Discussion in 'What If - Other' started by TheImPaLeR, Jan 4, 2010.
I still like the flying monkeys....
Interesting, it seems my suggestion of this being off topic has, infact, sent it slightly off topic XD
Anyways, I still fail to see how the question "What if the US did not drop the bomb" has anything to do with the morality of dropping the bomb. Now if the question was "Why did the US drop the bomb" then I could see it.
As I see it, the two questions are intertwined. If we hadn't dropped the bombs, we need to consider what alternatives there would have been to defeat Japan. Invasion of the home islands is the likely scenario. The result would probably have taken a horrific toll on both the American and Japanese sides. I can see the war extending into 1946 with attendant increases in casualties. So, in my view, this then becomes the other question: Why did we use the bombs? The answer, according to those in authority at the time, was to prevent this kind of carnage. I'm not sure the morality of the use of the weapon was considered, at least not in the way we do now, through hindsight. At the time, and with the best guesses of those involved, the use of this new weapon appeared to be the best solution to the problem of ending the conflict. I'm not sure it's fair to argue morality from a distance 65 years. No one in 1945 could foresee what the long term effects would be.
So, I'm not so sure that What if we didn't drop the bomb, and Why did we drop the bomb aren't really the same question.
You can not fully understand what would have happened if the US did not drop the bomb without analyzing why the US dropped the bomb. The "why" provides the context.
Subjecting 21st century morality and 65 years of hindsight on the issue is just a by product of the discussion.
Yes the US could have continued with the dispensing of hundreds of thousands of pounds of conventional and incendiary munitions for however long it took to achieve unconditional surrender.
The Atomic bombs were neither a known quantity or a last resort. They were; however, believed to be the most effective and expeditious means to an end.
The moral dilema is a coralary effect of the discussion: Had the US not dropped the Atomic Bombs then the Genie would have never been let out of the bottle.
Once the technology was developed and the bombs were constructed they would have been used. Would they have been used on N.Korea, China, Cuba, Florida, New York, San Francisco, Moscow or N.Vietnam? fortunately we will never know.
Thankfully the weapons that have been deployed are a mere butterfly breath compared to what exists in Nuclear arsenals today.
Well said, those atomics that were used actually may have halted the use of them in the future.
Both nations which became the "Super powers" started to realise the end results, and MAD became the policy that kept them from being used again.
(My post is sort of off topic, but I feel like I have to get this off the top of my chest - and I apologize before hand if it sounds awkward)
I keep seeing the words "humanitarian" or "humane" or "moral high ground" as if it were something of a gift from Americans in order to "save the Japanese race." Now don't take this in a wrong way, but I suggest that perhaps it would be better to word it like this:
The use of nuclear weapons represented the lesser of two evils. Either we can choose to invade the home islands.. Or we choose to use these new weapons that could very well end the war immediately. Either way, many people are going to die - thus both courses are evil; thefore it is our duty to pick between the lesser of two evils.
Now looking through this thread I can see a lot of posters trying to frame it just like that. But somehow the words "humanitarian" always shows up one way or another in any thread about Hiroshima and Nagasaki - as if the bombs were the "loving" thing to do.
When was the last time you read an internet thread about the fire bombings of Hamburg, Dresden, Nagoya, and Tokyo and saw someone write "it was the humanitarian and humane" thing to do?
But whenever there's a internet thread about Hiroshima or Nagasaki - somebody has to play the humanitarian card. Even once when I was with a group of friends - someone tried to use the humanitarian card. And honestly I don't think my friends was being dishonest or malignant, but probably he didn't choose his words correctly. Schematics are important when you reffering to an event where many tens of thousands of people died.
When you use the humanitarian card; it's like reffering to the nuclear bombs in an analogous way akin to that old saying from Vietnam:
"We bombed the village in order to save it."
I'm sorry. I want to choke someone.
When you say "save it" that's like saying to me that you somehow love them. Either you do love them - or you don't.
While you could very well aurgue that the village had to be bombed, (and I might agree or disagree with you) please don't tell me you bombed a village in order to "save it." It would be better if the they said, "the village had to sacraficed since the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong were comming and about to take it."
But to say "We bombed the village to save it" makes you want to tell that officer to go commit seppku or something. So please. Please I beg everyone to refrain playing the "Humanitarian" card.
Rather you could talk about what Frank Richards does in Downfall, when he point out that as each month went by, another 100,000 people in China died from starvation, disease, and homelessness - therefore something had to be been done to bring the war to a close soon as possible - one of them being use of the bombs. There's nothing humanitarian about killing 200,000 people in order to save several millions of peoples. Killing 200,000 people is still horrible and evil.
Humanitarian is a word best used when someone builds hospital to save people who through no fault of their own were born in sub-Saharan Africa and dying from, HIV-AIDS, cholera, malaria falciparum, and multidrug resistant turbercolosis.
(End of rant)
I suppose I'm just looking at the question in a too short term sense, as in just the battle against Japan, oh well.
I don't think anyone is saying that it was "humanitarian" to drop be bomb in the sense of humanitarian being good acts, but rather it was simply the lesser of two evils. Anyways, when ever you start putting the words "moral", or "humanitarian" in the same sentence as "war" then your gonna start running into problems.
History and the record is very clear on the fact the Japanese Army High Command would never have agreed to a surrender without the US having first used these bombs. The bombs were clearly the compelling events that gave the Emperor the final impetus that was required to take the decision to surrender and overcome the objections of the Militarist. As it was even after the decision was taken Junior Officer attempted a palace coup to reverse this decision so it is clear that the will to fight to the last was still strong throughout the Japanese home islands.
This debate is not academic to me. My father was a POW in Fukuoka #3-b in Kokura which was the primary target for the plutonium bomb dropped on Nagasaki. If these bombs had not been used I would not be posting this response because my father would surely have been murdered by his captors upon any invasion and before I was ever born. As it is the fact is that the men who were POW's in Kokura Japan were saved by fate and bad weather is a act of divine intervention. The day that the second bomb was dropped Kokura was socked in by clouds and the bomb plane went on to Nagasaki. My father remembered the sound of the spotter and bomb plane circling above the cloud layer that faithful day. This is how close he and the others in Fukuoka #3-b came to not surviving and myself to never having been.
I will say without equivocation that if the bomb had been dropped and I was never to be it would still be worth it in my mind as the human cost of a mainland invasion would have been to great to contemplate. Feeble attempts to revise history not withstanding anyone who believes we should not have used the bomb should keep their opinion to themselves for they are completely wrong on the facts full stop.
[SIZE=-1]Posted on behalf of the late Jewell Creston Embry, MOMM1C,2872045,USN and former POW [/SIZE]Fukuoka #3-b, Kokura, Japan by his son Joel P. Embry.
As a followup to my previous post which did not speak to the question of humanity. Trying to measure the "Humanity" of the use of the bombs is a non sequitor. The bombs were a military means that were necessity to bring about the end of the slaughter. Trying to equate or assign levels of humanity or morality to this act is a waste of time and a luxury that only those who were not directly involved have. These men had to set aside their humanity and take the hard decision to do what was necessary to conserve the lives of the American Marines, Sailors and Soldiers who had just finished the bloody battle at Siapan and knew exactly what was in store for them in the coming invasion of the Japanese homeland. Killing one hundred thousand to save a million is not humanitarian act rather it was an act of military necessity and the only decision that could have been made at the time.
I disagree with this. Eventually even the most hard headed would have come to the conclusion that there was little else Japan could do. The problem of course was it wasn't likely to happen in August and probably not in September or October. As one moves into the winter it becomes more likely and by next spring there's a very good chance they would have surrendered.
Again I disagree. Questions of "humanity" and "morality" were considered in the decision to drop the bomb. The logical decision IMO based on the data available both then and now was that even taking these into account or maybe especially taking them into account dropping the bomb was the correct decision.