Lest we forget: August 6th 1945

108 posts / 0 new
Last post
N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Good reference, unionist. It also bears repeating that neither Eisenhower nor MacArthur supported the use of the atomic bomb against the civilian population of Japan. This underlines the POLITICAL nature of the decision to incinerate so many thousands of people.

Soldiers, despite their job, are often a lot less barbaric than their political masters. Edited to add - or is that "because of their job" ?

Fidel

[url=http://hnn.us/articles/9245.html]Why was MacArthur given the hook by Truman?[/url]

The madman requested the use of no less than 26 atomic bombs to drop on North Korea in order to draw China and Russia into a nuclear war in Asia. MacArthur and other psychopaths in the US Military at the time would have gladly incinerated hundreds of millions of human beings in order to kill an idea. It was strange love for humanity indeed.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Fidel wrote:

[url=http://hnn.us/articles/9245.html]Why was MacArthur given the hook by Truman?[/url]

The madman requested the use of no less than 26 atomic bombs to drop on North Korea in order to draw China and Russia into a nuclear war in Asia. MacArthur and other psychopaths in the US Military at the time would have gladly incinerated hundreds of millions of human beings in order to kill an idea. It was strange love for humanity indeed.

 

Actually he wanted to make a radioactive barrier across Manchuria to prevent Chinese attacks from the north... not draw China and the Soviet Union into a nuclear war.

How's that for some wild shit?

Quote:
MacARTHUR CONTEMPLATES THE "BOMB."
With the on-coming defeat a distinct possibility, talk of using the Atomic Bomb was making the rounds. Hoyt Vandenberg, speaking for the Air Force, suggested they were prepared to use it. MacArthur suggested a plan to use numerous bombs. The U.S. had a stockpile of nearly 300 air-burst bombs. Only President Truman could order them used. MacArthur insisted on bombing the Yalu power plants with multiple strikes by B-29s. Suggestions came from all services and every General offered his own plan. Headlines in all the papers gave the impression that MacArthur had already received the go-ahead after Truman said the U.S. was considering use of the Atomic weapon in connection with the war in Korea. The world watched and held it's breath following the media frenzy. A state of affairs was rapidly going from bad to disastrous. In a conference in the war room Vandenberg dismissed the idea of sending MacArthur further orders. "What good would it do? He won't obey the orders." Ridgeway exploded. "You can relieve any commander who won't obey orders, can't you?" Thus the idea of relieving MacArthur was on the table. MacArthur requested that the Pentagon grant him a field commander's discretion to employ nuclear weapons as necessary. He wanted them stockpiled in Okinawa. He explained he would drop between 30 and 50 atomic bombs- strung across the neck of Manchuria, and spread behind us, from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea-a belt of radioactive cobalt-for at least 60 years there would be no land invasion of Korea from the North. The Russians, he claimed, would be intimidated by this and do nothing. He continued to seek authority to deploy the bomb.

 

6079_Smith_W

@ N.Beltov #51

Yes, or General Lee's declaration: "It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it."

And for that matter, it is interesting that Eisenhower gave his farewell speech on the military industrial complex. Surely it is not something he just became aware of on his way out the door. Why would he bother making it at all if he did not try to do at least something about it while he was in office?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY

(edit) though of course he didn't tell the whole story - that the U.S. had been at the work of empire-building for a very long time.

Fidel

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

Fidel wrote:

[url=http://hnn.us/articles/9245.html]Why was MacArthur given the hook by Truman?[/url]

The madman requested the use of no less than 26 atomic bombs to drop on North Korea in order to draw China and Russia into a nuclear war in Asia. MacArthur and other psychopaths in the US Military at the time would have gladly incinerated hundreds of millions of human beings in order to kill an idea. It was strange love for humanity indeed.

 

Actually he wanted to make a radioactive barrier across Manchuria to prevent Chinese attacks from the north... not draw China and the Soviet Union into a nuclear war.

Well there apparently would not have been the same response from the Soviet Union which had roughly 25 atomic bombs at the time. This was their reasoning behind dropping between 30 and 50 nuclear weapons on the Peninsula - they thought it was a window of opportunity to commit mass murder while the Sov nuclear arsenal was so small. Lunatics MacArthur and Ridgeway knew that the US had ~450 atomic bombs. And they proceeded to murder ~3 million North Koreans and levelling just about every city in the North by 1953.

MacArthur and 50000 US-UN troops were there at the Yalu River and staring across the way at China. They ate their turkey dinners and slept well that night. By the next morning, 300,000 Chinese troops had amassed on the other side. Soviet pilots arrived flying Migs with Chinese markings. This was the communists' stand against raving lunatics wanting to bomb them into the dark ages. MacArthur knew since the end of WW II that land war in Asia was not feasible. I believe as historians do that MacArthur was a megalomaniacal psychopath willing to murder hundreds of millions of people to defeat an idea. The Yanks and UN troops had to high tail it from the scene of what might have been the crime of all crimes against humanity had MacArthur received the a-okay to use nuclear weapons.

There can be no legitimate purpose for nuclear weapons. When military generals suggest that collateral damage and civilian loss of life can be kept to a minimum, they are lying. Psychopaths rarely deal in truth.

Attention babble moderators:

And I think babble needs a policy on nuclear weapons. We have one for capital punishment but nothing against pseudo-intellectual attempts to justify nuclear holocaust. I realize the article posted was sourced by me, but the author does not in any way try to justify General MacArthur's insanity wrt America's contemplated use for the second time of nuclear weapons in 1950s Korea and China.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

It's interesting that Fidel choses to go on and on and on and on about MacArthur's attitude towards the use of nuclear weapons AFTER World War 2 was over. But on the critical issue of its use DURING World War 2 - which is what this thread is about - MacArthur said the following ...

 

Quote:
MacArthur biographer William Manchester has described MacArthur's reaction to the issuance by the Allies of the Potsdam Proclamation to Japan: "...the Potsdam declaration in July, demand[ed] that Japan surrender unconditionally or face 'prompt and utter destruction.' MacArthur was appalled. He knew that the Japanese would never renounce their emperor, and that without him an orderly transition to peace would be impossible anyhow, because his people would never submit to Allied occupation unless he ordered it. Ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign. Had the General's advice been followed, the resort to atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been unnecessary."

William Manchester, American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964, pg. 512.

Norman Cousins was a consultant to General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins writes of his conversations with MacArthur, "MacArthur's views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed." He continues, "When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor."

Norman Cousins, The Pathology of Power, pg. 65, 70-71.

And, for the record, Eisenhower had the following remarks ...

Quote:
"...in [July] 1945... Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. ...the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.

"During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude..."

- Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, pg. 380

In a Newsweek interview, Eisenhower again recalled the meeting with Stimson:

"...the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."

- Ike on Ike, Newsweek, 11/11/63

 

quit trying to derail these very important facts Fidel. If you want to blather on about post war matters, start your own damn thread.

 

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture
Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Fidel wrote:
Attention babble moderators:

And I think babble needs a policy on nuclear weapons. We have one for capital punishment but nothing against pseudo-intellectual attempts to justify nuclear holocaust.

That's a good point, Fidel. I think you're right (although capital punishment isn't specifically in the babble policy statement, although I consider it's included in "pro-human rights"). I'll talk to Maysie when she gets back from her vacation.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Beltov, I don't understand your objection to Fidel's posts in this thread (which have been few, and scarcely deserving of an "on and on and on" descriptor). His posts seem on topic to me.

ETA: thanks for the edit, Fidel.

Fidel

That's okay, N.Beltov, because I've already flagged it.

Fidel

Phew! Passion of the moment almost got the better of me. Thanks Catchfire. This thread is a good sanity check and especially considering these dangerous times.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Frmrsldr wrote:

Cueball wrote:

No there are not examples of the Japense being worse than the Germans. There were no methodical attempts of racial exterminations of entire peoples, nor any plans for such things. Indeed, the plan for Moscow, was not to capture it, but to surround it and then bombard it until most everyone was dead, whoever remained were to be driven out into the wasteland. There are copies of the notes by OKH staff to this affect, and it is matter of public record.

Jews, Gypsies and Slavs.

The mass starvation, and destruction of the Ukraine was not an accident of war, or reprisals against the people there for rebellion, but part of a plan for wholesale extermination of Slavic peoples.

There was the 1937 "Rape of Nanking" which Japan's Axis partner Germany was so shocked over that they (Germany) put pressure on Japan to stop it.

There was the use of Chinese as "live guinea pigs" with the Imperial Japanese Army and Air Force using biological and chemical warfare against the Chinese in cities and in the countryside.

It's debatable that, in order to defeat and occupy Chinese territory, the Japanese military didn't engage in an intentional strategy of exterminating the Chinese people.

Imperialism is by its nature racist. But there is no evidence that mass extermination of peoples was the policy of the government. For one thing it should be noted that the Kwangtung Army in China acted largely independent of command from the center. Not that this absolves the "civilian" leadership from responsibility, but when it comes down to it, on almost every level, from operations to the management of occupied territories, the Japanese approach in China could only be described as haphazard as opposed to systematic. The Panay Incident, where the Japanese attacked a US Gunboat, clearly happened as a direct instigation by the Japanese army against the US, without the authorization of the civilian government.

The Japanese army, particularly in China was very used to handing policy to the Japanese government as a fait accompli, and it is pretty clear that events such as the "Rape of Nanking" and the institution of the "Three Alls Policy" in northern China in response to Chu Teh's "100 Regiments Offensive", were essentially "reprisals", not part of an systematic campaign of extermination.

By way of example, to note that the British gassed Kurdish rebels in Iraq, is not to say that this was part of systematic campaign to exterminate Kurds just because they used gas.

It's not even clear to me that the Japanese were organized enough to try and execute such as thing as a coherent policy, while it is totally clear that the orders to destroy Slavic civilization came right from the very top, and was the policy of the government based in its ideology, one which the army and the police forces were to a greater or lesser extent compliant. In the case of the Einsatzgruppen, these organizations were specifically mobilized with the intent of affecting racial extermination.

I don't see anyting simillar in the historical record relating to the Japanese.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

My point is that yacking on and on about MacArthur's post war history, and dead silence about the General's attitude towards the use of nuclear weapons against the civilians in Hiroshima (and Nagasaki), is trivializing a very important point in this thread which is supposed to be about 6 Aug 1945. it's practically trolling ... although I realize that Fidel's overblown hyperbolie is entertaining at times.

Anyway, carry on. I've made my point, and lunch beckons.

6079_Smith_W

It is also important to make a distinction between what we now know about the power of nuclear weapons, and the fact that most people back then had no conception of what they were dealing with. I am sure no one who saw even the awesome power of the Trinity bomb foresaw weapons like the Tsar Bomb, or cruise missiles.

Also, it is important to realize that work on the bomb started at a time when no one was sure which way the war would go, or who might get the technology first. Of course, once they actually had the device, there would obviously be monsters who would want to try it out.

It doesn't justify their actions of course, but it is important to understand the differences between what we know now, and what they knew then.

6079_Smith_W

Also, I found this interesting fact not too long ago (see "apology rebuffed):

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

I remember back in the late 80s talking to several veterans who were in the WInnipeg Grenadiers and survived the war in a prison camp. They were furious that Emperor Akihito was visiting Canada given the legacy of his predecessor who many considered a war criminal, and the fact that he had never apologized. McArthur's refusal that day was not only a disservice to a man trying to make amends, it was also a grave injustice to the soldiers who would have liked to hear that apology.

But I guess letting the Allies see a compassionate side of the former enemy was not good PR, and therefore more important than healing the wounds.

(edit) 

My mistake. It was not Akihito, but it was a member of Hirohito's immediate royal family. Can't remember who.

Fidel

N.Beltov wrote:

My point is that yacking on and on about MacArthur's post war history, and dead silence about the General's attitude towards the use of nuclear weapons against the civilians in Hiroshima (and Nagasaki), is trivializing a very important point in this thread which is supposed to be about 6 Aug 1945. it's practically trolling ...

I was somewhat offended by your characterizing MacArthur as a peacenik who opposed the use of nuclear weapons. That's misleading. Sorry, it just is. I forgive you as I know you knew not what you appeared to be suggesting.

6079_Smith_W

@ Fidel

Plus, the motives behind a person's actions may not always be clear.

McArthur worked hard to make sure that Hirohito stayed on the throne and did not face a war crimes trial. I highly doubt he did it out of any respect for the man, or the feeling that he did not deserve to hang, but rather to maintain order in the territory the Americans needed to control.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Ok, try again ...

Quote:
MacArthur biographer William Manchester has described MacArthur's reaction to the issuance by the Allies of the Potsdam Proclamation to Japan: "...the Potsdam declaration in July, demand[ed] that Japan surrender unconditionally or face 'prompt and utter destruction.' MacArthur was appalled. He knew that the Japanese would never renounce their emperor, and that without him an orderly transition to peace would be impossible anyhow, because his people would never submit to Allied occupation unless he ordered it. Ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign. Had the General's advice been followed, the resort to atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been unnecessary."

William Manchester, American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964, pg. 512.

Norman Cousins was a consultant to General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins writes of his conversations with MacArthur, "MacArthur's views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed." He continues, "When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor."

Norman Cousins, The Pathology of Power, pg. 65, 70-71.

 

So, Fidel, what part of "he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb" do you not understand?

 

Fidel

Never mind what I wrote. You're right the pipe was a real good guy, a misunderstood humanitarian for sure. If he was alive today, he'd probably be awarded a Nobel peace prize. Carry on.

Frmrsldr

Cueball wrote:

No there are not examples of the Japense being worse than the Germans. There were no methodical attempts of racial exterminations of entire peoples, nor any plans for such things. Indeed, the plan for Moscow, was not to capture it, but to surround it and then bombard it until most everyone was dead, whoever remained were to be driven out into the wasteland. There are copies of the notes by OKH staff to this affect, and it is matter of public record.

Jews, Gypsies and Slavs.

The mass starvation, and destruction of the Ukraine was not an accident of war, or reprisals against the people there for rebellion, but part of a plan for wholesale extermination of Slavic peoples...

... Imperialism is by its nature racist. But there is no evidence that mass extermination of peoples was the policy of the government. For one thing it should be noted that the Kwangtung Army in China acted largely independent of command from the center. Not that this absolves the "civilian" leadership from responsibility, but when it comes down to it, on almost every level, from operations to the management of occupied territories, the Japanese approach in China could only be described as haphazard as opposed to systematic. The Panay Incident, where the Japanese attacked a US Gunboat, clearly happened as a direct instigation by the Japanese army against the US, without the authorization of the civilian government.

The Japanese army, particularly in China was very used to handing policy to the Japanese government as a fait accompli, and it is pretty clear that events such as the "Rape of Nanking" and the institution of the "Three Alls Policy" in northern China in response to Chu Teh's "100 Regiments Offensive", were essentially "reprisals", not part of an systematic campaign of extermination.

By way of example, to note that the British gassed Kurdish rebels in Iraq, is not to say that this was part of systematic campaign to exterminate Kurds just because they used gas.

It's not even clear to me that the Japanese were organized enough to try and execute such as thing as a coherent policy, while it is totally clear that the orders to destroy Slavic civilization came right from the very top, and was the policy of the government based in its ideology, one which the army and the police forces were to a greater or lesser extent compliant. In the case of the Einsatzgruppen, these organizations were specifically mobilized with the intent of affecting racial extermination.

I don't see anyting simillar in the historical record relating to the Japanese.

In the end, what's your point?

A war crime/crime against humanity is morally reprehensible and unacceptable regardless of the number of victims and whether or not the state was involved and how chaotically or efficiently and systematically it was done.

What are you arguing? That what the nazis did was worse than what the Imperial Japanese government and Army did, and therefore the mass firebombing of German cities was justified and the mass firebombings and atomic bombings of Japanese cities was not?

There is no moral relativism here:

What the nazi government did, what the SS did, what the Einsatzgruppen did, what the Gestapo etc., did, does not justify or excuse our war crimes/crimes against humanity concerning our mass firebombing of German cities.

What the Imperial/militarist/fascist Japanese government and (many/most units of?) Army etc., did, does not justify or excuse our war crimes/crimes against humanity concerning our mass firebombing and atomic bombing of Japanese cities.

The war crimes/crimes against humanity that the nazis committed were morally reprehensible and unacceptable.

The war crimes/crimes against humanity that the Japanese Imperialists/monarchists/royalists/militarists/fascists committed were morally reprehensible and unacceptable.

The war crimes/crimes against humanity that we (the Allies) committed were morally reprehensible and unacceptable.

In the eyes of universal justice and morality, none of the Axis Powers and none of the Allied Powers of W.W. II "gets a free lunch".

In other words, in terms of committing war crimes/crimes against humanity, all were equally guilty and none can point the finger at another.

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

I am outlining how political objectives and ideology determine different outcomes in the practice of war.

For example, there are a lot of misconceptions about Mongol military practice, and the purpose behind the depopulation of certain cities on the Silk Road trade route, which go beyond the simple explanation of popular legend. It is apparent that the Mongol depopulation of certain cities was not just an attempt to subjugate, but was as much an attempt to rationalize and limit the number of viable trade routes, so that they were better able to control and tax them.

This is what I meant by the Mongol's having a "purpose" behind their attacks on civilian populations.

The idea of the barbaric and primitive Mongol hordes (Ord being the Mongol word for "clan") rampaging around destroying civilized city dwellers, just because they were backward "steppe" horsemen who didn't like "cities" or those who lived in them, is pretty much mythological. Indeed, there were clear purposes behind their policies.

Fewer cities, meant fewer trade routes, and less routes meant less expense and more profit in controlling them.

Another case where we see Clauswitz's dictum "war is an extension of politics by other means". We see how the political object shapes not only the object of war but also the means through which it is carried out. So, indeed this idea that "civilians" have always been a primary target for destruction in war for "millennium" is actually very false. Wining control over and then exploiting productive civilian populations, as opposed to destroying them, has been the primary objectives of most war throughout most of the history of war..

King Henry V did not invade France with the primary objective of destroying the French people though if Shakespeare is to be believed he did not hesitate to threaten their destruction if they resisted.

So, in the present case, when discussing the atrocities of WWII, including Hiroshima and the German ethnic cleansings of Eastern Europe, I am trying to show how the political and ideological world view shaped the means and methods applied.

When comparing the objectives and therefore means (the actual point of what Clauzewitz was talking about when he said, "war is politics by other means", is that your objective shapes your means of conducting war) of German and Japanese methods it is quite evident that the Japanese policy was based in a more traditional "imperial mode" based in subjugating civilian populations, so that they could be exploited and that this was different results than the German policy of Lebensraum based in the view that all nations and peoples are locked in a winner take all death struggle for survival, necessitating total obliteration of the competition.

We see that the Japanese were very focussed on setting up local puppet governments, such as Manchukou, Mengjiang and Nanjing China. In fact when they took over French Indochina they didn't even bother replacing the French colonial administration.

On the other hand the Germans barely put any effort into creating any kind of local authorities, even when there was ample opportunity to do so, such as in the Ukraine. Many Ukrainians were simply delighted when the Wehrmacht rolled in to liberate them from the Russian Communist regime. However, creating local autonomous governance was so far down on the list of objectives for the German occupation forces that efforts to create it were merely cosmetic. Anyone really interested in fighting the Russian communists was basically rolled into the SS under German command

Their attitude in Western Europe was slightly different. In fact the difference between German occupation of Western Europe is a stark contrast to that practiced against Slavs in the east.

So we see, different political objectives result in different outcomes.

The concept of "industrial war" and "total war" greatly shaped the means through which the war was conducted by all the parties, and "terror bombing" (attacking civilians just for the sake of sapping the will to fight) as Winston Churchill described it was actually a very new concept, and based in a theoretical view of war proposed by Douhet prior to the war.  At the same time, Ludendorff's concept of total war greatly influenced the means through which war was conducted, and within this view the idea that civilian population could be dealt with as a primary target is explicit, not merely as a threat to win compliance, but as the object to be destroyed.

Combine these concepts with the super-lethality of modern weapons, and Hiroshima is the inevitable outcome.

If I can draw any useful conclusion from all of this it is that when we say that "civilians have always been the victim of war" we are actually retrofiting modern concepts of war to apply to wars of pervious eras because that is how we are taught to think of war in the modern frame, and this assertion seems to me to be part of the process of "normalizing" mass atrocity in modern war, because, as we say: that is what war has always been like.

I disagree.

Frmrsldr

Cueball wrote:

So, in the present case, when discussing the atrocities of WWII, including Hiroshima and the German ethnic cleansings of Eastern Europe, I am trying to show how the political and ideological world view shaped the means and methods applied.

When comparing the objectives and therefore means (the actual point of what Clauzewitz was talking about when he said, "war is politics by other means", is that your objective shapes your means of conducting war) of German and Japanese methods it is quite evident that the Japanese policy was based in a more traditional "imperial mode" based in subjugating civilian populations, so that they could be exploited and that this was different results than the German policy of Lebensraum based in the view that all nations and peoples are locked in a winner take all death struggle for survival, necessitating total obliteration of the competition.

We see that the Japanese were very focussed on setting up local puppet governments, such as Manchukou, Mengjiang and Nanjing China. In fact when they took over French Indochina they didn't even bother replacing the French colonial administration.

On the other hand the Germans barely put any effort into creating any kind of local authorities, even when there was ample opportunity to do so, such as in the Ukraine. Many Ukrainians were simply delighted when the Wehrmacht rolled in to liberate them from the Russian Communist regime. However, creating local autonomous governance was so far down on the list of objectives for the German occupation forces that efforts to create it were merely cosmetic. Anyone really interested in fighting the Russian communists was basically rolled into the SS under German command

When we get beyond the philosophical and political bullshit of Mein Kampf, what the war for Hitler was all about was to make Germany the world's (prior to the post war American Empire) first Superpower. It all revolved around conquering Russia. Russia is the largest country in the world with the most valuable amount of strategic resources in the world. Conquer Russia and use its resources and you are a Superpower. If the local people cooperate with you, use them. If not, exterminate them.

Japan's goals were the same. The Imperialist/militarist/fascists saw that the Japanese islands were not big enough to sustain a growing population in terms of space, food self-sufficiency and in terms of enough strategic resources to build a growing military. What Russia was to Hitler and the nazis, China was to the Japanese Imperialist/militarist/fascists. In order for Japan to have an empire/be an Asian Superpower, Japan needed China's vast size and vast amounts of strategic resources. Conquer China, send your excess population there to colonize it and use its resources, and Japan becomes a Superpower.

The Imperial Japanese Army knew they were vastly outnumbered by the Chinese population. If the Chinese military and population ever 'got it together' and banded to drive the Japanese forces off the Chinese mainland, the Japanese military adventure in China would be obliterated. Therefore, the Japanese policy was the same as the nazi policy in Russia: If cooperation works, use the local people as puppets. But don't get too friendly with them or else occupation will fail and you will be absorbed into the vastness of China. In order to prevent this from happening, the Japanese Army, although they used cooperation, if it worked, always viewed the subjugated Chinese people as sub-human inferiors; the way the nazis viewed their subjugated Slavic peoples. Where Japanese units met Chinese resistance, knowing that if the Chinese won a major victory, the Japanese would either suffer severe losses or be wiped out, Japanese units would exterminate villages and communities in rural areas, just as the nazis did in Russia (and Yugoslavia).

As I pointed out in above posts on this thread, the Japanese tested biological and chemical agents on both Chinese, Asian and Allied prisoners and "field tested" them on unsuspecting Chinese in both cities and in rural areas. The army and scientific unit that tested the agents on prisoners in the prison "laboratory" and produced the agents that were used in the field was Unit 731. They referred to their human victims as "logs".

The history of how the atrocities of the firebombings of Cologne, Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, etc., and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki occurred is short and simple: Technological and cultural change that occurred in the First World War.

1. Technological: Multi engined bombers. Zeppelin and Gotha bomber raids over London and other British cities.

2. Cultural: Propaganda that conditioned peoples' minds to regard the intentional targeting of cities and civilians as legitimate military objectives to be acceptable behavior.

These are the necessary preconditions. Being able to produce quantities of aircraft that could assemble for thousand bomber raids, carry hundreds of tons of incendiary bombs, or single atomic bombs and being able to fly hundreds or 1,000+ miles to their objective (and return) are the sufficient conditions that made the later atrocities of Cologne, Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki possible.

It is these same necessary conditions (technology and the culture surrounding the use of this technology) that enabled the Bush administration to bomb innocent Afghan civilians thus starting our illegal war crime Afghan war on October 7, 2001 and for Laura Bush to justify it by demonizing the Taliban and talk about equality for Afghan women, education for girls, (illegal) regime change and social engineering to make Afghanistan a democracy in the image of the U.S.A.

Canada had its own version of this with former General Rick Hillier describing the Taliban as "... detestable murderous scumbags.", in 2006 and Stockwell Day talking about the number of schools constructed in Kandahar province in one of his Afghan war update reports in January 2010, for example.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Frmrsldr wrote:

Cueball wrote:

So, in the present case, when discussing the atrocities of WWII, including Hiroshima and the German ethnic cleansings of Eastern Europe, I am trying to show how the political and ideological world view shaped the means and methods applied.

When comparing the objectives and therefore means (the actual point of what Clauzewitz was talking about when he said, "war is politics by other means", is that your objective shapes your means of conducting war) of German and Japanese methods it is quite evident that the Japanese policy was based in a more traditional "imperial mode" based in subjugating civilian populations, so that they could be exploited and that this was different results than the German policy of Lebensraum based in the view that all nations and peoples are locked in a winner take all death struggle for survival, necessitating total obliteration of the competition.

We see that the Japanese were very focussed on setting up local puppet governments, such as Manchukou, Mengjiang and Nanjing China. In fact when they took over French Indochina they didn't even bother replacing the French colonial administration.

On the other hand the Germans barely put any effort into creating any kind of local authorities, even when there was ample opportunity to do so, such as in the Ukraine. Many Ukrainians were simply delighted when the Wehrmacht rolled in to liberate them from the Russian Communist regime. However, creating local autonomous governance was so far down on the list of objectives for the German occupation forces that efforts to create it were merely cosmetic. Anyone really interested in fighting the Russian communists was basically rolled into the SS under German command

When we get beyond the philosophical and political bullshit of Mein Kampf, what the war for Hitler was all about was to make Germany the world's (prior to the post war American Empire) first Superpower. It all revolved around conquering Russia. Russia is the largest country in the world with the most valuable amount of strategic resources in the world. Conquer Russia and use its resources and you are a Superpower. If the local people cooperate with you, use them. If not, exterminate them.

Nope. There is no getting beyond the bullshit of Mein Kempf. These ideas have agency, and were active in the whole manner in which the German's prosecuted the war in Eastern Europe. This is clear. The Germans under the orders of Adolph Hitler, the author of Mein Kempf, were instructed to prosecute the war along the lines outlined by him, and in keeping with his world view.

This is precisely why there was very little effort by the OKW to develop co-operative relations with subject Slavic peoples. One of those people on the list for extermination.

Indeed, von Braustich made special note of the problems caused by the civilian leadership's conduct of the occupation in Poland, precisely because he thought it was counter-productive and wasteful of economic resources and therefore damaging to the war effort. This complaint was of such great concern that the Wehrmacht demanded as a condition of invading France that occupied France should remain under military, and not civilian control.

However, in Russia, as in Poland, there was barely any effort put into seeking the co-operation from the conquered peoples, and a lot of effort put into ethnic cleansing and extermination. Countless historians have wondered why it is that the Germans engaged in such overtly counter-productive behaviour in the face of the fact that they had a great deal to gain by seeking the co-operation of Ukranians and other ethnic groups that were decidedly anti-Soviet for the most part.

Hitler for his part blocked and undermined such rational occupation planning, and advice from "specialists" who advised setting up co-operative relationships with soviet dissidents with the aim of building up co-operative relationships with occupied people were simply ignored. As irrational and counter-productive as that sounds, that is the case.

Hitler's Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe

On the other hand the Japanese developed all kinds of productive relationships with local dissidents througout the empires of the western powers, with an eye to developing them as future "partners" in the Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. In fact, Japanese strategic war planning was substantially more rational, if hapazard. Even the attack on the USA was "rational" in the terms of the Japanese war plan. Obviously they knew that they could not win an all out war with the USA, but they believed that they could win concessions in a "limited" war with the western powers. Their miscalculation was in thinking that the USA would not commit to all out war in Asia.

Total conquest was never an objective of the "Liason Conference" (ministers conference of all Japanese war planners), however, they gambled that a stalemate resulting from facing down the Western powers with a powerful show of force would be enough to solidify their hegemony over China, if the western powers were reluctant to commit to a brutal island hopping war of attrition.

They hoped that this would be enough to quickly bring about negotiations following some saber rattling from the USA and a "show of force" by the US Navy -- aka a little gunboat diplomacy.

It was a reasonable enough set of assumptions to go on, given that France was defeated, England surrounded and powerless, the Netherlands occupied, and Roosevelt hampered by a reluctant Congress. The fatal error was authored by none other that Isokuro Yamamato who demanded on threat of his own resignation that an attack on the Dutch East Indies and Singapore must be prefaced with an attack aimed at knocking out the US Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbour, in order to prevent it from intervening against landings in Indonesia.

This, however, as we all know let the Djini out of the bottle, and gave Roosevelt everything he needed to prosecute total war against Japan.

DaveW
6079_Smith_W

@ Cueball

I still don't buy the notion that the Japanese had a kinder and gentler way of starving people to death, burying them alive and skewering them on sticks, or that because they are not European Imperialists their actions were somehow more traditional and therefore more acceptable. Sorry.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

What part of genocide and ethnic cleansing are you not getting? Lumping all sorts of dissimilar war crimes and such together just trivializes the planned, calculated, spoken of in advance, efforts to wipe out the Jewish and Slavic populations of Europe and Asia.

This is ABC fer Chrissakes. The more general crime of unleashing war, which the Nazis were prosecuted for in Nuremberg, is described as "containing all other crimes within it" and, therefore, the greatest "crime" of all. However, the Nuremberg Tribunal went beyond this and addressed the additional crimes above. Yes, it was victor's justice but it was also important generally.

Of course, some people - say, for example, those who support the disgusting atrocities of the Israeli apartheid regime - would like nothing better than to "lump together" the firing of WW2 surplus rockets in the general direction of the enemy WITH the genocidal Israeli ethnic cleansing currently going on under the noses, and funding,  of the "freedom loving" West. And that's why a can of whup ass needs to be opened on such people. Capisce?

6079_Smith_W

@ N. Beltov

Was #76 directed at me? If so, I understand just fine, and I think I explained a couple of times already that I disagree.

Frmrsldr

Cueball wrote:

On the other hand the Japanese developed all kinds of productive relationships with local dissidents througout the empires of the western powers, with an eye to developing them as future "partners" in the Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. In fact, Japanese strategic war planning was substantially more rational, if hapazard. Even the attack on the USA was "rational" in the terms of the Japanese war plan. Obviously they knew that they could not win an all out war with the USA, but they believed that they could win concessions in a "limited" war with the western powers. Their miscalculation was in thinking that the USA would not commit to all out war in Asia.

Total conquest was never an objective of the "Liason Conference" (ministers conference of all Japanese war planners), however, they gambled that a stalemate resulting from facing down the Western powers with a powerful show of force would be enough to solidify their hegemony over China, if the western powers were reluctant to commit to a brutal island hopping war of attrition.

They hoped that this would be enough to quickly bring about negotiations following some saber rattling from the USA and a "show of force" by the US Navy -- aka a little gunboat diplomacy.

It was a reasonable enough set of assumptions to go on, given that France was defeated, England surrounded and powerless, the Netherlands occupied, and Roosevelt hampered by a reluctant Congress. The fatal error was authored by none other that Isokuro Yamamato who demanded on threat of his own resignation that an attack on the Dutch East Indies and Singapore must be prefaced with an attack aimed at knocking out the US Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbour, in order to prevent it from intervening against landings in Indonesia.

This, however, as we all know let the Djini out of the bottle, and gave Roosevelt everything he needed to prosecute total war against Japan.

Bullshit.

Again, I ask, what is your point?

To try and argue that the Japanese Imperialists/militarists/fascists committed no war crimes/crimes against humanity whereas the nazis did and therefore the firebombings of Cologne, Hamburg, Dresden and other German cities was either justified or acceptable yet conversely, the firebombings of Tokyo, Osaka and other cities and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were not?

You completely ignore the bombing of Chinese cities (Shanghai, Peking, Nanking, Chungking and others) by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force. You completely ignore the 1937 Rape of Nanking. You completely ignore the Imperial Japanese Army's treatment of the Chinese. You completely ignore the crimes against humanity "scientific" experiments conducted on Chinese and Allied prisoners by Unit 731 along the same lines as nazi Germany's SS in the death camps overseen by Dr. Mengele. The nazis never used biological or chemical warfare in combat. Japanes army units used both against unsuspecting Chinese civilians. They tried to used it via weather balloons sent to our (America's and Canada's) west coast.

You completely ignore the Japanese treatment of their subject populations. They treated them as slave labor. They deported Philippinos, Indonesians, Malayans, Vietnamese and others as well as Allied prisoners to Thailand to work the China-Burma-Thailand railroad. The line, never completed, ran for thousands of miles through virgin jungle that had to be cleared. For every railway tie that was laid, a person died. People were underfed, overworked, overcrowded in the camps, they suffered from exposure to the elements, they were denied medical treatment, they were tortured, physically abused and murdered. There was a food shortage in Vietnam in 1941-1942, so the French and Japanese occupation government hoarded rice for themselves and allowed thousands of Vietnamese to die of starvation and millions to suffer. Foreigners and Allied prisoners worked as slave labor in factories on the Japanese home islands under the same conditions. There are chronicled/reported incidents where Japanese units that captured field hospitals where they murdered in cold blood all patients and staff. To the Japanese, surrender was considered shameful. Many Allied soldiers were shot as they surrended (it must be said, as I have done above, that American GIs also shot surrendering Japanese soldiers.) PoWs and prisoners of subject peoples as well as civilians in Japanese occupied countries were treated in the same manner as described above.

Haven't you either read about or seen documentaries on this subject? Haven't you seen images of freed Allied prisoners at the end of the war? Their clothes were as threadbare and these human beings were as starved, sick and emaciated as the Jewish people and other victims of the nazi death camps.

Have you ever talked to any Asian people who lived through Japanese occupation during World War II? I have. They will confirm the crimes against humanity horrors that were perpetrated upon civilians that I have related here. When these people were either liberated by the Allies or when the war ended (whichever came first), the revenge killings and reprisals that these formerly subject peoples returned upon the Japanese were so brutal and horrific that it will make your hair stand on end - testimony to how badly the Japanese occupiers treated these people.

Don't fall for the Japanese "Greater Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere" propaganda or for the large scale covering up, denial and ignoring of Japanese war crimes/crimes against humanity by the U.S. military. This was done because the U.S.A. saw Japan as its bulwark against the spread of Soviet communism in Asia.

Don't try to make me swallow this notion that the Japanese meticulously attacked only military targets and that they scrupulously adhered to the Hague and Geneva conventions on war.

You won't be successful and will only succeed in making me choke on it and gag it right back in your face.

As I said before, all the major Axis and Allied powers were guilty of war crimes/crimes against humanity of one kind or another.

Kloch

Frmrsldr wrote:

Bullshit.

Again, I ask, what is your point?

To try and argue that the Japanese Imperialists/militarists/fascists committed no war crimes/crimes against humanity whereas the nazis did and therefore the firebombings of Cologne, Hamburg, Dresden and other German cities was either justified or acceptable yet conversely, the firebombings of Tokyo, Osaka and other cities and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were not?

Can you please point to where Cueball says

(a) the Japanese committed no war crimes.

(b) The Nazi war crimes justified the bombings of Cologne, Hamburg or Dresden.

 

Frmrsldr

N.Beltov wrote:

Yes, it was victor's justice...

By and large, I don't subscribe to that argument.

Yes, no nazi official or German officer was tried for the war crime/crime against humanity for carpet bombing cities and civilians because Allied officers of the RAF and USAF were guilty of the same crime.

However, if you want to see what universal justice, law and morality look like, look again at the Nuremberg Principles that came out of the Nuremberg Trials that you have posted elsewhere.

I support you in your allusion to this:

N.Beltov wrote:

However, the Nuremberg Tribunal went beyond this and addressed the additional crimes above.

Frmrsldr

Kloch wrote:

Can you please point to where Cueball says

(a) the Japanese committed no war crimes.

(b) The Nazi war crimes justified the bombings of Cologne, Hamburg or Dresden.

Can you please point to where Cueball admits

(a) the Japanese committed war crimes?

As I said above, Cueball completely ignores/is totally silent on this subject.

Can you or Cueball explain why Cueball never condemns the firebombing of German cities and goes through such great effort to try to make it look like the nazi government and Waffen SS, Einsatzgruppen, Wermacht, etc. conscious effort of ethnic cleansing in the East was qualitatively different (from a moral perspective) than the Japanese occupiers' "commit the actions first, then rationalize them and finally make an informal policy of them later" crimes against humanity toward its occupied peoples?

It's Cueball's silence, lack of moral critical judgement and weighted emphasis against the German nazis and aparent favoring of the Japanese Imperialists/militarists/fascists on this subject that leads one to this conclusion.

Kloch

Frmrsldr wrote:

Can you please point to where Cueball admits

(a) the Japanese committed war crimes?

As I said above, Cueball completely ignores/is totally silent on this subject.

Can you or Cueball explain why Cueball never condemns the firebombing of German cities and goes through such great effort to try to make it look like the nazi government and Waffen SS, Einsatzgruppen, Wermacht, etc. conscious effort of ethnic cleansing in the East was qualitatively different (from a moral perspective) than the Japanese occupiers' "commit the actions first, then rationalize them and finally make an informal policy of them later" crimes against humanity toward its occupied peoples?

It's Cueball's silence, lack of moral critical judgement and weighted emphasis against the German nazis and aparent favoring of the Japanese Imperialists/militarists/fascists on this subject that leads one to this conclusion.

What conclusion?  That cueball likes Japanese fascists?  I thought he was a Communist-Liberal-fifth columnist?

No seriously, I actually don't know what you're talking about.  You said you were led to a conclusion... what is it?

Frmrsldr

Kloch wrote:

What conclusion?  That cueball likes Japanese fascists?

No seriously, I actually don't know what you're talking about.  You said you were led to a conclusion... what is it?

Well, if you want to put it crassly, you answered your own question:

Kloch wrote:

That cueball likes Japanese fascists[.]

What other conclusion would you arrive at with Cueball's ignoring fascist Japan's war crimes, making it look like it was an entirely non-malignant, possibly even benign(?) military strategy and emphasizing nazi Germany's war crimes and morally repugnant military strategy of ethnic cleansing in the East by way of (artificial) contrast?

Unless Cueball provides us the honor of convincingly refuting these claims - which shouldn't be hard to do.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Frmrsldr wrote:

Kloch wrote:

Can you please point to where Cueball says

(a) the Japanese committed no war crimes.

(b) The Nazi war crimes justified the bombings of Cologne, Hamburg or Dresden.

Can you please point to where Cueball admits

(a) the Japanese committed war crimes?

As I said above, Cueball completely ignores/is totally silent on this subject.

Can you or Cueball explain why Cueball never condemns the firebombing of German cities and goes through such great effort to try to make it look like the nazi government and Waffen SS, Einsatzgruppen, Wermacht, etc. conscious effort of ethnic cleansing in the East was qualitatively different (from a moral perspective) than the Japanese occupiers' "commit the actions first, then rationalize them and finally make an informal policy of them later" crimes against humanity toward its occupied peoples?

It's Cueball's silence, lack of moral critical judgement and weighted emphasis against the German nazis and aparent favoring of the Japanese Imperialists/militarists/fascists on this subject that leads one to this conclusion.

Actually I edited out the part where I went into a longer description of the theoretical purposes, and ultimate failure of the strategic bombing campaigns, for the sake of brevity. None of this is news, or very interesting. I was more interested in discussing how ideology policy and politics manifest themselves as attrocity. Yes, I know that more people were killed in the fire bombing of Tokyo and Dresden than were killed at Hirsoshima. I assume also, that most people reading this thread already know this as well.

What is not really understood by a lot of people is the qualative differences in ideology and war aims, and how these manifested themselves as policy.

If you actually think that because I point out that the "Three Alls" policy was a reaction to Chu Teh's "One Hundred Regiments" offensive that I think the latter justifies the former, I suspect it is because you don't spend a lot of time reading what others say on this web site. Indeed, I am clearly on the side Chu Teh, and support the right of the Chinese peasantry to raise militia armies against the Japanese occupation and attempt to remove them by force.

I do not believe that the Japanese have a right to exact reprisals against an occupied people because they choose to resist. In fact, I believe the proper response of the Japanese should have been to leave China,

But none of that has to do with my discussion points on how political aims are reflected in the different ways that the Japanese conducted occupation policy and the Germans did in Eastern Europe. The fact is that the Germans did not even wait for there to be any revolt against them before exacting reprisals, and engaging in ethnic cleansing.

Ethnic cleansing was the overt purpose of the German campaign in Eastern Europe. Despite the numerous and well documented crimes of the IJA throughout Asia during WWII, there is simply no substantive evidence that the Japanese overtly conducted a coherent and command orchestrated campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Indeed Smith points out that there was mass starvation in many areas of Japanese occupied Asia. This is true. Indeed, even the Japanese army itself was starving on mass, and the fact that the civilian populations felt the impact of food shortage first and foremost, before the Japanese army, this is entirely to be expected. Armies always provide for themselves before they provide for others, That is one of the imparatives of the military mind set.

But that does not indicate that they intentionally caused food shortage in order to wipe out populations on mass as a matter of government policy.

6079_Smith_W

I'm not sure why genocide is the only yardstick we are supposed to pay attention to here, after all, we are talking about two campaigns in which over 20 million people died. And I do wonder how the people of China and other conquered territories would respond to the assertion that their mass-slaughter was second-rate (and in fact the notion that it was NOT genocide).

In any case, if genocide is our measure, then sady the Nazis will have to take a back seat to extermination campaigns that were actually successful, like the way the Maori wiped out the Moriori in 1835. One of their people who visited there noticed that they were defenseless, so they came back with ships and lots of guns. They enslaved a few of the survivors, but forbade them from having children. The last pureblood Moriori died in the 1930s.

Of course they had a smaller population (2,000), and an island where no one could get away, but assuming we don't give them a pass because it was a case of traditional genocide, then I think the Maori stand a better chance of winning the skull-and-bones cup than the germans do.

And of course I being deliberately facetious. This whole comparison of who was worse is ridiculous. Slaughter is slaughter.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Ok. War bad.  Killing bad.

No need to discuss the details of what ideas resulted in what policies that set in motion what events.

Guess you missed the main point of what I was saying: your contention that "Destruction of non-military targets for various reasons has been a part of war for millennia," is part of the normalization of attocity as part of war from the frame of "total war" retrocactively fit into history. Indeed, as I have pointed out, tradtionally war has been about the capture and exploitation of "non-military" targets. Targetting civilian populations as an object for destruction in war, is a new thing.

Unionist

Does anyone else find it disgusting, to the point of retching, that this thread about the first use of nuclear weapons in human history by the U.S. has been transformed into a puerile debate about who was worse, the Germans or the Japanese?

Perhaps start a new thread on that scintillating, vibrant, and timely topic, and invite professors of history to post?

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

It is disgusting that a discussion about ideology, politics, and how they manifest themselves as policies that result in attrocity is being reduced to a simpletons demand for 'rote' black and white condemnation without analysis. No need to discuss how and why things happened folks, just sign the petition please...

You had every opportunity to start this thread... and indeed... it was actually I who remembered to do it. Worse it lay fallow basically without comment for a few days. But... yeah... be more sanctimonious... please.

Fidel

[url=http://www.ctbto.org/specials/1945-1998-by-isao-hashimoto/]Artist Isao Hashimoto's map of nuclear explosions(video)[/url] 1945-1998

Kloch

Frmrsldr wrote:

Kloch wrote:

That cueball likes Japanese fascists[.]

What other conclusion would you arrive at with Cueball's ignoring fascist Japan's war crimes, making it look like it was an entirely non-malignant, possibly even benign(?) military strategy and emphasizing nazi Germany's war crimes and morally repugnant military strategy of ethnic cleansing in the East by way of (artificial) contrast?

Unless Cueball provides us the honor of convincingly refuting these claims - which shouldn't be hard to do.

When a person analyzes the political motives behind military aggression, which is what Cueball was doing, it is not proof that they sympathize with those political beliefs.  It is proof that their spinal chord is connected to their brain.

 

I've followed many of Cueball's discussions because I find them interesting and I always learn something.  Above all else, Cue is an unqualified opponent of fascism and imperialism, which you would know if you'd read a tiny fraction of what Cue's written.  Your posts are nothing but garbage, barely coherent and bordering on slanderous.  Frankly, an apology would not be out of line.  

Kloch

P.S., thanks for derailing what was an interesting thread.  Hope you're now satisfied that Cueball isn't a closet worshiper of Hirohito.

Frmrsldr

Cueball wrote:

But none of that has to do with my discussion points on how political aims are reflected in the different ways that the Japanese conducted occupation policy and the Germans did in Eastern Europe. The fact is that the Germans did not even wait for there to be any revolt against them before exacting reprisals, and engaging in ethnic cleansing.

Ethnic cleansing was the overt purpose of the German campaign in Eastern Europe. Despite the numerous and well documented crimes of the IJA throughout Asia during WWII, there is simply no substantive evidence that the Japanese overtly conducted a coherent and command orchestrated campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Indeed Smith points out that there was mass starvation in many areas of Japanese occupied Asia. This is true. Indeed, even the Japanese army itself was starving on mass, and the fact that the civilian populations felt the impact of food shortage first and foremost, before the Japanese army, this is entirely to be expected. Armies always provide for themselves before they provide for others, That is one of the imparatives of the military mind set.

But that does not indicate that they intentionally caused food shortage in order to wipe out populations on mass as a matter of government policy.

Bullshit.

You would have us believe that the reason why Russia was invaded was so the priviledged survivors could enjoy a world remade into an ethnically pure paradise as envisioned by the nazis.

You would also have us believe that the intentional policy of hoarding the rice for the Japanese and French occupiers and soldiers in Vietnam and the treatment of Chinese and other subjugated peoples by the Japanese fascists was not a policy that was built upon an ideological foundation of racism, same as the German nazis.

In your persuit of how political aims affect military strategy, you've read so much Mein Kampf, nazi German propaganda and fascist Japan "Greater Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere" propaganda, you're starting to believe it.

You're confusing all that racist crap about Aryans versus Slavs (and Jews, etc.) - the means of making the invasion of Russia possible - with the reason for the invasion of Russia.

That stuff about Slavs being inferior subhumans fit only for slave labor and (possible) extermination, was the propaganda used to psyche up the German population for the invasion of Russia. The "Give no quarter, take no prisoners" military strategy this reflected was the only way the nazis believed they could conquer and occupy such a huge country with such a large population and such a vast supply of strategic resources.

The reason for nazi Germany's invasion of Russia was the same as fascist Japan's invasion of China: to get its hands on Russia's (or in the case of Japan, China's) fertile earth and vast supply of strategic resources. What was that 'thousand year reich' all about that Hitler constantly talked of?

In order for nazi Germany and fascist Japan (in their opinion) to successfully occupy the East (Eastern Europe for Germany, East Asia and the Pacific for Japan) their policies were based on racist ideology. The Japanese fascists regarded and treated the cultures they subjugated the same way the German nazis regarded and treated the Russians and Ukrainians, The same way British propaganda viewed Germans and Japanese (as "Huns" and "Nips") and American propaganda (Germans = krauts, Japanese = "Japs", "Nips", "gooks", "slant eyed, lemon colored monkeys", etc.)

The only "unique" and bizarre instance was the assembly line factory run death camps of the nazis that exterminated Jewish people and a few other small groups who had the misfortune of being sent there. (But this is a morally 'quantitative', rather than 'qualitative' difference. The numbers are greater, but the level of moral perniciousness is the same as the other atrocities.) Although there are historical precedents for this too: Andersonville prison in the U.S. Civil War, the British run concentration camps of the Boer War (1898-1902) and the mass internment and mistreatment of Armenians by the Ottoman government during World War I.

Playing the racist card in propaganda is the unifying "ideology" that were used to both "justify" and rationalize (before and after) on an emotional level, the atrocities committed by all sides in World War II.

Such ideology and propaganda was used then, as it is now: to "justify" and rationalize atrocities on a mass emotional level, in the attempt to achieve political, military and economic world domination.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Frmrsldr wrote:

Cueball wrote:

But none of that has to do with my discussion points on how political aims are reflected in the different ways that the Japanese conducted occupation policy and the Germans did in Eastern Europe. The fact is that the Germans did not even wait for there to be any revolt against them before exacting reprisals, and engaging in ethnic cleansing.

Ethnic cleansing was the overt purpose of the German campaign in Eastern Europe. Despite the numerous and well documented crimes of the IJA throughout Asia during WWII, there is simply no substantive evidence that the Japanese overtly conducted a coherent and command orchestrated campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Indeed Smith points out that there was mass starvation in many areas of Japanese occupied Asia. This is true. Indeed, even the Japanese army itself was starving on mass, and the fact that the civilian populations felt the impact of food shortage first and foremost, before the Japanese army, this is entirely to be expected. Armies always provide for themselves before they provide for others, That is one of the imparatives of the military mind set.

But that does not indicate that they intentionally caused food shortage in order to wipe out populations on mass as a matter of government policy.

Bullshit.

You would have us believe that the reason why Russia was invaded was so the priviledged survivors could enjoy a world remade into an ethnically pure paradise as envisioned by the nazis.

Yes. Sorry as stupid and illogical and counter-productive as that program proved to be, it is the case. And indeed one of the causes of the rapid collapse of their empire. One really just has to have read something of the internal communications wiithin the OKW to know that the Lebensraum policy was actionable as policy in the conduct of their occupations of Poland, Ukraine and Beloryussia.

The racism "card", is a card that you play in the game, and when you do so it becomes part of your final hand. It wasn't just some kind of ploy. Read von Braustich's diary, or even Halder's. It is all there.

Frmrsldr

Kloch wrote:

Kloch wrote:

That cueball likes Japanese fascists[.]

 

Kloch wrote:

When a person analyzes the political motives behind military aggression, which is what Cueball was doing, it is not proof that they sympathize with those political beliefs.  It is proof that their spinal chord is connected to their brain.

I've followed many of Cueball's discussions because I find them interesting and I always learn something.  Above all else, Cue is an unqualified opponent of fascism and imperialism, which you would know if you'd read a tiny fraction of what Cue's written.  Your posts are nothing but garbage, barely coherent and bordering on slanderous.  Frankly, an apology would not be out of line.  

Hey buddy, you're the one who brought it down to that level.

Unlike you, I make no personal assumptions about fellow posters. I go solely by what they post.

The way I responded to your post was the way you (inappropriately) responded to mine, which wouldn't have happened if you'd read a tiny fraction of what I wrote.

This thread is about the "necessity"(?) and morality of Hiroshima. What relevance, really, is what may or may not have been the ideological underpinnings of Mongol military strategy?

We could go back to cases in ancient times when cities were sieged and biological warfare was used when the carcasses of animals were flung into the city to spread disease and when the conquerers ethnically cleansed defeated cultures. Were there any ideological underpinnings to this?

What's the point? What's the relevence here?

Cueball could open a thread that deals specifically with the history of the politics behind military strategy and the targeting of cities and (non combatants) civilians. There would be many stimulating discussions with Webgear, I'm sure.

Frmrsldr

Kloch wrote:

P.S., thanks for derailing what was an interesting thread.  Hope you're now satisfied that Cueball isn't a closet worshiper of Hirohito.

As you can see from my post above, I'm trying to keep this thread on topic. It's Cueball who's doing the thread drift.

Frmrsldr

Cueball wrote:

Yes. Sorry as stupid and illogical and counter-productive as that program proved to be, it is the case.

The racism "card", is a card that you play in the game, and when you do so it becomes part of your final hand. It wasn't just some kind of ploy.

Hitler and the nazi's ideas of racism was a bunch of half baked inconsistent nonsense.

The concept of the "Aryan" was not based on ethnicity. It was based upon genes. Theoretically, it didn't matter what one's ethnic background was. One was an "Aryan" if one had light skin, blond hair and blue eyes.

Although I don't think it ever happened, Jewish people who had these "Nordic" features would, in theory, be considered "Aryans" by the nazis.

SS doctors would enter Polish schools, abduct "Aryan" looking children and foster them over to German "Aryan" couples.

In the occuped East, the nazis ordered the Wermacht and Einsatzgruppen not to harm any of the (non German) Aryans living there.

Again, you're trying to tell me that Hitler was attracted (like a powerful magnet) to invading Russia because he couldn't overcome his desire to exterminate all those untermenschen "inferior" Slavs there?

Hitler's desire to become the world's greatest military conquerer and the vast fertile lands for agriculture and vast strategic resources to manufacture more arms for more conquest and to increase national wealth and personal wealth for the capitalists - had little or nothing to do with the invasion of Russia? Sorry, I'm not buying that argument.

You don't agree with me then that there were racist underpinnings (among a few others) behind the firebombings of German and Japanese cities and behind Hiroshima and Nagasaki? That had we had an atomic bomb before Germany surrendered, we wouldn't have used it against Germans, but would (and did) use it against Japanese, this wouldn't be racism? Behind 19th century colonialism? There was no racism involved in the Korean War? In the Vietnam War? In Iraq? In Afghanistan?

The statement by former Gen. Rick Hillier, "The Taliban are detestable murderous scumbags.", is not dehumanizing, racist and provides a brief revealing glimpse of what's really going on in Afghanistan?

Cueball Cueball's picture

Frmrsldr wrote:

Kloch wrote:

Kloch wrote:

That cueball likes Japanese fascists[.]

 

Kloch wrote:

When a person analyzes the political motives behind military aggression, which is what Cueball was doing, it is not proof that they sympathize with those political beliefs.  It is proof that their spinal chord is connected to their brain.

I've followed many of Cueball's discussions because I find them interesting and I always learn something.  Above all else, Cue is an unqualified opponent of fascism and imperialism, which you would know if you'd read a tiny fraction of what Cue's written.  Your posts are nothing but garbage, barely coherent and bordering on slanderous.  Frankly, an apology would not be out of line.  

Hey buddy, you're the one who brought it down to that level.

Unlike you, I make no personal assumptions about fellow posters. I go solely by what they post.

The way I responded to your post was the way you (inappropriately) responded to mine, which wouldn't have happened if you'd read a tiny fraction of what I wrote.

This thread is about the "necessity"(?) and morality of Hiroshima. What relevance, really, is what may or may not have been the ideological underpinnings of Mongol military strategy?

We could go back to cases in ancient times when cities were sieged and biological warfare was used when the carcasses of animals were flung into the city to spread disease and when the conquerers ethnically cleansed defeated cultures. Were there any ideological underpinnings to this?

What's the point? What's the relevence here?

Cueball could open a thread that deals specifically with the history of the politics behind military strategy and the targeting of cities and (non combatants) civilians. There would be many stimulating discussions with Webgear, I'm sure.

I am sorry that you disagree. My point is that there was nothing in particular to distinguish Japanese policy from European policy in Asia. My other point is that there most definetly something that distinguished everyone else from the National Socialist ideology from everyone else.

You however seem to want to make the case that there was nothing exceptional about German conduct of the war that sprung from the particular world view espoused by the Nazis. I have tried to reference for you particular examples of this ideology in action and how it distinguished itself from the other major powers involved in the war, but you will have none of that, insisting that everything that was encompassed in the German war efforts was for the most part the logical conclusion that would have come about wether or not Germany was in the hands of the National Socialist.

Gassing 5 to 6 millions Jews, countless Gypsies and other inferior peoples was just some kind of clever propaganda ploy, according to you. Nope. Hitler really hated Jews. That is why he deported them and ordered their slaughter. From the logical perspective the smart play from the view of straight forward geo-political imperial power politics would actually have been to form the able bodied men into 20 divisions of combat soldiers and send them of to fight for Germany, just as the Jews of Germany did in WWI.

I tried to use examples in the historical context to show how the modern conception of war as "total war" as espoused by people like Erich Ludendorf have shaped the way war is conducted in the modern frame that distinguishes it from wars in the past. Wars have political purposes. They also have ways and means.

And, so, I disagree, despite the fact that you can find numerous examples of ethnic cleansing, and attrocities conducted against civilians throughout history, simply making individual comparisons is not making any kind of causual analysis of why people do the things they do. Trying to assert that "civilians" have always been the primary target in all wars throughout history is simply false.

As I pointed out, Henry V did not invade France for the sole purpose of wiping out its people, in a dog eat dog competition between nations. Instead, his aim was to bring France, and its people, under the sway of his own influence, not erradicate them.

This requires debate?

Cueball Cueball's picture

Frmrsldr wrote:

Cueball wrote:

Yes. Sorry as stupid and illogical and counter-productive as that program proved to be, it is the case.

The racism "card", is a card that you play in the game, and when you do so it becomes part of your final hand. It wasn't just some kind of ploy.

Hitler and the nazi's ideas of racism was a bunch of half baked inconsistent nonsense.

Right. That does not mean that the high command did not believe it, and that they did not act upon that premise when conducting the war. In fact they did. See what they did in Poland and the Ukraine.

A sane and logical person, such as yourself is going to have trouble fathoming how it is that the German state became consumed with such nonesense, and look for logical explanations for their acts. But no. Hitler really was a rabid anti-semitic racialist, who really did intend the destruction of all the inferior peoples of Europe, such as Slavs, and this view tainted the whole German war effort, even when it was completely unproductive to do so.

And yes, I do agree that racialist ideas affected the conduct of the American war effort, however, I do not think racial extermination of the Japanese people was the explicit policy of the US government. Nor do I think the Japanese intended to wipe out all of the Chinese.

Frmrsldr

Cueball wrote:

I am sorry that you disagree. My point is that there was nothing in particular to distinguish Japanese policy from European policy in Asia. My other point is that there most definetly something that distinguished everyone else from the National Socialist ideology from everyone else.

You however seem to want to make the case that there was nothing exceptional about German conduct of the war that sprung from the particular world view espoused by the Nazis. I have tried to reference for you particular examples of this ideology in action and how it distinguished itself from the other major powers involved in the war, but you will have none of that, insisting that everything that was encompassed in the German war efforts was for the most part the logical conclusion that would have come about wether or not Germany was in the hands of the National Socialist.

And, so, I disagree, despite the fact that you can find numerous examples of ethnic cleansing, and attrocities conducted against civilians throughout history, simply making individual comparisons is not making any kind of causual analysis of why people do the things they do. Trying to assert that "civilians" have always been the primary target in all wars throughout history is simply false.

As I pointed out, Henry V did not invade France for the sole purpose of wiping out its people, in a dog eat dog competition between nations. Instead, his aim was to bring France, and its people, under the sway of his own influence, not erradicate them.

This requires debate?

Cueball wrote:

I tried to use examples in the historical context to show how the modern conception of war as "total war" as espoused by people like Erich Ludendorf have shaped the way war is conducted in the modern frame that distinguishes it from wars in the past. Wars have political purposes. They also have ways and means.

Britain, France and the U.S.A. blockaded the Atlantic and Mediterranean Oceans. Germany signed the Armistice on November 11, 1918. The blockade wasn't lifted until after the Versailles Treaty was signed in late 1919. For a year after the signing of the Armistice, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, German, Austrian, Hungarian, Russian and other Eastern and Southern European peoples, some of them our allies and former allies, suffered privations, malnutrition, starvation and associated diseases. Although we could have lifted the blockade at any time or at least sent food and other humanitarian supplies, we didn't. And don't forget the Armenian Holocaust. So, yeah, I know the First World War was a total war.

Who cares about what happened prior to World War I. That is my cut off, perhaps yours? Prior to then, there is no relevance to this thread.

As I said above, the way the Holocaust was perpetrated was "unique" and bizarre on a number of levels.

Separate the Holocaust from the way the nazi Germans treated the Russians, Ukrainians, etc., and the way the Slavs were treated wasn't any different from the way the fascist Japanese treated the Chinese and Asians or the way Belgians treated Africans in their Congo colony.

An atrocity/war crime/crime against humanity is an atrocity/war crime/crime against humanity: They have the same legal/moral/normative/ontological/existential status. That was my argument that atrocities carry the same "qualitative" weight in the eyes of morality.

The difference between a field commander deciding to gun down hundreds or a few thousand unarmed Russian soldiers who just surrendered versus the Holocaust is different "quantitatively". Judges sentencing the perpetrators of these atrocities would take the quantitative aspects into consideration when determining handing out the degree and severity of justice and punishment relevant to these cases.

Cueball wrote:

Gassing 5 to 6 millions Jews, countless Gypsies and other inferior peoples was just some kind of clever propaganda ploy, according to you. Nope. Hitler really hated Jews. That is why he deported them and ordered their slaughter. From the logical perspective the smart play from the view of straight forward geo-political imperial power politics would actually have been to form the able bodied men into 20 divisions of combat soldiers and send them of to fight for Germany, just as the Jews of Germany did in WWI.

I never argued that. You're confusing apples with oranges. I was responding to your argument that the prospect of ethnic cleansing of Russia was Hiltler's reason for invasion. Bullshit. The Wannsea (sp?) Conference where "The Jewish Question" was determined was in mid 1942. Hitler invaded Russia in June 1941. You jump from how the nazis treated Slavs in the Eastern occupied territories to the Holocaust.

So again, what's your following point?: If it's that the German nazis who perpetrated the Holocaust deserved harsher (court) justice and penalties than the Japanese fascists who perpetrated war crimes/crimes against humanity on different cultures and ethnic peoples (to which there was a race basis) because the Holocaust was legally "quantitatively" worse, ok, I consider the argument to be concluded.

If, however, you are arguing that the nazi Germans were morally "qualitatively" more "evil" because of their atrocities rather than the fascist Japanese or our (the Allied Powers) atrocities and therefore, the Germans deserved to be firebombed, then I cannot accept this argument.

Yeah, no shit there's "politics" behind war. Most people are not inclined to be mass murderers. Some reason has to be provided to motivate people to go to war. If atrocities are committed that's ultimately what matters from a moral perspective. Governments can always contrive of bullshit excuses to psych people up to go to war.

Where the reasons are important is they hold the key to ending war and abusing other people. Stop the process of psyching people up to go to war or abusing or exploiting other people and you will end war, abuse and exploitation.

6079_Smith_W

@ Cueball #98

If your argument is that Hitler had a particular mania about exterminating the Jews and Gypsies, and that that he was obsessed with it to the point that it hurt their war effort, yes, I agree. That was a thing specific to the Nazis, although they were not the first people to practice genocide.

And I also agree that the Japanese did not have exactly the same ethnic policy with respect to the Chinese, although the Emperor did specifically order that Chinese not be treated according to the Geneva Conventions (even though Japan was not a signator).

On the other hand, Hitler did not ask his subjects to commit suicide out of devotion to him and promise them a heavenly reward, so both leaders were screwed up in their own way.

As for the enslavement of the slavic people, I wouldn't think that differed too much from the murderous treatment Japan meted out on the people they conquered, or for that matter, the treatment Stalin gave to the Ukrainians.

So I do hear your good argument and agree with much of it. The only thing I disagree on is that the Germans' campaign was somehow worse than the Japanese. I don't think we have the means to establish that either way.

WWII wasn't even the first war in which civilians were targetted - even whole cities. That too has been around for ages. One of the few things that was new to that war was, actually, your main topic - using a weapon for no strategic reason at all, but simply to see what it would do to people. In a way, it was like one of those concentration camp medical experiments the Germans and Japanese both conducted, only on an entire city.

 

Pages

Topic locked