Thursday, November 17, 2005

Atomic Bombing of Japan
Can Catholics say it was moral?

Without a doubt, I say yes. Here's some of my rationale;

1. In an invasion of the Home Islands, U.S. KIA estimates were approx 1,000,000.

2. In an invasion of the Home Islands, British Commonwealth KIA estimates were approx 1,000,000.

3. In an invasion of the Home Islands, Japanese civilian deaths from famine alone were estimated at approx 5,000,000.

4. During the invasions of Saipan and Okinawa, Japanese parents killed their children by the hundreds (some estimate thousands). Then the parents would commit suicide themselves. What would happen during an invasion of the Home Islands, where millions lived?

5. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were far from "innocent" targets. Both were centers of war industry and war transportation (valid military targets). Hiroshima was also slated to be the HQ for the Japanese defense on the Southern Front (Operation "Getsu-Go"; Japan's plans for defense of the home islands). when the Allies invaded (Operations Down Fall, Coronet and Olympic).

6. Hiroshima also had thousands of soldiers stationed in and around the city. Hiroshima was also the HQ for the 2d Imperial Army. Again, making it a valid military target.

7. The entire nation of Japan was girding for armed combat. If you thought that the German "Volkssturm" units (little boys and old men who fought the Red Army to the death) were tough, wait until we met the Japanese Home Guard, bushido tradition and all. And yes, 9 year old little Japanese boys and girls were in training to charge American machine gun nests with sharpened bamboo spears. Don't kid yourself... they would have done it. And Allied troops would have had no choice but to mow them down by the tens, if not hundreds of thousands.

8. There was a slogan popular in Japan in the closing months of the war; "One hundred million heartbeats. One death". Hmmm, what did they mean by that? National Hari-Kiri or a National Fight To The Death.... or both?

9. If "the war was already over and Japan was ready to surrender" as the revisionists tell us... why did it take TWO atomic bombs to make Japan surrender?

10. Many within The Church point to #2314 of the CCC; "Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation."[109] A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons - to commit such crimes." Notice the word "indiscriminate"? Taking out a valid military target is far from indiscriminate.

So, it's a fact that we killed 180,000 Japanese in the atomic bombings of Japan. Here's one I have for the revisionists.... would they have been happy if more than 2,000,000 Allied Servicemen died, along with most of the Japanese people?

15 Comments:

Blogger Gaufridus said...

Come Holy Spirit...

Oh, Kevin, we've been through all of this before. Your argument is flawed fundamentally for a number of reasons, but chief among them is the notion that an invasion of Japan was _necessary_. The fact is, it was not. Therefore, everything that flows from that premise is invalid and indefensible from a Catholic point of view.

I will add, merely for the sake of provoking thought, that it would be well to recall that Nagasaki was the pre-eminent Catholic city in Japan at the time of the war, and that the 1939-1945 conflict had, as its main purpose, the salvation of Communism (and, by extension, Capitalism), which is the antithesis of the Catholic religion.


Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

12:18 AM  
Blogger Fidei Defensor said...

Think about this. Japanese troops were refusining to surrender on Pacific Islands in the 1960's and 1970's. For all we know there could be one still out there... somwhere. The Emperor had troops all over Indo-China, Tawain, China, and the Philippines. These armies would and could have fought on for years. They only didn't because the Emperor himself asked for peace. This only came about because the A-Bombs were enough of a catalyst for the Emperor to overule the extremists in his cabinet. Without the bombs this war would have went on into 1946, 1947, etc.

1:50 AM  
Blogger Gaufridus said...

F.D.,

Before you make a case for the atomic annihilation of the Japanese in the cities of Hiroshima an Nagasaki, please review St. Thomas Aquinas' criteria for a just war.


Pax Domini, etc.

5:19 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Your argument is flawed fundamentally for a number of reasons

Based upon what, other than personal opinion? Can you name the number of reasons?

but chief among them is the notion that an invasion of Japan was _necessary_. The fact is, it was not.

Really? It wasn't? Again, based upon what? In the rather short 32 days of fighting on Iwo Jima (part of the Prefecture of Tokyo, hence, the Japanese Motherland, proper), over 6,000 Marines died. Do you think the Japanese were going to surrender because they were running out of bullets?

Or possibly if we just blockaded the Home Islands, then the hundreds of thousands of Japanese troops still on the Philippines would would just stop killing American GI's. Maybe even the million plus Japanese troops in China would cease and desist from the systematic rape, pillage and plunder of that particular nation.

But common sense will dictate that the Japanese were far from running out of bullets. The Japanese would still have killed, killed, killed though-out their Empire... Motherland blockaded or not. Recently revealed documents show that the Japanese govt has already instituted a plan to execute the over 100,000 Allied POW's and 100,000 Allied Civilian Internees as the ring around the Japanese Empire tightened.

Also, if there would have been a blockade, how many Japanese would have died from starvation? Millions.

Nagasaki was the pre-eminent Catholic city in Japan at the time of the war

So? A few thousand Japanese Catholics die, and it's some sort of Communist conspiracy. But hundreds of thousands of Catholics died in the Allied bombings of Germany and Italy. No one claims a grand communist conspiracy there.

1939-1945 conflict had, as its main purpose, the salvation of Communism (and, by extension, Capitalism), which is the antithesis of the Catholic religion.

There was no such beast as "The 1939-1945 conflict". It was World War II. I find it difficult to fathom that the sailors who died at Pearl Harbor, the Marines who died on Guam, the soldiers who died at Cavite, all on Dec 7-8, 1941... all died in some grand Bolsheviek conspiracy. Nationalist Shintoism, plain and simple.

And yes, FDR was cozy with Uncle Joe, but that's a different thread (possibly you could start that on your blog?), but the British fighting for national survival in 1940 against hitler and the rest of his Nordic Paganism thugs had little to do with communism.

Also, Capitalism is far from the antithesis of Catholicism. Pat Buchanan put it best, "there's nothing wrong with Capitalism, as long as it's tempered with Christian morality". And all Mr. Buchanan has done is echoed what a number of popes have stated

6:14 AM  
Blogger Gaufridus said...

Your argument is flawed stemming from the premise that an invasion of Japan was _necessary_. What dictated this necessity?

You go on to say that a blockade was necessary. Again, why?

WRT Nagasaki being the pre-eminent Catholic city of Japan, I found it interesting that it was chosen as a target. Interesting, but not compelling.

Furthermore, the bombings of Germany and Italy were also not necessary, either... unless, of course, you think that the war against Germany and Italy was necessary.

Remember, a significant portion of the American electorate was opposed to hostility against the Axis. We simply wanted to stay neutral. FDR and his communist-sympathising government wanted war with the Axis. Backing Japan into a corner was the way they got it.

Yes, there was such a thing as the 1939-1945 conflict. You can refer to it as the War to Save Bolshevism, if you prefer, since that is exactly what happened. Germany, reprehensible as it was, was about to kill Communism in its lair. On whose side did we intervene? Be honest with yourself. Who did we sell out at Yalta? Again, be honest.

We chose to defeat the lesser of two evils, allowing Communism to retain its stronghold in the Soviet Union and China and consigning millions of Europeans and Asians to Communist slavery.

You may find it difficult to believe that Americans fought to defend Bolshevism, but if you take a look at the conflict from a broader historical perpective -- and especially a Catholic perspective -- and look at the historical pattern in which the 1939-1945 conflict fits, it is not so difficult to believe.

Finally, Communism, as defined by Pope St. Pius X, is atheistic materialism. A strong argument could be made that Capitalism is, as well. It certainly is materialistic; it isnt necessarily atheistic, but its focus on the material distracts from the spiritual.


Dominus tecum

7:20 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Your argument is flawed stemming from the premise that an invasion of Japan was _necessary_. What dictated this necessity?

I thought I had made that clear. Something about the deaths of millions needing to be avoided.


You go on to say that a blockade was necessary. Again, why?

When exactly did I state that a blockade was necessary? I didn't. What I was trying to figure out was if there was another possibility that you had in mind instead of an invasion of the Home Islands. All I could come up with was a blockade. Either that, or you are advocating that we should have surrendered to Japan in 1945. I can't come up with any other possibilities that you may have had in mind.


WRT Nagasaki being the pre-eminent Catholic city of Japan, I found it interesting that it was chosen as a target. Interesting, but not compelling.

Yes, interesting that a number of cities were on the target list. But nonetheless, Nagasaki was a valid military target, period.


Furthermore, the bombings of Germany and Italy were also not necessary, either... unless, of course, you think that the war against Germany and Italy was necessary.

On Dec.8, 1941, the United States was officially at war with the Empire of Japan. Three days later, National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy, unprovoked, declared war upon the United States. Ergo, you declare was upon us, don't get your feelings hurt when we bomb you into submission.


Remember, a significant portion of the American electorate was opposed to hostility against the Axis. We simply wanted to stay neutral.

You're absolutely right. If your talking the pulse of the people pre-December 7th. Very, very, VERY few felt that way Dec 8th.


FDR and his communist-sympathising government wanted war with the Axis. Backing Japan into a corner was the way they got it.

War with the Axis to save the USSR... or the British Empire? An argument can be made for both. Also, how in the world did we "back Japan into a corner"? By refusing to sell them oil and scrap metal, which they considered and "act of war", or by building the Alaska Highway, which they also considered an act of war? Japan was itching for a war. "The Eight Corners of the World Under A Japanese Roof"... National Shintoism at its best.


Yes, there was such a thing as the 1939-1945 conflict. You can refer to it as the War to Save Bolshevism, if you prefer, since that is exactly what happened.

And we can refer to it as the War to defeat National Shintoism and Militant Nordic Paganism, since that is exactly what happened.


Germany, reprehensible as it was, was about to kill Communism in its lair. On whose side did we intervene? Be honest with yourself.

Evil brothers that would revel in murdering the rest of the Free World. If and when nazi Germany killed communism in its lair, what would we have been left with? A vehemently anti-Catholic brand of Militant Nordic Paganism. Uncle Joe never hatched a plan to attack The Holy See, kidnapp and then murder Pope Pius XII. Uncle Adolph, however, did. Both ideologies are disgusting in the extreme, but isn't this not so much of a case of "choosing", but more correctly "damned no matter what choice is made"?


Who did we sell out at Yalta? Again, be honest.

No argument from me on that one. Will FDR have to answer for screwing Eastern Europe? Yep. May God forgive FDR. I'm quite sure millions of E. Europeans shall never.

We chose to defeat the lesser of two evils, allowing Communism to retain its stronghold in the Soviet Union and China and consigning millions of Europeans and Asians to Communist slavery.

Again, no argument from me on that specific.

You may find it difficult to believe that Americans fought to defend Bolshevism, but if you take a look at the conflict from a broader historical perpective -- and especially a Catholic perspective -- and look at the historical pattern in which the 1939-1945 conflict fits, it is not so difficult to believe.

I most certainly have looked at such from both perspectives. I simply disagree with your conclusions. The real truth is that the Second World War was fought to free the world from the double evils of National Shintoism and Militant Nordic Paganism. If one looks at the historical pattern in which WWII fits, it is not so difficult to believe


Finally, Communism, as defined by Pope St. Pius X, is atheistic materialism. A strong argument could be made that Capitalism is, as well. It certainly is materialistic; it isnt necessarily atheistic, but its focus on the material distracts from the spiritual.

Let me say this again, Capitalism without a Christian soul is evil. And I can post writing upon writings from different popes echoing the very same thing.

But do I really have to? We both know of them. And besides... that's not what this thread is about. But it could be a good idea for a thread if you want to discuss that on your blog?


But anyways, you initially stated but chief among them is the notion that an invasion of Japan was _necessary_. The fact is, it was not.

Anyhow, could you give me some of the "facts" as to why the invasion wasn't necessary?

5:19 PM  
Blogger Gaufridus said...

You wrote:
"I thought I had made that clear. Something about the deaths of millions needing to be avoided."

You still dont get it. You are arguing, by implication, that the aim of the war in the Pacific -- the unconditional surrender of Japan -- was valid and, therefore, the Japanese had to be compelled to surrender unconditionally. Moreover you are arguing that *given that the Japanese had to be compelled to surrender*, they had to be invaded or bombed into submission.

I argue that the overall aim of the war was unjust; therefore, annihilating the Japanese people with atomic weapons was not legitimate.


"When exactly did I state that a blockade was necessary? I didn't. What I was trying to figure out was if there was another possibility that you had in mind instead of an invasion of the Home Islands. All I could come up with was a blockade. Either that, or you are advocating that we should have surrendered to Japan in 1945. I can't come up with any other possibilities that you may have had in mind."

Surrender? Of course not. I am arguing from a Catholic perspective. Legitimate self-defence is a Catholic principle. Retaliation for the bombing of Pearl Harbour was a legitimate goal. Invading Japan or bombing it into submission was not.


"Yes, interesting that a number of cities were on the target list. But nonetheless, Nagasaki was a valid military target, period."

Only if you consider civilians "valid military targets".


"On Dec.8, 1941, the United States was officially at war with the Empire of Japan. Three days later, National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy, unprovoked, declared war upon the United States. Ergo, you declare was upon us, don't get your feelings hurt when we bomb you into submission."

Germany and Italy made a strategic mistake in declaring war on the US. However, I am going to assume that you consider the bombing of Pearl Harbour "unprovoked"?

And, again, I take issue with the bombing of civilians as a legitimate military option designed to break the will of the enemy. That is not the conduct of a Christian nation. Although it should come as no suprise, since Christians have never been in charge of the US.

Moreover, please recall that it was Britain, not Germany, that began bombing civilian population centres.


"War with the Axis to save the USSR... or the British Empire? An argument can be made for both. Also, how in the world did we "back Japan into a corner"? By refusing to sell them oil and scrap metal, which they considered and "act of war", or by building the Alaska Highway, which they also considered an act of war? Japan was itching for a war. "The Eight Corners of the World Under A Japanese Roof"... National Shintoism at its best."

Japan was not itching for war with the US. It realised -- quite rationally, as did Germany -- that the US was too big to defeat or conquer in the long term. It was simply looking to expand its own interests in what it considered to be its part of the world (the Far East).

Of course, that would've threatened the fledgling communists in China, so FDR had to intervene.

Keep in mind, I cant *prove* my assertions; I can only observe the patterns in history from a Catholic point of view and try to draw reasonable conclusions from them. The fact is that the US threw its military might into a war in which we could easily have remained neutral. So, I ask myself, "Why?"

To figure out the "why", I take a look at who benefitted from the war. Then it starts to make sense.

Look at it another way: in a war between Christian nations (well, nominally Christian, at any rate), who stands to benefit? More bluntly, when Christians kill each other, destroy their way of life and preserve communism, who benefits?

The answer I keep coming up with is "Not Christians".

I dont say that to besmirch the honour and valour of the individual Americans who fought in the conflict. They were honourable, valiant men who did their duty.

However, I do consider their honour and valour to have been exploited and misused. Put another way, we fought the wrong enemy in the 1939-1945 conflict.

I will admit, there was a middle ground: we could've fought both the fascists and the communists. Patton advocated that course of action and died under mysterious circumstances.


"And we can refer to it as the War to defeat National Shintoism and Militant Nordic Paganism, since that is exactly what happened."

Yes, but to do so would be to place your sympathies with the Communists. As a Catholic, I cannot do that. As a Catholic, in a war between paganism and communism, the best thing to do would be to remain neutral.

But, we were not ruled by Catholics. We were -- and are -- ruled by those who are sympathetic to communism.


"Evil brothers that would revel in murdering the rest of the Free World. If and when nazi Germany killed communism in its lair, what would we have been left with? A vehemently anti-Catholic brand of Militant Nordic Paganism. Uncle Joe never hatched a plan to attack The Holy See, kidnapp and then murder Pope Pius XII. Uncle Adolph, however, did. Both ideologies are disgusting in the extreme, but isn't this not so much of a case of "choosing", but more correctly "damned no matter what choice is made"?"

If you read the writings of both the Communists and the National Socialists, you will realise that attacking the West was simply not on the National Socialists' agenda, for many reasons: cultural similarity, ethnic similarity, religious similarity, political similarity, linguistic similarity, etc. The Germans made several very serious, credible and honourable offers to Britain to join them in defeating the Bolsheviks. Even the German high command allowed the British Expeditionary Force to withdraw from Dunkirk as a good faith gesture. They were completely at the mercy of the Germans.

This is not to say that I find National Socialism a "correct" doctrine; only that I think that the West had more to gain from allying itself with the Western European nations than the Eastern European ones. And the US would've done better to assist the Japanese in destroying the Communists in China -- or at a minimum, in just staying out of the area altogether -- than to intervene on their behalf.

Of course, no victory against Communism is possible without God. Therefore, there is no military solution without God. The Germans and the Japanese -- as valiant and outstanding as they were militarily -- werent fighting for the Faith.

_That_ was their only flaw, but it was fundamental and proved fatal.


"I most certainly have looked at such from both perspectives. I simply disagree with your conclusions. The real truth is that the Second World War was fought to free the world from the double evils of National Shintoism and Militant Nordic Paganism. If one looks at the historical pattern in which WWII fits, it is not so difficult to believe."

Yes, to defeat the Japanese and the Germans, we allowed the Communists to gain and maintain strongholds in Russia and China which they enjoy today. Russia is still free to promulgate her errors, just as our Lady warned us would happen at Fatima.

_That_ is the historical pattern: we sided with the Communists. We saved their lives and helped them to thrive. There is no getting around it.


"But do I really have to? We both know of them. And besides... that's not what this thread is about. But it could be a good idea for a thread if you want to discuss that on your blog?"

I might repost the anti-Communist encyclicals at my blog at some point. Not a bad idea, just not my focus at the moment.


Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

P.S. Why the invasion of Japan was unnecessary should be obvious by now. They all flow from the central premise that the war against Japan, as it unfolded, was unjust.

2:29 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

I argue that the overall aim of the war was unjust; therefore, annihilating the Japanese people with atomic weapons was not legitimate.
You still don't get it. We refused to sell scrap iron and oil to Japan. We built the Alaska Highway. Japan was (is) imperialistic and attacked various US Possessions in the Pacific; Hawaii, Guam, Phillipines, etc. Japan refused to surrender until a decisive blow was given. Two rather small valid military targets were hit w/ atomic weapons (not the entire Japanese populace)... war over. No communists were involved, no ComIntern... no bolsheviks. National Shintoists started Total War against the US, we finished it.

Retaliation for the bombing of Pearl Harbour was a legitimate goal. Invading Japan or bombing it into submission was not.
You still don't get it. At what point in time did Japan even consider a cease fire? Never, that's when. Total War, they initiated it... they lived by it... they died by it. Get it?


Only if you consider civilians "valid military targets".
Too bad we didn't have pin-point accurate smart weapons back then. But I would summize that the Japanese shouldn't be held accountable for having all those valid military targets in such close proximity to civilians. How unfortunant that the 2d Japanese Army was posted right there in Hiroshima. Bad Americans. The pilots of the Enola Gay and Bock's Car must have been Soviet agents.

Germany and Italy made a strategic mistake in declaring war on the US.
You still don't get it. It wasn't a mistake... it was a declaration of war, not some youthful indescretion.

However, I am going to assume that you consider the bombing of Pearl Harbour "unprovoked"?
From the Japanese perspective... from the perspective of Nationalist Shintoism, of course we provoked them! We stood in the way of the Eight Corners Of The World being under a Japanese Roof, as they used to say. Bad Americans!

Moreover, please recall that it was Britain, not Germany, that began bombing civilian population centres
You're off topic, but if you really want to go down that road, Japanese bombs hit residential areas of Honolulu, Manila, and Agana (I'm intimatly familiar with the last one, I had relatives killed there... in their homes... by the Japanese... during a sneak attack).

Japan was not itching for war with the US. It realised -- quite rationally, as did Germany -- that the US was too big to defeat or conquer in the long term. It was simply looking to expand its own interests in what it considered to be its part of the world (the Far East).
It's "interests" included sovereign American soil. The Possession of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Phillipines, portions of the Territory of Alaska, portions of the Territory of Hawaii. Isn't an attack on such considered an act of war?

Of course, that would've threatened the fledgling communists in China, so FDR had to intervene.
So to keep a fairly small number of communists alive and well in China in 1941, FDR orchestrated the Japanese attacks on Hawaii, Guam, Phillipines, Attu & Kiska, Wake, and finally Midway?


Keep in mind, I cant *prove* my assertions
That's right, you can't prove them. That's why it's unadvisable to make statements such as "it's a fact that the invasion wasn't necessary". Supposition and congecture aren't facts.

The fact is that the US threw its military might into a war in which we could easily have remained neutral. So, I ask myself, "Why?"
You still don't get it. "Why?". Dec 7-8 all through the Pacific. Lots of Japanese bombs kill lots of Americans. Dec 11 - Germany and Italy declare war on United States. How does one remain neutral when the above actions have transpired?

in a war between Christian nations (well, nominally Christian, at any rate), who stands to benefit?
What Christian nations are those? The Shinto Japanese, or the pagan Germans (leadership anyways)?

I dont say that to besmirch the honour and valour of the individual Americans who fought in the conflict.
In all honesty, I must say, as a son of a (at the time) 15 year old sailor who clung to wreackage of his sunken ship off the coast of Okinawa... as the son of a girl who spent three years living under the boot heel of a murderous Japanese occupation as well as was imprisioned in a Japanese Death Camp... I do consider the phrase "1939-1945 Conflict" a besmirchment.

Yes, but to do so would be to place your sympathies with the Communists
I do no such thing. I do, however, know who my enemy is. When you drop bombs on me, you're my enemy. When you declare war on me, you're my enemy.

As a Catholic, I cannot do that. As a Catholic, in a war between paganism and communism, the best thing to do would be to remain neutral.
Again, the European Theater in WWII is not what this thread is concerning. But while we're strolling down this path, I've always said that hitler's biggest mistake was declaring war on the U.S. I'm of the opinion that if he didn't, he would have eventually defeated the USSR.

If you read the writings of both the Communists and the National Socialists, you will realise that attacking the West was simply not on the National Socialists' agenda, for many reasons: cultural similarity, ethnic similarity, religious similarity, political similarity, linguistic similarity, etc. The Germans made several very serious, credible and honourable offers to Britain to join them in defeating the Bolsheviks. Even the German high command allowed the British Expeditionary Force to withdraw from Dunkirk as a good faith gesture. They were completely at the mercy of the Germans.
I could respond to many portions of theis paragraph, but I won't. I'll reinterate... this thread is about Japan, not the German attacks on the Benelux nations, France, Norway, and the UK.

And the US would've done better to assist the Japanese in destroying the Communists in China -- or at a minimum, in just staying out of the area altogether -- than to intervene on their behalf.
You still don't get it. How many communists were in Nanking when that city was devestated? I guess all 400,000 men, women and children were actaully members of the 8th Communist Route Army?

The Germans and the Japanese -- as valiant and outstanding as they were militarily -- werent fighting for the Faith.
Not necessarily, they were fighting for a "faith" (small case "f"), Nationalist Shintoism and Militant Nordic Paganism.

Yes, to defeat the Japanese and the Germans, we allowed the Communists to gain and maintain strongholds in Russia and China which they enjoy today... we sided with the Communists. We saved their lives and helped them to thrive. There is no getting around it.
And the case can certainly be made that if we followed your course of actions, we would:
a. Live in a world free from communism, but,
b. Also live in a world where the entire Eurasian Land Mass, Austral Asia, and at least the northern half of the African continent would be dominated by a combination of Japanese Shintoists AND Nordic Pagans.
As I have said before, this isn't so much of a case of "choosing", but more correctly "damned no matter what choice is made"?

Why the invasion of Japan was unnecessary should be obvious by now. They all flow from the central premise that the war against Japan, as it unfolded, was unjust.
And I wholeheartedly disagree with you. The war against Japan, as it unfolded, was undeniably just.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Gaufridus said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Gaufridus said...

(Note: I had to edit something from the above post, that was why it was removed.)

One more time, and then I am finished with this thread.

Before I begin, let me point out that, as a Catholic, I am not interested in winning this "argument", but rather figuring out what the Truth of the matter is. It matters little if I "win" and you still dont understand.

With that in mind, I'll take most of your counterpoints, point-by-point. You wrote:
"You still don't get it. We refused to sell scrap iron and oil to Japan. We built the Alaska Highway. Japan was (is) imperialistic and attacked various US Possessions in the Pacific; Hawaii, Guam, Phillipines, etc. Japan refused to surrender until a decisive blow was given. Two rather small valid military targets were hit w/ atomic weapons (not the entire Japanese populace)... war over. No communists were involved, no ComIntern... no bolsheviks. National Shintoists started Total War against the US, we finished it."

This is, from a broader historical context, absolutely wrong. FDR was looking for a pretext to involve the US in the War to Save Bolshevism. Making war on the Japanese was simply a means to an end. It was an example of diabolical genius, actually. The chain of events was, roughly:

- Provoke the Japanese into striking the first blow;
- Declare war on the Japanese;
- Expect the Germans (and their butt-puppets, the Italians) to honour their Axis treaty obligations and declare war on the US;
- Declare war on Germany and the Axis.

Now, you might disagree with what you perceive to have been the motivation behind the conflict, but that was in fact what happened.


"You still don't get it. At what point in time did Japan even consider a cease fire? Never, that's when. Total War, they initiated it... they lived by it... they died by it. Get it?"

No, again because I dont agree with your underlying, assumed premise: that the war against Japan was a just war. Demanding their total submission was not just; therefore, considering courses of action such as a blockade, invasion or atomic attack was uncalled for.


"Too bad we didn't have pin-point accurate smart weapons back then. But I would summize that the Japanese shouldn't be held accountable for having all those valid military targets in such close proximity to civilians. How unfortunant that the 2d Japanese Army was posted right there in Hiroshima. Bad Americans. The pilots of the Enola Gay and Bock's Car must have been Soviet agents."

If, by chance, the shoe were on the other foot, how many civilian population centres in the US are right next to military bases, i.e. "legitimate military targets"?


"You still don't get it. It wasn't a mistake... it was a declaration of war, not some youthful indescretion."

Yes, in the grand strategic picture, the German (and Axis) declaration of war on the US was a mistake. They chose an ultimately and predictably fatal course of action: a mistake.


"From the Japanese perspective... from the perspective of Nationalist Shintoism, of course we provoked them! We stood in the way of the Eight Corners Of The World being under a Japanese Roof, as they used to say. Bad Americans!"

From an objective and rational perspective, we provoked them, just as the Federal reinforcement of Fort Sumter was a provocation of the Confederacy. Sure, the Yankees were well within what they considered were their rights to reinforce their own military forts, but that at the time was not prudent if the goal were to have been to maintain peaceful relations between the US and the Confederacy.

Similarly, the economic isolation against Japan can be seen as a provocation. Not an armed provocation, but neither is it an armed provocation if I attempt to starve your family rather than shoot them.


"You're off topic, but if you really want to go down that road, Japanese bombs hit residential areas of Honolulu, Manila, and Agana (I'm intimatly familiar with the last one, I had relatives killed there... in their homes... by the Japanese... during a sneak attack)."

Yes, and my family were in Hamburg when it was firebombed and they fought the communists on the Eastern Front. Most of the civilised world had relatives involved in the 1939-1945 conflict. That is besides the point.


"It's "interests" included sovereign American soil. The Possession of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Phillipines, portions of the Territory of Alaska, portions of the Territory of Hawaii. Isn't an attack on such considered an act of war?"

Let return to the realm of reality. The Japanese would never have been able to conquer the abovementioned US possessions.


"So to keep a fairly small number of communists alive and well in China in 1941, FDR orchestrated the Japanese attacks on Hawaii, Guam, Phillipines, Attu & Kiska, Wake, and finally Midway?"

No. Just Pearl Harbour. The rest followed as a matter of course.


"That's right, you can't prove them. That's why it's unadvisable to make statements such as "it's a fact that the invasion wasn't necessary". Supposition and congecture aren't facts."

Conclusions concerning what can reasonably be determined to have been the true causes of the 1939-1945 war can and should be made out of intellectual honesty, if for no other reason. The fact is -- if you accept the premise that the war was not just -- that the invasion wasnt necessary. If you reject that premise, then of course you will disagree with everything that follows.


"You still don't get it. "Why?". Dec 7-8 all through the Pacific. Lots of Japanese bombs kill lots of Americans. Dec 11 - Germany and Italy declare war on United States. How does one remain neutral when the above actions have transpired?"

You dont. But, on the other hand, you shouldnt provoke a conflict with nations that havent attacked you.

Please recall that prior to our declaration of war against the Japanese, we were attacking them economically. Similarly, we were giving aid and comfort to the Communists in the Soviet Union and to the British government. That the Japanese and the Germans didnt act militarily sooner shows remarkable restraint.


"What Christian nations are those? The Shinto Japanese, or the pagan Germans (leadership anyways)?"

I'm speaking of the peoples, not their governments. Unfortunately, the Japanese were never Christian en masse. However, all of the European peoples were even if their leadership was not. Who really lost? The Christian peoples of Europe and what little there were in Asia.


"In all honesty, I must say, as a son of a (at the time) 15 year old sailor who clung to wreackage of his sunken ship off the coast of Okinawa... as the son of a girl who spent three years living under the boot heel of a murderous Japanese occupation as well as was imprisioned in a Japanese Death Camp... I do consider the phrase "1939-1945 Conflict" a besmirchment."

I'm sorry for your family's suffering, but that has little to do with the facts. My family suffered, too, from the losing end. We could go round in circles and get nowhere if we start down the road of "my daddy suffered more than your daddy did", etc.

As a Catholic, my duty is to evaluate world events from a Catholic perspective, not from the perspective of one family, nation or one group of nations.


"I do no such thing. I do, however, know who my enemy is. When you drop bombs on me, you're my enemy. When you declare war on me, you're my enemy."

I agree. But, my opinion is that our government -- not our people, for they arent to blame -- manoeuvred the Axis into a situation where there were very few alternatives but to make war on the US. As an American, it bothers me to think such a thing. As a Catholic, I have to acknowledge the reality of the situation and its effects.


"You still don't get it. How many communists were in Nanking when that city was devestated? I guess all 400,000 men, women and children were actaully members of the 8th Communist Route Army?"

What real difference does it make to an American who owns Nanking? As a Catholic, I'd prefer that it werent the communists or the pagans. However, history does show that pagans are easier to convert. Recall that Europe was pagan before its conversion to Catholicism. Asia was, too, before Communism was allowed to take root. Communism halted the propagation of the Faith in Asia.


"And the case can certainly be made that if we followed your course of actions, we would:
a. Live in a world free from communism, but,
b. Also live in a world where the entire Eurasian Land Mass, Austral Asia, and at least the northern half of the African continent would be dominated by a combination of Japanese Shintoists AND Nordic Pagans.
As I have said before, this isn't so much of a case of "choosing", but more correctly "damned no matter what choice is made"?"

No, the world would probably not be 100% rid of the communists. However, their power would have been broken and at least with the pagans (Japanese and German, alike) you could've had a better chance of making significant inroads. Recall, again, that there already were Catholics in Japan and that Axis-occupied Europe was predominantly Catholic. Even Franco's Spain was Catholic and remained so under the Fascist government until Franco died and Catholicism was removed from the Spanish Constitution.

Yes, forced to choose, the US had a tough choice to make: the pagan Fascist governments of Japan and German, or the atheistic Communist governments of the Soviet Union and China. I see four options:

- 1: Remain neutral (to include economic decisions)
- 2: Ally oneself with the pagan Fascists
- 3: Ally oneself with the atheistic Communists
- 4: Fight both.

In my opinion, as a Catholic, neither Option 2 or 3 are legitimate. Depending on my assessment of the military situation, I would've probably chosen Option 1, but Option 4 was viable. I call it the "Patton" option: defeat both the Fascists and the Communists and conquer Eurasia for Christ once and for all.

As it turned out, we chose unwisely and unjustly.


"And I wholeheartedly disagree with you. The war against Japan, as it unfolded, was undeniably just."

Maybe it would help to summarise the Thomistic criteria for a Just War (I'm pulling these from the SSPX's Catholic Faq site):

- The first condition for a war to be just is that it is declared by a lawful or legitimate authority.
- The second condition for a just war is that there must be a just cause, such as defense against an unjust attack or recuperation of what has been unjustly taken.
- The third condition described by Saint Thomas for a just war is a right intention, and this in the objective domain, namely that it be truly the re-establishment of justice which is aimed at.

Concerning the first condition, nolo contendere. The Congress is the legitimate US authority for declarations of war, and it did so in 1941.

Concerning the second condition, I think it gets hazier. Whether or not the attack on Pearl Harbour was "unjust" is debatable, at a minimum. I'll give you an analogy.

Let's say I'm walking down the street, minding my own business when -- all of a sudden! -- you walk up behind me and shoot me. Now, to the casual observer, you look like a crazed, homicidal aggressor and I was the innocent victim, going about my business as is my right.

Then, the detectives do their work. They start looking for "*motive*. Why would you walk up and shoot me? Well, maybe because we were in competing businesses and I had just moved in on your territory. You wouldnt budge when I told you that I was going to start running things in your neighborhood, and, after reasoning with me gets you nowhere, you shot me.

That doesnt *excuse* your behaviour, but it certainly does explain it. Were my actions in muscling in on you "just"? No. Were yours in shooting me? No. Two wrongs dont make a right, but in this analogy it is important to recall that the situation started with a wrong.

I would say that, despite what the US did to Japan before Pearl Harbour, it could be argued that we had a right to retaliate *in kind*. The Japanese sank most of our Pacific Fleet? Okay, we're going to sink theirs. But, demanding their unconditional surrender was going too far, as was employing atomic weapons to compel them to submit.

Concerning the third condition -- right intention -- I think we're on pretty shaky ground. Were we "reestablishing justice" by demanding the unconditional surrender of the Japanese? Were we "reestablishing justice" by dropping two atomic bombs on their civilian population centres? I think the answer is clearly, "No."

So, again, I'm not trying to win this argument; I'm trying to help you arrive at the truth by evaluating the facts in a Catholic context. As far as I can tell, at best, the total war against Japan was a huge over-reaction: like using a sledgehammer to swat a fly or an axe to spank a baby.

At worst, we gave communism a new lease on life by handing them the two largest, nuclear-armed countries as bases from which they can operate with relative impugnity.

And that is all I have to say about the subject. :-)


Pax Domini, etc.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

One more time, and then I am finished with this thread.

Me too!!! :-)

It matters little if I "win" and you still dont understand.
What I don't think you're getting is that I most certainly do understand your perspective. I simply disagree with you.


FDR was looking for a pretext to involve the US in the War to Save Bolshevism. Making war on the Japanese was simply a means to an end....

- Provoke the Japanese into striking the first blow;
- Declare war on the Japanese;
- Expect the Germans (and their butt-puppets, the Italians) to honour their Axis treaty obligations and declare war on the US;
- Declare war on Germany and the Axis.

This is, from a broader historical context, from the initial assertation, absolutely wrong. Japan was never "provoked". Japan chose to launch a sneak attack. Aggressive militarism was well founded in the governemntal policies well before Dec 7-8.

Now, you might disagree with what you perceive to have been the motivation behind the conflict, but that was in fact what happened.
Again, you're morphing personal opinion with fact.


...because I dont agree with your underlying, assumed premise: that the war against Japan was a just war. Demanding their total submission was not just; therefore, considering courses of action such as a blockade, invasion or atomic attack was uncalled for.
Please keep in mind that Total War wasn't the initiative of the United States. Japan has a clear historical track record of rape and pillage well before the attacks of Dec 7-8.

If, by chance, the shoe were on the other foot, how many civilian population centres in the US are right next to military bases, i.e. "legitimate military targets"?
Sure would... that's what makes war hell.


Yes, in the grand strategic picture, the German (and Axis) declaration of war on the US was a mistake. They chose an ultimately and predictably fatal course of action: a mistake.
Yes, a mistake that was their choice... and not a hasty choice, I might add.

From an objective and rational perspective... Similarly, the economic isolation against Japan can be seen as a provocation. Not an armed provocation, but neither is it an armed provocation if I attempt to starve your family rather than shoot them.
America never attempted an economic isolation. I'll reinterate... if we exersize our right to trade OR NOT TO TRADE with whoever we please. If we choose not to send scrap iron and oil to Japan... that is out right as a free and sovereign nation. If we choose to build a highway to our own territory (Alsaka), that again, is our right as a free and sovereign nation. Sounds to me like Japan was interfering with (sabre rattling against) not only our National Trade policy, but also our internal transportaion system. Aren't those at least provocations to war?

"It's 'interests' included sovereign American soil. The Possession of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Phillipines, portions of the Territory of Alaska, portions of the Territory of Hawaii. Isn't an attack on such considered an act of war?"

Let return to the realm of reality. The Japanese would never have been able to conquer the abovementioned US possessions.

Yes, let's get back to the realm of reality... they did conquer, and in one case, attempted to conquer the abovementioned US possessions. All of the Commonwealth of the Philipines was taken. All of the Possession of Guam was taken. Portions of the Territory of Alaska was taken (Attu & Kiska). A portion of the Territory of Hawaii was attempted to be taken (Midway).

"So to keep a fairly small number of communists alive and well in China in 1941, FDR orchestrated the Japanese attacks on Hawaii, Guam, Phillipines, Attu & Kiska, Wake, and finally Midway?"

No. Just Pearl Harbour. The rest followed as a matter of course.

Why? If the Japanese simply wanted to sink our Pacific fleet, who conquer all the real estate? Simple... THEY were the aggressor.

Conclusions concerning what can reasonably be determined to have been the true causes of the 1939-1945 war can and should be made out of intellectual honesty, if for no other reason. The fact is -- if you accept the premise that the war was not just -- that the invasion wasnt necessary. If you reject that premise, then of course you will disagree with everything that follows.
And the reverse applies as well.


"You still don't get it. "Why?". Dec 7-8 all through the Pacific. Lots of Japanese bombs kill lots of Americans. Dec 11 - Germany and Italy declare war on United States. How does one remain neutral when the above actions have transpired?"

You dont. But, on the other hand, you shouldnt provoke a conflict with nations that havent attacked you.

Ahhh... WE provoked Germany and Italy! I guess we should have surrendered on Dec 8th to placate Uncle Adolph.

Please recall that prior to our declaration of war against the Japanese, we were attacking them economically.
Again, exersizing national sovereignty is a far cry from "attacking them economically". Where exactly is it mandated that we MUST sell Japan oil and scrap iron?

Similarly, we were giving aid and comfort to the Communists in the Soviet Union and to the British government.
Equating the Brits to the Sovs? Interesting...

That the Japanese and the Germans didnt act militarily sooner shows remarkable restraint.
What swell guys! Amazing that we weren't cowering in fear because we chose not to sell them oil and scrapiron.

We could go round in circles and get nowhere if we start down the road of "my daddy suffered more than your daddy did", etc.
Just as we could go 'round in circles with applying rather insulting tags as "The 1939-1945 Conflict".


No, the world would probably not be 100% rid of the communists.
The key word there is "probably". Interchangable with "could be", "hopefully", "might be", etc.

However, their power would have been broken and at least with the pagans (Japanese and German, alike) you could've had a better chance of making significant inroads.
The same Nordic Pagans who planned on kidnapping Pope Pius XII and executing him?

The US had a tough choice to make: the pagan Fascist governments of Japan and German, or the atheistic Communist governments of the Soviet Union and China. I see four options:

- 1: Remain neutral (to include economic decisions)
- 2: Ally oneself with the pagan Fascists
- 3: Ally oneself with the atheistic Communists
- 4: Fight both.

In my opinion, as a Catholic, neither Option 2 or 3 are legitimate. Depending on my assessment of the military situation, I would've probably chosen Option 1, but Option 4 was viable. I call it the "Patton" option: defeat both the Fascists and the Communists and conquer Eurasia for Christ once and for all.

In all sincerity, a fascinating topic... but off topic here.

As it turned out, we chose unwisely and unjustly.
According to your personal opinion.

I would say that, despite what the US did to Japan before Pearl Harbour,
What we *did*, was exersized national sovereignty. If that makes them want to go forth with their well known policy of aggressive militarism, then it liiks like war is on the horizon. But then again, Naval planners knew that was coming since 1923.

it could be argued that we had a right to retaliate *in kind*. The Japanese sank most of our Pacific Fleet? Okay, we're going to sink theirs. But, demanding their unconditional surrender was going too far, as was employing atomic weapons to compel them to submit.
Tit for tat? But I'll run with this... we did sink their fleet. Remembe the Battle of Midway? The very same fleet that attacked Pearl Harbor. I don't seem to recall the Japanese evacuating Guam, the PI, Attu, Kiska, Wake... when they heard their War Fleet was at the bottom of the Pacific. Unconditional surrender was theonly thing Japan understood. That whole Bushido thing, you kow. The Emperor is god... Japan is the Holy Land... never surrender... kill every American you can... all that jazz. To entertain the notion that the Japanese would reasonably engage in some sort of cease fire is simply ludicrous.

Were we "reestablishing justice" by demanding the unconditional surrender of the Japanese?
See above answer. The part about the Emperor being god, and never surrendering

Were we "reestablishing justice" by dropping two atomic bombs on their civilian population centres?
Valid military targets. Didn't I cover that already?

So, again, I'm not trying to win this argument; I'm trying to help you arrive at the truth by evaluating the facts in a Catholic context.
Thank you for wanting to illuminate me. Have you ever considered that I can still maintain my position, maintain my Catholic context, and still manage to disagree with you?

As far as I can tell, at best, the total war against Japan was a huge over-reaction: like using a sledgehammer to swat a fly or an axe to spank a baby.
Simply historically and intellectually dishonest, Especially in light of Imperial Japan's track record.

At worst, we gave communism a new lease on life by handing them the two largest, nuclear-armed countries as bases from which they can operate with relative impugnity.
And that would make a WONDERFUL topic for a posting on a different thread! :-)

And that is all I have to say about the subject. :-)
ME TOO!!!! :-)

12:44 PM  
Blogger Tito said...

Forgive me for being blunt.

Gaufridus, you are suffering from revisionist history. Too many liberals hate who they are and they only find fulfillment in tearing others down.

If you truly believe what you right, then I can only pray for you.

From a 'secular' point of view, keep using contraception so as to limit your family size (hopefully zero) and thus end that deficient gene that you carry in your body called liberalism.

Again, I apologize for being tactless and direct.

Besides it was an Illuminati-Freemason conspiracry that allowed us to win and eventually bring Billy Carters more (in)famous brother to power in 1976 to ensure that he would gaurantee the destruction of the world be deposing the Shah of Iran and allow a radical Islamic government to foment nuclear war in the the early 2010's.

Sheeeeeesh, talk about the obvious.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Gaufridus said...

Tito,

I appreciate the fact that you are straightforward.

I know NSD personally; I think he could probably tell you that I am far from liberal.

I dont "believe" what I write. "Believing" -- in the context in which you use the word -- is a very modernist thing to do.

I consider the things about which I write correct, based on my evaluation of the relevant historical events from a Catholic context. I am certainly not above admitting when I am wrong, but I only do so when presented with facts that contradict those I already know to be true.

What I *think* is that the 1939-1945 conflict was a huge disaster, particularly for the nations of Christendom and for the Catholic Faith in general. I dont see how *the Faith* was defended or advanced by defeating the Axis.

On the other hand, I do see how Communism was defended and advanced by the defeat of those two nations.

Now, many of the (pre-Vatican II) Popes condemned Communism in the harshest of terms. Moreover, at least one of them condemned the National Socialist government of Germany. The encyclical was "Mit Brennender Sorge", but I cant remember which Pope wrote it off hand. I will extrapolate a little and conclude that the Pope would probably not have approved of the pagan/fascist government of Japan.

So, none of the governments of Germany, Japan, Italy, and the Soviet Union (as well as that which became Communist China) were -- from a Catholic point of view -- something to be supported.

As it turned out, Communism has proved the greater danger; indeed, it is still alive and well. Yet, we chose to defeat the national fascist governments of Japan, Italy and Germany. That, to me, is inconsistent. We defeated the lesser of two evils, when clearly we could've defeated the greater or even both.

So, I smell a rat. You are free to disagree, but I think that it is hard for you to come up with a credible reason for your disagreement.


Pax Domini sit semper tecum

P.S. If you are Catholic, I find it strange that you would encourage another Catholic -- or anyone for that matter -- to use birth control.

I find it of even greater interest that your screen name -- "Tito" -- is the name of the most brutal Communist in southeastern Europe. Communism, as you know, is simply liberalism taken to its logical conclusion.

In any case, my family is large and growing, thank you for your concern. I will consider your comments, for the moment, not to imply any insult towards my wife and children.

4:34 AM  
Blogger Fidei Defensor said...

While I think Stalin and Hitler are both evil scumbags who I assume are in an inferno way beyond anything Dante could imagine right now...

The Nazis killed 7000 Catholic Priests in Poland alone. One can't justify the Third Reich simply because it was anti-communist.

While I sympathize with General Patton who wanted to fight Nazis and Commies it would have been wrong to sign the death warrants of so many GI's.

As for Japan, that conflict was going to happen no matter what went down in Europe. The Japanese had been spoiling for fights in the Pacific for years. Look at the War with Russia in 1905, or look how they joined the allies in WWI just to seize some islands from Germany in millitary cakewalks? Look at their invasion of China. Wasn't it inevetiable that they would start eying up places like the Phillipines>

4:36 AM  
Blogger Gaufridus said...

FD,

Returning to the question -- Can Catholics say it [the atomic bombing of Japan] was moral? -- the answer must be "No". And it is "no" because it clearly violated the St. Thomas' third condition for a just war: right intention.

We were not fighting the war for the right intention; we werent re-establishing justice. We (by which I mean the government, not the people) fought the war to justify our open involvement in the European theatre and defeat a potential and increasingly actual threat to communism in the Far East.


You wrote:
"As for Japan, that conflict was going to happen no matter what went down in Europe. The Japanese had been spoiling for fights in the Pacific for years."

Yes, but not with us.


"Look at the War with Russia in 1905, or look how they joined the allies in WWI just to seize some islands from Germany in millitary cakewalks? Look at their invasion of China. Wasn't it inevetiable that they would start eying up places like the Phillipines"

"Inevitable"? Nothing is inevitable except death. I would say "possible" and perhaps "probable", but not "inevitable".

What made it increasingly probable was the fact that we (the US) were meddling in the Japanese sphere of influence, predominantly in the realm of economics.

Now, you might counter that we are the United States and we can do what we damned well please; we wont have our foreign policy dictated to us by anyone; that the Japanese were Very Bad People; that they killed women and children; they were insane fanatics, hell bent on world domination; etc.

I would submit to you that we as Americans have a strong inclination to viewing ourselves as Right No Matter What, and that we will justify our actions in any convoluted manner so long as we never appear to be Wrong.

That is the central problem with debating the morality of the atomic annihilation of the two Japanese cities. Those who ask the question already have the answer in mind and will accept no other because to do so would be to admit Fault, to admit that we were Wrong. That violates our Pride.

And we are a very Proud country.


Dominus tecum

6:13 AM  

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