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Falcon84
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60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 1:04 pm

Saturday marks the anniversary of one of those turning point events not only in the history of individual nations, but of the world as a whole. It's the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

We've discussed this subject a bit as of late, but I do want to give you my perspective, looking back, at this world-changing events. I do so as someone who is not a historian, but who reads a lot about history. And I do so, without shame, from that of an American who was born and grew up after this event.

Picture yourself in this scenario: You're Harry Truman, just days after the death of FDR-big shoes to fill. You're told, just days after this event, that the United States is working on an atomic weapon-a weapon, that, if it works, could end the war. As spring of '45 turns into summer, the island-hopping campaign is almost complete-the bloody battles of places like Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, Saipan, Tarawa, and others-bloody harbingers of the horror that will come in the planned invasion of Japan, slated for that November-an enemy that is dedicated to dying to the last.

Come summer, you're told this weapon looks good, and your military advisors tell you that, yes, they think it can end the war. With already a half million Americans dead, and with the prospects of at least that many, probably more, dying in an invasion that fall, your choice is pretty clear.

In July, the weapon is tested in New Mexico, and it works. Weeks later, you call on Japan to surrender, or face destruction. They refuse. The troops for the invasion are gathering; you have intel that Japan is preparing literally every citizen of the country to fight the invasion. A slaughter of unimaginable proportions is only months away from beginning. And you've sworn an oath to preserve, protect and defend the United State of America. What choice to you have?

August 6, 1945, a day that changes the world.

The aftermath of that morning of August 6th, to this day, is a terrible reminder to all of us of the nuclear age, and all it's frightening possibilities. The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki stand as start testestament to the brutality and heartless of warfare, and it should be a reminder to us all the price we pay for such brutality. Japan paid a terrible price for the brutality they inflicted on the Asian continent between 1930 and 1945.

But the aftermath, for me as an American, also tells me the decision, while it unleashed a new age, yet unseen in 1945, was the right decision. As an American, standing in Truman's shoes at the time, I know I would have made the same decison, fully in accord with preserving, protecting and defending the United States of America. My first concern is ending the war, and not having to send thousands of Americans-fathers, sons, brothers-a generation-to their deaths. That fact was accomplished. In it, Truman fulfilled his oath to the American people.

There are a few on here who think that I, and others like me, who do not condemn, and are not ashamed of Mr. Truman's actions that fateful summer, are somehow heartless, but that's not the case at all. It would have been heartless, knowing a weapon to end the war existed, and our leaders let the slaughter on the Home Islands proceed as planned. I certainly am not heartless towards the suffering of those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but I put the blame not on the U.S., but on the Imperial Japanese goverment, of the likes of Hirohito and Tojo, who stampeded their country in a drive for dominance of Asia and the Pacific. The blood, I think, lies on their hands, for starting a war. When you start a war of conquest, you undertake risks, and Japan took those risks and lost.

May those who died that day in 1945, rest in peace, victims of a world war that claimed millions of lives, and who's tragic deaths hastened the end of that conflict, so that more of their own countrymen wouldn't die needlessly.

May God bless those Americans, who fought, and, many who died, from Pearl Harbor to the end of the war, and may those who died rest assured they have the eternal gratitude of me and this nation.

May all of us, whatever side we are on in this debate, vow that such a weapon is never needed again, so that another generation won't be pointing fingers at each other over such an event.
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photopilot
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 1:29 pm

I won't argue with you about your post. Without doubt it did put a quick end to the Pacific theatre of WWII. We could debate the Nagasaki bomb as being unnecessary following Hiroshima, but what's done is done so the argument would be moot.

My only question that your thread begets is this.

Why in light of today's society and today's knowledge would a recent poll show that fully 28% of Americans would believe that it is OK for the United States to initiate a "First Use" of nuclear weapons?

Hasn't the world seen enough of nuclear horror? Did we learn nothing from Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

What say you?
 
MxCtrlr
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:41 pm

Quoting Photopilot (Reply 1):
Hasn't the world seen enough of nuclear horror?

One would hope but probably not.

Quoting Photopilot (Reply 1):
Did we learn nothing from Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Unfortunately, as the lessons from the Holocaust show us, there are those who cannot believe what previously happened unless they saw it with their own eyes. With more and more unstable countries obtaining nuclear technology, the possibility of another use of these dispicable weapons is very great.

MxCtrlr  bouncy 
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cfalk
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:51 pm

On a TV documentary about Hiroshima and "The Bomb", I learned something I did not know.

After the Hiroshima bomb, Many people wanted to surrender, but the japanese military tried to blow off Hiroshima as a one-off stunt, an event that the U.S. managed to pull off, but could not repeat.

After the second bomb, and the Emperor weighed in with his decision to surrender, some military officers attempted a coup d'etat! These guys really wanted to keep fighting. Luckily the coup was put down.

I did not know about the coup. Anyone else have info on that?

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:57 pm

Many of the questions and answers asked can be answered here in these threads. . . some of the best I've seen on A-net . . . good quality discussion.

After reading these . . . .

Hiroshima & Nagasaki.... Why? (by Iakobos Feb 10 2005 in Non Aviation)
Hiroshima And Nagasaki, Saved Lives? (by EZEIZA Feb 4 2005 in Non Aviation)

The your answers or responses should be clear.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
B744F
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 3:00 pm

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 3):
On a TV documentary about Hiroshima and "The Bomb", I learned something I did not know.

You probably never knew it, because it never happened
 
searpqx
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 3:09 pm

Quoting B744F (Reply 5):
You probably never knew it, because it never happened

It wasn't successful, but it did happen. The hardline officers' opposition to surrender was well known and well documented.
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 3:15 pm

Quoting Searpqx (Reply 6):
Quoting B744F (Reply 5):
You probably never knew it, because it never happened


It wasn't successful, but it did happen. The hardline officers' opposition to surrender was well known and well documented.

You expect B744F to quote accurate history? Grab that rope next to you, try to piss UP that rope, same effect . . . . .

B744F, go read the two threads I gave there . . . more history and learning there than you got in school . . . . . did you go to school ?
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
B744F
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 3:37 pm

Quoting Searpqx (Reply 6):
It wasn't successful, but it did happen. The hardline officers' opposition to surrender was well known and well documented.

I wasn't talking about that, I was talking about this:

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 3):
After the Hiroshima bomb, Many people wanted to surrender, but the japanese military tried to blow off Hiroshima as a one-off stunt, an event that the U.S. managed to pull off, but could not repeat.

Revisionist history used to justify the 2nd bombing.
 
B744F
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 3:38 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 7):
more history and learning there than you got in school

Maybe you need to go back to school and learn how to use that history and learning to further your common sense and understanding of world events and their impact.
 
NumberTwelve
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 5:15 pm

http://www.stern.de/wissenschaft/nat...:Hiroshima-Die-Japaner/543555.html
"Japanes almost were beaten and ready to abandon ... This barbarian Weapon against Hiroshima and Nagasaki didn't help us in any way ... We used the moral standard of barbarians from mediaeval"
Admiral William D. Leahy

(Sorry, shouldn't be in " because I translated it from "stern.de")

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 7):
. . did you go to school ?

great democratic style: not same opinion, just insult people.
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searpqx
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:22 pm

Quoting B744F (Reply 8):
Revisionist history used to justify the 2nd bombing.

No, the revisionist historians are those that try and take a 1945 decision, made at the end of the greatest war the world had known, and try and critique it using 2005 mores and knowledge.

Quoting NumberTwelve (Reply 10):
http://www.stern.de/wissenschaft/nat...:Hiroshima-Die-Japaner/543555.html
"Japanes almost were beaten and ready to abandon ... This barbarian Weapon against Hiroshima and Nagasaki didn't help us in any way ... We used the moral standard of barbarians from mediaeval"
Admiral William D. Leahy

The acutal quote was, "It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons." (William D. Leahy, I Was There, pg. 441).

I refer you to the threads mentioned by ANCFlyer - I respect Admiral Leahy's deep held morals, but there were many additional factors that went into Truman's decision.
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
57AZ
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:11 pm

In fact, the attempted coup did happen. That is indisputable. The reason it did not succeed was the loyalty of the other Japanese army units to the Emperor and the loyalty of the trusted Imperial Household Staff. Once the Emperor had determined that Japan should surrender, he recorded his radio message to his subjects. Two copies of the recording were made and hidden in separate locations on the Palace grounds by Household Staff. When the hardline officers attempted their coup, the Household Staff remained loyal to the Emperor and refused to reveal where the recordings had been hidden. Once the rebel officers had been arrested and removed from the Palace, the recordings were removed and transported to the broadcast facility which aired them over the radio.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
Falcon84
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:26 pm

Quoting B744F (Reply 5):

You probably never knew it, because it never happened

Actually, that is true, dude. Also true is the fact that, shortly after the bomb went off, a group of mid-ranking Japanese army officers, sure that Hirohito would make peace (even though he wasn't ready to surrender then) tried to overthrow the government and install-if that were possible-an even more militant government that would keep fighting.

So yes, it DID happen, and there were many in the Japanese country that wanted to continue to fight, even after Hiroshima.

Quoting B744F (Reply 8):
I wasn't talking about that, I was talking about this:

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 3):
After the Hiroshima bomb, Many people wanted to surrender, but the japanese military tried to blow off Hiroshima as a one-off stunt, an event that the U.S. managed to pull off, but could not repeat.

Revisionist history used to justify the 2nd bombing.

Again, it's not revisionist-YOUR the revisionst here, remember?  Smile They debated what was to happen, but decided to keep on fighting. B744F, if you do ANYTHING, even if you're against the bomb, which is fine-learn the history. It will make you look less moronic. At least by learning, you can base your conclusions on fact, not emotion.
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iakobos
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:57 pm

Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
the horror that will come in the planned invasion of Japan, slated for that November-an enemy that is dedicated to dying to the last.



Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
In July, the weapon is tested in New Mexico, and it works. Weeks later, you call on Japan to surrender, or face destruction. They refuse.



Quoting Falcon84 (Thread starter):
The troops for the invasion are gathering; you have intel that Japan is preparing literally every citizen of the country to fight the invasion. A slaughter of unimaginable proportions is only months away from beginning.

I do not understand your position Falcon.
Even if we are no historians we obviously can read and comprehend.
There are plenty of documents available for the last decades (most were not before 1971), starting with Harry Truman own personal diary, that contradict your assertions.

Some proven facts, black on white, verifiable...no assumptions:
* The Japanese Emperor did instruct his diplomatic channel(s) to initiate and pursue taks on the conditions for a capitulation, without any single doubt as of January '45, in a less formal way possibly as early as September '44.
* Theoritical plans for the invasion of Japan existed for a long time, however no green light had been given for pushing them into operational phase, and this only 3 months before the supposedly "planned" date. A lot of troops and material would have had to be moved from the ETO to the other side of the planet, and nothing had taken place.
* "an enemy that is dedicated to dying to the last" : since the Emperor (= God) was trying for at least 7 months to capitulate, the scenario seems terribly unlikely.

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 13):
At least by learning, you can base your conclusions on fact, not emotion

Good precept, what about applying it across the board ?

I fully understand Truman's decision(s), and the terribly unfortunate necessity to drop hell on a piece of Japanese territory
(to stop Soviet expansion, possibly to avert a war of even more cataclysmic proportions, to regain a geopolitical advantage, to stop the hostilities in the Pacific) that is not the point.
What surprises me is that even to this day, in a country like the USA, 60 years after the events and more than 30 years after documentation was made available, the shortcut public version of August 1945 is still (or seems to be) the credo in your history books.
Is it a sin to question your teachers and/or argue the validity of the curriculum ?
 
dl021
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:16 pm

Not a sin, but some try to discredit the use of the nuclear devices (A-Bombs to put not so fine a point on it) by saying it was not necessary, and in doing so trying to validate their point of view for today.

The us of the devices ended the war. THe use of two devices convinced everyone there that we were capable of repeating the exercise. Had we not dropped them we would have been forced to invade, as no terms or conditions were part of the deal. Armistices leaving the current structure in power had been seen to cause more war down the road (see the Germans after WWI) and we were not prepared to let that happen.

I'm certain that certain members of the administration were happy about the secondary effect of convincing the Soviets that we had the tech and were willing to use it, but the primary decision point here was to end this horribly expensive war before we had to spend the lives and money to invade Japan. LArge troop movements had already begun to the Pacific, movement warnings had been issued to ETO units, and air forces had already begun moving. There was no real need to spend the same amount of time prepping for the Japanese homeisland invasion as Normandy, since the troops that would be used were already experience in amphibious assault, as well as combat in general, and simply needed to be transported aboard ships that were eventually used to bring them home.

Using the devices....the weapons....was a calculated decision that paid off in millions of lives saved on both sides. It resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of Japanese, rather than millions who would certainly have died from either combat in an invasion that they were being equipped and set up to resist to the death (remember the conditioning of the average Japanese citizen prior to the war, who had never been anywhere else and believed their emperor to be a living god to whom they owed their lives)...either that or the mass starvation that would have occured in the event of a siege/blockade.

The Allies were correct in demanding unconditional surrender (I don't count allowing the Emperor to remain in place, in light of the fact that we forced him out into the light, starting with his radio broadcast).....and the only way to get it quickly was to shock the Japanese people's leaders into reality.
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Falcon84
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:19 pm

Quoting Iakobos (Reply 14):
I do not understand your position Falcon.

Not to hard to understand: faced with a bloody invasion, and being told there was a weapon available to end that war, Truman made the correct decision, given his Constitutional responsibilities to the American people. It was a tragedy, but it averted a bigger tragedy.

Quoting Iakobos (Reply 14):
Is it a sin to question your teachers and/or argue the validity of the curriculum ?

It's never a sin to question. But when FACT tells you what something is, and was, it's a bigger sin to try and rewrite that history to fit one's personal hatreds, dislikes, and personal agenda. That's what's wrong with the revisionist history of this event.

Remember, a few years back, some revisionist hack wanted to put, by the Enola Gay at the Smithsonian, a piece that blamed the United States for the war in the Pacific? That's revisionist history. It totally overlooked the decade before, when Japan had terrorized China and Indo-China, and put the blame on the U.S. for trying to stop Japanese expansion. That's the worst kind of "questioning" history, beause it wasn't based on fact, but on personal vendetta.

One should always question. It was a question in and of itself when I wanted to find out more about it. I have-I stand by Truman's decision, and I will never feel ashamed of the decision. I do feel a deep and profound sense of sadness for those who died because of the bombings, but I blame their own government, not mine, for their fate.

Quoting Iakobos (Reply 14):
* The Japanese Emperor did instruct his diplomatic channel(s) to initiate and pursue taks on the conditions for a capitulation, without any single doubt as of January '45, in a less formal way possibly as early as September '44.

-Yet they never showed the slightest sign of quitting the fight, did they? Their atrocities in Asia continued; they continued to build up their military as much as they could. The U.S. came to one conclusion-Japan was stalling for time, and the Allies didn't buy it, not should they have. Had Hirohito really wanted peace, he could have, as we saw in August of 1945, simply told his government to end the war. He did not.

Quoting Iakobos (Reply 14):
* Theoritical plans for the invasion of Japan existed for a long time, however no green light had been given for pushing them into operational phase, and this only 3 months before the supposedly "planned" date. A lot of troops and material would have had to be moved from the ETO to the other side of the planet, and nothing had taken place.

Really? Theoretical? No green light? No planning?

Read these:

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/8141/downfall.html

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/8141/downfall_both.html

The planning was far, far along-the even had which Divisions were to be involved, where they would land, how the attack would take place, for both Olympic and Coronet.

So what you say is the worst kind of revisionist drivel, and it's very offensive. The invasion was well under way to being operational. The forces were being gathered all over the Pacific. What do you think the Island campaign was about? It was about getting bases in which to launch this invasion.

When you see information THAT specific, don't come telling me that it wasn't planned, wasn't laid out in detail. It was, and it's shit like you posted that pisses me off-revisinoist GARBAGE.

Quoting Iakobos (Reply 14):
* "an enemy that is dedicated to dying to the last" : since the Emperor (= God) was trying for at least 7 months to capitulate, the scenario seems terribly unlikely.

Terribly unlikely? Look at the history of the battles in places like Iwo Jima, Tarawa, Saipan, Guadalcanal, Okinawa-the Japanese rarely surrendered, and most died. Look at the spectacle of the Kamakaze attacks on allied shipping-men using aircraft as bombs to destroy the enemy (where do you think modern terrorists got that idea from?) It was the code of Bushido at work-and it was well-ingrained in Japan, having been beaten into their heads since the end of the war with Russia in the early 1900's.

Unlikely? No, very likely. Read your history. Again, your galling ignorance is just overwhelming.
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Falcon84
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:49 pm

The Geocities site is down for some reason now. Hopefully, you can read it later. Instead, here is the OrBat (Order of Battle) for both Operation Olympic and Operation Coronet. And you don't have an OrBat in place unless you've done some serious, serious planning-well beyond the "theoretical" stage, Ikabos.

For Olympic:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders_...wnfall#Order_of_Battle_for_Olympic

For Coronet:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders_...wnfall#Order_of_Battle_for_Coronet
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TedTAce
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:06 am

To me the conundrum comes to this:

Do you save the lives of 1,000's (probably tens of thousands or more) of your countrymen, or do you go down in history as the only country to use the most horrific device ever created against targets that you know will affect civilians?

The ONLY argument I have for not using the bomb is that choosing NOT to use it easily sets the precident that the weapon is so horrible that no one should be interested in acquiring it al-la the cold war and our eastern neighbors. Obviously it's mere existance creates that kind of demmand, but I would have like to have seen what would have happened if we never choose to use it.

I would LIKE to have seen what would have happened if we had effectively stopped where we were and never invaded Japan, and just set up a 'never ending' blockade. Could we have 'broken' Japan with a blockade minimizing the threat to our sea bourne interests? How many of their civillian warriors would be willing to swim out 10 miles to plant a bomb on one of our ships?

I woudn't trade my existance or the past as it happened for anything but I can't help but wonder what the other choices were. I will always be torn by my perception of the choices and I doubt I will ever be at true peace.
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Falcon84
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:11 am

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 18):
The ONLY argument I have for not using the bomb is that choosing NOT to use it easily sets the precident that the weapon is so horrible that no one should be interested in acquiring it al-la the cold war and our eastern neighbors.

One problem-the USSR was already developing their own atomic weapons. It would be a few years later, but they would enter the race. And, most likely, they would have had their own weapon even if Hiroshima had happened.

"What if's", especially when involving history, are fascination, Ted, no doubt, but the fact remains we weren't going to stop where we were. Had the war continued, an invasion was going to occur. That's known, via our history. The only thing that stopped it was the destruction of those two cities.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:17 am

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 19):
The only thing that stopped it was the destruction of those two cities.

And subsequent Unconditional Surrender of the Japanese . . .

Contrary to the Revisionist Historians here, an invasion of the main islands in Japan would have been very costly in terms of lives on both sides of the fight - and those lives would also have included Japanese civilians.

I cannot fathom why we are rewriting posts in this thread that we wrote in two other very good, very in-depth threads several months ago . . . those other threads are some of the best I've ever seen on A-net . . . yet here we are, with the some of the same Revisionist Historians making the same/similar comments.

History won't change no matter how many times it's discussed . . .
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
cfalk
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:20 am

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 18):
I would LIKE to have seen what would have happened if we had effectively stopped where we were and never invaded Japan, and just set up a 'never ending' blockade. Could we have 'broken' Japan with a blockade minimizing the threat to our sea bourne interests? How many of their civillian warriors would be willing to swim out 10 miles to plant a bomb on one of our ships?

In my opinion, such a strategy, along with an eventual peace treaty of a sort, would have given rise to the same thing as Germany after WWI, or Saddam's Iraq in Gulf War of 1991. There would have remained a lot of resentment, and an eventual desire to regain what was lost, either prestige or territory. Eventually, Japan would have risen again to threaten the Far East and U.S. interests there. Pounding Japan (and Germany) to a pulp until they surrendered unconditionally ensured that the whole population knew NEVER to f&ck with your country again. 60 years later, both countries show no inclination at all to bother the U.S. militarily, and I think that is a direct result of the incredible beating they recieved the last time they tried.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
Falcon84
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:21 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 20):
History won't change no matter how many times it's discussed . . .

And that's what galls the revisionists so much, ANC.
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
cairo
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:26 am

The decision to use the nuclear bombs on Japan probably saved lives, but there is one important thing to remember...

...the bombs killed primarily civilians in their homes and work. It was an attack on everyday people.

I think Americans should remember this when they condemn others for attacking innocent civilians. Everyone does it in war, unfortunately, and only with improved technology have the Americans been able to reduce it themselves, somewhat, in later wars.

But an important lesson from Hiroshima and Nagasaki is that Americans can and do target civilians and that any attempts to take the moral high ground against those today who target civilians, is just bullshit. War is war and regular people get killed.

Cairo
 
Greyhound
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:28 am

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 18):
The ONLY argument I have for not using the bomb is that choosing NOT to use it easily sets the precident that the weapon is so horrible that no one should be interested in acquiring it al-la the cold war and our eastern neighbors.

Seems like a logical argument, but I still wonder, would Stalin have thought that way? I'm not trying to make a "we should build it before they do" argument, but Stalin didn't follow the same moral playbook the rest of the allied powers did (or at least tried to do). I have to agree with Falcon... in the end given the choices that the U.S. faced, dropping the bomb seems like the (and I use this term loosely) "best" option. It's tragic that so many civilians were killed, which hopefully will deter any further use of those weapons by "civilized" nations. I don't know if I'll ever have ALL of the information that helped form the decision on why to drop the bomb. We had allready firebombed Tokyo into oblivion (relatively speaking), so it makes me wonder why not continue that form of bombing, if we wanted to 'send a message'? Effects of napalm are just as devastating as nuclear weapons are on people, with exception to long term effects. But I'm not sure that they knew too much about what long term consequences would be imposed on the population of the affected area by the a-bombs. What if they did know that? Would they have knowingly dropped the bomb then? I'm not sure how to answer that.
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Falcon84
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:30 am

Quoting Cairo (Reply 23):
But an important lesson from Hiroshima and Nagasaki is that Americans can and do target civilians and that any attempts to take the moral high ground against those today who target civilians, is just bullshit.

You start a war, Cairo, you take a combatant's chances, and the inherent risks that go with it. They warred on us. We fought back, and won. You don't like the way we won, but that's too bad. The deaths at H and N, while tragic, probably saved a lot more lives, and ended a world war.

Put that in, within all your criticisms. Again, civilians die in war. Deal with it.
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slider
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:13 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 15):
I'm certain that certain members of the administration were happy about the secondary effect of convincing the Soviets that we had the tech and were willing to use it,

Good point- the ending shot to WWII and the opening salvo of a Cold War.

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
Not to hard to understand: faced with a bloody invasion, and being told there was a weapon available to end that war, Truman made the correct decision, given his Constitutional responsibilities to the American people. It was a tragedy, but it averted a bigger tragedy.

Precisely right. And when you think of it, really ponder on the casualties we had in the island hopping campaign, the decision is more clear and justified. I am still stupified to this day to think that at Iwo Jima alone we had almost 30k total casualties with over 7,000 battle deaths on the US side. Those numbers are staggering--all for a little flyspeck of an island that was the first volcanic--not tropical--island in the series of what was Japan's true homeland.

Quoting Cairo (Reply 23):
...the bombs killed primarily civilians in their homes and work. It was an attack on everyday people.

I won't thump my chest about moral high ground, but history shows that wars are won by making the populace capitulate, not exclusively the military armies themselves. The Japanese military already knew it was destined for a loss--speaking to my Iwo Jima reference, it was clear then that their strategy was to inflict as amny casualties upon the US as possible.

Again, when viewed through that lens, the decision was appropriate. A necessary evil in an evil war that rid the world of great evil.
 
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:30 am

Quoting Cairo (Reply 23):
The decision to use the nuclear bombs on Japan probably saved lives, but there is one important thing to remember...

...the bombs killed primarily civilians in their homes and work. It was an attack on everyday people.

The targets of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen because they were the sites of heavy manufacturing of military equipment. It had nothing to do with looking for a body count. In fact, the U.S. military specifically avoided targeting cities with higher populations - they wanted to cripple the ability of the Japanese to wage war, not murder civilians.
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TedTAce
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:40 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 27):
The targets of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen because they were the sites of heavy manufacturing of military equipment. It had nothing to do with looking for a body count. In fact, the U.S. military specifically avoided targeting cities with higher populations - they wanted to cripple the ability of the Japanese to wage war, not murder civilians.

This is inarguable. If the US wanted a body count, to make a show, or intentionally go after civillians, they would have gone after Tokyo. The target for me doesn't so much matter as the fact we pulled the trigger. Once again I think it was ultimately correct, but I regret it's what we felt we had to do.
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halls120
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:50 am

Quoting Photopilot (Reply 1):
Why in light of today's society and today's knowledge would a recent poll show that fully 28% of Americans would believe that it is OK for the United States to initiate a "First Use" of nuclear weapons?

First of all, I take polls with a grain of salt.

If I knew without a shadow of a doubt that a targeted delivery of a low-yield nuclear device would be the only way to stop the launch of a larger nuclear device that was moments away from being launched at the US, then yes, I'd be part of the 28%.

Quoting Photopilot (Reply 1):
Hasn't the world seen enough of nuclear horror?

One would hope so. On the plus side, the gradual elimination of the excessively large stockpiles of nuclear warheads by the US and Russia gives me hope that we will never have to revisit Hiroshima. On the negative side, the increased proliferation of nuclear capability to other countries that aren't exactly the most stable of nation-states suggests that we will.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
B744F
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:14 am

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 13):
Again, it's not revisionist-YOUR the revisionst here, remember?

No, you're the revisionist, who, along with 99% of the people in this thread and in this country, believe the war propaganda instead of the truth.

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 13):
So yes, it DID happen, and there were many in the Japanese country that wanted to continue to fight, even after Hiroshima.

I wasn't talking about the coup, that isn't surprising considering coups were tried against every leader in the Axis at one time, I was responding to this nonsense:

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 3):
After the Hiroshima bomb, Many people wanted to surrender, but the japanese military tried to blow off Hiroshima as a one-off stunt, an event that the U.S. managed to pull off, but could not repeat.

So in closing, history has shown that they were going to surrender before the first bomb, that the 1 million + lives lost during an invasion was a fabrication, that the military knew they would not be able to win, but people will still believe the propaganda.
 
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:25 am

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 25):
You start a war, Cairo, you take a combatant's chances, and the inherent risks that go with it. They warred on us. We fought back, and won. You don't like the way we won, but that's too bad. The deaths at H and N, while tragic, probably saved a lot more lives, and ended a world war.

Put that in, within all your criticisms. Again, civilians die in war. Deal with it.

Your logic is certainly consistent, but are you consistent enough to let your enemies use your own logic?

The terrorists say the exact same thing about justifying terrorism on America as you say here. From their point of view America is the agressor and terrorism is just their form of Hiroshima. I presume if the 9/11 terrorists had sent a signed declaration of war to the White House on Septemer 10th, you would, by your own logic, call their attack just an act of war - perhaps further telling us 'civilians die in war', and asking us to 'deal with it'?

I can't wait to hear why Americans killing civilians is always justified in the name of the freedom bearing/democracy bringing US policies, but for anyone else it is barbaric terrorism.

Cairo
 
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:58 am

Quoting B744F (Reply 30):
No, you're the revisionist, who, along with 99% of the people in this thread and in this country, believe the war propaganda instead of the truth.

Make sure that tinfoil hat is on tight while you avoid the black helicopters.
 
B744F
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 3:13 am

Quoting Slider (Reply 32):
Make sure that tinfoil hat is on tight while you avoid the black helicopters.

Is that the best you can do?
 
mrniji
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 3:27 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 20):
History won't change no matter how many times it's discussed . . .

Agreed, John, but the lessons we humans learn can change. Another problem is: we might learn our lessons, but we tend to forget the even quicker..  Sad
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 3:48 am

Quoting Mrniji (Reply 34):
but the lessons we humans learn can change.

You're exactly right. I think the lessons learned at nagasaki and Hiroshima have shown the world the power of the atom, and have also taught the world that such a weapon should never, ever be employed ever again.

As you say tho - lessons learned can be quickly forgotten . . . unfortunately.
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Gary2880
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 4:12 am

Quoting Cairo (Reply 31):
perhaps further telling us 'civilians die in war', and asking us to 'deal with it'?

I can't wait to hear why Americans killing civilians is always justified in the name of the freedom bearing/democracy bringing US policies, but for anyone else it is barbaric terrorism.

Kudos to you sir, Kudos. Always nice to find someone of the same line of thought
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel :- Samuel Johnson
 
halls120
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 4:15 am

Quoting Gary2880 (Reply 36):
Quoting Cairo (Reply 31):
perhaps further telling us 'civilians die in war', and asking us to 'deal with it'?

I can't wait to hear why Americans killing civilians is always justified in the name of the freedom bearing/democracy bringing US policies, but for anyone else it is barbaric terrorism.

Kudos to you sir, Kudos. Always nice to find someone of the same line of thought

I've always thought it better to surround myself with people who don't share my opinion on a given subject, since it challenges me to defend and examine my beliefs, and sometimes it even helps me learn something.  Wink
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
Gary2880
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 4:23 am

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 37):
I've always thought it better to surround myself with people who don't share my opinion on a given subject

strange, plenty of people here share your opinion and not enough that don't, hence my comment. A welcome addition to my RU list anyway

Thanks  wave 
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel :- Samuel Johnson
 
GDB
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 5:03 am

People living in the largely peaceful, affluent West of today, would do well to put themselves in the position of those around at the time.
If you were European, you'd have known only war for 6 years.
If you were American, you would have seen sons, brothers, fathers and possibly yourself, be sent off to faraway places to fight, and maybe not come back, in numbers we cannot contemplate today, for nearly four years.
If you were Chinese, you'd have known about the unspeakable brutality of Imperial Japan since 1931.

Japan today is democratic, prosperous, peaceful, shows no signs of aggression, can we say for sure an full scale invasion and all it brought would have led to the same result.
How about a partitioned Japan, half under the 'care' of Stalin?

Someone was going to invent Atomic weapons sooner or later, be thankful it was not Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan or had Stalin got there first?
In fact, had the European war in the west gone badly after D-Day, say the invasion had failed, the first A-Bomb would probably have been on Berlin.

Operation Olympic, the invasion of Japan, was heading towards reality.
In the war weary UK, the end of the European war saw deployment of forces to the Pacific for this invasion, come the late summer/early autumn, this was set to increase rapidly.

1000's of POW's, suffering under terrible conditions, torture, murder, might have a different opinion to those spouting off from the safety of a keyboard, they saw a sudden end to the war and their suffering.
Also the end of Unit 731, the Japanese bio-weapon programme which some POW were used as live experiments for.
Nice huh? Imperial Japan was every bit as bad as Nazi Germany.

These weapons were coming, imagine a Cold War without the true knowledge of the horror of these weapons demonstrated by the bombing of Japan.
In a world where there were many more weapons.
Most of us would probably not be here.

Truman was a good President, he made the right choice.
We all have much to thank him for, even in Japan today.

And comparing the actions of a few Islamist fanatics in 2001, with the need to end the bloodiest war in all history, (started by other fanatics I might add), is so stupid, so ignorant, so lazy, so facile, it's beyond belief.
I wish my great uncle, who was a Japanese prisoner, was still around to put those who think from such a spoiled, simple minded perspective, straight on a few things.
 
GDB
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 5:14 am

This historian tries to be even handed on this subject, what he does not do is transfer any resentments, paranoia and plain ignorance of today, on to the situation in 1945;
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1539275,00.html
 
searpqx
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 5:19 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 39):
And comparing the actions of a few Islamist fanatics in 2001, with the need to end the bloodiest war in all history, (started by other fanatics I might add), is so stupid, so ignorant, so lazy, so facile, it's beyond belief.
I wish my great uncle, who was a Japanese prisoner, was still around to put those who think from such a spoiled, simple minded perspective, straight on a few things.

Best post on here - and best quote. The decisions to drop the bombs can only be discussed in the context of the time period in which they were made. The bombs brought a decisive end to the war while sending a horrible message and targeted warning of what was possible.
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 5:54 am

Quoting Cairo (Reply 31):
I presume if the 9/11 terrorists had sent a signed declaration of war to the White House on Septemer 10th, you would, by your own logic, call their attack just an act of war

Tell me, genius - how could individuals who represent no sovereign nation declare war? It's as if you went outside and "declared war" on Thailand, and then went there, killing the first few Thai citizens you happened to see once you arrived.

After the local police picked you up, would they call you a psychotic murderer, or a prisoner of war? Think about it.

Quoting B744F (Reply 33):
Quoting Slider (Reply 32):
Make sure that tinfoil hat is on tight while you avoid the black helicopters.

Is that the best you can do?

No, but it's all he needed to do to put you firmly in your place.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

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Gary2880
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:06 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 42):
No, but it's all he needed to do to put you firmly in your place.

yeah because anyone that does not agree with the system must be put in their place with a different view point, all hail democracies, either with us or against us right?

Quoting GDB (Reply 39):
who was a Japanese prisoner

hardly a un-bias viewpoint then

would be nice if someone was able to answer cairo's question

unless you think there should be one rule for you and another for everyone else

but that wouldn't be very democratic would it.... Tricky.
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel :- Samuel Johnson
 
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:38 am

Quoting Gary2880 (Reply 43):
yeah because anyone that does not agree with the system must be put in their place with a different view point, all hail democracies, either with us or against us right?

B744F wasn't "not agreeing with the system," but with HISTORY! We were discussing the Japanese and their situation leading up to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, remember?

He was essentially saying, "I reject reality and substitute my own instead," and that earned him the right to be called a nutcase.

Try and keep your eye on the ball next time you jump to someone's defense.
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cairo
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:46 am

Quoting Searpqx (Reply 41):
The decisions to drop the bombs can only be discussed in the context of the time period in which they were made.

For those who can't apply the lessons of the past to today's world, your statement is true. I think for you and GDB, it may only be possible to think of Hiroshima in 1945 terms and you two should best avoid thinking of similarities with today.

Sure, explaining the war leaders' mindset can only be looked at in terms of what they saw and knew at the time, but refusing to look at the decision to drop the bomb in 20/20 hindsight is just your fear that we might have to admit we did something questionable or, heaven forbid, wrong.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 42):
Tell me, genius - how could individuals who represent no sovereign nation declare war?

Take out a piece of paper and write "I declare war on you," drop it in the mail, and voila - war is declared and now we're free to kill children and go after civilian targets, right?

The absurdity of doing this is the absurdity of America categorizing it's enemies, whether its Japan in Pearl Harbor or insugents in Iraq, as barbaric terrorists or unfair or cowardly, just because they didn't have a formal declaration of war. Or just because they fight dirty. Or attack civilians. ...the point is that America kills children and civilian targets with as much gusto as any of its terrorist enemies.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Pearl Harbor, Dresden, Vietnam and September 11th are all relevant to the discussion - namely, when and under what circumstances is it ever right to attack and kill civilians including children?

Cairo

BTW, I support, in hindsight, Truman's decision to use the bombs. But I don't pretend that it was anything less than the most devastating 2 attacks on unarmed civilians and young children, ever, and that it represents one of the lowest points in human history. We should all be studying this endlessly so that we can figure out what Truman could have done, if anyting, to avoid this tragedy and not repeat it in the future.

[Edited 2005-08-03 23:49:51]
 
slider
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:55 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 42):
No, but it's all he needed to do to put you firmly in your place.

My place, at least in this matter, is on the side of history and fact.

We actually needn't say a thing to have B744 in his place. The saying "tis better to let people think you're an idiot than open your mouth and remove all doubt" comes to mind.

Quoting B744F (Reply 30):
So in closing, history has shown that they were going to surrender before the first bomb,

The point is, THEY DIDN'T! And they still didn't after the first bomb. You may twist some historical what-ifs to fit your viewpoint, but the facts are what they are. August 6. August 9. They had plenty of time before and after Hiroshima to wave the white flag. They didn't. We closed the deal.


GDB- Post of the day man. Well done. And well said.
 
searpqx
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:29 am

Quoting Cairo (Reply 45):
For those who can't apply the lessons of the past to today's world, your statement is true. I think for you and GDB, it may only be possible to think of Hiroshima in 1945 terms and you two should best avoid thinking of similarities with today.

No, the problems lie with those that refuse to accept that historical context must be applied to historical decisions, and instead wish to paint all historical acts using today's palate.

Nowhere in either of my posts did I say that we shouldn't learn from past actions and apply them to today's situations, but to do that you must understand how and why those decisions were made, and you can only do that by thinking in terms of what the decision makers knew and had experienced.

Quoting Cairo (Reply 45):
I support, in hindsight, Truman's decision to use the bombs. But I don't pretend that it was anything less than the most devastating 2 attacks on unarmed civilians and young children, ever

Would it surprise you to learn that you and I are in 100% agreement in this statement? Or that in today's world, I can think of no excuse for a first strike nuclear attack. I came to that opinion by gaining a greater understanding of how the original decision was made and then by comparing it today and realizing that the conditions that made it the right decision then do not and have not existed sense.

Quoting Cairo (Reply 45):
Take out a piece of paper and write "I declare war on you," drop it in the mail, and voila - war is declared and now we're free to kill children and go after civilian targets, right?

As sad a statement as it is about out society, there are established and widely recognized rules for warfare. One of those is that you don't "kill children and go after civilian targets" simply for the sake of doing it. I'm not denying that Truman knew there would be massive loss of life among the civilian population, but Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen because of their strategic value. Kobe and Tokyo were both discarded for the same reasons.

Quoting Cairo (Reply 45):
the point is that America kills children and civilian targets with as much gusto as any of its terrorist enemies.

Besides being offensive, this is flat out wrong. Terrorists specifically target civilian populations and hope for highest body count possible for the simple hope of spreading terror. As a rule the US, or any country engaged in full scale war, chooses strategic targets and pursues them. Yes, that means civilians are caught and killed, but isn't the main intent (and yes, I'm aware that US forces have committed attrocities and massacres that were solely directed against civilians - and I denounce them, those involved and those that allowed it to happen completely).

Quoting Cairo (Reply 45):
We should all be studying this endlessly so that we can figure out what Truman could have done, if anyting, to avoid this tragedy and not repeat it in the future.

Again, we're in complete agreement. My opinion is that given the realities of the time and the rapidly approaching post war environment, he took the best course of action.
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
B744F
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 9:02 am

Quoting Slider (Reply 46):
The point is, THEY DIDN'T!

If you intercept messages from a government which say they are planning a surrender, that means they are planning to surrender.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 42):
No, but it's all he needed to do to put you firmly in your place.

"Put you firmly in your place"? Is that how children respond to comments that have no response? So far nobody has proven me wrong, you all have just regurgitated the propaganda from both sides constantly as a historical fact.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: 60th Anniv. Of Hiroshima-Perspect Of One American

Thu Aug 04, 2005 9:29 am

Quoting B744F (Reply 48):
So far nobody has proven me wrong, you all have just regurgitated the propaganda from both sides constantly as a historical fact.

We've all proven you're wrong and your theories are pure horseshit.

We've given appropriate links and sources . . .

You've given verbose opinion and your usual drivel . . .

Hang it, quit posting, you're wasting bandwidth - unless you'd like to post some sources for your information?
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