Thread: Pearl Harbor Day

  1. #16
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bithub View Post
    I simply look at it as a horrible (but 100% necessary) act that occurred.
    I also 100% totally agree that it was necessary to demonstrate the nuclear bomb in order to end WWII, esp considering that a number of other players were racing to do the same thing.

    That does not at all mean that it was necessary to drop it on a peaceful city. They could have, for example, targeted the Japanese leadership -- altho this would probably involve an equal number of casualties, it at least might have killed some people responsible for the travesty in China, or even Pearl Harbour, etc. Which that was not anyone in Hiroshima.

    Instead, the American leadership decided that targeting heads of state, or other generals, was out of bounds. Ie, we won't really hurt each other, we will just hurt our subjects and citizens. Very honorable! More like the exact equivalent of "cowardly terrorist attacks".
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  2. #17
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Targetting the government might run counter to the aim of getting a quick surrender: it might take awhile before new leadership is in place to actually make the surrender official.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarne Stroustrup (2000-10-14)
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  3. #18
    The larch
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    Well, the bombing of Tokyo was far worse (except for the psychological factor of wiping out a town with a single bomb), and the Wikipedia mentions they did try to hit the emperor's palace.

    On the other hand, Wikipedia also mentions Hiroshima was chosen for landscape features to maximize the damage, and it had been spared earlier, so that damage assessment could be done.
    I might be wrong.

    Thank you, anon. You sure know how to recognize different types of trees from quite a long way away.
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  4. #19
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    I remember during boot camp we got put through a reenactment (of sorts, different details and we didn't know it was a reenactment until it was done) of what the recruits at boot camp went through right after the attack.

    I will say that it was 60 years ago and that holding onto the past too strongly helps no one. Sure, study it, learn from it, and raise moral questions about it. But things like "Never Forget" is too close to "never forget, never forgive" in how most people take it.

  5. #20
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anon View Post
    Hiroshima was chosen for landscape features to maximize the damage, and it had been spared earlier, so that damage assessment could be done.
    Yes, that is not disputed. So kind of hard to call it anything but a purposeful "live test", or demonstration.

    Quote Originally Posted by laserlight View Post
    Targetting the government might run counter to the aim of getting a quick surrender: it might take awhile before new leadership is in place to actually make the surrender official.
    That is a very good point, but I am still sure there were plenty of better, more strategic targets (I think Nagasaki did have some naval vessels). As anon points out, the criteria in choosing Hiroshima was the exact opposite of strategic, it was a demonstration.
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    Current ISO draft standard
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  6. #21
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    That does not at all mean that it was necessary to drop it on a peaceful city.
    Neither Hiroshima nor Nagasaki were 'peaceful cities'. Perhaps you fail to understand the concept of total war, but that is the policy that the Japanese pursued. Oh it was peaceful, they weren't soldiers, they just made the bullets and bombs and planes that killed Americans, they didn't pull the trigger themselves, and then you assume the leadership which ALSO do not pull the trigger are of course a valid target. Grow up.

    Quote Originally Posted by anon View Post
    Wikipedia mentions they did try to hit the emperor's palace..
    I'll have to fix that later by requiring a citation, because the fact is they intentionally AVOIDED killing the emperor to maintain order.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    As anon points out, the criteria in choosing Hiroshima was the exact opposite of strategic, it was a demonstration.
    You are confusing tactical and strategic. If the goal was to force a surrender then targets that will cause the most shock and awe are specifically the best targets. The purpose of bombing Japan was not to destroy military targets in preparation for an invasion, but to force a quick surrender.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thantos View Post
    But things like "Never Forget" is too close to "never forget, never forgive" in how most people take it.
    I still won't eat English Muffin's because of 1776
    Last edited by abachler; 12-07-2009 at 04:53 PM.

  7. #22
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    You are confusing tactical and strategic. If the goal was to force a surrender then targets that will cause the most shock and awe are specifically the best targets.
    Eg, the World Trade Center. I don't disagree, but I do think it is important, if you want to distinguish between good and evil, to base this distinction on some REAL standard of behaviour, not simply the shirt you wear. That is not to say "thou shalt not kill" but maybe at least "thou shalt not indiscriminately massacre for rhetorical effect".

    If you do not want to distinguish between good and evil (perhaps it is an idealized waste of time), then yeah, we taught those filthy Japs a lesson.
    C programming resources:
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    Current ISO draft standard
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  8. #23
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Eg, the World Trade Center.
    And the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

    I have stated as much several times in the past.

    The legitimacy of a target is in no way based on the opinion of the target, but in its effectiveness at furthering the goals of the aggressor.

    There is no room for morality or conscience in war. War is by its definition the result of a breakdown in moral and/or civil behavior. Trying to inject into it that which does not belong only prolongs and amplifies the human suffering and thus by definition, forcing morality into the equation is both inhumane and immoral.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ORB_sur...War_casualties. Had we simply gone in a killed 600,000 of the most radical anti-western troublemaker's, drag them out into the street in the middle of the night and publicly execute them for everyone to see and left a note on their bodies 'Do Not make us come back a third time'. I highly doubt we would have any problems with the Taliban today and the total cost in human lives would have been far lower. In fact, doing so would have saved over 600,000 lives.
    Last edited by abachler; 12-07-2009 at 05:46 PM.

  9. #24
    Lurking whiteflags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    I don't disagree, but I do think it is important, if you want to distinguish between good and evil, to base this distinction on some REAL standard of behaviour, not simply the shirt you wear. That is not to say "thou shalt not kill" but maybe at least "thou shalt not indiscriminately massacre for rhetorical effect".

    If you do not want to distinguish between good and evil (perhaps it is an idealized waste of time), then yeah, we taught those filthy Japs a lesson.
    Other plans didn't work out. A land invasion would have been either a complete failure or just as catastrophic. What's the "good" way to end the war then? Because eventually somebody's going to pull enough excuses out of their ass to justify it. How about Hirohito screwing his people by not surrendering until the last possible moment? We waited three days for him to surrender before bombing Nagasaki. Let's color him with a moral brush while we are at it.

    And the events of 60 years ago definitely make me an .............. today because of genetics, right? I don't know about you folks, but my family who fought in that war (the people you could possibly, sort of, not really blame) is dead now. This kind of discussion always becomes a crapstorm because someone wants to establish a moral high ground.

    Besides if you ask me, scarier weapons exist today. We have developed a gun that takes into account the rotation of the Earth to give the shooter a better shot. Our military technology today is redefining science fiction.

  10. #25
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteflags View Post
    Other plans didn't work out. A land invasion would have been either a complete failure or just as catastrophic.
    For the nth time in this thread, I am not saying using nuclear weapons was or is inherently wrong, it's what you do with them. OF COURSE they had to be demonstrated. No argument, a good way to end the war. But the choice of targets was a very cowardly one.

    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    There is no room for morality or conscience in war. War is by its definition the result of a breakdown in moral and/or civil behavior. Trying to inject into it that which does not belong only prolongs and amplifies the human suffering and thus by definition, forcing morality into the equation is both inhumane and immoral.
    This is completely backward. You are making war out to be some kind of chaos. It is not. It is very highly organized and involves much much more co-operation amongst the participants than they would ordinarily engage in. It is very, very far from being a "breakdown in the social order" -- it is a heightening and intensification of the existing order.

    Morality is more important and significant in war because the decisions there are much more serious. It is not "Should I give some bum a dime?", it is "Should I lob a grenade into that sampam full of nursing children?" I absolutely promise if you attended West Point or something, that is exactly what you would be taught -- not to go ape-.......... and paint TOTAL ANARCHY on your machine. Notice all the training is intended to enforce a very regimented social order, not to "free the soldier's mind from the constraints of society".

    And they are right about that philosophy, just I think they have a hard time living up to their own ideals.
    Last edited by MK27; 12-07-2009 at 07:58 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  11. #26
    Lurking whiteflags's Avatar
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    For the nth time in this thread, I am not saying using nuclear weapons was or is inherently wrong, it's what you do with them.
    There is no ultimate difference.

    OF COURSE they had to be demonstrated. No argument, a good way to end the war. But the choice of targets was a very cowardly one.
    What wouldn't have been cowardly then? Do we really have the responsibility to find the most capable or whatever targets available? Does such a thing exist? For example, if we bombed the ocean somewhere close to Japan just to scare them, where there is little likelihood of precious human targets, that would lead to tidal waves and god knows what irreparable damage to the ocean. There is no perfect target so either way we end up having this discussion now.

  12. #27
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    I am saying that nuclear weapons are indeed wrong. It is not the people that died back then, it is the destructive potential of using such weapons which makes mankind hope it was never created nor used.

    Why would any advancement in weaponery benefit humanity? As long as aliens aren't inventing Earth, weapons will be used against ourselves. Anyone that believes that killing is wrong should not support wars. In any way. Its as clear as that.

    As for good and evil in war, for me everything goes in war. It is evil to make it. Apart from that does it really matter? As a soldier I would prefer to die in a swordfight rather than being blown up by a missile navigated by a satelite. I like the ideas of honor, bravery and a fair fight. But war is war. It is not football, people actually die. For soldiers warfare might make a difference. For their children and their wife it does not. Either they die by a sword or a bomb it is the same. They lose their dad and husband.

    Well, at least there was more honor centuries ago. I won't disagree, but it was just less evil, not even close to good. Consider also that an army kills and occupies until the enemy surrenders. A bomb simply destroys. Yes, WWWII did stop. But what if Japan had also nuclear bombs? And threw a few on the USA as well? Then the USA used them again and so on and so on? We would have far more casualties than we already had.

    And I am thinking that no two super powers are stupid enough to get tied in a nuclear war destroying them both and a third power rising. Which means that if it is used it will be more likely from a less powerful country. But then they will have to use them in order to defend themselves. How else? And instead of creating an empire, like they were doing back then, you will end up with a big wasteland. That is exactly the bad thing about the nuclear bomb.

  13. #28
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    Had we simply gone in a killed 600,000 of the most radical anti-western troublemaker's, drag them out into the street in the middle of the night and publicly execute them for everyone to see and left a note on their bodies 'Do Not make us come back a third time'. I highly doubt we would have any problems with the Taliban today and the total cost in human lives would have been far lower. In fact, doing so would have saved over 600,000 lives.
    This reminded me of Apocalypse Now. By the end of the movie, General Kurtz (Marlon Brando) tells the protagonist the story of how they went to inoculate the children of a village against polio. While returning, a crying old men chase them and they went back. The Vietcong had came and cut all the inoculated arms of the children and made a pile with those arms. After he (Kurtz) cried at the horror, he couldn't stop admire the efficiency of such an act and only wished he had 10 divisions of such willful men. The war would be over.

    This draws a parallel to the Afghanistan war, no doubt. And despite my heart telling me otherwise, I cannot avoid agreeing with your words. The reason the enemy wins is because a) we have been fighting him for too long and he adapted to our strategy and b) we do not fight a war more than we PR on the theater and back at home.

    We all remember the recent German bombing incidents in Afghanistan that led to the resignation of the German Defense Minister. It's moments like this that make one realize why we are losing the war. The Taliban that decapitate an American soldier head are not sent back home dishonorably discharged, and Osama Bin Laden doesn't feel public pressure to resign. Because... they are fighting a war the same their ancestors did. And through cruelty to the population who dares support the enemy and the enemy who falls in their hands. A winning strategy.

    ...

    Of course, if we do join them and go back to our roots (and boy! Do we know how to wage war! The Taliban antics are little tantrums in comparison) what will exactly we going to teach? How to institute democracy on a country you just ravaged? How to free the people if you just killed half of the population or are being accused of heinous acts?

    The military are today by all accounts just an armed extension of the political branch. Less and less a tool to wage war and more and more a tool to brandish politics. Most top seats in the military are today occupied by military politicians, completely detached of the meaning of War; the most human of human activities.

    And yet, it is this that grants us the moral ground to support the accusations against those who perpetrate war crimes, defend Democracy as a honorable path and point our finger at terrorism, wickedness and tyranny. By restraining ourselves, we are better than them. We just don't win wars.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 12-07-2009 at 09:53 PM.
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  14. #29
    Registered User VirtualAce's Avatar
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    There is no good way to end a bloody war. If we hadn't dropped the bombs they would have never surrendered and it would have been a bloodbath. We might have been wrong and we might have been right but either way it did end the Pacific War. I think by that time we were tired of the Tarawa's, Okinawa's, Iwo's, Tinian's, Saipan's, and all the islands we lost thousands on. I think we were just plain tired of the fight and wanted to end it.

    It was very apparent the Japanese were losing when we began the push from the Marshalls and Marianas to the mainland. By the time we reached Iwo and Okinawa it was clear the Japanese had lost. However even then they would not surrender. Even after being told we would not invade their mainland if they surrendered and stopping hostilities in the area for 3 days they still would not surrender. Blame the Empire for being so egotistic and stubborn as to place all of their mainland in harm's way. It was clear we were not going to invade and take over their land and occupy. Our intentions were to end the Pacific War once and for all. The blood of those civilians is on the Empire's hands for if they would have surrendered it could have been prevented.

    There really isn't morality in war despite what the news and media might tell us. It's about killing or injuring the other guy before he kills/injures you. Plain and simple. It sucks but that is why it is war. You don't face down enemy pillboxes and entrenched machine guns by being all cuddly and nice-like. You do it by being a bloody bastard intent on wreaking as much havoc on the enemy lines by any means necessary. Of course civilians are not primary targets but they do become casualites of wars b/c no war is fought in a vaccum. There isn't a single stretch of real-estate in the world where a war can be fought and not involve or affect civilians.

    But I think most of you understand me by now. Take this new Afghanistan stuff for instance. I don't completely understand why we are going or what the mission truly is or how the CIC seems to think he can put a date on a pullout (what a noob war President) but I fully support our troops and military 100%. I'm confident that whatever it is they need to do they will do. That's just the military side of me speaking. You go, don't ask questions why, complete the job, and come back in one piece. Our military is not a democracy they only defend one.

    I remember during boot camp we got put through a reenactment (of sorts, different details and we didn't know it was a reenactment until it was done) of what the recruits at boot camp went through right after the attack.

    I will say that it was 60 years ago and that holding onto the past too strongly helps no one. Sure, study it, learn from it, and raise moral questions about it. But things like "Never Forget" is too close to "never forget, never forgive" in how most people take it.
    What branch and MOS? And I forgive but won't forget. Japan in that era is not the modern day Japan. Nothing wrong with rememberance so long as we remember it is from a time long since passed.
    I watched video of former vets of both sides visiting various war sites. It's amazing when you think that 60 years ago had these people been near each other there would have been death. Now 60 years later they can both stand peacefully on the same soil. Really weird when you think about it. I think each Pacific island invasion arena has memorials and services for vets from both sides each year on the day the invasions took place.

    Unlike the question of climate change, I suspect there is no scientific consensus in this.
    Not to get off topic but nice misnomer there. Since when has science been about a consensus? I thought that was politics.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 12-07-2009 at 10:25 PM.

  15. #30
    train spotter
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    I wonder what the situation in Afghanistan would be if the US had dropped US$864 billion in aid (instead of bombs) since 911.
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