The Instigator
indianboi
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
MouthWash
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points

Hiroshima Atomic Bombing Decision

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
MouthWash
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/8/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,002 times Debate No: 23492
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

indianboi

Con

The death toll was higher when the atomic bomb exploded on Hiroshima in 1945 than the entire war on terror in the Middle East. Between 90,000 and 166,000 lives were taken due to the atomic bombing on Hiroshima. Around 200,000 more Japanese had died by 1950 because of post-attack illnesses. Everything within a radius of 4.7 miles of the city was affected. All this annihilation occurred because the Japanese did not accept President Harry Truman's Potsdam ultimatum to surrender. At the time, the Allies, which were a group of countries that supported each other during the war, and the Japanese were fighting the Pacific War. The war was causing hundreds of soldiers to die. The atomic bombing was a quick way to end the war without any more casualties for the Allies, but it resulted in an undeserved massacre. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima was an extreme overreaction because it ended an immense amount of innocent lives.
The atomic bombing of Hiroshima was easily preventable if it was given enough thought. At the same time as the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan was also being attacked by the Soviet Union. It is likely Japan would have surrendered soon because of the Soviet forces and the defeat of Germany. Japan was already shaken up by the nightly air raids, and was seriously considering surrender. There were already many Japanese who wanted their country to surrender, including the "Doves", who were Japanese people who wanted to surrender. The Doves would have taken action to force the Japanese to surrender if the Emperor did not have to leave his throne according to the terms ultimatum. If the ultimatum was tweaked slightly, Japan would have surrendered. Also, Emperor Hirohito was for peace, and wanted to surrender as soon as possible: "By early July the US had intercepted messages from Togo to the Japanese ambassador in Moscow, Naotake Sato, showing that the Emperor himself was taking a personal hand in the peace effort" (www.ihr.org). Emperor Hirohito saw the hopelessness of the war effort, and wished to do everything to stop innocent civilian casualties. The Emperor needed time to convince the persistent militaristic leaders that it was time to end the war. With additional time and negotiation on the ultimatum, the bombing could have been prevented.
MouthWash

Pro

I apologize to my opponent for taking such a long time to respond. I will now present my own arguments.

Rebuttal

"At the time, the Allies, which were a group of countries that supported each other during the war, and the Japanese were fighting the Pacific War. The war was causing hundreds of soldiers to die."


It was causing hundreds of thousands of soldiers to die. Big, big difference. [1. http://en.wikipedia.org...]

"At the same time as the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan was also being attacked by the Soviet Union. It is likely Japan would have surrendered soon because of the Soviet forces and the defeat of Germany.

Actually, the Soviet goal in the invasion was not to conquer Japan, but to take Manchuria and Korea, both of which were held by the Japanese. [2. http://en.wikipedia.org...] This would have given the Soviets much-needed access to the Pacific. They did not intend to conquer Japan as it would have been taken by the U.S. long before they could.


"Emperor Hirohito was for peace, and wanted to surrender as soon as possible: "By early July the US had intercepted messages from Togo to the Japanese ambassador in Moscow, Naotake Sato, showing that the Emperor himself was taking a personal hand in the peace effort" (www.ihr.org). Emperor Hirohito saw the hopelessness of the war effort, and wished to do everything to stop innocent civilian casualties. The Emperor needed time to convince the persistent militaristic leaders that it was time to end the war."

The Emperor did desire peace, and he officially could have at any time, but the real controllers of the country were the military. The Japanese army also had a tradition of murdering political opponents. [3. http://www.warbirdforum.com...] A successful coup could have prolonged the war and have resulted in massive destruction of Japan.


"Japan was already shaken up by the nightly air raids, and was seriously considering surrender. There were already many Japanese who wanted their country to surrender, including the "Doves", who were Japanese people who wanted to surrender. The Doves would have taken action to force the Japanese to surrender if the Emperor did not have to leave his throne according to the terms ultimatum. If the ultimatum was tweaked slightly, Japan would have surrendered."

As I said, the military was in control of the country. Con has made no arguments for why these 'Doves' could have succeeded in their coup, and I could find very few sources for them. However, an attempted coup was made by the military after the atomic bombings to place Emperor Hirohito under house arrest. [4. http://en.wikipedia.org...] The goal of this coup was to prevent him from making peace. After the coup was foiled, the perpetrators of the plot committed suicide in accordance with Bushido, which is likely what they would have forced Japan to do as well (by continuing the war).

Arguments

1. The Japanese would have executed prisoners of war.

After Germany was defeated and the concentration camps discovered, the world was shocked. The Japanese knew that the same thing would happen once the Allies liberated their own camps (where they kept prisoners of war). To prevent the world from finding out about their own horrific treatmeant of prisoners, they would have executed them and erased the evidence. [5. http://www.billmuehlenberg.com...] The bombing ended the war before this could be carried out and allowed food and medical aid to be given to the occupied areas, which were utterly destroyed, and Japan's own starving population. [6. http://en.wikipedia.org...]

2. The casualties from the invasion would have been enormous.

"A study done for Secretary of War Henry Stimson's staff by William Shockley estimated that conquering Japan would cost 1.7-4 million American casualties, including 400,000-800,000 fatalities, and five to ten million Japanese fatalities." [7. http://en.wikipedia.org...] This is several times the number of casualties from both bombings (even though this debate is only about Hiroshima). Looking at Japanese records shows that they had correctly predicted where the invasion would be, and were waiting for them. [7] Even the "roads" marked on the map turned out to be dirt paths, which would have stopped the effective use of tanks and allowed the Japanese to adopt a guerrilla-kamikaze strategy.

____________

As a closing remark, I should like to point out that my opponent's lone source (www.ihr.org) not only claims that the killing at Aushwitz was greatly exaggerated [http://www.ihr.org...], but also claims that the "Zionists" were in collaboration with the Nazis [http://www.ihr.org...], that the Jews masterminded the Russian Revolution [http://www.ihr.org...], talks about the "Jewish lobby" [http://www.ihr.org...], and this is a direct quote:
"The Holocaust remembrance campaign deserves scorn, not support, because it is a one-sided effort that serves narrow Jewish and Israeli interests and bolsters Jewish-Zionist power."


While this has little to do with the debate, I could not help but notice it when I looked into Con's source. I ask all voters to keep it in mind when doing the same.
Debate Round No. 1
indianboi

Con

My Apologies for the inappropriate website.

Rebuttal:

The Invasion of Japan would surely cause extreme casualties on both the Japanese and American armies. I believe that America could not invade Japan, but use other tactics

Arguments:

1. The US should not have dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but instead could have staged a demonstration of the Atomic bomb, and shown it to the Japanese. The leaflets that were dropped in Japan were only words, but an actual demonstration could be the final straw for Japan to surrender.

2.The Japanese were very adamant to continue to fight till the death, using the concept of Bushido, however the tide was turning. The doves were powerful, and would have forced the surrender of Japan if it the Emperor did not have to be removed. In the Potsdam Ultimatum, the US demanded for an unconditional surrender, which really caused the majority of Japanese to want to fight. The emperor was divine in the eyes of the Japanese, and they would do anything for his protection.

3. The development and usage of the Nuclear Bomb in general was catastrophic. Soon after WWII, the Cold War erupted. Several countries have since developed nuclear weapons, and those nations now have the power to destroy each other. There is a lot of trust that we must have in these nations. The world would be better without the existence of these weapons of mass destruction

4. The bombing of Hiroshima also caused lasting, unpleasant effects on Hiroshima and its people. The sheer size of the explosion was intimidating. The president said, “It [the atomic bomb] had more than two thousand times the blast power of the British Grand Slam, which is the largest bomb ever yet used in the history of warfare" (“Trinity Atomic Web Site”). Every structure within 1 mile of the blast was completely obliterated. Over 60,000 buildings in Hiroshima were destroyed or severely damaged. The water supply was destroyed, causing radiated tap water. Flash burns were caused directly by the radiation of heat and light at the moment of the explosion. Many people were severely burned from fires caused by the explosion. Collapsing buildings and flying debris were another major source of injury. Radiation injuries caused internal hemorrhages and external bleeding. Extreme diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting occurred soon after the explosion. The effects have even lasted years after the explosion. Cancer is common for survivors. The deaths caused by the explosion were very unpleasant: “The skin of the man in front of him flapped loosely from his back, like pieces of a tattered shirt; and all of the flesh on his forearm had been pulled off, as if it were a long glove” (Pellegrino 42). The atomic bomb caused thousands of painful deaths for the people in Hiroshima, and caused grief for the families and friends of the victims for years after the bombing.

Citation

http://www.spectacle.org...

http://www.cddc.vt.edu...

http://www.ushistory.org...


Final Thoughts:

The atomic bombing of Hiroshima was unnecessary, an overkill, and could have been prevented. All the pain could have easily been avoided if the Allies had taken time to negotiate before they took the irrational decision to drop an atomic bomb. The display of the nuclear bomb has changed warfare completely. Other nations have been scared into developing their own nuclear weapons until most of the developed countries could bomb another country. Japan will always have the scar from that August day in 1945. War is an unfortunate atrocity that is always preventable if the conflict is carefully thought through.

MouthWash

Pro

I thank my opponent for his reply. I will wrap up the debate.

Rebuttal

"The US should not have dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but instead could have staged a demonstration of the Atomic bomb, and shown it to the Japanese. The leaflets that were dropped in Japan were only words, but an actual demonstration could be the final straw for Japan to surrender."

The public would not have known about it in that case. Even if they had, doing a demonstration does not have anywhere near the psycological effectiveness of actually bombing a city. Truman believed that a failed demonstration would be too risky for the war [1. http://en.wikipedia.org...], as the Americans were not even sure that the bombs would work.


The Japanese did not surrender even after the Hirohshima bombing and only did so after Nagasaki went the same way. This provides convincing evidence that they would not have surrendered after a mere demonstration.

"The doves were powerful, and would have forced the surrender of Japan if it the Emperor did not have to be removed."

Con provides no evidence supporting this statement. I have shown that the military was powerful and attempted a coup to continue the war even after both bombings.


"The development and usage of the Nuclear Bomb in general was catastrophic. Soon after WWII, the Cold War erupted. Several countries have since developed nuclear weapons, and those nations now have the power to destroy each other."

My opponent has not provided any evidence for this argument either. I have no reason to believe that an actual physical demonstration caused other countries to develop their own nuclear weapons program. The possibility of nuclear weapons was known by scientists since the discovery of fission, and even Nazi Germany made a doomed attempt to create them [2. http://en.wikipedia.org...]. All the bombings did was expose the threat of the bombs and radiation to the public eye, which has undoubtedly made the world a safer place. Without Hiroshima, the public might not even know about the existence of such weapons to this day.

Lastly, my opponent goes into great detail to describe the pain and suffering of the victims. He does not address how much more pain and suffering there would be if America actually invaded.

Previous Arguments

1. I pointed out how the Soviets did not intend to conquer Japan. He has not responded to this.

2. I pointed out how the Japanese military might have deposed Hirohito, and how such an attempt was later made after he wanted to surrender. He has not responded to this.

3. I have shown that the Japanese would have executed prisoners of war if not for the quick end that was brought by the bombing. He has not responded to this.

4. I pointed out how food and supplies could have been rushed to Japan's starving people and victims of occupation. He has not responded to this.

5. I demonstrated that the Japanese were completely prepared for invasion and that the casualties on both side would have been several times larger than what the bombings wrought. He has, again, not responded to this nor any of my points.

Vote Pro

Have a nice day. :)

Debate Round No. 2
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by XimenBao 5 years ago
XimenBao
notice no conduct loss.
Posted by XimenBao 5 years ago
XimenBao
@mouthwash Yes, he did apologize, but there's a minimum level of awareness that needs to happen with sourcing arguments. If it's a Neo-Nazi or conspiracy site (with certain contextual exceptions in both cases), you just shouldn't use it.
Posted by Thaumaturgy 5 years ago
Thaumaturgy
When many of the original Manhattan Project scientists heard that the Administration was planning on dropping the bomb on an actual target they re-iterated their desire to see a "demonstration shot" on an uninhabited island or some such, with the Japanese military in attendance to see the power. But as I understand the dynamic at that time we only have sufficient U for one "gun type" bomb (the simple Uranium LIttle Boy bomb which was more likely to be "fool proof" than the more complex implosion bomb of Fat Man. And we only had enough Pu for the test gadget at Alamagordo and one or an actual weapon. (Assuming I'm recalling my Manhattan Project history correctly). So doing a demo was a risk that we wouldn't easily be able to follow through on actual use.

While I am saddened that we had to use the atomic bomb in WWII (my dad was being shipped to the Phillipines when they dropped it, not that he would have necessarily been in the homeland invasion but he was one step closer), but in general it is hard to look in hindsight at the horror of the bomb and see it the same way the people of a war weary world saw it. It shortened a long and dreadful war. It unfortunately was such a dreadful weapon that it has never been used in combat again after Nagasaki, but remember only a small number of people knew the horrors involved in this weapon at the time.

I don't accept the argument that by using this weapon we hastened the Cold War. I am reasonably certain Stalin would have developed the weapon whether we used it or not. And without a "proof point" no doubt at some later point SOMEONE would have used it. And maybe they would have used it after the Super was developed (H Bomb) and a LOT more horror was unleashed.

The proverbial genie was out of the bottle long before the mushroom cloud bloomed. It would ultimately have been developed, weaponized and used, sadly. People will go right up to the cliff edge and still peer over it at their doom.
Posted by MouthWash 5 years ago
MouthWash
"Sources to Pro for not using Neo-Nazi holocaust denier links." He apologized...
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Thaumaturgy 5 years ago
Thaumaturgy
indianboiMouthWashTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This is a classic debate and I'm glad the Con finally got around to the discussion of the "test shot", but I feel his conclusion was flawed that a test shot would have somehow not resulted in a Cold War with USSR. Fuchs and others were supplying the USSR key info from Manhattan Project long before the detonations in Japan. It is unlikely Uncle Joe would have sat back and not developed an atomic bomb if we had not used it on Japan. Both sides seemed to rely on poor primary references.
Vote Placed by XimenBao 5 years ago
XimenBao
indianboiMouthWashTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Sources to Pro for not using Neo-Nazi holocaust denier links. Args to Pro: Demonstrations - Hiroshima wasn't enough, an empty desert wouldn't have been. Doves - the coup argument Cold War-no link Overkill - Doesn't counter Pro's analysis of the balance of harm.
Vote Placed by WriterDave 5 years ago
WriterDave
indianboiMouthWashTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This has always been a difficult issue for me, but Pro made the most convincing arguments, rebutting all of Con's arguments, and Con did drop more than one of Pro's arguments. Pro's sources were also more reliable.