THE PAVILION ANNEX

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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robochrist
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:43 pm

Steve E.
What amuses me far less is the implication (possibly – hopefully – imagined) that I’m somehow indifferent to the sufferings of innocents. At no point have I arguedd that the Bomb was not a sad, ugly or evil thing. Only that it was a necessary thing.


But, undeniably, most of us talk about the drop with an objective shrug. It was long before our time so how could we help that?

Yet, I do feel conflicted, because I'm not absolutely certain that it WAS the "necessary" thing. At least in terms of dropping it on populated cities, over thousands and thousands of innocent people, including children.

Still, you're right about Ketsugo. And, prior between 1944 and 1945 bombing raids were ongoing, culminating in, as I read here, "'The Operation Meetinghouse' the March Bombing of Tokyo leading to 80,000–100,000 casualties and destroying 16 square miles of the city with 267,000 buildings–the deadliest of the war."

So, massive death tolls in populated cities were nothing new by the time our infamous date came round.

Now, a few years ago, after reading Eisenhower's argument, I briefly took the position that, ultimately, Fat Man and Little Boy weren't necessary. THEN, soon after, I learned more, as I wrote here earlier, about the terrible brainwashing job the Japanese Imperial government had done on their civilians. One word from the emperor, and mass suicide was an acceptable option to the disgrace of surrender.

This alone complicated the question.

At the end of the day, it comes down to who you want to believe. Truman or Eisenhower. We know the drop had the desired effect, and if there WAS another workable solution we’ll never know.

This, on the Potsdam Ultimatum:

“On 26 July, Allied leaders issued the Potsdam Declaration outlining terms of surrender for Japan. It was presented as an ultimatum and stated that without a surrender, the Allies would attack Japan, resulting in "the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland". The atomic bomb was not mentioned in the communiqué. On 28 July Japanese papers reported that the declaration had been rejected by the Japanese government. That afternoon, Prime Minister Kantarō Suzuki declared at a press conference that the Potsdam Declaration was no more than a rehash (yakinaoshi) of the Cairo Declaration and that the government intended to ignore it (mokusatsu, "kill by silence").[50] The statement was taken by both Japanese and foreign papers as a clear rejection of the declaration. Emperor Hirohito, who was waiting for a Soviet reply to non-committal Japanese peace feelers, made no move to change the government position.”

It can’t be denied, the Japanese Imperial government was made up of arrogant pricks, who placed less worth on civilian lives than on pride. The racist massacres they’d previously brought on the Chinese – not to mention their disgusting, murderous treatment of pows during the war – supports all that.

It was, indeed, a very complicated situation.

With that, I leave you with Oliver Stone.

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Chuck Messer
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Chuck Messer » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:05 pm

Speaking of Japanese conduct in the second world war, especially the mass slaughter of civilians, the treatment of POW's, and the war crimes trials after the war, keep in mind that the mindset that motivated these atrocities was a recent development. It was something deliberately introduced into the culture of the Japanese military.

During the Russo-Japanese war, Japanese soldiers, according to their diaries, fought for their families, not the emperor. They face death bravely but not fearlessly. Japan wanted to emerge from the war as a civilized nation in the eyes of the rest of the world and treated their Russian POW's as well as physically possible, and local populations were downright kind to them.

The Japan of WWII had been subjected to the same kind of racist propaganda as the Germans had been, and the military was inculcated with a twisted, perverted form of the samurai code, the Bushido.

The trials against the Japanese war criminals were not as extensive as the Nuremburg trials, and some truly evil bastards got away scott free.

Chuck
Some people are wedded to their ideology the way nuns are wed to God.

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robochrist
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:20 pm

Chuck,

Great additional data! I'll read on it further! I'd like to follow that trail to the juncture at which it was "acceptable" to denigrate and masscare the Chinese. Propaganda wars were and remain as furious and blinding as ever. Enough bullshit to go around for EVERYONE.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:24 pm


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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:26 pm

That's why we put Japanese in concentration camps--our idea that "those people" were naturally evil.

At the time we had no qualms calling them japs. I know, this was endearing. Barfs.

Mark Tiedemann
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:27 pm

I have a question, Frank.

With all this breast beating about the nastiness of dropping the Bomb, what is it you want? Assume we all agree with you about (a) how terrible it was (and I don't see anyone arguing otherwise) and then (b) how unnecessary it was.

Then what?

What makes for satori for you in this matter?

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:27 pm

FrankChurch wrote:That's why we put Japanese in concentration camps--our idea that "those people" were naturally evil.

At the time we had no qualms calling them japs. I know, this was endearing. Barfs.


As far as I'm concerned, that was worse than dropping the Bomb.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:35 pm

Admit we were wrong and have a ceremony in Japan, pledge to uphold peace, avoid war in the future.

The internal documents are still secret. Release them, unfurl the banner of brotherhood--and such shit.

1. Japan was almost destroyed.

2. We admitted we wanted to use the bomb to intimidate Russia.

3. Major military leaders were against it.

4. Historians agree.

5. Frank get love from throng.

Mark Tiedemann
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:38 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Admit we were wrong and have a ceremony in Japan, pledge to uphold peace, avoid war in the future.

The internal documents are still secret. Release them, unfurl the banner of brotherhood--and such shit.

1. Japan was almost destroyed.

2. We admitted we wanted to use the bomb to intimidate Russia.

3. Major military leaders were against it.

4. Historians agree.

5. Frank get love from throng.


Well, except for the ceremony and the release of documents, that's pretty much what we have, right? As for admitting we were wrong, I'm still waiting for an apology from Japan for starting it in the first place. Fair is fair, don't you think?

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:44 pm

Japan attacked us in 1941 because we had stopped their access to trading in parts of the main seaways.

--------

Long but important:

http://www.doug-long.com/ga1.htm

Mark Tiedemann
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:32 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Japan attacked us in 1941 because we had stopped their access to trading in parts of the main seaways.

--------

Long but important:

http://www.doug-long.com/ga1.htm


Frank. The relevant part of that is---Japan attacked the United States.

They were attacking everyone they could in their sphere, had signed a pact with Germany and Italy, both of whom were very much interested in conquest...exactly how does that let any of them off any hook?

Here's where, much as I am very much allied to the liberal viewpoint, I start having problems with a certain liberal self-loathing. No matter what, the words "Well, it was their fault" simply will not form in your mouth. It is all OUR fault, no matter what, and you can find many fascinating and clever ways to turn any discussion back to that.

The Japanese were at that time imperial fascists, killing "innocent civilians" willy nilly and establishing colonies in conquered territory. We stopped selling the oil, which put a crimp in their program, and they attacked us.

End of justifications.

I'm still, as I said, waiting for an apology. Dropping the two bombs ended the war. What exactly are we supposed to apologize for? Pulling out the other fist?

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:51 pm

First, do no harm, is the whole of the law.

Killing is bad, say it with me!

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:53 pm

"We had to attack the infidels on Sept 11, 2001 because they would continue unto forever to attack and interfere sacred muslim countries."

Osama Bin Dead.

Bad reasoning is just that.

Mark Tiedemann
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:56 pm

So in the 1930s you would have been among those urging complete isolationism and noninterference in anything outside ourt own borders?

At what point would you have picked up a gun and said "We have to stop those bastards before they destroy everything!"

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robochrist
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:38 pm

"Killing is bad".

Until I met YOU, Frank, I used to believe that!


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