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11:13 AM on 08/06/2013
The fact is that the atomic bomb was a strategic weapon, not a tactical weapon. As such, it must always be used on large targets so as to inflict both military and strategic damage to the enemy. And, remember that the Japanese had very dirty hands in their treatment of enemy soldiers and occupied civilians. Ending the war quickly was a life saving act for many American and also for many Japanese.
12:58 PM on 08/06/2013
It saved many US Service men's lives. The Japanese were willing to send pitchfork carrying women to fight our soldiers.

I really don't care what Truman said, I'm glad he did it.

How in the world did Israel enter this post?
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TheHandyman
Death...the last new experience you will ever have
02:57 PM on 08/06/2013
Sorry, that is the lie popping up again. Fact: The Japanese had already asked to surrender with certain minor conditions. Truman said no and dropped the bomb. They asked to surrender unconditionally after that bomb and Truman rejected the request and dropped the second bomb. He then accepted their surrender on the terms of their first request. This had nothing to do with saving American lives. This was about posturing for Stalin's sake who the US saw as it's next foe! And you seem to forget that the US had interned thousands of Japanese and we had German troops brought to the US as slave labor and it has been proven that we abused and starved some of those men to death. Of course that probably won't mesh with your Pollyanna idea of the nobility of our country as well!

03:24 PM on 08/06/2013
"The Japanese had already asked to surrender with certain minor conditions"

No, the Japanese had not asked to surrender. Certain elements within the Japanese government had put out tentative armistice feelers through the Soviets, but that is a far cry from a "surrender with certain minor conditions" for several reasons, among them being the fact that the people putting out the feelers did not control the Japanese Army or Navy, and the only terms even the most pacifist elements of the Japanese government were willing to consider involved retention of significant amounts of conquered territory, and retention of the Imperial government.
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TheExpatriate
03:31 PM on 08/06/2013
While the Japanese were making peace overtures, 7,000 Allied soldiers a week were dying fighting them. Roughly 900 died in the sinking of the Indianapolis alone. I think Truman was within his rights to distrust Japanese peace offers.

Although the internment of Japanese-Americans was horrible, it doesn't change the fact that American internment and POW camps were far better than anything you would find in a German or Japanese camp. Google Bataan Death March if you want to know more.
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John Verco
XOXO
11:12 AM on 08/06/2013
Thanks for setting the record straight. The same ignorance about the effects of radiation persist even today, but instead it being in regards to nuclear weapons this time it is ignorance of the effect of radiation from nuclear power.
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Jannsmoor
11:10 AM on 08/06/2013
     Mr. Mitchell, I agree this is an important issue. There has been a myth created by our government, which most Americans believe, that the US takes every precaution to not kill civilians during our wars, police actions, etc. Thus, we almost casually go to war.
     It would be better if Americans knew that when we decide to bomb or invade another country, we are intentionally embarking on a course of action which will necessarily include numerous civilian deaths, including women and children who are not our enemies. Our military has a shoot first, justify later approach to war. 
     This myth was brought to its latest fruition by George Bush, who to this day says only 30,000 civilians were killed during his unnecessary, unpaid for, and illegal invasion of Iraq (and almost none of those from US military). The real number is probably well above 100,000, and anecdotal evidence from soldiers who fought there indicate far too many had a very casual attitude toward the lives of Iraqi civilians.
     If America had a real debate about the necessity of the Iraq war, including an honest assessment of how many innocent civilians would probably die due to our actions, many more Americans would have been manning the barricades with Code Pink, and there is a chance we could have saved ourselves the $4 trillion that war will end up costing as well as many lives unnecessary forfeited to Bush's desire to be a great "Wartime President."
thebigbike
ran away to be a cowboy
12:20 PM on 08/06/2013
it would also be better if Japan would acknowledge its treatment of VChinese civilians in much the same way in the City of Nanking.
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Jannsmoor
02:39 PM on 08/06/2013
I'm reading "All Hell Broke Loose" by one of Britain's greatest living WWII historians, Max Hastings. I highly recommend it. Yes, the world would be a better place if Japan would start acknowledging their war crimes in China. Unfortunately, the list goes on - it includes all of the nations they overran. Nanking was the poster child for Japanese atrocities because it was the worst. WWII also included millions of others murdered, either outright or intentionally starved to death in many other nations. The book sets this out very well.

All living human beings should have a better understanding that war is the very worst human endeavor. George Bush should have been impeached for saying "War is peace." War is murder, usually on an incomprehensible scale. War is the suspension of legality, justice and morality. War should be the VERY LAST resort in defending your nation. That is why it is a war crime to go to war except in self defense.
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TheHandyman
Death...the last new experience you will ever have
02:59 PM on 08/06/2013
You mean in the same way that we acknowledge our treatment of the innocent people at Guantanamo and other secret sites where we tortured people? Even to death? Or how about the way we treated, and still treat the Native Americans?
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Robert Frano
‘Plausible Deniability’: NOT A FAMILY_VALUE!!
12:32 PM on 08/06/2013
Re: "...It would be better if Americans knew that when we decide to bomb or invade another country, we are intentionally embarking on a course of action which will necessarily include numerous civilian deaths, including women and children who are not our enemies. Our military has a shoot first, justify later approach to war..." {Jannsmoor}

…Funny, (as in ‘cynicism’), isn't it?
An American female rape survivor-(regardless of age health or economic status), seeking a post assault-abortion, is labeled a ‘murderer’ by the prolifers/personhoodsters, (& their sycophants!), who STILL, (at 12 years, 'N counting in ‘Iraq, etc.’,), HAVN'T found those pesky W.M.D.'s Bush/his co-conspirators were so sure of!

‘Family values’ means gutting medicare/-caid/S.S., and they’d claim we’re obviously all commies, and/or, deluded, since we’ve refused to put social security up for grabs, (…on wall street)!

‘Plausible Deniability’ means, (for republican politicians), that we’re standing over the corpse of Iraq with a smokin’ .44Auto-mag, but…
We’re innocent of corporate-profiteering-motivated genocide!
For an R.C.C. prelate, Plausible Deniability means appendages in the cookie jar are as imaginary as Bush’s W.M.D.-related National security threats!

‘Collaterals, Damaged’ is so much more pleasant…
In discussing the latest Middle East profit-statistics, over republican luncheon tables, vs. ‘morgue-talk’…
When referring to men, woman, children and all varieties of ‘uterine-existence’, which, contrary to republican bio-fantasies related to hominid reproductive biology…remain profoundly susceptible to (‘Hellfire-mediated’) abortion!!

…Moral Relevatism, anyone?
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iridium53
Semper Fi
11:07 AM on 08/06/2013
Perhaps I'm missing the point entirely.

The point of war, is politics by killing the enemy.
The idea that the citizens of a country become, magically, okay to kill because they are conscripted into the military is utter nonsense - they are still humans.

Any ideas that it is okay to attack military, and not civilians, seems based upon a fundamental lie.

When a country, like Japan, initiates a war - they do so by killing. And, by destroying the capability of the other countries to kill them.

When the leadership of Japan, in the name and full support of Emperor Hirohito, went to war against many other countries, they did so with the full intent on killing as many people as possible. And, did so.

Having been in combat on four continents - there is one immutable rule - the dead do not ask how they got that way. The manner of the death is not important.

Once a war is begun, there is one concern - winning or losing.

I just don't get your point at all.
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Greg ory
PlutoniumLite..GulpnGlo
12:14 PM on 08/06/2013
"Perhaps I'm missing the point entirely."
...Yes...that's it exactly
http://gregmitchellwriter.blogspot.com/2011/07/my-new-book-atomic-cover-up-reveals.html
The July 13 comment by Anonymous fairly well sums it up...

BTW your line of reasoning justifies nearly every imaginable war crime ..Holocaust..Dresden...
SS at Malmedy..Rape of Nanking..Bataan Death March.....No problem....
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iridium53
Semper Fi
02:39 PM on 08/06/2013
Sorry, it took me a while to stop laughing so I could type...War crime? Hooey.   War crimes are for losers or betrayers.Or, didn't you notice the list you gave is all losing side. The rule in war is to survive.The second rule is to kill them before they kill you. If you survive, and are on the losing side, then they might make you a "war criminal."  Okay, Speer, etc. lived long.  Hirohito and others lived a long, full life. Winners, unless they are betrayers, are ignored. Don't believe me? Compare Bush, Cheney, torture crews, Abu Ghraib crowd - "war criminals" all  - to Manning.   
12:34 PM on 08/06/2013
The point is the lies.
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iridium53
Semper Fi
04:50 PM on 08/06/2013
If you say so. I thought the point was winning.With as few American and allied casualties as possible. They started the war.  We finished it. Outcomes matter.
tonybfine
fractional reserve lending is counterfeiting
11:06 AM on 08/06/2013
These were shameful acts. As was the fire bombing of Hamburg. WWII marked the beginning of "strategic bombing" which targeted civilian populations and were intended to demoralize. Unfortunately warfare continues on this shameful downward course, and makes terrorism by non-State actors look puny by comparison. War is wrong. Killing is wrong. It will solve nothing but the over population problem, and I think there are way more humane ways to do that.
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MrMiz
SCIENTIA ADDO VEREOR
12:19 PM on 08/06/2013
Would it make you feel better if we'd invaded Japan, lost 100s of thousands of our own troops and killed millions of Japanese?
12:29 PM on 08/06/2013
What do you would have been the most humane way to end the war with Japan?
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rda1911a1
God Bless John Browning
11:06 AM on 08/06/2013
Um who cares? What's the difference from dying in a nuclear fireball or sitting down to eat and a drone launched Hellfire missile killing you and your family? I would have supported dropping some more nukes on Japan if we had possessed them. Ravaging Japan as they had ravaged the nations of the Pacfic area
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Jeremy Bursac
You're not the bossa nova me.
02:22 PM on 08/06/2013
So that will be your justification if some turrurist finally gets a nuke off in the US....

And the difference between a fireball and a drone attack is, oh, a city.

Some people must be trying incredibly hard to be anti rational with the nonsense they peck out on their virtual keyboards.
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AdobePhsyko
This has to be the disease for you
10:59 AM on 08/06/2013
Presidents Lie
thebigbike
ran away to be a cowboy
12:21 PM on 08/06/2013
everybody lies same as everybody poops.
12:36 PM on 08/06/2013
And we've come to accept that fact, right? It's OK, because that's the way things are?
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rmrgdr
Learn to THINK, not just react!
10:58 AM on 08/06/2013
Every year, the same revisionist, US lied, inhuman bombing, Japan already defeated stories.
At this point nearly 50 million lives had been taken in WW2, it had to end and Japan was STILL refusing to surrender.
Did the bomb make a difference? Part of Hirohito's surrender speech-
"But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. Despite the best that has been done by everyone--the gallant fighting of our military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of out servants of the State and the devoted service of our 100,000,000 people--the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest.

Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, it would not only result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.

Such being the case, how are we to save the millions of our subjects, nor to atone ourselves before the hallowed spirits of our imperial ancestors? This is the reason why we have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the joint declaration of the powers."
There you go. War ended, case closed.
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TheHandyman
Death...the last new experience you will ever have
03:14 PM on 08/06/2013
Sorry you can't tell the difference between a face saving inspirational speech and the truth. Obviously you haven't read the documents by the Genrals and Scientists, plus Truman himself that point to the fact that the bombs were dropped to scare Russia and had nothing to do with Japan. Japan had already entered into surrender negotitations 2 weeks prior to the dropping of the first bomb! All you are doing is what all deluded true believers do, promote the lie!

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rmrgdr
Learn to THINK, not just react!
04:14 PM on 08/06/2013
Your partial knowledge of the situation does not serve you well.
You are obviously the true believer, not I. I have spent the last five years actually studying the Pacific war,not just websurfing, have you? I've read dozens of books, articles, official reports, etc, both allied and Japanese. This includes America, British and Russian versions of events.
I stand by my post.
10:50 AM on 08/06/2013
The use of atomic weapons to end the war with Japan was a horrific end to an inconceivably horrific war. Unfortunately, and although it is hard to admit to ourselves from our comfortable vantage point in 2013, there really weren't any available options that were any less horrific.
10:49 AM on 08/06/2013
If the U.S. had not used the bomb the Japan would have been invaded. Past experience in other Japanese territories proved that it would have been a vicious fight to the death. While some Japanese had given indication of wanting peace talks the war council was for fighting to the end. Plus the Soviets were invading Japan and they could of ended up occupying a large amount of Japanese territory.
As horrible as the atomic bombs were I don't how the war could have had a happy ending.
02:39 PM on 08/06/2013
It was even worse than that.

On Okinawa and Saipan the civilian Japanese had, for the most part, merely killed themselves having been told a pack of lies by their own leaders about what would happen to them if they surrendered.

On mainland Japan itself the civilian population - in its entirety - was being equipped to fight often with crude pointed sticks or improvised explosives. Had Operation Olympic been launched the death toll of Japanese would have been in the tens of millions. This unfortunate fact is something that revisionist "historians" (they are really nothing of the sort - they are in reality deeply political animals with a pre-defined agenda) ignore if it doesn't fit in with their world view.

I prefer to go by the notes, minutes, and memoranda of the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War in which it is quite clear that the Japanese militarists had adopted a policy that envisaged the complete destruction of the Japanese people in the same way that Hitler envisaged Germany going down.