I noted on this list many years ago, that BH Liddell Hart wrote a book in
the late 60's or early 70's, I think, called "A History of the Second World
War" in which much of this was disclosed. The Japanese tried to get to the
US by going through the Soviets, who, for their own imperialistic reasons,
decided not to forward the request. And all that other stuff.
But this was a back channel from a single small point in the Japanese gov't,
not from those who were actually in power. It is sort of like a
sub-diplomat in Stalin's gov't sending out a back-channel request. It would
not have been successful.
Had the Japanese wanted to surrender, there were many ways that they could
have sent a secret message to Washington. They did not. They could have
contacted Switzerland or Sweden or Lichtenstein, for heavens sake, but they
did not. If they wanted to surrender, why were they fighting so hard, and
continuing to commit atrocities against anyone they could find?
But my whole point is that it is SOOOOOOOOO easy to sit back and second
guess what might have been or could have been or whatever 57 years ago. But
all those who do this are not in the position that President Truman was.
Tens of thousands of Americans had died, and he was viewing the possibility
of tens of thousands more dying. He had a way to stop the war. Why on
earth didn't the Japanese cry uncle after the first bomb if they were so
eager to stop the hostilities? Those who want to fault the US for what we
did can just stuff it. Those who in eternal ingratitude want to blame the
nasty old US for being so bad can stuff it as well. The US is no where near
perfect, unless you consider all other nations in the world, in which case
we look pretty good.
Ingratitude is one of the biggest sins there is, so why should I be
surprised that it is so rampant, even on this list? (I put on my flame
retardant suit before uttering this truth!)
> -Steven quotes _The New American Magazine_-
> > This current display, therefore, repeats the notion that the
> > dropping of the bombs by the U.S. brought Japan to the peace
> > table and saved countless lives on both sides. But this
> > historical view, like the original commentary intended for the
> > exhibit, is not supported by the facts.
> Just to be clear: If the net effect of dropping two atomic bombs was to
> kill 100,000 of the enemy and thereby save _one_ American life, it would
> have been the moral duty of the commander-in-chief to do so. I doubt you
> can convince me that Americans would not have died had the bombs not
> been dropped; therefore, in my moral calculus, at least, dropping the
> bombs was the only moral decision Truman could have made.
> > But in fact the Japanese had sent peace feelers to the West as
> > early as 1942, only six months after the December 1941 attack
> > on Pearl Harbor. More would come in a flood long before the
> > fateful use of the atomic bombs.
> I see. So, the enemy starts asking about "peace" twenty or so weeks
> after taking out your strategic harbor, and therefore you're supposed to
> believe they're sincere. Do I have that right?
> > Here was an enemy who had been trying to surrender for almost
> > a year before the conflict ended."
> Um, that would have been 1944. What happened to six months after Pearl
> > In her book, Brown supplied abundant evidence about the
> > immense perfidy that kept the Japanese from surrendering until
> > such time as the Soviets were ready to enter the war against
> > Japan and the American forces had dropped the atomic bombs on
> > civilian populations.
> Yes, Mark presented a web site detailing this same evidence a few years
> back. Interesting reading, perhaps with some truth to it. But in the
> end, it's bogus. All Japan had to do was to broadcast their
> unconditional surrender and they would have been spared. Blockade or no,
> Japan struck first and picked the fight, committing unspeakable
> atrocities in the warfare. If they didn't want to "lose face" by open
> surrender, that is their own fault, no the US's.
> > Toshikasu Kase, an official of the Japanese Foreign Office,
> > delivered a highly confidential message to the interned
> > British ambassador, Sir Robert Craigi. It contained a
> > "discreet hint regarding the eventual restoration of peace."
> > Emanating from Japanese Foreign Minister Togo, this message
> > stated, "Should it happen that the British Government became
> > desirous of discussing or negotiating peace they would find
> > the Japanese Government ready to be helpful."
> Yet we mannerless Americans, with no grasp whatsoever of the subtle
> nuances of civilized etiquette, just went on ahead and bombed them, all
> because of a little misunderstanding over a Hawaiian naval base. Yes, I
> see your point.
> > In his 1952 book Fleet Admiral King, Admiral Ernest J. King
> > reported President Roosevelt's 1942 understanding that "by
> > the application of sea power, Japan could be forced to
> > surrender without an invasion of her home islands." This
> > attitude, shared by most of our military leaders, would
> > quickly be abandoned by the President. Instead, the costly
> > island-by-island advance of U.S. forces northward through
> > the Pacific continued.
> Hmmm. Might that be because Admiral King perhaps didn't witness the
> attempted taking of Italian peninsula, an Axis ally that actually had a
> lot of population who secretly sided with the Allies, and who in any
> case didn't plan to fight -- and that still resulted in a bloody
> campaign starting from the south and spanning the length of the country,
> a country roughly the size of Japan? If a comparatively "friendly foe"
> like Italy would be untakeable by naval forces alone and require
> extensive, bloody infantry warfare, why should the commander-in-chief
> have supposed that Japan, the original aggressor, a country whose pilots
> willingly sacrificed themselves to mess up carrier decks, would lay down
> and become docile under a similar situation?
> > The only unwavering stipulation sought by anyone in the
> > Japanese "peace party" was the retention of the Emperor and
> > the continuance of the monarchy.
> Perhaps the Japanese leaders ought to have realized that "unconditional"
> meant just that, and that they had long ago (say, 7 Dec 1941) forfeited
> any right to name the conditions of their surrender.
> This sort of post facto second-guessing lies somewhere between silly and
> offensive. If my son were fighting in the Pacific theater, I would
> demand his (and my) commander-in-chief to protect his life, even at the
> cost of the enemy's lives. That's the CIC's job, second in priority only
> to winning the war. As far as I can tell, nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki
> achieved both ends. To repeat: Japan could have broadcast their
> surrender at any time, even six months after Pearl Harbor. They could
> have broadcast an unconditional surrender in July 1945. They could have
> broadcast it after Hiroshima. They chose to wait. Whose fault is that?
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