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Hiroshima and Nagasaki
March 16, 2003 4:04 PM   Subscribe

58 years ago Harry Truman launched an unprecedented nuclear weapons attack on 2 Japanese cities. (warning: disturbing images). I think this speaks for itself.
posted by letterneversent (60 comments total)

 
I might add that the United States government is the only government to have used these 'weapons of mass destruction' against human beings.
posted by letterneversent at 4:14 PM on March 16, 2003


I think Rocket From The Tombs said it best:

Ain't it fun when you know that you're gonna die young
posted by jonmc at 4:17 PM on March 16, 2003


A couple of millenia ago, God launced an unprecedented fireball attack on 2 middle eastern cities. (warning: disturbing images). I think this speaks for itself.
posted by Stan Chin at 4:18 PM on March 16, 2003


Stan Chin: Now you have the right idea. Take some bygone genocide, personalize it, and that's how you play this game. No one really cares. No one's mind really changes.
posted by letterneversent at 4:20 PM on March 16, 2003


Nice, this is Meta-MetaFilter. I loves it.
posted by blue_beetle at 4:23 PM on March 16, 2003


Well yeah, but this was in our defense (except for the fact that the Japanese had already begun to attempt surrender negotiations through a neutral nation, the fact that their navy was almost completely demolished, the fact that their army was devastated from years of attacks from conventional weapons, and the fact that many US government officials believed the attack to be completely unnecessary in ending the war and that even without the bomb the war would have been over in a few months). Whereas Saddam had numerous other options for the use of chemical weapons.

There IS a difference! You just aren't seeing it!
posted by punishinglemur at 4:23 PM on March 16, 2003


20 Minutes ago leverneversent made an unprecedented mockery of MetaFilter. (warning: disturbing comments). I think this speaks for itself.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:24 PM on March 16, 2003


Even more appropraite
posted by jonmc at 4:25 PM on March 16, 2003


62 years ago, the Japanese military launched an unprecedented attack and declaration of war on the United Sates (warning: declaration of war) I think this speaks for itself.
posted by hama7 at 4:26 PM on March 16, 2003


Thanks, hama7. *rolls eyes* (Copy-copy-copy-copy cat)
posted by letterneversent at 4:27 PM on March 16, 2003


What an original headline. /sarcasm
posted by clevershark at 4:27 PM on March 16, 2003


3.5 billion years ago cyanobacteria photosynthesized at an unprecedented rate, polluting the Earth with Oxygen. (warning: disturbing images). I think this speaks for itself.
posted by plemeljr at 4:27 PM on March 16, 2003


I'm sorry, if I'm going to take a jab at you I should at least spell your username correctly letterneversent. ;)
posted by eyeballkid at 4:28 PM on March 16, 2003


813 years ago, the Jews of York launched an uprecedented suicide attack against themselves. (warning: no disturbing images) I think this speaks for itself.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:31 PM on March 16, 2003


It's a sacred, serious subject. Only not now. Two Wrongs, etc. We're all a little stressed right now. Think of the children
posted by y2karl at 4:31 PM on March 16, 2003


letterneversent: up your nose with a rubber hose.
posted by davidmsc at 4:32 PM on March 16, 2003


davidmsc: I'd expect better comebacks from Air Force dinks. I love you too.
posted by letterneversent at 4:35 PM on March 16, 2003


I might add that the United States government is the only government to have used these 'weapons of mass destruction' against human beings.

Actually the US is the only country to have used the atom bomb against human beings.

Also, although I might be wrong about this, I'm pretty sure it's not August yet.

I realize how fashionable it is to blame the US for everything on MeFi, but check your facts, dumbass.
posted by clevershark at 4:35 PM on March 16, 2003


davidmsc: I'd expect better comebacks from Air Force dinks. I love you too.

Off his case, toilet face.
posted by jonmc at 4:36 PM on March 16, 2003


You're right, letterneversent...but being an Air Force officer, I'm sorta obliged to uphold a bit of dignity, decorum, and "conduct becoming." You understand.

Having said that...I'm sure you know how I feel about your FPP and your ideological leanings.
posted by davidmsc at 4:38 PM on March 16, 2003


Also: thanks, Jon.
posted by davidmsc at 4:38 PM on March 16, 2003


clevershark: Before you call me a dumbass learn to read. I said the US was the first to use "these 'weapons of mass distruction'". See the single quotes? That means I'm saying we are the only government to use NUCLEAR WEAPONS. I don't blame the US. I blame their corrupt government. There's a distinction you don't understand.
posted by letterneversent at 4:38 PM on March 16, 2003


15 billion years ago electrons launched an unprecedented attack on positrons, resulting in near total annihilation (warning: disturbing images). I think this speaks for itself.
posted by eddydamascene at 4:38 PM on March 16, 2003


Making light of mass death is shameful. What this eye has seen is no laughing matter.

Is nothing worthy of better commentary than the inane banter that dominates mefi these days? I'm hoping that it can be all chalked up to nervous excitement from tense times.
posted by will at 4:45 PM on March 16, 2003


Truman did it to show Stalin who's got the fucking bomb. The Bush administration is doing the same thing in Iraq.

Power is never maintained without death.
posted by the fire you left me at 4:51 PM on March 16, 2003


He started it. But honestly, I don't think anyone is making light of it except those who think the answer to everything is kicking someone else's ass. The problem with that is that it's always the low-paid normal joes who get screwed. We should just let Bush and Hussein have that duel. At the very least, we need a few token senators and other government cogs on the front lines instead of taking the poor and/or uneducated off to fight.
posted by letterneversent at 4:52 PM on March 16, 2003


People tend to make light of a situation to remove themselves from it when it is to frightening or shameful to take seriously. I don't think it's necessarily the right thing to do, but it seems to be the gut reaction sometimes.
posted by catfood at 5:01 PM on March 16, 2003


I've never understood why germans to this day have to carry the cross of nazism, whereas I imagine the average american doesn't know the name of both of the cities that we nuked.

I guess it's a similar sort of hypocrisy re: " he gassed his own people! barfff" the actions of our enemies during wars are "evil," whereas our actions and the actions of our allies are "duties."
posted by mcsweetie at 5:20 PM on March 16, 2003


Recently the debate on MIFI has been fairly good, thanks letterneversent, for lowering the discourse just a notch. Your violate disregard for history, facts and logic has brought back the MIFI we all know and love.

letterneversent, I hope your purpose was debate the militarily wisdom, moral right or appropriateness of dropping the bomb. Sadly, your apparent ignorance of why the bomb was dropped defeats your purpose. I hope this thread is done away with.

letterneversent, has it ever occurred to you that the reason the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty exists is the US and the West wants to prevent another episode? The merits of the war aside (I am against the war for the record), it seems that the fact that the US dropped the first bomb lends the US credibility in preventing others from doing the same. Why? Because the US knows the horrific effects of such a weapon.

A war againt Saddam is wrong, but not all wars or strikes are wrong.

the actions of our enemies during wars are "evil," whereas our actions and the actions of our allies are "duties."

No one is asserting this. However, not all wars are pre se wrong. It's unfortunate and much to the detriment of the current anti-war moment, that the movement has not even opened the issue for debate. It's ignorance and fear of being proven wrong. Sound like Bush? You bet!
posted by Bag Man at 5:36 PM on March 16, 2003


The U.S. might have been wrong in dropping the bomb. This issue is open for debate, as normative values should not be stated as fact (MIFI is getting too Fox News like). However, such an argument is not a creditable argument against war in Iraq.
posted by Bag Man at 5:42 PM on March 16, 2003


Many minutes ago, letterneversent unleashed a non-topical irrelevant trolling post because somebody dared to bring up Saddam gassing the Kurds. (with disturbing lack of a life from LNS)
posted by RobbieFal at 5:45 PM on March 16, 2003


How is this not topical? Thanks to North Korea's chest thumping, we're about as close to a nuclear war as we have been since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
posted by MegoSteve at 5:53 PM on March 16, 2003


Possibly..

maybe non-topical wasn't the best word to use for it.

But the fact that this was posted after the 'Kurds being gassed' article and in the same form, shows that it was purely flamebait.

I'm sure there is a way to discuss this that would be much much better, but the way that the OP was worded leaves nothing to discuss. It is just flamebaiting.

Let me mention this, if Truman didn't use those nukes, then there'd be alot more people who would have died invading Japan.
posted by RobbieFal at 6:02 PM on March 16, 2003


Let me mention this, if Truman didn't use those nukes, then there'd be alot more people who would have died invading Japan.

can I get a source for that?
posted by mcsweetie at 6:11 PM on March 16, 2003


22 years ago Lynne Spears launched an unprecedented attack on young boys, old men, and the entire libidos of multiple civilizations (warning: disturbing images). I think this speaks for itself.
posted by owillis at 6:13 PM on March 16, 2003


In less than an hour you have commented six times within your own post. Nice chat room you have going here, troll.
posted by Mack Twain at 6:17 PM on March 16, 2003


Whether or not you think dropping the bomb was defensible, it is important for us all to realize the severity of nuclear war and remember those humans of all ages and genders at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
If you haven't read Black Rain by Imbuse, please do. "The most successful book yet written about the greatest single horror inflicted by one group of men upon another."--Julian Symons, Sunday Times
Here is a linki to the Hiroshima Peace Site and if you're left feeling melancholy on this runaway train, you can always learn to make some paper cranes.
posted by roboto at 6:20 PM on March 16, 2003


Why did President Truman drop the atomic bomb?

The invasion of Iwo Jima caused 6,200 American deaths, and the U. S. outnumbered the Japanese by four to one. Okinawa cost 13,000 U. S. servicemen, and they outnumbered the Japanese by two and one-half to one. These 13,000 men made up more than 35% of the U. S. landing force. Consequently, Admiral Leahy came to the conclusion that it was absurd to think that any less than 35% of the American force that invaded Japan would be killed. Based on the estimate of 560,000 Japanese soldiers on Kyushu as of early August, Leahy predicted that at very minimum over 250,000 American soldiers would lie dead as a result of an invasion of the Japanese islands.

It was later found that the troop strength on Kyushu was greatly under-estimated, and that by August 6 the Japanese had over 900,000 men stationed on Kyushu, nearly twice as many as thought. Leahy’s estimates that the Americans would have a preponderance, when in fact the 767,000 American soldiers who would comprise the landing force were already greatly outnumbered three months before Operation Olympic was actually to begin. By November, Japanese troop strength could easily double or triple, making between 500,000 and 1,000,000 American deaths conceivable.


Extra credit: CASUALTY PROJECTIONS FOR THE U.S. INVASIONS OF JAPAN, 1945-1946: PLANNING AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
posted by turbodog at 6:48 PM on March 16, 2003


the greatest single horror inflicted by one group of men upon another

Really?

66 years ago, the Japanese military killed more civilians in China than were killed in Nagasaki and Hiroshima combined. (warning: disturbing facts). I think this speaks for itself.
posted by hama7 at 6:55 PM on March 16, 2003


At all time in all of human history, people have done bad stuff to other people. This is still not an excuse to keep doing it.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:00 PM on March 16, 2003


Don't forget the whole drop the nukes to stop the Russians from getting involved, causing the spread of rampant communism theory. Although I would have preferred never having gone down that road in the first place, in the end I believe it saved more lives than it took.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:00 PM on March 16, 2003


66 years ago, the Japanese military killed more civilians in China than were killed in Nagasaki and Hiroshima combined

So I guess its not just the Communists that perform barbaric acts, eh, hama?
posted by bshort at 7:08 PM on March 16, 2003


Well, re the appropriateness of nuking Nagasaki and Hiroshima - Japan wasn't blameless.

The Rape of Nanking killed at least 369,000 Chinese and raped 80,000. And the Japanse did it in 1937-38. They weren't just a bunch of peaceful rice farmers - they were rather militantly expanding their sphere of influence. Look on Hirosima and Nagasaki as karmic retribution for the Rape of Nanking and the invasion of China.

It's awfully easy to look at the past and go "Well. NUKES were dropped, and I'm against nukes, therefore we were in the wrong." Frankly, I don't like nukes much either - but my father was scheduled to be in the Japanese invasion fleet and he wasn't sorry at all when the war ended with the two atom bombs being used.

And it doesn't take much imagination to see that things could have been a LOT worse in Europe without the US having nukes, and facing down the USSR. Somehow, I don't see a world filled with peace and sweetness and light if the things hadn't been invented and used on Japan.

But hey, I'm a pessimist. If someone's got some proof (or even a decent rationale) that the lack of nukes would have increased world peace in the last 50+ years, I'm willing to give it serious consideration. But don't forget to take into account Soviet expansionism and Chinese expansionism under Mao.

JB
posted by JB71 at 7:12 PM on March 16, 2003


Since this thread is all about arguing ideology instead of commenting on the linked website: The Lucky Strike.
posted by ?! at 7:16 PM on March 16, 2003


"66 years ago, the Japanese military killed more civilians in China than were killed in Nagasaki and Hiroshima combined"

They did it first, so it's OK to kill all the civilions we want...(Here endeth the troll)
posted by Eekacat at 7:27 PM on March 16, 2003


I guess its not just the Communists

The Communists are in an entirely different league.
posted by hama7 at 7:39 PM on March 16, 2003


Re: Nanking

At least we Americans are willing to have a healthy debate about the nuking of Japan. The Japanese to this day are largely unwilling to own up to the utter barbarism they visited upon Nanking. It's probably my least favorite thing about the Japanese.
posted by Scoo at 7:41 PM on March 16, 2003


Troll post or not, I think that it's very important that all of us have as clear an idea as possible of the horrors of war. Sometimes we need a very graphic reminder of what humans have done to each other and will most likely do again.
posted by ashbury at 7:45 PM on March 16, 2003


"....the image of Stalin as a force for good remains embedded in the modern Russian conscience. A recent opinion poll showed that more Russians believed Stalin “did more good than bad for the country” than not. Some 36 percent questioned agreed with the statement and just 29 percent disagreed. When asked what words jumped into their heads at the sound of Stalin’s name, 42 percent said they got a negative impression: famine, terror, repression, gulag. But 32 percent said they had positive images of the dictator: victory over Nazi Germany, order, low prices, industrialization, empire, pride. Another 15 percent of the 1,500 people polled said “neutral” images came to them when they thought of Stalin, including “Soviet leader” and “moustache and pipe”.

"Moustache and pipe".........hmmm. 'Kindly' Uncle Joe - clearly a monster of the first order. But, Hama - you might want to read "Becoming Evil":

"Whitworth Professor's New Book a Timely Analysis of How Ordinary People Can Commit Acts of Extraordinary Evil:

The 20th century, dubbed the "Age of Genocide" by some historians, saw more than 60 million people fall victim to state-sponsored terrorism, with ethnic cleansings and other horrific purges in countries such as Germany, Ukraine, Cambodia, East Timor, Rwanda, and the former Yugoslavia.

The litany of atrocities continues into the 21st century.......
As the worldwide death toll rises, it is more critical than ever to understand the psychological roots of evil that can lead to mass murder. In his new book Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing (Oxford University Press), social psychologist and Whitworth psychology professor James Waller draws from seven years of research to mount an original argument for understanding why political, social and religious groups wanting to commit mass murder are never hindered by a lack of willing executioners.
......Written for both scholars and laypeople and drawing on eyewitness accounts from perpetrators, victims and bystanders, Waller's Becoming Evil refutes many of the standard explanations for antisocial behavior and presents four ingredients that lead ordinary people to commit acts of extraordinary evil. Waller contends that being aware of our own capacity for inhumane cruelty, and knowing how to cultivate the moral sensibilities that curb that capacity, are the best safeguards we can have against future genocide and mass killing.

"To offer a psychological explanation for the atrocities committed by perpetrators is not to forgive, justify or condone their behavior," Waller states in his preface. "Instead, the explanation simply allows us to understand the conditions under which many of us could be transformed into killing machines. When we understand the ordinariness of extraordinary evil, we will be less surprised by evil, less likely to be unwitting contributors to evil, and perhaps better equipped to forestall evil."

The book has received broad and enthusiastic praise (see link)

posted by troutfishing at 8:33 PM on March 16, 2003


WILL SOMEONE PLEASE LAUNCH AN UNPRECEDENTED NUCLEAR ATTACK ON HALF THE COMMENTS IN THIS THREAD.
posted by Shane at 8:38 PM on March 16, 2003


According to most sources around 185 million people (185,000,000) died in all the wars, massacres, slaughters and oppressions of the Twentieth Century. Using this equation, that's 573.5 million pounds of brain matter, 231 million gallons of blood, 14 million tons of bone and flesh, 8.5 billion years of life that will never be lived, and untold millions who will never be born. The cost to human civilization and progress (destruction of artifacts, productivity, potential of great minds unreached) due to war is too high to pay. It's sickening and I dare anyone to justify any of it.
posted by letterneversent at 8:42 PM on March 16, 2003


I dare anyone to justify any of it.

Come on. Does the defeat of Togo, Hitler and Mussolini really need to be "justified"?
posted by hama7 at 9:22 PM on March 16, 2003


It's sickening and I dare anyone to justify any of it.

Huh? No justification for any war? Are you really trying to say that?
posted by Plunge at 9:24 PM on March 16, 2003


... untold millions who will never be born. The cost to human civilization and progress (destruction of artifacts, productivity, potential of great minds unreached) due to war is too high to pay.

While I agree with the sentiment (war is bad), there is no guarantee that those untold millions would have led to a better life for humanity on earth. I'm not trying say "war is good," but arguing against it on this point is logically flawed.

I agree with the artifact destruction and productivity bit, though. War and military spending isn't as productive as civilian peacetime spending for the economy overall, athough those companies that make things that go "bang!" will do well.
posted by moonbiter at 9:37 PM on March 16, 2003


Cleary we need to get this Harry Truman guy out of power. Oh... nevermind.
posted by Xkot at 10:06 PM on March 16, 2003


The interesting thing is, the bombs didnt end the war right away..
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 10:25 PM on March 16, 2003


Time for a word game, kids!

Come on. Does the defeat of Togo, Hitler and Mussolini really need to be "justified"?

Now, in this little bit of insight, 'the defeat of Togo, Hitler and Mussolini' is clearly seen as a desirable end. So the sentance could be re-written as:

Come on. Does the end really need to be "justified"?
posted by Space Coyote at 2:49 AM on March 17, 2003


Well, I typographically botched the name of the ww2 general of Japan, whose name is actually Tojo.

As is my understanding, the United States is not now or ever has been engaged in any armed conflict whatsoever with the Republique de Togo, or Ghana either for that matter.
posted by hama7 at 3:22 AM on March 17, 2003


2 years ago terrorists launched an.......oh well...
posted by tomplus2 at 7:40 AM on March 17, 2003


Look on Hirosima and Nagasaki as karmic retribution for the Rape of Nanking and the invasion of China.


What does that make 9/11 karmic retribution for?
posted by delmoi at 3:54 PM on March 17, 2003


« Older 15 years ago today Saddam Hussein launched an unpr...  |  37 years ago, william shatner ... Newer »


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