Written in response to Why the United States of America used the bomb against the Empire of Japan and Hiroshima: Breaking the Silence

First of all, I want to start his off with one statement. The militarist government of Japan in World War II, led by General Hideki Tojo, was not representative of the people of Japan at the time. War is unfortunate, lives will be lost.

The decision of use the newly developed atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was justified. Please, don't bitch at the Allies because they won. When the Germans decided to use V2 rockets on London, did the Germans have to apologize? Oh wait, the lead scientist on the V2 project was a major part of America's space race. Guess not. Battle of Britain? Who cares, they lost. How about Japan? Oh, how about 30 years of murder, and rape in Southeast Asia? Didn't hear them apologize for that. Obviously, you people just seem to be dissatisfied with the actions of your government and the seemingly needless murder of civilians. OK, let's do some stats:

The Battle of Okinawa, the final battle in the Pacific Theatre of the war, took place in 1945. Japan, short on soldiers, conscripted heavily into the natives of Okinawa (including children), as a result, the soldiers defending it were not exactly veterans. American casualties were placed at 40,000, Japan's casualties were estimated to be over 100,000. Mainland Japan, on the other hand, was much more heavily fortified, and defended by many times that amount of veteran soldiers, plus the conscripted "volunteers" on top of that. The planned invasion of Japan, scheduled in 1946, would have cost a lot more lives, both Japanese and American.

Don't say Japan was ready to surrender. In those days, the emperor was considered a deity, and the Japanese in Iwo Jima and Okinawa fought with fanatic valor. Kamikaze attacks don't exactly indicate a willingness to surrender, don't you think? Japanese war propoganda spread the word that the Americans were devils who will destroy everything, rape the women and eat the babies (strange, I wonder why they didn't mention the fact the Japanese soldiers raped thousands of women in subjugated areas). They wouldn't have surrendered. They were readying for a siege, and they would have fought to the death.

In fact, the self-victimization of Japan in the post-war era is quite sickening. A demonstration of might you say? How is the use of terror by murder and rape in The Rape of Nanking as a "demonstration" to subdue Chinese resistance any different from te atomic bomb? More numbers. Hiroshima casualties - 130,000. Nagasaki casualties - 140,000. Total is around 270,000. The Rape of Nanking - at least 350,000. In ONE CITY. Take into the area of Manchuria, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Anhui, I'd say the amount of civilians slaughtered by the Japanese would exceed two million. Japan whines about their "victimization" all the time. And yet, Japan still did not apologize for their actions in World War II.

Truth is, casaulties are part of war. The fact that "they started it" is no excuse, but then again, what excuse is required for the use of a decisive strike to gain a massive advantage in a war? The Germans didn't apologize for their initial blitzkrieg attacks in Western Europe did they? That cost a lot of Allied lives. The US government has an obligation to end World War II as quickly as possible with minimal loss of lives. And that is what they did by using atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. People who question the authority or morals of the use of those weapons, well, war is war. Hiroshima was a military industrial complex, and so was Nagasaki. They were valid targets. Germany had no qualms using V2 rockets on London and other British industrial cities.

The move to use the Bomb to stave off Russian involvement was actually more of a bonus actually. Let's see, which is off a higher priority among the two at the time:

  1. Ending World War II
  2. Preventing the Cold War, which hasn't even started yet, and the only sign that it will occur so far was the disagreement of the Big Three at the Yalta Conference

Easy choice isn't it. The government cannot read the future. It might have had thoughts of it as intimidation against Stalin, but it was definitely not the main reason for use of the Bomb. Japan would not have surrendered, it took two bombs and two cities incinerated to make them do that. They would have fought to the death, and the bomb saved millions of potentially lost lives. The intimidation of Russia was a bonus.

If anyone should apologize, it is Japan. American won the war, and now they have people bitch at them for using atomic weapons. Just because Japan lost does it mean they don't have any responsibility for their actions? People in Japan don't even know the Rape of Nanking occurred. But they are fed government propoganda of self-victimization whining about how they were attacked and victimized. The bomb is a universal argument among Japanese citizens of their role as a "victim" in World War II. Bullshit. They killed millions of Chinese and Koreans and they expect to get away with it? Almost nobody in Japan questions their government regarding their war crimes. In fact, soldiers who participated in the massacres in Asia who admitted to it were smeared by the Japanese press, harassed and even beaten for admitting that Japan committed war crimes. Imagine that, beating up an old veteran for admitting the truth. Please, Japan, quit portraying yourself as a victim. And people in the USA who question the use of the Bomb on Japan, maybe if you were a soldier in the US Tenth Army and was about to invade mainlannd Japan before the Bomb incited Japan to surrender, you would feel differently about it too. Quit bitching, it saved lives.

See also:
The Rape of Nanking
Comfort Women : Japanese sex slaves in World War II

Au contraire, Dman. It is not some X-Files conspiracy theory, but a legitimate and respected school of historical thought, sparked by the 1965 publication of Gar Alperovitz’s Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam: The Use of the Atomic Bomb and the American Confrontation with Soviet Power. He makes a decent case that motivations of Truman’s decision have more to do with the Cold War than World War II. What effect this has on your moral point of view regarding Hiroshima is for you to decide, but you seem to assume that accepting Alperovitz’s thesis is automatically equivalent to sympathy for the Japanese. You are confusing a legitimate historical inquiry with a moral judgement you disagree with.

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