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Old 2008-11-19, 05:20   Link #41
Tri-ring
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lathdrinor View Post
It's difficult to generate POW death rates for a country whose soldiers fought to the death because of their military code (the US mostly engaged Japan near the end of the war, when it was island hopping and Japan was on the defensive & employing fight-to-the-death tactics).

Nonetheless, if you look at the Allied numbers for other POWs, you'll notice that it's nowhere close to being as high as the Japanese numbers were for POWs. The Soviet Red Army, which was brutal in its own right, had only a 10% death rate for Japanese POWs. The Japanese had a 99% kill rate for Chinese POWs and a 27% for Western Allied POWs (36% for US POWs). That's horrendous compared to the Allied powers.
So now it was the fault of Japan's policy that made it impossible to generate a figure.
Get your head out of the proverbial sand of denial and read your own link.
The US enlisted men simply DIDN'T take Japanese POWs.
Haven't you heard of the words "Take no Prisoners" that is exactly what most US servce men did on the battle field.

Here is an excerpt from the link;
Quote:
Fergusson suggests that "it was not only the fear of disciplinary action or of dishonor that deterred German and Japanese soldiers from surrendering. More important for most soldiers was the perception that prisoners would be killed by the enemy anyway, and so one might as well fight on."
Also another point to mention is that Japanese POW by the Soviets were all captured AFTER the war since Japan had a Non-aggression pack with the Russian and the Russian only entered the Eastern front after the bombing of Hiroshima.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lathdrinor View Post
How did Japan annex Korea? By Korean consent? By a referendum vote in which Koreans decided that they would like to join Japan? By the fact that Korea was a part of Japan to begin with?

No, it was by occupation of the Korean capital, assassination of Korean leaders, and coercion of Korean politicians by threat of force. Now, don't get me wrong - at the time such annexations were often tolerated because the European empires were doing the same things, but by modern interpretations, it was a treaty produced by coercion and therefore null and void.
Read Korean history before annexation, the Chosen kingdom was a vassal state of the Qing Dynasty China and court assassination was the norm. The so called murder of their princess by Japanese troops is highly doubtful since there were no pictures of the princess at the time so the Japanese troops that went in would not have been able to identify her even if they wanted to kill her.
Annexation of Korea was war booty first winning against Qing and later asserted by winning against the Russians.
Japan also subrogated debts to foreign nations made by the Chosen Kingdom.
Cultural genocide is again highly doubtful unless you are talking about shermanism by introducing science. Fact is majority of the Korean Populous wasn't even able to use their own invented hangul letters.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lathdrinor View Post
History is written by the victors, and corrected by the victims. I'll go with the victims' interpretation of this era, and not the victimizers', thanks.
which makes your opinion biased and pitifully meaningless.
Victims will stretch(blur) the truth while suspects will hide it.
There are things like perjury and I believe that in Korea, people's assets can still be confiscated when found guilt of collaborating with the Japanese so natually most people will not speak fondly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lathdrinor View Post
Incorrect. Anti-Jewish sentiment was deeply seated and came from a combination of economic, political, and religious factors. Before Hitler ordered the Final Solution, the Jews were blamed for MANY things - lack of patriotism, collaboration with Germany's enemies, defiling of German politics, erosion of German culture, plotting against Germany, etc. etc. etc. This is nothing new - anti-Jewish sentiment (anti-semitism) is widespread in Europe due to the Jews' disproportionate control of Europe's finances and their general "outsider" status.

But the Nazis took it to the extremes because they genuinely believed that the Jews were working against Germany and turning Europe against them. Here's Goebbels' last anti-semitic essay, as an example: http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/goeb64.htm
So are you making a sweeping generalization that Jews were bad?
In any case, Japan did not have anything against the ethnic Chinese in terms of racism nor did Japan had any lavish scheme to cleanse the ethnic Chinese.
Just tried to subdue the resistance through ethnic choice.(Generalization and a bad choice I know but nevertheless those are the fact)



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lathdrinor View Post
I didn't say all 20 million were killed by the Japanese. About 6-7 million died as the direct result of Japanese military actions and war atrocities. Another 5-6 million died as a result of how the KMT ran the war effort. Famine during the time (caused by the war) killed another 2-3 million. If you want to believe that the figures were lower (ie 10 million), then simply scale those numbers. So it's 3-3.5 million as a result of Japan, 3 million as a result of the KMT, etc.
You'll still generate evidence and I really do not trust some so called historians since most of them also states that the figures for massacre of Nanking is also legitimate when then can't even create a working hypothysis concerning logistics of how Japan obtained enough supply to kill 300,000 people in such a short time.
There is a fact very little known but if the Nanking massacre was true then Japan was more efficient in killing people then the gas chambers in Auschwitz. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lathdrinor View Post
You need to understand the effect of Japan's invasion of China. China's agricultural economy, which sustained the lives of its 400 million citizens (around the time of war), was devastated by the war. What gains were made during the Republican period was destroyed by sustained Japanese offensives and bombings. The result was widespread famine, disease, and anarchy. Collateral damage, combined with numerous documented massacres, combined with forced labor under abhorrent conditions, combined with the effects of disease and famine, caused the large number of deaths.
And you are ignoring the fact that the warlord era decimated China before Japan came into the picture so again quite the sweeping generalization that Japan was the cause of all evil.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lathdrinor View Post
And where are your facts? If you're going to dismiss all the numbers as Allies propaganda, you had better have some pretty damn good evidence. Otherwise, it's just right-winger talk.
So again if I am a right winger I wonder where does it place you in with your opinions?
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Old 2008-11-19, 06:32   Link #42
Mumitroll
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No, by far and large the US was better, but in this particular instance (the atomic bombing of Japan), there were similar factors at work.
and which factors would that be? neither Germany, nor Japan, nor the USSR were in a similar situation even once.


Quote:
In terms of military and political policy, nobody in WW II was free from the factors I listed. That doesn't mean they were all the same. Two different arguments.
good. once you admit that, you also have to drop your relativizing argument "but mom everyone did it". no, not everyone did it. the Nazis had their concentration camps and lots of other fun things, the Japanese military treated Chinese and Koreans like animals, and the USSR sent millions of prisoners of war to Siberian prison camps - where many didnt come back from (although that was still a far cry from the German prisoner camps).

but none of them coldbloodedly killed 200,000+ civilians in 3 days when it wasnt even necessary.


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Just like the people who killed millions of Chinese, Russians, Jews, etc., yeah.
indeed. thats why i am saying that Truman belongs pretty much in the same row as Hitler and Stalin. and not in "one of the most respected American presidents" one.


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If not, then my point stands. Don't get me wrong, the Allies were no saints (I already said this), but they weren't nearly as terrible as governments that put civilians in gas chambers en masse just because they were of a certain ethnicity.
which do you think is more fun: to die in a gas chamber or when your skin is being burned off your body by a 500 degree radioactive blast wave?

thats not to say I'm apologizing for the Nazis. it was a horrendous regime, certainly the worst ever humanity produced. you literally get shivers reading KZ archives - where you see people classified, with pictures, according to who is going to be killed in what way.

the US' contempt for the lives of the Japanese though was not far off.

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but you know, the firebombings of Tokyo and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are regarded as terrible acts by many Americans
not by the majority. around 60% think that was "unavoidable". that's brainwash for you. and thats today, 60 years later. in 1945, how do you think, how many Americans supported dropping nuclear bombs on Japanese cities?

Take a guess.

85%.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/17677/Maj...apan-WWII.aspx



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and today, Japan is one of America's closest allies.
uh-huh.. its government maybe. do you think US military bases are welcome with the people in Okinawa? i was there last year. pretty much nobody likes having US military there. Okinawans do get a lot of revenue from US bases, but in recent years the anti-American sentiment has become stronger, so that the majority simply wants the Americans out of there. a similar thing goes for Yokosuka - there were demonstrations against the George Washington aircraft carrier arriving there in September.


Quote:
America even apologized and compensated the Japanese Americans they interned (wrongfully) during the war.
America, however, never apologized for dropping the nuclear bombs. even although Japanese governments have asked for it many times.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...51C1A967958260


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You don't get there by way of intense hatred.
you get there by 1) money and 2) propaganda. Japan was rebuilt not out of altruism, but because it was a key outpost in the Far East against the USSR, with the Korea war, etc. also, in the first post-war years, the US enforced strict censorship on everything in Japanese media, banning any criticism of the allies, and rather forcefully imposing US culture and US systems on them. That subservient attitude stayed for a long time, although in recent years it has been going downhill rather continuously as well - albeit slowly. Japan still needs the US as a defense against China - at least until the JSDF is sufficiently strong itself (which might be not too far off - it's being gradually made ever more powerful).


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In any case, I personally think that alot of nukes would have to be used, across the entire world, for the "most of us to be dead" scenario to happen. There are 6 billion people now, 6000 million, and counting. For all of man's warring abilities, we couldn't even match the killings of a flu bug (the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918-19).
in my thread title I was implying the majority of the readers of the thread. who are probably all in 100,000+ cities in developed countries, or close by. and in fact, the existing number of warheads is more than enough to destroy all 100.000+ cities in all developed countries on Earth - there's just 44 of them in the US, for example.


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The Soviet Red Army, which was brutal in its own right
..or so say the Western sources..


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The who's-worse-than-who-in-this-situation is one of the worst forms of debate one can possibly encounter on the internet.
thats when the debate is by people who dont know what they are talking about and are merely throwing around cursewords. when the discussion is led intelligently, you can indeed make comparisons and cite more or less accurate figures.


Quote:
The universal answer? We are all murderers, oppressors, self-interested parasites of Mother Earth. Get over it, your country committed heinous, unforgivable crimes against fellow humans. Mine did, too.
thats an answer for the kindergarten. for the 10-year-olds.

Last edited by Mumitroll; 2008-11-19 at 07:59.
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Old 2008-11-19, 06:51   Link #43
FLCL
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look we get it...you don't like the US or its foreign policy, its quite apparent from your vehement viewpoint, But yet again....what is the point of this whole thread, just to bash it seems so far.

and No, the threat of nuclear war is minimal, it is mainly a detente if anything.

@ lathrindor, just retreat, its impossible to argue with people who blindly argue against cold hard factism and evidence. One side is bringing a rational arguement with Base, the other is just conniving out of maliciousness

and um mumitroll, your glorious country may not have killed 200XXX in 3 days, but rather 11.5 million CIVILIANS in 6 years, quite pleasant don't you say. Don't you ever try to compare systemic genocide with military acts of war...THEY ARE NOT one in the same. The military estimates would've been in the millions on both sides if the US actually established a beachhead and invaded japan on foot. Bomb =/=gas chambers, a political entity and country was the target with the atomic weapons, minority ethnic groups were the target of cleansing on the other hand.
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Old 2008-11-19, 07:21   Link #44
Mumitroll
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look we get it...you don't like the US or its foreign policy, its quite apparent from your vehement viewpoint, But yet again....what is the point of this whole thread, just to bash it seems so far.
what you should get is not that *I* dont like US foreign policy - I made that obvious in my very first post - its that YOU should not like it and know why.

and btw:

Quote:
"Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial 'we'."~ Mark Twain

Quote:
and No, the threat of nuclear war is minimal, it is mainly a detente if anything.
how about a single nuclear bomb being exploded in a US city? i think the threat of that is very real - unless US foreign policy undergoes a major change sometime soon.


Quote:
and um mumitroll, your glorious country may not have killed 200XXX in 3 days, but rather 11.5 million CIVILIANS in 6 years
there are several very major differences. 1) almost all of them were the country's own citizens. not people of other countries. and 2) it was done by a paranoid dictator clinging on to power, who was neither elected - like Hitler or Truman - nor blindly supported by the majority of the population - like Hitler or the Japanese government/emperor prior to WWII and during it.

an instructive difference in attitudes between the Nazis and the USSR vs others is in the abovementioned POW treatment. some figures:

German POWs taken by USSR: 3,300,000 POWS that died in captivity: 374,000
Soviet POWs taken by Germany: 5,200,000 POWS that died in captivity: 3,600,000

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern...II)#Casualties


Quote:
The military estimates would've been in the millions on both sides if the US actually established a beachhead and invaded japan on foot.
oh really? take D-Day for a comparison. casualties: 1465 dead US, 2700 dead UK, ~4000 Germany.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-Day

or take the "major" battles of the Pacific front: Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Iwo Jima US casualties: 6,821. Okinawa: 12,513. either barely qualifies as a minor regional conflict on the scale of the Eastern front.

your "in the millions" is completely groundless.

Last edited by Mumitroll; 2008-11-19 at 10:14.
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Old 2008-11-19, 08:26   Link #45
WanderingKnight
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lol, this is just too funny.

"YOUR country killed MORE civilians than us. YOU'RE TOTALLY BARBARIC!!"

Way to go, mankind.
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Old 2008-11-19, 08:36   Link #46
ganbaru
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Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
lol, this is just too funny.

"YOUR country killed MORE civilians than us. YOU'RE TOTALLY BARBARIC!!"

Way to go, mankind.
Just wonder how much in history they will go search.
If they start counting the ones killed by the conquistadors and the spanish inquisition or starting to count the killed from the Roman on the back of the Italian, that tread might become more insane.

Anyway, it like someone said to me once: History is written with blood.
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Old 2008-11-19, 08:53   Link #47
SaintessHeart
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"A death of one is a tragedy, the death of a thousand is a statistic." Josef Stalin

It doesn't really matter who actually kill more people in war, most politicians who sought to end war through violent means would not even put the bodycount into thought.

The most well known scenario is still the Eastern Front, most of the soldiers died "defending the motherland" with Stalin's words of "Not a step back!". Commissars execute those who retreat, and left with no choice, the soldiers will just blindly charge the machine gun head-on. I believe many historians consider those attrition tactics caused a pyrrhic victory, but for Stalin, his motherland is worth more than the lives of 1.35 million young men. I read somewhere that out of 45000 in a certain regiment, only 200 survived till the end of war.

Nuclear power is dangerous as we know, Chernobyl has shown us that even for peaceful uses, it can be risky. And we also have Tsar Bomba, the most powerful thermonuclear bomb ever built, yielding 50 megatons of TNT, courtesy of Russia. Or you can fire from a portable emplacement like the M388 Davy Crockett. But using these weapons would result in a Mutually Assured Destruction, and have the whole human race wiped out.

I don't think anyone is as crazy as Char Aznable to destroy the world so humans will migrate to space or something like that, do you?
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Old 2008-11-19, 08:59   Link #48
Mumitroll
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Just wonder how much in history they will go search.
the further, the better! if everyone knew the sizes, reasons, and casualties of all major conflicts since 5000 BC, there would be A LOT less wars today.


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If they start counting the ones killed by the conquistadors and the spanish inquisition or starting to count the killed from the Roman on the back of the Italian, that tread might become more insane.
what is so insane about it? to me, the idea that "you cannot compare historical event X to historical event Y" and "you cannot compare casualties in event A to casualties to event B" is insane. if you cant do that, you might as well give up on studying history at all, since you wont even know what you are talking about. such ignorance is very common among US internet forum posters, and relativizing lines a la "you cant compare it, everyone was bad" are a typical sign of people whose culture is limited to the McDonalds era.

the result of such ignorance is a grave one. such people are easily brainwashed since they dont have any historical footing to depend on for objective comparisons. a good example is the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. it was prepared with an extremely intense and short-term propaganda campaign (about 6 months) during which alleged Iraqi WMDs were puffed up to an almost hysterical level. and the US majority bought that crap, just like it bought tons of similar crap lots of times before. a poll immediately before the invasion showed an approximately 75% support for it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America...vasion_of_Iraq

that sounds insane today - now that figure is almost reverted even in the US - but that is the result of a historically and geopolitically illiterate population being subjected to massive media propaganda. repeating "Saddam is a bad tyrant, he has WMDs and wants to attack the US" often enough was sufficient to make it believe that.

a somewhat similar campaign has been going on recently about Iran - as that caricature above illustrated well.

an even more recent case was the conflict in Georgia.

similar illusions are very widespread in the US population on many other foreign policy issues. e.g. the abovementioned illusion that the US acts for the "general good" or "means well". it is to a major extent footed on a belief that, e.g., the US "won" WWII and defeated evil Nazis. and that is again only possible when people are illiterate as to the sizes of the respective theatres of war, people and arms involved, and the resulting casualties - since in reality, all US military action in Europe was a small fraction of what was required to defeat Nazi Germany, and done at a time when it had already been almost beaten.

a similar thing goes for Vietnam. e.g. the fact that most of US violence and bombing there was actually directed against SOUTH Vietnam - and not the evil Commies in the North - is a revelation to almost all Americans.

historical illiteracy is a really dangerous thing.


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The most well known scenario is still the Eastern Front, most of the soldiers died "defending the motherland" with Stalin's words of "Not a step back!". Commissars execute those who retreat, and left with no choice, the soldiers will just blindly charge the machine gun head-on.
you shouldn't overestimate the commissars' and politruks' role. while it was indeed a certain factor in the early months of the war, their influence on the overall theatre of war was minor - the position itself only existed till October 1942 - and by most historians is considered to be rather negative. they had the authority to give disruptive and stupid commands to armed forces regiments - as the infamous "not a step back" - which resulted in large meaningless losses especially in the first months of the war, without any strategic victories to show for it. in the key Soviet victories - Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk - their importance was next to zero.

Last edited by Mumitroll; 2008-11-19 at 10:16.
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Old 2008-11-19, 13:45   Link #49
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what is so insane about it? to me, the idea that "you cannot compare historical event X to historical event Y" and "you cannot compare casualties in event A to casualties to event B" is insane. if you cant do that, you might as well give up on studying history at all, since you wont even know what you are talking about. such ignorance is very common among US internet forum posters, and relativizing lines a la "you cant compare it, everyone was bad" are a typical sign of people whose culture is limited to the McDonalds era.
Quote:
historical illiteracy is a really dangerous thing.
What?

You mean that seeking higher moral ground because some countries were "less bad" than others is being historically conscious?

What are you smoking?
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Old 2008-11-19, 13:55   Link #50
ganbaru
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Sorry to pass for one of those '' people whose culture is limited to the McDonalds era'',.
In fact I might not know history as much as you, but I don't limite myself to the 20th century history. One of the problem to try to compare ''acts'' than are distant in time is the moral value and mentality of the time. In antiquity the victor army than captured a city acted in a way than would be inbelivable to see now, even from the russian in chechenya might be not that bad ( for lack of a proper word).
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Old 2008-11-19, 15:08   Link #51
Lathdrinor
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Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
So now it was the fault of Japan's policy that made it impossible to generate a figure.
Get your head out of the proverbial sand of denial and read your own link.
The US enlisted men simply DIDN'T take Japanese POWs.
Haven't you heard of the words "Take no Prisoners" that is exactly what most US servce men did on the battle field.

Here is an excerpt from the link;
Read Japan's military doctrine on surrendering before you spout off your mouth. The US took plenty of prisoners in every conflict fought before, after, and during World War II. How come the US didn't take any for Japan? Because the US has some kind of intense racial hatred for Japanese that it didn't have for other Asians?

Get real.

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Also another point to mention is that Japanese POW by the Soviets were all captured AFTER the war since Japan had a Non-aggression pack with the Russian and the Russian only entered the Eastern front after the bombing of Hiroshima.
That's not what "after the war" means.

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Read Korean history before annexation, the Chosen kingdom was a vassal state of the Qing Dynasty China and court assassination was the norm.
No, it wasn't. Do you even understand what vassal state means? Korea had its own system of government and its own leaders - Qing imperial theory was very different from that of Japanese (and European) imperial theory.

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The so called murder of their princess by Japanese troops is highly doubtful since there were no pictures of the princess at the time so the Japanese troops that went in would not have been able to identify her even if they wanted to kill her.
/facepalm

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Annexation of Korea was war booty first winning against Qing and later asserted by winning against the Russians.
Yeah, and in none of these conflicts did Japan ever care about what Korean leaders thought. Do you realize now why it was an occupation? Manchu subjugation of Korea was an occupation, too, and Koreans today do not look back to that era with joy.

Look at it this way - the Korean Emperor refused to sign the treaty of annexation. You understand, presumably, the stature of the Japanese Emperor during World War II? If some country occupied the capital of Japan, forced the prime minister to sign a document annexing Japan to that country, and the Emperor of Japan refused to sign it, what does that tell you? That Japan voluntarily submitted to annexation?

Occupying countries have always depended on provisional governments - created via threat of force - to puppeteer their colonies. Japan created provisional governments for Manchuria, China, Southeast Asia - you name it. Does that mean none of those places were occupied by Japan? That they were all "part" of Japan?

Get real.

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Cultural genocide is again highly doubtful unless you are talking about shermanism by introducing science. Fact is majority of the Korean Populous wasn't even able to use their own invented hangul letters.
/facepalm

You really need to brush up on Korean history.

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which makes your opinion biased and pitifully meaningless.
Victims will stretch(blur) the truth while suspects will hide it.
There are things like perjury and I believe that in Korea, people's assets can still be confiscated when found guilt of collaborating with the Japanese so natually most people will not speak fondly.
The Japanese Empire tried to erase evidence of its atrocities, much like Nazi Germany did, before the end, so in that sense, yes, there could be quite a bit that historians missed. But things like the Baatan Death March and the Nanjing Massacre were well-documented, and general casualty numbers could be estimated from counting before-and-after numbers for villages, towns, cities, etc. And also from counting graves (though many of the bodies were burned).

In that sense, the numbers for the war are quite reasonable, since they're not just "what the victims said" but also what was actually available from official documents on both sides. No historian worth his salt doesn't corroborate the evidence and cross-examine them to get rid of potential biases. That doesn't mean it's entirely accurate - due to the general chaos of war casualty numbers will always be an estimate - but it's about as good of a guess as you're going to get.

Your view - that history should just be discounted because everybody is biased - on the other hand, is mere revisionism that brushes aside atrocities and war crimes for a "feel good" LIE. If historians thought as you did, then there would be no history, and people would just believe what they like to believe. Yet, that is precisely what led to the atrocities in the first place - because people lied and no one gave a damn about it. The Nuremberg trials was the first time many Germans even knew what their government was doing behind their backs. Just the same, the Tokyo trials should have been a similar wake-up call for the Japanese.

Unfortunately, Japan is so caught up in its own narrative of victimhood that it continues to produce denial after denial, even to this day, as evidenced by your posts here.

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So are you making a sweeping generalization that Jews were bad?
I'm saying that's what the Nazis believed - that the Jews were traitors and conspired with Germany's enemies.

You really lack knowledge about this phase of European history. I wouldn't press on without doing some serious research.

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In any case, Japan did not have anything against the ethnic Chinese in terms of racism nor did Japan had any lavish scheme to cleanse the ethnic Chinese.
Just tried to subdue the resistance through ethnic choice.(Generalization and a bad choice I know but nevertheless those are the fact)
There was plenty of Japanese racism against Chinese. One simple search would tell you that much, but of course, it's just all Allies propaganda

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You'll still generate evidence and I really do not trust some so called historians since most of them also states that the figures for massacre of Nanking is also legitimate when then can't even create a working hypothysis concerning logistics of how Japan obtained enough supply to kill 300,000 people in such a short time.
There is a fact very little known but if the Nanking massacre was true then Japan was more efficient in killing people then the gas chambers in Auschwitz. 
Killing people is very, very easy. Even the Mongols back in the day could raze an entire city to the ground in a few days, much less the modernized Japanese military. The Germans had to round up the Jews from across the country in order to kill them (since they were targeting a specific race and not a location) and were trying to do it in secrecy. For the Japanese Nanjing was just an indiscriminate massacre. It's a completely different situation.

That said, the numbers of 200,000-300,000 are not necessarily the numbers for the Rape of Nanjing (the specific incident in which the Japanese army, after taking the city, rampaged through it). Rather, they often refer to the number of people killed by the Japanese Army as it advanced through the areas surrounding Nanjing. The actual massacres within Nanjing's walls probably numbered in the 40-50,000, which was a significant proportion of the city's population. So, the massacre did occur, and hundreds of thousands of Chinese likely did die during Japan's Nanjing campaign - but the two events did not necessarily occur simultaneously.

A well-sourced website discussing the issue (with many, many sources, including Western, Chinese, and Japanese) can be found here: http://www.nankingatrocities.net/index.htm

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And you are ignoring the fact that the warlord era decimated China before Japan came into the picture so again quite the sweeping generalization that Japan was the cause of all evil.
No self-respecting historian counts the deaths during the Warlord era into the deaths during the Second Sino-Japanese War. You're grasping at straws, here.

Yes, China wasn't in the best of conditions to withstand the Japanese invasion. That made the Japanese invasion all the more disgusting as it took advantage of a country that was already vulnerable. That so many people died as a result is no surprise - when you attack a country whose resources were strained to the breaking point, widespread suffering and chaos result.

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So again if I am a right winger I wonder where does it place you in with your opinions?
The truth? I hate to say it, but most people in the world believe what I do because they recognize the facts. Japan, on the other hand, has repeatedly attempted to whitewash history by way of omission and underplay. Why is it only Japanese writers deny the atrocities? If you're so convinced that everyone lies, doesn't that make you suspicious?

It'd be one thing if the only evidence we had on Japan's conduct during World War II was from the US, or China, or the Soviets, but that's clearly not the case. Across the world, many nations suffered under Imperial Japan and all of them have produced damning evidence. It's not just China or Korea. It's the entire length of the Japanese Empire. Only early acquisitions like Taiwan were treated with any degree of decency and - *gasp* - historians don't consider Taiwan a Japanese atrocity. Could it be that they're not so biased, after all?

Cross-examining the facts between different nations produced the truth - that of a morally bankrupt, brutal, militaristic regime that cared little about human lives. Do you really think that the Imperial Japanese government, which asked its own soldiers to always fight to the death instead of surrendering (something the Allies did not ask of their soldiers), and which executed up to a third of war prisoners it took, would care all that much about the lives of non-Japanese? That is logic-defying.

Last edited by Lathdrinor; 2008-11-19 at 16:13.
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Old 2008-11-19, 15:52   Link #52
Lathdrinor
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Originally Posted by Mumitroll View Post
and which factors would that be? neither Germany, nor Japan, nor the USSR were in a similar situation even once.
Racism, imperialism, the doctrine of total war, the acceptance of brutality, the lack of any real rules governing the use of WMDs.

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good. once you admit that, you also have to drop your relativizing argument "but mom everyone did it". no, not everyone did it. the Nazis had their concentration camps and lots of other fun things, the Japanese military treated Chinese and Koreans like animals, and the USSR sent millions of prisoners of war to Siberian prison camps - where many didnt come back from (although that was still a far cry from the German prisoner camps).

but none of them coldbloodedly killed 200,000+ civilians in 3 days when it wasnt even necessary.
From your perspective, in retrospect, it wasn't necessary. From the perspective of the Allied high-command, which did not know whether Japan would surrender, it was necessary to save American lives and to prevent the Soviets from taking the initiative. It was great power politics, not wanton cruelty.

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indeed. thats why i am saying that Truman belongs pretty much in the same row as Hitler and Stalin. and not in "one of the most respected American presidents" one.
Truman and Churchill both had their flaws, but neither were as terrible as Hitler and Stalin, not in number of killings done, and not in the reasons for those killings. Honestly, you're comparing someone who ordered the bombing of industrial targets in Japan - an aggressor nation - with someone who ordered the genocide of the Jews (or, in Stalin's case, the systematic slaughter of those who did not support him). There is no comparison.

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which do you think is more fun: to die in a gas chamber or when your skin is being burned off your body by a 500 degree radioactive blast wave?
If Truman had ordered the atomic bombing of Japan because he hated the "Japs" and wanted them to die, he would be akin to Hitler. But since he ordered the atomic bombing of Japan on the advice of his generals, who believed that it would save American lives and prevent the Soviets from invading, his intentions were fundamentally different. I'm sorry, but intentions do matter in the evaluation of a deed. That's why there's a difference between manslaughter and murder.

Failing to make a distinction between the Jews, who Hitler targeted out of pure malice and hatred, and the Japanese, who were waging a war against the US that they started, is absurd.

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the US' contempt for the lives of the Japanese though was not far off.
Nonsense!

If the Nazis had won, they would've exterminated the Jews. Did the US exterminate Japan? What genocides did the US carry out in Japan after the war? The US spared the Japanese Emperor, for crying out loud. Would Hitler have spared the Jews? The Nazis wrote policy documents detailing how they were going to slaughter the Jews, the Gypsies, and the Slavs after the war and enslave the other races.

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not by the majority. around 60% think that was "unavoidable". that's brainwash for you. and thats today, 60 years later. in 1945, how do you think, how many Americans supported dropping nuclear bombs on Japanese cities?
In 1945, how many Japanese would've supported using anything to defeat the US? Once again, you're talking about two nations locked in total war, here, not two nations at peace.

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uh-huh.. its government maybe. do you think US military bases are welcome with the people in Okinawa? i was there last year. pretty much nobody likes having US military there. Okinawans do get a lot of revenue from US bases, but in recent years the anti-American sentiment has become stronger, so that the majority simply wants the Americans out of there. a similar thing goes for Yokosuka - there were demonstrations against the George Washington aircraft carrier arriving there in September.
A small price to pay, no offense, for losing a war you started. There is truly little room for Germany and Japan, both of which treated their enemies with incredible scorn even after those enemies were defeated, to criticize US actions after its victory in Japan.

Is Japan not the world's second largest economy, today? Do you think the Japanese would've built, say, China into a superpower after they defeated it?

I sincerely doubt it.

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America, however, never apologized for dropping the nuclear bombs. even although Japanese governments have asked for it many times.
And that's unfortunate, of course, though like I said above, it's not on the same level as the Holocaust.

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you get there by 1) money and 2) propaganda. Japan was rebuilt not out of altruism, but because it was a key outpost in the Far East against the USSR, with the Korea war, etc. also, in the first post-war years, the US enforced strict censorship on everything in Japanese media, banning any criticism of the allies, and rather forcefully imposing US culture and US systems on them. That subservient attitude stayed for a long time, although in recent years it has been going downhill rather continuously as well - albeit slowly. Japan still needs the US as a defense against China - at least until the JSDF is sufficiently strong itself (which might be not too far off - it's being gradually made ever more powerful).
Like I said, compare that to how the Germans and the Japanese treated their defeated enemies. After fifty years of US occupation, Japan is the second largest economy in the world and has a fully functioning defense force that might, in time, become a powerful modern army. No European empire ever gave such treatment to its colonies.

Last edited by Lathdrinor; 2008-11-19 at 16:06.
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Old 2008-11-19, 17:39   Link #53
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What?

You mean that seeking higher moral ground because some countries were "less bad" than others is being historically conscious?
you don't understand. I never use adjectives like "good" or "bad". anime characters can be "good" or "bad". such terms are inappropriate in real life - maybe Mother Teresa was "good" (although there are some doubts even about that) and maybe Hitler was "bad" - but there are so many shades in between that any classification with such words is meaningless.

the point is rather to compare what certain people (e.g. nation leaders/governments) did, their reasons for doing so, how it was received, how it compares to what other similar things have been done before, and what consequences can be drawn from that for the future. this can only be done in terms of specific events and specific conflicts - although it can also sometimes be extrapolated when a policy of a certain state is consistent for an extended period of time (like for example Nazi policy 1933-1945 or US policy post-WWII).

i may use terms like "morally understandable" when it is appropriate, but thats pretty much only in extremely obvious cases. i.e. if state A attacks state B and kills millions of people there, it is morally understandable that state B retaliates with whatever means available to it.



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Sorry to pass for one of those '' people whose culture is limited to the McDonalds era''
i dont mean that personally.


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In fact I might not know history as much as you, but I don't limite myself to the 20th century history. One of the problem to try to compare ''acts'' than are distant in time is the moral value and mentality of the time. In antiquity the victor army than captured a city acted in a way than would be inbelivable to see now, even from the russian in chechenya might be not that bad ( for lack of a proper word).
i disagree. i do not think that moral values and mentality of times have actually changed all that much in the last 2000 years. if you look say at the history of the Roman empire, or Ancient Greece, you see much of the same that you see today - power struggles, conquest of strategically important areas, proxy governments, wars (and atrocities) when there are economical or political reasons for them, etc.

I dont know how well you're informed about the Russian approach in Chechnya - it was cruel alright - the problem there is rather that there probably was no other way to end it anytime soon. the Chechens are to a major extent a nation of people used to a warlord-style life, rather similar to the Taliban in Afghanistan. their primary means of existence is by war and looting. why do you think the Chechen wars started in the first place? it was because, after the collapse of the USSR, Chechens continuously attacked and pillaged the neighboring Dagestan villages.


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The Nuremberg trials was the first time many Germans even knew what their government was doing behind their backs.
while technically correct, the majority of Germans did have an idea of what was happening already well before the start of WWII. Hitler got majority elected with his openly nationalistic and antisemitic stance. yes, perhaps burning Jews in KZs was not one of his election slogans, but for instance burning books of "anti-German" Jewish authors was something that was enthusiastically received by the population at the time, with only a few sparse opposing voices.


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Racism
Nazis and Japan - agree. US/UK vs Japan - as well. US/UK vs USSR - not really. it was more like enthusiastic support in the early phases of the war - which later turned into a stance of anti-Communism. USSR though? you'd be hard put to find any anti-German or anti-Japanese racism there. Antisemitism would be your best shot - I'd agree that it existed (and still exists) - but obviously Jews weren't exactly a target of the USSR.


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imperialism
agree. thats something that can clearly be attributed to all of Germany, Japan, US, UK, USSR at WWII time.


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the doctrine of total war, the acceptance of brutality
thats more complicated. while thats obviously valid for the Nazis and the Japanese, it's only valid for US/UK in regard to their bombing activities. on ground they were nowhere as cruel as Germany/Japan, and most of their prisoners survived (POW death rate only about 1%). a similar thing is valid for the USSR, although there the POW death rate was much higher (around 10-15%) - which however was more of a logistics thing - at Stalingrad winter temperatures it was obviously harder not to let POWs die than in summertime France.


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the lack of any real rules governing the use of WMDs.
what WMDs? there were no WMDs at the time (save chemical, but those were largely not used in WWII contrary to WWI - a bit by Japan but thats about it). the only WMD usage was US nukes.


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From the perspective of the Allied high-command, which did not know whether Japan would surrender, it was necessary to save American lives and to prevent the Soviets from taking the initiative. It was great power politics, not wanton cruelty.
i dont make any difference between killing 100,000 people for "power politics" and killing them because you feel like it. for them, its the same thing. also, you must be very naive to think that Truman and the military lead did not know that Japan would be defeated soon - with Germany gone, Japan's navy mostly gone, and the USSR having entered the war against Japan, it would have taken complete detachment from reality to expect anything but a Japanese loss in the near future. that is confirmed by people like Eisenhower, Churchill, Byrnes, Stimson, etc. Japan had in fact asked the USSR to mediate in conditional surrender talks as early as March 1945, and offered a conditional peace treaty on July 22nd - which was rejected by the US.

The US were again informed on July 28 at Potsdam, before the bomb was used, that Japan was prepared to surrender:

Stalin:"I want to inform you that we, the Russian delegation, have received a new proposal from Japan... [Japan's note on mediation was then read out in English B.M.] ... Japan is offering to cooperate with us. We intend to reply to them in the same spirit as last time."

Truman:"We do not object."

Attlee:"We agree."

(At Potsdam Conference, July 28 1945)


so, as ive repeatedly said, dropping the bombs had next to nothing to do with defeating Japan and saving lives. the CENTRAL goal was to demonstrate Stalin who's boss in this theatre of war (and globally) and prevent another situation as in Europe, where he ended up controlling half of it because US/UK were too slow. this is VERY obvious if you study materials and think a little.

and no those reasons dont make it any less cruel than the lack of such.


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you're comparing someone who ordered the bombing of industrial targets in Japan - an aggressor nation
lets be accurate: someone who ordered the destruction of two cities, merely for a power politics reason, not anything survival-related - in an aggressor nation that never attacked his own country, just an offshore military base.


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(or, in Stalin's case, the systematic slaughter of those who did not support him). There is no comparison.
while i'm not saying that Truman or Churchill were overall as horrible people as Hitler and Stalin, you can make a comparison in terms of contempt for people's lives.


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If Truman had ordered the atomic bombing of Japan because he hated the "Japs" and wanted them to die, he would be akin to Hitler.
he wouldnt have ordered it if he did care even a slightest bit about the "Japs"' lives. in fact, why do you think the bomb was not used against Germany?


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I'm sorry, but intentions do matter in the evaluation of a deed. That's why there's a difference between manslaughter and murder.
yes, agree. however, the difference is mainly in the length of the prison term


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If the Nazis had won, they would've exterminated the Jews. Did the US exterminate Japan? What genocides did the US carry out in Japan after the war?
it did enough during the war.


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The US spared the Japanese Emperor, for crying out loud. Would Hitler have spared the Jews?
if you pay attention to my wording, i'm not saying the US was entirely on the same level as the Nazis - obviously, no. I'm saying that the US *CONTEMPT* for the lives of the Japanese was very obvious - just read some of the US press of the time. it's hysterically racist.

to illustrate teh difference:

Hitler position: "All Jews must die, they're unworthy lowly creatures."
US position: "If 200,000 Japs have to die to show Stalin that we have the bomb, it's no problem, they're unworthy lowly creatures."



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In 1945, how many Japanese would've supported using anything to defeat the US?
thats a hypothetical question. the Japanese were never in a situation to defeat the US. at the time where their position was perhaps the most advantageous, with the most choice of action - at Pearl Harbor - they attacked practically exclusively military targets.


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Once again, you're talking about two nations locked in total war, here, not two nations at peace.
and once again, you are doing hypothetical relativizations. "what would have happened if Japan had Godzilla under its command? imagine the horror!!!"


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A small price to pay, no offense, for losing a war you started. There is truly little room for Germany and Japan, both of which treated their enemies with incredible scorn even after those enemies were defeated, to criticize US actions after its victory in Japan.
hmm... that has some truth to it. but I disagree in terms of duration. 5-10 years, yeah that has a point. 60 years? I dont think so. for example I never once thought that the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe and half of Germany was legitimate post-1948 or so.


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Is Japan not the world's second largest economy, today? Do you think the Japanese would've built, say, China into an economic superpower after they defeated it?

I sincerely doubt it.
you forget the reasons. see my post above. if you think the post-WWII reconstruction of West Germany and Japan was done out of altruism - think again.

although I do agree that, if we forget the anti-USSR reasons for it, the US course in both of those countries was pretty good post-war and was a substantial factor in them returning to prosperity.

of course the situation is very different in many other countries which the US isnt interested in as an ally/outpost.


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Like I said, compare that to how the Germans and the Japanese treated their defeated enemies. After fifty years of US occupation, Japan is the second largest economy in the world and has a fully functioning defense force that might, in time, become a powerful modern army. No European empire ever gave such treatment to its colonies.
post-WWII Germany and Japan are pretty much the only examples I can think of where the US has treated its colonies/former enemies well - for abovementioned reasons. go just about anywhere else and you find either client dictatorships or economic exploitation, and very low living standards.

Last edited by Mumitroll; 2008-11-21 at 20:56.
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Old 2008-11-19, 18:11   Link #54
Lathdrinor
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Mumitroll, I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this issue. Our views towards the facts of World War II are not that different, and I think it comes down to a matter of interpretation. My view is that Truman and the Allied high-command did consider the various pros and cons of dropping the bombs on Japan, and came out on the side of the pros not merely out of malice, but out of concern for the geopolitical situation. Yes, I do agree that they were not looking to minimize Japanese casualties, necessarily, but I think they did believe that they would have to either conduct an invasion of Japan, bomb it to submission, or accept further Soviet expansion. Out of those choices, they chose the second one, because the first would've led to unacceptable losses, and the last would've led it to a victory for Communism.

So in that sense, yes, the Allies were quite brutal in this particular decision, and by today's standards, it was an atrocity. But overall, I think the Allies acted with greater moral restraint than their foes, and pursued a better ideology.

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Old 2008-11-19, 18:19   Link #55
Irenicus
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Originally Posted by Mumitroll View Post
thats an answer for the kindergarten. for the 10-year-olds.
They don't tell that to ten years olds.

Moreover, what's your answer? My country is less bad because they killed less people? That's ten years olds' answers. And don't give me that morally understandable nonsense. Morally understandable is me shooting you back because you shot me first, so you shoot me back because I shot you, or may be you just want to live and the only reason you shot me back was to stop me from shooting you again, and by the time we're done there's ten million dead people and there's more than enough blame to go around.

Oh wait, no: you killed one more person than me, you suck.

Or may be: my daddy used to live in this crummy hellhole one day longer than your daddy did. This fight is your fault.

Better yet: you're currently the most powerful person, so everything's your fault.

These things happen, they're tragedies; there are blames, there are faults, and there are those who suffer -- even die, a lot. There are motivations to do things which has little to do with what kind of hell these things will create once they get to be done. Every single good anti-war novel in the last century is universal in expressing what it means to commit an atrocity: to the leaders, it's a political and sometimes ideological decision, be it dropping nuclear bombs on cities, shooting prisoners of war on the spot, ordering genocides, or launching bloodthirsty offensives. You do it for reasons, you do it for results, you do it for ideals you hold and others despise and then the historians will figure out how horrible you are when all things are said and done. To the common grunts, it's that numb feeling where you don't know shit and you can't change shit so you just do what you gotta do to make it through to another day, and by the time you're done you realized you just murdered an innocent or three and then you get to see the pretty numbers showing how your side in the war didn't kill nearly as much people as the other side so you probably did a good thing when you shot the poor French printer in Flanders or the Vietnamese mathematics student in some god-forsaken village somewhere.

This high-handed debate attempting to implicate moral values to the historical facts and using them in current context mean less than the dead Vietnamese mathematics student who's probably not real and therefore not dead, or maybe he's real and alive, or real and very much dead, killed by war.

What historians should do is debate what the hell happened and why, who did what and when, and may be on how to stop it from happening again; not trying to judge who's good and who's bad in the hellish things we see happen when force gets used to resolve conflicts, and then go up on a soapbox to blame everything on every living Germans because dead Germans used to oppress Jews for sport.

So, for example, your contention that at least part of Truman's decision to drop the bombs on Japan is driven by geopolitical concerns is something interesting to argue about -- and I happen to agree, though not with your version that apparently place it as the one major reason why the bombs were dropped. But when you turn that from "the US did this" to "therefore the US sucks, go to hell hypocrite Americans," I call your bluff and I'm not taking the "ten-years old" comment down quietly. One it places blame on institutions rather than people, two it also places blame on people who didn't even get to live through it much less did it, and three it shows quite well where your prejudices are by placing these blames where they don't belong. The US is not guiltless, the US should probably be more willing to recognize World War 2 for a multi-faceted war it is and the extent of Allied atrocities that are forgotten in common awareness, the US can probably even benefit from a sincere apology or two for past conduct of the predecessors (or the mistakes of the living ones for, say, Iraq War) for the surviving recipients of the bad side of American foreign policy, but I don't buy into the "you* used nuclear weapon in 1945 therefore anti-nuclear sentiment in 2008 is hypocrisy and the USA remains the Evil Empire" argument.

*which isn't even really "you," as few of us are alive back then.
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Old 2008-11-19, 18:32   Link #56
WanderingKnight
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the US can probably even benefit from a sincere apology or two for past conduct of the predecessors (or the mistakes of the living ones for, say, Iraq War) for the surviving recipients of the bad side of American foreign policy
They could simply stop doing it. Apologies don't matter if they're going to throw the same show every decade.

(PS: Note that I agree with your post in spirit, though).
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Old 2008-11-19, 18:38   Link #57
Irenicus
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Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
They could simply stop doing it. Apologies don't matter if they're going to throw the same show every decade.
Of course I myself hope that they'll stop doing it too.

But what I can say, I'm a commoner on the ground with no access to the halls of power where things get decided and things get done.
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Old 2008-11-19, 19:53   Link #58
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Originally Posted by Lathdrinor View Post
My view is that Truman and the Allied high-command did consider the various pros and cons of dropping the bombs on Japan, and came out on the side of the pros not merely out of malice, but out of concern for the geopolitical situation.
I agree that it was not out of malice. it was out of a desire to gain a geopolitical advantage in the region vs the USSR over everything else though, and saving US lives or defeating Japan was secondary.


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they would have to either conduct an invasion of Japan, bomb it to submission, or accept further Soviet expansion. Out of those choices, they chose the second one, because the first would've led to unacceptable losses, and the last would've led it to a victory for Communism.
you forget another possible choice: accept the Japanese offer of conditional surrender. that was deliberately rejected because killing 200,000 Japanese was deemed more suitable to display an advantage vs Stalin compared to having to deal with some split situation where the USSR would have gotten half of the influence over surrendered Japan.


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So in that sense, yes, the Allies were quite brutal in this particular decision, and by today's standards, it was an atrocity.
i think it was one by any standards. there's not a single other case in history where so many innocent people were killed at once.


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But overall, I think the Allies acted with greater moral restraint than their foes, and pursued a better ideology.
yes, thats true I guess. it didnt hinder them from coldbloodedly killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people though.


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They don't tell that to ten years olds.
sure they do. a simplified version of history commonly told to Western ten-year-olds is something like: "Nazis were bad people in Germany and they started World War II. Then the US and UK came in and defeated them, as well as the bad Japanese emperor who was their ally."

i often see slightly more sophisticated versions of this retold on Western political forums.


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Moreover, what's your answer?
42!

...there is no single "answer". an answer can only be given to a specific question.


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My country is less bad because they killed less people?
did I say that somewhere?


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And don't give me that morally understandable nonsense. Morally understandable is me shooting you back because you shot me first, so you shoot me back because I shot you, or may be you just want to live and the only reason you shot me back was to stop me from shooting you again, and by the time we're done there's ten million dead people and there's more than enough blame to go around.
thats a logic that you should try to quit. most major historical conflicts have a clear aggressor, and you should understand who that was. WWI had one, WWII had one, WWIII will probably have one too. yes, there are various complicated conflicts (mostly civil war type) which do not really have a specific aggressor, but they are mostly regional - like Israel/Palestina, Balkans, Nagornyi Karabach, Kashmir, etc - and not a reason to relativize everything to death.

people who go "USSR was as evil as Nazi Germany and would have started WWII if the Germans wouldnt have" are about as ridiculously historically incompetent as people who go "Japan provoked the US into dropping nuclear bombs" or "Saddam's WMD were a danger to humanity".


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These things happen, they're tragedies;
this logic is something I dislike very much. THESE THINGS HAPPEN you say???

do you know WHY these things happen? because masses of clueless ignorant idiots ALLOW them to happen and support it! this picture repeats itself many times in history. yes there are cases where a tyrannic regime simply seizes power and kills everyone who opposes it - Bolsheviks/Stalin is one of the most prominent examples. you cant do much there as a single citizen except rebelling against it and (most likely) dying. but Hitler/Nazis or the US in Iraq - those were elected governments. it was in the power of the citizens to vote for someone else who wasnt running such a course - but they chose to support it. with the well-known results.


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This high-handed debate attempting to implicate moral values to the historical facts and using them in current context mean less than the dead Vietnamese mathematics student who's probably not real and therefore not dead, or maybe he's real and alive, or real and very much dead, killed by war.
if, by this thread, i'm able to slightly influence even a single person away from their brainwashed Western position of "US means it well" etc, I'm fine with it. it's minimal effort for me, and I like such arguments as well - there's much more freedom of argumentation here than in precise mathematical arguments which i'm used to.


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What historians should do is debate what the hell happened and why, who did what and when, and may be on how to stop it from happening again; not trying to judge who's good and who's bad in the hellish things we see happen when force gets used to resolve conflicts, and then go up on a soapbox to blame everything on every living Germans because dead Germans used to oppress Jews for sport.
if you were paying attention, thats what I was trying to do. I never tried to judge who's "good" and who's "bad". thats pointless. what I do is compare the respective actions and draw them into a historical context.

the key point is that the result of it all makes the US with its current policy look very, VERY bad. and it can be logically explained and founded in very much detail.

which is what I'm trying to make people understand.


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But when you turn that from "the US did this" to "therefore the US sucks, go to hell hypocrite Americans,"
where'd you see me do that?


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I call your bluff and I'm not taking the "ten-years old" comment down quietly.
the "ten-year-old" comment is about the relativizing argument: "everyone was bad, stop comparing". to illustrate, a description of some people for 10-year-olds:

Hitler was a bad person, he killed many people.
Jack the Ripper was a bad person, he killed many people.
Napoleon was a bad person, he killed many people.
George Washington was a bad person, he killed many people.

does this mean they're all the same? or do we, after all, if we are serious adults, have to compare who they killed, how many they killed, and why?


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The US is not guiltless, the US should probably be more willing to recognize World War 2 for a multi-faceted war it is
"should probably"? do you recognize that dropping nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was wrong and a war crime? the US doesnt, till today.


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but I don't buy into the "you* used nuclear weapon in 1945 therefore anti-nuclear sentiment in 2008 is hypocrisy and the USA remains the Evil Empire" argument.
lol sorry but that isnt anywhere close to what I've said.
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Old 2008-11-19, 20:18   Link #59
ganbaru
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Originally Posted by Mumitroll View Post
sure they do. a simplified version of history commonly told to Western ten-year-olds is something like: "Nazis were bad people in Germany and they started World War II. Then the US and UK came in and defeated them, as well as the bad Japanese emperor who was their ally."

i often see slightly more sophisticated versions of this retold on Western political forums.
A very simplified version of history.
The biggests thing missing in that tale : WHY and The context.
Without the knowledge of thoses 2 things, someone may still belive that tale, with that knowledge it more difficult.
In my opinion using the word good and bad for the billigerent of WW2, is innappropriate ( but this may come from readding enough Nietzche's book)
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Old 2008-11-19, 21:07   Link #60
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Hitler was a bad person, he killed many people.
Jack the Ripper was a bad person, he killed many people.
Napoleon was a bad person, he killed many people.
George Washington was a bad person, he killed many people.

does this mean they're all the same? or do we, after all, if we are serious adults, have to compare who they killed, how many they killed, and why?
For someone who claims to know a lot of history and understand how it must be applied you surely don't understand what the concept of socio-historical context means.

Those people all lived in different situations, under different contexts. Yes, you can compare them (you can compare anything you want, actually), but historically speaking, there's little point in doing so. It's not that it's impossible to compare them--it's that it helps very little (read: nothing) in understanding the context in which these people were born and raised--and why they acted the way they did.

It's not about justifying them, it's about understanding them. History is about understanding these sorts of people and the different contexts in which they acted and by which they were influenced. Not about seeking to blame someone or making a "Top 10 Most Evil Bastards Ever" chart.
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