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  1. #1
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    Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    I found this excellent article (written by Dr. John Lewis, a professor of history) while doing a bit of research for another thread. I thought I'd share it and start a discussion about it.

    The Moral Goodness of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima

    I highly encourage you to read the entire article (it's not that long). But I'll sum up here for ease of discussion. Some of the following is directly taken from the article.

    If you are like me, hearing that the Hiroshima bombing was moral, is foreign. I knew I believed it was necessary...but moral? On what grounds could it be said to be moral? Greater good, maybe? Ayn Rand wrote that the purpose of morality is not to suffer and die, but to prosper and live. At first, it doesn't appear that this could be a moral act then...but perhaps with a bit of history and context...a new perspective on the event can unfold.

    Let's start with the Japanese culture pre-WW2. World War II in the Pacific was launched by a nation that esteemed everything hostile to human life. Japan's religious-political philosophy held the emperor as a god, subordinated the individual to the state, elevated ritual over rational thought, and adopted suicide as a path to honor. This was truly a Morality of Death, which had gripped Japanese society for nearly three generations. Japan's war with Russia had ended in 1905 with a negotiated treaty, which left Japan's militaristic culture intact. The motivations for war were emboldened, and the next generation broke the treaty by attacking Manchuria in 1931. Negotiations, just weren't helping to remove the militaristic regime and culture of Japan...it merely paused the expansion, allowing for Japan to come back and fight another day.

    It was after Japan attacked America that America waged war against Japan--a proper moral response to the violence Japan had initiated. Despite three and a half years of slaughter, surrender was not at hand in mid-1945. Over six million Japanese were still in Asia. Some 12,000 Americans had died on Okinawa alone. Many Japanese leaders hoped to kill enough Americans during an invasion to convince them that the cost of invasion was too high. A "Die for the Emperor" propaganda campaign had motivated many Japanese civilians to fight to the death. Volunteers lined up for kamikaze--"Divine Wind"--suicide missions. Hope of victory kept the Japanese cause alive, until hopeless prostration before American air attacks made the abject renunciation of all war the only alternative to suicide. The Japanese had to choose between the Morality of Death, and the Morality of Life.

    The bombings marked America's total victory over a militaristic culture that had murdered millions. To return an entire nation to morality, the Japanese had to be shown the literal meaning of the war they had waged against others. The abstraction "war," the propaganda of their leaders, their twisted samurai "honor," their desire to die for the emperor--all of it had to be given concrete form. This is what firebombing Japanese cities accomplished. It showed the Japanese that "this"--point to burning buildings, screaming children scarred unmercifully, piles of corpses, the promise of starvation--"this is what you have done to others. Now it has come for you. Give it up, or die." This was the only way to show them the true nature of their philosophy, and to beat the truth of the defeat into them. It was making them, their own victim. As long as they were the giver of such brutality, they could not see the immorality of such aggression. It could only be when they were the victims, that their eyes would open and their culture and mindset would change from being that of a violent nature, to that of one which valued life.

    While after the bombings, Japan was defeated, they did not surrender. And surrendering was incredibly important. It has already been seen that entering a treaty, negotiations, etc... could not change the militaristic nature, it would require a complete surrender and submission in order for this to occur.

    President Truman demonstrated his understanding of this concept and willingness to bomb the Japanese out of existence if they did not surrender. The Potsdam Declaration of July 26, 1945 is stark: "The result of the futile and senseless German resistance to the might of the aroused free peoples of the world stands forth in awful clarity as an example to the people of Japan...Following are our terms. We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay...We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces...The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction."

    The approach worked brilliantly. After the bombs, the Japanese chose wisely. The method was brutally violent, as it had to be--because the war unleashed by Japan was brutally violent, and only a brutal action could demonstrate its nature. To have shielded Japanese citizens from the meaning of their own actions--the Rape of Nanking and the Bataan Death March--would have been a massive act of dishonesty. It would have left the Japanese unable to reject military aggression the next time it was offered as an elixir of glory. After the war, many returning Japanese troops were welcomed by their countrymen not as heroes, but with derision. The imperial cause was recognized as bankrupt, and the actions of its soldiers worthy of contempt. Forced to confront the reality of what they had done, a sense of morality had returned to Japan.

    Some citizens understood the necessity and morality of "the bomb". Hisatsune Sakomizu, chief cabinet secretary of Japan, said after the war: "The atomic bomb was a golden opportunity given by Heaven for Japan to end the war." He wanted to look like a peaceful man--which became a sensible position only after the Americans had won. Okura Kimmochi, president of the Technological Research Mobilization Office, wrote before the surrender: "I think it is better for our country to suffer a total defeat than to win total victory...in the case of Japan's total defeat, the armed forces would be abolished, but the Japanese people will rise to the occasion during the next several decades to reform themselves into a truly splendid people...the great humiliation [the bomb] is nothing but an admonition administered by Heaven to our country."

    Americans should be immensely proud of the bomb. It ended a war that had enslaved a continent to a religious-military ideology of slavery and death. There is no room on earth for this system, its ideas and its advocates. It took a country that values this world to bomb this system out of existence. For the Americans to do so while refusing to sacrifice their own troops to save the lives of enemy civilians was a sublimely moral action. They destroyed the foundations of the war, and allowed the Japanese to rebuild their culture along with their cities, as prosperous inhabitants of the earth.

    Were it true that total victory today creates new attackers tomorrow, we would now be fighting Japanese suicide bombers, while North Korea--where the American army did not march--would be peaceful and prosperous. The facts are otherwise. The need for total victory over the Morality of Death has never been clearer.

    This not only applied then, but now. Today, the West faces the threat against radical Islam. Let the example of Japan show that what is possible of it, can be possible for all belief systems harboring the Morality of Death, that through its eradication, the Morality of Life will grow in its place and allow for a greater quality of life, more liberties, and actual peace. It was, and is indeed, a moral action.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    *Let's bomb Iran and get it over with! http://www.devilducky.com/media/44421/ - a fresh start couldn't hurt.*

    As far as bombing Japan - I bet they would have surrendered if Bush was president. If we didn't use the bomb first, the Germans probably would have. We did the right thing.

    What would the Pope do?
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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    I think you may have convinced me. Although I don't see how you can return Al-Queda's brutality on any effective scale.

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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    You are right TF...different methods of warfare are necessary, but I think that the same principles could be used. However, I hope to refrain from getting into the logistics of that and instead focus on the principle, and/or us dropping the bomb to end WW2 being moral or not.
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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    We must make three assumptions to justify the conclusion that the atomic bombings of Japan were moral:

    1) That the ends justify the means. That the murder (and I can find no other word to describe the targeted bombings of two major Japanese cities) of
    214,000 people was justified by the good that it resulted in.

    2) That the ends were, in fact, greater than the means. That the destruction of Japan's so-called "Morality of Death" was worth the lives of 214,000. Your author tends to ignore the cost of continuing the war, but that cost must also be taken into account in our final tally (as a point in your favor).

    3) That the means used were the only way to accomplish the ends. If our desired ends are the surrender of Japan, the atomic bomb becomes difficult to justify:
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia: Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki
    The United States Strategic Bombing Survey, after interviewing hundreds of Japanese civilian and military leaders after Japan surrendered, reported:

    ""Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.
    Now let us, for a moment, abandon the specifics and focus on the general nature of the claim of your your article: that committing atrocities upon the Japanese people was justified and neccessary to eliminate their culture of death. It is the case, apparently, that their atrocities justify our atrocities. But is this so? Would you have support, with a smiling face, the creation of death camps for the German people after the war? Would you support killing six million of them to show them what their fascist culture does, to try and break them of that mold? And yet, that is, by extension, what the author of this article argues.

    Specific problems, incidentally, include holding the general population accountable for the crimes of a few in power. You cannot hold a "culture" as responsible for certain actions; you must hold those who ordered those actions accountable.
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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    3) That the means used were the only way to accomplish the ends. If our desired ends are the surrender of Japan, the atomic bomb becomes difficult to justify:
    I disagree. They did surrender, so it was justified. Sure there were other means available - we chose the Atomic Bomb and achieved the desired results. The degree of difficulty does not determine justification or morality.
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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post

    Now let us, for a moment, abandon the specifics and focus on the general nature of the claim of your your article: that committing atrocities upon the Japanese people was justified and neccessary to eliminate their culture of death. It is the case, apparently, that their atrocities justify our atrocities. But is this so? Would you have support, with a smiling face, the creation of death camps for the German people after the war? Would you support killing six million of them to show them what their fascist culture does, to try and break them of that mold? And yet, that is, by extension, what the author of this article argues.

    Specific problems, incidentally, include holding the general population accountable for the crimes of a few in power. You cannot hold a "culture" as responsible for certain actions; you must hold those who ordered those actions accountable.

    The German population DID get one hell of a huge dose of there own medicene. The Soviets returned Nazi brutality in spades. So much so troops would make long treks out of the Eastern front in hopes of surrendering to the more leinient West. The reality of the holocaust also helped establish the "this is the price of mindless hatred" effect the article alludes to in Japan, as the German population at large found it quite shocking.

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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop
    Sure there were other means available - we chose the Atomic Bomb and achieved the desired results.
    You ignore the fact that some means may be more morally appealing than others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop
    The degree of difficulty does not determine justification or morality.
    Sure it does. Is it the case that the atomic bomb is equally justified if it was known for a fact before the bombing that there was a way to end the war with 0 lives lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turtleflipper
    As much as I hate to admit it, the German population DID get one hell of a huge dose of there own medicene. The Soviets returned Nazi brutality in spades.
    Morally justified: yea or nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turtleflipper
    The reality of the holocaust also helped establish the "this is the price of mindless hatred" effect the article alludes to in Japan, as the German population at large found it quite shocking.
    But they have a fascist culture! We can't just let them get away with seeing what they've done to others! We have to do it to them so they can realize the horrors of what they've done! Think I'm exaggerating?
    Quote Originally Posted by The Article
    To return an entire nation to morality, the Japanese had to be shown the literal meaning of the war they had waged against others.
    That literal meaning?
    Quote Originally Posted by The Article
    burning buildings, screaming children scarred unmercifully, piles of corpses, the promise of starvation
    Quote Originally Posted by The Article
    The method was brutally violent, as it had to be--because the war unleashed by Japan was brutally violent, and only a brutal action could demonstrate its nature.
    Freedom is you choosing for yourself. Law is the government choosing for you. The two are opposites.

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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    Morally justified: yea or nay?
    We've been over this. Not justified, but required.

    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    But they have a fascist culture! We can't just let them get away with seeing what they've done to others! We have to do it to them so they can realize the horrors of what they've done! Think I'm exaggerating?

    That literal meaning?
    They did see it. At the Soviet's hands, and the sheer undoubtable hell the Jews suffered. After those, Germany going facist agian wasn't very likely.


    BTW- Did you know the Nazis had an active resistence cell until 1948?

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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    Quote Originally Posted by Turtleflipper
    We've been over this. Not justified, but required.
    That's all I was looking for. I'm not interested in debating the semantics between "justified" and "required" again, as long as we recognize this as a "ends justify the means" situation.

    It is the case then, that the U.S., by being lenient to the Germans, did not choose the optimal moral/required action? That it would have been better for them to be less lenient?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turtleflipper
    They did see it. At the Soviet's hands, and the sheer undoubtable hell the Jews suffered. After those, Germany going facist agian wasn't very likely.
    So actually subjecting the people to these things isn't neccessary? Merely making Japan aware of, say, the Rape of Nanking and the Baatan Death March would have done the trick?
    Freedom is you choosing for yourself. Law is the government choosing for you. The two are opposites.

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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    That's all I was looking for. I'm not interested in debating the semantics between "justified" and "required" again, as long as we recognize this as a "ends justify the means" situation.

    It is the case then, that the U.S., by being lenient to the Germans, did not choose the optimal moral/required action? That it would have been better for them to be less lenient?
    They choose the optimal route evidently. As the single most popular party in German history couldn't keep a resistence movement alive for more then 3 years even under the heavy and cruel fist of Soviet rule.

    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    So actually subjecting the people to these things isn't neccessary? Merely making Japan aware of, say, the Rape of Nanking and the Baatan Death March would have done the trick?
    Again, in all liklihood, they wouldn't have cared as deeply. It's not THEM. The Holocaust was your neighbor, your freind, you can go see the bodies after a 60 minute drive. And the Soviets made there atrocities public and random. So you know what's being perpetrated.

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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    It has been agreed on for some time now by most historians that a ground invasion of Japan would have been unspeakably bloody, more so than the atomic bombing and fire bombing. Not to mention that the massive display of might and complete destruction of two cities caused the Japanese to rethink their ideology of death, as this author notes. The problem now is that total war is no longer the norm, and the positions of the actual government and of the reigning terrorist group in a country may be very different.

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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    I don't think that nuking is going to take out Islamic terrorism, all it will do is stir up a lot more recruits and hatred. Plus of course we will have a scramble by every tinpot regime, and some, to nuke themselves up so Uncle Sam might be put off doing the same to them sometime.
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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    Quote Originally Posted by Turtleflipper
    They choose the optimal route evidently.
    By 'they', do you mean the U.S. or the Soviets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turtleflipper
    Again, in all liklihood, they wouldn't have cared as deeply. It's not THEM. The Holocaust was your neighbor, your freind, you can go see the bodies after a 60 minute drive. And the Soviets made there atrocities public and random. So you know what's being perpetrated.
    Good point. Is it your position that to 'break free' of these 'cultures of death', people need to be deeply personally affected by wartime atrocities (and that that is the only way to 'break free' of the 'culture of death')?
    Freedom is you choosing for yourself. Law is the government choosing for you. The two are opposites.

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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    Hmm the "morality" of bombing Hiroshima is very speculative, particularly because of evidence that Hirohito WOULD have surrendered without the bomb being dropped. However this is still very debatable.

    Nagasaki is a completely different story however.

    Please address these points:

    -Why did the bomb need to be dropped on the 9th? This gave the Japanese a mere 3 days to respond to Hiroshima, this is not nearly long enough for a nation to comprehend the damage of the revolutionary weapon that had jus beed unleashed upon them. The full extent of the damage and deaths caused by the nuclear bomb had not been fully appreciated yet.

    -What the US had to gain by dropping the nuke on Nagasaki, apart from a test of the more advanced plutonium bomb on an actual city? What would have been lost if there had been a delay in attacks or an attack on a less densley populated region? And although the point that the Japanese would not have stopped the war for a mere "shot in the air" as some had called it has been raised in other debates, this argument is not applicaple in the context of Nagasaki. After Hiroshima the Japanese were not in a position to attack on any fronts, especially because the Kwantung army was now about to be decisively crushed by the Soviets. Bombing another less densley populated area would put to rest any Japanese suppositions that the bomb on Hiroshima had been a one off, and would also put extra pressure on their negotiations. Remember that a large part of the Japanese Council would have prefered to absolutely destroy Japan rather than surrender. This was a representation of the bushido spirit of the samurais, which was the mentality of a lot of the Japanese High command. However not one shared by the whole of the population.

    -The USSR had only been at war a few hours before "Fat Boy" was dropped on Nagasaki, and this was another major development the Japanese had to deal with before they could agree to surrender, so this is another point asking why the bomb needed to be dropped so soon.

    -The Imperial War Council of Japan was divided over surrender, yet a conversation Hirohito held with Togo, aswell as earlier negotions made through USS agents shows that the main obstacle between the Japanese and surrender was their fear that their divine emperor was going to be tried and executed by the Americans. If the safety of the Emperor had been assured surrender could have been possible without one bomb, let alone two.

    The only reasons behind the bomb on Nagasaki was to test the new plutonium bomb, and to stop the Russians from claiming a share of the glory and/or occupation force of Japan. And these arguments are not ones which you can debate as being moralistic.

    This about sums it up:

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/51542

    StOrMeR
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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    Quote Originally Posted by OP
    Were it true that total victory today creates new attackers tomorrow, we would now be fighting Japanese suicide bombers, while North Korea--where the American army did not march--would be peaceful and prosperous. The facts are otherwise. The need for total victory over the Morality of Death has never been clearer.
    Wow, an amazing example of why total victory in war is the only option, regardless of the setting.
    Quote Originally Posted by STORMER
    Nagasaki is a completely different story however.
    The temptation to separate the two bombs, into two different events is tempting. However because they were so closely placed *3 days as you point out*, it is really a single event in the history of Japan. It is the event, or events that, as shown by Apock, destroyed a culture, had proved it's self ,during the war, to be willing to fight to the death. Yes, even to the last man.

    So though one may argue it was excessive use of force, I am not sure that it makes it immoral.
    Also.
    The Bombs accomplished two distinctly different objectives.
    1) The end of the War
    2) The end of the society of Death.
    In finding an alternate ending to the war, one must address both.
    To serve man.

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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028
    However because they were so closely placed *3 days as you point out*, it is really a single event in the history of Japan.
    Except that they were ordered seperate and fired on two seperate cities. One does not neccessitate the other. They are seperate moral decisions by the U.S., and we must look at the validity of them both.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028
    It is the event, or events that, as shown by Apock, destroyed a culture, had proved it's self ,during the war, to be willing to fight to the death. Yes, even to the last man.
    Which, naturally, is why they surrendured, right? (and they would have surrendered by the end of the year without the bomb. Civilian leaders in Japan were calling for surrender long before the bombs were dropped)

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028
    So though one may argue it was excessive use of force, I am not sure that it makes it immoral.
    Excessive use of force is not immoral? How is it that unneccessary killing is not immoral?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028
    The Bombs accomplished two distinctly different objectives.
    1) The end of the War
    2) The end of the society of Death.
    In finding an alternate ending to the war, one must address both.
    One would have happened anyway:
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia: Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki
    The United States Strategic Bombing Survey, after interviewing hundreds of Japanese civilian and military leaders after Japan surrendered, reported:

    ""Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.
    Two might have happened anyway. We don't really know. What we do know is that the vast majority of Japan was sick and tired of the warfare, and the only reason it didn't surrender before the bombs was the stubborness of some of its military leaders.
    Freedom is you choosing for yourself. Law is the government choosing for you. The two are opposites.

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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    By 'they', do you mean the U.S. or the Soviets?
    They did our dirty work for us

    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    Good point. Is it your position that to 'break free' of these 'cultures of death', people need to be deeply personally affected by wartime atrocities (and that that is the only way to 'break free' of the 'culture of death')?
    Well yeah. The Night of Broken Glass shows just how full of hatred the German people had allowed themselves to become over the terrible economy they had.
    Unlike ww1, Germans knew after WW2 what they'd done. It's very hard to embrace the death of your foes when the very foundations of your political philosophy has been obliterated and the consquences of unfettered violence are shown.

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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    Quote Originally Posted by CASTLE
    Excessive use of force is not immoral? How is it that unnecessary killing is not immoral?
    first it is only excessive, if it can be shown un-needed to achieve the goal. *not just to win the war, but to defeat the culture*

    Second .. does one death too many make the whole operation wrong? Does one Innocent person make an operation wrong. if so. then of course war as a whole is wrong, so what then is one more wrong?


    Quote Originally Posted by CASLTE
    Two might have happened anyway. We don't really know. What we do know is that the vast majority of Japan was sick and tired of the warfare, and the only reason it didn't surrender before the bombs was the stubborness of some of its military leaders.
    Isn't that the point? That you must show how the second could have been achieved another way. Not only in another way, but in away so obvious as to make dropping the bomb immoral. Just saying it might have happened doesn't really work.

    1 won bomb may have ended the war.. but the second surely destroyed the culture described.
    To serve man.

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    Re: Bombing of Hiroshima...was MORAL

    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    We must make three assumptions to justify the conclusion that the atomic bombings of Japan were moral:

    1) That the ends justify the means. That the murder (and I can find no other word to describe the targeted bombings of two major Japanese cities) of
    214,000 people was justified by the good that it resulted in.
    When a nation is bent on destroying the other nation, the defending nation cannot be charged with "murder" for responding.

    The US launching a ground offensive would have caused an unmeasurable casualy list. The civilians were cultured to fight to the death at all costs. The civilians would have been combatants. This was not a democracy, this was not a "peace loving" culture. This was a culture of death, expansionism and militarisim. THEY, were the aggressors.

    3) That the means used were the only way to accomplish the ends. If our desired ends are the surrender of Japan, the atomic bomb becomes difficult to justify
    The interview was conducted after the fact. What evidence was there before the fact that this was a possibility? I submit that the knowledge before the fact is the knowledge that the moral decision is based on, not the knowledge of an "armchair quarterback".

    Some men break into your home in the middle of the night to rob you. You have a wife and 2 small children. You are their protector, they are your responsibility. You hear the men downstairs, you have a gun. You shout downstairs that you have a gun and they ought to get out of your house now. Gun shots are heard, bullet fire comes in your direction. You see the flash, you fire at it and hit one of the men. The other man, is a bit discouraged now and at a disadvantage as he has lost half of his resources, his friend is dead or is at least, incapacitated. This remaning man is also out of ammo, but he can't leave his friend, and he can't let you know that he is out of ammo. He still wants to make this job worthwhile, surely there is something he can steal and get away with here. He is contemplating what to do.

    Knowing that at least 1 more is alive and well downstairs, you shout for the invader(s) to get out. "Screw you! You're dead man!" is the response. You have reloaded your gun. You know you must protect your family. You hear rustling downstairs. You slowly move down the stairs, gun pointed. Through the moonlight you see an invader run across the room. You fire, you hit, he goes down, he's dead. Turns out that these were there only 2 invaders. Police arrive, forensics and investigation reveals that the 2nd man was out of ammo, had a limp, was 5'9" and 135lbs. He apparently at the last moment, decided to escape, he didn't want anything more to do with this situation, realized he could not "win", and wanted out. You shot a limping man, who had no weapon and was not a threat...as he was running for the exit.

    Had you left him alone, he would have lived, and you would have been safe. The threat had been neutralized when the first man was shot. However, you had absolutely no knowledge that the 2nd man was not a threat. All evidence was pointing to the fact otherwise.
    Such instances are not necessarily rare occurances. Police are confronted with similar situations almost daily in this nation.

    Was it moral or immoral to shoot this man? Were you justified or not justified? Does the knowledge you have before hand trump that of what you had after the fact? I submit that indeed, it does. We are not psychics. We can only work with what we are given. We can only operate under the existence of the facts as they exist at the time we make our decisions. It is false that you made an error in judgement because a judgement is based on avaiilable facts. The available facts led to a valid, logical and moral decision. The facts of the matter were that intruders were in your house, your family was threatened, your possesions were threatened, you had been shot at (attempted murder), you knew that there was more than one, no evidence existed that any intruder had intended to leave you alone or escape, etc... Based on available, existent, and true information, you acted accordingly and appropriately.

    Now let us, for a moment, abandon the specifics and focus on the general nature of the claim of your your article: that committing atrocities upon the Japanese people was justified and neccessary to eliminate their culture of death. It is the case, apparently, that their atrocities justify our atrocities. But is this so? Would you have support, with a smiling face, the creation of death camps for the German people after the war?
    No. How is this analogous? The German people had been defeated and surrendered already, and their government/state as they knew it, was forced to be changed. In what way, did the US force the change (defeat/un-conditional surrender) of Japan before the bomb? In what way could they have after the bomb?

    Would you support killing six million of them to show them what their fascist culture does, to try and break them of that mold? And yet, that is, by extension, what the author of this article argues.
    No he doesn't. See above. There could be no unconditional surrender by any other means, at least, none in which we were willing to risk the lives of millions in a raid that may not even work.

    Furthermore, it is not the case that in all instances, all cultures, all wars, that it is necessary for...
    Article: The method was brutally violent, as it had to be--because the war unleashed by Japan was brutally violent, and only a brutal action could demonstrate its nature.
    It is the case that this specific instance did. It is the case that in instances where the Morality of Death is practice, that it is necessary. It is the case where the culture is guilty of this. Japan's culture, was indeed guilty of this.

    Specific problems, incidentally, include holding the general population accountable for the crimes of a few in power. You cannot hold a "culture" as responsible for certain actions; you must hold those who ordered those actions accountable.
    When it comes to annihilation of 1 or the other, the other is always preferred, especially when the other is the aggressor. War is hell, war is bloody (meaning it affects civilians). But it being hell and it being bloody, doesn't make it immoral. And in cultures where the Morality of Death is bred, there are no innocents.

    The below text has been automerged with this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Castle View Post
    Which, naturally, is why they surrendured, right? (and they would have surrendered by the end of the year without the bomb. Civilian leaders in Japan were calling for surrender long before the bombs were dropped)
    Please support that. Your quote says after the fact, not before it. Then show that the evidence was available to the US and the US acted anyway. That's the only way your argument holds any water.

    Excessive use of force is not immoral? How is it that unneccessary killing is not immoral?
    Show that it was excessive force. Show that it was unnecessary killing.

    One would have happened anyway
    Who knew that it would before the bombs were dropped?

    Two might have happened anyway. We don't really know. What we do know is that the vast majority of Japan was sick and tired of the warfare, and the only reason it didn't surrender before the bombs was the stubborness of some of its military leaders.
    Actually, what we do know is that in the past, defeat and negotiations did not change the culture of death. So, for what logical reason do we have to believe that it would change now and not resurface later, making the lives lost on both sides, completely meaningless?

    The below text has been automerged with this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by StOrMeR View Post
    Nagasaki is a completely different story however.

    Please address these points:

    -Why did the bomb need to be dropped on the 9th? This gave the Japanese a mere 3 days to respond to Hiroshima, this is not nearly long enough for a nation to comprehend the damage of the revolutionary weapon that had jus beed unleashed upon them. The full extent of the damage and deaths caused by the nuclear bomb had not been fully appreciated yet.
    First, a little background...Hiroshima wasn't a random selection based on civilian population. It was a major port and manufacturing center for aircraft and synthetic fuel.

    Now for Nagasaki...it was not the primary or desired target. The other cities that were on the primary list were Kyoto (but it was dropped due to its religious associations, it it being declined is what put Nagasaki on the map as a potential target), Niigata (but it was dropped due to the distance) leaving just Kokura and Nagasaki. Kokura, was the intended target. Nagasaki was on the list due to its shipbuilding capabilities, but due to it being bombed 5x already, it was determined that Kokura was the primary.

    Bockscar, the plane carrying Fat Man, the bomb meant for Kokura, encountered difficult weather (cloud cover) over Kokura. The plane made 3 sweeps, each unsuccessful, each costing fueld that could no longer be spared. Weather, saved the city, so the secondary target moved into play. This is how Nagasaki became the target.

    Hiroshima is often talked about more because 1) it was the first bomb dropped and 2) it's effects were more devastating (Hiroshima had twice as many casualties as Nagasaki).

    Back to your point re: dates. 3 targets were on on the objective prior to the attack. Hiroshima as the primary, Kokura (as the secondary) and Nagasaki (as the tertiary). The bombing of all 3 cities was the plan from the getgo. After the first attack, a demand for surrender was to be given, if not, then the 2nd attack would be delivered. Again, after this attack, a full surrender would be demanded and if not complied with, the tertiary target would be bombed. After it was bombed, a full surrender would be demanded.

    As far as the extent of damage and effects, it was known w/i 24 hours how severe it was. Tokyo knew of the bombing early on from pilots who flew over the area and reported back, but they didn't realize the severity until 16 hours later when they saw the effects being announced to the public by Washington.

    Washington launched an informational warning campaign of both leaflet dropping and radio broadcasts on Radio Saipan warning Japan of their impending doom if they do not comply with the surrender terms.

    On the 9th, Russia attacked Japan in Manchuria, an attack which Japan didn't take seriously as they underestimated the size of the assault.

    They also implemented martial law to prevent anyone from demonstrating or calling for peace. They had absolutely NO intention of surrendering.

    Thus, the bomb on Nagasaki 3 days later, and a full surrender w/i days after that.

    -What the US had to gain by dropping the nuke on Nagasaki, apart from a test of the more advanced plutonium bomb on an actual city? What would have been lost if there had been a delay in attacks or an attack on a less densley populated region?
    Japan had showed no sign of even considering to surrender and in fact, were doing everything opposite. They were squelching any measure of the populace who wanted peace. And each day the war lasted, more lives wold be lost. There is no evidence to suspect that Japan just needed "more time".

    And although the point that the Japanese would not have stopped the war for a mere "shot in the air" as some had called it has been raised in other debates, this argument is not applicaple in the context of Nagasaki. After Hiroshima the Japanese were not in a position to attack on any fronts, especially because the Kwantung army was now about to be decisively crushed by the Soviets. Bombing another less densley populated area would put to rest any Japanese suppositions that the bomb on Hiroshima had been a one off, and would also put extra pressure on their negotiations. Remember that a large part of the Japanese Council would have prefered to absolutely destroy Japan rather than surrender. This was a representation of the bushido spirit of the samurais, which was the mentality of a lot of the Japanese High command. However not one shared by the whole of the population.
    It isn't an issue of containment, but one of ending the war as soon as possible. It is not true that there were no more fronts being fought. Japan still had control of inland Asia and many surrounding islands.

    -The USSR had only been at war a few hours before "Fat Boy" was dropped on Nagasaki, and this was another major development the Japanese had to deal with before they could agree to surrender, so this is another point asking why the bomb needed to be dropped so soon.
    Explained above.

    -The Imperial War Council of Japan was divided over surrender, yet a conversation Hirohito held with Togo, aswell as earlier negotions made through USS agents shows that the main obstacle between the Japanese and surrender was their fear that their divine emperor was going to be tried and executed by the Americans. If the safety of the Emperor had been assured surrender could have been possible without one bomb, let alone two.
    Also as shown already, the allowance of the Morality of Death, was not acceptable.

    The only reasons behind the bomb on Nagasaki was to test the new plutonium bomb, and to stop the Russians from claiming a share of the glory and/or occupation force of Japan. And these arguments are not ones which you can debate as being moralistic.
    I believe I've shown otherwise above. Nagasaki was one of the largest sea ports in Southern Japan and was of great wartime importance because of its wide-ranging industrial activity, including the production of ordnance, ships, military equipment, and other war materials.

    This about sums it up:

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/51542

    StOrMeR
    You do realize that the Onion is a farce paper right?
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; August 17th, 2006 at 12:23 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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