Author Topic: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?  (Read 367416 times)

MasterStache

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2500 on: March 02, 2017, 08:53:57 AM »
I suggest the atomic bombings during WWII were a lot like Case 2 (justifiable) with a fair amount of Case 3 thrown in (some murky, grey areas). ISIL and Al Qaeda attacks are 100% Case 1.

There really is no murky or grey area. Over 200,000 CIVILIANS were killed instantly when the atomic bombs were dropped. And untold amounts died later. Those civilians did not have their finger on any bombs ready to detonate. It's not like case 2 at all in any scope, no matter how you spin it. There is no plausible scenario where murdering this many civilians going about their day, as you and I are today, is justifiable.

It was terrorism, point blank. Stop trying to justify it as something else.

If you believe those bombs were necessary to end the war, then it is quite plausible they saved untold lives (both US and Japanese).  Whether you support the decision or not, killing 200,000 people is an awful thing.  Killing millions (US and Japanese) is even worse.
Great point. While the bombings were terrible, it was considered that they would save lives (both soliders and civilians) on both sides of the conflict overall. A great evil to prevent a greater evil.


There is no moral equivalency between a child attending class, a mother cooking dinner, etc. and a soldier that has volunteered to fight in a war. Purposefully killing scores of non-combatants in order to justify "saving" the lives of combatants is not justifiable in any manner.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2501 on: March 02, 2017, 09:04:55 AM »
I suggest the atomic bombings during WWII were a lot like Case 2 (justifiable) with a fair amount of Case 3 thrown in (some murky, grey areas). ISIL and Al Qaeda attacks are 100% Case 1.

There really is no murky or grey area. Over 200,000 CIVILIANS were killed instantly when the atomic bombs were dropped. And untold amounts died later. Those civilians did not have their finger on any bombs ready to detonate. It's not like case 2 at all in any scope, no matter how you spin it. There is no plausible scenario where murdering this many civilians going about their day, as you and I are today, is justifiable.

It was terrorism, point blank. Stop trying to justify it as something else.

If you believe those bombs were necessary to end the war, then it is quite plausible they saved untold lives (both US and Japanese).  Whether you support the decision or not, killing 200,000 people is an awful thing.  Killing millions (US and Japanese) is even worse.
Great point. While the bombings were terrible, it was considered that they would save lives (both soliders and civilians) on both sides of the conflict overall. A great evil to prevent a greater evil.


There is no moral equivalency between a child attending class, a mother cooking dinner, etc. and a soldier that has volunteered to fight in a war. Purposefully killing scores of non-combatants in order to justify "saving" the lives of combatants is not justifiable in any manner.

Volunteering?  Both sides were drafting.  Japan was conscripting at that point. 

If we had invaded Japan and/or continued the war for any length of time, there is a very strong possibility that more than 200,000 Japanese civilians would have died in the process. 

Look at Okinawa - Japan was putting 14 to 17 year old boys on the front lines and there were 140,000 civilians killed on Okinawa.  The Japanese mainland would have been much worse in terms of civilian deaths.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2502 on: March 02, 2017, 09:10:29 AM »
I suggest the atomic bombings during WWII were a lot like Case 2 (justifiable) with a fair amount of Case 3 thrown in (some murky, grey areas). ISIL and Al Qaeda attacks are 100% Case 1.

There really is no murky or grey area. Over 200,000 CIVILIANS were killed instantly when the atomic bombs were dropped. And untold amounts died later. Those civilians did not have their finger on any bombs ready to detonate. It's not like case 2 at all in any scope, no matter how you spin it. There is no plausible scenario where murdering this many civilians going about their day, as you and I are today, is justifiable.

It was terrorism, point blank. Stop trying to justify it as something else.

If you believe those bombs were necessary to end the war, then it is quite plausible they saved untold lives (both US and Japanese).  Whether you support the decision or not, killing 200,000 people is an awful thing.  Killing millions (US and Japanese) is even worse.

There's certainly an argument to be made that the nuclear bombing of civilians in Japan saved net lives.  I don't disagree that this is possible but we don't know.  Maybe Japan would have realized that their navy was completely crippled at this point, their manufacturing was screwed due to the loss of nearly all sources of raw materials, and their forces were completely ineffective and surrendered.  Maybe they would have fought on to the last man (Japan fully embraced war in a cultural way).  There are legitimate arguments to support both sides that can be made.

None of this changes the fact that it was an act of terrorism.

Modern drone strikes are perpetrated against a group of people that the military thinks (using demonstrably unreliable intelligence) might be terrorists, who might (or might not) plan to attack the US in the future.  The US executes these people and sizable numbers of civilians who live in the surrounding area.  This is an act of terror.

What it boils down to is that both of these acts of terror are implemented based upon the argument that the ends justify the means.  Are you really OK with that reasoning?  Because it can be used to justify anything.  It's certainly the argument suicide bombers the world over use to justify their actions.
Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were significant to the Japanese war effort.   It is also significant that the first bombing was not sufficient to end the war: it took a second bombing before the Japanese surrendered.  That does suggest that the bombings, however dreadful their effects, were in fact proportionate to the aim of ending the war without further Allied casualties.

I will put in here that I have a personal view on this.  One of my ancestors, having been conscripted into WWII and having already been in action for 4 years, was in July 1945 under orders to the far east to go into action against the Japanese.  Because of those two bombs, he was instead safe at home and a civilian again before the end of August 1945 - although by all accounts he had lifelong (undiagnosed at the time, of course) PTSD as a result of his harrowing experiences.  Without the bombs, he and tens of thousands of others could have been put in harms way for years to come and many would not have survived.

I also think that it is easy, at this remove, to forget that WWII was for much of its course a "damned close run thing": while the US was still in decent condition the rest of the Allies had pretty much exhausted themselves and their resources in the fight.  We also hear a lot about German atrocities, particularly the holocaust, and rather less about the Japanese ones.  Japan was not an innocent victim of WWII.
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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2503 on: March 02, 2017, 09:15:24 AM »
Note that nobody as made a claim that there were any easier ways to end the war, or that the nuclear bombing didn't save lives in the long run. None of that matters. The fact is you had a two cities full of people, who had little if anything to do with the war, who were killed, en masse, so the population and government would be so scared they would quit. That's terrorism whether you're in a US military uniform or not.

I'm quoting myself above because I think many people have now said this (and I'm awesome). The REASON for the terrorism may have been the best reason in the world. Jesus or Gandhi may have made the same decision. That doesn't make it not terrorism.

It is pretty funny that some Americans think Americans can blow up entire cities full of civilians and that's not terrorism. But killing 5 US soldiers in Iraq with a roadside bomb is.... sigh, that people can hold those two ideas in their head at the same time confounds me.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2504 on: March 02, 2017, 09:23:43 AM »
Note that nobody as made a claim that there were any easier ways to end the war, or that the nuclear bombing didn't save lives in the long run. None of that matters. The fact is you had a two cities full of people, who had little if anything to do with the war, who were killed, en masse, so the population and government would be so scared they would quit. That's terrorism whether you're in a US military uniform or not.

I'm quoting myself above because I think many people have now said this (and I'm awesome). The REASON for the terrorism may have been the best reason in the world. Jesus or Gandhi may have made the same decision. That doesn't make it not terrorism.

It is pretty funny that some Americans think Americans can blow up entire cities full of civilians and that's not terrorism. But killing 5 US soldiers in Iraq with a roadside bomb is.... sigh, that people can hold those two ideas in their head at the same time confounds me.

I don't know many Americans who think killing US soldiers in that situation is terrorism.  It's unfortunate and we should try to prevent it, but it's not terrorism.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2505 on: March 02, 2017, 09:39:20 AM »
I don't know many Americans who think killing US soldiers in that situation is terrorism.  It's unfortunate and we should try to prevent it, but it's not terrorism.

Our president clearly thinks it is terrorism, or at least wants you to think it is. 

This is the nature of the debate over the use of the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism".  The republicans want you to believe that any act of violence against America is the fault of Islamic terrorists.  Trump has championed this phrasing, even using it on his speech this week.  It doesn't matter that were not fighting terrorists and we're not fighting Islam, that phrase tests well with the focus groups of his most ardent supporters, so he's going to continue misusing it.
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MasterStache

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2506 on: March 02, 2017, 09:40:07 AM »
Volunteering?  Both sides were drafting.  Japan was conscripting at that point. 

There is no moral equivalency between a child attending class, a mother cooking dinner, etc. and a soldier that has volunteered to fighting in a war. Purposefully killing scores of non-combatants in order to justify "saving" the lives of combatants is not justifiable in any manner.

Is that better for you? Does it change the morality of the argument?

If we had invaded Japan and/or continued the war for any length of time, there is a very strong possibility that more than 200,000 Japanese civilians would have died in the process.

So since they "might" have died we went ahead and killed them anyways? I'm not even sure what you are arguing.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 10:00:21 AM by BeginnerStache »

GuitarStv

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2507 on: March 02, 2017, 09:47:17 AM »
I suggest the atomic bombings during WWII were a lot like Case 2 (justifiable) with a fair amount of Case 3 thrown in (some murky, grey areas). ISIL and Al Qaeda attacks are 100% Case 1.

There really is no murky or grey area. Over 200,000 CIVILIANS were killed instantly when the atomic bombs were dropped. And untold amounts died later. Those civilians did not have their finger on any bombs ready to detonate. It's not like case 2 at all in any scope, no matter how you spin it. There is no plausible scenario where murdering this many civilians going about their day, as you and I are today, is justifiable.

It was terrorism, point blank. Stop trying to justify it as something else.

If you believe those bombs were necessary to end the war, then it is quite plausible they saved untold lives (both US and Japanese).  Whether you support the decision or not, killing 200,000 people is an awful thing.  Killing millions (US and Japanese) is even worse.

There's certainly an argument to be made that the nuclear bombing of civilians in Japan saved net lives.  I don't disagree that this is possible but we don't know.  Maybe Japan would have realized that their navy was completely crippled at this point, their manufacturing was screwed due to the loss of nearly all sources of raw materials, and their forces were completely ineffective and surrendered.  Maybe they would have fought on to the last man (Japan fully embraced war in a cultural way).  There are legitimate arguments to support both sides that can be made.

None of this changes the fact that it was an act of terrorism.

Modern drone strikes are perpetrated against a group of people that the military thinks (using demonstrably unreliable intelligence) might be terrorists, who might (or might not) plan to attack the US in the future.  The US executes these people and sizable numbers of civilians who live in the surrounding area.  This is an act of terror.

What it boils down to is that both of these acts of terror are implemented based upon the argument that the ends justify the means.  Are you really OK with that reasoning?  Because it can be used to justify anything.  It's certainly the argument suicide bombers the world over use to justify their actions.
Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were significant to the Japanese war effort.   It is also significant that the first bombing was not sufficient to end the war: it took a second bombing before the Japanese surrendered.  That does suggest that the bombings, however dreadful their effects, were in fact proportionate to the aim of ending the war without further Allied casualties.

Do you not see where this line of reasoning gets you?

By this logic, 9/11 was significant because it was simply not a big enough attack on the American people to end what Bin Laden saw as America's transgressions around the world.  They clearly need to keep up their terrorist attacks . . . they are in fact, proportionate to Al Qaeda's aim of ending the war with minimal casualties for their troops.


I will put in here that I have a personal view on this.  One of my ancestors, having been conscripted into WWII and having already been in action for 4 years, was in July 1945 under orders to the far east to go into action against the Japanese.  Because of those two bombs, he was instead safe at home and a civilian again before the end of August 1945 - although by all accounts he had lifelong (undiagnosed at the time, of course) PTSD as a result of his harrowing experiences.  Without the bombs, he and tens of thousands of others could have been put in harms way for years to come and many would not have survived.

Why do you believe that the life of your ancestor in the military life should be held in higher regard than that of the Japanese children vaporized in the atomic blasts?  Because that's what you're asking me to accept with the reasoning here.


I also think that it is easy, at this remove, to forget that WWII was for much of its course a "damned close run thing": while the US was still in decent condition the rest of the Allies had pretty much exhausted themselves and their resources in the fight.  We also hear a lot about German atrocities, particularly the holocaust, and rather less about the Japanese ones.  Japan was not an innocent victim of WWII.

Nobody has said that Japan was an innocent victim of WWII.

By the end of the second world war, Japan was rapidly becoming a combative non-factor.  Their navy was a shambles (heck, even since the Battle of Midway two years before the Japanese fleet had been badly and permanently weakened).  Their ability to manufacture stuff was negligible because there just wasn't enough raw material (which is why Japan tried to expand so quickly at the start of the war - they lacked natural resources).  They had very few trained pilots left in their air-force (hence the kamikaze attacks).  Japan had just lost over 600,000 soldiers to the Soviets in Manchuria and the Soviets were already landing troops in the (nearly undefended) north of Japan.  When the nuclear weapons were used, it was not a 'damned close run thing'.  There was no doubt at that point that Japan would be conquered, it was simply a matter of time.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2508 on: March 02, 2017, 10:01:24 AM »
Great point. While the bombings were terrible, it was considered that they would save lives (both soliders and civilians) on both sides of the conflict overall. A great evil to prevent a greater evil.

You don't really believe this.  If you did, you would support ISIS beheading tourists.  What's one life, if it helps end the war?  All those crazy knife-wielding dudes in black masks ascribe to this philosophy, because they are deranged murderers.  They tell themselves their horrible acts are for the greater good.

And let's be honest about this, the decision to nuke Japan's civilian population centers wasn't about minimizing the loss of life on all sides, it was about minimizing the loss of American lives by maximizing the loss of Japanese lives. 

Even more specifically, it was about saving American soldiers by murdering Japanese civilians.
Only if it works. The bombs did. Beheadings have not. As was pointed out, Japan was more than willing to arm its civilians with sticks and rush them into the machine gun fire of US forces landing on beaches. It's not as if all Japanese civilians would have been hunky dorry. Doesn't justify an act of terror to me, but obviously some people disagree. Look at the psychos who fly planes into buildings or blow up car bimbs in markets or shoot up magazines for publishing stuff they don't like; lots of bad decisions out there.
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MustacheMathTM

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2509 on: March 02, 2017, 10:08:45 AM »
Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were significant to the Japanese war effort.   It is also significant that the first bombing was not sufficient to end the war: it took a second bombing before the Japanese surrendered.  That does suggest that the bombings, however dreadful their effects, were in fact proportionate to the aim of ending the war without further Allied casualties.

Do you not see where this line of reasoning gets you?

By this logic, 9/11 was significant because it was simply not a big enough attack on the American people to end what Bin Laden saw as America's transgressions around the world.  They clearly need to keep up their terrorist attacks . . . they are in fact, proportionate to Al Qaeda's aim of ending the war with minimal casualties for their troops.
Different cases.  1.  The bombs on Japan were about ending a war which was (unjustifiably and unlawfully) begun by the other party.  2.  The cities bombed were military as well as civilian targets.

I do agree with you that the logic of any violent action is that it needs to be sufficiently violent to meet its aims.  The bombing of Hiroshima was not sufficiently violent to meet its aims, the addition of the bombing of Nagasaki was.  And don't assume that the aim of 9/11 was to end US transgressions through violence.  It is much more likely that it's aim was to provoke the US into levels of violence which would then precipitate the achievement of its aim through the reactions to that US violence.  Something which notably did not happen in the case of Japan.



I will put in here that I have a personal view on this.  One of my ancestors, having been conscripted into WWII and having already been in action for 4 years, was in July 1945 under orders to the far east to go into action against the Japanese.  Because of those two bombs, he was instead safe at home and a civilian again before the end of August 1945 - although by all accounts he had lifelong (undiagnosed at the time, of course) PTSD as a result of his harrowing experiences.  Without the bombs, he and tens of thousands of others could have been put in harms way for years to come and many would not have survived.

Why do you believe that the life of your ancestor in the military life should be held in higher regard than that of the Japanese children vaporized in the atomic blasts?  Because that's what you're asking me to accept with the reasoning here.
  I hold my ancestor's life in higher regard because without it I would not be here.  I'm not asking you to believe it.  I put it in as a personal anecdote which you are free to use to consider me biased.  As to the Japanese children that died, there are now about 7 billion people on this planet, millions of whom die every day and while I am happy to wish them all well in a generalised sense, and even give 10% of my net FIREd income to charitable causes supporting humans in need around the globe, please don't ask me to weep for the deaths of individuals I did not personally know who died 70 years ago: it's a level of sentimentality I couldn't manage.


I also think that it is easy, at this remove, to forget that WWII was for much of its course a "damned close run thing": while the US was still in decent condition the rest of the Allies had pretty much exhausted themselves and their resources in the fight.  We also hear a lot about German atrocities, particularly the holocaust, and rather less about the Japanese ones.  Japan was not an innocent victim of WWII.

Nobody has said that Japan was an innocent victim of WWII.

By the end of the second world war, Japan was rapidly becoming a combative non-factor.  Their navy was a shambles (heck, even since the Battle of Midway two years before the Japanese fleet had been badly and permanently weakened).  Their ability to manufacture stuff was negligible because there just wasn't enough raw material (which is why Japan tried to expand so quickly at the start of the war - they lacked natural resources).  They had very few trained pilots left in their air-force (hence the kamikaze attacks).  Japan had just lost over 600,000 soldiers to the Soviets in Manchuria and the Soviets were already landing troops in the (nearly undefended) north of Japan.  When the nuclear weapons were used, it was not a 'damned close run thing'.  There was no doubt at that point that Japan would be conquered, it was simply a matter of time.
I did say "for much of its course".  And sadly the Japanese government's determination not to surrender but to carry on fighting had little to do with its capabilities, and fighting a conventional war with invasion island by island, which would have been the alternative, would have been costly to the Allies in all ways.
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GuitarStv

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2510 on: March 02, 2017, 10:23:09 AM »
Great point. While the bombings were terrible, it was considered that they would save lives (both soliders and civilians) on both sides of the conflict overall. A great evil to prevent a greater evil.

You don't really believe this.  If you did, you would support ISIS beheading tourists.  What's one life, if it helps end the war?  All those crazy knife-wielding dudes in black masks ascribe to this philosophy, because they are deranged murderers.  They tell themselves their horrible acts are for the greater good.

And let's be honest about this, the decision to nuke Japan's civilian population centers wasn't about minimizing the loss of life on all sides, it was about minimizing the loss of American lives by maximizing the loss of Japanese lives. 

Even more specifically, it was about saving American soldiers by murdering Japanese civilians.
Only if it works. The bombs did. Beheadings have not.

The first nuclear bomb didn't work.  So, the logic you're spouting would follow that you just have to keep trying.


As was pointed out, Japan was more than willing to arm its civilians with sticks and rush them into the machine gun fire of US forces landing on beaches. It's not as if all Japanese civilians would have been hunky dorry.

If this was really true, why do you believe that Japan surrendered at all?  Sending civilians to die by machine gun fire is no different than letting them die by nuclear blast.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2511 on: March 02, 2017, 10:30:36 AM »
It is also significant that the first bombing was not sufficient to end the war: it took a second bombing before the Japanese surrendered.

You might want to check your history on this one.  The US built exactly two bombs, and scheduled exactly two bombings, without regard to what happened in between.

An entire city was vaporized, in an era before mass communications, in a country ravaged by war.  The emperor of Japan barely had time to figure out what the hell had happened before the second bomb was dropped three days later.

If we had wanted a surrender after one, we could have waited a week and asked for one.  We dropped two bombs on purpose, to convince them this was something we could do every three days for years to come.  They are some fascinating books written by the military leaders of the day discussing this reasoning.

So you can stop repeating the lie that one atomic bomb was insufficiently destructive.   They never had a chance to avoid the second bomb.  We leveled a second city purely because we wanted to.
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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2512 on: March 02, 2017, 10:41:10 AM »
If this was really true, why do you believe that Japan surrendered at all?  Sending civilians to die by machine gun fire is no different than letting them die by nuclear blast.

You should both read The Chrysanthemum and the Sword for some perspective on this issue.  It is short and enlightening.

Basically there was much deliberation within the US military about how Japan's honor-based culture would respond to catastrophic military losses that normally resulted in surrender in all European conflicts for the preceding millennia. They feared the costs of having to literally fight to the last man.  But it turned out that despite popular perception of the Japanese as strange and weird aliens, they are just like every other human culture and responded in the same way that every other country has, surrendering at around 30% losses.

The book goes into more detail about the difference between American and Japanese culture and how it influenced their military, i.e. guilt vs shame as a negative motivator, but the abbreviated version is that a lot of lives could have been saved if we had been a little less racist.
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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2513 on: March 02, 2017, 10:55:46 AM »
If this was really true, why do you believe that Japan surrendered at all?  Sending civilians to die by machine gun fire is no different than letting them die by nuclear blast.

You should both read The Chrysanthemum and the Sword for some perspective on this issue.  It is short and enlightening.

Basically there was much deliberation within the US military about how Japan's honor-based culture would respond to catastrophic military losses that normally resulted in surrender in all European conflicts for the preceding millennia. They feared the costs of having to literally fight to the last man.  But it turned out that despite popular perception of the Japanese as strange and weird aliens, they are just like every other human culture and responded in the same way that every other country has, surrendering at around 30% losses.

The book goes into more detail about the difference between American and Japanese culture and how it influenced their military, i.e. guilt vs shame as a negative motivator, but the abbreviated version is that a lot of lives could have been saved if we had been a little less racist.

I read some excerpts from "Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman and the Surrender of Japan.”

It's interesting and discusses some of the same concepts you are describing. Essentially the US has convinced generations now that the nuclear bombs were necessary in order to end the war and prevent hundreds of thousands more casualties. Meanwhile in Japan the sentiment was that they already knew they had lost. The shock wasn't the nuclear bombs. It wasn't the firebombing of Tokyo. "The greatest shock" was the Soviet Union’s entry into the war, and the realization that Japanese forces would have to fight the Soviets in the north and the U.S. in the south.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2514 on: March 02, 2017, 11:01:20 AM »
Also, the Errol Morris documentary "The Fog of War", which discusses the firebombing campaign against Japan prior to the atomic bombs being dropped is worth watching.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_raids_on_Japan#Firebombing_attacks

the loss of life from the firebombing campaign far outpaced Nagasaki and Hiroshima (~500,000 dead). Any sober view of that fire bombing campaign would consider it a war crime. MacNamara was support staff for LeMay, who organized the firebombing (and later the carpet bombing of Cambodia). In MacNamara's words regarding the firebombing, "If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals." "And I think he's right," says McNamara. "He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals." . . . "

The atomic bomb dropping may also have had a secondary (or primary, some have argued) objective of sending a geopolitcal statement to the Soviets to watch out as a warm up round for the cold war. 

WWII was absolutely terrible. Wrong was done all around in vary degrees, methods and contexts. We, as Americans, are not some special breed of human that intrinsically is better or worse than other countries. We should bear that in mind and work to prevent these things from happening in the future. Nobody really "won" WWII, we mostly just all got back to a starting point somewhat worse off than before hostilities started.
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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2515 on: March 02, 2017, 11:44:11 AM »
Some oldsters would probably call this discussion 'armchair commentary'.

To directly tie this side discussion back to the original thread topic, what's most disconcerting is that the "oldster" currently serving as our commander-in-chief has made an assortment of confusing and self-contradictory public statements concerning the use of nuclear weapons that reveals an alarming ignorance of nuclear policy considerations at best and a truly terrifying willingness to actually use nuclear weapons outside the extremely limited set of arguably-justifiable circumstances for their use at worst.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2516 on: March 02, 2017, 11:44:55 AM »
I don't know many Americans who think killing US soldiers in that situation is terrorism.  It's unfortunate and we should try to prevent it, but it's not terrorism.

Our president clearly thinks it is terrorism, or at least wants you to think it is. 

This is the nature of the debate over the use of the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism".  The republicans want you to believe that any act of violence against America is the fault of Islamic terrorists.  Trump has championed this phrasing, even using it on his speech this week.  It doesn't matter that were not fighting terrorists and we're not fighting Islam, that phrase tests well with the focus groups of his most ardent supporters, so he's going to continue misusing it.

Disagree.  I realize all Republicans are evil, but that phrase refers to attacks on non-military targets and/or civilians by Muslim extremists.  Obviously not all terrorist actions are by Muslims and the majority of Muslims aren't extremists, but some a few are.

We could debate the Fort Hood attack since it was a military target, I would argue it was a military attack and the perpetrator should have been executed for treason.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2517 on: March 02, 2017, 11:57:04 AM »
Volunteering?  Both sides were drafting.  Japan was conscripting at that point. 

There is no moral equivalency between a child attending class, a mother cooking dinner, etc. and a soldier that has volunteered to fighting in a war. Purposefully killing scores of non-combatants in order to justify "saving" the lives of combatants is not justifiable in any manner.

Is that better for you? Does it change the morality of the argument?

My belief is the civilian death toll was lowered by using the bombs.  I don't think the dead care whether they were purposely killed or accidentally killed.  The end result is that an invasion of Japan would have resulted in a far higher death toll than dropping the bombs.

If we had invaded Japan and/or continued the war for any length of time, there is a very strong possibility that more than 200,000 Japanese civilians would have died in the process.

So since they "might" many would have died we went ahead and killed them anyways? I'm not even sure what you are arguing.

Do you believe Japan was on the verge of surrendering?  Unless Japan had surrendered, we would have continued to bomb them and eventually invaded.  It is very likely more than 200,000 civilians would have died in those actions. 

70 years after the fact with better information, it's easy to second guess the decision made.  Truman was faced with a populace that wanted the war done and an enemy that seemed willing to continue.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 01:07:43 PM by Midwest »

dividendman

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2518 on: March 02, 2017, 01:02:33 PM »
On to more recent events... what's the likelihood that Sessions resigns? It will keep up the 2 cabinet level officials per month trend they're on.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2519 on: March 02, 2017, 01:06:18 PM »
My belief is the civilian death toll was lowered by using the bombs.  I don't think the dead care whether they were purposely killed or accidentally killed.  The end result is that an invasion of Japan would have resulted in a far higher death toll than dropping the bombs.

I get your argument, and there's some merit to it.  It's not possible to know what would have happened in an alternate past timeline, so we'll never be sure what the best decision to make in that scenario was.  The result of purposely dropping the atomic bombs on large civilian centers was that Japan surrendered.

The problem in calling terrorism just action is that it legitimizes use of the same types of arguments today:

- It's OK to bomb civilians if they're from the same country as the guys we're fighting
- It's OK to target and execute civilians if they're family to the guys we're fighting
- It's OK to kill civilians as long as it reduces risk to our troops

Those arguments are the reason that drone strikes exist.  You've indicated that you think that they're acceptable in a WWII scenario . . . so I have to ask you, do you believe that current US acts of terror (drone strikes, abduction/torture) are going to result in a higher or lower long term death toll?
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 01:13:02 PM by GuitarStv »

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2520 on: March 02, 2017, 01:10:07 PM »
My belief is the civilian death toll was lowered by using the bombs.

Based on what evidence?

Do you believe Japan was on the verge of surrendering?  Unless Japan had surrendered, we would have continued to bomb them and eventually invaded.  In it is very likely, more than 200,000 civilians would have died in those actions. 

70 years after the fact with better information, it's easy to second guess the decision made.  Truman was faced with a populace that wanted the war done and an enemy that seemed willing to continue.

The bombs killed far more than 200K people. The initial blast killed more than that alone.

Japan had already offered to surrender. In fact they made 3 attempts in April and May of 1945 through neutral Sweden and Portugal to bring the war to a peaceful end. The issues is Japan wanted the emperor to remain. So it would have been a conditional surrender. The US insisted on an unconditional surrender so it ignored the request. Japan even tried to negotiate through Russia. They knew the war was lost.

The sad irony is that, as it actually turned out, the American leaders decided anyway to retain the Emperor as a symbol of authority and continuity. They realized that Hirohito was useful as a figurehead prop for their own occupation authority in postwar Japan.

One could convincingly argue the bombs were completely unnecessary had they just accepted the original surrender by Japan. How many lives could have been spared then?



« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 01:16:35 PM by BeginnerStache »

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2521 on: March 02, 2017, 01:22:10 PM »
On to more recent events... what's the likelihood that Sessions resigns? It will keep up the 2 cabinet level officials per month trend they're on.

Vodka shot per resignation from the Ruski Trump cabinet.

MasterStache

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2522 on: March 02, 2017, 01:22:38 PM »
Also feel free to reference:
- US Strategic Bombing Survey Verdict
- "In Japan's War: The Great Pacific Conflict" - a 1986 study, historian and journalist Edwin P.
- "The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb" (Praeger, 1996)

General Douglas MacArthur, Commander of US Army forces in the Pacific, stated on numerous occasions before his death that the atomic bomb was completely unnecessary from a military point of view: "My staff was unanimous in believing that Japan was on the point of collapse and surrender."

General Curtis LeMay, who had pioneered precision bombing of Germany and Japan (and who later headed the Strategic Air Command and served as Air Force chief of staff), put it most succinctly: "The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war."

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2523 on: March 02, 2017, 01:32:29 PM »
On to more recent events... what's the likelihood that Sessions resigns? It will keep up the 2 cabinet level officials per month trend they're on.

If he does, trump will just blame it on the media.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2524 on: March 02, 2017, 01:41:56 PM »
On to more recent events... what's the likelihood that Sessions resigns? It will keep up the 2 cabinet level officials per month trend they're on.

If he does, trump will just blame it on the media.

I don't care who he blames, as long as sessions is gone.  I think it somewhat unlikely that he'll resign but likely that he'll have to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2525 on: March 02, 2017, 02:55:05 PM »
My belief is the civilian death toll was lowered by using the bombs.  I don't think the dead care whether they were purposely killed or accidentally killed.  The end result is that an invasion of Japan would have resulted in a far higher death toll than dropping the bombs.

I get your argument, and there's some merit to it.  It's not possible to know what would have happened in an alternate past timeline, so we'll never be sure what the best decision to make in that scenario was.  The result of purposely dropping the atomic bombs on large civilian centers was that Japan surrendered.

I agree we will never know for sure.  Given what we saw on the islands and in Okinawa, I think its more likely than not that it saved more lives than it took.


Those arguments are the reason that drone strikes exist.  You've indicated that you think that they're acceptable in a WWII scenario . . . so I have to ask you, do you believe that current US acts of terror (drone strikes, abduction/torture) are going to result in a higher or lower long term death toll?

WW2 was a completely different war than what we face today.  We had definable enemies who needed to be defeated to end the war. 

The current conflicts are largely against non-state/non-conventional forces.  Some of those actors may need to be defeated, some could probably be left alone.

I don't think the use of the atomic bomb in ww2 is terribly relevant to the current policies you reference.

On the topic of US intervention - It depends.  Do I support all US tactics and interventions?  No.  In my opinion the atomic bomb saved lives.  I'm not sure that all US actions in the middle east will ultimately save lives.   

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2526 on: March 02, 2017, 03:11:50 PM »

My belief is the civilian death toll was lowered by using the bombs.  I don't think the dead care whether they were purposely killed or accidentally killed.  The end result is that an invasion of Japan would have resulted in a far higher death toll than dropping the bombs.[/quote]  I'm not sure that all US actions in the middle east will ultimately save lives.   
[/quote]

It definitely saved American, Chinese, Korean, and Philippine lives.  Every day we  demonstrated the use by using them out to sea another 5000 Americans died and a lot more Japanese, Chinese, and more from the Philippines would have died.  Say we did a demonstration out to sea and Japan mulled it over for a month; how many American and Japanese lives would have been lost.  What if they evacuated the cities and became defiant thinking we were too cowardly to actually use them.
The bomb saved lives on both sides.  One last question "What do you think would have happened if Germany or Japan developed the bomb first?"

Midwest

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2527 on: March 02, 2017, 03:26:55 PM »
My belief is the civilian death toll was lowered by using the bombs.

Based on what evidence?


The population of both cities pre-blast was 450k.  Casualties estimated around 200k.   http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/mp10.asp 

Casualty estimates for an invasion of mainland Japan vary widely.  But everything indicates deaths in the millions. 

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/world-war-two/the-pacific-war-1941-to-1945/operation-downfall/

Okinawa is instructive, there were 240k casualties on Okinawa.  150k of those were civilians. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Okinawa


Do you believe Japan was on the verge of surrendering?  Unless Japan had surrendered, we would have continued to bomb them and eventually invaded.  In it is very likely, more than 200,000 civilians would have died in those actions. 

70 years after the fact with better information, it's easy to second guess the decision made.  Truman was faced with a populace that wanted the war done and an enemy that seemed willing to continue.

The bombs killed far more than 200K people. The initial blast killed more than that alone.

Japan had already offered to surrender. In fact they made 3 attempts in April and May of 1945 through neutral Sweden and Portugal to bring the war to a peaceful end. The issues is Japan wanted the emperor to remain. So it would have been a conditional surrender. The US insisted on an unconditional surrender so it ignored the request. Japan even tried to negotiate through Russia. They knew the war was lost.

The sad irony is that, as it actually turned out, the American leaders decided anyway to retain the Emperor as a symbol of authority and continuity. They realized that Hirohito was useful as a figurehead prop for their own occupation authority in postwar Japan.

One could convincingly argue the bombs were completely unnecessary had they just accepted the original surrender by Japan. How many lives could have been spared then?

Accepted a conditional surrender so Japan could continue it's ambitions?  Japan's government needed to be stopped.  We did so.  You might read this article on what both the atomic blasts and views of the Japanese populace at the time from someone who was there.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1946/12/if-the-atomic-bomb-had-not-been-used/376238/

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2528 on: March 02, 2017, 03:49:57 PM »

Accepted a conditional surrender so Japan could continue it's ambitions? Japan's government needed to be stopped.  We did so.  You might read this article on what both the atomic blasts and views of the Japanese populace at the time from someone who was there.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1946/12/if-the-atomic-bomb-had-not-been-used/376238/


The outcome of the actual surrender was EXACTLY what Japan offered up earlier in the year. What, did the US just want to make sure they were serious by killing a bunch of civilians? You're not making sense.

Their only ambition was to end the war. They had literally nothing left. That's why they changed out their government in early April. That's why they offered to surrender several times, quite desperately, through multiple channels. You can even find online the intercepted messages the US has from Japan during this time. They knew they were done.

I don't doubt the Japanese soldiers testimony. After all, can you imagine Japanese commanders telling the troops they were trying to surrender? That's standard military rhetoric. You don't destroy your soldiers morale. Their testimony has no bearing on what was going on behind the scenes or what would have actually happened.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 03:56:59 PM by BeginnerStache »

Midwest

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2529 on: March 02, 2017, 04:08:06 PM »

Accepted a conditional surrender so Japan could continue it's ambitions? Japan's government needed to be stopped.  We did so.  You might read this article on what both the atomic blasts and views of the Japanese populace at the time from someone who was there.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1946/12/if-the-atomic-bomb-had-not-been-used/376238/


The outcome of the actual surrender was EXACTLY what Japan offered up earlier in the year. What, did the US just want to make sure they were serious by killing a bunch of civilians? You're not making sense.

Their only ambition was to end the war. They had literally nothing left. That's why they changed out their government in early April. That's why they offered to surrender several times, quite desperately, through multiple channels. You can even find online the intercepted messages the US has from Japan during this time. They knew they were done.

Their only ambition was to end the war?  Then they should have surrendered.

Japan wanted a truce, not a surrender.

In addition to keeping the emperor,  the peace being offered up by Japan involved no occupation and they wanted to keep some of their conquests.  That was unacceptable after Japanese aggression and war crimes.

If Japan's only ambition was to end the war, they should have surrendered prior to the bomb being dropped.  The offer was on the table, but they wanted better terms.

https://www.osti.gov/opennet/manhattan-project-history/Events/1945/surrender.htm
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 04:11:51 PM by Midwest »

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2530 on: March 02, 2017, 04:25:56 PM »
Okinawa is instructive, there were 240k casualties on Okinawa.  150k of those were civilians. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Okinawa

The Okinawan people were not Japanese in the eyes of the soldiers.  For various cultural reasons, the Japanese army treated conquered civilians incredibly poorly throughout WWII, but none of this behavior (Korean and Chinese 'comfort women', human experimentation, mass killings, etc.) carried over to home.

It doesn't follow at all that the Japanese military would have treated the families of their comrades in the same manner.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2531 on: March 02, 2017, 04:37:03 PM »

Accepted a conditional surrender so Japan could continue it's ambitions? Japan's government needed to be stopped.  We did so.  You might read this article on what both the atomic blasts and views of the Japanese populace at the time from someone who was there.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1946/12/if-the-atomic-bomb-had-not-been-used/376238/


The outcome of the actual surrender was EXACTLY what Japan offered up earlier in the year. What, did the US just want to make sure they were serious by killing a bunch of civilians? You're not making sense.

Their only ambition was to end the war. They had literally nothing left. That's why they changed out their government in early April. That's why they offered to surrender several times, quite desperately, through multiple channels. You can even find online the intercepted messages the US has from Japan during this time. They knew they were done.

Their only ambition was to end the war?  Then they should have surrendered.

Japan wanted a truce, not a surrender.

In addition to keeping the emperor,  the peace being offered up by Japan involved no occupation and they wanted to keep some of their conquests.  That was unacceptable after Japanese aggression and war crimes.

If Japan's only ambition was to end the war, they should have surrendered prior to the bomb being dropped.  The offer was on the table, but they wanted better terms.

https://www.osti.gov/opennet/manhattan-project-history/Events/1945/surrender.htm

Full quote for context:

"These conditions probably would require, at a minimum, that the Japanese home islands remain unoccupied by foreign forces and even allow Japan to retain some of its wartime conquests in East Asia"

Bold added for emphasis.

Try this since it doesn't use the word "probably"
http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_weber.html
https://mises.org/library/hiroshima-myth

Also the references I gave earlier which include actual books. And quotes form military leaders of that time.

Not going to keep beating a dead horse here. Good luck in your search.


Midwest

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2532 on: March 02, 2017, 04:37:50 PM »
Okinawa is instructive, there were 240k casualties on Okinawa.  150k of those were civilians. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Okinawa

The Okinawan people were not Japanese in the eyes of the soldiers.  For various cultural reasons, the Japanese army treated conquered civilians incredibly poorly throughout WWII, but none of this behavior (Korean and Chinese 'comfort women', human experimentation, mass killings, etc.) carried over to home.

It doesn't follow at all that the Japanese military would have treated the families of their comrades in the same manner.

Do you disagree that casualties of invading Japan would have be in the millions?  I've seen no casualty estimate that refutes that point and many agree that it would have been necessary to invade Japan to ensure surrender. 

I concede the casualty estimates are all over the place for an invasion, but even the low side numbers far exceed the bomb's death toll.

PS - and yes the Japanese were horrible to certain populations during the war. 

« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 04:58:24 PM by Midwest »

Midwest

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2533 on: March 02, 2017, 05:08:28 PM »

Accepted a conditional surrender so Japan could continue it's ambitions? Japan's government needed to be stopped.  We did so.  You might read this article on what both the atomic blasts and views of the Japanese populace at the time from someone who was there.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1946/12/if-the-atomic-bomb-had-not-been-used/376238/


The outcome of the actual surrender was EXACTLY what Japan offered up earlier in the year. What, did the US just want to make sure they were serious by killing a bunch of civilians? You're not making sense.

Their only ambition was to end the war. They had literally nothing left. That's why they changed out their government in early April. That's why they offered to surrender several times, quite desperately, through multiple channels. You can even find online the intercepted messages the US has from Japan during this time. They knew they were done.

Their only ambition was to end the war?  Then they should have surrendered.

Japan wanted a truce, not a surrender.

In addition to keeping the emperor,  the peace being offered up by Japan involved no occupation and they wanted to keep some of their conquests.  That was unacceptable after Japanese aggression and war crimes.

If Japan's only ambition was to end the war, they should have surrendered prior to the bomb being dropped.  The offer was on the table, but they wanted better terms.

https://www.osti.gov/opennet/manhattan-project-history/Events/1945/surrender.htm

Full quote for context:

"These conditions probably would require, at a minimum, that the Japanese home islands remain unoccupied by foreign forces and even allow Japan to retain some of its wartime conquests in East Asia"

Bold added for emphasis.

Try this since it doesn't use the word "probably"
http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_weber.html
https://mises.org/library/hiroshima-myth

Also the references I gave earlier which include actual books. And quotes form military leaders of that time.

Not going to keep beating a dead horse here. Good luck in your search.

Are you familiar with the 2 organizations you quoted?  If these are the organizations, neither seems particularly credible. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_for_Historical_Review
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_von_Mises_Institute

GuitarStv

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2534 on: March 02, 2017, 05:58:37 PM »
Okinawa is instructive, there were 240k casualties on Okinawa.  150k of those were civilians. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Okinawa

The Okinawan people were not Japanese in the eyes of the soldiers.  For various cultural reasons, the Japanese army treated conquered civilians incredibly poorly throughout WWII, but none of this behavior (Korean and Chinese 'comfort women', human experimentation, mass killings, etc.) carried over to home.

It doesn't follow at all that the Japanese military would have treated the families of their comrades in the same manner.

Do you disagree that casualties of invading Japan would have be in the millions?  I've seen no casualty estimate that refutes that point and many agree that it would have been necessary to invade Japan to ensure surrender.

No idea.

Invading Japan may have brought about significant casualties.  It may have been unnecessary if negotiations had been entered.  As mentioned previously, my ability to foresee alternate timelines isn't great.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2535 on: March 02, 2017, 06:34:23 PM »
Any thoughts on Attorney General Session's impact? I think that position is one of the few that has a direct influence on people's lives in the US for better or worse. My concern is he will be more willing to turn a blind eye to abuse by police departments (confiscating property, profiling, etc) than prior AGs of either party had been while hiding this under the guise of being "tough on crime".

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2536 on: March 02, 2017, 07:13:51 PM »
On to more recent events... what's the likelihood that Sessions resigns? It will keep up the 2 cabinet level officials per month trend they're on.

If he does, trump will just blame it on the media.

I don't care who he blames, as long as sessions is gone.  I think it somewhat unlikely that he'll resign but likely that he'll have to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2537 on: March 02, 2017, 07:34:48 PM »

Accepted a conditional surrender so Japan could continue it's ambitions? Japan's government needed to be stopped.  We did so.  You might read this article on what both the atomic blasts and views of the Japanese populace at the time from someone who was there.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1946/12/if-the-atomic-bomb-had-not-been-used/376238/


The outcome of the actual surrender was EXACTLY what Japan offered up earlier in the year. What, did the US just want to make sure they were serious by killing a bunch of civilians? You're not making sense.

Their only ambition was to end the war. They had literally nothing left. That's why they changed out their government in early April. That's why they offered to surrender several times, quite desperately, through multiple channels. You can even find online the intercepted messages the US has from Japan during this time. They knew they were done.

Their only ambition was to end the war?  Then they should have surrendered.

Japan wanted a truce, not a surrender.

In addition to keeping the emperor,  the peace being offered up by Japan involved no occupation and they wanted to keep some of their conquests.  That was unacceptable after Japanese aggression and war crimes.

If Japan's only ambition was to end the war, they should have surrendered prior to the bomb being dropped.  The offer was on the table, but they wanted better terms.

https://www.osti.gov/opennet/manhattan-project-history/Events/1945/surrender.htm

Full quote for context:

"These conditions probably would require, at a minimum, that the Japanese home islands remain unoccupied by foreign forces and even allow Japan to retain some of its wartime conquests in East Asia"

Bold added for emphasis.

Try this since it doesn't use the word "probably"
http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_weber.html
https://mises.org/library/hiroshima-myth

Also the references I gave earlier which include actual books. And quotes form military leaders of that time.

Not going to keep beating a dead horse here. Good luck in your search.

Are you familiar with the 2 organizations you quoted?  If these are the organizations, neither seems particularly credible. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_for_Historical_Review
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_von_Mises_Institute

I quoted books, commanders, research papers as well. Feel free to debunk those as you see fit. Stars and Stripes also has a great article explaining the same thing regardless of the sources you find questionable. And even references the book I posted about earlier.

I would suggest as well researching a bit about the stance of various US commanders/officials. A lot of this is covered in the book " Racing the Enemy: Truman, Stalin, and the Surrender of Japan." - Tsuyoshi Hasegawa


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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2538 on: March 02, 2017, 07:43:33 PM »
Any thoughts on Attorney General Session's impact? I think that position is one of the few that has a direct influence on people's lives in the US for better or worse. My concern is he will be more willing to turn a blind eye to abuse by police departments (confiscating property, profiling, etc) than prior AGs of either party had been while hiding this under the guise of being "tough on crime".
I dont know how to feel about that. Did previous AGs really address these issues? I seem to remember some investigations into certain police departments, but did anything meaningful come of them? I didn't see a huge improvement in this area over the last decade, so I  can't  say there is much to "walk back." Maybe someone more informed in this matter will weigh in.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 11:47:03 PM by Metric Mouse »
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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2539 on: March 02, 2017, 11:08:00 PM »
Now, Jared Kushner. Is this because they were/are looking after Trump's Russian business interests? What is good for Trump is good for America?

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2540 on: March 02, 2017, 11:44:34 PM »
Any thoughts on Attorney General Session's impact? I think that position is one of the few that has a direct influence on people's lives in the US for better or worse. My concern is he will be more willing to turn a blind eye to abuse by police departments (confiscating property, profiling, etc) than prior AGs of either party had been while hiding this under the guise of being "tough on crime".

Sessions has said as much. He and the prez don't seem to understand that civil asset forfeiture - as practiced today - violates constitutional rights spelled out in the 4th 5th and 14th amendments. I wrote this article to 'splain -esp to my Republican family members (aka/all of my family older than me). For a while I was writing about 'issues that unite us' to bring my family back from their propaganda news feed addictions. But I'm so disheartened I've given up for a while. The stuff they believe it just hurts my heart to even engage. But ... my dad did call his rep to ask him to co-sponsor a HJR48(115th) based on this other article, so I guess I should see the progress and be happy. But then Rick Perry - murderer of Cameron Todd Willingham / doofus who couldn't recall the name of the Dept of Energy - just got appointed to head up, that's right: the Dept of Energy. It's all just too too much.

On WWII - I found this video interesting: "the fallen of WWII to put the death toll in context - it includes the effects of the nuclear bombs. I live in Europe now, and sometimes I wonder how different it would be here had WWII not happened. I know that people often refer to it as a war that was worth fighting, but I think back to the stupid origins of WW1, General Smedley Butler's War is a Racket, how the peace treaty tilled the soil for WW2, how corporations profit so handsomely from war,  and it all seems so callous and unnecessary to me. But the messaging I get from discourse in the US is that I'm some sort of naive hippie for thinking of war through this perspective, and I'm dishonoring the fallen for questioning our part in these wars. Never mind that I lost an uncle in one of the dumbest wars of all: Vietnam. I'm apparently some sort of idealistic/cynical  peace / love / happiness kind of fool, and I'll never be happy til I conform to a worldview where humans are units of production in a capitalistic machine - of which - war is a necessary tool to fight those who would take from us the profits of our own hard work. And how dare I express the opinion that patriotism is just a first step toward nationalism and they're both just excuses to hate people we don't know, and take credit for accomplishments we had no part in.

As per the usual y'all inspired a bit of a rant. I'll stop now.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 11:55:12 PM by Malaysia41 »
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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2541 on: March 02, 2017, 11:57:32 PM »

Any thoughts on Attorney General Session's impact? I think that position is one of the few that has a direct influence on people's lives in the US for better or worse. My concern is he will be more willing to turn a blind eye to abuse by police departments (confiscating property, profiling, etc) than prior AGs of either party had been while hiding this under the guise of being "tough on crime".
I dont know how to feel about that. Did previous AGs really address these issues? I seem to remember some investigations into certain police departments, but did anything meaningful come of them? I didn't see a huge improvement in this area over the last decade, so I  can't  say there is much to "walk back." Maybe someone more informed in this matter will weigh in.

Previous AG - Eric Holder - attempted to adjust the way in which the fed government set up their equitable sharing so that the feds at least reduced the incentives for police depts to loot people's stuff. The wiki says it was due to budget cuts but I remember reading it had to do with reducing incentives. In practice, the changes didn't do much to change anything.

Quote
Program limited in 2015[edit]
In January 2015 U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder halted some of the equitable sharing program.[6][7] In December 2015 the Department of Justice suspended some more of equitable sharing due to budget cuts.[8] Loopholes have allowed states to continue to use federal equitable sharing.[9]
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equitable_sharing

Edit: a quick google search gives this WaPol article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/federal-eye/wp/2015/03/31/holder-announces-new-limits-on-civil-asset-forfeitures. While it shows that the AG is aware of the abuses - he doesn't actually go so far as to say it should be outlawed. The current administration, otoh, doesn't even to seem to be aware of the inherent conflict of interest in CAF. They seem like children to me in their unwilingness to study issues. No - they seem like cult members, actually.

The WaPo article regarding Eric H  is behind a metered paywall, so here:

Quote
Attorney General Eric H. Holder announced new curbs Tuesday on the government’s use of civil asset forfeiture laws, saying that federal authorities will only seize bank accounts when serious illegal transactions have been documented.

The new policy amplifies an announcement in October by the Internal Revenue Service, which said its agents would use seizure authorities primarily in cases when accounts owners are clearly using the banking system for crimes.

“With this new policy, the Department of Justice is taking action to ensure that we are allocating our resources to address the most serious offenses,” Holder said in a statement. “Appropriate use of asset forfeiture law allows the Justice Department to safeguard the integrity, security and stability of our nation’s financial system while protecting the civil liberties of all Americans.”

The new limits underscore a major shift in the federal government’s use of civil asset forfeiture laws, which have allowed local, state and federal authorities to take billions from individuals over the past decade without proving that crimes have occurred.

In January, Holder barred local and state police from using federal law to seize cash and other property without warrants or criminal charges, unless federal authorities were directly involved in the case.

Those changes followed a Washington Post investigation last year that found that police nationwide have seized $2.5 billion in cash from almost 62,000 people since 2001 — without warrants or indictments. The money was forfeited through Justice’s Equitable Sharing Program. Thousands of people had to fight long legal battles to get some or all of their money back.

The policy guidance issued Tuesday focuses on IRS and Justice agents who made seizures relating to cases involving alleged “structuring,” the practice of intentionally limiting the size of bank transactions to avoid taxes or to hide ill-gotten funds. It is a felony offense to structure financial transactions.

Studies have found that enforcement efforts involving the seizure of bank accounts have often swept up criminals and innocent alike — including small-business owners who sometimes make multiple cash deposits for convenience and security rather than for illegal reasons.

A study by the Institute for Justice, a libertarian-leaning civil liberties group, found that from 2005 to 2012, the IRS used federal asset forfeiture law to take almost a quarter-billion dollars in more than 2,500 cases. In one-third of the cases the group examined, there was no allegation of any other criminal activity besides the allegation that someone had made transactions of less than $10,000, allegedly to evade federal reporting requirements.

In a statement, IJ lawyer Scott Bullock praised Holder’s move but said it does not go far enough because it “still leaves significant discretion to federal officials.”

“How effective the policy will be really depends on how it is applied in practice,” he said. “The ultimate solution must come from Congress to both ensure that innocent small-business owners do not have their lawfully-obtained funds taken and that these policy changes are made permanent through statute.”

Under the new policy, federal prosecutors must develop clear evidence of probable cause that a crime, other than simply structuring, has occurred. And before an account can be seized, a supervisor must approve the action.

A prosecutor may also ask a judge to issue a seizure warrant but only with the approval of a U.S. attorney or the chief of the Justice Department’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section.

The change comes as part of an ongoing review of the federal asset forfeiture program. It “is intended to ensure that our investigative resources are appropriately and effectively allocated to address the most serious structuring offenses,” the policy directive said.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 12:04:15 AM by Malaysia41 »
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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2542 on: March 03, 2017, 08:13:55 AM »
re the Japan bombings -- Japan was asked to surrender in July.  Answer: No.

Hiroshima bombed August 6 --  Japan asked to surrender.  Answer: No.
Nagasaki bombed August 9 -- Surrender -- Yes.

Japan had a significant role in what happened, too.




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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2543 on: March 03, 2017, 08:30:49 AM »
while I think the atomic bomb stuff has gotten way off topic.  I would like to add the Kyūjō incident.  Even after all the above stuff happened, atomic bomb, Russian entering the war etc....There was a coup attempt by members of the military to depose the emperor and continue on fighting.  The coup was obviously stopped, but there was a significant portion of the military that wanted to fight on to the last.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2544 on: March 03, 2017, 08:38:51 AM »
re the Japan bombings -- Japan was asked to surrender in July.  Answer: No.

Hiroshima bombed August 6 --  Japan asked to surrender.  Answer: No.
Nagasaki bombed August 9 -- Surrender -- Yes.

Japan had a significant role in what happened, too.

I agree that's what happened. I also agree that it might have been the quickest way to end the war.

If ISIS acquired nuclear capabilities and nuked NYC tomorrow and asked the US to get out of the Arab world, the US said no, and then ISIS continued to nuke US cities, would that be ok?

In the ISIS view, it would save ISIS lives to get the US to capitulate by incinerating US population centers.

If your answer is no, it's not OK, then your views are inconsistent.

If your answer is yes, it's OK since it's a war, then your views are consistent but we're not in the same moral universe and there's not point talking about it.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2545 on: March 03, 2017, 08:55:37 AM »
while I think the atomic bomb stuff has gotten way off topic.  I would like to add the Kyūjō incident.  Even after all the above stuff happened, atomic bomb, Russian entering the war etc....There was a coup attempt by members of the military to depose the emperor and continue on fighting.  The coup was obviously stopped, but there was a significant portion of the military that wanted to fight on to the last.

Yep. There was also a contingent that was set on trying to find peace. Their government was even replaced early in the year in an attempt to find a resolution because they were getting hammered and knew they were going to lose.

The US was experiencing just as much internal conflict behind the scenes as well.
http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/atomicdec.htm

 

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2546 on: March 03, 2017, 09:07:23 AM »
re the Japan bombings -- Japan was asked to surrender in July.  Answer: No.

Hiroshima bombed August 6 --  Japan asked to surrender.  Answer: No.
Nagasaki bombed August 9 -- Surrender -- Yes.

Japan had a significant role in what happened, too.

I agree that's what happened. I also agree that it might have been the quickest way to end the war.

If ISIS acquired nuclear capabilities and nuked NYC tomorrow and asked the US to get out of the Arab world, the US said no, and then ISIS continued to nuke US cities, would that be ok?

In the ISIS view, it would save ISIS lives to get the US to capitulate by incinerating US population centers.

If your answer is no, it's not OK, then your views are inconsistent.

If your answer is yes, it's OK since it's a war, then your views are consistent but we're not in the same moral universe and there's not point talking about it.
We all of us live with inconsistencies all the time.  The people who try to bend the human world into something without inconsistencies are usually the fanatics who make everything worse.
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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2547 on: March 03, 2017, 09:22:55 AM »
Any thoughts on Attorney General Session's impact? I think that position is one of the few that has a direct influence on people's lives in the US for better or worse. My concern is he will be more willing to turn a blind eye to abuse by police departments (confiscating property, profiling, etc) than prior AGs of either party had been while hiding this under the guise of being "tough on crime".

Sessions has said as much. He and the prez don't seem to understand that civil asset forfeiture - as practiced today - violates constitutional rights spelled out in the 4th 5th and 14th amendments. I wrote this article to 'splain -esp to my Republican family members (aka/all of my family older than me). For a while I was writing about 'issues that unite us' to bring my family back from their propaganda news feed addictions. But I'm so disheartened I've given up for a while. The stuff they believe it just hurts my heart to even engage. But ... my dad did call his rep to ask him to co-sponsor a HJR48(115th) based on this other article, so I guess I should see the progress and be happy. But then Rick Perry - murderer of Cameron Todd Willingham / doofus who couldn't recall the name of the Dept of Energy - just got appointed to head up, that's right: the Dept of Energy. It's all just too too much.

On WWII - I found this video interesting: "the fallen of WWII to put the death toll in context - it includes the effects of the nuclear bombs. I live in Europe now, and sometimes I wonder how different it would be here had WWII not happened. I know that people often refer to it as a war that was worth fighting, but I think back to the stupid origins of WW1, General Smedley Butler's War is a Racket, how the peace treaty tilled the soil for WW2, how corporations profit so handsomely from war,  and it all seems so callous and unnecessary to me. But the messaging I get from discourse in the US is that I'm some sort of naive hippie for thinking of war through this perspective, and I'm dishonoring the fallen for questioning our part in these wars. Never mind that I lost an uncle in one of the dumbest wars of all: Vietnam. I'm apparently some sort of idealistic/cynical  peace / love / happiness kind of fool, and I'll never be happy til I conform to a worldview where humans are units of production in a capitalistic machine - of which - war is a necessary tool to fight those who would take from us the profits of our own hard work. And how dare I express the opinion that patriotism is just a first step toward nationalism and they're both just excuses to hate people we don't know, and take credit for accomplishments we had no part in.

As per the usual y'all inspired a bit of a rant. I'll stop now.

"An army is a strange composite masterpiece, in which strength results from an enormous sum total of utter weaknesses. Thus only can we explain a war waged by humanity for humanity in spite of humanity." - Victor Hugo, Les Miserables.

I sometimes wonder what would happen if we just declared radical peace on the world and turned all of our military spending toward things like building up other countries and providing healthcare to the world instead. It's a lot harder to hate someone who's building you a road or vaccinating your kids so they don't die. And yes, we do some of that...but what if that's all we did with our military budget?

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2548 on: March 03, 2017, 10:26:24 AM »
while I think the atomic bomb stuff has gotten way off topic.  I would like to add the Kyūjō incident.  Even after all the above stuff happened, atomic bomb, Russian entering the war etc....There was a coup attempt by members of the military to depose the emperor and continue on fighting.  The coup was obviously stopped, but there was a significant portion of the military that wanted to fight on to the last.

And the US had manufactured 4 bombs to potentially use against Japan.  Thank goodness they were not all needed.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2549 on: March 03, 2017, 10:30:19 AM »
I agree that's what happened.

That's good because I stated facts. 


I also agree that it might have been the quickest way to end the war.


I don't know the answer.  I know that's what happened, and now we live with that history.  I never said that bombing Japan was the right thing.  War is terrible and the bombing was terrible.  I see no point go get into the what ifs, because your assumption that I think the  Japan bombings were OK is wrong.