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  1. 04 Mar '10 19:52
    Thread 127124, p. 11.


    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    japan wasn't on the "brink of surrender". they were on the "brink of fighting to the last man, woman, child, and grandparent." the civilians were training with bamboo spears!

    ----

    http://www.google.com/cse?cx=002683415331144861350%3Atsq8didf9x0&q=japan+%22bamboo+spears%22&ie=utf-8&sa=Search

    http://www2.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200808/dropping-atomic-bombs-japan-was-act-utmost-compassion


    The Scientific Fundamentalist
    A Look at the Hard Truths About Human Nature
    by Satoshi Kanazawa

    ( Satoshi Kanazawa is an evolutionary psychologist at LSE and the coauthor (with the late Alan S. Miller) of Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters. See full bio )

    Dropping atomic bombs on Japan was an act of utmost compassion
    Published on August 21, 2008

    Mushroom cloudJust because an act happens to be atrocious does not mean that it is not simultaneously the most humane and compassionate thing to do under the circumstances. Sometimes the alternatives are much worse.

    After the fall of Okinawa in June 1945, the Japanese government prepared for the ground invasion by the Allied forces and the final battle on the mainland. Back in August 1944, the government had issued a decree, officially classifying all Japanese citizens (what’s left of them, mostly women, children, and the elderly, as all young men had already been mobilized) as military combatants and armed them all with bamboo spears. Yes, bamboo spears. Here are some contemporary pictures of women and children being armed with bamboo spears and trained to fight the enemies with them.

    The women and children were told to fight the invading American ground forces with their bamboo spears till death. They were told that to surrender and be captured by the enemy was the ultimate shame and that they should die fighting instead. The national slogan at the time, propagated by the government and spread to the whole nation, was “Ichioku Gyokusai” (“100 million on a suicidal mission in honor of the Emperor&rdquo. They were absolutely prepared to die fighting the American soldiers with their bamboo spears.

    Imagine the D-Day invasion in Normandy where the Germans on Omaha Beach were armed only with bamboo spears. It’s not difficult to imagine what the outcome would have been. The opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan would have looked quite different.

    By his decision to drop two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing only 200,000 people, Harry S. Truman avoided the annihilation of an entire nation and saved the lives of 100 million people. The Japanese Army had tanks, and the Japanese Navy had airplanes, so they were not impressed with the American tanks and airplanes. Repeated carpet bombings of Tokyo in March 1945 did not faze them. The only thing that would convince the Japanese people, and, more importantly, their military leadership, of the utter American technological superiority and the complete futility of resistance were the atomic bombs, which they did not have.

    They would never have surrendered had we not dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That would have necessitated ground invasion of mainland Japan by the American forces, which would have led to many, many more Japanese to be killed, up to 100 million. You are equally dead whether you are killed by a bullet or an atomic bomb. 100 million people killed by bullets, one at a time, over weeks and months, is much, much worse, by any account, than 200,000 people killed in a flash of a second by atomic bombs.

    All of this is common knowledge for anyone who is even remotely familiar with modern Japanese history.

    Not that compassion for enemies at times of war is a good thing or that, even if it was, the Japanese necessarily deserved our compassion, given a large number of atrocities committed by their army. But if it’s compassion you want, you can’t do better than saving the lives of 100 million people.
  2. 04 Mar '10 20:10 / 1 edit
    to repeat (i know some of the readers little eyes will get tired and droopy by the end of that one; don't want them fussy as well!)

    ----

    ...

    The women and children were told to fight the invading American ground forces with their bamboo spears till death. They were told that to surrender and be captured by the enemy was the ultimate shame and that they should die fighting instead. The national slogan at the time, propagated by the government and spread to the whole nation, was “Ichioku Gyokusai” (“100 million on a suicidal mission in honor of the Emperor&rdquo. They were absolutely prepared to die fighting the American soldiers with their bamboo spears.

    ....

    The Japanese Army had tanks, and the Japanese Navy had airplanes, so they were not impressed with the American tanks and airplanes. Repeated carpet bombings of Tokyo in March 1945 did not faze them. The only thing that would convince the Japanese people, and, more importantly, their military leadership, of the utter American technological superiority and the complete futility of resistance were the atomic bombs, which they did not have.

    ...
  3. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    04 Mar '10 20:27
    I stopped caring so much about whether the bomb was necessary, yadda yadda, once I learnt about Unit 731. No doubt the Japanese had it coming.
  4. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    04 Mar '10 20:30 / 2 edits
    I never really buy the argument that the U.S. "outshocked" the japanese in a war where atrocities were right and left. Did the germans surrender because of the bombing on Dresden (another atrocity nearly equal that of the atomic bomb)?

    But for the same reason, I never really buy that the atomic bombings were somehow especially atrocious given that all sides committed ridiculous acts. It's just silly to point a finger at any one side because they had the "biggest" or "last" atrocious act.

    Is using an atomic bomb any more hideous than torturing large groups of prisoners of war? Is bombing Dresden more hideous than launching V2s at London for no strategic reason? Is it more hideous than gassing your own people?

    I just don't get why we debate these things - it was awful, it was war, it was wrong, it's been over for 60 years. We didn't live in those times, how can we possibly pass judgment?
  5. 04 Mar '10 20:34
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731
  6. 04 Mar '10 20:35
    there is a commemorative stele where the local Beijing unit was based, behind Tientan (the religious complex south of the Forbidden City).
  7. 04 Mar '10 20:37
    Originally posted by joneschr
    I never really buy the argument that the U.S. "outshocked" the japanese in a war where atrocities were right and left. Did the germans surrender because of the bombing on Dresden (another atrocity nearly equal that of the atomic bomb)?

    But for the same reason, I never really buy that the atomic bombings were somehow especially atrocious given that all s ...[text shortened]... over for 60 years. We didn't live in those times, how can we possibly pass judgment?
    that's another contributing factor to the japanese surrender, the loss of the germans as allies. but they didn't give up at that point.
  8. Standard member adam warlock
    Baby Gauss
    04 Mar '10 22:00
    Originally posted by joneschr
    I just don't get why we debate these things - it was awful, it was war, it was wrong, it's been over for 60 years. We didn't live in those times, how can we possibly pass judgment?
    Do you think that we can't analyze these things and then pass a judgment just because we weren't alive then?

    As for discussing these things: I think it is helpful because it help us (or at least it should) in seeing that we all have our faults. And that we should be always alert to what really happens in the world so to try to prevent these kinds of actions the best that we can.
  9. Standard member adam warlock
    Baby Gauss
    04 Mar '10 22:05
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    I stopped caring so much about whether the bomb was necessary, yadda yadda, once I learnt about Unit 731. No doubt the Japanese had it coming.
    The people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki had it coming due to Unit 731?!
  10. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    04 Mar '10 22:21
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    that's another contributing factor to the japanese surrender, the loss of the germans as allies. but they didn't give up at that point.
    And the gain of the Russians as an enemy - at which point they did.
  11. 05 Mar '10 05:25
    Originally posted by joneschr
    And the gain of the Russians as an enemy - at which point they did.
    from same thread pointed to by OP.

    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate_over_the_atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki#Japan.27s_leaders_refused_to_surrender

    ...

    Professor of history Robert James Maddox wrote that "Another myth that has attained wide attention is that at least several of Truman’s top military advisers later informed him that using atomic bombs against Japan would be militarily unnecessary or immoral, or both. There is no persuasive evidence that any of them did so. None of the Joint Chiefs ever made such a claim, although one inventive author has tried to make it appear that Leahy did by braiding together several unrelated passages from the admiral’s memoirs. Actually, two days after Hiroshima, Truman told aides that Leahy had 'said up to the last that it wouldn’t go off.'" "Neither MacArthur nor Nimitz ever communicated to Truman any change of mind about the need for invasion or expressed reservations about using the bombs. When first informed about their imminent use only days before Hiroshima, MacArthur responded with a lecture on the future of atomic warfare and even after Hiroshima strongly recommended that the invasion go forward. Nimitz, from whose jurisdiction the atomic strikes would be launched, was notified in early 1945. 'This sounds fine,' he told the courier, 'but this is only February. Can’t we get one sooner?'" "The best that can be said about Eisenhower’s memory is that it had become flawed by the passage of time." "Notes made by one of Stimson’s aides indicate that there was a discussion of atomic bombs, but there is no mention of any protest on Eisenhower’s part."[39]

    Maddox also wrote that "Even after both bombs had fallen and Russia entered the war, Japanese militants insisted on such lenient peace terms that moderates knew there was no sense even transmitting them to the United States. Hirohito had to intervene personally on two occasions during the next few days to induce hardliners to abandon their conditions."[39] "That they would have conceded defeat months earlier, before such calamities struck, is far-fetched to say the least."[40]

    ...

    The "one condition" faction, led by Togo, seized on the bombing as decisive justification of surrender. Kōichi Kido, one of Emperor Hirohito's closest advisers, stated: "We of the peace party were assisted by the atomic bomb in our endeavor to end the war." Hisatsune Sakomizu, the chief Cabinet secretary in 1945, called the bombing "a golden opportunity given by heaven for Japan to end the war."[43]

    ...
  12. 05 Mar '10 05:28
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate_over_the_atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki#Nagasaki_bombing_unnecessary

    Nagasaki bombing unnecessary

    The second atomic bombing, on Nagasaki, came only three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, when the devastation at Hiroshima had yet to be fully comprehended by the Japanese.[86] The lack of time between the bombings has led some historians to state that the second bombing was "certainly unnecessary",[87] "gratuitous at best and genocidal at worst",[88] and not jus in bello.[86]

    In response to the claim that the atomic bombing of Nagasaki was unnecessary, Maddox wrote "Some historians have argued that while the first bomb might have been required to achieve Japanese surrender, dropping the second constituted a needless barbarism. However, the record shows otherwise. American officials believed more than one bomb would be necessary because they assumed Japanese hard-liners would minimize the first explosion or attempt to explain it away as some sort of natural catastrophe, which is precisely what they did. In the three days between the bombings, the Japanese minister of war, for instance, refused even to admit that the Hiroshima bomb was atomic. A few hours after Nagasaki, he told the cabinet that 'the Americans appeared to have one hundred atomic bombs . . . they could drop three per day. The next target might well be Tokyo.'"[39]

    One day before the bombing of Nagasaki, the Emperor notified Togo of his desire to "insure a prompt ending of hostilities". Togo wrote in his memoir that the Emperor "warned [him] that since we could no longer continue the struggle, now that a weapon of this devastating power was used against us, we should not let slip the opportunity [to end the war] by engaging in attempts to gain more favorable conditions." [89] The Emperor then requested Togo to communicate his wishes to the Prime Minister.
  13. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    05 Mar '10 11:13
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    The people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki had it coming due to Unit 731?!
    Don't you believe in karma?

    One crime doesn't justify the next, but I find it hard to feel especially sorry for one set of victims over another. Merely considering that some 500 000 Chinese died as a result of Japanese germ warfare alone, I don't place Hiroshima and Nagasaki all that highly on the atrocity rankings.
  14. 05 Mar '10 12:09
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    Imagine the D-Day invasion in Normandy where the Germans on Omaha Beach were armed only with bamboo spears. It’s not difficult to imagine what the outcome would have been. The opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan would have looked quite different.

    By his decision to drop two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing only 200,000 people, Harry S. Truman avoided the annihilation of an entire nation and saved the lives of 100 million people.
    So if I have a weapon that allows me to shoot from a distance, and my "enemy" comes running toward
    me with a bamboo stick, my only option is to kill the "enemy"?

    Hm, interesting...
  15. Standard member adam warlock
    Baby Gauss
    05 Mar '10 12:20
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Don't you believe in karma?

    One crime doesn't justify the next, but I find it hard to feel especially sorry for one set of victims over another. Merely considering that some 500 000 Chinese died as a result of Japanese germ warfare alone, I don't place Hiroshima and Nagasaki all that highly on the atrocity rankings.
    I don't believe in karma.

    I feel just as compassionate about the victims of Unit 731 as for the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. No doubt about the fact that the Japanese army was filled with some ruthless sob's. There's no doubt that we can talk about the complicity of the japanese people with the crimes committed by the Japanese army, but somehow, someway I just don't think that any of this justifies the bombing of civilian targets.

    Talking about karma, when will karma catch up with the allies and all of their atrocities during WWII? Do you know of any meaningful Allie conviction during the Nuremberg trials?