Morality and Atom Bombs

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Stratiotes, Aug 11, 2004.

  1. Stratiotes

    Stratiotes
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  2. KenH

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    I am glad we dropped the two atomic bombs and saved hundreds of thousands of Allied troops and millions of Japanese that would have perished if we had had to invade the Japanese homeland.
     
  3. Stratiotes

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  4. KenH

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    From what I have learned about the situation, even after the two atomic bombs there were those who did not want Japan surrender and were planning to keep the war going.

    It's all fine and dandy to postulate 59 years later. But the bombs ended up being a clean cut way to end the war instead of having it dragged out for much, much longer. I do not buy the arguments that Japan was ready to give up without the use of force. Nothing in their previous conduct of the war supports that idea.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    One of the few things Harry S did with which I have 100% agreement. Japan was NOT on the verge of stopping the war and this stopped the USSR encursion which was already becoming the bigger threat.

    And since my Dad was in the Philippines awaiting the order to invade (which was estimated casualties at hundreds of thousands) I have a personal stake in the matter!
     
  6. Major B

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    In the words of my uncle, who fought in several island campaigns, and my next door neighbor, who served in the Pacific Fleet, "We stopped about ten A-bombs too soon...
     
  7. Stratiotes

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    I am a bit surprised that fellow southerners who see the evil in Sherman's war against civilians would advocate war against civilians elsewhere. Sherman, Grant, and Lincoln, after all, used the same argument to defend total war. Is it principle or pragmatism that is our guiding philosophy? I'm not trying to be confrontational, just curious how the two views can coexist.

    As an aside, I come from a very military family and also had close family members in that war so I can understand the personal side of it. But, what about the personal side for the Japanese families?
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    More damage and loss of life was done in the fire-bombing of Berlin and Dresden than in the nuclear-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Destroying the ability of a nation to wage war - military depots, factories, transportation hubs, has always been legitimate targets.

    What was off-limits THEORETICALLY was attacking unarmed civilian populations. In reality, I can't find a major war in history where the civilians were not killed, raped, taken as slaves, etc. Sherman at Atlanta was calloused, but no more than King David who waited until the Philistine army was gone to fight, then destroyed Ziklag totally.

    The myth of chivalry is largely unfounded. Total warfare is total.
     
  9. Major B

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    It was a Catholic bishop outisde an Albigensian city, who told his general to kill all found inside the walls. The general complained, "Holy Father,there are many catholics in the city as well." The bishop replied, "God knows His own, kill them all."

    This of course, is the source of the unofficial US Special Forces motto--"Kill 'em all, and let God sort 'em out!"
     
  10. Stratiotes

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    What you both say is good chest-thumping war talk but I'm not sure it sounds like a very Christian attitude. I've held that view myself in the past so I'm not criticizing. I'm just trying to stimulate thought and discussion that goes beyond the reactionary to the what should be the ideal.

    What has been done before is what we have to learn from, not necessarily to emulate. Civilians becoming targets of war is indeed something that has happened before - but I don't know if it is something we have to accept as innevitable.
     
  11. just-want-peace

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    Judging from the way they (Japanese) defended their positions, and fought to the death with virtually no surrender, why would one assume that the defense of the homeland would be less vigorous?

    In all honesty, I feel that the bombs actually saved perhaps a couple of million lives over an invasion of Japan.

    Virtually all I've read/heard re: the invasion says that all civilians, including children, were prepared to defend to the death any foreign intrusion on the Emperor's domain.

    In spite of the Dems view of our servicemen, can you truly see a GI firing his M-1 at a 10 year old girl, even though she just attempted to run him through with a pitchfork?

    Yes, in retrospect the bombs were a great idea. Pity that they could not have been dropped on Dec 8, 1941
     
  12. HankD

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    It's true...

    War is hell.

    HankD
     
  13. Major B

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    Anyone who attacks the US needs to consider what we are like when really torqued off. Admiral Yamamoto, upon hearing that the intended declaration of war and warning was not delivered before the attack at Pearl Harbor, as he had planned, but was delivered some time later (due to plain old bureaucratic inefficiency), is supposed to have said, "I fear all we have done is waken a sleeping tiger and fill him with a terrible resolve."

    or, as this says...


    Don't Tread On Me

    In December, 1775, an American colonist (believed by many scholars to be Benjamin Franklin), noticed the increasing use of a symbol throughout the colonies, stamped onto barrels and other items, depicting a coiled rattlesnake with the words ''Don't Tread On Me'' written below the snake. And he wondered about how the symbol of a rattlesnake could be a symbol of the American desire for freedom?

    He wrote the following words:

    "... the Rattle-Snake is found in no other quarter of the world besides America. She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage. ... she never wounds 'till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her.''
     
  14. Major B

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    Correction, the quote should read "sleeping giant," not "sleeping tiger."
     
  15. Melanie

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    Interesting debate here. The Japanese monstered the Chinese when they invaded Manchuria.

    The Japanese were educated into believing in their right to lord it over all others (have we heard of this concept....).

    The bombs ended the Eastern Theatre and I know for sure Australia and New Zealand let out its collective breath. They (the Japanese) were knocking on our front door....

    Dropping the A- Bombs was horrific but was there any other way to stop the war! I think not. If Mr Hitler had had more time to perfect his flying bombs and A bomb it would have been used against the Allies!

    Civilians are always the true casualties of any war, always have and always will be, therefore let us battle around the negotiation table and have a strong defense to lessen the appeal of invasion.
     
  16. KenH

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    Too bad that doesn't still ring true. Iraq took out the first part and Vietnam and Lebanon and Somalia took out the second part.

    But it was certainly true in World War II and the conflicts previous to that one.
     
  17. just-want-peace

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    Negotiation is certainly more productive if your stick is bigger than your adversary's; makes him think long and hard about a challenge!

    As ole' Teddy said, "Walk softly, but carry a big stick."
     
  18. Major B

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    Too bad that doesn't still ring true. Iraq took out the first part and Vietnam and Lebanon and Somalia took out the second part.

    But it was certainly true in World War II and the conflicts previous to that one.
    </font>[/QUOTE]It is still arguable over whether pre-emption for cause was due. As for the others, remember, it was the politicians who surrendered, not the Army!
     
  19. KenH

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    That's the truth.
     

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