HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » An overlooked A-bomb issu... » Reply #39

Response to hunter (Reply #32)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 11:43 PM

39. "two bombs, bang bang, and the good guys win"

I'm pretty sure I didn't even come close to making that argument.

I'm relieved to hear you're not a revisionist. Authors that have asserted the "diplomacy by bombing" and "the Japanese were ready to surrender" theses have pretty consistently lost the debate. Here's a nice history of what "revisionism" is in this question:

http://www.theamericanpresident.us/images/truman_bomb.pdf

It's a PDF of a 15 page academic paper, but a relatively quick read. There's flaws on both sides, I think. The one thing the orthodox interpretation consistantly ignores is the ethics per se of dropping bombs on civilians. Truman himself only came to grips with that question after reports flooded in of what Little Boy and Fat Man did, Truman started reprimanding advisors who spoke of further bombing attacks and discussing the atomic attacks in moral terms I think you'd find some comfort from. Before the bombing, he'd been advised that the invasion of Kyushu would cost 250,000 lives and that the population of Hiroshima was 60,000. He did the obvious math. When the death toll proved to be over twice that 60,000, he radically changed his rhetoric about the bomb in internal policy discussions.

Sadly, it's the revisionist view that is more guilty of clinging to myth. Early revisionist books on the issue used out of context, even deliberately misleading quotes and distorting use of ellipses to twist meanings (as you'll see from the paper linked to above). Claims about Japan being about to surrender are simply wrong. Testimony by Japanese officials after the war as well as official war-time documents show they were digging in for a prolonged defense of the homeland. US intel showed Japan had more defenders ready on Kyushu than the Americans had potential attackers. The War Party was winning the debate in internal deliberations, if only by stalemating the debate, the default position for Japan was to keep on fighting. Japanese policy makers, as discussed elsewhere in this thread were bizarrely out of touch with reality. But any softening in the US position, such as demonstration bombs or giving diplomacy more time, would have made the war party stronger. In the end, the Peace Party had to use subterfuge and imperial manipulation to all but trick the ruling war council (the Big Six) into approving surrender.

It's a heartbreaking reality of what war is--first that it's a bloody mess and second that it's been an inevitability rather than an option in world history--but the cumulative data of what the Americans knew then and what history shows now is that the Bombings were justified and saved lives. I hate writing that; it goes against my instincts. But the more I've read, the more that conclusion makes sense.

Reply to this post

Back to OP Alert abuse Link to post in-thread

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 67 replies Author Time Post
Jim Lane Aug 2013 OP
Socal31 Aug 2013 #1
niyad Aug 2013 #3
Nanjing to Seoul Aug 2013 #14
Lancero Aug 2013 #28
Niceguy1 Aug 2013 #29
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #30
niyad Aug 2013 #31
ConcernedCanuk Aug 2013 #40
Name removed Aug 2013 #41
cliffordu Aug 2013 #50
NutmegYankee Aug 2013 #55
telclaven Aug 2013 #56
Bonobo Aug 2013 #2
Fumesucker Aug 2013 #9
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #18
Fumesucker Aug 2013 #24
hack89 Aug 2013 #48
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #59
hack89 Aug 2013 #63
cliffordu Aug 2013 #51
Bonobo Aug 2013 #57
cliffordu Aug 2013 #58
joshcryer Aug 2013 #4
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #12
joshcryer Aug 2013 #15
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #19
joshcryer Aug 2013 #22
GreenStormCloud Aug 2013 #67
LearnedHand Aug 2013 #5
jimlup Aug 2013 #6
Bucky Aug 2013 #10
hunter Aug 2013 #7
Bucky Aug 2013 #11
hunter Aug 2013 #13
Bucky Aug 2013 #20
hunter Aug 2013 #32
LineLineLineLineLineLineReply "two bombs, bang bang, and the good guys win"
Bucky Aug 2013 #39
ConcernedCanuk Aug 2013 #42
Bucky Aug 2013 #43
ConcernedCanuk Aug 2013 #45
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #62
nadinbrzezinski Aug 2013 #54
ConcernedCanuk Aug 2013 #60
nadinbrzezinski Aug 2013 #61
HardTimes99 Aug 2013 #44
GreenStormCloud Aug 2013 #46
hunter Aug 2013 #52
Bucky Aug 2013 #8
joshcryer Aug 2013 #17
Bucky Aug 2013 #21
joshcryer Aug 2013 #23
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #25
zipplewrath Aug 2013 #35
Bucky Aug 2013 #36
Hulk Aug 2013 #16
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #26
sofa king Aug 2013 #27
hunter Aug 2013 #33
sofa king Aug 2013 #49
Lee-Lee Aug 2013 #34
brooklynite Aug 2013 #37
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #38
Bake Aug 2013 #47
markiv Aug 2013 #53
DCBob Aug 2013 #64
melm00se Aug 2013 #65
ConcernedCanuk Aug 2013 #66
Please login to view edit histories.