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Mega
02-13-12, 12:46 PM
.......at lest it wasn't the USS liberty this time..
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/9079118/Israeli-embassy-car-explodes-in-New-Delhi.html

To think Moss-e Diana was my boyhood hero, still He didn't trust "Them" either!

Mike

Starving Steve
02-13-12, 03:27 PM
Ofcourse this bombing was done by the Iranians. And when the Islamists in Tehran get the atom-bomb, they will use it. This very much reminds me of the nazis just before WWII, when the civilized world thought the Hitlerites in Germany could be appeased.

Remember the deals that Moscow, London, and Washington tried to make with the nazis in Berlin? Remember the non-aggresion pact between Russia and Germany? Remember Chamberlain's remark, "I have spoken with Heir Hitler; we will have peace in our time."? Chamberlain was stepping down the stairs from the DC-3 that had just landed in London; he was waving the peace agreement with Hitler in the air, as he spoke those words to the crowd that awaited his arrival in London.

don
02-13-12, 07:42 PM
The US is using the military-dominance card to put/keep the ME in the Dollar Zone. Israel's Zionist Expansionists are useful in that endeavor. The rest is tactics.

touchring
02-13-12, 11:39 PM
Ofcourse this bombing was done by the Iranians. And when the Islamists in Tehran get the atom-bomb, they will use it. This very much reminds me of the nazis just before WWII, when the civilized world thought the Hitlerites in Germany could be appeased.

Remember the deals that Moscow, London, and Washington tried to make with the nazis in Berlin? Remember the non-aggresion pact between Russia and Germany? Remember Chamberlain's remark, "I have spoken with Heir Hitler; we will have peace in our time."? Chamberlain was stepping down the stairs from the DC-3 that had just landed in London; he was waving the peace agreement with Hitler in the air, as he spoke those words to the crowd that awaited his arrival in London.


They don't have to use it themselves.

They just have to "lose the bomb" and it ends up in the hands of Hezbolla and then on the street of Tel Aviv.

Nowadays no one wages war direct. They do it through terrorists or hackers.

c1ue
02-14-12, 10:58 AM
Ofcourse this bombing was done by the Iranians. And when the Islamists in Tehran get the atom-bomb, they will use it. This very much reminds me of the nazis just before WWII, when the civilized world thought the Hitlerites in Germany could be appeased.

Frankly this is idiotic.

I am far from convinced that any of the political leadership in Iran wants to get vaporized by 100+ Israeli nukes.


They don't have to use it themselves.

They just have to "lose the bomb" and it ends up in the hands of Hezbolla and then on the street of Tel Aviv.

Nowadays no one wages war direct. They do it through terrorists or hackers.

Equally idiotic. Not only is 'losing' an atomic bomb so transparent as to be utterly useless, the other problem is an atomic bomb is useful primarily as a deterrent.

It does no good whatsoever to actually use it since a single bomb will do nothing but piss a country off. And if that country has 100+ nuclear weapons, why exactly is this useful?

If anything the most likely scenario is Israel, in a truly desperate situation, sets off its own bomb in a suburb of Tel Aviv in order to garner world sympathy.

lakedaemonian
02-14-12, 07:58 PM
Back on the topic of this thread.

I completely disagree with this being a false flag operation.

Israel and/or US and/or whoever have been killing Iranians for a good few years now.

People might be surprised to learn close to 100 Iranians have been killed/abducted/defected in the last 5 years who are directly or indirectly related to Iran's nuclear program(s)...scientists, the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Org, IRGC commanders, Quds Force, etc...and these are just the KNOWN open source numbers.

It doesn't take a life insurance actuary to figure out something VERY strange is going on in Iran.

Iran has a much longer history of using asymmetric warfare to achieve it's foreign policy goals than conventional warfare....so it's easily within the realm of possibility to see Iran counter attacking Israel using some of the same means being used against them these past 5 years.

Iran has used it's Hezbullah proxy as well as direct means to achieve it's goals......Beirut Marine Barracks and Foreign Legion bombings......Argentina bombings...etc...and aggressive recent commentary from the Mullahs has supported that.

Some light may be shed on things shortly, as an Iranian has JUST been captured in Bangkok after having blown his own legs off in one of three explosions possibly meant to target Israelis.

Things are getting "weird" not just in Iran....but also Azerbaijan, India, and Thailand.....multiple open source incidents in Thailand.

When Israel has pursued aggressive asymmetric means to achieve it's foreign policy goals in the past...like post Black September Olympic Massacre...when Israel hunted down and killed those it felt responsible(including a terrible murder of an innocent in Norway).....there was a response to Israel in the form of a letter bomb campaign and other incidents.

All three countries Azerbaijan, India, and Thailand would not be considered non-permissive nations for the Iranians to operate from/in.....it's not like they would likely have Shin Bet/FBI crawling all over them by the dozens, neither country has the resources to counter Iranian efforts everywhere....and flights to/from each with Iran are frequent enough.....simplest explanation is usually the most accurate.

False flag operation? I seriously doubt it.

lakedaemonian
02-14-12, 08:10 PM
Frankly this is idiotic.

I am far from convinced that any of the political leadership in Iran wants to get vaporized by 100+ Israeli nukes.



Equally idiotic. Not only is 'losing' an atomic bomb so transparent as to be utterly useless, the other problem is an atomic bomb is useful primarily as a deterrent.

It does no good whatsoever to actually use it since a single bomb will do nothing but piss a country off. And if that country has 100+ nuclear weapons, why exactly is this useful?

If anything the most likely scenario is Israel, in a truly desperate situation, sets off its own bomb in a suburb of Tel Aviv in order to garner world sympathy.


Israel DOES face a rather difficult position in terms of defending against a nuclear attack.......while it's small size and target density makes defending against SOME nuclear threats such as ballistic missiles and cruise missiles a bit easier(since they have a smaller foot print to deploy mulit-layered defensive systems)......Israel and particularly Singapore face the prospect of the country potentially decapitated if even a single multi-stage nuclear weapon was detonated on it's soil(especially Singers).

I can imagine the same measures being used by Singapore, New York City, Washington D.C. etc to mitigate an unconventional/asymmetric nuclear attack would be high on the priority list for Israel....but with Israel facing the prospect of a much larger nuclear security perimeter....far more opportunities for failure.

But I think the most telling strategy for Israel dealing with a nuclear Iran is best found in it's navy.

The Israel navy has built up a sophisticated German built submarine fleet that will be doubling in size from 3 to 6.

The last 3 on order will be entering service in the coming few years.

6 submarines, long-term, provides the ability to maintain 2 deployed at any given time......with it's most important mission as Israel's most "1st strike survivable" nuclear deterrent.

An interesting footnote....no sailors serving in the Israeli Navy on submarines can hold duel citizenship....unlike pretty much most of the other positions within the IDF....I wonder why? :)

So I think Israel has been fast implementing "Plan B: Dealing with a nuclear Iran long term"....and that plan is....if Israel burns...so does everyone and everything else 15 minutes later.

Starving Steve
02-14-12, 11:35 PM
Why doesn't the U.S. do a few air-strikes now, when it is easy to do them, and trash Tehran and a few other places in Iran? Let Iran be piles of ashes, and then the warning will go out to rest of the Islamists that their terrorist activities, atomic-bomb building, and asymetric warfare are not going to be tolerated any longer.

One would think after 9/11, the Americans would have kicked ass in the Middle East.

If America and Britain would have bombed some German cities and left them as piles of smoking debris in the late 1930s, the nazis would have been defeated before they had even begun. The German people would have thought twice about cheering the nazis and worshipping Hitler. The mistake of appeasement is that the policy encourages terrorism and ultimately warfare--- and an even worse warfare than might have occurred otherwise.

In the 1930s, the appeasement policies with the nazis encouraged the horrific world war which followed, immediately after. The appeasers, compromisers, and isolationists were interpretted by the nazis to be weak, worn-out and unwilling to fight.

lakedaemonian
02-15-12, 01:09 AM
Why doesn't the U.S. do a few air-strikes now, when it is easy to do them, and trash Tehran and a few other places in Iran? Let Iran be piles of ashes, and then the warning will go out to rest of the Islamists that their terrorist activities, atomic-bomb building, and asymetric warfare are not going to be tolerated any longer.

One would think after 9/11, the Americans would have kicked ass in the Middle East.

If America and Britain would have bombed some German cities and left them as piles of smoking debris in the late 1930s, the nazis would have been defeated before they had even begun. The German people would have thought twice about cheering the nazis and worshipping Hitler. The mistake of appeasement is that the policy encourages terrorism and ultimately warfare--- and an even worse warfare than might have occurred otherwise.

In the 1930s, the appeasement policies with the nazis encouraged the horrific world war which followed, immediately after. The appeasers, compromisers, and isolationists were interpretted by the nazis to be weak, worn-out and unwilling to fight.

First I'll state my personal opinion and feeling about (Iran + nuclear weapons):

As long as the theocratic power of the mullahs exists and it's enforced/displayed through the likes of the Revolutionary Guards, Quds Force, and Hezbullah;

As long as Iran's control measures and security for complete nuclear weapons, weapon cores, delivery systems, and launch authorization aren't validated/upgraded by an impartial/reputable 3rd party;

And as long as Iran's centres of gravity publicly call for war/destruction then I am strongly opposed to Iran developing a nuclear weapons capability because I strongly believe it makes the world far less safe as well as be a driver for further nuclear weapons proliferation with Saudi Arabia and Turkey directly...and maybe a few others indirectly.

But as far as a few airstrikes now, I think that would be a mistake......I think air strikes on Iran would turn a massive number of Western leaning(or at least sympathetic) middle class/educated/young in Iran into nationalists who would rally around a government/leadership they may not necessarily want.

A bit like a bunch of "kids" being brought up in a terrible home environment.....outsiders trying to help or intervene by punching the "parents" in the face will likely face eternal anger and hatred from the very "children" the outsiders are trying to help.

People usually side with their family when opposed by outsiders....even when they know their family is wrong.

So I reckon more of the same......economic sanctions.....targeted assassinations towards those involved in Iranian WMD programs....and considerable efforts at undermining the Iranian government and trying hard to enable a Persian Spring.

Past performance is there with the likes of the US/NATO partnered with the Catholic Church and Solidarity to bring down Poland and therefore the Warsaw Pact.

The only way I reckon things go REALLY loud(beyond the cloak and dagger stuff) is if Iranian centres of gravity accidentally or intentionally push TOO hard externally in retaliation for the many targeted assassination that are ongoing within Iran.

Israel/US/others will accept a certain level of "neutral ground developing world" asymmetric attacks against their interests/citizens.....but if Iran pushes as hard to retaliate as much as it is being hit, Iran seriously risks far more open retaliation......I guess that's the cost Iran will HAVE to bear if it wants nukes badly enough and failing to develop a superpower sponsor relationship capable of shielding it from all the drama(like Israel, Pakistan, North Korea, and South Africa).

I see more car bombings, maybe some Maritime IEDs/mines, kidnappings, murders, a high profile incident/attempt a la the Grand Mosque Seizure in 79, and attempts to undermine Arabian peninsula governments/foment civil unrest on the part of Iran......and just more of the same from Israel/US/West.

I DON'T see "9/11 moments" for MOST......but definitely for SOME.

Just my 0.02c

goodrich4bk
02-15-12, 01:53 AM
Only time will tell if you are right, Steve, but may I suggest that instead of reaching for a history book to predict the future behavior of a non-German, non-Nazi, non-Christian nation which possesses almost none of the characteristics of pre-war Germany, you instead pull out a current map showing the location of the world's largest military forces (the U.S.). You will see Iran almost completely surrounded to the West, East and north (via NATO member Turkey). Turn on the T.V. while you're at it, too, and you'll see assassinations of Iranian scientists, daily news feeds describing a Spring attack on Iran by Israel, and the tightening of economic sanctions that is now crippling Iranian commerce.

Or just go back to your history book and pretend that all of the above is appeasement.

Southernguy
02-15-12, 07:57 AM
Itīs strange, but supposedly Iranian attacks in foreign countries have not produced a single death.
The bomb that blew a car was, by all means an "old ladieīs fart" as we call here low level noise making petards.
So, a country that produces ships, submarines, medium range missiles and puts satelites in orbit canīt make a bomb that just kills people in a car?
The other bomb was "found" before it went off.
And now, this strange story about an "Iranian" (with Iranian id.) blowing his own legs off.
Please, if this is not an intoxication campaign, I have never in my life seen one.
By the way: no proof exists that the two bombings of Jewish institutions in Argentina had anything to do with Iran.
And never forget: the only country in history who massacred hundred of thousands of innocent people with atomic weapons sofar is........

jiimbergin
02-15-12, 09:44 AM
Back on the topic of this thread.

I completely disagree with this being a false flag operation.

Israel and/or US and/or whoever have been killing Iranians for a good few years now.

People might be surprised to learn close to 100 Iranians have been killed/abducted/defected in the last 5 years who are directly or indirectly related to Iran's nuclear program(s)...scientists, the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Org, IRGC commanders, Quds Force, etc...and these are just the KNOWN open source numbers.

It doesn't take a life insurance actuary to figure out something VERY strange is going on in Iran.

Iran has a much longer history of using asymmetric warfare to achieve it's foreign policy goals than conventional warfare....so it's easily within the realm of possibility to see Iran counter attacking Israel using some of the same means being used against them these past 5 years.

Iran has used it's Hezbullah proxy as well as direct means to achieve it's goals......Beirut Marine Barracks and Foreign Legion bombings......Argentina bombings...etc...and aggressive recent commentary from the Mullahs has supported that.

Some light may be shed on things shortly, as an Iranian has JUST been captured in Bangkok after having blown his own legs off in one of three explosions possibly meant to target Israelis.

Things are getting "weird" not just in Iran....but also Azerbaijan, India, and Thailand.....multiple open source incidents in Thailand.

When Israel has pursued aggressive asymmetric means to achieve it's foreign policy goals in the past...like post Black September Olympic Massacre...when Israel hunted down and killed those it felt responsible(including a terrible murder of an innocent in Norway).....there was a response to Israel in the form of a letter bomb campaign and other incidents.

All three countries Azerbaijan, India, and Thailand would not be considered non-permissive nations for the Iranians to operate from/in.....it's not like they would likely have Shin Bet/FBI crawling all over them by the dozens, neither country has the resources to counter Iranian efforts everywhere....and flights to/from each with Iran are frequent enough.....simplest explanation is usually the most accurate.

False flag operation? I seriously doubt it.

As a retired life insurance actuary;_Y, I agree completely.

touchring
02-15-12, 10:35 AM
I think Obama wants Iran to make the first move.



Why doesn't the U.S. do a few air-strikes now, when it is easy to do them, and trash Tehran and a few other places in Iran? Let Iran be piles of ashes, and then the warning will go out to rest of the Islamists that their terrorist activities, atomic-bomb building, and asymetric warfare are not going to be tolerated any longer.

One would think after 9/11, the Americans would have kicked ass in the Middle East.

If America and Britain would have bombed some German cities and left them as piles of smoking debris in the late 1930s, the nazis would have been defeated before they had even begun. The German people would have thought twice about cheering the nazis and worshipping Hitler. The mistake of appeasement is that the policy encourages terrorism and ultimately warfare--- and an even worse warfare than might have occurred otherwise.

In the 1930s, the appeasement policies with the nazis encouraged the horrific world war which followed, immediately after. The appeasers, compromisers, and isolationists were interpretted by the nazis to be weak, worn-out and unwilling to fight.

Prazak
02-15-12, 10:57 AM
The Munich lesson is one that was applied catastrophically in Iraq. I would think that on a site full of contrarians such as this one the instinct in the face of war drums would be to march in the opposite direction.

http://politics.salon.com/2012/02/14/us_media_takes_the_lead_on_iran/singleton/

Master Shake
02-15-12, 11:25 AM
Frankly this is idiotic.

If anything the most likely scenario is Israel, in a truly desperate situation, sets off its own bomb in a suburb of Tel Aviv in order to garner world sympathy.

You are correct. Your most likely scenario is idiotic.

thriftyandboringinohio
02-15-12, 11:31 AM
Itīs strange, but supposedly Iranian attacks in foreign countries have not produced a single death.
The bomb that blew a car was, by all means an "old ladieīs fart" as we call here low level noise making petards.
So, a country that produces ships, submarines, medium range missiles and puts satelites in orbit canīt make a bomb that just kills people in a car?
The other bomb was "found" before it went off.
And now, this strange story about an "Iranian" (with Iranian id.) blowing his own legs off.
Please, if this is not an intoxication campaign, I have never in my life seen one.
By the way: no proof exists that the two bombings of Jewish institutions in Argentina had anything to do with Iran.
And never forget: the only country in history who massacred hundred of thousands of innocent people with atomic weapons sofar is........

All excellent points.

And I'm very impressed at the correct use of the obscure word "petard", nicely done.
I don't believe I've ever seen the word used outside the old cliche "hoist on his own petard".
.
.

gwynedd1
02-15-12, 12:28 PM
Israel has been caught so many times false flagging they simply cannot be trusted, Iran notwithstanding.

jiimbergin
02-15-12, 02:36 PM
You are correct. Your most likely scenario is idiotic.

+1

lakedaemonian
02-15-12, 03:10 PM
Itīs strange, but supposedly Iranian attacks in foreign countries have not produced a single death.
The bomb that blew a car was, by all means an "old ladieīs fart" as we call here low level noise making petards.
So, a country that produces ships, submarines, medium range missiles and puts satelites in orbit canīt make a bomb that just kills people in a car?
The other bomb was "found" before it went off.
And now, this strange story about an "Iranian" (with Iranian id.) blowing his own legs off.
Please, if this is not an intoxication campaign, I have never in my life seen one.
By the way: no proof exists that the two bombings of Jewish institutions in Argentina had anything to do with Iran.
And never forget: the only country in history who massacred hundred of thousands of innocent people with atomic weapons sofar is........

The US put man on the moon, invented the internet, and invented the transister yet it has also bungled things far worse at times than the 3 Stooges even could on a good day.

How does the ability to manufacture cars or rockets mitigate or prevent an intelligence/asymmetric operation failure?

As far as "massacring hundreds of thousands of innocent people" I suppose a far better solution to ending a global war could be found with 65+ years of hindsight?

Maybe folks who are sickened by the US use of nuclear weapons to end WWII should consider the intelligence estimates for casualties ranging from 1-2 million to over 10 million.

Exemplified by the fact that there's STILL circa 100,000 Purple Heart medals left unissued based on the massive numbers manufactured in anticipation of the need to invade Japan....and that's after the quarter million or so issued since the end of WWII.

Personally, I'm not sympathetic to your choice of words.

I tend to think that while the enormous loss of life was terribly tragic....losses would have been far more enormous and far more tragic had a land invasion of Japan as planned proceeded.

I find it incredibly hard to accept "massacre" when the realistic alternatives were horrors of far greater magnitude.

c1ue
02-15-12, 03:39 PM
I find it incredibly hard to accept "massacre" when the realistic alternatives were horrors of far greater magnitude.

Sorry, but your statement above is flat out wrong.

The US had no problem whatsoever killing millions of Japanese civilians via firebombing of Tokyo and Osaka, not to mention hundreds of thousands of Germans in Dresden and other places.

The only correct part of your statement was that the realistic alternatives in terms of US casualties were horrors of far greater magnitude. And even then there is historical evidence that the Japanese were already looking for ways to honorably surrender.

Equally there is considerable historical evidence that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were to graphically demonstrate to the Soviet Union the new toy in the American tool box.

jiimbergin
02-15-12, 03:51 PM
The US put man on the moon, invented the internet, and invented the transister yet it has also bungled things far worse at times than the 3 Stooges even could on a good day.

How does the ability to manufacture cars or rockets mitigate or prevent an intelligence/asymmetric operation failure?

As far as "massacring hundreds of thousands of innocent people" I suppose a far better solution to ending a global war could be found with 65+ years of hindsight?

Maybe folks who are sickened by the US use of nuclear weapons to end WWII should consider the intelligence estimates for casualties ranging from 1-2 million to over 10 million.

Exemplified by the fact that there's STILL circa 100,000 Purple Heart medals left unissued based on the massive numbers manufactured in anticipation of the need to invade Japan....and that's after the quarter million or so issued since the end of WWII.

Personally, I'm not sympathetic to your choice of words.

I tend to think that while the enormous loss of life was terribly tragic....losses would have been far more enormous and far more tragic had a land invasion of Japan as planned proceeded.

I find it incredibly hard to accept "massacre" when the realistic alternatives were horrors of far greater magnitude.

+1

Southernguy
02-15-12, 05:15 PM
Sorry, but your statement above is flat out wrong.

The US had no problem whatsoever killing millions of Japanese civilians via firebombing of Tokyo and Osaka, not to mention hundreds of thousands of Germans in Dresden and other places.

The only correct part of your statement was that the realistic alternatives in terms of US casualties were horrors of far greater magnitude. And even then there is historical evidence that the Japanese were already looking for ways to honorably surrender.

Equally there is considerable historical evidence that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were to graphically demonstrate to the Soviet Union the new toy in the American tool box.
I agree, Japan was already defeated.
And to show the inmense power of atomic bombs (which were already perfectly understood by scientists) just throwing one of them over an isolated and small military installation would have been enough.
But here we are, Starving Steve asking to "trash Teheran", there seems to be people like him who get to highest office in the USA.
Sometimes it is good to try to imagine oneself in the place of the "trashed" people.
Doing that on a daily basis is good for oneīs health, and also to the rest of humanity.

Thailandnotes
02-15-12, 08:38 PM
Sometimes it is good to try to imagine oneself in the place of the "trashed" people.
Doing that on a daily basis is good for oneīs health, and also to the rest of humanity.

I was talking to a British woman the other night at dinner. I flippantly said the US or Israel will probably bomb Iran in the run up to the November election. A pained look went over her face. She has many good friends in Iran who can't get out.

lakedaemonian
02-15-12, 09:47 PM
Sorry, but your statement above is flat out wrong.

The US had no problem whatsoever killing millions of Japanese civilians via firebombing of Tokyo and Osaka, not to mention hundreds of thousands of Germans in Dresden and other places.

The only correct part of your statement was that the realistic alternatives in terms of US casualties were horrors of far greater magnitude. And even then there is historical evidence that the Japanese were already looking for ways to honorably surrender.

Equally there is considerable historical evidence that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were to graphically demonstrate to the Soviet Union the new toy in the American tool box.

What's wrong?

That the US can make some incredible achievements but still make horrible mistakes? Much like Iran can build cars and rockets, but still stuff up as well?

How is that wrong?

How are YOU not looking through the lens of history with perfect hindsight?

Were the intelligence estimates on casualties I posted wrong?

Maybe you should have a read of the horrorfest that would have resulted if Op Downfall/Olympic went forward.

Why would so many body bags and Purple Hearts have been manufactured and staged if they weren't expected to be used in the invasion of Japan's home islands?

Let's talk about "historical evidence":

You claim Japan was looking for ways to honorably surrender?

How, and how effectively, did they communicate this to the US Allies AT THE TIME?

What reliable intelligence did the US/allies have about Japan AT THE TIME? Modern persistent intelligence collection(which still has it's flaws) didn't exist at the time...not even close.

How can a nation responsible for such orgiastic violence in the Nanking and Manila Massacres be allowed to conditionally surrender and maintain regime continuity?

How could a nation responsible for horrific mistreatment, murder, cannibalism, and WMD weapons testing on of POWs be allowed to conditionally surrender with honor?

How could a nation who's military fought to the last man and whose civilians were indoctrinated to commit mass suicide on the outer islands be expected to act if directly invaded other than fight to the bitter end?

How could the US/allies NOT decisively break the will of the enemy to fight to the bitter end?

Past performance is indicative of future performance......Japan's past actions(including actions just days/weeks prior to Hiroshima in other Areas of Operation) justified the bombings.

IF a secondary objective was to demonstrate to the Soviets the capability of the US, then the result was excellent.......what would the Soviets have likely done had the war lasted another 1-2 years with a land invasion?

The Soviets amassed significant forces late in the war in the Manchurian Offensive...would they have sat it out and watched? Or would they have forced a split of Japan much like Korea....leading to another Cold War hot confrontation.

Seriously, sometimes I think you argue with folks on this forum just to argue or to pursue some sort of intellectual alpha male dominance.

------

Which brings me to a separate note....this is not the first time I find your posts to be condescending, patronizing, and arrogant.....and I don't believe I am the only person on the forum that feels this way.

While I respect your intellect and the content of your posts at times, you seem to have a need to achieve some sort of intellectual dominance on most every topic you enter....which covers a broad spectrum of topics.... and it's worth noting that I've yet to meet anyone who has effectively achieved subject matter expertise in all.....although I've seen a few who have tried and failed.

Once again I appreciate your content most of the time, but your not my university professor and I strongly encourage you to consider how your posts are perceived and how you are shaping your perception in others eyes on this forum.

If at anytime I've come across as arrogant, patronizing, or condescending to you or anyone else on this forum I certainly hope I get called out on it.....as that is never my intent.

I also understand that I have far more to learn than offer on this forum......but all I detect in you is teacher and never student....sorry...that's just my honest perspective and perception.

------

I'm well aware of Bomber Harris and Curtis LeMay and their fire bombing campaigns.....at the time mass urban centres of gravity(manufacturing/distribution and their work forces) were considered legitimate targets....and I find it bizarre that so much focus is placed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki when so much more damage and destruction was caused in previous firebombing campaigns...yet the focus is on the two nuclear bombings? Firebombing that caused FAR more death and destruction didn't end the war......but two nukes did......which I think lends support towards their legitimate and effective use....regardless of how incredibly destructive they were....the number of dead Americans/Allies were likely far less.....and the same goes for Japanese casualties...even though the consideration of that was probably of very little consequence at the time.

I perceive in your post a definitive Monday Morning Quarterback OPINION that fails to consider the reasonable intelligence picture available AT THE TIME which included the massive casualties of the very recent, very real, and very tangible Battles of Manila, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

It's easy to poo poo the use of nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki with clinical dispassion and 65+ years of perfect 20/20 hindsight to put the pieces of the puzzle together like a game of Risk.

Just my opinion.....

lakedaemonian
02-15-12, 10:13 PM
I agree, Japan was already defeated.
And to show the inmense power of atomic bombs (which were already perfectly understood by scientists) just throwing one of them over an isolated and small military installation would have been enough.
But here we are, Starving Steve asking to "trash Teheran", there seems to be people like him who get to highest office in the USA.
Sometimes it is good to try to imagine oneself in the place of the "trashed" people.
Doing that on a daily basis is good for oneīs health, and also to the rest of humanity.

A couple points:

"perfectly understood by scientists"

Whose scientists? Japan's? Did they? I'm not trying to come across like an @hole but communication between the scientific community during that period especially in/out of Japan would surely have been weak....so I question dissemination of accurate atomic weapon capabilities during that time.

WHY RISK dropping one in a show of force? I capitalized those particular words for a reason(not trying to be difficult).....seriously...have a look at Japan's defensive posture as the US/Allies approached Japan......island hopping operation casualties were becoming VERY, VERY worrisome.

Also, have a look at the US nuclear program at the time.....it might be worthwhile in considering it carefully when we frame the debate on Iran....the ability of the US to produce working nuclear weapons with a high degree of reliability was poor and low volume....the same could be said of Iran if/when they gain the capability.

So the US didn't have much wiggle room in making a visual statement offshore just beyond Tokyo Bay.

If the fireworks display didn't have the intended effect....that cut in half the number of weapons available to the US to force the end of the war.

While we can(and probably will) debate the appropriate course of action for the United States in August 1945......what is not up for debate is the effectiveness of the result...the US achieved it's intended foreign policy objective....the unconditional surrender of Japan and the final end of a very bloody world war.

I am biased......my maternal grandfather served in the Pacific Theatre of Operations and would have directly participated in the invasion of Japan had it gone ahead.

To me, the end of the war with Japan was the least bad realistic option given the intelligence available at the time.....rather than debating the justification of the two nukes dropped, I think it far more relevant to discuss the economic action that helped shape Japan's initiating a war as well as the logistics of the Manhattan project and how they both directly apply to Iran and it's actions today.

lektrode
02-15-12, 10:28 PM
and THANK YOU for putting that comment (about ww2) into proper perspective, LD.
i get quite tired of the ole american/liberal guilt trip on this issue.
with all due respect to our japanese friends, its also why (most of) hawai`i speaks english today.
another couple of months and germany might've been successful in that endeavor and today we'd all likely be speaking german.


The US put man on the moon, invented the internet, and invented the transister yet it has also bungled things far worse at times than the 3 Stooges even could on a good day.

How does the ability to manufacture cars or rockets mitigate or prevent an intelligence/asymmetric operation failure?

As far as "massacring hundreds of thousands of innocent people" I suppose a far better solution to ending a global war could be found with 65+ years of hindsight?

Maybe folks who are sickened by the US use of nuclear weapons to end WWII should consider the intelligence estimates for casualties ranging from 1-2 million to over 10 million.

Exemplified by the fact that there's STILL circa 100,000 Purple Heart medals left unissued based on the massive numbers manufactured in anticipation of the need to invade Japan....and that's after the quarter million or so issued since the end of WWII.

Personally, I'm not sympathetic to your choice of words.

I tend to think that while the enormous loss of life was terribly tragic....losses would have been far more enormous and far more tragic had a land invasion of Japan as planned proceeded.

I find it incredibly hard to accept "massacre" when the realistic alternatives were horrors of far greater magnitude.

Starving Steve
02-16-12, 01:08 AM
Two or three nukes dropt onto the cities of Iran, and I can guarantee that the Islamists of the Middle-East will be shipping their pants. I can guarantee that their ideas of so-called "reform" in the Middle-East and their ideas of what an "Arab spring" is will change dramatically. I can guarantee that the moderate leaders in the Middle-East (like Mubarek) will no longer be in jail.

Even a well-done nightime saturation fire-bombing of Tehran and the other major cities in Iran would cause a C-change in the thinking in the Middle-East. The angry crowds and hate rallies would be gone. All of the friends of Iran (Hesbollah and Hamas) would be gone. The people of Iran would have a choice: co-operate with the rest of the world, or perish.

All that the U.S. military would have to do is press a few buttons, and a micro-computer would manage the air-strike after that.

Similar to the pre-WWII days, without taking punative military action like this, America and its allies will be seen as unwilling, decaying, worn-out, decadent, and out-of-favour with Heaven. Without taking decisive, yet simple, military action to define how the world is going to function, America and its allies will be viewed as oppressive, exploitive, zionist and imperialist --- with the so-called "dollar hegemony", etc.

Sad to say, this is how we are seen now in dealing with Iran.

oddlots
02-16-12, 01:40 AM
If anything the most likely scenario is Israel, in a truly desperate situation, sets off its own bomb in a suburb of Tel Aviv in order to garner world sympathy.

I'm happy that sentence started with "if anything."

Thailandnotes
02-16-12, 06:18 AM
ross is pretty much a hawk....today nytimes

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/15/opinion/give-diplomacy-with-iran-a-chance.html?_r=2&ref=todayspaper

SPECULATION about an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities is rife, but there is little discussion about whether diplomacy can still succeed, precluding the need for military action.

Many experts doubt that Tehran would ever accept a deal that uses intrusive inspections and denies or limits uranium enrichment to halt any advances toward a nuclear weapons capability, while still permitting the development of civilian nuclear power. But before we assume that diplomacy can’t work, it is worth considering that Iranians are now facing crippling pressure and that their leaders have in the past altered their behavior in response to such pressure. Notwithstanding all their bluster, there are signs that Tehran is now looking for a way out.

Much has changed in the last three years. In January 2009, Iran was spreading its influence throughout the Middle East, and Arab leaders were reluctant to criticize Iran in public lest they trigger a coercive Iranian reaction. Similarly, Iran’s government wasn’t facing significant economic pressures; Iranians had simply adjusted to the incremental sanctions they were then facing.

Today, Iran is more isolated than ever. The regional balance of power is shifting against Tehran, in no small part because of its ongoing support for the beleaguered government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The Assad regime is failing, and in time, Iran will lose its only state ally in the Arab world and its conduit for arming the militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon....

flintlock
02-16-12, 01:02 PM
If anything the most likely scenario is Israel, in a truly desperate situation, sets off its own bomb in a suburb of Tel Aviv in order to garner world sympathy.

Idiotic? Pot meet kettle!

flintlock
02-16-12, 01:08 PM
Back on the topic of this thread.

I completely disagree with this being a false flag operation.

Israel and/or US and/or whoever have been killing Iranians for a good few years now.

People might be surprised to learn close to 100 Iranians have been killed/abducted/defected in the last 5 years who are directly or indirectly related to Iran's nuclear program(s)...scientists, the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Org, IRGC commanders, Quds Force, etc...and these are just the KNOWN open source numbers.

It doesn't take a life insurance actuary to figure out something VERY strange is going on in Iran.

Iran has a much longer history of using asymmetric warfare to achieve it's foreign policy goals than conventional warfare....so it's easily within the realm of possibility to see Iran counter attacking Israel using some of the same means being used against them these past 5 years.

Iran has used it's Hezbullah proxy as well as direct means to achieve it's goals......Beirut Marine Barracks and Foreign Legion bombings......Argentina bombings...etc...and aggressive recent commentary from the Mullahs has supported that.

Some light may be shed on things shortly, as an Iranian has JUST been captured in Bangkok after having blown his own legs off in one of three explosions possibly meant to target Israelis.

Things are getting "weird" not just in Iran....but also Azerbaijan, India, and Thailand.....multiple open source incidents in Thailand.

When Israel has pursued aggressive asymmetric means to achieve it's foreign policy goals in the past...like post Black September Olympic Massacre...when Israel hunted down and killed those it felt responsible(including a terrible murder of an innocent in Norway).....there was a response to Israel in the form of a letter bomb campaign and other incidents.

All three countries Azerbaijan, India, and Thailand would not be considered non-permissive nations for the Iranians to operate from/in.....it's not like they would likely have Shin Bet/FBI crawling all over them by the dozens, neither country has the resources to counter Iranian efforts everywhere....and flights to/from each with Iran are frequent enough.....simplest explanation is usually the most accurate.

False flag operation? I seriously doubt it.

Finally, some sanity. Nice contrast to all the crackpot know it alls that have taken over this once nice forum

c1ue
02-16-12, 02:07 PM
What's wrong?

That the US can make some incredible achievements but still make horrible mistakes? Much like Iran can build cars and rockets, but still stuff up as well?

How is that wrong?

Unclear what exactly you are referring to. I've never said that the US shouldn't ever make a mistake, or isn't a once dynamic nation and economy, or whatever.


How are YOU not looking through the lens of history with perfect hindsight?

Were the intelligence estimates on casualties I posted wrong?

Maybe you should have a read of the horrorfest that would have resulted if Op Downfall/Olympic went forward.

Why would so many body bags and Purple Hearts have been manufactured and staged if they weren't expected to be used in the invasion of Japan's home islands?

Let's talk about "historical evidence":

You claim Japan was looking for ways to honorably surrender?


Your comment on Purple Hearts would be a lot stronger if 1 million weren't issued in World War II. (see wiki:purple heart)

So what if 100,000 were manufactured and left unissued?

To put this in context: 16 million different Americans served in the military in WW II. A few over 400,000 died, with 670K wounded.

Given this context, your Purple Heart numbers are frankly irrelevant, especially in the context of what every other single major power suffered in terms of wounded and killed, and it further underscores what I said: that Japanese and German civilian casualties were irrelevant and the moral considerations of not targeting, much less protecting non-combatants was completely ignored.

As will be noted below, the brandishing of US ground war casualties in a land invasion of Japan is irrelevant since it was quite clear such a military maneuver was unnecessary.


How, and how effectively, did they communicate this to the US Allies AT THE TIME?

Given that the US had cracked many of Japan's military codes, your assertion that somehow communications were not possible is frankly not credible.

The US itself sponsored a Strategic Bombing Survey report which concludes that the strategy to force Japan's surrender without a ground invasion is identical whether using conventional or nuclear weapons, and gives horrific details on the types of conventional indiscriminate bombing employed:

http://www.anesi.com/ussbs01.htm


By the end of November 1944, 4 months after seizure of the islands, the first of the long-range bomber bases in the Marianas became operational. The number of planes originally available was small and opposition was significant. Losses on combat missions averaged 3.6 percent. The tonnage dropped prior to 9 March 1945 aggregated only 7,180 tons although increasing month by month. The planes bombed from approximately 30,000 feet and the percentage of bombs dropped which hit the target areas averaged less than 10 percent. Nevertheless, the effects of even the relatively small tonnage hitting the selected targets were substantial. During this period, attacks were directed almost exclusively against aircraft, primarily aircraft engine, targets. The principal aircraft engine plants were hit sufficiently heavily and persistently to convince the Japanese that these plants would inevitably be totally destroyed. The Japanese were thereby forced into a wholesale and hasty dispersal program. The continuing pressure of immediate military requirements for more and more planes during the campaigns in the Pacific had prevented any earlier moves to disperse. When dispersal could no longer be avoided, the necessary underground tunnels, dispersed buildings, and accessory facilities such as roads, railroad spurs and power connections were not ready. As a result the decline in aircraft engine production, which shortages in special steels requiring cobalt, nickel and chrome had initiated in mid-1944, became precipitous.

On 9 March 1945, a basic revision in the method of B-29 attack was instituted. It was decided to bomb the four principal Japanese cities at night from altitudes averaging 7,000 feet. Japanese weakness in night fighters and antiaircraft made this program feasible. Incendiaries were used instead of high-explosive bombs and the lower altitude permitted a substantial increase in bomb load per plane. One thousand six hundred and sixty-seven tons of bombs were dropped on Tokyo in the first attack. The chosen areas were saturated. Fifteen square miles of Tokyo's most densely populated area were burned to the ground. The weight and intensity of this attack caught the Japanese by surprise. No subsequent urban area attack was equally destructive. Two days later, an attack of similar magnitude on Nagoya destroyed 2 square miles. In a period of 10 days starting 9 March, a total of 1,595 sorties delivered 9,373 tons of bombs against Tokyo, Nagoya, Osake, and Kobe destroying 31 square miles of those cities at a cost of 22 airplanes. The generally destructive effect of incendiary attacks against Japanese cities had been demonstrated.

...

Not only were the Japanese defenses overwhelmed, but Japan's will and capacity for reconstruction, dispersal, and passive defense were less than Germany's. In the aggregate some 40 percent of the built-up area of the 66 cities attacked was destroyed. Approximately 30 percent of the entire urban population of Japan lost their homes and many of their possessions. The physical destruction of industrial plants subjected to high-explosive attacks was similarly impressive.

...


The growing food shortage was the principal factor affecting the health and vigor of the Japanese people. Prior to Pearl Harbor the average per capita caloric intake of the Japanese people was about 2,000 calories as against 3,400 in the United States. The acreage of arable land in Japan is only 3 percent of that of the United States to support a population over half as large. In order to provide the prewar diet, this arable acreage was more intensively cultivated, using more manpower and larger quantities of fertilizer than in any other country in the world; fishing was developed into a major industry; and rice, soybeans and other foodstuffs amounting to 19 percent of the caloric intake were imported. Despite the rationing of food beginning in April 1941 the food situation became critical. As the war progressed, imports became more and more difficult, the waters available to the fishing fleet and the ships and fuel oil for its use became increasingly restricted. Domestic food production itself was affected by the drafting of the younger males and by an increasing shortage of fertilizers.

By 1944, the average per capita caloric intake had declined to approximately 1,900 calories. By the summer of 1945 it was about 1,680 calories per capita.



What reliable intelligence did the US/allies have about Japan AT THE TIME? Modern persistent intelligence collection(which still has it's flaws) didn't exist at the time...not even close.

How can a nation responsible for such orgiastic violence in the Nanking and Manila Massacres be allowed to conditionally surrender and maintain regime continuity?

How could a nation responsible for horrific mistreatment, murder, cannibalism, and WMD weapons testing on of POWs be allowed to conditionally surrender with honor?

How could a nation who's military fought to the last man and whose civilians were indoctrinated to commit mass suicide on the outer islands be expected to act if directly invaded other than fight to the bitter end?

How could the US/allies NOT decisively break the will of the enemy to fight to the bitter end?

Past performance is indicative of future performance......Japan's past actions(including actions just days/weeks prior to Hiroshima in other Areas of Operation) justified the bombings.

So basically what you are saying is that 2 wrongs make a right. Yes, Japanese did commit horrible crimes. Equally so did Germans, and Americans, and French, and British, albeit at different degrees.

I fail to see how you can try for the moral high ground in performing immoral acts.

But then again perhaps I should not be surprised since you don't seem to have any issues with similar behavior today in the 'War on Terror'.


IF a secondary objective was to demonstrate to the Soviets the capability of the US, then the result was excellent.......what would the Soviets have likely done had the war lasted another 1-2 years with a land invasion?

The Soviets amassed significant forces late in the war in the Manchurian Offensive...would they have sat it out and watched? Or would they have forced a split of Japan much like Korea....leading to another Cold War hot confrontation.

Seriously, sometimes I think you argue with folks on this forum just to argue or to pursue some sort of intellectual alpha male dominance.

Seriously, I often think that you are too much an apologist for the American military, that it can do no wrong and all actions are justified.


Which brings me to a separate note....this is not the first time I find your posts to be condescending, patronizing, and arrogant.....and I don't believe I am the only person on the forum that feels this way.

While I respect your intellect and the content of your posts at times, you seem to have a need to achieve some sort of intellectual dominance on most every topic you enter....which covers a broad spectrum of topics.... and it's worth noting that I've yet to meet anyone who has effectively achieved subject matter expertise in all.....although I've seen a few who have tried and failed.

Once again I appreciate your content most of the time, but your not my university professor and I strongly encourage you to consider how your posts are perceived and how you are shaping your perception in others eyes on this forum.

If at anytime I've come across as arrogant, patronizing, or condescending to you or anyone else on this forum I certainly hope I get called out on it.....as that is never my intent.

I also understand that I have far more to learn than offer on this forum......but all I detect in you is teacher and never student....sorry...that's just my honest perspective and perception.

Your perception is your own. While I do not try to give offense, the reality is that few people like to hear anything which does not match their own world views.

I have never complained about the often unabashed apologism for military policies which you espouse, yet at the same time you complain about factual contrast to what you say.

I have no problem with anyone expressing their view, but I do find it curious that you are so sensitive about actions which even the US military itself acknowledges were ill considered.


I'm well aware of Bomber Harris and Curtis LeMay and their fire bombing campaigns.....at the time mass urban centres of gravity(manufacturing/distribution and their work forces) were considered legitimate targets....and I find it bizarre that so much focus is placed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki when so much more damage and destruction was caused in previous firebombing campaigns...yet the focus is on the two nuclear bombings? Firebombing that caused FAR more death and destruction didn't end the war......but two nukes did......which I think lends support towards their legitimate and effective use....regardless of how incredibly destructive they were....the number of dead Americans/Allies were likely far less.....and the same goes for Japanese casualties...even though the consideration of that was probably of very little consequence at the time.

I perceive in your post a definitive Monday Morning Quarterback OPINION that fails to consider the reasonable intelligence picture available AT THE TIME which included the massive casualties of the very recent, very real, and very tangible Battles of Manila, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

It's easy to poo poo the use of nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki with clinical dispassion and 65+ years of perfect 20/20 hindsight to put the pieces of the puzzle together like a game of Risk.

Just my opinion.....

Given that the Strategic Bombing Survey above clearly notes that the conventional campaign was highly effective in reducing Japan's war making capability, as well as spreading mass civilian destruction, I'd say that your view that no mistakes were made nor was any alternative policy even possible is incorrect.

This survey was commissioned in November 1945 - the same year as Japan's surrender - and published in July 1946 thus cannot be said to be 'Monday Morning Quarterbacking' as you so term it.

It is equally clear from the survey that Japan was in fact actively seeking a way to surrender, exactly as I noted above:


Rear Admiral Takagi of the Navy General Staff made a study between 20 September 1943 and February 1944, of the war's battle lessons up to that time.

Based on analysis of air, fleet and merchant ship losses, Japan's inability to import essential materials for production, and the potentiality of air attacks on the home islands, Takagi concluded that Japan could not win and should seek a compromise peace. His study and a similar one made by Sakomizu of the Cabinet Planning Board documented the fears of the Jushin, and through them of Marquis Kido, that all was not well with Tojo's prosecution of the war. With the loss of Saipan, it was possible to build up sufficient pressure to force Tojo's retirement.

The government of General Koiso, who was chosen by the ever-cautious Kido to head the succeeding cabinet, did not have the strength to stand up to the military and was a disappointment to the more enthusiastic peace makers. In spite of original instructions to give "fundamental reconsideration" to the problem of continuing the war, his only accomplishment in that direction was the creation of a Supreme War Direction Council, an inner cabinet which supplied the mechanism through which the problem of surrender was eventually resolved.

The conviction and strength of the peace party was increased by the continuing Japanese military defeats, and by Japan's helplessness in defending itself against the ever-growing weight of air attack on the home islands. On 7 April 1945, less than a week after United States landings on Okinawa, Koiso was removed and Marquis Kido installed Admiral Suzuki as premier. Kido testified to the Survey that, in his opinion, Suzuki alone had the deep conviction and personal courage to stand up to the military and bring the war to an end.

Early in May 1945, the Supreme War Direction Council began active discussion of ways and means to end the war, and talks were initiated with Soviet Russia seeking her intercession as mediator.

The talks by the Japanese ambassador in Moscow and with the Soviet ambassador in Tokyo did not make progress. On 20 June the Emperor, on his own initiative, called the six members of the Supreme War Direction Council to a conference and said it was necessary to have a plan to close the war at once, as well as a plan to defend the home islands. The timing of the Potsdam Conference interfered with a plan to send Prince Konoye to Moscow as a special emissary with instructions from the cabinet to negotiate for peace on terms less than unconditional surrender, but with private instructions from the Emperor to secure peace at any price. Although the Supreme War Direction Council, in its deliberations on the Potsdam Declaration, was agreed on the advisability of ending the war, three of its members, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Navy Minister, were prepared to accept unconditional surrender, while the other three, the Army Minister, and the Chiefs of Staff of both services, favored continued resistance unless certain mitigating conditions were obtained.


Let's see

public changes in Japan's government leadership: check
clear and measurable damage to Japan's ability to wage war: check
clear and measurable impact on the Japanese public's understanding of the prosecution of the war: check
Negotiations opened to surrender: check

But by all means continue to think that 'nothing else could have been done'.

I'll conclude with this:


Nevertheless, it seems clear that, even without the atomic bombing attacks, air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion.

Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.

c1ue
02-16-12, 02:12 PM
If anything the most likely scenario is Israel, in a truly desperate situation, sets off its own bomb in a suburb of Tel Aviv in order to garner world sympathy.

Idiotic? Pot meet kettle!

And that is exactly the point.

Slimprofits
02-16-12, 02:35 PM
Fascinating thread, I still love this forum. Thanks to whomever that was for posting the salon link. Yes, if you watch the news at all, the propaganda push is on hard. I almost couldn't believe it last week when I heard about that poll indicating 50% of the country was ready for war.

But, I'm thinking Iran is more 2013, than 2012. Can't see it happening during the election. It's a gut feeling.

Shakespear
02-16-12, 03:36 PM
c1ue (http://www.itulip.com/forums/member.php/1130-c1ue) I salute you.

You have a hell of a lot more stamina than I do to answer some of the comments here. Your statement


I fail to see how you can try for the moral high ground in performing immoral acts.
That last part of this statement hits the attitude of the debaters straight in the bulls eye, as I see it, "We are the guys in the White Hats and are just doing the right thing."

Question : Where are the bio-vans and bio-weapons in Iraq? Where are the nuclear bombs in Iraq? and on and on ....
Answer: Saddam was headed in that direction and could have produced them. We couldn't be sure if ...

Is there any sense in going on? It is as bad as a cat chasing its own tail.
I am convinced that true history is far far from the high school version. ;]] I find taking a trip to "Half Price Books Store" a very educational activity which can open a mind rather than watching CNN or FOX.

yosmitesam
02-16-12, 11:06 PM
It is equally clear from the survey that Japan was in fact actively seeking a way to surrender, exactly as I noted above:

Let's see

public changes in Japan's government leadership: check
clear and measurable damage to Japan's ability to wage war: check
clear and measurable impact on the Japanese public's understanding of the prosecution of the war: check
Negotiations opened to surrender: check

But by all means continue to think that 'nothing else could have been done'.


Thank you, Captain Hindsight. How bloody obvious that the Japanese were about to surrender, except for them shooting, bombing, torpedoing, etc.

Top 10 Ways for Japanese to Surrender:
1. White Flags
2. Stop shooting
3. Broadcast "We Surrender"
4. Send flowers with a note
5. Offer to make us cars and transistor radios
6. Maybe releasing all the POWs would have been considered a peace gesture.
7. Emperor + Suicide = reasonable interpretation as surrender
8. enough is enough...

Maybe sinking the Indianapolis was a peace gesture misinterpreted by those war mongers in Washington.

This is nonsense. To make a case for conventional bombing, when conventional bombing killed hundreds of thousands? Would you really be happier if we fire bombed them into submission?

Or is your point that the US was morally bound to stop attacking Japan because they couldn't fight as well as they could previously?

Or that they actually received the surrender telegram, but pretended that it didn't come, or couldn't translate it, or that Truman left his reading glasses with Bess that day, so he could nuke them for the sport of it, 'cause that's how they roll in Missouri.

Thanks Captain Hindsight.

Of course, if you would have told everyone this at the time, I'm sure they would have believed you. Or not. Oh the humanity.

Oh, and the Russians were wrong for raping the Germans and dividing Europe. And England and France were really harsh on the Germans after WWI. Sorry about the Rhineland. And the Romans really shouldn't have salted the fields of Carthage.

Or just maybe people are just really violent and hateful when it comes to war, and sometimes in peace. Or most times in peace.

50,000 years of inter-tribal feuding and counting.

But those two bombs were a mistake. Something else could have been done.

c1ue
02-17-12, 01:11 PM
Thank you, Captain Hindsight. How bloody obvious that the Japanese were about to surrender, except for them shooting, bombing, torpedoing, etc.

You're missing that the Japanese had actually tried to get Russia to act as an intermediary in surrender negotiations; I don't know if Stalin communicated to the US that such an attempt was made.

The reality is that the US was fully aware of the military and economic damage that had been done to Japan, and what future conventional actions would have reaped.


Maybe sinking the Indianapolis was a peace gesture misinterpreted by those war mongers in Washington.

Totally nonsensical. No one said anywhere that combat had ceased.

Barring a ceasefire - unilateral or bilateral - negotiations do not equal peace.


This is nonsense. To make a case for conventional bombing, when conventional bombing killed hundreds of thousands? Would you really be happier if we fire bombed them into submission?

As you have clearly misunderstood what the Strategic Bombing Survey noted, I suggest you re-read or actually read what is there.

What it says is that the bombing campaigns even in May 1945 had appreciable and measurable negative impact on Japan's economic and military situation.

Or in other words, it was not only working but was clearly working against Japan's favor.


Oh, and the Russians were wrong for raping the Germans and dividing Europe. And England and France were really harsh on the Germans after WWI. Sorry about the Rhineland. And the Romans really shouldn't have salted the fields of Carthage

Irrelevant and pointless.

The Russians had 20 million or more war dead, they were understandably unhappy with the Germans.

I fail to see what this has to do with Japan's surrender.


But those two bombs were a mistake. Something else could have been done.

The other point you seem to have missed is that the bombs were very potentially justifiable - at least in real politik terms - if the goal was to dissuade the Russians or 'contain' Soviet gains in former Japanese mainland Asia possessions.

However, this goal is far less nice than the concept of 'saving lives from a land invasion'.

And that is the point and the difference between propaganda and reality.

Prazak
02-17-12, 01:58 PM
The other point you seem to have missed is that the bombs were very potentially justifiable - at least in real politik terms - if the goal was to dissuade the Russians or 'contain' Soviet gains in former Japanese mainland Asia possessions.

However, this goal is far less nice than the concept of 'saving lives from a land invasion'.

And that is the point and the difference between propaganda and reality.

There's been a debate about Truman's motives for many years. You've probably read Zhukov's interpretation. It's been quite a number of years since I looked into this closely, but my feeling then was that it's nearly impossible to discern the motives involved, given the complexity of the circumstances and given Truman's personality. You are certainly correct that dropping the bomb was not strictly necessary to end the war, and that the number of U.S. casualties that were then estimated to prosecute the Pacific theater to the desired conclusion of unconditional surrender were wildly inflated. No doubt post-War positioning among the Allied Powers, and especially the U.S. and the Russians, was also in play. Racism and hatred toward the Japanese (which I don't want to judge from my comfortable office chair 60 years after the fact) was also no doubt in play, as was the sheer force of momentum of the race to build and use the bomb. But I think it over-reaches to argue that dropping the bomb was wholly disconnected from military ends, or that it was intended primarily as a demonstration to the Russians of American firepower. Use of the bomb was no less justifiable at that time, militarily or morally, than the fire-bombing of major Japanese (and German) cities as a means for bringing the Japanese (or Germans) to unconditional surrender. And it's not easy to get into Truman's head all these years later. It might not have been all that easy contemporaneously, either: he wasn't big on nuance, introspection, or communication. (In this regard, among others, Bush II always reminded me of how I imagine the Missouri haberdasher to be.)

c1ue
02-18-12, 01:11 PM
It's been quite a number of years since I looked into this closely, but my feeling then was that it's nearly impossible to discern the motives involved, given the complexity of the circumstances and given Truman's personality. You are certainly correct that dropping the bomb was not strictly necessary to end the war, and that the number of U.S. casualties that were then estimated to prosecute the Pacific theater to the desired conclusion of unconditional surrender were wildly inflated. No doubt post-War positioning among the Allied Powers, and especially the U.S. and the Russians, was also in play. Racism and hatred toward the Japanese (which I don't want to judge from my comfortable office chair 60 years after the fact) was also no doubt in play, as was the sheer force of momentum of the race to build and use the bomb. But I think it over-reaches to argue that dropping the bomb was wholly disconnected from military ends, or that it was intended primarily as a demonstration to the Russians of American firepower. Use of the bomb was no less justifiable at that time, militarily or morally, than the fire-bombing of major Japanese (and German) cities as a means for bringing the Japanese (or Germans) to unconditional surrender. And it's not easy to get into Truman's head all these years later. It might not have been all that easy contemporaneously, either: he wasn't big on nuance, introspection, or communication.

A very well nuanced and sensible commentary which I am in almost complete agreement with.

You'll note that I've never said the bombs shouldn't have been dropped, or that firebombing of civilians should never have been done.

What I've said is calling these moral actions is false. Treating all Allied actions in WW II as moral is false, just as treating all Axis actions in WW II as immoral is equally false.

I will also point out that the Allies uniformly condemned the firebombing of Coventry, therefore there was a clear Allied public policy position that indiscriminate bombing of civilians was immoral, yet later in the war there were apparently no issues with a conversely far greater magnitude attack on civilians.

While I agree we cannot fully place ourselves in the positions of those who made decisions, at the same time it is both irresponsible and reprehensible to retreat into a view that there were no other choices, especially when other choices were quite clear even at that time.

To blindly accept the official position leads to such uncomfortable positions as wondering just how the W. Bush invasion of Iraq was justified, when the original justifications were not only false but were demonstrably known false.

Prazak
02-18-12, 01:24 PM
I'm puzzled why the Saudis do this for the Iranians? http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/02/18/israel-puts-navy-on-alert-while-iranian-warships-enter-mediterranean-sea/

Shakespear
02-18-12, 01:28 PM
The Russians had 20 million or more war dead, they were understandably unhappy with the Germans.
The Russians , lets not forget, had their commissars (NKVD officers) in all units who were pumping the soldiers all kinds of propaganda as to who they were fighting. We can guess the sort of things they were saying. Hence these young guys were "pumped" to waist the Germans.

A shocking statistic of how ugly this war was for the Red Army. I read that from its original size at the start of the war only 5 % remained at the end. One cause, Stalin's methods to de-mine fields was with his soldiers+vodka.

c1ue
02-18-12, 01:42 PM
I'm puzzled why the Saudis do this for the Iranians? http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/02...terranean-sea/ (http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/02/18/israel-puts-navy-on-alert-while-iranian-warships-enter-mediterranean-sea/)

Why is this puzzling? Saudi Arabia has never been in direct conflict with Iran.

Why do so when its US finger puppet will do all the aggressive posturing for them?

In the meantime the Saudis can pretend to be the sensible nice Islamic nation.

Prazak
02-18-12, 03:29 PM
You'll note that I've never said the bombs shouldn't have been dropped, or that firebombing of civilians should never have been done.

I did note that to myself, and should have noted it in my reply. Indeed, after I clicked "post" I realized that all I had really done was buttressed with a bit more detail the point that you were making, which I think was this: "And that is the point and the difference between propaganda and reality." That is indeed, in somewhat greater relief, the point and difference between propaganda and reality.

I was really addressing the more extreme dissident position on that conversation -- John Gaddis comes, perhaps unfairly to my enfeebled mind some quarter century after I studied this, as one of the leading proponents of the "Truman bombed Nagasaki gratuitously for the sake of realpolitik" school of thought.


I will also point out that the Allies uniformly condemned the firebombing of Coventry, therefore there was a clear Allied public policy position that indiscriminate bombing of civilians was immoral, yet later in the war there were apparently no issues with a conversely far greater magnitude attack on civilians.

That could be hypocrisy, or it could reflect the deteriorating standards of humanity after a half-decade of carnage. Probably both.

Interesting to hear the echo of hypocrisy these past days as the U.S. and Israel express outrage over Iran's alleged use of the very same explosive device in India that Israel (presumably) used to assassinate one of Iran's nuclear scientists.


While I agree we cannot fully place ourselves in the positions of those who made decisions, at the same time it is both irresponsible and reprehensible to retreat into a view that there were no other choices, especially when other choices were quite clear even at that time.

To blindly accept the official position leads to such uncomfortable positions as wondering just how the W. Bush invasion of Iraq was justified, when the original justifications were not only false but were demonstrably known false.

Agreed, and of course that's not what I was arguing. The sometimes inscrutability of the human mind and its motivation does not relieve us of our duty to try to understand it. In fact the study of history is one of the best means of doing so, even if it is sometimes impossible to get much beyond speculation.

Prazak
02-18-12, 04:23 PM
Why is this puzzling? Saudi Arabia has never been in direct conflict with Iran.

Why do so when its US finger puppet will do all the aggressive posturing for them?

In the meantime the Saudis can pretend to be the sensible nice Islamic nation.

Saudi Arabia is engaged in a struggle with Iran for regional political and religious influence. And that struggle is becoming increasingly hot. The Saudis allege that Iran recently attempted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, for example. Iran just declared that it would regard as an act of war the Saudis increasing their oil production to offset the loss of oil supply resulting from the latest sanctions and Iran's announced oil boycott. So yes, extending basing rights to Iran's navy to help them steam into the Mediterranean seems counter-intuitive to me. But I suppose a plausible rationale, as you intimate, is in a Saudi effort to appeal to regional (anti-Zionist) public opinion.

c1ue
02-18-12, 07:13 PM
The Saudis allege that Iran recently attempted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, for example.

Actually, I think it was American police forces which uncovered that dastardly plot:

http://articles.cnn.com/2011-10-11/justice/justice_iran-saudi-plot_1_informant-iranian-plot-saudi-arabia?_s=PM:JUSTICE


U.S. agents disrupted an Iranian assassination-for-hire scheme targeting Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, U.S. officials said Tuesday.
Elements of the Iranian government directed the alleged plan, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.
A naturalized U.S. citizen holding Iranian and U.S. passports and a member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard face conspiracy charges connected with the plot.
"In addition to holding these individual conspirators accountable for their alleged role in this plot, the United States is committed to holding Iran accountable for its actions," Holder said.



Nary a mention of Saudi Arabia anywhere except that it was the Saudi ambassador that was the target.


So yes, extending basing rights to Iran's navy to help them steam into the Mediterranean seems counter-intuitive to me.

I reread the release, and there was no mention whatsoever about basing rights. 2 Iranian warships stopped over is all that was mentioned.

Barring outright declaration of hostilities, it is not so unusual for foreign warships to be able to stop over in any port city - presumably with prior approval.

jpetr48
02-18-12, 07:29 PM
This is one of better articles as it addresses Israel calculations respective of 2012 election.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/17/us-officials-iran-sanctions-military-action

Make no doubt about - its not a matter of if but when as Iran is motivated to attack by their divine authority 12th imam
israel has to defend and Iran knows it - while some are saying 2012 - I agree later as this next chess move will be close to a game over in drawing Russia etc into the mix.

Prazak
02-18-12, 07:58 PM
Actually, I think it was American police forces which uncovered that dastardly plot:

http://articles.cnn.com/2011-10-11/justice/justice_iran-saudi-plot_1_informant-iranian-plot-saudi-arabia?_s=PM:JUSTICE


Well, yes, since the alleged plot was to kill the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., and since the charged suspects allegedly attempted to work through what turned out to be an undercover DEA (I think it was) agent working in Mexico, then naturally it was exposed by U.S. authorities (FBI, IIRC). Contemporaneously Saudi officials in Washington and Riyadh were denouncing the plot, noting that it marked an escalation in the struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran -- which was the point I was trying to make in citing it as an example.



I reread the release, and there was no mention whatsoever about basing rights. 2 Iranian warships stopped over is all that was mentioned.

Barring outright declaration of hostilities, it is not so unusual for foreign warships to be able to stop over in any port city - presumably with prior approval.

Sorry, I should have said docking rights, not basing rights. And while it is not unusual for foreign warships from friendly powers to call at port, it does strike me as unusual for foreign warships from unfriendly powers. How often do we see Russian or Chinese warships entering U.S. territorial waters, anchoring in U.S. ports, refueling, and steaming off to flex their muscle somewhere in the neighborhood?

tacito
02-18-12, 08:10 PM
I'm puzzled why the Saudis do this for the Iranians? http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/02/18/israel-puts-navy-on-alert-while-iranian-warships-enter-mediterranean-sea/

What did the Saudis do for the Iranians? The Suez Canal is in Egypt.

Prazak
02-18-12, 08:24 PM
What did the Saudis do for the Iranians? The Suez Canal is in Egypt.

From that article: "Two Iranian ships -- the destroyer Shahid Qandi and the Kharg -- were docked in Jeddah two days ago."

Jeddah is a port city in Saudi Arabia.

tacito
02-18-12, 10:07 PM
I see, thanks. I didn't pay attention at the end of the article.

lakedaemonian
02-19-12, 01:50 AM
Unclear what exactly you are referring to. I've never said that the US shouldn't ever make a mistake, or isn't a once dynamic nation and economy, or whatever.

Referencing my response to Southerguy's post after which you began your usual intellectual competition.

Your comment on Purple Hearts would be a lot stronger if 1 million weren't issued in World War II. (see wiki:purple heart)

So what if 100,000 were manufactured and left unissued?

To put this in context: 16 million different Americans served in the military in WW II. A few over 400,000 died, with 670K wounded.

Given this context, your Purple Heart numbers are frankly irrelevant,

So according to you, the US suffered 670K casualties in WWII.......and the 500K of Purple Hearts manufactured specifically in preparation for the land invasion of the Home Islands of Japan are irrelevant....when did a plan than made a logistical/casualty assumption for a single operation that equated to 74% of total war casualties qualify for irrelevant?

especially in the context of what every other single major power suffered in terms of wounded and killed,

Your "context" equates to "if the Russians and Germans suffered horrific casualties, then so should the US" which is about the same as if the Russians/Germans jumped in front of a bus, then so should the US.

As will be noted below, the brandishing of US ground war casualties in a land invasion of Japan is irrelevant since it was quite clear such a military maneuver was unnecessary.

It is clear TODAY from an amateur armchair general perspective. If it WAS as clear as you state then the massive logistical tail that is required(and WAS BUILT) to preceed such an unprecedented planned invasion(the 500k Purple Hearts specifically for the invasion casualty estimates is a rounding error regarding preparation for it) as well as defensive measures that included rudimentary efforts to turn young Japanese school children into combatants WOULD NEVER HAVE OCCURRED.




Given that the US had cracked many of Japan's military codes, your assertion that somehow communications were not possible is frankly not credible.

So you're referring to Purple & Magic?

I'm familiar.

SIGINT traffic between Manila and Tokyo is one thing........hardline traffic within the Japanese Home Islands late in the war is another.


The US itself sponsored a Strategic Bombing Survey report which concludes that the strategy to force Japan's surrender without a ground invasion is identical whether using conventional or nuclear weapons, and gives horrific details on the types of conventional indiscriminate bombing employed:

http://www.anesi.com/ussbs01.htm

I can cherry pick from your report too:

"The controlling opinion, however, was that any estimate of the effects of bombing on the Japanese social fabric and on the political decisions of those in control of Japan was bound to be so uncertain that target selection could safely be made only on the assumption that ground force invasion would be necessary to force capitulation."



So basically what you are saying is that 2 wrongs make a right.

What I'm saying is the dropping of two nuclear weapons provided sufficiently sharp political/psychological/military force dominance to end the war decisively.......I am NOT saying 2 wrongs makes a right.....what I am saying is that a punch in the mouth and a kick in the testicles was far faster and resulted is less damage than continued death by a thousand cuts.

I fail to see how you can try for the moral high ground in performing immoral acts.

WHAT is with you?

I'm not taking ANY moral high ground, war isn't moral, it's dirty.....I've served on operations, don't you think I MIGHT have some sort of clue about it? Or are my experiences irrelevant compared to yours? What are your experiences with conflict? I'm happy to share mine in more detail. It's unpleasant

But then again perhaps I should not be surprised since you don't seem to have any issues with similar behavior today in the 'War on Terror'.

WHAT is with you? Is it because I wear a uniform on occasion? WHY do you persist in attempting to portray me as some sort of rabid lover of war?

"I don't seem to have any issues with similar behavior"

Evidenced(reasonably please) by what exactly?


Seriously, I often think that you are too much an apologist for the American military, that it can do no wrong and all actions are justified.

"Apologist"

"do no wrong"

Please provide sufficient proof.......if you're going to assassinate my character, where's the beef?


Your perception is your own. While I do not try to give offense, the reality is that few people like to hear anything which does not match their own world views.

If you have a look at my post history, I think you'll find that all the stuff preceeding the question marks is a quest for knowledge, requests for further information.......unfortunately it seems the only time I run into a problem with a member here in iTulip is with you...no one else.......while you seem to have acquired a growing list of people YOU'VE offended...repeatedly.

I have never complained about the often unabashed apologism for military policies which you espouse, yet at the same time you complain about factual contrast to what you say.

"unabashed apologism for military policies"

Prove it...where's my post history that justifies such character assassination and disparaging dismissal?

The ONLY thing I've espoused is the following:

On several occasions I've brought to the attention of the group the DISTINCT lack of defense/security analysis/SME.

In a world where EJ has gone doomish(ish)....and touches on the distinct possibility of conflict..and others here feel the same....I have simply reminded folks of the lack of depth on this forum in the realm of defense/security analysis/SME.

As I've stated before, I've NEVER claimed SME experience in this realm.....but I have LIVED in it for 10 years with direct access to those that ARE SME....and I've been around it enough to know when it's missing from the room.

I have only pointed out a clear weakness in one aspect of analysis in this community....


I have no problem with anyone expressing their view, but I do find it curious that you are so sensitive about actions which even the US military itself acknowledges were ill considered.

What I'm "sensitive" to is people like yourself who are arrogant enough to believe that because they are competent in one field of analysis they are automatically competent in another. The word hubris comes to mind.

"And you must have missed the part where your own link report states clearly:

"ground force invasion would be necessary to force capitulation."

[/b]

Given that the Strategic Bombing Survey above clearly notes that the conventional campaign was highly effective in reducing Japan's war making capability, as well as spreading mass civilian destruction, I'd say that your view that no mistakes were made nor was any alternative policy even possible is incorrect.

Where did I state "no mistakes were made"?

Please direct me to this latest misquote....

With direct experience beyond the armchair, I'm well aware mistakes are made all the time in both peacetime, war, and in between at both the tactical and strategic level.

This survey was commissioned in November 1945 - the same year as Japan's surrender - and published in July 1946 thus cannot be said to be 'Monday Morning Quarterbacking' as you so term it.

It is equally clear from the survey that Japan was in fact actively seeking a way to surrender, exactly as I noted above:



Let's see

public changes in Japan's government leadership: check Attempted coup to fight to the bitter end JUST before the war ended...check
clear and measurable damage to Japan's ability to wage war: check Recent experience with Japan fighting to the bitter end in Iwo Jima/Okinawa and Germany fighting FAR beyond the point of common sense...check
clear and measurable impact on the Japanese public's understanding of the prosecution of the war: check Train Japanese kids to fight coming invaders with sharp sticks, check
Negotiations opened to surrender: check I asked previously...what were these CLEAR political communications and clear signals that surrender was on the table? The US said surrender unconditionally and Japan was communicating what exactly and when to signal it's desire to surrender?

But by all means continue to think that 'nothing else could have been done'.

I'll conclude with this:

Plenty could have been done....everything from the unrealistic walking away up through and including the even more unrealistic failing to accept Japan's surrender and simply turning Japan into a radioactive self lit parking lot finishing in 1950.

Millions of options could have been chosen, from the simple to the crazy.......but a nuclear punch in the mouth and kick in the testicles was chosen over continuing the death of a thousand cuts.


As to your concluding, let me finish with this: your character assassination and portrayal of me is inappropriate.

Please conclude with sufficient evidence to support your attempt at character assassination or let's take this to management.

Put up, shut up, or as stated let's take this to management.....I'm happy to defer to the FRED.

Shakespear
02-19-12, 10:00 AM
israel has to defend and Iran knows it - while some are saying 2012 - I agree later as this next chess move will be close to a game over in drawing Russia etc into the mix.

Well this chess game has not seen all the unexpected moves.


Pakistan won’t help US attack Iran, says Zardari

Addressing a joint news conference, along with his Iranian and Afghan counterparts Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hamid Karzai, President Zardari emphatically stated that Pakistan’s relationship with the brethren countries cannot be undermined by the international pressure of any kind. “Pakistan and Iran need each other and no foreign pressure can hinder their ties.”

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/18-Feb-2012/pakistan-won-t-help-us-attack-iran-says-zardari

I think that Pakistan realizes that they will be next in the cross hairs sometime in the future. There is enough "bones" on the table to make this argument. Zardari better make sure his body guards are fully awake.

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/19-Feb-2012/haroon-criticizes-us-on-intervening-into-pakistans-affairs

jpetr48
02-19-12, 11:33 AM
Well this chess game has not seen all the unexpected moves.




Agreed however once Iran gets their nuclear capabilities secured underground and ready to launch, we will experience a series of dominos where those unexpected countries like Saudi Arabia Kuwait join with others to avoid annihilation by Iran.


Ej refers to a forcing function for the Ka Poom theory where people will " pray at the cross"
this is why I refer to close to game over geopolitically.

c1ue
02-19-12, 01:18 PM
How often do we see Russian or Chinese warships entering U.S. territorial waters, anchoring in U.S. ports, refueling, and steaming off to flex their muscle somewhere in the neighborhood?

Here's a picture of the Varyag, a Russian guided missile cruiser, in San Francisco:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/06/21/BAVP1E2O3N.DTL

And some Chinese missile ships in LA:

http://www.sinodefence.com/navy/surface/type052_luhu.asp

There's a huge difference between active confrontation and normalcy. While certainly Saudi Arabia and Iran have many differences including religion and a real or imagined contest over leadership of the Muslim/Arab world, I've never seen any indications of outright confrontation directly between the two.

Equally so I'm curious what your definition of 'unfriendly' is. Is China an 'unfriend' despite having a massive mutual trade?

If on the other hand 'unfriends' are any nation which doesn't meekly accept US hegemoney worldwide, I'd say that the vast majority of the other nations would then be classified as 'unfriendly'.

c1ue
02-19-12, 02:46 PM
Referencing my response to Southerguy's post after which you began your usual intellectual competition.

Once again unclear what exactly you're referring to. And once again you seem to equate my not meekly accepting your view as some type of intellectual competition, which you equally don't seem to like.


So according to you, the US suffered 670K casualties in WWII.......and the 500K of Purple Hearts manufactured specifically in preparation for the land invasion of the Home Islands of Japan are irrelevant....when did a plan than made a logistical/casualty assumption for a single operation that equated to 74% of total war casualties qualify for irrelevant?

I'd say that the manufacturing of Purple Hearts is an administrative function. There are all sorts of reasons why a sudden 'surge' of Purple Heart manufacturing can occur, not least being completion of contracts between the US government and its medal supplier - given that World War II was clearly winding to an in 1945. Thus,

1) Please document that this was done specifically for a land invasion of Japan. You've asserted this several times without evidence.

2) Please document that the land invasion was in fact a primary plan. You've not shown evidence of it.

3) Please show how either of the above invalidate my comment: that Japanese civilian casualties were irrelevant, only American ones.


It is clear TODAY from an amateur armchair general perspective. If it WAS as clear as you state then the massive logistical tail that is required(and WAS BUILT) to preceed such an unprecedented planned invasion(the 500k Purple Hearts specifically for the invasion casualty estimates is a rounding error regarding preparation for it) as well as defensive measures that included rudimentary efforts to turn young Japanese school children into combatants WOULD NEVER HAVE OCCURRED.

I do find it interesting that somehow you think that it is impossible to have done different - given that you as well as I are both not in the position of 'being there'.

How exactly is it that you can say conditions were 'X' from your distant viewpoint while I am not permitted to say conditions were 'Y' from my equally distant viewpoint?

Oh yes, it is because in your view, no doubt based on what military documents are made available, the military could not possibly have made mistakes, or made decisions based on non-admirable motives, or were instructed to do distasteful things in the interests of real politik, and so on and so forth.

I'll also note that the military is just like any other bureaucracy: anything and everything can be justified. Bureaucracies don't function by outright lying, they function by simply ignoring or leaving out anything which is inconvenient, and the US military has exhibited all manner of this type of bureaucratic behavior.

Massive logistical tails - that sounds nice but perhaps you could show me where the US military had amassed the million plus troops slated for the invasion? As a former resident of one of the 'jump off' islands, I can categorically tell you there was no such flood.

I'm sure at least some of them were on the way, but they never arrived.

Equally so the reality of military contingency planning is such that troop movements occur exactly for contingency purposes: even if it was thought Japan was losing and close to collapse, troops still would be moved in case the impression is wrong.

I conclude by noting that your 'Japanese schoolchildren being turned into combatants' implies a far higher degree of intelligence on the ground in Japan. How exactly was the US able to determine this, but was not able to understand the ramifications of several top level Cabinet changes?


So you're referring to Purple & Magic?

I'm familiar.

SIGINT traffic between Manila and Tokyo is one thing........hardline traffic within the Japanese Home Islands late in the war is another.

Fair enough, but it is equally fair to say that the US had very considerable signals intelligence capabilities and thus presumably had a fairly nuanced picture of Japan's military situation as a result.


I can cherry pick from your report too:

"The controlling opinion, however, was that any estimate of the effects of bombing on the Japanese social fabric and on the political decisions of those in control of Japan was bound to be so uncertain that target selection could safely be made only on the assumption that ground force invasion would be necessary to force capitulation."

Indeed, and the prior part of the section you quoted says:


Certain of the United States commanders and the representatives of the Survey who were called back from their investigations in Germany in early June 1945 for consultation stated their belief that, by the coordinated impact of blockade and direct air attack, Japan could be forced to surrender without invasion.

So in other words even within the US military command there were open views that a ground invasion was not necessary.

This doesn't seem to support your view that no other choices were available, but does point to one or more powerful individuals as "controlling opinion".



What I'm saying is the dropping of two nuclear weapons provided sufficiently sharp political/psychological/military force dominance to end the war decisively.......I am NOT saying 2 wrongs makes a right.....what I am saying is that a punch in the mouth and a kick in the testicles was far faster and resulted is less damage than continued death by a thousand cuts.

Frankly this opinion is just as revisionist as you say mine is.

If, according to your view, Japan was so fanatical that it would order its troops to fight to the last man and its children to sacrifice themselves defending the motherland, and death before dishonor, and subhuman atrocity committers, and so forth, why exactly would the death of a couple small cities matter? The damages from the 2 atomic bombs were nowhere near what was done to Tokyo, Osaka, and other major cities in the prior firebombing campaigns.

That's the problem with dehumanizing your opponents - it severely limits the ability to understand what they really are thinking.

Why is it not equally possible that the yet again ratcheting up of civilian casualties would only harden Japan's leadership's resolve?


WHAT is with you?

I'm not taking ANY moral high ground, war isn't moral, it's dirty.....I've served on operations, don't you think I MIGHT have some sort of clue about it? Or are my experiences irrelevant compared to yours? What are your experiences with conflict? I'm happy to share mine in more detail. It's unpleasant

Fair enough, I do retract any implication of your immorality - and it was not nor ever my intention to imply you were immoral.

However, it does not detract from my statement that indiscriminate bombing of civilians is immoral, and that the firebombing of Germans and Japanese was immoral. Equally so the use of the atomic bombs on cities filled with civilians was not moral.

To excuse this as some form of morality, that in my view is not moral behavior.


WHAT is with you? Is it because I wear a uniform on occasion? WHY do you persist in attempting to portray me as some sort of rabid lover of war?

"I don't seem to have any issues with similar behavior"

Evidenced(reasonably please) by what exactly?

I've never portrayed you as either a war lover or a person in uniform.

What I said specifically is that you have a consistent pattern of agreeing with whatever the military says and does, and did.

Do you disagree with this?


"Apologist"

"do no wrong"

Please provide sufficient proof.......if you're going to assassinate my character, where's the beef?

Apologist is too strong a term, I apologize. But the statement above stands: that from my perception you have consistently defended whatever has been done by the military as having been the only choice at the time.

This isn't apologism exactly, but it is unwavering faith in motives and process.


If you have a look at my post history, I think you'll find that all the stuff preceeding the question marks is a quest for knowledge, requests for further information.......unfortunately it seems the only time I run into a problem with a member here in iTulip is with you...no one else.......while you seem to have acquired a growing list of people YOU'VE offended...repeatedly.

Fortunately for me I don't actually care who I offend.

From my view, truth is truth.

If I am being untrue, call me on it and we can go forward from there.

If, on the other hand, there are views which I don't agree with, I don't let them lie.

In this I am much different than most of iTulip, whom are mostly seeking to listen.

So you can try to put social pressure on me all you want, but I don't care about it and never have.



"unabashed apologism for military policies"

Prove it...where's my post history that justifies such character assassination and disparaging dismissal?

The ONLY thing I've espoused is the following:

On several occasions I've brought to the attention of the group the DISTINCT lack of defense/security analysis/SME.

In a world where EJ has gone doomish(ish)....and touches on the distinct possibility of conflict..and others here feel the same....I have simply reminded folks of the lack of depth on this forum in the realm of defense/security analysis/SME.

As I've stated before, I've NEVER claimed SME experience in this realm.....but I have LIVED in it for 10 years with direct access to those that ARE SME....and I've been around it enough to know when it's missing from the room.

I have only pointed out a clear weakness in one aspect of analysis in this community....

SME/military is concerned with outright conflict - and is thus a concern of winning outright conflict. Within this specific sphere, the SME/military viewpoint is perfectly understandable and acceptable.

However, in the real world, SME/military is only a one view, one of many including SME/human relations, SME/national interests and SME/ethnic identity, of which SME/politics derives from.

The world for the most part is not about outright conflict. Even during outright conflict, there are degrees.

If aliens invaded Earth with the goal of killing all of humanity so they could colonize, then the unadulterated SME/military doctrines would be perfect.

Barring that, even in an outright war you cannot do whatever you want, because there are future consequences to same. Even a brief perusal of the European conflicts shows the tit-for-tat nature.

Equally so you cannot win guerrilla warfare without depopulating - this has been thoroughly and conclusively demonstrated for thousands of years.

Thus while I think it is great to understand the SME/military viewpoint, at the same time I do not and will not accept that the SME/military viewpoint is in any way effective in the situations around the world today.

I have yet to see from you even the possibility that SME/military doctrines have failed in Iraq, are failing in Afghanistan, and will continue to fail as SME/military itself is not the way to resolve these situations, rather than SME/military just hasn't been employed right or the latest greatest SME/military will do this or that.


What I'm "sensitive" to is people like yourself who are arrogant enough to believe that because they are competent in one field of analysis they are automatically competent in another. The word hubris comes to mind.

"And you must have missed the part where your own link report states clearly:

"ground force invasion would be necessary to force capitulation."

And again you see what you want to see. As I noted above, the report clearly shows that the 'no other choices' you keep repeating was anything but.

And that the final decision was, like most anything, a product of people not process. I would not doubt for an instant that political posturing within the military had a role.

Which itself points to yet another issue: unquestioning acceptance of SME/military views automatically ignores the possibility that these views may in fact be the product of something beyond objective analysis.


Where did I state "no mistakes were made"?

Please direct me to this latest misquote....

With direct experience beyond the armchair, I'm well aware mistakes are made all the time in both peacetime, war, and in between at both the tactical and strategic level.

What you've said specifically is that there was no other course of action available at the time, therefore any mistakes made were unavoidable.

I've already shown that there were in fact options available even at the highest levels of military and civilian command.


public changes in Japan's government leadership: check Attempted coup to fight to the bitter end JUST before the war ended...check

Which failed. Showing clearly it was a minority viewpoint. And furthermore this is hindsight which you've already derided.


clear and measurable damage to Japan's ability to wage war: check Recent experience with Japan fighting to the bitter end in Iwo Jima/Okinawa and Germany fighting FAR beyond the point of common sense...check

US military deaths in Okinawa and Iwo Jima: 12,500 and 6,812
Japanese military deaths in Okinawa and Iwo Jima: 95,000 and 21,844

Both islands being peripheral to the Japanese mainland, though key for mainland bombing attacks.

As for Germany, I'd fight too if the nation I'd just killed 20 million+ of was coming in for revenge.

There was no such situation for Japan - though understandably Americans were extremely angry over Pearl Harbor.


clear and measurable impact on the Japanese public's understanding of the prosecution of the war: check Train Japanese kids to fight coming invaders with sharp sticks, check

Funny again how this type of detailed intelligence was available, but nothing about Japan's political situation. It is also amusing how this is somehow unusual - it happens every time any nation gets desperate.


Negotiations opened to surrender: check I asked previously...what were these CLEAR political communications and clear signals that surrender was on the table? The US said surrender unconditionally and Japan was communicating what exactly and when to signal it's desire to surrender?


As I noted above, the main question is whether Stalin communicated Japan's attempt to use Russia as an intermediary in surrender negotiations to Truman.

There is no question whatsoever that Japan was interested in surrender.

There is equally no question that the US did not make any unilateral attempts to negotiate, and equally that the US was not under any obligation to do so.

It is very likely, from my view of both cultures, that this situation was entirely a failure of cultural understanding.

If so, this would be a failure from both sides.

Prazak
02-19-12, 03:58 PM
I didn't say it never happened, I said it was unusual -- as do the articles you've linked to. Here's the lead from the first: "The first Russian surface warship to visit San Francisco in 147 years is docked on the Embarcadero this week on a visit that combines friendship, history and a display of military power." And this from the second: "The destroyer and two other Chinese warships made a historical visit to San Diego, CA on 21 March 1997 in the first-ever visit by People's Republic of China Navy ships to the mainland US."

So yes, this sort of thing strikes me not only as unusual, but as extraordinary -- at times even historic. I can't imagine the Nimitz docking in Shanghai after it steamed through the Taiwan Straits a couple decades ago, for example, or that U.S. warship in the Black Sea last summer pulling into Sebastapol for R&R.


There's a huge difference between active confrontation and normalcy. While certainly Saudi Arabia and Iran have many differences including religion and a real or imagined contest over leadership of the Muslim/Arab world, I've never seen any indications of outright confrontation directly between the two.

There is indeed a huge difference. And much in between. What is happening now between Saudi Arabia and Iran seems to me much closer to active confrontation than to normalcy, and not at all imagined. Iran is pushing to master the weaponization of nuclear power; Saudi Arabia declares that it will immediately obtain a nuclear weapon if Iran develops one; Saudi Arabia privately urges the U.S. to attack Iran to prevent it from becoming a nuclear power; a leader from Iran's ruling circle threaten Saudi Arabia with armed reprisal; the two countries wage proxy warfare in places like Bahrain and Syria; Iran allegedly attempts to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.; and on it goes.

So yes, given the degree of conflict between the two states it did strike me as unusual that Iranian warships would be docked in a Saudi port -- although perhaps it is explained, as I think you noted, by the mission at hand: sending warships to off Israel's shores on the Mediterranean.


Equally so I'm curious what your definition of 'unfriendly' is. Is China an 'unfriend' despite having a massive mutual trade?

I don't think I have a definition of "unfriendly". I'd like to say it's like that famous Supreme Court dictum regarding the definition of pornography: "I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that." But truth be told, it's difficult to "know it when I see it".

Trade relations are one thing. Robust trade between the U.K. and Germany on the eve of The Great War did not preclude an underlying political, economic, and military (especially naval) competition for supremacy, and did not prevent them from waging war on each other. Did those bilateral trade relations make the two nations "friendly" or "unfriendly"? For awhile both, I suppose, until it turned decidedly unfriendly.

There are some similar dynamics in the U.S.-Sino relationship, are there not? Yes, there is massive mutual trade (the friendliness of which cannot be assumed). But there is also a political, economic, and military competition that I would not characterize as friendly -- and at times would characterize as unfriendly. The uniformed military leadership on both sides certainly regard the other as a principal threat, game out various scenarios for military conflict, and produce armaments aimed specifically at the other. Not necessarily unfriendly, but certainly not friendly.

I would say current relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran are unfriendly. So the notion of Iranian warships docking in a Saudi port struck me as unusual, just as it would strike me as unusual to see the the U.S.S. Independence stop through Shanghai on the way to its new base in Singapore.


If on the other hand 'unfriends' are any nation which doesn't meekly accept US hegemoney worldwide, I'd say that the vast majority of the other nations would then be classified as 'unfriendly'.

Well, no, of course, I didn't and don't define "unfriends" as such. And yes, I'd say that the vast majority of other nations do not meekly accept U.S. hegemony worldwide.

Prazak
02-19-12, 04:59 PM
There is no question whatsoever that Japan was interested in surrender.

I'm sorry to keep posting on this from memory, but my recollection on this point was always that Japan was very much divided on whether to surrender and on the terms of surrender, right up until Hiroshima was incinerated, and even immediately after. It's easy to find that narrative in unreliable internet sources, but I'm certain that there are abundant citations on that point by serious historians (although I'm too lazy to go digging . . .).


There is equally no question that the US did not make any unilateral attempts to negotiate, and equally that the US was not under any obligation to do so.

That is correct, the U.S. was in no mood to negotiate, full stop. It issued a declaration of terms following Potsdam (although ultimately the U.S. did bend on the issue of maintaining the role of the Emperor).


It is very likely, from my view of both cultures, that this situation was entirely a failure of cultural understanding.

If so, this would be a failure from both sides.

That much is certainly true. And I think I recall you saying you've lived in Japan, so no doubt you have insight on this point.

Given Japan's sheer vulnerability to aerial destruction, however, wasn't it vastly more incumbent on the Japanese government to dispel the fog of cultural misunderstanding than it was on the Americans? Instead of clearly responding to the Potsdam Declaration, Japan inquired to the Soviets to clarify the scope of the declaration while remaining silent officially, followed by Japanese newspapers reporting (correctly or not) that the declaration had been formally rejected. The result of this decidedly ambiguous response was that Hiroshima was incinerated by an impatient United States.

Moreover, wasn't the Japanese cabinet divided even after Hiroshima on whether to surrender and if so on what terms? And in the meantime wasn't the official line domestically still to proclaim their intention to continue fighting and to speculate openly that the U.S. could not produce a second nuclear bomb? Again, not the message to send in the face of an enemy wielding such destructive power. The U.S. promptly incinerated Nagasaki.

Wouldn't Japan's most responsible course of action after Hiroshima have been to immediately and unambiguously surrender unconditionally? This Japan failed utterly to do. We can't blame Stalin for that, and cultural misunderstanding only goes so far when the stakes are that high.

Southernguy
02-19-12, 08:29 PM
I could not have imagined that a simple mention to US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would generate such an interesting discussion.
"1. The act or an instance of killing a large number of humans indiscriminately and cruelly."
The first definition of the word "massacre" that appears as the first google search result is cited above.
It is not possible to discuss, then, that such bombings were "massacres".
So, why did I introduce the first and fortunately, till now, only nuclear bombings of cities in history in a discussion about attacks on Israelīs diplomats being "false flag attacks"?
My logic was that the underlying history is the possibility of Iran working to get nuclear armament.
That is by no means a proven fact.
And I wont go into detail as to the number of occidental high ranked military and intelligence officers who say that.
But, of course, there is a real possibility that Iran is really trying to attain a nuclear military capability.
So what?
The US (the only nuclar armed power so far having used atomic bombs on innocent civilians), Rusia, Ukraine, China, the UK, France, have atomic bombs. Somehow, the have them "legally".
And then, Pakistan, India, North Korea, and of course, Israel have atomic bombs. They do so "ilegally", that is, they didnīt sign or did not respect the non proliferation treaty.
As to what can be seen for their behavior in international affairs so far, none of them are "peaceful nations".
The most aggresive of them is, without any doubt, Israel.
Maybe Iīm mistaken, but no nation on earth is, for decades violating several UN resolutions every single day. General Assembly resolutions, as well as Security Council resolutions.
And it is a nuclear, illegal, power.
So, why wouldnīt Iran have the right to become also a nuclear, illegal, power?
As to my knowledge Iranīs regime has not, so far, invaded any forign nation. The only war in which they were involved was a defensive one against Irak. Irak attacked Iran with Western support. It was supposed at the time that a mostly secularist regime was a good alternative to a Theocratic islamist one.
We all know how history developed.
Then, Iran is "accused" of supporting Hizbullah and Hamas. And both are named as "terrorist" organizations.
Well, they are not. They are both mass organizations devoted to the development to their respective populations in occupied Palestine and Lebanon.
And of course, they have no alternative but to resort tu armed struggle against an aggresive power such as Israel.
That can hardly qualify as "terrorism".
It is just assimetric warfare, the same the North American colonies developed against England, about 300 years ago.
Or the French, Poles, Soviets in occupied URSS, Chekz, etc against the Nazis.
Whatīs the logic of saying, as a given truth, that "once Iran has the bomb it shall use it against Israel"?
There is none.
Why donīt the Pakistanis throw atomic bombs on the Indians?
Or the other way round?
Itīs simple, atomic weapons are not to be used. But, as recent history states, those who donīt have them are under serious threat of "regime change" by Western powers.
Thatīs what happened in Lybia. And thatīs what can happen in Syria. And thatīs what it is not going to happen in North Korea.
Once you get atomic weapons you get an insurance policy. You shall not be militarily attacked by Western powers or their proxies.
Nuclear proliferation does not make me happy, at all.
But I think that, given recent lessones derived from history, Iran has the same right as Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea AND the US, UK, etc to have atomic bombs.
So, were the attacks on Israli diplomats false flag attacks?
I donīt know.
But every piece of supposed evidence about Iran being behind them must be taken with extreme caution.
Iran, so far, has demonstrated a very careful approach to diplomatic and military matters.
Yes, they are showing their (real or not, who knows) military might.
Thatīs quite understandable in the present situation.
But so far their actions and words have been only defensive.
My only hope is that a war, a very cruel and utterly unnecesary one, does not happen.
And I ask everybody, from high ranked officers to simple world citizens not to call to "trash" anything.
I have some experience about "trashing" (being within the victims, of course) and nobody deserves it. Except, of course, a small number of sycopaths who at times get to the higher offices in powerful countries.
Give peace a chance.

Shakespear
02-20-12, 07:51 AM
Not sure you guys are aware of this book, so here it is


The Pearl Harbor Myth: Rethinking the Unthinkable
http://www.amazon.com/Pearl-Harbor-Myth-Unthinkable-Controversies/dp/1597970425


Despite the history of war, the idea that Roosevelt withheld warnings from Kimmel and Short for the purpose of getting the United States openly into a European war is still unthinkable to many people, but to fewer and fewer as the years past. As has happened over time with other unthinkable acts, the repugnance aroused by the idea of using the Pacific Fleet as a lure will probably continue to fade.
I have no problem believing this ;_SO as well as the "underwear bomber" kabuki theater. It is always "Gosh had we gotten those files organized we would have understood everything." Always some BS to ram through what the "Public Opinion" does not support.

I watched this but to be honest could not bring myself to watch it to the end. Perhaps it will be useful to you guys

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3xlb6_0OEs

c1ue
02-21-12, 01:43 PM
I didn't say it never happened, I said it was unusual -- as do the articles you've linked to. Here's the lead from the first: "The first Russian surface warship to visit San Francisco in 147 years is docked on the Embarcadero this week on a visit that combines friendship, history and a display of military power." And this from the second: "The destroyer and two other Chinese warships made a historical visit to San Diego, CA on 21 March 1997 in the first-ever visit by People's Republic of China Navy ships to the mainland US."

So yes, this sort of thing strikes me not only as unusual, but as extraordinary -- at times even historic. I can't imagine the Nimitz docking in Shanghai after it steamed through the Taiwan Straits a couple decades ago, for example, or that U.S. warship in the Black Sea last summer pulling into Sebastapol for R&R.

Fair enough. I will note, however, that Russia and China are both very, very far from the US. Russian ships have to go 5000 miles from Vladivostok to San Francisco, and there simply is no reason whatsoever for them to go there. There isn't significant Russian trade with the US via Vladivostok, there aren't open Russian allies on the west coast of the Americas, etc etc.

Equally Chinese warships have to go over 6000 miles. There is much more trade, but equally little reason for them to be wandering this far afield.

The Iranian ships had to travel all of probably 300 miles from their home port to Jeddah. For that matter, the distance from Riyadh to Jerusalem is all of 750 miles.

To deny docking rights to someone literally next door - that would indeed be an indication of open confrontation.


What is happening now between Saudi Arabia and Iran seems to me much closer to active confrontation than to normalcy, and not at all imagined. Iran is pushing to master the weaponization of nuclear power; Saudi Arabia declares that it will immediately obtain a nuclear weapon if Iran develops one; Saudi Arabia privately urges the U.S. to attack Iran to prevent it from becoming a nuclear power; a leader from Iran's ruling circle threaten Saudi Arabia with armed reprisal; the two countries wage proxy warfare in places like Bahrain and Syria; Iran allegedly attempts to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.; and on it goes.

Again, while I'm sure all of the above is true, at the same time I wonder how much is Saudi Arabia vs. how much is the United States. I've not seen any evidence, for example, that Iran had funnelled arms and/or money into Bahrain.

I wouldn't be surprised on the money part, at least some, but then again the insurrectionists and Iran are co-religionists. Even if the government of Iran doesn't want to, I'm sure relatives and/or religious radicals would.

From my view, it is unclear that Saudi Arabia believes it can achieve leadership of the Arab/Muslim world by openly attacking other Muslim nations. I think we can all agree that Saudi Arabia wouldn't cry if Iran met with serious misfortune, but this is a far cry from being in an cage match.


There are some similar dynamics in the U.S.-Sino relationship, are there not? Yes, there is massive mutual trade (the friendliness of which cannot be assumed). But there is also a political, economic, and military competition that I would not characterize as friendly -- and at times would characterize as unfriendly. The uniformed military leadership on both sides certainly regard the other as a principal threat, game out various scenarios for military conflict, and produce armaments aimed specifically at the other. Not necessarily unfriendly, but certainly not friendly.

I can certainly agree with this.

However, I will note that in the last generation (35 years), there has only been one nation which has consistently gone far beyond its borders in active military pursuit of its objectives. And it ain't China.

While I do view the increase of military strength in China with alarm, particularly because of its huge demographic bulge of young males, at the same time it is extremely hard to fault it given the massive military spending and high military activity levels of the United States.

Much as the US with, via its ever increasingly odious hoops for foreigners to visit, has instituted a tit-for-tat visa cost escalation, so in turn is at least some of other nation's military escalation a response to US spending and actions.


I'm sorry to keep posting on this from memory, but my recollection on this point was always that Japan was very much divided on whether to surrender and on the terms of surrender, right up until Hiroshima was incinerated, and even immediately after. It's easy to find that narrative in unreliable internet sources, but I'm certain that there are abundant citations on that point by serious historians (although I'm too lazy to go digging . . .).


Moreover, wasn't the Japanese cabinet divided even after Hiroshima on whether to surrender and if so on what terms? And in the meantime wasn't the official line domestically still to proclaim their intention to continue fighting and to speculate openly that the U.S. could not produce a second nuclear bomb? Again, not the message to send in the face of an enemy wielding such destructive power. The U.S. promptly incinerated Nagasaki.

I think again there is a cultural misunderstanding occurring.

Were there members of the pro-continuation of resistance among the Japanese cabinet? Yes

However, a Japanese committee whether cabinet or otherwise is fundamentally different than an American one.

An American committee with dissenting members has an official stance on any given public decision, but its members will continue to publicly lobby as well as express their dissenting opinions.

A similar Japanese committee will have a similar official stance for public decisions, but will not see even a tiny fraction of the public dissent. This type of unharmonious behavior is not acceptable; only in cases where the concensus is balanced on the knife's edge would both 'sides' be heard.

Thus simply having the presence of fanatics is irrelevant. The public leadership of Japan's cabinet in spring 1945 was unquestionably no longer that of the 'war' party.


That much is certainly true. And I think I recall you saying you've lived in Japan, so no doubt you have insight on this point.

...

Given Japan's sheer vulnerability to aerial destruction, however, wasn't it vastly more incumbent on the Japanese government to dispel the fog of cultural misunderstanding than it was on the Americans? Instead of clearly responding to the Potsdam Declaration, Japan inquired to the Soviets to clarify the scope of the declaration while remaining silent officially, followed by Japanese newspapers reporting (correctly or not) that the declaration had been formally rejected. The result of this decidedly ambiguous response was that Hiroshima was incinerated by an impatient United States.

Wouldn't Japan's most responsible course of action after Hiroshima have been to immediately and unambiguously surrender unconditionally? This Japan failed utterly to do. We can't blame Stalin for that, and cultural misunderstanding only goes so far when the stakes are that high.

Again the cultural disconnect.

First you have to keep in mind that suicide - whether literal or figurative - is not in any way an unacceptable action which it is in the Western world.

Secondly 'face', which is a much more uncompromising variant of 'honor', is necessary in all actions in Japan.

Yes, from the Western viewpoint, the Japanese government should have tried harder to make its intentions clear.

However, even despite nearly 70 years of pro-American propaganda and Western presence, most Japanese today still don't understand foreigners. Japanese culture is even more rigid than most outsiders think, but what most don't realize is that this rigidity is internalized. And as rigid as it is today, I can only imagine it was even more so back then.

In a real sense, all Japanese interaction with foreigners is a massive case of cognitive dissonance.

I'll give you one example which is incredibly funny, but equally indicative.

There are many foreigners in Japan who speak Japanese fluently - at least in the sense of grammer, vocabulary, etc. The majority of these are men, simply because there are far more foreign men in Japan than women.

However, what most of these don't realize is that they talk like girls. The reason? Teaching Japanese to foreigners is as low a status (face again) occupation as you can possibly find. As a result, 95% of teachers of Japanese are women.

In Japanese, the word choice as well as a general tone is different when a man speaks to a woman vs. the opposite. Equally different are parent/child, employer/employee, elder/youth, etc etc.

For literally generations foreign men have been traipsing around Japan thinking they are fluent, when every Japanese they speak to is at least to some extent giggling behind their facade, because this foreign guy talks like a girl.

And this is a totally conscious reaction. I have a Japanese family as friends in the Bay Area. Due to the relative absence of Japanese in daily life, the man of the house generally leaves his son (the youngest) at home with his mother and sister. When I had asked him about the above - this was some time ago - he said that my observation was true and that he was worried because his son was starting to talk like a girl.
'
Circling back to the point - the Japanese government very likely was literally unable to act in the way you surmise.

I'd also note that while the US was in no way obligated to unilaterally negotiate, at the same time the US leadership had a very real fiscal as well as fiduciary responsibility. The problem with arguments about land invasion casualties, or cost of the ongoing war, or to date all of the reasons used to justify the atomic bombs except for the warning to the Soviets, is that a serious attempt to negotiate a Japanese surrender would be just as effective, and was never attempted.

Does anyone seriously think that the US was in any danger of losing the War in the Pacific in 1945? The Japanese fleet was largely nullified, Japanese conquests as well as traditional Japanese territory had been conquered, and all that was left was mopping up and beating the Russians to post-war positioning.

I'll conclude with this note: even today there are nut-bags in Japan decrying the presence of US troops on sacred Japanese soil. Blaming the foreigners for all ills. etc etc.

And they aren't ensconced in out of the way places like Idaho, they run around Tokyo with megaphones. Japan, whether because of its high social pressure culture, or xenophobia, or more likely a combination of everything, has a lot more extremists than the United States or Europe.

Yet at the same time these loudmouths aren't represented in any way in Japanese foreign or domestic policies today.

During World War II, the industrialists, nationalists, and these nut bags more or less had the same position. Is it so surprising that after the industrialists changed their mind and nationalists were acknowledging their plan had failed, that the nut-bags still tried to go on?

Prazak
02-22-12, 01:19 PM
Thanks for the interesting discussion. I appreciate your perspective.

lakedaemonian
03-20-12, 01:37 AM
Once again unclear what exactly you're referring to. And once again you seem to equate my not meekly accepting your view as some type of intellectual competition, which you equally don't seem to like.



Firstly, my apologies for my delayed absence.

While I've been able to access the forum from my tablet, writing a novel sized post isn't convenient from overseas airport transit lounges.

What I'm again referring to C1ue is your seeming desire to engage in intellectual duel.....with clear winners and losers....an intellectual pack mentality with you seeking the alpha male dominant position.

My perception of your posts is that you are quite precise in your choice of words most of the time.

I do not think I am anywhere near in being alone in perceiving you as I've stated above....here to pursue some sort of personal intellectual dominance over the discourse.

I am here to learn....and I'd like to think some of my personal/professional experiences can provide some value to a few members on occasion.

I don't think you're here to learn....I think you're here to teach and/or here to achieve some sort of personal satisfaction in dominating the discourse.

If you're here to teach, have you ever considered how you are perceived by those you are attempting to educate?

Don't you think there's value in trying to find a more diplomatic and less adversarial means of conveying your opinions?

I'll be the first to admit I've been called out both online and in person for taking an overly assertive position on a topic......I try my best to eliminate that when it's brought to my attention.

I'm bringing it to your attention(again), I hope you take it onboard.

I have no qualms about learning from you......but if you're going to treat the forum as a form of intellectual bloodsport....I'm not interested.

Life's about people skills.........I don't have to provide a large number of contributing sources to prove it since those who make it to the top of their respective food chain typically possess a high level of people skills.

So are you here to learn, to teach, and/or to win?

I don't see too many other options.

I sincerely hope you take this onboard....my intent is not malignant or negative.

I do value your contributions to this forum......but if it's going to come in such an abrasive and adversarial wrapper.....then the value is lost on me.

Which is unfortunate for the both of us.

lakedaemonian
03-20-12, 02:19 AM
I conclude by noting that your 'Japanese schoolchildren being turned into combatants' implies a far higher degree of intelligence on the ground in Japan. How exactly was the US able to determine this, but was not able to understand the ramifications of several top level Cabinet changes?



I am finding difficulty in finding substantiating evidence on Japanese children and elderly being turned into combatants.

I've had to resort to the wayback machine:

http://web.archive.org/web/20080309010211/http://www.afa.org/new_root/enolagay/mission.asp

I don't know what your level of familiarity is with different forms of intelligence collected both during the WWII period as well as today.

HUMINT: Human Intelligence sources the US possesses during WWII in the Japanese Home Islands(as opposed to Vietnam/Philippines for example) was exceptionally limited and poor for diplomatic, cultural, geographic, etc reasons.

SIGINT: Signals Intelligence was an area of significant success for the US against Japan in having cracked the Japanese MAGIC codes and other lesser known successes. But it needs to be stressed that while the intelligence take from say Philippines to Japan would be of great value are you aware of Japanese TTPs(Tactics, Techniques, Procedures) for intergovernmental and internal military communication within the Japanese Home Islands?

IMINT: Imagery Intelligence was an area of strength for the US/Allies during WWII, particularly the later stages where both tactical and strategic air superiority combined with improvements in photo recce R&D provided a more accurate visual picture of the enemy and his capabilities/intentions if properly analysed.

It is an IMINT photo recce photo I distinctly recall seeing (if memory serves) which displayed youth labor helping construct defensive positions on the Japanese Main Islands that included large numbers of stakes/spears to deter/channel/kill potential invaders.

But until I can find the photo, I assume you will take it with a grain of salt.


If, according to your view, Japan was so fanatical that it would order its troops to fight to the last man and its children to sacrifice themselves defending the motherland, and death before dishonor, and subhuman atrocity committers, and so forth, why exactly would the death of a couple small cities matter? The damages from the 2 atomic bombs were nowhere near what was done to Tokyo, Osaka, and other major cities in the prior firebombing campaigns.

Why is it not equally possible that the yet again ratcheting up of civilian casualties would only harden Japan's leadership's resolve?

Sure it's possible....is it REALLY likely?

From an air war commander's perspective(NOT from the perspective of Manhattan Project costs to deliver each functioning weapon) between continued firebombing and the dropping of 2 nuclear weapons, the firebombing mission sucked up far, far more aircraft, aircrew, support crew, direct combat support, indirect combat support, direct logistical support, and indirect logistical support.

Dropping two nuclear weapons(while still requiring some outlier and far lower economy of scale combat and logistical support) is a rounding error in terms of cost to men and material for the continued prosecution of the war until the unconditional surrender of Japan.

On the scale of ultimate futility what's more futile to oppose:

*a thousand firebombing B29s droppping tens of thousands of incendiaries that burn out a city that you occasionally shoot down?

*or a single B29 that burns a city to the ground with a single bomb?

I assume it's clearly not obvious to you, but from my perspective one is a good bit more futile and potentially humane.

I think of it as not much different than cutting off the head and cutting out the heart of the enemy will to fight with 2 nuclear weapons as opposed to continued death by a thousand burns and slow starvation.


Funny again how this type of detailed intelligence was available, but nothing about Japan's political situation. It is also amusing how this is somehow unusual - it happens every time any nation gets desperate.



I don't know if I'd agree with desperate, in fact I don't agree with "desperate".

But I take onboard your point.....which I assume may relate to recent attempts to portray North Korean nuclear tests as "joint" tests conducted with Iran.

lakedaemonian
03-20-12, 03:48 AM
Fair enough. I will note, however, that Russia and China are both very, very far from the US. Russian ships have to go 5000 miles from Vladivostok to San Francisco, and there simply is no reason whatsoever for them to go there. There isn't significant Russian trade with the US via Vladivostok, there aren't open Russian allies on the west coast of the Americas, etc etc.

Equally Chinese warships have to go over 6000 miles. There is much more trade, but equally little reason for them to be wandering this far afield.

Port Calls so far afield from traditional patrol/training areas may not be VERY common, but they've been going on between MANY nations for MANY years.

Lots of reasons.....diplomatic/cultural/media.....as well as intelligence collection opportunities for both sides.

The Iranian ships had to travel all of probably 300 miles from their home port to Jeddah. For that matter, the distance from Riyadh to Jerusalem is all of 750 miles.

To deny docking rights to someone literally next door - that would indeed be an indication of open confrontation.

I don't know if that's necessarily the case. I've got a good few friends who've served in different navies...including recent service in and around the Arabian Peninsula.....what I do know is that there are some quite surprising bedfellows parked up adjacent to each other performing resups in some really strange places...as well as the odd story of how one nation's ships not quite welcome in a particular port that doesn't seem to make a bit of sense.

Again, while I'm sure all of the above is true, at the same time I wonder how much is Saudi Arabia vs. how much is the United States. I've not seen any evidence, for example, that Iran had funnelled arms and/or money into Bahrain.

I wouldn't be surprised on the money part, at least some, but then again the insurrectionists and Iran are co-religionists. Even if the government of Iran doesn't want to, I'm sure relatives and/or religious radicals would.

From my view, it is unclear that Saudi Arabia believes it can achieve leadership of the Arab/Muslim world by openly attacking other Muslim nations. I think we can all agree that Saudi Arabia wouldn't cry if Iran met with serious misfortune, but this is a far cry from being in an cage match.

I'd encourage a wander over to Small Wars Journal Forum.....they've got a few folks with considerable experience in this sphere over yonder.

On a related note....during my absence I spent time with a full Colonel(one of 3) with considerable direct experience in the Gulf training SA's National Guard....he mentioned a story over dinner that was quite relevant....about how during the Iran-Iraq War when the Iranians were making considerable headway in countering the Iraqi invasion and Iraq's military was in jeopardy of a defensive collapse....and the Saudis didn't care about training to protect against an Iranian incursion if Iraq's defenses collapsed.....they were quite open about how diplomatic pressure, money, and foreign talent would be hired to fix things.

I can certainly agree with this.

However, I will note that in the last generation (35 years), there has only been one nation which has consistently gone far beyond its borders in active military pursuit of its objectives. And it ain't China.

While I agree the US is ONE.....is it the ONLY?

Unless I'm wrong the list includes the Soviet Union, Cuba, South Africa, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, India, Turkey, Libya, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Pakistan to name a few off the top of my head.

While I do view the increase of military strength in China with alarm, particularly because of its huge demographic bulge of young males, at the same time it is extremely hard to fault it given the massive military spending and high military activity levels of the United States.

It might be worthwhile to find analysis that separates China's domestic security/paramilitary headcount and spending compared with anything that could reasonably be perceived as international(even just regional) force projection.


Were there members of the pro-continuation of resistance among the Japanese cabinet? Yes

However, a Japanese committee whether cabinet or otherwise is fundamentally different than an American one.

An American committee with dissenting members has an official stance on any given public decision, but its members will continue to publicly lobby as well as express their dissenting opinions.

A similar Japanese committee will have a similar official stance for public decisions, but will not see even a tiny fraction of the public dissent. This type of unharmonious behavior is not acceptable; only in cases where the concensus is balanced on the knife's edge would both 'sides' be heard.

Thus simply having the presence of fanatics is irrelevant. The public leadership of Japan's cabinet in spring 1945 was unquestionably no longer that of the 'war' party.



Again the cultural disconnect.

First you have to keep in mind that suicide - whether literal or figurative - is not in any way an unacceptable action which it is in the Western world.

Secondly 'face', which is a much more uncompromising variant of 'honor', is necessary in all actions in Japan.

Yes, from the Western viewpoint, the Japanese government should have tried harder to make its intentions clear.

However, even despite nearly 70 years of pro-American propaganda and Western presence, most Japanese today still don't understand foreigners. Japanese culture is even more rigid than most outsiders think, but what most don't realize is that this rigidity is internalized. And as rigid as it is today, I can only imagine it was even more so back then.

In a real sense, all Japanese interaction with foreigners is a massive case of cognitive dissonance.

I'll give you one example which is incredibly funny, but equally indicative.

There are many foreigners in Japan who speak Japanese fluently - at least in the sense of grammer, vocabulary, etc. The majority of these are men, simply because there are far more foreign men in Japan than women.

However, what most of these don't realize is that they talk like girls. The reason? Teaching Japanese to foreigners is as low a status (face again) occupation as you can possibly find. As a result, 95% of teachers of Japanese are women.

In Japanese, the word choice as well as a general tone is different when a man speaks to a woman vs. the opposite. Equally different are parent/child, employer/employee, elder/youth, etc etc.

For literally generations foreign men have been traipsing around Japan thinking they are fluent, when every Japanese they speak to is at least to some extent giggling behind their facade, because this foreign guy talks like a girl.

And this is a totally conscious reaction. I have a Japanese family as friends in the Bay Area. Due to the relative absence of Japanese in daily life, the man of the house generally leaves his son (the youngest) at home with his mother and sister. When I had asked him about the above - this was some time ago - he said that my observation was true and that he was worried because his son was starting to talk like a girl.
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Circling back to the point - the Japanese government very likely was literally unable to act in the way you surmise.

Not trying to be pedantic......but is it REALLY "literally unable" or would it be culturally unable?

I've spent some time in Japan....not much, but enough to find a country as you have described as I perceived it....insular and substantially different....not just linguistically, but culturally...so far as to describe some cultural norms for someone from the west to feel that Japan while a different country, culture, and language...could in some ways best be approached as if from a different planet from a western perspective.

I'd also note that while the US was in no way obligated to unilaterally negotiate, at the same time the US leadership had a very real fiscal as well as fiduciary responsibility.

I would agree.....and that fiduciary responsibility would include maximizing the post war opportunities as well as minimizing ongoing costs in prosecuting the war against Japan. The direct and indirect costs to the US(even though it was unscathed by war on it's homefront) were enormous. The sooner the war ended, the sooner the US war economy could be turned into an unscathed by war, post war economy.

The problem with arguments about land invasion casualties, or cost of the ongoing war, or to date all of the reasons used to justify the atomic bombs except for the warning to the Soviets, is that a serious attempt to negotiate a Japanese surrender would be just as effective, and was never attempted.

Does anyone seriously think that the US was in any danger of losing the War in the Pacific in 1945? The Japanese fleet was largely nullified, Japanese conquests as well as traditional Japanese territory had been conquered, and all that was left was mopping up and beating the Russians to post-war positioning.

Many folks who discuss conflict with direct knowledge(as a combatant, as a victim, as a descendant of combatant/victim) share a lot in common, but in my experience......beyond the personal loss.....when it extends to the collective national loss....the US was clearly the "lucky country" of the day......relatively low casualties(per capita) compared with Commonwealth Allies and nothing compared to the Russians slaughtered.....and the home economy was set to win the post war with it's unscathed massive production capacity in everything and it's resources...while even it's allies were bombed into a guaranteed long-term post war malaise.

The war is almost over....you can smell it, you can feel it....while it might be a bit embarrassing at some level in regards to relative national sacrifice to prosecute the war compared to some allies.....as you stated it's not vengeance like the Soviets sacking Berlin and raping everything that moved in Eastern Europe that smelled of third reich.....vengeance costs heaps......and I agree the US didn't "suffer enough" to see illogical vengeance guiding national direction......but time costs money too.....and how much would every unnecessary and prolonged non-nuclear day still in a war economy cost?

I'll conclude with this note: even today there are nut-bags in Japan decrying the presence of US troops on sacred Japanese soil. Blaming the foreigners for all ills. etc etc.

During World War II, the industrialists, nationalists, and these nut bags more or less had the same position. Is it so surprising that after the industrialists changed their mind and nationalists were acknowledging their plan had failed, that the nut-bags still tried to go on?

During my recent absence I ran into a bunch of US Army Colonels and Lt Colonels.....some pretty world weary fellas with some significant professional and educational experience behind them.

I had a discussion with one about this very topic/thread.

He seemed to take a perspective that dropping nuclear weapons on Japan was like a bit of multi tasking.....it helped speed up the war's end by helping the Japanese government see the futility of further war.....since Japan's ability to defend against single ship flights armed with nuclear weapons was about as easy for them to stop than the planet earth defending against an alien enemy dropping asteroids on us from 10 light years away.

That....and the fact that it also acted as a signal to the Soviets......win/win......finish the war sooner....signal to the Soviets.

We also discussed intelligence collection during the period beyond MAGIC.....he also questioned the ability of the US/Allies to collect on Japanese government communications when confined to the Home Islands compared with outlying conquered territory with Japanese government and military outposts....it probably made SIGINT and developing an accurate intelligence picture harder, not easier.

But that's educated speculation....what's interesting is where the discussion went after that....he felt the answer lies in the diplomatic cable/communication archives(US) which would probably include an understanding of the MAGIC take as well as the rest of the intelligence picture on Japan at that time.....much of which probably haven't been gone over properly for public discussion.....he had extensive experience in researching diplomatic cables from that era for his PHD dissertation on another national security topic and held the perspective that a LOT of worthwhile stuff worthy of shaping opinions isn't in the public domain .....but he's cautioned us to be careful....it's his understanding that while the US appeared to have a good understanding of the average caloric intake of the average Japanese citizen on the Home Islands in mid 1945...the US government understanding of Japanese government intentions in the final months of the war may have been more limited that earlier in the war(for the reasons I mentioned and a few others).

lakedaemonian
03-20-12, 05:02 AM
So in other words even within the US military command there were open views that a ground invasion was not necessary.

From my personal experience......there is a massive gulf between "Japan COULD be forced to surrender without land invasion" and "Japan WOULD be forced to surrender without land invasion".

Maybe we're getting into legalese and the importance of specific words.....but depending on context.....COULD sounds like MIGHT and is a long way removed from WILL.

Plus Air Power alone....no matter HOW dominant in terms of air superiority....simply CANNOT seize and hold ground....

This doesn't seem to support your view that no other choices were available, but does point to one or more powerful individuals as "controlling opinion".

Again...I never said or implied "no other options were available". In fact I stated there was a full spectrum of options.....for the ridiculous to the insane.



Fair enough, I do retract any implication of your immorality - and it was not nor ever my intention to imply you were immoral.

Thank you....I've got a family to lead by example and sufficient empathy after seeing my share of 3rd world horrors(including an opportunity, if largely historical, in SEA next week for work). However, I do try to make my posts as clinical as possible...since we attempt to ascertain the perspective of nation states and their foreign policy, I'd go so far as to say morality/immorality are, if not irrelevant in coming up with an accurate perspective, at least farther down the forced ranking food chain.

However, it does not detract from my statement that indiscriminate bombing of civilians is immoral, and that the firebombing of Germans and Japanese was immoral. Equally so the use of the atomic bombs on cities filled with civilians was not moral.

To excuse this as some form of morality, that in my view is not moral behavior.

See my post above.....and to state for the record for those that have seen war or the effects of it....it's hard to call ANY war moral......maybe some actions are simply less immoral than others.


I've never portrayed you as either a war lover or a person in uniform.

I don't love war.....but I study it...and hope my children will not run the risk of suffering from it(no matter how unlikely my wishes may be)...and I am a person in uniform.

What I said specifically is that you have a consistent pattern of agreeing with whatever the military says and does, and did.

Do you disagree with this?

Actually I do......just because I'm in uniform(part-time but feels full time at times) doesn't mean I agree with whatever it says/does.....I think if you spent time with folks who do/have served you'll find they disagree with much that it says/does pretty much everywhere.

Apologist is too strong a term, I apologize. But the statement above stands: that from my perception you have consistently defended whatever has been done by the military as having been the only choice at the time.

This isn't apologism exactly, but it is unwavering faith in motives and process.

I neither apologize for nor possess unwavering faith in the motives/processes of the military...being a product of it...if I was I'd probably be accurately categorized as clinically insane.

My unwavering faith begins and ends with the specific people I have served with on operations and continue to serve with today as well as the people they rate.

I have little to no time for the idolatry of the military.....serving is a sacrifice at times(as well as a lot of fun or just like other jobs).....no different that serving food in a foodbank, working in a legal aid clinic, or mopping a floor/serving food.....honourable jobs.

But I also have little tolerance for inaccurate and intentionally unflattering perceptions of those who do serve in the military.

Just as I wouldn't accept someone here belittling fast food workers.

What I find frustrating at times is how often inaccurate and over simplistic at times references to any opinions of the military are on this forum.

I equate it to EJ's frustration with folks continually asking elemental questions about F.I.R.E. and how we got here and what the root causes are.....everyone with a higher level of understanding probably feels a bit embarrassed(it's natural, not necessarily elitest) for people who hold that perspective.

I guess I feel the same....but the frustration slips through when I see unintentional/intentional inaccuracies regarding the topic of those who serve in the military as well as the security/defense/war subject matter expertise.

As stated, I claim no SME.......I've only been learning my trade for 10+ years and know I have a lot more to learn than forget....so I've posted where I feel relevant...as well as tried to enlighten folks on a place where genuine SME resides SMJ.

And I will continue to do so until I see a drop in the ignorance level....just AS EJ and co direct folks with a basic or less than accurate understanding of F.I.R.E. and how we got here to dedicated threads/resources.


Fortunately for me I don't actually care who I offend.

From my view, truth is truth.

If I am being untrue, call me on it and we can go forward from there.

If, on the other hand, there are views which I don't agree with, I don't let them lie.

In this I am much different than most of iTulip, whom are mostly seeking to listen.

So you can try to put social pressure on me all you want, but I don't care about it and never have.

And here's my most important point(in my opinion). You should care.....otherwise you're only here to win.....not to teach or listen......and IF that's true, then I'm simply not interested.

Your view of "truth is truth" regardless of the cost MAY be right.....but what have you achieved?

NOT caring if/who you offend is unacceptable behavior...I don't make the rules....that's just what the rules of society are.

It's hard enough communicating with people without seeing/hearing them...body language is a BIG part of the communication equation......unable to interpret that body language makes the job of effective communication on this forum even harder.....when you state you don't care who you offend so blatantly it's not open to misinterpretation...it is what it is.

So what are you here for? That doesn't sound like the behavior of someone here to teach.

FULL DISCLOSURE: With all the recent adulation and idolatry of Steve Jobs after his many successes, his leadership of Apple, and his death.....I can't help but say I'd probably have responded incredibly poorly if I had to deal with him in an awkward situation......genius doesn't excuse being an @sshole. I'm more of a Wozniak or Bezos kind of guy.



SME/military is concerned with outright conflict - and is thus a concern of winning outright conflict. Within this specific sphere, the SME/military viewpoint is perfectly understandable and acceptable.

No offense, but right here at the start displays what I perceive to be your overly clinical/superficial view of the military and it's many roles in shaping/achieving national foreign policy.....the military is responsible for performing far more roles than just winning conflicts...you neglected preventing conflicts...deterring conflicts....as well as the many other roles they perform as an integral pat of national foreign policy.

However, in the real world, SME/military is only a one view, one of many including SME/human relations, SME/national interests and SME/ethnic identity, of which SME/politics derives from.

Unless I'm interpeting your post inaccurately, I think you are making a mistake with using a one-eyed/one dimensional perception of the military.....as stated before....they are a key part of developing/managing/mitigating national foreign policy.....there's plenty of decent analysis on politics/demographics/human relations/etc as you state.....but where's the decent(or even just mediocre) analysis on national security here? It's as I've stated before....a core and noticeable weakness on this forum....I do not claim it should demand investment in it here....but at least some consideration for seeking outside credible analysis....which I've shard links to here....hell.....EJ thinks there's war clouds on the horizon......why no relevant analysis or at least the sharing of relevant analysis here.....yup...too dark.....but it's a bit like hiding a head in the sand.....granted war brings chaos...and chaos is hard to predict.....but conflict risk is certainly worthy of analysis....and it's a weakness here.

The world for the most part is not about outright conflict. Even during outright conflict, there are degrees.

And the military(along with defense/security) isn't all about conflict.....but having said that....conflict has been a part of the human condition since day one.

If aliens invaded Earth with the goal of killing all of humanity so they could colonize, then the unadulterated SME/military doctrines would be perfect.

Barring that, even in an outright war you cannot do whatever you want, because there are future consequences to same. Even a brief perusal of the European conflicts shows the tit-for-tat nature.

Equally so you cannot win guerrilla warfare without depopulating - this has been thoroughly and conclusively demonstrated for thousands of years.

Thus while I think it is great to understand the SME/military viewpoint, at the same time I do not and will not accept that the SME/military viewpoint is in any way effective in the situations around the world today.

I have yet to see from you even the possibility that SME/military doctrines have failed in Iraq, are failing in Afghanistan, and will continue to fail as SME/military itself is not the way to resolve these situations, rather than SME/military just hasn't been employed right or the latest greatest SME/military will do this or that.

guerilla movements have ben eradicated without "depopulation" by which I assume you mean mass genocide.....

And again you see what you want to see. As I noted above, the report clearly shows that the 'no other choices' you keep repeating was anything but.

Again with putting words in my mouth!

I clearly stated(being tongue in cheek but still being honest) that a full spectrum of options was available.....from the stupid to the insane.

I prefer to think of it as the least of all available and likely evils.

And that the final decision was, like most anything, a product of people not process. I would not doubt for an instant that political posturing within the military had a role.

Which itself points to yet another issue: unquestioning acceptance of SME/military views automatically ignores the possibility that these views may in fact be the product of something beyond objective analysis.

You are seriously confusing me......I stated this forum is weak on defense/security/military analysis(ONLY where relevant to the main focus of this forum) and now it's mutating into something about political posturing within the military.....I really don't understand where you're going with this......it's not my perspective or anything I've pushed or posted on.


What you've said specifically is that there was no other course of action available at the time, therefore any mistakes made were unavoidable.

I've already shown that there were in fact options available even at the highest levels of military and civilian command.

Of course there's options......everything from just going home and waiting for a reasonably likely negative response in the future, up thru and including liquidating every single living thing in Japan....neither option I would condone.


As I noted above, the main question is whether Stalin communicated Japan's attempt to use Russia as an intermediary in surrender negotiations to Truman.

There is no question whatsoever that Japan was interested in surrender.

There is equally no question that the US did not make any unilateral attempts to negotiate, and equally that the US was not under any obligation to do so.

It is very likely, from my view of both cultures, that this situation was entirely a failure of cultural understanding.

If so, this would be a failure from both sides.

As I stated in either this post or another....meeting a few relevant folks with some professional and educational experience near this topic was enlightening....I've always liked the Library of Congress.....I'd love to find the time someday to do an intellectual Indiana Jones and find some unearthed treasure on this topic.

On the topic of failure.......how would you define the failure for the US.

Was it a moral failure?

Can nations have morals?

I know individuals can....but can nations HAVE morals or act MORALLY?

Only nations can declare War...individuals can't....those who do get sent to jail.

Nations can(and do) have interests.

Did US national interests benefit from the dropping of the bombs in Japan on a number of levels?

I'd say yes....so from a clinical perspective......I don't see a US failure.

touchring
03-20-12, 10:16 AM
I would have thought that the A-bomb was used so that Russia would not get to Japan before the USA?

c1ue
03-20-12, 03:35 PM
I have no qualms about learning from you......but if you're going to treat the forum as a form of intellectual bloodsport....I'm not interested.

Fair enough


Life's about people skills.........I don't have to provide a large number of contributing sources to prove it since those who make it to the top of their respective food chain typically possess a high level of people skills.

Actually, life is not always about people skills. "People skills" as you term it can be as harmless as being polite, and as not harmless as allowing an entire society to morph into the bizarro version of World War II Hitler.

Equally other examples include the harmless act of opening doors for the elderly, and the not harmless acts of inserting sycophants and politicians into positions of responsibility.

I prefer fact and objective intellect.


It is an IMINT photo recce photo I distinctly recall seeing (if memory serves) which displayed youth labor helping construct defensive positions on the Japanese Main Islands that included large numbers of stakes/spears to deter/channel/kill potential invaders.

Fair enough. I'll still note that a bunch of kids building a defensive position is still a far cry from giving them rifles and asking them to go up against T-34s.

Not that it couldn't happen, but that the fact of one does not automatically guarantee the fact of the other.


Sure it's possible....is it REALLY likely?

From an air war commander's perspective(NOT from the perspective of Manhattan Project costs to deliver each functioning weapon) between continued firebombing and the dropping of 2 nuclear weapons, the firebombing mission sucked up far, far more aircraft, aircrew, support crew, direct combat support, indirect combat support, direct logistical support, and indirect logistical support.

Dropping two nuclear weapons(while still requiring some outlier and far lower economy of scale combat and logistical support) is a rounding error in terms of cost to men and material for the continued prosecution of the war until the unconditional surrender of Japan.

On the scale of ultimate futility what's more futile to oppose:

*a thousand firebombing B29s droppping tens of thousands of incendiaries that burn out a city that you occasionally shoot down?

*or a single B29 that burns a city to the ground with a single bomb?

I assume it's clearly not obvious to you, but from my perspective one is a good bit more futile and potentially humane.

I think of it as not much different than cutting off the head and cutting out the heart of the enemy will to fight with 2 nuclear weapons as opposed to continued death by a thousand burns and slow starvation.

You are again taking the accepted military point of view.

The problem with this point of view is:

1) The point of view above encompasses that the "civilians would have died anyway" - and has already assimilated the lack of distinction between noncombatant and combatant which is the core of the Geneva convention, which was clearly violated by mass fire bombing attacks.

2) It also encompasses the "servicing targets" aspect of military training - which incidentally is put there specifically to reduce the instances of psychological damage resulting from killing human beings, much like derogatory terms like Nips, Krauts, and so forth.

3) The point of view above also encompasses only the cost aspect: one bomber with a gigantic bomb is much cheaper than a single bombing run with firebombs, in turn cheaper than hundreds of bombers attacking specific targets. Unfortunately the question here isn't how to minimize the costs to the attacker, the question is a moral one.


I don't know if I'd agree with desperate, in fact I don't agree with "desperate".

Perhaps you're referring to something else, but a nation with an infallible god-king which is about to be invaded by stinky roundeye infidels, which is starving, and which has clear proof of military inferiority in the form of losses of historic possessions to invasions as well as regular overhead bombing - it seems quite clear there was desperation in the air.



Port Calls so far afield from traditional patrol/training areas may not be VERY common, but they've been going on between MANY nations for MANY years.

Lots of reasons.....diplomatic/cultural/media.....as well as intelligence collection opportunities for both sides.

Perhaps you can provide some examples of regular docking in the West Coast ports by warships.

In the 12 years I've been in San Francisco, I can recall all of 2 visits by foreign warships: the Varyag I noted previously and the Prairial, a french ship.

In Europe, they are far more common mostly because everything is so close together. The same applies to the Middle East. In those regions, you might as well dock because you can barely drive 100 miles in any direction without impinging on someone's territory. Permission to cross navigable waters and permission to dock is likely just about the same amount of trouble.


I don't know if that's necessarily the case. I've got a good few friends who've served in different navies...including recent service in and around the Arabian Peninsula.....what I do know is that there are some quite surprising bedfellows parked up adjacent to each other performing resups in some really strange places...as well as the odd story of how one nation's ships not quite welcome in a particular port that doesn't seem to make a bit of sense.

I'm unclear on how this provides a different example than what I said. To reiterate, what I said is that it is not at all unusual for any nation's ships to dock at another nation's port unless there is open and outright confrontation.

As for specific ports - that is much more likely due to a localized incident. Maybe a sailor raped and murdered a young girl, thus the entire port is actively hostile to other sailors from the same nation. Not a geopolitical issue.


On a related note....during my absence I spent time with a full Colonel(one of 3) with considerable direct experience in the Gulf training SA's National Guard....he mentioned a story over dinner that was quite relevant....about how during the Iran-Iraq War when the Iranians were making considerable headway in countering the Iraqi invasion and Iraq's military was in jeopardy of a defensive collapse....and the Saudis didn't care about training to protect against an Iranian incursion if Iraq's defenses collapsed.....they were quite open about how diplomatic pressure, money, and foreign talent would be hired to fix things.

This doesn't in the least bit surprise me. Saudi Arabia was very happy having Iraq and Iran counterbalancing each other. The situation today is quite different.


While I agree the US is ONE.....is it the ONLY?

Unless I'm wrong the list includes the Soviet Union, Cuba, South Africa, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, India, Turkey, Libya, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Pakistan to name a few off the top of my head.

Perhaps you can add some detail to this list: the numbers of troops and distances of the conflicts in question from the nations in question.

Did the Soviet Union send 500,000 soldiers to South America or Africa to "fight capitalism"? Cubans did go far afield, but that was - at least in the instances I know about - because they were mercenaries and not because Cuba was subjugating some other nation for itself.

Put another way: which nation had more soldiers far away from its own borders, and close to its opponent's borders? Which nation was 'projecting force' more and further?


It might be worthwhile to find analysis that separates China's domestic security/paramilitary headcount and spending compared with anything that could reasonably be perceived as international(even just regional) force projection.

What China is capable of now vs. what China could be capable of in 5 years if it decided to burn off its demographic bulge are very different things.

Germany in the 1920's and even when Hitler got into power in 1933 wasn't the same military capability as Germany in 1940.


Not trying to be pedantic......but is it REALLY "literally unable" or would it be culturally unable?

I've spent some time in Japan....not much, but enough to find a country as you have described as I perceived it....insular and substantially different....not just linguistically, but culturally...so far as to describe some cultural norms for someone from the west to feel that Japan while a different country, culture, and language...could in some ways best be approached as if from a different planet from a western perspective.

Japan is completely different. The example I put previously is a good one, because it shows not only how minutely stratified the culture is, but also shows that the many restrictions are internal, not external.

The US is much more external - people push each other into specific niches of conformity. Japanese do it to themselves in their own heads. Obviously this isn't 100% true for all Japanese everywhere as peer pressure does exist as well, but is far more true than not.

This is a very important difference, because Japanese are expected to know what to do and not do. This can manifest itself as apparent telepathy in some cases, and can manifest itself as oddness in others.

Another example: 2 Japanese who are not introduced will bow to each other, but facing the other person as opposed to the normal facing down. They each know what they are, but bows are intended to convey relative status. Thus the facing of each other is to see if the other person slows down as they approach their 'correct' normal position first (i.e. higher status), so that the first person can then continue onwards to their relative position (or not). This also allows both of them to then understand what form of verbal communication to use.


I would agree.....and that fiduciary responsibility would include maximizing the post war opportunities as well as minimizing ongoing costs in prosecuting the war against Japan. The direct and indirect costs to the US(even though it was unscathed by war on it's homefront) were enormous. The sooner the war ended, the sooner the US war economy could be turned into an unscathed by war, post war economy.

Fully agree. Note, however, that morality is at best a side issue above.


how much would every unnecessary and prolonged non-nuclear day still in a war economy cost?

I would note that having the war run longer isn't in any way all one sided as to negative vs. positive effects. A huge challenge for the US after the war was reintegrating soldiers returning home, converting war production to regular production, employing said soldiers, paying for their GI bills, etc etc.

Thus the absolute costs of carrying on a bombing campaign or whatever for a few extra months cannot be said to be all negative from a US leadership point of view. Note the high inflation at the end of the war coupled with significant if not severe unrest as demonstrated by national level labor strikes.


But that's educated speculation....what's interesting is where the discussion went after that....he felt the answer lies in the diplomatic cable/communication archives(US) which would probably include an understanding of the MAGIC take as well as the rest of the intelligence picture on Japan at that time.....much of which probably haven't been gone over properly for public discussion.....he had extensive experience in researching diplomatic cables from that era for his PHD dissertation on another national security topic and held the perspective that a LOT of worthwhile stuff worthy of shaping opinions isn't in the public domain .....but he's cautioned us to be careful....it's his understanding that while the US appeared to have a good understanding of the average caloric intake of the average Japanese citizen on the Home Islands in mid 1945...the US government understanding of Japanese government intentions in the final months of the war may have been more limited that earlier in the war(for the reasons I mentioned and a few others).

I would agree that the records would be very helpful in shedding light on what the US and Japanese governments (and others) actually were thinking.

I'd also note the striking juxtaposition of Truman's assumption of the Presidency with the timing of the atomic bombing decision. There are all sorts potential threads there: Truman seeking to end the war quickly to show his worthiness as FDR's successor. Cabinet level officials resurrecting personal agendas in the face of an inexperienced President. Air Force generals pushing to have a stronger relative position in the military allocation after the war. etc etc.

The Potsdam declaration, for example, was Truman and not FDR.

Unfortunately the very nature of these types of sub rosa agendas mean they are rarely documented.


From my personal experience......there is a massive gulf between "Japan COULD be forced to surrender without land invasion" and "Japan WOULD be forced to surrender without land invasion".

Maybe we're getting into legalese and the importance of specific words.....but depending on context.....COULD sounds like MIGHT and is a long way removed from WILL.

Plus Air Power alone....no matter HOW dominant in terms of air superiority....simply CANNOT seize and hold ground....

From my view, it seems quite straightforward: if Japan was thought to be able to be induced to surrender by the atomic bomb, then the identical result could be achieved by conventional bombing. The only difference might be time and cost.

Thus the 'land invasion' POV is pure positioning.

As for seizing ground - again unclear why seizure of ground is necessary unless this was the only way to induce Japan to surrender. Which then again brings us full circle to: why is the atomic bomb different?


Again...I never said or implied "no other options were available". In fact I stated there was a full spectrum of options.....for the ridiculous to the insane.

I don't consider a conventional bombing campaign anywhere between or at ridiculous or insane.

I equally don't consider an attempt to end the war diplomatically either between or at ridiculous or insane.


See my post above.....and to state for the record for those that have seen war or the effects of it....it's hard to call ANY war moral......maybe some actions are simply less immoral than others.

There are plenty of circumstances which can define a just war, hence a moral war.

There are plenty of circumstances even in a just or moral war for immoral actions to occur.


And here's my most important point(in my opinion). You should care.....otherwise you're only here to win.....not to teach or listen......and IF that's true, then I'm simply not interested.

Your view of "truth is truth" regardless of the cost MAY be right.....but what have you achieved?


Getting the truth out is itself a worthy goal.

Because distaste for the truth has obscured both understanding and justice in far too many occasions.

Note that I do not say that everyone should do this, but I personally choose to, and I accept the consequences.


So what are you here for? That doesn't sound like the behavior of someone here to teach.

Some things can be taught by being nice and reasonable.

Some things can only be exposed via a hammer of information.

The reality is that we all have gigantic clots of fiction, assumptions, white lies, and so forth - a significant part of which are core to our being. Very few people are open to accepting contradiction to that which is core to their being.

Contradictions, even if true, to a person's core will not have impact in a collegial atmosphere.

The argument you present is very similar to the Catholic Church's demonization of Martin Luther, as opposed to its acceptance of St. Francis of Assisi.

St. Francis early on advocated that the Catholic Church renounce its worldly wealth and power, much as Martin Luther did.

St. Francis, however, backed down. The Catholic Church went on the become even more corrupt and temporal culminating in Martin Luther's challenge, the 95 Theses. The Church's unwillingness to reform or even acknowledge his points then led to the split off of Protestantism.


No offense, but right here at the start displays what I perceive to be your overly clinical/superficial view of the military and it's many roles in shaping/achieving national foreign policy.....the military is responsible for performing far more roles than just winning conflicts...you neglected preventing conflicts...deterring conflicts....as well as the many other roles they perform as an integral pat of national foreign policy.

I'd say that if you were complaining about literal-ness before, you might re-examine the above statement.

Sure, Defense is about prevention of invasion. In the context of the United States, invasion has not been a serious possibility for over 150 years.

Prevention and deterrence of conflict - again I'm sure this is true, but I'd say that this objective has been very, very low on the US military priority list for many decades. Certainly the evidence is profoundly against it: where has the US military's involvement reduced conflict? Iraq? Afghanistan? Vietnam? Korea? Kosovo/Yugoslavia? Libya?

And while the US Marine Corps provides guards for US embassies around the world, I think it is quite safe to say that this isn't anywhere close to the primary function of the Marine Corps, nor where it devotes the majority of its focus and spending.


Unless I'm interpeting your post inaccurately, I think you are making a mistake with using a one-eyed/one dimensional perception of the military.....as stated before....they are a key part of developing/managing/mitigating national foreign policy.....there's plenty of decent analysis on politics/demographics/human relations/etc as you state.....but where's the decent(or even just mediocre) analysis on national security here? It's as I've stated before....a core and noticeable weakness on this forum....I do not claim it should demand investment in it here....but at least some consideration for seeking outside credible analysis....which I've shard links to here....hell.....EJ thinks there's war clouds on the horizon......why no relevant analysis or at least the sharing of relevant analysis here.....yup...too dark.....but it's a bit like hiding a head in the sand.....granted war brings chaos...and chaos is hard to predict.....but conflict risk is certainly worthy of analysis....and it's a weakness here.

While I am sure the military provides a useful perspective on events outside direct military purview, and the same time the reality is that the US military is supposed to be subservient to US civilian political control.

Thus while the US military is a large part of US federal spending, and has a huge impact on the US economy, and equally no doubt has a strong influence on politics due to the revolving door/military contractors/earmarks and what not, the premise that the US military has a strong and independent impact on US society and government presumes that aforementioned civilian control has failed.

If this is true, then yes, I agree we should add the US military to the existing bankster Kremlinology.


guerilla movements have ben eradicated without "depopulation" by which I assume you mean mass genocide.....

You keep saying this, but have failed to provide examples outside of ethnic minorities with no safe havens.


On the topic of failure.......how would you define the failure for the US.

Was it a moral failure?

Yes, though mitigated by post-war recovery assistance. Mitigation does not erase the initial transgression, however.


Can nations have morals?

Yes. They may choose not to follow them, but nations absolutely can have morals.


I know individuals can....but can nations HAVE morals or act MORALLY?

Again, yes. A nation has the exact same choices as an individual. It can act morally, or it can choose not to act morally in order to reap some advantage.

I would note, however, that the United States in particular has always chosen to play the morality card - that of respect for rights, for liberty, etc etc.

Many other nations both past and present do no such thing. They seek to glorify a race, or their own nation, or an ideal (Communism).

What then is your response to this?

Do you then acknowledge that the 'American Ideal' is purely propaganda, because nations cannot have morals?

And if nations cannot have morals, then the excuse of intervention in various nations for "humanitarian" purposes cannot be moral or justified?

Therefore the US' actions in intervening in Kosovo, in Croatia, in Chile, in Grenada, in Vietnam, in Korea, in Afghanistan (both times), in Iraq, etc etc have nothing to do with morality but everything to do with the naked exercise of power in order to further US interests?

Well, then we're in agreement.

I have no problem with that.

I have a lot of problems with hypocritical justifications based on 'justice', 'democracy', 'freedom', 'right to protect'.

cjppjc
03-20-12, 05:05 PM
There is a possibility that some 70 years ago, An atomic bomb drop was not thought of by many, like many think today. I believe much of the world was different. Coloreds only waterfountains?

c1ue
03-21-12, 01:15 PM
There is a possibility that some 70 years ago, An atomic bomb drop was not thought of by many, like many think today. I believe much of the world was different. Coloreds only waterfountains?

I would agree on the radiation aspect, but the sheer destruction aspect cannot be said to be different.

If the world was horrified by indiscriminate bombing of Coventry which killed some 1200 people, how then is a single bomb which killed 90,000 to 166,000 in Hiroshima and 60,000 to 80,000 in Nagasaki - the majority, perhaps vast majority of whom were civilians - not more horrific?

cjppjc
03-21-12, 05:56 PM
I would agree on the radiation aspect, but the sheer destruction aspect cannot be said to be different.

If the world was horrified by indiscriminate bombing of Coventry which killed some 1200 people, how then is a single bomb which killed 90,000 to 166,000 in Hiroshima and 60,000 to 80,000 in Nagasaki - the majority, perhaps vast majority of whom were civilians - not more horrific?

I don't know that that the world was horrified by the bombing of Coventry. It might have depended on where you sided in the war. Who knows? As I said, It's just a possibility mass destruction and civilian casulties were thought of differenty decades ago. Morality is subjective. Especially when you look back at history.