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Post By
Reverend Meteor

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,394
In Reply To
D. Strange

Member Since: Tue Sep 19, 2017
Posts: 19
Subj: Re: Captain America, Hiroshima and Chuck Austen..
Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 at 12:43:45 pm EDT (Viewed 89 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Captain America, Hiroshima and Chuck Austen..
Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 at 06:54:46 am EDT (Viewed 81 times)

Previous Post

The real reason why it should be avoided is because it is an incredibly complex part of American history, and it isn't an easy thing to compress into such formats, without seeming neglectful or at least begging for a debate.

For instance, I don't agree with you that Cap would have had a problem with the A-bomb drops. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I will give my reasoning, then you can explain to me why I'm wrong (please be specific) then hopefully my point will be made as to how difficult it is.

To start off, Captain America is the most moral character in all of comics, so I have to prove that it is the most moral choice possible.

Second, I will subtract elements we learned later, such as the planned dropping of Bubonic plague on the West Coast (completely collected, more than needed) and the plane started by Germany, they finished, that was about to go into production, that could have sunk destroyers killing essential cities.

I'll start with the element you mentioned, people caught in a fiery death.

That's most bombing campaigns in general, and in specific, the Dresden Fire bombings, which were in Feb. 1945, presumably before he was frozen.

It was the same basic concept as Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to inflict so much damage they would surrender to save more potential lives, to much less effect. It was also designed to create spreading fires.

Even that was just a 20th century version of the Union's "Total War" also known as Sherman's March to the Sea. Where Confederate property was burned and destroyed to quicken the war's end.

The real point is, would Cap have had a problem if it was dropped on Nazi Germany, since that was the original plan, many people who appose would say no, it would be different.

You see, it wasn't really about a land war, it was about ending THE war.

Japan had been committing atrocities since the mid-30s that needed to be ended. Most famous was Nan-King (which had actions so disturbing I don't even want to type them). And unlike the Nazis, they didn't hide what they were doing,the West saw it, read about, and Japanese civilians cheered.

Ending the War quickly would also free the abducted Korean Comfort Women (some as young as 14) from their sexual slavery.

The entire populace of Japan was being mobilized into militias (admittedly only for when the Americans came ashore), this included lining up kids (aged 11-14) in the beach head to hold off the American forces, with sticks and broken guns for a chance to wear them out and play on guilt.

Once you DO invade a country, it is no longer military cost, civilian casualties rise astronomically, and would do so even more since the notion of what a civilian was, was about to change between the two countries.

And as for the actual soldiers, the MOST conservative estimates were about a quarter of a million (some say 50 thousand) on each side . EACH side, and most CONSERVATIVE estimates.

That isn't including people getting maimed and disfigured, or the mental toll that comes along with war.

Don't forget the freeing of Japanese, German, Italian, and again Japanese, American citizens from internment camps. Which brings up the fat that POWS would be freed sooner.

Then their is the post was aspects of written a constitution for Japan that was more equitable for the oppressed ethnic and religious minorities, and more fair for women, all of who had a much better deal under the new laws...even if it is still problematic to this day for them in the society at large.

Then there was the fact that Hiroshima was used to threaten Stalin out of his planned invasion of Western Europe (a third World War we probably would have used) and freed up money for the Marshall plan that kept the commies form subversively taking over western Europe (shocking how close France and Italy were). Those two, admittedly stretch whether Steve could have known that.

It was all for the much greater good. YEs, it was horrifying, and terrible, but it was also the end of the most brutal war of the 20th century. And OI believe there is no greater moral stance that doing what is best for the most people in the hardest of times. So Marvel's most Moral man would make the most moral choice..

so there is my argument. I look forward to hearing yours, again, to show how complex it all is.

Hope I wasn't TOO much of a jackass.




First let draw the distinction in what I feel and what I think Cap feels. I personally don't have a major problem with us dropping the bombs. But I'm an amoral jerk and I would have wanted payback for Pearl Harbor. But Cap isn't me. He has morals and values and ethics and a bunch of similar words that don't apply to me either.

While Cap certainly believes "war is hell" I do think he would have had a problem with his superiors ordering the destruction of Hiroshima (and THEN Nakasaki). As a modern comic reader I don't think modern Cap is the ends justify the means type character. But I grant it's war time and a different era where dissent is frowned upon so maybe he wouldn't actively oppose the bombings or snitch and tell the world about the government's plan...but I don't think he could stay Captain America after the bombings if he hadn't been frozen. I don't think he could live with it. He would feel there was probably another way (logical or not) and I think it would eat at him. I don't think he could still traipse around in a colorful costume espousing how great America was after we nuked hundreds of thousands.

Could the government have found another way like showing a demonstration of one of the bombs on an island for the Japanese leaders? Did Nagasaki have to be destroyed...if we gave the Japanese a week after Hiroshima would they have surrendered by then? Were the Japanese already considering surrender? Would Tokyo have been a better military target than say Nagasaki which I think was a fishing village? I think the what ifs would eat Steve alive and he would question his own patriotism.

And this is probably a very wide tangent to go off on because Cap would probably have no knowledge of it...but like I said in another thread the uranium used in the Manhattan Project was extracted from the Shinkolobwe mine in the Belgian Congo...it wasn't the Americans or Beglians workers who were used to extract that radioactive ore...it was the Congolese. This was already a bloody business before the Uranium was refined much less the bomb dropped. But like I said Cap probably couldn't have known about it so forget I mentioned it.

Maybe the Cap as written in the golden age could have supported the decision to nuke. He wasn't the version we have today who is a cliche that is for everybody. The modern version doesn't have that American exceptionalism thing going on and would never be racist towards the Japanese. Maybe Golden Age Cap would have been the ends justify the means type guy. I just can't see the modern Cap ever agreeing with the decision or taking pride in the cost of ending the war meant sacrificing that many lives. Ever since I've been reading him Cap isn't about moral relativism. Saving the most lives doesn't justify an atrocity that still kills numerous lives (this is where we differ...I very much do).

You have a better argument than I do. But from what we've seen of Steve in modern times I don't think he would be at peace with the decision to nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And if he learned about the decision prior to the bombings I don't think he would have been able to handle it. As a soldier I don't think he had any conception of just how destructive a nuclear weapon could be and I think he would be horrified at what this new weapon could do in either Americans hands or one of our enemies (or even our allies). In my head if Steve had been around to hear about the bombings he would be a very depressed individual knowing his country had the potential to level cities with a bomb and that someone else was eventually going to get their hands on one. I don't think Steve would approve of nuclear weapons in general much less the way we used them. But that might be me misunderstanding the character.