Trying to understand 9/11 versus Hiroshima

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Pyrrho
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:11 am
@wayne,
wayne;149236 wrote:
xris;149231 wrote:
Whats right in war? morals of war are defined by convention. Whats right in war is inexcusable in peace. The greater good, the way to win. War is a bloody affair it cant be sanitized.

We have made a few rules about war, but you are right, war will remain a bloody affair that can only be justified in the context of the greater good.

Morals and a sense of honor have a place in war, but the greater good must outweigh all. It would have been a tragedy to allow Hitler to win because we were too "moral" to do what was necessary.

The idea that civilians are somehow separate from the nation, in time of war, seems fallacious to me. After all even the simple farmer is assisting the war effort. The benefits of victory will be enjoyed by all.



If that is so, then the "terrorists" are right to attack U.S. and other civilians. They are trying to win, and are not overly concerned with the means that they employ to achieve their objective.

I happen to think that they are wrong in that attitude, which, of course, means that I think that you are wrong to have that same attitude. Collateral damage should be minimized, not thought of as something trivial. Ironically, such damage typically seems to work against those who do it, as, for example, the Nazi bombing of London seems to have made the British more angry and therefore more determined to fight them. Killing someone's family is, not surprisingly, not usually a good way to get him to lay down his weapon and make peace with you. So even if you don't care about the means, you might still want to minimize collateral damage, as it may help one win the war. (There is a pragmatic rather than a moral argument for you, since you seem to think that the lives of people are so trivial that killing innocent children in order to achieve one's objective is not problematic.)
 
wayne
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:12 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;149238 wrote:
Yes, you are expressing the concept of "total war". But how do small children, or very elderly people fit into you view?


Sure it is offensive to our sensibilities, but small children grow up to become soldiers. What elderly people should get and do get are two different things. I would imagine that when I'm older I will still be in my country's court.

I don't want to sound harsh and unfeeling, but mankind has known for a long time that this is the nature of war.

Today, when the threat seems less urgent, many arise to question our governments choices. If you remember 9-12 , we all were ready to wipe someone off the face of the earth. In the latter days of ww2 most Americans had suffered loss and we're more than willing to end the war as quickly as possible.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:21 am
@xris,
xris;149241 wrote:
What do want me to say? its obvious you wont accept what I have said? It was justifiable, not justice..get it?



You are clearly confused.

Quote:
justifiable   
-adjective

capable of being justified; that can be shown to be or can be defended as being just, right, or warranted; defensible: justifiable homicide.

Justifiable | Define Justifiable at Dictionary.com

If something is justifiable, it is just. You are evidently misusing words.


xris;149241 wrote:

now answer my darned question.



What question are you referring to?


xris;149241 wrote:
civilians have always been included in war. I deplore the bombings but its a bit blinkered when we hear complaints about America when Japan killed twice as many civilians. I hate the necessity of war and the death of just one child is sickening.



You write as if I were attempting to say that the U.S. government was worse than the Japanese government during WWII. I said no such thing, nor did I imply any such thing, nor did I mean any such thing. When saying that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was wrong, that does not entail supposing that anything the Japanese government or military did was right, nor does it trivialize anything that the Japanese government did.

Your comments seem to suggest that you believe that if someone is not the worst, then it is wrong to condemn that someone. That is, of course, ridiculous, as many people may be wrong simultaneously. Very often, that is the case, and they may be wrong in differing amounts. But some of them being more wrong than others does not make the less wrong ones right.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:23 am
@wayne,
wayne;149245 wrote:
Sure it is offensive to our sensibilities, but small children grow up to become soldiers. What elderly people should get and do get are two different things. I would imagine that when I'm older I will still be in my country's court.

I don't want to sound harsh and unfeeling, but mankind has known for a long time that this is the nature of war.

Today, when the threat seems less urgent, many arise to question our governments choices. If you remember 9-12 , we all were ready to wipe someone off the face of the earth. In the latter days of ww2 most Americans had suffered loss and we're more than willing to end the war as quickly as possible.


But small children do not grow up quickly enough to be a factor in the war in which they are killed or maimed. So I don't think that is much of an excuse. I don't understand what you said about the elderly. And whether you support your country is irrelevant.

It is not, I think, true that total war has always been the norm. It has become so more and more in modern times. But that people have known about it does not make it all right, does it? People know about a lot of immoral things.
 
wayne
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:25 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;149244 wrote:
If that is so, then the "terrorists" are right to attack U.S. and other civilians. They are trying to win, and are not overly concerned with the means that they employ to achieve their objective.


Terrorism is not a recognised state, for one thing. Their goals seem to be entirely the destruction of state, rather than preservation of state.

Pyrrho;149244 wrote:
I happen to think that they are wrong in that attitude, which, of course, means that I think that you are wrong to have that same attitude. Collateral damage should be minimized, not thought of as something trivial. Ironically, such damage typically seems to work against those who do it, as, for example, the Nazi bombing of London seems to have made the British more angry and therefore more determined to fight them. Killing someone's family is, not surprisingly, not usually a good way to get him to lay down his weapon and make peace with you. So even if you don't care about the means, you might still want to minimize collateral damage, as it may help one win the war. (There is a pragmatic rather than a moral argument for you, since you seem to think that the lives of people are so trivial that killing innocent children in order to achieve one's objective is not problematic.)


Your assumption of my personal views is , as usual , wrong and in keeping with your inflamatory nature.

Perhaps you can show me how the nature of war is not the nature of war.

I agree with you that killing civilians serves to be counter productive in most cases. Although, the mongols used the tactic to great effect in their strategy.
 
xris
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:34 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;149249 wrote:
You are clearly confused.


Justifiable | Define Justifiable at Dictionary.com

If something is justifiable, it is just. You are evidently misusing words.





What question are you referring to?





You write as if I were attempting to say that the U.S. government was worse than the Japanese government during WWII. I said no such thing, nor did I imply any such thing, nor did I mean any such thing. When saying that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was wrong, that does not entail supposing that anything the Japanese government or military did was right, nor does it trivialize anything that the Japanese government did.

Your comments seem to suggest that you believe that if someone is not the worst, then it is wrong to condemn that someone. That is, of course, ridiculous, as many people may be wrong simultaneously. Very often, that is the case, and they may be wrong in differing amounts. But some of them being more wrong than others does not make the less wrong ones right.
You really are the limit. It was justified but it was not act of justifiable justice..they were not bombed for justice sake, in just manner but it was justified in the terms of ending the war ..I wont say it again, your obviously being obtuse.

So why are you condemning America, lets just condemn every one and end the debate? You know the darned question.
 
wayne
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:36 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;149250 wrote:
But small children do not grow up quickly enough to be a factor in the war in which they are killed or maimed. So I don't think that is much of an excuse. I don't understand what you said about the elderly. And whether you support your country is irrelevant. .


I don't think your statement is true. For one, the Vietnam war, not just our involvement, went on long enough for many children to become soldiers. Another case could be the hitler youth.

kennethamy;149250 wrote:
It is not, I think, true that total war has always been the norm. It has become so more and more in modern times. But that people have known about it does not make it all right, does it? People know about a lot of immoral things.


Yes, right or wrong is the issue, but has never had any bearing on the nature of war. Our justification must be "The preservation of State" every citizen is inexorably linked to that preservation, except in the case of civil war.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:38 am
@wayne,
wayne;149245 wrote:
Sure it is offensive to our sensibilities, but small children grow up to become soldiers.



Two points:

First, in this case, the Japanese children of that era did not grow up and become soldiers who fought against the U.S., so it is factually irrelevant.

Second, and more importantly, it is condemning people not for something that they have done, but for something that they will do (or are believed will do) in the future. Perhaps you should be executed now, not for anything you have done, but because you are predicted to do something bad in the future. Would that be justice?


wayne;149245 wrote:
What elderly people should get and do get are two different things. I would imagine that when I'm older I will still be in my country's court.

I don't want to sound harsh and unfeeling, but mankind has known for a long time that this is the nature of war.



So, you think the terrorists are right to attack civilians? After all, though it may sound harsh and unfeeling, that is the nature of the conflict, and mankind has known this for a long time.


wayne;149245 wrote:
Today, when the threat seems less urgent, many arise to question our governments choices. If you remember 9-12 , we all were ready to wipe someone off the face of the earth. In the latter days of ww2 most Americans had suffered loss and we're more than willing to end the war as quickly as possible.



If it were true that ending it as soon as possible were really what mattered, the U.S. would have negotiated Japan's surrender before that time, as they had asked for terms of surrender. Since the U.S. did not do that, obviously, ending the war as quickly as possible was not paramount.


wayne;149252 wrote:
Terrorism is not a recognised state, for one thing. Their goals seem to be entirely the destruction of state, rather than preservation of state.



No one said that "terrorism" was a governmental state. It is a means to a goal, not a government. "Terrorists" are people who use terrorism as a means. As for whether they are connected to a recognized government or not, that is not terribly important. In this case, the ones who destroyed the World Trade Center were supposedly connected with the government of Afghanistan, which is why the U.S. invaded and overthrew that government. And their goals appear to be to maintain (or create) a particular way of life.


wayne;149252 wrote:
Your assumption of my personal views is , as usual , wrong and in keeping with your inflamatory nature.

Perhaps you can show me how the nature of war is not the nature of war.

I agree with you that killing civilians serves to be counter productive in most cases. Although, the mongols used the tactic to great effect in their strategy.



War does not necessarily involve the targeting of civilians, so it is not an essential part of war. Your attempt at pretending that it is a tautology that it is part of the nature of war to target civilians is not convincing.
 
Amperage
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:43 am
@wayne,
I think it may be prudent to ask ourselves, 'is there ever a time when when war is permissible?' war in some ways can be boiled down a large scale trolley problem.

I think most would say yes if only for the sole purpose of self defense.

Next comes the issue of should one allow ones own people to die needlessly if one has an unethical means at ones disposal to put a quicker end to the bloodshed?

This can be a tricky question. I would say yes because to do otherwise would make us no better. But when one is actually faced with such a delimma obviously it becomes much tougher.

I wonder if anyone here would argue that we should be lacing the Afgan/Iraqi/Pakistani mountainsides with nukes? Why Not? What if it was guaranteed to stop the "terrorism"?

Also, I think an issue that was probably brought up during WWII stemmed around this issue of non-interference. One side of the argument said we shouldn't get involved because they're not messing with us, while the other side of the argument said, 'isn't it a bit naive to think they are going to stop? And shouldn't we try to intervene now while their forces are more vulnerable and we have allies vs having no other support and having them be more built up?' I think I tend to agree with the 2nd groups perspective on this particular issue.

There are also those who think that the best defense is a good offense in which case if one feels a threat is real maybe the best course of action is a preemptive strike rather than waiting for the threat to dictate what happens on his terms.

the whole issue is quite complicated....

I would say there are times when war is warranted and perhaps even times when preemptive strikes are warranted but once engaged the country should have already established how the war will be fought in terms of ethics, but then again after enough people die, people tend to begin to rationalize things they shouldn't, but again too they should have known that such would be the cost of war.
 
wayne
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 11:01 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;149256 wrote:
Two points:

First, in this case, the Japanese children of that era did not grow up and become soldiers who fought against the U.S., so it is factually irrelevant..


It seems it's only irrelevant because we won the war.

Pyrrho;149256 wrote:
Second, and more importantly, it is condemning people not for something that they have done, but for something that they will do (or are believed will do) in the future. Perhaps you should be executed now, not for anything you have done, but because you are predicted to do something bad in the future. Would that be justice?.


Who said anything about execute?





Pyrrho;149256 wrote:
So, you think the terrorists are right to attack civilians? After all, though it may sound harsh and unfeeling, that is the nature of the conflict, and mankind has known this for a long time..


Once again ,you are out of context. Terrorism is not an act of war, it is acts of terror.




Pyrrho;149256 wrote:
If it were true that ending it as soon as possible were really what mattered, the U.S. would have negotiated Japan's surrender before that time, as they had asked for terms of surrender. Since the U.S. did not do that, obviously, ending the war as quickly as possible was not paramount..


Why sacrifice so many American lives to simply allow Japan to go right back to doing business as usual, that would be ludicrous. The issue was an unconditional surrender.





Pyrrho;149256 wrote:
No one said that "terrorism" was a governmental state. It is a means to a goal, not a government. "Terrorists" are people who use terrorism as a means. As for whether they are connected to a recognized government or not, that is not terribly important. In this case, the ones who destroyed the World Trade Center were supposedly connected with the government of Afghanistan, which is why the U.S. invaded and overthrew that government. And their goals appear to be to maintain (or create) a particular way of life..


How can the issue of being connected to a recognised state not be important? Terrorism as a means to what?





Pyrrho;149256 wrote:
War does not necessarily involve the targeting of civilians, so it is not an essential part of war. Your attempt at pretending that it is a tautology that it is part of the nature of war to target civilians is not convincing.


When has it not been a part of war? Apparently I am unaware of the particular war in which civilians have not been targeted. Perhaps you can tell me of this war.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 11:03 am
@xris,
xris;149254 wrote:
You really are the limit. It was justified but it was not act of justifiable justice..they were not bombed for justice sake, in just manner but it was justified in the terms of ending the war ..I wont say it again, your obviously being obtuse.

...



Would you mind saying that in English?

If something is done in a just manner, it is just. If it is not just, it cannot be done in a just manner. But if the ultimate goal of something is just, that does not necessarily mean that a just method will be used to achieve that goal. One may use evil means for the purpose of good goals. But doing so is not just. Nor can it be justified (i.e., it cannot be shown to be just [which is the meaning of "justifiy"] if it is not just). It might be excusable, or understandable, but it cannot be justified.

If you insist on misusing the word "justify", do not be insulting and call others "obtuse" for failing to understand your particular abuse of language. I strongly suggest that you conform your usage of terms to what they ordinarily mean in English, except when you have expressly defined them for a particular purpose. Otherwise, it is you who will be exposed as the one who is being obtuse.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 11:05 am
@wayne,
wayne;149255 wrote:
I don't think your statement is true. For one, the Vietnam war, not just our involvement, went on long enough for many children to become soldiers. Another case could be the hitler youth.





Infants?................
 
xris
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 11:43 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;149260 wrote:
Would you mind saying that in English?

If something is done in a just manner, it is just. If it is not just, it cannot be done in a just manner. But if the ultimate goal of something is just, that does not necessarily mean that a just method will be used to achieve that goal. One may use evil means for the purpose of good goals. But doing so is not just. Nor can it be justified (i.e., it cannot be shown to be just [which is the meaning of "justifiy"] if it is not just). It might be excusable, or understandable, but it cannot be justified.

If you insist on misusing the word "justify", do not be insulting and call others "obtuse" for failing to understand your particular abuse of language. I strongly suggest that you conform your usage of terms to what they ordinarily mean in English, except when you have expressly defined them for a particular purpose. Otherwise, it is you who will be exposed as the one who is being obtuse.
If you dont know the difference between justifiable and just then I cant help you.
 
wayne
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 12:52 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;149262 wrote:
Infants?................


Thats kinda stretching it a bit, but babies grow up.

I am saddened by this too, but I can't find a way around it. Every past society has preserved itself this way. I hope that in the future we can find a way to avoid these kind of decisions.

The only people I can think of that live by a different philosophy are the Tibetans, and it appears their state is rapidly being assimilated.
 
oralloy
 
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 04:06 am
@Karpowich,
Karpowich wrote:
I have been trying to understand the difference ethically, if there is any, between 9/11 and the United States dropping a bomb on Hiroshima.


Hiroshima and Nagasaki were military targets.

Hiroshima was a huge military center filled with tens of thousands of Japanese soldiers.

Nagasaki was an industrial center devoted to making weapons for the Japanese military.

The World Trade Center was a civilian target.



Karpowich wrote:
After 9/11 happened, America got geared up and ready to go fight back against those that had attacked them. My problem with the whole thing is the logic behind it. At the end of WWII America dropped a bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in an attempt to "scare" Japan into dropping out of the war. The definition of terrorism is :

"the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes."

Did America not use terrorism ourselves to force Japan out of the war?


Usually when people refer to terrorism they refer to acts that include the intentional targeting of civilians.

We did not target civilians in the bombing of Japan.



Karpowich wrote:
America is all geared up against terrorists saying how horrible they are and how they depreciate the value of human society. I agree with this, yet I also find interest in the fact that people so easily forget that we're not much better than they are. When I bring this up in debate the most natural response I get is:

"Well, it's different to us because the attack against America was unprovoked."

I disagree with this statement because 9/11 followed a tumultuous time of America campaigning through the Middle East for our own political reasons. We shook up that region with our own desires and the natural response of the region was to strike back at us. Since most of the countries we influenced (for better or for worse) do not have the military might to stand up against us, they tried to catch our attention by an act of terrorism. When looking at the evidence, we did provoke 9/11 by trying to force our diplomacy on an unstable region without their permission.


Force our diplomacy on the region?

You mean when we teamed up with all the countries of the Middle East to force Saddam out of Kuwait????

Your use of provoke is a bit twisted here.

That is like saying when a criminal shoots a police officer, the police officer provoked the criminal into doing it by trying to uphold the law.




Karpowich wrote:
Now I do not advocate 9/11 in any way shape or form, I strongly disagree with Al-Qaeda's tactics, however, I also think America unethically went into the Middle East to fight the "war on terrorism" when we ourselves have been terrorists in the past. Am I wrong on this point of view?


Yes. Incredibly wrong.

We have the right to go to war to defend ourselves, and the question of whether we have committed terrorism in the past has no bearing on that right.

And there is little basis for any claim that the US has targeted civilians in the past.

The 9/11 attackers were targeting civilians when they struck the World Trade Center.
 
oralloy
 
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 04:08 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:
I think a better example would be the USA's bombing of Hanoi. As there was no state of war, this was certainly terrorism.


There was most definitely a state of war.

And it is hard to see how it would be terrorism, since civilians were not being targeted by the bombing.
 
oralloy
 
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 04:14 am
@Karpowich,
Karpowich wrote:
That too, it just furthers my point that America fights against things we have done ourselves in the past without thinking twice about it.


I don't think you can show any cases of the US intentionally targeting civilians in the past hundred years.

I know there are isolated war criminals in the US military that have done it on their own, but not the US as a whole, as an intentional policy.
 
oralloy
 
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 04:36 am
@Karpowich,
Karpowich wrote:
No, because at the time it was a direct self defense reasoning. It all goes back to the definition of terrorism which is "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes." If someone comes up and mugs you in an alleyway you have every ethical right to defend yourself, but it is unethical to just go up and beat the crap out of a random person on the street because you think they might mug you.


The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki count as self defense by the US.

Japan attacked us. We were defending ourselves.



Karpowich wrote:
The reasoning behind the Christmas bombing of Hanoi was that North Korea was contemplating backing out of the peace treaty being signed with America. America didn't like this so they bombed Hanoi which was a non military city in an attempt to scare North Korea into sticking with their original intent to sign the treaty.


Your claim that Hanoi was a non-military city is preposterous.
 
oralloy
 
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 04:44 am
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
The bombing of Hiroshima was an act of state terrorism. It was an intentional attack on innocent and defenseless citizens for a political goal.


Nope. The bombing of Hiroshima was a wartime strike on a military target.
 
oralloy
 
Reply Fri 6 Aug, 2010 04:48 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
First of all, the insurgents who blew up the King David hotel in Jerusalem killed few since they telephoned and warned the residents of the hotel that it was going to be bombed (hardly the action of terrorists). In the second place, the King David Hotel was the headquarters of the British Army in Palestine. So the insurgents were not attacking civilians. They were attacking military personnel. And, therefore, they could not have been terrorists by definition.


So what about the leaflets dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki warning civilians to flee because they were on the short list to be targeted for destruction by American bombers in coming days?
 
 

 
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