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Old 14th December 2012, 12:27 PM   #1
Profanz
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Were the atomic bombs dropped on Japan necessary?

Was it necessary to not only drop one but two? Was the first one even necessary? Some historians claim Japan was going to surrender anyway.

Were the Americans really just sending a message to Russia?
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Old 14th December 2012, 12:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Was it necessary to not only drop one but two? Was the first one even necessary? Some historians claim Japan was going to surrender anyway.

Were the Americans really just sending a message to Russia?
1. Japan was not going to surrender anyway. Do you have anything better than "some historians"?

2. You've already made it clear that you think no war is successful, and that killing people in warfare is always a failure. Can you think of any possible scenario or justification, that would convince you that the atomic bombs were necessary?
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Old 14th December 2012, 12:36 PM   #3
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Was the napalm bombing of Tokyo necessary?
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Old 14th December 2012, 12:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Was it necessary to not only drop one but two? Was the first one even necessary? Some historians claim Japan was going to surrender anyway.

Were the Americans really just sending a message to Russia?
And some historians think even the TWO atomic bombs were not what really convinced Japan to surrender. Rather it was the Soviets enormous offensive in China in August 1945 that was the main cause. Operation August Storm: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Manchuria
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Old 14th December 2012, 12:50 PM   #5
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The outcome was in little doubt so even if the bomb drops hastened the end of the war they were not necessary. Either way, deliberately targeting civilian populations should be viewed as unacceptable and a war crime. (This is very different than collateral damage to civilians while targeting infrastructure or production with military applications which is unfortunate but not always avoidable)
Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Was the napalm bombing of Tokyo necessary?
Nope. Really no different than the two nukes. Both clearly had civilians as the real targets and are unacceptable regardless of whether they shorten the war or not
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Old 14th December 2012, 12:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
The outcome was in little doubt so even if the bomb drops hastened the end of the war they were not necessary. Either way, deliberately targeting civilian populations should be viewed as unacceptable and a war crime. (This is very different than collateral damage to civilians while targeting infrastructure or production with military applications which is unfortunate but not always avoidable)


Nope. Really no different than the two nukes. Both clearly had civilians as the real targets and are unacceptable regardless of whether they shorten the war or not
I thought that the Japanese deliberately nestled weapons factories with civilian homes in Hiroshima. That's a war crime too, I believe?
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Old 14th December 2012, 01:01 PM   #7
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lomiller, I so agree with you.

Some people argue in favor of the nukes because they say invading Japan would have caused huge civilian casualties as well - but that is morally different from intentionally target civilian populations.

The image of WWII that is popular is the Good Guy qualities of the Allies were integral to their success against the corrupt Axis. And there were historical examples from that period where the morally correct behavior paid off better than ends-justifies-means doesn't - like the German officers who gave info after being fed well, taken o walks & engaged in chess matches. Such examples should be an example of how moral behavior is superior to other methods.



I also have to wonder if events like the nuclear bombing, napalming Tokyo, and Dresden, were the beginning of a mindset of ends-justifying means that led to Justice Dept. memos justifying torture.
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Old 14th December 2012, 01:01 PM   #8
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Didn't mean to offend anyone. I'm sort of playing devils advocate here. I think its a worthy question though.

I just watched an interview with Oliver Stone. Yeah I know... I guess he's really not an historian as much as a revisionist.

But I found some of his comments on the matter interesting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T_95lDQPxc

Is he just a conspiracy theorist?
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Old 14th December 2012, 01:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Was it necessary to not only drop one but two? Was the first one even necessary? Some historians claim Japan was going to surrender anyway.

Were the Americans really just sending a message to Russia?
Are you familiar with the Kyujo Incident? Please note the date; a not insignificant portion of the country was not willing to surrender even after Nagasaki.
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Old 14th December 2012, 01:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Trish Randall View Post
lomiller, I so agree with you.

Some people argue in favor of the nukes because they say invading Japan would have caused huge civilian casualties as well - but that is morally different from intentionally target civilian populations.
Is it, really? A huge number of the soldiers who would have died in an invasion of Japan were actually civilians drafted to wear a uniform.
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Old 14th December 2012, 01:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
The outcome was in little doubt so even if the bomb drops hastened the end of the war they were not necessary. Either way, deliberately targeting civilian populations should be viewed as unacceptable and a war crime. (This is very different than collateral damage to civilians while targeting infrastructure or production with military applications which is unfortunate but not always avoidable)


Nope. Really no different than the two nukes. Both clearly had civilians as the real targets and are unacceptable regardless of whether they shorten the war or not
The outcome of the war was in little doubt by Dec 7, 1941. There was absolutely no plausible way Japan could hope to win a war against the US.

Is there any scenario where you think its justified to bomb civilians of one nation, who started a war, to save on military causalities of another? Because that's exactly what decision faced Truman. He could continue on with a conventional bombing (and start an atomic) campaign against Japan and hope they surrendered, or at least weaken them for an upcoming invasion. Or, he could go ahead with an invasion of Japan and explain to the American people how a Japanese civilians life was more valuable than an 18 year old Americans was (many of whom would be draftees).
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Old 14th December 2012, 01:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
Are you familiar with the Kyujo Incident? Please note the date; a not insignificant portion of the country was not willing to surrender even after Nagasaki.
I think the Japanese people were in the fight to the end. But that doesn't mean the government wasn't ready to surrender.
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Old 14th December 2012, 01:09 PM   #13
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Nevermind.
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Old 14th December 2012, 01:11 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post
The outcome of the war was in little doubt by Dec 7, 1941. There was absolutely no plausible way Japan could hope to win a war against the US.

Is there any scenario where you think its justified to bomb civilians of one nation, who started a war, to save on military causalities of another? Because that's exactly what decision faced Truman. He could continue on with a conventional bombing (and start an atomic) campaign against Japan and hope they surrendered, or at least weaken them for an upcoming invasion. Or, he could go ahead with an invasion of Japan and explain to the American people how a Japanese civilians life was more valuable than an 18 year old Americans was (many of whom would be draftees).
I think this is one of those questions where the answer is "yes" Probability of occurrence: 100% Number of people surprised at decision: 0
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Old 14th December 2012, 01:19 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Kid Eager View Post
I think this is one of those questions where the answer is "yes" Probability of occurrence: 100% Number of people surprised at decision: 0
Japan was surprised. Twice.
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Old 14th December 2012, 01:31 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
I think the Japanese people were in the fight to the end. But that doesn't mean the government wasn't ready to surrender.
Yeah, I'm sure a civil war would've been great for those Japanese civilians' life.

The atomic bombings were largely psychological, I think. They were trying to utterly break the Japanese spirit, in order to have them surrender completely and try to make the country a bit better.
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Old 14th December 2012, 01:34 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Didn't mean to offend anyone. I'm sort of playing devils advocate here. I think its a worthy question though.
I don't think you offended anyone.

In order to play the devil's advocate, you'll actually have to advocate something. Ideally, by taking a position and supporting it with evidence and reason. What you're doing here is less 'playing devil's advocate' and more 'just asking questions'.

I agree that it's a worthy question. The answer arrived at by the decision-makers at the time was that yes, the bombs were necessary. The consensus of most historians since then is that while there might have been other ways to solve the problem (with varying tradeoffs and likelihood of success), the decision to drop the bombs was justifiable and justified, with the information and options available at the time.

Does that answer satisfy you?

ETA:

Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
I just watched an interview with Oliver Stone. Yeah I know... I guess he's really not an historian as much as a revisionist.
I take that back: Trying to back-door an appeal to Oliver Stone as an appeal to "some historians" is pretty offensive. Why do you introduce a "worthy question" with such bad-faith shenanigans?

Quote:
But I found some of his comments on the matter interesting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T_95lDQPxc
For those of us who don't follow YouTube links, can you present some of his comments here, so that they can be discussed here?

Quote:
Is he just a conspiracy theorist?
No, he's not just a conspiracy theorist. He's also a filmmaker who makes films that promote conspiracy theories.

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Old 14th December 2012, 01:45 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Japan was surprised. Twice.
In what way was Japan surprised?

Was Japan surprised in a "secret weapons are suprising the first time they're used" kind of way?

Or was Japan surprised in a "we're still at war with the US but we can't figure out why they keep attacking us" kind of way?
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Old 14th December 2012, 01:48 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't think you offended anyone.

In order to play the devil's advocate, you'll actually have to advocate something. Ideally, by taking a position and supporting it with evidence and reason. What you're doing here is less 'playing devil's advocate' and more 'just asking questions'.

I agree that it's a worthy question. The answer arrived at by the decision-makers at the time was that yes, the bombs were necessary. The consensus of most historians since then is that while there might have been other ways to solve the problem (with varying tradeoffs and likelihood of success), the decision to drop the bombs was justifiable and justified, with the information and options available at the time.

Does that answer satisfy you?

ETA:



I take that back: Trying to back-door an appeal to Oliver Stone as an appeal to "some historians" is pretty offensive. Why do you introduce a "worthy question" with such bad-faith shenanigans?



For those of us who don't follow YouTube links, can you present some of his comments here, so that they can be discussed here?


No, he's not just a conspiracy theorist. He's also a filmmaker who makes films that promote conspiracy theories.
Consensus? Is that what history is? A consensus?

Who writes history? The victors?

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_Weber.html
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Old 14th December 2012, 01:54 PM   #20
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Ah... are we now getting to the point of this thread?
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Old 14th December 2012, 02:00 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Whoa there!

IHR is the Institute of Historical Review, best known for things like holocaust denial. If you're using them as a source for anything then you basically loose all credibility.

Its like using the Institute of Creation Research as a reference for biology.
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Old 14th December 2012, 02:05 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
Is it, really? A huge number of the soldiers who would have died in an invasion of Japan were actually civilians drafted to wear a uniform.
I was pointing out that it is an argument I have heard made.
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Old 14th December 2012, 02:06 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Whoa there!

IHR is the Institute of Historical Review, best known for things like holocaust denial. If you're using them as a source for anything then you basically loose all credibility.

Its like using the Institute of Creation Research as a reference for biology.
Well, Profanz is a 9/11 Truther,so that should tell you something about the way he finds,evaulates,and uses evidence......
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Old 14th December 2012, 02:08 PM   #24
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It does not make much sense that the atomic bombs caused the end of the war. Most of Japan's cities had already been destroyed. Japan never actually unconditionally surrendered. It wanted and got its emperor to continue to be the emperor.

Makes much more sense to think that the bombs were dropped to send a message to the USSR.
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Old 14th December 2012, 02:08 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Well, Profanz is a 9/11 Truther,so that should tell you something about the way he finds,evaulates,and uses evidence......
I thought the way he JAQed off played Devil's advocate had an eerily familiar feeling to it.
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Old 14th December 2012, 02:11 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
Ah... are we now getting to the point of this thread?
The question though loaded is legitimate. I still haven't heard a valid answer as to why we needed to drop a second bomb. They wouldn't have eventually surrendered after just the first one? Did they even know what it was that hit them? Did we give them a chance to not drop the second one? 3 days?

I think its a little bit of both. We wanted them to surrender and we wanted to send a message at the same time. God bless the bomb and the cold war. Right?
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Old 14th December 2012, 02:13 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Consensus? Is that what history is? A consensus?
Yes.

Quote:
Who writes history? The victors?
No, the writers. That sounds glib, but it is a serious response. More history that you'd imagine is storytelling, supposition, and informed guesses. Eyewitness accounts (including documents) are scarce and biased, and physical evidence is open to interpretation in most cases.
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Old 14th December 2012, 02:21 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Consensus? Is that what history is? A consensus?

Who writes history? The victors?

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_Weber.html
I guess that settles it. Mark Weber, director of the "Institute for Historical Review", a well-known Holocaust denial outfit, thinks the A-bombs were not necessary.

Time to move this to the CT section?

As lobrosul noted above, the two facts of the big Soviet invasion in Manchuria and the US dropping the A-bombs clinched the Japanese surrender. Prior to both of those events, no-one in the Japanese war cabinet even discussed surrender internally.

You can discuss whether any one of those events would have been sufficient. You could argue that the US should have waited for the Soviet invasion to start - after all, the Soviets had promised to attack Japan within 3 months of Germany's surrender, and so they did to the day - but in that case, now Kim Jong Un would rule from Seoul and not Pyongyang.

Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
I thought that the Japanese deliberately nestled weapons factories with civilian homes in Hiroshima. That's a war crime too, I believe?
War crime or not, the Japanese war industry very much depended on a small-scale cottage industry that was housed in residential areas.

That's just one point in arguing that Hiroshima was very much a military target.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshi...atomic_bombing
Quote:
During World War II, the Second Army and Chugoku Regional Army were headquartered in Hiroshima, and the Army Marine Headquarters was located at Ujina port. The city also had large depots of military supplies, and was a key center for shipping.
So, it was a military target plain and simple.
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Old 14th December 2012, 02:23 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Whoa there!

IHR is the Institute of Historical Review, best known for things like holocaust denial. If you're using them as a source for anything then you basically loose all credibility.

Its like using the Institute of Creation Research as a reference for biology.
Thanks! The link is blocked by my employer under the heading "racism and hate".

Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Well, Profanz is a 9/11 Truther,so that should tell you something about the way he finds,evaulates,and uses evidence......
Thanks! I didn't know that before. And knowing is half the battle.

Ignoring is the other half.
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Old 14th December 2012, 02:31 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
I thought the way he JAQed off played Devil's advocate had an eerily familiar feeling to it.
Why don't you find where I have indulged in any conspiracy as a matter of fact? I'm not a no planer. I don't know that there were explosives in the WTC. Whatever. I'm a skeptic. That's it. You just haven't convinced me of 19 terrorists and nothing else. All I ever said was that 9/11 wasn't properly investigated and I think that is proven. 9/ll debunkers are knee jerk idiots for the most part. Most of them don't even know anything about 9/11 and are just politically or patriotically motivated. There are some exceptions of course. But they are too few and far between.

Can we now get back on topic here?
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Old 14th December 2012, 02:35 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Why don't you find where I have indulged in any conspiracy as a matter of fact? I'm not a no planer. I don't know that there were explosives in the WTC. Whatever. I'm a skeptic. That's it. You just haven't convinced me of 19 terrorists and nothing else. All I ever said was that 9/11 wasn't properly investigated and I think that is proven. 9/ll debunkers are knee jerk idiots for the most part. Most of them don't even know anything about 9/11 and are just politically or patriotically motivated. There are some exceptions of course. But they are too few and far between.

Can we now get back on topic here?
"Just Asking Questions",eh?
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Old 14th December 2012, 02:35 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
The question though loaded is legitimate. I still haven't heard a valid answer as to why we needed to drop a second bomb. They wouldn't have eventually surrendered after just the first one? Did they even know what it was that hit them? Did we give them a chance to not drop the second one? 3 days?
Puhlease. In 3 days, someone can walk from Hiroshima to Tokyo to report to the government of the horrific ordeal inflicted by just one bomb. Japanese communications were, in fact, broken down more than the US suspected, but that's still no excuse not to know within 3 days what happened.

It lasted actually to the 15th until Japan surrendered, because there was a stand-off within the war cabinet with 3 in favour of surrendering, and 3 in favour of continuing to fight. The Emperor eventually was the tie-breaker. And there was an attempted coup the night before (see above). If anything, they had deserved a third bomb to help them resolve their discussions.

Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
I think its a little bit of both. We wanted them to surrender and we wanted to send a message at the same time. God bless the bomb and the cold war. Right?
A message to the USSR was an added benefit, but why do you doubt that without that, it was a rational decision of Truman to drop the bombs to expedite Japan's surrender.

Disregarding the USSR's actions, the alternative - Operation Olympic - had much higher projected casualties among US soldiers alone than the two A-bombs inflicted. Add to that that the main thrust of Olympic would only take place in Spring 1946, and meanwhile million Japanese civilians would perish from the effects of the US blockade of Japan in the meantime.
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Old 14th December 2012, 02:37 PM   #33
timhau
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
The question though loaded is legitimate. I still haven't heard a valid answer as to why we needed to drop a second bomb. They wouldn't have eventually surrendered after just the first one?
Do you read the links given to you at all? Or any background in the issues where you, um, play Devil's advocate? There was significant opposition to surrendering even after the Nagasaki bomb. So the answer is "no, not without a long, drawn-out, and bloody battle that would have killed more than Fat Man".
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Old 14th December 2012, 02:40 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Why don't you find where I have indulged in any conspiracy as a matter of fact? I'm not a no planer. I don't know that there were explosives in the WTC. Whatever. I'm a skeptic. That's it. You just haven't convinced me of 19 terrorists and nothing else.
I suppose, then, that the main question is whether you can be convinced of anything. If not, there's no reason not to ignore you.
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Old 14th December 2012, 02:55 PM   #35
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I didn't know Mark Weber was a holocaust denier. Sorry. I just googled for an article on the topic of this thread. Its what I found.

But what the hell does holocaust denial have to do with any of it anyway?

Now I'm a conspiracy theorist and a holocaust denier? Thanks.
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Old 14th December 2012, 03:03 PM   #36
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[quote=Profanz;8845149]I didn't know Mark Weber was a holocaust denier. Sorry. I just googled for an article on the topic of this thread. Its what I found.

But what the hell does holocaust denial have to do with any of it anyway?[quote]

Because being a holocaust denier flies in the face of logic or evidence. Anything he says on another subject becomes rather suspect.

Its as if someone told me the world is going to end on 12/21/12. Starting on 12/22/12 I'm not going to believe anything he has to say, even if it was plausible coming from anyone else.

Quote:
Now I'm a conspiracy theorist and a holocaust denier? Thanks.
Well, if you theorize that 9/11 was a government conspiracy, doesn't that by definition make you a conspiracy theorist?

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Old 14th December 2012, 03:06 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
Add to that that the main thrust of Olympic would only take place in Spring 1946 . . .

[nitpick]Olympic was the planned invasion of Kyushu in the fall of 1945. The planned invasion of Honshu, in the spring of 1946, was codenamed Coronet. The entire plan for the invasion of Japan was codenamed Downfall.[/nitpick]

Originally Posted by ddt View Post
and meanwhile million Japanese civilians would perish from the effects of the US blockade of Japan in the meantime.

And probably another 10 million in the areas still under Japanese occupation.
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3) "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." --Inigo Montoya
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Old 14th December 2012, 03:16 PM   #38
Skeptical Greg
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Japan tried to surrender before hiroshima

Split from: Japan tried to surrender before Hiroshima/History/Critical Thought


Atomic bombing of Japan (Split from "To my Republican friends")
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Old 14th December 2012, 03:20 PM   #39
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Quote:
Because being a holocaust denier flies in the face of logic or evidence. Anything he says on another subject becomes rather suspect.

Its as if someone told me the world is going to end on 12/21/12. Starting on 12/22/12 I'm not going to believe anything he has to say, even if it was plausible coming from anyone else.

Well, if you theorize that 9/11 was a government conspiracy, doesn't that by definition make you a conspiracy theorist?
I never said that. I question if it was properly investigated. There could be a lot of different reasons why it wasn't properly investigated. But don't tell me it was. It wasn't. And because of the lack of investigation the conspiracy theories flourished.

Now why are we talking about 9/11 and holocaust denial? Don't you have anything else to add to the topic?
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Old 14th December 2012, 03:27 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
I never said that. I question if it was properly investigated. There could be a lot of different reasons why it wasn't properly investigated. But don't tell me it was. It wasn't. And because of the lack of investigation the conspiracy theories flourished.
Don't tell me what not to say

Yes it was: http://www.9-11commission.gov/
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