Standoff
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06-09-2017, 11:07 AM
RE: Standoff
ClydeLee,

i was responding to a post claiming that the Japanese souldnt have attacked the USA in 1941. Your reply to me is about firebombing of german cities and Tokyo (if i understood you correctly) which also didn thappen until after 1943, so the Japanese couldnt have possibly known about this too in 1941.

Quote:They could of also lessened the expansion into the Pacific and China to ease off the tension too.
Please let me remind you of the Japanese point of view (and state some facts that represent not necessarily a high point of US american foreign policy.
In the eyes of the Japanese the Japanese empire was at least as justified to claim its place in the world of the early to mid 20th century as any other foreign power. In case of the US, particularly since China and the Philippines were actually much closer to Japan than to the US. The Japanese, maybe rightfully so, considered the Philippines etc. to be rather within the japanese sphere of influence than the american one.
The USA had fought a war with Spain, a war in wich the US was the agressor, using freedom fighters and unrest as a pretext to expand its influence into the caribbean and pacific. I am open for any argument here and am not trying to defnd a racist, warmongering and horrible japanese administration, but in 1940 the Japanese had every right to question the US claim on the Phillipines. Basically the Philippines had become an american stronghold because of "might makes right" in the imperialist age of the times. The USA supressed a freedom movement in the Phillipines with military power, using methods like torture, killing of civilians (and children!) and strategies like scorched earth. Why shouldnt have Japan the right to question americas grip on the Phillipines as long as they could support their claim with adequate military power? Thats exactly what Japan did, espcially when the japanese empire was put under economic pressure by the US, wanting the Japanes to back down.

The american spanish war basically marked the end of the isolationist monroe doctrine and the USA entered the club of imperialist colonial powers with factually taking over Cuba, Philippines, etc. Why should until 1941 Japan back up from trying to take away from USA and other western colonial powers what they in return took away from others (each other)?

So, the US could have just as well ended their economic stranglehold on Japan to ease off tensions. Why should the japanese back up and not the US? The US was stronger in the end, yes, but that didnt make them right regarding expanding their sphere of influence by conquering territories ad suppressin gopposion with military force. What was glossing over this was the fact that the japanese regime was terrible and genocidal (as evidenced in China) and so the USA could enter the stage as a "liberator" in those areas, but before all that happened......idk, but i dont see either of both parties being morally (or legally) on the high ground.

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06-09-2017, 11:31 AM
RE: Standoff
Jerry,

thank you for the well spoken reply.

Let me respond to the (few) open issues:

Quote:Again, not just in hindsight- the Japanese at the time could have conceded to a realistic view of their chances of ultimate victory, but they instead did what most participants in wars do (the US does it three times before lunch every day), they engaged in wishful thinking and gross underestimation of the enemy.
I think this "could" is the most important part. I agree with you, they could have seen in what a bad position they were (speaking long term), but must they have sene it by mid 1941? Considering how barking mad the administration was (this regime went out of control ever since they managed to start the war with China and experience no noteworthy pushback at home or abroad), i dare to argue, that people more sane could and should have seen it, they however were too blinded (as you already agreed with me: except Yamamotot and a few people who still were sane). Sleepy

Quote:The US is a sovereign country, we don't have to sell oil and steel and raw materials to anybody we don't want to for whatever reason we choose. It wasn't our job to make sure Japan wasn't humiliated. Just because they wanted to be and claimed to be an equal power doesn't mean the US had to help them become one.
I totally agree, but that was my point: Japan is a sovereign country too, in a still somehow overall imperialist context (see my previos reply to ClydeLee) where might makes right. While i do not necessarily agree that Japan was right in responding with military force.....was it surprising? Let me, in reference to your previous statment make a claim: Could the USA not have seen what the most probable reaction of a japanese empire would be in 1941? Did some people may suspect so, but were far too racist to perceive those small yellow guys as a serious threat?

Quote:All totally good points. There was nothing inevitable about American victory, I'm not going that far, history takes odd twists and turns, but I think it was close to inevitable and that could and should have been clear at the time. Here's what wasn't going to happen: 1)Japan wasn't going invade and conquer America. 2) America wasn't going to stop punching back after a sneak attack. So whether the war was two, five, or fifty years long it was going to end (again I will say almost inevitably) in Japanese defeat. You describe very well why many in Japan thought their plan would work. But there was a lot of hand-wringing among Japanese military leadership and many knew this thing was a roll of the dice- you just described their chances in total as “pretty slim.”
We are in bigly agreement here, definitely. I am just not as confident about those two "could and should" as you.

Thats one of the worst part of horrible admnistrations, their skewed outlook on reality, and in return the inability of the "sane" people around them to view the world as they (those horrible regimes) see it and be prepared to act accordingly. And with this statement i want to close the loop and go back to Trump vs NK (with Putin trying desperately to get in between).
Who of these guys has what kinda twisted look at the situation? If all were sane, we would have to worry a lot less at the moment i hink. Confused

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06-09-2017, 12:39 PM
RE: Standoff
They say that war is the ultimate failure of diplomacy.
I think nuclear war is the reaction to too fucking much fucking diplomacy!

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06-09-2017, 08:31 PM
RE: Standoff
Deesee, thank you as well, an interesting discussion.

I think we are both on the same page as to the why the Japanese did what they did, so this is far from a “debate” about the facts of the matter- I disagree with none of your descriptions of Japanese decision making. This is more of a question of how we feel, looking back on historical decisions, about historical decision making (nice sentence, Jerry!). For me, in history when shit goes sideways, you have to go back and consider blame. Then it gets tricky! The more signals there were that shit was probably gonna go sideways, the heavier the blame. If on December 8 1941 the US had dropped five atomic bombs on Japan we would ask, holy shit, did Japan know the US had atomic bombs? The answer to that would affect how you feel about blame.

What mitigates blame? Imperfect information, for one. My hypothetical atomic bombs were hidden, not even the President of the US knew about them on Dec 7. Therefore, less blame to J leadership. But if it was known the US had them? The J leadership would be suicidally guilty of committing national hari-kari, the Mount Fuji of foolishness.

Does it mitigate blame to say Japanese leadership was overconfident, dismissive of their foes, and full of almost theistic wishful thinking? Errr, no. Japan could, yes could have acted otherwise than they did.

I feel like you are kind of treating Japanese decision making (and this may just be my perception, which may be totally wrong) like a force of nature; they did what they did as a tornado or earthquake does what it does, one does not blame the tornado or the earthquake. The Japanese national character and ethic was what it was, there could be no other outcome. No. Someone could have said something. Someone COULD, yes could, have had the balls to say, hey, waitasecond, what if an enemy attacked us in the manner we are about to attack the US? Would we lie down for that or would we scratch and claw for the rest of our existence to exact revenge? And by the way, does everyone around this table understand the industrial output this place is capable of? This was understood by some realists in the Japanese military, but a fatalistic mindset to die carrying out the mission overruled logic as well as the preservation of the empire.

Quote:I think this "could" is the most important part. I agree with you, they could have seen in what a bad position they were (speaking long term), but must they have sene it by mid 1941?

No no I think I stressed there was nothing inevitable about the Japanese realizing it was a bad idea to attack the US; I'm ok with “could.” Not sure why it's a dirty word, I'm just trying to counter the idea that it was inevitable to decide to attack the US! It wasn't! They COULD have not done it!

Quote:I totally agree, but that was my point: Japan is a sovereign country too, in a still somehow overall imperialist context (see my previos reply to ClydeLee) where might makes right. While i do not necessarily agree that Japan was right in responding with military force.....was it surprising? Let me, in reference to your previous statment make a claim: Could the USA not have seen what the most probable reaction of a japanese empire would be in 1941? Did some people may suspect so, but were far too racist to perceive those small yellow guys as a serious threat?

I totally agree with all this. The attitude of the US was hell, let push come to shove. You going to go to war because we're not going to just hand over our resources and you want to wear big boy pants, let's see what you got. And hell yeah the racism was there- the US had no clue such an efficient and audacious attack could be carried out on PH. Attacks were expected elsewhere. However, are you suggesting the wiser course of action would have been for the US to keep sending the Japanese oil and steel, because, shudder, if we don't they might attack us? That makes as much sense as the Russians sending trainloads of stuff to Germany in Spring of 41.

Quote:We are in bigly agreement here, definitely. I am just not as confident about those two "could and should" as you.

I've lost confidence in identifying exactly what we're arguing about and feel that I'm missing some major points somewhere...But a fun and interesting topic.

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06-09-2017, 08:51 PM
RE: Standoff
(06-09-2017 11:07 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  So, the US could have just as well ended their economic stranglehold on Japan to ease off tensions. Why should the japanese back up and not the US?

Ok Deesse now we can go back to disagreeing! It is NO county's job to ensure that other countries get stronger, especially countries with opposing political beliefs and antagonistic attitudes. The US wisely was saying: feel free, Japan, to become the superpower you think you deserve to be, but we're not going to be your supplier. The risk being, that country might get mad and attack you. Is this to be avoided at all costs? Hell no. Better to let push come to shove now rather than ten years later when you might lose.

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06-09-2017, 10:59 PM
RE: Standoff
(05-09-2017 08:57 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  
(05-09-2017 08:12 PM)BryanS Wrote:  The Japanese really were squeezed by US economic policies and attacked us as the best strategic way to counter the affects of those policies.

Perhaps...not the best way?

Sincerely,
Hiroshima and Nagasaki

SERIOUSLY?

I've long and historically underestimated your nuclear heritage

(weeps)
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06-09-2017, 11:00 PM
RE: Standoff
(06-09-2017 05:54 AM)BikerDude Wrote:  
(06-09-2017 04:46 AM)DeepThought Wrote:  I think NK developed the nukes purely as a deterrent to preserve their regime. They would be stupid to use them since they would instantly be wiped from existence.

Everything else is just meaningless hype.

Exactly.
The thing to watch out for in all of this is the role that Putin plays.
He is already leveraging his potential role as a pretext for lifting sanctions against Russia. For Putin North Korea is nothing but a bargaining chip.
He will use it to try and get the sanctions imposed at the start of the Ukraine invasion lifted and frozen funds released.
All this stirring of the pot and fear mongering plays right into his advantage.
Putin is still playing the cold war chess and Donald Trump is trying to build hotels and make oil deals.

Yes, that's correct.

Well done!
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06-09-2017, 11:02 PM
RE: Standoff
(06-09-2017 12:39 PM)BikerDude Wrote:  They say that war is the ultimate failure of diplomacy.
I think nuclear war is the reaction to too fucking much fucking diplomacy!

Indeed.

I can admire your sagacity, my Imperator!

(honestly)
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07-09-2017, 03:15 AM
RE: Standoff
(06-09-2017 04:46 AM)DeepThought Wrote:  I think NK developed the nukes purely as a deterrent to preserve their regime. They would be stupid to use them since they would instantly be wiped from existence.

Everything else is just meaningless hype.

Deep Thought,

Good point. Watching the speeches at NK's Day of the Sun, the US is called to account (rightly or wrongly) as the No1 global aggressor.

No doubt, other non nuclear countries will be watching with interest to see if NK can establish a nuclear deterrent and make it to safety. As mentioned, Iran is a close contender.

IMHO, the path to nuclear proliferation goes through bullying, economic warfare and military posturing by the present nuclear powers. This Pandora's box is well and truly opened and cannot be closed again.

I was encouraged by Obama's voiced hopes regarding nuclear disarmament, but it was never going to happen in reality. Nukes are the ultimate catch 22 and the clock is ticking. NK is just a symptom of the deeper malaise, which is us.

Sayonara Bowing

D.
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07-09-2017, 04:46 AM
RE: Standoff
(06-09-2017 08:51 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  
(06-09-2017 11:07 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  So, the US could have just as well ended their economic stranglehold on Japan to ease off tensions. Why should the japanese back up and not the US?

Ok Deesse now we can go back to disagreeing! It is NO county's job to ensure that other countries get stronger, especially countries with opposing political beliefs and antagonistic attitudes. The US wisely was saying: feel free, Japan, to become the superpower you think you deserve to be, but we're not going to be your supplier. The risk being, that country might get mad and attack you. Is this to be avoided at all costs? Hell no. Better to let push come to shove now rather than ten years later when you might lose.

I think we dont necessarily disagree but have a misunderstanding. I didnt seriously suggest the US should back down. I put on Japans shoes on purpose to show that Japan had, from its own pov (!) and considering the times they were living in, just as many good reasons not to back down, just as the US did. Result: What is theoretically and objectively quite avoidable is not avoided in reality, and possibly was somehow ...unavoidable, both sides not backing down, the underlying racism and imperialism of both maybe being the main culprit for not keeping up negotiations.

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