The Instigator
08tsuchiyar
Pro (for)
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The Contender
stk1990
Con (against)
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27 Points

The Strategic Bombing and use of the A-bomb against Japan in World War 2 was Unjustified (Cont.)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/4/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,275 times Debate No: 1345
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (9)

 

08tsuchiyar

Pro

http://www.debate.org...

Let us continue the debate sorry about the last round I was planning to reply but a couple of issues came up and I hope people don't vote with there opinion but with the arguments a bit more this time but hell, I know my opinion is a little tough to argue. Anyway, onto the debate.

"delivering vengeance to those killed at Pearl Harbor", You said you weren't in favor of revenge? and then you continue to say "while it may have been highly unfortunate and immensely regrettable that the Japanese civilians had to die to achieve this lasting peace, remember that it is also regrettable that those same Japanese were complacent when Pearl Harbor was being bombed and U.S. soldiers were being paraded to their deaths during the Bataan Death March."
It sounds like justification by they didn't do anything about it so let's kill them.I think that's revenge? Do you think what happened at Pearl Harbor was as morally wrong as the A-Bomb, what about the death of the PoW at the Bataan Death march are they truly as bad or equivelant to the use of Atomic weapons on civilians with no prior warning? Also just to let you know the Atomic Bomb killed PoW's just like at the Bataan march....and if you were to justify the use of Atomic weapons against Japanese then I'd use the rape of Nankin because the acts of aggression by soldiers against soldiers is no justification for the murder of their wives and children. There is no proof that the same leaders would have remained in place. I believe a large portion of those extremist would resign in shame. (this is just from my understanding of their mentality)

"The point of the preceding paragraph is to prove that the Japanese were not willing to compromise until we laid it out for them: Surrender and get rid of the old order that caused this war, or we will annhilate you. I think that's better than allowing the Japanese military junta to remain in power, causing a possible arms race between the Japanese and the United States."
The SURRENDER (giving up arms meaning there is no possible arms race) with the emperor remaining would not lead to any arms race because the "military junta" would not be allowed to remain by the U.S. How do we know what exact conditions the Japanese would and wouldn't allow if there were no negotiations. There is no proof of any exact conditions the Japanese government would have given in to and they would have surrendered according to the U.S. War Department by the end of the year in all probability.

"In short: Peace without utter defeat of the Japanese would have led to further conflicts in the Pacific. Just look at what happened when in World War I, Germany was not utterly defeated...they tried rolling the dice again!"
There is no proof that this would have happened, the Japanese and Germans are very different and political scenes were also different.

"Another huge point is that had we not demonstrated to the Soviets that we had nuclear weapons, they would probably have invaded Western Europe." A soviet spy had already infiltrated the Manhattan project so there was no need for a demonstration when the soviets already knew about it.

The U.S. War Department's survey makes no mention of what the conditions of surrender would have been for Japan to surrender by the end of the year and if what you said about the military juntas remaining in power was true then I am sure they would have used it to defend the government's actions.
stk1990

Con

Wow, five rounds is quite a lot, but I suspect we won't have much trouble filling all of the rounds.

First, just saying that the Japanese and Germans were different doesn't count as a valid point. You have to justify why they were different. And yes, they were different, but that doesn't mean that we should have taken a risk and trusted that Japan would not attack us again if we just let bygones be bygones.

Do you honestly think that had the United States and Japan come to a compromise peace, that they would have let us dismantle the military-political stranglehold that had its grip on the Emperor? You say that because there were no negotiations, we could never have known what the Japanese would have offered. But let me tell you, that when you are at war, you need to get yourself in the best possible position you can. Fighting a world war is not about getting a little bit closer and saying "Peace now? Peace now?" then taking a little bit more ground and going "Peace now? Peace now?" with the hopes of having a wonderful, friendly armistice between the two nations. No! We were in a World War and needed to drive them into the ground.

Also, it is hard to distinguish between different parts of a nation when you are at war with the whole nation. Bombing the Japanese civilians is not like watching someone kill your brother and then shooting someone else. Japan was one unit. Japan was Japan. The civilians and the government were not different parties in this case. When you have a nation that prides itself on producing young boys who pilot their planes in American aircraft carriers, you cannot negotiate with them because they do not want to surrender. You have to show them that we have the ability to destroy them. And it's not like this was unprovoked or an attack without warning. If I'm not mistaken, when you bring your nation into war, you kind of have to expect this is going to happen. What were we going to do? Say, "Hey everybody, we're gonna drop an atomic bomb on your city, so how about everybody leaves and then we'll do this thang." No. We were at war. And war sucks. But war is war.

Listen, you make some good points. Perhaps Japan would have surrendered. But we didn't know that they would. The only way for the United States to be certain that Japan would surrender and we would have complete control over the Post-War government was threaten annihilation and actually light the fuse by dropping two A-Bombs. At this point in history, perhaps dropping the bomb would be a poor idea.

But in the context of World War II, a war that had cost 60 million lives already, people did not want to sit around and wait for the Japanese to surrender. We were weary, the world was weary, and the world wanted peace.
The atomic bomb was the best way to guarantee peace. You can try to make the same appeal you have been making with "But people died!" but it's not going to work. The bomb was horrible. The bombings were horrible. But that is war.
Debate Round No. 1
08tsuchiyar

Pro

Let's put this quote up here because I use it many times in this rebuttal and it isn't in this exact debate but in the first one.
"Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."
-US War Department's US Strategic Bombing Survey

I believe that the US Strategic Bombing Survey quote adresses your point about nearing the end of the war and the impatience towards the loss of lives as well as the long war.

You mention that the US would not have known that Japan would have surrendered. The US intercepted a message from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to his Embassador to the USSR which said "the only obstacle to peace is unconditional surrender". The US was aproached by Japan and refused their offers of negotiation and pressured the USSR to do the same.

You also make a very good point about Japan being one nation and it is absolutely correct. Most did support Japan totally. You then go on to use the example of the kamikaze and the total support of the suicide attacks and say, "you cannot negotiate with them because they do not want to surrender." This is false. You have taken devotion to their nation and leader and said it is their rejection of surrender. That is in fact false.

The Emperor Hirohito wanted to help his people and do what he thought was best for Japan. His actions were mislead and wrong but he did not completely disregard the lives of his own people. He did not want to let down his country by surrendering but he did not want a slaughter of all his people. It is a very complicated relationship between the emperor and his people and he did not want utter destruction contrary to what many people suggest. They feared the American actions following the war with no right to say anything.

I believe he would surrender a powerful political position to do what is best for his country, his refusal of absolute surrender was proof that he cared for his people and did not wish for the country to be driven into the ground by the US. If the overall Japanese mentality was truly militant and as militant as you say the Japanese surrender would not have been so simple.

Your extreme examples are beginning to frustrate me. First you talk about negotiation after little steps, this was not the case as the Strategic bombing survey showed. Then you use the example of warnings. Let's refrain from overly exagerated examples which are not the case.

Adressing your first assertion about negotiations. If your example was the case I would agree with you but since it isn't, I don't. There were never negotiations with Japan nor did I ever say that negotiations should have begun as soon as the war begun. Japan at the time of the use of the A-bomb was ready to surrender. (refer to US War Department's Survey) A nation already in a very weakened state.

Your second example of warnings is truly illogical. Never did I suggest warning exact populations of attacks but I did suggest a warning to the general population. Warn the Japanese and their leaders of the weapon and that the US will not hesitate to use the weapon. Never did I say we should give an opportunity for the city to evacuate.

"First, just saying that the Japanese and Germans were different doesn't count as a valid point. You have to justify why they were different. And yes, they were different, but that doesn't mean that we should have taken a risk and trusted that Japan would not attack us again if we just let bygones be bygones."
You were the one who stated that the reason that Japan could attack again after a surrender. I'll give one other reason then "they are different" and elaborate on that. The US would have learned from the mistakes concerning Germany by changing their post war actions and they were by releasing control of the country back to it's people slowly.
The Japanese surrender was devastating to everyone and they would not let their pride tell them to retaliate. They understood their mistake after their surrender and in the modern world have become one of the US's closest partners in the world. Whether the surrender was conditional or not, I thinkt he results would have been very similar unlike the German inflamatory attitude which was a result of many combinations including economic strife, national mentality (revenge, anger and pride about their nation all creating an aggressive state) and a very talented leader who was good at rallying support but who had bad intentions (Hitler).

I thinkt he burden of proof lies with the party which bombed the civilians not the civilians to prove they did not need to be bombed and I have yet to see what I believe is enough proof.
stk1990

Con

I am curious as to whether or not you actually read the Strategic Bombing Survey or just cut and pasted the quote that appears on Wikipedia. Because the Strategic Bombing Survey also says:

"There is no doubt that the bomb was the most important influence among the people of these areas in making them tkink that defeat was inevitable." All those who had doubted that it was necessary for Japan to put up the white flag. Might I remind you that a compromise peace without dropping the atomic bomb would have left many of the Japanese ready to continue the struggle.

The Strategic Bombing report also states that it was only a minority of the leaders in Japan that wanted to effect a surrender. The Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and War Ministers were all wanting to continue fighting. They were even considering "liquidation" of the anti-war members.

Also take into consideration the fact that had the Japanese eventually surrendered by the end of the year, it would not have happened had we pulled back and just parked our ships outside the home islands. We would need to have continued to bomb them.

The report also says that the atomic bomb broke the deadlock within the Japanese government and allowed them to "avoid further useless slaughter and destruction". That means that even in the Japanese view, the bomb saved lives.

In terms of the burden of proof, I think we need to keep in mind that hindsight is 20/20. If you were in a situation where you were at war with a nation and you needed to elicit defeat as quickly as possible, the atomic bomb would be the best option. Or strategic bombings, which you also decry.
Debate Round No. 2
08tsuchiyar

Pro

If what you say is true.....You win. Good debate. I enjoyed it and you have succeeded in changing my opinion. Although I will always have doubts about the action as I believe should be the case with anyone if 150,000 people are killed in two events.

I enjoyed this and I will vote for you in the voting period.

Also, let's stay away from the overly pro-American outlook buddy. lol

If you want me to continue debating please say so....I've thoroughly enjoyed the debate and I will continue to try and work myself out of the corner if you want to.
stk1990

Con

A good debate as well, congratulations, now it's up to the voters to decide. I suppose I do have a very pro-American outlook on things...so I could tone it down a little bit. Trust me, I have struggled myself with this argument, and I probably would have thought differently had it been the Japanese who dropped atomic bombs on San Francisco and LA. But then again, that's not what we were debating! Good debate and good arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
08tsuchiyar

Pro

If I learned anything about living abroad it's that your environment shapes your view of the world more then anything.....it works from the pro-american and anti-american points....I've been accused of both being pro-american while abroad and anti-american when I returned. Which am I....an American patriot who cares about doing the right thing for the world not just my country(s)(I'm Japanese and American)Also, if you're interested my Grandfather was a B-17 pilot who was being trained to fly B-29's when the war ended...he didn't want to fly over the pacific, I was confused why he was so afraid when he flew over the Atlantic. lol. While my grandmother on my Japanese side was evacuated because of the bombings. There are no hard feelings but I am interested in finding out what is actually right about the bombing.

I guess I have a semi-unbiased outlook on Japanese-American relations and stuff.

But it's not like I wasn't guilty of using emotional language either...lol

I respect you but some of the comments have been criminal....this is from my other debate. http://www.debate.org...
stk1990

Con

Oh, right-wingers can be sometimes a little bit too jingoistic. Funny how liberal = anti-American in these people's minds. Oh well. You know, after you mentioned your family history, it brought to light mine. Now I'm three quarters German, and most of my family actually fought in the Nazi army before my maternal grandparents came to America. My paternal grandfather was German as well, but he was in America since before Hitler. So he fought in the Pacific, repairing submarines. I do not doubt that if an invasion had taken place, my grandfather would have been given a gun and told to storm a beach. And so probably neither of us would be here to debate this.
Debate Round No. 4
08tsuchiyar

Pro

I saw your debate about the US decline....and I agree with you. Also, what you say about the Bush issue is so true. I lived in Swaziland, Africa and what you say is so true. My best friend said "all americans suck!" in a half jest, half serious way and that is very close to their opinion.
stk1990

Con

Alright, now on to voting! (I guess I'll say that again to make the 100 character minimum.) Seriously, on to voting.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by 08tsuchiyar 9 years ago
08tsuchiyar
I was talking about the American Indians....but my bad for being clear and bringing up something completely out of context....lol
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
"Internment was nothing compared to what happened to the natives"

Individual compassion doesn't exist in a war between countries. It is unfortunate that so many died because of the U.S. decision to use the bombs, but how many lives were saved by said decision? Honestly we'll never be able to put a number on it hence it can't be weighed.

However, it can be reasonably argued in hindsight that losing the war in that manner greatly benefited Japan as a whole because of the resulting American compassion combined with the political change it forced in that country.
Posted by 08tsuchiyar 9 years ago
08tsuchiyar
Internment was nothing compared to what happened to the natives....
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
To put this into a more recent context, the war in Iraq has only gone on as long as it has because Rumsfeld WAY underestimated the enemy and sent FAR too few troops in when we invaded. Don't take what you THINK you might need to get the job done. Overwhelming force is ALWAYS the best idea. It ended up being political suicide for the current President to listen to the advice of a man who truly believed the Iraqis would welcome us with rose petals after we abandoned them once before.

MIGHT we have ended WWII without the atomic bomb? Maybe. Heck, Probably. But at what cost to us in terms of lives? and economically? Sure, I donate to charities, but not at the cost of putting food on my own families table.

I don't regret my countries decision to use "the bomb" at all. The only thing I can possibly question is the internment camps for Japanese Americans. While I understand the reasoning (steeped in ignorance) I don't understand the action actually passing.
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
There is no compassion in war. There simply isn't. You fight to win or you don't fight at all.

Hindsight is 20/20 and evaluating history has a way creating debates such as this while leaving out the context, necessity, and emotion of WAR.

It's very simple. If you pull a knife on my kids, I'm using a gun to kill you. If you send 10 people to fight, I'm responding with 100, 1000 if I can. War is war. There is no fairness to it. You fight to win and win convincingly so as to discourage the next guy who might want to try you.

I don't CARE if I kill 500 of your people to save one of mine. That's war. It's only AFTER the fact that these sorts of things come up.

If you don't have the stomach for war, then stay out of it in the first place.

Of course with that mindset this country would still be owned by the British or controlled by communism which would almost certainly be the worlds political model...
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