RE: virus: The Bomb

carlw (
Wed, 17 Mar 1999 16:10:04 -0600

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf
> Of Ken Kittlitz
> Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 1999 2:05 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: virus: The Bomb

<Huge snip - I've said it all before - with references>

> a) Japan was extremely reluctant to accept the Potsdam
> Declaration (the
> Allies' demand of unconditional surrender), largely because
> it feared that
> the Emperor would be deposed and perhaps tried for war
> crimes; much of the
> U.S. populace was in favour of such a trial.

> b) The U.S. felt it had to push for an unconditional
> surrender, perhaps
> because this was the Allies' stated objective. There was also
> considerable
> support for this among U.S. citizens.
The US military had told the US government that this was madness, that it would cost between anything up to 500,000 lives, and the US government had accepted it and had stopped insisting on it as a condition. In fact anyone who knows a little of McArthur's post war strategy in Japan knows that he did not implement this.

> c) The U.S. did realize that Japan was defeated militarily,
> but there was
> considerable debate over which course of action to pursue to achieve
> Japan's unconditional surrender. Apparently invasion was the
> front-running
> candidate.
No. The US and Japanese military were fully aware that the blockade had and was working, and that even if Japan had not already offered unconditional surrender (but with the Emperor's throne retained)their ability to resist would have collapsed. An invasion was not needed. So "unconditional surrender" - as I showed previously a political requirement, was the reason for the bombing of at least Nagasaki even if one claims possible doubt over Hiroshima.

> d) Even after the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, the Japanese
> cabinet failed
> to achieve the unanimous vote required to accept
> unconditional surrender.
> The dissenters felt that Japan would be better off holding out, in the
> hopes that the U.S. would prefer to accept a conditional
> surrender rather
> than waste more lives and resources on the war. It took the Emperor's
> intervention for unconditional acceptance to actually occur.
No. This is utterly wrong. Japan had already forwarded a memo of unconditional surrender to the USSR prior to Hiroshima (I think around 26 July) and given the removal of the demand for the abolishment of the Emperors' throne they were eager to surrender. That was the only obstacle. And the internal memos which I quoted prove that the US military was fully aware of this and had told both the President and war cabinet.

> So, were the U.S. military, and populace, simply vengeful in
> their desire
> for unconditional surrender? Were they evil? Were the
> Japanese fools for
> holding out for so long? From our perspective, it might appear so.

I have already suggested that this is far more complex than it seems. All I am saying was that Nagasaki was definitely unjustifiable - and probably should be called a war crime. So possibly was the bombing of Hiroshima and Khobe and if they do, then probably Dresden as well. They certainly would have been called war crimes had Japan or Germany bombed American towns with no "legitimate military targets" out of existence. But they were not tried in a court, so it will be up to history to judge them. I suspect that history will judge fairly harshly.
> And I believe that is the key. *Our perspective* is safely
> removed in time
> and space from the events we're discussing; it's easy to take
> the moral
> high ground, to think that we have some measure of
> objectivity. Perhaps we
> do, but if we were living in U.S. or Japan at the time, I suspect our
> attitudes would have been different. Sure, we can say that they were
> "wrong", or prisoners of bad memes (unconditional surrender vs.
> preservation of the Emperor), but it's much easier to analyse and pass
> judgement on beliefs when they're someone else's. That's something we
> should bear in mind when looking at the actions of others.
> ------
> Ken Kittlitz Administrator, Foresight Exchange
> AudeSi Technologies Inc.
> personal:

I believe I may have said something like this too. We do not disagree.