J Thomas on March 24, 2011, 11:03:48 pm
I have never said this before on a forum and never want to again.

You have not known me very long.

I'm not sure I followed that.

Are you Sam, and you replied under a different handle by mistake?

Or do you figure that Spudit will want to say it again about you after he gets to know you better? Or what?

SandySandfort on March 24, 2011, 11:16:42 pm
I guess I'm saying it wrong. We were not capable of considering other options because of the kind of people we were.

What you mean WE, white man. First, I would not have dropped the damned bomb and I suspect there were plenty of others who wouldn't have either. The American people didn't decide to murder innocent people, their government did. Second, to the extent Americans agreed with the decision after the fact is irrelevant, because their government had lied to them to support that decision. They did not have all the facts. If the damned government had decided to simply blockade Japan, they would have slanted the propaganda to justify that solution too. Ditto for the supposed hatred of the Japanese by military personnel. They were not in the decision loop. So their opinions one way or the other were not relevant.

sam on March 24, 2011, 11:26:28 pm
Forget Japan, everyone not silly, maybe it's alien to a few here. Imagine instead it is a different 1942, the U boat offensive worked. All of Europe is under Nazi control except of Great Britain, the US sat it out in this time line. With the German navy in control of the water and their planes flying from France and Norway, nothing moves in or out of Britain without their consent. No food, fuel, munitions, nothing. Fighter patrols strafe anything moving and bombers are finishing the blitz; most cities are toast.

This UK is in the state Japan was in 1945. As inspiring as Churchil was, no is that good. They'd fold.

Today's British would fold, but if you read old books, it is perfectly obvious that yesterdays Britons would not fold.

Churchill said, and sounds to me like the simple truth:
Quote
we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender,

The Dutch, facing the holy Roman Empire, said something like that, and proceeded to do it.

When English met Japs, the Japs showed that they were more serious about that stuff than the English, so if the English would do it, Japs would do it ten times over.

Japs in Okinawa proved they would do it.  Every Japanese soldier died, and a great many of the civilians.

quadibloc on March 24, 2011, 11:54:20 pm
decided to simply blockade Japan, they would have slanted the propaganda to justify that solution too.
The usual justification, that the atom bomb cost far fewer lives than an invasion, makes enough sense.

But a blockade, as suggested here, seems like it should have worked, given that they would be, as noted, cut off from raw materials, particularly oil. Maybe there is some reason why it wouldn't, but I don't know enough of the military history of the time to see any reason why not. One question comes to my mind, though; would that really have been more humane? Given that the militarists in Japan were willing to defy even the Emperor, it could well have been the case that mass starvation and disease would have taken place before a blockade would have led to a surrender.

And the other fact, of course, is that a blockade would take longer. Many of those who do attack the decision to drop the bomb on Japan do so because they feel the reason for doing so was to pre-empt a Soviet role in the war against Japan. So, you avoid Hiroshima and Nagasaki... but a big chunk of Japan winds up like East Germany or North Korea. Is that necessarily an improvement?

spudit on March 25, 2011, 12:10:58 am
An old Marine who was staging for the invasion told me he and the guys felt nothing for the people killed or how, just a vast sense of relief that they didn't have to do it. He'd been in action since Tarawa and was tired of it all.

I read a book which stated the anchorage where the invasion fleet was going to form up was hit by a sudden violent typhoon just about when they were due to be there. It was nasty as it was but had a Normandy size invasion fleet been there, yuck.
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spudit on March 25, 2011, 12:28:13 am
An ugly thought occurs, all blue sky stuff.

Say they had done a demonstration instead, maybe nuked some rock in the Inland Sea so no one is hurt. It was enough and then they quit. Good, though LaMay cries himself to sleep.  Five or 10 years pass about as expected. Deliverable H bombs get made, loaded onto B36s or Soviet equivalent, then, having not learned better in the kiloton kiddy pool someone shows off his big boy parts in the megaton range. 

Hmm.
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sam on March 25, 2011, 05:05:07 am
Say they had done a demonstration instead, maybe nuked some rock in the Inland Sea so no one is hurt. It was enough and then they quit.

That is absurd.  The Japanese certainly would not quit for a mere demonstration.  Hiroshima did not make them quit.  Even Nagasaki did not make them quit.  What made them decide to quit was false intel telling them that the US had hundreds of these bombs, and was retrofitting the bombers to drop hundreds of nukes every night.

Indeed, a demonstration would have been an utter disaster.  It would have given the Japanese reason to hope that the US lacked the will to nuke Japan from end to end, which would have made it necessary to actually demonstrate that will, making necessary slaughter on an enormous scale.

J Thomas on March 25, 2011, 05:28:46 am

Japs in Okinawa proved they would do it.  Every Japanese soldier died, and a great many of the civilians.

That is probably not true. We took close to 10% of the Japanese force prisoner. And Okinawan civilians helped  us find Japanese soldiers who disguised themselves as civilians. 
Quote
The Okinawan language differs greatly from the Japanese language; with Americans at their sides, Okinawans would give directions to people in the local language, and those who did not understand were considered Japanese in hiding who were then captured.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Okinawa

Of course, you could argue that there was no difference between Okinawa and Japan.


J Thomas on March 25, 2011, 06:04:26 am
I guess I'm saying it wrong. We were not capable of considering other options because of the kind of people we were.

What you mean WE, white man. First, I would not have dropped the damned bomb and I suspect there were plenty of others who wouldn't have either. The American people didn't decide to murder innocent people, their government did.

The American people did not have a structure set up to make those decisions, which could come to a better choice. So they were unable to come to a better choice. The structure they had available to choose how to fight the war was the US government and the US military.

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Second, to the extent Americans agreed with the decision after the fact is irrelevant, because their government had lied to them to support that decision. They did not have all the facts. If the damned government had decided to simply blockade Japan, they would have slanted the propaganda to justify that solution too.

Yes, that's true. But many Americans are particularly fervent about their belief that the bombs were the best choice, probably because it seems so horrible they can't stand to think it was wrong. Somehow they don't even argue whether firebombing Japanese cities was wrong -- they assume it was wartime and it helped the war effort so it has to be OK. Is there an important difference? The only thing I see that's different in principle is the radioactivity. And it was something new, something Americans weren't used to.

Perhaps similarly, Americans argue about the attack on Iwo Jima. Japan had a lot of men defending Iwo Jima, and our Marines marched up and attacked them headfirst, mostly making no attempt to take prisoners which may have stiffened Japanese resistance. A whole lot of US casualties basicly for nothing, but when it was first planned it seemed like a good idea. Would have been better to skip Iwo Jima and let the Japanese troops there starve alone until after VJ day? There are people who vigorously argue that it was absolutely necessary, or at least that nothing went wrong, because we lost so much they don't want to imagine it could have been a total waste.

Quote
Ditto for the supposed hatred of the Japanese by military personnel. They were not in the decision loop. So their opinions one way or the other were not relevant.

Agreed. Except to the extent that did make a difference. The best judgement of high military officers was mostly what we were going on. They presented their plans to the civilians who mostly went along, while giving their own opinions about what civilians would put up with. To the extent that military opinions about the Japanese filtered up into the higher ranks, they would make a difference in the military planning. But yes, that would be a subliminal thing, something that might slip by without being noticed much but probably not very important.

As a side issue, we made a big deal about Japanese soldiers refusing to surrender. But on the other hand the US forces often refused to accept surrender but just killed Japanese soldiers who tried. That can go a long way toward discouraging the practice. And there were lots of stories circulating among the troops of Japanese who pretended to surrender and them ambushed the forces who accepted the surrender. Japanese who left wounded men to be discovered, who were booby-trapped to kill US medics who tried to move them. Etc.

The Japanese military believed their soldiers would fight harder if they were trained not to surrender, and that could make the difference between victory and defeat. Similarly, the US military taught its soldiers they must not reveal military secrets under torture -- they should reveal nothing but name, rank, and serial number. There were stories from Korea about US soldiers being tortured to death without revealing more, and soldiers who did break down under torture felt tremendous guilt over it. After decades of argument the US military decided that this doctrine was not worth keeping, and they accepted that Americans will sometimes give false confessions under torture.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2011, 06:41:33 am by J Thomas »

bjdotson on March 25, 2011, 07:56:03 am
Forget Japan, everyone not silly, maybe it's alien to a few here. Imagine instead it is a different 1942, the U boat offensive worked. All of Europe is under Nazi control except of Great Britain, the US sat it out in this time line. With the German navy in control of the water and their planes flying from France and Norway, nothing moves in or out of Britain without their consent. No food, fuel, munitions, nothing. Fighter patrols strafe anything moving and bombers are finishing the blitz; most cities are toast.

This UK is in the state Japan was in 1945. As inspiring as Churchil was, no is that good. They'd fold.

Today's British would fold, but if you read old books, it is perfectly obvious that yesterdays Britons would not fold.

Churchill said, and sounds to me like the simple truth:
Quote
we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender,

The Dutch, facing the holy Roman Empire, said something like that, and proceeded to do it.

When English met Japs, the Japs showed that they were more serious about that stuff than the English, so if the English would do it, Japs would do it ten times over.

Japs in Okinawa proved they would do it.  Every Japanese soldier died, and a great many of the civilians.
They had another option than surrender; they could have gone the Masada route and just mass suicided. Seems to fit the culture of the time.

ContraryGuy on March 25, 2011, 09:28:02 am
If it was free and fair, those that didn't want anyone over them would have been permitted such.  Instead, in Greece, there was an election, and the thugs won.  If others had been elected, the thugs would have still won -- just different thugs.

There's always that truism:  "No matter how thoroughly you consider the issues, or how wisely you vote, a goddam government always gets elected."

The older I get, the more convinced I become that the only way in which to get a valid representative form of civil government is to select the legislative, executive, and judiciary officers completely at random (one utterly involuntary term "in the barrel" and then you're back in the real world). 

But we'd still have elections.  Every year.  Only one yes-or-no choice in an annual national referendum, to be held every April 16th.

The question?

"Shall all federal, state, and local government employees be subjected to decimation?"

A plurality "Yes" vote imposes random one-in-ten firing throughout the bureaucracies, no exemptions, no appeal, no possibility for the "decimated" government thugs to be employed on the taxpayer's dime ever again.  Permanent blacklisting.

If on the morning after Tax Day a majority of voting citizens gets up with sufficient rage that they want to slash the parasite payroll, let the axe fall.   

Think of the cathartic value. 
-

Cathartic, yes, but also catastrophic.  Since you are young person who has never lived in a time when the government didnt attempt to do everything, you dont know what could happen with a civil service.

Most people here in this forum will partly agree with you and then say, but we dont need any government because Wall Street can pave roads, install sewer and water systems, provide disaster assistance and put out fires, and provide medical care better.

Which is blatantly untrue.  Unlike most of the forumers, I live in the lower end of the economic spectrum and the view from down here is not so favorable towards Wall Streets idea of market capitalism.

This first hand experience is one of the reasons I believe that large-scale AnCap will never work.  In a small village or commune, such as Ceres, it would work beautifully because their is no outward pressure on it and every reason to make it work ("we'll all die").

Is government corrupt?  Sometimes, yes.  Sometimes they are just making decisions based on information they have that you dont.
The entire reason governments exist is so that the big picture decisions can be made by representaives of the people who are elected.  So happens so that every person in society doesnt have to spend all of their time trying to figure out how to do everything for themselves.
An organized group figures out power generation and distribution, another does water transportation, filtering and distribution and maybe sewer.

All of the things that make modern life possible have become so invisible to the government haters that they dont realize what their life would be like without those now-invisible things.

J Thomas on March 25, 2011, 10:08:42 am

Most people here in this forum will partly agree with you and then say, but we dont need any government because Wall Street can pave roads, install sewer and water systems, provide disaster assistance and put out fires, and provide medical care better.

Which is blatantly untrue.

It's true for the people who can best pay for it. And they might provide services to the poorer out of a sense of compassion, or because they notice that it's good for them, maybe. Like, public health is good for rich people because they are better off living in  society that does not have great big lethal epidemics. They are better off if their lower classes are not mostly infected with STDs. Etc. If even a few of the extremely rich put money into such things, everybody benefits. There's room for a 'tragedy of the commons' but it doesn't have to come out bad.

Quote
Unlike most of the forumers, I live in the lower end of the economic spectrum and the view from down here is not so favorable towards Wall Streets idea of market capitalism.

Well, duh! People who put their money into lotteries and dog races and such are not going to be so much in favor of the gambling that needs big money.

Quote
This first hand experience is one of the reasons I believe that large-scale AnCap will never work.  In a small village or commune, such as Ceres, it would work beautifully because their is no outward pressure on it and every reason to make it work ("we'll all die").

There could be other circumstances where it would work for awhile. Arguments from first principle are inevitably flawed because we can't be sure which real-life circumstances the principles will apply to, and we can't be sure which second principles will be important. I expect that AnCap wouldn't always work, but to say it could never work is reaching too far.

Quote
Is government corrupt?  Sometimes, yes.  Sometimes they are just making decisions based on information they have that you dont.

Is their secret information correct? How would you know? How would they know?

Quote
All of the things that make modern life possible have become so invisible to the government haters that they dont realize what their life would be like without those now-invisible things.

There's no reason to think that the way we do it is the only possible way. On the other hand, if we tried to quickly switch to something else and those things got disrupted, a lot of people would die quick. So I think our choices include looking for ways to build the new stuff while the old stuff still exists, so it will be ready to use, and switch over gradually -- assuming we really do get the new approaches working. Or else wait for a big collapse and then after a lot of people have died and the survivors can sort of manage, then build a new system from scratch. Or go someplace like outer space where you can start from scratch without having to worry about what came before.

The first approach is what people used when they were first switching from manual to computerised accounting etc, right? You get the computer system working, and you use it for awhile, and you keep using the old manual system at the same time until you are absolutely certain that the new system works reliably. It's only common sense, right? A lot of extra work and expense, but consider the alternatives....


spudit on March 25, 2011, 11:55:21 am
With the nuking incidents and invasion.

I expect the entire country was as exhausted as my old Marine friend.
To the Japanese, Okinawa is part of Japan, as we consider the Aluetians the only part of the US to be invaded.   

CG, I'm broke too and my chosen lifestyle as blathered about earlier is pretty much third world on purpose. Most, not all, of the nice stuff is unneeded. Some of it's sure nice to have though. I'll happily concede that. Now if we could just get to pick and choose.

A town near here is being forced to go from septic systems to city sewers. They have to go from mostly free private sanitation systems, already paid for and in place, to a centralized system for something like $50 or $100 a month and pay a couple grand for the hookup. Some few septic systems leak, true, but it seems a bit intrusive. Especially when farm fields full of cow pies on the same drainage flood every year. Similar crap goes on with people being forced to disconnect ther wells for inferior city water. $$$ for nothing.
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spudit on March 25, 2011, 12:08:46 pm
The thing with government, I think, is to paraphrase a page from Karl Marx's book. Let it shrink until it withers away. Prune it, starve it and then we'll see.
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macsnafu on March 25, 2011, 12:32:48 pm
The thing with government, I think, is to paraphrase a page from Karl Marx's book. Let it shrink until it withers away. Prune it, starve it and then we'll see.

The trouble, I think, is that it won't wither away until enough people empower themselves to take care of their own problems.
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