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The Ethics of Nuking the USSR
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How about this. Russia should have been nuked in Operation Unthinkable, because this would have prevented them from attacking the 2016 American election, which was another Pearl Harbor and Annuda Shoah.

I realize this is sarcasm, but let’s entertain this seriously anyway.

general-ripperGeneral Ripper (LeMay, McArthur), Dr. Strangelove (Edward Teller, John von Neumann), etc. – they all sort of had a defensive point in terms of utilitarian ethics.

Here is the choice they’d have faced in the late 1940′s-mid 1950′s, when America’s nuclear stockpile soared into hundreds and then thousands of warheads, while the USSR was still racing just to attain a credible deterrent.

Nuclear war now

Perhaps 20 million guaranteed Soviet deaths in the atomic democide, versus maybe 2 million Western deaths (almost all military).

USSR is destroyed, risk of future nuclear war fades out as the US become a global singleton.

Nuclear war later

Possibility of tens of millions of both Soviet and Western deaths – say 50 million each – in a nuclear exchange during the later Cold War.

Assume these Strangelove people viewed the percentage likelihood as 50% (e.g. von Neumann viewed it as almost inevitable).

Then you have 50%*50 million –> 25 million Soviet deaths and 25 million Western deaths. Slightly discounted for them being future deaths, that’s almost exactly comparable to the “nuclear war now” scenario with respect to Soviet deaths, and much less favorable with respect to Western deaths.

Overall, you have 22 million deaths in the first scenario, and 50 million deaths in the second scenario. “Tragic but distinguishable postwar states.”

Moreover, it is perfectly human and understandable to (a) attach more value to your people’s continued existence, and (b) most Westerners at the time viewed Russians as being sort of subhuman anyway (just to give you an idea of how utterly foreign that world was to modern sensibilities… pacifist philosopher Bertrand Russell opposed Russia – because he believed it promoted race mixing).

Consequently, it would have been understandable for them to attach much more weight to the impact on the West. From their point of view, 2 million Western deaths (mostly military) now – and who cares about the Soviets? – is clearly and unambiguously preferable to 25 million Western deaths (mostly civilian) in the medium-term future.

Even if the probability of future nuclear war that they used was 10% rather than 50% (informed with retrospect, this is the most typically cited probability of the Cold War going nuclear), 10%*50 million = 5 million Western deaths (mostly civilian) in the medium-term future is still worse than 2 million Western deaths (mostly military) now.

Of course, modern Effective Altruism is supposed to leave parochial concerns such as national identity behind, so the value of Soviet lives would be equated to Western lives in modern ethical analyses. Moreover, it also has the benefit of hindsight, so the probability of nuclear war can be set at 10%. In this case, 20 million Soviet plus 2 million Western = 22 million total deaths in the late 1940s-mid 1950s would be an inferior outcome to 5 million Soviet plus 5 million Western = 10 million total deaths at some point in time during the rest of the Cold War.

So from an observer neutral point of view, and with the benefit of hindsight, it’s probably quite good that the US didn’t nuke the USSR in the late 1940s-early 1950s.

Or is it? An especially mischievous thinker – a heterodox effective altruist, let’s say – would also raise other questions to achieve a fuller analysis.

(1) How many lives were prematurely ended by the continued existence of a powerful Communist state in the form of the USSR above what things would have otherwise been throughout the world?

(2) To what extent are Western (or Soviet) lives more valuable in terms of the lives saved by the innovations produced by those parts of their population that were at risk of getting destroyed by nuclear democide?

This would greatly complicate the analysis. Probably beyond the point of the results having much validity. After all, even the estimates of potential nuclear deaths and probability of the Cold War turning nuclear are highly uncertain.

 
• Category: Humor • Tags: Cold War, Effective Altruism, Ethics, Nuclear War 
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  1. Mr. XYZ says:

    Wouldn’t the best course of action have been to install a hostile between the White House and the Kremlin immediately after the USSR got the bomb in order to reduce the risk of nuclear war as much as possible?

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  2. There were good reasons not to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on the USSR in the late 1940s. I don’t believe I need to list them.

    But this makes my stomach turn:

    Of course, modern Effective Altruism is supposed to leave such parochial concerns behind, so the value of Soviet lives would be equated to Western lives in modern ethical analyses.

    It seems like we should round up the Effective Altruism people and conduct a preemptive nuclear strike on them.

    Absolutely disgusting, treasonous mentality.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    There were good reasons not to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on the USSR in the late 1940s. I don’t believe I need to list them.
     
    I would like to hear the other side. I am not sure what to think of Karlin's comments. On one hand I can sort of understand his logic. On the other hand I get the feeling that it is a very... unusual way of thought.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Effective Altruism, like nuclear power, can be used for both good and ill (though definitions might differ).

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/immigration-and-effective-altruism/
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  3. Heros says:

    [MORE]

    It was jews who forced Roosevelt to go all in on the Manhattan project. It was jews who smuggled enriched uranium, nuclear tools, patents and blue prints to the JewSSR using Lend Lease throughout WW2. It was jews who got Truman to drop the bomb directly over the Catholic Church in the Catholic headquarters at Nagasaki in Japan. It was jews who kept smuggling nuclear secrets to the JewSSR after the war. It was jews who tried to sink the Liberty in order to drag the US into their aggressive war of conquest against all her neighbors in 1967.

    Can we please have a little truth here? These are not “Nuclear Bombs”, they are “Goyim Bombs”.

    Read More
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  4. This is too depressing to even start replying to it seriously. You’ve spent too much time among soulless people.
    “Effective altruism” lol. The American cries in pain as he nukes you.

    Here’s how people who have a soul think, as opposed to how AIs, anglos and jews think.

    Even if the possibility of war is not 10% or 50% but 99.9%, the bad guys are the ones who strike first, and the good guys will give peace a chance until the last possible moment.

    By the way this doesn’t make the Japanese the bad guys, because there is also proportionality. They struck a military base, killing 2400 American soldiers and in response the Americans killed many hundreds of thousands of civilians. If someone slaps you and you break both their arms and legs in response, you are not a good guy.

    most Westerners at the time viewed Russians as being sort of subhuman anyway

    That’s irrelevant. I view Yemenis as sort of subhumans but their ongoing suffering very much breaks my heart.
    Anyone who claims to be human should have a thinking process similar to humans and not to a preying mantis.

    Anyway just as evil can appear anywhere, so can goodness.
    So thank God for the BASED COMMUNIST JEWS who stole the American nuclear secrets. They really did an enormous service to the world.

    Read More
    • Agree: German_reader
    • Replies: @Duke of Qin

    By the way this doesn’t make the Japanese the bad guys, because there is also proportionality. They struck a military base, killing 2400 American soldiers and in response the Americans killed many hundreds of thousands of civilians. If someone slaps you and you break both their arms and legs in response, you are not a good guy.
     
    There is that American solipsism at work again. Japan was already at war before 1941. It had been so for arguably a decade. Manchuria by 1931, North China by 1934, rest of China by 1937, French IndoChina by 1941. A combination of American historical ignorance and Japanese dishonesty seems to lead many people that pearl Harbour and the war were accidents and somehow stumbled into rather than the results of long term strategic opportunistic gambling that rolled poorly. A proportional response would have seen all Japanese POWs murdered out of expediency, experimented on, routine massacres and rapes as a matter of army policy, and biological and chemical weapon attacks against civilian populations.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    1. If the risk of nuclear war is (objectively) 99.9%, then that pretty much implies that the other side has very firm intentions of conducting a nuclear first strike on you - in which case nuking them is justified under almost any non-pacifistic ethical system.

    2. From a retributionist ethics, nuking Japan was more than justified. Probably more than under any other ethical system, for that matter.

    I mean, they did quite a bit more than just Pearl Harbor. Directed mostly against their occupied territories, not Americans, to be sure, but that was only on account of them being unable to hurt American civilians that much (apart from POWs; around 30%-40% of American POWs in Japanese custody died, versus minimal numbers of Japanese POWs in American camps).

    Had it been Japan with nuclear bombs and the means to deliver them, do you honestly think they would refrained from using them on American civilians?
    , @Anonymous
    +1 for this comment. Many good points were made.

    I think a big factor with Anatoly and others who think like him is the massive amount of video games they play making them practically autistic and unable to connect with people as human beings.

    This kind of nihilism is endemic in the west. While people like Anatoly think they are being edgy, it is mainly cringey to see them try and get reactions out of people.

    The worst part is seeing him try and justify Nuking Japan because of the harm they inflicted on their neighbors. As if they even care about those people lol. By that same justification, the world is justified in nuking America because of all the wars we caused. Think of how many lives we would have saved in this alternate future.
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  5. DFH says:

    Of course, modern Effective Altruism is supposed to leave parochial concerns such as national identity behind

    Shocking that Jews came up with this

    Read More
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  6. @Spisarevski
    This is too depressing to even start replying to it seriously. You've spent too much time among soulless people.
    "Effective altruism" lol. The American cries in pain as he nukes you.

    Here's how people who have a soul think, as opposed to how AIs, anglos and jews think.

    Even if the possibility of war is not 10% or 50% but 99.9%, the bad guys are the ones who strike first, and the good guys will give peace a chance until the last possible moment.

    By the way this doesn't make the Japanese the bad guys, because there is also proportionality. They struck a military base, killing 2400 American soldiers and in response the Americans killed many hundreds of thousands of civilians. If someone slaps you and you break both their arms and legs in response, you are not a good guy.


    most Westerners at the time viewed Russians as being sort of subhuman anyway
     
    That's irrelevant. I view Yemenis as sort of subhumans but their ongoing suffering very much breaks my heart.
    Anyone who claims to be human should have a thinking process similar to humans and not to a preying mantis.

    Anyway just as evil can appear anywhere, so can goodness.
    So thank God for the BASED COMMUNIST JEWS who stole the American nuclear secrets. They really did an enormous service to the world.

    By the way this doesn’t make the Japanese the bad guys, because there is also proportionality. They struck a military base, killing 2400 American soldiers and in response the Americans killed many hundreds of thousands of civilians. If someone slaps you and you break both their arms and legs in response, you are not a good guy.

    There is that American solipsism at work again. Japan was already at war before 1941. It had been so for arguably a decade. Manchuria by 1931, North China by 1934, rest of China by 1937, French IndoChina by 1941. A combination of American historical ignorance and Japanese dishonesty seems to lead many people that pearl Harbour and the war were accidents and somehow stumbled into rather than the results of long term strategic opportunistic gambling that rolled poorly. A proportional response would have seen all Japanese POWs murdered out of expediency, experimented on, routine massacres and rapes as a matter of army policy, and biological and chemical weapon attacks against civilian populations.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Spisarevski

    There is that American solipsism at work again...A combination of American historical ignorance and Japanese dishonesty
     
    Not sure why you decided that I'm an American, but I am most certainly not, and there's nothing American about my education or view on history either.

    What Japan did in China is a separate matter and also irrelevant to the discussion which is a continuation of the previous AK post about how the Americans were justified in nuking the Japs - unless you think that America fought Japan to help the Chinese or something.

    Even if the alleged Japanese war crimes were largely real, the Americans inflicted vastly more destruction and death on Japanese innocents than vice versa.
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  7. @Duke of Qin

    By the way this doesn’t make the Japanese the bad guys, because there is also proportionality. They struck a military base, killing 2400 American soldiers and in response the Americans killed many hundreds of thousands of civilians. If someone slaps you and you break both their arms and legs in response, you are not a good guy.
     
    There is that American solipsism at work again. Japan was already at war before 1941. It had been so for arguably a decade. Manchuria by 1931, North China by 1934, rest of China by 1937, French IndoChina by 1941. A combination of American historical ignorance and Japanese dishonesty seems to lead many people that pearl Harbour and the war were accidents and somehow stumbled into rather than the results of long term strategic opportunistic gambling that rolled poorly. A proportional response would have seen all Japanese POWs murdered out of expediency, experimented on, routine massacres and rapes as a matter of army policy, and biological and chemical weapon attacks against civilian populations.

    There is that American solipsism at work again…A combination of American historical ignorance and Japanese dishonesty

    Not sure why you decided that I’m an American, but I am most certainly not, and there’s nothing American about my education or view on history either.

    What Japan did in China is a separate matter and also irrelevant to the discussion which is a continuation of the previous AK post about how the Americans were justified in nuking the Japs – unless you think that America fought Japan to help the Chinese or something.

    Even if the alleged Japanese war crimes were largely real, the Americans inflicted vastly more destruction and death on Japanese innocents than vice versa.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    This is true, and a few pertinent facts are worth noting.
    1. Southeast Asian Nations such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Burma, India, and eventually Vietnam gained their independence from the U. S., Netherlands, Britain, and France DIRECTLY due to Japanese 'Imperialism', which was of a quite different variety than Western Imperialism.
    2. This can be seen in the way that most of the 'George Washingtons' (i.e., national heroes and freedom fighters) of these nations explicitly supported the Japanese:
    - Emilio Aguinaldo, Artemio Ricarte, Jose Laurel, Benigno Aquino Sr. (grandfather of the president until 2 years ago) in the Philippines
    It should be noted that the U. S. betrayed the Filipinos, including a much younger Aguinaldo, when they annexed the islands rather than giving them independence as they had promised after aiding them in their war against Spain, which itself was popularised by Rudyard Kipling's 'White Man's Burden'... the ONLY major Filipino figure to support the U. S. was Manuel Quezon, who had to go into exile! Pro-Japanese groups such as GANAP and Kalibapi were quite popular.
    - Sukarno in Indonesia (their first leader)
    - Subhas Chandra Bose in India, who was very pro-Axis (more Indians regard him as the founder of their nation than do Gandhi)
    - Even J.R. Jayawardene in Ceylon attempted to form an alliance with the Japanese
    3. The Japanese stated goal was to create a 'Co-Prosperity Sphere' that would embody a 'Pan-Asian' ideal and was aimed at countering Western Imperialism (similar to the European Union today). Today Japan as a nation and Japanese culture is looked upon very positively in most of Southeast Asia and the Philippines. Of course, Japan's traditional rivals and enemies, Korea and China, are a different story, but that's obvious.
    4. Churchill states that Roosevelt admitted in private conversations that his plan towards the Japanese was to 'wage war without declaring it' in order to find a 'back door' into war with Germany in Europe.
    5. The Atom Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki resulted in almost entirely civilian, and not military, casualties. If any other nation did this, they would be universally condemned (well, except for Israel, most likely).
    Hiroshima and Nagasaki just happened to be the two cities with the highest population of Christians in Japan. In fact, the largest church in East Asia at the time was the Urakami Cathedral, which was used as a landmark to aim at by the pilot of the Bockscar. Dozens of worshippers at their morning prayers died instantly on August 9th. The bombing of Nagasaki was especially heinous because it is a cultural city (like Dresden) which will remind you a lot of San Francisco if you go, with its trolleys and sloping hills. There is no way that Nagasaki was a legitimate military target.
    6. Of course it can't be ignored that unsurprisingly, given the targetting of Christians, Jews were mostly behind the atom bombs. Wigner, Teller, Von Neumann, Segre, Rotblat, Weisskopf, etc. were all Jewish, and most infamously the Jewish head of the Manhattan Project, Julius Robert Oppenheimer, who said "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds."
    7. If you go to the museums in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, you will realise some things that you may not have been taught before. First, the U. S. Militarily occupied Japan for 6 years after WWII, longer than they were actually at war! A vast amount of current Japanese political figures were 'purged', meaning they were banned from holding any positions in the future.
    Furthermore, the Japanese newspapers were actually CENSORED from even describing the effects of radiation poisoning. I've been there and seen the blacked-out parts of the papers with my own eyes!
    NOTE: I am in no way 'denying' Japanese 'atrocities', but it needs to be said that Asian nations viewed war and prisoners of war in a very different cultural context, and the fact that 'winners write history' is very relevant in this context as well.
    A good book to read for those interested in an alternative perspective also from a Western Author is Joshua Blakeney's "Japan Bites Back"
    https://www.amazon.com/Japan-Bites-Back-Documents-Contextualizing-ebook/dp/B00T3OR520
    As an anecdote, the rescue of the crew of the HMS Exeter (along with the HMS Encounter and USS Pope), stranded in the water after their ship was sunk in the second Battle of the Java Sea, by the Japanese Captain of the destroyer Ikazuchi, Shunsaku Kudō, is quite telling.
    Kudō never publicly revealed this event through his entire life, and the reasoning he gave was that this was simply "standard procedure" and not worth talking about.
    However, it was a brave action to take, as there were known to be enemy submarines in the area, and Japanese ships had been sunk there recently. Read a BBC Article here:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/somerset/content/articles/2008/12/17/japanese_war_ambassador_feature.shtml
    IN CONCLUSION, I will quote Radhabinod Pal, the Indian representative at the Tokyo Tribunal, who had the following to say (quoting Jefferson Davis):
    "When time shall have softened passion and prejudice, when Reason shall have stripped the mask from misrepresentation, then Justice, holding evenly her scales, will require much of past censure and praise to change places."
    More info here:
    https://en.rightpedia.info/w/Radhabinod_Pal
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  8. @Thorfinnsson
    There were good reasons not to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on the USSR in the late 1940s. I don't believe I need to list them.

    But this makes my stomach turn:


    Of course, modern Effective Altruism is supposed to leave such parochial concerns behind, so the value of Soviet lives would be equated to Western lives in modern ethical analyses.
     
    It seems like we should round up the Effective Altruism people and conduct a preemptive nuclear strike on them.

    Absolutely disgusting, treasonous mentality.

    There were good reasons not to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on the USSR in the late 1940s. I don’t believe I need to list them.

    I would like to hear the other side. I am not sure what to think of Karlin’s comments. On one hand I can sort of understand his logic. On the other hand I get the feeling that it is a very… unusual way of thought.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    It seems like a very intense form of analytic philosophy. It can be useful for certain things - but for better or worse the lack of emotion also gives the impression of not being a very 'human' viewpoint.
    , @reiner Tor
    I was quick to press the agree button, it was mostly for the first sentence, wanting to hear the other side (i.e. Thorfinsson's arguments against the nuclear strike).

    I think this type of thinking about ethics is normal for philosophers or ethicists etc.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    Immediate Soviet response would be an invasion of Western Europe. Soviet forces would reach the Channel in a week or so.

    Meanwhile the Soviet Union itself would retain some fraction of its prewar population and industry and ruthlessly exploit Western Europe to sustain its armed forces. Potentially Red Chinese troops would appear in Europe as well.

    Now what? Start nuking Western Europe once the next batch of bombs is ready? Attempt a second Operation Overlord, this time with no Eastern Front?
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  9. @Hyperborean

    There were good reasons not to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on the USSR in the late 1940s. I don’t believe I need to list them.
     
    I would like to hear the other side. I am not sure what to think of Karlin's comments. On one hand I can sort of understand his logic. On the other hand I get the feeling that it is a very... unusual way of thought.

    It seems like a very intense form of analytic philosophy. It can be useful for certain things – but for better or worse the lack of emotion also gives the impression of not being a very ‘human’ viewpoint.

    Read More
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  10. @Spisarevski
    This is too depressing to even start replying to it seriously. You've spent too much time among soulless people.
    "Effective altruism" lol. The American cries in pain as he nukes you.

    Here's how people who have a soul think, as opposed to how AIs, anglos and jews think.

    Even if the possibility of war is not 10% or 50% but 99.9%, the bad guys are the ones who strike first, and the good guys will give peace a chance until the last possible moment.

    By the way this doesn't make the Japanese the bad guys, because there is also proportionality. They struck a military base, killing 2400 American soldiers and in response the Americans killed many hundreds of thousands of civilians. If someone slaps you and you break both their arms and legs in response, you are not a good guy.


    most Westerners at the time viewed Russians as being sort of subhuman anyway
     
    That's irrelevant. I view Yemenis as sort of subhumans but their ongoing suffering very much breaks my heart.
    Anyone who claims to be human should have a thinking process similar to humans and not to a preying mantis.

    Anyway just as evil can appear anywhere, so can goodness.
    So thank God for the BASED COMMUNIST JEWS who stole the American nuclear secrets. They really did an enormous service to the world.

    1. If the risk of nuclear war is (objectively) 99.9%, then that pretty much implies that the other side has very firm intentions of conducting a nuclear first strike on you – in which case nuking them is justified under almost any non-pacifistic ethical system.

    2. From a retributionist ethics, nuking Japan was more than justified. Probably more than under any other ethical system, for that matter.

    I mean, they did quite a bit more than just Pearl Harbor. Directed mostly against their occupied territories, not Americans, to be sure, but that was only on account of them being unable to hurt American civilians that much (apart from POWs; around 30%-40% of American POWs in Japanese custody died, versus minimal numbers of Japanese POWs in American camps).

    Had it been Japan with nuclear bombs and the means to deliver them, do you honestly think they would refrained from using them on American civilians?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Spisarevski
    You are using hypothetical events to justify real acts of evil.
    Ultimately, probable events are not real until they actually happen, and also you can never be sure that you have calculated the probability correctly, or even with a decent approximation at least.

    By your logic Russia should nuke the US right now - after all, there are very real indications that the US is preparing for a war against Russia (NATO expansion, etc) and that it is also preparing a first strike (the ABM systems deployed under false pretenses) and the Americans have never had a "No First Use" policy.Pre-emptive strikes have always been legitimate in American thinking, including pre-emptive nuclear strikes.
    Just like Israel with their "pre-emptive strikes" and just like Hitler with his "pre-emptive strike" in June '41. It has always been the shittiest excuse.

    , @for-the-record
    versus minimal numbers [who died] of Japanese POWs in American camps

    The reason for that is there were minimal amounts of Japanese POWs in American camps. And why was this?

    American soldiers in the Pacific often deliberately killed Japanese soldiers who had surrendered. According to Richard Aldrich, who has published a study of the diaries kept by United States and Australian soldiers, they sometimes massacred prisoners of war.[88] Dower states that in "many instances ... Japanese who did become prisoners were killed on the spot or en route to prison compounds".[72] According to Aldrich it was common practice for U.S. troops not to take prisoners.[89] This analysis is supported by British historian Niall Ferguson,[90] who also says that, in 1943, "a secret [U.S.] intelligence report noted that only the promise of ice cream and three days leave would ... induce American troops not to kill surrendering Japanese".[90]

    Ferguson states such practices played a role in the ratio of Japanese prisoners to dead being 1:100 in late 1944. That same year, efforts were taken by Allied high commanders to suppress "take no prisoners" attitudes,[90] among their own personnel (as these were affecting intelligence gathering) and to encourage Japanese soldiers to surrender. Ferguson adds that measures by Allied commanders to improve the ratio of Japanese prisoners to Japanese dead, resulted in it reaching 1:7, by mid-1945. Nevertheless, taking no prisoners was still standard practice among US troops at the Battle of Okinawa, in April–June 1945.[90]
     
    , @Guillaume Tell
    By the way, how can we explain the general agreeableness of today's Japanese, compared to those monstrosities of which their recent ancestors (a couple of generations) seem to have indulged in? I am especially familiar with the Japanese atrocities committed in French Indochine, and it was not pretty.

    Has the extreme cruelty of those recent ancestors been effectively nuked out of them?

    I think a similar experiment on Africa would be interesting.
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  11. @Thorfinnsson
    There were good reasons not to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on the USSR in the late 1940s. I don't believe I need to list them.

    But this makes my stomach turn:


    Of course, modern Effective Altruism is supposed to leave such parochial concerns behind, so the value of Soviet lives would be equated to Western lives in modern ethical analyses.
     
    It seems like we should round up the Effective Altruism people and conduct a preemptive nuclear strike on them.

    Absolutely disgusting, treasonous mentality.

    Effective Altruism, like nuclear power, can be used for both good and ill (though definitions might differ).

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/immigration-and-effective-altruism/

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
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  12. @Hyperborean

    There were good reasons not to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on the USSR in the late 1940s. I don’t believe I need to list them.
     
    I would like to hear the other side. I am not sure what to think of Karlin's comments. On one hand I can sort of understand his logic. On the other hand I get the feeling that it is a very... unusual way of thought.

    I was quick to press the agree button, it was mostly for the first sentence, wanting to hear the other side (i.e. Thorfinsson’s arguments against the nuclear strike).

    I think this type of thinking about ethics is normal for philosophers or ethicists etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    I think this type of thinking about ethics is normal for philosophers or ethicists etc.
     
    But to think about it in such a mathematical manner - I find it to be very Anglo-Saxon.

    It is an interesting POV, but at the same time it is rather unusual in my opinion.
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  13. Anonymous[392] • Disclaimer says:
    @Spisarevski
    This is too depressing to even start replying to it seriously. You've spent too much time among soulless people.
    "Effective altruism" lol. The American cries in pain as he nukes you.

    Here's how people who have a soul think, as opposed to how AIs, anglos and jews think.

    Even if the possibility of war is not 10% or 50% but 99.9%, the bad guys are the ones who strike first, and the good guys will give peace a chance until the last possible moment.

    By the way this doesn't make the Japanese the bad guys, because there is also proportionality. They struck a military base, killing 2400 American soldiers and in response the Americans killed many hundreds of thousands of civilians. If someone slaps you and you break both their arms and legs in response, you are not a good guy.


    most Westerners at the time viewed Russians as being sort of subhuman anyway
     
    That's irrelevant. I view Yemenis as sort of subhumans but their ongoing suffering very much breaks my heart.
    Anyone who claims to be human should have a thinking process similar to humans and not to a preying mantis.

    Anyway just as evil can appear anywhere, so can goodness.
    So thank God for the BASED COMMUNIST JEWS who stole the American nuclear secrets. They really did an enormous service to the world.

    +1 for this comment. Many good points were made.

    I think a big factor with Anatoly and others who think like him is the massive amount of video games they play making them practically autistic and unable to connect with people as human beings.

    This kind of nihilism is endemic in the west. While people like Anatoly think they are being edgy, it is mainly cringey to see them try and get reactions out of people.

    The worst part is seeing him try and justify Nuking Japan because of the harm they inflicted on their neighbors. As if they even care about those people lol. By that same justification, the world is justified in nuking America because of all the wars we caused. Think of how many lives we would have saved in this alternate future.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    By that same justification, the world is justified in nuking America because of all the wars we caused.
     
    I actually think he would be quite positive on nuking anyone, and everyone. Also Mars.
    , @Lars Porsena

    This kind of nihilism is endemic in the west. While people like Anatoly think they are being edgy, it is mainly cringey to see them try and get reactions out of people.
     
    It's working. Some people got triggered very easily and started cringing in reaction.
    , @utu

    i is the massive amount of video games they play making them practically autistic and unable to connect with people as human beings
     
    I think you got it though the impact may differ depending on psychological makeup.
    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/nuclear-altruism/#comment-2451278
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  14. @reiner Tor
    I was quick to press the agree button, it was mostly for the first sentence, wanting to hear the other side (i.e. Thorfinsson's arguments against the nuclear strike).

    I think this type of thinking about ethics is normal for philosophers or ethicists etc.

    I think this type of thinking about ethics is normal for philosophers or ethicists etc.

    But to think about it in such a mathematical manner – I find it to be very Anglo-Saxon.

    It is an interesting POV, but at the same time it is rather unusual in my opinion.

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  15. @Anatoly Karlin
    1. If the risk of nuclear war is (objectively) 99.9%, then that pretty much implies that the other side has very firm intentions of conducting a nuclear first strike on you - in which case nuking them is justified under almost any non-pacifistic ethical system.

    2. From a retributionist ethics, nuking Japan was more than justified. Probably more than under any other ethical system, for that matter.

    I mean, they did quite a bit more than just Pearl Harbor. Directed mostly against their occupied territories, not Americans, to be sure, but that was only on account of them being unable to hurt American civilians that much (apart from POWs; around 30%-40% of American POWs in Japanese custody died, versus minimal numbers of Japanese POWs in American camps).

    Had it been Japan with nuclear bombs and the means to deliver them, do you honestly think they would refrained from using them on American civilians?

    You are using hypothetical events to justify real acts of evil.
    Ultimately, probable events are not real until they actually happen, and also you can never be sure that you have calculated the probability correctly, or even with a decent approximation at least.

    By your logic Russia should nuke the US right now – after all, there are very real indications that the US is preparing for a war against Russia (NATO expansion, etc) and that it is also preparing a first strike (the ABM systems deployed under false pretenses) and the Americans have never had a “No First Use” policy.Pre-emptive strikes have always been legitimate in American thinking, including pre-emptive nuclear strikes.
    Just like Israel with their “pre-emptive strikes” and just like Hitler with his “pre-emptive strike” in June ’41. It has always been the shittiest excuse.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    You are mixing up pre-emptive and preventive wars. The latter is even allowed in international law, while the former is not.
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  16. @Anatoly Karlin
    1. If the risk of nuclear war is (objectively) 99.9%, then that pretty much implies that the other side has very firm intentions of conducting a nuclear first strike on you - in which case nuking them is justified under almost any non-pacifistic ethical system.

    2. From a retributionist ethics, nuking Japan was more than justified. Probably more than under any other ethical system, for that matter.

    I mean, they did quite a bit more than just Pearl Harbor. Directed mostly against their occupied territories, not Americans, to be sure, but that was only on account of them being unable to hurt American civilians that much (apart from POWs; around 30%-40% of American POWs in Japanese custody died, versus minimal numbers of Japanese POWs in American camps).

    Had it been Japan with nuclear bombs and the means to deliver them, do you honestly think they would refrained from using them on American civilians?

    versus minimal numbers [who died] of Japanese POWs in American camps

    The reason for that is there were minimal amounts of Japanese POWs in American camps. And why was this?

    American soldiers in the Pacific often deliberately killed Japanese soldiers who had surrendered. According to Richard Aldrich, who has published a study of the diaries kept by United States and Australian soldiers, they sometimes massacred prisoners of war.[88] Dower states that in “many instances … Japanese who did become prisoners were killed on the spot or en route to prison compounds”.[72] According to Aldrich it was common practice for U.S. troops not to take prisoners.[89] This analysis is supported by British historian Niall Ferguson,[90] who also says that, in 1943, “a secret [U.S.] intelligence report noted that only the promise of ice cream and three days leave would … induce American troops not to kill surrendering Japanese”.[90]

    Ferguson states such practices played a role in the ratio of Japanese prisoners to dead being 1:100 in late 1944. That same year, efforts were taken by Allied high commanders to suppress “take no prisoners” attitudes,[90] among their own personnel (as these were affecting intelligence gathering) and to encourage Japanese soldiers to surrender. Ferguson adds that measures by Allied commanders to improve the ratio of Japanese prisoners to Japanese dead, resulted in it reaching 1:7, by mid-1945. Nevertheless, taking no prisoners was still standard practice among US troops at the Battle of Okinawa, in April–June 1945.[90]

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    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    '...The reason for that is there were minimal amounts of Japanese POWs in American camps. And why was this?'

    ...and there were so few Japanese prisoners solely because the American soldiers killed them.

    I believe this is an unfair exaggeration. If one looks at the statistics, while indeed very few prisoners were taken, those who were taken were disproportionately Korean labor troops and such.

    It would appear that either (a), surrender was at least sometimes an available option that Japanese proper almost invariably refused but Koreans more often took, or (b), the average American soldier of the nineteen-forties was able to distinguish between Koreans and Japanese.

    I'd say that while the fighting was incredibly brutal and prisoners were routinely not taken, the low numbers of POW taken must have been at least equally due to the reluctance of Japanese to surrender. Else why more Korean prisoners?

    '...Ferguson adds that measures by Allied commanders to improve the ratio of Japanese prisoners to Japanese dead, resulted in it reaching 1:7, by mid-1945...'

    There's also the distinct possibility that by mid-1945, the average Japanese soldier might have begun suspecting Japan wasn't going to win the war. After all, Germans were captured in far greater numbers in 1945 than they had been previously. This wasn't because the Allied high command started issuing humanitarian directives.

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  17. Sean says:

    When the US had nukes and the USSR did not it would have been logical for the US to prevent the USSR acquiring them. However, humans operate with evolved diminishing returns assessments that confer a basic aversion to risks, even those that are on paper relatively moderate in relation to an ultimate gain.

    It is only when you are behind and can no longer remain in the game by playing safe that risky strategies, like Japan in WW2, are worth a try. Given the US was a long way out in front, its main problem was dissuading the USSR from going double or quits and the best way to keep it from doing that that was to keep the USSR thinking it was competitive. Hence Soviet Purchases of Western Equipment and Technology.

    To what extent are Western (or Soviet) lives more valuable in terms of the lives saved by the innovations produced by those parts of their population that were at risk of getting destroyed by nuclear democide?

    If there is an invention that will bring about the end of humanity, call it the Omega innovation, then people in big American cities will deserve the credit.

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  18. @Spisarevski
    You are using hypothetical events to justify real acts of evil.
    Ultimately, probable events are not real until they actually happen, and also you can never be sure that you have calculated the probability correctly, or even with a decent approximation at least.

    By your logic Russia should nuke the US right now - after all, there are very real indications that the US is preparing for a war against Russia (NATO expansion, etc) and that it is also preparing a first strike (the ABM systems deployed under false pretenses) and the Americans have never had a "No First Use" policy.Pre-emptive strikes have always been legitimate in American thinking, including pre-emptive nuclear strikes.
    Just like Israel with their "pre-emptive strikes" and just like Hitler with his "pre-emptive strike" in June '41. It has always been the shittiest excuse.

    You are mixing up pre-emptive and preventive wars. The latter is even allowed in international law, while the former is not.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    The latter is even allowed in international law
     
    Isn't it rather the reverse, preemptive war (attack when there's an imminent risk of an enemy strike) being allowed, while preventive war (attack to prevent a hypothetical danger sometime in the future, like the US tried to justify the Iraq war) isn't considered as legitimate?
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  19. @reiner Tor
    You are mixing up pre-emptive and preventive wars. The latter is even allowed in international law, while the former is not.

    The latter is even allowed in international law

    Isn’t it rather the reverse, preemptive war (attack when there’s an imminent risk of an enemy strike) being allowed, while preventive war (attack to prevent a hypothetical danger sometime in the future, like the US tried to justify the Iraq war) isn’t considered as legitimate?

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    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Yeah, I mixed it up myself.
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  20. @Anonymous
    +1 for this comment. Many good points were made.

    I think a big factor with Anatoly and others who think like him is the massive amount of video games they play making them practically autistic and unable to connect with people as human beings.

    This kind of nihilism is endemic in the west. While people like Anatoly think they are being edgy, it is mainly cringey to see them try and get reactions out of people.

    The worst part is seeing him try and justify Nuking Japan because of the harm they inflicted on their neighbors. As if they even care about those people lol. By that same justification, the world is justified in nuking America because of all the wars we caused. Think of how many lives we would have saved in this alternate future.

    By that same justification, the world is justified in nuking America because of all the wars we caused.

    I actually think he would be quite positive on nuking anyone, and everyone. Also Mars.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Ahhh, but not Russians though right?

    Nuking Japs are ok, but for some reasons the Ruskies survive Anatolys nuke order.

    I dont take Anatoly serious either way, but that didn't slip by me.
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  21. @German_reader

    The latter is even allowed in international law
     
    Isn't it rather the reverse, preemptive war (attack when there's an imminent risk of an enemy strike) being allowed, while preventive war (attack to prevent a hypothetical danger sometime in the future, like the US tried to justify the Iraq war) isn't considered as legitimate?

    Yeah, I mixed it up myself.

    Read More
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  22. @Anonymous
    +1 for this comment. Many good points were made.

    I think a big factor with Anatoly and others who think like him is the massive amount of video games they play making them practically autistic and unable to connect with people as human beings.

    This kind of nihilism is endemic in the west. While people like Anatoly think they are being edgy, it is mainly cringey to see them try and get reactions out of people.

    The worst part is seeing him try and justify Nuking Japan because of the harm they inflicted on their neighbors. As if they even care about those people lol. By that same justification, the world is justified in nuking America because of all the wars we caused. Think of how many lives we would have saved in this alternate future.

    This kind of nihilism is endemic in the west. While people like Anatoly think they are being edgy, it is mainly cringey to see them try and get reactions out of people.

    It’s working. Some people got triggered very easily and started cringing in reaction.

    Read More
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  23. Vendetta says:

    Credible deterrent (or the closest thing they could get to it) for the USSR in this period would be overrunning Western Europe in a conventional assault and holding its civilian population as hostages.

    Likely feasible in the earlier years of this period of time (late 40s); the US rapidly demobilized the vast majority of its conventional forces in Europe, and there weren’t enough nukes yet to just outright annihilate the USSR. Operation Unthinkable would have been a disaster.

    The balance then tilts the other way through the 1950s and even the 1960s (Cuban Missile Crisis included) as the US acquired the ability to annihilate Russia while the Soviets would only have been able to inflict limited devastation in response.

    The situation becomes more favorable to the Soviets again in the 1970s, when they’ve obtained true nuclear parity while still holding a massive edge in conventional forces in Europe (US forces were not only outnumbered but also demoralized by Vietnam Syndrome). Perhaps the Soviets could have taken Europe by conventional force of arms while gambling on a failure of nerve on the US side to keep them from using their nukes.

    By the mid to late 80s though the US conventional forces have undergone major improvement while it is now the Soviet forces that are deteriorating – the West has the edge again from then through the 90s into the early 2000’s, with the ongoing military modernization and reforms under Putin bringing things back to a much closer balance again.

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    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    '...Perhaps the Soviets could have taken Europe by conventional force of arms while gambling on a failure of nerve on the US side to keep them from using their nukes.

    By the mid to late 80s though the US conventional forces have undergone major improvement...'

    These things are always hard to forecast reliably.

    I've read that Mexico was expected to clean our clock in 1846.

    In 1913, a Norman Angell convincingly argued that no major war could last more than a few months. Else the whole global financial network would collapse.

    Right up to a few weeks in May and June of 1940, France was generally accounted to have the most powerful land army in the world.

    Conversely, in the summer of 1941, most British and American analysts expected Russia to last no more than six to twelve weeks.

    We certainly didn't expect to lose in Viet Nam.

    So we'll never know. But the past suggests our predictions (postdictions?) concerning a Russo-US war aren't worth much.

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  24. utu says:
    @Anonymous
    +1 for this comment. Many good points were made.

    I think a big factor with Anatoly and others who think like him is the massive amount of video games they play making them practically autistic and unable to connect with people as human beings.

    This kind of nihilism is endemic in the west. While people like Anatoly think they are being edgy, it is mainly cringey to see them try and get reactions out of people.

    The worst part is seeing him try and justify Nuking Japan because of the harm they inflicted on their neighbors. As if they even care about those people lol. By that same justification, the world is justified in nuking America because of all the wars we caused. Think of how many lives we would have saved in this alternate future.

    i is the massive amount of video games they play making them practically autistic and unable to connect with people as human beings

    I think you got it though the impact may differ depending on psychological makeup.

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/nuclear-altruism/#comment-2451278

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  25. @Hyperborean

    There were good reasons not to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on the USSR in the late 1940s. I don’t believe I need to list them.
     
    I would like to hear the other side. I am not sure what to think of Karlin's comments. On one hand I can sort of understand his logic. On the other hand I get the feeling that it is a very... unusual way of thought.

    Immediate Soviet response would be an invasion of Western Europe. Soviet forces would reach the Channel in a week or so.

    Meanwhile the Soviet Union itself would retain some fraction of its prewar population and industry and ruthlessly exploit Western Europe to sustain its armed forces. Potentially Red Chinese troops would appear in Europe as well.

    Now what? Start nuking Western Europe once the next batch of bombs is ready? Attempt a second Operation Overlord, this time with no Eastern Front?

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  26. Anonymous[392] • Disclaimer says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    By that same justification, the world is justified in nuking America because of all the wars we caused.
     
    I actually think he would be quite positive on nuking anyone, and everyone. Also Mars.

    Ahhh, but not Russians though right?

    Nuking Japs are ok, but for some reasons the Ruskies survive Anatolys nuke order.

    I dont take Anatoly serious either way, but that didn’t slip by me.

    Read More
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  27. Anonymous[727] • Disclaimer says:

    Well, I think if Anatoly wants to troll and just get a reaction, he should make those kinds of posts at a place like 4chan.

    Unz.com has really grown a lot in prominance and I truly believe this site will be a big part of shaping the future world.

    Low quality posts or posts just designed to get a reaction should be done somewhere else IMO.

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  28. I obviously can’t speak for Karlin or his take on his own article. But it’s a thought experiment people. One can consider the argument about whether nuking the USSR in 1947 would have been ethical or not without actually nuking anyone to death, or even necessarily supporting it.

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    • Agree: Guillaume Tell
    • Replies: @Yevardian
    'Thought experiments' have a way of revealing the underbelly of one's thought. I expect this Russia triapse of AK's to last as long as he can keep his British passport.
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  29. Gerard2 says:

    Surely anybody with a moral compass, but concerned about not dragging the war our much longer……would have chosen at first to instead use the atomic bomb on one of the many Japanese Islands, deserted or low populated, but with it’s destruction visible and tangible from the mainland/main islands of Japan?….instead of bombing two major cities in the space of a few days as the dickhead Americans did.

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    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    '...Surely anybody with a moral compass, but concerned about not dragging the war our much longer……would have chosen at first to instead use the atomic bomb on one of the many Japanese Islands, deserted or low populated, but with it’s destruction visible and tangible from the mainland/main islands of Japan?…'

    We had only three bombs ready to go. The thought of a demonstration was considered, but it was felt the Japanese hard-liners would rationalize dismissing it -- and what if the remaining two bombs then failed to force surrender?

    Indeed and as it was, there was an internal struggle among the Japanese to surrender after we dropped the bombs on their cities.

    Otherwise, I'll note that us 'dickhead Americans' held off on dropping the third bomb at the thought of 'all those kids' (Truman). We also managed to refrain from bombing Kyoto, which was an all-too-rare example of restraint and civilized behavior in that war. In fact, I can't think of anyone else doing anything remotely equivalent.

    Finally, of course, far more Japanese would have died if we hadn't dropped the bomb than if we did. At a guess, several millions would have necessarily have died either in a conventional invasion or as a result of starvation if we had simply opted for a prolonged siege.

    Dropping the bomb was the right and in fact the most humane thing to do. Moreover, it was total war against an unspeakably savage foe (ever read about the Japanese defence of Manila in 1945: gouging out infants' eyeballs with teaspoons). One doesn't suddenly switch gears and ask 'how can we minimize casualties'?

    Of course, as it happens we did minimize casualties. Far fewer died because we went ahead and dropped the bomb.

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  30. @for-the-record
    versus minimal numbers [who died] of Japanese POWs in American camps

    The reason for that is there were minimal amounts of Japanese POWs in American camps. And why was this?

    American soldiers in the Pacific often deliberately killed Japanese soldiers who had surrendered. According to Richard Aldrich, who has published a study of the diaries kept by United States and Australian soldiers, they sometimes massacred prisoners of war.[88] Dower states that in "many instances ... Japanese who did become prisoners were killed on the spot or en route to prison compounds".[72] According to Aldrich it was common practice for U.S. troops not to take prisoners.[89] This analysis is supported by British historian Niall Ferguson,[90] who also says that, in 1943, "a secret [U.S.] intelligence report noted that only the promise of ice cream and three days leave would ... induce American troops not to kill surrendering Japanese".[90]

    Ferguson states such practices played a role in the ratio of Japanese prisoners to dead being 1:100 in late 1944. That same year, efforts were taken by Allied high commanders to suppress "take no prisoners" attitudes,[90] among their own personnel (as these were affecting intelligence gathering) and to encourage Japanese soldiers to surrender. Ferguson adds that measures by Allied commanders to improve the ratio of Japanese prisoners to Japanese dead, resulted in it reaching 1:7, by mid-1945. Nevertheless, taking no prisoners was still standard practice among US troops at the Battle of Okinawa, in April–June 1945.[90]
     

    ‘…The reason for that is there were minimal amounts of Japanese POWs in American camps. And why was this?’

    …and there were so few Japanese prisoners solely because the American soldiers killed them.

    I believe this is an unfair exaggeration. If one looks at the statistics, while indeed very few prisoners were taken, those who were taken were disproportionately Korean labor troops and such.

    It would appear that either (a), surrender was at least sometimes an available option that Japanese proper almost invariably refused but Koreans more often took, or (b), the average American soldier of the nineteen-forties was able to distinguish between Koreans and Japanese.

    I’d say that while the fighting was incredibly brutal and prisoners were routinely not taken, the low numbers of POW taken must have been at least equally due to the reluctance of Japanese to surrender. Else why more Korean prisoners?

    ‘…Ferguson adds that measures by Allied commanders to improve the ratio of Japanese prisoners to Japanese dead, resulted in it reaching 1:7, by mid-1945…’

    There’s also the distinct possibility that by mid-1945, the average Japanese soldier might have begun suspecting Japan wasn’t going to win the war. After all, Germans were captured in far greater numbers in 1945 than they had been previously. This wasn’t because the Allied high command started issuing humanitarian directives.

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  31. @Gerard2
    Surely anybody with a moral compass, but concerned about not dragging the war our much longer......would have chosen at first to instead use the atomic bomb on one of the many Japanese Islands, deserted or low populated, but with it's destruction visible and tangible from the mainland/main islands of Japan?....instead of bombing two major cities in the space of a few days as the dickhead Americans did.

    ‘…Surely anybody with a moral compass, but concerned about not dragging the war our much longer……would have chosen at first to instead use the atomic bomb on one of the many Japanese Islands, deserted or low populated, but with it’s destruction visible and tangible from the mainland/main islands of Japan?…’

    We had only three bombs ready to go. The thought of a demonstration was considered, but it was felt the Japanese hard-liners would rationalize dismissing it — and what if the remaining two bombs then failed to force surrender?

    Indeed and as it was, there was an internal struggle among the Japanese to surrender after we dropped the bombs on their cities.

    Otherwise, I’ll note that us ‘dickhead Americans’ held off on dropping the third bomb at the thought of ‘all those kids’ (Truman). We also managed to refrain from bombing Kyoto, which was an all-too-rare example of restraint and civilized behavior in that war. In fact, I can’t think of anyone else doing anything remotely equivalent.

    Finally, of course, far more Japanese would have died if we hadn’t dropped the bomb than if we did. At a guess, several millions would have necessarily have died either in a conventional invasion or as a result of starvation if we had simply opted for a prolonged siege.

    Dropping the bomb was the right and in fact the most humane thing to do. Moreover, it was total war against an unspeakably savage foe (ever read about the Japanese defence of Manila in 1945: gouging out infants’ eyeballs with teaspoons). One doesn’t suddenly switch gears and ask ‘how can we minimize casualties’?

    Of course, as it happens we did minimize casualties. Far fewer died because we went ahead and dropped the bomb.

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  32. @Vendetta
    Credible deterrent (or the closest thing they could get to it) for the USSR in this period would be overrunning Western Europe in a conventional assault and holding its civilian population as hostages.

    Likely feasible in the earlier years of this period of time (late 40s); the US rapidly demobilized the vast majority of its conventional forces in Europe, and there weren’t enough nukes yet to just outright annihilate the USSR. Operation Unthinkable would have been a disaster.

    The balance then tilts the other way through the 1950s and even the 1960s (Cuban Missile Crisis included) as the US acquired the ability to annihilate Russia while the Soviets would only have been able to inflict limited devastation in response.

    The situation becomes more favorable to the Soviets again in the 1970s, when they’ve obtained true nuclear parity while still holding a massive edge in conventional forces in Europe (US forces were not only outnumbered but also demoralized by Vietnam Syndrome). Perhaps the Soviets could have taken Europe by conventional force of arms while gambling on a failure of nerve on the US side to keep them from using their nukes.

    By the mid to late 80s though the US conventional forces have undergone major improvement while it is now the Soviet forces that are deteriorating - the West has the edge again from then through the 90s into the early 2000’s, with the ongoing military modernization and reforms under Putin bringing things back to a much closer balance again.

    ‘…Perhaps the Soviets could have taken Europe by conventional force of arms while gambling on a failure of nerve on the US side to keep them from using their nukes.

    By the mid to late 80s though the US conventional forces have undergone major improvement…’

    These things are always hard to forecast reliably.

    I’ve read that Mexico was expected to clean our clock in 1846.

    In 1913, a Norman Angell convincingly argued that no major war could last more than a few months. Else the whole global financial network would collapse.

    Right up to a few weeks in May and June of 1940, France was generally accounted to have the most powerful land army in the world.

    Conversely, in the summer of 1941, most British and American analysts expected Russia to last no more than six to twelve weeks.

    We certainly didn’t expect to lose in Viet Nam.

    So we’ll never know. But the past suggests our predictions (postdictions?) concerning a Russo-US war aren’t worth much.

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    • Agree: Vendetta, reiner Tor
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  33. Yevardian says:
    @Lars Porsena
    I obviously can't speak for Karlin or his take on his own article. But it's a thought experiment people. One can consider the argument about whether nuking the USSR in 1947 would have been ethical or not without actually nuking anyone to death, or even necessarily supporting it.

    ‘Thought experiments’ have a way of revealing the underbelly of one’s thought. I expect this Russia triapse of AK’s to last as long as he can keep his British passport.

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  34. @Anatoly Karlin
    1. If the risk of nuclear war is (objectively) 99.9%, then that pretty much implies that the other side has very firm intentions of conducting a nuclear first strike on you - in which case nuking them is justified under almost any non-pacifistic ethical system.

    2. From a retributionist ethics, nuking Japan was more than justified. Probably more than under any other ethical system, for that matter.

    I mean, they did quite a bit more than just Pearl Harbor. Directed mostly against their occupied territories, not Americans, to be sure, but that was only on account of them being unable to hurt American civilians that much (apart from POWs; around 30%-40% of American POWs in Japanese custody died, versus minimal numbers of Japanese POWs in American camps).

    Had it been Japan with nuclear bombs and the means to deliver them, do you honestly think they would refrained from using them on American civilians?

    By the way, how can we explain the general agreeableness of today’s Japanese, compared to those monstrosities of which their recent ancestors (a couple of generations) seem to have indulged in? I am especially familiar with the Japanese atrocities committed in French Indochine, and it was not pretty.

    Has the extreme cruelty of those recent ancestors been effectively nuked out of them?

    I think a similar experiment on Africa would be interesting.

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    • Replies: @dfordoom

    By the way, how can we explain the general agreeableness of today’s Japanese, compared to those monstrosities of which their recent ancestors (a couple of generations) seem to have indulged in?
     
    The explanation is simple. The Japanese were no more inclined to commit atrocities than anyone else. But they made the mistake of losing so they got demonised by the propaganda of their enemies.
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  35. Anonymous[199] • Disclaimer says:
    @Spisarevski

    There is that American solipsism at work again...A combination of American historical ignorance and Japanese dishonesty
     
    Not sure why you decided that I'm an American, but I am most certainly not, and there's nothing American about my education or view on history either.

    What Japan did in China is a separate matter and also irrelevant to the discussion which is a continuation of the previous AK post about how the Americans were justified in nuking the Japs - unless you think that America fought Japan to help the Chinese or something.

    Even if the alleged Japanese war crimes were largely real, the Americans inflicted vastly more destruction and death on Japanese innocents than vice versa.

    This is true, and a few pertinent facts are worth noting.
    1. Southeast Asian Nations such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Burma, India, and eventually Vietnam gained their independence from the U. S., Netherlands, Britain, and France DIRECTLY due to Japanese ‘Imperialism’, which was of a quite different variety than Western Imperialism.
    2. This can be seen in the way that most of the ‘George Washingtons’ (i.e., national heroes and freedom fighters) of these nations explicitly supported the Japanese:
    - Emilio Aguinaldo, Artemio Ricarte, Jose Laurel, Benigno Aquino Sr. (grandfather of the president until 2 years ago) in the Philippines
    It should be noted that the U. S. betrayed the Filipinos, including a much younger Aguinaldo, when they annexed the islands rather than giving them independence as they had promised after aiding them in their war against Spain, which itself was popularised by Rudyard Kipling’s ‘White Man’s Burden’… the ONLY major Filipino figure to support the U. S. was Manuel Quezon, who had to go into exile! Pro-Japanese groups such as GANAP and Kalibapi were quite popular.
    - Sukarno in Indonesia (their first leader)
    - Subhas Chandra Bose in India, who was very pro-Axis (more Indians regard him as the founder of their nation than do Gandhi)
    - Even J.R. Jayawardene in Ceylon attempted to form an alliance with the Japanese
    3. The Japanese stated goal was to create a ‘Co-Prosperity Sphere’ that would embody a ‘Pan-Asian’ ideal and was aimed at countering Western Imperialism (similar to the European Union today). Today Japan as a nation and Japanese culture is looked upon very positively in most of Southeast Asia and the Philippines. Of course, Japan’s traditional rivals and enemies, Korea and China, are a different story, but that’s obvious.
    4. Churchill states that Roosevelt admitted in private conversations that his plan towards the Japanese was to ‘wage war without declaring it’ in order to find a ‘back door’ into war with Germany in Europe.
    5. The Atom Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki resulted in almost entirely civilian, and not military, casualties. If any other nation did this, they would be universally condemned (well, except for Israel, most likely).
    Hiroshima and Nagasaki just happened to be the two cities with the highest population of Christians in Japan. In fact, the largest church in East Asia at the time was the Urakami Cathedral, which was used as a landmark to aim at by the pilot of the Bockscar. Dozens of worshippers at their morning prayers died instantly on August 9th. The bombing of Nagasaki was especially heinous because it is a cultural city (like Dresden) which will remind you a lot of San Francisco if you go, with its trolleys and sloping hills. There is no way that Nagasaki was a legitimate military target.
    6. Of course it can’t be ignored that unsurprisingly, given the targetting of Christians, Jews were mostly behind the atom bombs. Wigner, Teller, Von Neumann, Segre, Rotblat, Weisskopf, etc. were all Jewish, and most infamously the Jewish head of the Manhattan Project, Julius Robert Oppenheimer, who said “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”
    7. If you go to the museums in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, you will realise some things that you may not have been taught before. First, the U. S. Militarily occupied Japan for 6 years after WWII, longer than they were actually at war! A vast amount of current Japanese political figures were ‘purged’, meaning they were banned from holding any positions in the future.
    Furthermore, the Japanese newspapers were actually CENSORED from even describing the effects of radiation poisoning. I’ve been there and seen the blacked-out parts of the papers with my own eyes!
    NOTE: I am in no way ‘denying’ Japanese ‘atrocities’, but it needs to be said that Asian nations viewed war and prisoners of war in a very different cultural context, and the fact that ‘winners write history’ is very relevant in this context as well.
    A good book to read for those interested in an alternative perspective also from a Western Author is Joshua Blakeney’s “Japan Bites Back”

    https://www.amazon.com/Japan-Bites-Back-Documents-Contextualizing-ebook/dp/B00T3OR520

    As an anecdote, the rescue of the crew of the HMS Exeter (along with the HMS Encounter and USS Pope), stranded in the water after their ship was sunk in the second Battle of the Java Sea, by the Japanese Captain of the destroyer Ikazuchi, Shunsaku Kudō, is quite telling.
    Kudō never publicly revealed this event through his entire life, and the reasoning he gave was that this was simply “standard procedure” and not worth talking about.
    However, it was a brave action to take, as there were known to be enemy submarines in the area, and Japanese ships had been sunk there recently. Read a BBC Article here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/somerset/content/articles/2008/12/17/japanese_war_ambassador_feature.shtml

    IN CONCLUSION, I will quote Radhabinod Pal, the Indian representative at the Tokyo Tribunal, who had the following to say (quoting Jefferson Davis):
    “When time shall have softened passion and prejudice, when Reason shall have stripped the mask from misrepresentation, then Justice, holding evenly her scales, will require much of past censure and praise to change places.”
    More info here:

    https://en.rightpedia.info/w/Radhabinod_Pal

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  36. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Guillaume Tell
    By the way, how can we explain the general agreeableness of today's Japanese, compared to those monstrosities of which their recent ancestors (a couple of generations) seem to have indulged in? I am especially familiar with the Japanese atrocities committed in French Indochine, and it was not pretty.

    Has the extreme cruelty of those recent ancestors been effectively nuked out of them?

    I think a similar experiment on Africa would be interesting.

    By the way, how can we explain the general agreeableness of today’s Japanese, compared to those monstrosities of which their recent ancestors (a couple of generations) seem to have indulged in?

    The explanation is simple. The Japanese were no more inclined to commit atrocities than anyone else. But they made the mistake of losing so they got demonised by the propaganda of their enemies.

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    A more accurate explanation is that the Japanese are quite possibly the most conformist people on the planet. When their society and state told them to kill for the greater glory of the Japanese empire, they did so as ruthlessly as possible. When their society and state told them to make peace, they did that too.

    Thorfinsson I think once commented that the Scandinavians, far from independent minded Westerners as is commonly thought, are actually quite totalitarians. It's just that their totalitarian ideology presently tells them to diversity + liberalism = good so they double down on what is socially desirable. Soon as you flip the switch though, they will probably go super nazi.
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  37. @dfordoom

    By the way, how can we explain the general agreeableness of today’s Japanese, compared to those monstrosities of which their recent ancestors (a couple of generations) seem to have indulged in?
     
    The explanation is simple. The Japanese were no more inclined to commit atrocities than anyone else. But they made the mistake of losing so they got demonised by the propaganda of their enemies.

    A more accurate explanation is that the Japanese are quite possibly the most conformist people on the planet. When their society and state told them to kill for the greater glory of the Japanese empire, they did so as ruthlessly as possible. When their society and state told them to make peace, they did that too.

    Thorfinsson I think once commented that the Scandinavians, far from independent minded Westerners as is commonly thought, are actually quite totalitarians. It’s just that their totalitarian ideology presently tells them to diversity + liberalism = good so they double down on what is socially desirable. Soon as you flip the switch though, they will probably go super nazi.

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  38. Thorfinsson I think once commented that the Scandinavians, far from independent minded Westerners as is commonly thought, are actually quite totalitarians.

    It’s complicated. Your views are taken into consideration in the initial process, but once a consensus has been formed and everyone agrees it is hard to dissent from it. In the end even if one disagrees with it one simply has to go along, it looks bad to be the one who upsets the atmosphere.

    It should be noted though that the Swedes do this to an especially strong degree, much more so than the rest of us.

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    • Agree: Guillaume Tell
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