I was wondering how many of you agree or support the airforce's decision to firebomb almost all Japanese cities in 1945. The March 1945 raid over Tokyo resulted in 100,000 Japanese civilians dead and left 1,000,000 homeless.
According to one account "the M-69 (napalm firebombs) realeased 100-foot streams of fire upon detonating, and sent flames rampaging through densely packed wooden homes. Superheated air created a wind that sucked victims into the flames and fed the twisting infernos. Asphalt boiled in the 1,800 degree heat. With much of the fighting age male population at the war front, women, children, and the elderly struggled in vain to battle the flames or flee" One of General McArthur aides called it "one of the most ruthless and barbaric killings of noncombatants in all of history." Even General Le May, the instigator of the bombings quoted "there are no inocent civilians, so it doesn't bother me so much to be killing innocent bystanders". He also commented on the fact that had the US lost the war, he fully expected to be tried as a war criminal.
Tokyo wasn't the only city to suffer such fate. Kobe, Yokohama, Osaka and many more were subjected to the same punishment as Tokyo, with casulaty rates.
As far as attitudes about the Japanese were concerned, look at propaganda photos of the era portraying Tojo or the typical Japanese soldier. Wikipedia encyclodedia states " Japanese were viewed as subhuman or evolutionarily inferior" This is not much different than Nazi-Germany's view of Jewish, Slavic, and Roma people as "untermensch" which translates to under-human (or subhuman semantically). Perhaps, racism had some part in the bombings??
Typical counterarguments include, Japanese atrocities against the Chinese, Koreans and Filipinos, and of course the brutal mistreatment of US POW's of the Japanese during the war. The Japanese are certain responsible for these attrocities, however it's interesting to note that while 37% of US soldiers interned died in captivity, only 11% of US civilians captured perished. While 11% is still high, there's not sufficient evidence that this was directly due to mistreatment. Japanese troops were often short of medical supplies and had trouble feeding their own troops. But, in the case of military POW, Japanese held to the Bushido code which held that surrender was disgraceful and that prisoners lost the right to be treated humanely. Was Pearl Harbor (a suprise attack on a military target) or the internment of US MILITARY justified in seeking revenge against Japanese women, children, and the elderly in possibly the most brutal fashion?
Briefly before finishing, it should be noted that American submarines waged unrestricted warfare against Japanese merchant vessels which had been outlawed by the 1930 treaty of London (the US signed). This is not meant to support or discredit either the US or Japan, but merely to expose the truth of World War 2, which is often irresponsibly shrouded in bias. I appreciate anyone who wishes to debate the issue, but please do not use Japan's war against China, the Philipines etc...as an argument. This is regarding America at War with Japan.
America has also done some not so nice things in other Asian nations....read up on the Philippine-American War 1899-1913 which is a real eye opener. Also mention of Unit 731 vivisection of captured B-29 pilots will be countered by the Tuskegee syphilis study on African-Americans beginning in 1932.