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Was President Harry Truman guilty of war crimes?

MaggieD

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Approximately 103,000 deaths. Bombs dropped intentionally on civilian targets.

Why was he not tried at Nuremburg?

Would we lose that war today?

Further, if dropping atomic bombs is a war crime, why do we have a nuclear arsenal?

I say he was a hero. Made the toughest decsion a President has ever had to make. And he chose victory.
 

Jetboogieman

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Approximately 103,000 deaths. Bombs dropped intentionally on civilian targets.

Why was he not tried at Nuremburg?

Would we lose that war today?

Further, if dropping atomic bombs is a war crime, why do we have a nuclear arsenal?

I say he was a hero. Made the toughest decsion a President has ever had to make. And he chose victory.

There's sufficient evidence to suggest the Japanese were close to surrendering anyway.

There's a theory out there, that suggests that the reason the bombs were dropped on Japan, had a ulterior motive. Basically it suggests that "Those bombs weren't meant for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they were meant for Moscow".

Meaning America's message was "This is what we have, so when we meet in Central Europe, don't **** with us."

Of course its speculation, but it makes sense.

Truman is dead, doesn't matter what we think. If the god some people here suggests exists. He's either in heaven sipping champagne with FDR, or he's in hell feeling the effects of Nuclear Fallout over and over and over.
 

Coronado

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There's sufficient evidence to suggest the Japanese were close to surrendering anyway.
Maybe, maybe not. The top generals of the Imperial Army were fully prepared and expecting to fight to the last man, woman and child. However, Hirohito was not. He was ready to surrender provided that he would remain monarch; if that term was not agreed upon, he too was prepared to fight to the last man, woman and child.
There's a theory out there, that suggests that the reason the bombs were dropped on Japan, had a ulterior motive. Basically it suggests that "Those bombs weren't meant for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they were meant for Moscow".

Meaning America's message was "This is what we have, so when we meet in Central Europe, don't **** with us."

Of course its speculation, but it makes sense.
I don't think there's any question that the bombs were meant to scare the **** out of Stalin. I doubt those particular bombs were meant for Moscow, but the implication was that some like them could very easily be deployed against them.
 

MaggieD

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There's sufficient evidence to suggest the Japanese were close to surrendering anyway.

There's a theory out there, that suggests that the reason the bombs were dropped on Japan, had a ulterior motive. Basically it suggests that "Those bombs weren't meant for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they were meant for Moscow".

Meaning America's message was "This is what we have, so when we meet in Central Europe, don't **** with us."

Of course its speculation, but it makes sense.

Truman is dead, doesn't matter what we think. If the god some people here suggests exists. He's either in heaven sipping champagne with FDR, or he's in hell feeling the effects of Nuclear Fallout over and over and over.

Ha! I like that bolded part. I'd never heard that speculation. More history, Maggie!!!

I asked this question because of all the bru-ha-ha about Bush being guilty of war crimes for okaying waterboarding.
 

Boo Radley

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Maybe, maybe not. The top generals of the Imperial Army were fully prepared and expecting to fight to the last man, woman and child. However, Hirohito was not. He was ready to surrender provided that he would remain monarch; if that term was not agreed upon, he too was prepared to fight to the last man, woman and child.I don't think there's any question that the bombs were meant to scare the **** out of Stalin. I doubt those particular bombs were meant for Moscow, but the implication was that some like them could very easily be deployed against them.

Would not scaring people into political change fit the definition of terrorism?

ter·ror·ism   /ˈtɛrəˌrɪzəm/ Show Spelled
[ter-uh-riz-uhm]

–noun
1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

Terrorism | Define Terrorism at Dictionary.com

I know some believe a state can't be terrorist, but I'm not sure I accept that. Especially if this was meant to scare someone other than who we killed. But both were scared for political reasons, right?
 

Fiddytree

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There's sufficient evidence to suggest the Japanese were close to surrendering anyway.

There's a theory out there, that suggests that the reason the bombs were dropped on Japan, had a ulterior motive. Basically it suggests that "Those bombs weren't meant for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they were meant for Moscow".

Meaning America's message was "This is what we have, so when we meet in Central Europe, don't **** with us."

Of course its speculation, but it makes sense.

Truman is dead, doesn't matter what we think. If the god some people here suggests exists. He's either in heaven sipping champagne with FDR, or he's in hell feeling the effects of Nuclear Fallout over and over and over.

The Japanese were leaning towards surrender, but we must always remember it was a debate as to how long it would take and under what conditions would it take for them to surrender. It was not so simple. I think the President, regrettably, made the right call, for reasons explicitly with war aims, and reasons outside of Japan's surrender. With regards to ulterior motives, it is less than proper to say that the bombing was a call to Russia. American diplomats and experts in foreign policy could not deny some of the added benefits to the atomic use, but it was not as Gore Vidal alleged "a show off" maneuver. Then there were the scientists and others related to the project who asked "was it big enough?", hoping that with the world's attention to that bomb, they would be more reluctant to use it..so reluctant that God wiling, they would *never* use it again. The nuclear secret was out, and there were numerous people who hoped that once it was demonstrated, it would be so horrible nothing would make it encouraging to be used once more.
 
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MKULTRABOY

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RT did an excellent documentary that I saw and can't find atm. Basically it stated that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuclear experiments. The bombs were dropped at rush hour for the most human damage, once the US occupied Japan they would perform mass medical experiments and information gathering on survivors and corpses, this involved often removing organs from bodies and returning the empty bodies stuffed with hay to the families. Essentially they were measuring potential for the bomb to be used in Europe. The US government would throw around the idea of using it in China on coastal cities during the Korean War. MacArthur would winge for a nuclear arsenal in Korea.
 

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Would not scaring people into political change fit the definition of terrorism?

ter·ror·ism   /ˈtɛrəˌrɪzəm/ Show Spelled
[ter-uh-riz-uhm]

–noun
1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

Terrorism | Define Terrorism at Dictionary.com

I know some believe a state can't be terrorist, but I'm not sure I accept that. Especially if this was meant to scare someone other than who we killed. But both were scared for political reasons, right?

If you were fighting in the Pacific, about to invade mainland Japan, would you prefer to drop the bomb and end the war or to continue with the invasion?

It more likely killed 2 birds with one stone, rather than its sole purpose to send a political message to another country.
 
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Diogenes

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If you were fighting in the Pacific, about to invade mainland Japan, would you prefer to drop the bomb and end the war or to continue with the invasion?

From the viewpoint of the 19 year old soldier, recently released from a German POW camp, sitting on the dock in Seattle with his buddy as they sharpened their bayonets, it was all good news that Harry had dropped this great big wonderful bomb. See The Good War: An Oral History of World War II.

Based on the recent experience of Okinawa, the US was expecting a million US casualties during the invasion of the home islands and perhaps ten times that many Japanese. Under those conditions, the two bombs saved a lot of lives by convincing the upper echelons to surrender.
 

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Would not scaring people into political change fit the definition of terrorism?

ter·ror·ism   /ˈtɛrəˌrɪzəm/ Show Spelled
[ter-uh-riz-uhm]

–noun
1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

Terrorism | Define Terrorism at Dictionary.com

I know some believe a state can't be terrorist, but I'm not sure I accept that. Especially if this was meant to scare someone other than who we killed. But both were scared for political reasons, right?
Not all terrorism is bad. Sure, I suppose nuking Japan to scare the Soviet Union fits the definition. I think if the US had nuked Japan strictly to scare the USSR, that would have been wrong, but that's not what happened.
 

soccerboy22

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To answer you question Maggie, I do think that, if somehow, the U.S. lost WWII Truman would have been brought up on War Crimes for not only dropping the nukes, but various other crimes committed by the Allies. Dresden, for example, comes to mind. The fact that the war turned out the way it did is part of the reason why he wasn't brought up on war crimes. Although, I read something freshman year to suggest that the Soviets would have the brunt force of the crimes.
 

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To answer you question Maggie, I do think that, if somehow, the U.S. lost WWII Truman would have been brought up on War Crimes for not only dropping the nukes, but various other crimes committed by the Allies. Dresden, for example, comes to mind. The fact that the war turned out the way it did is part of the reason why he wasn't brought up on war crimes. Although, I read something freshman year to suggest that the Soviets would have the brunt force of the crimes.

Well ****, the soviets were raping their own woman as they advanced towards Germany...

Point is, none of this **** matters.

The axis lost, the allies won, history is written by the victors, and the victors get to decide what happens to the defeated.

I would say that by far, the Nazi's and the Japanese take the cake in terms of war crimes. The holocaust, the first systematically planned and executed extermination of a people, done in such a way, it defies imagination. And don't even get me started on Japanese atrocities in China and Korea.

The vast majority of crimes the Soviet Union perpetrated was against their own citizenry.
 

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From the viewpoint of the 19 year old soldier, recently released from a German POW camp, sitting on the dock in Seattle with his buddy as they sharpened their bayonets, it was all good news that Harry had dropped this great big wonderful bomb. See The Good War: An Oral History of World War II.

Based on the recent experience of Okinawa, the US was expecting a million US casualties during the invasion of the home islands and perhaps ten times that many Japanese. Under those conditions, the two bombs saved a lot of lives by convincing the upper echelons to surrender.
QFT.

People seem to forget the bloodbath that Okinawa was. The Japanese didn't retreat an inch from that island, and that wasn't even really one of the "home" islands (as they treated the Okinawans about as inhumanely as they did the Koreans and Chinese). The most humane thing Truman could have done was to drop the bombs on Japan. Otherwise you can rest assured that tens of millions more would have died in the invasion of Japan.

For what it's worth, my late grandfather was in the Pacific for VJ day and he said they were giddy with delight that the bomb had been dropped and the Japanese had surrendered. I have to say that I'm pretty stoked over it myself, because the odds are pretty good that he would have wound up at the bottom of the ocean instead of going home and raising a family.
 

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And how critical has waterboarding been to bring the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to an end?

"The end justifies the means????" You've got to be kidding me. ;-)
 

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Its pretty much the crux of the matter though. Since pretty much nothing about war can be considered just, I think the best way to decide in situations like this are a cost benefit analysis. Everything about war is bad, the only thing you can try and do is make it the least bad.
 

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Its pretty much the crux of the matter though. Since pretty much nothing about war can be considered just, I think the best way to decide in situations like this are a cost benefit analysis. Everything about war is bad, the only thing you can try and do is make it the least bad.

How has waterboarding, in real terms, have made the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War less bad?
 

drz-400

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To answer you question Maggie, I do think that, if somehow, the U.S. lost WWII Truman would have been brought up on War Crimes for not only dropping the nukes, but various other crimes committed by the Allies. Dresden, for example, comes to mind. The fact that the war turned out the way it did is part of the reason why he wasn't brought up on war crimes. Although, I read something freshman year to suggest that the Soviets would have the brunt force of the crimes.

In japan there would be no doubt truman would be considered a war criminal for dropping the bomb, if we lost. But since we dropped the bomb there was no way in hell we were going to lose. They would be crazy to continue to fight after witnessing something like that.
 

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How has waterboarding, in real terms, have made the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War less bad?

I don't know. That is why I think it is so controversial. Something like dropping the nuke in japan, it was pretty obvious that it was going to benefit the US war effort, and maybe win the war. Waterboarding potential terrorists or prisoners it would be hard telling if any benefit is going to come out of it. Someone could say something that saves a bunch of lives as a result of waterboarding, or someone could actually not know anything and all that would happen is we end up torturing a person.
 

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Al-Qaeda wants to defeat us. They detonate a nuclear bomb in an American city, because they truly believe it will cause America to surrender, pulling out of the middle east for good, and that it will save more lives in the long run.

Tell me what you would call it.

Deliberate targeting of a civilian population with a weapon of mass destruction in order to cause an enemy to capitulate.

We shouldn't try to convince ourselves that it was ok because we're "the good guys." It's ****ed up, we should always remember that, because hopefully it means we'll never do it again.
 

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Nanking Massacre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Three Alls Policy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Operation Downfall - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

The Japanese government and military were incredibly brutal in WWII, in some ways more so than the Nazis. We are talking about millions of people dying in an invasion, and hundreds of thousands already dying a month in China and southeast Asia from Japanese mistreatment, and for what? Do you think that the people of Asia would be better off with Japanese domination. Sometimes the lines can get pretty grey.
 
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Deuce

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Nanking Massacre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Three Alls Policy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Operation Downfall - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Japanese war crimes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Japanese government and military were incredibly brutal in WWII, in some ways more so than the Nazis. We are talking about millions of people dying in an invasion, and hundreds of thousands already dying a month in China and southeast Asia from Japanese mistreatment, and for what? Do you think that the people of Asia would be better off with Japanese domination. Sometimes the lines can get pretty grey.

That's only a worthwhile discussion if you think there were no options between "nuke civilians" and "the Japanese win"
 

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Approximately 103,000 deaths. Bombs dropped intentionally on civilian targets.

Why was he not tried at Nuremburg?

Would we lose that war today?

Further, if dropping atomic bombs is a war crime, why do we have a nuclear arsenal?

I say he was a hero. Made the toughest decsion a President has ever had to make. And he chose victory.

he also saved countless Japanese lives. that 103K would have been a drop in the civilian blood that would have flowed in an invasion of the Home Islands. a part of the story that isn't often mentioned.
 

cpwill

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The Japanese government and military were incredibly brutal in WWII, in some ways more so than the Nazis.

actually, when the Japanese went through Nanking, the abuses were so bad that the Nazi observors with the Japanese Imperial Army complained about them.


....when you have Nazi's complaining that you are too abusive to members of different races... man.....
 
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