Skip to comments.The Moral Lesson of Hiroshima
Posted on 07/28/2006 8:20:58 AM PDT by mjp
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"We see the same sham process at work with MaMooed Imafoolajihad, but as before, you are among the blind who do not see and will refuse to see the sham in this 'negotiation' process, you and J.Feckless Kerry."
You must be the only person on the planet to see Amined-whats-his-ass as somehow negotiating a SURRENDER. What pod did you hatch from? I think what you really mean is Amadadadoodad is stalling for time and that people like Kerry are more than willing to give it to himn. The inference, since you tarred me with the Kerryite epithet, is that I want to give him time, too. Nothing could be further for the turth. Perhaps if you put the whiskey bottle down long enough to read peoperly, you'd know that.
I just don't believe nuking Mecca is the answer, and do believe that the process by which REAL victory will be achieved is beyond your patience or capacity to understand, since it will require decades and a fundamental change in Middle Eastern culture. I'd explain it to you in minute detail, but you're obviously drunk.
As for the Kerry comment; unlike Mr. Kerry, when I volunteered for service it was not after reception of four draft deferrals, nor did I spend 4 months in close-to-but-not-quite-combat collecting enough self-inflicted wounds to be shipped home.
BTW, I don't believe nuking Mecca is the answer either ... that would assure the world-wide inclusion of every muslim into a war to end civilization as we know it. I do believe in extinguishing any possible development of nuclear weaponry with whatever means needed to get the job done because once these demonspawn obtain nuclear weaponry they will immediately try to use them against Israel and won't give a damn how many Muslims they take with the effort since they count every Muslim as a worthy sacrifice to force allah to do their bidding. The same advent was the scenario when the Japanese were 'negotiating' while they feverishly tried to bring more devastating weaponry on line for continuation of the war. That is the context in which I cited negotiating as a tactic common to the goals of the Japanese and now the Islamofascist.
BTW, I don't drink anything stronger than wine and make it a point to avoid intoxication.
Accepted. Let me also take the opportunity to apologize. In the heat of an intellectual battle, tempers often get the best of us. Perhaps we should both pick up the bottle (for you wine, me vodka) and bury the hatchet.
You hit it right on the head very succinctly. I saw a report a couple of days ago about a section of Beirut only a few miles from the bombed out southern portion. The people living there were spending their time sunning themselves by the pool, since they couldn't go to work. The war was merely an inconvenience to them and they didn't seem to care what principles were at stake or who won.
There's no "probably" there. Between an invasion and the continuation of our destruction of Japan's internal transportation system, the Japanese were looking at catastrophic casualties, both civilian and military, if they had not surrendered. They were already on the brink of famine in late 1945 due to a combination of a poor harvest and their inability to transport what food there was to the population centers.
Surrender was the best thing that could happen to the Japanese. If it took the a-bombs to shock them into it, so be it.
This is true, but is it any more humane to starve civilians than to bomb them? Continuing the blockade and the resulting starvation would have spread the deaths throughout the whole nation and greatly increased the their number. Less Japanese died because the bombs forced their surrender.
"... but is it any more humane to starve civilians than to bomb them?"
That was my original question. If we set out to kill, the method, it seems to me is unimportant, and therefore, one method is not "cleaner" or "morally superior" to the other. I keep coming back to "Thou shall not kill" and "What you do to the least of my brothers.." I'm an agnostic, truth to tell, but I still believe there is a lot to be said for that philosophy.
As a former military man (and the descendant of military men) I understand the need for war and realize that it's not a very nice business.
But, since we live in a nation that was founded upon the principles of Western Civilization (prime amongst them the Judeo-Christian ethic mentioned above, and the Geneva and Hague Conventions on Warfare), I think we have a duty to ask those questions, even if the answers merely raise more questions.
Except that Harry could not stick with what worked, which is why we still have to deal with N. Korea today.
On Aug.2nd, 1967 (3 weeks before I landed in Viet Nam), I stood on the bridge across from ground zero in Hiroshima. As I stood on the bridge, I was the only person on the bridge and saw more than 70 shadows other than my own. They had been there since 1945.
I toured the "peace memorial museum", and saw what was recorded. I then hoped the loser president I served under named lyndon(loser) baynes (blowjob) johnson had the balls of Harry S. Truman to drop nukes on the DMZ and give me "glow in the dark" targets when I got to the Nam.
I see, and thus we come back to the original point of the article. If you don't agree with the use of the term "moral", would you agree that the method that kills the least number of people to achieve the desired result is preferred? That's what the bombs did and I agree with the author that their use was indeed moral.
I am always ashamed of FR discussion on the atomic bomb (or even conventional bomb) incineration of cities as such: not, strictly speaking, collateral deaths, but when city = target.
The indiscriminate killing of civilians in war is a crime similar to the killing by massive abortion (50,000,000 victims since Roe vs Wade) in this respect: that we dare to offend Almighty God by the deliberate shedding of innocent blood, which He calls an abomination.
Rand had the moral sense of a beast.
So much for the Socratic principle "better to suffer an evil than to commit one."
You are most gracious. I'll toast you with the next beer I have (which may be a while but I'll remembr).
The trouble is in war, innocent blood will be shed. The bombing of cities was not a good tactic (other than being immoral). For instance, in Germany it was thought that bombing and killing the factory workers would slow production. It didn't. Dresden and Hiroshima are part of the reasons that we don't do carpet bombing of cities anymore.
But in 1945 the Allied command had two or three choices. First was ground invasion, which would have devastated Japan and realistically cost a million lives (probably more). Second was a blockade. Which had already failed to incapacitate Japan, and would have had to starve a good portion of the population to death before they surrendered. The third was the atomic bomb.
No good choices there. No way to not kill innocents, no way to just go home and say "Game over, you guys lost." War is like that. If we pulled back and just said "Oh well", Japan would have rebuilt and attacked.
The choices for targets always confused me, and I do not agree with them, but to be honest I can't think of a way that would have got Japan to surrender cheaply.
Top scientists in Japan, Germany and the US all knew that theoretically, the atomic bomb was possible. Both the Germans and Americans worked on it. The Japanese concluded that creation of an atomic bomb would take too long, and instead put their resources into developing biological weapons as their "super weapon." Unit 731 conducted experiments on prisoners, and they practiced on Chinese cities. There are reports of massive epidemics after Japanese planes flew over areas of China. Some reports having over 200,000 Chinese dying of diseases the Japanese were developing.
The Japanese approach was low-tech but highly effective. They selected fleas as the method of carrying diseases, and if memory serves me correctly, planned their first attack in the US with a terra cotta bomb that would have split apart at the maximum dispersal elevation, turning loose over 10,000 fleas infected with smallpox. The target was planned to be San Diego, and the bomb was supposedly already made. The problem was that by the time they were ready to use it, the US had them ringed in so tightly they were unable to break loose a ship with aircraft launch capability and get it to the west coast. They did get some balloons over the US and dropped bombs killing seven people in late 1944, but never dropped a plague bomb. They obviously didn't have a moral problem using it, so I can only assume that by the time they had it perfected, they were unable to get it across the Pacific and deliver it.
The strains of anthrax, cholera and bubonic plague being developed by middle eastern countries and used by Saddam supposedly were originally developed by Japan prior to and during WWII.
When the US dropped the atomic bombs, many said Japan had no idea what the weapon was. This was true of the average Japanese, but the upper echelons of the military and the politicians knew exactly what had happened. The atomic bomb, which they considered theoretical, had been developed.
I hadn't heard the testing story in N. Korea, but Japan certainly had no problem experimenting on their neighbors.
The story of Japan's unit 741 is here.
Watch out for the Mecca comment. I agree with you, but got flamed for 24 hours for saying it!
Before, during or after the Haj?
Actually.the Plague Bomb was a dismal failure,primarily because they could never figure out how to keep the fleas alive at altitude long enough to deliver the bomb, or to keep them alive in an artillery round. Fleas, incidentally, die rather quickly without a host (certainly not long enough to stockpile, so each bomb had to be made within a day or two of it's actual use), never mind the rigors of weaponization. Also, since bubonic plague was endemic in China and surrounding regions, there was no way of accurately counting natural cases and purposely-inflicted cases. You couldn't accurately gauge if it was an effective weapon or not. Certainly not a reliable weapon.
I would tend to doubt the 200,000 Chinese dead figure for the simple reason that in China proper, malnutrition and disease of all kinds were rampant, even before the Japanese got there and perhaps it's only an estimate that an additonal 200,000 Chinese died of disease over and above what would "normally" have died because of the ravages of war (disruption of medical services, sanitation problems, disease caused by unburied corpses, etc all contributing to the total).
I think the only (probably semi-)accurate figure related to Unit 741 was 70,000 (since the facility was supposed to be a lumber mill for security reasons, the Japanese referred to their test subjects as "logs") and that referred to the number of people experimented on (for which there were records made).
Quick retort; if we're talking about killing in war, and your premise is "kill the least number of people to achieve the desired result", and those people are soldiers (who are trained to fight, wear uniforms, who expect that death is part of the job), then yes.
If we're talking about factory workers, schoolteachers, sanitation workers, carpenters, and telephone operators, not to mention children, the infirm and the elderly, all behind the lines and not attached to any military force involved or connected to the field of battle, and attacked while in their own homes, then no.
If a an oil-field worker or railroad worker happens to be at work when his workplace is attacked, then that is indeed collateral damage, and I don't see any way of avoiding that about 99.9% of the time.
All of the major combatants in the Second World War went after those schooltechers and carpenters, in their homes, in their bomb shelters, in the streets, with reckless abandon and called it "Strategic Bombing". It was terror bombing, really, under the guise of Strategic Bombing (the weapons were wholly unsuited to the mission as laid out in the theory) justifed by such quaint notions as (per Bomber Harris) "every apartment flat bombed displaces 4 or more German workers with resulting loss of productivity".
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