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Do you consider the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be war crimes?

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Of course they were war crimes. There was absolutely no need to do this.

-8 ( +31 / -39 )

Kyoto was a target but changed to Hiroshima instead as a demonstration, at the time a major industrial port and military town since the Russian wars. It would take another bomb unfortunately before Japan's surrender. This saved countless millions for what would have otherwise been a long protracted land invasion. Terrible price to pay to choose between a hundred thousand or millions? War is terrible but the right call was made to end the conflict. This is why it's important to not want war, and to do everything possible to prevent them.

5 ( +29 / -24 )

No, because they ended the war quickly, saving many, many lives. True war crimes, like the Holocaust, had no such strategic role.

Debating the moral issues of the bomb while ignoring its its role is pointless. But that's what nearly all Japanese do.

6 ( +35 / -29 )

Undoubtedly. And the firebombing of Tokyo.

If Japan had used nuclear weapons against the USA; it would rightly be condemned as a war crime.

4 ( +30 / -26 )

The "countless millions of lives" stuff is a myth. That was made up by Truman in response to continuing questions from the press long after the surrender about the need to use nuclear weapons on civilians. Only one of the five-star officers (Marshall - the Washington DC general) thought the bombs were necessary. The rest publically said they were unnecessary and/or a war crime to target civilians like that. hey all knew Japan was beaten and would surrender when Russia entered the war - which is the exact date Japan surrendered. Everyone in the military knew Japan had been trying to surrender since April and the exact terms of surrender were the terms Japan offered in April.

3 ( +29 / -26 )

" Everyone in the military knew Japan had been trying to surrender since April..."

Then why did they ignore the Potsdam Declaration issued in late July?

11 ( +24 / -13 )

The only military base near Hiroshima wa a naval base across the bay that wasn't damaged. So many myths and lies . . .

0 ( +20 / -20 )

IJA was a war crime and it took another war crime to end it. Why only look at one side when it takes two to tango?

1 ( +17 / -16 )

Because war crimes are not a competition. Just because someone else commits a war crime doesn't mean you have to. It's just like just because someone else is an idiot, doesn't mean you have to be one too.

War crimes are not a dance. The topic is about whether the bombings were war crimes.

The intentional targeting of civilians is a war crime.

6 ( +25 / -19 )

The intentional targeting of civilians is a war crime.

This.

Whether Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombings were some sort of 'necessary evil' is debatable, that they were war crimes isn't. Perso am not buying the "but guys, A bombs saved millions of lives" bs. Tasteless argument.

0 ( +18 / -18 )

The intentional targeting of civilians is a war crime.

Everyone did that, so why single out the Americans? And Japan did it way more (other than the Nazis), given that it killed around 10 million people compared to the 2 million Japanese who were killed.

1 ( +20 / -19 )

ask me when I am on the war tribunal and have access to all the relevant information and am learned in the law with respect to war crimes,,,

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Certainly a debatable point. But no, Japan made it quite clear that they weren't a party to the Geneva convention... they can't really have it both ways. The rough treatment of POWs and the massacre of civilians in Japanese occupied territories deserved a brutal response.

10 ( +22 / -12 )

Jaymann

Surely if Japan "wasn't a party to the Geneva Convention", then whatever horrors they inflicted on Singapore, POWs etc. can't be regarded as happening outside the rules.

Out means out, as we're about to see with the UK and the EU....

.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

"Everyone did it" is not justification for the intentional targeting of a (undamaged) city of civilians to test the effectiveness of killing people with a nuclear bomb.

Read Truman's diary. Even Truman was appalled after he read the reports and ordered that no more bombs be used because he couldn't stomach the murder of so many women and children. Those were his words.

The five-star officers were mature, intelligent men who had seen war. They said that the bombing was against their beliefs that soldiers should protect all civilians, not murder them. They believed in a higher morality than you who justify the slaughter of civilians.

3 ( +18 / -15 )

@domtoidi

You posted the same flaky revisionist narrative last year at this time, and I picked the whole thing apart, including your gross misinterpretation of Truman's diary and other materials (Sigh.) And I don't feel like going thru the same points all over again.

The "slaughter of civilians" you just mentioned would have been much much higher if the war didnt end in Aug 1945. The horrific Battle of Okinawa would have been a minor sideshow once Operation Downfall, scheduled to begin in Nov. 1946, got underway.

The Americans didnt want any more Battle of Okinawas. They - and the rest of the world - wanted that awful war to end. And the nuclear bombs achieved that.

1 ( +18 / -17 )

The Americans didnt want any more Battle of Okinawas. They - and the rest of the world - wanted that awful war to end. And the nuclear bombs achieved that.

They achieved a kind of genocide, is what they did.

Would they have used nuclear weapons on Germany? Not a chance.

But far away, in Asia - who cares enough? See Korea, Vietnam. And maybe DPRK, if the hawks have their way.

-1 ( +14 / -15 )

I post nothing revisionist and there is nothing flaky about the truth. The US eighth grade version of history you of believe is revisionist nonsense.

I'm not posing my words or ideas, they are the words of the commanders who were there and some first-hand accounts from my uncle, who was an Admiral in the Pacific from Tarawa to being on the Missouri for the surrender.

No commanders thought Operation Downfall would ever be used. The American public was openly protesting the island-hopping strategy that was grinding up lives for no strategic purpose. The commanders in the field knew full well that Japan was beaten, had no resources to continue the war, that the US the war would be over in September and all the US had to do was sit off shore and wait.

But Washington politics had pivoted to intimidating the Soviet Union as part of the calculus of war decisions. The US could have negotiated a surrender at any time after the Spring of 1945, but chose to continue the killing.

0 ( +14 / -14 )

I'm not posing my words or ideas, they are the words of the commanders 

You fail to grasp those words' basic context. To cite one example, Lemay didnt like nukes, because he believed the incendiary bombing, as seen with Tokyo, could do the job cheaper and easier than with nukes. The result would have been more devastating on both sides, since a incendiary bombing campaign would have been more prolonged. More deadly too, judging by the effects of the Tokyo bombing.

No commanders thought Operation Downfall would ever be used. 

My father did. He was a soldier in Europe at the time. He and thousands of his comrades were getting ready for redeployment to Malaysia in the late spring of 45. But then atomic bombs fell on Japan. And the war was over. And he and comrades celebrated, because they could finally go home and start families. And the world, including Japan, would finally start to enjoy the fruits of peace.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

He didn't know about the Manhatten project, but embraced them soon after. He loved anything that would help him in his quest to continue setting records of killing the most humans in the shortest period of time. Again, his words, not mine.

LeMay loved nuclear weapons. He lobbied to be given the next 50 nuclear bombs made so he could launch a simultaneous sneak attack on 50 Soviet cities.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

It the context of 1945, I don't think the bombs were war crimes at all. Japanese leaders were so stubborn, they wouldn't even surrender after Hiroshima! Especially Hirohito. He could have prevented the first bomb, but no, Japanese pride caused him to be rsponsible for many lives being lost. From what I know, that's my opinion, subject to change if I get more knowledge. And, that, I think is key: willingingness to change as one learns. Hirohito's stubbornness and other leader's stubbornness caused a lot of death.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Japans defence mantra was "100,000,000 glorious deaths" The Japanese military lied to and sacrificed their own people throughout the war, they sacrificed the soldiers and civilians in Okinawa and had plans in place for even worse for the defence of the main islands. The death toll would have been horrendous. The nuclear strikes stopped all that. To a person killed in war it is equally bad if it is done by a shell, a HE bomb, an axe or a nuclear bomb. The death toll from a sustained conventional bombing campaign would have been probably greater but more "acceptable to both the US and the "victims" because it was "conventional" , the dead would have been just as dead. Ultimately the use of the A bomb brought to an end a vicious war that the Japan of that time instigated.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

@domtoidi

LeMay loved nuclear weapons. 

Ah, context and reality, enemies of the revisionist.

NYT:

Years after relaying the orders from President Harry S. Truman to drop nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, General LeMay said the actions were not necessary.

''We felt that our incendiary bombings had been so successful that Japan would collapse before we invaded,'' he said in a 1985 interview with the Omaha World Herald. ''We went ahead and dropped the bombs because President Truman told me to do it. He told me in a personal letter.''

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/02/obituaries/gen-curtis-lemay-an-architect-of-strategic-air-power-dies-at-83.html

You just don't get it, do you. We went thru this last year, you making one cherry-picked point after another, and then me disproving them all. It was tiresome then, and it's tiresome now.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

So now you say that LeMay said no invasion would be necessary. How interesting.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

And the world, including Japan, would finally start to enjoy the fruits of peace.

Especially the hundreds of thousands killed or poisoned by the nuclear weapons. Their enjoyment was deafening.

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

In the City Museum in Niigata there is an exhibit with notes making a big deal that Niigata had been one city on a list of possible A-bomb targets. Well, it didn't happen so they weren't victims.

Sympathy for Nagasaki is natural, as clouds over Kokura made them select Nagasaki. I don't know if Kokura City institutions make a big deal about this nowadays.

They always make a big deal about peace and so on at this time of year, however more fundamental is the futility of weapons of mass destruction like A-bombs. On this note, an invitation to the appropriate people in North Korea (or China, or Pakistan, India, Israel, South Africa, Iran - the list goes on) may move something that all the diplomacy and great power posturing is not achieving at the moment.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The burning alive of random Chinese in various parts of Asia, forcing POW's to drink their bellies full of water, and then jumping on them to cause their stomachs to burst, the wanton murder, rape, and destruction caused by Japanese forces as they enslaved the areas the conquered, these were all war crimes.

Working hundreds of thousands of people to death in building airfields, railroads, and shipyards. Conducting absurd medical tests on captures soldiers and civilians, killing injured enemy soldiers instead of providing medical treatment, the list goes on.

Japan was a barbaric enemy, every bit as bad as the worst of the Nazis in Germany. The dropping of the atomic bombs comes not even remotely close to comparing with Japan's war crimes during the war. Everyone should read "The Naked Island" by Russell Braddon, it documents an Australian soldier's experience of the build up before the war, the Japanese attack, and then his 4 years as a captive of the Japanese. It is beautifully written, and can be found for free on the web.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Oh, I get it now.

American atrocities of murdering Japanese POWs for souvenir skulls and ears would be justification for Japan to use nuclear bombs (if they had them) on Los Angeles or Seattle, right?

That's your logic, so your answer should be "yes."

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

The dropping of the atomic bombs comes not even remotely close to comparing with Japan's war crimes during the war.

Indeed. The use of nuclear weapons on people is far worse. If this is some kind of competition.

And the racist ideology that led to this heinous war crime was evident back in the US, where American citizens of Japanese heritage were rounded up and sent to internment camps.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

And let's not forget the forgotten Japanese POWs who were summarily executed after surrendering. The percentage to Allied POWs who survived is far greater than Japanese POWs.

There simply were none because they were too much of a bother during island hopping, so they were executed. Intelligence people started offering ice cream in 1945 if soldiers would not execute them and turn them in for interrogation. The Geneva Convention and those war crimes are fine and dandy because, well, it was "us" instead of "them."

The problem with war crimes is probably more a problem of hypocisy. Hypocrisy stinks up the whole issue.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

@domtoidi

> So now you say that LeMay said no invasion would be necessary. How interesting.

Yes, if he was allowed to go ahead with his plan of incinerating all the other remaining Japanese cities. Truman had some awful decisions to make, especially after Japan ignored the Potsdam surrender offer. He took the least worst option, given that it forced Japan's surrender very shortly afterward, and the killing on both sides stopped in aug 1945, rather than 1949 or 1950 or whenever.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Only the Japanese victimhood industry and anything-American hating knuckleheads see this as a crime.

It was a blessing in that it forced the war's end saving countless more lives

0 ( +13 / -13 )

Only the Japanese victimhood industry and anything-American hating knuckleheads see this as a crime.

Would you say the same thing about the victims of the holocaust?

It was a blessing in that it forced the war's end saving countless more lives

A blessing? That's tacit approval for genocide against Japanese people.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Japan mostly capitulated because Russian started war and they were more afraid of Russian occupation than the US one. It was just a matter of time as Admiral Leahy (one of the very few decent human beings involved into this monstruous war said): 

"The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender. . . .

In being the first to use it, we . . . adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children. "

So yes, it was all about military show off of the US who wanted to demonstrate their strength to the Russians and also huge economic issue (big corporations involved into atomic bomb production who of course wanted to impress the public opinion and carry on producing the bombs and getting amazing benefits during next decades- which they are still doing). The whole big talk about "saving lives" was just a bla bla covering this sad truth. Men can do anything for money, it's just enough to look at big corporations today... Countless innocent civilians were murdered, Hiroshima was full of school children and students. Survivers were treated as guinea pigs for laboratory experiments: no help was offered by US doctors. So much suffering and pain for the big ego of "the biggest word's democracy" (ha ha ha) and money. But A bomb vicitms are peace loving people, I have never seen such noble, generous and forgiving people, modest, full of deep understanding and compassion: no resentment, no hatred, just the heart felt desire to bring out of their suffernig peace and security to humanity. After meeting Hibakusha and talking to them I had a bit of faith in humanty restored. They should be a lesson and inspiration to all of us...

0 ( +11 / -11 )

sf2kAug. 7 08:14 am It would take another bomb unfortunately before Japan's surrender.

I've always had an issue with this argument. Doesn't common sense tell us that the Japanese government would have needed more than a mere 2 days to examine the effects of Hiroshima, reach a conclusion as to the nature of the A-bomb, and for those advocating surrender to overpower those in the military who were against it? We had absolute air superiority over Japan's skies, as the B-29s carrying the A-bombs did not even need fighter escorts. We could have easily said - unconditional surrender in 15 days or a second A-bomb will be dropped. The lives at Nagasaki could have been spared.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Would you say the same thing about the victims of the holocaust?

one has nothing to do with the other. At all.

A blessing? That's tacit approval for genocide against Japanese people.

only in the eyes of the unhinged

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

sangetsu03Today 10:05 am

Japan was a barbaric enemy, every bit as bad as the worst of the Nazis in Germany. The dropping of the atomic bombs comes not even remotely close to comparing with Japan's war crimes during the war.

Japan along with Germany have been charged tried and convicted for their war crimes at the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials. The issue is over. The question is the use of the A-bombs, which are exempt because they were an Allied action.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

The intentional targeting of civilians is a war crime.

This is clearly a war crime today thanks to Protocol I of the Geneva convention which came into force in 1977 (the US has not ratified it by the way). But according to the rules that were in force at the time, the position is not clear cut. Article 25 of the Hauge Convention 1907 only prohibited aerial bombardment of undefended cities. This is the relevant law that governs the atomic bombings, the fire bombings of Tokyo, the doolittle raids etc.

This special treatment for aerial bombardment is a departure from the general rule that you must always distinguish between civilian and military targets. It was an acknowledgement that the distinction could not be made from hundreds of feet up in the air in most cases. Did the drafters of Article 25 ever imagine the development of such a deadly weapon of mass destruction? No, but whether we like it for not, it falls within the exception and was therefore not a war crime. This is why Protocol I was added in 1977 to remedy the situation going forward.

Perhaps the better question should be whether it was morally justified.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

one has nothing to do with the other. At all.

Why; yes they do. Both horrific war crimes carried out on innocent people. Why do you separate them? Why is one perfectly acceptable - a blessing, as you call it - and the other not?

only in the eyes of the unhinged

Instead of ad hominem asides, why do you think that calling it what it is, is unhinged?

There have been numerous genocides throughout mankinds sorry history. Why do you vehemently deny the one perpetrated upon the Japanese people?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

If you visit the Museum in Heiwa Koen, you will see posted on the walls original American documents which, when read, will demonstrate that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were 'human trials', cities which had been preserved from previous bombings not only because they had little strategic or tactical value but because they were surrounded by mountains which would contain the blast and allow a better estimate of the bombs' effects. For months previous to the premeditated immolations, the Imperial government had been trying to open surrender negotiations with the U.S. through third parties but was ignored because the U.S. wanted to surprise the World with its new "Big Stick". Augmented by racist psychopathy and complete disregard for the women, children, and elderly who, along with a small garrison of army and a number of POWs made up the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the American military and politicians demonstrated that they operated on the same moral level as the JIA and the SS. One bomb over Tokyo Harbor at night would have ended the war but would not have given the monsters the inhuman data they desired. The dead and burned of these cities were 'lab rats' to the Americans and for that there can be no forgiveness. May the whole world hear "Wasurei nai!"

1 ( +10 / -9 )

So, let's review:

  1. Was it a war crime? Yes.

Terror-bombing is an international crime – banned by the 1907 Hague IV Convention, Geneva IV which protects civilians in time of war, and the Nuremberg principles, forbidding “crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity,” including “inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war."

  1. Had Japan sued for peace? Yes.

In February, 1945, Douglas McArthur sent Roosevelt a 40-page summary of the Japanese surrender offer.

What were the terms?

The terms offered were the exact same terms of surrender as in August, 1945.

The Japanese would accept an occupation, would cease hostilities, surrender its arms, remove all troops from occupied territories, submit to criminal war trials, and allow its industries to be regulated. In return, they asked only that their emperor be retained in an honorable capacity.

Roosevelt spurned the offer as did Truman. The war would have been over much earlier.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Wow domtoidi, I did not know that Japan actually offered a surrender in February, 1945! And that is was the same terms as the final surrender. This kind of just makes me sick that US leaders for some reason din not accept that!! At least 5 months earlier?!?! If this is indeed true, and I take your word here, then it changes my perspective totally! I hate war.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

 If this is indeed true, and I take your word here, then it changes my perspective totally! 

I suggest that you read up on it a bit, before taking someone unquestionably at their word without any nuance. Here is something to get you started on the peace negotiations:

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol9no3/html/v09i3a06p_0001.htm

But the big question that has been asked of us is whether it was a war crime. If by war crime we mean deliberately targeting civilians, then it clearly was. This is rather different to interpreting the question to mean "saving US troops lives", which is a separate matter.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Terror-bombing is an international crime – banned by the 1907 Hague IV Convention

Which article of the convention is that in, if you don't mind me asking? I don't see the word terror-bombing used or any similar concept described (apart from bombing undefended cities).

Geneva IV which protects civilians in time of war

Which was signed in 1949, after the bombing. In the case of aerial bombardment in 1945, the Hague convention is the key piece of international law here. Article 25 of the Hague convention allows for aerial bombardment of defended cities.

the Nuremberg principles, forbidding “crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity,” including “inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war."

This is the wording that set out the remit of the Nuremburg tribunals. They were tasked with investigating and punishing 'inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war', but the key aspect of the Nuremburg principles was that it had to have been a violation of 'international law' at the time, it couldn't just be any act that the tribunal retrospectively deemed to be inhumane by post-1945 standards. The atomic bombings in 1945 are not widely seen as war crimes by legal experts. This is precisely why Protocol I had to be added to the Fourth Geneva convention in 1977 to make any similar bombing today a clear war crime.

Of course, the moral question is entirely separate and I have alot of sympathy with those arguments. Unfortunately some people are so convinced by the moral case that they can't seem to accept that the laws of war (as they stood in 1945) are not on their side. The world was still a pretty horrible place in 1945 especially when it came to warfare, we have to come to terms with that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The bombs were just two very cruel science experiments!

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Here are a couple of quotations from people who knew more about the war than any of us here now. I could quote person after person, military leader after leader, but it would overwhelm the comments.

ADMIRAL WILLIAM D LEAHY

(Chief of Staff to Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman):

"It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.

"The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children."

GENERAL DWIGHT EISENHOWER

(Supreme Commander of Allies Forces in Europe):

". . . the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Yes, absolutely, but one brought on by the Japanese themselves, and whenever they forget that, they make the idea that it was a war crime null, especially when they claim their own atrocities (including Pearl Harbor) didn't happen. Hell, some posters on here, and many Japanese, ACTUALLY feel that Pearl Harbor was not Japan's fault, that THEY are the victims there, too. But ultimately you cannot argue the fact that had Japan not struck first, and they did, they wouldn't have ended up as they did.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

"The Japanese were ready to surrender."

But they didn't until the August 13 announcement.

"Augmented by racist psychopathy and complete disregard for the women, children, and elderly who, ..."

Could this not be applied to Hirohito?How heavy the deaths of Japanese soldiers and civilians must have weighed on him - those 100 million who were being called upon to die together in his name. Or was that domestic war time propaganda no one in Japan was expected to believe? Nor anyone outside Japan?

A surrender could have come much earlier, but Hirohito preferred a chance to preserve the imperial system, but he valued his own neck more than his subjects lives. A pity the imperial system wasn't abolished after the war.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

ACTUALLY feel that Pearl Harbor was not Japan's fault, that THEY are the victims there, too

Oh, it was Japan's fault but senior US military warned the Govt that the attack was imminent and they decided to do nothing.

Both "sides" are victims.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

There are no such things as "war crimes". War itself is a crime. To speak of "war crimes" makes it sound like war itself is something civilized. It isn't.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

There have been numerous genocides throughout mankinds sorry history. Why do you vehemently deny the one perpetrated upon the Japanese people?

Because for people like the poster whom you addressed your question to it was “us” who did it. And “us” also happen to be the winners of the war. And because, (I am aware that my post may be deleted) some attitudes towards Japan (and other Asian nations) which made it easier to justify the bombings still persist, helping some people sleep well at night.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

By the point that the bombs were dropped the US knew they had pretty much open access to the skies over Japan, so they could have approached the finale in a very different way. They chose to completely destroy I don't know how many cities and the pig headed leaders of Japan still didn't surrender (a crime on it's own people) but yes I believe it was a war crime, as the bombs were dropped not only to force surrender but as a real life experiment and also to send a message to the encroaching Russians.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

And because, (I am aware that my post may be deleted) some attitudes towards Japan (and other Asian nations) which made it easier to justify the bombings still persist, helping some people sleep well at night.

I hear you.

And now we have a new wave of armchair patriots, advocating more conflict in this region.

History and suffering teach us nothing, it appears.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

to those that still debate this and harp on about how Japan was going to surrender BS, need to just look at the battle of Okinawa, how the IJA used the civilians as human shields, forced many to be suicide bombers and even soldiers dressing as civilians . Theres a good unbiased documentary by NHK in 2015, backed by audio and documents at the time also testimony of IJA and American soldiers of the battle. Okinawa would have been a picnic compared to a ground invasion of the mainland. Dont take my word for it watch the documentary. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWP_qhFnXoc

5 ( +10 / -5 )

war crime or not, nobody has the moral compass to pass judgement unless the whole picture on the Pacific war is realized, the atrocities , slaughter of millions of civilians throughout asia by the IJA was only rivaled by Hitlers Nazis. When youve had a good long hard look at yourself and can truly say your innocent then you can pass judgement on the enemy

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Innocent lives were lost on the day Pearl Harbor was bombed! Japanese Americans died that day!

My mother could never forgive the Japanese who bombed Pearl Harbor and she was Japanese.

I do not hold a grudge against all Japanese for Pearl Harbor, but she LIVED through those times and it is only those people who can judge.

None of you above were there in Honolulu.

My aunt even saw the Japanese planes flying over her on Oahu and was frightened. She was a girl and ran into the house to tell her mother. Why did she apparently know what was going to happen?

Their stories are never told, except slightly in "Go For Broke".

2 ( +5 / -3 )

NO and why do we keep coming back to something that happened 70 yrs ago?  There is no changing the past, accept what happened and hopefully humanity has learned from that chapter in history.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So, who votes down Eisenhower and Leahy? LOL

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Leila26

To my understanding only a handful of civilians died at Pearl Harbor that day since it was a very precise surgical strike not targeting outside the parameters of the US military bases.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

When youve had a good long hard look at yourself and can truly say your innocent then you can pass judgement on the enemy

Only that it is not the Japanese who pass judgement. Rather people who have not been educated in US schools and have not learned from US-authorities approved textbooks. And those people (me being one of them) do not consider the US their enemy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Triring yet the millions civilian that died throughout asia where far from surgical and not military bases, they were slaughtered unarmed being shot or at the end of a bayonet. The pacific war didnt start with the Pearl Harbor bombing, it started with the IJA invasion of China in 1937 & ended shortly after the Atomic bombings of Japan.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Depends on the rules of engagement at the time of war

Different time periods have different rules of engagement

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan nearing the end of WW2 was also developing it's own Atomic Bomb capability. You can start to read up on it here:

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

Though, Politics may also have played a part in the decision - draw your own conclusion - a couple of internet resources:

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/atomic-bomb-dropped-on-hiroshima

https://www.commondreams.org/views06/0806-25.htm

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-real-reason-america-used-nuclear-weapons-against-japan-it-was-not-to-end-the-war-or-save-lives/5308192

Was it a War Crime ?

War, itself, should be a Crime. But as History shows us, it is generally the Victors who determine what was a Crime and who committed it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The US wanted to test an atomic bomb on a real city. Japan's cities were convenient. Sociopaths are in charge.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Deep Forest said it....... and he is right no matter how one may want to sugar coat the truth... The bombings of civilian cities Nagasaki and Hiroshima were ordered by spineless knuckle dragging Sociopaths....

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Neither side has moral high ground in that territory. exactly so why is this even a debate, the Pacific War was a different time with a different generation, who says today's generation has a right to even judge them. The victors of war choose what is a crime and what isnt and claim the spoils of war, the defeated will always get the poo end of the stick, way its always been and always will be. Best way to avoid this , dont go to war or fight a war you cant win.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sociopaths are in charge. it took these sociopaths to defeat the genocidal manics that was the IJA.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There have been numerous genocides throughout mankinds sorry history. Why do you vehemently deny the one perpetrated upon the Japanese people?

Interesting! I was not aware of the attempted genocide of the Japanese people!

Toasted Heretic, could you tell us about where and when- and how far- this genocide took place??

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Every year this same discussion appears here. Whether it is or isn't is irrelevant now. A global war was going on at the time. People want to Monday morning quarterback the heck out of situations that most if not all here in this discussion were not even alive to witness and now have access to all the facts which no one had at the time those decisions were made. Were the events horrific? absolutely, but so was Bataan, Nanjing, Okinawa, comfort women etc. etc. etc. The only thing we should be doing is remembering the events so they are not repeated. As terrible as the devestation was from Hiroshima and Nagasaki were I would posit the opinion that the events helped prevent a larger nuclear conflict later on because of the havoc witnessed there. That however perhaps, is of little or no comfort to the victims.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I was not aware of the attempted genocide of the Japanese people! using Okinawans as human shields, forcing them to lay landmines, using them as suicide bombers, Japanese soldiers dressing themselves as civilians making the Americans distrustful of everybody and to shoot anybody on site. It may not be genocide but its pretty close to it.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWP_qhFnXoc

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It is exactly as domtoidi said, in addition with relations between the West and Russia souring, the US needed a demonstration of power to make the Russians think twice about a land grab in the area. After all it would look very bad at home if Russia had jumped in at the last minute and made Japan surrender after all that sacrifice by US servicemen. So yes, it was a war crime executed purely to save face in the US administration because as domtoidi rightly says the Japanese had been seeking to surrender for months after the merciless US firebombing of civilians.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The inconvenient reality is that no, they were not war crimes. Had they been done today, they absolutely would be, but the international laws that would have determined them as such did not come into existence until after the war. As for the people claiming they ended the war and saved lives, that is also not really true. The fact is that we don't know if they had any real effect at all. That particular period is a mess, with no clear chain of events to determine what caused what. Some of the radical military leaders claimed that they considered the bombs no worse than the firebombing, and that it was the Soviet Union ending the war, and effectively destroying any hope for lighter terms that finally convinced them to surrender. Of course even then there were attempted coups. Let's not let our own biases and hindsight allow us historically revise the facts in favor of an emotionally based assumption. These things are horrific and important, but they must always be considered in the proper context.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I was not aware of the attempted genocide of the Japanese people! using Okinawans as human shields, forcing them to lay landmines, using them as suicide bombers, Japanese soldiers dressing themselves as civilians making the Americans distrustful of everybody and to shoot anybody on site. It may not be genocide but its pretty close to it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWP_qhFnXoc

wtfjapan - touché

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I was not aware of the attempted genocide of the Japanese people! using Okinawans as human shields, forcing them to lay landmines, using them as suicide bombers, Japanese soldiers dressing themselves as civilians making the Americans distrustful of everybody and to shoot anybody on site. It may not be genocide but its pretty close to it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWP_qhFnXoc

I know I might be stirring up a storm here, but the events in Nanjing were most certainly genocide, though China inflates the numbers, and at least some groups in Japan downplay or outright deny that it happened (there are plenty of fairly reliable historians however, and several Chinese historians secretly agree with them, though they cannot officially do so do to... well, China).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes, in my personal opinion, this was a war crime. If it had been done to another nation by Japan, it would have been stated as such. Anyone who believes the bombings were a necessary agenda to ending the war and ''saving millions of lives'' is a fool! It's utter rubbish to think it was the only way to end the war.

There were more than enough resources available to fight Japan into defeat, without anywhere near the numbers of innocent lives lost, as were the moment the Hiroshima bomb detonated.

Japan was guilty of respective war crimes in China and Pearl Harbor, and other nations where it had established POW camps and abused those held. And for some of those crimes, it was held accountable after the war.

Was it acceptable to kill Americans in Hiroshima and Nagasaki on those days the bombs were tested on live targets? Nope, but there are many who try to justify their deaths as a necessary part of the equation.

As one other poster here stated, if nothing else, it was definitely a questionable moral issue!

Let the down votes begin - I'm guessing it's mostly non-Japanese that are dishing those out.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Everyone did that, so why single out the Americans? And Japan did it way more (other than the Nazis), given that it killed around 10 million people compared to the 2 million Japanese who were killed.

And where are you pulling those numbers from? And why are you trying to justify the deaths of 100's of 1000's of civilians by America by comparing to Japan's behaviour of the past? Two wrongs don't make a right!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No.

It's utter rubbish to think it was the only way to end the war. 

The only way? No. The quickest way? Definitely.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I suppose another way of looking at this, is to ask the question whether it would be right for the US to launch a preemptive full-scale Nuclear attack upon North Korea ? And if by doing so, would that make Trump a War Criminal ? (Remember N.K. and the U.S. are still technically at War).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To answer this question, we must try to seriously look at the war. Imperial Japan of that day was allied with Nazi Germany & Hitler along with the Dictator Mussolini. These 3 axis forces spread terror throughout the entire globe at the time. America, stood by for years as Imperial Japan and the Nazis  killed millions. After the Pearl Harbor attack the U.S. joined the fighting. Fighting was fierce for years as millions died in battle.

The unfortunate and difficult decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan were seen at the time, the only way to get Japan to surrender. This was the first and last time that atomic weapons were ever used. It's been 72 years and 4 days since the bombs were dropped.

Hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese civilians lost their lives.

During WW2, new weapons were being invented on both sides to battle their adversaries. The atomic bomb was one of those. Hitler created gas chambers to eliminate people he didn't like. The Nazis had the most powerful tanks during that time.

Rocket propulsion was being ready to be deployed by the Nazis before the Allies had the technology. So any new weapon to keep up with the enemy was quickly put into service. It is noted that at the time Japan sided with Hitler and Evil, while the Allies were siding with Good and freedom.  Between 60-80 Million people lost their lives during WW2.  3.5 Million Japanese lost their lives during WW2 and 500,000 Americans were killed. The Soviet Union Lost 27 Million People, Poland 6 Million, Germany 7.5 Million. The list goes on and on. so, in reality, as people kept dying from war, the sooner it ended, the better. Unfortunately, it was the use of the atom bomb to bring an end to the killing. War crime?  I don't know. Avoidable? Perhaps. Regrets, definitely. But Japan today has grown to be one of the best friends America has.  And maybe, after all the human sacrifice, mourning, sadness and anger, we can find healing, peace, love and forgiveness...  It was a dark time in human history and I am glad I wasn't around to see it....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You cannot forget the almost 23 million chinese slaughtered by japanese forces! Presenting Japan as a "war-victim" while denying extermination and persecution of chinese, is just utterely impenitent and straight out dishonest from a country with deep roots of honour and loyalty!! I thought Japan knew better than revising the past to best suit the japanese people instead of adapting and improving! I doubt Takeda Shingen, Oda Nobunaga or Toyotomi Hideyoshi would've ever revised their defeats to best suit their needs. Learn from past mistakes, adapt and improve as a society.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

There are no crimes in war, just as there are no winners. Everybody loses in war, regardless of the strategies used to gain advantage.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's utter rubbish to think it was the only way to end the war. 

The only way? No. The quickest way? Definitely.

Where is the proof that the two atomic bomb attacks were responsible for the Japanese agreement to surrender?

The high command knew by the evening of the Hiroshima attack what kind of weapon they were facing yet recommended continuation of the war.

If the offer of surrender had not been made on August 13, another plan might have been put into effect: it involved a new aerial offensive against seven key communication points (mostly key river bridges) which would have cut Japan into pieces, stopped the movement of food supplies between those regions and produced death through starvation and accompanying disease which would have made the bombing casualties - atomic and conventional - minuscule.

As for the Soviet entry into the war, that had already been agreed upon with the western Allies and was to begin 3 months after Germany's surrender.

I am convinced it wasn't the atom bombs that moved Hirohito to accept defeat, but the entry of the Soviet Union in the war.

As for the atomic bombings being "war crimes", that's rubbish.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Where is the proof that the two atomic bomb attacks were responsible for the Japanese agreement to surrender?

There is none, aside from the Emperor using it as his primary reason. As I said above, the fact is we'll never really know, because as you said, several military leaders said the bombs were no worse to them than the firebombings. They knew they were losing the war however, and knew that if they surrendered at that time, they would be tried as war criminals. As a result, they held out in the hopes that the Soviet Union would step in to support them in getting lighter terms, and once the Soviets declared their entry, they knew that opportunity was gone, so they finally surrendered. Of course, it's probably that it was a mixture of many things, but because all of the relevant documents were destroyed, we will never truly know exactly what happened. I am inclined to agree with you though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were and still are war crimes. Those responsible for these crimes must be convicted. There was need to punish the Japanese at the time they were about to surrender. I presume, USA did it to show the Soviets their might in the first place and wanted the world to tremble.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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