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Author Topic: One big difference between Pearl Harbor/WWII and 9/11  (Read 3210 times)

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Re: One big difference between Pearl Harbor/WWII and 9/11
« Reply #40 on: August 12, 2005, 02:16:48 AM »
glad that was clear, j.d. ;)
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Re: One big difference between Pearl Harbor/WWII and 9/11
« Reply #41 on: August 12, 2005, 11:01:40 AM »
About as clear as it could be, coming from the likes of you.  ;)
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makotosan

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Re: One big difference between Pearl Harbor/WWII and 9/11
« Reply #42 on: August 12, 2005, 12:39:03 PM »

Another poster called Paikea did research on the same subject, yet came to the exact opposite conclusion.  It might be interesting if you and s/he could compare notes.  Hell, maybe you could organize a whole symposium on the subject.  As a complete history nerd, I'm being completely serious.  ;)

I don't know how Paikea researched, and I personally think that everyone will skew the research to their own liking, as is unavoidable for humans. But I spent a lot of time gathering info from friends' grandparents in Japan who lived through it and had a feel of the time more than books or articles since they all will have more of tilt, at least in this section of research. It's a huge political argument, of course. But it is unquestionable that the fight to the death mentality that existed at the time had a huge influence. I don't think any amount of note comparing will come to a conclusion, just a massive political arguement. ;)
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Re: One big difference between Pearl Harbor/WWII and 9/11
« Reply #43 on: August 12, 2005, 01:11:56 PM »
As someone who spent the last year researching the end of WWII in Japan for her thesis, I always find it astounding that people can draw this comparison. The war in Japan would have dragged on much longer and the victory probably would have been much less decisive without the nukes being dropped, something that even then was so widely criticized. But would anyone who touts that great victory support the same tactic today? (not that I think it's entirely feasible given the scattered nature of the enemy)

Another poster called Paikea did research on the same subject, yet came to the exact opposite conclusion.  It might be interesting if you and s/he could compare notes.  Hell, maybe you could organize a whole symposium on the subject.  As a complete history nerd, I'm being completely serious.  ;)

I'd attend! As long as it takes place somewhere on the Vegas Strip, of course. ;)
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J D

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Re: One big difference between Pearl Harbor/WWII and 9/11
« Reply #44 on: August 12, 2005, 05:10:29 PM »

Another poster called Paikea did research on the same subject, yet came to the exact opposite conclusion.  It might be interesting if you and s/he could compare notes.  Hell, maybe you could organize a whole symposium on the subject.  As a complete history nerd, I'm being completely serious.  ;)

I don't know how Paikea researched, and I personally think that everyone will skew the research to their own liking, as is unavoidable for humans. But I spent a lot of time gathering info from friends' grandparents in Japan who lived through it and had a feel of the time more than books or articles since they all will have more of tilt, at least in this section of research. It's a huge political argument, of course. But it is unquestionable that the fight to the death mentality that existed at the time had a huge influence. I don't think any amount of note comparing will come to a conclusion, just a massive political arguement. ;)

If I remember her argument correctly, it was that the Japanese government was already trying to discuss terms of surrender with the US for months before the bombs were dropped.  They knew the war was not going well for Japan (the understatement of the century, if ever there was one!), that the country was in shambles, their navy and air force destroyed at Midway, their population starving to death, their cities (made of wood and paper still) destroyed by US air raids.  The main concern they had as far as conditions went was the safety of the Emperor (something which MacArthur was wise enough to protect after their surrender anyway; perhaps one of the only smart things he ever did in East Asian policy); the main thing holding the Japanese government back from accepting unconditional surrender was the fear that the Emperor would be tried and executed for war crimes and atrocities committed in East Asia.  So her arument had more to do with what was going on inside the Japanese government itself, among the decision-makers at the time, according to many archival documents.  She really didn't examine popular opinion (I don't think) because it wasn't really relevant to what she was looking at.  Even if the average Japanese on the street was brainwashed and willing to fight to the death, it doesn't necessarily translate into the policy of the government; the Emperor and his "advisors" really didn't depend that much on popular approval for their legitimacy (that's why they had the lineage of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu BS).  I really do think it would be interesting to compare notes.
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makotosan

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Re: One big difference between Pearl Harbor/WWII and 9/11
« Reply #45 on: August 12, 2005, 05:31:32 PM »

If I remember her argument correctly, it was that the Japanese government was already trying to discuss terms of surrender with the US for months before the bombs were dropped.  They knew the war was not going well for Japan (the understatement of the century, if ever there was one!), that the country was in shambles, their navy and air force destroyed at Midway, their population starving to death, their cities (made of wood and paper still) destroyed by US air raids.  The main concern they had as far as conditions went was the safety of the Emperor (something which MacArthur was wise enough to protect after their surrender anyway; perhaps one of the only smart things he ever did in East Asian policy); the main thing holding the Japanese government back from accepting unconditional surrender was the fear that the Emperor would be tried and executed for war crimes and atrocities committed in East Asia.  So her arument had more to do with what was going on inside the Japanese government itself, among the decision-makers at the time, according to many archival documents.  She really didn't examine popular opinion (I don't think) because it wasn't really relevant to what she was looking at.  Even if the average Japanese on the street was brainwashed and willing to fight to the death, it doesn't necessarily translate into the policy of the government; the Emperor and his "advisors" really didn't depend that much on popular approval for their legitimacy (that's why they had the lineage of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu BS).  I really do think it would be interesting to compare notes.

Popular opinion isn't irrelevant for many reasons, the least of which is the effect on later relations between the nations. Regardless of the governments plans (or lack thereof, as what is said and what was planning to be done are different depending on who you choose to beleive), the people of the nation would not have given up the war with their nation surrendering. As it stands now, we have a strong relationship with Japan that resulted from a thorough defeat. This is something that I strongly feel would not have happened with a peace treaty.

Furthermore, I think it's completely imperceptive to say that keeping the emperor was the only wise thing MacArthur did. MacArthur's postwar work and the subsequent constitution that was developed set the stage for the country to develop as rapidly as it did, particularly in the technology sector. Of course, I feel rather strongly about this since this was the *exact* topic of my thesis. I'd be happy to send it to you, if you're interested.  :P

In any case, I strongly dislike political debate, because when it comes to politics, there is never a chance of changing the other person's mind. It's like arguing with a wall. (that pertains to me as well, of course!  ;D)
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J D

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Re: One big difference between Pearl Harbor/WWII and 9/11
« Reply #46 on: August 12, 2005, 06:02:15 PM »

If I remember her argument correctly, it was that the Japanese government was already trying to discuss terms of surrender with the US for months before the bombs were dropped.  They knew the war was not going well for Japan (the understatement of the century, if ever there was one!), that the country was in shambles, their navy and air force destroyed at Midway, their population starving to death, their cities (made of wood and paper still) destroyed by US air raids.  The main concern they had as far as conditions went was the safety of the Emperor (something which MacArthur was wise enough to protect after their surrender anyway; perhaps one of the only smart things he ever did in East Asian policy); the main thing holding the Japanese government back from accepting unconditional surrender was the fear that the Emperor would be tried and executed for war crimes and atrocities committed in East Asia.  So her arument had more to do with what was going on inside the Japanese government itself, among the decision-makers at the time, according to many archival documents.  She really didn't examine popular opinion (I don't think) because it wasn't really relevant to what she was looking at.  Even if the average Japanese on the street was brainwashed and willing to fight to the death, it doesn't necessarily translate into the policy of the government; the Emperor and his "advisors" really didn't depend that much on popular approval for their legitimacy (that's why they had the lineage of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu BS).  I really do think it would be interesting to compare notes.

Popular opinion isn't irrelevant for many reasons, the least of which is the effect on later relations between the nations. Regardless of the governments plans (or lack thereof, as what is said and what was planning to be done are different depending on who you choose to beleive), the people of the nation would not have given up the war with their nation surrendering. As it stands now, we have a strong relationship with Japan that resulted from a thorough defeat. This is something that I strongly feel would not have happened with a peace treaty.

Furthermore, I think it's completely imperceptive to say that keeping the emperor was the only wise thing MacArthur did. MacArthur's postwar work and the subsequent constitution that was developed set the stage for the country to develop as rapidly as it did, particularly in the technology sector. Of course, I feel rather strongly about this since this was the *exact* topic of my thesis. I'd be happy to send it to you, if you're interested.  :P

In any case, I strongly dislike political debate, because when it comes to politics, there is never a chance of changing the other person's mind. It's like arguing with a wall. (that pertains to me as well, of course!  ;D)

I didn't say it was the ONLY smart thing he did, just one of the only.  :P  Other smart things included the structure of the post-war constitution, and the extensive de-mythification of the Emperor.  My real beef with him comes from when he went psycho during the Korean War; you know, invading China against Truman's orders, wanting to nuke all of East Asia, etc.

And I think one of the big points Paikea made was that the country was ALREADY thoroughly defeated, that the dropping of the bombs was rather gratuitous in context.  Even before the bombs were dropped, the devastation of the air raids and everything else was truly horrific; everyone knew that.  As for whether the people would have accepted a surrender...well, they did, didn't they?  ;)  Sure, they weren't happy about it, everyone burst into tears as soon as they figured out what the Emperor actually said, but they did accept it.  Paikea argues that such acceptance could have come from the devastation already inflicted before August 6. 

And I think our strong relationship with Japan results from a number of reasons (namely our guarantee of military security and our provision of a hungry market for Japanese goods), but it's also a lot more complicated than most people give it credit for, I think.  The Japanese government is a strong partner of the US, for sure, but that comity doesn't always translate down to every segment of the population, and the relationship is more contested from below than many realize, especially as regards the issue of military bases (Okinawa comes to mind, especially the very violent protests in 1960 which forced Eisenhower to cancel his visit).

Whatever.  :)  I thought it would be really interesting discussion, and it doesn't have to turn into a heated political shouting match, either.  Just a nice scholarly debate, that can only help both of you, and anyone else interested in the subject gain a more-complete picture of the situation.  Maybe it's because I'm a geek, but I think this would be a really cool thing to do.  :)

If you want to PM me, I'll give you my email and you can send me your paper.  I'd love to read it.  ;)
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makotosan

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Re: One big difference between Pearl Harbor/WWII and 9/11
« Reply #47 on: August 12, 2005, 08:21:43 PM »
My husband has my lappy at work tonight and that's the only place I have a copy of it since my major HD crash in May. I'll shoot you a message tommorow when I can get a copy of it. :P I know it kind of picks up past our conversation here, but I at least found it interesting... but I'm the freak who specialized in the history of technology.
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J D

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Re: One big difference between Pearl Harbor/WWII and 9/11
« Reply #48 on: August 12, 2005, 08:28:22 PM »
My husband has my lappy at work tonight and that's the only place I have a copy of it since my major HD crash in May. I'll shoot you a message tommorow when I can get a copy of it. :P I know it kind of picks up past our conversation here, but I at least found it interesting... but I'm the freak who specialized in the history of technology.

I think PBS had a really great documentary on that kind of stuff; well, it was a part of a larger documentary series, and I don't know if it was PBS per se, or just Annenberg.  I'm sure you've probably seen it: "Inside Japan, Inc."?  A little dated, but still relevant, I think.
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Re: One big difference between Pearl Harbor/WWII and 9/11
« Reply #49 on: August 12, 2005, 09:06:29 PM »

I think PBS had a really great documentary on that kind of stuff; well, it was a part of a larger documentary series, and I don't know if it was PBS per se, or just Annenberg.  I'm sure you've probably seen it: "Inside Japan, Inc."?  A little dated, but still relevant, I think.
That I do. My professor actually played it in my Making of Modern Japan class. Definitely still relevant. Part of what influenced me for my thesis.
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