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Author Topic:   Was the Use of Atomic Bombs Against Japan Justified?
Modulous
Member (Idle past 92 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 61 of 140 (623888)
07-14-2011 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by Taq
07-14-2011 10:18 AM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
I ask this question because if we had not dropped the atomic bombs then just as many citizens, if not more, would have been killed by bullets and conventional bombs.
So goes the 'greater good' claim. My original point was that the evidence to support this claim was not sufficiently strong to guarantee the deaths of hundreds of thousands.
Both the Iraqi and Afghani governments were overthrown in a matter of weeks. Their troops surrendered without much to-do. The total number of US and NATO troops killed over the last 10 years is on par with a week of fighting against the Japanese during WW II. The vast, vast majority of citizens in each country are not using suicide attacks against US and NATO troops. I guess I fail to see how the two are even comparable.
Then read what I wrote again. I said that suicidal combatants was not sufficient reason to use nuclear weapons. You asked why not. I answered. I did not say that the Pacific Theatre in WWII was otherwise comparable to the Middle Eastern conflict of the present day. You are hoping I'm saying they are otherwise comparable because that would be a crazy position that would be easily rebutted.
If not for the atomic bombs, there would have been a long campaign of conventional bombing raids with just as many, if not more, civilian deaths.
I am aware of the 'greater good' argument. I'm just saying that the evidence I have seen justifying it is insufficient. I think I said that in my first post even.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by Taq, posted 07-14-2011 10:18 AM Taq has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by Taz, posted 07-14-2011 12:55 PM Modulous has replied
 Message 70 by Taq, posted 07-14-2011 3:09 PM Modulous has replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3398 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 62 of 140 (623909)
07-14-2011 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by Modulous
07-14-2011 10:33 AM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Modulus, have you become a creationist? Why do you continue to ignore the american experiences with the japanese population on other islands? Whole families jumped to their deaths. Continue to ignore this part of our argument if you want.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 10:33 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 1:22 PM Taz has replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3398 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 63 of 140 (623912)
07-14-2011 1:02 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by Modulous
07-14-2011 9:29 AM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
I did read it. All I saw was you ignoring all the american experiences with the japanese population during the island hoping campaign. This is exactly how creationists argue. They just ignore all the cummulative evidence hoping everyone else ignores them as well.
Are you or are you not aware of entire japanese families fighting to the death or jumping to their deaths during the various american campaigns? Are you or are you not aware that every man, woman, and child was being trained to fight off an american invasion of japan?
Apparently, creationism is contagious.
Added by edit.
Based on the previous experiences of the Americans on the various islands before reaching Japan, the Americans saw very clearly how even Japanese civilians would fight the Americans to the death or would jump to their deaths. Entire families (men, women, and children) committed suicide rather than being captured.
We also know that the Japanese government was training every able bodied man, woman, and child to defend the homeland.
An invasion would have meant fighting for every inch of Japan. Not only that, for every inch of Japan gained, there's one more Japanese civilian committing suicide.
Your entire argument of not being convinced by our argument rests on the fact that you ignore all the experiences that the Americans had with the local Japanese populations during the war. Sure, your argument makes perfect sense if we ignore everything that happened before the bombs were dropped.
Edited by Taz, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 9:29 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 1:36 PM Taz has not replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 92 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 64 of 140 (623916)
07-14-2011 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by Taz
07-14-2011 12:55 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Modulus, have you become a creationist?
No. Do you always think that a person will radically change their opinions on biology when someone has a differing opinion than yours with regards to military strategy and morality while also conceding that it is an 'unstudied view'?
Why do you continue to ignore the american experiences with the japanese population on other islands?
I haven't ignore it once, so your characterisation that I am continuing to ignore it is fallacious.
Whole families jumped to their deaths.
And this justifies murdering other families?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Taz, posted 07-14-2011 12:55 PM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by Taz, posted 07-14-2011 2:38 PM Modulous has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 92 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 65 of 140 (623917)
07-14-2011 1:36 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Taz
07-14-2011 1:02 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Your entire argument of not being convinced by our argument rests on the fact that you ignore all the experiences that the Americans had with the local Japanese populations during the war. Sure, your argument makes perfect sense if we ignore everything that happened before the bombs were dropped.
My entire argument is that there need to be absolutely solid evidence beyond any shadow of doubt that dropping the bombs was for the greater good, before it could be a moral act to drop them...and that such evidence wasn't in existence.
Does that not make sense somehow? Do you think we should commit mass murder based on fear rather than reason? Maybe we did have evidence beyond any shadow of doubt, but dronester is putting forward a good case that there was significant shadows of doubts.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Taz, posted 07-14-2011 1:02 PM Taz has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by Itinerant Lurker, posted 07-14-2011 2:16 PM Modulous has replied

  
Itinerant Lurker
Member (Idle past 2763 days)
Posts: 67
Joined: 12-12-2008


Message 66 of 140 (623918)
07-14-2011 2:16 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by Modulous
07-14-2011 1:36 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
There were numerous casualties estimates done prior to the invasion based on previous Pacific campaigns: http://en.wikipedia.org/...ion_Downfall#Estimated_casualties
That being said, it's very unlikely that, had the bombs not been dropped, Operation Olympic would have been enacted given the intelligence showing that Japan had anticipated the landing sites and mobilized some half a million men into southern Kyushu.
http://www.alternatewars.com/...ownfall/Jap_Plans_Kyushu.htm
I think it's pretty doubtful that Truman would have given the go ahead for an invasion given this revelation. The only alternative, then, would be to blockade and bombard Japan - which would have led to exponentially more Japanese deaths as the fragile rail system Japan was by then solely reliant upon to transport food would have been obliterated.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 1:36 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 2:30 PM Itinerant Lurker has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 92 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


(1)
Message 67 of 140 (623920)
07-14-2011 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by Itinerant Lurker
07-14-2011 2:16 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
From the wiki link:
quote:
Because the U.S. military planners assumed "that operations in this area will be opposed not only by the available organized military forces of the Empire, but also by a fanatically hostile population",[10] high casualties were thought to be inevitable, but nobody knew with certainty how high. Several people made estimates, but they varied widely in numbers, assumptions, and purposeswhich included advocating for and against the invasion.
Wherever I look, there seems to be a large swathe of doubt, uncertain assumptions and so on. My position is that before dropping atomic bombs on heavily populated areas, we should be sure - not just afraid - of higher casualties via the alternatives. Alternatives, I believe, included waiting for the Soviets to make their move.
Unless we were trying to set up a cold war with the Soviets...
Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by Itinerant Lurker, posted 07-14-2011 2:16 PM Itinerant Lurker has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by Itinerant Lurker, posted 07-14-2011 4:14 PM Modulous has replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3398 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 68 of 140 (623922)
07-14-2011 2:38 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by Modulous
07-14-2011 1:22 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Modulous writes:
I haven't ignore it once, so your characterisation that I am continuing to ignore it is fallacious.
Yes, you have. In fact, you're ignoring it in your latest post just now by continuing to claim that all the American experiences with the Japanese populations during the island hopping campaign weren't evidence enough that a much larger casualty on both sides would result from an invasion. Whole islands were depopulated due to either fight to the death or suicide. Do you deny this fact?
Ok, then what would you have done? Someone else from your side suggested blanket bombing Japan into submission, nevermind that this would have induced mass starvation due to the collapse of their infrastructure. Is this what you want? At least give us an alternative.
Edited by Taz, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 1:22 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 2:57 PM Taz has not replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 92 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 69 of 140 (623926)
07-14-2011 2:57 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by Taz
07-14-2011 2:38 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Yes, you have. In fact, you're ignoring it in your latest post just now by continuing to claim that all the American experiences with the Japanese populations during the island hopping campaign weren't evidence enough that a much larger casualty on both sides would result from an invasion
I'm not ignoring it. I am just suggesting that there were resonable doubts about Japan's continuation of the war, the casualties that would result from waiting or continuing a standard bombing and the loss of life resulting from strategic nuclear attack.
And that, in the face of such doubts, it's better to think first drop nukes later.
Ok, then what would you have done? Someone else from your side suggested blanket bombing Japan into submission, nevermind that this would have induced mass starvation due to the collapse of their infrastructure. Is this what you want? At least give us an alternative.
I have no clue. I'm just saying that before killing hundreds of thousands of people whether through invasion or via strategic nuclear bombs, one had better be fucking sure one knows what one is doing. And it appears that the USA wasn't completely sure.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by Taz, posted 07-14-2011 2:38 PM Taz has not replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10190
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 70 of 140 (623929)
07-14-2011 3:09 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by Modulous
07-14-2011 10:33 AM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Then read what I wrote again. I said that suicidal combatants was not sufficient reason to use nuclear weapons. You asked why not. I answered. I did not say that the Pacific Theatre in WWII was otherwise comparable to the Middle Eastern conflict of the present day. You are hoping I'm saying they are otherwise comparable because that would be a crazy position that would be easily rebutted.
In the Middle East, suicide attacks are the exception, not the rule. During the island hopping crusade, suicide attacks were the rule, not the exception. That is the difference I see.
I am aware of the 'greater good' argument. I'm just saying that the evidence I have seen justifying it is insufficient.
Then we will have to agree to disagree. I think we have both made our cases.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 10:33 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 3:32 PM Taq has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 92 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 71 of 140 (623940)
07-14-2011 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by Taq
07-14-2011 3:09 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
In the Middle East, suicide attacks are the exception, not the rule. During the island hopping crusade, suicide attacks were the rule, not the exception. That is the difference I see.
Yep, there are differences. more than just that. But suicidally aggressive enemy forces is not, on its own, sufficient grounds to murder hundreds of thousands of civillians in my view.
Then we will have to agree to disagree. I think we have both made our cases
I didn't make a case! Dronester seems to be the only one making a case, I just gave him my view because he asked for it.
Do you disagree with my central point that we had best be very sure that dropping the bombs would result in a net saving of lives before we do it?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by Taq, posted 07-14-2011 3:09 PM Taq has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 75 by Taq, posted 07-14-2011 6:39 PM Modulous has replied

  
Itinerant Lurker
Member (Idle past 2763 days)
Posts: 67
Joined: 12-12-2008


Message 72 of 140 (623945)
07-14-2011 4:14 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by Modulous
07-14-2011 2:30 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Wherever I look, there seems to be a large swathe of doubt, uncertain assumptions and so on. My position is that before dropping atomic bombs on heavily populated areas, we should be sure - not just afraid - of higher casualties via the alternatives.
I don't see how the estimates could possibly get any more sure about casualty rates seeing as, in the case of the study done by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, actual rates from invasions against Japanese islands was used. In a perfect world your sentiment would make more sense; clearly however, this is not such a world.
There's simply no reasonable doubt, then or now, that the alternatives of either an invasion or blockade & bombardment would have resulted in far more deaths. To quote Henry Stimson, it was ". . .the least abhorrent choice."
Alternatives, I believe, included waiting for the Soviets to make their move.
Is there a particular reason we should expect the Japanese in Hokkaido to have suffered any less during a soviet invasion than Japanese (and Chinese) in Manchuria?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 2:30 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 4:20 PM Itinerant Lurker has not replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 92 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 73 of 140 (623946)
07-14-2011 4:20 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by Itinerant Lurker
07-14-2011 4:14 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
I don't see how the estimates could possibly get any more sure about casualty rates seeing as, in the case of the study done by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, actual rates from invasions against Japanese islands was used.
Then perhaps there is never a time when using strategic nuclear deployments on cities is ever justified, in my opinion.
There's simply no reasonable doubt, then or now, that the alternatives of either an invasion or blockade & bombardment would have resulted in far more deaths.
If that is the case, then my view is in error. Perhaps you can address the case for doubt made by dronester in Message 47?
Is there a particular reason we should expect the Japanese in Hokkaido to have suffered any less during a soviet invasion than Japanese (and Chinese) in Manchuria?
I'm sorry, I haven't a clue.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Itinerant Lurker, posted 07-14-2011 4:14 PM Itinerant Lurker has not replied

  
Itinerant Lurker
Member (Idle past 2763 days)
Posts: 67
Joined: 12-12-2008


Message 74 of 140 (623948)
07-14-2011 6:24 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by dronestar
07-12-2011 4:43 PM


Re: Sorry for the delay.
War Plans Committee prepared a report for the Chiefs of Staff, dated
June 15, 1945, thus providing the closest thing anyone has to
accurate: 40,000 U.S. soldiers killed, 150,000 wounded, and 3,500
missing.
This report assumed that there were a mere 8 divisions with 350,000 troops and 300 aircraft. Subsequent intelligence revealed that the Japanese had anticipated the landing site and moved a full 14 divisions consisting of some 680,000 troops and anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 aircraft. To quote the report,
"The extent of the objective area gives us the opportunity to effect surprises at the points of landing and, once ashore, to profit by our superiority in mobility and mechanized power through maneuver."
Needless to say, this turned out to be utterly wrong - as such I don't see how on earth you could say that the casualty rates given are anywhere near accurate.
The April study of the operation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff gave a casualty rate of 7.45 per 1,000 man-days / 1.78 per 1,000 man days. That means your casualty rates are going to easily double if the operation had taken more than the very optimistic 90 days - which, given the vast underestimation of Japanese troop strength in Kyushu, it most certainly would have.
As for your thoughts on Russia, here's some excerpts from Truman's diaries and letters. True, you could argue that they are all propaganda disguised to mislead us. . .but that doesn't strike me as particularly likely.
http://www.doug-long.com/hst.htm
Lurker

This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by dronestar, posted 07-12-2011 4:43 PM dronestar has not replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10190
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 75 of 140 (623949)
07-14-2011 6:39 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Modulous
07-14-2011 3:32 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
But suicidally aggressive enemy forces is not, on its own, sufficient grounds to murder hundreds of thousands of civillians in my view.
The Japanese military were strong enough to take over most of the Pacific. I think that needs to be considered as well. In fact, at the start of the war it could have been argued that their military was better than the Allied forces.
Also, there is a difference between murdering citizens and collateral damage from strategic bombing.
Do you disagree with my central point that we had best be very sure that dropping the bombs would result in a net saving of lives before we do it?
I think the US was very sure, and I also think history has born that out.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 3:32 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 7:17 PM Taq has replied

  
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