The Instigator
Carson_KS
Pro (for)
Tied
5 Points
The Contender
CJames
Con (against)
Tied
5 Points

The Lack of Time Between the 2nd Bomb Dropped on Nagasaki Was Against International Humanitarian Law

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/17/2015 Category: News
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 738 times Debate No: 81084
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

Carson_KS

Pro

I will be arguing that the lack of time between the 1st and 2nd atomic bomb WAS against IHL (International Humanitarian Law)

Definitions:
I don't think that definitions are need for this debate round but if you believe there is, post it in the comments and I will provide a definition as well as a source as soon as I can.

Rules:
1.) Round One is for acceptance
2.) A forfeit of concession will not be allowed
3.) All arguments and sources shall be posted in the round. If challenger does not have enough characters, send them in a outside link.
4.) Debate resolution, definitions, and rules can not be changed.

Debate Structure:
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Presenting all arguments (no rebuttals by con)
Round 3: Refutation of opponent's arguments (no new arguments)
Round 4: Defending your original arguments and conclusion (no new arguments)
CJames

Con

I Accept your conditions and the premise of the argument, I shall take the point of view that the second bombing, was not a violation of IHL.
Debate Round No. 1
Carson_KS

Pro

At its core IHL represents a balance between military necessity and humanitarian considerations in the context of conflict. Humanity, represents conflict to alleviate suffering and save lives, and to treat humanely and respectfully each individual. Military necessity is the justification of measures necessary to achieve a military goal.

VIEWPOINT: The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima AND Nagasaki were unnecessary for victory in World War II and were used primarily as a tool to impress and contain the Russians. World War II was characterized in technological warfare. The two bombs dropped were unnecessary and gratuitous displays of atomic power. They were not the only military option available to the Americans. The Japanese army already defeated, and US was waiting for Russia to declare war on Japan. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who repeatedly was against using the atomic bomb because he knew that the Japanese were close to surrender and that it was unnecessary and excessive. After the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August, the Americans displayed inhuman impatience by not waiting longer to drop the second device, which was delivered on Nagasaki three days later. More than one hundred thousand Japanese perished, and thousands more were injured or poisoned with radiation.

Argument 1: Use of the Bomb was Illegal
In September 1938, the League of Nations, "under the recognized principles of international law," issued an unanimous resolution outlawing the intentional bombing of civilian populations, with special emphasis against bombing military objectives from the air. "Any attack on legitimate military objectives must be carried out in such a way that civilian populations in the neighborhood are not bombed through negligence." "The use of chemical or bacterial methods in the conduct of war is contrary to international law." In other words, a special category of illegal weapons had been recognized, a category today called Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

While all the bombs used at Pearl Harbor combined was equal to 3,533 pounds the two atomic bombs combined (Little Boy and Fat Man) were 20,500 pounds which is equal to SIX times greater than Pearl Harbor bombs. That just goes to show how much power these two bombs have. The ratio for the death toll was 90:1, that means for every 1 American dying in the Pearl Harbor attack, 90 Japanese died in the atomic bomb droppings.

International Humanitarian Law (IHL), also known as the laws of war and the law of armed conflict, is the legal framework applicable to situations of armed conflict and occupation. As a set of rules and principles it aims, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict. Fundamental to IHL are the following two principles:
1). The protection of persons who are not, or are no longer, participating in hostilities; and
2). The right of parties to an armed conflict to choose methods and means of warfare is not unlimited.

Principle number two states that means of welfare is not unlimited. That means that certain methods, such as dropping atomic bombs, is uncalled for and unnecessary because the citizens of Nagasaki and Hiroshima could not have fended for themselves and did not know of an impending attack like this. Which is against IHL Law.

As a said in earlier in my speech, the U.S did this horrific event only to impress the Russians and gain "friendship" with them. There were other military options available to Americans at the time. The two atomic bombs dropped were SIX times heavier and more powerful than the bombs used at Pearl Harbor. This proves that the bombings were excessive and unnecessary.

Summarizing my argument up, it states that the bomb was illegal. The League of Nations stated, "The use of chemical or bacterial methods in the conduct of war is contrary to international law." In other words, a special category of illegal weapons had been recognized, a category today called Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Definition of WMD's: Weapons that can produce devastating results when delivered in a single strike. They include nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Section 921, the part that defines WMDs as destructive devices is where the law gets interesting. For purpose of a WMD, a destructive device is defined as a
(i) bomb,
(ii) grenade,
(iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces,
(iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce,
(v) mine, or
(vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses;
or, any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell which the Attorney General finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes) by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter.

So the evidence above just goes to show that the bomb was illegal to International Humanitarian Law.

With that I'm ready for my opponent to post his speech. Thank you
CJames

Con

Viewpoint: The use of the atomic bombs in World War 2 was not only ethical, it saved many more lives than the use of Conventional weapons would have allowed for. In addition the reason there has, thus far, not been a World War 3 is the mere fact of their, and the later Nuclear weapon, existence and the full knowledge of the after impact. It is not fair to say that the atomic bombs of World War 2 were in any way different from the conventional bombing of the time. Nor is it correct to claim that International Humanitarian Law would have prevented their use, at the time.
My Arguments:

Tokyo which was bombed heavily over the course of the entire war suffered similar casualties in two separate bombing runs killing 225,000 [1], more than 100,000 in each. The Nagasaki Bombing killed 100,000 approximately, but we don't consider the bombings of Tokyo to be a violation of Humanitarian Law. [2] There also, at the time, was no direct prohibition of bombing cities in international law. [3] Since bombing cities wasn't prohibited, and since each atomic bombing did less damage than some conventional bombings, it stands to reason that this could not be viewed, at the time in any case, as a violation of International Humanitarian Law. Only through the use of an Ex Post Facto case, could you even attempt to apply it.

Nagasaki and Hiroshima were military targets, not civilian ones. [4] Nagasaki was a major military seaport and manufacturing center for the Japanese Imperial Navy, Hiroshima a manufacturing center for the Imperial Army. The civilian populations in both Nagasaki and Hiroshima were warned on August 1, 1945 that their city was on the target list for a new weapon to be used via leaflet campaign which was carried out over all 33 target cities, in addition Radio Saipan was broadcasting another warning that included the description of the bomb as being the most powerful bomb ever created. [5], [6]

Operation Downfall, the code for the invasion of mainland Japan, called for approximately 500,000 casualties US side alone, this is more casualties than both nuclear attacks, which accounted for 220,000 total dead. It becomes clear that the atomic weapons would have saved, at the very least, American lives, but beyond that the Japanese would have suffered more casualties themselves. [7] There were already reports of Japanese people committing suicide before the advancement of the US military, during the invasion of Saipan [8] where at least 1000 Japanese jumped from cliffs. There is a thought among modern people that Japan was already beaten, however the Japanese military was willing to fight to the last civilian in order to protect their emperor. [1]
Beyond this, the war in Europe was over, and Russia was preparing to invade Japan, the atomic bombing prevented Japan from being split up like Germany was, and likely reduced the length of the cold war.

As a last point of rather insignificant note, but still important, the realization of the possibilities of nuclear arms, a direct result of their use during World War 2, prevented another large war from happening, due to the fear of mutual destruction. [9]

In conclusion, on balance, I find it hard to say that the atomic bombings of Japan were somehow in violation of IHL, or even immoral compared to other bombing methods and technologies. Bombings of the time were less precise than today and as a result caused large numbers of casualties among civilian populations. Since the Japanese military was unwilling to surrender, though the government was, it was necessary to impress upon the military of Japan that they could not win, and were hopelessly out matched. To say it is more moral to kill hundreds of thousands using one weapon, rather than another, is a dubious proposition. War by its very nature is immoral, the bomb that saves lives is preferable to the bomb that kills more and in this case the bomb that saved lives was the atomic bomb.

Source [1] http://www.theatlantic.com...
Source [2] https://en.wikipedia.org...
Source [3] https://en.wikipedia.org...
Source [4] http://ww2db.com...
Source [5] http://www.damninteresting.com...
Source [6] http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com...
Source [7] https://en.wikipedia.org...
Source [8] https://en.wikipedia.org...
Source [9] http://historynewsnetwork.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Carson_KS

Pro

For a roadmap, I will be going against my opponents arguments in order. As well as discussing site information.
I will list the argument that I'm going against.

[1]First, I would like to point out that the bombs used in Tokyo were illegal AND against IHL because it's considered a WMD. The atomic bombs did plenty more damage than any conventional bombings. There were 35,000 tons of TNT used in both bombs combined. Now you can't say that's not a lot because it is a lot.
[3]There were barley any military targets in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Over 85% of Hiroshima were civilians. That means only 15% of Hiroshima were military.
[4] According to the article that turned into a book "Hiroshima", the Japanese had air raid sirens go off EVERY DAY, so when the air raid sirens went off in the morning, they thought nothing of it, so they had no clue that it was coming.
[9] There is no proof that just because we used nuclear weapons in WWII that it stopped a major attack. We can't time travel so we wouldn't know.

Now onto site information. My opponent got information from five invalid sites. Wikipedia is not a reliable source because anyone can go on and change things. He also uses a blog. How is a blog a reliable source? All it is, is opinions. That goes to prove a lot of his information is invalid.

I will list my sites from my first arguments and round as well as this round:
[1] http://www.johnstonsarchive.net...
[2] hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/MuhammadKaleem.shtml
[3] http://www.ijrcenter.org...
[4]http://ic.galegroup.com...
[5]http://www.authentichistory.com...-
against/
[6] http://www.atomicheritage.org...
[7] http://www.aasc.ucla.edu...
[8] www.history.com/.../5-facts-about-pearl-harbor-and-the-uss-arizona
(I don't know why you can't click on 2 and 8 but you can type in URL by yourself I believe)

With that, I now give my opponent the time to argue my points.
CJames

Con

All wars see advancements in technology, and as such have driven much of human innovation, right down to canned foods. World War II was no different in this case, much technology came out of it, and much understanding, as a result of acts by both the Axis and the Allies. In fact full understanding of the harmful effects of radiation was brought about by these bombs, which created many cases of exposure. Prior to this period radiation "therapy" was being sold by the bottle by traveling snake oil salesmen.

"The two bombs dropped were unnecessary and gratuitous displays of atomic power. They were not the only military option available to the Americans. The Japanese army already defeated, and US was waiting for Russia to declare war on Japan."

Yes, as I addressed in my opening remarks, there were other military options, Operation Downfall being considered the best of them, was estimated to result in no fewer than 500,000 casualties just on the allied side. And waiting for Russia to enter the Japanese theatre would have resulted in a Japan that was divvied up among the powers, the same way Germany was. These are both less ideal results. The Japanese military may have known it was defeated but you are thinking from a Euro-central mentality, one the Japanese, and indeed much of East Asia, doesn"t have. The idea of giving up the fight simply because you lost was beyond unfathomable culturally. The soldiers of Imperial Japan, as quoted in source [1] in my above post, would never have simply surrendered. After the Soviet Union joined the war, a massive ground invasion would have been necessary, one that conservative estimates put at the above mentioned casualties. Likely it would have been worse, consider, for example, the invasion of Saipan or Okinawa. Had the casualties from a mainland invasion of Japan been on that scale, it would have been much worse.

The total casualties, all dead from both atomic bombings was 220,000, as demonstrated earlier [1] conventional bombs can have the same impact. In addition the claims that the Americans were "inhumane" is contrary to known facts, the residents of both target cities were given warning via air drop campaign on August 1, 1945, and daily every 15 minutes from August 1 through both bombings. Had residents payed heed to the American campaign, they would have survived. More fault can be laid at the hands of the Japanese government, which was warned via the Potsdam declaration on July 26, 1945 about the impending attacks. The Japanese government was asked by its media to reply to it, and said "mokusatsu" which roughly translates as "no comment", however there was another translation of this phrase, and it is essentially " this is beneath me to comment on " or to "kill with silence".[10] Instead of issuing a response, they chose silence.

The League of Nations was a treaty organization that the United States did not belong to, it in no way had any power to legislate, or impress upon the US, how to carry out its war. In addition, the League of Nations is not the Source from which International Humanitarian Laws derive. Those sources, the Conventions in Geneva and the Hague, had made no provisions against bombing cities. Given the limited technology at the time, precision bombing meant hitting the right city more often than not. Failing to bomb factories, shipyards, and other places where war materiel is handled, which by and large are populated by civilians, would indefinitely prolong any war.

The atomic device, as such it was new, at the time was thought to be little more than a powerful incendiary bomb, the true scale of the horrors it could inflict were not understood at the time, and it wasn"t categorized as a WMD until well after WWII.

"While all the bombs used at Pearl Harbor combined was equal to 3,533 pounds the two atomic bombs combined (Little Boy and Fat Man) were 20,500 pounds which is equal to SIX times greater than Pearl Harbor bombs. That just goes to show how much power these two bombs have. The ratio for the death toll was 90:1, that means for every 1 American dying in the Pearl Harbor attack, 90 Japanese died in the atomic bomb droppings."

The same number of civilians died during the Tokyo bombings, this is hardly relevant. The individual power of each bomb plays no part, nor does the particular rate of deaths, the Japanese were losing the war, naturally they were suffering more casualties, because at the end of the day, a war can only be won either Politically, by making the population think war is unbearable; Militarily, by causing more casualties to the enemy than they cause to you, or; Economically, by making the war too expensive. The atomic bomb achieves all three of these, by demoralizing the civilian population and government officials, destroying vast sectors of the economy, and destroying both active and potential reserve troops.

"International Humanitarian Law (IHL), also known as the laws of war and the law of armed conflict, is the legal framework applicable to situations of armed conflict and occupation. As a set of rules and principles it aims, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict. Fundamental to IHL are the following two principles:
1). The protection of persons who are not, or are no longer, participating in hostilities; and
2). The right of parties to an armed conflict to choose methods and means of warfare is not unlimited.

Principle number two states that means of welfare is not unlimited. That means that certain methods, such as dropping atomic bombs, is uncalled for and unnecessary because the citizens of Nagasaki and Hiroshima could not have fended for themselves and did not know of an impending attack like this. Which is against IHL Law."
Firstly, prior to and during the entirety of World War 2, there was no provision in IHL that prohibited the bombing of cities, secondly the civilians of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were in fact warned, meaning that even if such a prohibition were in effect, the US did meet all moral requirements by not only dropping leaflets but broadcasting a continuous warning every 15 minutes for nearly a week before both bombings. As such, by your own requirements, IHL is satisfied.

Given the outcome of the war, and the tensions building between the Allies early on, it was unlikely the intent was to gain any type of friendship with the Soviet Union. And the fact that these bombs were bigger and more powerful is entirely irrelevant, the firearm is more powerful than the dagger, is it a war crime to use firearms?

Section 921 is US law, not international law. In international law, WMDs are defined strictly as any NBC weapon, that is Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical. The definition above is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

As a note about sources, much of the information I have posted is public knowledge available from multiple academic sources and doesn"t need to be sourced at all, it was provided as a courtesy to you, my opponent, and to the reader who may not be familiar with the subject matter, engaging in Ad-hominem attacks on well documented sources is again irrelevant. To the topic of the blog, the author of the blog has 1st person experience with the subject matter at hand, and as such is a direct from an expert.
Debate Round No. 3
Carson_KS

Pro

I feel like I should win this debate due to the fact that 1.) In his Round 3 speech, which was supposed to go against my arguments. My opponent basically just stated almost everything he stated in his first speech. 2.)My opponent said that all his information from Wikipedia is public knowledge. Just because it is public knowledge does't mean he can use invalid sources. There are probably some people that don't know a lot about this subject and debate is all about education and learning. So if you come and state facts from Wiki, then some of it probably isn't true.

Thank you for accepting. This is my first debate and I really enjoyed it! Again thanks.
CJames

Con

First and foremost, my Round 3 speech did directly engage each of your arguments. I didn't quote said arguments due to character limit concerns, but if you read your paragraphs in order, each of my paragraphs is a direct engagement of what you said in yours, the two sections of yours I quoted, were left in due to the size of each quote, and to show reference for the reader as to where I was engaging.

In terms, of winning, I engaged you point for point, and gave sources, while you may not agree with said sources, that is fine, however to attack the source, instead of the argument remains Argumentum ad Hominem. Given that I had a tiny amount of free space, and while defense of my arguments must wait until the this section, defense of my sources is not restricted to final arguments.

In conclusion, I have clearly shown that even by the conditions given by my opponent, this attack was in no way a violation of IHL.

-- He required a warning, warning was given, not only to the government of Japan, but to its civilians by way of leaflet campaign, and radio broadcast.
-- The bomb was no more damaging than other attacks of the war, in particular we can draw attention to the bombing of Tokyo, wherein 100,000 people were killed in just one raid, the same number of people that were killed in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.
-- On balance, the conservative estimates of Operation Downfall were in excess of 500,000 people just on the allied side of the conflict.
-- The Japanese military had already shown willingness to impress youths into combat roles, such activity would likely have happened in the invasion of Japan proper.
-- Nagasaki was a military target, having a population that was 15% military, when the entire Japanese military was less than 10% of the total population making it a 50% higher concentration of military forces, in addition the port was a major Japanese shipyard for the handling of war materiel.
-- The atomic bomb, contrary to what my opponent alleges, was not recognized as a WMD until years later.

I believe, that I have clearly made my position, and that my opponent, has misinterpreted sources, claiming US regulations as international definitions, claiming international law from treaty organizations, and in general failing to present his case. I would ask that you vote for me.

Thank you for engaging me in my first debate here, I look forward to seeing you more.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by steven01 1 year ago
steven01
good debate.
Posted by FlashMan86 1 year ago
FlashMan86
While I do understand your point of view regarding this issue, a specific point seems to miss the mark. Below is a comment you stated.

As a said in earlier in my speech, the U.S did this horrific event only to impress the Russians and gain "friendship" with them. There were other military options available to Americans at the time. The two atomic bombs dropped were SIX times heavier and more powerful than the bombs used at Pearl Harbor. This proves that the bombings were excessive and unnecessary.

I agree with the first point. At this point of the war the Russians were clearly becoming the threat of the future. My issue is with your insistence that the payload was six times that of what was dropped at Pearl Harbor. I would ask you so what? So what if it was more powerful? That ignores everything that occurred in the middle ground between 07 DEC 1941 and 09 AUG 2015. The whole dynamic of the world changed within the time that elapsed.

Another issue is with the idea that there were other options available to the U.S. military. If my understanding of history is correct the U.S. would of had to continued the island hopping strategy all the way to mainland Japan and eventually put troops on the main island. This opens up the likely outcome of U.S. casualties. With the amount of potential casualties apparent to commanders I am unsure if the commanders or politicians would be able to convey it to the U.S. population. Having to tell people they had a weapon which could have been used and would have ended the war instead of having Marines and Army Soldiers take more land and die would be a hard line to tell the civilian population. So there is that political aspect as well.

I know I am not in this debate but I felt like this issue should have been noted.
Posted by Sciguy 1 year ago
Sciguy
Though I think it was necessary to bomb Japan with the A-bombs I will most likely vote for Carson for ethics, 'proof' and sources and spelling for CJames.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by republicofdhar 1 year ago
republicofdhar
Carson_KSCJamesTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: A well researched and well argued debate on both sides. I'm in favour of Con on this one because I think he addressed two important points very well: (1) the source of international law is not the League of Nations. Just because the LON passes a resolution does not make it binding on any State and Pro would have all but won the debate if he had instead proven a violation of a specific treaty or resolution that the US had previously acceded to. (2) That the destructiveness of nuclear weaponry was only really defined after Nagasaki. Nonetheless, well done on both sides. By the way Con, you are required to display your sources prominently if you want points for sources, whether or not the information is easily available. Although Wikipedia isn't the best source, some of Pro's sources were broken links, so I'm awarding sources to Con on this one.
Vote Placed by Seeginomikata 1 year ago
Seeginomikata
Carson_KSCJamesTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: I'd say pro wins because con didn't address why the timing was necessary, while pro stated reasons, such as that the Americans didn't care about the Japanese response, and wanted to test their new wunderwaffen. Con tried to argue that the bombings weren't any worse than all the others at the time, that part of damage was dealt to objects of military value. However, it is clear from the evidence provided by pro that the bombs had no overall affect on the outcome and timing of the end of the war, making strategic considerations and other such excuses moot.