Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

No Apologies For Hiroshima or Nagasaki (from an email)

Discussion in 'Atomic Bombs In the Pacific' started by Ken The Kanuck, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    472
    August 8, 2015

    No Apologies For Hiroshima or Nagasaki

    John Hawkins

    8/8/2015 12:01:00 AM - John Hawkins
    This week was the 70th anniversary of the United States nuking Hiroshima and as expected, there has been plenty of second guessing, attacks on America, and claims that nuking the Japanese wasn’t necessary.
    Understandably perhaps, that’s how the Japanese feel. I can tell you that with certainty because back in 2008, the Japanese equivalent of PBS flew me out to New York

    to be part of an online discussion between a crowd of Americans and a group of people from Hiroshima. Again, perhaps understandably, the tone from the people of Hiroshima was very self-pitying. They asked us to look at pictures of Hiroshima as if we hadn’t seen them before. They talked about how devastating the attack was for them. It was like they wanted a big apology from all of America because we hit them so hard after their sneak attack.
    Let me say something that a lot of people think, but don’t want to say because we’re friendly with Japan now: Japan deserved to be nuked and it deserved it ten times over.
    Japan was allied with the Nazis in a war of world conquest that would have exterminated freedom and democracy across the globe if they were successful. The Japanese deliberately starved and slaughtered millions of civilians, they raped children and pregnant women, they forced families to have sex with each other for the fun of it, they tortured and experimented on prisoners of war -- and then there was Pearl Harbor.
    Today, we think of the Japanese as polite people who are good at making electronics, cars and monster movies, but during WWII they were just as fanatical and evil as ISIS or Al-Qaeda. Unfortunately, they also had the military, intelligence and organization to inflict their evil on a much wider swath of the planet. They needed to be stopped by any means necessary, that’s exactly what we did and the world, INCLUDING JAPAN, is a much better place for it.
    Strategically, it also made sense.
    First off, Pearl Harbor needed to be avenged in a manner so terrible that it made our enemies think twice about striking our homeland again. In fact, some might argue that Japan got off light.
    “When this war is over, the Japanese language will be spoken only in hell!”Admiral Bill Halsey

    on December 7, 1941
    Happily, it didn’t have to come to that and yet Japan was punished for what it did in a way so terrible that it will live on until the end of human history. That’s no small matter because after what we did to Japan, nobody tried going after us again on our home turf until 9/11. What’s 50+ years of going without a strike on America as devastating as Pearl Harbor or 9/11 worth? Actually, quite a lot.
    Additionally, since it had become clear that Stalin might be almost as dangerous after the war as Hitler was during it, it was also important for the United States to deal with Japan instead of leaving another strategic, potentially dangerous nation to be conquered by the Soviets. Ultimately, we ended up fighting a cold war instead of a hot war against the Soviets and it’s entirely possible that our willingness to do what it took to subdue Japan scared them enough to play a significant role in that.
    Most importantly, we saved hundreds of thousands of American lives. By 1945, the Japanese had essentially been defeated, but they refused to unconditionally surrender. Allowing a nation as dangerous and evil as Japan to rearm, especially after the world’s post-WWI experience with Germany, seemed like little more than an invitation to an even more brutal war in another 20 years.
    Initially, America prepared for a ground invasion, but after seeing the ferocity with which Japan defended Okinawa, we realized taking Japan would cost the lives of millions of Japanese and much more importantly, hundreds of thousands of American soldiers would die in the process.
    When people moan about the use of nuclear weapons in Japan, what they’re really saying is that they’d rather hundreds of thousands of American families had grown up without husbands, fathers and sons than see us use nuclear weapons on a genocidal nation bent on world conquest.
    Like most people who second guess the hard choices that are made in war, critics of nuking Japan insist that everything would have just magically worked out. Japan would have just surrendered and everything would have ended without bloodshed.
    Of course, back in the real world, Japan was putting all of its resources into fending off an invasion and refused to surrender even AFTER the first nuclear weapon was dropped. After the second nuclear weapon hit Nagasaki, there was an attempted coup designed to prevent that nation’s leaders from giving in. Happily it failed, but it gives you a sense of how determined the Japanese were to keep fighting.
    The Japanese weren’t the victims in WWII; they were the bad guys. They were perfectly willing to create a Hell on earth as long as their Emperor got to share time with Hitler in the infernal palace and they were allowed to be his little worker demons torturing the rest of the planet. Don’t feel sorry for Japan because it got nuked; feel sorry for the all the innocent lives that were lost because of that nation’s murderous lust for power.
     
  2. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,377
    While I agree it was a necessary evil to nuke Japan because it stopped the war, the rhetoric used in this email is just simplistic . Not all Japanese were "bad guys" and among the victims of the bomb were many innocents, elderly, women and children. This all happened 70 years ago, not yesterday and the Japanese are our friends now.
    By reading this email one would think we just ended the war.
     
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    10,606
    Likes Received:
    1,686
    MacArthur wanted the Russians to invade Hokkaido to draw troops from Kyushu. If we hadn't bombed Japan into surrendering we might have had North Japan and South Japan. Imagine if North Japan had teamed up with North Korea in 1950?
     
  4. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    472
    To me the dropping of the atomic bomb is one of the greatest questions of WWII. There are folks on both of the far sides of the issue and I believe as in all things the answer lays closer to the middle.

    Was dropping the bomb the correct thing to do?
    Did it save Allied and Japanese lives in the long run?
    If it would of been dropped in the country side as a warning would of this been heeded and surrender follow?
    Was it different that the terror bombing that were carried out using non-atomic bombs?
    Should the atomic Pandora's box ever of been opened in the first place?

    As the email stated it is the 70th anniversary so one must expect the debate to be re-ignited

    KTK
     
    K_Tiger likes this.
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    10,606
    Likes Received:
    1,686
    The first bomb didn't convince Gen. Anami to shift to the surrender camp. Both bombs didn't convince a large portion of the Army to consider surrender at all.

    And the bombs were considered BIG BOMBS at the time. No consideration of radiation as a force multiplier. In that light they were no different from the incendiary raids like the one in March of '45 that killed more people than either bomb.

    As for "Pandora's Box", somebody was going to do it. There was not stopping that once people knew it could be done.
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,931
    Likes Received:
    1,689
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    Consider the "Source"...He, John Hawkins, runs Right Wing News, is about as simplistic as you can get.
    http://rightwingnews.com/author/johnhawkins


    The E-mail, or at least the Hawkins' article it quoted, is a crock of excrement...

    This right-wing wacko has an axe to grind and has been peddling this tripe for years, the "70th Anniversary" is just an excuse for him to go on another rant.
    The current article from the e-mail August 2015: http://rightwingnews.com/john-hawkins/no-apologies-for-hiroshima-or-nagasaki/
    His article from August 2010: http://rightwingnews.com/foreign-affairs/nagasaki-hiroshima-no-regrets/
    His article from August 2005: http://rightwingnews.com/uncategorized/nuking-japan-was-the-right-decision/
    His article from August 2003: http://rightwingnews.com/uncategorized/we-were-right-to-nuke-japan/
     
    Skipper likes this.
  7. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    Essentially one can not object to the content :the use of the bomb was a good thing : it saved American lives,and that's all we need to know : it was the duty of Truman as commander-in-chief to save American lives .
     
  8. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,161
    Likes Received:
    1,594
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
    The only objection I have is that it might have been better from a historical perspective to drop them into the center of large naval or army bases, or even on top of the Emperors palace or some other governmental center.

    To employ them was the right decision. Where they employed them is a bit sticky...
     
  9. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    67
    We had four choices, quit the war. Invade and the subsequent millions of casualties, blockade and starvation or drop the bomb and hope it works. When Japan formally apologizes for its treatment of civilians and Pows then they may have a case
     
  10. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    Afaics,Hiroshima (Nagasaki ?) was an important military HQ.
     
  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,931
    Likes Received:
    1,689
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    What do you think Nagasaki had...A major Japanese naval construction shipyard.

    What do you think Hiroshima had...A major Japanese Army Base. Hiroshima was the location of the Japanese 2nd General Army HQ and the Japanese 5th Division, and had some 43,000-48,000 soldiers stationed in the city, of which it was estimated about half died in the blast.
    [​IMG]
    As you can see Ground Zero was just south of the GHQ.
     
    Smiley 2.0 and KodiakBeer like this.
  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,931
    Likes Received:
    1,689
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    Hiroshima, see my above post.
     
  13. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,450
    Likes Received:
    180
    Location:
    The Land of the Noble Steed
    This has been the subject of debate for many years. As Skipper said it was a necessary evil. The Japanese for many years had a belief that was dug into their minds for so many years that to surrender was dishonorable and that the best thing to do was to keep fighting and kill as many Americans as possible. We all know that with that kind of an ideal buried in the Japanese minds, an invasion of Japan would have probably been the costliest campaign of the war. Takao made another good point that it did indeed have military significance and importance. The American people at the time believed it was a necessary thing to do and in the short run it was, but that's where critics of the decision might come in. It was indeed the start of a very shaky and dangerous nuclear age where the Soviet Union would begin following suit with building their nuclear arsenal and would begin a shaky and dangerous nuclear age. Then there's the point that so many people died and not just from the initial blast but from long term side effects of the radiation after the bomb fell. But we can't always keep saying that too many people died. It's war. People will always die whether its just people a few or a million people. People will die and that cannot be avoided. But an argument over this subject can go both ways, both sides of the argument are in a way correct.
     
  14. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,161
    Likes Received:
    1,594
    Location:
    The Arid Zone
  15. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    10,606
    Likes Received:
    1,686
    They were the military headquarters for their prefects. It was the equivalent of nuking the Pentagon.
     
  16. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,223
    Likes Received:
    449
    There is bound to be some military infrastructure in any large city during wartime, for example recruiting offices. IMO this does not make the whole town a legitimate target for weapons of mass destruction either from a moral standpoint or according to the letter of the treaties that limit target to military installations. WMDs, apart from gas, were not taken into consideration in the treaties as they didn't exist at the time, so I believe the bomb was in a legal void.
    Personally I believe the fire bombings, that by the way killed a lot more civilians than the A bombs, were a crime, and a total failure of the primary mission of the military in a democratic society, that is to protect the civilian. By blurring the distinction between civilians and combatants to nothing they made that task hugely more complex. The bomb at least had the redeeming feature of shocking the Japanese into surrender, but that's nothing to be much proud of, so did the Mongols habit of razing to the ground any city that resisted.
    In part due to the bombing campaigns, today there are basically no more "civilians", communications, political, financial and industrial infrastructure are now the primary military targets rather than the opponent's military, add asymmetrical warfare and globalisation to the mix and you get the current mess, everything is a potential target and there are no rigid borders to defend, and attempting to "protect everything" is destroying our basic freedoms.

    So as one of history's less savoury but more symbolic characters said "c'est pire d'un crime, c'est une faute".
     
  17. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    10,606
    Likes Received:
    1,686
    The whole of Japanese society was focused on the war effort by 1945, so there were effectively no non-military people above the age of 14. If an invasion came they were all expected to fight.
     
    Smiley 2.0 likes this.
  18. firstflabn

    firstflabn recruit

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    25
    Funny how the bed wetters run out of sympathy just before considering the fate of the quarter million western POWs and civilian detainees (otherwide known as slave laborers) under any other possible 1945 scenario. Those were the true innocents. Of course had they been starved to death under a blockade or murdered during a land invasion, there would be no evidence for moral preeners to anguish over.

    The western Allies were the good guys, because they, unlike their enemy, actually discussed the implications of their actions. Defeat opened the door for the Japanese people to receive instruction in western moral values and egalitarianism. They came a long way in a very short time and I admire them for it. It may well be the most rapid positive cultural change in history. 'Tough love' worked.
     
  19. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    472
  20. USS Washington

    USS Washington Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    576
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    The Good old USofA
    I find it silly the author of that article stated that Hiroshima didn't have any targets of Military value, here's part of a post by brndirt1 on the "What if" about the A-Bomb not being dropped:

    brndirt1
     
    OpanaPointer likes this.

Share This Page