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Accounts of Enola Gay Crew

Mike Cash

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I should have been more clear. The comment was in reference to "...the theory is so discredited as to be hardly worth commenting on and very few people would be likely to." in Silverpoint's post. My point being that as long as there are truck drivers around, there is always somebody ready to discuss a conspiracy, no matter how obscure or discounted it may be.
 

ArmandV

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Harry Truman on the Bomb

Letter from Truman to Irv Kupcinet, August 5, 1963

HARRY S. TRUMAN
INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI
August 5, 1963

Dear Kup:

I appreciated most highly your column of July 30th, a copy of which you sent me.

I have been rather careful not to comment on the articles that have been written on the dropping of the bomb for the simple reason that the dropping of the bomb was completely and thoroughly explained in my Memoirs, and it was done to save 125,000 youngsters on the American side and 125,000 on the Japanese side from getting killed and that is what it did. It probably also saved a half million youngsters on both sides from being maimed for life.

You must always remember that people forget, as you said in your column, that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was done while we were at peace with Japan and trying our best to negotiate a treaty with them.

All you have to do is to go out and stand on the keel of the Battleship in Pearl Harbor with the 3,000 youngsters underneath it who had no chance whatever of saving their lives. That is true of two or three other battleships that were sunk in Pearl Harbor. Altogether, there were between 3,000 and 6,000 youngsters killed at that time without any declaration of war. It was plain murder.

I knew what I was doing when I stopped the war that would have killed a half million youngsters on both sides if those bombs had not been dropped. I have no regrets and, under the same circumstances, I would do it again - and this letter is not confidential.

Sincerely yours,

Harry Truman

Mr. Irv Kupcinet
Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago, Illinois
 

Buntaro

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"I knew what I was doing when I stopped the war that would have killed a half million youngsters on both sides if those bombs had not been dropped."

--> It is important that both sides of any issue be understood. This is one side of the issue that has been ignored by many people.
 

lexico

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Truman's Non-Confidential Letter's Claims Unsubstantiated

Thanks Mike for explaining; I'm a little slow to grasp. :)

Back on topic: Shall we proceed with the demystifying ? :D
Harry S. Truman said:
I have been rather careful not to comment on the articles that have been written on the dropping of the bomb for the simple reason that the dropping of the bomb was completely and thoroughly explained in my Memoirs, and it was done to save 125,000 youngsters on the American side and 125,000 on the Japanese side from getting killed and that is what it did. It probably also saved a half million youngsters on both sides from being maimed for life.
Brown University prof. James L. McClain of the history department disproves the verity of Truman's claim to have expected "125,000 deaths and half a million wounded Americans had he not used the atomic bomb." (in paraphrase)
Japan: A Modern History said:
Later Truman and his staff claimed that by dropping the atomic bomb they were able to save other lives. In 1947 Harry L. Stimson who served as Secretary of War in the administrations of Roosevelt and Truman contributed a special report to the The Harper's Magazine stating the official position of the US administrations. He wrote that "the US Airforce alone could have suffered casualties of over one million" in the landings on Kyushu in the fall of 1945 and on Honshu the following spring. ("The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb" Harry L. Stimson, The Harper's Magazine, 194:1161, Feb 1947, p. 102)

According to the military tabulation submitted to Pres. Truman in July 1945, however, the expected loss in the US military was at most 33,500 (spelt "thirty-three thousand and five hundred") casualties including the dead, the wounded, and those missing-in-action as a result of a [forecful] landing on Kyushu; therefore the figure of "over one million casuaties" stated by Stimson was in fact absolutely groundless.

retranslated from the Korean edition, 일본근현대사(窶愿コ窶怒窶ケテ淒陳サ窶佚」ナスj), James L. McClain, translated by 이경아, Darakwon Publishing Inc., 2002, p. 651, ISBN 89-7255-789-7 04910
How could Truman claim to have expected over 625,000 US casualties when the miilitary report forecast only 33,500 ? Does anyone have further information on the military report containing the casualty forecast of 33,500 of July 1945 submitted to then president Truman ?
Harry S. Truman said:
You must always remember that people forget, as you said in your column, that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was done while we were at peace with Japan and trying our best to negotiate a treaty with them.
No, the US was expecting that Japan would probably react to the US trade embargo on scrap-metal, crude oil, rubber, vanadium, molybdenum, and copper by invading southeast Asia to secure these raw materials. In order to do so it was necessary for Imperial Japan to immobilise the US navy, hence the obviously predictable response.
Harry S. Truman said:
All you have to do is to go out and stand on the keel of the Battleship in Pearl Harbor with the 3,000 youngsters underneath it who had no chance whatever of saving their lives. That is true of two or three other battleships that were sunk in Pearl Harbor. Altogether, there were between 3,000 and 6,000 youngsters killed at that time without any declaration of war. It was plain murder.
Can anyone prove that the US military was not aware of the attack on Pearl Harbor prior to the attack ? Can anyone be absolutely sure there were no Japanese radio transmissions picked up by the US military whether plain or encoded ?
Harry S. Truman said:
I knew what I was doing when I stopped the war that would have killed a half million youngsters on both sides if those bombs had not been dropped.
No, this unsubstantiable claim has been disproved above by McClain.

note: I do not have McClains' Japan: A Modern History in English; I have strived to keep the reverse translation literal; I hope someone with access can verify the integrity of McClains' statement only offered in retranslation.
Harry S. Truman said:
I have no regrets and, under the same circumstances, I would do it again - and this letter is not confidential.
joint statement said:
We have no regrets.
...
[We] pray that reason will prevail among leaders before we ever again need to call upon our nuclear might. There are no regrets.
Are these four US citizens saying they have(had) no regrets, that they would have done it back then, and that they would do it again in the future if needed ? I see no other way of reading their open letter and statement to the public, and they appear to be open threats to the world.
 
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senseiman

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mikecash said:
No points for getting the obvious answer. Try for the unobvious answer.

So....the obvious and rationale answer isn't what you are looking for? I know, it must be part of the vast Liberal/Democrat/Feminist plot to take over America and force everyone to worship pagan idols while smoking pot and not driving SUVs. Is this the kind of unobvious answer you are looking for or are you even remotely willing to give common sense a chance?
 

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lexico said:
Can anyone prove that the US military was not aware of the attack on Pearl Harbor prior to the attack ?


On the other side of the coin, can anyone prove the U.S. was aware an attack was imminent?

Another quote I heard from Truman last night [on the subject of the A-Bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki] on the NBC Nightly News: "I don't care what the crybabies say!"
 

ArmandV

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Truman wrote: "I asked General Marshall what it would cost in lives to land on the Tokyo plain and other places in Japan. It was his opinion that such an invasion would cost at a minimum a quarter of a million American casualties."

In his biography of Truman, David McCullough says that plans for an invasion were real.

"Nor, it must be stressed, was there anything hypothetical about preparations for the invasion - on both sides - a point sometimes overlooked in later years," he (McCullough) wrote.

"Truman had earlier authorised the Chiefs of Staff to move more than one million troops for a final attack on Japan. Japan had some 2.5 million regular troops on the home islands."

David McCullough argues for a more down-to-earth interpretation of Truman's motives.

"How could a president, or the others charged with responsibility for the decision, answer to the American people if... after the bloodbath of an invasion of Japan, it became known that a weapon sufficient to end the war had been available by midsummer and was not used?"
 

GaijinPunch

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You state this as if it were almost inevitable, when in fact the theory is so discredited as to be hardly worth commenting on and very few people would be likely to.

That wasn't the point at all. I was referring to the fact that (I feel) it's a point often beat into the ground. I brought up the subject of "how long the war would've gone on" had there been no bomb dropped to my wife. Her reply was six months. Whether that's long or not is anyone's guess. For a country whose motto was "we'll fight until the last Japanese is dead" one could assume they had at least 6 months left... maybe more.

Whether or not more lives would've been lost is unknown, but had there been a land invasion, more American lives would've been lost, which was probably the largest factor in favor of the A-bomb at the time. Anyways, back to my point, she couldn't let it go. She had to throw in, "America made Japan attack Perl Harbor" to which I just said "but that doesn't make it right" and we left it at that.
 

Pachipro

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GaijinPunch said:
Just be thankful nobody's gone off on the whole "The US tricked Japan into attacking Perl Harbor" tangent.

Silverpoint said:
Again this is slightly misrepresentative. You state this as if it were almost inevitable, when in fact the theory is so discredited as to be hardly worth commenting on and very few people would be likely to.

mikecash said:
I know there are at least three truck drivers on JREF. To translate that into meaningful terms: I know there are at least three conspiracy theorists on JREF.
Thank you, Mike!
ArmandV said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by lexico
Can anyone prove that the US military was not aware of the attack on Pearl Harbor prior to the attack?


On the other side of the coin, can anyone prove the U.S. was aware an attack was imminent?
I can't prove it, but there is enough documented evidence out there for anyone willing to do the research and have their blinders taken off. Remember one thing about war, history is written by the victors.

America needed to get into the war as a way of getting out of the economic depression they were in for the past 11 years, but the majority of Americans held firm to a “do not get involved,” and isolationist attitude. Something dire had to happen to stir up immediate support for entering the war.

Excerpts from Rule by SECRECY by Jim Marrs. pgs 173-175:

Controversy has raged for years over the question of Roosevelt’s foreknowledge of the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. While incontestable proof remains elusive, the accumulation of available information has now caused widespread acceptance of the idea that the devastating attack was encouraged and tolerated in an effort to galvanize public support for America’s participation in the war.

Those who accept the idea that Roosevelt and a few other insiders knew that Pearl Harbor was to be attacked point to these suspicious facts:

-During Pacific naval exercises in 1932 and 1938, and with Japanese military attaches closely observing, U.S. Navy officers theoretically destroyed the Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor both times.

-Roosevelt ordered the Pacific fleet moved to the exposed position at Pearl Harbor over the vigorous objections of Admiral James O. Richardson, who was replaced for refusing to issue the order.

-Roosevelt, Secretary of State Cordell Hull, and other high-level officials knew that war was inevitable and that negotiations with Japan’s Kichisaburo Nomura were hopeless since the broken Japanese code revealed that Nomura was instructed not to yield to Hull’s harsh demands.

-They also knew that a large Japanese task force, including six aircraft carriers, had dropped from sight after moving toward America.

-This prompted U.S. Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, a close associate to many CFR members, to send an oddly worded message to Pearl Harbor commanders on November 27, 1941, “Hostile action possible at any moment. If hostilities cannot, repeat CANNOT be avoided, the United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act. This policy should not, repeat NOT, be construed as restricting you to a course of action that might jeopardize your defense.” Despite this clear warning, with its accompanying suggestion not to attack any attackers, Pacific fleet ships remained at anchor and aircraft were bunched into clusters of “sitting ducks” as “security” against saboteurs.

-During the first week of December, Americans intercepted the Japanese diplomatic “Purple” code ordering their embassy in Washington to destroy *** secret papers and prepare to evacuate.

-On December 4 Australian intelligence reported sighting the missing Japanese task force moving toward Pearl Harbor but Roosevelt dismissed it as a rumor begun by pro-war Republicans.

-A British agent named Dusko Popov learned of Japan’s plans from German sources but his warnings to Washington were ignored.
-According to author John Toland, separate warnings regarding a pending attack on Pearl Harbor, though varying as to a specific time, came from U.S. Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew; FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Senator Guy Gillette, Congressman Martin Dies, Brigadier General Elliot Thorpe in Java, and Colonel F.G.L. Weijerman, the Dutch military attaché in Washington. Later Dutch naval officer, Captain Johan Ranneft, said sources in U.S. Intelligence told him on December 6 that the Japanese carriers were only 400 miles northwest of Hawaii.

-During investigations after the attack, Marshall and Navy Secretary Frank Knox both testified they could not recall their whereabouts the night of December 6. It was later revealed that they were both in the White House with Roosevelt.

Then there is the issue of the US aircraft carriers. Not one was present at Pearl Harbor on December 7. That’s because General Billy Mitchell had proven the mid-1920s that a single bomb-loaded airplane could destroy a battleship. Battleships were obsolete, but the American military and most of the public still believed that it was the ultimate weapon. Victory in any Pacific war would go to the side with the strongest airpower and that meant aircraft carriers. Thus, the U.S hid theirs from the attack.

Not much here I know. Next, I'll post the most damning evidence against Roosevelt as to his foreknowledge of the attack.
 

Mike Cash

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senseiman said:
So....the obvious and rationale answer isn't what you are looking for? I know, it must be part of the vast Liberal/Democrat/Feminist plot to take over America and force everyone to worship pagan idols while smoking pot and not driving SUVs. Is this the kind of unobvious answer you are looking for or are you even remotely willing to give common sense a chance?

Snide nastiness in response to an expressed opinion one finds to be ludicrous, repugnant, or outrageous I can understand.

Snide nastiness in response to an as-yet unexpressed opinion leaves me scratching my head.
 

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It's been estimated that a 15 to 20 kiloton fission bomb (like that used on Hiroshima) would destroy 5% of modern day Los Angeles. Not to take away from the severity of what happened at all, but what was used was not the metropolis flattening device most people assume it to have been.
 

lexico

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cicatriz esp said:
It's been estimated that a 15 to 20 kiloton fission bomb (like that used on Hiroshima) would destroy 5% of modern day Los Angeles.
If downtown Los Angeles were 95% wooden structure, and the 5% figure still held together, I'd consider your comparison valid. That coupled with a detonation 550m above downtown Los Angeles for maximum destruction, I wonder what percentage of an area comparable to Hiroshima city would be standing. Your comparison, which is obviously unfair, is cruelly unfair ! Just imagine what kind of chaos would be left under the 42,000 feet of heat pillar; bodies, bodies, bodies ! "I love the smell of napalm." Sorry that was the smell of flesh buring. I don't know who did the simulation on his PC or supercomputer; I think he has a sick mind !!!
 

cicatriz esp

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It's not a comparison at all. The 5% figure was for geographical area only, not buildings or people. Don't collude the two.

edit: if i was making any comparison, it was between the nuclear weapons of then and now.
 

senseiman

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mikecash said:
Snide nastiness in response to an expressed opinion one finds to be ludicrous, repugnant, or outrageous I can understand.

Snide nastiness in response to an as-yet unexpressed opinion leaves me scratching my head.

You ask a question, I spend a fair amount of my time trying to give you an intelligent response which you snidely dismiss with a glib one-liner. What did you expect, a medal?

Please excuse the above nastiness, but if you'd care to share your opinion with us all rather than just disparaging those of others I'd be ever so grateful. I'm not really one to show nastiness to someone who actually goes out on a limb and stakes out and defends his opinions.
 

senseiman

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cicatriz esp said:
It's been estimated that a 15 to 20 kiloton fission bomb (like that used on Hiroshima) would destroy 5% of modern day Los Angeles. Not to take away from the severity of what happened at all, but what was used was not the metropolis flattening device most people assume it to have been.

If you were to detonate a Hirsohima sized bomb on downtown LA, the number of people killed would almost definitely be greater.

Percentages like that mean nothing. Hiroshima is a very compact city which had a population of 350,000 at the time. LA is a sprawling metropolis with suburbs extending over hundreds of square miles.
 

Mike Cash

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senseiman said:
You ask a question, I spend a fair amount of my time trying to give you an intelligent response which you snidely dismiss with a glib one-liner. What did you expect, a medal?

I didn't snidely dismiss it at all. I agreed with you that it was the obvious answer and took no issue with anything you said. I thought it was a fine answer. But it didn't address my "I say that there is a self-serving political reason for Japan to do so and invite others to give a little thought to guessing what it might be." comment.

Please excuse the above nastiness, but if you'd care to share your opinion with us all rather than just disparaging those of others I'd be ever so grateful. I'm not really one to show nastiness to someone who actually goes out on a limb and stakes out and defends his opinions.

I not only clearly state my opinions here, but I also go one step farther and put my real name on them. I certainly don't need to be chided on this point by someone who states his opinions behind the anonymity of a screen name.

I've left the opinion unstated thus far in hopes of seeing if there are those who go beyond the obvious when looking at this issue and seeing what ideas others might have regarding what self-serving interest Japan might have in continuing to focus on the two atomic bombings practically to the exclusion of any other aspect of World War Two and in what way this course may have affected international relations between Japan and her neighboring countries over the last sixty years.
 

Nebiki

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Well, with regards to self serving interests, Japan might have.
It is rather hypocritical to expect great things of Japan, especially with international relations, when the west does nothing on the contrary to set an example.
But remeber, this is all just my opinion.
And opposing views on the matter I won't criticize.
 

Mike Cash

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And it is rather condescending and patronizing to assume that Japan would need the west to set an example for it.
 

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You're entitled to an opinion, yes.
My question is how can you possibly find that patronizing?
You feel that Japan would be any less capable of setting an example, for us?
Isn't that patronizing in itself?
It's also worth noticing that I never made the assumption that Japan would need an example. I merely feel, that, how is it reasonable to expect Japan to come to terms with its neighbours when the west won't even apologise for what was quite possibly one of the most horiffic war crimes ever commited?
While I'm all for you challanging my point of view. I feel you possibly you aren't doing it in the most constructive manner possible.
 
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Mike Cash

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In what way was it a war crime? And why should "the west" apologize for it?

In case nobody has noticed, my question on this regards the national psyche of Japan regarding the war and has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual bombing itself or it's immediate or delayed aftermath, nor with the justification of using the bomb.
 

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To quote a referance:
Approximately 40 percent of Nagasaki was destroyed. Luckily for many civilians living in Nagasaki, though this atomic bomb was considered much stronger than the one exploded over Hiroshima, the terrain of Nagasaki prevented the bomb from doing as much damage. Yet the decimation was still great. With a population of 270,000, approximately 70,000 people died by the end of the year.
You don't consider killing 70,000 people, many whom would have been women and children, a war crime? I'm not saying that other countries haven't produced such terrible tragedies, as I would be lieing my friend ;).
Whether the west should apoligise for it, is left to the individual to decide.
Note: The referance I quoted does not include the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Perhaps I am a pacifist or maybe I am simply a fool to think such weapons don't have a purpose in this world.
 

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Buntaro said:
"I knew what I was doing when I stopped the war that would have killed a half million youngsters on both sides if those bombs had not been dropped."

--> It is important that both sides of any issue be understood. This is one side of the issue that has been ignored by many people.

The fact that the bomb (may have) saved many lives is something that is ignored by many people? I can't quite for the life of me understand your reasoning here. This is the specific central argument that the entire debate revolves around. The entire world is aware of it. People may disagree with it, but noone ignores it!

Actually I'd be interested to know if anyone saw the Hiroshima debate programme on TV last night on the "BBC World" channel (I think it was repeated a couple of times). One of the guests was a historian who seemed to have been invited to give an impartial, non-political assessment of the dropping of the atomic bombs. While I don't know her background, she seemed pretty academically minded and not some crackpot conspiracy theorist just invited to spice up the show.

Her assessment? Japan was at the time of the bombing trying to negotiate a surrender. Russia was entering the war against Japan, further deepening the need for the Japanese to find a solution to get out of the situation. She said that if Truman had waited even one week longer, there may never have been a need to drop the bombs. Later when someone suggested that perhaps the reason for dropping the bombs on Japan may have been to "scare Stalin" with whom relations were becoming increasingly strained, she said rather diplomatically that it's not impossible to believe there may be some truth in this idea.

It's true that Japan was at the time, as yet, unwilling to accept a total unconditional surrender entirely on the Allies' terms. What is clear though is that they were keen to negotiate some kind of peace. If a country is unwilling to stop fighting and will continue the war to the last gasp of the last man, this may have been a good reason for dropping the bomb to end things quickly. However, if the reason for dropping the bomb is simply because the country in question wants to negotiate conditions for surrender and doesn't want to 100% accept the terms of the opposing force, I find it pretty disgusting that tens of thousands of civillians were wiped out simply to make a point.

Sadly however, the more you read about this tragic event, the more it appears that may be exactly what happened.
 

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Thanks for posting that, Silverpoint.
To bring in an interesting spin; the US wanted a share of the pie on the Korean peninsula. Time was a deciseive factor that would influence the quality and degree of US occupation of Korea.

1) if IJapan surrendered early; US troops could land and estblish one Martial Command on the Korean Peninsula
2) but IJapan lagged in its surrender; giving troops of the USSR a head start in entering present day N.Korea and Pyongyang, while US troops were still fighting a Pacific War.
3) if the surrender were to be delayed one week or more, the Soviets might "liberate" and take over all of Korea.

It is interesting to note that USSR entered Pyongyang immediately following the surrender in August 1945, while the US arrived two months later in October 1945, causing great confusion. Not to mention a massacre of Korean civilians; the US employed former IJA troops to "mow down" a welcoming Korean crowd between Inchon and Seoul -- the US troops supposedly thought they were an angry crowd of rebels, thus the former-IJA used disinformation to apply one last evil blow on the Koreans !

The point being; the US was under a lot of pressure because it had expected to excercise indisputed influence in this area, but that does not make the use of the atomic bombs justified at all. Greed was behind it.
 
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That`s almost exactly what my friend answered me today (he is into Japan studies and can be even considered japanophil). He even said that for Japan war was lost at the end of 1943, and it was just the galvanized corpse aftewards: best military cadre are lost, quality of equipment decreases, China as a primary sourse is cut off, besides regular bombing begins. He said that families on Okinava were given 1 granade per each - to kill themselves (was it?), and there was not enough of food for the army. Besides Soviets (whom Japan considered at least neutral) declared the war.
So, he advised to divide supposed number of loses (without A-bomb) at least on 10.

Even when i was at school some of our history teachers told that A-bombing was rather to threaten USSR

i understand that history doesn`t have subjunctive mood. There enough evidence for both sides - theat the war would go on (6 or so months) or that it could be stopped by diplomatic and economic means.

Whatever...
But by 20ies years such thing as atomic desease was known (Curie died because of it and her notes even today are radiactive), Tests showed that 1 a-bomb was more destructive than conventional. Bombing civilians (wheather it`s Tokio, Hambugh, Hiroshima or Dresden) is still a crime... there is no winner at war, only losers
 

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mikecash said:
I didn't snidely dismiss it at all. I agreed with you that it was the obvious answer and took no issue with anything you said. I thought it was a fine answer.

Glad to hear it, if I misunderstood your intentions I apologize.

mikecash said:
But it didn't address my "I say that there is a self-serving political reason for Japan to do so and invite others to give a little thought to guessing what it might be." comment.

Actually, and this is what made me feel you were "snidely dismissing my post", because not only did I quite directly address that comment but I also directly addressed several other points you had brought up. Did you actually read my post?



mikecash said:
I not only clearly state my opinions here, I go one step farther and put my real name on them. I certainly don't need to be chided on this point by someone who states his opinions behind the anonymity of a screen name.

Using your real name isn't really called for in forums like this so you don't get any extra points for that. And in fact, as you say you haven't stated your opinion here.

mikecash said:
I've left the opinion unstated thus far in hopes of seeing if there are those who go beyond the obvious when looking at this issue and seeing what ideas others might have regarding what self-serving interest Japan might have in continuing to focus on the two atomic bombings practically to the exclusion of any other aspect of World War Two and in what way this course may have affected international relations between Japan and her neighboring countries over the last sixty years.

There are probably a million reasons you could think of for why Japan would focus on the atomic bombings. If you've got some sort of conspiracy theory I'm sure we'd all be interested. You seem convinced that Japan has some unseemly, self serving motive for it. OF COURSE Japan has a self serving motive for it. Every national memorial or ceremony in every country on the planet has a self serving purpose. But that doesn't mean that there aren't a mountain of legitimate, non-self serving motives for it, far more so than most other war memorials IMHO. So by just coyly prodding everybody to tell you what you want to hear its hard to tell if you are just spouting Bull or if you actually have something worthwhile to say.
 
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