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July 22, 2008

Dropping the A-bomb

Diane Marshall (7/18, Letters) offered praise for President Carter. She is right to bring this up, for he was a truthful man and is one of the few who has done something useful with his life after he was out of office.

However, I take exception, as an insane WWII veteran, to her statement that to this day no sane person is proud of dropping the A-bomb on Japan.

I am sure that many insane WWII military were proud and glad the bomb was dropped.

Robert L. Laskey
Overland Park

I believe I share with a whole lot of WWII veterans that we believe we are sane and we are really proud that Harry Truman was president and decided to drop those bombs.

It is my understanding that this act ended the war quickly. Had that not been done, the war would have lasted for years and probably, most historians agree, would have cost millions of additional lives, both American and Japanese

I also believe that President Bush was correct in entering the Iraq war and that we are and have been safer as a result of that decision.

Achilles V. “Skip” Wheat
Kansas City, Kan.

Comments

solomon

"The Negro, unlike so many of the inferior races, does not dwindle in the presence of the white man. He holds his own, indeed, under the condition of American slavery he increased faster than the whites threatening to supplant him"-Teddy Roosevelt

Whenever anyone quotes this racist butt head I always want to have them consider the source. What would you expect a war monger and white supremacist to say about pacifism?

GCYL

“Pacifism is a legitimate philosophy, but I'm guessing few people would sign up to fight a war where every enemy civilian death is valued far more highly than our own soliders' lives.” – Chris40

The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer. - Theodore Roosevelt

GCYL

All you’ve done is to continue on about a typical high level governmental disagreement being worked out. The final conclusion in this example was the first use of the atomic bomb. Do you have something more substantial than a historical review of opinions? Oh, say, support for an alternative method for total victory without the additional loss of lives? - me

“GCYL: You're not familiar with the source material at all. Don't post on what you haven't read.” – Pub

Clearly you don’t have anything more substantial than a historical review of opinions. Good for you.

Engineer

Pub 17
At the time I know of no one who was saying the Japanese were "ready to surrender". In fact they were warned of the bomb and still refused to do so. They continued to refuse to surrender after the first bomb was dropped. And is one less dead if killed by "conventional" means rather than by the bomb?

Engineer

Pub 17
At the time I know of no one who was saying the Japanese were "ready to surrender". In fact they were warned of the bomb and still refused to do so. They continued to refuse to surrender after the first bomb was dropped. And is one less dead if killed by "conventional" means rather than by the bomb?

Engineer

Pub 17
As some one who fully expected to be part of the invasion I think jack has expressed things very well. It was generally understood that the invasion plans were complete. We anticipated a very bloody landing and deadly ground fight. There was nothing about the conduct of the Japanese soldiers to even hint an easy surrender. After all some of their generals on the contested islands that where taken them committed suicide rather than surrender. And who knows how much inter service rivalry colors views?

Chris40

That's a textbook definition of terrorism. How many babies is it permissible to deliberately kill--not collateral damage, ground-zero targets--to save the lives of ANYONE'S military personnel?
Posted by: Pub 17 | Jul 23, 2008 12:51:30 PM


That's a good question, Pube, and I hope you actually answer it. How many Americans should have died so that hundreds or even thousands of Japanese babies didn't have to? Was it worth 20,000 American soldiers? 100,000?

Your post suggests that "killing babies" to save soldiers is never permissible. Pacifism is a legitimate philosophy, but I'm guessing few people would sign up to fight a war where every enemy civilian death is valued far more highly than our own soliders' lives.

I read a book by Paul Fussell years ago that dealt with the morality of dropping the Atomic bomb. The link to the book is below. His conclusion, if I remember correctly, was that the closer to the fighting one was, and the more one understand our Japanese enemy, the more likely one was to support Truman's actions. Fussell, for example, was a soldier in the Pacific theater, and was quite happy that he didn't have to die invading the Japanese mainland, even though his doing so would have assuaged Pube's conscience.

Interesting book:
http://www.amazon.com/Wartime-Understanding-Behavior-Second-World/dp/0195065778

renfro

Harry and the bomb ----They may own your body and soul but in peacetime even the Military allows temporary relief from routine on Sunday. The Japanese didn’t select Dec.7 accidentally to catch a bunch of soldiers, sailors and marines in their bunks! Their intention to disguise the treachery was their failed attempt to deliver a diplomatic warning just a few hours before the sneak attack. They started the game and set the rules. Harry Truman and the GI’s he saved with the Big Bomb won the contest. ---- Old Harry was a good “conservative” democrat.
Wonder whom the new Obama “cut and run” liberals will be praising in 50 or 60 years --or in what language?

Pub 17

Solomon: There wasn't any "siege" being discussed. Japan had nothing left to break MacArthur's blockade. Zero. Zip. There was no military action necessary by troops WHATSOEVER.

GCYL: You're not familiar with the source material at all. Don't post on what you haven't read.

Leahy was disgusted by what he was ordered to do. Stimson, via Truman, pushed the deliberate murder of non-combatant men, women, and children living in two non-military targets to further a political goal. That's a textbook definition of terrorism. How many babies is it permissible to deliberately kill--not collateral damage, ground-zero targets--to save the lives of ANYONE'S military personnel?

GCYL

“The American public and economy were not up to a protracted siege, which could not have defeated the warrior culture in months as you seem to suggest.” - solomon

Agree. I am open to additional information that would lead to a stronger conclusion that there were other military options to defeat Japan in a reasonable amount of time and with the same substantially low number of additional deaths rather than using the bomb.

It’s fortunate that our form of government allows our various leaders to have open and earnest dialogs amongst themselves on important issues. It is also fortunate that our form of government allows those leaders (up to a point) to publish such discussions so others can learn from them.

solomon

Good morning Pub !&,

There is ample evidence of the plans to invade the island nation. I'm sure our resident oldie but goodie can tell you how upset the soldiers who had fought in Europe were about the plans to ship them to the Pacific. The American public and economy were not up to a protracted siege, which could not have defeated the warrior culture in months as you seem to suggest.

GCYL

“Posted by: Pub 17 | Jul 23, 2008 9:43:27 AM “

What an incredibly lazy and dishonest post. YOU give your supporting evidence. YOU do your own work. The opposition never looks SQUAT up to support your opinions. Dimwit. Indeed.

Meanwhile back to statements avoided by Pub:

I don’t doubt the presence of differing military opinions prior to the first use of the atomic bomb. You would certainly hope that there were differing opinions and all of them strongly expressed. If that’s the reason behind “Lookitup” then so what? Do you have something more substantial?

All you’ve done is to continue on about a typical high level governmental disagreement being worked out. The final conclusion in this example was the first use of the atomic bomb. Do you have something more substantial than a historical review of opinions? Oh, say, support for an alternative method for total victory without the additional loss of lives?

Pub 17

GCYL
No, dimwit, look it up. It's not up to me to provide you with a basic education. If you were to read Admiral Leahy's statements in his memoirs, written shortly after the war, and find that I'm lying or misquoting him, YOU bring it forward. Since you've apparently never heard that Eisenhower, MacArthur, and Leahy were opposed to the dropping of the bomb on helpless civilians, and that Stimson was the advocate who convinced Truman to drop it, you need to actually research what you're talking about instead of regurgitating ignorant opinions.

Of course, in your world Leahy, Eisenhower, and MacArthur were no doubt socialist-leaning dupes, with little or no practical experience in matters of war.

GCYL

“Lookitup.” - Pub 17

Ineffectual and an extremely lazy debating method presented here.

If you’re going to present a case that supports the notion that the U.S. had realistic and viable alternatives such as a Naval blockade then it’s Pub’s responsibility to present supporting documentation and/or facts.

I don’t doubt the presence of differing military opinions prior to the first use of the atomic bomb. You would certainly hope that there were differing opinions and all of them strongly expressed. If that’s the reason behind “Lookitup” then so what? Do you have something more substantial?

Rogue

Well consider the bombing of Dresden well before the dropping of the A-bomb, was the good Admiral concerned about that? Were not civilians killed then? I would be interested Pube if you can find any of his writings about that.

But wait, could it be the magnitude of the deaths caused by the bombs on Japan, versus Germany? Hmmmmm?

If so I am reminded of the old joke about the guy offering to buy a lady's favors for $50.00 and getting refused. However, when the offer rose to $500 she agreed.......Is it truly only a matter of "price" Admiral? Pube?

Pub 17

Wow, let's start THIS one up again.

"Once it had been tested, President Truman faced the decision as to whether to use it. He did not like the idea, but he was persuaded that it would shorten the war against Japan and save American lives. It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons... My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make wars in that fashion, and that wars cannot be won by destroying women and children."
Admiral William D. Leahy, Roosevelt and Truman's Chief of Staff.

MacArthur was completely confident of his forces' ability to maintain the airtight blockade around the Home Islands. The Japanese could either starve or surrender, their choice. There was no need to bomb two civilian targets into ashes, because not one member of the U.S. military needed to set foot on the Home Islands till they waved the white flag.

Lookitup.

solomon

Forgive my poor spelling this morning. (Dads) I only have one Dad. :-)

solomon

As much as I hate that nukes exist I have to admit it possibly saved my Dads and Uncles lives, as they were in the Pacific (Army and Marine) and would have been a part of the invasion of Japan.

I do feel though that we have held it over peoples head ever since as a bullying tactic, and people who suggest we use it on Iran to keep them from acquiring it are "insane". We let the genie out of the bottle and eventually any country with enough resources will become a nuclear power it they decide to. That is, unless we kill them to prevent it while allowing others to possess them.

Rogue

Yep old "Jimma", America's Carpenter, has done quite a bit since he has been out of office, like trashing Israel, and building up Hamas......and giving nukes to N. Korea, what a guy!

 
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