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U.S. veterans return to Iwo Jima for 70th anniversary

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By ERIC TALMADGE

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there was a great documentary on the history channel during August about this, and these vets werent speaking in very polically correct terms )

I wonder how they feel about the recent nutters attempts to rewrite history; such nonsense was unheard of until recently. The truth about these battles should never be forgotten, only the USMC was capable of defeating such a fanatical force at that time.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

If the atomic bomb had been ready by February 1945, 7,000 U.S. Marines might not have died in the battle for Iwo Jima.

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Serrano you are right My Dad said the same things

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I used to go to Iwo almost every week to bring supplies to the Coast Guard personnel assigned to the Loran station. They gave us a tour of the caves and took us to the top of Mt. Suribachi. There were some goats roaming around the cliffs. They used to joke that mysteriously the female goats started dying. One of the guard persons presented me with a Coca Cola bottle from the caves and it had 1945 in it. Must have been that as soon as the Marines took over, they brought their favorite drinks. The Coat Guard personnel had a dog mascot by their HQs building. While waiting around to get back, I sat down on a lawn chair to study my aviation books. Suddenly I had this warm feeling in my leg. Guess what, the *&$@#%% dog took the liberty of pissing on my leg. I was really pissed! There is humongous volcanic hole on the way to Mt Suribachi. They told us that it was where they dumped excess military gear including tanks, trucks. There are a lot of sulphur vents all over. Not much of any tropical fruits, although they could have introduced all kinds of varieties. Being farther away from the continental landmass, it stays warmer than Okinawa during the winter.

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Serrano: "If the atomic bomb had been ready by February 1945, 7,000 U.S. Marines might not have died in the battle for Iwo Jima."

And hundreds of thousands of innocents, and who knows how many offspring, would have lived if the US had not been cowards and used, solely for political purposes, weapons they spent billions on when they already knew the war was as good as over. Shame on you for suggesting the war crimes of the atomic bombings 'should have been done sooner' at all, let alone on a thread where veterans come to pay respects and remember the horrors that they lived, and that no one should have to. And if you think that hundreds of thousands of innocents, including foreign POWs, 'should have been killed sooner' to save the lives of a few marines, shame on you even more.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Those who perished should be honored because this was a straight military battle, the first nominally on Japanese national territory. General Kuribayashi and his soldiers acquitted themselves with courage and tenacity, while the Marines did make uncommon valor common and widespread within their ranks.

It would only be later, most obviously in Okinawa, that the Japanese military commanders would seek mass sacrifices of civilians in their fanaticism. In the case of Iwo Jima, there was honor on both sides even if victory could only belong to one.

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"And hundreds of thousands of innocents, and who knows how many offspring, would have lived if the US had not been cowards and used, solely for political purposes, weapons they spent billions on when they already knew the war was as good as over."

I dunno smith, even after Tokyo and other cities were burned, the Japanese were still fighting...

"Shame on you for suggesting the war crimes of the atomic bombings"

What about the "war crimes" of the firebombings of Tokyo and other cities which killed even more people than the atomic bombs? Of course the U.S. should never have done that either, right? They were supposed to somehow stop the Japanese war machine without inflicting any civilian casualties, right?

"And if you think that hundreds of thousands of innocents, including foreign POWs, 'should have been killed sooner' to save the lives of a few marines, shame on you even more."

The civilian population of Iwo Jima in 1943 was around 1,000, smith.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Serrano: "I dunno smith..."

Because you simply won't admit that you think American lives are worth more than others'. It's well documented that the nation was about to give in and the 'war of attrition' was all but at an end. There is absolutely ZERO proof the atomic bombs saved a single life. On the other hand, there is proof they snuffed out hundreds of thousands. Amazing you can deny those facts.

"What about the "war crimes" of the firebombings of Tokyo and other cities which killed even more people than the atomic bombs?"

War crimes as well, and numerous people have said as much, clearly adding that if the Allies had lost those who conducted the air raids -- especially like that done on Tokyo -- would have been tried as war criminals for sure.

" Of course the U.S. should never have done that either, right?"

They absolutely should not have, no. Anything else you want instantly shot down? Oh, okay!

"They were supposed to somehow stop the Japanese war machine without inflicting any civilian casualties, right?"

The war machine had collapsed -- and even if not you don't TARGET civilians, as they did with the bombings mentioned above.

"The civilian population of Iwo Jima in 1943 was around 1,000, smith."

Hey, you mentioned the atomic bombings and insinuated that if they would have been dropped sooner, 7000 US Marines might have been saved. Don't blame me if you don't like the fallout of condoning mass murder.

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Despite the above comments I still think that is wonderful that Japanese and Americans vets can stand shoulder to shoulder, to respect there fallen comrades.

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@smithinjapan The US only owes one apology for every 14 of Japan's given the number of civilians killed. We will be waiting a long time until it is our turn at the microphone.

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“I hated them,” said former Sgt John Roy Coltrane, 93, of Siler City, North Carolina. “For 40 years, I wouldn’t even buy anything made in Japan. But now I drive a Honda.”

Time has finally healed this wound.

smith: "Because you simply won't admit that you think American lives are worth more than others'"

I don't think that, smith.

"Don't blame me if you don't like the fallout of condoning mass murder"

I don't condone mass murder, smith. If the Allies had not committed this "mass murder" the world today might be ruled by the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese.

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smithinjapan: Because you simply won't admit that you think American lives are worth more than others'. It's well documented that the nation was about to give in and the 'war of attrition' was all but at an end. There is absolutely ZERO proof the atomic bombs saved a single life.

No need to repost sections from wikipedia's article on Surrender of Japan, already posted a few times before. The first nine sections are about events leading up to the surrender itself, including the tug of war between civilian and military arms of the cabinet up to the very last day (the day the Emperor finally decided to surrender), and the takeover of the palace intended to block the Emperor's recorded surrender message from broadcast to the people. Japan WASN'T about to give in. The Hiroshima bomb took out the headquarters of the 2nd General Army responsible for defending Kyushu. The Nagasaki bomb landed "halfway between the Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works in the south and the Mitsubishi-Urakami Ordnance Works (Torpedo Works) in the north" (2nd wikipedia link below), and destroyed both, among many other factories supplying the military; Nagasaki was NOT a non-military target.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrender_of_Japan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It must be a very emotional experience for those veterans. It always chokes me up to see these ceremonies.

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serrano: "because if you had, you would realize crime rates in Saitama and Tokyo, for example, are essentially the same on a per capita basis."

So, you 'don't condone' mass murder, but you suggest that if the atomic bombings and fire bombing had not happened we might be under Nazi rule, thus condoning said mass murder, literally,... as though they somehow would have hopped in a time machine since they had already surrendered and the war in Europe was over quite some time before?

Serrano, are you a wee bit confused about the time-line of things?

turbostat: You know full well the weapons were not used for the purpose of hitting military targets or for the surrender of Japan -- they were used because the US government was under pressure to justify the price tag of the Manhattan Project, and to threaten Russia. That's all. They also knew full well it would murder hundreds of thousands, so any secondary (remember Nagasaki was not the primary target) factory targets would still result in MASSIVE loss of civilian life. So stop trying to justify mass murder when it was not at all necessary. This whole "the bombings saved THOUSANDS of lives" is utter hogwash meant for people who know they committed and/or support war crimes but just want to label them something else. So, serrano's "they could have done this earlier and saved 7000 US marines," and, "if they hadn't we might be ruled by Nazis!" is just off-the-wall attempts at reasoning where there is none.

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Serrano, are you a wee bit confused about the time-line of things?

No, smith, but you have confused mass murder with war casualties. There's a hell of a big difference.

War is hell. The fact remains that if the Allies had not killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese and Germans, there's no doubt they would have prevailed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Serrano: "No, smith, but you have confused mass murder with war casualties. There's a hell of a big difference."

There's no difference when you kill hundreds of thousands to test a weapon, serrano. And yes, you're definitely confused about the time-line of things when you suggest the Nazis might rule us now if the US had not used the atomic bombs. You can't take that back, bud.

"The fact remains that if the Allies had not killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese and Germans, there's no doubt they would have prevailed."

How on earth can you call that 'fact' when it is nothing but wild supposition? But, okay, I'll give you the chance: go ahead and prove, serrano, that we would be ruled by Nazis and Imperial Japan if the US had not dropped the bombs and killed hundreds of thousands of innocents. It's fact, right, serrano, that the Allies would have lost? That's what you said, literally. So, prove it. Or take it back. One or the other.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So now that many realize the pointlessness of war, why are wars waging all over the world right now? Because there are billions of dollars to be made in waging wars. Money made by those who do no fighting. Further proof that Earth is a space prison where even the prisoners cannot get along.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smithinjapan: You know full well the weapons were not used for the purpose of hitting military targets or for the surrender of Japan -- they were used because the US government was under pressure to justify the price tag of the Manhattan Project, and to threaten Russia. That's all. They also knew full well it would murder hundreds of thousands, so any secondary (remember Nagasaki was not the primary target) factory targets would still result in MASSIVE loss of civilian life. So stop trying to justify mass murder when it was not at all necessary.

That's based on a bunch of revisionist claptrap. It ignores the military value of multiple targets in Hiroshima and Nagasaki destroyed by the blasts, USA's drops of millions of leaflets over Japan warning civilians to evacuate cities and surrender peacefully, the placement among the civilian population of Japan's light military industry, the Potsdam Declaration, the role of the failed Treaty of Versailles in the Allies' push for unconditional surrender, Japan's failure to address or submit to those terms until six days after the Nagasaki bombing, the conflict among Japan's Cabinet members up to the time Hirohito decided to surrender, the palace coup attempting to thwart Hirohito's message to the nation, and the paucity of the Soviets' Pacific Fleet in WWII. Yourself has posted in the past "Second, the area just over where the bomb went off was not military, but a prison, with more than a few POWs, in fact.", re the Nagasaki bomb (Aug. 05, 2013 - 02:36PM JST, Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes? thread); a simple look at wikipedia articles would have told you of the multiple military-supply factories destroyed, including the steel works and the torpedo works.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_Man#Bombing_of_Nagasaki

... An estimated 35,000-40,000 people were killed outright by the bombing at Nagasaki. Thousands more died later from related blast and burn injuries, and hundreds more from radiation illnesses from exposure to the bomb's initial radiation. Most of these deaths and injuries sustained from the bombing were munitions/industrial workers. Mitsubishi's industrial production in the city were also severed by the attack; the dockyard would have produced at 80 percent of its full capacity within three to four months, the steel works would have required a year to get into substantial production, the electric works would have resumed some production within two months and been back at capacity within six months, and the restoration of the arms plant to 60 to 70 percent of former capacity would have required 15 months. The Mitsubishi-Urakami Ordnance Works, the factory that manufactured the type 91 torpedoes released in the attack on Pearl Harbor, was destroyed in the blast. ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsuyoshi_Hasegawa

... In his 2005 book, Racing the Enemy, Hasegawa puts forward the view that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not the main decisive factor in the Japanese decision to surrender, ending World War II, specifically the Pacific Theater. Instead, Hasegawa looks to the breaking of the Neutrality Pact by the Soviet Union, and the imminent fall of Manchuria and Korea to the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. ... James Maddox Professor of History Emeritus at The Pennsylvania State University, and author of Weapons for Victory: The Hiroshima Decision Fifty Years Late has criticized his work and stated that "The truth is that Racing the Enemy... is based upon pervasive distortions of the documents upon which it is based, and what Hasegawa presents as facts often turn out to be no more than products of his own vivid imagination." Maddox then went on to critique the sections of Hasegawa's book in which he believes are distortions of the facts.

Maddox' article: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2006/04/disputing_trumans_use_of_nucle.html

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