Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
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07-02-2014, 09:30 PM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
(07-02-2014 09:27 PM)JAH Wrote:  cjlr, I will again state that you have made your point well about the strategic necessity of the atomic bombs. If again, I do not necessarily agree. We should leave the bit about who knew what and when about the long term effects of their use to another debate. Perhaps around the use of nuclear power considering recent events in Japan.

Knee-jerk reactionary sentiment re: nuclear power is as short-sighted as it is ignorant.
(but don't get me started...)

Er, but, freely granted.

The exact cost/benefit is impossible to know. That's the nature of the past...

(but the consequences of radiation exposure were not known - and they could not have been; any more than Da Vince could have invented television; to suppose otherwise is to necessitate an astoundingly vast conspiracy with regards to the necessary scientific knowledge)

(07-02-2014 09:27 PM)JAH Wrote:  Chas, by logical (extreme) extension we should have dropped all available bombs, including atomic, on Japan to teach them a lesson. Killing their civilians being justified because of all the civilians they had killed.

Counterpoint: I do believe he means it as a matter of prevention rather than retaliation.

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07-02-2014, 09:43 PM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
cjlr, I am going over to the science forum and starting a thread about nuclear power. I was tempted by the "boxing ring" but that would limit other's comments. I hope to see you there.
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07-02-2014, 09:44 PM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
(07-02-2014 09:43 PM)JAH Wrote:  cjlr, I am going over to the science forum and starting a thread about nuclear power. I was tempted by the "boxing ring" but that would limit other's comments. I hope to see you there.

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08-02-2014, 04:08 AM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
(07-02-2014 09:12 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(07-02-2014 08:59 PM)Chas Wrote:  The Japanese killed at least 5.4 million civilians, with some estimates as high as 20 million. That is way more bad.

Indeed. From the research I've done 20 million is more like the median number, should one include the human misery attributable to deprivation and disruption resulting from the occupation(s).

I am currently living and working in Singapore. According to Singaporean history, Japanese occuppied Singapore, but didn't commit genocide or anything.

Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and other asian countries were all european and american colonies before Japan has essentially driven them out and taken those countries over. Those people weren't fairing any better before, and weren't fairing much worse after the Japanese occuppation. They were miserable for centuries. Thanks to Europe (especially England) and USA. So where did the sudden "sympathy" for those people come from?


And where does the 20 million come from? Granted, I do not know about what happened in China, but 20 million? Sounds suspicious. Rather like as if somebody would want to make Japan appear especially evil and worth obliterating. But you have done your research, as you say, so would you please elaborate on that? It is entirely possible that it is true. I just don't know.



Even if the long-term effects of radiation were not known (and I agree to that), there would have been less casualty heavy solutions to make Japan surrender. Also, after witnessing the destruction that the first bomb caused, approving the launch of a second atom bomb that would cause a destrcution on the same scale with many thousands of civilian casualties is just immoral.

And finally, even if Japan was killing millions of people in a genocidal fashion, it does not justify the massacre of japanese civilians. Especially, after Japan was already pretty much crippled, anyway (as has been pointed out earlier in this thread).

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08-02-2014, 04:14 AM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
History is always written by the victor.
Every war had far more shades of grey than the just victor.
How do you think the Taliban are teaching their history?

On a different note, this was in the news today, not just the US has a weird functioning memory.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/...15827.html

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08-02-2014, 09:23 AM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
cjlr, please again read the article linked to by sporehux. It makes a compelling argument that the dangers of exposure to radiation were known at the time the bombs were dropped. You may argue that the decision makers did not know that. What does that say about the information they were given, because certainly the designers knew that.
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08-02-2014, 10:01 AM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
(07-02-2014 09:27 PM)JAH Wrote:  Chas, by logical (extreme) extension we should have dropped all available bombs, including atomic, on Japan to teach them a lesson. Killing their civilians being justified because of all the civilians they had killed.

I implied no such thing, not even close.

PoolBoyG's outrage was directed solely at the actions of the U.S. I point out that the Japanese killed far more civilians than the Allies.

I said they are more deserving of outrage, not punishment.

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08-02-2014, 10:16 AM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
Chas, I am forced to agree. You were commenting on the outrage directed not proposing vengeance. I must say that if one includes the Russians, accepting that they were outliers, I am not sure which side killed more civilians.

I do accept that in Asia things the Japanese did during WWII were morally repugnant.
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08-02-2014, 11:14 AM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
My previous question goes unanswered and I would like to know what you guys think:

Quote:Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and other asian countries were all european and american colonies before Japan has essentially driven them out and taken those countries over. Those people weren't fairing any better before, and weren't fairing much worse after the Japanese occuppation. They were miserable for centuries. Thanks to Europe (especially England) and USA. So where did the sudden "sympathy" for those people come from?


And where does the 20 million come from? Granted, I do not know about what happened in China, but 20 million? Sounds suspicious. Rather like as if somebody would want to make Japan appear especially evil and worth obliterating. But you have done your research, as you say, so would you please elaborate on that? It is entirely possible that it is true. I just don't know.

(actually my filipino friends say that more people died during the american occupation, rather than the Japanese)

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08-02-2014, 07:07 PM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
(08-02-2014 11:14 AM)Youkay Wrote:  My previous question goes unanswered and I would like to know what you guys think:

Quote:Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and other asian countries were all european and american colonies before Japan has essentially driven them out and taken those countries over. Those people weren't fairing any better before, and weren't fairing much worse after the Japanese occuppation. They were miserable for centuries. Thanks to Europe (especially England) and USA. So where did the sudden "sympathy" for those people come from?

And where does the 20 million come from? Granted, I do not know about what happened in China, but 20 million? Sounds suspicious. Rather like as if somebody would want to make Japan appear especially evil and worth obliterating. But you have done your research, as you say, so would you please elaborate on that? It is entirely possible that it is true. I just don't know.

(actually my filipino friends say that more people died during the american occupation, rather than the Japanese)

I could just as easily say attempting to downplay the numbers was apologism. But that'd be fatuous.
(that sounds way more dickish now that I've written it - but I think the warning stands, so long as I'm clear to dissociate it from you; I want to be very clear I am not saying any such thing about you, Youkay, but that there are what we might call hardline groups who have very strong interests in weighing the scales one way or another... it's a messy topic; some of it makes discussion of, say, Ukraine or the Baltics in WWII look good natured - and that's a fucking accomplishment)

To be sure, modern-day official Chinese media is most assuredly not wholly accurate. That's not where I drew my data...

Five million is the absolute low end of estimates. That's counting up only the people directly bayonetted and shot to death. Or vivisected. Or raped to death. Or beheaded. Take your pick of horrors; they all happened.

Twenty million is a median figure (of "excess wartime deaths", as it were); forced labour and deprivation were rampant. The post-war United Nations analysis gave a figure something around 20 million. Since the Japanese lost many records were destroyed. There is inevitably some guesswork in reconstructing just what happened.

Some estimates are significantly higher - 30 million people or more dead due to causes directly attributable to the war and the occupations.

(for an overview even Wikipedia gives good sources for the higher numbers - much of which was drawn from, besides eyewitnesses and captured Japanese records, pre/post-war censi - and all collated in later UN reports)

Many of the deaths were due to the - plainly - complete breakdown of society. The Japanese straight-up massacred people when they moved in (from Nanking to Shanghai to Manilla to Jakarta to Hong Kong and on and on and on). They destroyed infrastructure. They rebuilt with forced labour. The Allies bombed the reconstruction and remaining infrastructure.

There was no food. There were no medical supplies. Roads were destroyed. Farmland was destroyed. Railroads were destroyed. Harbours were mined. Draft animals starved. There was no gasoline. There was no water purification. There was no waste treatment. Hospitals were destroyed. Schools were destroyed. "Colonial" and "European" infrastructure was destroyed. Japanese-sponsored collaborationistes had axes to grind against other groups in their occupied countries. Money was worthless. Outside trade ceased. Internal trade was restricted.

So people died.

How much of this can be attributed? Therein lies the difference in numbers. 5 million by direct action. 20 million or more by deprivation.

Those people would not have died had the war not been started by unilateral action by some of the most perverted governments ever to exist. As horrific as some of the acts of the Allied powers were, I stand by the statement that World War II is perhaps the last ambiguous human conflict in history.

...

And to be maybe a little pedantic, the Americans occupied the Philippines for 43 years. The Japanese were there for 4. The Americans, when seizing the islands, were incredibly brutal. Frankly that's not relevant - that was decades past. The USA had committed to withdrawal and granting full independence with concomitant build-up of infrastructure by the late 1930s.

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