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timb
2008-Sep-01, 08:21 AM
Saving Japanese lives? Didn't the evil, murderous Americans butcher tens of thousands of Japanese women and children? Well yes, they did. But if they had invaded instead, millions more would have died. In fact, the Americans wouldn't have needed to invade. If they had waited another few months, their blockade would have resulted in the starvation of practically the entire Japanese population. In a horrific sense, the dead at Hiroshima and Nagasaki spared the lives of millions more of their countrymen.

The fact remains that the nuclear attacks were the deliberate mass killing of non-combatants. I'd rather not divert the thread into a discussion of the reality of the dilemma you suppose, but do you think Nagasaki remains good law? If an enemy on whom the US had declared war, for example, Islamists, felt the most expedient way to bring their conflict with the US to an end was to detonate nuclear weapons in two US cities, would you accept that this was legally justified by the H/N precedent? Why not?

Salty
2008-Sep-03, 07:27 AM
The fact remains that the nuclear attacks were the deliberate mass killing of non-combatants.

Incendiary bombing of Dresden, Germany and Tokyo, Japan killed more non-combatants than either atomic bomb; and incindiary bombing destroyed more structures in Dresden and Tokyo, than were destroyed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki by atomic bombs.
Why didn't you include incindiary bombs in your concerns about collateral damage?



I'd rather not divert the thread into a discussion of the reality of the dilemma you suppose, but do you think Nagasaki remains good law?

Yes.


If an enemy on whom the US had declared war, for example, Islamists, felt the most expedient way to bring their conflict with the US to an end was to detonate nuclear weapons in two US cities, would you accept that this was legally justified by the H/N precedent? Why not?

No.
We didn't nuke Mecca. We did not pre-empt any attack against Islam prior to 9/11, nor prior to any Hezbollah, Al-Quedah nor any other whacko declaration of jihad against the US of A.

Neverfly
2008-Sep-03, 07:36 AM
Were Hiroshima and Nagasaki Industrial manufacturing areas? Military bases near?

Or were they innocent cities that were not involved with the war with manufacturing or installations?

Salty
2008-Sep-03, 07:39 AM
Were Hiroshima and Nagasaki Industrial manufacturing areas? Military bases near?

Or were they innocent cities that were not involved with the war with manufacturing or installations?

Yes, yes and no.

Neverfly
2008-Sep-03, 07:51 AM
Yes, yes and no.

That's how I learned it in history too.

I may be wrong...
But I was also taught that we Warned prior to dropping BOTH bombs as well as allowing for evacuation of civilians - IF they chose to evacuate before the bomb was dropped.:neutral:
Many either did not believe or whatever- and did not evacuate.

timb
2008-Sep-03, 08:47 AM
Incendiary bombing of Dresden, Germany and Tokyo, Japan killed more non-combatants than either atomic bomb; and incindiary bombing destroyed more structures in Dresden and Tokyo, than were destroyed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki by atomic bombs.
Why didn't you include incindiary bombs in your concerns about collateral damage?


They weren't mentioned in the post to which I replied.



We didn't nuke Mecca. We did not pre-empt any attack against Islam prior to 9/11, nor prior to any Hezbollah, Al-Quedah nor any other whacko declaration of jihad against the US of A.

Would you be happier with Iraq as an example?

timb
2008-Sep-03, 08:55 AM
That's how I learned it in history too.

I may be wrong...
But I was also taught that we Warned prior to dropping BOTH bombs as well as allowing for evacuation of civilians - IF they chose to evacuate before the bomb was dropped.:neutral:
Many either did not believe or whatever- and did not evacuate.

Do you have a reference for that? I think you may be a victim of victor's history.

Neverfly
2008-Sep-03, 09:03 AM
Do you have a reference for that? I think you may be a victim of victor's history.

Nope.
Do you have a reference stating otherwise?

Salty
2008-Sep-03, 10:38 AM
That's how I learned it in history too.

I may be wrong...
But I was also taught that we Warned prior to dropping BOTH bombs as well as allowing for evacuation of civilians - IF they chose to evacuate before the bomb was dropped.:neutral:
Many either did not believe or whatever- and did not evacuate.

I've given this some thought, amongst our other topics.

I'm going to presume (upon knowledge of tolitarian governments), that the Japanese public had been ordered to leave paper from allied aircraft, alone.

If and only if that were true, then only a small percentage of the Japanese citizenry had knowledge of the warnings; and they were fringe people, ignored by faithful Japanese citizen. Hai.

Donnie B.
2008-Sep-03, 10:12 PM
Originally Posted by Neverfly http://www.bautforum.com/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.bautforum.com/general-science/51643-large-hadron-colliders-danger-post1314606.html#post1314606)
That's how I learned it in history too.

I may be wrong...
But I was also taught that we Warned prior to dropping BOTH bombs as well as allowing for evacuation of civilians - IF they chose to evacuate before the bomb was dropped.:neutral:
Many either did not believe or whatever- and did not evacuate.
Just to put this to rest:

You are wrong. No warning was given to Japan before either nuclear bombing.

There was some discussion (prior to the attacks) about the possibility of dropping a bomb on an uninhabited area with advance notice, as a demonstration ("surrender or we use these on you"). This idea was quickly dropped for several reasons. First, if the bomb should "fizzle" (fail to go off), it would give the Japanese a source of enriched nuclear material, with which they might build a bomb of their own. Second, Japan might have put up a heavy defensive screen around the demonstration site, thereby shooting down the plane leading to capture of the bomb or its remnants (see point 1). Third, the US had only two bombs to hand, with the next batch to be ready no sooner than a month later, so dropping a demonstration bomb was considered too costly. And fourth, the American government had little sympathy for Japan after Pearl Harbor and the brutality shown by the Japanese army during the war.

My reference is The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes (hard copy). Highly recommended.

And now I back slowly away from the politics, making a cross wth my forefingers.

Jens
2008-Sep-04, 01:33 AM
You are wrong. No warning was given to Japan before either nuclear bombing.


I should know this better than I do. But I think that's correct. Apparently, leaflets were dropped over Nagasaki on the 10th (the day after the bombing). However, there were apparently leaflets dropped over various Japanese cities starting in March, that were basically propaganda leaflets saying "your cities will get destroyed if you don't surrender". So the thing is, even if leaflets were dropped (and it's true that the authorities forbid people from reading them), people would naturally see it as propaganda. Lots of cities were bombed, in various countries, during WWII, and people didn't necessarily evacuate.

timb
2008-Sep-04, 02:06 AM
Just to put this to rest:

You are wrong. No warning was given to Japan before either nuclear bombing.

There was some discussion (prior to the attacks) about the possibility of dropping a bomb on an uninhabited area with advance notice, as a demonstration ("surrender or we use these on you"). This idea was quickly dropped for several reasons. First, if the bomb should "fizzle" (fail to go off), it would give the Japanese a source of enriched nuclear material, with which they might build a bomb of their own. Second, Japan might have put up a heavy defensive screen around the demonstration site, thereby shooting down the plane leading to capture of the bomb or its remnants (see point 1).


A false dichotomy and an irrelevancy. They were not compelled either to announce a demonstration in advance nor to inform the Japanese of its location. A bomber going off 10 miles from any Japanese city would be quite an effective demonstration. Whether the bombing was a demonstration or not the bomb might fizzle. A dud that fell in the city would be much more likely to be found quickly than one that fell in the countryside, so dropping the bomb over a city increased that risk.


Third, the US had only two bombs to hand, with the next batch to be ready no sooner than a month later, so dropping a demonstration bomb was considered too costly.


A month wasn't long to wait and there is no reason to think that destroying two cities was essential. The Japanese were beaten and incapable of offensive action. They would likely have accepted terms short of unconditional surrender.


And fourth, the American government had little sympathy for Japan after Pearl Harbor and the brutality shown by the Japanese army during the war.


So they wanted to kill Japanese civilians in large numbers. The rest is rationalization. Note the great haste with which the second bombing took place, only three days after the first, as if they were racing to get it in before the "Japs" surrendered. Three days is a little too short to expect the enemy to adapt to a complete revolution in strategic warfare.

Jim
2008-Sep-04, 02:27 AM
These posts were split from a thread in General Science on the Large Hadron Collider. (No, really.) I don't see how they fit there.

If you want to continue the discussion, please do so.

However, this topic has the potential to get heated and/or political, so please curb your enthusiasm.

Paul Leeks
2008-Sep-04, 02:42 AM
I have a book called Shockwave:Countdown To Hiroshima

scary stuff...

I have japanese friends and they are nice people (like myself!).

PL

Van Rijn
2008-Sep-04, 03:04 AM
A month wasn't long to wait and there is no reason to think that destroying two cities was essential.


The amount of damage was not exceptional (fire bombing had done worse), only the method of delivery was. The point was to impress upon them how quickly we could now destroy them, if they continued to fight.



The Japanese were beaten and incapable of offensive action. They would likely have accepted terms short of unconditional surrender.


The Japanese government was extremely resistant to surrender and quite happy to let their people die in large numbers. After Pearl Harbor, nothing short of unconditional surrender was acceptable. There was no way we were going to let the existing government continue, possibly with the USSR involved in the mess.



So they wanted to kill Japanese civilians in large numbers. The rest is rationalization.


:doh:

As the event gets further back in time, I notice more and more people that can't relate to what actually was happening at the time.

My mother remembers hearing the announcement that much of our fleet had been destroyed at Pearl Harbor and that we were suddenly at war. It was massive shock - by comparison, 9/11 was a pale imitation. She was still in high school, and soon, kids she knew were going away to fight, and many were dying. Then her own brother went off to the Pacific, and her boyfriend (later my father) went to Europe. A huge portion of our civilian population was now fighting, and there was the very real fear that our country was going to come to an end. Note that most of the U.S. "armed forces" were drafted civilians.

If Japan hadn't surrendered, my uncle, her brother, would almost certainly have been in the Japanese mainland invasion - a recent "civilian" who would have been fighting Japanese "civilians."

No, there was no great sympathy for the Japanese, who were not seen as "civilians," but future combatants. There was a very strong interest in keeping more Americans from being killed. It's horrible that people had to die, but it could have been far worse.

Jens
2008-Sep-04, 03:10 AM
A month wasn't long to wait and there is no reason to think that destroying two cities was essential. The Japanese were beaten and incapable of offensive action. They would likely have accepted terms short of unconditional surrender.


I'm not a historian and not an expert at all here, but I am under the impression that an unstated issue here was the USSR. I think Japan was hoping that the USSR would act as a mediator, and that was partly why they rejected Potsdam. And when the USSR declared war on Japan (on August 9, the same day as Nagasaki), Japan basically found itself without any real choice. And I think it may be that the motivation to drop the bombs promptly was partly to get the Japanese to surrender before a Soviet declaration of war, to prevent the USSR from taking parts of the Japanese Empire. I've also heard (though I don't know how true this is) that one of the motivations behind the atomic bombings was to demonstrate to the USSR that the US had such weapons.

Neverfly
2008-Sep-04, 03:27 AM
Just to put this to rest:

You are wrong. No warning was given to Japan before either nuclear bombing.


I'm starting to find this out.. But won't comment any further... Not because of politics or anything but just because:
I've looked up a bunch of references and got all absorbed in reading.
I don't wanna spew out any more of my ignorance.

It seems, not only was I wrong about warning- But the mission to drop the bomb was carried out in heavy secrecy as well.

Logical, actually. If the attacked were expecting that attack- they would do everything they could to prevent such an attack.

But man- I've uncovered enough reading on this to keep me busy for months!:doh:

Jim
2008-Sep-04, 12:50 PM
But the mission to drop the bomb was carried out in heavy secrecy as well.

Amazing secrecy. The ship that delivered the bomb parts to Tinian was under strict radio silence, even on her homeward leg. As a result, when she was sunk by a Japanese submarine, no one knew about it for several days.

She was, of course, the USS Indianapolis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Indianapolis_(CA-35)).

Tedward
2008-Sep-04, 12:56 PM
Very emotive subject but once the tanks rolled in Europe (earlier in China, lets not forget),at that time in history like it or not, civilians became targets. The aggressors saw to that. Whether it was moral or manufacturing capability they became the unfortunate pawns in the battle on both sides.

A few thoughts.
The far east campaign had some very terrible episodes and certainly the way the Japanese military acted did them no favors. To both civilians and captured allied soldiers. You also have the military in a very fragment command and control across the far east and a Japan with no resources to speak of. Then you have to take into account actions like Iwo Jima. The society and the ability to send out suicide raids on a whim and fight to the last man despite overwhelming odds. Coupled with the military still thinking they could surrender and keep all gains you have one heck of a softening up to do before landing. The surrender had to be to the Potsdam agreement. On the back of all that the Stalin is going to invade Manchuria and make a massive grab in the area.

I think that at that time in history, many commanders would have taken that option. The alternative was far worse for many reasons.

Of course it is fine to sit back and be armchair generals.

Jeff Root
2008-Sep-04, 01:23 PM
The big advantage of the atomic bombs over conventional weapons as
they were used on Japan was how impressive they were: One explosion
to pretty much wipe out an entire city. If the drops were announced
beforehand but failed to work, their value would have been completely
negated. Not being announced beforehand meant that they had to be
dropped on real targets, or they would appear to be misses, which would
also negate their impressiveness.

I might hope that if we could go back in time and do things over again,
the decision to drop bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have been
made differently, but I think the circumstances probably didn't allow for
any other possibility. It was a really bad option, but it was the best
available.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Eta C
2008-Sep-04, 02:32 PM
When judging the actions of August 1945 one does need to remember the perspective of people at the time. As others have mentioned, the destruction of cities by bombing was a commonplace by that time both in the European and Pacific theaters. The use of an atomic bomb was, to some extent, a difference in method rather than a totally new tactic. Of course, nuclear weapons have different after-effects than firebombs, but that may not have been understood as much then as now.

There were other options, of course, but each had their problems. This isn't to say the nuclear bombing had no problems, but the commanders at the time felt it had fewer issues. Other options included:

Continued firebombing: This would have taken time, and probably caused as many or more civilian casualties as the atomic bombs did (albeit without the nuclear side-effects).

Invasion: Operations Olympic and Coronet were in the planning stage. It's hard to say how hard the Japanese would and could have resisted, but the impression, based on recent operations at Iwo Jima and Okinawa was that it would be brutal, with massive casualties on the American side and a fight to the death on the Japanese side. Thinking at the time was that anything that could eliminate the need for invasion was preferable.

Continued blockade: Some have argued that we had already strangled the Japanese supply lines by our submarine operations. This is true. So, the argument goes, keep the blockade an seige going until the Japanese surrendered. Again, it's hard to say how long they would have held out. And is starving them out really morally superior to bombing?

A final issue on all of these is the involvement of the Soviets. By August we had had a chance to see how they were organizing their occupation zones in Europe. I have to think that we wanted to limit their operations and their claim to an occupation zone in Japan. As it was, they were limited to a small area in the Kuriles as well as a sphere of influence in Korea. By the war ending when it did, the Soviets could not claim an occupation zone in the main Japanese islands. Think about it. Would it really be better to have had them occupy Hokkaido and perhaps the northern part of Honshu? How would the the world have been if there had been a North and South Japan in the same way there was East and West Germany?

A book I'd recommend on the whole topic is "Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire" by Richard Frank. He comes down on the side that without the atomic bombs, the Japanese were unlikely to surrender without invasion. It's an interesting read.

captain swoop
2008-Sep-04, 02:33 PM
Going by their experience of taking back the Pacific islands from rfelatively small garrisons of Japanese soldiers, I can see why the US military wanted a way to end the war without having to fight their way inch by inch across the Japanese Home Islands. I doubt that they would have had the stomach for the casualties they thought they were going to take.

Also look at the mentality of the Emperor, he couldn't surrender unless it was very obvious that there was an honourable way of doing so. Atomic bombs were a good excuse to surrender, there was no honour loast in notr fighting against such a terrible weapon.

Jens
2008-Sep-04, 02:43 PM
Continued blockade: Some have argued that we had already strangled the Japanese supply lines by our submarine operations.

I'm not disagreeing with anything you said. But I just wanted to point something out. At some point in your explanation, you switch silently from "the American side" to "our". I assume that you are American, and that you assume that everybody will understand that. But remember that this is a board that is accessible worldwide, and there are a lot of people for whom "we" won't necessarily mean "American."

* Especially since you say you come from the "heart of darkness," which I can only assume means the Congo. :-)

korjik
2008-Sep-04, 02:47 PM
When judging the actions of August 1945 one does need to remember the perspective of people at the time. As others have mentioned, the destruction of cities by bombing was a commonplace by that time both in the European and Pacific theaters. The use of an atomic bomb was, to some extent, a difference in method rather than a totally new tactic. Of course, nuclear weapons have different after-effects than firebombs, but that may not have been understood as much then as now.

There were other options, of course, but each had their problems. This isn't to say the nuclear bombing had no problems, but the commanders at the time felt it had fewer issues. Other options included:

Continued firebombing: This would have taken time, and probably caused as many or more civilian casualties as the atomic bombs did (albeit without the nuclear side-effects).

Invasion: Operations Olympic and Coronet were in the planning stage. It's hard to say how hard the Japanese would and could have resisted, but the impression, based on recent operations at Iwo Jima and Okinawa was that it would be brutal, with massive casualties on the American side and a fight to the death on the Japanese side. Thinking at the time was that anything that could eliminate the need for invasion was preferable.

Continued blockade: Some have argued that we had already strangled the Japanese supply lines by our submarine operations. This is true. So, the argument goes, keep the blockade an seige going until the Japanese surrendered. Again, it's hard to say how long they would have held out. And is starving them out really morally superior to bombing?

A final issue on all of these is the involvement of the Soviets. By August we had had a chance to see how they were organizing their occupation zones in Europe. I have to think that we wanted to limit their operations and their claim to an occupation zone in Japan. As it was, they were limited to a small area in the Kuriles as well as a sphere of influence in Korea. By the war ending when it did, the Soviets could not claim an occupation zone in the main Japanese islands. Think about it. Would it really be better to have had them occupy Hokkaido and perhaps the northern part of Honshu? How would the the world have been if there had been a North and South Japan in the same way there was East and West Germany?

A book I'd recommend on the whole topic is "Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire" by Richard Frank. He comes down on the side that without the atomic bombs, the Japanese were unlikely to surrender without invasion. It's an interesting read.

And the USSR probably would have kept Manchuria also.

JustAFriend
2008-Sep-04, 02:51 PM
The fact remains that the nuclear attacks were the deliberate mass killing of non-combatants.


I'm sure the quarter-million civilians killed by the Japanese in Nanking in 1937 (plus the millions more killed throughout China and Southeast Asia during the war) really cared about the bikering of 'international law' when it came time to stop the Imperial Japanese Army....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre

George
2008-Sep-04, 02:54 PM
Also look at the mentality of the Emperor, he couldn't surrender unless it was very obvious that there was an honourable way of doing so. Atomic bombs were a good excuse to surrender, there was no honour lost in not fighting against such a terrible weapon. But were the Japenese military convinced there would be no loss of honor? Their behavior speaks volumes to this topic.

korjik
2008-Sep-04, 02:55 PM
The fact remains that the nuclear attacks were the deliberate mass killing of non-combatants. I'd rather not divert the thread into a discussion of the reality of the dilemma you suppose, but do you think Nagasaki remains good law? If an enemy on whom the US had declared war, for example, Islamists, felt the most expedient way to bring their conflict with the US to an end was to detonate nuclear weapons in two US cities, would you accept that this was legally justified by the H/N precedent? Why not?

Dropping the atom bombs at the end of WW2 wasnt law.

Islamists arent a country, and would use nukes if they had them, so what is the point of the comparison?

Other than that, the reason the USA keeps a large store of nukes is to make sure that any country that might attack us knows that if they nuke us, we nuke them, and it is hard to win when everyone is dead. So, again, what is the point of the comparison?

Eta C
2008-Sep-04, 02:58 PM
I'm not disagreeing with anything you said. But I just wanted to point something out. At some point in your explanation, you switch silently from "the American side" to "our". I assume that you are American, and that you assume that everybody will understand that. But remember that this is a board that is accessible worldwide, and there are a lot of people for whom "we" won't necessarily mean "American."

* Especially since you say you come from the "heart of darkness," which I can only assume means the Congo. :-)

It is easy to forget the international nature of the net and the may non-American members of this board. For that I apologize. I am indeed American, and slipped into the "our" form rather quickly. It's sort of the same as the way people identify with sports teams (We won!). I'm reminded of how someone made fun of this by pointing out "They won. We watched."

As for the Heart of Darkness, it's an ironic reference to where I live: inside the DC Beltway. No political statement intended there one way or another.

Donnie B.
2008-Sep-04, 06:49 PM
So they wanted to kill Japanese civilians in large numbers. The rest is rationalization. Note the great haste with which the second bombing took place, only three days after the first, as if they were racing to get it in before the "Japs" surrendered. Three days is a little too short to expect the enemy to adapt to a complete revolution in strategic warfare.
Others have responded to this and some of your other points, timb, but I did want to give you a thought or two here. I also need to clarify things a bit about the "demonstration" issue.

The focus of the American decision makers was not on killing Japanese civilians in large numbers, per se. It was on ending the war as quickly as possible. In one way, you are absolutely correct: the American side didn't give a hoot if it cost one or a million Japanese casualties. But they did care very much about the number of American casualties, and using the bomb was deemed to be the way to minimize those.

The point you make about the short time interval between the attacks is quite valid, especially since it took the Japanese authorities the better part of a day even to figure out what happened. For several hours, all they knew is that they couldn't contact anyone in the Hiroshima area by any normal means. They actually sent a plane to fly into town and report back, and it wasn't until they got that report and heard Truman's public announcement that they understood.

But there was a rationale for dropping the second bomb promptly, and it was the one I mentioned above: they wanted to end the war now. A long interval between attacks might have given the impression that the first one was a one-off. The military planners wanted Japan to get the message that they would be hit again and again if they didn't accept Potsdam right away.

One little-known fact is that there was a strong faction in the Japanese military that wanted to continue the fight even after Nagasaki and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. When it became clear that the Emperor was going to approve the surrender, those hard-liners made a coup attempt. It failed, but one can't help but wonder what might have been.

Another thing that recent scholarship has uncovered is that the American estimates of the cost of an invasion may have been on the low side. Military planners were expecting to lose half a million troops or more, but we now know that there were far stronger and more numerous Japanese Army divisions in the invasion area than the US was expecting.

Eta C is correct: the use of the bomb was (secondarily) intended as a message to the Soviets. This was another argument against a demonstration -- using the bomb against an actual city would give a much clearer picture to the world (and world leaders) of the Bomb's impact on the future of international relations.

Finally, it's important to realize that "America" -- that is, the government's
decision makers -- were not of one mind on these issues even at the time. It's arguable that they were arguing from ignorance since it was difficult to grasp the bomb's enormous destructive power before it was actually used, or even after Hiroshima (but before the surrender, only after which could the US personnel examine the site first-hand).

I guess what I really want to say here is that those who faced the decision to use the bomb had to reconcile a lot of gray areas. It's a lot easier to play that game with 20/20 hindsight.

Donnie B.
2008-Sep-04, 06:58 PM
Oops, I forgot a couple points. Another argument against an announced demonstration was that the Japanese might move American POWs into the target area (whether populated or not). By the way, lack of POW facilities was one of the target selection criteria, but not the highest.

And to Neverfly: the Potsdam Declaration -- the final demand for unconditional surrender -- did include language that warned (in general terms) about destruction of Japanese cities. This was hardly news to the Japanese, since said destruction was already well underway thanks to LeMay's strategic bombing campaign. But there were no specific warnings about specific targets. This was impossible anyway, since on any given mission the primary target might have to be bypassed due to weather conditions or enemy actions. You couldn't very well announce "We're going to wipe out Hiroshima tomorrow, or maybe Kyoto..."

Gruesome
2008-Sep-04, 07:22 PM
I have just one thing to add....

War was the remedy chosen by the Japanese. Having made that choice, it was the (one could call it) duty of America to give them all it could. One might also check Wiki for the list of Japanese war atrocities.

So I have little sympathy for their plight.

Larry Jacks
2008-Sep-04, 08:38 PM
A false dichotomy and an irrelevancy. They were not compelled either to announce a demonstration in advance nor to inform the Japanese of its location. A bomber going off 10 miles from any Japanese city would be quite an effective demonstration. Whether the bombing was a demonstration or not the bomb might fizzle. A dud that fell in the city would be much more likely to be found quickly than one that fell in the countryside, so dropping the bomb over a city increased that risk.

I've heard people suggest that a demonstration of the atomic bomb would've been sufficient but that simply makes no sense. The Japanese didn't surrender after Hiroshima was bombed. They didn't surrender until 3 days after Nagasaki was bombed and even that was opposed by hardliners. If the destruction of two cities wasn't enough to make the Japanese immediately surrender, it defies reason to believe that a demonstration in an uninhabited area would be sufficient to do the job.

korjik
2008-Sep-04, 08:49 PM
Also, a demonstration strike would also warn the Japanese, and they would start taking countermeasures.

Simply dispersing the population as much as possible would make for a good start.

geonuc
2008-Sep-04, 10:15 PM
I fear knowledge and understanding of the true motivations and circumstances of those involved with dropping the bombs is starting to be lost. And that's a shame.

Van Rijn
2008-Sep-04, 10:21 PM
I fear knowledge and understanding of the true motivations and circumstances of those involved with dropping the bombs is starting to be lost. And that's a shame.

I agree. I'm one step removed from that generation, and I know I can't really understand what my parents witnessed and felt, but when I hear folks two or three steps removed, it's often obvious they have no concept of what total war was like.

Romanus
2008-Sep-04, 10:48 PM
<<The focus of the American decision makers was not on killing Japanese civilians in large numbers, per se. It was on ending the war as quickly as possible. In one way, you are absolutely correct: the American side didn't give a hoot if it cost one or a million Japanese casualties. But they did care very much about the number of American casualties, and using the bomb was deemed to be the way to minimize those.>>

A good point. Another one that I've rarely seen discussed is what would might have happened if we'd had the bomb but refused to use it. Imagine if, after the costly invasion and (possible) Soviet occupation of parts of Japan it came out that the U.S. had had a weapon that *might* have ended the war months earlier, but that had been put aside because of concerns for Japanese civilians. As one writer put it, such a revelation would have been political suicide.

I think the bombings were unilaterally horrific, but I've seen no better summation of the decision to use them than one put forth by an American WW II veteran: "It was a terrible weapon to end a terrible war."

stutefish
2008-Sep-04, 11:14 PM
Another thing to consider is that "concern for civilians" was a very different thing in the context of the total industrial warfare waged in the first half of the 20th century.

These weren't low-intensity conflicts. These weren't a great power fighting against a guerrilla insurgency. These weren't modern wars with the luxury of ever-more-accurate precision munitions, an ever-more-pervasive media presence, and a near-fanatical public sentiment against militaristic violence and horror of any kind.

These were entire nations mobilized for warfare: their every human and material resource comitted to the principle of victory over their enemies at any cost. Every possible political, industrial, commercial, and technological advantage was aggressively sought and ruthlessly implemented, at all levels of society, in every nation involved in the war.

I think it is ignorant and unfair to judge those who found themselves engaged in total industrial war, by enemies who did not hesitate to engage in it, according to today's moral standards of warfare.

hhEb09'1
2008-Sep-04, 11:21 PM
A good point. Another one that I've rarely seen discussed is what would might have happened if we'd had the bomb but refused to use it. Imagine if, after the costly invasion and (possible) Soviet occupation of parts of Japan it came out that the U.S. had had a weapon that *might* have ended the war months earlier, but that had been put aside because of concerns for Japanese civilians. As one writer put it, such a revelation would have been political suicide.I'm not a fan of atomic reprisal by any means, but another point seldom discussed is the alternate history scenario where efficient and widely held nuclear devices are readied without the horrible lessons of those two cities' destruction. Maybe we, as a world, would've been more reckless, leading up to the millennium.

Tedward
2008-Sep-04, 11:29 PM
Another thing to bear in mind, bombing in those days was not the precision we see demonstrated by the military today. Even trying to stay on dedicated military or production targets would inevitably involve civilians. There were circumstances where it was achieved but it could not be repeated on every raid. At the start of the war bombing was to some extent ineffective. Then when the heavies came out and methods improved and the capacity for delivery obviously greatly increased then did the damage.

mugaliens
2008-Sep-04, 11:49 PM
Do you have a reference for that? I think you may be a victim of victor's history.

And I think you may be a victem of revisionist history.

Here's your reference. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki#Events_o f_August_7-9)

Here's another: Rezelman, David; F.G. Gosling and Terrence R. Fehner (2000). "THE ATOMIC BOMBING OF HIROSHIMA (http://www.cfo.doe.gov/me70/manhattan/hiroshima.htm)". The Manhattan Project: An Interactive History (http://www.cfo.doe.gov/me70/manhattan/index.htm). U.S. Department of Energy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Department_of_Energy).

And another: Bix, Herbert (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Bix) (1996). "Japan's Delayed Surrender: A Reinterpretation", in Michael J. Hogan, ed.: Hiroshima in History and Memory. Cambridge University Press, 290. ISBN 0-521-56682-7 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/0521566827)

And another: Terasaki Hidenari, Sh˘wa tenn˘ dokuhakuroku, 1991.

Jens
2008-Sep-05, 01:42 AM
War was the remedy chosen by the Japanese. Having made that choice, it was the (one could call it) duty of America to give them all it could. One might also check Wiki for the list of Japanese war atrocities.


Just two points.

One is, sure, it was a remedy they chose, but war has been quite common throughout human history and they were hardly the first to choose it. Although it's gotten somewhat of a bad name recently, it used to be the common way for resolving international disputes. And yes, what the Japanese did in the war was reprehensible in many ways.

But where I'd disagree slightly is when you say you have "little sympathy." One issue with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and with aerial bombardment in general, is that the people who were killed are in many cases people with no responsibility, i.e. children. If you could design a bomb that just killed soldiers (OK, maybe adults as well, who support war), then I could agree more, but it's really unfortunate that children get killed, and I do have sympathy.

Neverfly
2008-Sep-05, 01:48 AM
I think it's a moot point.

The actions of one do not justify the actions of another.

Either way, the bombs ended the war and also taught us a great lesson through history.

Who knows what would have happened had we not witnessed their terrible destructive power.

But yes, I deeply sympathize with those who suffered for the bombs. I think most people do.
And we all fervently hope that such drastic measures are never required ever again.

So as the history stands- It was necessary and even saved many lives in spite of the cost.
But as humanity stands, it was a cold hard lesson we can never forget. No one gets to forgo mourning the lives lost.

timb
2008-Sep-05, 05:54 AM
I will answer the numerous posters who have responded collectively as I do not have the time to do so individually. I don't have the time to continue this thread, so feel free to declare victory and move on. I did not intend to derail the LHC thread when I responded to some assertions concerning the nuclear bombings by Stuart van Onselen that I thought were questionable. Ironically he is one of the few posters in the LHC thread who hasn't replied to me.

I'm not sure that the bombing hurt the USSR, or that it was intended to keep them out of the war. Roosevelt had asked Stalin to join the war against Japan at Yalta only six months earlier, so it would have been a reversal of policy to try to keep the Russians out of the war. The Soviets attacked Manchuria immediately after the first bombing, presumably intent on grabbing as much territory as they could before Japan surrendered. Later China went red too, and the USSR eventually left Manchuria (1955?) to their fraternal allies, taking everything movable of value with them.

If anything the way the allies in general and the US in particular conducted themselves around this time seems to have been calculated to help the USSR. Why surrender nearly half of Poland de jure and the eastern half of Europe de facto to the Soviets when you have the greatest weapon in the world? Why try to draw them into a war on your side when you have already done all the hard work of bringing the enemy to the verge of defeat?

Enforcing the Potsdam Declaration is a poor justification for reasons that should be obvious: if that reasoning were followed then any thug could use his threats to justify his acts of brutality. If doing X isn't justified then threatening to do X is wrong too. The unconditional surrender of Japan might have been desirable, but why was it an absolute necessity? It makes the enemy maximally resistant to giving up the war because for all he knows you intend to genocide his population after winning. A demand for unconditional surrender is a refusal to rule out anything.

I don't know exactly why nuclear weapons were used in the way they were. I know that many of the justifications offered don't make sense, and these are often backed by patently false assertions (such as that advance warning was given to civilians to evacuate) and false dichotomies (eg the only alternatives were nuking cities as quick as we could or a horribly costly ground invasion).

I think what's needed is a good conspiracy theory to explain all this. Roosevelt being a commie would be a good place to start.
:silenced:

Jens
2008-Sep-05, 06:03 AM
I think what's needed is a good conspiracy theory to explain all this. Roosevelt being a commie would be a good place to start.
:silenced:

Assuming you mean that seriously, it seems ludicrous to me. The insinuation that FDR might have secretly wanted the USSR to take over the world or something like that is really not a serious possibility. He may certainly have had socialistic leanings, but so did Mao and he didn't invite the USSR to take over China -- far from it. Communists can be nationalists like anybody else.

Van Rijn
2008-Sep-05, 06:30 AM
The unconditional surrender of Japan might have been desirable, but why was it an absolute necessity? It makes the enemy maximally resistant to giving up the war because for all he knows you intend to genocide his population after winning. A demand for unconditional surrender is a refusal to rule out anything.


The terms for the Potsdam Declaration called for the unconditional surrender of the Japanese armed forces, but it laid out limitations of the surrender, specifically noting that the Japanese were not to be enslaved or destroyed if they surrendered.

The Japanese leadership had been attempting to retain control and was even hoping to keep some of the territory it had grabbed during the war. As I already mentioned in an earlier post, allowing the Japanese government to set favorable terms for their own surrender was absolutely not acceptable. If you don't understand that, you don't understand anything about the realities of that war.


false dichotomies (eg the only alternatives were nuking cities as quick as we could or a horribly costly ground invasion).

I don't see where there was an obviously better choice. Pretty much any realistic option meant a lot of Japanese were going to die, and most of the choices meant more Allied forces were going to die.

Tedward
2008-Sep-05, 08:02 AM
I'm not sure that the bombing hurt the USSR, or that it was intended to keep them out of the war. Roosevelt had asked Stalin to join the war against Japan at Yalta only six months earlier, so it would have been a reversal of policy to try to keep the Russians out of the war. The Soviets attacked Manchuria immediately after the first bombing, presumably intent on grabbing as much territory as they could before Japan surrendered. Later China went red too, and the USSR eventually left Manchuria (1955?) to their fraternal allies, taking everything movable of value with them.

Part of the problem the USSR had been seen for what it was. I think it felt it was greatly wronged (which it was but then it also played both sides in both theaters) and wanted reparations on a grand scale. Or rather Stalin did. Must not forget the personalities behind the scenes here. The bombing needed to end the war quickly. For many reasons but also to stop the USSR in its maniacal land grab and send a message. The plan for the world after the final surrender, good or bad, had been made.

If anything the way the allies in general and the US in particular conducted themselves around this time seems to have been calculated to help the USSR. Why surrender nearly half of Poland de jure and the eastern half of Europe de facto to the Soviets when you have the greatest weapon in the world? Why try to draw them into a war on your side when you have already done all the hard work of bringing the enemy to the verge of defeat?

Not sure the allies had any choice in the matter though Churchill would have liked to have seen free elections. Afraid it is back to personalities? You would then have to fight a well armed (best tanks at the time) already mobilised and fired up army. Lobbing the odd nuke would not have done much and it would have made things worse.

Enforcing the Potsdam Declaration is a poor justification for reasons that should be obvious: if that reasoning were followed then any thug could use his threats to justify his acts of brutality. If doing X isn't justified then threatening to do X is wrong too. The unconditional surrender of Japan might have been desirable, but why was it an absolute necessity? It makes the enemy maximally resistant to giving up the war because for all he knows you intend to genocide his population after winning. A demand for unconditional surrender is a refusal to rule out anything.

Sorry, had another reply here but to quote a famous Torquay hotel owner confronted by the enemy some years after the war "they started it". The terms were quite clear. Look them up, they are on the web.

I don't know exactly why nuclear weapons were used in the way they were. I know that many of the justifications offered don't make sense, and these are often backed by patently false assertions (such as that advance warning was given to civilians to evacuate) and false dichotomies (eg the only alternatives were nuking cities as quick as we could or a horribly costly ground invasion).

I think what's needed is a good conspiracy theory to explain all this. Roosevelt being a commie would be a good place to start.

The reasons are out there and freely given. Trying to shock a very belligerent enemy into giving up what was already an untenable situation and avoid massive loss of life. You also need a stable government. Add to the pot that the weapon was new and not really understood. I believe that the radiation was not really understood but what alternatives? To carry on with blockade or invasion? What results do you think there would be?

Jens
2008-Sep-05, 08:56 AM
Sorry, had another reply here but to quote a famous Torquay hotel owner confronted by the enemy some years after the war "they started it". The terms were quite clear. Look them up, they are on the web.


Actually, this whole thread has been going against his basic injunction, hasn't it. Whatever you do, DON'T MENTION THE WAR!

Salty
2008-Sep-05, 09:38 AM
Stutefish says -

"I think it is ignorant and unfair to judge those who found themselves engaged in total industrial war, by enemies who did not hesitate to engage in it, according to today's moral standards of warfare."

Thank you. I was born during WWII.
I've always thought and felt, that it's unwise to judge the past by today's standards. Imho, the past should be judged by the standards of that day.

Salty
2008-Sep-05, 10:42 AM
Timb, WWII was a completely different planet, than the one you know.
The people had different standards, than we do. The governments and media were different, than now.

Now, to a few points.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki explosions cast shadows, all the way up to 9/11.

Let me explain, and the explanation will include my few points. In those days, honor was big among nations and governments. There was an international code, whether written or unwritten, which required a declaration of war, before starting a war. This was very serious. Since war was recognized as a policy of government, and since war is hell, there were limitations upon waging war.

Now, for some reason, on Dec 6, 1941, the Japanese Abassador to US of A did not have his secretary at work. He receives and his decoders decipher, Japan's declaration of war upon the US of A. This took time. Then, without a secretary, the Ambassador had to have the declaration translated into English, and typed. I think the Ambassador translated it. He was a slow typist. By the time he got all that done, went to US of A Dept of State or to the President's office, or whomever, with the English language translation of Japan's declaration of war upon the US of A, bombs were falling on Pearl Harbor.

If you have no honor nor cannot understand honor, you can in no way realize the signifigance of the above, at that time. President F D Roosevelt rightly called the attack, a "Day of Infamy."

During the war, the atrocities beyond the acceptable limits of war, by the Imperiial Japanese armed forces, turned the world's stomach.

American families were torn asunder, as the boys and men went to war. All my uncles and my dad were in uniform. I was raised by my mother, grandmother and aunts, until the end of the war. That's what Pearl Harbor did to me. Deprived me of my dad, until his return after the war. American women and children grieved both temporary and permament losses of men.
Grief was a big component behind dropping the bomb.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and modern technology, were the end result.

Those two bombs, and the B-29s that dropped them, made permament changes in military and government viewpoints. Until then, there were medium and heavy bombers, as well as fighter-bombers. On August 8, the concept of strategic bomber came into being. Because, on that date, we demonstrated that we could do in a few minutes, with one bomber and bomb, what once required hundreds of bombers and thousands of bombs nights and days of bombing to accomplish: the destruction of a city.

I said that Pearl Harbor took American men, including my father, and uncles
from both sides of my family, temporarily from me. Now, let me tell you, what Hiroshima and Nagasaki gave me. My senior year in HS, 1960-61, was spent in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I was raised in an USAF family. Just north of the 'Springs was the USAF Academy; about twenty miles south was Ft. Carson, an Army Armor training camp and armor depot. Just west of the city was Cheyenne Mountain, in which was the continental Air Defense Command (ADC) nerve center. That is to say, Colorado Springs and envirions were strategic targets, in the event of war with the USSR. I volunteered and joined the Colorado Springs Junior Civil Defense, during my senior year of HS. I was a Radiological Monitor. I learned to read a Geiger counter. My job was, after the bombs or missles fell on and around the city; when told, I would come out of the air raid shelter, first. And I would check radiation levels of ground and buildings; to see if it were safe for civilians to come out.
That job came directly from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We saw confidential films, of what the bombs had done the day of their drop, and what radiation from the bombs did, weeks, months, and years after the dropping of those two bombs.

Our government had not run tests, to see what radiation from the two atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, would do. The rapid war simply did not allow the time, to test for radiation results, before using them. Later, our government did test for radiation, on our own troops.

This next point is a deep pet peeve of mine, and I hope the moderator lets me post it. At or the day after 9/11/01, President Bush claims the 9/11 attack as a "Day of Infamy". I wish he'd never said that. For several reasons, NYC WTC in no way compares with Pearl Harbor. The Pentagon attack did, but that's not where the infamy lays. I have to give an honest assessment of my President's and American previous administrations.

Before bombing the Marine Barracks in Berieut, Lebanon, the Hezbollah declared war. Thereafter, for twenty years, declaration of war followed by act of war was continually repeated by Wahabbi and Al Quedah jihadists.

I'm sorry. I really am sorry, that the only infamy attached to 9/11 was commintted time and again by American administration after administration, while ignoring declarations of, and acts of, war against American overseas interests and military for twenty years.

That's been on my chest, since Pres. Bush said "...day of infamy..." in regards to 9/11. There was only one Day of Infamy, and that was in Pearl Harbor, that Sunday Dec 7 of 1941 morning.

I daresay, that no Iranian government figure has seen documentation of what fission bombs do to the land, buildings, people, crops and livestock of a nation. Because, there is no way they would scorn a nuclear attack on Iran, if they had. I've seen it, in both Civil Defense and USMC training films. No sane governor would call that upon his nation. And, only a terribly greived and angry nation, would inflict it upon another nation.
Because of that, and today's civilian brainwashed la-de-da attitude toward defense, I doubt we'll ever see an American nuclear strike against a jihad training camp.
We, to date, certainly have no grief nor anger enough to deploy nukes against another nation.

In defense of America, for a year or so in 1945 on, we had the means to both conquer and subjigate the entire civilized world. We did not. We stood, then and now, for freedom: both ours and others'. When our nation has been torn from that standard, this planet is doomed.

Neverfly
2008-Sep-05, 11:00 AM
I agree with almost everything you said up til now- but I have some points to pick.


That job came directly from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We saw confidential films, of what the bombs had done the day of their drop, and what radiation from the bombs did, weeks, months, and years after the dropping of those two bombs.
Recent testing and measurement indicates that the radioactive effects are FAR BELOW what decades of propaganda have claimed.


Our government had not run tests, to see what radiation from the two atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, would do. The rapid war simply did not allow the time, to test for radiation results, before using them. Later, our government did test for radiation, on our own troops.
Covertly? This sounds like a conspiracy theory- a common one.
Provide evidence that the US military tested radiation on its own troops.




In defense of America, for a year or so in 1945 on, we had the means to both conquer and subjigate the entire civilized world. We did not. We stood, then and now, for freedom: both ours and others'. When our nation has been torn from that standard, this planet is doomed.
<applause>

Donnie B.
2008-Sep-05, 11:15 AM
Salty, I suggest you read Jim's post (#13) very carefully. I'm not a moderator, but it seems to me your latest post is pushing the envelope of what's acceptable here. There are plenty of other fora where you can get such thoughts off your chest.

Concerning radiation, the Manhattan Project scientists certainly did appreciate the danger. In fact, considerations were made and precautions were taken -- but for the Americans who would be entering the cities after the war, not for the Japanese. I have never seen any evidence that the question of radiation entered into the thought process of the Target Committee. After all, they were already planning to kill thousands of people by blast and fire; I doubt there was much hand-wringing about the bombs' more subtle effects.

Salty
2008-Sep-05, 11:25 AM
I agree with almost everything you said up til now- but I have some points to pick.

Recent testing and measurement indicates that the radioactive effects are FAR BELOW what decades of propaganda have claimed.

Then, sir, I daresay you have read revisionist history. Which is to say, I seriously doubt the validity of recent testing and measurement.



Covertly? This sounds like a conspiracy theory- a common one.
Provide evidence that the US military tested radiation on its own troops.

Here you have it: read it and weep.
I love my country, but I'm not blind to her faults. Tell me, though, upon who else's troops were we to test an atomic weapon's radiation?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mJI4Os8HF8




<applause>

Neverfly
2008-Sep-05, 11:32 AM
Then, sir, I daresay you have read revisionist history. Which is to say, I seriously doubt the validity of recent testing and measurement.
Not history at all Salty.

Science.

[ETA: Maybe someone else can help me out here. Im just No Good at Google searches etc. Never can get the keywords right.
Someone posted a couple links to some pretty thorough studies on this right here on BAUT a few months back. Anyone remember who that was or where those links are?]


And a YouTube video is not evidence.

Salty
2008-Sep-05, 11:42 AM
Salty, I suggest you read Jim's post (#13) very carefully. I'm not a moderator, but it seems to me your latest post is pushing the envelope of what's acceptable here. There are plenty of other fora where you can get such thoughts off your chest.

I reread the first, and then read all the other posts on this thread, before I posted anything.
I just now reread Jim's post.
I wanted to show the connection between Pearl Harbor and 9/11 was not there. I did show what connections were there.
I can't speak for the moderator. He did warn it could get political. I remind you, I was pointing out what I considered was my governent's fault. I didn't bash any government, American or other.


Concerning radiation, the Manhattan Project scientists certainly did appreciate the danger. In fact, considerations were made and precautions were taken -- but for the Americans who would be entering the cities after the war, not for the Japanese. I have never seen any evidence that the question of radiation entered into the thought process of the Target Committee. After all, they were already planning to kill thousands of people by blast and fire; I doubt there was much hand-wringing about the bombs' more subtle effects.

Well, let me conclude my comments about this, in reply to this part of your post. Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atom bombs were a necessary evil.
I guess you could call any war, that.
But, more so, in this instance.
On the one hand, I am appalled by the radiation casualties. On the other hand, they allowed their government to start a war.
Just goes to show, how govern ment should be of the people, for the people and by the people.

geonuc
2008-Sep-05, 11:46 AM
Not history at all Salty.

Science.

[ETA: Maybe someone else can help me out here. Im just No Good at Google searches etc. Never can get the keywords right.
Someone posted a couple links to some pretty thorough studies on this right here on BAUT a few months back. Anyone remember who that was or where those links are?]

I don't have the time or inclination to look for references (this is OTB, after all), but you're right, 'fly. As more research is done on the effects of radiation, the conclusion seems to be that it is not as dangerous as previously supposed. Which is not to say you should sprinkle radioactive material on your Corn Flakes. There is, however, still a debate as to whether or not there is a 'threshold' level of dose, below which there is no effect at all.

As to subjecting our troops to radiation - yes, it happened. We detonated some bombs and had some soldiers nearby to gauge the effect. It's pretty well documented. I'm not sure the aim was to see what radiation would do to them. I think it was more to see what battle field conditions would be like in a nuclear exchange. Could be wrong about that.

Larry Jacks
2008-Sep-05, 01:08 PM
I'm not sure the aim was to see what radiation would do to them. I think it was more to see what battle field conditions would be like in a nuclear exchange. Could be wrong about that.

I think it was a bit of both. I've seen some old training footage where they detonated bombs fairly close to the troops and had them perform military operations afterwards. The goal was to show the troops they could survive and operate in a nuclear war. The footage of China's first nuclear weapons detonation shows a lot of this. I'm reasonably confident that the Soviet Union did it, too. At the same time, many tests were to determine the effects of nuclear weapons on military hardware (as described in this article (http://www.airspacemag.com/military-aviation/Lockheeds_Missing_Link.html)) and on personnel.

Harry Truman knew nothing of the Manhattan Project until he became president following FDR's death. Following the high casualties on Iwo Jima and Okinawa, he really had no chose but to use the atomic bombs in a hope to end the war without requiring an invasion of the Japanese home islands. Analysts at the time predicted the invasions would results in as many as a million American casualties (killed, wounded, missing in action, and captured) and several million Japanese deaths. Had Truman not used the bombs and America suffered those casualties, there would've been an uproar like never heard in this country. I've talked to more than a few American WWII vets who're convinced those bombs saved their lives.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki had substancial military installations. They weren't completely civilian targets. In a war where wholesale bombing of population centers was commonplace by both sides, these attacks were only different in that they involved nuclear weapons. As but a single example, the firebombing raids on Tokyo earlier in 1945 killed more people (mostly civilians) than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.

Jens
2008-Sep-05, 01:25 PM
Timb
In defense of America, for a year or so in 1945 on, we had the means to both conquer and subjigate the entire civilized world. We did not. We stood, then and now, for freedom: both ours and others'. When our nation has been torn from that standard, this planet is doomed.

I'm sort of shocked by this statement, but maybe I misunderstand you. It seems that you are saying that the United States is the sold country in the world that has the power to save the planet or some such thing. Are you essentially stating that if the US has the will to police the planet, things will be fine, but if the US gives that up, then other nations will be incapable of handling things? Do you essentially take the position that the US is a special country that, alone of all countries, is capable of solving problems?

The Supreme Canuck
2008-Sep-05, 01:32 PM
Neverfly:

I think you will find this report on the DOE website to be the definitive source of information on US human subject radiation experimentation. It is the final report of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experimentation, created by executive order of President Clinton in 1994 to investigate and document all cases of human radiation studies conducted in the US.

Link (http://www.hss.energy.gov/healthsafety/ohre/roadmap/index.html)

The full report is available here.

Link (http://www.hss.energy.gov/healthsafety/ohre/roadmap/achre/index.html)

Especially relevant is this list of all experiments conducted by the US government on human subjects.

Link (http://www.hss.energy.gov/healthsafety/ohre/roadmap/experiments/index.html)

The DOD has a similar report, which is difficult to find online. There is a press release available on the DOD website, though, that indicates such a report is available. Interesting to note is this quotation:


The Department also conducted radiation-related research in connection with atmospheric nuclear weapons tests until 1962, when such tests ceased. Much of this information is also in open literature.

Link (http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=1376)

So there you have it. The United States government has indeed conducted radiation experiments on human subjects. The vast majority were medical experiments and led to treatments such as radiation therapy. Others, especially the DOD atmospheric tests, obviously have military applications. The Fernald School test was especially bad.

Jens
2008-Sep-05, 01:41 PM
I'm sorry. I really am sorry, that the only infamy attached to 9/11 was commintted time and again by American administration after administration, while ignoring declarations of, and acts of, war against American overseas interests and military for twenty years.


Before I say this, let me just state my position: I'm an American, but who has lived abroad for about half of my life. So I've witnessed a number of reactions. Whether right or wrong, it so happens that those words are repeated around the world. Even today, Japanese people complain that their government has ignored threats against Japanese interests overseas. Koreans complain that their government ignores threats against their interests overseas. Russians complain that their government ignores threats from overseas, as seen in the recent situation where the Georgian army invaded some areas where Russian ethnic people were living. It might seem naive, but it almost seems like a universal phenomenon that people complain that their government doesn't take care of their interests abroad. Since you were born earlier than I was, you are probably sensitive to the accusation that the US government ignored the problem of American citizens being held in Lebanon in the 1970s or 1980s. But today as well, Japanese people complain that their government does nothing for the sake of Japanese people who were abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s. Perhaps, the only point being that citizens of all nations basically believe that their state agency is not doing enough for them. I'm not sure how we could get a situation where everybody was satisfied, however.

Neverfly
2008-Sep-05, 02:01 PM
Thank you The Supreme Canuck.

And might I add-- Have not seen you posting in a while.
Glad to see you back and I hope you're doing well:)

The Supreme Canuck
2008-Sep-05, 02:04 PM
No problem - I figure a DOE report is more reliable than a YouTube video. Even though I find that particular video fairly compelling. For the record, that's probably one of the Desert Rock tests, but there's no reference on the video. I know the DOE has a number of test videos available online. I wonder if I can pin a test to that video?

I'm doing well, thank you. I've moved back to my university town for the school year. It's been a hassle getting the internet up and running here.

Edit: I'd say the video shown is of the Desert Rock VI test, but I can't be sure.

Matherly
2008-Sep-05, 02:20 PM
Which is not to say you should sprinkle radioactive material on your Corn Flakes.

(Matherly looks up from his bowl of Corn Flakes with Oat and Plutonium Clusterstm)

Aw crap.

Neverfly
2008-Sep-05, 02:32 PM
(Matherly looks up from his bowl of Corn Flakes with Oat and Plutonium Clusterstm)

Aw crap.

You're alright. It's only Plutonium:)

I just had a quart of Uranium238 Eggnog and I'm feeling a bit lightheaded...:doh:

geonuc
2008-Sep-05, 03:46 PM
I'm sort of shocked by this statement, but maybe I misunderstand you.
As Salty has said he'll be out for the weekend, let me respond and say I think you may have taken his statement wrong.

As I see it, although his rhetoric is a bit chauvanistic for my tastes, Salty states that the USA had the power to subjugate the world, post WWII. It chose not to, which is good. Probably wouldn't have worked out well anyway. Now, although we no longer have quite that power, we still retain enough to make the world a miserable place were we to abandon our democratic principles and, say, go all Soviet Union on everybody. I think that's all he's saying. Certainly, other countries/alliances have considerable power to influence world events and keep the peace, even without active US participation. The EU, for example.

slang
2008-Sep-05, 05:02 PM
I'm sort of shocked by this statement, but maybe I misunderstand you. It seems that you are saying that the United States is the sold country in the world that has the power to save the planet or some such thing.

I think you missed the "for a year or so" part. I'm not so sure that it's true, A-bombs are not magic, and supply was pretty limited. Could they have stood up to the rest of the world? I doubt it, it would have gotten pretty ugly. Was it by choice that they didnt? I'm not too sure about that either. I think it was more a matter of the chips landing as they fell at the end of the war, with the USA ending up as the most powerful victor. At least for a while.

Tedward
2008-Sep-05, 05:24 PM
USSR would have been a tough nut to crack, nukes or no nukes. There are limitations to the weapons.

Salty
2008-Sep-09, 11:13 AM
I'm sort of shocked by this statement, but maybe I misunderstand you. It seems that you are saying that the United States is the sold country in the world that has the power to save the planet or some such thing.

It's not the power. It's sharing freedom.
Different civilizations have impacted this planet different ways. For example, the British empire thought it civilizied other civilizations. Rather, it merely Anglizied them.
America scares the governments of other nations, world wide, because we believe in and share freedom of the individual. That is a threat to power based governments.


Are you essentially stating that if the US has the will to police the planet, things will be fine, but if the US gives that up, then other nations will be incapable of handling things?

You said that. Tell me, what other nation would you prefer to police the planet? Keep in mind, we are the UN's armed force. Frankly, I wish we would not police the planet. Let all the powerholic governments rip each other to pieces.


Do you essentially take the position that the US is a special country that, alone of all countries, is capable of solving problems?

No, the salvation of the planet is from Israel, rather than neither the UN nor US of A.

FYI, there are three USs in the Western Hemishpere. I presume you mean US of A? Rather than the Estados Unidas de Mexico or Brazil?

geonuc
2008-Sep-09, 11:21 AM
FYI, there are three USs in the Western Hemishpere. I presume you mean US of A? Rather than the Estados Unidas de Mexico or Brazil?
I think we all know what is meant by 'US'. Brazil is actually the Federal (Federative) Republic of Brazil. It used to be called the US of Brazil.

Salty
2008-Sep-09, 11:22 AM
Before I say this, let me just state my position: I'm an American, but who has lived abroad for about half of my life. So I've witnessed a number of reactions. Whether right or wrong, it so happens that those words are repeated around the world. Even today, Japanese people complain that their government has ignored threats against Japanese interests overseas. Koreans complain that their government ignores threats against their interests overseas. Russians complain that their government ignores threats from overseas, as seen in the recent situation where the Georgian army invaded some areas where Russian ethnic people were living. It might seem naive, but it almost seems like a universal phenomenon that people complain that their government doesn't take care of their interests abroad. Since you were born earlier than I was, you are probably sensitive to the accusation that the US government ignored the problem of American citizens being held in Lebanon in the 1970s or 1980s. But today as well, Japanese people complain that their government does nothing for the sake of Japanese people who were abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s. Perhaps, the only point being that citizens of all nations basically believe that their state agency is not doing enough for them. I'm not sure how we could get a situation where everybody was satisfied, however.

I agree that many nations hesitate to protect overseas interests. However, that diverges from my point.

My point remains, that declaration of war after declaration of war was followed by act of war after act of war, for twenty years. Did Russia or Japan have war declared and enacted upon them for twenty years and do nothing? Russia's doing something, now. South Korea may resemble US of A situation, but not really. North Korea harassess them, but Al-Quedah against US of A is NGO vs nation. North and South Korea are nation vs nation.

Salty
2008-Sep-09, 11:27 AM
As Salty has said he'll be out for the weekend, let me respond and say I think you may have taken his statement wrong.

As I see it, although his rhetoric is a bit chauvanistic for my tastes, Salty states that the USA had the power to subjugate the world, post WWII. It chose not to, which is good. Probably wouldn't have worked out well anyway. Now, although we no longer have quite that power, we still retain enough to make the world a miserable place were we to abandon our democratic principles and, say, go all Soviet Union on everybody. I think that's all he's saying. Certainly, other countries/alliances have considerable power to influence world events and keep the peace, even without active US participation. The EU, for example.

Thank you, geonuc.
You're so much more tactful, than me.:hand:

Salty
2008-Sep-09, 11:33 AM
USSR would have been a tough nut to crack, nukes or no nukes. There are limitations to the weapons.

Actually, the old axioms that no nation can successfully invade:
Russia
US of A
China
remains true.

Even with today's quanity of nukes, the devastation required to subdue any of these nations would produce unintended consequences across the entire globe.

Salty
2008-Sep-09, 11:37 AM
I think we all know what is meant by 'US'. Brazil is actually the Federal (Federative) Republic of Brazil. It used to be called the US of Brazil.

I was thinking of anybody from either of those nations, which read these posts. Us New Worlders have to stick together. All our forebearers came here to get away from way things done in Old World. Old World still not where it's at.

Thank you, for that update, about Brazil.

Salty
2008-Sep-09, 11:40 AM
I'' be back, tonight.

I'm glad WWII turned out, the way it did. I'm glad the Cold War turned out the way it did.

I'll bet most of ya'll are, too, when you think about it.

Tedward
2008-Sep-09, 12:09 PM
Actually, the old axioms that no nation can successfully invade:
Russia
US of A
China
remains true.

Even with today's quanity of nukes, the devastation required to subdue any of these nations would produce unintended consequences across the entire globe.


Also they had a well trained and ready army in the field. Capable airforce and the fighting will.

Argos
2008-Sep-09, 12:59 PM
It used to be called the US of Brazil.

I was born in the USB. A pity it┤s changed. I liked that name...

Jim
2008-Sep-09, 02:02 PM
... USB ... I liked that name...

Didn't Microsoft usurp those initials? Only Bill Gates has the power or the chutzpah to swipe a country's initials because he wants them for a computer term. I guess we're just lucky he chose to call it a Bus instead of an Accessway.

(Yeah, yeah, I know... all wrong. But I couldn't pass up the cheap laugh at Microsoft's expense. So sue me.)

(You don't think he will, do you?)

Argos
2008-Sep-09, 02:09 PM
Good one. :)

HenrikOlsen
2008-Sep-10, 04:45 AM
It's not the power. It's sharing freedom.
So how does this rosy tinted view of the US's place in the world fit with their unbending support of Saudi Arabia, one of the most repressive societies in the world, because that keeps the oil flowing?
... or with the US sponsored failed coup in Venezuela that attempted to remove the democratically elected president because he raised the price of oil?

Sorry, I think your idea it what place the US has in the world is hopelessly naive.

Jeff Root
2008-Sep-10, 06:30 AM
Henrik,

His view may be naive, but it isn't as naive as mine, and I don't think
mine is hopelessly naive.

I really liked the concluding statement of Salty's post #49, as interpreted
by geonuc in post #64.

Power corrupts. Democracy tends to stop it from getting out of hand.
It's scary that it doesn't always work.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Salty
2008-Sep-10, 11:39 AM
Also they had a well trained and ready army in the field. Capable airforce and the fighting will.

You're quite right, and such in the field armed forces makes a hard task more difficult.

However, US of A armed forces have been deployed in Asia, and leaves very little reserves in US of A, for domestic defense. Probably OK, as there seems to be no threat of conventional invasion of America on the horizon.

Stormwatch
2008-Sep-10, 11:49 AM
I was told that politics was a strictly prohibited topic here. I'll be having a word with the person who told me that.


... or with the US sponsored failed coup in Venezuela that attempted to remove the democratically elected president because he raised the price of oil?

I have long suspected that the existence of oil markets and traders and that type of thing was just an elaborate hoax to cover up the fact that the price of oil is set by some guy in a country with three percent of the world's production. Thanks for the confirmation.

Salty
2008-Sep-10, 12:06 PM
So how does this rosy tinted view of the US's place in the world fit with their unbending support of Saudi Arabia, one of the most repressive societies in the world, because that keeps the oil flowing?
... or with the US sponsored failed coup in Venezuela that attempted to remove the democratically elected president because he raised the price of oil?

Sorry, I think your idea it what place the US has in the world is hopelessly naive.

I'm not as naive as you think, although I allow I may have rested on my country's laurels, in sharing freedom.

First, I will answer your question. For 250 years, the Wahabbi and the Saudi family were intertwined in Saudi Arabia. The Wahabbi are a fundamentalist sect of Islam, dedicated to bringing our planet under Shriya law, by any means - usually violent. The biggest news in the 21st Century came about the middle of this decade. Which was, that the Saudi family launched armed attacks against terrorists in Arabia. The only terroritst in Arabia are the Wahabbi. Anerican relations with the Saudi family have brought about this highly signifigant cleansing in Saudi Arabia.

Now, about Venezuala. Hugo Chavez' democratic election to head of the Venezualan state is a fact. However, how fares any other political party in that nation, other than his?
Remember, part of US of A's success comes from a two party electoral system. The communist party in the USSR was the only political party, and Russians were not free. Which is to say, that a one party political system is not truely democratic. So, how fare the other political parties, in Venezuala?

As far as the oil, Chavez is selling his oil in US of A, on free (open) market.
And, American people's government has the duty of protecting citizens' interest out of country. And, reasonably priced fuels are definitely in interest of US of A citizens.

I am an American. My country has faults. So do all the others. I pointed out, and point out again, that a lot of other countries complaining about American ways comes from failed monarchies in those countries; and from the displaced once noble families of those nations. Same works about hate speech regarding America, coming from Islamic theocracies. We have changed the world, and are still changing it. That is good. Be patient with us, all these changes are a work in progress. The goal is freedom for everybody.

Of course, some individuals fear freedom, because a lot of personal responsibility comes along with personal freedom.

As far as our laurels: 1945 we freed Europe from Nazism and Asia from Japanese Emporer worship.
In 1992 we freed many little Asian nations (which now have names ending in "-stan") from Communist opression. We also freed Russian people from false democracy or republic of one political party.
At the time, US of A was Republic with two major political parties. The United Soviet Socialist Republics over Eurasia and Asia was a one party oppressor. Now, there are free republics in Asia.
In 2002 and 2003, US of A led and leads Coalation of national forces against Taliban and Saddam Hussien in Afghanistan and Iraq. To keep entire planet free of Wahabbi, Hezbollah, Al-Quedah, Taliban and other such NGOs jihad to inslave planet under Shariyah law.
Yeah, we're this planet's best hope for freedom.

Salty
2008-Sep-10, 12:33 PM
Henrik,

His view may be naive, but it isn't as naive as mine, and I don't think
mine is hopelessly naive.

I really liked the concluding statement of Salty's post #49, as interpreted
by geonuc in post #64.

Power corrupts. Democracy tends to stop it from getting out of hand.
It's scary that it doesn't always work.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


Thank you, Jeff.

And I too apprecitated genuoc's #64 post, to repeat myself.

Salty
2008-Sep-10, 12:36 PM
I was told that politics was a strictly prohibited topic here. I'll be having a word with the person who told me that.



I have long suspected that the existence of oil markets and traders and that type of thing was just an elaborate hoax to cover up the fact that the price of oil is set by some guy in a country with three percent of the world's production. Thanks for the confirmation.

Well, Stormwatch, that's 'nother whole can of worms.

Salty
2008-Sep-10, 12:40 PM
I was told that politics was a strictly prohibited topic here. I'll be having a word with the person who told me that.

Maybe we can get by with this as a history discussion.

Speaking of which, let's return to OP (Oh, how this thread wanders).

Hiroshima and Nagasaki's agony have given us civilian nuclear power. And, therein may lay this planet's freedom from fossil fuels.

geonuc
2008-Sep-10, 01:27 PM
Thank you, Jeff.

And I too apprecitated genuoc's #64 post, to repeat myself.
You're welcome. I ordinarily will not respond to a post directed at another member, but as you said you were going to be away for a few days, I was emboldened.

That's geonuc, by the way (geology + nuclear). :)

Donnie B.
2008-Sep-10, 05:39 PM
Hiroshima and Nagasaki's agony have given us civilian nuclear power. And, therein may lay this planet's freedom from fossil fuels.
This may be going a bit too far in reaching for justification of the bombings. After all, using nuclear energy for weapons was not a necessary prerequisite for using it to boil water.

The only sense this is (somewhat) valid is that the wartime Manhattan Project produced practical nuclear fission applications much sooner than would have happened if the only use was for civilian power reactors.

Salty
2008-Sep-10, 07:58 PM
You're welcome. I ordinarily will not respond to a post directed at another member, but as you said you were going to be away for a few days, I was emboldened.

That's geonuc, by the way (geology + nuclear). :)

Please accept my humble and sincere apology, for mispelling your handle.

BTW, I forgot about geothermal power. That's successful in Greenland, I think. There are places in the Americas, where we could generate geothermal power, and then disburse it to places, like we do hydroelectric power, from the dams.

Salty
2008-Sep-10, 08:06 PM
This may be going a bit too far in reaching for justification of the bombings. After all, using nuclear energy for weapons was not a necessary prerequisite for using it to boil water.

The only sense this is (somewhat) valid is that the wartime Manhattan Project produced practical nuclear fission applications much sooner than would have happened if the only use was for civilian power reactors.

Thank you, no sarcasm, for your stretch, to see what I was getting at.

I remember, in the mid-'50's, we launced the world's first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus. Your generous comment brought to my mind, the probability that those "...practical nuclear fission applications..." were factored into the R & D for that submarine.

Graybeard6
2008-Sep-10, 08:21 PM
. . . All our forebearers came here to get away from way things done in Old World. Old World still not where it's at.

Some of our forebearers just wandered in while following wooly mammoths and other prey.

Salty
2008-Sep-10, 09:27 PM
Some of our forebearers just wandered in while following wooly mammoths and other prey.

Thank you, for bringing that to my attention; I forgot about that, too.

Meanwhile, back to the OP.

Donnie B.
2008-Sep-10, 09:33 PM
Let's not forget those who were just out hunting wood for a drum, and got kidnapped...

HenrikOlsen
2008-Sep-10, 10:57 PM
First, I will answer your question. For 250 years, the Wahabbi and the Saudi family were intertwined in Saudi Arabia. The Wahabbi are a fundamentalist sect of Islam, dedicated to bringing our planet under Shriya law, by any means - usually violent. The biggest news in the 21st Century came about the middle of this decade. Which was, that the Saudi family launched armed attacks against terrorists in Arabia. The only terroritst in Arabia are the Wahabbi. Anerican relations with the Saudi family have brought about this highly signifigant cleansing in Saudi Arabia.
Which would have been nice if the Saudi Arabia hadn't subsequently adopted the ideas the wahabists wanted to introduce by their terrorist attack.

Salty
2008-Sep-11, 09:07 AM
Which would have been nice if the Saudi Arabia hadn't subsequently adopted the ideas the wahabists wanted to introduce by their terrorist attack.

Another source, a book, Hatred's Kingdom, by Dore Gold, reveals how the Saudi's also had bank rolled the Al-Quedah.

However, I submit that the news I heard implied that the Saudi family was splitting from Wahabbi ways, and was fighting them. The original Shiek Saud in 1750 provided the fighting men for Wahab's jihad. But, in the beginning of this century/millenium, King Saud turned that armed force against the Wahabbi. Also, I heard that strictures were put on what Imams could preach in mosques, there.

That's why it's such a big change, and significant.