ONTD Political

A decisive conclusion is necessary

11:33 am - 11/19/2012
A decisive conclusion is necessary
There is no middle path here – either the Gazans and their infrastructure are made to pay the price, or we reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip.

Anyone who thinks Hamas is going to beg for a cease-fire, that Operation Pillar of Defense will draw to a close and quiet will reign in the South because we hit targets in the Gaza Strip, needs to think again.

With the elimination of a murderous terrorist and the destruction of Hamas’s long-range missile stockpile, the operation was off to an auspicious start, but what now? This must not be allowed to end as did Operation Cast Lead: We bomb them, they fire missiles at us, and then a cease-fire, followed by “showers” – namely sporadic missile fire and isolated incidents along the fence. Life under such a rain of death is no life at all, and we cannot allow ourselves to become resigned to it.

A strong opening isn’t enough, you also have to know how to finish – and finish decisively. If it isn’t clear whether the ball crossed the goal-line or not, the goal isn’t decisive. The ball needs to hit the net, visible to all. What does a decisive victory sound like? A Tarzan-like cry that lets the entire jungle know in no uncertain terms just who won, and just who was defeated.

To accomplish this, you need to achieve what the other side can’t bear, can’t live with, and our initial bombing campaign isn’t it.

THE DESIRE to prevent harm to innocent civilians in Gaza will ultimately lead to harming the truly innocent: the residents of southern Israel. The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren’t hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences.

The Gaza Strip functions as a state – it has a government and conducts foreign relations, there are schools, medical facilities, there are armed forces and all the other trappings of statehood. We have no territorial conflict with “Gaza State,” and it is not under Israeli siege – it shares a border with Egypt. Despite this, it fires on our citizens without restraint.

Why do our citizens have to live with rocket fire from Gaza while we fight with our hands tied? Why are the citizens of Gaza immune? If the Syrians were to open fire on our towns, would we not attack Damascus? If the Cubans were to fire at Miami, wouldn’t Havana suffer the consequences? That’s what’s called “deterrence” – if you shoot at me, I’ll shoot at you. There is no justification for the State of Gaza being able to shoot at our towns with impunity. We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.

There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire.

Were this to happen, the images from Gaza might be unpleasant – but victory would be swift, and the lives of our soldiers and civilians spared.

IF THE government isn’t prepared to go all the way on this, it will mean reoccupying the entire Gaza Strip. Not a few neighborhoods in the suburbs, as with Cast Lead, but the entire Strip, like in Defensive Shield, so that rockets can no longer be fired.

There is no middle path here – either the Gazans and their infrastructure are made to pay the price, or we reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip. Otherwise there will be no decisive victory. And we’re running out of time – we must achieve victory quickly. The Netanyahu government is on a short international leash. Soon the pressure will start – and a million civilians can’t live under fire for long. This needs to end quickly – with a bang, not a whimper.


The writer, whom I currently think is evil, is the son of former PM of Israel Ariel Sharon.

He certainly isn't alone in his thinking; according to a HuffPo article: Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai is reported by The Yeshiva World News to have said, "We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water." Haaretz also reports that Yishai stated, "The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages."

So far, 73 Palestinians and 3 Israelis have died.
yeats 19th-Nov-2012 07:40 am (UTC)
wait, what?
hinoema 19th-Nov-2012 10:33 am (UTC)
Surrender was attempted, twice, I believe. It just wasn't accepted until the Emperor stepped down and renounced all power. Denying the surrender on a technicality also gave the allies an excuse to use their new bombs and scare the piss out of everyone else.
yeats 19th-Nov-2012 10:42 am (UTC)
hm...the internet seems to view this as an extreme fringe view....gonnna have to ask my friend the wwii military historian in the morning, but i imagine that any pre-hiroshima japanese surrender terms were unacceptable on more counts than just a technicality (like, say, if japan had tried to keep its mainland holdings, which seems more likely to me). still, always nice to see that such well-trod history as wwii still packs a few surprises!
hinoema 19th-Nov-2012 11:25 am (UTC)
I admit that's a generalization; the Emperor's status was one sticking point among many, from what I learned in my History of Japan class. Still, the point being that once any kind of negotiation toward surrender was underway, nuclear weapons never should have come into it.

This gentleman on ask.com, of all places, gave a very thoughtful explanation which I will shamelessly steal:

~You ask the wrong question. The real question is, "Why didn't the US allow Japan to surrender until after unnecessarily dropping the bombs?" Japan tried to initiate peace talks, and the US refused.

Those who say the Japanese surrendered because of the nukes simply Know no better. Those who say the bombs saved lives are ignorant of the facts. Those who say the Japanese people were prepared to fight to the last man have been duped by the lies spoon fed to them since birth and those who say the Japanese remained in the war because the Emperor ordered it have no understand or knowledge of history.

Emperor Showa was a figurehead, with power somewhat akin to that of a British monarch. Since implementation of the Meiji Constitution in 1890, the power and political influence of the emperor steadily dwindled. In theory, power rested in the Diet and in the Cabinet. During the 1920s and 30s, the military gradually seized control of the Cabinet and usurped all power from the Diet. The Emperor did not make policy and he did not control either the government or the military. In fact, Emperor Showa did not condone the invasion of Manchuria, complained bitterly of the Imperial Army's failure in China and opposed expanding the war to include the Occidental powers. A few foiled assassination attempts helped force him to approve launching Kido Butai, but the plan was going to go forward with or without his tacit approval and he knew it.

By January 1945, Showa was sending messages to the Cabinet to end the war. In April 1945, he sent a message to the Cabinet to "end the war at any cost". He and the Japanese people wanted an end to the slaughter while there was still something left of Japan to salvage. When Saipan fell in July 1944, the Tojo Cabinet fell with it. The new Cabinet included members of the ever-growing peace coalition. From the formation of the new Cabinet to the end of the war, peace overtures went sent from Tokyo by channels through Moscow, Sweden, Switzerland and elsewhere. They were ignored in Washington and London.

By July 1945, Japan was defeated and on the verge of surrender and everyone knew it. However, the dynamics had changed. Churchill, just defeated in his bid for reelection, was no longer a factor. Harry Truman had replaced Roosevelt. Stalin's Red Army had defeated the Third Reich with virtually no meaningful assistance from the Western allies, and he had promised that within 90 days of the fall of Berlin, he would declare war on Japan. He intended to keep his promise and the deadline was approaching. HST knew FDR's policy of conciliation toward Stalin had been naive and foolish. FDR insisted he did not believe Stalin would make territorial demands after the war, but would work with the US to foster democracy across Europe HST viewed the USSR with the same jaundiced eye as he did the German National Socialists. Unlike FDR, he saw them as two sides of the same coin. He also believed that Mao Zedong would prevail over Chiang Kai Shek in China and he knew who would be the next enemies of the US. He had to make a statement. He chose Japan as the victim of that statement.

hinoema 19th-Nov-2012 11:25 am (UTC)
At Potsdam, Truman told Stalin that the US had developed a new weapon of incredible destructive power. Overtly, Stalin expressed disbelief. Stalin knew better because his spies had infiltrated the Manhattan Project and he knew the Trinity tests at White Sands had been successful. Truman had to show Stalin we had the bomb and weren't afraid to use it (on civilians, no less). It was decided to demand the unconditional surrender of Japan. Unconditional surrender is an inane, immoral, self-defeating concept. An enemy otherwise willing to surrender traditionally has refused to do so unconditionally and has historically found new resolve to fight. Negotiated peace brings some guarantee of the direction the peace will take. Unconditional surrender is another matter, and generally is tantamount to national suicide as the Treaty of Versailles so clearly proved in 1919.

Operation Downfall plans had been drawn (for the invasion of the home islands). Casualty estimates ranging from the absurd to the asinine had been projected. No one in the government or in the military seriously believed the invasion would ever happen. It was not going to be necessary. Hitler had plans for Operation Sealion to invade the British Isles. That he never intended to do so is clear by the simple fact that he never ordered the building of landing craft. The US kept updating the Rainbow Five, but never really intended to invade Canada, India, the UK or Australia. One makes contingency plans in war, that is common sense. The vast majority of those plans are never put in motion. Gen Spaatz suggested that by announcing that the US was NOT going to invade Japan, the Japanese might be induced to surrender. His plan, if one reads the details and reasoning, was not without merit. The few high ranking officers and planners that agreed with the use of the bombs asked that they be saved and used sometime near the projected "X-Day" the kickoff of Operation Olympic, and be used someplace near the projected landing sites or that, in the very least, they be used on military targets or troop concentrations so as to be of some actual assistance to the invasion. Their pleas fell on deaf ears.

So why were the bombs dropped in lieu of accepting Japan's offers of peace? Harry Stimson told Truman that anything short of unconditional surrender would cost him votes and probably the White House. Stalin and Mao needed to be shown that the US would use nuclear weapons, on civilians, when there was no militarily justifiable reason for their use. The oceans of money spent on the Manhattan Project had to be justified. Using them on Japan and making the false claim that they ended the war was the justification invented to mollify the masses and the hoi poloi bought it (and, sadly, still buys it).

A commission was organized by Congress immediately after the war to study, among other things, the effect of the atomics on the war effort. It concluded: "Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated." The United States Strategic Bombing Survey, July 1, 1946.

Thus, an arm of Truman's own government confirmed what Nimitz, Spaatz, Leahy, Ike and MacArthur and so many others said before the bombs fell. Surprise. Your government and your teachers have been lying to you. The decision to use the bombs was purely political and had nothing to do with winning the war.
youkiddinright 19th-Nov-2012 10:22 pm (UTC)
I also believe that on the day Nagasaki was bombed was also the day on which the army and government officials were meeting to discuss the surrender of Japan. I remember reading that in a book about the bombings, but I can't say it's accurate info though.
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