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Commemorating a Major U.S. War Crime
National Catholic Register ^ | 8/8/10 | Jimmy Akin

Posted on 08/10/2010 5:42:30 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o

Friday was the anniversary of the U.S. Bombing of Hiroshima during World War II. Monday is the anniversary of its bombing of Nagasaki.

The explosion of the Fat Man atomic device over Nagasaki is pictured. It rose eleven miles into the sky over Ground Zero.

The important thing, though, is that it—together with the Little Boy device that was deployed over Hiroshima—killed approximately 200,000 human beings. And it ended the war with Japan.

It is understandable that many Americans at the time were relieved that the long burden of the bloodiest war in human history could finally be laid down. Many then, as now, saw the use of nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a necessary step to preventing even more casualties.

However, some of the blogging being done to commemorate the attack is most unfortunate.

Consider Michael Graham, who wishes his readers a “Happy Peace Through Victory Day.”

Today marks the anniversary of the single greatest act in the cause of peace ever taken by the United States:

Dropping the A-bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. That one decision, that one device, saved more lives, did more to end war, and created more justice in the world in a single stroke than any other. It was done by America, for Americans. It saved the lives of hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of American soldiers and sailors.

So, obviously, President Obama’s not too happy about it. . . .

Euroweenie peaceniks and an annoying number of American liberals see the bombing of Hiroshima as a shameful act. What is it America should be ashamed for—defeating an enemy that declared war on us? Bringing about the end of a fascist empire that killed millions of people, mostly Asians? Preventing the slaughter of the good guys—Americans—by killing the bad guys—the Japanese?

I am not a Euroweenie or a peacenik or a political liberal or even someone opposed to the use of nuclear weapons in principle. I can imagine scenarios in which their use would be justified. I can even deal with the cheeky “Happy Peace Through Victory Day” headline.

But Mr. Graham’s analysis of the situation on a moral level is faulty.

It is true that, by instilling terror in the Japanese government, the use of atomic weapons prevented further and, in all probability, greater casualties on both sides.

Preventing further and greater casualties is a good thing, but as the Catechism reminds us:

The Church and human reason both assert the permanent validity of the moral law during armed conflict. The mere fact that war has regrettably broken out does not mean that everything becomes licit between the warring parties [CCC 2312].

It isn’t just a question of the goal of an action. The goal may be a good one, but the means used to achieve it may be evil. The Catechism states:

Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation. A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons - especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons - to commit such crimes [CCC 2314].

The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were definitely acts of war directed to the destruction of whole cities or—at least—vast areas with their inhabitants. The only quibbling could be about whether this was “indiscriminate” destruction. Someone might argue (stretching the word “indiscriminate” rather severely and taking it in a sense probably not meant by the Catechism) that they were not indiscriminate attacks in that they were aimed at vital Japanese war resources (munitions factories, troops, etc.) and the only practical way to take out these resources was to use atomic weapons.

Mounting such a case would face a number of problems. One would have to show that Hiroshima and Nagasaki contained such resources (not that difficult to show) and that these resources themselves were proportionate in value to the massive collateral damage that would be inflicted (a much more difficult task) and that there was no other practical way—like a more targeted bombing—to take them out (again a difficult task).

But for purposes of argument, let’s grant all this. Let’s suppose that there were such resources, and that they were proportionate in value to the massive loss of civilian lives and that there was no other way to get rid of them.

Does that absolve the U.S. of guilt in these two bombings?

No.

You can see why in the logic that Mr. Graham used. It stresses the fact that the use of these weapons saved net lives. This was undoubtedly uppermost in the U.S. military planners’ thinking as they faced the possibility of an extremely bloody invasion of Japan in which huge numbers on both sides would die.

But notice what is not being said—either by Mr. Graham or anybody else: “Hiroshima and Nagasaki contained such important war widgets that without those widgets Japan would be unable to prosecute the war. Thus by taking out those military resources we could deprive Japan of its ability to make war.”

Neither is anybody saying something like this: “We needed to scare Japan into surrender by showing them that we could destroy all of their military resources. We needed to make them terrified of losing all their military resources so that, out of a desperate desire to preserve their military resources, they would surrender.”

These are the dogs that didn’t bark, and they are why this line of argument is a dog that won’t hunt.

The reason nobody says these things is that they were not the thinking behind the U.S.‘s actions. The idea was not to end the war through the direct destruction of military resources in these two cities, nor was it to end the war by scaring Japan into thinking we might destroy all of its military resources. It was scaring Japan into surrendering by threatening (explicitly) to do this over and over again and inflict massive damage on the Japanese population. In other words, to make them scared that we would engage in “the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants.”

That means that, even if Hiroshima and Nagasaki had contained military resources that of themselves would have justified the use of atomic weapons (which is very hard to argue), our intention still was not pure. We were still using Japanese civilians as hostages to the war effort, still threatening to kill civilians if Japan did not surrender. That was the message we wanted the Japanese leadership to get—not, “We will take out your military resources if you keep this up,” but, “We will take out big chunks of your population if you keep this up.”

That meant that the U.S. leadership was formally participating in evil. It does not matter if the attacks of Hiroshima and Nagasaki could (through some stretch of the imagination) be justified in themselves. The fact is that they were used to send a message telling the Japanese government that we would kill massive numbers of the military and civilian population, without discrimination. That message is evil, and to knowingly and deliberately send that message is to formally participate in evil.

That made these attacks war crimes.

Now, make no mistake. I’m an American. I’m a fan of the U.S. But love of the United States should not preclude one from being able to look honestly at the mistakes it has committed in the past. Indeed, it is only by looking at and frankly acknowledging the mistakes of the past that we can learn from them. Love of one’s country should impel one to help it not commit such evils.

Racial discrimination? Bad thing. Allowing abortions? Bad thing. Dropping nukes to deliberately kill civilians? Bad thing. Let’s try not to have things like these mar America’s future.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Japan; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: catholic; hiroshima; leftistlies; moralabsolutes; revisionism; warcrime
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What are your thoughts?
1 posted on 08/10/2010 5:42:34 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o
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To: wagglebee; little jeremiah; Salvation

Your thoughts?


2 posted on 08/10/2010 5:43:09 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (In theory. there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is. -Yogi Berra)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

My thoughts are that he is wrong. If using the atomic bomb was wrong, so was the whole prosecution of WW2, in all theaters. War is bad ... but either it’s *all* bad, or it’s not. Weapons are just a tool.


3 posted on 08/10/2010 5:44:40 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("Large realities dwarf and overshadow the tiny human figures reacting to them.")
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To: Mrs. Don-o

If the bombs were bad, then our actions before this point were worse. We had fire bombed entire Japanese cities and towns off the map. From the view of the bombing campaign alone, the two bombs saved tremendously more Japanese lives than it cost.


4 posted on 08/10/2010 5:48:48 PM PDT by Ingtar (If he could have taxed it, Obama's hole would have been plugged by now.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
The Japanese sowed the wind at Pearl Harbor and reaped the whirlwind at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. President Truman was right to authorize the Bomb. He saved countless American lives, and countless Japanese who would have died in an unsuccessful defense of the home islands. On a personal note, my father was spared deployment to the invasion of Japan. I endorse the bombing without reservation.

Lamh Foistenach Abu!
5 posted on 08/10/2010 5:49:47 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines, RVN '69 - St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Our only mistake was not using atomic weapons in Korea.

A second use would have shown our resolve and there
would have been now doubt about our ability to use
them again.


6 posted on 08/10/2010 5:49:52 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
I don't see the two A bomb raids as war crimes; the real war crime in question was the Japanese government not throwing in the towel after the fall of the Marianas.

Nonetheless, I don't see the use of those two bombs as having been necessary either. I'd have saved them for Mecca and Medina. WW-II was basically over, Japan's 75 largest cities were in ashes, and they were looking for a way out. There were 20,000,000 people walking around in forests because the cities in which they used to live no longer existed.

7 posted on 08/10/2010 5:50:11 PM PDT by wendy1946
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Harry S Truman. The “the Buck Stops Here” Democrat. Never once blamed FDR for getting us into a crazy war in Europe, which hadn’t attacked us.


8 posted on 08/10/2010 5:51:10 PM PDT by Tanniker Smith (If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog?Five?No, calling a tail a leg don't make it a leg.)
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: Mrs. Don-o

My thought is that Jimmy Akin is a flaming idiot. The atomic bombs saved millions of both Japanese and American lives. Jimmy Akin knows nothing of history or of war making.
Why? How?

Japan had a national code to never, ever surrender. They where willing to fight to the last man standing.
Had not Truman authorized the use of the Atomic bomb, the war with Japan would have dragged on for years.

The fact that is took two Atomic bombs to make Japan realize that it had absolutely no chance attests to the need to use the Atomic bombs.
It was a courageous act of mercy on the part United States part. This re-writting of history is evil.


10 posted on 08/10/2010 5:53:07 PM PDT by J Edgar
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Millions more could have died had the war drawn on longer. Dropping those two bombs "cauterized" that wound preventing more death.

The deterrent value since then has saved untold lives more.

11 posted on 08/10/2010 5:54:20 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (III, Alarm and Muster)
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To: DoughtyOne

I am writing this post to apologize for taking the NCR to task unfairly. The headline led me to believe this publication was going to chastise the U.S. heavily for it’s use of atomic weapons.

I leveled a withering criticism for that. I was wrong to do so.

The article and publication actually defend the U.S. and it’s use of these WMDs.

I am sorry to have posted an unfair criticism, and I asked that it be removed.


12 posted on 08/10/2010 5:55:53 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (It's not Rs vs Ds you dimwits. It's Cs vs Ls. Cut the crap & lets build for success, not failure.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Does that absolve the U.S. of guilt in these two bombings?

The "U.S". is not guilty of anything. Only individual human beings can commit sins and are thereby either guilty or not guilty.

13 posted on 08/10/2010 5:57:20 PM PDT by ALPAPilot
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Fortunately for us, the Vatican was not bombed on Dec 7, 1941. Well, maybe fortunately......


14 posted on 08/10/2010 5:57:51 PM PDT by Feckless (Don't care where he was born. The oath I took said "...against all enemies, foreign and domestic".)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
It is real easy to make comments like those 65 years later.

When it comes to war you should only use the information available at the time. To do otherwise is akin to suing a racetrack for failing to cash a false ticket printed weeks after the race was ran.

I will always remember that my father was scheduled to be a landing craft crewman running between the attack transport anchorage and the shore. He wasn't expected to survive a week. That was two years before I was born.

15 posted on 08/10/2010 5:58:06 PM PDT by Nip
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To: Mrs. Don-o

The trouble is these people that cry war crimes are safe from possibility that the may have been in the first wave to assault the beaches of Japan. Otherwise they may have a different opinion.


16 posted on 08/10/2010 5:58:42 PM PDT by MCF
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Armchair Generals, they always see so clearly.

Armchair General Akin: "Let's see now, if I was in charge 60+ years ago, I'd have simply said no to dropping those bombs."

"Would we have lost a huge number of Americans invading the Japanese Islands (many of whom had already been voluntarily fighting for years, to free people they had never met), and maybe have had to kill just as many Japanese civilians as the bombs did anyway, because they would have fanatically defended their homeland?"

"Well, yeah, but I, Armchair General Akin, would have felt morally superior about it, you know what I mean?"

17 posted on 08/10/2010 6:00:50 PM PDT by Col Freeper (FR is a smorgasbord of Conservative thoughts and ideas - dig in and enjoy it to its fullest!)
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To: DoughtyOne

“And I’m commemorating a massive F U moment for N C R.”

You and me both. What’s up with the Catholic church these days? They turn a blind eye to 0bama and Pelosi with their abortion driven agendas. They embrace illegal immigration and cover up for homosexual, pedophillic priests. I am becoming beyond disgusted with them. (Jim’s w)


18 posted on 08/10/2010 6:01:04 PM PDT by jim35 (Tea Party former Republican)
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To: DoughtyOne

Okay, well, the withering criticism of NCR is back. This guy is one major pinhead.


And I’m commemorating a massive F U moment for N C R.

We were attacked. We tried to get Japan to surrender. It even refused to after we used the first atomic bomb.

We told Japan there would be more attacks if they didn’t surrender. They didn’t surrender. We attacked again.

War is hell. I hope there is never an instance of massive weapons like this being used again, but the N C R makes it more likely by printing trash like this.

The U. S. is demonized here. That just builds up anger by non-U. S. Citizens. It justifies anything they want to do to us, because we’re supposedly a pariah state. N C R has inferred as much.

This is disgusting to the max.

A war crime? No, N C R, has leveled a world class example of hate speech here. Some people should lose their jobs over this. I’ll reflect on citizenship until later...


19 posted on 08/10/2010 6:01:41 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (It's not Rs vs Ds you dimwits. It's Cs vs Ls. Cut the crap & lets build for success, not failure.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Now, make no mistake. I’m an American.

I think not. I think that he is an America hater, some that his cushy American life has permitted him to be.

The Japanese had given ample evidence of their fanaticism and their willingness to sacrifice everything in service to the Emperor. Securing Japan's rapid and unconditional surrender was not worth the unnecessary expenditure of a single American soldier's life. The American people would never have forgiven Truman if they found out that he had the bombs available and chose not to use them, but to allow American soldiers to continue to die in combat. With Germany and Japan defeated, the West knew that they had neither the strength nor will to stand up to the Soviet Union if they decided to advance their interests militarily. Use of the Atomic Bombs against Japan served as a warning to Stalin and was absolutely necessary.

When this subject comes up with my Japanese friends and acquaintances, I always ask them if they have renounced their policy of eating their prisoners. The discussion usually turns to other topics.

20 posted on 08/10/2010 6:03:20 PM PDT by centurion316
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To: Mrs. Don-o

My thoughts: F@@@ “Mr.” Akin and the horse he rode in on.


21 posted on 08/10/2010 6:03:31 PM PDT by correctthought (Hippies, want to change the world, but all they ever do is smoke pot and smell bad)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

I was educated in hs by a few Catholic missionary priests who were POWs under the Japanese in the Pacific islands.

If they were alive today, they would call bullsh*t on this stuff.


22 posted on 08/10/2010 6:03:57 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Better we should have just blockaded Japan and starved everyone to death?

Such a tactic would have been harder on the civilian population; the army would have kept the limited available rations for the soldiers, actually focusing the inevitable famine on the civilians.


23 posted on 08/10/2010 6:04:42 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: jim35

About all I can say, is that many (probably most) good Catholics are just as dismayed as we are about this commentary, as well as the issues you mentioned.

It sucks to be sure.


24 posted on 08/10/2010 6:04:42 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (It's not Rs vs Ds you dimwits. It's Cs vs Ls. Cut the crap & lets build for success, not failure.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
What are your thoughts?


25 posted on 08/10/2010 6:06:51 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Mrs. Don-o

During the era of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, Japan was a Nation of Barbarians.

Unit 731, Nanking, the Bataan Death March and “Comfort Women” come to mind.

They were Purified by Fire, and have joined the ranks of civilized nations.


26 posted on 08/10/2010 6:07:13 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

If Imperial Japan had surrendered sooner, the bombs would not have needed to have been dropped. They were the ones who attacked us and insisted on fighting to the bitter end, and they have no one to blame but themselves for the outcome of the war.


27 posted on 08/10/2010 6:08:31 PM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Pure. Bull. Sh*t.

We hear this same, tired, old crap every August.

The fire bombing of Tokyo, in the aggregate, killed far more Japanese than either of the nukes. People blanch at the use of the nukes simply because one bomb did it all in each city.

The war against Japan was a desperate struggle, with NO - repeat NO - guarantee that we would win. It was Total War, with the survival of the culture and the nation as the goal. Period.

And make no mistake - the use of the nukes SAVED lives - many of them our own troopers, and many more the Japanese civilians who had been pledged - by their utterly Machiavellian military masters - to die “for the emperor.”

It was a sh*tty, sh*tty war, but the Japanese having begun it, someone had to win and someone had to lose. The Japanese lost, and if you want to know if the nukes were “worth it,” then ask the families of the G.I.s who came home in one piece, rather than maimed or in boxes.

And, for that matter, ask the families of the Japanese who would surely have died in any invasion of the home islands.

If it brings any comfort, think of the dead of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as martyrs to peace.

But have a thought to all those who died in Tokyo and elsewhere as the result of bombs - now mostly forgotten - that weren’t “atomic.”

Most of all, pray for the souls of all the poor, young American kids who just wanted to stay home and play hoops and date Mary Lou, but whose bones are still bleaching on some forgotten Pacific sh*t hole.


28 posted on 08/10/2010 6:09:25 PM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: DoughtyOne
I think you had it right on your first post - the article is formatted so you can't readily discern the conservative commentary this pinhead is quoting in the middle of it. So look at the close:

Racial discrimination? Bad thing. Allowing abortions? Bad thing. Dropping nukes to deliberately kill civilians? Bad thing. Let’s try not to have things like these mar America’s future.

Too bad my grandfather, Damage Control Office on the Bunker Hill at Okinawa, isn't around to respond to this overweening moral equivalence idiot. He'd gray the guy's hair prematurely. But, then again, when you've lost hundreds of shipmates in a battle a few months before the a-bombs were dropped, it tends to give you a vastly different viewpoint on this subject.

29 posted on 08/10/2010 6:09:50 PM PDT by dirtboy
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Nihilist garbage dressed up as catachism. These people oppose any action in war.

And Hiroshima and Nagasaki were key points in the defense of Kyushu as well as hubs of communication and transport.

30 posted on 08/10/2010 6:10:34 PM PDT by rmlew (Lindsey Graham is a traitor the GOP and the SC GOP voters are his enablers.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

My thoughts are along the lines of: “Screw you Jimmy Akin! Fat Man and Little Boy saved MILLIONS of lives, Japanese AND American.”

The life-saving of Fat Man and Little Boy are obvious when you consider that Japan was unwilling to surrender or accept defeat... and we dropped the bombs so close together [time-wise] to make the Japanese think that it was the next progression of our ongoing fire-bombing campaign, which at that point had basically obliterated the Japanese manufacturing capability, into that of simply utterly destroying Japanese cities at will.


31 posted on 08/10/2010 6:13:08 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
The atomic bombing of Japan was NOT a mistake or a war crime.

All the Japanese cities were legitimate targets and we should have dropped a hundred of them rather than invade Japan and lose any other American lives.

The number of civilians killed is irrelevant. In modern warfare, a worker in a factory is as legitimate a target as the factory. The fact that the worker's families were close by is too bad for them.

When my son was three, I got to introduce him to General Chuck Sweeney who flew "Bockscar" on the second atomic bomb drop. I thanked General Sweeney for his service and my being there to meet him. My father was scheduled to be a landing craft driver in Operation Downfall in October of 1945.

The Islamists warring against the US do not see the distinction and neither should we. If you seek the destruction of the US whether overtly or covertly, directly or indirectly, you are are a legitimate target. If you object to your families getting killed as collateral damage from killing you, stay away from them.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

32 posted on 08/10/2010 6:13:31 PM PDT by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: ConorMacNessa; Mrs. Don-o
President Truman was right to authorize the Bomb. He saved countless American lives...

Good thing we had a combat veteran making the decision, not a theologian.

For a detailed history of the US plans for the invasion, see D. M. Giangreco's book "Hell to Pay: Operation DOWNFALL and the Invasion of Japan, 1945-1947" Includes estimates of US casualties, estimates of how many Japanese the US would have to kill to force surrender, plans to increase the draft.

Also Paul Fussell's piece "Thank God for the atomic bomb"

33 posted on 08/10/2010 6:14:58 PM PDT by omega4412
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To: LonePalm

Dropping the bombs also kept the Soviets, and ultimately the ChiComs out of Japan.

How would you have liked 5-10 years after Tojo’s defeat to have to return to Japan to fight the Reds?


34 posted on 08/10/2010 6:15:19 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Mrs. Don-o
What are your thoughts?

He knows nothing about war and could not care less that untold numbers of our fathers would have been killed during an invasion of Japan. I see absolutely nothing to admire in this fellows willingness to have my Father and others die in Japan 65 years ago so that he can go through life secure in the knowledge that millions of deaths of Americans is somehow morally superior to the deaths suffered in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

35 posted on 08/10/2010 6:17:58 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: dirtboy

Good call. I reposted it.

Yep, nothing much tees me off more than someone taking military planners to task, for ending the war. None of us likes the idea of using those nukes. War is hell.

Look at Iwo Jima. The honeycombed passageways in its volcanic mountain’s inner sanctum, held thousands of Japanese troops.

I just read the other day that several Japanese troops didn’t actually surrender until 1950 possibly 1951. Now that’s determination.

I’m sure that if my ship-mates had been blown to bits, before the use of the bombs, I’d be tracking this blithering idiot down to beat him to a pulp.


36 posted on 08/10/2010 6:19:48 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (It's not Rs vs Ds you dimwits. It's Cs vs Ls. Cut the crap & lets build for success, not failure.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
My thoughts on this idiot? If he represents the officical position of Catholocism then Holy Catholic Church is full of c***.

L

37 posted on 08/10/2010 6:20:35 PM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: omega4412
Thanks for the info, Omega!

Lamh Foistenach Abu!
38 posted on 08/10/2010 6:21:34 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines, RVN '69 - St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!)
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To: DoughtyOne

I hope so, and to be sure the Catholic church certainly isn’t the only church which is becoming way too liberal.


39 posted on 08/10/2010 6:22:26 PM PDT by jim35 (Tea Party former Republican)
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To: jim35

Oh absolutely.


40 posted on 08/10/2010 6:24:15 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (It's not Rs vs Ds you dimwits. It's Cs vs Ls. Cut the crap & lets build for success, not failure.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Akin is one of those muddle-headed losers who spend their lives morally paralyzed from self-righteous navel-gazing.

Probably the saddest aspect of the article is that he thinks it's well-reasoned and he's proud of it.

41 posted on 08/10/2010 6:24:33 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (Hail To The Fail-In-Chief)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

I was in the Navy in WW2. So my view is certainly affected by what was going on at the time.

I understood that even after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese military wanted to continue to the last man, woman and child, both military and civilian. And as I recall, after Nagasaki, Hirohito finally overruled them.

I didn’t know at the time what an “atom bomb” was, but two of them sure put an end to an unbelievably ferocious war. So I cheered what Harry S Truman had done, and basically still feel the same way 65 years later.


42 posted on 08/10/2010 6:26:47 PM PDT by Ole Okie
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To: DoughtyOne
It appears your first impression was correct; that your retraction and apology was unnecessary.

The author redefines the legal structure of war by pointing to the indiscriminate killing of military and civilians and then claims in his hand-wringing conclusion: That made these attacks war crimes.

1. The earlier fire bombing exacted a higher toll of civilian deaths but was not regarded as inappropriate.

2. The Japanese War Lords did not believe the first A-bomb meant they had lost the war and ignored our peace demands.

3. Russia was massing forces and by prior agreement was moving to invade Japan in a matter of weeks - which would have caused an otherwise avoidable blood-bath, extinguished the nation of Japan and given the USSR a warm water pacific port.

4. Truman would have been charged with a war crime at home if he had needlessly squandered the lives of hundreds of thousands American lives while holding the weapon that would end the war.

43 posted on 08/10/2010 6:28:43 PM PDT by frog in a pot (Wake up America! You are losing the war against your families and your Constitution!)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
My father was a Mud Marine in the Pacific. In the last 1970’s and early 1980’s, he become very interested on what would have happened, if we had not dropped the A-bombs on Japan, by getting a lot of information through the National Archives and the Pentagon through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), we speculated that he might have lived a maximum of 36 hours after arriving on the beaches.

It was speculated at the time that there would have been close to 1,000,000 American combat dead, and at least 10,000,000 Japanese combat dead.

Also, let us not forget the Japanese started the damned war and all we did was finish it, so by dropping the bombs, we saved 1,000,000 American lives and at least 9,500,000 Japanese lives.

By forcing an unconditional surrender, we were able to rid the Japanese of their militarists which were responsible for multiple atrocities, such as the Rape of Nanking, the activities of Unit 731 (the Japanese unit which used local civilians and POWs for chemical and biological weapons experiments and the Bataan Death March. We institute a Western style form of government and Japan has prospered since the end of the war.

I am personally sickened by the number of apologists we have regarding how the war was forced to conclusion. Had Truman not ordered the use of the A-bombs, both me and my wife would not be here, because both our fathers would have undoubtedly been killed during the invasion and it's subsequent fighting.

44 posted on 08/10/2010 6:30:48 PM PDT by cgchief
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To: Mrs. Don-o

“What are your thoughts?”
~~~
I think this guy is a moron,,,

My Dad was WIA on New Guinea in ‘43,,,

His life was shortened by his wounds,,,(died at 61yo)(RIP).

I think Gen. LeMay should have bombed Japan into a hole

in the water!,,,

Then gassed it,,,

Then bombed it some more,,,

No Quarter...


45 posted on 08/10/2010 6:31:06 PM PDT by 1COUNTER-MORTER-68 (THROWING ANOTHER BULLET-RIDDLED TV IN THE PILE OUT BACK~~~~~)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Compare the modern day Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Detroit and that should put an end to the discussion.............

As a side note, I thought that nuclear warfare was supposed to render ground zero uninhabitable for hundreds of years?

46 posted on 08/10/2010 6:31:22 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (Peanut butter was just peanut butter until I found Free Republic.........)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Under normal circumstances one should not, of course, target civilians. But it is one of the myths implanted by the left that civilians are innocent. Do you ever here a reference to those killed other than "innocent civilians?"

Civilians of a country that starts a war are not innocent. The Germans of 1930s overwhelmingly supported all of Germany's wars, and it is a mistake to pin that on Hitler. They also voted in Hitler, thus delegating to him to decide on war and peace. So did the Russians of the Soviet Union. So do Islamic mothers, fathers and entire communities that raise children to be terrorist. So do "innocent" civilians who invite Taliban into their villages.

They don't like the casualties of Hiroshima? Well they shouldn't have started the war and taken the lives of Americans who were merely defending their families. The cost of Hiroshima, however large, was the least cost of ending the war (in terms of the avoided Japanese casualties as well, not only American). Thank G-d we followed through with that and saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

The critics here do what all naive people do: focus on only one side of the cost-benefit balance. They look only at the casualties of Hiroshima (cost) but hardly ever discuss the lives saved (benefit). Needless to say, this is illogical: if you only focus on the cost of food, for instance, then you should never eat anything. This is obvious in the case of food but, for some reason, people the same conclusion in the case of Hiroshima.

47 posted on 08/10/2010 6:32:04 PM PDT by TopQuark
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To: Mrs. Don-o

His assertions are baseless!

“The reason nobody says these things is that they were not the thinking behind the U.S.‘s actions.”

This is pure, uninformed garbage!
There is plenty of documentation regarding the target selection and prioritization. In fact a preferred target was bypassed due to weather.

He’s attempting to assign guilt by way of ignorant mindreading. He is WRONG!!!
And, I will write him directly, with documentation to prove that point!


48 posted on 08/10/2010 6:32:14 PM PDT by G Larry (Democrats: expediting the Destruction of America, before they lose power...)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

We did not kill enough of the Japs to pay for the atrocities which they perpetrated.


49 posted on 08/10/2010 6:33:06 PM PDT by Lion Den Dan
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To: Tax-chick; Ingtar; ConorMacNessa; tet68
Tax-chick--- and others, too---

If you will check the article, you'll see that it's neither the "atomic" aspect nor the "bomb" aspect that Jimmy Akin is objecting to per se. From the article,

"I am not a Euroweenie or a peacenik or a political liberal or even someone opposed to the use of nuclear weapons in principle. I can imagine scenarios in which their use would be justified."

His precise point is the one made by the Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, a major teaching document of the Second Vatican Council: that when the noncombatants constitute the target; when their deaths are part of the intended impact of the act; then their deaths are not justified as collateral damage.

He backs it up with this quote from the Catechism:

"Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation." The Link to the Catechism is well worth looking at for context.

It is not true that, war being bad, it's either "all" bad or it's not. The just use of military force, including lethal force, targetting military aggressors in order to force them to cease aggression, is a positive and honorable thing, however bloody it may be. It is not murder.

The unintended but foreseeable collateral deaths of civilians is likewise morally tolerable, if it is proportionate and not directly intended. (By way of analogy, this would be like the death of an unborn baby because of a doctor doing a hysterectomy on the mother's cancerous uterus.)

The intentional killing of noncombatants is murder. (Analogous to direct abortion.)

The difference between justified killing in war, and murder, is pretty well spelled out in the U.S. Army Field Manual. That's a traditional American military principle I consider essential to defend.

50 posted on 08/10/2010 6:35:36 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (In theory. there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is. -Yogi Berra)
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