That quote by Dwight Eisenhower above, is there truth to that? I thought the Japanese would have fought til the last man?
Today I was thinking that maybe the reason they dropped the bombs was also to provide a reason to industrialize everything with US input. In other words rebuild but with US services and products. Keep in mind that Japan also suffered flame bombing where all their houses would burn to the ground. By the time the US got into Japan most of the major cities were literally leveled to the ground.
I have heard the argument about the fight would have kept going on and on. I also read about what the Japanese did at Nanking and many may have felt they 'deserved' this.
Atomic bombs kill many people very quickly and then people found out that they also killed many people very slowly. Either way they are just as dead. I think this is the real true horror of an atomic weapon.
Nagasaki 65 Years Later: A Look Back at the Censored Dispatches of Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist George Weller
Today, we remember the US bombing of Nagasaki through the story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist George Weller, the first reporter to enter Nagasaki, defying General MacArthur's ban on the press in southern Japan. Weller worked for the Chicago Daily News and hired a rowboat to get himself to Nagasaki. He wrote a 25,000-word report on the horrors that he encountered. When he submitted his story to the military censors, MacArthur personally ordered that the story be killed, and the manuscript was never returned. Weller later summarized his experience with the government censors, saying, "They won." Ref. Source 6
Yes, there were factions within the Japanese government that were interested in surrendering. What you have to understand is that the government was a truly somewhat of a puppet dictatorship with Hirohito being the puppet...but a strong one as he was believed to be divine up and until the point where he actually announced the surrender to his people. For normal Japanese had never actually heard him speak... The ones that pulled the strings of the puppet were the Zaibatsu (businessmen) and the military. The Zaibatsu and military worked together to get Japan into a war, but were not working together at the end.
The Zaibatsu was interested in surrendering. This is totally logical as they wanted to keep their businesses. The realized if they outright lost a war that they might not retain what was theirs at that moment. They also hoped to retain a few islands and holdings that they had acquired just before the start of WWII.
The military knew that they would be wiped out of work and there would be many seeking justice for the Japanese treatment of prisoners and enemies should they lose a war totally, so they wanted to fight until the end. The propaganda in Japan at the time strongly supported the military and they were really the ones in power. It was this fighting spirit that was prevalent throughout the country. They were ready for a land attack coming from the south.
Tokyo/Yokohama had basically been leveled with firebombing. That firebombing had killed more people than the two nuclear bombs...they didn't give up the fight.
One of the major reasons besides the expected casualties from a land attack for the dropping of the bombs was Russia entry into the Japanese theater. The US expected Russia to have issues in getting Japan out of Manchuria, but they were swept out with extreme ease that even surprised the Russians. The Russians had a very large mass troops moving towards Hokkaido via Siberia. They would have taking at minimum half of Japan before the US would have been able to get forces through the south of Japan (where they were prepared for invasion). Russia was in prime position to make another very large land acquisition. Remember, several of our high military leaders were advocating finishing WWII and getting right into it with Russia.
The decision to protect human life needs to be made prior to going into war. Once it has been decided to go to war, you must go with the intent on winning and winning efficiently as that will actually result in less total casualties. Innocents will be killed as a result of the decision to go to war. You will find little morality in war. Should you fight a war to merely stop your opponents aggression...they will rise again another day to fight you. Should you fight a war to win, succeed and treat your conquered horribly...they will always work to subvert you. Should you fight a war to win, succeed and treat your conquered with respect...they may end up respecting you. You could just surrender...that might save more innocents...but that depends on your aggressor. However, if the goal is to minimize innocent casualties, then the best answer is no war.
I understand all thes points but I do not see it as a valid reason for the complete devastation that was unleashed with these bombs. I understand there will be civilian casualties and that this is part of war. I cringe though when I think of how easily it is spoken. If this were New York and Chicago that were obliterated by the bombs our feelings would be much different I think.
Of course they were willing to fight to the last man, what American would not make such a claim. In a very real way we dropped the bombs for them having patriotism. For having faith and honor for their country. One of the very thing that America holds so dear.
My way of thinking is these bombs were released ultimately to show boat. To put a period at the end of the war and declare America as the most powerful. To make a statement to all those others who might oppose us that we are the strongest.
Saying the war would have gone on and on and that they would have fought to the last causing many more American lives is speculation. We don't know for sure if one bomb would have been enough. Or that if one bomb has been dropped on a lesser target if the point wouldn't have been taken.
I have serious ill feelings to America knowing this and other facts about Vietnam and Iraq. I understand our need to stop foreign threats and win wars as effectively as possible but I think these are the tactics used by barbarians and terrorists. Yet we sit behind our credo and claim to be an enlightened nation of freedom fighters. Meanwhile so many lies and cover ups go on to hide the true actions and motivations.
If you look at the cold facts, I mean really look at all of them. Our government lies to our faces on a daily basis about huge facts. When I went to school there was maybe a couple of paragraphs devoted to this topic.
I don't want to put down what has been done by America to defend ourselves. I just have very serious doubts about our military actions. I can't come to terms with sacrificing civilians for the "bigger picture". It just doesn't fit in the image I have of what America is supposed to represent and embody.
Again when I say all this I imagine the horror that these bombs inflicted on a people. They were our enemies true, but I can only guess at the complete horror it must have been for the woman and children effected by this act.
Human lives should be worth more than that, they should be respected more than just a target to bomb, especially by Americans.
Edited: Oliron on 10th Aug, 2010 - 6:52am
First of all, there was not complete devastation. We still have Japanese to talk to today. While the city of Hiroshima was destroyed, there were still survivors. Nagasaki was actually only 1/3 destroyed...we more than that to Tokyo and Yokohama with firebombing. You can still go visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki (I have). You, however, cannot speak to a native Jamaican today because that race was totally destroyed.
We didn't have to blow up Japan to show off the the Russians or the rest of the world. We could have done that with mere testing and invited the Russians to come watch. Remember, they were are "ally".
We had bombed Tokyo and Yokohama far worse than what these two bombs did in respect to human life...they did not give up. While you can say it is speculation, what is not speculation is that simple loss of a massive number of civilian lives didn't sway the Japanese before the bombs were dropped. This is not debatable as it is a fact. To say that we lost fewer US soldiers lives as a result of dropping the bombs is fact. If there was a land invasion, we would have naturally met resistance and that resistance would have resulted in more US lives being lost.