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  • 2 years ago

    @bookman @chandlebrowning Great debate guys!

    Please note that the winner for this Round will be determined based on the best out of 3 votes (i.e. Community + 2 Judges). Your confirmed judge so far @theshivatribe

  • 2 years ago
  • 2 years ago

    @chandlebrowning Congrats for advancing to the next round! Please expect to details on your next debate this weekend.

    @bookman Always a pleasure and would love to see this discussed further in less formal format :-)

    • 2 years ago

      Pro seems to have 2 main thrusts...first - an incorrect 'revisionist history' of what led to the America stopping exports of oil AND steel scrap (as important as oil...) ....and conflating 'mass atrocities' of Western Culture 300 or more years ago (based on more historical mis-information....40 MILLION Indians killed? That number of Indians is way too high...a stone age culture would barely support 25 million in all of the Western Hemisphere - North, Central and South America.)

      PRO's arguments are just weak...it is 'blame America'....as if we should not have stopped shipping oil and scrap steel to a country that was acting evil towards China and Korea. Read up on the "Rape of Nanking". Yes - Japan had a right to work towards greater industrialization. They have done it successfully AND peacefully after the war ended. They could have done it without war - but it would have been on 'mutually beneficial terms' and not those of an oppressor who was taking what they wanted ....and not paying for it.

      PRO's debate was weak, and relied on 'facts' that were historically inaccurate.

      CON's summation was on topic and to the point. Good job.

      • 2 years ago

        @mvineyard hmm....so are you saying the figure is 300,000? Please advise. If only the Japs had acted more like those nice British chaps in India & Burma who always behaved so decently to everyone!

      • 2 years ago

        @mvineyard (only on the Indians killed)

        If we are talking the western conquest of the Americas, we are discussing disease, warfare, and slavery over a 300 year period. The total population at one moment is not the limit to the number of deaths attributable to the Columbian exchange.

      • 2 years ago

        @bookman I didn't say 300K. I merely said that YOUR number was grossly overstated.

        AND - for consideration ....note that a few years prior to the Pilgrims establishing Plymouth Colony - a major plaque went through the greater area and wiped out an estimated 95% of the population. Recall that the 'black plaque' in Europe a few centuries before decimated areas, killing upwards of 60 to 70 percent of the people - and the Europeans had better living standards than the mostly primitive (i.e. - barely beyond stone age) Indians.

      • 2 years ago

        @sigfried Agreed - and we are also talking about competing cultures - like the Aztecs. There was a big reason that a few hundred Spaniards could count on the surrounding tribes joining in and helping depose the hated Aztec. Yup...lots of diseases went through the area.

        BUT - back to the debate - to debate how it was bad to use 2 nuclear bombs to end the Pacific war and bring Japan to surrender - by discussing what happened 3 or more centuries before is a tad ridiculous.

      • 2 years ago

        @mvineyard I agree it was an irrelevant point to the debate.

    • 2 years ago

      Excellent debate @bookman i always love to debate people as knowledgeable as you.

    • 2 years ago

      just noticed i called japan a continent... RIP

    • 2 years ago

      I tend to support the dropping of the bombs. I maintain that they were an act of terrorism and a humanitarian tragedy. But...

      This is in the context of war, a war we did not initiate. And in war, I believe that winning the war as quickly as possible is ultimately for the good if a peace cannot be achieved through negotiation on terms that ensure security. I abhor war, but if you are in a war, then ruthlessness is called for.

      --- But on to the debate ---
      Bookman's central question is a good one. Is a horror like Hiroshima justified or not. He says not. It would help if he offered a weighing mechanism for the debate, a value which we can evaluate. Is it merely a question of morals? If so what moral standard? Is it a question of the most deaths by violence?

      @chandlebrowning brings us many more questions, offering a view of both the outcomes of the action and the counterfactual what-ifs of not taking the action. Like @bookman he is not giving us a clear weighing mechanism or value, but he is giving us more dimensions of the question to consider.

      Bookman's style of argument and discussion is great for exploring ideas and asking questions, but not well suited to a competitive debate. Chandler actually strikes a pretty good style balance, engaging with Bookman and his arguments on a general ground.

      Bookman brings up a kind of scorecard here of justification. It makes for an interesting topic, but what is the point of it? Every argument in a competitive debate should tie to the resolution. Bookman wants to undermine our ideas of good vs evil to take away a sense of justification for an act such as Hiroshima, but he doesn't lay that out for us. Instead, it just feels like a sort of pissing contest of who is more evil, which is not the question in the debate.

      In a way, Chandler takes the bait here, and I think that is a mistake. Comparing a history of evils doesn't really help us answer the question at hand.

      I want to praise @chandlebrowning here for doing good research, being very polite, and engaging with his opponent whenever possible. 10 out of 10 for decorum and engagement.

      Ultimately, I'm voicing con because Con covers a wider range of arguments justifying the attack, while Bookman limits himself to an argument for negotiation, but has little support to back up what would happen and why that argues for the resolution. He gets too hung up in the good vs evil argument, when Con never really argued for such a justification.

      ---- BTW -----
      I think Bookman actually gets off history here. The West didn't explicitly stop industrialization, though it did guard its secrets. Japan and the western powers were actually allies. The focus of their alliance was to control China and trade with that country. Japan was an ally in that effort and after WW I the west gave Japan significant control over Chinese territory and endorsed Japanese aggression in the region. The lead up to WWII was really a time of Japanese expansion in the region as they sought to become a global power in their own right. The attack on Pearl Harbor was an effort to ensure military hegemony over the pacific theater.

      • 2 years ago

        @sigfried your feedback is very appreciated Sigfried. It means a lot coming from a pro like you.

      • 2 years ago

        @sigfried You tend to throw the term 'terrorism' and 'terrorist' around quite a bit. A few weeks ago - you were using the term terrorist when describing American founding fathers (circa 1770's) ...and I challenged you to prove that the term terrorist was valid....and I heard nothing. A little 'libelous' ...don't you think?

      • 2 years ago

        @mvineyard Not sure I noticed the challenge.

        A typical definition: "The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims."

        So, the founding fathers ---
        When the Stamp Act was imposed on the colonies, many colonists who supported revolution took it upon themselves to intimidate anyone who dared to collect the tax through acts of violence and terror. They called themselves the Sons of Liberty. These acts were illegal, targeted civilians, meant to create fear and intimidate, and involved violence, to achieve a political aim. Therefore, terrorism in all respects.

        Hiroshima and Nagasaki ---
        We targeted entire cities for destruction by atomic fire with the express intent of forcing an unconditional surrender of Japan. So there was a political aim, Civilians were targeted, the scale of violence was nearly unprecedented, the purpose was intimidation, what remains is a question of whether it was illegal or not. Targeting civilians in war is illegal under the normative rules of warfare. There were military targets at those locations, but the vast majority of the casualties and damage were to civilians and civilian targets. No one put US leaders on trial for it but we were both the winners of WWII and the only holders of nuclear weapons so putting the US president on trial for war crimes is just not a realistic possibility. So while it's legality is certainly debatable, I find it very closely matches the definition of terrorism.

      • 2 years ago

        @sigfried You conflate individuals during the 1760's and 1770's with the Founding Fathers. Not the same. Yes - there were individuals that had less than stellar actions....HOWEVER - they did not do things against innocent civilians...rather - they targeted the "Crown" and representatives of the crown. BIG difference. And their actions were far less significant that what happens today and is called 'terrorism'. The 'Founding Fathers' - leaders of the military (G. Washington and his officers), signers of the Declaration of Independence, et al...were not terrorists and did not wage illegal war, did not use unlawful violence and intimidation against civilians. Military members who violated 'norms' were prosecuted and appropriate sentences carried out to ensure proper conduct WAS the norm. [OTOH - I am certain that you would agree that if the 'Sons of Liberty' can be called terrorists - then certainly we can consider people belonging to Occupy Wall Street and the Antifa movement as terrorists - since they have done more violence and more intimidation against civilians than the SOL ever did. ]

        ALSO - Hiroshima and Nagasaki were legitimate targets in an OPEN DECLARED WAR. As I clearly stated, even in Tokyo - which suffered far more deaths - most backyards had small foundries or machine shops or similar to make articles to support the military -thereby making Tokyo a legitimate MILITARY target. AND -the 'scale of violence' by the 2 atom bombs was hardly unprecedented....plenty of people were killed in conventional bombing.

        Japan had targeted civilians in China and Korea. Japan was not a signatory to the Geneva Convention and mis-treated civilians and POWs. Japan lost any 'benefits' to Geneva Convention protocols in the way they waged war and treated people.

        The bombing of Japan was necessary to end the war....both standard bombing AND the 2 nuclear bombs. It does not fit any definition of 'terrorism' or 'terrorist act.

        Use of these 2 weapons shortened the war and saved far more lives....it would have been far worse to not use them. That was what the debate was...and for you to suggest that it was 'terrorism' - means it was illegal. While it is hard to find a 'law' in 1945 that would declare the use of a nuclear device to be 'unlawful'....certainly the idea of a 'just war' (responding to aggression - i.e. -responding to the attack at Pearl Harbor) - would include doing what ever it took to end the war as quickly as possible and minimize casualties....which is what the 2 bombs did. NOW - if we had a biological weapon that killed all Japanese on the islands, and we had used it to end the war, it would have been horribly immoral and 'illegal' if the war could be ended by a less harsh method (like using the 2 bombs.)

        For over 65 years, the US military has maintained a nuclear posture ready to destroy a country that attacked us with any nuclear weapon (or a WMD - biological or chemical). That threat of destruction has been maintained by having the ability to launch nuclear weapons to destroy the attacker in retaliation. Such retaliation would NOT be 'terrorism' - because it would be done in response to an attack on the US. Those people who would maintain weapons and then use them under direction of the Nuclear Control Authority would not be terrorists.

      • 2 years ago

        @mvineyard The Sons of Liberty included people we call founding fathers. Samuel Adams, John Handcock, Paul Revere and others. Tax collectors are absolutely civilians. They are not military personnel by any stretch. Modern terrorists make claims today like yours, that those they target are not truly innocent, that they are complicit in the crimes against which they are fighting etc....

        And that is really my main point. Terrorism is a strategy. It is not about good or evil, it is about a stratagem to achieve an ends. If you like the ends you tend to support the strategem, if you find the ends to be evil, then you condemn it. That is a double standard and I refuse to participate in holding one.

        I'd point out that we have open declared war with most of the terrorist organizations of the world, and they deem their tactics necessary to win that war. Does that mean what they are doing is acceptable or are not acts of terrorism? Your argument is hypocritical.

        Then you say that because Japan did bad things, that justifies us doing bad things. Also a double standard and hypocritical. If they were wrong when they did it, then we were wrong when we did it.

        And I showed exactly how they fit the definition of terrorism, your only response is a big "Not it isn't, because... WAR!"

        --- And then ---

        Everything else you write is irrelevant to whether it is terrorism or not.

        At least I have the balls to say that if Terrorism is what it takes to win the war with our enemies, then Terrorism is what we should do. If it was the best way to win the war and ensure peace, then I'm in support of it.

        You want to make war all tidy and pretty and have everything we do be some act of virtue and goodness. That's not war. War is evil, violence and hell on earth. Once you step foot into war, all bets of goodness are off the table. Murder and mayhem are the order of the day until one or both sides come to terms.

      • 2 years ago

        @sigfried So...guilt by association....some of the Founding Fathers (leaders) supported Sons of Liberty, and some of the Sons of Liberty did things that weren't nice...so they all are terrorists.

        So...Democrats tend to support Antifa, and Antifa does terrorism...so Democrats are also terrorist.

        (In the old days...guilt by association didn't exist...but in modern times, I guess it does. It used to be required to show a particular individual engaged in nasty acts that would be called 'terrorism'...then you could apply a label of 'terrorist' to that individual. And - certainly if an organization that that individual supported his actions and tried to justify them - then the organization would be a terrorist organization.

        Yes..those nasty Sons of Liberty. When the Boston Tea Party took place, these 'terrorists' boarded the ship, hurt NO ONE...but they DID 'bust off a lock' (which they later replaced) - but threw into the harbor the tea which the British demanded be unloaded and sold...with the onerous tea tax.

        And WAR is violence...and bad...unless you are the party that was attacked and you are doing whatever it takes to stop the war and punish the aggressor. If you are out with a gun and shooting people - YOU would be evil. If a policeman rolls up and shoots you, he is NOT evil, he is ending evil. Your last paragraph acts as if both sides are equally guilty - when that was not the case in WWII, especially the war against Japan. Moral equivalence is amoral - or even immoral.

        It would have been a horrible evil for Japan to use any WMD to win the war and permit their aggression to continue. It was very moral to use 2 A-bombs to end the war and reduce losses than an invasion.

      • 2 years ago

        @mvineyard Did I say they were all terrorists? No. I did not. The fact is that some of them were.

        Some Democrats may well be terrorists. If they meet the definition I laid out. I'm not some partisan shill, I'm just taking a definition, and comparing it to various acts of political violence.

        As to Evil, war is an evil. (I have a topic stating that if you want to debate it in fact) That does not mean everyone engaged in war is evil, it means that the root of war is evil. Yes, one must defend one's self when attacked, but for that to happen, someone had to attack you and that evil action, has an evil result, the bloodshed, and horror of war.

        But the facts remain, I gave a definition of what terrorism was, and showed how the two cases you called slander meet that definition very specifically.

        You don't dispute the definition, nor do you dispute the facts that demonstrate the qualities of that definition in those acts. You just make a lot of blanket value judgements to try and justify what is or is not terrorism based on if you think the act is moral or not. That's a lot of smoke and no fire.

      • 2 years ago

        @sigfried thanks for your input Sigfried. I agree with your judgement in most respects. In all truth I realize I have very little chance of ever winning tournament rounds. I feel this because the subjects are almost completely America-centric, which puts me on the back-foot: One, because I am not as knowledgeable on those issues as I am European ones; two, because in order to win I more often than not have to "attack" the USA (and of course most audience being US based are not going to like this). Therefore I merely set out to lay certain questions before my audience: questions which challenge the accepted narrative of history (the intense dialogue between you and mvineyard proves my point). So you see, I'm not really interested in the tournament, rather my goal is to open hearts and minds and get people to think about the world today. As you know I am a strong supporter of the Palestinian people and I hope that by getting people to think about some of the obvious things they never bother to question about "history" then they may just wake up to what's going on today. This is not just for the sake of Palestinians. We are all Palestinians: Israel is using its Occupation to enslave us all. It's called The Pacification Industry. Your Homeland Security Forces (and mine) are trained by them, your "security" technology is developed by them. They are experts in the control of vast populations.....and it's heading your way! Don't believe me? Look at the draconian laws being pushed through congress. Look at the militarization of the police. Take a look at this report for a picture of an "Orwellian" nightmare for the US which is already happening....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YoZRPTPly0

      • 2 years ago

        @bookman I've heard something about a secret meeting of a British lady in Israel...I think you should move to Greece where our corrupted government is out in the open and we are also huge advocates of the Palestinian cause :wink:

      • 2 years ago

        @gigi yes, good idea. Would if I could (was there in May this year). Our government is trying to bury the Israel story. business as usual.....;-)

      • 2 years ago

        @bookman I agree about the American centrism. Both in the resolutions themselves, and the interpretations of most debaters, myself included.

        I respect you entering the tournament to bring your message out. And I understand that your goal probably wasn't to be strictly competitive.

        I do think that even in your mission, you'd benefit a little from giving us the facts, and then putting them into the context of the questions you want to address. Framing is the term debaters tend to use for this. Give us the fact, then tell us why it matters, even if the why should be fairly obvious.

        I don't agree that the forces of Occupation are coming to enslave us all. I think that political control is always a threat to be guarded against, but by and large, I still see the world as making progress away from darkness rather than descending from light into darkness. Not in every dimension at all times, but generally and in net result. It's when I look into the past that I see more of an Orwellian nightmare, not the present. Here I see vestiges of an older evil we are slow to free ourselves from.

        The fact that at least some of us can look back in horror at what in the past was considered a great triumph is one indication of that.

      • 2 years ago

        @sigfried thanks. however...watch that video link I sent you and you may have to think again....

      • 2 years ago

        @bookman I did, and I followed up to see who was convicted and for how long. It's a bit hyperbole. The guy who faced up to 75 years, got 4 months and probation. A couple months back I was at the Selma museum where you can watch movies of police dogs tearing into protesters in America.

        Arrests of protesters are not new. Nor is the state using strong-arm tactics on opposition groups. I'm not condoning it, but it's definitely not new, and by and large less oppressive than in the past. And, there are plenty of voices speaking out against it freely.

    • 2 years ago

      voted con because pro never laid out a case with historical evidence that the world would have benefited more from the bomb not being dropped... burden of proof was on him and he failed to convey an actual case

      • 2 years ago

        @burnsstephen16 Agreed. Plenty of historical 'revisionists' have tried to make the case....yet Japan was prepared to fight ....to the death ....and the projected deaths were more than 10 million Japanese - and almost 1 million of Allied soldiers. The 2 bombs demonstrated that the deaths would only be on the Japanese - and there would be few or no Allied deaths. Faced with this new weapon, the Japanese surrendered. AND - of note - I had a friend in the Navy who said that his father was scheduled to be a gunner on one of the landing craft for the invasion of Japan....with a very low expectation of survival. There are plenty of soldiers, sailors, airman, Marines - who survived because there was no invasion. AND - the cost to the Japanese was far less than an invasion; it was a fraction of those killed during the fire bombing of Tokyo.

        BTW - the firebombing of Tokyo could be justified since the 'military infrastructure' consisted of huge numbers of homes/small businesses that made things for the military. Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki also had military targets - thus making them appropriate military targets.

      • 2 years ago

        @mvineyard So was 9/11 a legitimate act of war since it included the Pentagon and there were government agencies and contractors in the Twin Towers?

        I think saying that the firebombings were military attacks because there were civilians working in the war effort is bullshit.

        LeMay summed it up pretty well when asked about it...
        "Killing Japanese didn't bother me very much at that time... I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal.... Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you're not a good soldier."

        We used terrorism as one of our tactics to win the war against Japan. They used Terrorism during the war as well, on many occasions. That's war. You do what you think will result in victory. The morality of specific acts of war tends not to be foremost in mind. I'm not convinced it should be. But I think we need to be brutally honest about what we are doing and the choices we make. And we need to remember these things any time we consider engaging in warfare.

      • 2 years ago

        @sigfried I think targeting civilians (i.e. firebombing Tokyo/Dresden) was morally wrong, but not terrorism. Terrorism, I think, must involve a non-state actor rather than a state actor. Thoughts?

      • 2 years ago

        @sigfried Stupid comparison. The terrorists attacking the US on 9/11 were waging an unconventional war - and the primary targets were non-military....but I guess you missed that point. What the hell is a 'legitimate act of war?' - when there is no state to declare war - except a bunch of extra-state actors being given shelter by the Taliban .... It is beyond stupid to bring in al Qaeda and Taliban.

        I guess you missed the comment I made about how Japan was a non-signatory to the Geneva Conventions and their warfare was contrary to any 'civilized' rules of war (as if there can be 'civilized rules'. Consider the poison gas used in WWI....there were conventions that declared use of it to be grossly unlawful - and the major participants did NOT use poison gas in WWII.) Under what rule of 'warfare' requires the US to observe some sort of 'Marquess of Queensberry" type rules when the other side refuses to follow ANY rules.

        The Germans violated standard conventions when they went to 'unlimited submarine warfare' - sink any ship, on sight, and when they first bombed civilian targets. Retaliation in kind becomes appropriate AND legal. Rules, when ignored by your enemy, are not 'binding' on you in waging war. (Or is that concept something you can't understand?)

        You are hung up on wanted to be a moral arbiter sitting on 'high ground' ...and it comes across as extreme arrogance. Our actions in Japan were necessary and appropriate and not immoral or illegal. Japan started the war (illegally), they acted during the war - illegally .....and the US took measured actions to end the war as quickly as possible. After the war - both in Germany and Japan - the US again took the high moral ground and helped rebuild the countries of our enemies...and we made them our friends. Tell me in the past 2000 years (or greater) - when a victor won a war (and was on the morally correct side) - and then rebuilt the enemy - and made them friends- without burdensome 'reparations' being exacted?

        War is not immoral if you are fighting for your country after it was attacked. It would be a big difference if our country was an aggressor - it wasn't. Therefore, to suggest that our country was morally wrong in fighting it - is plain wrong.

      • 2 years ago

        @reformed_christian The question I'd pose, is why? Why must it be a non-state actor to be terrorism? And what standard of a state would you use?

      • 2 years ago

        @mvineyard We declared war didn't we? On Terrorism. We have an official authorization of use of force against such groups. We call it The War on Terror, they call it a war. It's carried out by your military forces. I have a hard time seeing any way in which it is not a war.

        I didn't miss your assertion about Japan at all. I never said the US needed to follow Queensberry rules. I think I was pretty clear in saying war is hell and you do what you need to do to win. I just don't piss about trying to paint pretty pictures on it.

        War is always evil Michael. Sometimes such evil is forced upon you and you have little choice, do or die. But it is evil none the less. It is mass murder on the largest scale humans are capable of. Defending yourself is not immoral, but war is none the less an evil.

        You again and again completely miss the point of what I'm saying. So put down the straw men and stop attacking words I never said. Stop reading your own prejudices into my words.

      • 2 years ago

        @sigfried Because that's what we've defined terrorism to mean in our cultural context and language is contextually defined? That doesn't entail that state based violence against civilians is morally permissible, naturally. I think we have to use multiple criteria to establish what constitutes a legitimate state, but it primarily comes down to having a functional monopoly of force.

      • 2 years ago

        @reformed_christian Hmm, I've never understood it to have that distinction. I can certainly see one state using terrorism against another, or a want to state. We talk a lot about state-sponsored terrorism in the news.

        I looked up Oxford and Websters and neither made that distinction in their definition. Websters includes the quality of it being illegal but that's as close as it gets.

      • 2 years ago

        @sigfried Perhaps I'm wrong. State-sponsored terrorism is one thing, but if it was carried out by the government directly wouldn't we call it sabotage or an act of war? Nobody would think of Pearl Harbor as terrorism, even if it had targeted residential areas intentionally. Here's an article I found helpful. https://benjaminstudebaker.com/2017/11/03/how-to-usefully-distinguish-terrorism-from-other-forms-of-violence/

      • 2 years ago

        @reformed_christian @sigfried @mvineyard no offense but could y'all have this convo outside of replying to a comment I made? It is kinda blowing up my notifications hahaha

      • 2 years ago

        @reformed_christian Pearl harbor was a pretty typical military surprise attack. While it hit civilians, the clear aim was to sink military ships.

        Its a good article, but he his diagram calls state actions against civilians as Purges or Genocide. Those are very different than terrorism in motivation. Terrorism is specific to attacks designed to generate fear to attain some other aim. Genocide isn't really about fear, it's about killing for the sake of changing the demographics. I'd say it is really a whole other level of violence.

        In the writing, he suggests "war crime" which is pretty well understood. But that covers a number of other kinds of acts. It is a crime committed in the execution of war. It's its own deal.

        Terrorism in war isn't new, in fact, it's been around probably as long as warfare has.

    • 2 years ago

      Neither side presented particularly clear criteria. Much of the debate seemed to focus on issues that are fairly tangential to the resolution at stake. While certainly a great conversation, competitive debate should focus on the resolution itself. Why am I hearing about various and sundry atrocities only very tangentially related to the resolution? What do Native Americans (and there were not 40 million, far, far less than that) have to do with the use of nuclear weapons? Pro seems well studied and really appreciate the gracious demeanor, but failed to focus on the resolution. Con could have done a better refocusing but did try to bring it back at several points. Overall I was a bit disappointed, was interested to hear this debate because I personally incline towards affirming the resolution and hoped to hear a vigorous presentation with regards to moral philosophy and the military facts involved.

      Voted con.

      • 2 years ago

        @reformed_christian Thank you for the feedback, i too wish we could of got down more to the resolution however i do think some of the historical context to this argument goes a long way. Thank you again for the advice and feeback

      • 2 years ago

        @chandlebrowning Certainly historical context is key! No dispute there. Perhaps I'm importing foreign expectations from my previous debate experience in a way that's not applicable to the medium. Have a good one!

    • 2 years ago

      I requested this motion...so upset I didn't get this in round1...