Skip to comments.The Moral Lesson of Hiroshima
Posted on 07/28/2006 8:20:58 AM PDT by mjp
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They had a plan. Called Cornet.
The build up had started, but wasn't complete, when the bomb was dropped.
Well, as to sources, there's a ton of them.
- Dirty Little Secrets of World War II and Victory At Sea (James Dunnigan and Alfred A. Nolfi)
- The Two Ocean War (History of the United States Navy 1941-45) Samuel Elliot Morrison
- The Penguin History of the Second World War (Calvocoressi, Wint and Pritchard). Calvocoressi, incidentally, was a codebreaker at Bletchly Park. This is the DEFINITIVE Book on the politics of the Second World War, in my opinion.
Those will do just to begin with. If you want more, I'll be more than happy to provide them for you.
I will bring up WTC as it is historic fact. They thought of WTC as the capitalist Mecca. My company lost 87 people there.
Nuking Mecca etc is not satisfying, but it could be necessary. Just as we didn't nuke Moscow, but we definitely had it in our sights.
How do you destroy a culture produced by a poisonous ideology without addressing the simple fact that it is the Muslim mentality that breeds the death cult.
Again academics can put their books down, because it will be at the point of a sword, gun, atomic weapon, that Muzzies will finally be subjugated. It will take sujugation to get them to discard their death cult ideology.
Oh yeah, I spent 13 months in Iraq NOT killing and destroying everything I saw because they were Muslim.
The liberal media keeps pushing the idea that innocent civilians must be spared during war, such as in the latest Israeli war. The big problem with that new and untested moral code is then the civilians don't have much stake in the matter. What do they care? Pulling your punches against innocent civilians, for religious or other reasons, will lead to a never ending mini-war, which is precisely why the Israeli-Arab conflict, going on now for thousands of years, will never end.
And I would have been happy to stay home in 1991. I'm sure Dad would also have been happy to have stayed home in 1967-68. The fact of the matter is that warfare is endemic and no matter what we'd prefer, we often have to make that sacrifice.
However, we can't call ourselves a morally-superior system when we engage in the deliberate infliction of suffering on the innocent when we do it (and call it virtue or mercy), and then call it somethign else when an enemy does it.
I have no doubt that had Germany or Japan possessed such weapons they would not have hesitated to use them, but it does not automatically follow that they would have affected the eventual outcome, particularly with regards to Japan. And the fact that I can't prove otherwise (and neither can you -- history doesn't work on "What if?") doesn't make the concept invalid.
Talks of the planned invasion. I will dig up more after lunch.
But Truman forgot the lesson described in this article when the Korean War came along. Truman fired MacArthur for demanding the same sort of total victory over North Korea that we achieved over Japan in WW2 and then settled for a tie. And the result is: North Korea exports rockets, missiles and technology to enemies that we are fighting today and threatens Japan, South Korea and the U.S. mainland with nuclear weapons.
Thank you very much (NOT) President Truman.
"Had the United States negotiated in 1945, Japanese troops would have returned to a homeland free of foreign control, met by civilians who had not confronted defeat, under the same leaders who had taken them to war. A negotiated peace would have failed to discredit the ideology of war, and would have left the motivations for the next war intact. We might have fought the Japanese Empire again, twenty years later. Fortunately, the Americans were in no mind to compromise."
History shows that we WOULD have had to fight them again, for the reasons stated above. And chances are excellent that others around the world would have determined that the U.S. was composed of a bunch of whimpering cowards. So, other countries would have attacked us, too. JUST BECAUSE THEY COULD...
Some sobering wisdom in the piece.
As a resource-poor island nation that was culturally very different than the U.S., there would be no reason for the U.S. to occupy it after the war -- unless our explicit intent was to turn the place into a giant manufacturing center for electronics, machinery, autos, etc.
"Remember, they started the War to begin with."
Of course they did. Never said they didn't. Only asked the question "why is the instant evaporation of human beings considered more humane than shooting, shelling, or napalming them to death?". Because it was quicker? Because they can conveniently be reduced to the category of "the enemy" rather than "human being"? I don't understand the mentality that can categorize the instant death of many innocents (and many were) as somehow better than prolonging their agony if the end result is their eventual death anyway.
I'd like to say that every person incinerated at Dresden was a card-carrying Nazi willing to follow Hitler to the last breath, or that every Japanese at Hiroshima was willing to do likewise on behalf of the Emperor, but the fact is, I can't and so can no one else. For all we know, had rampant starvation and disease ovecome Japan, the military men would have been swept from power and a more human peace instituted.
Japan STILL does have an emperor, so your point was?
"Oh yeah, I spent 13 months in Iraq NOT killing and destroying everything I saw because they were Muslim."
Fine. I spent a year there killing things (in an indirect fashion) without the word "Muslim" even entering the conversation. We were at war with a person (Saddam Hussein) and a memory (Poland of 1939. Hitler, et. al) then and no mention of "Islam" or "muslim" was made when the bombs were dropped.
Had either of us stayed there for any more appreciable length of time, we would probably have come into contact with thelocals on a much more intimate scale and therein is the weapon which defetas Islamofascism: human contact that causes people to realize that while they might have different ideas, they are basically all the same and have more in common then they realize.
How do you think Japan's death-obessed, martial culture was transformed after the war? It was by the direct contact with American democracy, democratic ideals, American culture and direct commerce/interchange between the Japanese and American people. The war and the bomb are the backdrop against which it all took place, but it is not the catalyst.
The moral lesson of Hiroshima? Don't wake the sleeping lion unless you are willing to face the consequences.
Regardless of what you may have read in Gullible's Travels, and I am quite sure you cannot be swayed by the facts, but what follows is the real situation at the time.
From American Caesar, by William Manchester, Copyright 1978.
Page 510 of the paperback edition:
Meanwhile Hirohitos generals, grimly preparing for the invasion, had not abandoned hope of saving their homeland. Although a few strategic islands had been lost, they told each other, most of their conquests, including the Chinese heartland, were firmly in their hands, and the bulk of their army was undefeated. Even now they could scarcely believe that any foe would have the audacity to attempt landings in Japan itself. Allied troops, they boasted, would face the fiercest resistance in history. Over ten thousand kamikaze planes were readied for Ketsu-Go, Operation Decision. Behind the beaches, enormous connecting underground caves had been stocked with caches of food and thousands of tons of ammunition. Manning the nations ground defenses were 2,350,000 regular soldiers, 250,000 garrison troops, and 32,000,000 civilian militiamen a total of 34,600,000, more than the combined armies of the United States, Great Britain, and Nazi Germany. All males aged fifteen to sixty, and all females aged seventeen to forty-five, had been conscripted. Their weapons included ancient bronze cannon, muzzle-loading muskets, bamboo spears, and bows and arrows. Even little children had been trained to strap explosives around their waists, roll under tank treads, and blow themselves up. They were called Sherman carpets.
I'm not rewriting history at all. The facts are there for anyone who wants to see them, even if they haven't been available until relatively recently. You may have a different interpretation, but that doesn't make me wrong or an "Armchair President". And by the way, people have already lsitened, or are you too young to remember "the Nuclear Freeze" and the "No Nukes" movements which grew out of American use of atomic weapons and the stunned horror which was brought about by the spectre of atomic warfare?
Just because those movements were ultimately futile (and, fairly) tarred as "leftist claptrap" doesnn't mean they didn't raise important questions of morality.
The decision to drop the bomb was political. Always was, always will be.
It was her belief that use of a nuclear bomb was so 'off the wall', it gave the leadership a chance to save face and surrender without further loss of life.
It was also her belief that a 'demonstration use' of a nuke would have had the opposite effect.
And thanks for the info about the military only surrender, I did not know that.
Wow, I give you three expert sources and now I'm gullible?
And what, pray, were the Japanese to build these new forces with? We're talking about a nation with no natural resources of it's own, a merchant marine which was sitting at the bottom of the ocean, financially bankrupt and at the mercy of the other Great Powers intent on keeping it from ever rising in that way again.
While there certainly were Japanese military figures willing to fight to the death in true Samurai fashion, there were an awful lot who didn't see the point in doing so. In fact, Japanese pre-war governments were chock full of former military men who became prime ministers, Chiefs of Staff and party leaders who did everything in their power to prevent war (ANY WAR) by all means possible. You assume that because those men had been ignored prior to the outbreak opf hostilities, they would have been ignored after those hostilities ceased. Hardly the case in a country which had been ruined and suffering to the extent that Japan was.
The bomb as a practical demonstration of power struck right at the heart of Oriental (and especially Japanese) concepts of warfare; once you have made an unanswerable show of force and superiority, your enemy should, logically, quit.
This is the logic behind the attack at Peark Harbor, Midway, sweeping the Royal Navy from the Indian Ocean, the lighting intial moves of the Pacific War in which the Allies lost almost all of their colonies and outposts: you see how superior we are? You should quit now.
Against any other culture, the logic of the Japanese rationale would be readily understood and accepted. Not so Western culture.
A negotiated end to conflict was ALWAYS the Japanese war aim, however, they never thought they would be on the short end.
Now we're on the same wave length.
( Really pitiful, Southern mothers didn't teach their chill'ns not to drink of out creeks where folks are going poo-poo in)
and there is a lesson in this excellent article that applies directly to our Iraqi mission today - that not destroying vermin such as Al-Sadr, not ruthlessly closing down the iranian proxy assistance, means these scum will live to strike us again in the future.
Tehran delenda est.
Not necessarily more humane to those who were killed, but to the nation as a whole.
The bombs shocked the Japanese into surrender. As a result, they were more able to begin rebuilding and we see the result of the US plan in the prosperity and friendship with Japan in the ensuing decades.
It was, of course, also more humane for Americans and the whole world to get the business finished once and for all. The surrender of the islands of Japan because of the bomb caused the Japanese out in the field to lay down their weapons as well. They would have gone on fighting until just about every Japanese soldier had died "heroically" which would have meant many more Amerian deaths.
Stronger weapons indeed can be more humane.
With the Russians entering the war, we could have easily lost Japan to the Iron Curtain.
What difference would it have made to us, if this was an enemy nation we're talking about?
That mindset certainly didn't deter the U.S. from consigning all of Eastern Europe to five decades of misery behind the Iron Curtain, now did it?
So how would you have ended the war?
"I've also speculated that the U.S. had no intention of invading Japan anyway"
If that's true, my grandfather sure wasn't let in on the secret. He and the men he served with were prepared to invade Japan, but were certain they would never see their families again. They were steeled for battle, but terrified that they were facing the end.
'Til the day he died, he hated anything that had to do with Japan.
One of the bizarre aspects of the article at the top of this thread is the focus it places on Japan's national morality, militaristic culture, etc. What makes this so silly in the context of justifying the use of atomic bombs on civilian populations is that in 1945 the U.S. decided to drop one of those two bombs on one of the only places in Japan (Nagasaki) that had a sizeable Christian population.
I'm sorry, but I smell "bullsh!t" on this one.
Right. And U.S. military personnel have spent 60+ years since the end of World War II preparing to fight any number of wars against any number of enemies. Some people were so focused on this that they probably retired from the military with almost a sense of disappointment that Soviet tanks never came rolling into western Europe.
Gotta read this.
Ping! ...one of the best articles I've read in a while.
Good job mjp!
"He does not accept terms; he demands prostrate surrender, or death, for everyone if necessary." Precisely what Mad Mohammed teaches in the koran ... and we wonder if these demon servants will negotiate for peace, to stop the Israeli defense of their homes and lives. Hah! They will just stand up their children and wives to die by Israeli bombs and bullets, to pretend their cause is righteous. Islam is terrorism institutionalized in allah, the lesser moon goddess of Mohammed's day when he created this 'religion', this dogma of convert or fall to the sword.
"... and had been seeking to negotiate a surrender through various methods and channels for months prior to the dropping of the bombs." 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.
Wombat - The whole point of that section of the article was that by bringing the horror of the war directly to the civilians (who largely supported it), they'd be less inclined to pursue or accept war in the future.
It wasn't necessary to end WW2, but to prevent the Japanese from starting WW3 later.
Give the ISlamofascists enough time to negotiate and they will eventually incinerate you and your feckless musings.
Nothing would bring a nation like that to its knees faster than seeing a supposedly immortal demi-god like the emperor vanish in a column of fire.
#4 only leads to more intense #4.
Israel needs to nuke the closest city from where the missiles cross its border and promise more. The only way to deal with a fanatic arab is after their body temp equals that of the outside air.
Israel's nuclear arsenal is pretty much useless against most of their adjoining neighbors, since those countries are so small that the fallout would impact Israel almost as much as it would impact the target.
That's why it was chosen as the drop-site instead of Tokyo.
And I would suggest that approaching warfare in that type of environment -- where nation-states are little more than a post-colonial construct without any defining ties like culture, language, religion, etc. -- is utterly pointless.
>>>The Moral Lesson of Hiroshima<<<
The moral is, if you are fighting a bunch of suicidal maniacs, wipe out their cities, one by one, with the intent of wiping out more, until the suicide attacks stop.
The same moral lesson can be applied to the Islamic suicidal maniacs by wiping out their mosques and 'holy' cities, one by one, until they repent of their evil ways.
I agree, it probably should have been Tokyo.
But that doesn't leave out that the Allied command had a lot of bad options. Invade, blockade, or nukes all had the cost of a lot of civilians dead. I think nukes were chosen because that had the least amount of Allied dead, and because it was a new weapon and no one really knew what to expect with it.
In the end, MacArthur used the Emperor to good advantage.
Hirohito was a weak man that could be manipulated and used as a tool and, in MacArthur's hands, he became a useful tool for the good of Japan's future as a modern democratic nation.
Give you enough time and you might actually evolve into a human being.
Feckless? Yes, I'm certain the indiscriminate methods of merely killing enough of "the other guy" ALWAYS work. How sophisticated and intelligent of you to see that where I could not (/sarcasm on).
Got news of you; within the context of the Second World War, the German Army inflicted casualties (killed and wounded) of 15 to 1 against the Soviets and 7 to 1 against the Allies from June 6, 1944 onwards. And they still lost.
War is not always about which side can kill more.
Oh, and the Islamonazis tried to incinerate me already on 9/11... and they missed, and not for want of trying. I want Islamic society transformed from a series of mental defects to somethig we can live with and tolerate too, but that doesn't require a mushroom cloud.
Feckless? Yes, I'm certain the indiscriminate methods of merely killing enough of "the other guy" ALWAYS work. The feckless referred to your inability to see that you and your sort are being played for fools with the 'negotiation' tactic by Islamofascists, while they develop the very weaponry they intend to incinerate you and the feckless democrats.
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