Last edited by Reeve; 2012-10-03 at 02:46 AM.
Go and tell my baby sister
Not to do what I have done
Go and spurn that house down in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
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.
---------- Post added 2012-10-03 at 06:32 AM ----------
Last edited by semaphore; 2012-10-03 at 06:33 AM.
---------- 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.
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!
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.
Besides, don't use a simple analogy for an complex issue when you know you're just going to oversimplify things.
play assassin's creed...lots of moral ambiguity there.
the banking clans of the Italian renaissance.
The waring factions of Constantinople.
and the American Revolution/Conflict with native Americans.
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.
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. 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.
"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.
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.
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?
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!
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").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.
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."