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  •  There wasn't going to be any (18+ / 0-)

    invasion of Japan.  The Japanese were already metaphorically collectively soiling their trousers once the USSR entered the war against them.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:11:21 PM PDT

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    •  Can you suggest (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, pucklady, vcmvo2

      any reading that points in this direction?

      •  No, (10+ / 0-)

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:24:24 PM PDT

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        •  ok I read that (5+ / 0-)

          but nothing there remotely suggests that America could have known that.

          From the pov of Washington, Japan was refusing to surrender, and would hole up and fanatically defend their homeland, just like they had done so to comparatively meaningless islands all over the Pacific.

          That would mean either just ending the war and letting them continue on (and quite possibly rebuild) or ending it with an invasion which would have killed a lot more people than the atomic bombs did.

          If you have evidence that Truman KNEW that Japan was about to surrender, and bombed anyways, please pass it along, that would certainly change my mind, but I don't see it where you linked and I don't think it likely exists.

          •  And as we all know, the only reason (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wolf10, JesseCW, pucklady

            Japan was refusing to surrender was because it wanted to keep its emperor.  We insisted on unconditional.

            And guess what happened to Japan's emperor.

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 04:24:11 PM PDT

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            •  I think that's a flip answer (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clem Yeobright

              no I don't think the "only" reason was because they wanted to keep its emperor.

              It was a reason, but not the only one.  Like any other nation in its position, there were elements that wanted to fight to the last man, woman, and child, and there were elements that were ready to capitulate with conditions, and there were elements that just wanted it to stop.

              Japan at that time was particularly predisposed to keep fighting. Heck, the very link cited in here suggests that at the time of the first bombing, they were STILL ready to keep fighting, until the Russians opened a second front.

              Most of these things do not have simple answers like "America evil." It's usually a lot more complicated and gray.

      •  Truman's diary contains a phrase indicating (10+ / 0-)

        the Japanese had offered to surrender BEFORE he ordered the two atomic bombs. See Gore Vidal

    •  The invasion was still planned. (5+ / 0-)

      Really, we cannot know this. I've seen the speculation too, but it looks like the likelihood of an unconditional surrender - or the kind of conditional the world would accept at this point in this war - was still low without further action.

      You may be right. But you may also be wrong. And you're benefiting from a lot more hindsight. I respect that Truman honestly thought he was saving lives. In reality, we will never know.

      •  Truman did not start arguing that he'd saved (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pucklady

        net lives until the mid 1950's.

        Prior to that, he only argued that he'd saved the lives of US servicemen.  The concept that civilian deaths mattered doesn't even seem to have occurred to him.

        Japan had choose between Uncle Sam and Uncle Joe, and they'd already been told by radio all about the Soviet rape of Berlin.

        Their choice was clear, and they were making it whether or not we nuked them or continued the firebombing raids.

        "Paid Activist" is an oxymoron.

        by JesseCW on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 05:05:11 PM PDT

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        •  The Soviet Union no doubt played a role (0+ / 0-)

          in the choice. But Japan was not ready to capitulate to the Soviet Union with unconditional surrender (what was asked and expected of them and all the other Axis nations) at that point either. They were trying to play  the two sides against each other and utilize their island position - and the fact that they knew an invasion would be bloody - to apply conditions that the world was not ready to accept.

          Since no one really understood the radiation factor of a nuclear bomb - maybe some of the scientists did to some degree, but not to the degree we do today - it really didn't seem like a different choice than the firebombing, except in showmanship ("look what one bomb can do") to the people making the decision. They honestly had no way of knowing what we know about atomic weapons today. And many reports show less people died (civilians too) than in the bombing raids of major cities, including the firebombing of Tokyo.

          I'm not saying dropping a nuclear bomb isn't horrific, but I don't think it was - by far - the most horrific part of WW2. I can only imagine what it would feel like after the heat of that war to be given an option that may end the war swiftly and with few to no casualties on your side.

    •  I love reverisionist history (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pucklady, Larsstephens

      In the time that I have been given,
      I am what I am

      by duhban on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 03:45:05 PM PDT

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