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  1. #21
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadheart View Post
    In a fit of boredom last night I started writing a fantasy story and well I began to dwell into research about events in history where two opposing factions or countries were competing for some kind of resource and really both sides weren't right or wrong (directly at least) I was curious to see if anyone else had a favorite specific scenario. It can be real life or related to some kind of game.
    The US's role in supporting the Mujahidin in Afghanistan against the Russians in the 80s. Yeah, it was keeping the Soviets from imposing their own rule and customs and lack of religiosity on the Afghans, but it also paved the way for the creation of the Taliban, which has, of course, come back to bite us in the ass.
    Last edited by Reeve; 2012-10-03 at 02:46 AM.
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  2. #22
    Pandaren Monk
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    Quote Originally Posted by kensim View Post
    While I agree the dropping of the atomic weapons on Japan is a wonderful subject to debate, your example is fundamentally wrong.

    Dropping the bombs was the morale equivalent to choosing to shoot someone that picked a fight to the death and you finally knock them down; you can either choose to reach down and choke the life from them while getting stabbed (severe injury but not fatal) as your opponent goes at you one last time with everything they have left, or stand back and shoot them in the head ending the entire situation with little harm to yourself and the same exact outcome.
    There is a theory that the bombs were dropped to end the war before the soviets showed up. Supposedly the US was afraid Russia would roll up fire a few bullets and try to claim half of Japan for themselves similar to how the did Berlin. Not sure I buy it though.

  3. #23
    Pandaren Monk Mnevis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foosha View Post
    You can't seriously fathom the U.S would let one of the most psychopathic regimes of WW2 be reinstated. (I recant, I would call them THE MOST psychopathic regime of WW2, and probably beyond). The dropping of the bombs is a clear cut action. They lost, end of story, they have no bargaining rights and are subject to our demands. We just wanted to end it earlier than risking more American lives.
    Thanks for supporting my first post, I guess. Neither of us was there, we have diametrically opposed views of the moral status of the action in question, and we both think we're right about it. I mean, I think the country of my birth needlessly vaporized two cities just because we could, but it sort of shows how humanity can find justifications for pretty much anything and you shouldn't have to look too hard for what we call moral ambiguity.

    To try to be more on topic, the Kashmir territorial dispute is significantly about control of some of the headwaters of the Indus River (on which Pakistan is entirely dependent for water), and has some real murky spots in the legal claims of both sides. It's fairly calm now, India and Pakistan have a treaty and I don't think anything major has happened in a few years, but it's one of those "The military/police are abusive and tens of thousands of Muslims have died" vs. "Incidents are regrettable, but we have control and that's not changing" things.

    Control over rivers and headwaters is an interesting place for moral ambiguity in resource-related conflict, because someone might need it downstream but someone else might control it upstream. It's generally handled by treaty but there have been or might be conflicts about the Jordan, Nile, and Tigris.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Foosha View Post
    You can't seriously fathom the U.S would let one of the most psychopathic regimes of WW2 be reinstated.
    They don't have to drop the bomb to achieve that. The point is that Japan had already been beaten. And MacArthur is besides the point, senior US commanders in the Pacific theatre vocally opposed using the bomb.

    Quote Originally Posted by semaphore View Post
    Even the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, General of the Army Dwight Eisenhower, believed that it was unnecessary and that Japan was about to surrender.

    This view was echoed by much of the American military high command, including:
    - Chief of Staff to the President Fleet Admiral William Leahy, who called the decision "barbaric" and "of no material assisstance"
    - Supreme Commander General Douglas MacArthur, who was reportedly "appalled" and saw "no military justification"
    - Army Air Forces Commander General Henry Arnold, who said Japan was about to surrender "atomic bomb or no atomic bomb"
    - Pacific Fleet Commander Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, who called it "unnecessary"
    - Chief of Naval Operations Fleet Admiral Ernest King, who argued that a blockade would have been enough
    - Pacific Strategic Air Forces Commander General Carl Spaatz, who said the war end at "about the same time" without atomic bombings
    - Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall, who refused to endorse the decision with military justification
    - 14 AF Commander General Claire Chennault, who said the war would have ended "even if no atomic bombs had been dropped"
    - XXI BC Commander Major General Curtis LeMay, who said the bomb "had nothing to do" with the Japanese surrender
    - Third Fleet Commander Admiral William Halsey, who calls it a "mistake"

    Ultimately, President Truman overrode their professional opinion and proceeded with a political decision. It's kind of silly really that people are defending the atomic bombing now in military terms, when the best and brightest military commanders of the time were up in arms against it. Who are any of us to question Eisenhower, MacArthur, Marshall or Leahy's opinions on military necessity?


    ---------- Post added 2012-10-03 at 06:32 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Amsden View Post
    There is a theory that the bombs were dropped to end the war before the soviets showed up. Supposedly the US was afraid Russia would roll up fire a few bullets and try to claim half of Japan for themselves similar to how the did Berlin. Not sure I buy it though.
    Pretty sure Truman dropped the bomb as a warning to the soviets.
    Last edited by semaphore; 2012-10-03 at 06:33 AM.

  5. #25
    My favourite specific scenario when I'm imagining things is: The world is at war, aliens or wtv, and since I am the most powerful person on Earth I'll rescue everyone and then get anything I want afterwards, that would be a great life. :b

  6. #26
    Legendary! darenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laize View Post
    Morally ambiguous....

    How about the United States war against the Native Americans? I'm reasonably sure that it was morally ambiguous at the time and remains so to this day.

    Almost no one will say that the way we treated the Natives was acceptable... and those same people would never suggest we give them their land back either.
    if that day ever comes i gladly accept most of the great plains states on behalf of my people.

    ---------- Post added 2012-10-03 at 01:41 AM ----------

    OT : any empire builder is pretty ambiguous. on the one hand hailed as a visionary, a hero, and a great leader.. on the other a ruthless murderer with no regard for the sovreignty of other nations/peoples.

  7. #27
    Morally ambiguous. Well, I think of situations were logical insanity comes into play. As an example let's look at the fire bombing of German and English cities during world war two. If we go all the way back to introduction of the doctrine of strategic bombing it is based on the idea that if we bomb a civilian population enough it will accelerate their loss of moral and cause them to seek peace sooner thereby allowing for a faster conclusion to the conflict...saving more lives in the long run. So in essence, bomb cities and kill civilians in order to hasten the end of the conflict to save lives. That's pretty ambiguous.

    In reality it doesn't work that way and causes reprisals. they bombed our cities so we will bomb theirs. Both sides are committing atrocities but are justified because 1)the other side started it and 2)if they do it it will end the war faster.
    Get a grip man! It's CHEESE!

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by semaphore View Post
    They don't have to drop the bomb to achieve that. The point is that Japan had already been beaten. And MacArthur is besides the point, senior US commanders in the Pacific theatre vocally opposed using the bomb.



    ---------- Post added 2012-10-03 at 06:32 AM ----------



    Pretty sure Truman dropped the bomb as a warning to the soviets.
    The problem with a simple analogy is that it is a simple analogy. Without a doubt there were MANY other issues going on. This includes the Soviets, the internal competition between the different commands in the US Army (in particular the Pacific), the different commands in the Japanese military, and overall societal views in the US and Japan in general.

    Again...SIMPLE analogy!

  9. #29
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poser765 View Post
    Morally ambiguous. Well, I think of situations were logical insanity comes into play. As an example let's look at the fire bombing of German and English cities during world war two. If we go all the way back to introduction of the doctrine of strategic bombing it is based on the idea that if we bomb a civilian population enough it will accelerate their loss of moral and cause them to seek peace sooner thereby allowing for a faster conclusion to the conflict...saving more lives in the long run. So in essence, bomb cities and kill civilians in order to hasten the end of the conflict to save lives. That's pretty ambiguous.

    In reality it doesn't work that way and causes reprisals. they bombed our cities so we will bomb theirs. Both sides are committing atrocities but are justified because 1)the other side started it and 2)if they do it it will end the war faster.
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  10. #30
    Pandaren Monk Mnevis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kensim View Post
    The problem with a simple analogy is that it is a simple analogy. Without a doubt there were MANY other issues going on. This includes the Soviets, the internal competition between the different commands in the US Army (in particular the Pacific), the different commands in the Japanese military, and overall societal views in the US and Japan in general.

    Again...SIMPLE analogy!
    Which is why you corrected my simple analogy with an even simpler, two-party, black-and-white, life-or-death analogy? I mean, why not just say "Japan shot first, so we shot to kill"? If you realize that war in real life often is more complicated than portrayed in the victor nation's History I schoolbooks, why propound the simplified version?

    Of course I realize that "Because we could" doesn't really capture the entirety of the issue at hand, but I really get that sense when reading what Truman read and wrote. He was out of the loop until FDR died only a few months prior, he was really excited upon finding out about the Manhattan Project, and he gave the order to drop the nukes literally at the first opportunity upon them being ready, which in my opinion, is the most damning.

  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by kensim View Post
    The problem with a simple analogy is that it is a simple analogy.
    What analogy? I wasn't even replying to you. The point I wanted to make is that Japan was on the verge of defeat, and the US military high command very clearly believed that there was no need or military justification for atomic bombings - contrary to the claims of "saving American lives" being made here.

    Besides, don't use a simple analogy for an complex issue when you know you're just going to oversimplify things.

  12. #32
    Dreadlord vazar_da_priest's Avatar
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    play assassin's creed...lots of moral ambiguity there.

    the crusades.
    the banking clans of the Italian renaissance.
    The waring factions of Constantinople.
    and the American Revolution/Conflict with native Americans.

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Mnevis View Post
    Of course I realize that "Because we could" doesn't really capture the entirety of the issue at hand, but I really get that sense when reading what Truman read and wrote. He was out of the loop until FDR died only a few months prior, he was really excited upon finding out about the Manhattan Project, and he gave the order to drop the nukes literally at the first opportunity upon them being ready, which in my opinion, is the most damning.
    I don't knpw about that. I get the sense that Truman used the bomb without fully realising what he is actually ordering on the Japanese civilians. Seems to me like he was primarily motivated with a desire to impress the Soviets with his shiney new weapon. He was apparently horrified when the reports on the devastation came back. Later in life he seemed obsessed with defending his decisions right up to his deathbed; that does not sound like a man who is at peace with his actions to me.

  14. #34
    Merely a Setback Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Burning of Atlanta in the US Civil War.

    In addition, why do people constantly bring up the atomic bombings of Japan? The fire-bombings of Tokyo killed even more.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Tokyo

    The first such raid was in February 1945 when 174 B-29s destroyed around one square mile (3 km²) of Tokyo. The next month, 334 B-29s took off to raid on the night of 9–10 March (Operation Meetinghouse), with 279 of them dropping around 1,700 tons of bombs. Fourteen B-29s were lost.[6] Approximately 16 square miles (41 km2) of the city were destroyed and some 100,000 people are estimated to have died in the resulting firestorm, more immediate deaths than either of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.[7][8]
    Last edited by Rukentuts; 2012-10-03 at 03:03 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybran View Post
    Both of those links don't provide any evidence. They make unsubstantiated statements

  15. #35
    Pandaren Monk Mnevis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by semaphore View Post
    I don't knpw about that. I get the sense that Truman used the bomb without fully realising what he is actually ordering on the Japanese civilians. Seems to me like he was primarily motivated with a desire to impress the Soviets with his shiney new weapon. He was apparently horrified when the reports on the devastation came back. Later in life he seemed obsessed with defending his decisions right up to his deathbed; that does not sound like a man who is at peace with his actions to me.
    I think he knew. That's why he did the 'decent' thing and didn't drop them on Kyoto or Tokyo.



    "We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. It may be the fire destruction prophesied in the Euphrates Valley Era, after Noah and his fabulous Ark.

    Anyway we "think" we have found the way to cause a disintegration of the atom. An experiment in the New Mexico desert was startling - to put it mildly. Thirteen pounds of the explosive caused the complete disintegration of a steel tower 60 feet high, created a crater 6 feet deep and 1,200 feet in diameter, knocked over a steel tower 1/2 mile away and knocked men down 10,000 yards away. The explosion was visible for more than 200 miles and audible for 40 miles and more.

    This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10th. I have told the Sec. of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital or the new.

    He and I are in accord. The target will be a purely military one and we will issue a warning statement asking the Japs to surrender and save lives. I'm sure they will not do that, but we will have given them the chance. It is certainly a good thing for the world that Hitler's crowd or Stalin's did not discover this atomic bomb. It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful..."

    Truman quoted in Robert H. Ferrell, Off the Record: The Private Papers of Harry S. Truman (New York: Harper and Row, 1980) pp. 55-56. Truman's writings are in the public domain.
    http://www.dannen.com/decision/hst-jl25.html

    Whether he really thought obliteration of Hiroshima wouldn't cause massive civilian casualties, I don't know. Maybe. We'd been bombing for so long on so many cities, pretending Hiroshima was a purely military target that we just hadn't gotten around to isn't even remotely honest, in my opinion, but maybe he really thought so.
    Last edited by Mnevis; 2012-10-03 at 03:11 PM.

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Magpai View Post
    Any violent dictatorship and/or socialist government rising to power. The more recent, the more ambiguous, which is a depressing trend.

    There are plenty of people who will defend Communism despite the fact that implementing and enforcing it has caused governments to collectively murder 100 million of their own citizens. Apparently, to some people, there's some ambiguity there.
    *warning* there is a difference between socialism and communism, also communist doesnt equal horrendous murderers, capitalism is capable of that as well, it simply was more common *warning*

  17. #37
    Fluffy Kitten Baiyn's Avatar
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    Speaking of Japan, I totally forgot to bring up the moral dilemma of using data gathered from the Nazi human experiments and Imperial Japan's Unit 731.

    Do we look at using the data as making it so all those people who died so horribly did not die in vain? Or do we say that it is wrong to benefit from such inhumanely cruel and unnecessarily inflicted suffering?

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
    Has someone been listening to Dan Carlin?
    lol as a matter of fact i did listen to that podcast. I borrowed his logical insanity thing. i tihnk that's what he called it. The rest of it came from college. Took an aviation history class were we spent a large amount of time discussing the pros and cons of strategic use of airpower.

    Here is another one maybe. How about the idea of still utlizing frontal assaults in WW1 in the face of rapid fire machine guns and breach loaded rifles? The opening engagements of the first world war were largely fought like they were thirty years ago...in lines of massed formations and organized volleys. Granted that didn't last long, but the idea of massed assaults and formations continued to be used well into the war.

    Where is the ambiguity? Probably in the fact that the largely inept commanders on both sides continued to use these proven inadequate tactics during offensives. The knowingly ordered these attacks that they for the most part knew would cause 90%+ casualties to their own men, but didn't know any other way to do it and still hoped they would succeed and bring an end to the war.
    Get a grip man! It's CHEESE!

  19. #39
    Herald of the Titans Suikoden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laize View Post
    Morally ambiguous....

    How about the United States war against the Native Americans? I'm reasonably sure that it was morally ambiguous at the time and remains so to this day.

    Almost no one will say that the way we treated the Natives was acceptable... and those same people would never suggest we give them their land back either.
    I was gonna say this.

    It's pretty sad though how no one ever talks about the European colonization of the New World and the things that happened as a result of that.

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Mnevis View Post
    I think he knew. That's why he did the 'decent' thing and didn't drop them on Kyoto or Tokyo.
    Tokyo wasn't ever put forward as a serous candidate; Kyoto was probably rejected because of Stimson's objection to bombing Kyoto in general.

    Whether he really thought obliteration of Hiroshima wouldn't cause massive civilian casualties, I don't know. Maybe. We'd been bombing for so long on so many cities, pretending Hiroshima was a purely military target that we just hadn't gotten around to isn't even remotely honest, in my opinion, but maybe he really thought so.
    I think that's my point. I don't think he truly realised how devastating attacking Hiroshima with an atomic bomb will actually be. I'm sure he knew that there would be civilian casualties; but perhaps he didn't realise that it was going to, effectively, destroy the whole city. When choosing a target for the atomic weapon, they were actually concerned with choosing something that's surrounded by a bigger area - so that the bomb will still do damage if it missed (lost from "undue placement").

    That's why upon receiving photographic reports on the bomb's effects on the 10th, he ordered a stop to all future atomic bombings as he realised that he had just killed 100,000 civilians. According to Wallace, to Truman, "The thought of wiping out another one hundred thousand people is too horrible."

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