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My God, What Have We Done?

Those are the infamous words of Bob Lewis, co-pilot of the Enola Gay, following the world's first use of a nuclear weapon. What have we done, indeed.

Sixty-five years on, the dropping of the bombs is still being debated, and there are persuasive arguments to be made for and against.

When we talk about the strategy and reasoning behind dropping the bombs we ignore the all important human factor in the world's first use of nuclear weapons-- the unspeakable horror of the attack. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki instantly wiped out hundreds of thousands of lives and the suffering of the survivors continues to this day.

As Howard Zinn notes, the use of nuclear weapons was made possible through years of dehumanizing the enemy that prepared the public for the use of such weapons. When the enemy isn't seen as human, it's easy to dismiss their deaths as necessary.

One aspect of WWII that is forgotten is that at Casablanca in 1943, the Allies made the deliberate and systematic targeting of civilian populations in Germany and Japan a part of their bombing campaign. Even if you believe the war to be a just and righteous war, how does the indiscriminate bombing of civilians make one righteous? How does one justify such a thing?

I ask this question because Hiroshima wasn't a military target and I'm not convinced that that not using the bomb would have resulted in the deaths of half a million or a million more Allied soldiers. I believe history will not be kind to the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and ultimately see them acts of terrorism and a crime against humanity.

Comments

Good blog, and I agree; the nuclear attacks in Japan were the two greatest crimes in human history.

Good thoughtful post Shawn.

But while I think objectively speaking the two atomic bombs definitely belong in the category of war crimes and should never under any conditions be repeated, the circumstances of the years of horror of the Japanese (and their Nazi ally's) war machines did and do provide a context that it's easy for some now to ignore as we are so far removed from the generations that experienced the twin nightmares of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany.

You (speaking generally here) cannot separate the dropping of the bombs from the atrocities committed over a number of years by Imperial Japan's military forces wherever they were.

The sheer evil of the human experiments performed on men, women and children in Japanese-occupied territory like Manchuria and other parts of Asia, the orgy of rape, torture, and murder that accompanied the fall of Nanking are well documented by primary sources regardless of whether Iris Chang was taking liberties with sources or not.

European witnesses to the primitive behavior of Japanese troops were absolutely shaken by the sheer inhumanity of these troops. Nanking and many other bloodstained areas of Japanese rule in Asia are reasons why Japan will never be allowed to forget that the basic distrust of Japan by China, Singapore, and other nations is rooted in what happened under Japanese colonisation and during WW2.

And in the context of what was normal under Japanese rule in WW2, the Allied command believed justifiably that an invasion of Japan would cost so much to the invading nations and Japanese population that the two atomic bombs were the quicker way to end the war.

You just have to look at what happened in Okinawa - the Japanese military not only instructed all forces to commit suicide but forced Okinawan men, women and children to kill themselves. In many cases they were not willing so Japanese soldiers killed them en masse so they would not surrender.

This scenario in its own way was and is just as horrific as the effects of atomic bombs. The nightmare would have been enacted all over Japan had there been an invasion by the Allied forces. The struggle would have been long, bitter and unspeakably cruel.

That's the major reason the generations then (and the ones that are alive now) of non Japanese and non Germans generally believe the atomic bombs were better than the alternative, although they understand how terrible the bombs were.

As for Anonymous' assertion that the two nuclear attacks were the '2 greatest crimes in human history' - it just shows me that a lot of the debate about the atomic bombs is not based on acceptance of facts. There are so many evils that fit the 'greatest crimes in human history' category that it's hard to even think of condensing them into such a category.

6 million or so Jews gassed, beaten to death, shot (including mothers with babies in arms on the Eastern Front whose murder was commemorated by Nazi soldiers on postcards shooting them), experimented on, Asians and Allied prisoners of wars experimented on by Japanese versions of Mengele, the Japanese Imperial Army's sexual torture of Asian and European women until their bodies wore out and they were killed because they were useless, etc etc etc.

The 2nd World War alone has more than enough evidence of vicious crimes against fellow human beings.

The fact that the atomic bombs and fire bombings of Dresden and other locations by the Allies were objectively war crimes is acknowledged by many military and civilians from the Allied countries but in the context of what they were facing from Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany, Japanese and other anti nuclear activists need to acknowledge those dreadful realities.

Instead we simply get the out of context version found in Japanes textbooks for school students that goes 'One day two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan'. This refusal to acknowledge the historical nightmare of the rampaging fascist Japan and Germany does the anti nuclear Japanese campaigners no credit.

Regrettably, the evil acts of which you speak were not the primary motivators in the decision to engage in civilian bombings. There was little direct knoweldge of the Nazi death camps, experiments and so on by regular troops. Knowledge of these things was restricted to those in the highest levels of the war effort and did not feature highly in their decision making. In a similar way, much of the knowledge of the actions of Japanese forces was unknown to most of those who were not captured or imprisoned. What you are coming out with is an after the fact justification as opposed to what were the actual on the ground motivators at the time. It is well known that Japan was in fact suing for peace prior to the bombings. They wanted to see what would happen and their only excuse is not having a full understanding of the effects until afterwards.

It's worth noting that the Americans wanted to have the data from the human experiments (not that it was very meaningful) and that experiments to register the effects on troops of nuclear blasts were carried out in the 50's by the United States Army. Experiments on army personell and others to learn the effects of LSD were also carried out in the 60s and of late there has been defacto experimentation on the inmates of Guantanamo Bay.

Did you read about the abnormally high levels of cancer and leukemia that have occurred in the 'liberated' city of Fallujah: a city that no males of fighting age were allowed to leave before the attack began.

The last post made some interesting points re America's involvement in covering up evidence at Unit 731, MacArthur secretly granted immunity to the physicians of Unit 731 in exchange for providing America with their research on biological warfare. The Tokyo war crimes trials, only heard one small mention of what occured before It was brushed under the table.Many of the scientists from Unit 731 were to return to Japan and were given top jobs, such as . Masaji Kitano who led Japan's largest pharmaceutical company, the Green Cross [who were at the center of a scandal in which up to 2,000 Japanese citizens contracted HIV through the distribution and use of blood products which were known to be unsafe.] . Shiro Ishii [the commander of Unit 731] moved to Maryland to work on bio-weapons research not a bad job for a class A war criminal.
While I do have sympathy for the victims of the 2 bombs, It's tempered by Japans refusal to acknowledge It's own involvement in the atrocities It comitted,in the name of the emperor and the constant revision and distortion of historical fact [rewritting textbooks to appease the right wing].
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_history_textbook_controversies
As for attacks on civillians America doesn't seem to have learned much, judging by the wiki leaks information recently leaked to the public;
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/datablog/2010/jul/25/wikileaks-afghanist...

I find it strange that your distaste for governments who refuse to educate their civilian populations would temper your sympathy for the suffering of those same civilians. If democracy worked as it should, then I guess you could hold those civilians responsible for their own suffering. However, democracy often doesn't work as it should, particularly in time of war.

Well It's not a time of war anymore,maybe It's time those civilians educated themselves, I don't rely on my government to tell me that being in Afghanistan and Iraq is right, I make up my own mind.Why are Japanese people so full of this victim mentality ? Germany faced up to It's wartime past, why do the Japanese still continue this charade ? Why isn't the censoring of history textbooks questioned ? Sure I feel sorry for the victims of the bombs BUT how many Japanese feel sorry for the Comfort Women,Nanking Massacre,Unit 731 or events on the Burma railway ? Not many, they just change the subject.

The Japanese victimization and "poor me" propaganda continues. Very east to see what side of the political spectrum you fall on, Shawn.

The reality is, no matter how much creative writing, spin, manipulation or otherwise, Japan was the aggressor throughout Asia and in the end hit its ass handed to them. While they can accept the ended on the "weaker side", nothing is going to change reality. It's over, move on. One country had the bigger bomb and won. A bomb that Japan tried to develop also itself. It lost the race. The bombs forced Japan to surrender, something they would have never done without it. The bomb saved million from being killed due to an impending invasion of the mainland by allied forces. Maybe some could even say Japan's murderous and torturous romp through Asia (and Pearl Harbor) gave reason and emotion to drop a second bomb. That, and the Japanese refusal to surrender. Japan brought it onto herself by bombing Pearl Harbor...As the Japanese admiral, "I think we have awoken a sleeping giant; one with great resolve.". Too bad he was the one Japanese who was educated enough to truly understand the mistake Japan made that fateful day. It paid the price for it's actions, simple as that. Maybe it should have thought more before trying control the Pacific.

You did nothing to convince me that somehow Japan was right. But then again, this post is coming on Japanophile site with anime-craving, Japanese porn watching inbreds who can't do much in their own country. Easy to steretype, isn't it?

Ahhhh, the Japanese victimization mentality continues.....then again, u can't blame them since they are fed propaganda from an early age and all HS textbooks conveniently remove all fact or reality.

In hindsight, yes, the atomic bombs are the most horrible single acts of violence ever committed by one group of humans on another.

Now lets go back to 1945 where you and your allies have been fighting a brutal, vicious war for some four long years that you neither asked for nor in any way provoked. This war has brought hardship and grief to nearly every person in the country.

Now, suddenly, in the midst of this gory mess you are handed the biggest stick ever; one that should end the war in a single blow! I am sure that if we could go back and poll the American public more than 50% would say "use it" and I don't think it would matter if it were Germans or Japanese we were to use it against. Now let's poll the soldiers, sailors and airmen who would rather be back home with their families and loved ones. I'd bet the result would be over 90% - at least. How about if we could ask all the war dead how they feel about it? Finally lets ask all the brave 14 year-old girls in Honshu with their slender bamboo poles how they feel about having to face battle-hardened American GI's with tommy guns if America doesn't use the bomb and has to invade!

The fact that the insane leaders of Japan were willing to sacrifice everything, literally everything, and fight to the last child standing proves that the decision to drop the bomb was the right one. The debate, as I see it, should not be about what types of weapons are appropriate for humans to use against each other, but whether we should use any weapons at all. "War, what is it good for? Nothing! Absolutely nothing!"

The killing of civilians is a crime - period.

Yes, Japan was on an evil rampage against Asia, committing horrible crimes against humanity.

Fast forward to now. In 2002, there was an attempt by the US government to sweep up Americans in propaganda about how Sadam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and was a threat to us all. The US and its allies invade Iraq, for reasons stated that turned out to be wrong, and according to most people of the world, the invasion was illegal.

So can Iraq now vaporize American civilians, and were Japanese civilians just victims of propaganda as well?

I agree that Hitler and Japan had to be stopped, and that War isn't pretty, but I think every country involved in WWII, even the US, had an agenda to control the world for their own best interest, not betterment of the entire world, and if killing civilians is what they have to do to do it, then they will.

Whenever discussions turn to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki, I am always puzzled that the Fire Bombing of Tokyo isn't mentioned. 100,000 dead in one night in Tokyo is as bad as Nagasaki and worse than Hiroshima. B29's loaded with incendiary bomb-lets were flown 30,000ft *lower* than they were designed to fly so the intensity and concentration of the fires would be at the absolute maximum. McNamara would go on to say in the documentary "The Fog of War" that he and Lemay were "both acting as war criminals".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fog_of_War

The current angle I have on Nukes right now is that so far, they have shown to be an outstanding deterrent amongst major powers. I think while it would be grand to have a world without nuclear weapons, I would also think it would be a world with just as much fear and possibly tremendous amounts of suffering. War with another country wouldn't mean Armageddon, and destruction wouldn't be mutual or assured. non-nuclear wars are the wars that people think "we can win" at.

YIKES!

I guess no one has seen the Riben Guizi [Japanese Devils 日本鬼子] documentary then, 14 Japanese war criminals telling the story of what they did during the war;

http://www.midnighteye.com/reviews/japdevil.shtml

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0286923/

In relation to war dead, yes 100,000 people dying in one night during the Tokyo fire bombing is terrible, but then so Is 300,000 dead during a six week period during the Nanking Massacre [+ 80,000 women raped,some mutilated].
Perhaps people need to read a bit more about what Japan was doing at the time.Japan was actively involved in a biological warfare program, now what would have happened If THEY had succeeded;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731

I do remember the BBC in the UK doing a documentary [Correspondent,broadcast around 2001] about the effects of the Japanese biological weapons program which were still affecting villages around Manchuria, In one village infected fleas were still attacking people, reducing peoples legs to bone, interviewed in the programe was the current head of education [responsible for the revisionist history textbooks], of course he denied everything, even when confronted with several huge binders full of evidence, how very Japanese !
So currently in Japan, we have demonstations attended by Tojo's grandaughter claiming he wasn't a class A war criminal ! One thing that isn't usually mentioned, is that he was carring out orders directly from the emperor ,who along with other members of the Japanese royal family,should have hung as well [and may well have done If It wasn't for the intervention of MacArthur and his cronies].

[QUOTE}Many historians criticize the work done by MacArthur and his staff to exonerate Emperor Hirohito and all members of the imperial family from criminal prosecutions. According to them, MacArthur and Brigadier General Bonner Fellers worked to protect the Emperor and shift ultimate responsibility to Tōjō.
According to the written report of Shuichi Mizota (Mizota Shūichi), interpreter for Admiral Mitsumasa Yonai, Fellers met the two men at his office on 6 March 1946 and told Yonai that "it would be most convenient if the Japanese side could prove to us that the Emperor is completely blameless. I think the forthcoming trials offer the best opportunity to do that. Tōjō, in particular, should be made to bear all responsibility at this trial."
The sustained intensity of this campaign to protect the Emperor was revealed when, in testifying before the tribunal on 31 December 1947, Tōjō momentarily strayed from the agreed-upon line concerning imperial innocence and referred to the Emperor's ultimate authority. The American-led prosecution immediately arranged that he be secretly coached to recant this testimony. Ryūkichi Tanaka, a former general who testified at the trial and had close connections with chief prosecutor Joseph Keenan, was used as an intermediary to persuade Tōjō to revise his testimony.[End Of QUOTE]

Now of course, China has the upper hand due to It's economy, Japan may well have some problems in near future, If It doesn't address these issues and move on.

Simple fact is America stood no chance of taking mainland Japan. None whatsoever.
The only way they could win was to commit the most atrocious war crime ever.
Only idiots accept the U.S version of history as written by the victors.

"One country had the bigger bomb and won"

Will his analysis be so simple if a nuclear attack occurs in his country?

Probably not.

Maybe it is time to bring back the puzzle before you can post Shaun, to filter out
the stupid and limit the voice of the mentally challenged.

QUOTE;Simple fact is America stood no chance of taking mainland Japan. None whatsoever.
The only way they could win was to commit the most atrocious war crime ever.
Only idiots accept the U.S version of history as written by the victors.[End Of Quote]

Well believe It or not Sherlock, I do agree with that,but you weaken your argument by throwing your toys out of your pram and insulting people.

So lets get this straight, Japan lost the war, got attacked by nuclear weapons, so we have to forget all about the genocide they were carrying out in South East Asia, or do THOSE people not count because they never got attacked in that way.But being used for biological weapons research,Vivisected alive,exposed to Anthrax,infected with bubonic plague,amputated,raped,tortured is perfectly ok then is it ! Just how do you rate the suffering of a nation, Japan were wrong.End of !

Nagasaki 65 Years Later: A Look Back at the Censored Dispatches of Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist George Weller
Nagasaki

Today, we remember the US bombing of Nagasaki through the story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist George Weller, the first reporter to enter Nagasaki, defying General MacArthur’s ban on the press in southern Japan. Weller worked for the Chicago Daily News and hired a rowboat to get himself to Nagasaki. He wrote a 25,000-word report on the horrors that he encountered. When he submitted his story to the military censors, MacArthur personally ordered that the story be killed, and the manuscript was never returned. Weller later summarized his experience with the government censors, saying, "They won."

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/8/9/nagasaki_65_years_later_a_look

Every year.

Every year, the Japan-centric web has this discussion/discourse/debate over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And every year it devolves into insult hurling, anti nuclear apologizing, paranoid conspiracy theories and America-bashing.

No matter how many times it’s rehashed, the results will always the same: The bombs were dropped and people died. That was their purpose. Those people are not coming back.

It’s easy to assume a moral high ground, 65 years of separation later, by spinning facts, and pseudo facts, to support either side. We have been brainwashed/inundated with a sense of civility that we believe precludes us from ever doing what our forefathers did. That we, as a modern people, could never condone such barbarism.

On that, I cry “bullshit”.

We don’t know what went through Truman’s mind when he wrestled with this decision. We were not in the Oval Office when the order was given. Given the same exact circumstances, could any of us say that we would have done it differently and better? We have the luxury of hindsight. Truman did not.

It’s always simple to condemn those who have been saddled with a nation’s dirty work based solely on the actions and not the intent. In a world that has come to glory in the gray areas of intent and differing perspectives, I find it odd that we will only apply those values in differing degrees based on our personal politics, and not as a rule.

Those who oppose the bombings are actually opposing something much bigger. What the bombings represent: mans’ inhumanity to man. No one with any sense could argue that war is a terrible, costly and abhorrent part of the human experience. It is man at his ugliest and most brutal. And we can not escape it.

As long as evil exists, if you believe it exists at all, humanity will keep fighting wars until our collective end. Read your history. History is a timeline of war, slavery and hunger for power. And it will continue to be. All we can do as individuals is learn from history. We can’t change it.

In our zeal to peg someone as the worst offender, to assume moral superiority, we are conversely giving a pass to those that can then be deemed not so bad. If Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the worst, does that mean Idi Amin wasn’t so bad? Ask the people of Uganda and I’m pretty sure that they would think he was the devil himself. If Hitler was worse than Amin, but not as bad as Hiroshima and Nagasaki, do we then need to establish an international measure of atrocity?

I guess what I’m getting at is that this discussion has entered the same realm as other hot-button topics of our time: It is tired and pointless. We should never forget what we have done to each other, but because we keep having these same circular arguments, we are doing nothing to stop anything from happening now. We should remember to reinforce the lesson, not to rehash the argument. A wound can not heal if it keeps being ripped open every year. We seem to glory in our misery. We don’t want to learn from it, but rather we have a sick need to keep reliving it, lest we believe we have forgotten it.

It happened. It was horrible. Let’s move on.

It is interesting to note the arguments going to and from, as if Japan today is the Japan back then.

Japan is not the same.

Japan is now a society that stands for international peace, co-operation, friendship and understanding, as they go through the process of “internationalization” under the umbrella of eternal peace and harmony as their motto.

You, by sharing your culture and language, with Japan’s ever willing customers, play a vital role in this entirely respectable endeavor.

Japan strives for an existence where there are no boarders, and has even gone to the extent of making micro-havens for cross-cultural communication without hindrance by inventing the EIKAIWA phenomenon.

How many of you, have witnessed rape, violence and torture, during your care free days in Japan?

Let’s be honest. You all love Japan, because it is an overwhelmingly respectful, peaceful and safe place to be, as shown by the fact, you get showered with money, just for speaking your native tongue.

It is all about the love. I implore you to embrace and feel the love AND if you can do that one simple thing, then your enjoyment of beautiful, peace-loving Japan, will be amplified.

Sally Anne

"Japan is now a society that stands for international peace, co-operation, friendship and understanding, as they go through the process of “internationalization” under the umbrella of eternal peace and harmony as their motto."

The blatent disrespect they have for foreigners in this country? I think not..

"making micro-havens for cross-cultural communication without hindrance by inventing the EIKAIWA phenomenon" I can only hope to god you're having a wind-up here

Japan is all about....Love????? What a crock of shit. Commercial love, maybe...Love and peace in Japan is just an excuse and cover so they do not have to face the fact they got their asses handed to them by the "inferior race/ culture." Look at Japanese history and you will see it is mostly about waring fiefdoms and other atrocities, many on its own people and neighbors. 60 years of "love" does not make up for thousands of years of war and torture.

At the end of the day, the country with the bigger, more powerful. Gotta love how Japan wants to change the rules after they started the "game." Maybe if they did not want to lose, they should never have bombed the U.S. in the first place. Maybe act like a peaceful country, eh? Instead, they bombed and got bombed with a larger bomb back. They lost. End of story. Time to move on and stop playing the victim. I am sure a few Koreans or Chinese still wish for a little payback too.

Blatant disrespect?

It is very easy to mistake natural Japanese shyness and consequent awkwardness, as being rudeness.

Focus on nurturing and eliciting loving response, when you encounter that, remembering that the Japanese are not used to foreigners, and you are a guest, in this magical land.

They are children, finding themselves in a new and expanding world, recovering from the trauma of having two atom bombs dropped on them, and are constantly, through love, exposing themselves to a new way of thinking, and are not evil foreigner hating sociopaths.

Make allowance. Extend the hand of friendship.

Share the love. Like I said, it is all about the love.

Sally Anne

Enough already.

In May 1945, Germany's defeat put the focus on Japan. All the guns, armaments, and soldiers were now waiting for the inevitable defeat of Japan's attempted colonization of most of Asia.

By 1944, EVERYONE who could read a map KNEW that Japan was going to lose. Island by island, the Japanese Imperial Army/Navy was losing ground, manpower, momentum. Despite this FACT, no one in Japan could say 'NO" and the war of attrition continued.

Let me interject my humble opinion here. If you hit me once, and it was unprovoked, well then YOU are the attacker. If I am able, I will NOT hit you just ONCE and call it even. I will hit you several more times to make up for your attack. Don't like this? THEN DON'T HIT ME!!!

Now, back to the bombs.

- Germany was defeated, Russia declared war on Japan, and began moving troops into position to attack Japan from the north (Hokkaido).
- The U.S. saw what Russia was doing in Europe (commie bastards!), and became determined to defeat Japan BEFORE Russia could get a toe hold in Japan...
- The only problem was, as June 1945 turned to July, and then August, the Japanese military and populace were not cooperating!!! Even starving to death, THEY KEPT FIGHTING!!! They started this damn war, and told everyone that there were no rules, and no 'innocent civilians'.
- In Germany, Hitler had the good sense to kill himself. But in Japan, allied peace making attempts made through Switzerland were stuck at the same point: Japanese negotiators DEMANDED that the Emperor must not be killed. (LOTS of Australians, Kiwis, and Chinese, among others, wanted the Emperor's head on a stick!!!
-Meanwhile, as the allies advanced, they noticed the Imperial Japanese Army had a tendency to kill P.O.W.'s before retreating...this was a huge problem. So, what to do?

*By the way, Germany AND Japan had also been working for years to develop nuclear weapons. IF they had succeeded in producing even one bomb, do any of you think they would have hesitated? HELL NO!!! Japan waged TOTAL WAR!!! There were NO CIVILIANS. Remember the American contractors Japan captured in numerous battles? They were not treated like civilians, they were beaten, tortured, enslaved and often killed - FOR BEING AMERICAN!

-So, to put ourselves in the mindset of the allies, here is a recap;
- Russia (then the Soviet Union) is advancing, and will divide Japan like Germany, IF given the chance.
- Kamikaze pilots are wreaking havoc.
- Allied P.O.W.'s are dying daily.
- Japanese civilians are committing suicide/starving to death OR attacking allied forces as human bombs everywhere the allies land.
- Repeated peace overtures via the Swiss have reached an impasse: unconditional surrender is not possible, because Japanese negotiators insist the emperor MUST be protected.
- Allied Military planners, using data from the attack on Okinawa, run scenarios estimating the number of allied & Japanese deaths that would result from a full on invasion of Japan from Kyushu on to Tokyo. The estimated dead are in the millions. This time line forecasts the war ending in 1946...
- EVERYONE ON OUR SIDE is tired of the war, and looking for a quick way to end it.
- You know that AFTER the war is over, you are going to need a strong Japan to counter Russia in east Asia...

So, the U.S. dropped one bomb, and sent a telegraph saying that Japan MUST surrender UNCONDITIONALLY. 3 days passed, and still no word came from Japan.... so they dropped ANOTHER city-killer!!! They lied, and said that every city in Japan would be destroyed (the U.S. only had 2 bombs...) . Finally Japan surrendered.

So who was to blame??? JAPAN. THE EMPEROR... If someone would have had the guts to say "NO", maybe the war would have ended earlier. But we will never know. Because it took TWO ATOM BOMBS to convince the war-mongering Hirohito to STOP CAUSING HIS PEOPLE, AND THE PEOPLE OF THE NATIONS OCCUPIED BY JAPAN, TO DIE!!!

Who were the Japanese of 1945? See this link from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_warfare#World_War_II
NOT NICE PEOPLE!

or here is an excerpt: According to historians Yoshiaki Yoshimi and Seiya Matsuno, the chemical weapons were authorized by specific orders given by Emperor Showa himself, transmitted by the chief of staff of the army. For example, the Emperor authorized the use of toxic gas on 375 separate occasions during the battle of Wuhan from August to October 1938.

So, you want to blame someone? BLAME the emperor!!!! He caused the deaths of MILLIONS OF CIVILIANS, and did not even have the decency to die. All those Japanese soldiers tortured, killed, raped and even died invoking his name, living by the bushido "code", and he could not do the 'right' thing and shoot himself. And the Americans were co-conspirators in the post-war cover-up.

I am really sick of this revisionist crap. If you attack the U.S. A., WE WILL NUKE YOU!!! message? DO NOT ATTACK US!!! 2nd message? stop apologizing for saving millions of people on both sides, and keeping Japan as one undivided nation. Note - Russia took 4 islands north of Hokkaido as bounty, and they were only in the war against Japan for a few months...

So, are you Japanese?
You should THANK THE USA for saving Japanese lives, and avoiding the partition of Japan.
You should THANK THE USA for keeping Russia OUT of Japan. Only 4 islands were lost - get over it.
You should THANK THE USA for letting your emperor live...

Are you American?
Stop apologizing! Japanese people respect strength, not weakness.
The emperor should apologize for starting a fight he could not win, and causing 2 Japanese cities to be vaporized.
PS: The reason Japan is so screwed up today is largely because the occupying forces were so focused on Russia, they did not make the guilty confess to their crimes. Many guilty Japanese succeeded in business and politics in post-war Japan (they had great motive to cover up their deeds) Moral of the story? The American government aided Japan in not facing up to its deeds. We are guilty.

I'm done.

Totally agree....The bomb ended the war and Japanese aggression in the Pacifi theater. It worked and now Japan is a "peaceful-loving friend" of the U.S. Maybe we need to take out more aggressor countries, say Iran and North Korea, like this...Maybe all the yapping in the world won't ever solve the problems with these countries. While I wish for peace, we still are animals afterall. Some of do not learn easily. Japan did after the nuclear bomb and was forever changed for the better. End of of story.

Just think, if the Japanese had never bombed Pearl Harbor, none of this would have probably happened. But the race was on and accelerated by the Japanese actions...Hope they are proud of what they brought upon themselves. But of course, "they" are the victims...Sure. Just like the video, when you have lost the WWII debate, focus on after...Except never take the blame yourself. Sad, really....Like little kids.

Your assumptions are incomplete.

MILLIONS OF JAPANESE TROOPS WERE OUTSIDE OF JAPAN!!! IN THE OCCUPIED LANDS. They had no way of getting home to fight the invasion!!!

The Soviets were on the way. They had bullets, fuel and food - three things Japan was short of.

The Chinese would gladly have sent as many troops as we could transport to Japan, to return the favor of Japan's colonization of China... like invading locusts, they could have raped, killed and lived off the land going from Kyushu to Tokyo.

The Australians, New Zealanders, Vietnamese, Indonesians, Chinese, and many other nations would have drawn straws to destroy village by village, leading up to the final prize - who would be lucky enough to fire the bullet killing the emperor...

It would have taken longer, but Japan's defeat was certain. It had no friends, and through it occupation, it had way too many enemies.

So stop pretending that Japan had any other future but the one it got.

John Dower's new book "Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor / Hiroshima / 9-11 / Iraq " is being published next month. I'm certain he will delve into a lot of the issues brought up above.

People endlessly rehash the decision even though history has shown that Japan would certainly NOT have surrendered even after BOTH atomic bombs if not for the emperor and some dumb luck that weakened the coup plotters.

Regardless, who can really say they would have done differently with the situation Truman faced with a fanatical enemy and so much death and destruction EVERY DAY from the war?
You can say it was not right but not much was about the war. Face it people. Life brings flawed choices because we are all flawed y nature.

Grow up and move on

Most of the people who organise and attend these peace events are about peace, civilian rights a nuclear free world and so on. They are not rabid nationalists.

In fact, the rabid nationalists of Japan want a more beligerant and nuclear armed foriegn policy and some of them are supported by the right wing elements in the United States.

You can argue that the people who are involved in these events are too weak if you like in not demanding that Japan face up to its own crimes, but when you attack them like this you are effectively encouraging agressive Japanese nationalism.

As someone who's studied Japanese for over 20 years and has lived here a good part of his life, I can honestly say I love and revere Japan deeply. Despite that, I can honestly say that you're horribly wrong. The bombing was necessary to end the war. To say otherwise is to show great ignorance of what happened at the end of WWII.

Japan had no intention to surrender and was actually gearing up for an invasion. Both sides figured about 1,000,000 American casualties and that number would be at least triple on the Japan side. Imagine that - about 4,000,000 dead in an invasion! Using the atomic bombs, as horrific as it was, brought an end to the war. It was a horrible price, much akin to amputating someone's leg to save their life. But MANY MORE people would have died in an invasion.

Of course, we'll never know because there WASN'T an invasion. Japan surrendered. The war ended with the horrible bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But that was the end of it. And the other result was that Japan has sworn off war forever. If such a horrible price turns a nation from warlike (Japan's military was more vicious to its Asian neighbors than the Nazis were in Europe), then it's a price well paid.

Look into the history of the situation and your opinion might change.

Sure, and grass is pink, there is gold at the end of the rainbow, and I saw a fairy last night.

Grow up and stop manipulating facts for your own political agenda/ propaganda. NOTHING will change it, so move on...

Payback is a bitch, eh? If the Japanese did not want to get into a fight, they should not have started one. They lost and will NEVER be able to defeat the U.S. for imperial Japan, no matter how wild their imaginations are.

You know, if the U.S. military wasn't on Okinawa and protecting the rest of Japan everyday, China and Korea would exact a little payback of their own....And I would not blame them, since the Japanese raped and tortured them without any sense of emotion. There is a reason why Japan always backs down from closing U.S. bases int he region. They know it would be much worse under Chinese and Korean control. Maybe we should leave, and let mother nature take its course.

The bombings were an act of human free will....not willed or wished for by God, but allowed to happen. Why? The victims of Nagasaki and Hiroshima are, in a sense "martyrs" ....innocent sufferers expiating the sins of Imperial Japan and martyrs to a constant reminder (for the cold war Soviet Union and USA framework) of the absolute hellish horror of a nuclear attack/war....(JFK/Kruschev, 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis,Kruschev backed down in the face of JFKs (bluff?????)/threat to use nukes.... who is to say that without the eternal example of Hiroshima/Nagasaki, the world wouldnt have spun itself an even worse nuclear nightmare....? God forgive us all and may peace prevail on Earth.

OH the poor Japanese they want to be the leaders of the world in PEACE! Bad bad bad bad bad America! Shame on us all for not listening to the pure, innocent, masters of PEACE that are the Japanese race! Why couldn't we all remember the age of Amaterasu when she first touched down on the island of Japan and all was peaceful and harmonious? Instead of turning to Amaterasu for guidance the evil in the world turned to science and built EVIL things like ships, atomic bombs, and guns. Which was then forced on the pure and innocent love able furry little harmless Japanese in the form of Black SHIPS! *gasp* and GUN POWDER! *double gasp* and then the atomic bomb! HOLEY MOLEY!

PLEASE WE BEG YOU O' WORLD IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE LISTEN TO THE CHOSEN RACE THE JAPANESE! WE CAN ALL LEARN SOMETHING FROM THEM!

Slightly off-subject but entirely relevant. Someone here was saying that the attack on Pearl harbor was unprovoked. This is the old " Day of Infamy" argument, sometimes the person making it will puff himself up, become outraged, start foaming at the mouth and call you a revisionist, then question your patriotism if you suggest otherwise. But to accept the prevailing view is to insultingly imply that the US and its leaders in 1941 were uninformed, hapless buffoons, and I'm inclined not not to buy into that. My conjecture is that this innocent bystander blindsided by a bus theory needs to be rethought. America as the fully aggrieved party taken completely by surprise...Is this entirely 100% true?

Although Japan was definitely the aggressor in the Pacific War, and especially heinous in it's actions towards Asia, China and Korea in particular, there is a growing body of evidence coming to light in recent decades that would seem to indicate [ to me, at least ] that the US Government was hardly naive or unaware of what was coming; rather, I believe that Roosevelt's State Department was definitely spoiling for a fight with Japan in the years leading up to Pearl Harbor and behaving accordingly. Perhaps US policy was not entirely unwarranted, it could very well be that they [ the State Dept.] were acting out of patriotic conviction, believing that conflict was inevitable with a belligerent Japanese Empire run amok and so it was their honorable intention that they wished [primarily] to better position the US for the coming fight. Still...

American fighter pilots in [then] modern American warplanes ( the Flying Tigers ) flying combat missions over mainland China against Japan on behalf of the Chinese Nationalist Government.

Moving the Pacific fleet from relative safety in San Diego a thousand miles west to Hawaii in 1940, a move that, if I were a Japanese Naval Intelligence Officer, I could only interpret as the US moving a highly potent Naval force to a forward staging area in preparation for hostilities with Japan.

The crippling oil/scrap metal embargo against Japan with support from Britain and the exile Netherlands Govt around the same time that not only hit Japan where it hurt, but also left no doubt that the Western powers were now taking a resolute stance and that moreover, they were lining up firmly behind the United States .

An excessively large and very well-publicized build-up of an Army Air Corp bomber fleet in the Philippines ( destroyed on the ground by Japanese attacks in the opening days of the war ). Concurrently , we recently learn that ( since well documented in declassified papers ) tell us that proposals to bomb Japan and Japanese occupied Formosa ( Taiwan ) preemptively were actively circulating in the middle and upper echelons of the White House that [ here I'm guessing ] Tokyo may well have heard about.

So, if I wanted to play devil's advocate and take the Japanese militarist' viewpoint, I might say: " What the hell, every indication was that they ( the US ) were going to come after us very soon and so we decided to get the drop on them by striking the first blow in a time and place of our choosing. This is a sound, military strategy..." Or, I might argue: " We were sucker punched, deviously lured into a war that we could not possibly win by the provocative actions of a larger military/economic power. At the same time, we could not maintain ourselves economically if we acquiesced to America's demands ( ie: leave China, hands-off SE Asia, etc.) in order to avoid conflict..."

Well, it's always good for amateur historians to question conventional wisdom and to endeavor and see things from the other guy's POV, even if you don't accept their spin on things. I do think that this is something worth discussing in a friendly, open-minded way.

You are right about something. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor after the US placed an oil embargo against Japan because of its invading China and Korea. The US knew Japan was up to something and it was hoping to avoid war with Japan while also realizing war was an eventual possibility. So the US was in a tense situation with Japan and most officials realized war could in fact break out.

But Pearl Harbor was a complete surprise attack. If it weren't, the US Navy would have positioned its ships differently. Most ships in PH were lined up in formation and if you've ever been to Pearl Harbor, you can see how narrow and shallow it is. Lining ships up in a row in an area where they can't turn around is a death sentence if you get attacked. So clearly, PH wasn't expecting an attack, at least, not on December 7, 1941.

But just because Roosevelt knew that Japan could attack doesn't mean that he knew that Japan would attack. Just like 9/11 - the US knew that Al Qaeda was planning attacks on US soil, but they didn't know where or when.

At the end of the day, no matter how much revisionist history, petty anti-Americanism or other propaganda-filled rhetoric, the facts remain the same. Japan decided to take on the the U.S. and it got squashed. If it never wanted a fight, it should not have picked one. That is the only reason the Japanese are so "peaceful now"...Not because they demanded it over 65 years ago, as a warmongering nation. The one with the bigger bomb won. Simple as that.

The Japanese said it themselves..."I think we have awoken a sleeping giant...one filled with great resolve." When will the world learn it can't go around bombing the U.S. without facing the consequences?

Exactly the opposite of your rant. As stated, most of these people are not raging nationalists by and large. You and many other posters on this thread clearly are, however. Really it would be poor anybody that you happened to nuke really poor anybody that you decided deserved to be fried for the actions of their government - unless of course the victims were like - you know - 9/11 victims. Then it's poor 'God Save America' and lets fight the terrorists isn't it?

You raving American nationalists are the ones who need to grow up. Every time I read your stuff it makes me want to puke.

I agree. It's actually rather difficult to make the claim that civilians are not responsible for their own suffering when you read the rantings of some of these luny Americans. They seem to be absolutely convinced that there is a direct relationship between the size of the American army and the size of their own dicks. Fry the lot of them, that's what I say.

Yes, thank you for your response, Tensigh. While I maintain that the US was on a collision course with Japan, I do agree with you that the actual attack on Pearl harbor was a nasty surprise for the U.S. I certainly don't support the theory proposed in recent years that Roosevelt knew that a specific operation was coming. I'm guessing that the State Department thought Japan would move into action more slowly and primarily against the Philippines, giving the US Navy time to make a reasoned, coordinated response. An all out attack against American targets across the Pacific with little or no warning was probably quite a shock.

I love America haters. We need people ignorant of history so we can have someone to laugh at.

You wouldn't happen to be French, would you?

Say what? Is this directed at me?

No, I'm neither French nor a so called ' America-hater '.

I am a US military veteran who sailed in and out of Pearl Harbor many years ago. I certainly have no need or desire to prove my credentials to right-wing jingoists who only know how to light gasoline with matches.

I like history, I was encouraged by my Grandfather who fought in the Pacific war .He was a Naval intelligence officer who had deep insights into what was going on during the middle and later stages of the fighting. True to his spy training, he always taught me to question conventional wisdom and dig a little deeper for underlying facts that don't agree with what we've been told. Because I grew up at his knee listening to his wealth of experiences, this has always been one of my favorite topics.

It's painful to read people quoting facts from tired old war movies like 'Tora,Tora,Tora' and regurgitating bland over-simplifications that they read in an encyclopedia or a comic book, or to see them write that people ' had it coming', that they deserved to be killed in an atom bombing.

I enjoy polite, reasoned debate. I've been following a lot of recently de-classified documents and my supposition is that the lead-up to the Pacific War was more nuanced and complicated than generally believed, that the US was more in the know than most people realize . Make a polite, cogent response or get lost.

Why do people come to these sites just to vent their spleen when some of us are attempting to conduct an interesting discussion and postulate intriguing theories?

As stated, most of these people are not raging nationalists by and large. You and many other posters on this thread clearly are, however. ...unless of course the victims were like - you know - 9/11 victims. Then it's poor 'God Save America' and lets fight the terrorists isn't it?

You raving American nationalists are the ones who need to grow up. Every time I read your stuff it makes me want to puke.

This isn't what I call intelligent debate, and this is what I was referring to. For example, you say that 9-11 victims were real victims, but then you practically mock going after terrorists (I don't know who actually made this comment, so if it's not you, I apologize). It sounds like no matter what this author has the opinion that the US deserves to get attacked, or even if it doesn't, it's the warmonger for going after those who do attack it. And the "blame America first" crowd subscribes to this thinking. And it's the same crowd that mislabels patriotism as nationalism, which the two are very different things. Whoever wrote those above comments is ignorant of this difference.

As far as sources of info, there are TONS of sources that describe in detail Japan's military regime (both in Japanese and English) and how they had no intention of surrender. In fact, the US defeating Japan ended up freeing millions of Japanese from their own military regime (Japan was ruled by its own version of the Gestapo). I've read several books on the subject (again, both in English and Japanese) and suggest some if you'd like to read something that DOESN'T start with the premise "The US is the bad guy".

Again, one of my questions goes unanswered; does anyone show any sympathy towards the millions of Chinese, Koreans, Indonesians, Thai, Vietnamese, etc that were raped, stabbed, shot and burned alive by Japanese soldiers? Or do they not matter?

Look the logic is very simple. People who say 'If you hit us, then we're going to NUKE you' and make other remarks like this that are sprinkling this thread are very happy to equate the Japanese military who attacked Pearl Harbour to the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Japanese governement, its military and the civilian populations of cities are all one and the same to this person.

This is the logic of the people who attacked the twin towers. Exactly the same logic as far as I'm concerned. These civilians deserve what they get for being American. They are responsible for the actions of their government overseas. That's not an argument that I in fact agree with. However, in the case of some of the posters on this thread it would be true. They so thoroughly identify with the actions of their government abroad that they would in fact deserve what they got.

You are right. These cocky Americans seem blind to the fact they are losing and losing big time. Yet here they are spitting all over their ally Japan. Do you seriously think China is going to love you any better for it? You guys are in deep shit and sinking fast.

Okay, I see your point. And I don't agree with a lot of the posts that support the bombing under the logic "Hey, Japan attacked so we responded with the A-bomb". It's not that simple. However, using the a-bombs was still justified because it prevented a much longer (and bloodier) invasion. Also, Japan had to be subdued because it (along with Germany, before its surrender) were also working on its own version of the bomb. It was a race that fortunately the Allied forces won.

I see what you're saying - if people lump all of the Japanese together (military and citizenry) then the same applies to the US when it's been attacked. But the US didn't attack anybody, either in the Pacific in the 30s/40s, nor in the Middle East. But the situations are different. I feel real sympathy for the Japanese citizenry during WWII because they had absolutely NO POWER to resist the military regime running the country. Any criticism was harshly dealt with including immediate arrests and torture. But if the people were victims of anybody, it was against their military forces controlling them, too.

Then we are substantially in agreement on many points. The chief but not only exception being that I don't believe that attacks on civilian centers are ever justified and the fact that this particular action (arguably) had an overal beneficial effect is not relevant. Ends do not justify means in my book.

Again, one of my questions goes unanswered; does anyone show any sympathy towards the millions of Chinese, Koreans, Indonesians, Thai, Vietnamese, etc that were raped, stabbed, shot and burned alive by Japanese soldiers? Or do they not matter?

Actually the foot soldiers of these types of peace events, as opposed to the more right wing government representatives who take part, are just such people. They are ordinary Japanese citizens whose family members died in the attacks. They are the kind of people who contact and talk to former comfort women to learn more about their experiences and so on.

However, if they raise their voices too loudly about Japanese responsibility they will get hammered by the Japanese right wing and their sympathisers in government. Why do the Japanese right wing and the deniers of history have the power they do? All you have to do is look at American policy and the fact that many war criminals were allowed to occupy posiitons of power in the new Japan. Their offspring still hold such positions today.

but have been here reading the great post battles for years..but this time..Shawn you are really off target. Terrorism and nuking JP has absolutely nothing in common at all. Terrorism destroys freedom, creates hysteria and fear that never ends. The nukes were an end to war. It was not like IRA bombings, the WTC, etc.. but it is easy to call anything acts of terrorism. If we had spies setting off suitcase nukes in sushi shops..they I buy it. I do not know if it is a "crime against humanity" because any act that has innocent victims, even a drive by gang bang shooting is crime against humanity!

but have been here reading the great post battles for years..but this time..Shawn you are really off target. Terrorism and nuking JP has absolutely nothing in common at all. Terrorism destroys freedom, creates hysteria and fear that never ends. The nukes were an end to war. It was not like IRA bombings, the WTC, etc.. but it is easy to call anything acts of terrorism. If we had spies setting off suitcase nukes in sushi shops..they I buy it. I do not know if it is a "crime against humanity" because any act that has innocent victims, even a drive by gang bang shooting is crime against humanity!

'If we had spies setting off suitcase nukes in sushi shops..they I buy it'.

Actually, some of the actions of the Israeli secret service come pretty close to this kind of thing - fully supported by it's ally America.

Rubbish wannabe, RUBBISH, and you know what pains me the most? YOU KNOW IT.

It was pure terrorism, nothing more, nothing less. People could say they blew up the World Trade Centre to end US tyranny, and strangle hold over global currency. Same argument.

Let's face it, the Americans were gifted the keys to the world's vault courtesy of WW2, and have grown fat and lazy, from the sweat on the backs of the rest of the world, ever since.

You find that offensive? Well I find you saying the incineration of hundreds and thousands of innocent families, in a split second, not being terrorism, a completely revolting thing to say.

Disgusting! Revolting! Sordid! Sickening!

For God's sake, grow up and get a life.

Sally Anne

Just wondering. Putting the usage of the A-bomb aside, would it have been better for the US troops to attack Japan instead? How about Russia that would have came in also. We are aware of the history of what happens once Russia take any land(Poland, East Germany to name a few examples).

Could any leader or commander explain to the soldiers under his/her commmand that those deaths were necessary. How many people would have been killed. I guess we would never know.

People have argued that the bomb was not necessary because Japan would have surrendered given time but we won't really know that either.

I say it's always easier to judge people and events in hindsight but have any of us lived in those times I wonder what we would be thinking then.

It was pure terrorism, nothing more, nothing less. People could say they blew up the World Trade Centre to end US tyranny, and strangle hold over global currency. Same argument.

No, you're ignorant of what happened at the end of World War II, Japan and Germany were also racing to build an atomic bomb. If either nation had made theirs first and used it, would you call THAT terrorism?

The Japanese military was actually expecting civilians to fight in a US invasion. School kids were being trained with spears to stab soldiers. You think THAT would have been better?

Let's face it, the Americans were gifted the keys to the world's vault courtesy of WW2, and have grown fat and lazy, from the sweat on the backs of the rest of the world, ever since.

More anti-US hate. Sorry, but you're grossly wrong. Americans have worked for their success. Judging by your choice of words I'm guessing you're British. Either way, stop being jealous of the US! It's sad to see people like you hate the US just because it's a more successful nation than your own, whatever it may be.

You find that offensive? Well I find you saying the incineration of hundreds and thousands of innocent families, in a split second, not being terrorism, a completely revolting thing to say.

So I guess raping women in front of their husbands is an act of altruism? Or shooting children in front of their parents is just enforcement of public law? Japanese soldiers were doing this all over Asia! But of course, you don't care as long as the people suffering violence are Chinese or Korean!

The fact is you're the racist. I guess millions of Asians being enslaved by another Asian culture is insignificant. But again, if you're ignorant of history, this is normal.

For God's sake, grow up and get a life.

That's my advice to you. But I'd add "Read some history books first". Ever hear of "The Rape of Nanking" by Iris Chang? Oh wait, the victims were Chinese so I guess you don't care. Never mind.

'So I guess raping women in front of their husbands is an act of altruism? Or shooting children in front of their parents is just enforcement of public law? Japanese soldiers were doing this all over Asia! But of course, you don't care as long as the people suffering violence are Chinese or Korean!'

I don't see that the poster said they didn't care about Japanese atrocities at all. You are assuming it.

And you need bear in mind that similar atrocities are being perpetrated right now by American forces. Of course, the more extreme are not condoned officially, so someone who actually gets caught murdering and raping innocent civilians will get tried and sent to jail (although not executed). However, there is a decided grey area of what is and is not condoned by the American army and government that can be seen in the Abu Graib saga. There is quite a lot of credible evidence that the behaviour in Abu Graib was not in fact the work of a few bad apples, but in fact was sanctioned at the highest levels. American. What is public policy as opposed what is actually condoned are in fact two different things. Americans are doing the bad stuff right now.

..that it will take the light from the truth about 5 million light years to reach you.

I don't see that the poster said they didn't care about Japanese atrocities at all. You are assuming it.

No, they're turning a blind eye to what Japan was doing and focusing their hate on the US. If you're objective, you have to examine what Japan was doing and not sweep it under the rug.

And you need bear in mind that similar atrocities are being perpetrated right now by American forces.

Not at all and if you actually believe this then there's little I can say to enlighten you. Of course, the news outlets numbering in the hundreds that follow soldiers everywhere I'm sure is something you've overlooked. Japanese soldiers were rounding up people by the dozen and opening fire. American soldiers go to jail just for interrogating enemy combatants. Many of these said combatants recruit children to wear bombs and use guns, incidentally.

Of course, the more extreme are not condoned officially, so someone who actually gets caught murering and raping innocent civilians will get tried and sent to jail (although not executed).

Right there you just pointed out a huge difference. Japanese soldiers didn't get into any kind of trouble for murdering, raping, enslaving, hanging Chinese and Koreans. Why do you think Japan apologizes for it every year?

However, there is a decided grey area of what is and is not condoned by the American army and government that can be seen in the Abu Graib saga.

Now I know you're misinformed. Are you actually comparing making men wear women's panties on their head the same as shooting children in front of their parents? By the thousands? For decades? Are you THIS ignorant? How many people were actually killed by US soldiers at Abu Graib? Here's the answer: ZERO!

There is quite a lot of credible evidence that the behaviour in Abu Graib was not in fact the work of a few bad apples, but in fact was sanctioned at the highest levels.

What "credible evidence" are you referring to? The Huffington Post? Honestly, come up with actual evidence, not just rumors!

Again, even then, you're talking about soldiers and combatants being led in halls wearing leashes versus Japanese soldiers rounding up civilians and shooting them in the streets. Do you see a difference?

.Americans are doing the bad stuff right now.

Again, to compare what was done by Japanese soldiers to Chinese and Koreans from 1931 to 1945 versus Abu Graib is almost comical.

Read some more history, man. Of course, pretty hard to do with that eye mask on. If you hate the US, there's no amount of historical fact that's going to change your mind. Try turning off CNN for a while, that might help.

And the discussion has spiraled down into the quagmire I predicted: America is evil. Your mom's a whore.

I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter what side of the discussion you fall on or your nationality, but some of the remarks are just…mind boggling.

If you truly hate America as you say you do:

“They seem to be absolutely convinced that there is a direct relationship between the size of the American army and the size of their own dicks. Fry the lot of them, that's what I say.”

I would suggest you boycott America and all of its representations around the globe:

Starbucks Coffee
McDonalds
Burger King
Outback Steakhouse
Microsoft
Apple
Blue jeans
Rock music
7-11
Circle K
GE
CNN
Budweiser
American movies
Lost
Rolling Stone Magazine

And those are the just the products and services available in Japan.

My point being, this is how hypocritical you are. You damn an entire nation and yet turn around and use their products and services without any thought that you are contributing to the very ideals you seem to find so terrible. You have no principles. You are a buffet idealist when it serves your purpose. You need someone to blame for your own skewed world vision. Everyone hates the kid in school who seems to have everything and always comes out on top, even though in secret, behind closed doors, you wish you could be them.

And the “dicks” remark? This is what happens when you have nothing intelligent to say and no facts to argue with.

I’m not telling anyone to change their opinions. I’m saying, “Live your opinions”. If you really think America is so evil, don’t go there on “holiday”, don’t use their products, don’t use their services, don’t watch their entertainment and don’t interact with them. I think all concerned would be better off that way.

Without getting tangled up in this longwinded argument [and I do see a bit of both sides views],here's some information regarding America's current misadventures in foreign lands;

Breaking The Silence;Truth And Lies In The War On Terror [by award winning documentary maker John Pilger]
The US has intervened in 72 countries since the end of the second world war,quite a shocking revelation 21min.15sec
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-210088912352527308#

Leaked information from the Afghanistan conflict ,including the shooting of 100's of civilians [as revenge for IED attacks] by both US and UK forces,a war crime I believe.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/jul/27/wikileaks-afghanista...

Collateral Murder,the murder of countless Iraqi civilians and two Reuters cameramen on July 12, 2007 dowload and watch the entire US cockpit video
http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Collateral_Murder,_5_Apr_2010

The War On Democracy [John Pilger's award winning documentary] US intervention in South America
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8LWoU7ii9E&feature=related

Apologies, subtitles were missing from the 'War On Democracy' documentary,this link has them;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHj735t_knk&feature=related

It's important to listen to both sides before you make any judgement, so this Is a rare chance to hear those views.

As far as I know about the facts, Russia entered the war and moved in to attack Japan. The US had plans to attack Kyushu in October of 45 and move in to Honshu the following year. The citizens of Japan were being prepared to fight to the death. The US fighting towards Japan saw just how far the Japan military was willing to go.

I think the Soviets moving in was a real concern to the US especially looking at what happened in Europe.

I think it's easy to calculate that these deaths would have reached a huge number.

After 6 months of air bombing which the US warned japan about the goverment was still willing to fight to the end.

People may agree or disagree about if the ends justify the means. But would it have been better to invade Japan? I imagine if the US did the debate today would be the other way around.

It's "personnel" not "personnel".

the rape of nanking..the bataan death march..the sneak attack on pearl harbor...unit 731...ignoring the geneva convention...hong kong....shall i go on?

stop blubbering...it was better to obliterate those 2 cities than to continue to fire storm the rest of the country including kyoto....

they started it...the yanks finished it..

too fucking bad...

you said that so much better than I, I wish I had read your post first..I woulda kept my trap shut.

curious then that a fleet of obsolete battleships were (beautifully...should I say, perfectly) set up to be torpedoed, but the true weapon of a modern naval war..the carriers, and the B-17s stationed at Pearl...were out to sea that day..

how convenient...

Oh the Yanks WANTED it....

Ideals? What ideals? This has nothing to do with ideals and everything to do with American aggression and world dominance.

This guy is behind the times. Pretty soon we will be able to buy all these products and still hate America because they will all be China owned brands. No problems baby. We can even have Americans makin em again too on the kind of shit wages they've been paying the rest of the world for the last half a century. No complaining when that happens. You'll be lucky to have jobs at all, you lazy unemployed bums.

Aw shucks, what happened to your credit card?

China, Number 1. China, number 1.

The Japanese got a little payback for their stupid actions...don't like it....can't do anything about it...USA 1m Japan 0...End of story.

Why does this conversation still continue? There is no more to the story.

I love French haters. I`d like you to tell your spew to a Legionnaire, or Marine Commando...see what that gets you. Have the balls to tell a veteran of WW2 or Vietnam what a coward they are. No army on Earth could have withstood the Wehrmacht in 1939 Certainly not the British, (thank god for the channel) and they (the Germans) almost destroyed the freaking RUSSIANS.

And you speak of history? How about the French helping your American revolution?

The French have always been Americas friend. Friends TELL you when youre being a cunt. And dont always help you make an ass of yourself.

I say this as a supporter of America.

Dave

The French are pansies...always have been, always will be. Too many excuses and incompetence = English dominating the world. Reality.

go tell a French marine what a pansy he is...he`d hand your fat pasty English ass to you.

comedy.

Marines. French, American, or whatever……most Marines I have met, once you take away their guns, could not fight their way out of a wet paper bag. The Marines tends to attract misfit cowards, who need to shoot guns and make loud noises, to feel manly – a manliness that they were / are deficient in, which was noticed by society in general, which caused them to enlist to begin with. Again, most marines are in fact wimps. Piss on the marines. They are all cock heads. Everyone knows it. Beware of Unions.

Unions are the best thing that ever happened to mankind..they bring springtime and sunshine to the dark places of the world.

Evil corporations who enslave their workers are naughty and bad! They need to be stomped on by our glorious union brothers and sisters!

People who are against unions have small genitalia if male, and if females, are in all likelihood lesbians.

Piss on corporations and their evil greedy ways. They are all wankers. Everyone knows this..it is a well known FACT.

I love tandoori chicken.

14:11 You sound like a little man with a BIG high inferiority complex. No getting any from the ladies much these days? ;-)

Gotta love the people who talk tough on message boards....Kind of reminds me of the dumb Brit kickboxer who walked around Thailand claiming "nobody can defeat me." Only to have his ass kicked hard in a bar by a former Marine. Yup, the little baby Brit had to go buy some kitchen knives and sucker punch the Marine letting his girlfriend off at here apartment. Yup, real tough guy...Poor baby had his ass kicked and didn't like it.

At the end of the day, I would never f- with a Marine. Can't say anything about the French, but any American or British Marine (and Korean Marine) I have met always are really nice and calm when you meet them...But if they snap, watch out. You will have your ass handed to you in a bad way because they are trained to be animals when mad. They have an incredible amount of patience and discipline, which comes from their training, unlike army or navy types. But push them too far and you will get your ass kicked like the "professional boxer" did in Thailand. And if you are barely qualifying for the kiddie rides (read: height requirement), you better hope you have a kitchen full of knives, the element of surprise, drug the Marine and ask him to tie one arm behind his back before you attack...Or else....

Beware of Unions: You are an obvious troll who actually supports unions and is trying to get people "energized" on the board in typical "brothers and sisters" union garbage speak. And obviously you are feeling a little a little inferior that you never did or could accomplish what a Marine has in life. One day in Marine training and you would be done, especially with that attitude...Any idiot can type on a keyboard. Obviously your life is very simple and uneventful, and very ignorant. I feel sorry for you and your useless fine arts degree from a second-rate institution that nobody respects. Cheers.

Totally agree with the above poster. The little boy who was talking smack about Marines only does so on sites like this. Can't imagine him doing

That being said, my friend new a Marine and it was very interesting to here his observations. They are taught to go from polite, reserved, person (think White House guard, which only American Marines non Army are afforded the positions for obvious reasons) to crazy-psycho killer in a split second. They usually do not get bothered by simple taunts and jabs by idiot, inferiority complex morons that are out there. I have seen Marine even take a weak punch from some drunk bastard in a bar, but decided to spare the drunk a-hole the humility of being beat down in front of his peers. In fact, most times they will just walk away as trained. They are very disciplined for the most part. However, threaten or injure someone, or present a danger to them or someone they are with, and a Marine will go all ape-shit on you. Again, they can snap and when they do beware. Hence why they are "Marines" and you are not. They have training you will never understand or comprehend, unless you actually joined them. Most people cannot even pass the physical to get in let alone pass the training once in.

A good indie flick I saw about it is Ears Open, Eyeball Click. Check it out.

http://www.vidoemo.com/yvideo.php?i=Q2JMQWtEcWuRpUDBzREE&usmc-ears-open-...

12:28

I always laugh when I hear comments like this:

"The French are pansies...always have been, always will be. Too many excuses and incompetence = English dominating the world. Reality."

"Surrender monkeys", etc.

Words with a French origin make up about 29% of the English language, but about 99% of military and related terms used in English come from the French. Why is that? Try talking about the military or war without using any of these terms.

aide-de-camp , armor, arms, armory, army, assault, attack, barracks, barrel, barricade, base, barrier, battalion, battle, bayonet, bivouac, bomb, bravery, brigade, cadet, camp, campaign, camouflage, captain, cartridge, cavalry, challenge, champion, chevron, colonel, combat, command, commandant, commander, commendation, company, conquer, conquest, corporal, corps, coup, courage, damage, defense, deploy, desert, detachment, detonation, disarm, duty, enemy, engage, equipment, fatal, fort, garrison, general, grenade, guard, hangar, infantry, jet, latrine, lieutenant, liberty, marine, massacre, medal, military, mortality, movement, musket, navy, offense, operation, parade, pistol, platoon, recruit, rifle, officer, retreat, sabotage, sergeant, siege, skirmish, soldier, spy, target, trench, troop, victory, violence, war, etc....

Sorry to destroy your little Marine killing machine fantasy. I served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Believe me, there are plenty of Marines who couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag. It's true that there are plenty of Marines you shouldn't mess with. ALL Marines wear the same uniform and get SOME of the same training, but plenty of them are overweight and sit at desks, shuffle papers around, and take naps. I know this. I saw them every day. I won't even bother to argue it with anyone. Only a small percentage of Marines actually serve in combat arms. No offense to the Marine Corps or any Marines out there serving past or present. That's just the reality.

How about 'rendezvous'?

17:38. You couldn't be more wrong. I think you are talking about the Army. Maybe you can provide your years of service, MOS, and other pertinent information to verify you are true. ;-)

17:38 Don't know what

1. ALL Marines go through 12-13 weeks of intensive basic training (longest basic training in the world, 7 days a week). In fact, it is the only military that forces EVERY Marine to meet the SAME standards of physical fitness, marksmanship, etc. EVERY U.S. Marine goes to the same bootcamp (maybe different in other countries).

2. ALL Marines are basic infantry no matter what occupation they hold. Yes, even cooks know how to shoot, and do it well with some even winning inter-military marksmanship competitions. Marines must attend 4 weeks after basic training that is solely infantry training....ALL Marines.

3. Marksmanship training for basic Marines is the most strict in the world. Marine sniper, anyone? The most sought after by police agencies, etc, in the world.

4. Marine training is not all about punching out guys in a bar. Any idiot can throw a punch when drunk. Most of the toughest part of training is mental, including discipline. I will not go into the intricacies on this board.

5.

SOME of the same training, but plenty of them are overweight and sit at desks, shuffle papers around, and take naps...most not in combat jobs

MOST Marines are in combat or combat-linked units...In fact, this is the reason why most Marines are men...The combat to support role is highest in the world of any military branch.

6. Nobody said "killing machine." In fact, quite the opposite: disciplined unlike monkeys in Thailand who pick fights and then get their asses kicked by a "regular Marine." Embarrassing, eh?

I do not know what kind of "marine" you were, but you obviously did not serve anytime in the last 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps (MOS? DOS? Unit?). Reserves? Fat marines? Wonder how they passed their PFT...

Dime-a-dozen English teachers or staff with second-rate fine arts degrees versus a Marine (less than one percent of the U.S. population, probably the same for U.K. Marines, can claim the title)??? Ummm, not even in the same conversation.

First of all. Misinterpret my post. I knew this was coming. I didn't make any claims about every Marine or that the Marine Corps overall is not the best military branch worldwide, possibly in history. All I said was that EVERY Marine is not a hot-shot. I deal with these myths every time I talk to anyone about the Marine Corps. Not every Marine is in the infantry. It is not a special operations unit. There are 203,000 active-duty Marines serving at this time. That's larger than the entire Israeli Defense Forces or British Army. It's a volunteer organization. They have to meet recruiting numbers to maintain the force. The MINIMUM standards are not that challenging. Be a knucklehead and believe that a percentage of these Marines aren't slobs sitting at a desk.

You have a lack of understanding of Marine culture. Do you think my sentiments are unique? Every Marine talks about this. There are two sides to the Marine Corps. There is a distinction made between: Grunts (Infantry or equivalent) and P.O.G's (Persons Other than a Grunt). This is a constantly discussed concept among Marines. Ask someone else if you don't believe me. You have those in the infantry disparaging all other Marines wearing the uniform and those same Marines desperately trying to defend themselves against the claim that they are not "real" Marines. Most of these myths about ALL Marines being some kind of tough "Real Men" are perpetuated by the latter. You people buy into it. Go meet some admin. or aviation Marine who hasn't P-T'ed in two months and see how "hard" they are.

First thanks for the "information" points 1-5. No shit.

1. ALL Marines go through 12-13 weeks of intensive basic training (longest basic training in the world, 7 days a week). In fact, it is the only military that forces EVERY Marine to meet the SAME standards of physical fitness, marksmanship, etc.

Misconception. Every Marine does meet the same standards, but use your brain. Standards encompass a broad range. There is always a minimum score. It's not that high. This may have changed, but when I was in boot camp (MCRD Parris Island, Fox Co. Platoon 2037, January 23rd -April 14th, 1997. Senior D.I. Staff Sgt. Murphy)fat recruits had red stripes spray painted on the chests and backs of P-T gear to identify them. They stuck around until they met the minimum weight and fitness standards. Yes, boot camp is 13 weeks long. Some guys take 13 months. Don't believe they ever get any thinner or tougher than that out in the fleet. Copy and paste "facts" from Wikipedia if you like. That's all you know, but that's not the whole story.

The PFT? It has three classes. Most alcoholic eikaiwa teachers could attain a third-class Marine PFT if they showed up and didn't pass out. Go look up the standards. You'll be surprised.

2. ALL Marines are basic infantry no matter what occupation they hold. Yes, even cooks know how to shoot, and do it well with some even winning inter-military marksmanship competitions. Marines must attend 4 weeks after basic training that is solely infantry training....ALL Marines.

Same response. There's a minimum score. Most non-combat Marines get a week's training in marksmanship in boot camp and then maybe go to the range and qualify once a year.
Most Marines don't go to SOI (School of Infantry). You're talking about MCT (Marine Combat Training), which is not a comparable experience.

5. MOST Marines are in combat or combat-linked units...In fact, this is the reason why most Marines are men...The combat to support role is highest in the world of any military branch.

Of course all units are combat-linked in some sense. Duh. Go do some research on the Marine Corps. Look at what MOS's are available. When does the guy who hands out towels at the gym or who works in graphic arts have the time or get the training to become Rambo?

"... this is the reason why most Marines are men...blah, blah" ? Now you're talking nonsense. A fair amount of Marines are women, who usually outscore men on the rifle range, but are then not allowed to serve in the infantry. Make sense? I know that's not what you meant, but that statement expresses the underlying tone of your argument, which is your infatuation with an organization that contains plenty of samples that don't live up to your fantasy. By and large Marines down to a man or woman are better trained to serve in combat than say an Army soldier no matter what their MOS, but you are confused about the range of non-infantry Marines' individual capabilities.

I only responded because you actually had the balls to challenge me to prove my service on an open forum because I said ALL Marines are not some kind of super hero, which should have been easy enough to understand. What do you want to see a copy of my DD214? Photos? My service record book? Are you nuts? This demand coming from "Anonymous (not verified)".

All this makes me glad to be a simple ol' English teacher armed with a 50mm marker pen and doing my demonstration drills in grammar.

Women score higher

You sound like bitter person. Possibly get kicked out of the Corps? Army recruiter? At the end of the day, an no matter how limited you think Marine training is, it it still HIGHER and more involved than any other basic training in any other service in the world. So the rest of the world must be really shitty invtrainjng their warriors.

Sorry, women score higher on the rifle range because of physical makeup. The torso, arm length-ratio is different from men. Simply put, there. But you obviously were not a combat Marine (or thought much of your opinion) because a) rifle range scores do not necessarily = combat ability, b) women score lower on all aspects of the physical fitness test (PFT) which is key to combat survival, especially upper body strength, and) have something caled a period...but obviously you were a bitter desk jockey with limited experience, if any, in the Corps. Reservists have no respect.

Most non-combat Marines get a week's training in marksmanship in boot camp and then maybe go to the range and qualify once a year.

Don't know what Corps you are talking about, but Marines now have marksmanship is taught several weeks in. More is always better, but at the end of the day Marine Corps marksmanship training is the highest in the world (the others are much worse). No other military unit trains its basic fighters at 500 yards or puts that much investment in this type of training...You must have been some air idiot or supply guy to only go once a year, and obviously never served close to a combat environment.

Just for comparisons, you might get, oh, 6 weeks of training in Canada for a basic soldier...8 weeks in the U.K. Most other countries in the world do not go more than 6 weeks. U.S. Marine training is 12 weeks, then 4 weeks, then MOS specialty course...And then follow up training. No matter how short you want to make it out to be, still longer than the competition.

At the end of the day, Marine training, whether easy or hard, it still harder, longer, and more involved than any basic military unit in the world. Deal with it. Hence why some people choose to be Marines and others only dream of it or join the Army or Air Force.

Marksmanship is not just taught in bootcamp (more than a week), but again. It is not just direct, rifle range marksmanship (not real combat style), but indirectly in combat training after bootcamp and in the fleet. Of course, if you never actually made it to the fleet (medical weenie discharge) or happened upon one of the only far out and forgotten supply post positions, you would have gone to the range at least twice a year and participated in . It is also to note that it is not necessarily the length of training, but the quality. Find one service that trains ALL of its members as well as Marines. Furthermore, say what you want of the PFT, but it is still the only service-wide standard of its kind of any military unit sin the world. No other country requires such of its military members...ALL of them! And most Marines do NOT meet only a third-class PFT. You are an idiot if that is all you can accomplish.

End of the day, who shot Kennedy? A former Marine with a shitty rifle...Ha, ha! ;-)

P.S. The person complaining sounds like they are either in another branch of service or country's military. Did they ever give there MOS, DOS, unit, etc., supposedly in the Corps? ;-)

Senior D.I. Staff Sgt. Murphy)fat recruits had red stripes spray painted on the chests and backs of P-T gear to identify them. They stuck around until they met the minimum weight and fitness standards. Yes, boot camp is 13 weeks long. Some guys take 13 months

Ahh, the Clinton phase. Now I know why. And you sound a little bitter. Yup, those white or red "fat body" stripes. Remember, they were forced to get them leaner because of budget constraints (graduate as many as possible) and congress.

By the way, I know I (can't speak for the other posters) NEVER said Marines were superheroes or possessed super powers....Just that some people talk smack but have to watch themselves.

What was your MOS? That will explain it all.

Let's get back to talking about Japan.

Nice. A bunch of people expressing their disagreement with a person's statement by using a personal attack, which therefore forces them to state that they actually agree with him. Genius. Bait taken. Morons. What kind of education do you people have? Instantaneous ad hominem attacks against someone who a made a completely non-controversial and innocuous statement that no actual Marine would disagree with? By mistakenly assuming I had made a derogatory statement against Marines and then ignorantly responding by saying I couldn't have had personal experience to justify that statement, you have only only showed that you don't know what you are talking about

Part of reading is comprehension geniuses. I never made any claims about the ability of combat experienced and trained Marines. I never said the Marine Corps wasn't far superior to the other services. I only described a division in the Marine Corps that is completely indisputable. Marines talk about this division openly. There are plenty of forums you can access to see their civil discussions about this issue in almost the same words as mine. Instead of thinking about what I said you attacked me personally. Your attacks only show that you actually AGREE with me.

"You must have been a shitbag Marine. What's your MOS? You must have got out on some weeny medical discharge. You are a liar. Prove it. You were in some pathetic MOS. Out on some isolated supply post. Air wing. Limited experience. Desk-jockey."

First I never said my comments about non-combat Marines applied to myself. Secondly, "What was your MOS? That will explain it all" "So we can attempt to make fun of you and the rest of the non-awesome Marines?" That's turning your whole attack on its head. Your statements and attacks just prove that you believe someone can possibly be a Marine and not be outstanding, which WAS MY POINT. End of argument.

"Clinton era" guy. That's a lot of Marines chump. Many of those "jokes" you just ridiculed died serving the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead of arguing my point, you somehow became incensed because you are confused and thought it was an insult. Who's the punk who is insulting Marines now? Your attacks only show your own insecurities and troubled psychology. Making a failed attempt at defending something you were never part of and don't understand. Go get Tea-bagged.

Show me yours and I'll show you mine. The whole bunch of you are non-veterans. If you were then I'm certain none of you were ever Marines or have ever even met one. Post your personal details "anonymous" and then we'll talk. I'll be surprised to hear anything considering this is a forum aimed at grown men who make a living playing patty cake with children.

You are the ones disrespecting Marines. You should be ashamed.

To the above poster: are you f-ing psycho?! You seriously have some disturbing issues.

Looks like you didn't get the "last word." ;-)

Much prefer be an English teacher playing patty cake with children than a US Marine racing around some rinkydink country in a Humvee menacing harmless little kids with an M16. Only my humble opinion, of course.

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