The Instigator
08tsuchiyar
Pro (for)
Losing
18 Points
The Contender
Klashbash
Con (against)
Winning
30 Points

The Strategic Bombing and use of the A-bomb was Unjustified and Illegal.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/23/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,659 times Debate No: 916
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (23)
Votes (16)

 

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.

At the Hague convention in 1907 the U.S. ratified a treaty banning the use of projectiles and objects being launched from the air against civilians.

I will present more information in next rounds.
Klashbash

Con

You're going to have to present the specific line the U.S. breached and show proof that it was ratified. What does it matter in any case? Would you prefer a certain law be followed over the survival of freedom? Laws are meant to set a standard of conduct. Are you going to obey a law that says do not murder if someone is trying to murder you? If you care an ounce about your own life; you'll retaliate. I think we both can agree abiding by laws whenever possible is appropriate in theory. There are crucial exceptions to every rule and the world doesn't fall apart by breaking a law. Your premise of the actions being illegal is dismissible. The overriding issue is if it was moral or at the least a necessary evil.

There are no absolutes in life. Knowing this we can deduce there are no such thing as innocent civilians. How can there be such a thing as absolute innocence? There can't be. Our world consists of varying shades of grey. There is no pure evil or flawless good. Does this give moral justification to go bombing cities wherever we please? No, it doesn't. What it does do is recognize the reality of the situation. Civilians are accomplices to the government. They provide its finances, moral support and backbone. There cannot exist a government without people to rule over. The people under its control legitimatize it by allowing it to rule them.

The Japanese were fiercely loyal to their government. The emperor was perceived as a god. The alternative to fire bombing and ultimately nuking Japan would be a land invasion. This would mean far more deaths on each side of the conflict. You have to tell me something. What else are we to do with a country that refuses to surrender? Have you forgotten the Japanese didn't surrender when the first nuke was dropped? The generals even wanted to fight after the second atomic bomb had detonated.

You know what you would rather do? You would rather stand on your holier than thou pedestal. You would rather let the Allied forces be annihilated than suffer the fate of having a single Japanese "innocent" civilian die. Do you think the U.S. massacred civilians because it was somehow amusing? It's about survival. You cannot win a war unless the other side is incapable of prolonging the fight. This means economic destruction. Who makes up an economy? It is the people that reside within the country.

You proclaim how immoral our actions were. You would stand there while the Japanese raised flags in U.S. cities. You would be preaching how glorious it was in how we stood by our morals. That's if you weren't already dead. That is if you didn't realize how senseless morals are when not followed by others. How useless morals are if a dictator doesn't care whatsoever. Moral advantages don't stop bullets or the imprisonment of people by ruthless dictators.

Here's an effortless way to solve this: let's review quality of life if your philosophy dominated the Allied mindset. Afterwards we can decipher what occurred when instead the alignment was with me. You are against purposely bombing "innocent" civilians. This means the enemy is not constrained in resource gathering and will, because they don't care, slaughter your people whenever possible. You have dreadfully skewed the playing field in favor of the enemy. Your beliefs if held by government officials would make it far more probable the U.S. would be under a dictatorship. This dictatorship would revoke the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. The standard of living would be that of slaves. You like quotes do you? Here's one for you good sir:

"Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!" ~ Patrick Henry

How about mine? The philosophy of using whatever means necessary to conquer an enemy that is doing the same? Want to know what happened? The Allied forces won WWII and an era of prosperity like never seen before transpired in the U.S. Europe was in ruins but eventually built themselves back up to an economic stronghold. Wouldn't you say modern Japan is doing remarkably well? Tell me about their freedoms compared to those in WWII. Japan is also producing a rather high GDP. Freedom prevailed.

We weren't dominated by the Axis because we saw within ourselves the necessary evil that needed to be taken in order to win. You do not comprehend necessary evils or the consequences of outright refusing to do morally questionable acts. My philosophy prevails over yours because mine adapts to the circumstances. Yours is grounded in a black and white world that feels the means justify whatever end (no matter how horrifying that end is). Your philosophy is doomed to fail.
Debate Round No. 1
08tsuchiyar

Pro

Upon looking closer at the ratifications and specifics of the Hague and Geneva Conventions I realized that I had misunderstood the laws. The bombing was not illegal. I feel that we have significant differences of view on the bombings though and I would like to continue that debate. Shall we agree to take the "and Illegal" part of the debate?

You make a very compelling an interesting argument but you fail to recognize the whole story. You begin very well but you end with a very emotional piece of writing but you ignore one very important fact.

You seem to have the idea that the strategic bombing and use of the A-Bomb was necessary for the preservation and spread of freedom. You are mistaken. The allies were winning the war so only time, resources and lives were at stake. The allies would have invaded Japan successfully. Even President Truman the man who approved the use of the A-Bomb said that the U.S. would have invaded Japan whether or not the weapon was used. This was said while he was defending the use of the weapon. You make a great argument on the tactic of targeting civilians for Germany which almost won but not for Japan which was losing.

You seem to consider the Japanese civilians evil. Just because a civilian population wants to defend itself does it mean it's evil? Does that justify their slaughter? Is it in our place to decide who is evil and who is not? Under your logic if someone considers you a threat you can bomb their civilians. 9/11 was a similar situation where the terrorists believed we were evil and threatening there religion and people. I doubt that you believe such a thing.

You say that I should recognize the grey area in the debate yet you fail to do so yourself. You continue to use the word "evil" when referring to Japan's people and government. Is there no grey area? Is it that they are pure evil?

A paragraph of questions to answer...."The Japanese were fiercely loyal to their government. The emperor was perceived as a god. The alternative to fire bombing and ultimately nuking Japan would be a land invasion. This would mean far more deaths on each side of the conflict. You have to tell me something. What else are we to do with a country that refuses to surrender? Have you forgotten the Japanese didn't surrender when the first nuke was dropped? The generals even wanted to fight after the second atomic bomb had detonated."

"The Japanese were fiercely loyal to their government.", sorta true. They were in fact loyal to the emperor and do whatever he said which would mean if he surrendered they would accept it, as they did after the second nuke.

"The alternative to fire bombing and ultimately nuking Japan would be a land invasion." This debate would be over if this was true but it is not. Let's use your old point about the grey area. Japan and its leaders were ready to negotiate or compromise, the U.S. was not. Japan was ready to accept the grey area, 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. He ended up remaining in power for a long time after the war. Japan was ready to surrender but the childish policy of total destruction by this country resulted in the deaths of millions of people.

"What else are we to do with a country that refuses to surrender?" Let us be clear the Japanese refused unconditional surrender.

"Have you forgotten the Japanese didn't surrender when the first nuke was dropped?" They refused to surrender because the generals refused to see the end of the Emperor who followed their advice. They feared dishonor because of his surrender and what they believed was an inevitable execution.

You said "You would rather let the Allied forces be annihilated than suffer the fate of having a single Japanese "innocent" civilian die." I never said anything of the sort and do not believe it. Civilian deaths are acceptable but not the complete disregard for civilian life or even the targeting of civilians. This was the case in WW2.
Klashbash

Con

I didn't claim the A-bomb detonation was imperative to preserving freedom. What I did declare was that an alternative land invasion would've brought heavier losses on both sides. Street by street warfare would've ruptured Japan into an unlivable slum. Think it was hideous sight from the devastation of the carpet bombing and hydrogen bombs? Imagine in-your-face confrontation for each step taken. Civilian causalities would've skyrocketed far beyond the aerial bombardment. President Truman out of his own concern for what a land invasion would entail took it upon himself to make a choice out of the lesser of two evils. Japanese citizens as we both agreed upon were fiercely loyal to their emperor. The vast majority were more than willing to attempt to kill Americans on their soil with anything at their disposal.

Neither did I assert the Japanese citizens were evil. My whole point was merely establishing a grey area. You seemed to believe civilians were innocent by default despite the circumstances surrounding it. That was my impression when reading your opening post. There seems to have been a misunderstanding. You and I both concur civilian deaths are acceptable so long as it isn't senseless. The difference therefore lies in militaristic approach. Wouldn't you say you would advocate the strategy that would result in fewer deaths? The land invasion shouldn't be your pick.

The Japanese government, by the refusal accept unconditional surrender, is responsible for the lives lost. Unconditional surrender ensures as best one can that the aggressive party who initiated the conflict will not do so a second time. Japan has no right to a bargaining chip on the table. You do not slaughter 2,000 soldiers of ours and expect to be considered on equal terms. The repercussions are what the victimized country decides to dish out. It is out of benevolence the U.S. returned Japan back to its people.
Debate Round No. 2
08tsuchiyar

Pro

08tsuchiyar forfeited this round.
Klashbash

Con

Klashbash forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
08tsuchiyar

Pro

"You do not comprehend necessary evils or the consequences of outright refusing to do morally questionable acts. My philosophy prevails over yours because mine adapts to the circumstances." Strong language buddy....

I think you don not understand my position. Who says I can't adapt. I'm just saying the Japanese weren't so evil or scary as you say. I understand morally questionalbe acts, hell a guy tries to stab a christian, if that christian has a gun 90% of the time he'll throw "thou shalt not kill" out the window. I agree....hell if the Japanese would not accept surrender at all I'd advocate dropping bombs and doing whatever to prevent unnecessary deaths but I don't think it was necesary.

You say you don't advocate unnecessary deaths but then you go on and say, "Japan has no right to a bargaining chip on the table. You do not slaughter 2,000 soldiers of ours and expect to be considered on equal terms. The repercussions are what the victimized country decides to dish out." This shows a disregard for the civilians.

You blame the Japanese leaders for their actions. OK but let me get this straight. It's the Japanese leader's fault that the bomb was dropped? To a certain extent but if what actions the US took were wrong, isn't it not the situation but the action in the context of the situation which is wrong not the person who allows the motivation or possiblity of the action.

Lastly I'd like to say that it was the US government's opinion that Japan would have surrendered by the end of the year. Thehe US War Department's Strategic Bombing Survey said "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 shows that the war was over with basically no actions and the US had won but it was a matter of how many weeks and lives it would take or on what conditions it would end. Japan was finished, the US leaders decided early on that unconditional surrender was the only option.
Klashbash

Con

Klashbash forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 08tsuchiyar 9 years ago
08tsuchiyar
Did I say that? To believe that by expressing my opinon I was commiting "pathetic liberal anti-american, anti-military attack on the united states"...that's what I think is overly patriotic. I should have realized that it wasn't clear enough.
Posted by shwayze 9 years ago
shwayze
its gone way too far because i think this is a pointless debate?
Posted by 08tsuchiyar 9 years ago
08tsuchiyar
I was saying it's patriotism gone waaaay too far....I wouldn't want to call you....would I....unpatriotic. oooh...lol
Posted by shwayze 9 years ago
shwayze
please tell me how that is unpatriotic.
Posted by 08tsuchiyar 9 years ago
08tsuchiyar
Get over it.....hahahahahaha....this is one part I despise about this country....I've never seen such a dispicable form of patriotism....(that doesn't include you Klashbash)
Posted by shwayze 9 years ago
shwayze
again there is no debate. it was justified. this is such an old argument anyways. get over it.
Posted by 08tsuchiyar 9 years ago
08tsuchiyar
That is not my purpose of bringing up the "attack"....I just want to ask questions....thank you for your attack on my opinions. I am in no way against the military. The decision to use the A-bomb was only partly military and please do not confuse my support of civilians for anti-militarism.

If you really want we can debate whether this truly is "a pathetic liberal anti-american, anti-military attack on the US." I would love to. But shut up if you don't know what you're talking about. There's nothing wrong with being pro-Japanese and it doesn't mean I am "anti-american". Nor does a belief that unnecesasary civilian deaths should be avoided in times of war mean that I am "anti-military".

And I donno what is liberal about my "attack on the US". Which is absolutely not true. I'll verbally attack Bush but does that mean I attack the US? No. Please let's not be name-calling. If you really want to discuss this. Please. Bring it!
Posted by shwayze 9 years ago
shwayze
there is no debate. this is just a pathetic liberal anti-american, anti-military attack on the united states.
Posted by 08tsuchiyar 9 years ago
08tsuchiyar
Ok....I don't think the rules really allow me to debate here so challenge me if you disagree with my position. I would love to take you on.

Let us debate. Please.
Posted by shwayze 9 years ago
shwayze
do you understand how massive and long the invasion of Japan wouldve taken? We saved more lives by dropping the bomb and de facto ending the war for good.
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