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Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 05:14:16

JSA 
Level 59
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Should the United States have dropped any atomic bombs on Japan? Why or why not?

I'm hoping this question makes for an interesting debate topic, and I'm interested to see what people have to say. I personally have a fairly strong opinion on it, but I'd like to see what you guys have to say before I make my points.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 05:27:56


BUFFALO
Level 43
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should japan have invaded so many countries to begin with?
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 05:42:45


The Mad Japanese
Level 51
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If the US hadn't dropped the Atomic Bomb, an American and Soviet Invasion of Japan would have occurred which will cost hundreds of thousands, if not, millions of lives. Japan might be partitioned between the USA and USSR which will be in a similar situation as Korea.

Japan may have a War similar to the Korean War. In the event of the Collapse of the USSR, Japan may either be reunified or stay partitioned.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 06:05:54


Imperator
Level 53
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Yes, It was completely Logical and justified to use Atom Bombs on Japan.

1. Japan started it by attacking a neutral nation and Killing 2500 of it's people. What does it say about said neutral nation if it stays neutral? It says "hey come and kill me because idrc tbh".

2. As mentioned above, it actually saved a lot of Deaths from happening, because of the whole Japan being a whole bunch of islands and everything.

3. Not only did japan bring it upon themselves by bringing america into the war, but They simply refused to give up. The US did Extensive firebombing of tokyo before dropping the bomb on hiroshima. Had they surrendered after this damage, they would not have gotten nuked. The US dropped a Bomb on hiroshima three days before another on Nagasaki. Had they surrendered after the First nuke they would have been nuked, but not as badly.

It didn't take firebombing of a major city to to get japan to surrender, or even the complete destruction of one city by a nuke; It took two cities being completely destroyed by nukes, which is precisely the reason that there were any Nukes dropped at all. Had japan surrendered before it got nuked, There would have been no reason to use nukes.

4. The US did extensive rebuilding in Japan after WWII; Japan isn't exactly a backwatered third world country today, and that's because of the US.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 07:18:00

JSA 
Level 59
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I agree that the United States should have dropped an atomic bomb on Japan. The biggest reason in my mind is not even listed, and it's the cruelty that Japan displayed throughout the war. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_war_crimes

I do agree it saved a lot of lives. The war would have dragged on for a long time, potentially ending in millions of deaths. One website estimates that for every month that Japan delayed in surrendering in 1945, roughly 150,000 noncombatants were killed by the Japanese.

I don't agree with all that you say on #3, Imperator. Japan did not have adequate time to surrender after the first atomic bomb was dropped. The United States should have given Japan a few more days after Hiroshima to surrender. I think one did the job, but we didn't have time to see. Japan sent a team in to confirm if the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was nuclear; I am of the mind that Japan would have surrendered as soon as it was confirmed. Unfortunately, this team did not confirm it was nuclear until after the United States dropped another bomb on Nagasaki.

Another possible question: Should the United States have dropped a nuclear bomb on a more sparsely populated area? Would it have gotten the same point across to the Japanese?
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 07:35:12


shyb
Level 58
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japan would have surrendered if we let them keep their emperor, but we demanded an unconditional surrender. turns out we let them keep their emperor anyway.

the reason we dropped the bomb was not to save lives, but to get japan to surrender to us and not russia, who was preparing for invasion when we dropped the bomb. we could have saved american lives by letting russia invade, but then we would have lost that sphere of influence.

maybe that was worth it to have japan on our side, but it's still sickening that that was the real reason we dropped the bomb.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 07:46:15


Zephyrum 
Level 60
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On the long term it was a good thing. Not only it built up the Mutually Assured Destruction policy that would stop the Cold War from getting, well, really hot, and becoming World War 3, but it also made Japan surrender before the USSR had a chance to step up and take more than just Southern Sakhalin. We all know how soviet-ruled countries work... If the death count is in the hundreds of thousands, you're being lucky.

It saved Japanese lifes during the war (Russian invasion and occupation would turn Japan into a shitpile, not to mention the deaths on the USA front) AND after the war (preventing occupation so that a situation similar to Korea didn't happen where half of the country is being genocided and the other half is constantly threatened), while also sparing many Russian casualties, American casualties, Chinese casualties, Korean casualties, and so on. And this is not even counting the amount of potential deaths if the Soviet Union and the USA didn't fear each other - a third world war was a frequent threat that was stopped only by fear.

Sometimes what sounds like an inhumane, genocidal act might have just spared us from an even worse situation. Could you imagine the world without Hitler? With soviet power growing in Germany, the industrial powerhouse of Europe under communist rule, aiding the Soviet Union... And no barrier between the free world and the communist dictatorships, and no arms race for a world war. The feared war between the USA and the USSR might have happened if nazifascism wasn't a thing. The results would probably more catastrophic than World War 2.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 09:23:30


Lukku
Level 55
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Everything's been said but might as well bullet point out a few

  • Japanese War Crimes - expecialy their extensive human testing and bio weapons http://www.unit731.org
  • Soviet invasion - Millions more dead though direct war or proxy war and if they took Japan many would die and suffer under Soviet rule
  • Tokyo firebombing supposedly killed more - So if you believe that the nuclear bombing was worse then your're just bothered by the method.
  • Total war - The Japanese (goverment) would not hesitate to do the same to the US. The war had to be won and with impeading invasion of Japan they had few options
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 11:07:12


Thomas 633
Level 56
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I think that it wasn't needed to the extent they did it to. I think dropping one in a random location and raining down pamphlets (yes, they really did this) that said if you don't surrender, we drop one on all you're major cities would have worked.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 11:20:27


Lucarr10
Level 14
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nuclear warfare is bad. I rest my case.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 12:08:45


Imperator
Level 53
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I don't agree with all that you say on #3, Imperator. Japan did not have adequate time to surrender after the first atomic bomb was dropped.

The United States should have given Japan a few more days after Hiroshima to surrender. I think one did the job, but we didn't have time to see. Japan sent a team in to confirm if the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was nuclear; I am of the mind that Japan would have surrendered as soon as it was confirmed. Unfortunately, this team did not confirm it was nuclear until after the United States dropped another bomb on Nagasaki.



This isn't actually true. I'm sure you're familiar with the Potsdam declaration, the one that says something like "Surrender now or face Prompt and utter destruction"? That was issued on July 26, 1945; That's almost two weeks before any Nukes were dropped the first being on the 6th of august. And Japan said No, they'd fight to the bitter end. The Japanese knew it was a nuke, because truman told them so and because they got a lot fo reports saying that it was something like a "bright flash of light and the a huge explosion".

They knew it was a nuke, but it get's worse; The reason japan decided not to surrender after Hiroshima was not because they didn't know it was a nuke that wiped the heck out of their city, but rather because they knew what a nuke was and how hard it was to build, and figured that the US couldn't have that many more, so they were okay with continuing the fighting that would cost millions of lives.

the reason we dropped the bomb was not to save lives, but to get japan to surrender to us and not russia, who was preparing for invasion when we dropped the bomb. we could have saved american lives by letting russia invade, but then we would have lost that sphere of influence.



The USSR wasn't preparing for an invasion, the Soviet invasion of Japan was a real thing that was actually happening when the US dropped the bomb. The Soviets had invaded the Japanese state of manchuria and completely toppled japanese rule there. They had also invaded the Sakhalin islands and taken control of them, and were preparing an invasion of Hokkaido, the second biggest japanese island.

Sure, you can make the Argument that they didn't invade anything we consider Japan today, but They invaded the Japanese empire, and Killed around 83K Japanese. It was an invasion, and a real invasion.

Now, it is true that The Japanese were trying to negotiate more favorable terms with the USSR and surrender to them under those more favorable terms, but that's really sneaky of japan, and not really something that can result in anything but a bad thing for the US.

One thing I find interesting about modern leftists like shyb is that they're happy to mention the US's bombing of Hiroshima and nagasaki as examples of evil, but never want to talk about the over 100 Million people murdered in brutal regimes under Leftist, COmmunsit goverments.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 13:26:34


[ESP] Pablo García
Level 58
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Maybe it was the best solution in long-time consequences. But it is a matter of ethics. If you don't care about civilians, you are at the same level as them. Even if they were going to be fewer deaths, they were damn innocent civilians.

US should NOT have done it. That's all.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 13:50:21


shyb
Level 58
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oh i wasn't trying to elevate it above any other atrocity. for sure the ussr was heinous, so was japan during the war.

I've read a bunch about ww2 and i know that no one was a saint, and the allies did questionable shit sometimes because it was necessary.

im just saying all that death makes me a little queasy. and we were straight up lied to for many years about the reasons for dropping the bomb. even my high school text book repeated the lie.

truman was a dumb evil hick who didn't give a shit about saving any lives, american or japanese. he really set the cold war in motion by being a complete ass when dealing with stalin. the a bomb to him was a dick measuring contest (did i mention he had gender issues?) nothing more nothing less. whatever strategic benefit that came from it was missed by truman, because he was too subhuman to have much development beyond the reptilian brain.

i exaggerate a little, but i do think he was one of the most pathetic imbeciles of all history.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 15:24:31


Major General Smedley Butler
Level 49
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Not having it split amongst America and the Soviet Union is a good thing. If WW3 ever happened, the Germany's, Koreas and at one point the Vietnams would all suffer greatly. If Japan was split it could very possible that horrible leadership would take place in North Japan , like say in South or North Korea, and would be brutal and downright non-efficient. Finally, the bombs have horrific effects, but so do other bombs. And I won't do hollow moralizing about how a nation's deserves punishment for a nations actions.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 15:26:11


Major General Smedley Butler
Level 49
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And the Cold War was bound to happen Shyb. Do you expect the countries with a ideology that demands world revolution wouldn't try to expand at all?
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 16:20:21


Varakreivi
Level 56
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Japan surely had big troubles coming, be it in the form of atomic weapons, conventional bombing or ground war/occupation. Something is bound to happen when you try to conquer half world. It was war, and easy to judge afterwards.

That being said, some of the comments are quite heavily romanticizing the US war effort. Atomic bombs were used to save Japanese civilians from the evil of USSR? I seriously hope I misunderstood. USA didn't join the war to fight against evil, or to help innocent victims of fascism. Japanese atrocities in China were well known even in the 1930's, but no one cared. Nazi policies and persecution was also well known, and at least the leadership in the USA knew about the concentration camps and death squads in fall 1941. Still, US was just trying not to interfere. European nations didn't care about the Chinese either, but war on Poland finally made them interrupt the rise of fascism. USA didn't want to take side.

USA joined the war because of power games in the Pacific. They were not a "neutral nation" like someone claimed. They had competed against Japan for years, and made a trade embargo against them that they knew would lead either to Japan backing down or war. I'm not going into the conspiracy theories of Pearl Harbor, but it's well known that the attack was at least somehow anticipated.

Now, I'm not saying USA is to blame here. Compared to Japan, Nazis or USSR, they were the good guys. As an European, I'm really grateful they joined the war and it ended like it ended. However, it would be intellectual self-deception to say that they were just innocent victims or guardians of good.

There is one important thing to consider regarding atrocities. We can say that the enemies were even worse, so it was justified to drop atom bombs and firebombs and what else. Or we can say that the western allies were morally superior, representing the free world against forces of evil. Both of these claims are true to some extent. But we can't have them both. To be good is to have higher standards than the evil.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 16:30:55


shyb
Level 58
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And the Cold War was bound to happen Shyb.


well it wouldn't have happened if the US embraced communism ;)

but seriously there is a qualitative difference between the US and russia in ww2 and the cold war. russia was fighting off invasions during ww2 and had one end of the war on it's doorstep and the other at it's back door. and during the cold war all the proxy wars were fought near russia. the closest the cold war came to us was cuba, which was scary, but never an actual war like russia had to deal with in korea, vietnam, iraq/iran, afghanistan.

russia was playing defense the whole time while the US was never seriously threatened. just about every escalation in the cold war was by the US, only really justified by paranoia and to build and maintain a shadow economic empire.

the ussr never had the power to take over the world and no amount of chiseling at koreas and afghanistans was going to change that. communism was only a threat to entrenched capitalism and never to people. regardless of what stalin did, or what any of us armchair historians think of what might happen under communism, it is still just a political theory with just as much weight as capitalism. the paranoia was completely unjustified and the cold war didn't need to happen.

Edited 12/12/2015 16:33:41
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 16:39:29


Eklipse {TJC}
Level 56
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But it is a matter of ethics.

It's all fine and good to say you support the ethical position, but war by definition is not ethical. It's bloody, gritty, and terrible. There are many times when there isn't a "good" answer and you have to pick between two evils.

Drop the bomb and thousands will die, or don't drop it and millions likely will die. Which is the ethical choice?

US should NOT have done it. That's all.

So instead the U.S should of engaged in a bloody full scale invasion of Japan which was projected to cause hundreds of thousands of casualties? Not to mention the subsequent Soviet invasion that would of occurred and led to even further deaths. This would lead to, as others have said, a Korea or Vietnam type situation. There would be communist forces in the north, capitalist in the south. Inevitably there'd eventually be a civil war between these two as the U.S and USSR fight each other by proxy, so now you could add another messy war to the history books. It's also likely that if this timeline had occurred modern day Japan would be just like Korea: two sides pointing guns at each other across a DMZ.

I fail to see how this outcome is somehow better. Dropping the nukes was distasteful, and perhaps even unethical, but it's what had to be done. The alternatives were not any brighter.

truman was a dumb evil hick

because he was too subhuman to have much development beyond the reptilian brain.

Ouch, harsh much? Truman was hardly an outstanding president but by no means was he THAT bad.

he really set the cold war in motion by being a complete ass when dealing with stalin.

As MGSB already said, the Cold War was inevitable. Not even FDR would of been able to avoid it. Stalin only worked with the U.S and co. because they were a better alternative than Hitler. Vice-versa that's also the only reason western countries worked with Stalin. Once you remove Hitler there's no more glue holding that alliance together.

and the allies did questionable shit sometimes because it was necessary.

I do agree with you on this note, however. Every major combatant of WW2 could be put on trial for war crimes if you look at history expecting people to be saints.

The allies did some really bad things, but (most of the time) they did what had to be done.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 16:41:07


Varakreivi
Level 56
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Do you expect the countries with a ideology that demands world revolution wouldn't try to expand at all?


Stalin dropped the idea of world revolution in 1920's, driving instead for socialism in one country. When he came to power this was adopted as Soviet state policy. Stalin also introduced Russian nationalism into Soviet ideology. So in this sense USSR was just as imperialistic as the USA.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 17:00:01


Genghis 
Level 52
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The allies (and moreso France) took a lot of Germans as prisoners and workers after ww2.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 17:03:02


[AOE] JaiBharat909
Level 56
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This is a ridiculous question to argue. White-Americans should be thankful. A whole generation of fathers would have been wiped out if the Allies didn't have the courage to drop the bomb. An invasion of Japan would have been hellish and costly: look at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 17:08:24


Von Jewburg
Level 35
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As people have said, the death toll for both Americans and Japanese if the bombs weren't dropped would be much higher. In the early days of the Pacific War, it was hell for the Americans fighting the Japanese on small islands (Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima). The Japanese at that point were using suicide pilots, and fighting to the death. It would have been brutal to conquer mainland Japan. And it wasn't just that. Truman wanted the bombs dropped so the Soviets wouldn't get as much control over Asia.

On the other hand, almost all of Japan, except the military, wanted to keep fighting, and this was before the bombs. The firebombing on Tokyo was WORSE than Little Boy. So if the US did land on Japan, most of the population would already be upset at the Japanese government. And the American soldiers.


If the bombs weren't dropped, I'd see a few endings:

1. The US, Russia, and Britain would push through the last remaining Japanese outposts, including Korea. Then they would invade Japan.
2. The Allies don't invade Japan, got continue bombings. The population would eventually rebel due to blockades (the whole reason Japan went imperialistic was because they didn't have many supplies at home). The new government would surrender.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 17:12:14


Genghis 
Level 52
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Oh and America committed similar but less cruel war crimes on Japanese.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 19:08:35

E Masterpierround
Level 56
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Are you asking from a moral sense, or in terms of what is best for the country?
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 19:09:38


Lucarr10
Level 14
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war + nukes = Disaster. I rest my case
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 19:15:35


Major General Smedley Butler
Level 49
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War = Disaster*
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 19:25:00


Lucarr10
Level 14
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good point
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/12/2015 22:23:23

[wolf]japan77
Level 56
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I personally believe that the bomb dropped on Nagasaki was unnecessary. This is due to following Hiroshima, Japan wanted to have a conditional surrender in which the Emperor was maintained. This happened anyway, and as such I believe Nagasaki was unnecessary.

Please note: My views on the bombs are somewhat biased due to my Grandfather dying from radiation poisoning after going to Nagasaki as a responder.
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/13/2015 01:29:52


The Mad Japanese
Level 51
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Nukes=War/Peace

Why? Mutually Assured Destruction
Should the US have dropped atomic bombs on Japan?: 12/13/2015 01:37:09


The Man Who'd Buy Spain
Level 29
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^ I find it unsettling that MAD works so well.
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