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Author Topic:   Was the Use of Atomic Bombs Against Japan Justified?
Taz
Member (Idle past 3402 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 91 of 140 (624180)
07-16-2011 12:48 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by Modulous
07-14-2011 8:45 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
There you go again acting like what happened on other islands didn't happen. Arguing as if there was no okinawa or any other battle where casualties were as high as 95%.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by Modulous, posted 07-14-2011 8:45 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 92 by Modulous, posted 07-17-2011 11:37 AM Taz has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 92 of 140 (624335)
07-17-2011 11:37 AM
Reply to: Message 91 by Taz
07-16-2011 12:48 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
There you go again acting like what happened on other islands didn't happen. Arguing as if there was no okinawa or any other battle where casualties were as high as 95%.
No, I'm not ignoring that. I took into consideration the projections that an invasion may have resulted in more deaths than strategic nukes. See:
quote:
one might conclude that an invasion might have been worse for civilians than two nuclear bombs dropping on them, but if doing neither results in less lives lost and the goal of Japanese surrender - it seems a pertinent point in a moral discussion as to what course of action the US should have taken.
In fact, most of my post was about this very fact. So, no, I'm not acting like what happened earlier in the war didn't happen. I'm wondering how you managed to make this error.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Taz, posted 07-16-2011 12:48 PM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by Taz, posted 07-17-2011 1:12 PM Modulous has replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3402 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 93 of 140 (624349)
07-17-2011 1:12 PM
Reply to: Message 92 by Modulous
07-17-2011 11:37 AM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Because you keep saying there's no evidence that a nuke would yield less casualties. Someone else like you even suggested blanket bombing the whole country. Is this what you want?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by Modulous, posted 07-17-2011 11:37 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by Modulous, posted 07-17-2011 1:31 PM Taz has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 94 of 140 (624350)
07-17-2011 1:31 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by Taz
07-17-2011 1:12 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Because you keep saying there's no evidence that a nuke would yield less casualties.
No I haven't. Here is what I have actually said
quote:
My view is that if the defence for murdering hundreds of thousands of people is that it was for the greater good, the evidence supporting that assertion needs to be cast iron. As far as I can tell, the evidence might support the notion, but not sufficiently to justify the action.
quote:
We know what would happen if the bombs were dropped: huge civilian deaths. I am just saying the justification for doing that had better be cast iron, and I don't think it was.
quote:
My original point was that the evidence to support this claim was not sufficiently strong to guarantee the deaths of hundreds of thousands.
And so on. There is evidence that an invasion, in the absence of surrender from the Emperor, would have caused death tolls comparable to dropping the atomic bombs. But my view is that there is sufficient doubt over the Japanese's continued commitment to the war and that they were looking for an exit strategy and that therefore a bloody invasion or strategic nuking would both have been premature actions. The plus side to an invasion is that an invasion isn't quite so instant mass-deaths, giving the Emperor opportunity to surrender before hundreds of thousands had died.
Someone else like you even suggested blanket bombing the whole country. Is this what you want?
No.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by Taz, posted 07-17-2011 1:12 PM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by Rahvin, posted 07-18-2011 12:08 PM Modulous has replied
 Message 96 by Taz, posted 07-18-2011 11:50 PM Modulous has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 95 of 140 (624512)
07-18-2011 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by Modulous
07-17-2011 1:31 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
And so on. There is evidence that an invasion, in the absence of surrender from the Emperor, would have caused death tolls comparable to dropping the atomic bombs.
Inaccurate. There is significant evidence that the death toll would have been significantly higher than the use of nuclear weapons.
Even doing nothing, simply continuing to blockade the island while stopping all bombing and holding off on invasion, would have quickly resulted in famine as trade and fishing were cut off, and disease and death as access to medical supplies and industrial infrastructure became unavailable.
I refer you again to what I've posted thus far in the thread - battles where Japanese military forces suffered 94-95% casualties, where civilians attacked US forces and committed suicide in droves. Roughly a third of the civilian population of Okinawa died, not due to carpet bombing or getting caught in crossfires, but because they killed themselves or threw themselves at soldiers armed with swords and tools.
But my view is that there is sufficient doubt over the Japanese's continued commitment to the war and that they were looking for an exit strategy and that therefore a bloody invasion or strategic nuking would both have been premature actions. The plus side to an invasion is that an invasion isn't quite so instant mass-deaths, giving the Emperor opportunity to surrender before hundreds of thousands had died.
I'm curious about this doubt, Mod. The Japanese leadership was not a monolithic entity - there were elements of the Japanese "Big Six" who were ready to surrender (or at least talk about it), but the Emperor and the military were committed to repeating Okinawa and Iwo Jima on the main Japanese island. They were giving school girls leatherworking tools and telling them to attack American soldiers by "aiming for the abdomen." They trained thousands of Kamikaze pilots and suicide boats.
They didn't surrender after tens of thousands died on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. They didn't surrender after Tokyo was firebombed and ~100,000 people died. They didn't surrender as their military lost the ability to make more than a costly token defense that everyone knew would inevitably end in defeat. They didn't surrender when their coastal waters were mined and blockaded, preventing trade or even fishing, and thus guaranteeing that their economy and even their food supply would fail. They didn't surrender after Hiroshima was annihilated.
If you say you have sufficient reason to doubt the Japanese commitment to continue the war, I have to ask why on Earth, when faced with all these historical facts, you still believe there is sufficient cause to hold a reasonable belief that the Japanese were "ready" to surrender?
More directly: what evidence is there, at all, that the Japanese were in fact ready to surrender? In order for such a belief to be reasonable, there must be at least sufficient evidence to justify even a small amount of confidence. Where is it?
Equally important: what would convince you that the use of nuclear weapons would have been justified? If there is no instance where you believe they should ever be used in any circumstance, we can simply end the discussion now; but if there is, what would be adequate justification, particularly in the case of Japan? What bit of evidence should you see or not see to convince you that their use was justified?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by Modulous, posted 07-17-2011 1:31 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 98 by Modulous, posted 07-19-2011 2:54 AM Rahvin has replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3402 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 96 of 140 (624595)
07-18-2011 11:50 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by Modulous
07-17-2011 1:31 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Modulous writes:
The plus side to an invasion is that an invasion isn't quite so instant mass-deaths, giving the Emperor opportunity to surrender before hundreds of thousands had died.
Have you ever tried to talk to a non-native english speaker? After you tell them something and they don't understand, did you try to say it louder or did you try a different method at trying to communicate?
I've personally seen native english speakers speaking louder and louder and louder to non-native english speakers AS IF SPEAKING LOUDER WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
If on other islands Japanese military casualties were as high as 95% and Japanese civilian casualties were as high as a third and the Emperor didn't surrender, what on Earth would make you think it would be any different on the main islands?
Again, the advantage of the atomic weapons were to shock the Japanese into surrendering, because nothing else worked. Fire bombing killing hundreds of thousands didn't work. Invasion on other islands didn't work. Why on earth would you think the same tactics who had failed to get the Japanese to surrender would work?
There is evidence that an invasion, in the absence of surrender from the Emperor, would have caused death tolls comparable to dropping the atomic bombs.
Again, you're using creationist tactic of confusing the issue. Let me repeat again. On other islands, civilian casualties were as high as a third and military casualties were as high as 95%. The atom bombs killed 200,000. Are you really going to tell me an invasion would only kill 200,000 out of a population of 50 million Japanese?
Would you like to give us evidence that an invasion would kill at most the number who died from the atom bombs?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by Modulous, posted 07-17-2011 1:31 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 97 by Modulous, posted 07-19-2011 2:43 AM Taz has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 97 of 140 (624603)
07-19-2011 2:43 AM
Reply to: Message 96 by Taz
07-18-2011 11:50 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Have you ever tried to talk to a non-native english speaker? After you tell them something and they don't understand, did you try to say it louder or did you try a different method at trying to communicate?
I've personally seen native english speakers speaking louder and louder and louder to non-native english speakers AS IF SPEAKING LOUDER WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
There's no need to be an arse.
Would you like to give us evidence that an invasion would kill at most the number who died from the atom bombs?
I don't remember making that claim. Maybe you should try dealing with the position I am actually taking. Let me post it again
quote:
But my view is that there is sufficient doubt over the Japanese's continued commitment to the war and that they were looking for an exit strategy and that therefore a bloody invasion or strategic nuking would both have been premature actions.
Do you have any evidence that the only way to get Japan to surrender was to drop two nuclear bombs on cities OR a bloody total war style invasion?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 96 by Taz, posted 07-18-2011 11:50 PM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by Taz, posted 07-20-2011 1:24 AM Modulous has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 98 of 140 (624604)
07-19-2011 2:54 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by Rahvin
07-18-2011 12:08 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Hi Rahvin,
I think it worth pointing out, in case it had gone unnoticed, that my view is 'unstudied'. If you want to get into the nitty gritty details I point you back at dronester who has done a better job than I at defending the notion that the Japanese were on the brink of surrender and that two nuclear weapons might have been overkill towards attaining that goal.
My view is that we had best be very very certain that surrender was not going to occur without the need to drop nuclear bombs, and it seems there is sufficient evidence that a surrender might have been on the cards to justify holding off on the nuking. Again, I refer you to dronester who has provided more than I can as far as supporting that notion.
Is it your view that there is absolutely no evidence supporting the notion that the Japanese were considering surrender? I appreciate that earlier in the war they were not acting like surrender was an option.
I suppose evidence to change my mind would not be evidence that the Japanese had previously been loathe to surrender, but that the rumblings of surrender that do seem to be evidenced are somehow in error. And even then, I cannot comprehend what the case might have to be to justify nuking two cities within days of each other.
Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.
Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Rahvin, posted 07-18-2011 12:08 PM Rahvin has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 99 by Rahvin, posted 07-19-2011 1:14 PM Modulous has replied
 Message 100 by fearandloathing, posted 07-19-2011 1:44 PM Modulous has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 99 of 140 (624700)
07-19-2011 1:14 PM
Reply to: Message 98 by Modulous
07-19-2011 2:54 AM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Hi Rahvin,
I think it worth pointing out, in case it had gone unnoticed, that my view is 'unstudied'. If you want to get into the nitty gritty details I point you back at dronester who has done a better job than I at defending the notion that the Japanese were on the brink of surrender and that two nuclear weapons might have been overkill towards attaining that goal.
I really don't think he has. I took a second look at his posts in this thread, and he hasn't posted a shred of evidence supporting his position. Instead, he's posted a series of appeals to the authority of Americans from the time period - he's referring to the opinions of what are essentially celebrities, some of them part of the American military, some of them (like Einstein) completely irrelevant, and not a single one was an actual Japanese authority that could settle whether the Japanese leadership was actually considering surrender.
My view is that we had best be very very certain that surrender was not going to occur without the need to drop nuclear bombs, and it seems there is sufficient evidence that a surrender might have been on the cards to justify holding off on the nuking. Again, I refer you to dronester who has provided more than I can as far as supporting that notion.
And again, he's provided nothing at all, which is why I find your position curious.
I agree that a degree of certainty would have been required prior to the authorization of any continued hostilities, particularly the use of nuclear weapons. However, I believe I have very well supported the position that the Japanese leadership as a whole (and the military in particular) had absolutely no intention to surrender to the Allies.
Is it your view that there is absolutely no evidence supporting the notion that the Japanese were considering surrender? I appreciate that earlier in the war they were not acting like surrender was an option.
Ive certainly never seen such evidence, including what dronester has posted. All I see are assertions, arguments from incredulity, and appeals to authority.
The Battle of Iwo Jima, in which 95% of the Japanese forces were killed, ended in March 1945, just 5 months before the use of nuclear weapons and the end of the war. Okinawa, in which between 25 and 30% of the civilians were killed as they attacked US soldiers or simply committed suicide, ended in June of 1945, just a scant two months before the end. I don't think that qualifies as "earlier," Mod - rather this appears to be solid evidence that the "no surrender" attitude was dominant even at the end of the war.
I suppose evidence to change my mind would not be evidence that the Japanese had previously been loathe to surrender, but that the rumblings of surrender that do seem to be evidenced are somehow in error.
Where is the evidence of these rumblings? I haven't seen a single bit of evidence showing any such thing in this thread. Again, I;ve seen plenty of assertions, and plenty of appeals to the authority of persons unrelated to the actual Japanese leadership, with not even a single quote from any of the Big Six or other Japanese personnel. I;ve seen plenty of arguments from incredulity, that the Japanese forces had already been declawed and were defeated and thus had to be ready to surrender because to not surrender in those circumstances seems inconceivable.
But the simple facts show the truth - they didn't surrender. Not after their military was defeated. Not after Okinawa. Not after Iwo Jima. Not after the firebombing of Tokyo. Not even after Hiroshima.
Instead they continued to circulate propaganda painting the US forces as monsters, and even went so far as to train children, even teenage girls, to attack American invaders with "weapons" like leatherworking awls. They prepared a massive Kamikaze force to take out as many invaders as possible in the final invasion. They knew they were beaten, they knew they had no way to win, but their cultural differences caused them to consider surrender to not be an option, even though such a position is completely irrational to you and me. They clearly held this position right up to the end of the war.
And even then, I cannot comprehend what the case might have to be to justify nuking two cities within days of each other.
And so to you there is no possible justification? In that case the discussion is moot, but I'd like to see your reasoning for why using a pair of nukes is somehow different than WWII conventional warfare that caused similar damage to infrastructure and civilian death. Is your issue only that we waited three days between Hiroshima and Nagasaki? If so, how long would have been appropriate? The Japanese were in possession of radios, their infrastructure remained sufficiently intact for Hirohito to address the nation via radio after Nagasaki (contrary, of course, to dronester's unsupported assertion that the Japanese lacked the infrastructure to even be capable of surrender; they surrendered after Nagasaki, so clearly they had the infrastructure prior to the use of nuclear weapons); it doesn't take three days to signal to the Allies that the Japanese intended to surrender.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by Modulous, posted 07-19-2011 2:54 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 104 by Modulous, posted 07-19-2011 2:19 PM Rahvin has not replied

  
fearandloathing
Member (Idle past 4255 days)
Posts: 990
From: Burlington, NC, USA
Joined: 02-24-2011


(1)
Message 100 of 140 (624705)
07-19-2011 1:44 PM
Reply to: Message 98 by Modulous
07-19-2011 2:54 AM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
Hi mod,
If you have time I think this might give you a little insight to what we were facing if we had to invade, chapter 4. OPERATION KETSU-GO..gives a fair idea of what they had in store for us. I personally feel like if we hadn't used the bombs nothing short of invasion would've worked.
quote:
Title: V [Marine] Amphibious Corps Planning for Operation Olympic and the Role of Intelligence in Support of Planning.
Author: Major Mark P. Arens, USMCR [MCIA]
Thesis: That the intelligence estimates of the Japanese forces and their capabilities on Kyushu, for Operation Olympic, were so inaccurate that an amphibious assault by the V Amphibious Corps would have failed.
Discussion: This research paper, while addressing events at the strategic and operational level, will concentrate primarily on the V Amphibious Corps, one of four corps comprising the ground assault force in Operation Olympic, the projected invasion of Kyushu, Japan, in November 1945. It will focus on the planning phase of the operation and the intelligence used in that process.

"No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride...and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well...maybe chalk it off to forced conscious expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten."
Hunter S. Thompson
Ad astra per aspera
Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by Modulous, posted 07-19-2011 2:54 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by Modulous, posted 07-19-2011 1:52 PM fearandloathing has replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 101 of 140 (624707)
07-19-2011 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by fearandloathing
07-19-2011 1:44 PM


dichotomy?
If you have time I think this might give you a little insight to what we were facing if we had to invade,
I am not free of insight into the possibility of a tough invasion, with high casualty rates. Are you seriously suggesting that the only two options were to engage in total war invasion or strategic nuclear bombs?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by fearandloathing, posted 07-19-2011 1:44 PM fearandloathing has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 102 by fearandloathing, posted 07-19-2011 2:11 PM Modulous has replied
 Message 103 by Rahvin, posted 07-19-2011 2:19 PM Modulous has seen this message but not replied

  
fearandloathing
Member (Idle past 4255 days)
Posts: 990
From: Burlington, NC, USA
Joined: 02-24-2011


Message 102 of 140 (624710)
07-19-2011 2:11 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by Modulous
07-19-2011 1:52 PM


Re: dichotomy?
Are you seriously suggesting that the only two options were to engage in total war invasion or strategic nuclear bombs?
No I guess we could've continued to fire bomb their cities and blockaded the islands letting them starve, which they were well on the way to already, transportation and infrastructure was in a state of shambles. Waited on the Russians maybe? Either way more deaths probably would've occurred then from using the bombs.
I am not free of insight into the possibility of a tough invasion
Sorry, earlier in this tread you refereed to yourself as "unstudied" and I thought you might want to look at other info, no insult intended, I could be swayed if provided credible proof they wanted to surrender, hell some of the military even tried to prevent the surrender msg from going out. They were fanatics, remember the solider who fought on til 1974 because he wouldn't believe they had surrendered.
Edited by fearandloathing, : No reason given.

"No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride...and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well...maybe chalk it off to forced conscious expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten."
Hunter S. Thompson
Ad astra per aspera
Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by Modulous, posted 07-19-2011 1:52 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by Modulous, posted 07-19-2011 2:44 PM fearandloathing has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 103 of 140 (624714)
07-19-2011 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by Modulous
07-19-2011 1:52 PM


Re: dichotomy?
I am not free of insight into the possibility of a tough invasion, with high casualty rates. Are you seriously suggesting that the only two options were to engage in total war invasion or strategic nuclear bombs?
There were other alternatives. The option other than nuclear weapons and invasion was an extended naval blockade with aerial bombardment - basically what had been happening so far anyway. And of course famine and disease from the blockade and death from the bombing would have killed hundreds of thousands if not millions...the Tokyo firebombing had already cost ~100,000 lives alone.
There were no options that did not result in more dead Japanese other than a Japanese surrender. The Japanese leadership could have surrendered at any time, and did not. The ball was in their court, and they decided to take the option that involved sending basically unarmed civilians in human wave attacks against invaders on the mainland instead of surrender.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by Modulous, posted 07-19-2011 1:52 PM Modulous has seen this message but not replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


(1)
Message 104 of 140 (624715)
07-19-2011 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by Rahvin
07-19-2011 1:14 PM


Re: my unstudied view of the situation
I really don't think he has.
OK.
I agree that a degree of certainty would have been required prior to the authorization of any continued hostilities, particularly the use of nuclear weapons. However, I believe I have very well supported the position that the Japanese leadership as a whole (and the military in particular) had absolutely no intention to surrender to the Allies.
So have I been misled about the offers of conditional surrender made in January 1945? If Japan did make such an offer would it change your mind?
And so to you there is no possible justification? In that case the discussion is moot, but I'd like to see your reasoning for why using a pair of nukes is somehow different than WWII conventional warfare that caused similar damage to infrastructure and civilian death.
You won't find me scrabbling to defend the firebombing of Dresden or the London Blitz, let's put it like that.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by Rahvin, posted 07-19-2011 1:14 PM Rahvin has not replied

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 105 of 140 (624717)
07-19-2011 2:44 PM
Reply to: Message 102 by fearandloathing
07-19-2011 2:11 PM


Re: dichotomy?
No I guess we could've continued to fire bomb their cities and blockaded the islands letting them starve, which they were well on the way to already, transportation and infrastructure was in a state of shambles.
So instead of some of them starving we should definitely vapourise them? Followed by some of them still starving, since the atomic bombs didn't fix Japan's logistical problems.
which they were well on the way to already, transportation and infrastructure was in a state of shambles.
So their capacity to make war was seriously hampered. Does it not make you wonder what the rush was and why the answer was to strategically nuke two specific heavily populated areas?
Sorry, earlier in this tread you refereed to yourself as "unstudied" and I thought you might want to look at other info
It's unstudied in the sense I have not studied battlefield casualty projection science, the socio-economic situation of Japan and all those niggly things one should be aware of when making the moral decision to murder hundreds of thousands of people.
And I'm not entirely confident in the capacity for anyone to have the right level of information to justify it.
The Japanese killing themselves rather than surrender is a different moral situation than killing so many civillians that they surrender.
I could be swayed if provided credible proof they wanted to surrender
Didn't they make an offer in January?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by fearandloathing, posted 07-19-2011 2:11 PM fearandloathing has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 106 by fearandloathing, posted 07-19-2011 3:17 PM Modulous has replied

  
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