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Old 11-10-2019, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Preussen
385 posts, read 105,865 times
Reputation: 278

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post
No.

First, I've already clearly stated my position that body counts are ridiculous means of measuring morality, or lack thereof.

Second, let me make it clear, I am not one of those Americans who thinks it is beyond the pale to discuss the morality of dropping the atomic bombs. These boards are full of people who go into a full-throated "How dare you!" when the issue comes up. I'm not one of them. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while the had some military utility, were primarily terror bombing meant to break the will of the people by killing as many of them as possible. In that respect, they were no different than the bombings of Tokyo or Dresden or Rotterdam or Belgrade, to name just a few examples.

I think war entails a lot of ugly choices, and I think winning war means making moral compromises. I don't think anyone comes out clean, and those that want to portray World War II are purely the white-hatted good guys against the black-hatted bad guys are telling themselves a fairy tale.

That said, I think it is pretty clear that there is a stark difference between, say, raining bombs down on the Yugoslav capital in a war of aggression against perceived 'subhuman' Slavs on one hand, and attempting to deliver a swift knockout blow to an aggressor nation that initiated a war against you and had been regular murdering your POWs in the three-plus years since on the other hand.

Truman did not drop nuclear bombs 'without a blink'. He was very disturbed by their use, as his diary entries and letters indicate. He initially sought and received assurances from generals that they would only be used against military targets, but he ultimately acquiesced to their use against cities. In the end, he decided that he was taking Japanese lives to save American (and British, and Australian, etc.) lives. I do not see how bombing Rotterdam or London or running concentration camps by Hitler, or how the Holodomor or summarily massacring 20,000+ Polish officers and intelligentsia by Stalin, can reasonably be construed as saving German or Soviet lives, respectively. Still, on August 10, 1945, after the second bomb was dropped, Truman ordered a halt to the bombings. The second drop surprised him, as he had turned over discretion of use to the military and did not expect it so soon. He wanted a pause because he found the destruction 'too horrible' and was appalled by the killing of 'all those kids'. Both of those quotes are Truman's words. I am aware of no angst or struggle of conscience on the part of either Mr. Shicklgruber or Mr. Dzhugashvili regarding those they doomed.

Motive and intent matter.

Note:
I don't consider either Hitler or Stalin to have been deranged. They certainly had their personality disorders - megalomania, paranoia, inferiority complexes, messianic rage (Hitler), personal cruelty (Stalin). But I don't think either of them was clinically insane.

I agree with you that both Stalin and Hitler were bad beyond any measure. I just pointed out that Stalin was much crazier and instable of the two, and average person would have much better chances of survival under Hitler than Stalin whether as a soldier or civillian.

I do not think, though that you can excuse what Truman did. Motives do not really matter. If someone kills your wife, you can't just go hunt him and kill him on your own. If you do it you will be as much of an murderer as the guy that had killed your wife and you will be sentenced to jail regardless of previous circumctances. Therefore there is not any excuse for Hiroshima, Nagasaki or even Dresden. By every definition Harry Truman is both mass murderer and war criminal. The fact that japanese soldiers did not treat american povs good or started a war with America does not excuse cold bloded murder on japanese civillians. The will to spare american soldiers lifes also does not excuse an attack on civilians as soldiers are supposed to fight and die if necessery and not civilians. Just my opinion. Anyway, lets not derail this thread from topic. Both Hitler and Stalin were terrible people.
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Old 11-10-2019, 03:12 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,734 posts, read 18,230,919 times
Reputation: 31786
Some say Hitler was more evil because he targeted a specific ethnicity (primarily), but is that more evil than killing anyone who happens to hold an unsanctioned view or opinion along with anyone associated with them?

This is a philosophical question that can be argued ad nauseum since there is no rational answer to this in a vacuum, only by a criteria based on our personal biases. I think for lay people, it is enough to say that one is not more evil than the other, and that both rationales for executing innocents are unacceptable in any decent and rational worldview. It is enough to say that killing anyone that is not in a position to harm another is immoral (or evil, if you prefer), and that whether one person is killed or 12 million are killed for that reason, evil, being an unquantifiable condition, is merely present and one cannot be considered more evil than the other.

To say that Hitler has 6 million "evil points" and that Stalin has 12 million "evil points", but since Jews were specifically targeted by Hitler, they are worth 3 evil points each" is, frankly sickening, and further dehumanizes those who were lost to world by evil men.


As for the matter of Truman vis-a-vis these other world leaders and "kill counts", in retrospect, the use of the atomic bomb against civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was one of the world's great horrors. Does it matter if Truman's motive was to decisively cease hostilities that might well have involved an even greater amount of civilian deaths, or is it still evil by simple virtue of the collateral damage and number of people killed?

Again, the philosophical question is open ended and has no logically conclusive answer without our personal biased criteria applied. The best outcome of Truman's decision to bomb those cities is that it showed the world they should never be used again in accordance with modern mores.
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Old 11-10-2019, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Florida
2,396 posts, read 1,031,232 times
Reputation: 6709
How or why would anyone get in a debate about which of these two monsters was worse? How do you differentiate between the tens of millions of deaths attributed to each of them? What is the definition of “worse” when speaking of such evil? Neither of them deserve the brain cells required to speak their name.
Hopefully they are settling this “debate” among themselves in Hell.
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:10 PM
 
11,137 posts, read 16,377,977 times
Reputation: 12750
You can research this person. He has more titles than any of sources you read on this side of the curtain and, apparently, believed them
Andrei Illich Fursov. heck of intelligent historian.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP6X...YB5t1&index=44

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_xPszReTKs
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:49 PM
 
Location: South to West
639 posts, read 172,854 times
Reputation: 1363
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post
People who try and portray either Hitler or Stalin as 'worse' than the other are usually using them as proxies for right and left, respectively. What's pathetic is that in so doing, they are implicitly identifying as being on the ideological 'side' of one or the other so some degree.

The use of body counts in measuring 'worseness' is, to put it bluntly, idiotic. Body counts are largely a product of circumstance. Hitler and Stalin both happened to have at their commands major industrial powers, large militaries, and tens of millions of subjects. That doesn't mean they were any worse than, say, Saddam Hussein or Augusto Pinochet, who led much smaller nations with less means. And does anyone think Tim McVeigh (body count: 168) was 16.8x worse than Dennis Rader (body count:10)?

It seems obvious that both Hitler and Stalin were murderous individuals who thought nothing of laying waste to millions of lives in furtherance of their ends. People who try and portray one or the other as 'worse' merely beclown themselves in the process.

We can compare the two, however. Stalin was more cruel on a personal level. He could be cruel to loved ones, whereas Hitler was generally just dismissive of someone live Eva Braun. Stalin sometimes cruelly toyed with subordinates. Hitler might rage at his own minions, but it rarely came to more than a dismissal from a post (though he could be brutal when he deemed it prudent - see the Night of Long Knives). Both Hitler and Stalin were horrifically callous to the masses, thinking nothing of enacting policies that doomed millions. One can argue that the utopia Stalin sought (and he genuinely seemed to be a true believer, though he always put himself above the 'workers of the world') was better, at least in theory, than the mass enslavement for the benefit master race that was Hitler's ideal. It's hard to parse out any more rationality to one or the other. Hitler wallowed in rage and fantastic racial superiority pseudoscience of the highest order. Stalin was ragingly paranoid and willing to slaughter masses of devoted communists on the chance that a few might be out to get him.

I fail to see how any of these traits make either Hitler or Stalin morally better than the other.
Excellent response! I know I couldn't have done better.
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:26 PM
 
4,978 posts, read 2,028,443 times
Reputation: 9764
Stalin killed more.
winner.
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:49 PM
509
 
3,298 posts, read 4,251,386 times
Reputation: 4010
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestPreussen View Post
You would rather live in 1930s Germany than 1930s Soviet Union. Believe me. Your chances of survival would be much better.
Both my parents lived in 1930's Soviet Union. They were taken as SLAVES to work in Germany in 1940.

They both viewed living as SLAVES in Germany a significant improvement in their lives.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Preussen
385 posts, read 105,865 times
Reputation: 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by 509 View Post
Both my parents lived in 1930's Soviet Union. They were taken as SLAVES to work in Germany in 1940.

They both viewed living as SLAVES in Germany a significant improvement in their lives.
You mean sarcastic or not? Because it depended on farmer. My Great grandfather was taken as forced labour to Germany and he said that owner of farm was the best guy, he ever met. Never treated my grandparent badly. He even made a wedding for my great grandparents. Of course not everyone had such luck to land on such farm with a good guy like that.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:40 PM
Status: "Trump Resistance - The (establishment) Empire Strikes Back" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: New York Area
17,266 posts, read 6,778,355 times
Reputation: 13329
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestPreussen View Post
I do not think, though that you can excuse what Truman did. Motives do not really matter. If someone kills your wife, you can't just go hunt him and kill him on your own. If you do it you will be as much of an murderer as the guy that had killed your wife and you will be sentenced to jail regardless of previous circumctances. Therefore there is not any excuse for Hiroshima, Nagasaki or even Dresden. By every definition Harry Truman is both mass murderer and war criminal. The fact that japanese soldiers did not treat american povs good or started a war with America does not excuse cold bloded murder on japanese civillians. The will to spare american soldiers lifes also does not excuse an attack on civilians as soldiers are supposed to fight and die if necessery and not civilians. Just my opinion. Anyway, lets not derail this thread from topic. Both Hitler and Stalin were terrible people.
So you mean the U.S. would have only the choice of surrendering or making an impractically bloody conventional attack?
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Preussen
385 posts, read 105,865 times
Reputation: 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
So you mean the U.S. would have only the choice of surrendering or making an impractically bloody conventional attack?
What do you mean impractical conventional attack? War in Afghanistan turned out to be impractical. Should United States simply nuke those people instead of sending soldiers to Afghanistan because it would have cost less both soldier and civilian lives then? With such way of thinking, lets just not fight because it costs to many lives, lets just nuke each other. It is more practical. No, not at all.

There should not be such thing as resigning from conventional attack at the expense of civilians. Soldiers are supposed to fight and die if neccesary, not civillians. You did fight for Okinawa. You won. If you think that you had big loses, then look at Soviet Union loses with Germany and then come back to me. With all due respect but pacific war horror comes not even close to what was happening on the eastern front in Europe. And Japan was not Germany. Not even close in its military capability to Germany.

Anyway, There is no black and white in war. Just saying that by dropping bombs targeting specifically civilians you are mass murderer and war criminal. Therefore Hary Truman is both mass murderer and war criminal.There is just no other way around it. Whatever his reasoning was, it does not change geneva convention or simple definitions of what war crime is.
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