Was Hiroshima an act of Terrorism?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by CarbonKnight, Jun 22, 2002.

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  1. CarbonKnight Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2002
    star 4
    I think Hiroshima is infinitely greater a tragedy than Sept. 11... yet many people feel it was justified.
  2. Darth_Drunk Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 1
    There was a war going. The cities that were bombed had strategic value. We used military equipment.

    Oh, and you guys really should know what terrorism actually means. It means acts performed by groups not part of any government or regular military of a recognized country that are meant to instill fear for political or other results. It actually has little to do with the target. It has more to do with who is carrying it out.
  3. Jarik Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2000
    star 4
    Yep I feel that attacking the Japanese after Pearl Harbor was pretty justified.
  4. CarbonKnight Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2002
    star 4
    500,000 people was justified?
  5. imzadi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 4
    Actually, the political science definition of terrorism is:

    "criminal acts and threats against a targetted actor for the purpose of arousing fear in order to get the target to accept the terrorists' demands" (Kegley and Wittkopf 1999: 580).

    This was modified to this:

    terrorism: attacks against non-combatants used to incite fear and disruption.

    The non-combatants part is particularly important because it includes civilians AND off-duty soldiers.

    There is state terrorism, and terrorism can be carried about by the military (General Sherman's scorched earth strategy, the French Government during 1793, and also the Nazis (Kegley and Witkopf 1999: 191, 432)).

    However state terrorism has of late been directed internally.

    Still, the attack on Hiroshima does fit the definitions, the current definitions at least. An attack on non-combatants used to push Japan into negotations due to fear that it could happen again.
  6. Coolguy4522 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2000
    star 4
    Absolutly not. First of all, Japan was at war with America. Pearl Harbor was an act of war. I do not believe that Hiroshima could possibly be defined as a "Terrorist" action against Japan.
    Secondly, Hiroshima saved at least twice as many people as it killed, on both sides. A invasion would have been the only other option to end the war, and such an invasion would have been so much worse. The Japanese civilians would have fought for every inch, in the end resulting in millions of American soldiers and Japanese civilians being killed.
  7. Miin_Bodenna Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2002
    star 3
    We saved people by bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki...had we not bombed them...we would have had to invade Japanese mainland...army experts predicted that 3.5 million people would have died in Tokyo alone! Japan was arming its citezens to fight us [USA]! More people would have died had we not bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  8. Maveric Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 1999
    star 4
    Where do you get 500,000 deaths? My sources have it at 136,000 for Hiroshima and around 40,000 for Nagasaki. Even with those that would later die from radiation poisoning, that is a far cry from 500,000
  9. Face Loran Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 1999
    star 4
    Also, let us not forget that Japan was warned ahead of time.

    I also disagree with the definition of terrorism because it's way to broad, nearly all acts of war could be included in it. There is a definite distinction between an act of war and an act of terrorism, and the presented definition does not show that distinction.
  10. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Where do you get 500,000 deaths?

    I was wondering the same.
  11. Kit' Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 1999
    star 5
    Both took lives...civilian lives. There is NOTHING that can justify either act. Each are as bad as each other in the sense they they killed innocent people.

    Had they both been military targets it would have been okay, but they weren't. Both were done to incite terror into the surrounding normal people. To gain a goal whether right or wrong.

    Both are heinous in my opinion.

    Kithera
  12. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    I will recommend reading Richard Frank's book "Downfall" for those interested in this. After reading that, and considering the other options available, I feel that the use of those atomic bombs were needed to shock the fanatical military officers into agreeing to surrender.

    Even then, it was a near-run thing to make sure the surrender went off without a hitch. I find a number of similarities in the fanaticism of both the Japanese militants and our enemy today.

    Quite frankly, the fanticism may require us to unleash this terrible genie again. PArticularly if terrorists manage to use a weapon of mass destruction on us.
  13. Jedi_Xen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2001
    star 4
    According to Geneva its unlawful to kill anyone that doesnt have the ability to defend themself. Thus the Pentagon was not an acceptable 9/11 target, it had no weapons, no way other than intelligence to inflict these acts.

    As has been said more lives would have been lost in an invasion with Japan than wouldnt.

    Big difference in 9-11 and Hiroshima, a declaration of war first and foremost, which in turn meant Japan is just as responsible for the bombing's as the US. If they didnt want their people killed, they shouldnt have picked a fight.

    Unlike 9-11 where you got some camel jockey in Afghanistan (Im refering to Osama, so dont you go getting all boohoo and swear im talking about all muslims) who thinks he is Emperor of Earth and has the right who the US can have as its ally (Israel) and where they can station their troops (Saudi Arabia).
  14. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    "Each are as bad as each other in the sense they they killed innocent people."


    Michael Walzer in a recent issue of Dissent

    A few left academics have tried to figure out how many civilians actually died in Afghanistan, aiming at as high a figure as possible, on the assumption, apparently, that if the number is greater than the number of people killed in the Towers, the war is unjust. At the moment, most of the numbers are propaganda; there is no reliable accounting. But the claim that the numbers matter in just this way, that the 3120th death determines the injustice of the war, is in any case wrong. It denies one of the most basic and best understood moral distinctions: between premeditated murder and unintended killing. And the denial isn?t accidental, as if the people making it just forgot about, or didn?t know about, the everyday moral world. The denial is willful: unintended killing by Americans in Afghanistan counts as murder.




    In asking this question, you are deliberately ignoring the key contextual circumstances surrounding Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Aside from what has already been mentioned, you are deliberately ignoring the military/industrial targets in each city, the inability to perform surgical (ie non-civilain impacting) attacks, especially on the JApanese "War Machine", etc. Dresden, the atomic bomb, the firebomging of Tokyo (which is actually where your figure of 500,00 comes from) were horrible tragedies, but cannot be seperated from the context of the time in history and the choices available.


    Regardless of some loose similarity between the events at Hiroshima and the vague definition of terrorism, I think that postering the word 'terrorism' onto topics you previously disliked, like a brand new toy, is ridiculous.
  15. Darth_Nemesis Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 3
    Hard to say, but I say yes. Why'd we attack civilian targets? Why not military. It'd be justified then. But if we didn't use the A-bomb, 100,000's of more soldiers would die on both sides to try to take the homeland by ground. In a way it was and wasn't. One things for sure more than 500,000 would have died if we fought a ground war.
  16. YodaJeff Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2001
    star 7
    There was a war going on. Japan had advance knowledge that we were going to attack them. I don't consider it an act of terrorism.
  17. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    Killing innocent people is never justified, even if it is to protect the lives of a greater number of innocent people.
  18. Darth_Nemesis Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 3
    I agree, that's why I said yes, we should have bombed military targets.
  19. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    Dropping the Atomic bomb on Japan was 1 of 3 options the newly elected president of the United States Harry S. Truman had.

    Truman came in after Rooselvelt died and the war in Europe was had ended weeks into his office. Truman had been in the dark about everything. Remember this is when Vice Presidents didn't play any kind of a role in anything.

    Truman was finally told about the Atomic Bomb shortly after taking charge. The war in Europe had ended. It was now time to shift focus and fight the war in the pacific and GET IT OVER WITH. Not to mention the Japanese were the ones who got us into this war to begin with in the Pearl Harbor attack.

    Truman was given 3 options.

    1. Drop the Bomb and end the war within weeks.

    2. Don't drop the bomb, and negotiate a peace settlement with Japan and in that settlement the Japanese would only accept a treaty which insured the safety of their EMPEROR.

    3. Don't drop the bomb and begin a large scale land invasion of Japan which would have taken another 6 months to a year to finish. We looked at the history books and some of you who think we shouldn't have dropped the bomb should have read. Throughout all the times in history when Japan was going to be invaded by either the Mongols or the Russians the Japanese beat the pants off anyone who ever tried to invade their country. Every man woman and child would have taken up arms and as we learned they were being trained in hand to hand combat to fight to the death. So in the end you would have a war which last several more months and would have cost as many if not more lives than dropping the bomb. Also dropping the bomb would have sent a clear warning to Stalin and it was a intimidation factor with him. Stalin was paranoid and as a result of dropping the bomb we started the cold war with Russia.


    So if your a decision maker in 1945 what would you have done. You finished the job in Europe. You have an American public who by 1945 wants the war ended quickly and swiftly and with VICTORY and you can throw out option 2 because we were still pissed about Pearl Harbor. So the bomb was dropped to end the war.

    It was not an act of terrorism because it was war time. Big difference than September 11.
  20. Saint_of_Killers Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 5
    Well, I used to think it was totally unjustified, and that an invasion would have been better. But I've thought about it. And I changed my mind. I hate to say it, but I just wouldn't trust a large group of armed men not to rape and pillage(see Vietnam, Nanking, just about any big invasion), even if those men are Americans.

    I still think the targets we chose were wrong. This 'we only had 2' seems a bit ***** to me, as I'm pretty sure we had the means to make more. A military target, a very visible target, but well away from civilians, should have been hit first.
  21. Master Salty Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 1999
    star 6
    There is no moral justification for it. However, it was a justified means of ending the war. It served it's intended purpose, but that doesn't make it right. I have no problem with what happened. The US has done a lot to rebuild Japan since 1945.
  22. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    OBL was also at war with America. Think about it.
  23. Master-Jedi-Smith Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2002
    star 4
    If I'm not mistaken, didn't other "Terroism" acts occur in WWII?

    When the Germans bombed England, or when the Allies bombed Germany. Only in those cases, the Atomic bomb was not created yet. But they still dropped bombs on cities. (I am picturing scenes of dozens of bombs being dropped, and not having any real accuracy, as well as many cities in ruin.)

    Civilians lived and died in these places. Why is this not brought up? It is the same war. Each side was trying to beat the other.

    Or is it not the same because not as many troops and civilians died fighting the Japanese as they did in Europe? (Which was the point in using the A-Bombs.) Did we "cheat" in battle? Should we have wasted our time with a ground battle?

    Latre! :D
  24. Jarik Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2000
    star 4
    "OBL was also at war with America. Think about it."

    I'm sorry. OBL?
  25. Darth_Drunk Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 1
    Nagasaki and Hiroshima were key parts of the military industry. If Japan hadn't surrenered, we would have had to invade. By taking out their production centers, we knocked out sources for the weapons that would have been used against the invasion force.
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