Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
comment by b_b

I recently read Rising Sun, and then I followed it up with Masuo Kato's The Lost War, and frankly, it swayed my opinion on the bomb from "bad idea" to somewhere on the "good idea" side of ambiguous. Even more interesting than the bomb was the bombing campaigns. Toland and Kato (whom I believe Toland must have been using heavily for source material) both point out that the US went far out of its way to inform the population exactly where the bombs were going to fall and when. This is in opposition to a lot of the apparently revisionist history I've read that tried to claim that the point of the firebombings was to terrorize civilians. In fact, it was to limit Japan's warmaking ability by targeting the mom and pop shops where a lot of the machinery was made, and these shops were often two to five man operations that existed throughout the neighborhoods. You can't help but feel good about America after doing these readings to find out just how well we treated our vanquished enemies, even though they sure didn't show us the same respect. The average Japanese citizen had fuckall to do with the decision to go to war, and all credit goes to the US government and armed forces for treating them as such. They turned their anger toward their own government after the war, and that was the right place for it.