Special Ops Paintball: The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - Special Ops Paintball

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The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Justified or War Crime? Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Shipwreck! 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 08:17 PM

Just wondering what opinions are floating around out there... if any.
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Posted 07 December 2010 - 08:17 PM

It was a conspiracy by the Japanese government.
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#3 User is offline   cdrinkh20 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 08:19 PM

Random.

But anyways...

My limited knowledge is that at an *estimated* 1 million U.S. troops would have been killed trying to take Japan in an invasion...add in Kamikaze pilots for bonus collateral damage and huge economic costs for both sides....

You could say so.

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#4 User is offline   Invictusone 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 08:21 PM

Uh oh... this one might get nasty. IMO, it was justified. Not only because it would end the war, but because USSR was entering the eastern front. Stalin wanted to split Japan like he did Korea, which would not be good for the US. Also, it brought to an end the firebombings and also prevented a costly invasion.

In the end, I believe that we would have killed a lot more people if the war had continued without the nuclear weapons.

Dang people replied fast to this.

This post has been edited by Invictusone: 07 December 2010 - 08:22 PM

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#5 User is offline   The Hobbit 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 08:28 PM

I'm not getting into this one beyond this comment.
The war in the pacific would have gone on for a minimum of another 6 months if not longer. The Japanese were prepared to fight to the death. Also in war as far as I am concerned you must do whatever it takes to end the war with the least number of casualties to your fighting men.
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#6 User is offline   Invictusone 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 08:42 PM

View PostThe Hobbit, on 07 December 2010 - 10:28 PM, said:

I'm not getting into this one beyond this comment.
The war in the pacific would have gone on for a minimum of another 6 months if not longer. The Japanese were prepared to fight to the death. Also in war as far as I am concerned you must do whatever it takes to end the war with the least number of casualties to your fighting men.


This is a very good point. We would have slaughtered people en masse in order to make them surrender. It would have not been on as large of a scale, but look up our incendiary campaign if you dont believe me.



To the OP (@shipwreck), what made you want to hear this debate today?
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#7 User is offline   Eskimo 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 09:01 PM

If your in war, there is no "good choice" only the one which ends the war the quickest. and in this case, it ended the war. thus we do not encourage the choice, but we accept the consequences of our decision
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#8 User is offline   cdrinkh20 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 09:04 PM

View PostEskimo, on 07 December 2010 - 09:01 PM, said:

If your in war, there is no "good choice" only the one which ends the war the quickest. and in this case, it ended the war. thus we do not encourage the choice, but we accept the consequences of our decision


Mhmm. :)

I totally forgot the Eastern front bit... but that's the whole Cold War thing right :P
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#9 User is offline   Invictusone 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 09:15 PM

From the modern lens, the action may have been harsh, but at the time, every major actor in WWII committed "war crimes"

russia had the holodamor(I don't know the spelling, but it was a intentional famine in order to commit genocide) the germans had the Holocaust, the Japanese had the rape of Nanjing, and many other atrocities. The US still fought with a morally superior position, even with incendiary attacks, indiscriminate bombing of Germany or internment of Japanese. It is important to realize the brutality and horrible atrocities that occurred during this time period.

This post has been edited by Invictusone: 07 December 2010 - 09:16 PM

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#10 User is offline   Down Range Pain 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 09:19 PM

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#11 User is offline   Shipwreck! 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 09:43 PM

View PostInvictusone, on 07 December 2010 - 07:42 PM, said:

To the OP (@shipwreck), what made you want to hear this debate today?


There were a bunch of WWII shows on History/NatGeo just made me wonder. Haven't heard this one since High School. Anyway, I've got a pretty odd observation on this one, I'm going to post it up after a few more people have weighed in...

EDIT:

Oh well, I guess everyone weighed in already so I'll post up my observation now. But first a little background on how I came to make it. A while ago out of sheer curiosity I did a little research and tried to look up an official definition of that end all be all buzzword of our times... terrorism dun dun dunnnn! What I found though is that the international community has been having a very difficult time agreeing on an official definition of it, and that nobody seems to have an official definition of terrorism. Only reason for why that is the case that I can think of, because it seems fairly straight forward, is that nobody want's to define terrorism at the risk of admiting guilt of it at some point or another in their own history.

In any case you can imagine that it must be pretty hard to be at war with terroism, without knowing what it is. So it's lucky that while the US might not have a definition for it the armed forces do (even if I couldn't find that one online either). In the Navy during basic anti-terrorism training, which basically anyone who stands a watch has to go through at some point, I was taught that the following constitutes terrorism:

Any action by any individual or organization that intentionally targets and kills civilians for the specific purpose of influencing any government's official policies.

Now given that definition, a long time before my little extracaricular research project, I was working on my ship in the Navy right around the anniversary of 9/11. It goes without saying that around that time anytime I walked past any tv that was turned on to a news channel, it was spewing some dialogue referencing "the most" deadly/destructive/massive/etc/etc "terroist attack" on US soil/against America/in American history/etc/etc/etc. It occured to me during all of this that I never once, as long as I can remember, heard 9/11 refered to as the worst terrorist attack ever in the world, or anything to that effect! Which is very strange because the news media does tend to seem more sensationalist than not most of the time. You would not expect them to say "Most ___ in America in recent history!" if they could get away with saying, "Most ___ in the world ever!" So I had to wonder What in the world could have been worse than 9/11! And even worse than that, How could it possibly not be common knowledge? Worldleaders from around the globe publicly condemned the 9/11 attacks was there really some much worse terrorist attack in recent history against another nation that we were so completely arrogant and self involved that we in general didn't even realize occured?

Well after pondering these questions for a while the only thing I could think of off the top of my head in which more civilians died was Hiroshima/Nagasaki. So I plugged the parameters of those attacks into my Navy trained terrorism "equation" and low and behold (I never say that) it was a perfect match:

Any action by any individual or organization that intentionally targets and kills civilians for the specific purpose of influencing any government's official policies.

The United States Government intentionally targeted and killed the general civilian populi of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the specific intention of influencing the Japanese govenrment's official policies of war against the United States and imperial expansion in the Pacific Theater.

Any action by any individual or organization (United States Government) that intentionally targets and kills civilians (everyone living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki) for the specific purpose of influencing any government's (the Japanese Government's) official policies (of war against the United States and/or imperial expansion in the Pacific Theater).

So there you have it, whether or not it was right or wrong in the long run will always be debatable at best. But it's strange to see that our own government's past actions fit our current military's definition of terrorism. Technically anyone who participated directly in the operation with knoledge of what they were helping to carry out, inluding the President of the United States at the time, qualify as terrorists. I don't mean offense to anyone and I don't feel any animosity towards our current or past governments, I have no ill will and I'm no less a patriot saying that than I was swearing my oath to defend freedom and democracy where ever it is threatened by all enemies foreign or domestic. But it is what it is, and it is weird.

I was watching on NatGeo a few weeks ago and I saw guests at some Pakistani talk show accusing the US Government of terrorism in that inocent civilians have been killed accidently in predator drone attacks. I'd like to point out that that is just not the case, civilians always die in war, it's unavoidable, that doesn't by any means make it ok or acceptable but for it to be terrorism it has to be an intentional targeting of civilians, not a case in which they were standing too close to a known Al-Quaida terrorist, or a case of mistaken identity. Horrible yes, terrorism absolutely not. But undeniably the case of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is one in which civilians were killed on purpose. Even if there were legitimate military targets in those cities, which I'm not sure there were, you can't drop a bomb that you know is gonna level the whole city and say, "Oh, well we were only targeting and intending to destroy that manufacturing district that was building military hardware." Crazy huh? Admitedly my research wasn't very thorough, and to say that a general concensus that Hiroshima/Nagasaki was a bigger terrorist attack than 9/11 is probably not the reason why news outlets don't refer to 9/11 as worst terrorist attack ever, would be a massive understatement. It's just what triggered the train of thought that led to these observations.

Maybe some of you can find official government's definitions of terrorism where I couldn't, but if not I encourage you to ask people you know who serve what they've been taught terrorism is. I never know, maybe I got it all wrong.

This post has been edited by Shipwreck!: 08 December 2010 - 12:19 AM

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#12 User is offline   Riddler 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 10:18 PM

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#13 User is offline   Shipwreck! 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 11:42 PM

View PostInvictusone, on 07 December 2010 - 07:21 PM, said:

Uh oh... this one might get nasty. IMO, it was justified. Not only because it would end the war, but because USSR was entering the eastern front. Stalin wanted to split Japan like he did Korea, which would not be good for the US. Also, it brought to an end the firebombings and also prevented a costly invasion.

In the end, I believe that we would have killed a lot more people if the war had continued without the nuclear weapons.

Dang people replied fast to this.


You raise an excellent point! The one argument I always hear for the bombings is that it may have saved the lives of countless sailors/soldiers/marines/airmen on both sides, which is broken argument because the whole point of having sailors/soldiers/marines/airmen is so that they can die so that civilians don't have to. Kinda defeats the purpose of having a military when you start sacrificing civilians to protect the warriors.

But like I said you raise an excellent point, it's quite possible that more civilians could have been killed in an extended campaign against Japan than did in the bombings. Which is a legitimate argument in favor of the bombings.

EDIT:

View PostThe Hobbit, on 07 December 2010 - 07:28 PM, said:

I'm not getting into this one beyond this comment.
The war in the pacific would have gone on for a minimum of another 6 months if not longer. The Japanese were prepared to fight to the death. Also in war as far as I am concerned you must do whatever it takes to end the war with the least number of casualties to your fighting men.


Ooooohhhhh sorry, bad call Hobit, I hope you're not a general.

Theres a few major reasons why we (humans in general) have militaries, one is that a small group of warfare specialists (military) is a hell of a lot more effective at waging war than a massive group of farmers and what not, that have just been told "Hey uhhh... go fight that war." But one huge reason why we have militaries is so that releatively small numbers of people who have volunteered to do so can sacrifice their lives if necessary in order to protect much larger numbers of people who are innocent, unarmed and want nothing to do with war so that they never have to... die that is.

Your idea of protecting your fighting men from casualties is half true up to the point where a choice has to be made between their lives and civilians. They exist to protect civilians so there's only ever one right choice in that situation. Save the innocent sacrifice the volunteer.

Your half correct logic actually serves as an excellent justification for terrorism, for example: I have to "do whatever it takes to end the war with the least number of casualties to" my "fighting men." Therefore instead of engaging this legitmate military target in legitimate warfare in which we may take heavy casualties, I will instead engage the unarmed civilian populace in order to convince my enemies to surrender out of fear of continued action against the innocent.

EDIT:

View PostEskimo, on 07 December 2010 - 08:01 PM, said:

If your in war, there is no "good choice" only the one which ends the war the quickest. and in this case, it ended the war. thus we do not encourage the choice, but we accept the consequences of our decision


I think that might be the best I've ever heard on this subject. Good call Eskimo!

View PostInvictusone, on 07 December 2010 - 08:15 PM, said:

From the modern lens, the action may have been harsh, but at the time, every major actor in WWII committed "war crimes"

russia had the holodamor(I don't know the spelling, but it was a intentional famine in order to commit genocide) the germans had the Holocaust, the Japanese had the rape of Nanjing, and many other atrocities. The US still fought with a morally superior position, even with incendiary attacks, indiscriminate bombing of Germany or internment of Japanese. It is important to realize the brutality and horrible atrocities that occurred during this time period.


Another good point, everybody has commited their own war crimes. Good call. But I think most of those things pale in comparison to Hiroshima/Nagasaki, that was the whole point after all. If we don't acknowledge the a-bombings as being morally wrong do we risk setting a precedent that we could use to justify a future bombing of a similar nature?

Important to consider, in a world where everybody's got the bomb, the consequences of droping another could be as grave for us (if not more so) as they are for our enemies. And the bomb has been getting bigger ever since.

View PostDown Range Pain, on 07 December 2010 - 08:19 PM, said:

better you then me.


Hahahaha! You're a d1ck!!!!

This post has been edited by Shipwreck!: 08 December 2010 - 12:09 AM

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#14 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 07:19 AM

View PostShipwreck!, on 08 December 2010 - 12:42 AM, said:

Ooooohhhhh sorry, bad call Hobit, I hope you're not a general.

Theres a few major reasons why we (humans in general) have militaries, one is that a small group of warfare specialists (military) is a hell of a lot more effective at waging war than a massive group of farmers and what not, that have just been told "Hey uhhh... go fight that war." But one huge reason why we have militaries is so that releatively small numbers of people who have volunteered to do so can sacrifice their lives if necessary in order to protect much larger numbers of people who are innocent, unarmed and want nothing to do with war so that they never have to... die that is.

Your idea of protecting your fighting men from casualties is half true up to the point where a choice has to be made between their lives and civilians. They exist to protect civilians so there's only ever one right choice in that situation. Save the innocent sacrifice the volunteer.

Your half correct logic actually serves as an excellent justification for terrorism, for example: I have to "do whatever it takes to end the war with the least number of casualties to" my "fighting men." Therefore instead of engaging this legitmate military target in legitimate warfare in which we may take heavy casualties, I will instead engage the unarmed civilian populace in order to convince my enemies to surrender out of fear of continued action against the innocent.


Problem - The military has an obligation to protect the civilians at home. The notion that militaries had to protect and consider the civilians of other combatants in the conflict is extremely new to world history. Those civilians may well want nothing to do with it, but they are also the ones building the guns, the bombs, the ammo, the tanks, the planes, etc. that your enemy is using. This makes at least some of them partially active in your conflict.

The duty of any government is to protect its own first and foremost. The military, while they volunteered for some risky stuff, are still citizens and they didn't volunteer to die for the good of the enemy's civilian population.

Now, the reason the world's conflicts have gotten really interesting is that many of them (such as the war in Iraq and Afghanistan) isn't against a state actor, but rather groups of people in the same region. Iraqi civilians may or may not be on the side of the enemy, Afghan tribes may either hate our enemy, or they may be hiding them from us.

Now, in the case of the end of WW2, it really came down to how many lives will be lost with a conventional invasion, and how many will be lost with the nuke. The nuke came up far shorter for both sides (Japanese and American), so the decision was made.

In honesty, I'd feel OK with dropping the bomb even if it did lead to higher enemy casualties (even civilian) because it saved all of my citizens. War is hell, and you do your best to protect your own people during it.

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Another good point, everybody has commited their own war crimes. Good call. But I think most of those things pale in comparison to Hiroshima/Nagasaki, that was the whole point after all. If we don't acknowledge the a-bombings as being morally wrong do we risk setting a precedent that we could use to justify a future bombing of a similar nature?


Wrong - Hiroshima and Nagasaki had fewer casualties.

Hiroshima + Nagasaki combined = 150,000-246,000 Source

Nazi Holocaust - 5.9 million Jews, over 2 million Soviet POWs, another 1.8-2million Poles, and others. Source

Yeah, that atomic bombing sure was worse than the Holocaust. :dry:

I'm reasonably certain if you check into other atrocities, you'll find hundreds of thousands if not millions of dead. I just checked the fastest one that I knew for sure significantly outclassed the atomic bombs.

Quote

Important to consider, in a world where everybody's got the bomb, the consequences of droping another could be as grave for us (if not more so) as they are for our enemies. And the bomb has been getting bigger ever since.


Cue the old Cold War "Mutually Assured Destruction" doctrine. And you were asking about the dangers of a precedent for nuking being acceptable? Today, the game has changed strategically. If I attempt to drop a nuclear warhead on my enemy, and he has one, he'll fire back with one. That's MAD at work. Knowing this, we go back to my earlier point - a government's duty is to win the war with the fewest casualties on its own side. Lobbing a nuke at the enemy, who then in turns nukes back isn't the way to do this. From a purely strategic and analytical point of view, it is no longer wise to employ the nuclear weapons for much of anything except for a deterrent to keep the enemy from dropping a nuke on you.

Now, a wise military leader would be investing in missile defense so that we could intercept and destroy incoming nuclear warheads to offset that balance of power back in one's own favor. I oppose most any government spending, but that is one project I would get behind in a heartbeat. The downside of MAD is, well, even if you got the guy who shot first, you have hundreds of thousands or millions of casualties along the way. Missile defense would end this, so now only the other guy gets hit. Until he learns to make his own defense system that is.
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Posted 08 December 2010 - 08:22 AM

Of course it was terrorism. We won our freedom through terrorist tactics. The Boston Tea Party, guerilla tactics, George Washington and his men slaughtered 100s in their sleep. The difference between 9/11 is that it wasn't for any cause OTHER than to cause terror and panic. It wasn't the mark of an invasion, or an attempt to influence our government's policies, (not in ways not dealing with the attacks themselves), it was an attack on us to demonstrate their power and to spread fear throughout our country.
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