There is some interesting conversations about It was Democide. But, Justification?.
I know this won't be a full blog session now but wanted to use this format to type a response:
Even though I have not studied WWII as much as Mr. Rummel, I still agree with Mark and that we could not believe what the Japanese were saying or what they said their intentions were.
If we commited democide in WWII and Korean and Vietnam and 1/2 million in Iraq and Native American Indian massacres... Then are we any better for being a democracy? Is the basic meme of this web site in question? Are we committing democide in North Korea by enforcing an embargo? And Mr. Rummel seemed to avoid my question as to whether us ending the war early created a democracy. I know that I am using the end justifies the means but could not help it.
Mr. Rummel, after reading your arguments you may be correct that we should have targeted military targets instead of the two cities for the A-bomb. But then the questions are: were there large enough targets to justify the use of an a-bomb, and would contamination have been worse in a bay or open area? I believe that we wanted to cripple them and not destroy them as in bombing the Tokyo Bay.
The Japanese civilians had no direct say in their government, but all governments must have some level of support (or at least capitulation and acquiescence) or it will collapse. I have wondered about what level of support does a government need. If we were to use this same theory of victimhood and "mindless obedience" of the civilian population, we could use this same concept to the people in the military also. Many Japanese soldiers did not want to carry out their orders also. Should we have not killed them? Many of them did not have guns or weapons on them also. We saw that a majority of military in WWI did not fire at the enemy with very few actually doing the killing.
To bring up the children only clouds the distinctions, for the children suffer for the sins of their fathers all the time. My father wanted a farm and as a result I was unable to study as much and participate in sports.
My last point is that of Star Trek in the episode of A Taste of Armageddon. "Spock realizes that the war is being fought by computers which calculate casualties and that the citizens who are declared "dead" are then required to report to disintegration chambers." Thus the whole population did not have to suffer, just the victims. In WWI was a good example of this happening. The "home front" did not feel the effects of a war and just continually sent men to die for little tracts of land that had no value. Some battlefields had more deaths than men able to stand shoulder to shoulder there. And of course the book "All Quiet on the Western Front" dramatizes this. Even if all human right organizations want us to treat everyone with the utmost care, we live in the real world.
I hope in studying all the US atrocities you do not succomb to the dark side. :)