The Instigator
08tsuchiyar
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
stk1990
Con (against)
Winning
22 Points

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

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/27/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,272 times Debate No: 1057
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (8)

 

08tsuchiyar

Pro

President Roosevelt described the early German bombings "inhuman barbarism that has profoundly shocked the conscious of humanity." Clearly it had not shocked nearly enough because as the tide of the war changed the United States of America (U.S.) completely changed there stance on strategic bombing. In fact the German and Japanese bombings were minor compared to the U.S. bombings.

The U.S. bombing of Japan was an unnecessary and cruel act. It is clear that there was no concern for civilian losses. Other then the atomic bombs the U.S. primarily used fire-bombing a method which took advantage of the highly flammable Japanese wood and paper houses. They used the fire bombing to create large uncontrollable fields of fire which would kill thousands. In the end approximately a million Japanese civilians were killed by the bombing.
stk1990

Con

The US bombing of Japan was necessary and in fact saved lives. It was not like the German bombing of London by any stretch of the imagination. It was unfortunate, cruel, and a terrible thing, but it was justified by all means. And here's why:

We were at war. And we needed to bring Japan to it's knees for what it did at Pearl Harbor and throughout East Asia in the 30's and 40's. When you are attacked, you can't sit on your hands. You have to respond in kind, a hundredfold. You have to respond in a manner that will prevent you and your people from ever being attacked again. You have to dissuade further attacks. Otherwise you are directly complicit because you showed the world that your nation does not have the courage to stand up when it is knocked down.

Thus, we needed to bring Japan to it's knees. And the best way to do that was through Strategic Bombing and use of the Atomic Bomb. The Japanese were still a powerful war machine, and it is estimated that Operation Downfall (the planned invasion of Japan) would have cost millions of lives on both sides. Japanese children were given manuals on how to kill American soldiers with school supplies. The Japanese were told to each kill 10 Americans before going down. These were a people that were ready to fight to the death. And thus, landing in Japan would have been bloody, costly, and terrible, more so than the strategic bombings.
Debate Round No. 1
08tsuchiyar

Pro

"we needed to bring Japan to it's knees for what it did at Pearl Harbor and throughout East Asia in the 30's and 40's". Do not forget that Japan was already on its knees ready to defend itself and our decision was whether to take off the head. We chose to kill.

"You have to dissuade further attacks." through fear? By bombing thousands? there is a risk of really ticking off and even angering them more. If they emperor was really hell bent on fighting to the end it would have motivated others who rather not fight but after seeing the American destruction would be more motivated to kill 20 americans not 10. It was a risk which was lucky for us. Also other nations may detest us for the action.

Japan and its leaders were ready to negotiate or compromise, the U.S. was not. This resulted in unnecessary total war because of the U.S. refusal to negotiate based on your idea that they needed to annihilate the opposition. Had they negotiated they would have found that all the Japanese wished to negotiate for was for the Emperor to remain in place (not in power but in place). He ended up remaining in place for a long time after the war. Japan was ready to surrender but the childish policy of total destruction by this country basing its decisions on fear resulted in the deaths of millions of civilians.
stk1990

Con

Yes. If you are attacked as a nation and you do not respond in kind, you will be viewed as complacent. Any self-respecting nation has to respond brutally to any attack. In terms of creating hatred towards the United States, if what you said was true, then the Japanese would still be seething with contempt for the United States today, decades after the war. Sure looks like that didn't happen.

Also, I don't understand how total war was a bad thing. The point of delivering vengeance to those killed at Pearl Harbor was not to fight the Japanese to their shore and then say "Hey, alright, let's make peace." They had to surrender. The entire miltary-political structure that had led the Japanese into a war of aggressive conquest had to be brought down. The Emperor had to be reduced to a figurehead (which is NOT what the Japanese were willing to compromise for).

That means unconditional surrender. And that was not going to happen if the U.S. just fought Japan to it's shores and sat there, waiting.
Debate Round No. 2
08tsuchiyar

Pro

Your entire argument is founded on revenge. "The point of delivering vengeance to those killed at Pearl Harbor was not to fight the Japanese to their shore and then say "Hey, alright, let's make peace."" Do you really believe that we needed to kill a million people then accept peace? Did those people need to die? Revenge for a military attack is justified? What was the mistake of the Japanese to deserve this treatment? Is a failure to submit the declaration of war in time a true reason for deserving this attack on civilians? Pearl harbor was a military attack and no civilians were targeted. The U.S. specifically targeted the civilians. Are you arguing for the murder of civilians as a revenge for a surprise military attack?

Let's look at what you said "The entire miltary-political structure that had led the Japanese into a war of aggressive conquest had to be brought down. The Emperor had to be reduced to a figurehead (which is NOT what the Japanese were willing to compromise for)."
That is an interesting argument. Firstly I must say the Emperor was pressured by the military and political leaders of the country to have an aggressive stance. How could he remain in place if he really believed in total aggression.

What you said about Japanese compromise is completely false. The Japanese foreign minister wired to his ambassador the message "Unconditional surrender is the only obstacle to peace." Which was intercepted by the allies.

Why would Truman argue that the use of the Atomic bombs were necessary by saying a million soldiers would die if that was not his only reason? Wouldn't he argue about the necessity of utterly destroying Japan. Was the purpose not to bring a quick end to the war? A true and utter defeat of Japan would have involved an invasion.

Could you please explain how the remain of the emperor in his political position was not an acceptable sacrifice for the sake of hundreds of thousands of lives? (Being clear that he did not have much true power however the Japanese people viewed him)

The Japanese were already being strangled and even the U.S. War Dept. Agrees.
The United States Strategic Bombing Survey had this to say....

"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."

This should prove that actions were unnecessary for surrender but please elaborate how unconditional surrender was worth the cost of a million civilian lives.
stk1990

Con

My entire argument is not based on revenge. It's about not being complacent. It's about standing up for your people. And when you go to war, your nation is involved. The world is not just a bunch of people. Look at a map and you'll see we have nations. The actions that a nation makes affect other nations. And 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.

In terms of your allegation that Japan would have surrendered on its' own, that is not the case. They were preparing their people for a fight to the death. The military staff was split on whether or not to ask for compromise or to fight it out to the death. And it seems that the radical war hawks were very powerful, there was even a coup attempt as Hirohito was announcing the Japanese surrender (which also makes it clear that the Emperor had the final say on any matters of surrender). Those who wanted compromise with the Emperor, as you say, acting in a figurehead capacity, were actually demanding that "prerogatives of His Majesty as a Sovereign Ruler" not be infringed upon. So you're wrong there. In addition, and this is most important, they also demanded that no war crimes trials be held. That means that the military junta stays in control.

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.

Another huge point is that had we not demonstrated to the Soviets that we had nuclear weapons, they would probably have invaded Western Europe. Not a good thing. We needed to intimidate them. And we needed to get rid of Japan as an adversary in the Pacific. We needed to pacify them, because if we hadn't the Soviets would have gotten a huge edge over us in East Asia. I don't think you can argue that that would have been good.

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!
Debate Round No. 3
08tsuchiyar

Pro

08tsuchiyar forfeited this round.
stk1990

Con

I think I have made it clear what my position is and why it is so. I would like to leave you with one final thought: What would the world be like now had the United States not bombed Japan? Would tens of millions of Americans (likely including my grandfather) have died to tackle an evil regime? Had we made a compromise peace, as my opponent has suggested, would Japan still be run by militaristic warlords today? Would the Russians have gained a greater foothold in Asia? Would we have won the Cold War?

I think the world would have been a much darker place had those bombs not been dropped. The deaths of those people in those cities are unmistakeably horrific, but Roosevelt and Truman made the right decision in order to safeguard America and the world from future Japanese aggression.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by 08tsuchiyar 9 years ago
08tsuchiyar
Continuation debate if anyone is interested.... http://www.debate.org...
Posted by 08tsuchiyar 9 years ago
08tsuchiyar
Unbelievable....mmadderom, your comment really got on my nerves

I think the fact that we had no choice is debatable and nothing is clear cut in the debate. If you think the kamikaze pilots are what made the Japanese break the "humane" mindset from the get go you are mistaken and if you are talking about the surprise attack on pearl harbor, there was an attempt to declare war before the attack, which failed.

Lastly, your accusation that I do not know much beyond "we dropped the bomb" disgusts me. I don't think your view of the situation is exactly unbiased considering both your grandfathers fought in the war (thank god for their service). My father is Japanese and my mother is American, my American Grandfather fought in WW2 and my grandmother was evacuated from the cities in case of aerial bombardment. I doubt you could comprehend the whole story.

If you want to debate....bring it. Anyone challenge me to this debate. please. I will complete them, that is a promise.

BTW, i feel bad I couldn't complete the debate.
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
What about war IS humane? Dropping the atomic bombs ENDED A WAR. it SAVED countless lives. War isn't a game. It's extremely saddening that we HAD NO OTHER CHOICE but to bomb Japan in such a manner, be we REALLY had no other choice.

9/11 wasn't unique, it stole the idea from Japanese kamikaze pilots. You can't fight such an enemy mindset with conventional weapons. THEY (the Japanese) broke the "humane" mindset from the get go.

Both of my Grandfathers fought in that war and told me stories you couldn't comprehend. I sincerely doubt you know much about it beyond "we dropped the bomb".
Posted by EliteEternity 9 years ago
EliteEternity
You're both good debaters. That doesn't change the fact that stk1990 has his head screwed on straight though.
Posted by Leonitus_Trujillo 9 years ago
Leonitus_Trujillo
ohh man I WISH i got this one. anyway congrats con.
Posted by ScrewSociety62 9 years ago
ScrewSociety62
Oh man, I loved Flyboys, such an interesting book.
Posted by 08tsuchiyar 9 years ago
08tsuchiyar
"Flyboys"....aaah....what a good book. I loved it. So getting back to you. Oh yeah...did you read my argument?
Posted by shwayze 9 years ago
shwayze
do you know how many american lives we saved by not invading Japan? Experts estimate hundreds of thousands of Americans wouldve died, on top of the hundreds of thousands of Japanese troops. Even more, tens of thousands of civilians wouldve died as well if we invaded Japan. Read "Flyboys" and then get back to me. The dropping of the atomic bomb probably saved about 1 million lives.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 1 year ago
U.n
08tsuchiyarstk1990Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture.
Vote Placed by shwayze 9 years ago
shwayze
08tsuchiyarstk1990Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by hjfrutwiufy 9 years ago
hjfrutwiufy
08tsuchiyarstk1990Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
08tsuchiyarstk1990Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Leonitus_Trujillo 9 years ago
Leonitus_Trujillo
08tsuchiyarstk1990Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by JustCallMeTarzan 9 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
08tsuchiyarstk1990Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by EliteEternity 9 years ago
EliteEternity
08tsuchiyarstk1990Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by stk1990 9 years ago
stk1990
08tsuchiyarstk1990Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03