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nukes aren't fun!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by muhtesem insan, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    I guess war crimes of all kinds are acceptable as long as they lead you to winning the war faster and thus fewer people dying.
     
  2. NiRv4n4

    NiRv4n4 King

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    I feel like a lot of anti-nuclear weapon sentiment is entirely based off of emotion and lack of knowledge. We don't understand how a nuclear bomb can work, so we fear it unconditionally. Whereas when it comes to firebombs, which killed tens of times as many people in the war than the nukes (I believe the firebombing of Tokyo alone killed more people than both nukes combined), lack the publicity of nuclear arms. The only real reason that the US decided to use nukes instead of firebombs at the end of WWII was to create a show of force, something never seen before, to hasten Japanese surrender. In a way, using those nukes was psychological warfare - and it worked.

    Nukes are bad, but so is all war. To single out nukes amongst all other methods of war is like singling out a murderer who kills with a gun compared to all other murderers. The use of these nukes was the best possible outcome that the American war machine and government at that time could come up with (which is saying a lot), so we should be glad they made the right choice.
     
  3. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    The use of war crimes (including the intentional targeting of civilians for strategic goals) for the purposes of strategic warfare* is morally abhorrent.

    * - Warfare directed at the industrial capacity and/or morale/will to fight of a nation (obviously in this instance, I am referring to the latter)
     
  4. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    Basically, targeting an industrial complex for the purposes of bringing down the enemy's war machine is questionable (because of the civilian casualties). Targeting a city to kill innocent civilians for the purposes of diminishing or eliminating the enemy's will to fight is disgusting.

    We might as well allow any and all war crimes as long as they would make the enemy surrender faster.
     
  5. Hakim

    Hakim Parasocial

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    Atom bombs are today considered a special kind of evil, something that's upheld by the absence of use since WWII. I've always been worried that if 1 A-bomb were to be used today, it would greatly reduce its special status and it would be much easer to drop/use the 2nd, 3rd and so on.
     
  6. Tani Coyote

    Tani Coyote Son of Huehuecoyotl

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    In a way, that's why limited nuclear war, rather than full nuclear war, is a greater threat. Governments come to gentleman's agreements on how many of the other's people they can ruthlessly murder with atomic weaponry...
     
  7. Marla_Singer

    Marla_Singer United in diversity

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    WW1 was also about democracies in one side and autocracies in the other. No, the real difference is that no one could dispute Hitler triggered ww2 whereas things aren't as clear for ww1.

    Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki were pure slaughters... but it's exactly what made the defeat undisputable for Japan and Germany. A negociated peace was exactly what the allies didn't want of because that's what happened after ww1 and it resulted in a total failure.

    The general idea repeated everywhere is that we've been too harsh against the Germans after ww1. That is utterly wrong. The allies should have never accepted to stop at the German border as it has given room for German extremists to believe the war was lost because of bad politicians and not because of the military.

    Unconditional capitulation was thought in 1944/1945 as the only way to reach a stable peace. And I believe events proved that theory to be true.
     
  8. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton Awake

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    Germany? And the worst of all - Russia?! Or the UK having the majority of its population not voting at all? That metric just is no use for WWI.
    Or, you know, the treaty wouldn't have been as harsh which created the strong resentment towards the peace in the first place (it's not like the German didn't mind starving). Which still didn't make the population thirst for war, as Hitlers promises of peace demonstrate.
    More likely and resting on far less assumptions is the explanation that after one world war already killed most public desire for war, a second even more devastating one sealed the deal.
     
  9. Xanikk999

    Xanikk999 History junkie

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    The emperor refused to surrender at all until the atomic bomb was dropped. He was considering it, but he didnt give out the order for surrender until the bombs were dropped. That's a fact.

    Can you really really say in restrospect that it was a feasible idea for the Americans to back off and let them fortify their position on the island while refusing to surrender?
     
  10. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    Can you say it was a feasible idea for Germans NOT to slaughter millions of Jews? Think about it, those Jews probably would have made up rebel groups, sabotaging Nazi armies, and slowing down Germany - possibly leading to more people dying from German invasions, since they'd be prolonged battles instead of quick wins.

    You know how fast France fell? What if Jew rebels started sabotaging tank divisions, or supply lines, making it harder for Germany to conquer France, and making the invasion last long - greater casualties.

    The furthering of a military goal does not automatically justify an action.
     
  11. amadeus

    amadeus The Choice of a New Generation

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    If only things were so simple! Russia was under an autocratic regime, Serbia was under an autocratic regime (that had also expansionist aims of its own against Bulgaria), and Britain, France, and Belgium all had limited suffrage for its citizens and little if any for its colonial subjects. Even in those so-called democracies, the press was censored, political opponents were jailed, and people were enslaved into the armies.

    ...and the U.S., Britain and France escape blame even though they were the ones to impose upon Germany the harsh terms that were later capitalized on by the Hitlerites.
     
  12. Xanikk999

    Xanikk999 History junkie

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    That's hardly a fair comparison.

    The United States was at war with Japan. Japan was responsible for the war by attacking pearl harbor unprovoked. Being on the recieving end of a trade embargo does not justify sneak attacking a country whom you are at peace with.

    In Germany the nazis chose to incite racial hatred towards jews and other undesirables in german society and openly fanned the flames provoking conflicts with the jews. In doing so, they are completely responsible for the mass murder of their own citizens. It was entirely unprovoked.

    In most cases I would agree with you. However world war II was an entirely different war and lots more was at stake. Morals had to be shoved aside to assure that the Axis powers were dismantled as they were a threat to any sort of global stability.

    Did you honestly think the Japanese would relinquish the rest of their empire if we did not force them to surrender? What about the American and foreign POWs they controlled. Are there lives not worth more than the enemies?

    Normally I am a pacifist and oppose war but I have enough sense to value a comrades life over one of someone who I am fighting and wishes me destroyed. It is regrettable but there in my position I would value peoples lives differently.
     
  13. Singularity

    Singularity Infinite Density

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    No, I still think nuclear bombs are concidered a special kind of evil because you know the moment you launch one against a nation or an alliance that also has nukes they will not stop flying back and forth untill one side has exhausted their supply of them or their ability to launch them has been taken out.

    Nukes aren't less intimidating today than in 1945. Today they have higher yield, better delivery systems and we know more of how to deliver them to create maximum damage to the target. Nukes are a special kind of evil because they are a special kind of evil.
     
  14. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    So you believe it is acceptable to become the "monster" you are fighting, in order to eliminate the monster? What's the point then?

    Certain concepts are more important than lives. We can agree that freedom is more important than lives, yes? So then why can not certain ethics be more important than lives?

    Under such an unhindered view, it would then be acceptable to engage in torture, mustard gas bombings, and any war crime imaginable, if it ultimately leads to fewer of your own men dying.

    Were the Nazis wrong for executing all paratroopers under that famous order? Were they wrong to torture POWs for information?

    A war crime is a war crime, and it is no more justifiable on one side than another. In fact, such actions may well be the entire justification of the war. It would be remiss to nullify those justifications by engaging in the same heinous acts yourself.
     
  15. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

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    Sorry for shouting, but I think I'm in my right to do so. It still seems to me as if you argue that killing civilians is okay as long as it saves the lives of your own soldiers, and that the US/Allies had the right to make Japan (and Germany) surrender unconditionally, whatever it took.

    For the record, it's not clear to me where you went from discussing these attacks in particular to discussing the war in general.

    In most cases, I prefer to work under the assumption that most people are not insane.

    Do you honestly believe that the Japanese government would continue to wage a war until they thought every Japanese person would perish? It was just as clear for them as for everyone else that they could not win, that their country and people were suffering greatly by the continuation of the war, and that their forces were constantly pushed back.

    They weren't insane. As all normal people, they would have tried to make further advances so costly for the winning side that they could negotiate a peace that wouldn't cripple them completely. A peace were they could keep the Emperor divine, where their homeland would not be occupied, and perhaps keep some external territory like the Marianas Islands.

    POW are usually exchanged when a peace treaty is signed. With Japan's position during the latter part of the war, there are strong reasons to believe they would have been willing to peacefully cede their control of the remaining occupied territories.
     
  16. amadeus

    amadeus The Choice of a New Generation

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    Japanese assets in the U.S. were frozen, military aid was being given to the Chinese, and Cordell Hull was beating his chest over France's "territorial integrity" in colonial Indochina. FDR and his toadies knew a war would result from their policies and followed them for that purpose, misleading the American public all the way.

    Imagine if the shoe was on the other foot and America was invading the Philippines. The Japanese government gives military aid to the Filipinos, freezes the assets of major American companies in Japan, moves its fleet to Okinawa, rejects a negotiated settlement outright and submits an ultimatum knowing full well the U.S. will soon attack their forces.
     
  17. NovaKart

    NovaKart شێری گەورە

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  18. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

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    No, it's no wonder. Humans are humans. Always.

    I'm just noting far more malevolent intentions in the Allied leaders and commanders than you do.

    By the time the Allies were firebombing and dropping nukes on the Axis, there was no question about who would eventually win and lose the war. The more humane thing to do would be to not go after innocent civilians while at the same time negotiating an acceptable peace treaty to end the war.
     
  19. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    We cut off their oil, we were in effect starving them.

    POW are used as bargaining chips.
     
  20. Xanikk999

    Xanikk999 History junkie

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    I believe they would. You are talking to the same people who's culture dictated at the time that you commit suicide rather than face dishonor. In fact many top ranking officials did just that when the emperor did approve the surrender and some actually attempted a coup to prevent it.

    I don't think you understand the mindset of a person who would rather die fighting than surrender and live in shame. To some people that's worse than death. Try thinking how some would react based on their morals and norms rather than your own.

    Of course that's not to say many Japanese civilians would not have been opposed to surrender. At the time however the Japanese were fully mobilized and still mostly producing to continue the war effort. It's not unlikely that many were still prepared to fight it out. I have read a documentary about an American POW who gives a first hand account of being put into a sweatshop with other Japanese civilians doing the same thing. This was a society bent on war for the most part. While probably many wanted to get out of the misery they were in at the time by surrendering, the people in charge and even many of the civilians did not. As i said there was an attempted coup when the emperor gave the order to surrender AFTER the atomic bombs were dropped.
     

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