Japanese envoys or enter into surrender negotiations, the refusal to use the threat of the Bomb in negotiations, the keeping the Bomb a secret for months while two different designs were readied and dropped, is all just history - boring, simple, Wiki level history.

    I never said they didn't "acknowledge the typical two sides of the argument".
    No, I'm not saying that.

    What you argue from misrepresentations of my posts I don't need to deal with.
    The idea that the US would invade Japan, at such high cost and horrible circumstances, when it possessed atomic bombs capable of destroying the entire country one city at a time without invading, is nonsense. Obviously nonsense. Once the Bomb was in the arsenal, there was never going to be an invasion. The people making the decision about where and when and how to inform the Japanese about the Bomb knew there was not going to be an invasion.

    The fact that this invasion, and the million deaths it would have caused, is not only used as an excuse, but repeated and insisted upon and argued by people looking directly at the physical facts of the situation, actually accepted as a worthy justification for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is a measure of how deep the need is to deny what was done.

    Americans will apparently believe any fool thing at all, if the alternative is to have to confront what the US did at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Of course. So? How else keep the Bomb a secret? How else justify the demands for unconditional surrender, certain to be refused, except by preserving a semblance of due cause?
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  5. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Your fault: I asked you to be explicit and you refused and asked me to put words in your mouth, so I am. I really have no other choice. But, this method of putting words in your mouth, thereby forcing you to clarify what you actually meant is starting to work. So I guess I'm pushing you to improve the discussion even though I find the tactic you are forcing me to employ distasteful (not unlike the subject we are discussing!).
    All you did to change my statement into yours was add equivocation to reduce the specificity of your claim and reduce your burden of proof. "Opportunity"? "Possibly"? Why such equivocation over a historical fact you consider so blatantly obvious that one would have to be mentally ill to not see it?

    So with this equivocation, you've opened the door to the possibility that there was no reasonable course of action that would have ended the war sooner, only the possibility of ending the war sooner. Claiming someone evil because of a "possibility" that you can't even state unequivocably in hindsight (so how could they know at the time?) is ridiculously weak: Iceaura, if there is no guarantee that a different course of action would have ended the war much sooner and under acceptable terms, then what you are charging the US with is just totally empty/devoid of value. You are accusing the US of failing to follow your fantasy.
    Ok, so to sum-up, you are making a two-pronged claim:
    1. The US "avoided the opportunity of possibly ending the war."
    2. The US did this to buy time so they could prepare for the atom bombings.

    So, your tactic here has been to bog people down in the minutae of the first claim (which is at best a misrepresentation/twisting of the history, not to mention inherrently unprovable and valueless wishy-washy speculation), thus allowing you to avoid having to substantiate the second claim, which is a complete fabrication.

    The people who did the deeds we're discussing have discussed openly their reasons for doing them. They have made statments that explicitly contradict your claims. Are you claiming they are lying?
    That's not direct evidence, that's your inference or mind-reading of their unspoken intention. Your argument boils down to a claim of mind-reading (and a pointless burden-of-proof-shift, since there is no need to disprove something that contradicts their statements already). Even if the delay were true, the existence of the delay does not prove the motivation for the delay. You need to positively prove the delay was done in order to enable the preparation and use of the bomb, because that motivation directly contradicts the face-value historical record: the things the actual people said about why they made their decisions.

    I'll be specific: Please post a direct quote from Truman or one of his advisors stating a need to prolong the war in order allow for dropping of the bombs.

    That's what is required of you to prove that claim (it would, indeed, prove both claims at once). And again: you're claiming people are *crazy* for believing the at-face-value historical record is accurate. There are several possible reasons why you would say that, and none of them speak well of you.

    You said this:
    Was that not a reference to the Holocaust? If not, what was it a reference to?
    Nonsense or not, it is what the historical record says. The plan existed and preparations were not cancelled until the war ended. If you are going to contradict the face-value historical record, you need to prove it:
    Again, you are claiming to know what people were thinking. Mind-reading is not allowed, especially from someone who claims his account agrees with the face-value historical record: you need to prove it by providing the direct record of your claim. Provide a quote from one of those people that says he knew there wasn't going to be an invasion even though they were planning one.
    Our demands for unconditional surrender were most certainly not refused. Japan accepted the terms of the Pottsdam Declaration on August 15, 1945.
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    WTF is wrong with you guys?

    Absolutely. That's why I used words like "possible" and "chance" and so forth, in every single post you've read from me on this topic. That's why I based every post and every argument I made on the possibility of ending the War sooner, a possibility refused and denied and blocked by the actions deliberately and consciously taken.
    For the last time: It's not hindsight. There's no hindsight involved in my posts. None.

    The people making the decision to keep the Bomb a secret, refuse to negotiate with Japan, wait five months with a working gun bomb for the implosion bomb do be readied, and drop both of the designs by surprise on two major cities in quick succession, knew at the time everything that I have posted here. Every single factor, feature, and possibility. We, not they, found out about all this stuff afterwards.

    They knew, for example, that the Japanese had physicists and generals capable of comprehending exactly what the development of an atomic bomb deliverable by airplane meant. They knew them by name, knew where they went to school, had shaken hands with them at conferences, read their papers. They didn't find out about them after the War.
    It's direct evidence of the event - your statement #1, which has been denied by posters here including you.
    If you want to argue against the obvious inference, your statement #2, feel free. But you can't do it by denying the events until you have dealt with the evidence for them, OK?
    To the extent that they explicitly contradict my claims, I am claiming they are not telling the truth about what happened, yes. I'd avoid accusing them of lying, though - various other possibilities, including serious self-deception and standard weasel word ass-covering, fit my argument and claims much better.

    And that isn't as great an extent as you seem to assume. Of course, if you really think that I just now "opened the door" to the possibility that negotiations and demonstrations and provision of information would not have worked, there's no telling what kinds of contradictions you have discovered in your imaginary discussion.
    So unless we can find someone admitting to recommending and then committing an unnecessary and horrible atrocity, it didn't happen?

    Or is your argument more subtle - say, that the five month delay after the Hiroshima bomb was built, while the Nagasaki bomb was readied and Tokyo was firebombed, was just some kind of bureaucratic snafu, an accident, unplanned and maybe unnoticed?

    How about this - the whole thing was an oversight: it just never occurred to anybody in the Truman administration that negotiation was an option, that having an atomic bomb in production and the necessity of invasion obviated might have some influence on the Japanese attitude toward the future of the current War. That work for you?
    It was a reference in part to the individual crimes of the Germans and Japanese and others we executed after WWII (the collection of some of the German ones is often referred to as the Holocaust, but that is not exhaustive.). I'm comparing crime to crime. The Japanese crimes would be more pointedly relevant.

    What is it, a page or so since I was being loudly confronted with the claim that the Japanese were fanatically refusing to surrender despite our continual demads, were dragging their feet and refusing to surrender even after Hiroshima - that even the prospect of negotiations involving the Bomb was inconceivable due to multiple fanatical Japanese refusals?

    When goofy incoherence like that, or the "we warned them" (about the most famous and spectacular unwarned and thoroughly surprising assault in the history of warfare), or the "it's all hindsight" (about one of the most carefully timed and considered assaults ever attempted), gets posted in plain English at all, let alone by people who have been alerted to the issues over 19 pages of thread,

    I think the topic of "psychiatric damage" takes on a certain weight. Maybe even "festering wound". Something strange is involved here, and it pervades the people and culture responsible for Hiroshima.
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Excuse me, but it's not your call. As a professional editor, I can assure you that hindsight is in the eyes of the reader, not the writer.
    The Japanese leaders were constrained by centuries of development of their national culture and philosophy. For example, it was ingrained that a true warrior attacks his enemy head-on and fights man-to-man. The concept of dropping nuclear bombs on people who could not see them coming and had no opportunity to choose between surrender and fighting back was alien to most of them.

    Sure, we can call this "fanaticism," but any alien culture can easily look like fanaticism from one's own parochial perspective. Americans had already spent a century destroying the communities of our Stone Age inhabitants with Iron Age weapons, so Japan was simply more of the same.
    The Japanese had to accept the reality that they were facing an enemy which, by their own cultural standards, had absolutely no sense of honor. The Americans intended to win at any cost. If that meant that our soldiers would keep fighting until the last four-year-old Japanese girl was gunned down while charging a battalion of U.S. Marines with her dead daddy's samurai sword, then it was time to re-examine Japanese morality.

    It's worth placing this (from their point of view) in historical perspective as we scratch our heads over Japan's reluctance to apologize for the use of Korean "comfort women" as prostitutes for their soldiers.

    Which of the two adversaries was the most dishonorable? The one who treated women as second-class citizens, in conformance to millennia of their own culture? Or the one who incinerated thousands of civilians with no warning?

    If Japan had not surrendered, the USA would have launched a holocaust on Japan that would have made Hitler look like an amateur!
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Hindsight is a noun, referring to an identifiable characteristic an argument. It's presence or absence is not a matter of opinion. It's nobody's "call".

    Nothing in any of my arguments here is based on anything Truman didn't know, or aspects of the future he could not have considered, or anything of the kind. Nowhere in my posts am I arguing from how things look now or information we have now, different from how they looked then or information available then. Modern perspective is irrelevant to any argument I have posted here. If the reader doesn't know what hindsight is, or can't read with comprehension, they are mistaken, is all.

    Nobody here is saying that looking back, we now see we shouldn't have done that. It's the other way around - it's the people defending Hiroshima who are pointing to how it all worked out for the best, how looking back we can see that the results turned out to be worth it, going so far as to attempt to present the land invasion we didn't have to make as justifying the Bombing ex post facto. I've even seen people argue that the failure of the Japanese to capitulate within 72 hours of the detonation over Hiroshima shows that they would never have surrendered merely by being informed of the Bomb back in March, which justifies the refusal of the US to open negotiations using the Bomb for leverage. That is arguing from hindsight.

    And the context of this bassackwards "hindsight" assertion is the bs argument that negatively evaluating the moral or ethical status of the decision to keep the Bomb a secret for months, while readying a surprise assault on two cities full of civilians, is hindsight criticism, Monday morning quarterbacking. It is not. What we are talking about was the conscious decision made at the time, with the options we now compare recognized and considered by the principals. It was made over months by people under no personal threat, well informed, who knew what they were doing. There is no hindsight involved - we are considering things on the same terms they were considered in the first place.

    Too bad we were denied even the chance of saying that about a February or March surrender, with the avoided holocaust including avoided firebombings and avoided nuclear obliterations - maybe even an avoided Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and months of war.
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
  10. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    If the bomb had been ready in December 1941, would the US have used it then?
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Dunno. If the Bomb had been in the US arsenal in 1941, I doubt the Japanese would have attacked Pearl Harbor, for starters. Nuclear weapons are excellent deterrents against attack, because they impose a severe penalty for victory on the attacker.

    It's important to keep in mind how expensive the first Bomb was, what a huge undertaking.
  12. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    A deterrent is only a deterrent if the enemy knows about it and understands the consequences. The secret weapon sitting on my desk is not a deterrent to anybody because nobody knows what awesome power I can unleash until I actually unleash it.
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member


    Hence the consideration, in this thread, of the US decision to keep the Bomb a secret from the Japanese from January until August of 1945, including from March until August after the US had an actual Bomb built and ready.

    That time period included the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the firebombing of several major cities including Tokyo, and much other misery attendant on months of full scale war.
  14. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    How could US drop the bomb...? Answer: Gravitational force.

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