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Harry Truman, war criminal.

Mass murderer in the first circle of hell.
Mass murderer, Harry Truman, in the first circle of hell.

Typical 06.Aug.2003 17:42

Pat Kincaid

You -are- a moron even by Indy standards, and that's saying something. If it had become known after the war that Truman had a weapon that could have ended it, and didn't use it - he would have been impeached. At a minimum.

But hey - this is Indy - so let's hear more about Zionazis and the Mossad planting bombs in the WTC.

Dumbass.

newsflash 06.Aug.2003 17:57

historian

The US was aware that the Japanese were planning to surrender as early as July 13, 1945. Yet, Truman went ahead and ordered atomic bombs to be dropped on August 6th, 1945. The Japanese would have surrendered and the war would have ended without the mass murder of civilians. But don't take my word for it, here's Truman on the matter (July 18, 1945): "Discussed Manhattan (it is a success). Decided to tell Stalin about it. Stalin had told P. M. of telegram from Jap Emperor asking for peace. Stalin also read his answer to me. It was satisfactory. Believe the Japs will fold up before Russia comes in. I am sure they will when Manhattan appears over their homeland. I shall inform about it at an opportune time."


Pure Revisionist B.S. 07.Aug.2003 04:21

Pat Kincaid

...Truman knew Japan was about to surrender..

Really? That's surprising as Tojo, etc., who were running Japan refused to surrender even -after- the 1st bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Wny didn't they surrender then?

More importantly, the battle of Okinawa had just occurred, which in fact killed more people than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. 12,000 US soldiers were killed, 38,000 wounded or missing. The Japanese military had at least 107,000 killed, and about 100,000 civilians killed as well - many forcibly conscripted by the Japanese.

The US loast over 700 aircraft and had over 30 ships sunk, mostly by kamikazes.

Only 10,000 Japanese had surrendered. They mostly fought to the death.

There was absoultey no reason to think an invasion of Japan would be any easier.

Your analysis isn't worthy of a seventh grader's book report

 http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/okinawa-battle.htm

Genocide is no excuse for victory in war 07.Aug.2003 05:18

A Friend of the Neon Orange Monkey

Harry Truman should have swapped Christmas presents with Albert Speer in Spandau.

Truman had to know how powerful the bomb was from reports from the Los Alamos test. He could have ordered it dropped miles from shore. It would have still been visible to the Japanese, and given the people the mother of all cases of shell shock

How DO you justify taking 200,000 civilian lives and poisoning their families for generations?

you're right, pure revisionism 07.Aug.2003 11:45

historian

That's right, I went back in time and planted those words in Truman's diary all so I could claim he knew about the Japanese plans for surrender. If you can't accept it from Truman's diary, or the declassified Top Secret Ultra documents that show the US interception of the Japanese communiqués discussing their peace proposals as early as July 12th than I don't know what will convince you. Bringing up the battle of Okinawa is entirely irrelevant as it occurred before the US was aware of the Japanese plans for surrender. Yes, an invasion would have been difficult, but as of July 13th the US knew an invasion would not be necessary. What was necessary was to get the Japanese to surrender unconditionally before the Soviets entered the war in the pacific so that the US alone would have the right to put military bases on the extremely strategically important Japan. Of course, there were some who wanted war, as there were those that wanted peace, but the emperor was dictating peace long before the bombs dropped, and the US was aware of it. You can believe whatever you like, but believing it does not make it true.

To Monkey and Historian 07.Aug.2003 16:27

Pat Kincaid

A demonstraion of the atomic bomb sounds nice on paper, but was not feasible.
The Japanese could then have done things like move prisoners into locations where they believed the bomb be dropped. Besides, Hiroshima STILL did not convince them.

The fire-bombing of Tokyo took more lives than the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The radiation effects were not well understood - certainly least of all by Truman -about as far from a scientist as could be.

The only people Truman had to justify dropping the bomb to were the Americans, whose president and commander-in-chief that he was - in a war that had cost over 400,000 American lives.

The fact that the Japanese Emperor wrote a letter to Stalin about peace - 1) that may very well have meant peace only with Russia, and 2) the Emperor had no ability to deliver on that peace in any event.

The demand of unconditional surrender was well known, and pre-existed Truman's presidency.

Daily Loses 07.Aug.2003 21:31

LL

The Allies, which included Chinese, Malysians etc. were losing an average of 7,000 men a day in the weeks preceding the bombing. Wounded are often calulated at three times the rate of the dead. The Japanese remained averse to surrender after the first bomb.

The fellow who gave the truly horrible numbers for Okinawa is confronting us with a harsh fact.

As a minor point, one that is not intended to condone the killing of civilians, it is worth noting that the Hiroshima dailys, in their sports pages ran stories on the behading of Chinese civilians tied to stakes. Ensign so and so covered the 60 yards in x amount of seconds and took 7 heads, however his chief opponent was close behind. It was actually a sort of field sport which excited and filled with pride the general populace.

All wars are hard but the Pacific war was especially harsh. But, the Japanese set out to court sorrow, most especially the Manchuko army. It would be far better had the Japanese created a memorial day for Pearl Harbor so that they might think more closely about what led to the holocaust. Certainly, had they shown any real capacity for reflection on the subject the former members of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere might have less loathing for their former slavemasters.

Justifiable Genocide??? 08.Aug.2003 01:52

A Friend of the Neon Orange Monkey

Yes, political logic in action. 400K dead in one city is worse that 400K dead in two.

Using that line of reasoning for justifiable genocide, after 9/11 many Americans said to nuke Afganistan. The Bush administration didn't use them. Why is he still in office?

real history 08.Aug.2003 09:23

patton himself

what a lot of you are failing to realize is that fire bombing across Germany and Japan cost many, many, many more civilian casualties than did both bombs combined. And if you must get technically sound in such an argument it must be stated that the military leaders in Japan itself were planning a coup if the emperor did choose to surrender. Which he didn't really have the power to do anyway. NOBODY knew that the Japanese were going to surrender, including the Japanese. Don't get so caught up in this "America is always bad" theme. We did what we had to do at the time. I don't see any of you complaining about the fire bombing or any of the atrocities that took place in Burma by the Japanese. Remember, whatever you think about the war, we didn't want it they did!

Oh who gives a rip? 08.Aug.2003 23:31

mirror

Americans asking Japanese to look in the mirror is just laughable. Do it yourselves and then talk. Everyone is the same. No one is a demon. Any atrocity attributed to one can be found in another.

Everyone denies the worst that they've done. They'd all rather identify with the best that they've done. I can't even count how many times an American has said point blank that the US has never invaded a sovereign territory, has never attacked a country without being attacked first. These people went to public school. You think your textbooks are more truthful and detailed than those of the Japanese?

It was war. In those days, war meant killing civilians, and raping them to by the way, on all sides. Only now do we see any attempt to spare civilians. Now we have a better capacity to do so, and wars are more transparent than before.

Truman had no qualms about killing civilians. As stated above, so many had been killed already. And he wanted to test the bomb. He wanted to show the world. End of story. Big deal.

distinctions 09.Aug.2003 10:49

LL

The inability or unwillingness to make distinctions is a shortcoming that constantly betrays the potential value these pages have as a forum for public discussion. It is what makes many of its contributors irrelevent and incapable of affecting the direction of their locality, region, and nation.

The Japanese, as did the Germans, did prosecute the world war in a demonical way. The Japanese siezed 500,000 women from their slave state of Korea and compelled them to serve in military brothels. When the took Hong Kong they killed all the wounded inside the military hospital and sequentially raped the nurses. They then bayoneted them to death and left their bodies in a pile outside the main door. I encourage you to read the recent popular history on their conduct in Nanking.

The German path across Russia is too terrible and long to detail here. However, as a reflection of their conduct the Red Army commanders felt free to let their troops rape and murder their way into Berlin. By the Russian's own estimates over 70,000 German women ('"frau kommen") were raped the first night of the Stalinist occupation of Berlin alone.

The actions were systematic procedures not only condoned but encouraged by the Armies I have referred to. While many terrors and crimes were inflicted by the Allied troops, they were punished when discovered and were always renegade actions of criminal individuals.

Don't let hate blanket your mind so that you lose your capacity to undertand your circumstances.

don't let yourself fall victim to false dichotomous thinking 09.Aug.2003 15:01

historian

No one is defending the Germans and Japanese acts of genocide, that would be as immoral, as, well, defending the US acts of genocide. It's that kind of reductionist thinking that leads to such a simplistic understanding of the circumstances. As has been pointed out the Japanese were still not in agreement in surrender after the first bomb, what you neglect to mention is that they were still not in agreement after the second bomb. In fact, the use of the bombs did not change a single opinion on the council. So then, what effect did using the bomb have other than to kill civilians?

Ok, let's start a little earlier. For the best succinct write up, if you're not familiar with the players I would recommend this 2 page read:
 http://www.danford.net/end.htm
 http://www.danford.net/end2.htm

It was well known that the Japanese were discussing surrender. Roosevelt knew it; Macarthur knew it; Truman knew it. They also knew that the Japanese would not accept unconditional surrender; their one condition, which was also well known, was the preservation of the imperial throne. If the US administration had wished for the Japanese surrender without using nuclear weapons they could have easily accomplished it. The prime minister, the emperor, and 3 of the Big Six all wanted peace. But they saw the Potsdam Declaration and its demand for unconditional surrender as unacceptable. If the declaration had left the imperial throne it could have motivated the emperor and prime minister to move sooner. Because, in the end that is what happened, the emperor and prime minister and their allies on the council took action to end the lack of consensus on the issue of surrender. One could make an argument that they were swayed to take action by the use of the bombs but one could easily make an argument that there were several more alternatives that the US could have taken to achieve surrender without using the bombs.

So, why use the bombs? If the US was aware of the strong desire for surrender within the Japanese government, as many documents attest that they were, why use the bombs at all? Well, as was pointed out one popular theory is that there was a desire to use the bombs to show that we had them, and that we were capable of using them, and importantly, using them against civilian targets. That's certainly a valid theory. However, I do not think it was coincidental that the bombs were dropped shortly after the Soviet entrance into the war. Japan was too important strategically (for both military and economic reasons) to allow the Soviets to control the occupation and rebuilding. The war had to be brought to an end quickly, with the US receiving the surrender of the Japanese. That is why the bombs were used when and how they were.

Another straw man argument is that by arguing that the US had ulterior motives for using the nuclear weapons and committing genocide on Japanese civilians that one is saying that all actions by the US are always wrong. That is a false argument and simple-minded thinking. The truth is that we need to really examine the facts to understand what happened and why, and instead of judging, simply discussed what might have worked better. There is much more to this part of history than can be gotten into in a short amount of writing but we would need to consider that if the US could have offered a surrender agreement that the Japanese would have accepted earlier, whether that would have been better or worse than the alternatives. The US led reconstruction of Japan was quite remarkable in many ways, and the use of nuclear weapons has opened many people's eyes to the horrors of nuclear weaponry. But does that mean that using the bomb was the "right" choice. That is dependent on one's values. For many, the massacre of hundreds of thousands of lives is always wrong, no matter who is doing the killing, and for what purpose. For others, the ends justify the means (as has been argued here more or less).

But we must not neglect the facts in our efforts to condemn or condone the actions of the US. The author of the article and picture feels the way many do, that Truman was a war criminal of the highest order. If people want to argue that he made the right decision, at least do it from history, not from what we are taught in school. And lets not fall into the current trend that by criticizing one government you are somehow condoning another. It's a weak and easily defeatable argument. Stick to truth and understanding and you will be much more convincing.

LL 10.Aug.2003 04:43

anonymous

Who are you talking to when you say "don't let hate cloud your thinking so that you're unable to understand the circumstances?" You are the one who is describing specific people as demonic. I understand the circumstances. I know how bad the Japanese could be, but I also know how bad Americans and everyone else can be. I'm not the hater.

This pointing the finger at Truman or the Japanese, or anyone as bad people is natural, but ridiculous. I'm pointing out that it is all a part of human nature and we all have the capacity. And we all emphasize the worst in others and the best in ourselves... except of course the introspective ones that want to uphold their own to higher scrutiny.

I have less criticism for those who do that, because they feel they should have some say, some control over the actions that represent their own people. They might emphasize the evils of their own, because it reflects upon them, and by speaking out they might be able to make sure those kinds of things never happen again.

Those who spend all their time pointing at others, while ignoring the crimes of their own are the worst. You don't need to tell me to read about the Rape of Nanking. I've seen the photos. I have read enough of the facts from articles. I know how bad people can be. You see I don't hate. I don't point my finger. I know better. Have you read any Chinese history? Do you know that the Chinese are as capable of doing those kinds of things to their own people? Do I hate Japanese people? Do I hate Chinese people? Do I point my finger at any of them? No. I know that no one is better.

The Allied forces never did anything like the Rape of Nanjing. But one of the first things they did when they took Okinawa was to round up girls and women and turn them into prostitutes. Are you surprised? It's not written about much. It was just a part of normal business, a non-issue. And they didn't need to massacre anyone. The women and girls were already homeless, many seperated from their families, and they knew who the new master was. Was that as bad as some of the things the Japanese did? No. Is it some evidence that we are really all the same? Yes. And you know if I really searched I could find evidence of worse behavior, in the Korean war, Vietnam war, Indian wars... I just don't have the energy, and frankly it feels so ridiculous to have to explain this simple kind of thing. Do I hate Americans? No. I know no one is better.

Don't let the evils of others blind yourself to those of your own people. Understand that the evils of others are your own.

As for calling out Truman for being a war criminal. War is a crime. I would not expect any president to refrain from using the biggest, best most revolutionary weapon during wartime. How could he keep it under wraps? I'm sure he was desensitised to the number of people who would die, or who had already died. After all Japanese people as a whole, not just the soldiers, were demonized in the press already. They could be considered less than human (just as their soldiers considered the people they killed).

Japanese people were demonized, and you LL, are still doing it.

i hate japan 13.Oct.2003 18:52

chinesejycc CHINESEJYCC@hotmail.com

i am happy that japan was bombed. No, I have a real reason why i was happy and why i continue to hat MOST japanese people. First of all, all you people sound like smart intelligent white Americans, then you should know all about the rape of nanking. Oh school didn't teach you that? So in about a month right, Japanese people had emtied out the city of nanking and killed all the people who seemed able to fight. They then turned on the innocents, the women the elderly, the young. And killed them. But they wouldn't let them go so easily, they had to fucking rape the women, turn them into prostitutes, molest little girls, force sons to rape mothers and fathers to rape daughters. Killed pregnant women, perform torture on helpless women. For example the japanese would have fun and just slice the mothers belly and drag the fetus, killing the mother and the baby. There is a lot more thing ths japs have done to. But the men, they would bury them just so their heads protrude out, and slowly run them over with tanks. Or sometimes let dogs eat them. Or sometimes chop their heads off. Burning a mass of people too. Alive. Without remorse. And they did a lot more which I could go into. Like performing viral tests, biochemical tests, to see how they affected people. And of course most of these were torturous painful experiences. And after the war somehow Americans and Europeans did not presecute the japanese because they got a copy of this spec sheet. But anyways, the japs did not only do this to nanking, nanking was only the biggest city they had done it to. There were plenty others. So if the nazis were punished, why not the japanese?Well I do not know. All i know is the japanese were bombed and i liked it. To this day they continue to punish the chinese by not asking for forgiveness from the raped and the tortured, but instead try to wipe it from their history books. And until recently no japanese knew what the rape of nanking was and they are still debating wheter to keep it or not. They also rape and video tape themselves raping chinese women in chinese soil. They also perform mass orgies with chinese prostitues. To this daty they continue to piss the hell out of me and i wish i had a gun to fucking kill the perverted, pedophilists, rapists, pornagrophrs, etc. i do not hate all of them only about 80% because 80% of japanese liked it and would love to do it again

atomic bomb 11.Mar.2004 05:49

overbrook highschool

you suck. yeah thats right i am japanese. Japanese people are by far smarter than all your american scumb. our cars are better, faster, more efficient, and better gas mileage. Get your american trash ass off your couches and open your minds to other cultures. On the other hand, I did endorse the idea of the atomic bomb being dropped. That was fun. America RULES!!

Kincaid 01.Aug.2004 08:03

DJEB

You already lost this argument on DCIMC. Give it up.