Skip to comments.Commemorating a Major U.S. War Crime
Posted on 08/10/2010 5:42:30 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o
click here to read article
Thank God that Jimmy Akin didn’t make the decision Truman was facing. Truman’s constitutional obligation was to save as many American lives as possible as soon as possible. He did his duty to the American people.
In my view that decision made him one of the greatest of American presidents.
Can you for even one second imagine what Obama would do in similar circumstances?
Both theaters of the Second World War were stopped by mass civilian casualties. Incendiary bombing in Europe and Atomic bombing in Japan. It was a VERY good move by the U.S. in the Pacific and the Allies in Europe.
The message: Stop trying to take over the world, or you will have no master race to rule it, or to even nurse back to health.
"You are assuming that our Commanders did not know the Japanese mindset which had an ultranationalist government and a state religion which worshiped the emperor."
Actually, I'm not assuming that. And the author, Jimmy Akin, is not assuming that, either. So I think we can set that aside.
"Our Commanders knew how radical those people were and how willingly they would killeven themselves in battle. They were brutal, inhumane and ruthless to all their enemies which made a joke of the Geneva Convention and made water boarding look like paradise. ANY regard for individual rights, life, women, and their people, was non-existent."
"Our Commander knew that they would probably give up only under a dire situation and he was willing to drop that bomb and create that situation to get the insane Japanese to surrender. They didnt care about their own people, but, our Commanders DID care about their people. They had to force the Japanese to give up and, thus, not only saving many of our men from a brutal insane tortured death, but also theirs. Them or us was Trumans ONLY decision. He said Them!, thank God."
I can agree on he "them" part, and (re-reading Akin's article) it's clear he does too, as long as "them" refers to the savage Japanese military machine, which ought to have been exterminated.
As FReeper Siobhan pointed out awhile back in a similar FR war thread (Link), the relevant military target would have been the gigantic number of Japanese troops massing in the southern Kyushu: an atomic bomb there would have wiped them out and sent the same kind of shock through the Japanese military establishment: it wouild have been morally and militarily justified. Deliberately and indiscriminately killing noncombatants is something else entirely.
All of our fathers (or grandfathers) would have supported targetting troop concentrations. Just as the U.S. Army Air Corps targetted military targets with devastating effectiveness in Europe. It would have been justified even if it had killed, not just 100,000 or 200,000, but a million Japanese soldiers.
It's what they should have done.
Targetting civilians is, as I said, "something else entirely." But I'll agree it is not "morally ambiguous." It is murder.
I don't know. Kill the innocent? He's cetainly shown a willingness to do that in the past.
Hindsight is just that.....If....If....if....You can not possibly know intent, exact circumstances, and know that YOUR DROPPING of the bomb on YOUR target would have worked, etc.
The U.S. warned the civilians to vacate, so civilians were NOT targeted. Their infrastructure was, not the civilians.
The Japanese FAILED to surrender. It was THEIR decision to have the bomb dropped and the civilians stay. The ball was in their court, and if they would have surrendered, the bombs would not have been dropped.
Responsibility fell upon the Japanese military. We did not start the war, so we could not decide when to end it. We did what needed to be done to END the war, which was "moral" in the context of wars, because it saved so many more lives as previous posters have documented.
Kind of like God killing men, women and children and saving Noah, huh? Suppose God was "immoral" also to drown so many people, so many civilians, because they were caught up in a society that worshiped a pagan god.
I thought Jimmy Akin made it clear enough that he's not even against nuclear weapons per se, let alone atomic energy. To quote the author,
"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."
So Akin is not against nuclear weapons. Consider that there were a number of possible targets on Kyushu: Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as gigantic troop concentrations on the southern third of the island. Akins would have had no problem, I daresay, with nuking the troops, not the cities. That's certainly my position.
The Akin article, above, centera rather exactly on the Catholic moralperspective, and is worth reading. My own comments can be easily found, if you look for them, here and there.
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140,000 people died in Hiroshima & 80,000 in Nagasaki. The radiation later caused the deaths of thousands more. Its estimated that over 300,000 Japanese died from the bombings until today.
60,000 may have died in the firebombing of Dresden the figures are not really known.
32,000 died in the Blitz and 87,000 seriously injured.
When we speak of proportionate, the people of England were targeted because they were civilians. The people of Dresden were also targeted civilians. Dresden had no military presence or munitions. Some think this was a means to tell the Russians the West was doing all it could to help their advance into Germany, or it was a warning to Russia and the first salvo of the Cold War.
In any event it was disproportionate. Can we say that the civilian deaths are justified if they back their government? Isn’t that what the Islamists use as their reason for targeting civilians?
The Japanese put their munitions and armament plants in those cities with predictable results. If any are to blame for the deaths of so many, it would be those in the Japanese Imperial Army and the Emperor himself for placing targets within civilian housing.
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,
This a **major** reason why I am no longer Catholic. I just couldn’t stand it anymore. God is rational. Why should I align myself with a church that preaches irrationality in the name of God?
I stand with the poster in the article who said this:
“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. “
Swift and decisive **JUSTICE** is a rare thing and should be celebrated.
Mr.Akin,...Yes! You are! Quick! Your nose is growing.
Thank you, sitetest.
That this article deserves to be Zotted?
Everything I've read indicates that Japanese resistance to an Allied invasion would have been far greater than anticipated and that the loss of life would have been far worse than anyone believed (both civilian and military).
The Potsdam Declaration of July 26, 1945 promised "prompt and utter destruction" if the Japanese did not surrender immediately. The REPEATED Japanese response was mokusatsu which means that they intended to "kill" Allied demands with "silent contempt." Less than a week later we bombed Hiroshima with the most destructive weapon that has ever been used in wartime. Over the course of the next two days we heard nothing, so the presumption was that the policy of mokusatsu was still in effect and that's when we decided to drop the second bomb on Nagasaki. It's worth noting that even with these bombings American leaders deliberately AVOIDED bombing the more populated and significant cities of Tokyo and Kyoto.
Throughout World War II American commanders had gone out of their way to avoid civilian casualties. Unfortunately, it was impossible to do this with the Atomic Bomb. Certainly it was a tragedy of horrific proportions, but that does not mean it was avoidable.
If you're aiming at Mitsubishi, a military target, and a whole city goes up in flames because that's what cities do when they're made out of kindling, you can plausibly claim proportionality and justification, no matter how many died. One historian put civilian deaths caused by the Japanese military in Asia and the Pacific, at 400,000 a month, which makes almost any number of collateral fatalities proportionate, if one is aiming at military targets and one reasonably intends to end the war.
As it happens, Mitsubishi wasn't even damaged: but the bombing was a great success.
Because as it happens, Mitsubishi wasn't the target. The city was the target. But if city=target, it's what we call murder. The Church's teaching against this follows the same logic via Natural law, and has the same level of authortity--- exactly the same authority --- as the doctrine against abortion and infanticide.
Akin says it better than I do, and deserves more careful reading than anyone here has yet given him.
There’s an amazing Japanese film, not great production values, about the 24 hours before the Japanese surrender. There were still people who wanted to fight till they could fight no more.
I THINK there was an agreement not to harm Kyoto because of it’s fantastic artistic and historical value.
Our entire nuclear deterrence is based upon our Presidents willingness to (supposedly) commit war crimes.
I hate to break it to you, but international “law” has only one precept...
The strong do what they will. The weak suffer what they must.
Well said. I don’t think many of those who are alive today but who did not live through WW2 have an inkling of the cruelty and determination of the Japanese, both military and civilian. Anyone who has studied the subject will likely agree that there would have been monumental loss of American lives, not only if the war continued, but afterward. Americans would have become virtual slaves, and that is if they survived. It is all too easy to sit back from a place of safety and judge the actions and decisions of our predecessors. Imho, allowing the Japanese to win WW2 would be the equivalent of national suicide.
Everything I’ve ever seen indicates that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the LEAST LETHAL method to ending the War.
Kyoto was spared because of it’s major religious significance to the Japanese and Tokyo because MacArthur and others realized that we would need something on which to rebuild Japan.