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Thank God For Harry Truman

65 years ago yesterday, President Truman made the decision to use nuclear weapons against Japan during World War II.

This decision probably saved more lives than it destroyed, given the fact that the Japanese were hell-bent on, if not winning, not surrendering, and that American deaths and causalities were estimated to be close to a million if Operation "Downfall," the proposed mainland invasion of Japan, were to have commenced.

In another show of Obama's penchant for demonizing all things American and apologizing for our actions around the world, he sent John Roos, U.S. Ambassador to Japan to the annual memorial commemorating the bombing of Hiroshima.

This is the first time a representative of the United States has attended the memorial.

From The Wall Street Journal:

The Obama administration has been seeking to strengthen the U.S.'s presence in Asia, in part to counter China's growing clout in the region, with Washington's relationship with Japan serving as a linchpin of that strategy.

Mr. Roos's attendance is likely to stir emotions in Hiroshima, the site of the world's worst atomic-bomb attack, which killed some 140,000 people, either directly or from the effects of radiation. Many fear that the memory and scars of the bombing are starting to be forgotten in Japan, as two-thirds of the country's people were born after 1945.

Japan, the only country to have experienced an atomic-bomb attack, has for decades played up its role as the victim of an unthinkable atrocity, while at the same time glossing over its invasions of China, Manchuria, and other countries in Asia. Revisionist textbooks in Japan have glossed over the massacre at Nanking and other atrocities the Japanese committed in Asia during World War II.

On Fuji TV, one of Japan's main networks, footage was shown of Ban Ki-moon speaking to survivors of the atomic bomb. The commentator on the show said "we really want President Obama" to attend the ceremony next year.

Japan, along with Germany and Italy, attempted to take over the world.

These three countries were responsible for more death and destruction in WWII than in any other human conflict in the history of the world . For anyone to suggest that Obama attend the ceremony is a direct result of his weakness and his desire to place blame on the U.S. for everything it has done on the international stage since its inception.

Both Japan and Germany were in the process of creating their own atomic program. If they had succeeded, would there be any question in anyone's mind that they would have used it?

Think about how many of us would not be here today if a million American soldiers were killed in an invasion of Japan.

Yes. The Japan of today is far different then the one which bombed Pearl Harbor. They are one of our staunchest allies now. Arguably, due to our use of the atomic bomb, and our subsequent help in the rebuilding of their nation, they have become one of the most powerful, respected nations in the world.

The atomic bombs of WWII were far different than the ones developed during the cold war.

Back then, it was just another weapon to be used in a world that had seen too much war.

The weapons manufactured during the arms race with the USSR were made to see who was the biggest kid on the block and who would win if they got into a pissing contest.

The fact that we have not used these weapons since, in any form, is a testament to our restraint and moral integrity. It shows we have no interest in world or regional domination.

Juxtapose that against any Islamic terrorist regime. If they had this technology, Israel would not exist, and the fate of the world would be held hostage.

The fact that Obama sent a representative to the Hiroshima bombing memorial shows just how much of an apologist he is for things he refuses to realistically and historically fathom.

Ban Ki-moon may just get his wish in the next two years.


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Comments (47)

the estimated number of Ame... (Below threshold)

the estimated number of American deaths is highly overrated at the 1 million mark.
other evil empires had the weapon and did not use it, so there's no moral high-ground in not using them a 3rd time.
even IF Hiroshima was necessary that does not explain Nagasaki.

Marcel should make like Mar... (Below threshold)

Marcel should make like Marceau.

Stop distorting and lying, and being such a historical nitwit.

It use to be that when you ... (Below threshold)

It use to be that when you fought wars, you killed the fighters, but you also demoralize the citizens.

Without Harry, I would have grown up without a father. Thank you Harry.

Wow Marcel. Maybe you coul... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Wow Marcel. Maybe you could go read some history and you would be able to answer that last question. Nagasaki happened because here was no response from the Japanese government to the bombing of Hiroshima.

As for your bogus assertion that the casualty estimates are exaggerated, I would say that no amount of leftist second guessing 40-50 years later makes a bit of difference. What matters is that in 1045 Truman and his advisers believed that they would see those kinds of losses.

Here's an easy assignment: Go to YouTube and watch "The World at War". Learn about the war in the Pacific. Learn about the Philippines, Burma, Bataan etc. Learn about Okinawa and how we expected losses on the mainland of Japan to be even worse.

Learn how the Japanese saw POW's as subhuman and not deserving of basic rights. Once you understand what people went through and what the Japanese were like back then you will understand why it was that Truman made the choice that he did.

The Japanese back then were a militaristic society every bit as sadistic as the Nazis. They did medical experimentation on prisoners. They forced captured foreign females into prostitution. Fewer Japanese figures were held accountable for their war crimes than ought to have been. Frankly, they got off easy once you understand what they did to the world.

I hope Barry taught Roooos ... (Below threshold)

I hope Barry taught Roooos the proper way to bow.

Just when you think Barry couldn't get any stupider he surprise's yet again.

"even IF Hiroshima was n... (Below threshold)

"even IF Hiroshima was necessary that does not explain Nagasaki."

We needed to beat Japan quickly, we needed to beat them decisively. We needed to beat them in a way that made manifestly sure that they KNEW they were totally and completely defeated.

Hiroshima was necessary - there is little to no way the Japanese leadership was going to accept that they were going to lose the war. Even though some historians have said that they were looking to negotiate a surrender - the facts point otherwise. The Japanese military was locked into trying to win - or at least negotiate a not-total surrender through Russia intervention. (Hey, they were desperate - they didn't know Russia had their own plans for Japanese territory.) They wanted to maintain the structure they had, with the Emperor still being 'divine', and them controlling the government.

That wouldn't work for the US government. The surrender had to be total. So the invasion of Japan was planned. And it would have been a meat grinder for both sides - but the Japan we see now would not have existed. (In fact, as a country it would probably resemble a slightly better off North Korea. I don't think we would have allowed them to regain their independence, or done anything to help them reconstruct their economy. And Russia would have, likely, about a third of the country.)

The problem with some colleges is that they're not teaching history as it was - but how they think it should have been. Obviously, WE were the bad guys for using nukes - but the only way you get to that point is by ignoring the cost in men and material for an invasion of Japan (Both us AND the Russians) and the resulting casualties on both sides.

Hiroshima got their attention, but they still weren't going to surrender. Nagasaki convinced them that would be the better course. The emperor overruled the military - and the rest... the ACTUAL history is clear.

We are homeschooling our fo... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

We are homeschooling our four children, but do read and occasionally use the online curriculum sent to us by our local school district. In their WW2 lessons, there is a lengthy section on the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, replete with pictures of burned bodies and numerous eyewitness accounts. However, the lessons fail to mention Pearl Harbor even once. School children learning from our county's curriculum are apparently taught that America just happened on the scene and dropped the big one. This is tragic. Nowhere is any discussion about the fact that millions of lives, including JAPANESE lives, were probably saved as a result of our ending the war more rapidly. This is one of many reasons we are homeschooling.

"other evil empires had the... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"other evil empires had the weapon and did not use it"

Really. Who else had the bomb back then? The USSR didn't even test their first until 1949. The reason no one has used one since then is the fear that they would have one used against them for doing so. Mutually assured destruction was the official policy and it worked despite leftist morons crying about how foolish they thought that policy was.

Mind you the bombing of Dresden produced equivalent casualty estimates to either Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Would the left have been OK with firebombing Japanese cities until they capitulated? I will note that incessant bombing did little to convince the British of Germans to surrender.

Marcel, Please explain how conventional bombing would have worked given the evidence that it had not worked elsewhere and was not working in Japan. The US had bombed 67 different cities in Japan prior to the atomic bomb. there was no evidence that the Japanese government was going to surrender (Heck they almost didn't after Nagasaki and the military tried to prevent the surrender even then). After half a million dead and 5 million homeless by conventional bombing the Japanese still wouldn't surrender.

I recall the words of the Emperor when he announced the surrender to the Japanese people. He said that by surrendering they would be "enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable. " Not because they had lost. But because the obvious choice to them was to fight to the death and to do so "it would not only result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization."

The Japanese saw themselves as the source and center of civilization. They had intended to fight until every last one of them was slaughtered. It just happens to be the truth. That's truth as in what actually happened and not what some BS filled lefty college professor made up so he could hate America and convince weak minded students to believe the same crap.

Hiroshima was attacked bec... (Below threshold)

Hiroshima was attacked because of cold cover over the primary site and the fact that it housed the Mitsubishi weapons plant. After the attack the Japanese did not want to surrender in fact they issued press release to their people telling them that they should wear white to protect them in case another weapon fell.

So the myth that the Japanese high command
1) Did not know about the bombing was false.
2) The high command also wanted to fight on. One has to realize the amount of causality from Hiroshima was not as great as the fire bombing of Japan had been.
3) Even after the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki (which had another Mitsubishi plant, (The Japanese government had move some the surveying workers to that plant to continue war production ) it still took Japan six days to surrender.
4) Japan wanted an invasion of mainland Japan. The planned to have women and children armed with brooms and sticks. They wanted American Soldiers, Sailors and Marines to be awash in Japanese blood so that us weak Americans would accept the Japanese terms of surrender.
5) When Japan formally apologizes to China, Korea, Philippines and the people of Asia for the atrocities perpetuated on them during the war oh yeah and how about Pearl Harbor?

The rise of State Shinto, Emperor worship and a belief in the divine right to rule all of Asia since they were descendants of of the Sun god all meant every Japanese citizen was to die rather than let foreigners conquer them. The society was being groomed toward this fanaticism since the 1860's. All that mattered was the emperor individuals could and were to be sacrificed in his name. Kamikaze fighters and Ships and the Suicide among civilians on Saipan and Okinawa.

The role of the Emperor was vital to the Japanese Psyche at the time and one of the reason the US did not target him with the bombs.

If you did not have Japanese blood you did not matter. Hence the atrocities committed by the Japanese military.

Dropping those two bombs most likely saved millions of Japanese lives.

Japan aslo spent a great deal of the war trying to indiscriminately bomb USA with their ballon bombs.

The US was attacked by Japan. We fought and won the war. We rebuilt and protected Japan.
If BHO wants to have a stronger Alliance do something about North Korea and China, instead of hollow gestures.

OK, Marcel. Here's a littl... (Below threshold)

OK, Marcel. Here's a little quiz for you. Name the two World War II incidents in the Pacific that generated the most civilian casualties.

The answer: Horoshima or Nagasaki don't even make the cut.
1) Nanking - 300,000
2) Manilla - 100,000

In both of these instances, the Japanese Imperial Army turned on the civilian populations. Many have heard of "The Rape of Nanking" but few are aware of the destruction brought on the civilain population of Manilla in early 1945 by the Japanese Army as the US approached the city.

And our second question of the day boys and girls is this: Has the Japanese government made even the slightest move to honor the dead in either of these cities or to accept the responsibilities for either?

The answer is NO!

So Marcell - SHOVE IT!!!!

We know that the Japanese k... (Below threshold)
jim m:

We know that the Japanese killed ~30,000 allied POW's and that POW deaths at the hands of the Japanese were 7 times higher than those captured by the Germans.

Given that the Japanese only released 56 (Yes that's fifty six) Chinese POW's we can assume that probably hundreds of thousands were killed. That's a fair certainty since the Tokyo Tribunal found that the Japanese High Command had issued an order that all POW's should be executed.

That being said it is a safe assumption that the Japanese murdered more POW's that we killed in Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

Oh and I should add that if... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Oh and I should add that if you include the people who died as the result of being forced into slave labor by the Japanese the total would likely double the death toll of both atomic bombs.

let look at powers that th... (Below threshold)

let look at powers that the had Atomic bomb in WWII.
The USA .
Evil? nope

Who wanted it?
Russia they did not have it but had Spies in the USA State Department and at Los Alamos.

Germany and Japan both had programs however the Allies bombing and harassment of heavy water facilities in Norway and he NAZI elimination of Jewish mathematicians s and scientist meant they had no workable designs by the time the US had completed the Trinity test.

Evil Yes but no bomb

I beieve truman did the rig... (Below threshold)
Just John:

I beieve truman did the right thing.

What I want to know is whether Shawn was as outraged by Reagan's visit to Bitburg on the anniversary of V-E day. And if not, why not.

What's Bitburg got to do wi... (Below threshold)
jim m:

What's Bitburg got to do with anything?

Bitburg was a war cemetery containing the bodies of slain German soldiers. Reagan went there to commemorate the sacrifice of soldiers on both sides and as a demonstration of reconciliation between our nation.

Contrast that to the abasement of our nation that obama intends and apologizing for what clearly in Barry's mind is the crime of actually winning the war.

Reagan didn't apologize for winning WWII. Barry is constantly apologizing for the US. This is yet another example of his willingness to sacrifice our nation for the purpose of further inflating his own ego.

You might disagree with Reagan's choice, but his was to commemorate the sacrifice of enemy soldiers whose age was an average of 18 years vs Barry wanting to apologize for an action that was more than justified and has only become a target of condemnation thanks to the revisionist history promulgated by leftists.

That's funny. The Japanese... (Below threshold)
Just John:

That's funny. The Japanese are upset that they aren't getting an apology, are you're upset that they are?

What apology do you see?

to me it seems like both are ateendance at a memorial & there isn't much difference between them.

(An editorial in the Nikkei newspaper, Japan's leading business daily, said the U.S. representative's attendance is "a far cry from the apology to bombing victims that both cities are hoping for," but that the Obama administration's decision to send a representative "is a golden opportunity to harness the moving power of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We hope that Obama will visit the bombing sites himself before his tenure is over.")

We should not attend becaus... (Below threshold)

We should not attend because

1) many feel it paves away for the US to apologize
2) Attendance is an agreement to Nuclear disarmament.

Disarmament only allows your enemies to get better weapons than you do. Just look at what the Germans and Japanese did before WWII with their Battleships.

It seems like the whole "ap... (Below threshold)
Just John:

It seems like the whole "apology" thing is in the eye of the beholder.

I don't see one
The Japanese don't see one.
hcddbz says some fear a future apology.
Shawn seems to think attendance is an apology
And jim m sees an apology AND abasement, but we're not sure why.

There are a lot of events i... (Below threshold)

There are a lot of events in history the (P)resident seems to be blissfully unaware of. One of them is about to kick him in the ass, its called voter disenchantment.

JJ, I bet you don't see what's coming this November either and unless there's a mouse in your pocket or you're schizophrenic its 'I'.

The Japanese were warned an... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

The Japanese were warned and had every chance to surrender before and after Hiroshima. Judging by the way they fought on the Pacific islands, dying to the last man, some isolated detachments fighting on years after the war had ended, and what we now know of their defense plans against invasion, the million casualty figure is not inflated. Even after Nagasaki, it was only the intervention of the Emperor which enabled surrender - they were prepared to fight to the last man, woman, and child.

So even in terms of the Pacific theater alone, the use of atomic weapons saved lives, both American and Japanese. But it also gave Stalin pause in his ambitions, and may thereby have saved other nations from falling to the Soviet Empire.

We Americans should thank G... (Below threshold)

We Americans should thank God for American exceptionalism -- and that in those days we still fought wars to win them.

And the Japanese may thank Him for the only real reason only Hiroshima and Nagasaki were atom bombed.

We had only two bombs.

The very simple conservativ... (Below threshold)

The very simple conservative mind sees just two possibilities:

1. Drop the atomic bomb, or
2. Don't drop the atomic bomb.

In reality, there were other measures that could have been taken, including one favored by most of the top-notch scientists at Los Alamos (Oppenheimer excluded), a demonstration bombing on an uninhabited area of Japan (or coastal Japan). Such a bombing would of course not have precluded atomic bombing of a city at a later point, but it would have given us a chance to see how the Japanese would have reacted.

The war was lost for Japan, and they knew it. Just around the same time as Hiroshima was bombed, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, and started taking over Japanese territory. Conservatives don't like to consider this. But this fact was a major factor in Japan's decision to surrender. Would you like Stalin at least partially in charge of your country? If not, you better make sure that his troops don't get far!

Truman was too impatient, did not value human life enough, especially with regards to Nagasaki.

LIFE had a pretty thought p... (Below threshold)

LIFE had a pretty thought provoking photos series


also recommend The Icarus Syndrome to one and all

A demonstration bomb for a ... (Below threshold)

A demonstration bomb for a Country that attacked your young men while they peacefully slept on a beautiful morning Dec 7 while you only have 2 such bomb's?

Only a liberal would think of tying one hand behind your back while the free world's survival was at stake.

Bravo Highlander.

"...the Japanese were ready... (Below threshold)

"...the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."

- Dwight D. Eisenhower, 11/11/63

Highlander you have inverte... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Highlander you have inverted history.

The Soviets did not just enter the war with Japan "around the time" Hiroshima was bombed. The Japanese (as has been pointed out elsewhere on this thread) were seeking intervention by the Soviets to avoid having to make an unconditional surrender. FDR had made unconditional surrender the obligatory endpoint of the war over the objections of Churchill. We knew the Japanese were trying to negotiate a way out of a real surrender with the Soviets because we had broken their code.

Once the first bomb was dropped the Soviets finally decided to live up to their commitments from Yalta and started an invasion of Japanese territory in Manchuria.

The US was already seeing what the Soviets were doing in eastern Europe and were concerned to have the war in the Pacific end before the Soviets could come in and start claiming additional territory there.

I might also question the utility of a demonstration bomb when the Japanese military was reluctant to quit even after Nagasaki. With 67 of the countries major cities in ruins they were not willing to quit.

The left's desire to condemn the use of the atomic bomb requires them to create hypothetical situations and ignore the facts and ignore the social and political situation of the day. They desire to judge based on 50+ years of hindsight. Just like obama's smarter, more intelligent foreign policy what they offer is a bunch of worthless BS, the primary virtue of which is the ability to criticize and condemn the US. The left conveniently ignores the attitude and statements of the Japanese military leaders. They ignore the fact that the Japanese military really was preparing to fight to the death of every man, woman, and child. They ignore he fact that we had already invaded Okinawa and seen what the fighting would be like and what the casualties would be like and that it would get worse, not better with an invasion of mainland Japan. It's easy to condemn others when you ignore the facts.

As for there not being an apology, I would be pleasantly surprised if there wasn't one but Barry's track record suggests that I need not worry in that regard.

Hundreds of thousands, if n... (Below threshold)

Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Japanese are alive today because we dropped those bombs then. The LOWEST projected CIVILIAN death toll from a full scale invasion in October 1945 was over a million...with the military Japanese death toll being at least as high. Many expected the combined Japanese civilian/military death toll to reach TEN million.

And a MINIMUM million Allied casualties were projected as well. One of them might very well have been my late father-in-law. My wife and thus my two sons might not ever have been born. In fact MY father and millions of men from the European Theater would have been sent to the Pacific as well. I might never have been born either.

President Truman SAVED lives on August 6 & 9, 1945..lives on BOTH sides. It remains true.

Yes Clay, the Japanese were... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yes Clay, the Japanese were ready to surrender. Unfortunately, their government was not. They issued an order for the citizens of Okinawa to commit suicide rather than submit to allied occupation.

The Japanese government was not ready to surrender after half a million dead from conventional bombing. Nor was it after Hiroshima. Nor was it until 6 days after Nagasaki.

The problem the left has is that all the evidence pointed to the fact that they wouldn't have surrendered without the use of the bomb. They were indeed planning to fight an invasion and hoped to force a settlement with a stalemate on the shores of mainland Japan. What turned the tide was the thought that we had many more bombs like the ones we had just used. Had they known that we were out of atomic bombs they might have held their nerve and kept on fighting.

The bomb was not used lightly and everyone associated with it has at one time or another expressed mixed emotions about it. But you don't hear the complaints about the civilian losses from conventional bombing which were far greater. You don't hear complaining about civilians being told to go kill themselves and their families. That's all just fine. It;s the Americans and their atomic bomb that are the problem. Nothing else to see here.

Every objection of the left is predicated on an unsustainable hypothetical that requires facts not in evidence. These aren't arguments they are fantasies.

Just John (Yeah, right.)</p... (Below threshold)

Just John (Yeah, right.)

Why don't you just copy and past what you are parroting form MediaMatters?

Reagan. WTF does that have to do with this anyway?

The people of Germany never asked for any type of apology from the U.S. for our actions during the war. The Japanese have, and continue to. Hell, just read the article you quoted.

Germany has officially apologized for its role in WWII, even going so far as paying reparations to countries and groups persecuted for their various beliefs at the time. (Not that it is relevant, but, it was done way before Reagan's outrageous visit.)

Japan has never officially apologized for their part in WWII. Never.

Some representatives have offered apologies for certain specific atrocities. But, that does not amount to an official apology.

The United States has NEVER sent a representative in an official capacity to the Hiroshima memorial.


Until now. Until Obama.

Screw an "apology." That speaks for itself.


Truman did not trust Uncle ... (Below threshold)

Truman did not trust Uncle Joe Stalin, the way Roosevelt did. Of course this was influenced by the machinations of Alger Hiss. Truman wanted to end the war as soon as possible and keep the Soviets out of Japan. He saw first hand what the Russian were doing in Poland, when he attended the Potsdam Conference. He also knew that once the Soviets got a share of Japan, it would be a matter of time, that the Japanese fell under their control and would be a communist vassal state, ruled from Moscow.

The Japanese also knew that they could not defeat the Soviet army. This was shown in the little conflict that occurred during the Sino-Japanese war when Japanese forces clashed with the Soviet army in the Russian controlled Mongolia - Manchukuo border region. The Japanese retreated with a very bloody nose. http://www.angelfire.com/gundam/japanese_empire/altjap/sjw.htm

These are two or three ver... (Below threshold)

These are two or three very good articles. They hit it just right and even have given me a new way to explain to others the differance between a Muslim martyr and the rest of the worlds idea of martyrdom...

Well, let's let Dwight Eise... (Below threshold)

Well, let's let Dwight Eisenhower clarify the above quote:

"...in [July] 1945... Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. ...the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.

"During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude..."

BTW, I am not a leftist. In fact, I would say I'm much more conservative than most here. But, I will not be allowed to think a certain way because of my conservatism. I've done my share of research on this topic.

I meant to say that "I will... (Below threshold)

I meant to say that "I will not be forced to think a certain way." Sorry. I'm dividing my attention today.

I also find Brigadier General Carter Clarke's thoughts to be interesting. Clarke was the military intelligence officer in charge of preparing intercepted Japanese cables - the MAGIC summaries - for Truman and his advisors.

"...when we didn't need to do it, and we knew we didn't need to do it, and they knew that we knew we didn't need to do it, we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs."

Clay the key to that whole ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Clay the key to that whole passage can be found in the first sentence: "...visiting my headquarters in Germany..."

Eisenhower was supreme allied commander in Europe. He was not involved with the campaign in the Pacific and did not fight it. He was an outsider. He was, however, influential and his opinion and approval was sought on the matter.

Furthermore we understand now that Japan was not seeking to surrender but still seeking to dictate terms of a peace. Thus we see that Eisenhower was sadly misinformed about the situation as it stood in the Pacific.

As a matter of fact Clay, t... (Below threshold)

As a matter of fact Clay, that page you quote from has a number of US officials saying they didn't approve of the use of the bomb. Oddly enough, NONE of them were battle field commanders in the Pacific, with the exception of MacArthur. And his comments were more directed at the retention of the Emperor.

The attempt by members of the Japanese military to block Hirohito's surrender announcement say volumes about their mindset.

Yes here are people who cla... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yes here are people who claim that we did not need to do it. Yet there is much more reason to believe that we did.

The Germans did not surrender until we had occupied virtually every inch of their territory. The Japanese had already shown that they were willing to die to the very last person rather than surrender. They had issued orders to the civilian population to commit suicide rather than surrender in Okinawa.

The Japanese were trying to get the Russians to intercede on their behalf to avoid having to surrender on our terms. They felt that they could negotiate a better deal with them. They thought they could avoid occupation and that they could keep Korea and Formosa.

Meanwhile, we saw the Russians taking over Europe by that point and wanted to deny them any excuse for doing the same in the far east.

The biggest refutation of the whole BS argument that the Japanese were ready and willing to surrender is that as late as August 9th, the day of the bombing of Nagasaki, they were unwilling to surrender. Not until the 12th was the decision made to surrender and that over the protests of the hard liners who attempted a coup.

The whole argument that it was not necessary collapses in the face of these facts. The Japanese absorbed the bombing of Hiroshima and continued on. On August 9th they were preparing to declare martial law and stop anyone from issuing a surrender.

I hadn't seen that MM post,... (Below threshold)
Just John:

I hadn't seen that MM post, so I wasn't able to "parrot" it.

But think about this:

The United States had NEVER sent a President in an official capacity to Bitburg.


Until 1985. Until Reagan.

I'd like to see the language of the apology that y'all atre imagining.

I would like to hear from a... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I would like to hear from all the people claiming it was unnecessary what they would see as the alternative. Conventional bombing? Didn't work on the British or the Germans. Didn't work on the Russians in Stalingrad. Hadn't worked on the Japanese despite turning their largest cites to rubble and killing half a million people.

How about a land invasion? Okinawa saw the highest casualty rate for US soldiers of the entire war. 100,000+ Japanese soldiers were killed and as many as 120,000 civilians mostly at their own hands. Mainland Japan would have been even more fiercely fought.

Yes, we didn't have to use the bomb. We could have killed far more people on both sides and achieved the same end. I guess that is what these people want. They don't care how many others would have died for them to claim what they see as the moral high ground. What they don't realize is that a hill of skulls does not make a moral high ground. That's what they say should have been. They are wrong.

Just John (uh-huh),<p... (Below threshold)

Just John (uh-huh),

Did I say "MM?" I didn't say "MM." People who frequent MediaMatters call it "MM."

The difference is: For years, Germany went to great lengths to apologize.

They also did not ask for or expect ANY apology for what we inflicted upon them during the war.

Japan hasn't apologized. They expect US to for our use of a weapon that they would have used if they had it first.

Get it? Pretty simple.

Know what? Just get it over with and blame Bush. Some how, some way, you'll work it in there.


The problem with the "demon... (Below threshold)

The problem with the "demonstration" claim is that Little Boy and Fat Man were the only two atomic weapons that the US had at the time. One of them would have had to have been the "demonstration" explosion, leaving only one. It was thought that another would be ready by the end of August, but remember that no one was sure that any of them would work.

Japan had rejected the Potsdam Ultimatum nine days before Hiroshima. This was after the March, 1945 fire bombing of Tokyo, which killed more than either atomic attack. There was no reason that they would've surrendered after a "demonstration," if the Tokyo fire bombing could not convince them.

There was no indication that Japan wanted to accept the Potsdam Ultimatum until after Nagasaki.



"These three countries w... (Below threshold)
John S:

"These three countries were responsible for more death and destruction in WWII than in any other human conflict in the history of the world"

Except for the conflict between Roe v. Wade. The bloodshed at U.S. abortion clinics since 1973 now exceeds total deaths of World War II. Maybe liberals like Marcel should weep over those 50 million graves.

Voted down, John S. Way of... (Below threshold)

Voted down, John S. Way off the topic.

John S.I agree wit... (Below threshold)

John S.

I agree with JLawson.

Another battle. Another War.

Keep on topic.

And I gotta say this..

As far as the United States detonating one of our atomic bombs as a "demonstration," aside from being ludicrous anyway, NONE of the mainland Japanese regular citizens would have EVER seen it..

The Japanese government would NOT have permitted ANY of its people to see the results.


Ike knew Europe he did not ... (Below threshold)

Ike knew Europe he did not know Japanese culture or fighting that was happening in the Pacific.

Japanese planed to inflict over a million deaths on American forces and use their women and children in combat. They wanted the weak Americans to be so sicken by blood we would allow the to surrender on their own terms.
Anyone that doubts the US did the right thing needs to read what the Japanese planed to do.

Just like the Nazi arm of the German high command the Japanese hard liners were afraid of unconditional surrender.
Unit 731
Comfort Women in China, Korea Philippines
Rape of women & Girls and then killing them with Bayonets and Bamboo chutes through their neither region were standard practices of Japanese Army.

Which lead to the Japanese Plan of KETSU-GO. Which was activated April of 1945. One of the good things about Hiroshima getting hit was it took out The Second General Army HQ. Some of the Sick F**K behind this plan of whole sale murder of civilians.

We will prepare 10,000 planes to meet the landing of the enemy. We will mobilize every aircraft possible, both training and "special attack" planes. We will smash one third of the enemy's war potential with this air force at sea. Another third will also be smashed at sea by our warships, human torpedoes and other special weapons. Furthermore, when the enemy actually lands, if we are ready to sacrifice a million men we will be able to inflict an equal number of casualties upon them. If the enemy loses a million men, then the public opinion in America will become inclined towards peace, and Japan will be able to gain peace with comparatively advantageous conditions.(11)

The defensive plan called for the use of the Civilian Volunteer Corps, a mobilization not of volunteers but of all boys and men 15 to 60 and all girls and women 17 to 40, except for those exempted as unfit. They were trained with hand grenades, swords, sickles, knives, fire hooks, and bamboo spears. These civilians, led by regular forces, were to make extensive use of night infiltration patrols armed with light weapons and demolitions.(43) Also, the Japanese had not prepared, and did not intend to prepare, any plan for the evacuation of civilians or for the declaration of open cities.(44) The southern third of Kyushu had a population of 2,400,000 within the 3,500 square miles included in the Prefectures of Kagoshima and Miyazaki.(45) The defensive plan was to actively defend the few selected beach areas at the beach, and then to mass reserves for an all-out counterattack if the invasion forces succeeded in winning a beachhead.(46)

The Japanese were determined to fight the final and decisive battle on Kyushu. At whatever the cost, Japanese military leaders were planning to repel any U.S. landing attempt. The defense of the Japanese home islands centered on two primary operations: the Army's fanatical defense of the beaches, and the employment of Kamikaze planes and suicide boats against transports. The Japanese plans for suicide attacks were much more extensive than anything the U.S. had yet experienced in the war. The Japanese special suicide forces were seen as a "Divine Wind" which was to save their nation just as the "Divine Wind" had driven the Mongol hordes back in the thirteenth century.(47)

Naval operations against the invasion fleet would be conducted in two phases. The first phase would consist of attriting the American fleet as it approached the home islands. The remaining 38 Japanese fleet submarines would attempt to attrite as many transports as possible. They were to serve as launch platforms for manned suicide torpedoes called "Kaitens". Although the Kaitens had not proved too successful in operations on the open ocean, the Japanese hoped that they would be effective in the restricted waters around the home islands. The five-man midget submarines, known as "Koryu," would also be employed with either two torpedoes or an explosive charge for use in a suicide role. The Navy planned to have 540 Koryu in service by the time of the invasion. A more advanced midget submarine, the "Kairyu," was a two man craft armed with either two torpedoes or an explosive charge. Approximately 740 Kairyu were planned by the fall of 1945.

As the invasion fleet reached the landing areas, the second phase would commence. The 19 surviving Japanese destroyers would attempt to attack the American transports at the invasion beaches. Suicide attack boats, called "Shinyo," carrying 550 pounds of explosives in their bows, would strike from hiding places along the shore. The Shinyo were aiming for any craft carrying troops. The Japanese Navy and Army had an estimated combined total of 3,300 special suicide attack boats. Finally, there would be rows of suicide frogmen called "Fukuryu" in their diving gear 30 feet or so beneath the water. The outermost row of Fukuryu would release anchored mines or carry mines to craft that passed nearby. Closer to shore, there would be three rows of divers, arrayed so that they were about 60 feet apart. Underwater lairs for the Fukuryu were to be made of reinforced concrete with steel doors. As many as 18 divers could be stationed in each underwater "foxhole".(26) Clad in a diving suit and breathing from oxygen tanks, a Fukuryu carried an explosive charge, which was mounted on a stick with a contact fuse. He was to swim up to landing craft and detonate the charge. The Navy had hoped for 4,000 men to be trained and equipped for this suicide force by October.

It is so easy to use today'... (Below threshold)

It is so easy to use today's thought processes and apply it to events in 1945. The world was decimated. Exhausted. Tired. Demoralized by the constant drumbeat of war. All nations were tired of sacrificing our children. We beat Germany and we had a way to end the Pacific war without anymore defenders of freedom dying. We did it. The world celebrated. We were all proud until the liberals tried to rewrite the history. Japan was a very cruel and unrepentant enemy. They thought as Germany did, Amercians were subhuman. They tested us, they tried to break us and they lost big. I do not apologize for defending ourselves. Ever. ww

trying to research a topic ... (Below threshold)

trying to research a topic on Harry
truman i linked to your page..
oh man..
it is being said that humans are slowly losing their edge and are less intelligent than all previous civilizations..it would have been good if you didn't prove this theory..maybe it's the hanging on to the hate to make oneself feel better that is causing degeneration..but jeeezus frikkin whatever..when can anybody get past the PAST..the constant effort to hold praise to atrocities is denying the event of an eventual peace in the future..Gawd Bless you people..
cause i don't know who else would..how that any acknowledgement of the suffering of those whose families experienced the horrors of war, could be misconstrued as you have done so..more likely it could harden hearts of those who suffered or are still..lest you try to argue me, i am positive Truman did the utmost in regards to making his decision as much as he hated to do it..his heart heavy was not in it glory for himself but for the means to an end..it ended well on our part and it needed to be done..his greatness as a leader was his ability to make decisions..if this meant he lessened himself spiritually i don't know..if he justified his decision to his faith, that was a personal dilemma between him and his soul..but to keep such ugliness inside destroys more than those bombs..i think that you will not understand the consequences anything past your nose, but try to see, really see that hate does not good and glory to evil whther done because of necessity is done only because it's needed..not because we should praise it..
but you to hold that someone's acknowledgement of that pain to try to build healing for the realization that we might never use that type of force again, well i hope, but doubt, that your (pardon moi for inserting a derogatory word) stupidity is only temporary..

correction: glory should ne... (Below threshold)

correction: glory should never be to evil that is done because of necessity..evil permitted but glorified not or ever be that we should praise it..






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