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Jag

Obama wants to appologize for nukes

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The Horrors of Hiroshima in Context

 

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
 
 

The dropping of two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 remains the only wartime use of nuclear weapons in history.

No one knows exactly how many Japanese citizens were killed by the two American bombs. A macabre guess is around 140,000. The atomic attacks finally shocked Emperor Hirohito and the Japanese militarists into surrendering.

John Kerry recently visited Hiroshima. He became the first secretary of state to do so — purportedly as a precursor to a planned visit next month by President Obama, who is rumored to be considering an apology to Japan for America’s dropping of the bombs 71 years ago.

The horrific bombings are inexplicable without examining the context in which they occurred.

In 1943, President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill insisted on the unconditional surrender of Axis aggressors. The bomb was originally envisioned as a way to force the Axis leader, Nazi Germany, to cease fighting. But the Third Reich had already collapsed by July 1945 when the bomb was ready for use, leaving Imperial Japan as the sole surviving Axis target.

Japan had just demonstrated with its nihilistic defense of Okinawa — where more than 12,000 Americans died and more than 50,000 were wounded, along with perhaps 200,000 Japanese military and civilian casualties — that it could make the Americans pay so high a price for victory that they might negotiate an armistice rather than demand surrender.

Tens of thousands of Americans had already died in taking the Pacific islands as a way to get close enough to bomb Japan. On March 9-10, 1945, B-29 bombers dropped an estimated 1,665 tons of napalm on Tokyo, causing at least as many deaths as later at Hiroshima.

Over the next three months, American attacks leveled huge swaths of urban Japan. U.S. planes dropped about 60 million leaflets on Japanese cities, telling citizens to evacuate and to call upon their leaders to cease the war.

Japan still refused to surrender and upped its resistance with thousands of Kamikaze airstrikes. By the time of the atomic bombings, the U.S. Air Force was planning to transfer from Europe much of the idle British and American bombing fleet to join the B-29s in the Pacific.

Perhaps 5,000 Allied bombers would have saturated Japan with napalm. The atomic bombings prevented such a nightmarish incendiary storm.

The bombs also cut short plans for an invasion of Japan — an operation that might well have cost 1 million Allied lives, and at least three to four times that number of well-prepared, well-supplied Japanese defenders.

There were also some 2 million Japanese soldiers fighting throughout the Pacific, China, and Burma — and hundreds of thousands of Allied prisoners and Asian civilians being held in Japanese prisoner-of-war and slave-labor camps. Thousands of civilians were dying every day at the hands of Japanese barbarism. The bombs stopped that carnage as well.

The Soviet Union, which signed a non-aggression pact with Japan in 1941, had opportunistically attacked Japan on the very day of the Nagasaki bombing.

By cutting short the Soviet invasion, the bombings saved not only millions more lives, but kept the Soviets out of postwar Japan, which otherwise might have experienced a catastrophe similar to the subsequent Korean War.

World War II was the most deadly event in human history. Some 60 million people perished in the six years between Germany’s surprise invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, and the official Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945. No natural disaster — neither the flu pandemic of 1918 nor even the 14th-century bubonic plague that killed nearly two-thirds of Europe’s population — came close to the death toll of World War II.

Perhaps 80 percent of the dead were civilians, mostly Russians and Chinese who died at the hands of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Both aggressors deliberately executed and starved to death millions of innocents.

World War II was also one of the few wars in history in which the losers, Japan and Germany, lost far fewer lives than did the winners. There were roughly five times as many deaths on the Allied side, both military and civilian, as on the Axis side.

It is fine for Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama to honor the Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims. But in a historical and moral sense, any such commemoration must be offered in the context of Japanese and German aggression.

Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan started the respective European and Pacific theaters of World War II with surprise attacks on neutral nations. Their uniquely barbaric war-making led to the deaths of some 50 million Allied soldiers, civilians, and neutrals — a toll more than 500 times as high as that of Hiroshima.

This spring we should also remember those 50 million — and who was responsible for their deaths.

Lasraik likes this

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My grandfather was preparing to be part of the initial invasion force.  He often said he/we probably wouldn't be here if the US had to invade.  He fought in Okinawa and often said how brutal the Japanese were.

______________________________________________________________________________

Back in 2011 ... Japanese Government Nixed Idea of Obama Visiting, Apologizing for, Hiroshima

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/10/japanese-government-nixed-idea-of-obama-visiting-apologizing-for-hiroshima/

______________________________________________________________________________

As far as O ... never seen anything like him and I struggle to follow his "logic".  He treats our Allies like shit, treats people within our borders even worse, yet bends over backwards to appease enemys.  He'll apologize to anyone and everyone for any slightest past grievance while never ever even entertaining that he might have done anything remotely wrong.  Always somebody elses fault.

 

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Wondering how often countries apologize for actions during wartime that caused high numbers of civilian casualties.

Dunnar likes this

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I would love to see this same report written by the other side. It is naturally full of bias and rhetoric.

Also, that comment regarding the Japanese as brutal. Do you honestly think the Japanese regarded the US soldiers as a a gentle and kindly bunch.

I fully appreciate which side i am on and which side won the war. But i also know that history is written by the victors, and that allies were not innocent in their treatment of axis forces either. Anyone who thinks otherwise is being naive.

Boag likes this

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15 minutes ago, Pasanda said:

I would love to see this same report written by the other side. It is naturally full of bias and rhetoric.

Also, that comment regarding the Japanese as brutal. Do you honestly think the Japanese regarded the US soldiers as a a gentle and kindly bunch.

I fully appreciate which side i am on and which side won the war. But i also know that history is written by the victors, and that allies were not innocent in their treatment of axis forces either. Anyone who thinks otherwise is being naive.

You are right, the soldiers were no choir boys.  But are you really suggesting or implying that the Axis and Allies were on the same playing field?

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War is always brutal when combat is involved.  However was a stark difference in treatment of the enemy when not in a combat situation.  This is where the brutality comes in.  None of the allied powers, to my knowledge, severely mistreated the local civilians after territory was captured/recaptured.  There was a tremendous loss of civilian life in an attempts by allied powers to break the war machine and or will of the enemy, never because the civillians or prisoners were deemed inferior forms of life.  The axis powers regarded the enemy as less than human and treated them so killing 10's of millions only because.  Thus we have the winning side suffering the bulk of casualties to the tune of 50 million people.  With all of the focus on the Holocaust it is easy to overlook what the Japanese did in china.  It was indeed brutal.

 

Edited by Jag

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From my understanding, Japan had already tried to surrender to the Allies.  Their only condition was that they kept their Emperor.  The Allies refused, stating that it needed to be completely unconditional.  The US then used the atomic bomb.  Japan surrendered unconditionally.  The Allies let them keep their Emperor.  Hiroshima was merely a demonstration to the Soviets, to show that the States had the bomb and were willing to use and how 'effective' it was.

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_weber.html

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5 hours ago, Pasanda said:

I would love to see this same report written by the other side. It is naturally full of bias and rhetoric.

Also, that comment regarding the Japanese as brutal. Do you honestly think the Japanese regarded the US soldiers as a a gentle and kindly bunch.

I fully appreciate which side i am on and which side won the war. But i also know that history is written by the victors, and that allies were not innocent in their treatment of axis forces either. Anyone who thinks otherwise is being naive.

The atomic bombs were no more devastating then the fire bombing, but certainly had a larger physiological impact.  I have heard the demonstration to the soviets theory before and certainly it was one factor, among many others, that led to the bomb drop, but really it was much more about getting the unconditional surrender.  Russia was planning an invasion of Japan and the war needed to end sonner rather than later in order to prevent the chance for US and Russian to come into conflict over Japan.

Edited by Jag

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I figured the speech would be along the lines of ... "we're sorry you feel that way ..."

... or condescending: "It was for your own good.  It hurt us more than it hurt you."

... "but now, let us put the past behind us as we celebrate the fact that we're both in debt to China for Trillions of US Dollars each, and our respective economies suck the big one  ..."

 

 

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Japan had already surrendered or tried to.  Your government may have said that they were gonna have to go in with a bloody ground force, and the troops may have believed it, but that was not the case.  Just to stir things, here's a supposed quote from a WW2 about identifying units, still true to today:

“If you encounter a unit you can’t identify, fire one round over their heads so it won’t hit anyone.

“If the response is a fusillade of rapid, precise rifle fire, they’re British.

“If the response is a s**tstorm of machine-gun fire, they’re German.

“If they throw down their arms and surrender, they’re Italian.

“And if nothing happens for five minutes and then your position is obliterated by support artillery or an airstrike, they’re American.”

gw-itcrowdmosspopcorn.gif

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1 hour ago, Jazz said:

Japan had already surrendered or tried to. 

Every single documentary, every single book, every professor, pretty much universally agreed that on August 1, there was no end in sight.  This was after Okinawa was lost, after Tokyo was firebombed, and with their navy and air force in ruins.  Allied planners were preparing an invasion with causality estimates as high as a million Allied troops.  As of August 1, the argument was either invade, or blockade, bomb and starve them into submission.  Japan did not even respond to the Potsdam declaration, much less accept the terms.

The week of August 6th changed everything.  August 6 - Hiroshima.  August 9 - Nagasaki and Soviet Union Declared war on Japan.

August 10 - for the first time, after all of those events took place, Japan officially accepts the terms of the Potsdam with a ton of conditions.

During the next week, we all know what happened.  Japan waived the terms, save for 1 and the rest is history.

However, there was still talk of curtain segments within the Japanese military not accepting the surrender, I believe there was an attempted coup as well.  There was even talk of attacking/sabotaging the piece signings.

Fast forward to now ... That article is mixed with speculation and theory.  Is your point that the bombs did not have to be dropped?  Sure, they didn't have to be dropped.  I am sure Japan would have accepted a cease fire at any time ... with a ton of conditions.  However, the Allies were determined to eliminate Japan's capacity to wage war and were not going to stop until that happened.  By and large, most agree that those 3 things had to happen for Japan to come to the table.  They didn't want any part of a Soviet occupation nor did they know how many nukes the US had.

 

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Every single one eh?  Care to cite one then?  One of your own generals boasted how you were bombing them back to the stone age.  Is my article mixed with speculation or theory?  No more than the ones claiming that the bombing was necessary.

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5 minutes ago, Jazz said:

Every single one eh?  Care to cite one then?  One of your own generals boasted how you were bombing them back to the stone age.  Is my article mixed with speculation or theory?  No more than the ones claiming that the bombing was necessary.

Guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

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Wuss!  Goddammit Dunnar, you disappoint me!  Sometimes I really regret burying Sub under the patio...

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Interesting, I will read it once I'm home and give my Jazz-Assessment upon it.

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19 minutes ago, Jag said:

Having a wank to it are we?

Whole new meaning to the words mushroom cloud

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5 hours ago, Dunnar said:

Whole new meaning to the words mushroom cloud

I read that twice and decided it was quite astute.

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I have two questions to ask:

1. What happened to Jag's original post, he went and made some comment on the actual topic and then he changed it to that.

2. Shape AND SIZE bitches!  Shape AND SIZE!  I'm like a nuclear blast to the ladies!

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I actually read Dunnar's post and realized it was just repeating his points.  So I went for something more in my comfort zone. haha

Dunnar likes this

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6 hours ago, Jazz said:

I have two questions to ask:

1. What happened to Jag's original post, he went and made some comment on the actual topic and then he changed it to that.

2. Shape AND SIZE bitches!  Shape AND SIZE!  I'm like a nuclear blast to the ladies!

So just one time with you is enough to destroy everything they ever loved and spend the rest of their short lives dealing with chronic illness and genetically mutated children.  I have no argument with your assessment.

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4 minutes ago, Jag said:

So just one time with you is enough to destroy everything they ever loved and spend the rest of their short lives dealing with chronic illness and genetically mutated children.  I have no argument with your assessment.

Hey, I don't care about the fallout, I just care about exploding all over them.  I give 'em the experience of a lifetime!

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