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Thread: WWII Atomic Weapons

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    WWII Atomic Weapons

    Should Truman be labeled a war criminal for ordering atomic bombs dropped on Japan?


    Was it a crime against humanity?

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    Veteran Member Sarpedon's Avatar
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    As I mentioned elsewhere, the crimes of the Japanese Empire during that war were so extreme that it justified the use of the most terrible weapons to stop them. There is absolutely no reason to think that the bombs killed more people than would have died if the war had dragged on another year.

    Keep in mind, there were 20 million Chinese deaths in World War 2, or 204,000 each month from July 1937 to September 1945. The human cost of the atomic bombing, and Japanese civilian losses in general, were insignificant to what the Japanese inflicted on the countries they attacked.

    Personally, I don't think it would have hurt to give them a little more time between the bombs to surrender, but the people who had to make the decision didn't know what I know. They had every reason to want to stop the war as fast as they possibly could. This was the clear moral obligation.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_...asualties2.svg

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    Good point. We never heard much abbot the Chinese Holocaust. Possibly worse than Europe.

    The first time I read a WWII casualty summary my jaw dropped.

    The deaths and casualties from the atomic bombs were insignificant. From what I read of firebombing in Japan and Europe it was far more horrible than the bombs. People were cooked alive slowly.

    The Battle Of Stalingrad was the utter descent into inhumanity. Some of the Pacific island battles were similar.


    The only morality in war is ending as quickly and decisively as possible. The idea that we have rules for war such as the Geneva Convention at times seems absurd.

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    Veteran Member Tigers!'s Avatar
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    My father had an uncle who was a PoW of the Japs.
    They were being worked and starved to death.
    Without the atomic bomb he would have been dead within a very few months and would not have returned home.

    So good on Truman.
    NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    ... snip ...

    The only morality in war is ending as quickly and decisively as possible. The idea that we have rules for war such as the Geneva Convention at times seems absurd.
    Unfortunately that is pretty much a truth. In practice, the Geneva Convention has primarily been used as a tool the victors use to execute or imprison those in the enemy camp that they were not able to kill during the war. If the Germans had won WWII then they would have tried and convicted many of the Ally's political and military leadership that we honor today because their leadership and decisions led to victory. The Germans that were convicted for war crimes would have been honored if they had won.

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    What to me is remarkable is that we did not enslave or britalize or enact revenge on Japan. Quentin extraordinary considering history.

    I thought at least one person would argue against the use of nukes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Should Truman be labeled a war criminal for ordering atomic bombs dropped on Japan?


    Was it a crime against humanity?
    Unless you think ALL war is a crime, the answer is NO.

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    Veteran Member seyorni's Avatar
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    Truman didn't understand the full ramifications of a nuclear age, and he'd already ordered the entire American military to the South Pacific theater. Invasion vs bombing, in terms of loss of life? -- hard to say.
    I'd cut Truman some slack.

    Less ambiguous:
    The fire bombing of Tokyo is considered the most destructive bombing in human history: ~100,000, mostly civilians, dead and a million homeless.
    The Dresden bombing was an intentional massacre of civilians, designed to sow dissension and undermine German unity.

    And how about that invasion of Iraq?

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    The fanatical actions by both Japanese military and civilians in the island battles were a precursor to what an invasion would be like.

    There was an island where civilian Japanese men, women and children jumped off a cliff rather than go over to the Americans. A movie was made about it.

    When the empower took the unprecedented step of talking on radio people bowed and kneeled to the voice.

    Japanese citizens would have fought with pitchforks to the end.

    An invasion would have resulted in the end of Japanese culture IMO. There were no military targets left. Lemay would not have hesitated to reduce the islands to rubble by air if it came to it.

    After the bombs were used there was an attempted coup against the decision to surrender. Hard liners who would rather die in battle than surrender. It was their culture.

    There was thought given to post war Japan. Tokyo was taken off the target list for the bombs.

    I think it was the right decision. We could have enacted a genocides of Japan with conventional and atomic bombs and did not.

    The result a free democratic Japan today.

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    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seyorni View Post
    Truman didn't understand the full ramifications of a nuclear age, and he'd already ordered the entire American military to the South Pacific theater. Invasion vs bombing, in terms of loss of life? -- hard to say.
    I'd cut Truman some slack.

    Less ambiguous:
    The fire bombing of Tokyo is considered the most destructive bombing in human history: ~100,000, mostly civilians, dead and a million homeless.
    The Dresden bombing was an intentional massacre of civilians, designed to sow dissension and undermine German unity.

    And how about that invasion of Iraq?
    A major purpose for the Dresden bombing was to show the Soviets what the US and British strategic bombers were capable of. The same purpose can be seen in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    In a very real sense, the Cold War between the Western Allies and the USSR started before their joint effort against the Axis powers had even finished. Churchill and Roosevelt were quite nervous about whether Stalin's apparently unstoppable army would be ordered to halt once Germany was beaten, rather than continuing their advance to the English Channel, and perhaps even further.

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