What makes a justified/morally correct war? Now discussing the 2003 US invasion of Iraq

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by saturn5, Feb 12, 2010.

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  1. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    I disagree with this. The US had effectively cut Japan off from the resources they needed to fuel their war efforts. All that we had to do was sit back and starve Japan of oil and precious minerals until they were willing to surrender.

    The allies didn't really need to invade. The problem was that the US were not content to just let Japan starve to death behind the US naval blockade of the island nation. Otherwise an invasion would have come at great loss to US lives than the firebombing campaigns. Oh and don't forget all those people who died from incinerary bombs.

    Did you happen to know that the US firebombing explicitly avoided these cities, knowing that they would be the A-bomb targets? It's not like they could have driven the populace to evacuate with a few conventional attacks before that.
  2. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    I disagree with you on all fronts. Starving them of resources would've also meant starving them period. Thousands would've died.

    And they weren't going to surrender if we just cut off their resources. Imperial Japan had mobilized the populace, even women and children, for defending their homeland. They weren't going anywhere.

    The only way they would've been able to defeat Japan is to force them to surrender. That was either through invasion(which was thoroughly studied and planned) or the bombs.

    The firebombings demonstrated that Japan was ready to go down in flames through an invasion.

    And furthermore, Japan was developing biological weapons as well as other dastardly weapons if the war dragged on.

    President Truman had to end the war sooner rather than wait.
  3. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    I'm not sure that Japan imported much of its food at the time. They could have maintained the basic necessities for a sustained period of time, but the shortage of oil and precious minerals would have been detrimental to their way of life.

    How exactly? Maybe they could have formed a malitia that would have been effective against invaders, but not for offensive purposes.

    And without a sustainable economic base to produce such weapons? Germany had long been working on V2's and a variety of terror weapons by the end of the war, but their inability to provide the resources needed brought all that to a grinding halt.
  4. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
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    It was brought to a grinding halt because the allies decimated their industrial complex and invaded and occupied the country. We forced their capitulation. We decided a Japanese invasion would've been too costly. And a blockade? There was no indication whatsoever that they were prepared to surrender based on a lack of minerals. And to have a effective blockade meant we would've had to tighten the grip in harbours and ports.
    The Japanese were prepared to fight to the death for those areas and any other piece of land on the main islands.

    And they were far enough along with some of their terror weapons research that it was likely a prolonged conflict would've seen some of those things in action.
    That would've put more U.S. servicemen at risk. There would've been more bombing in retaliation. More deaths.

    A blockade would not have meant an end to fighting. Far from it. The Japanese were becoming more fanatical.

    So we needed something that was so destructive and all encompassing that the Japanese would be forced to look at the futility of continued resistance.

    The bombs accomplished that.
  5. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Perhaps, but you can't attack another nation without fuel to propel your ships or aircraft.

    Oil fields are part of Germany's economic base. Yes, they bombed factories, but the allies attacked the fuel depots and oil fields which powered their economy. An invasion was needed in Europe because all they needed to sustain their war efforts were not easily cut off.

    Japan imported virtually all the resources it needed to sustain its war machine. So blockading their mainland would essentially cut them off from the rest of the world. And without a supply of oil and metals, they couldn't rebuild supply ships. So the US wouldn't have to keep a blockade in place as you seemed to infer. They just had to destroy Japan's commercial fleet once and that was it.
  6. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    No, Japanese civilians on Okinawa and Saipan killed themselves rather than surrender to the US/Commonwealth forces. After 2 atomic bombs the Japanese still weren't going to surrender, it took the personal intervention of the Emperor and even then the high command tried to stage a coup to prevent it. Do you really think such people could be defeated by lack of fuel? Japs were making synthetic fuel from trees for their Kamakazies. And how many would have died in the meantime fighting Japanese forces still occupying vast areas of Asia?
    There was plenty of fight left in the Japanese. The USS Indianapolis, the ship that delivered the Hiroshima bomb was sunk on her return journey by a jap sub with the loss of 1000 lives. Can you imagine a modern war where we lost 1000 men in one day?
    Dropping the bombs ended the war at one stroke and saved the lives of millions
  7. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Defeated? I would say no. A threat? Only from what few forces that weren't yet destroyed. Otherwise they didn't pose much of a threat to anyone trying to land forces on their homeland.

    Ever hear the term 'war crime'? There is nothing more deserving of than incinerating entire cities with fire and hell winds called A-bombs. The destruction of Tokyo was every bit as much a war crime as those who died by the A-bombs.
  8. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    The necessity of the bombings from a military standpoint is by no means settled. General Eisenhower firmly argued that the bombings were unecessary from a military point of view.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate_over_the_atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki

    In particular, note the following quote extracted from Eisenhower's published memoirs: Mandate for Change: The White House Years describing a 1945 meeting he had had with Secretary for War Stimson at Potsdam:

    "In 1945 Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at the very moment, seeking to surrender with a minimum loss of ?face.? pg. 312-313)"

    Other references may also be found in the wikipedia link under the heading "militarily unnecessary" - particularly the following quotes extracted from Freeman, Robert (August 6 2006). "Was the Atomic Bombing of Japan Necessary?".

    "The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military point of view, in the defeat of Japan." Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

    "The use of [the atomic bombs] at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender." Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Truman.

    These quotes appear to me to be confirmed by other sources if you do a general google search so I am satisfied that they have not been fabricated.
    Those bombs were dropped on civilians, on old men, women, children, babies, the mentally handicapped, the physically handicapped. Tens of thousands of children and babies subsequently died of cancer, tumours and radiation related illness. That is a war crime of epic proportions.
  9. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    The US/Commonwealth took 50,000 casulaties just trying to take a tiny island like Okinawa. Invading mainland Japan even in their weakened state would have cost hundreds of thousands of lives on the part of the allies and millions for the Japs. This is not including their armies still scattered across Asia or the scroched earth policy as they retreated, including killing allied prisoners

    Hiroshima was the home of three army divisions, Nagasaki was a major naval port, Tokyo an industrial centre. The A-bombs saved the lives of millions
  10. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    In mid-1945 pre-bomb dropping, the Imperial army still had well over 2 million men under arms in Japan alone. They also had a massive civilian militia ready to die for their country.

    So a blockade is really a meager response to a society militarised to their core.

    Yathura, can you provide any source where the allies ever considered a blockade strategy of the kind you're suggesting?
  11. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    You're going on the assumption that invading Japan was necessary and that Japanese would have posed a threat to the US if they had not dropped the bombs. I'm very well aware of the casualties on Okinawa and Iwo Jima. I know of the predicted loss of like that would be expected of an invasion of mainland Japan. That's all moot if the war could have ended without either of those scenarios.

    Your entire argument is based on the US having to win a military victory in Japan, and having to beat them with one of only two unfavorable options. If Japan might have been willing to surrender before the bombs were dropped, then nearly 100,000 more were slaughtered needlessly. Not to mention those that suffer from the effects of radiation to this day.
  12. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Ah, so this helps your argument how?

    Did you know that the radiation within a nuclear reactor is so intense that you'd die within minutes if you went in without protection? That being known, should you go out and buy a super expensive radiation suit? Maybe the best solution is to not enter a nuclear reactor at all.

    I've already stated that the Japanese army wouldn't pose a threat to anyone beyond their mainland without FUEL or MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION. So to say you would need to sacrifice tens of thousands of American lives is just making justifications for the bomb over the casualties from an invasion. If an invasion weren't necessary, then what justification would have existed to use the bombs?

    You've clearly not studied much of Japan at the end of WWII. An army marches on its stomach, so to say. So cutting off Japan's supply lines from the mainland would have effectively neutralized their ability to wage war... unless you wanted to move your ships within range of their remaining suicide planes. It's not like they were going to go anywhere at that point.

    Germany weren't the only ones to use subs to cut off an enemy from its supply lines. US Gato class subs were responsible for the destruction of much of the Japanese merchant fleet.
  13. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    I don't get your argument. You seem to be saying that we should have just sat there and starved the Japs out? But frankly a nation that is prepared to launch kamakazie strikes and undergo 2 atom bombs and still not surrender will never be broken by blockade, it would have taken YEARS (look at North Korea). In the meantime there are still millions under unspeakably cruel Japanese occupation in the Pacific and Asia, the allies are still losing thousands of men in these conflicts and in the air raids themselves. Trying to starve the Japs out would be the allied equivalent of the German Panzers stopping at the outskirts of Dunkirk. Also you had no idea of what wonder weapons the Japanese were planning, the Germans supplying them much of their most advanced technology.

    The idea that starvation would somehow have been kinder is incredible. The Japanese would have starved to death in their millions before surrendering. Again, the A-bombs saved lives.

    The lesson of the Great War was that you had to defeat the enemy entirely or they would come back for you in a few years.

    Once again though it's the psychological factor that matters even more than saving millions of lives. The A-bomb allowed the Japanese to unconditionally surrender AND save face.
  14. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Yeah, keep telling yourself that. Nothing you say will convince me otherwise. Japan had since already lost the war before the bombs were dropped.

    Japan had already lost the war before US bombers could wage firebombing campaigns. Anything you use to justify the atom bomb hinges on the US decision to invade the mainland. It's not as though calling off the invasion would have made a difference to the American war effort.

    You always seem to forget... YOU NEED CRITICAL RESOURCES FOR SUCH WONDERWEAPONS TO BE BUILT! RESOURCES OF WHICH THE JAPANESE WERE CUT OFF FROM! You're just demonizing Japan like Bush did with Iraq. Even if Japan had improved upon the design of Germany's Me 262, they still lacked the resources for significant enough production of anything to be more of a threat.

    Don't stereotype everyone in Japan as being willing to die rather than surrender. Even if it were so, it DOES NOT give us an excuse to commit mass murder! We are NOT supposed to bomb civilians, yet that's exactly what the A-bombs were used for.
  15. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    I just don't get the idea that it was necessary to drop the A-Bomb on a civilian centre. Couldn't they just as feasibly have been dropped on a purely military target with basically the same effect?
  16. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    I still don't get that developing them in the first place is considered bon-ton.
  17. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
  18. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Maybe this would be feasible for today's A-weapons, but the weapons they built then were built to a certain specification in order to demonstrate how devastating a 15 megaton nuclear weapon could be. One bomb to destroy an entire city is astounding. It may have been equally intimidating to drop 5 x 1-megaton weapons on military bases, but that meant building five A-bombs and all the components that went with them.
  19. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4

    You always seem to forget... YOU NEED CRITICAL RESOURCES FOR SUCH WONDERWEAPONS TO BE BUILT! RESOURCES OF WHICH THE JAPANESE WERE CUT OFF FROM! You're just demonizing Japan like Bush did with Iraq. Even if Japan had improved upon the design of Germany's Me 262, they still lacked the resources for significant enough production of anything to be more of a threat.

    Don't stereotype everyone in Japan as being willing to die rather than surrender. Even if it were so, it DOES NOT give us an excuse to commit mass murder! We are NOT supposed to bomb civilians, yet that's exactly what the A-bombs were used for.[/quote]

    Amidst the 'wonder weapons' Germany was developing was synthetic fuel. Japan was developing it's own verson made from wood, used to fuel the kamakazies. I don't stereotype the Japanese people as all being eager to die for the emperor but there was no anti-war movement in Japan and as the invasion of Okinawa/Saipan shows enough were willing to do so excepting the 2 million strong Jap army still in the homeland.

    This was not mass murder, this saved the lives of millions. Both Nagasaki and Hiroshima were military targets, the former a vital naval port, the latter a garrison town.

    How exactly did George Bush (I take it you mean jnr?)'demonise' Iraq under Saddam Hussein? What good points did he leave out about it?
  20. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    I recommend you watch 'Letters from Iwo Jima.' You'd see it's not as simple as you seem to believe. There is a mix of people who are so fanatical about dying for the emperor that they would send their forces into a suicide battle and any who didn't comply were executed by their own people. So it was either die for your emperor and try to take as many Americans with you, or be shot by your own commander.

    You already brought this up. Don't you realize that while you can produce biofuels, it doesn't exactly mean you can produce them in the sizable quantities you desire? The US can use its entire corn production for ethanol, but it would only account for 15% of our energy demands. The same limitations apply to Japan's ability to produce biofuels while also feeding their people.

    I recommend you watch 'Letters from Iwo Jima.' You'd see it's not as simple as you seem to believe. There is a mix of people who are so fanatical about dying for the emperor that they would send their forces into a suicide battle and any who didn't comply were executed by their own people. So it was either die for your emperor and try to take as many Americans with you, or be shot by your own commander.

    You already brought this up. Don't you realize that while you can produce biofuels, it doesn't exactly mean you can produce them in the sizable quantities you desire? The US can use its entire corn production for ethanol, but it would only account for 15% of our energy demands. The same limitations apply to Japan's ability to produce biofuels while also feeding their people.

    One thing that I truly detest are opinionated people. They make claims and form opinions without really evaluating everything the argument. You say you have facts? Show me your sources. I've read numerous books on the subject. I'm no expert, but I do believe I know the subject well enough to say that Japan was severely crippled by American firebombings. I can reasonably say that Japan posed little threat at the time the A-bombs were dropped. I can't say for sure that they would have surrendered before the firebombings, but I can say for sure that the A-bombs were more used for psychological purposes than for their actual destructive capacity.

    Then it would have seemed more logical to commit forces to dealing with occupying Jap armies than in firebombing the hell out of Japanese cities. Not like I don't believe you, but could you provide a link to show the statistics of those forces in 1945? Like how many troops, their equipment, territories they had control of?
  21. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    Yathura, you stated in a post above that the Japanese had no offensive capability at the near end to break a blockade. That is false. They still had 2 million men under arms ready to die for their divine emperor by any means necessary. And you don't think that would pose a threat to your blockade?

    And are you really using a Clint Eastwood movie to make your point? Where is the serious evidence?

    Where is your evidence that a blockade would have worked with the success you are claiming? Was this a serious idea floated by the allied command? If so, where is the documentation?

    [face_mischief]
  22. Danaan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2008
    star 4
    The Japanese forces occupying China, Manchuria and Korea were undefeated by the end of the war.
  23. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    Stop using the "there are millions of Imperial army forces still under arms" argument. A blockade would force the more fanatical troops to their knees. [face_worried]
  24. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Actually, no amount of fanaticism will overcome modern weapons. Japanese banzai charges against well-fortified machine gun emplacements are an example of this. If the Japanese had no planes or ships, then those 2 million men aren't going to help them. Major Japanese military bases were rendered useless simply because a U.S. carrier battle group came in, bombed the hell out of their airfields, sank all their ships, and moved on. The Pacific Ocean ensured that the remaining soldiers wouldn't pose a threat.

    Okay, so the Japanese had kamikazes based in their home islands. But you don't need battleships or even aircraft carriers to maintain a blockade. Just a lot of submarines, and a lot of naval mines. B-29's actually did far more damage to Japan by dropping mines into harbors than by firebombing cities, although the Air Force didn't like performing naval missions if they didn't have to. This was actually a strategy that was proposed by Navy admirals but for some reason (I don't remember what) the allies wanted a swifter end to the war, so they chose invasion and eventually the A-bomb. Here's a good book on the subject.

    As for the militarization of Japanese society, I don't think it was nearly as extensive as some have made it out to be. Japan had a parliament before the military takeover, and American cultural influence was definitely present (Japan's favorite sport was baseball). The rapid adoption of a pacifist constitution in post-war Japan seems to point toward this as well.
  25. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    You make some good points, but Skates actually argues for an invasion and blockade in conjunction, not just a blockade.
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