The Instigator
reedchar
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Varrack
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points

The dropping of the Atomic Bombs on Japan was the right thing to do.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Varrack
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/12/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 781 times Debate No: 73362
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

reedchar

Con

The choice for the US Government to drop two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was completely unjustified. This is one of the biggest atrocities the world has ever seen. The war may have been ended early, but not at the expense of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. I will save more main points. Think im wrong? Give it a shot!

http://en.m.wikipedia.org...
Varrack

Pro

I accept. I'm not sure whether first round is for acceptance or arguments, so I'll just assume it's for acceptance since that is the norm. I will also assume that the burden of proof is shared. Con, please present your case.
Debate Round No. 1
reedchar

Con

Little new at this I will improve. Dropping the nukes on Japan was the wrong choice, because of the actual devastation and the events that followed after for atleast 50 years. The United States played God deciding what innocent people should die for the "greater good". Not only were 200,000+ killed, but two cities that have been around for longer than the US has been a country, were whiped off the earth. In addition, you could count the even more people effected by the radiation. You could even blame the bombings for starting the Cold War, because America showed their dominance by killing the innocent, impressing and intimidating the Russians. It was a decision that had consiquences.

http://www.history.com...
Varrack

Pro

Thanks, Con.

C1. Japan was Ruthless

When learning of the Axis countries of World War II, one of which was Japan, we must understand the nature of this country and the way they fought in this war. Japan was an extremely determined nation, even to the point of using suicide bombers to achieve these goals. As proven in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, Japan would fight until it either achieved total victory or every last one of their men were dead. When in suicide mode, there was nothing that could make Japan surrender, save be the atomic bombings that we would later witness. Had America chosen a different path to advance towards victory, they would have very likely failed. "Although some Japanese were taken prisoner, most fought until they were killed or committed suicide. In the last, desperate months of the war, this image was also applied to Japanese civilians. To the horror of American troops advancing on Saipan, they saw mothers clutching their babies hurling themselves over the cliffs rather than be taken prisoner."[1] Not only were the militants on this verge, but the citizens themselves were too. Knowing this, we must know that the only way to get Japan to surrender was to raise to their level and use stronger measures, which proved a success.

Some people scold the U.S. for dropping the bombs which killed around two hundred thousand people, but don't realize that the tactics by Japan killed far more people (enough to be compared to Nazi Germany). The Japanese slaughtered 30 million Asians, including Filipinos, Cambodians, Vietnamese, Malays, Burmese, Indonesians, and Chinese[2]. These are some drastic war crimes, not to mention the torture of prisoners of war. This shows that if the Japanese had succeeded in beating America, they could have killed, tortured, and/or enslaved millions of Americans. Winning this war was absolutely essential.

C2. The Alternative: Operation Downfall

Had America not bombed them, but continued with Operational Downfall (conquering Japan), the outcome would have been far worse. In the following article alone there are many different studies focused on the likely result of the initiation of this operation, all of which conclude that there would be over one million Japanese and American casualties, which is far more than the 200,000 casualties from the atomic bombs that were needed to end the war. According to a study done by Secretary of War Stimson's staff by William Shockley, continuing on with Operation Downfall would have costed 1.7 - 4 million American casualties, including 400,000 - 800,000 fatalities, and five to ten million Japanese casualties[3]. If America decided not to bomb Japan out of being "nice" to them, the Allies probably would have lost the war. Even if they had won, millions of more lives would have been taken. Thus, I conclude that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a much more effective way of ending the war than Operation Downfall. My opponent may say that going with neither choice would have been better, but this is an untenable position when one considers the reality of war and the cruelty of the Axis powers that were detrimental to the Allies.

R1. Cold War

"You could even blame the bombings for starting the Cold War, because America showed their dominance by killing the innocent, impressing and intimidating the Russians. It was a decision that had [consequences]."

This is a false accusation. The Soviets learned of the Manhattan Project from spies before the atomic bombs were ever dropped. "Despite being an ally during World War II, the Soviet Union launched an all-out espionage effort to uncover the military and defense secrets of the United States and Britain in the 1940s. Within days of Britain's highly classified decision in 1941 to begin research on building an atomic bomb, an informant in the British civil service notified the Soviets. As the top-secret plan to build the bomb, called the Manhattan Project, took shape in the United States, the Soviet spy ring got wind of it before the FBI knew of the secret program's existence."[4] It is wrong to blame the Cold War on the bombings, since Hiroshima and Nagasaki were never the cause of the war in the first place.

In fact, the dropping of the bombs served as a benefit of knowledge to the U.S. which could have prevented tragic mistakes. Prior to Japan, the U.S. didn't know what would happen once the bombs went off, so having not used it they would have been more likely to use it on the Soviet Union or another communist ally, which would have led to nuclear war.

In sum, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the best and most effective choice, which proved to be so when Japan immediately surrendered and Nazi Germany not long afterwards. Lives were saved and the Holocaust ended, resulting in a decision that would forever change the world. It is true that some people died, but that is the reality of war and is impossible to avoid. It is better to make decisions that reduce casualties instead of ones that don't.

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk...
[2] http://www.lrb.co.uk...
[3] http://www.upa.pdx.edu...
[4] http://www.smithsonianmag.com...
Debate Round No. 2
reedchar

Con

Nice points made Pro

Firsty,

The Cold War part was not about the Soviets developing weapons of mass destruction on the account that they saw America had them, it was the fact that America used them. Prior to the war, other countries knew about the United States and that they were an industrialized monster that was growing, but with the US's isolationist policy, they weren't seen as the super power they really are until they basically had the guts to drop those bombs. This opened up the eyes of those nations, including the Soviets. Opened them wider then they were before. The Soviets wanted the position of world super power after coming out as major victors of World War II, and saw the US as another victor that was most importantly, a threat. That is my "side" regarding the Cold War result of the bombings. I strongly believe the Cold War would have been much less extreme if we never had tested our power.

Next point,

The Japanese Imperial Army did do terrible war crimes to a number of Asian countries, especially China, but that still shouldn't excuse our decision. The great, amazing, perfect America should have been the bigger person. Those deaths and war crimes also didn't effect the US directly anyways. Also the Japanese had almost no chance to defeat The Allies completely. They may have been able to start a geurilla war in the country itself for years because of the determination like you stated, but the US with infinite funds was closing from the south, and the USSR from the north, and what would have been the British from the east, Japan would have fallen.

Lastly,

Operation Downfall was a military operation for which one military fought against another. That's war. If the bombs weren't dropped, a huge amount of SOLDIERS would have died, but that is their job, risk, and that is why they are fighting. Casualties would have happened on both sides, but the majority would be military lives and not the innocent. Yes many Japanese citizens commited suicide but that was their choice. Us dropping the bombs was making that choice for them. Some wouldn't have chosen suicide, but we dismisses that theory by killing 200,000 NOT COUNTING the 100,000 from the Bombing of Tokyo. All innocent civies.

The main point I am trying to mold is should we save the innocent at the hand of soldiers dying which is how war is fought, or kill the innocent to keep those soldiers who would die for their country anyways.

http://japanfocus.org...

MAP: http://en.m.wikipedia.org...(strategy)#/media/File:Second_world_war_asia_1943-1945_map_de.png
Varrack

Pro

Thanks Con.

R1. Cold War

Again, the Soviets would have known about the atomic bombs regardless of whether they were dropped or not, due to the spies that leaked information to them, causing them to know about it even before the FBI did. Con asserts that the atomic bombings made the Cold War worse, but doesn't actually back up this assertion besides saying "it opened their eyes". Perhaps, but one cannot say that things would have been better or worse had an alternative been used without analyzing the two ways and what would have happened. I provided studies that compared Operation Downfall to the atomic bombings done by respected and educated people while Con goes off of his subjective opinion to make his own conclusions.

Con also asserts that the Cold War was bad. How was it bad? No shots were fired, no casualties happened, and nothing really changed besides the nuclear race between Soviet Russia and America. If we consider other factors such as the race for space, the result of that competition were some serious scientific advancements. This argument is weak because there is nothing to say that the Cold War would have been prevented or that that it negatively impacted anyone. Also, the United States couldn't have known what was going to happen as a result of the bombings, with the alleged Cold War being one, so it is faulty to blame the U.S. for factors that were unknown to them and out of their control.

R2. Nature of Japan

The war crimes of Japan may have not directly affected the U.S., but they show how ruthless Japan was and how they would have likely treated the U.S. had they won. Knowing these factors, it was absolutely necessary that the U.S. used whatever war tactics it could that would work to cause the Japanese to surrender. Once the bombs were dropped, the surrender of Japan, one of the cruelest nations in the world at that time, surrendered, which shows how much of a success those bombs were. Had they not been dropped, the circumstances of both the Axis and Allies would have been much worse and the war would have dragged for possibly another several years, resulting in more millions of deaths that the studies I presented showed would have likely happened. The U.S. saved many lives by dropping those bombs, and that action was the most efficient way of winning the war.

Con assumes that Japan "would have had no chance to defeat the Allies completely". How backed up is this claim? Let's look at the earlier battles of World War II. In the Battle of Iwo Jima in February 1945, it took American servicemen about a month to conquer an 8-square-mile island. From this alone there were 6,000 American and 18,000 Japanese lives taken[1]. The island of Okinawa took months to control and resulting in 12,500 Allied and 110,000 Japanese servicemens' lives taken. In addition, 142,000 innocent civilians suffered casualties[2]. Even if the war was still won, it would have taken more time and more lives to achieve. The atomic bombings accomplished so much in just a little bit of time, was the most efficient means of strategy, and was the least deadly way beat the Axis.

R3. Ethics of War

This argument falls apart here in two ways: (1) Con assumes that the lives of soldiers are less valuable than the lives of innocents, and (2) Con assumes that Operation Downfall would have resulted in no civilian casualties. The former is quite unethical as it degrades the lives of soldiers as far below that of innocents, and is justified by the line, "that is their job, risk, and that is why they are fighting". They are fighting so they can what, die? Of course not, they're fighting the freedoms of their people and themselves, and their lives are just as valuable as anyone else's. I don't know how Con could defend such an immoral premise, but that is the assertion that was made and should not be tolerated. My opponent needs to show why the deaths of five million soldiers are better than the deaths of 200,000 innocents. In the latter assumption, Con seems to think that less innocents would have died as a result of Operation Downfall, but again doesn't show evidence to back this claim. In the Battle of Okinawa alone, 142,000 civilians suffered casualties, which goes to show how much of a risk war was to the innocents. Had the bombs not been dropped, the battles would have continued and possibly a million more civilians would have died. Either way, the evidence is very clear about the bombings being the right decision. If they were never set off, there'd be tons of deaths anyway.

"Yes many Japanese citizens commited suicide but that was their choice. Us dropping the bombs was making that choice for them."

Was it America's choice for Japan to bomb Pearl Harbor and their choice for thousands of their men to be killed? Obviously not. The point is that once you're in war, you don't have a "choice" as to exactly how many of your men will perish. You can, however, limit the number of deaths by using strategies such as atomic bombings that reduce the number of deaths that would have happened otherwise.

Con brings up the Bombing of Tokyo, but that is irrelevant to this topic because no A-bombs were used. It's not my job to justify every action the U.S. took during WWII, but rather to discuss the ethics of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

[1] http://www.historyofwar.org...
[2] http://militaryhistory.about.com...
Debate Round No. 3
reedchar

Con

Well ive presented my case so ill be ending here.
Varrack

Pro

I accept Con's concession and extend all arguments.

Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Varrack 2 years ago
Varrack
I only use Georgia for really serious debates ;)
Posted by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
What happened to Georgia D:

Nah it doesn't matter m8
Posted by reedchar 2 years ago
reedchar
@Vuar those japanese took about 2,500 is soldier lives in a strategic war attack. We massacred 200,000 + innocents.
Posted by Vuar 2 years ago
Vuar
Maybe they should have thought about that before they attacked Pearl Harbor.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by The-Voice-of-Truth 2 years ago
The-Voice-of-Truth
reedcharVarrackTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession by Con. S&G to Pro, as he had better S&G.
Vote Placed by tejretics 2 years ago
tejretics
reedcharVarrackTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Graceful concession by Con.
Vote Placed by tajshar2k 2 years ago
tajshar2k
reedcharVarrackTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Genghis_Khan 2 years ago
Genghis_Khan
reedcharVarrackTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I think Con conceded...