Guilt and the Murder of Innocents.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT
 

Chairman Miaow:
So atrocities are fine as long as they are committed by Americans?

We are talking about dead and rotting bodies. I think that all sides on WWII put skulls in their tanks.

The Japanese did that to Chinese civilians.

Profanation of a dead body is not exactly the worst war crime ever.

Chairman Miaow:
Had the US lost, every member involved would have been tried and executed for war crimes. Yes, you damn well should feel guilty for killing a couple of hundred thousands people who had no real involvement in the war.

No other country was responsible for hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties.

WWI and WWII proved that civilians have EVERYTHING to do with war. They feed their soldiers, they build the war machine. That forces them to get in the way.

Perhaps we should hate the Japanese (or any other side, actually) for using civilians as human shields? Because they are the ones working in factories, and factories/powerplants/train stations are a legitimate target.

Jedoro:
You can live with yourself after killing that many people because you never saw any of their faces. You didn't walk up with 200k rounds of ammo and start introducing bullets to brainpans, you dropped a big bomb on a city from a plane in the sky. Physical distance is a hell of a factor for reducing guilt.

This post. Back in my 6th grade history class, my teacher mentioned at some point (I think it was either when guns or nukes were invented) that the whole "guilt" and "remorse" thing happened a lot less when you couldn't see the people whose lives you ended. It's a fact of life, though it's not to say that one can't feel guilty for things such as this.

Oh please. It's fucking war. You keep fighting the enemy 'til the enemy's out of fight. And if the enemy gets hurt in the process, that's the nature of the beast.

Don't like it? Don't start one.

senordesol:
Oh please. It's fucking war. You keep fighting the enemy 'til the enemy's out of fight. And if the enemy gets hurt in the process, that's the nature of the beast.

Don't like it? Don't start one.

It goes beyond that.

The OP called it "murder" of innocents. Murder implies malice aforethought. The crews didn't even know what kind of bomb they were delivering.

senordesol:
Oh please. It's fucking war. You keep fighting the enemy 'til the enemy's out of fight. And if the enemy gets hurt in the process, that's the nature of the beast.

Don't like it? Don't start one.

They didn't start it. It's not like the civilians living in those cities got a vote on it.

ElPatron:
We are talking about dead and rotting bodies. I think that all sides on WWII put skulls in their tanks.

The Japanese did that to Chinese civilians.

Profanation of a dead body is not exactly the worst war crime ever.

And it's certainly not the only war crime the Allies were responsible for. The difference? Allied war criminals weren't prosecuted.

Perhaps we should hate the Japanese (or any other side, actually) for using civilians as human shields? Because they are the ones working in factories, and factories/powerplants/train stations are a legitimate target.

They have no choice but to work in those factories. The people who chose the bombs targets? The people who dropped it? They had a choice.

ElPatron:

senordesol:
Oh please. It's fucking war. You keep fighting the enemy 'til the enemy's out of fight. And if the enemy gets hurt in the process, that's the nature of the beast.

Don't like it? Don't start one.

It goes beyond that.

The OP called it "murder" of innocents. Murder implies malice aforethought. The crews didn't even know what kind of bomb they were delivering.

3 members of the crew of the Enola Gay did know, and even if they didn't, why should that matter? They knew they were bombing a civilian target, and they knew that it wasn't an ordinary bomb.

I think the vast majority (if not all of us) would go through with it. You have to remember that these aren't rational thinking individuals (yes I'm aware how that sounds) which unfortunately like most people sent off too war are brainwashed into thinking a certain way. As for how you would feel after once your actions have finally dawned on you well, I don't think you'd be coming out of that unscathed.

As for whether I think it was justified or necessary, ideally it wouldn't be. If given the power would I go back in time and stop the attack? As selfish as it sounds I would rather that attack happen when and where it did happen than nuclear weapons be tested in war now when every second country has them (or an ally with them), and they are hundreds of times more destructive.

ElPatron:

senordesol:
Oh please. It's fucking war. You keep fighting the enemy 'til the enemy's out of fight. And if the enemy gets hurt in the process, that's the nature of the beast.

Don't like it? Don't start one.

It goes beyond that.

The OP called it "murder" of innocents. Murder implies malice aforethought. The crews didn't even know what kind of bomb they were delivering.

They sure as hell knew it wasn't a Christmas present, and they sure as hell knew afterwards and, according to him, seemed by-and-large okay with it.

The thing is: that's how it was done in those days. You bomb cities and factories to gum up the enemy war machine. A lot more people died in the Tokyo firebombings that Hiroshima, but no one ever seems to cry about that. Nor should they. Because war ain't the clinical sanitized affair that's portrayed in movies and video games. You make life hell for your enemies, you shell them for days, you fuck with their minds, and you make it as difficult as possible for them to mount an effective defense. You give them every reason to surrender.

So it was much more than showing the Japanese that we have The Bomb, it was that and showing them -and the world (mainly the Russians)- that we're sure as fuck not afraid to use it on people.

Melon Hunter:
I'm pretty darn sure that the log of the rear gunner on the Enola Gay had the single entry of "My God; what have we done?" Sounds pretty remorseful to me. In fact, I think the entire crew spent the rest of their lives coming to terms with what they'd enacted.

As for doing it myself? Well, it's easy to distance yourself from the horrors of the blast when you're just flying over it. Given the circumstances, I think, if given the order, I'd go through with it, but probably never get over it.

Finally, on the civilian target thing; this was exactly what the Americans needed. Not the destruction of military bases. The message they wanted to send was "We now have bombs capable of destroying entire cities. How many must die before you concede defeat?". Atomic bombing was, of course, a horrific course of action. But arguably, it was preferable to Operation Downfall, which was estimated to have caused upwards of 3 million American casualties and something like 30-50% of the Japanese population in the ensuing insurgency had it been enacted.

So technically. Nuking most of the Middle East would've been preferable to actually invading and occupying it. Hmm, food for thought I suppose.

OT: I'm not sure what I would have done. It's really hard to say that you would do one thing or the other as one hasn't been confronted with such a dilemma. However I can imagine that if I was fighting for my country to defend it from destruction i'd likely enact as many atrocities upon my enemy as possible before my final breath. Come to think of it i'd likely not have any remorse for it if the cause was just and I believed in it. If lets say Soviet Russia had beaten the finns and then marched on Sweden, had I been alive at the time, i'd no doubt kill as many of the bastards I could in the most horrific ways possible and still be able to live with myself. However if i'd be on the aggressor/invader's side i'd likely not be happy nor willing to do it.

Chairman Miaow:

senordesol:
Oh please. It's fucking war. You keep fighting the enemy 'til the enemy's out of fight. And if the enemy gets hurt in the process, that's the nature of the beast.

Don't like it? Don't start one.

They didn't start it. It's not like the civilians living in those cities got a vote on it.

A distinction without a difference when nations are at war. The Japanese government -whomever was in charge of it- made the decision to start a war with the US. And a war is what they got. If the Japanese's own government doesn't care about them enough to spare them those horrors, that is not our concern.

ElPatron:
-Snip-

Or you know, the fact that the Japanese didn't sign the Geneva convention, used biological warfare on and off the battlefield, tested experiments on human beings, and tied Chinese to polls and used them for bayonet practice.

Was it War? Yes,Sadly..

Do I personally think the nukes were needed? Yes.

Why?
The US was facing the prospect of invading Japan to subdue it. The last few battles, Iwo Jima and Okinawa particularly, were incomprehensibly bloody (Fighting till the last man). Japan had no regard for its own citizens' lives and planned to turn their whole island into a fortress. It was estimated that casualties would be 1 million Americans and half a million British in the first invasion alone. Some cynics say we used it to scare Stalin as well, but the fact remains that they ignored an ultimatum on 27 July 1945 after enduring the worst conventional bombs could do. A powerful argument remains that the Bomb saved allied and Japanese lives.
((Not my words, but I couldn't say it better))

senordesol:

Chairman Miaow:

senordesol:
Oh please. It's fucking war. You keep fighting the enemy 'til the enemy's out of fight. And if the enemy gets hurt in the process, that's the nature of the beast.

Don't like it? Don't start one.

They didn't start it. It's not like the civilians living in those cities got a vote on it.

A distinction without a difference when nations are at war. The Japanese government -whomever was in charge of it- made the decision to start a war with the US. And a war is what they got. If the Japanese's own government doesn't care about them enough to spare them those horrors, that is not our concern.

That's fucking horrifying. So because another country's leadership doesn't care about human life, we shouldn't? why the hell did the U.S. invade every single country it has invaded in the last 70 years? Why did we care about the Nazi's at all then, it wasn't affecting us!

Chairman Miaow:

senordesol:

Chairman Miaow:
They didn't start it. It's not like the civilians living in those cities got a vote on it.

A distinction without a difference when nations are at war. The Japanese government -whomever was in charge of it- made the decision to start a war with the US. And a war is what they got. If the Japanese's own government doesn't care about them enough to spare them those horrors, that is not our concern.

That's fucking horrifying. So because another country's leadership doesn't care about human life, we shouldn't? why the hell did the U.S. invade every single country it has invaded in the last 70 years? Why did we care about the Nazi's at all then, it wasn't affecting us!

"Fucking Horrifying" are exactly the words I would use to describe war. We invaded all those countries to secure our interests, nothing more. In WWII, our interest lay in halting German/Japanese imperialism. Right after we -almost instantly- regarded our fair-weather allies, the Russians, as enemies and fought several 'proxy' wars to keep them at bay.

This is the reality of it, and is still today. Were it not, we would not have a vast nuclear stockpile poised to utterly end whomever wants to launch theirs at us. It doesn't matter if the citizenry of that particular country 'voted' for it. We would just do it because that is war.

senordesol:

Chairman Miaow:

senordesol:

A distinction without a difference when nations are at war. The Japanese government -whomever was in charge of it- made the decision to start a war with the US. And a war is what they got. If the Japanese's own government doesn't care about them enough to spare them those horrors, that is not our concern.

That's fucking horrifying. So because another country's leadership doesn't care about human life, we shouldn't? why the hell did the U.S. invade every single country it has invaded in the last 70 years? Why did we care about the Nazi's at all then, it wasn't affecting us!

"Fucking Horrifying" are exactly the words I would use to describe war. We invaded all those countries to secure our interests, nothing more. In WWII, our interest lay in halting German/Japanese imperialism. Right after we -almost instantly- regarded our fair-weather allies, the Russians, as enemies and fought several 'proxy' wars to keep them at bay.

This is the reality of it, and is still today. Were it not, we would not have a vast nuclear stockpile poised to utterly end whomever wants to launch theirs at us. It doesn't matter if the citizenry of that particular country 'voted' for it. We would just do it because that is war.

But I'm not talking about nations. I'm talking about individuals. Could you do it? Would you? I just don't understand how somebody could knowingly do that. Give the order, maybe, but to actually do it?

Chairman Miaow:
The people who dropped it?

No, they did not have a choice, specially because they:
- Were under orders
- Some of them didn't even know what they were dropping

Civilian target? Both the Allies and Axis bombarded civilians throughout the whole war.

If you're going to blame the attackers then blame the people who were attacked too.

Wikipedia:
The U.S. had previously dropped leaflets warning civilians of air raids on 35 Japanese cities, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Is it logical to think that people would retreat from their cities? No. Is it logical to attack a city that is supplying the economy of your enemy? Damn right.

We are dancing around this issue for too long: if your country gets at war, the place you are living in is likely to be a legit target - we are no longer fighting in muddy trenches miles away from cities.

Chairman Miaow:

senordesol:

Chairman Miaow:
That's fucking horrifying. So because another country's leadership doesn't care about human life, we shouldn't? why the hell did the U.S. invade every single country it has invaded in the last 70 years? Why did we care about the Nazi's at all then, it wasn't affecting us!

"Fucking Horrifying" are exactly the words I would use to describe war. We invaded all those countries to secure our interests, nothing more. In WWII, our interest lay in halting German/Japanese imperialism. Right after we -almost instantly- regarded our fair-weather allies, the Russians, as enemies and fought several 'proxy' wars to keep them at bay.

This is the reality of it, and is still today. Were it not, we would not have a vast nuclear stockpile poised to utterly end whomever wants to launch theirs at us. It doesn't matter if the citizenry of that particular country 'voted' for it. We would just do it because that is war.

But I'm not talking about nations. I'm talking about individuals. Could you do it? Would you? I just don't understand how somebody could knowingly do that. Give the order, maybe, but to actually do it?

Could I do it? Probably. How hard is it to flip that bomb lever? Or is it a button?

Would I? Probably. It would end the war, and that would be all I would give a fuck about after four long years of fighting.

My grandmother was in Japan before they dropped the bombs.

Prior to the dropping of bombs, the Japanese military was apparently training her, and other young girls to impale American soldiers on bamboo spears.

No, really.

I think it was the best solution they could come up with at the time, and I don't think any American soldier would have done any different if they thought it would end the war.

I don't think we should really be asking ourselves if we would nuke a bunch of civilians to end a war- unless we were in a similar situation.

ElPatron:

Chairman Miaow:
The people who dropped it?

No, they did not have a choice, specially because they:
- Were under orders
- Some of them didn't even know what they were dropping

Civilian target? Both the Allies and Axis bombarded civilians throughout the whole war.

If you're going to blame the attackers then blame the people who were attacked too.

Wikipedia:
The U.S. had previously dropped leaflets warning civilians of air raids on 35 Japanese cities, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Is it logical to think that people would retreat from their cities? No. Is it logical to attack a city that is supplying the economy of your enemy? Damn right.

We are dancing around this issue for too long: if your country gets at war, the place you are living in is likely to be a legit target - we are no longer fighting in muddy trenches miles away from cities.

It doesn't matter if it's logical it's just fucking wrong. And as has already been said, three members did know, and the rest damn well knew it wasn't a christmas present. They could have refused orders. I doubt given the fact they were refusing what were by any definition war crimes and illegal orders, they would have faced negative consequences.

Chairman Miaow:
I was recently doing a bit of research into the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, simply for curiosity's sake. While doing this research, I discovered that out of the 12 members of the crew flying the bomber responsible for bombing Hiroshima, none of them seemed to show any kind of remorse. I can understand saying it was needed or maybe even justified, but I cannot understand how you could live with yourself after being directly responsible for the deaths of 90,000-166,000 innocent civilians, let alone not feel guilt.

Basically the point of this thread is to ask, what about you?

If given the order, and the circumstances were exactly the same, could you have done it?
Would you have felt it was needed? Justified?
Would you feel guilty? Could you live with it?

I personally do think that it was better than letting the war drag on and needing a mainland invasion, but I just don't think I could do it, or if I did do it, I couldn't live with myself afterwards.

EDIT: Part of the criteria for target selection was "The target was larger than 3 miles (4.8 km) in diameter and was an important target in a large urban area." so they intentionally chose a target which would cause a great number of civilian casualties. I cannot understand why they didn't target exclusively military bases, the message of power would have been understood regardless.

Before I reply, let it be known that I have no intention whatsoever of getting involved in another debate about if the bombings were justified. I, personally, do not think that they were but there is equal amounts of evidence on both sides of the fence both for, and against, the dropping of atomic warheads on civilian areas.

Could I follow such an order? Well, if you put it into the historical context, Yeah. The men who dropped those bombs believed they were doing so in order to save American lives (Which they did. Roughly 1,000 American soldiers/naval personelle were dying every single week, if they shortened the war by a single day they saved American lives). They were told what they were doing would end the war and save lives.

They did not know what the long lasting effects would be. Hindsight is a beautiful thing.

So, Could I follow an order to kill tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people, with the consideration that I do not neccesarily know how many people I will kill or what the long lasting effects of following the order would be whilst simultaneously knowing that, without a shadow of a doubt, my actions would save my countrymen? Yes.

But if I knew (Which those men simply did not) what the long lasting effects of my actions would be, would I follow the same order? I hope not. Considering it would be a court-martial offence to refuse a direct order from a superior officer, considering the fact that I would be part of a nation that was at war and had been for several years, it is not so easy as to say if I would or I would not.

Outside of a moral dilemma it is very easy to judge, very easy to be cold and objective. But if you are in the middle of it, if you have to make that choice RIGHT NOW, it becomes much harder. Talk to war vets about things. Even simple choices are hard to make when you are in the middle of them.

Easy example of the above nature of moral dilemmas, put inside a spoiler box because it is of no consequence

NONE of us can say, with certainty, what we would do in that situation. You don't know what is right, you don't know what is wrong. You only know what feels right to you.

SO!

All that taken into account.

Should those servicemen feel guilt for what they have done?

They dropped a weapon that shortened a war. They saved the lives of their countrymen. They risked their lives for their country. That is all that matters to them.

As for everyone having this little debate?

All of you. Stop speaking with certainty. You are talking about history. If you consider yourself to be a historian, you MUST accept doubt. Wikipedia is not enough. Reading "That one book" is not enough. Googling some quotes is NOT ENOUGH. Watching a fucking History Channel documentary is not enough.

People way above your pay grade have written HUNDREDS of books about the matter. You will NOT settle the issue by claiming ANYTHING with ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY in a bloody internet forum.

You have opinions. Your opinions are based on facts (Mostly, anyway).

But rambling on about Operation Downfall without considering the military situation Japan was already in (Or the debateable fact that Japan was already trying to surrender) is simply incorrect and shows your lack of reading. Likewise stating that it was totally unneccesary and did not save any lives is ALSO incorrect (Ignoring the thousands of americans who were dying every single week. Plus Japanese civilians from other, conventional bombing raids. Fun Fact: More Japanese civilians were killed during the firebombing campaigns than were killed by the atomic bombs) and shows your lack of reading.

Consider that my input.

ElPatron:
WWI and WWII proved that civilians have EVERYTHING to do with war. They feed their soldiers, they build the war machine. That forces them to get in the way.

Perhaps we should hate the Japanese (or any other side, actually) for using civilians as human shields? Because they are the ones working in factories, and factories/powerplants/train stations are a legitimate target.

You realize that allied civilians worked in the allied factories and produced food in all allied nations, does that mean that they should have been considered legitimate targets? Do you think that 9/11, 7/7, and 11-M where justified?

The Mighty Stove:
Do I personally think the nukes were needed? Yes.

Why?
The US was facing the prospect of invading Japan to subdue it. The last few battles, Iwo Jima and Okinawa particularly, were incomprehensibly bloody (Fighting till the last man). Japan had no regard for its own citizens' lives and planned to turn their whole island into a fortress. It was estimated that casualties would be 1 million Americans and half a million British in the first invasion alone. Some cynics say we used it to scare Stalin as well, but the fact remains that they ignored an ultimatum on 27 July 1945 after enduring the worst conventional bombs could do. A powerful argument remains that the Bomb saved allied and Japanese lives.
((Not my words, but I couldn't say it better))

There were more options then bomb civilians or an invasion of the home islands. The allies could have negotiated peace, before the bombing Japan knew it had lost the war and was trying to keep fighting long enough that they could get a decent peace deal.

Chairman Miaow:
It doesn't matter if it's logical it's just fucking wrong. And as has already been said, three members did know, and the rest damn well knew it wasn't a christmas present. They could have refused orders. I doubt given the fact they were refusing what were by any definition war crimes and illegal orders, they would have faced negative consequences.

Wow. Seriously? It was a war crime? I don't remember anyone being charged with anything.

Come to think of it? Where were the trials for the Soviet Military and the piles of civilian bodies they left in neutral countries?

I'll give you a hint: didn't happen. Know why? A concept called 'Victor's Justice'. Basically it means that if you won, you make the rules about what was and was not 'appropriate'.

If the crew of the Enola Gay had refused, you could have bet good money they'd have likely all been shot.

Chairman Miaow:
Is it logical to think that people would retreat from their cities? No. Is it logical to attack a city that is supplying the economy of your enemy? Damn right.

We are dancing around this issue for too long: if your country gets at war, the place you are living in is likely to be a legit target - we are no longer fighting in muddy trenches miles away from cities.

It doesn't matter if it's logical it's just fucking wrong. And as has already been said, three members did know, and the rest damn well knew it wasn't a christmas present. They could have refused orders. I doubt given the fact they were refusing what were by any definition war crimes and illegal orders, they would have faced negative consequences.[/quote]

Perhaps if the Germans didn't use Zeppelins to bomb allied cities during WWI and used V2 rockets to bomb England in WWII I could have seen your point.

The rules say that you are allowed to attack positions which are being used by the military. It makes sense for Hiroshima, it doesn't for London.

If they had refused orders, someone else would have done it.

Also, at the time it was believed that the Japanese had their nuclear program near completion, which justified the need of a quick victory to prevent the Japanese from doing the exact same thing as the Americans. They happened to have an undeveloped nuclear program.

But in hindsight it's easy to make decisions, isn't it?

Darknacht:
You realize that allied civilians worked in the allied factories and produced food in all allied nations, does that mean that they should have been considered legitimate targets? Do you think that 9/11, 7/7, and 11-M where justified?

First, I assume you don't know what rhetoric is.

Second, 9/11 and 11/M did not attack any industry.

Third, both 9/11 and 11/M wasn't even made during a war, they were terrorist attacks in which no legit, uniformed soldier took part.

senordesol:

Chairman Miaow:
It doesn't matter if it's logical it's just fucking wrong. And as has already been said, three members did know, and the rest damn well knew it wasn't a christmas present. They could have refused orders. I doubt given the fact they were refusing what were by any definition war crimes and illegal orders, they would have faced negative consequences.

Wow. Seriously? It was a war crime? I don't remember anyone being charged with anything.

Come to think of it? Where were the trials for the Soviet Military and the piles of civilian bodies they left in neutral countries?

I'll give you a hint: didn't happen. Know why? A concept called 'Victor's Justice'. Basically it means that if you won, you make the rules about what was and was not 'appropriate'.

If the crew of the Enola Gay had refused, you could have bet good money they'd have likely all been shot.

Just because nobody was charged doesn't mean they didn't happen. What about the hundreds of thousands of rapes after the Japanese surrendered? did they not happen because nobody was charged? The killing of unarmed civilians and soldiers who were surrendering?

ElPatron:
snip

This isn't about hindsight. No matter whether it helped or not, I could never, ever bring myself to kill a couple of hundred thousand unrelated people. The end does not justify the means to me. The point of this thread wasn't even supposed to be about whether or not it was justified, it was supposed to be about how each individual would have felt about it.

Josef Stalin:
One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.

I feel like that sums it up pretty well. The human mind doesn't really handle thinking about big quantites very well.

But look at it this way, had the Japan not been a showpiece for the power of Nuclear Weaponry; the cold war could have easily gone hot. And as sure as hell more people (including civilians.) would have died, even if nukes weren't used. Not to mention a main land invasion of Japan would have been absolute butchery, because look at the battles in the pacfic near the end of the war, almost every battle for the Japanese was a last stand, not to mention Kamikazes. And to was completely rational in 1945 to assume that they would not have given in. As the poster above me said, its easy to look back and say whats right an wrong. It wasn't easy in the present to make such decision, it never is.

Chairman Miaow:

senordesol:

Chairman Miaow:
It doesn't matter if it's logical it's just fucking wrong. And as has already been said, three members did know, and the rest damn well knew it wasn't a christmas present. They could have refused orders. I doubt given the fact they were refusing what were by any definition war crimes and illegal orders, they would have faced negative consequences.

Wow. Seriously? It was a war crime? I don't remember anyone being charged with anything.

Come to think of it? Where were the trials for the Soviet Military and the piles of civilian bodies they left in neutral countries?

I'll give you a hint: didn't happen. Know why? A concept called 'Victor's Justice'. Basically it means that if you won, you make the rules about what was and was not 'appropriate'.

If the crew of the Enola Gay had refused, you could have bet good money they'd have likely all been shot.

Just because nobody was charged doesn't mean they didn't happen. What about the hundreds of thousands of rapes after the Japanese surrendered? did they not happen because nobody was charged? The killing of unarmed civilians and soldiers who were surrendering?

I was pointing out your rather naive 'doubt' that they would not have faced reprimand if they disobeyed orders, and you are proving my point by the way: History has shown the term 'war crime' is a joke. Thousands of atrocities can occur and not one has to be addressed if they were all committed by the side that won. Disobeying orders, however, is not looked on kindly (because it undermines the war effort itself); and few people are willing to bet their life or freedom on their interpretation of an 'illegal order' (particularly for the enemy's sake).

So if you think they could have got away with disobeying that order on the 'illegal orders' rap, I really think you place too much faith in the sense of 'proportionality' and 'fair play' of the 1940's US government (the same government that decided nuking the civvies in the first place was the best idea).

ElPatron:

Darknacht:
You realize that allied civilians worked in the allied factories and produced food in all allied nations, does that mean that they should have been considered legitimate targets? Do you think that 9/11, 7/7, and 11-M where justified?

First, I assume you don't know what rhetoric is.

Second, 9/11 and 11/M did not attack any industry.

Third, both 9/11 and 11/M wasn't even made during a war, they were terrorist attacks in which no legit, uniformed soldier took part.

There where lots of people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that where not part of any industry and those who committed the acts believed that they where at war, they even publicly announced it, and how does a uniform matter. I'm not saying that those attacks are the same as the atomic bombs, but the idea that civilians are legitimate targets because killing them disrupts the war seems like nothing more than a weak excuse.

Chairman Miaow:
This isn't about hindsight. No matter whether it helped or not, I could never, ever bring myself to kill a couple of hundred thousand unrelated people.

Then it's probably a good thing you're not in the military and don't have to make difficult choices involving actual human lives using theoretical data. Nobody had a solid idea of what to do, or what the results would be.

What if we had hit a military target, and they just regarded it as normal part of the war, and fought on despite it being a nuclear attack? What if we had hit a civilian target, and it just made them all the more angry? Hell, nobody even knew what would happen to someone caught in the blast of a nuclear bomb. That's why everybody was taught to hide under a desk, as if that helped in the slightest.

The point of this thread wasn't even supposed to be about whether or not it was justified, it was supposed to be about how each individual would have felt about it.

The two are intertwined. If you think it was justified, then you're going to think better of it than someone who thinks it wasn't justified would. And when it comes down to it, very few people are absolute monsters who would never feel the slightest about the deaths of so many people, but the fact that it worked and theoretically saved lives would certainly help them sleep better about it.

Buretsu:

Chairman Miaow:
This isn't about hindsight. No matter whether it helped or not, I could never, ever bring myself to kill a couple of hundred thousand unrelated people.

Then it's probably a good thing you're not in the military and don't have to make difficult choices involving actual human lives using theoretical data. Nobody had a solid idea of what to do, or what the results would be.

They knew the blast radius. They knew that it would level the city, and kill a great number of civilians.

What if we had hit a military target, and they just regarded it as normal part of the war, and fought on despite it being a nuclear attack? What if we had hit a civilian target, and it just made them all the more angry? Hell, nobody even knew what would happen to someone caught in the blast of a nuclear bomb. That's why everybody was taught to hide under a desk, as if that helped in the slightest.

If we hit a military target and they didn't respond, then maybe consider hitting civilians. But bombing one civilian target, and then another before they could even assess the damage? What's the point in fighting if you are as bad as the people you are trying to stop?

Chairman Miaow:

Buretsu:

Chairman Miaow:
This isn't about hindsight. No matter whether it helped or not, I could never, ever bring myself to kill a couple of hundred thousand unrelated people.

Then it's probably a good thing you're not in the military and don't have to make difficult choices involving actual human lives using theoretical data. Nobody had a solid idea of what to do, or what the results would be.

They knew the blast radius. They knew that it would level the city, and kill a great number of civilians.

What if we had hit a military target, and they just regarded it as normal part of the war, and fought on despite it being a nuclear attack? What if we had hit a civilian target, and it just made them all the more angry? Hell, nobody even knew what would happen to someone caught in the blast of a nuclear bomb. That's why everybody was taught to hide under a desk, as if that helped in the slightest.

If we hit a military target and they didn't respond, then maybe consider hitting civilians. But bombing one civilian target, and then another before they could even assess the damage? What's the point in fighting if you are as bad as the people you are trying to stop?

The point is so you can stop fighting.

senordesol:

I was pointing out your rather naive 'doubt' that they would not have faced reprimand if they disobeyed orders, and you are proving my point by the way: History has shown the term 'war crime' is a joke. Thousands of atrocities can occur and not one has to be addressed if they were all committed by the side that won. Disobeying orders, however, is not looked on kindly (because it undermines the war effort itself); and few people are willing to bet their life or freedom on their interpretation of an 'illegal order' (particularly for the enemy's sake).

So if you think they could have got away with disobeying that order on the 'illegal orders' rap, I really think you place too much faith in the sense of 'proportionality' and 'fair play' of the 1940's US government (the same government that decided nuking the civvies in the first place was the best idea).

There is no way in hell they would have been shot. Maybe if they were on the frontlines and refused orders, but they weren't, it would of needed a trial, a trial that couldn't have happened until after the mission, and no trial with any sense would condemn a man for not wanting to commit genocide.

Maybe I am naive. but I would rather be naive than think I live in a world where men behind desks force others to commit mass murder.

Chairman Miaow:

senordesol:

I was pointing out your rather naive 'doubt' that they would not have faced reprimand if they disobeyed orders, and you are proving my point by the way: History has shown the term 'war crime' is a joke. Thousands of atrocities can occur and not one has to be addressed if they were all committed by the side that won. Disobeying orders, however, is not looked on kindly (because it undermines the war effort itself); and few people are willing to bet their life or freedom on their interpretation of an 'illegal order' (particularly for the enemy's sake).

So if you think they could have got away with disobeying that order on the 'illegal orders' rap, I really think you place too much faith in the sense of 'proportionality' and 'fair play' of the 1940's US government (the same government that decided nuking the civvies in the first place was the best idea).

There is no way in hell they would have been shot. Maybe if they were on the frontlines and refused orders, but they weren't, it would of needed a trial, a trial that couldn't have happened until after the mission, and no trial with any sense would condemn a man for not wanting to commit genocide.

Maybe I am naive. but I would rather be naive than think I live in a world where men behind desks force others to commit mass murder.

That's so cute.

But they do, they totally do. Again, bombing civilian targets was absolutely prosaic in those days; this would have simply been more efficient. And maybe not shot -maybe- but certainly convicted and imprisoned for a long time. Remember, military tribunals are adjudicated by military officers, and military cares a hell of a lot more about cohesion than a couple of enemy civvies.

Chairman Miaow:

Buretsu:

Chairman Miaow:
This isn't about hindsight. No matter whether it helped or not, I could never, ever bring myself to kill a couple of hundred thousand unrelated people.

Then it's probably a good thing you're not in the military and don't have to make difficult choices involving actual human lives using theoretical data. Nobody had a solid idea of what to do, or what the results would be.

They knew the blast radius. They knew that it would level the city, and kill a great number of civilians.

What if we had hit a military target, and they just regarded it as normal part of the war, and fought on despite it being a nuclear attack? What if we had hit a civilian target, and it just made them all the more angry? Hell, nobody even knew what would happen to someone caught in the blast of a nuclear bomb. That's why everybody was taught to hide under a desk, as if that helped in the slightest.

If we hit a military target and they didn't respond, then maybe consider hitting civilians. But bombing one civilian target, and then another before they could even assess the damage? What's the point in fighting if you are as bad as the people you are trying to stop?

Except you seem to be laboring under a misunderstanding here. America didn't just want to beat Japan. Germany had been soundly beaten in the First World War and look how well that worked out. The US wanted to completely and utterly annihilate any will to resist and force the collective Japanese consciousness to realize the wages of the cult of militarism.

The US didn't want to have to fight this war again in ten to twenty years. It wanted the question completely and utterly resolved.

Is Japan militant now? Not really, the JSDF is euphemistically named but still, Japan is nowhere near as militarily powerful as it could be.

Did that make it morally right? I don't know.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked