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Just now, Let's Get Kraken said:

You're exaggerating, and that quote was ridiculous. The Americans killed far more Japanese firebombing their other cities than they did in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. And racist? Really? I'd love to see that little prick Vonnegut have the balls to say that on the other side of the Pacific.

Excuse me?

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Just now, larrytheimp said:

Excuse me?

Describing Imperial Japan as the victim of racial violence in Asia is kind of like describing the Nazis as the real victims of the European front, since the Red Army was so brutal during its push to Berlin.

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3 minutes ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Describing Imperial Japan as the victim of racial violence in Asia is kind of like describing the Nazis as the real victims of the European front, since the Red Army was so brutal during its push to Berlin.

The quote is clearly referring to racist acts by the US.  Where does the hostility towards Vonnegut come from here?  This from a guy who pretty much spent his entire career calling out imperialism and racism.  

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1 minute ago, larrytheimp said:

The quote is clearly referring to racist acts by the US.  Where does the hostility towards Vonnegut come from here?  This from a guy who pretty much spent his entire career calling out imperialism and racism.  

Because the bombings were not racist, they brought the curtain down on one of the most racist, bloodthirsty, fascistic regimes to ever get its hands on modern weaponry.

I will never understand the way that so many otherwise progressive Americans want to give Imperial Japan a pass on what was absolutely a horrifying moral and cultural failure. No different than the Nazis, than American slavery, than strong-arm theocratic groups in the Middle East. There's honestly some serious romanticizing/fetishizing going on that kind of reminds me of the way some people treat the Old Confederacy in the States.

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3 minutes ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Because the bombings were not racist, they brought the curtain down on one of the most racist, bloodthirsty, fascistic regimes to ever get its hands on modern weaponry.

I will never understand the way that so many otherwise progressive Americans want to give Imperial Japan a pass on what was absolutely a horrifying moral and cultural failure. No different than the Nazis, than American slavery, than strong-arm theocratic groups in the Middle East. There's honestly some serious romanticizing/fetishizing going on that kind of reminds me of the way some people treat the Old Confederacy in the States.

Uh... No.  It's actually pretty easy to condemn Imperial Japan and also think the Truman dropping the bomb on Nagasaki was a racist and unnecessary act.  

ETA:. I'm thinking you maybe didn't read the initial quote, as evidenced by your first sentence above.  He's talking specifically about Nagasaki.  No one is giving anyone a pass here. 

Edited by larrytheimp

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Just now, larrytheimp said:

Uh... No.  It's actually pretty easy to condemn Imperial Japan and also think the Truman dropping the bomb on Nagasaki was a racist and unnecessary act.  

Not what I said. I believe I was actually the first person in this thread to suggest that the dropping of the second bomb was gratuitous. My issue is with calling it racist, when it was clearly something used to combat racism and literally bring an end to one of the last and worst colonizing horror-shows in the world. Call FDR's internment order racist if you want, because it actually was. But Truman dropping the second bomb was a strategic act, whether you believe it was the right/just one or not.

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5 minutes ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Not what I said. I believe I was actually the first person in this thread to suggest that the dropping of the second bomb was gratuitous. My issue is with calling it racist, when it was clearly something used to combat racism and literally bring an end to one of the last and worst colonizing horror-shows in the world. Call FDR's internment order racist if you want, because it actually was. But Truman dropping the second bomb was a strategic act, whether you believe it was the right/just one or not.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/07/vonnegut-on-nagasaki/

A lot of people involved disagree. Your argument would be an easier one to make if it had been dropped on a more strategic target.

ETA:just because the US was fighting a racist enemy doesn't preclude the bombing of Nagasaki from also being racist   

Edited by larrytheimp

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12 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/07/vonnegut-on-nagasaki/

A lot of people involved disagree. Your argument would be an easier one to make if it had been dropped on a more strategic target.  

Maybe read up-thread a little bit. I also said previously that there was a decent argument that dropping the second bomb was about keeping the U.S.S.R. at a strategic disadvantage. That's why I added the addendum at the end of my previous post pointing out that while it was a strategic act, it might not have been a just or moral one.

And again, attack the ethics of it all you want, but don't call it racist. At best you could say it was an over-kill blow against racism.

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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10 minutes ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Maybe read up-thread a little bit. I also said previously that there was a decent argument that dropping the second bomb was about keeping the U.S.S.R. at a strategic disadvantage. That's why I added the addendum at the end of my previous post pointing out that while it was a strategic act, it might not have been a just or moral one.

And again, attack the ethics of it all you want, but don't call it racist. At best you could say it was an over-kill blow against racism.

It was racist.

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53 minutes ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Describing Imperial Japan as the victim of racial violence in Asia is kind of like describing the Nazis as the real victims of the European front, since the Red Army was so brutal during its push to Berlin.

Imperial japan was certainly a brutally racist regime to such an incredible degree it still is not well acknowledged.

the American firebombing campaigns and nuclear bombs used on japan civilians were motivated by a racial animus and prolonged the war

churchill and lindemans campaign of targeting of civilian instead of exclusively military targets was built of pure hate and prolonged the war.

Nazi germany needs no introduction as their crimes have few parallels

stalinist Russia also had its share of shittiness 

basically everyone was stupid and hateful and vile all at the same time. Because that’s human nature.

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20 minutes ago, lokisnow said:

Imperial japan was certainly a brutally racist regime to such an incredible degree it still is not well acknowledged.

the American firebombing campaigns and nuclear bombs used on japan civilians were motivated by a racial animus and prolonged the war

churchill and lindemans campaign of targeting of civilian instead of exclusively military targets was built of pure hate and prolonged the war.

Nazi germany needs no introduction as their crimes have few parallels

stalinist Russia also had its share of shittiness 

basically everyone was stupid and hateful and vile all at the same time. Because that’s human nature.

See, presenting all of those alongside each other like that makes me uncomfortable. Idk, maybe it just reminds me too much of there being "good people on many sides."

I think, as you say, all human beings have racist/nationalist tendencies. If the American/British actions were really motivated to any significant degree by the kind of racial animus that belongs in the same list as Hitler and Imperial Japan, is that really reflected in the post-war relations between the two countries?

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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50 minutes ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

See, presenting all of those alongside each other like that makes me uncomfortable. Idk, maybe it just reminds me too much of there being "good people on many sides."

I think, as you say, all human beings have racist/nationalist tendencies. If the American/British actions were really motivated to any significant degree by the kind of racial animus that belongs in the same list as Hitler and Imperial Japan, is that really reflected in the post-war relations between the two countries?

That’s what makes you uncomfortable? When you’re making racism into a zero-sum scenario? If Nazi Germany had fought Imperial Japan, which one would have thereby stopped being racist? This is a pretty flimsy construct.

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4 hours ago, James Arryn said:

That’s what makes you uncomfortable? When you’re making racism into a zero-sum scenario? If Nazi Germany had fought Imperial Japan, which one would have thereby stopped being racist? This is a pretty flimsy construct.

He's right, it does remind me of Trump and the idea of "good and bad on both sides". The USA, UK and USSR were all highly racist societies in their own way. But racism wasn't why they were fighting. The USA and USSR were both attacked, while the UK was defending her allies. Those sort of blanket statements aren't helpful. Yes, we terrorised German civilians with our bombing raids. But we had been forced to withdraw our troops from the continent. That was effectively the only way we could stand up to the Nazis at the time. It's so easy to sit her behind a keyboard and say these attacks were out of order, but war is not a film where you always get to be all noble. Churchill did prolong the war, because there were other senior British voices who wanted to make peace with the Nazis. 

World War Two is unusual in that the overall morality is quite clear cut. The Nazis and Japanese caused the two sides of the war by pursuing a racist expansionist "lebensraum" policy.

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10 hours ago, James Arryn said:

That’s what makes you uncomfortable? When you’re making racism into a zero-sum scenario? If Nazi Germany had fought Imperial Japan, which one would have thereby stopped being racist? This is a pretty flimsy construct.

I've said multiple times now that every human being and society has racist/nationalist tendencies. My issue is with characterizing the act itself of dropping that bomb as uniquely racist, which I'm honestly kind of astounded that I've had to defend for this long.

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16 minutes ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

I've said multiple times now that every human being and society has racist/nationalist tendencies. My issue is with characterizing the act itself of dropping that bomb as uniquely racist, which I'm honestly kind of astounded that I've had to defend for this long.

Truman wrote in his diary right before they were dropped "Fini Japs".  We're still discussing it because you keep shifting goal posts, bringing up other racist behavior by other countries, and attacking the people making the argument that it was a racist act for not condemning Imperial Japan's atrocities in the same breath.  That's why you've had to defend it so long.  And because you started this entire thing with shit like calling Vonnegut a little prick, and assuming that by calling Nagaski a racist act everyone is somehow handling Japan with kid gloves.

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15 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

Truman wrote in his diary right before they were dropped "Fini Japs".  We're still discussing it because you keep shifting goal posts, bringing up other racist behavior by other countries, and attacking the people making the argument that it was a racist act for not condemning Imperial Japan's atrocities in the same breath.  That's why you've had to defend it so long.  And because you started this entire thing with shit like calling Vonnegut a little prick, and assuming that by calling Nagaski a racist act everyone is somehow handling Japan with kid gloves.

Well, we did handle Japan with kid gloves. We rebuilt their economy, allowed them to build up their military again well before Germany, and gave most of their war criminals a pass while we went ahead hanging Nazis at the Nuremberg trials.

How does "fini Japs" imply that the bombings were racially motivated? Because he used the word Japs? That's not racism, it's war.

And I'm sorry, but Vonnegut was stupid to say that, and I will call it out. Even if he was right (which he wasn't), and the second bombing was racist, is it really even close to a second after slavery? More racist than the Mexican-American war? Than Indian removal? Than the laws that governed early Chinese immigrants? Than Jim Crow? Than Black Codes? Than the KKK? Than Social Darwinism?

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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I suppose the point of the second bomb would be the show that this was a real capability that the US had and could repeatedly use, and not just a fluke or one-off.

Speaking of Nagasaki, it's worth considering that it ended up on the target list because the US government took Kyoto off the list, precisely because Kyoto was of such spiritual and cultural significance to Japan.

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That just means they wanted to target a primarily civilian city but backed out of Kyoto for optics. Nagasaki was a war crime and a enormous one. They could just as easily waited a month and bombed mount fujii with 3 bombs or something, hard to misread that message (in fact a symbolic gesture like that should have been done before Hiroshima, but i guess that when you're firebombing everyday symbolic gestures with million dollars worth weapons are considered crazy).

 

Edited by Serious Callers Only

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Okay, I was a little stoned the other night and I might have began as more hostile than I should have. It was wrong of me to call Vonnegut a prick and question his moral courage.

Look, the Japanese government has, for a very long time, cast itself and its nation as the ultimate victims of the Pacific front of the Second World War. They try to repaint history in a way that would make all of our heads explode if Germany or America did it. This is something that Americans have helped with directly by protecting some of their most heinous war criminals, and indirectly by collectively fetishizing Japanese culture without taking the time to actually learn and teach the history. I've heard friends romanticize the courage of Kamikaze pilots, calling them 20th century samurai, with a complete lack of irony at how horrifying a concept that actually is. I've seen ardent secularists hold Zen Buddhism as the gold standard of peace that other religions should strive for, seemingly unaware that it was used to train an army that massacred more people than most of the Crusades, Jihads, and Pogroms in the history of the Abrahamic faiths combined. This is a history that is already being paved over.

We don't let them (and you know who they are) get away with calling it racism when a black man shoots a white police officer, because its part of a false narrative that is being used to cast white cops as the real victims of fatal racial violence in America, and we know how harmful an idea this can be.

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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Yeah, well, just like Caligula was smeared as a criminal for (allegedly) burning Rome down, i can criticize a government as racist when they (truthfully) decide to drop two annihilation bombs on two major cities instead of doing the honorable thing from a position they held all the cards and strength and enemy defeat was inevitable.

The US just decided to keep doing their fire-bombings and why not add another city to the toll. Did it make Japan surrender faster? Maybe, but not doing it wouldn't exactly make the USA invade faster and lose 'american lives', which is the inane argument used by apologists and a demonstration that wasn't built on mass murder wasn't even considered.

Just how many assets did imperial japan have on those islands that a certain revisionist segment of the USA public harps on and was it 'really' incredibly urgent to make Japan surrender right now before they do some crazy guerrilla attack with 20 guys with no fuel or other supplies from dumbfuck desert island to fortified position 36?

On the other hand i can readily accept that those people were better than the shitstains today. Today, Japan would not get the reconstruction. Those days we didn't have the fascist memeplex running on fox news selling state aid and reconstruction as handouts instead of the immensely valuable soft power investments they were.

Edited by Serious Callers Only

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