X-Message-Number: 18085
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 22:38:55 +0900 (JST)
From: "Matthew S. Malek" <>
Subject: Re:  More Comment on Nukes (by Mike Perry)

> I should say at the outset that I'm not trying to promote the use of 
> nuclear weapons, yet I will again raise the question whether their use is 
> always the greater evil. 

It does seem like this arm of the discussion is venturing further and
further into the realm of the hypothetical.  While intellectual games are
sometimes fun, I think that current events have made them more of a waste
of time and effort, at least for the present.  

I'll make a brief response to your comments, but until there is a greater
bearing on the actual reality of today, I'd prefer to avoid engaging in
such exchanges.

> What I've always heard is that Japan was prepared to fight almost to
> the last breath against the U.S. if it invaded--Hitler's defeat
> notwithstanding--and the Japanese were very tough and determined
> opponents in the confrontations that did take place. Thus the war
> might have dragged on for years longer and indeed cost millions more
> lives.

I think that this is less truth and more an after-the-fact rationalization
for the horrendous crime against humanity that was committed with the use
of the atomic bomb.  Even ignoring the fact that Japan was running low on
raw materials needed to make weaponry, aircraft, etc. (indeed, temples
were being taken apart in many cases to take metals from within!), the
numbers just don't add up.

The war casualties of WWII were about six million over the course of six
years, with fighting on three fronts (Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and
the Pacific).  This figure does _not_ include the additional millions
slaughtered in Nazi death camps.

So we have about 1,000,000 causalties per year, on all three fronts
combined... or about 350,000 casualties per front.  At this rate, it would
have taken an extra year and a half of fighting on the Pacific front to
equal the casualties that resulted in the dropping of both atomic bombs.

(And these raw numbers ignore the differences between military casualties
and the civilian casualties of Hiroshima and Nagasaki... plus they ignore
the lifelong health effects suffered by atomic bomb survivors, some of
whom were in utero at the time, which continue even now)

With the USA and the USSR united against it, it seems unlikely to me that
Japan could have sustained the war effort for another eighteen months.

> Then too, not granting this "foot in the door" to the communist USSR
> might be viewed as a justifiable policy against this expansionist,
> totalitarian system.

This statement is _precisely_ why I dislike such intellectualized
arguments.  It is far too easy to make cruel statements such as these
without even realizing the inhumanity of the statement. 

You are suggesting that the death of nearly 500,000 Japanese civilians is
justifiable if it halts _Soviet_ expansion???  

Even ignoring questions about the parallel imperialistic exansionism of
the United States, it should be obvious how callous such a comment is.

The same logic can be used in other ways.  After all, if one believes that
the current slaughter in Afghanistan is a good thing (which I do _not_)
and has saved more lives than it has cost... well, doesn't that make the
events of September 11th into _good_ things, as the US would not have
outed its former allies, the Taliban, otherwise?  When applied thusly, the
cruelty of your logic is quite clear.

> A final thought is: granted, the nuclear bombings in 1945 were
> horrible, frightening events that shocked the world. But if they
> hadn't happened when they did, would a full-blown nuclear exchange
> have occurred later, between opponents less conditioned to avoid this
> particular evil?

Again, we see the dangers of intellectualized arguments.  One cannot ever
truly answer this question.  Hence, it is meaningless and irrelevant.  
One _can_ point to hundreds of thousands of dead Japanese and tens of
thousands of dead Koreans as concrete proof of the evil of using the bomb.  
Any possible "evil" in not using it is hypothetical only.

As far as your comment abut "less conditioned" nuclear powers, I don't see
any evidence for the existance of such "less conditioned" powers.  Out of
all the nuclear capable countries, only one has proven itself
irresponsible enough to actually use such weaponry.

=>Long Life to ALL,

   Matthew S. Malek        |    "Judging by his outlandish attire, he's 
       |     some sort of free-thinking anarchist!"

      "Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have
       found the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be
       imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted."

					--Frederick Douglass 

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