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Would you consider the atomic bombs a war crime?

Discussion in 'Atomic Bombs In the Pacific' started by thecanadianfool, May 5, 2012.

  1. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

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    May I propose watching a BBC documentyry "The Road to War - Japan" - for sake of gaining proper angle to view the subject. This BBC documentary presents views of some contemporary Japanese historians who interpret the past a bit differently.

    Parental Advisory: This documentary presents some opinions which some of you may find quite disturbing.
    [media]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDv8NxGv9Yg[/media]
     
    green slime likes this.
  2. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Appreciate your addressing the issue of the issue. I wasn't aware of the abandonment of the program at all, but when I first read about it (here somewhere on the forum) I thought that there was no way that the cottage industry" avenue would be very successful with the points that you brought up.
     
  3. OpanaPointer

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

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    The February 26th incident locked that down pretty effectively. And then the civilian government surrendered to the military when they allowed the War Minister and Navy Minister to be required to be active duty military. This meant that the Army and Navy could kill a government by ordering the admiral or general to a different job. The Big Six, prime minister, foreign minister, War Minister, Navy Minister, Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Naval Staff, meaning the guys who really made the policies, were 2/3 military men.
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The United States Strategic Bombing Survey addresses the issue to varying extents in a few of it's volumes.
     
  5. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    The terrorists involved in 9/11 attacks also took hostages in order to carry out these attacks, a clear violation of international law.
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Well, hey stranger! Haven't seen you around these parts in a while.

    Hope all is going well with you.
     
  7. OpanaPointer

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

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    Hostages? No. Prisoners, yes. There was no intent to exchange so "hostage" isn't the right word.
     
  8. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    In war all citizens/subjects are "hostages" of the current rulers, that argument is a non starter in 99% of the instances (the exception being cases where civilians were moved on purpose close to legitimate targets and those where pretty few). What the treaties addressed, or attempted to, was keeping "non combatants" out of the killing, and area bombing of cities completely blurred that line.

    And we are still suffering with the consequences of that blurring, if "anything that contributes directly or indirectly to the war effort" is a valid target than everything is. While the post 1945 internatialization of the economy and MAD doctrine contributed as well to the blurring but it's currently impossible to define an effective definition for "war crimes" without including the WW2 bombing campaign in it.

    If the WW2 bombings are OK what about firing rockets into an Israeli fortified village? Or razing a couple of city blocks in Gaza, Tbilisi or Sarajevo ? And with globalization financial institutions are as key to the "war effort" as heavy industry was in WW2, so where do we draw the line? The very strong Israeli reaction to the Palestinians attempting to join the international court should clearly show how the lines today are so blurred that the difference between a war criminal and a hero is likely to be more dependent on your political clout than on what you actually did.
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    My reading of the 49 mods to the conventions is that they were designed to discourage some of the activities that went on in WWII. At the same time the accuracy of modern weapons means that if forces that have access to them proceed with "indiscriminat" bombing campaigns they are arguably "war crimes" further more the political and diplomatic impacts of doing so are becoming considerable.
     
  10. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    I'm less of an optimist than you here, the treaties are often more than a bit ridiculous (ex: the ban on certain types of small arm ammo when much worse things are legal) and superpowers have "gotten away with murder" more than once.

    Relating culpability to capability, is morally correct, but is unrealistic at in a time were most armed conflicts are strongly asymmetrical and pit the huge firepower of nation states against the determination/fanaticism of armed opposition.

    The militarily strong should limit themselves in order to keep the moral high ground that is very important to the long term survival of nation states, and IMO absolutely necessary to reach a lasting peace not based on physical destruction of the opponent, if your opponent sees you as evil there can be no peace, a cease fire is the most you can hope for and then you have to hope you will not get a rabble rouser with good organisational skills for a generation or two, faint hope indeed.
    The militarily weak have no such needs, they are often following a pure denial strategy and denial tactics are usually the ones that lead to the worse atrocities.

    IMO the best deterrent is not a treaty at all but the threat of retaliation in kind, if you apply that criteria to WW2 strategic choices you will get "interesting" results.
     
  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    One of the real problems with international "law" is that there is no body that can really enforce it especially against a major power. Wittness Russia's recent actions. A clever player can also use the "grey" areas to get away with a lot. That said actions which a century or two ago would have been ignored or have had no impact at all can have considerable negative impact on the perpetrator in todays world. Certainly it isn't perfect but IMO it is an improvement.
     

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