Was Hiroshima an act of Terrorism?

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying that leaders make the best decisions they can in most cases. Bush probably made a huge mistake taking our military into Iraq, but I honestly believe that, having made the mistake, he's interested in helping the Iraqi people in the aftermath of the destruction of their state and that if we can avoid it we will not simply pull out and abandon them to their fate.

    Think about what might have happened had we not dropped the bomb then. There would have been a first use. Maybe against North Korea. Maybe against the Soviet Union. The good news is that the U.S. and the Soviet Union have studiously avoided using nukes for more than 50 years. They wisely built a doctrine that placed a heavy, heavy emphasis on never having to use nukes.

    And that doctrine, I believe, is the result of having a practical, real life example of the consequences of using atomic weapons.

    It's not a justification, and yet we have to be thankful that history didn't turn out differently.
  2. Errant_Venture Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2002
    star 6
    That and the fact that it was also dropped to provide a political statement to the Soviets. You may have more military might in Europe, but we can eliminate your entire armies with a single bomb. Stay out of Western Europe. That statement very well could have saved the world from fighting the Soviets in '45 or '46. The Allies had a tough enough time defeating Germany, there was little to no way they could have defended the remainder of Europe from a Soviet push.
  3. JediSmuggler Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    If Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbor, then we would not have had to use nuclear arms on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Japan brought this upon themselves with the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. It might be off-topic, but I would say that since 9/11, America's acted with restraint compared to what we did after Pearl Harbor.
  4. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    That and the fact that it was also dropped to provide a political statement to the Soviets.

    Considering how fast he had a working fission bomb, Stalin must have understood the message.

  5. DarkWoman Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2002
    star 4
    If Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbor, then we would not have had to use nuclear arms on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Of course... striking a military base filled mostly with military is absolute reason to nuke two cities filled mostly with civilians.

    Japan brought this upon themselves with the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.

    I take it that you also think that a mother killing a kid is justified because he broke her favourite vase.

    It might be off-topic, but I would say that since 9/11, America's acted with restraint compared to what we did after Pearl Harbor.

    How forgiving of the US to give those civilians a chance to not be nuked because some idiots who happen to live arround that area decided to crash a few plains on buildings.

    EDIT: markup codes
  6. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    World War 2 was, in general, harder on civilians than it was on soldiers. I would characterize the use of nuclear weapons as a subset of the problem that civilians were treated by all sides to the conflict as legitimate military targets. The Japanese killed at least 10 million Chinese civilians. Does this justify the use of atomic weapons? No, but the Japanese were not blameless victims, honorable soldiers who would never willingly target civilians, unless of course you take into account the fact that the Japanese didn't even consider the Chinese to be human.
  7. JediSmuggler Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    DarkWoman

    Considering that on the first day of launching military operations in Afghanistan (October 7, 2001), the United States was capable of loading a lot of B-52 and B-1 bombers with incendiaries, sending them over Kandahar (the major Taliban stronghold) with orders to commence area bombing, which would have created a Dresden-esque firestorm, I would consdier my characterization of the American response pretty accurate.

    Japan is not some innocent nation that was wronged. There were previous incidents where American ships had been targetd and sunk, there was a litany of war crimes that were quite shocking (the Rape of Nanking), and there was a "suicide bomber" mentality that ONLY the atomic bombs penetrated and forced a surrender.
  8. anidanami124 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    DarkWoman if the US had not dropped the nuke they would have had to have went right into Japan. It would have then ended up being so bloodly it would have made the rest of WW 2 look like a kid B-Day parity. Ever man, woman, and child would have fought back. The death toll would be so high on both sides that well... It's not something I like to think about.
  9. DarthBane77 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2003
    star 4
    I did not read every responce, but I will throw in my two cents.


    Terrorism and war are in every way completely different. We fought Japan because they fought us first. We retaliated with conventional means and war drug on. Many many people lost their lives. We obviously had the upper-hand and the Japanese were nowhere near the side of the victor. We offered them a chance to back down and surrender. They didn't. They got what they ultimately deserved, and yet they still refused surrender. We took another shot. It was then they surrendered. It was a WAR!


    Terrorism and war are not the same.


    Examples of terrorism:

    Pearl Harbor

    Oklahoma City Bomb

    9/11


    What do the above have in common? We were not in war when they occured. Had we not been at war with Japan, it would have been terrorism, but we were. Its as simple as that. If a country declares war on another country then gets annihalated even after the chance to surrender its their own darn fault and terrorism has nothing to do with it.

    .02

    -DB77
  10. Jansons_Funny_Twin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Examples of terrorism:

    Pearl Harbor


    While I don't think Hiroshima was an act of terrorism, neither do I think Pearl Harbor was an act of terrorism.

    For starters, the attack was on a military base. Right there, I think it mostly rules out that it was terrorism.

    Second, there was some warning. No, I'm not talking the conspiracy theory, "FDR knew" warning, I mean there were some people who spotted the planes by sight and by radar. If nothing else, there should have been people on standby, as people were suspecting war for at least a few weeks by that point.

    Third, for it to be terrorism, it has to be carried out by a non-governmental (occasionally a clandestine) group. By the very definition of terrorism (at least the official U.S. government's definition), States cannot actually conduct terrorist attacks.




    Anata Baka?!
  11. DarthBane77 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2003
    star 4
    Okay. Agreed. Pearl wasn't terrorism, but it was the closest thing since we weren't in war.
  12. Obi-Wan McCartney Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    Actually, it was an act of war, or an act declaring war, or somethign to that effect.

    No I don't think Hiroshima was terrorism, we were at war, but I think it probably wasn't the best idea. But the points about THE FIRE BOMBING we did was valid, people forget how bad we rocked Germany.

    However, consider the fact that we had to drop TWO bombs. If you ask me, we should have bombed a military target FIRST, and THEN when they wouldn't surrender, we should have bombed the civilians.
  13. Jansons_Funny_Twin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Okay. Agreed. Pearl wasn't terrorism, but it was the closest thing since we weren't in war.

    I figure, once troops are commited, there's war. The idea of declaring a war is obsured, and just downright stupid.

    So basically, the fact that they didn't give us any warning doesn't mean crap in whether it was terrorism, or close to it.

    EDIT: OWM

    Agreed on the point on it being an act of war.

    However, consider the fact that we had to drop TWO bombs. If you ask me, we should have bombed a military target FIRST, and THEN when they wouldn't surrender, we should have bombed the civilians.

    Well, Japan has such a limited landmass, so when we attacked Hiroshima and Nagasaki (both of which, IIRC, were manufacturing centers for the Japanese war effort) had large civilian populations around them.

    So basically, large numbers of civilian casualties were unavoidable, no matter where they hit.




    Anata Baka?!
  14. anidanami124 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    However, consider the fact that we had to drop TWO bombs. If you ask me, we should have bombed a military target FIRST, and THEN when they wouldn't surrender, we should have bombed the civilians.

    The problem with that is that even if they had not dropped the bomb when the US would have went into Japan they would be fighting more then just military. Also the other problem is that I believe many of the militray target's like in Germeny were in citys.
  15. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 10
    Actually, it depends on whether or not your definition of terrorist is
    a) Correct, and
    b) politically sensitive.

    Terrorism is very "us" and "them". "They" commit acts of terror and we don't. That's not to say we don't commit acts of terror; it's just that for the average members of public, "othering" terrorism lets them sleep well at night.

    The simple fact remains that Hiroshima was an example of using force and intimidation tactics to cause change. There is no actual difference between, say, the SOE destroying German hydroelectric plants and the PLO targeting sensitive Israel targets. Both acts use the civilian populace to push for change in the leadership's policies. There were a variety of reasons for the SOE doing what they did; mostly, it was to turn citizens against the Germans by destroying essential services and making them restless. The same standard applies to Hiroshima; it was an act which forced Japan to surrender the war.

    We can't forget in our relativism that terrorism is perfectly acceptable to us when we do it under the mantle of "covert actions", but how morally reprehensible it is when our enemies do it. I don't notice outrage at the CIA's tactics in Cuba during the Castro years, which were clearly terrorist tactics. But I see outrage when HAMAS strikes...

    The fact is, terrorism itself is a reprehensible but employed (albeit unsuccessfully) tactic designed to use force against civilian targets - directly or indirectly - to affect change. We should condemn terrorists, and not pretend that terrorism is monopolised by other states; rather, we should develop a sound understanding of the term and not rationalise our actions into another, more sensitive category.

    E_S
  16. Obi-Wan McCartney Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    Heck the Boston Tea Party was an act of Terrorism...Until we defeated the British, and then it became an act of Patriotism.
  17. Mono_Borracho Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2003
    star 3
    Hiroshima was not terrorism.

    Hiroshima masacre was not justified. So many more people died there (including civilians and kids, not only soldiers).

    There were more ways to win a war besides killing by far many more people that derserve to die after Pearl Harbour. It's the 2nd greatest genocide of the History. Don't blame Al-Qaeda nor anyone without looking at your own faults.
  18. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 10
    Hiroshima, a genocide. I suppose you're right, only if you discount Stalin's purge and completely redefine genocide to suit your purposes.
    Please, if you're going to throw terms like "genocide" around, at least have the courtesy to understand the customary international law definition properly. [face_plain]

    E_S
  19. Saint_of_Killers Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 5
    The firebombing killed alot more than the nukes did, and if it weren't for the nukes, the firebombing would have just continued, and pretty much all of the Japanese cities would have been wiped off the map.
  20. Errant_Venture Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2002
    star 6
    Even if it was genocide, it was by far way down the list of horrible genocides. We have Stalins purge of roughly 35 million, Hitler's Holocaust of 11 million, the Japanese "Holocaust" of 10 million Chinese, not too mention any Philippino or Allied troops that died under their horrible POW treatments. Then we have Mao's slaughter of millions of Chinese citizens. Castro killed about a million when he assumed power. Then there are the Tutsis and Hutus, which I happen to forget the exact number right now. I believe it was in the few millions. Then there are the Serbian slaughter of Bosnian citizens. Should I continue?

    I'd hardly see some 200,000 lives lost because of the nukes was an act of genocide. In fact, the firebombing killed hundreds of thousands of more people than those two nukes combined.
  21. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    No party to the conflict in world war 2 was innocent of attrocities against civilians.

    Dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was an attrocity, but not fundamentally different from the firebombing of Dresden, or Japan's extermination of millions of Chinese, or Hitler's brutal treatment of Russian civiliand.

    Because it was the first use of atomic weapons, it makes no sense to think of it as a special case among horrific events in world war 2. It was just another attrocity committed in the name of victory at any cost,
    nor do I think it was racially motivated. If the bomb had been ready to use against Germany, we would have used it against Germany.

    I really want to stress that it was the act of using it that gave nuclear weapons special status. If they had not been used in world war 2, they would have been considered just another weapon (a really big one) and that would have guaranteed that they would have been used in the next conflict. Probably Korea.

    It was only the act of dropping them on cities that has prevented them from being used since. It was the only thing that made military leaders in the U.S. and the Soviet Union believe, unequivocally and unanimously, in mutually assured destruction.

  22. anidanami124 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    Dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was an attrocity, but not fundamentally different from the firebombing of Dresden, or Japan's extermination of millions of Chinese, or Hitler's brutal treatment of Russian civiliand.

    I agree with this part 100%.

    Because it was the first use of atomic weapons, it makes no sense to think of it as a special case among horrific events in world war 2. It was just another attrocity committed in the name of victory at any cost,

    Yeah but what was the cost of not dropping it? Again Japan was not just going to give up that's not what there people where like or are like. I mean yes the Nuke was well it's beyond words. But if you look at what could have happened by not dropping it. Well the US did they best thing. I mean we are talking about the fact that the whole US army and those helping them taking all there troop right into Japan to fight. It would have ended up really bad.

    So I look at it as a special one time case that kept a whole race form being wipped off the face of the planet.
  23. Mono_Borracho Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2003
    star 3
    It's not the same dying 500000 people in 2 seconds than 10 million in 5 years. Is hard to talk this way about peaople, but think and compare. For me, it's not the same, though the final numbers are not the same in any other case. And well, neither is the same the death of 500000 civilians that they didn't take place in the war.
  24. Saint_of_Killers Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 5
    Some Japanese civilians actually did participate. After much of Japan's factories were destroyed by bombing, small workshops were set up in homes. They couldn't make airplanes or ships, but they could definately turn out firearms. That was one of the reasons for the firebombing, along with the terror aspect.
  25. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Be fair. That's not a convincing argument for the firebombing. The firebombings of Tokyo and Dresden were undertaken first and foremost for propaganda purposes - they were used as terror weapons to drive home to the civilian populations of Germany and Japan the price they would have to pay for their governments' warmongering.

    And you know what? - there's something to be said for that approach - holding civilians accountable for the militarism of their governments. The results are pretty dramatic. Germany and Japan are now two of the most pacifistic democracies on the planet.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.