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Response to Bucky (Reply #43)

Fri Aug 9, 2013, 12:09 AM

62. Why the focus on Truman's decision.

 

You write: "One thing I don't get is why the moral onus is so uniformly placed on the US."

First, it's because we're Americans and we see value in considering past actions of our government. For us to try to work out the details of what was done by the governments of the USSR and Japan is of some scholarly interest, but we feel a special responsibility to know all about what "we" did (even if most us weren't even alive then and none of us were among the decisionmakers).

Second, pointing to Japanese and Soviet misconduct is, in my opinion, among the weaker arguments made by defenders of the bombings. Yes, "the Japanese" committed atrocities at Nanjing, but that phrase is a bit loose. The government and its agents are the responsible parties. Many DUers seem to be willing to impute the actions of the government (a military dictatorship, as you mention) to a whole bunch of ordinary civilians, which I think is erroneous.

Third, some questions are closer and therefore more interesting than others. For example, you won't see much debate on DU about the rights and wrongs of slavery as practiced in the United States under the Constitution until the Thirteenth Amendment. We don't discuss it because no one would defend it. By contrast, as these several threads demonstrate, there are colorable arguments to be made on several sides of the A-bomb questions.

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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
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cliffordu Aug 2013 #50
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telclaven Aug 2013 #56
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Fumesucker Aug 2013 #9
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #18
Fumesucker Aug 2013 #24
hack89 Aug 2013 #48
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cliffordu Aug 2013 #51
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joshcryer Aug 2013 #4
Jim Lane Aug 2013 #12
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LearnedHand Aug 2013 #5
jimlup Aug 2013 #6
Bucky Aug 2013 #10
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Bucky Aug 2013 #39
ConcernedCanuk Aug 2013 #42
Bucky Aug 2013 #43
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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
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Jim Lane Aug 2013 #25
zipplewrath Aug 2013 #35
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