Saturday, August 06, 2005

Hiroshima, in commemoration RIP ...No more innocent victims ?





16 comments:

AlanK said...

Nice sentiment highlander, hopefully there will be no more killing of innocent people or reuse of atomic weapons

Highlander said...

Amen Alan !

Anonymous said...

Alank,

That will never happen. People have been killing each since the dawn of time and will probably be doing so into the far future.

Hopefully, one the day the Japanese will acknowledge all the thousands of people they killed in Asia.

Anonymous said...

Did the US have Another Choice?

I would like to pose this question to all the wonderul audience of this club.

My answer is Yes. The US should have invited the whole world at the time and detonated the bomb on an inhabited island to show its devastating effect.

Japan would then have been given the choice of surrender or else ......

If the Japanese emperor still did not surrender. The US could have used the bomb to stop the war and save many more lives as some people today claim and it would have also had the upper moral ground.

What do you think ex-military man Programmer_Craig?

DM

AlanK said...

anonymous

that is an interesting question, on one hand if the bomb had not been used around 500,000 us soldiers would have died in the invasion + enormous numbers of japanese people prepared to die for the emperor. But its use on a civilian target was unfortunate to say the least

perhaps the one good thing about that is that the bomb has not been used since and hopefully never will, its main role is a deterrent not as a military weapon

programmer craig said...

#What do you think ex-military
#man Programmer_Craig?

Oh, so now that makes my opinion on nuclear weapons important, eh? Spiffy :D

Well, my "expert" opinion then, is YES, the US had another choice. The US could have invaded anyway, and lost half a million troops, and 10 million plus Japanese citizens (projected) - that's what would have happened if the US hadn't developed the bomb, and I don't see any reason why so many people now think that was an "unthinkable" option. We knew from the offensive against the Japanese at Guadalcanal just how hard they fought in defense. Despite that, the entire island hopping campaign in the Pacific was meant to put the US in a strategic position to invade the Japanese home Islands. The intention all along was to invade Japan, and that plan was only changed when we developed usable nuclear weapons.

It didn't have to be changed, and my personal opinion is that it shouldn't have been. But I'm in the minority, here in the US, with that viewpoint. Even today, 57% of Americans think that the US was justified using atomic weapons against Japan. BTW, I would have thought the number was higher, I was pleasantly surprised by those poll results. I'm not as alone on this as I thought.

But, DM, I think the alternative you suggest would not have worked. For one thing, merely showing teh Japanese we had such a weapon would not have proved that we were willing to use it. For another, we bombed Hiroshima on August 6th and then offerred the Japanese a chance to Surrender. They did not. We then dropped the second bomb on Nagasaki, the anniversary of which is today, August 9th.

So, I guess you and I share the opinion that there was "another way" but we disagree about what that other way was.

I seem to have annoyed you. I'm sorry about that. I've always enjoyed our dialogs, even when we have completely opposite opinions.

Anonymous said...

PC,
What are you saying? That we should have invaded Japan and not drop the atomic bomb? Had an Uncle that jumped into Normandy, fought through till VE day. After that he was shipped home for 30 days and then went to CA for processing into the Pacific theater. Fortunately the atomic bomb saved him from invading Japan. He always said he'd kiss Truman's butt for making that decision, and I bet you'd have a hard time finding a WWII vet that wouldn't say the same. I know I would.

DM,
Another detail you might not have known is that we only had enough atomic fuel to produce three bombs at the time. One detonated in New Mexico as a test, the other two in Japan. We were literally bluffing Japan that we'd keep dropping on their cities, but we wouldn't be able to produce more bombs for many months. The bluff worked. Had we used one of the bombs as a "demo" we'd probably have wound up invading Japan, and millions versus thousands would have died. Do you really think it was a bad decision? Or do you just hate the Japanese?

Later
Tater

Anonymous said...

Programmer_Craig, Tater

I accept your interpretation of the event gentelmen, I put the blame for Hiroshima on Uncle Sam and Nagazaki on emperor HiroHito. A proper closing for this sad chapter of WW2 I guess.

From an ex-marin to a computer programmer. I recommend you for a job in diplomacy as a next step my friend. No wonder that Nigger General turned diplomat “Colin Powel” made a good secretary of state huh. …………… I hope that you are not black my friend. I just like to make jokes no matter what the cost is. Nothing serious at all.

On another personal note, I also went through compulsory military training here in Libya Craig.

I was trained as a gunner on a Russian built light troop carrier vehicle called BMP7. I think that it is a very robust and highly reliable and well built machine. Far better than the Hollywood style HumVee jeeps that have been exploding like pop corn under the roadside bombs of the Iraqi militants. I recommend your Pentagon to purchase a few hundred BMP7s from Russia for your troops in Iraq my friend.

DM

programmer craig said...

Tater(is that your handle or your sign off?) my Grandfather was an artillery officer in the Pacific in WWII, landed in the Phillipines with MacArther. I'm sure he'd agree with you and not me. My other gramps fought in Europe in WWII, but was too young to really talk to him about his WWII experiences before he died. I'm not sure what his views were.

DM, no, I'm not black, and no, I'm not going to touch that comment!

I'm familiar with the whole line of Soviet personnel carriers. I served from 83 to 89, after all :)

The humvee replaced the Jeep in 1986. It's a CAR not an armored vehicle! I have NO CLUE why they are trying to put armor on a sports utilty vehicle. I'm just glad I don't have to ride in one. My blood pressure goes up everytime I see on the news some jackass complaining there isn't enough armor on the Humvee. Like, if we put enough armor on them, they won't get blown up! Arghhhh! Pissing me off again now as I write this.

By the way, the Stryker seems to be doing pretty well surviving these IEDs. We should make more of those. But it's never been part of US Military doctrine to use armorred vehicles in an urban environment, for just this reason. Dunno why they changed their minds, but I wish they'd change them back.

programmer craig said...

Oh! I agree with you about Soviet armor, btw. It was (and is) very good, and much cheaper and easier to mass produce than NATO stuff was. And the whole BMP line was excellent.

http://www.sovietarmy.com/vehicles/bmp.html

However! Here's a quote from the link I have there:

"The BMP has relatively thin armor, with a maximum thickness of 19 millimeters in the hull and 23 millimeters in the turret. This provides protection against .50-calibre armour-piercing rounds only over the 60-degree frontal arc. The vehicle is extremely vulnerable to ATGM and tank fire."

And improvised explosive devices too, no doubt. It's an amphibious vehicle, same as the AMTRAC and LAV that are used by US Marines. The armor is very weak.

For instance, my secondary MOS was ATGMs, specifically, this one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FGM-77_Dragon

Quote: Reaching its current designation of Super-Dragon in 1990, it was capable of penetrating 18 inches (450 mm) of armor at a maximum effective range of 1,500 meters.

Hmmm.... 450mm armor penetration vs 19mm of armor! Sucks to be you, DM :p

Both the BMP you use to be in and the Dragon I used to fire are long since obsolete though!

Anonymous said...

DM,

" I put the blame for Hiroshima on Uncle Sam and Nagazaki on emperor HiroHito."

I'd put the blame for both bombs on Hiro Hito, he bombed Pearl Harbor, and once you unleash the dogs of war, you bear the consequences. I personally believe that Truman made the right choice. We'd already lost a little over 400,000 troops in WWII, to lose another 500,000 would have been an epic disaster. As for the Japanese, it was the only humane option available short of quitting the war. 100,000+ dead is terrible, but nothing compared to millions upon millions.

PC,

Tater has been my Tac (tactical) call sign since I was a butterbar in Korea back in '82. Am a fighter pilot by trade and was flying A-10s back then. Never really liked it (the call sign) but after 20 plus years it's kinda grown on me.

In the Navy, they pick their own call signs so they all have "cool" sounding ones like Maverick and Iceman etc. In the AF you get "awarded" your call sign at a "naming" ceremony, and it usually winds up being something not so flattering. Often, as in my case, it reflect a colossal screw up as butterbars often make! I occasionally tell the tale of Tater, but only in bars, and never in mixed company! And I'll certainly NEVER post it on the internet!!!

Oh, DM, back when I flew A-10s, we studied Soviet armor all the time, very familiar with the BMP. 'Course the A-10 30mm cannon (known as the GAU-8) would have sliced through it like melted butter ;-) Only flew the A-10 "Hawg" for a few years after that flew the F-16 "Viper" up until a couple of years ago, now too old to fly figters!

Later
Tater

Anonymous said...

PC & DM,

As both of you seem interested in the current Iraq war, might I recommend Michael Yon's blog at http://michaelyon.blogspot.com/

He's a professional writer embedded with the US military in Mosul. His dispatches are fascinating, check him out!

Later
Tater

programmer craig said...

Wow... nice link, thanks Tater! I didn't realize we had anybody doing reporting with such a close perspective!

He's hilarious too, he takes gallows humor to a whole new level.

I was literally laughing out loud the way people kept questioning him about being too hot in all that flame retardent gear.

And this part too:

"He lived with his mother. She was the only one home when we arrived. It was as if she knew we were coming. Many people saw us capture him; someone must have called on a cell phone to warn her that trouble was brewing. We searched everywhere."

And the photos, holding the detainee by the scruff of the neck and the detonator in the other, and all the neighbors standing there looking innocent.

Like "who is this man?"

"He lives here? Noooo... impossible! I've never seen him before!"

Reminded me of a comment Truth Teller made on his blog, about how nobody knows who the terrorists are.

*sigh*

Thank God for reporters like Michael Yon. He tells the grim reality without making it too depressing.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I check him every day. Don't know if you read Steve Viencent, but he's just as good and blogged from Basra.

http://spencepublishing.typepad.com/in_the_red_zone/

Unfortunately, he hit the Shiite radicals a little too close to home and they swacked him just a couple of days ago. Broke my heart, really enjoyed his post. His last one, and his NYT post really hit home. Think we're gonna lose the south (Iraq) to Iran.

Later
Tater

Anonymous said...

Hey Tater

I am really flattered to be talking to a man that used to fly that amazing flying machine the F-16. It really put the Mig29's of Yougoslafia to shame. That was a great performance my friend.

PC & Tater

The liberation war in Iraq got into a great start. I was very happy to see Iraqi women welcoming the US marines with tea trays. We even heared of Iraqi men proposing to marry those wonderful US lady soldiers with golden yellow hair and blue eyes.

But then I think that the "Dark Force" came in and started changing things to the worse.

I am afraid my friends the conspiracy theory is the only explanation I find to make sense.

A mysterious man "Al-Zarqawi" is being used as a cover for all of these attrocities. A far more sinister force is capable of fighting back with such lethal force by directing those rag-tag but heroic Iraqi insurgents.

The scene being so complex, the only way to try to identify this messy situation is by the end-results. Who stands to benefite from this bloody war of attrition between the Iraqis and their liberators?

Definately not the Iraqis. Not all of us the Arabs who are still awaiting under the schackles of dictatorship. And definately not the highly embarrassed president Bush and his administration.

I will let you try to make a guess before I say what I think.

Aliandra has already made public what I am too concerned to say out loud.

DM

highlander said...

Thanks for the links Tater, and for the nice discussion everybody.