From: Olympia, WA
No nation whose military committed the Rape of Nanking can make any claim to moral high ground.
First of all, Nagasaki was the center of the Portugese - Japanese trade that started in the 1570's, so to say that Japan was nicely isolated before Perry so rudely forced trade upon Japan is a misleading statement. Aside from his visits, were there ever attempts to actually invade and establish an american base in Japan? Of course not. Trade was what the US was after - preferably in a beneficial ratio for us, but that's not exactly murder is it?
Japan was not forced to invade China, she chose to do so. Recent history shows that she could have purchased the raw materials rather than capture them, but that is not what Japan chose to do. Instead, she started a vicious, murderous campaign to steal the wealth of China - all under teh guise of an innocently named idealistic "Greater East Asia". I'm sure that the people of eastern China were ecstatic under the loving care of their Japanese brethren.
Give us a break, Ike.
I see it as there were three basic choices:
1. Invade Japan. What do you think the casualties would be for the Japanese people from that?
2. Maintain the blockade. If it had lasted another year, how many would have starved? In six months?
3. Drop the bomb. After we dropped the first one, we dropped a warning to evacuate the cities. No, the warning did not name the exact targets, it just said "Evacuate your cities now!"
That the United States was willing to allow the continuance of the imperial family shows how much we were willing to give in an attempt to end the war. Had the Japanese ever actually contacted the west during the late spring of '45 saying that they would surrender with the only condition being the continuance of the imperial family the allies would probably have accepted.
Did they? No... they discussed a fantasy of offering the Soviets territory in Manchuria and the Kuriles in exchange for brokering a peace. They didn't even give the soviets a chance to turn them down, but derailed their own negotiations with an even more fantastic dictum from the Supremem Command: The Fundamental Policy to be Followed henceforth in the Conduct of the War.
"With a faith born of eternal loyalty as our inspiration, we shall - thanks to the advantages of our terrain and the unity of our nation - prosecute the war to the bitter end in order to up hold our kokutai, protect the imperial land and achieve our goals of conquest."
Even in the last months of the war, Japan's leaders were thinking in terms of maintaining their brutal control of Asia. Do you really believe that there was going to be a peace achieved at less cost to Japan than was achieved through the bombing campaign?
< Message edited by bradfordkay -- 2/20/2008 9:59:28 AM >