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Author Topic:   Was the Use of Atomic Bombs Against Japan Justified?
anglagard
Member (Idle past 922 days)
Posts: 2339
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 1 of 140 (623111)
07-08-2011 3:27 AM


In the thread - War and Morality. Al Queda vs. USA there was a disagreement between Dronestar and I concerning the use of atomic bombs by the USA against Japan, ostensibly in order to hasten the end of the war and to reduce allied casualties.
In Message 162 Dronestar presented five assertions which I believe are worthy of further discussion.
quote:
1. america intercepted messages from Japan to Russia indicating JAPAN WANTED to SURRENDER.
2. Japan had already considered surrendering if america would just allow Japan's Emperor to keep his seat on the throne. america said no, but AFTER bombing Negasaki and Hiroshima, america gave into Japan's request.
3. america knew japan would surrender unconditionally when Japan found out that Russia would join the fight. So, america hastened the two bombings BEFORE Japan COULD surrender for an american show of power toward Russia.
4. if ANY regards towards human life was any factor at all, america could have detonated the first bomb over water as a deterent/warning.
5. The second, even more unnecessary, bomb was completely and utterly criminal. All communication was broken in Japan and america gave no time for the Japanese to assess the first bomb's damage before detonating the second.
I feel it is inappropriate to respond to these questions in the Al Queda Thread, as it is off-topic.
However, I do not feel the issues raised by Dronestar are as clear-cut as his posts would indicate.
I take particular issue with his statement from Message 128
quote:
Of the many items, which particular items on my list do you find dubious? I am thinking at least some of the points were "un-contestable" to moral and intelligent people.
First, I believe that I am not totally without morals or intelligence when I disagree with what I view as an over simplistic interpretation of the events that led to the surrender of Japan.
Second, I disagree that the decision to use atomic bombs, was, or even considering some modern scholarship, somehow "un-contestible" given the time and circumstance.
I also reiterate "I wish it didn't happen." However, given the times, I can understand why the decision was made and would like to argue how the decision was not only likely, but also damn near inevitable, despite the horrid consequences to the hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians of all ages and genders who lost their lives.
In this debate, I intend to use both primary and secondary sources to explain why I feel Dronestar's five points are either an oversimplification or based upon limited and/or biased information.
I am open to either a regular OP open to all or a great debate, Dronestar's choice.
{ABE} Perhaps all involved, including myself, can learn something new {/ABE}
Edited by anglagard, : No reason given.
Edited by anglagard, : replace the term questions with the more accurate assertions, first sentence after first quote.
Edited by anglagard, : No reason given.

Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. - Francis Bacon

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Artemis Entreri, posted 07-08-2011 8:19 AM anglagard has not replied
 Message 4 by dronestar, posted 07-08-2011 10:35 AM anglagard has replied

  
anglagard
Member (Idle past 922 days)
Posts: 2339
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


(1)
Message 34 of 140 (623233)
07-08-2011 7:15 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by dronestar
07-08-2011 10:35 AM


Preliminaries
dronester writes:
Hmmm. In this specific case, you are FOR specifically targeting and bombing civilians (a lot of them!), that includes women, children and babies. Am I correct?
Obviously not, however I do know that in a case of total war, civilian casualties are inevitable, particularly in the days of carpet bombing.
Hiroshima was a military target because:
quote:
At the time of its bombing, Hiroshima was a city of some industrial and military significance. A number of military camps were located nearby, including the headquarters of the Fifth Division and Field Marshal Shunroku Hata's 2nd General Army Headquarters, which commanded the defense of all of southern Japan.[22] Hiroshima was a minor supply and logistics base for the Japanese military. The city was a communications center, a storage point, and an assembly area for troops. It was one of several Japanese cities left deliberately untouched by American bombing, allowing a pristine environment to measure the damage caused by the atomic bomb.[23][24]
Nagasaki was a military target because:
quote:
The city of Nagasaki had been one of the largest sea ports in southern Japan and was of great wartime importance because of its wide-ranging industrial activity, including the production of ordnance, ships, military equipment, and other war materials.
from: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - Wikipedia
Therefore you are arguing these cities had no military significance? Why do you think they were picked, other than the fact they had not already been carpet bombed?
Really?
No, I drink baby blood for breakfast. Happy now?
Would you like to seriously discuss the issues or just impugn my character?
I am curious, what is YOUR definition of a war crime or terrorist act? Seriously. Be specific.
You are already so impatient for me to answer your five assertions, you have posted them three times. I will answer that question later here or in a new thread eventually if I have time.
Ok . . .
I don't see this going too far since you already dismissed my supporting linkS. What more can I do?
I don't recall any supporting links, just a vague reference to some paper you read several months ago you can't seem to find now. IMO your assertions are not supporting links, references to primary and reliable secondary supporting documents are.
Here, for the third time, is my list of reasons showing that the bombing of Hiroshima and Negasaki were war crimes and unnecessary. Please SPECIFY EACH ITEM that you disagree:
My next post in this thread.

Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. - Francis Bacon

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by dronestar, posted 07-08-2011 10:35 AM dronestar has not replied

  
anglagard
Member (Idle past 922 days)
Posts: 2339
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 37 of 140 (623240)
07-08-2011 7:58 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by dronestar
07-08-2011 10:35 AM


Assertion #1 - Japan Wanted to Surrender prior to Hiroshima
dronester writes:
Here, for the third time, is my list of reasons showing that the bombing of Hiroshima and Negasaki were war crimes and unnecessary. Please SPECIFY EACH ITEM that you disagree:
1. america intercepted messages from Japan to Russia indicating JAPAN WANTED to SURRENDER.
Irrelevant.
Formal surrender and acceptance of a formal surrender must come from the leadership. These intercepted messages were feelers and did not constitute the unanimous decision of the leadership to accept surrender according to the principles put forth in the Potsdam Declaration.
The leaders of the war effort in Japan at the time were the big six. They included:
quote:
* Prime Minister: Admiral Kantarō Suzuki
* Minister of Foreign Affairs: Shigenori Tōgō
* Minister of the Army: General Korechika Anami
* Minister of the Navy: Admiral Mitsumasa Yonai
* Chief of the Army General Staff: General Yoshijirō Umezu
* Chief of the Navy General Staff: Admiral Koshirō Oikawa (later replaced by Admiral Soemu Toyoda)
Additionally -
quote:
Emperor Hirohito and Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal Kōichi Kido also were present at some of the meetings, following the emperor's wishes.[15]
source
On Aug 8-9:
quote:
These "twin shocks"the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the Soviet entryhad immediate profound effects on Prime Minister Suzuki and Foreign Minister Tōgō Shigenori, who concurred that the government must end the war at once.[82] However, the senior leadership of the Japanese Army took the news in stride, grossly underestimating the scale of the attack. With the support of Minister of War Anami, they did start preparing to impose martial law on the nation, to stop anyone attempting to make peace.[83] Hirohito told Kido to "quickly control the situation" because "the Soviet Union has declared war and today began hostilities against us."[84]
This is in accordance with the dozens of books I have read on the situation.
Not only did the big six deadlock then they did so as late as Aug. 13-14.
quote:
At a conference with the cabinet and other councilors, Anami, Toyoda, and Umezu again made their case for continuing to fight, after which the emperor said:
"I have listened carefully to each of the arguments presented in opposition to the view that Japan should accept the Allied reply as it stands and without further clarification or modification, but my own thoughts have not undergone any change. ... In order that the people may know my decision, I request you to prepare at once an imperial rescript so that I may broadcast to the nation. Finally, I call upon each and every one of you to exert himself to the utmost so that we may meet the trying days which lie ahead.[107]"
The cabinet immediately convened and unanimously ratified the emperor's wishes. They also decided to destroy vast amounts of material pertaining to matters related to war crimes and the war responsibility of the nation's highest leaders.[108][109] Immediately after the conference, the Foreign ministry transmitted orders to its embassies in Switzerland and Sweden to accept the Allied terms of surrender. These orders were picked up and received in Washington at 02:49, August 14.[107]
It took a formal decision from the emperor to get the big six to agree to end the war.
quote:
The text of the Imperial Rescript on surrender was finalized by 19:00,[clarification needed] transcribed by the official court calligrapher, and brought to the cabinet for their signatures. Around 23:00, the emperor, with help from an NHK recording crew, made a gramophone record of himself reading it.[110] The record was given to court chamberlain Yoshihiro Tokugawa, who hid it in a locker in the empress's secretary's office.[111]
Even after this, there was an attempted coup to destroy the record and force the emperor to change his mind.
Conclusion:
Those who had the authority to surrender did not decide to do so until Aug. 14.
Next - Assertion #2
{ABE} In case anyone is interested, the correspondence dronester is referring to may be found here. {/ABE}
Edited by anglagard, : No reason given.

Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. - Francis Bacon

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by dronestar, posted 07-08-2011 10:35 AM dronestar has not replied

  
anglagard
Member (Idle past 922 days)
Posts: 2339
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


(1)
Message 108 of 140 (624755)
07-19-2011 8:14 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by Modulous
07-19-2011 4:55 PM


Another Factor in the Desire to End War Quickly
Modulous writes:
But I digress, could you provide the justification for dropping both nuclear bombs on densely populated areas within a few days. Was a month too long to wait? Two weeks? It all seems a little over the top, to me.
There is another factor in the decision making process that I don't recall having been brought into this discussion.
According to the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, the estimated total number of deaths due to the atomic bombs within two to four months after they were dropped is as follows:
Hiroshima 90,000-166,000
Nagasaki 60,000-80,000
Therefore the lowest combined estimate is 150,000, the highest 246,000. The mean estimate is 196,000.
source
In August 1945, Japan still occupied large parts of China, Southeast Asia and many Pacific Islands. For people in these areas, the war was very much still going on, producing casualties.
Here is a map showing the areas still held by the Japanese Empire at the time of their surrender in black (click to enlarge).
Average number of deaths per week in 1945:
Allied Civilians 101,871
Japanese Civilians 18,154 (excluding the atomic bombs)
Allied Military 11,182
Japanese Military 36,392
Total per week 167,599
source
Therefore the amount of deaths due to the atomic bombs would have been exceeded by the average number of deaths caused by continuing the war in:
Low estimate - 6.26 days
Mean estimate - 8.19 days
High estimate - 10.27 days
Perhaps this is one reason why "Was a month too long to wait? Two weeks?" may have been answered in the affirmative for Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Indonesian civilians, among others.
Edited by anglagard, : Replace casualties with the more accurate term deaths used by the source.
Edited by anglagard, : Extend reason 1 to subsequent sentences.
Edited by anglagard, : caption map
Edited by anglagard, : Change median to mean (my statistics profs would have been horrified).

Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. - Francis Bacon

This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Modulous, posted 07-19-2011 4:55 PM Modulous has seen this message but not replied

  
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