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75 years after Hiroshima, should nuke use be a war crime?

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Should nuclear weapon use be made a war crime?

Yes, nuclear weapons are inherently immoral
45
21%
Yes, nuclear weapons are too destructive for use in war or otherwise
58
27%
No, we need a nuclear deterrent for self-defense
86
40%
No, we need the capability of utterly destroying our enemies
25
12%
 
Total votes : 214

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US-SSR
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75 years after Hiroshima, should nuke use be a war crime?

Postby US-SSR » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:08 pm

Most chemical and biological weapons, blinding lasers, incendiary weapons, non-detectable fragments, etc. have been effectively outlawed by treaty. While nuclear weapons are subject to various limitations and many nations have abjured their use, the best that can be said about them is that their use in war or otherwise is not always illegal.

Since the rationale for existing weapons bans centers around their indiscriminate destructiveness and inherent inhumanity, should nuclear weapons use be made a war crime?

What this is not about (not that that would stop anyone on NSG):

-- difficulties around enforcing a nuclear ban (national means exist for detecting and punishing violations)
-- the practical or ethical justification for actions by the UN or other international organizations
-- whether making nuke use a war crime would effectively deter bad actors or not

Here are some historical facts, as opposed to national myths, about Hiroshima, Nagasaki and their aftermath:

US President Harry Truman never gave an order to bomb Hiroshima or Nagasaki. The Army under Major General Leslie Groves controlled the Manhattan Project and the use of its weapons. Had Truman not ordered no more bombs be dropped after Nagasaki, a third and even a fourth Japanese city might have been destroyed. The idea that Truman was responsible was largely a fiction constructed after the fact to justify continued nuclear weapons development and deployment.

The driving factor in the Japanese surrender was not the bombings but the entry of the Soviet Union into the Pacific theater of war. The discussion in the Japanese war cabinet centered around whether enough casualties could be inflicted on an invading force to enable better surrender terms. Once Emperor Hirohito declared himself, the surrender was inevitable.

Groves compartmentalized information about the horrible aftereffects of nuclear bombing, including radiation sickness, keeping the scientists and physicists involved in developing the bomb largely in the dark. Before a Congressional committee, he bizarrely claimed radiation sickness would be "a very pleasant way to die." Many later stated they would have abandoned work on the bomb had they fully appreciated its likely effects.

The US justification for using nuclear weapons on Japan was equal parts racism, vengeance and the desire to impress the rest of the world, particularly the Soviet Union, with its unassailable military might heading into the postwar period. Truman's statement on Hiroshima claimed, "The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold."

All the evidence points to nuclear weapons use as inadequately controlled by civilians; impossible to confine to military targets; and with devastating, horribly inhumane and long-lasting effects on largely civilian populations. For all these reasons, nuclear weapons use should be made a war crime.

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Postby Salus Maior » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:11 pm

Is it a war crime to mass murder civilians?
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Postby Disgraces » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:11 pm

Yes. WMDs are cringe and also fuck the enviroment

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Postby Agarntrop » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:12 pm

They technically have been since 1973. Its just become a "yall put down your guns slowly" situation of slowly reducing stockpiles since then.
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Postby The Emerald Legion » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:17 pm

No. And we should use them more often.
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Postby Soiled fruit roll ups » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:19 pm

No. Definitely necessary.
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Aeritai
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Postby Aeritai » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:20 pm

Considering we have MAD I'm pretty sure we don't have to worry about nukes being used. Ironically nuclear weapons have kept us away from another global war. But who knows 2020 might just give us one final surprise.
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Region of Dwipantara
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Postby Region of Dwipantara » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:26 pm

The Emerald Legion wrote:No. And we should use them more often.

No.
Aeritai wrote:Considering we have MAD I'm pretty sure we don't have to worry about nukes being used. Ironically nuclear weapons have kept us away from another global war. But who knows 2020 might just give us one final surprise.

If there is nuclear warfare at all, IMO it is much more likely to originate from the likes of India-Pakistan or Israel, so uh-oh.
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Postby Disgraces » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:29 pm

Aeritai wrote:Considering we have MAD I'm pretty sure we don't have to worry about nukes being used. Ironically nuclear weapons have kept us away from another global war. But who knows 2020 might just give us one final surprise.

What is "MAD"?

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Postby Region of Dwipantara » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:30 pm

Salus Maior wrote:Is it a war crime to mass murder civilians?

Yes, but by that time the institution of international law will already collapsed, so not anymore...?

Also the alternative to nuking Japan is the Operation Downfall invasion plan, a lunatic disaster waiting to happen that will see at the minimum of 1 million US soldier dead, multiple nukes on the beaches of Kyushu (radiation wasn't perfectly understood by then), the total destruction of Japan and its infrastructure, and the death of approximately 75% of the Japanese population through warfare and starvation.
Last edited by Region of Dwipantara on Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Region of Dwipantara » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:31 pm

Disgraces wrote:
Aeritai wrote:Considering we have MAD I'm pretty sure we don't have to worry about nukes being used. Ironically nuclear weapons have kept us away from another global war. But who knows 2020 might just give us one final surprise.

What is "MAD"?

Mutually Assured Destruction. There is a pretty good argument to be made that had the MAD didn't exist, WWIII will likely broke in around 1970's, but I forgot the source.
Last edited by Region of Dwipantara on Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Aeritai » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:32 pm

Disgraces wrote:
Aeritai wrote:Considering we have MAD I'm pretty sure we don't have to worry about nukes being used. Ironically nuclear weapons have kept us away from another global war. But who knows 2020 might just give us one final surprise.

What is "MAD"?


Mutually assured destruction (MAD) is a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two or more opposing sides would cause the complete annihilation of both the attacker and the defender (see pre-emptive nuclear strike and second strike).[1] It is based on the theory of deterrence, which holds that the threat of using strong weapons against the enemy prevents the enemy's use of those same weapons. The strategy is a form of Nash equilibrium in which, once armed, neither side has any incentive to initiate a conflict or to disarm.


Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutual_ ... estruction
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Postby Nevertopia » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:35 pm

No nuclear weapons usage shouldnt be a war crime, unfortunately they are a surprisingly good deterrent for would-be aggressors. but I do believe in limiting and restricting them in every other way so that they are virtually never going to be used.
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Region of Dwipantara
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Postby Region of Dwipantara » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:37 pm

Nevertopia wrote:No nuclear weapons usage shouldnt be a war crime, unfortunately they are a surprisingly good deterrent for would-be aggressors. but I do believe in limiting and restricting them in every other way so that they are virtually never going to be used.

How would we achieve that while simultaneously keeping MAD principle?
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Postby Agarntrop » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:01 pm

Region of Dwipantara wrote:
Nevertopia wrote:No nuclear weapons usage shouldnt be a war crime, unfortunately they are a surprisingly good deterrent for would-be aggressors. but I do believe in limiting and restricting them in every other way so that they are virtually never going to be used.

How would we achieve that while simultaneously keeping MAD principle?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_ ... ar_Weapons
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Postby Region of Dwipantara » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:03 pm

Agarntrop wrote:
Region of Dwipantara wrote:How would we achieve that while simultaneously keeping MAD principle?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_ ... ar_Weapons

So... do nothing since the treaty already happened? And then again, the largest risk for nuclear war –India vs. Pakistan– didn't sign the treaty, which is understandable considering that they've gotten into big conflicts again and again.
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Postby Agarntrop » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:04 pm

Region of Dwipantara wrote:

So... do nothing since the treaty already happened? And then again, the largest risk for nuclear war –India vs. Pakistan– didn't sign the treaty, which is understandable considering that they've gotten into big conflicts again and again.

That is true
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Postby Greed and Death » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:23 pm

If we use nukes in this juncture in history having a war crimes trial will be the least of our concerns.
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Postby Aureumterra » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:53 pm

Region of Dwipantara wrote:
Salus Maior wrote:Is it a war crime to mass murder civilians?

Yes, but by that time the institution of international law will already collapsed, so not anymore...?

Also the alternative to nuking Japan is the Operation Downfall invasion plan, a lunatic disaster waiting to happen that will see at the minimum of 1 million US soldier dead, multiple nukes on the beaches of Kyushu (radiation wasn't perfectly understood by then), the total destruction of Japan and its infrastructure, and the death of approximately 75% of the Japanese population through warfare and starvation.

I was literally about to post this, but you took my words. In short, the nukes in WW2 were a necessary evil, and some may even argue the existence of nukes is why we haven’t had WW3 yet
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Postby Picairn » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:24 pm

US-SSR wrote:The US justification for using nuclear weapons on Japan was equal parts racism, vengeance and the desire to impress the rest of the world, particularly the Soviet Union, with its unassailable military might heading into the postwar period. Truman's statement on Hiroshima claimed, "The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold."

What does racism have to do with the bombings?
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Postby Thermodolia » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:28 pm

Picairn wrote:
US-SSR wrote:The US justification for using nuclear weapons on Japan was equal parts racism, vengeance and the desire to impress the rest of the world, particularly the Soviet Union, with its unassailable military might heading into the postwar period. Truman's statement on Hiroshima claimed, "The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold."

What does racism have to do with the bombings?

Some people have to be woke and shoehorn race into everything.

Also the bombs weren't planned to be used on Japan but actually on Germany. We originally planned to nuke Berlin but because the german forces where collapsing quicker than we could build it we changed to japan.

The Cold War sure would have been different if we had leveled Berlin
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Postby Nevertopia » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:29 pm

Region of Dwipantara wrote:

So... do nothing since the treaty already happened? And then again, the largest risk for nuclear war –India vs. Pakistan– didn't sign the treaty, which is understandable considering that they've gotten into big conflicts again and again.


The cats already out of the bag. The only reasonable act now is to de-escalate nuclear proliferation and find the next technological milestone that would counter the affects of nuclear warfare.
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Postby Conservative Republic Of Huang » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:31 pm

Picairn wrote:
US-SSR wrote:The US justification for using nuclear weapons on Japan was equal parts racism, vengeance and the desire to impress the rest of the world, particularly the Soviet Union, with its unassailable military might heading into the postwar period. Truman's statement on Hiroshima claimed, "The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold."

What does racism have to do with the bombings?

There's a reason why very few German-Americans and Italian-Americans were interned in comparison to Japanese-Americans. It almost certainly didn't change the decision to drop the bomb, but it undoubtedly factored in.
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Postby Duvniask » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:32 pm

The Emerald Legion wrote:No. And we should use them more often.

????
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Postby Thermodolia » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:34 pm

Region of Dwipantara wrote:
Salus Maior wrote:Is it a war crime to mass murder civilians?

Yes, but by that time the institution of international law will already collapsed, so not anymore...?

Also the alternative to nuking Japan is the Operation Downfall invasion plan, a lunatic disaster waiting to happen that will see at the minimum of 1 million US soldier dead, multiple nukes on the beaches of Kyushu (radiation wasn't perfectly understood by then), the total destruction of Japan and its infrastructure, and the death of approximately 75% of the Japanese population through warfare and starvation.

Operation downfall would have been an absolute mess. I remember reading somewhere that we would have ended up with close to 2 million dead for the US alone, plus the possibility of a communist japan
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