Captain America Message Board >> View Post
Post By
D. Strange

Member Since: Tue Sep 19, 2017
Posts: 17
In Reply To
Reverend Meteor

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,351
Subj: Re: Captain America, Hiroshima and Chuck Austen..
Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 06:43:52 am EDT (Viewed 52 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Captain America, Hiroshima and Chuck Austen..
Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 at 12:43:45 pm EDT (Viewed 77 times)

Previous Post

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 wasn't the Americans or Beglians workers who were used to extract that radioactive 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.

I actually agree, that cap would not have stayed Cap if he had not been frozen, and I would like to expand on that, but first I would like to address some other things, including how frozen Cap could be okay with it.

I also think that there is precedent in comics to back me. And there are a few other things I would like to address, but first the precedents.

-In INVADERS NOW! it is revealed that the Invaders killed a whole town (murdered as Cap put it). He showed deep regret, even willing to sacrifice his life to bring them back, but acknowledged the the necessity of the time.

-IN ALL-WINNERS SQUAD: BAND OF HEROES (an incredibly underrated mini-series that didn't even get an end due to economic issues), there is a mystery of what happened to a hero, while it is never revealed, it is clear it was nothing good. It is also made known, Cap was at the least aware of it.

- This may seem cheap, but in Gruenwald's run, he did kill a man to sve a life, and this is just a larger example of that.

For the other things to clear up...

Yes, the bombing of Nagasaki was necessary. It is a misconception that a single blast, or even two ended the war. In actuality it was the threat of a third dropped on Tokyo (which we actually didn't have) that sealed the deal. That was because that is where the government was. They really didn't care about their people.

I also strongly reject the idea it was dropped out of racism. Partially because the original paln was to drop it on Berlin if need be, partially because it is wrong.

But if you want some coaxing, before each drop, the US warned the Japanese government (who did nothing to evacuate) and dropped flyers telling civilians to leave the day before. Those attempts to save lives are not usually done when you view a group as sub-worthy of life or deserving of something.

Also you mentioned the Congolese, who very likely were also providing uranium for the A-bomb Japan was working on (I would have to double check, but I believe they were at least somewhat close).

But as you said it was already a business. And by bringing up innocent people as you did, a very valid point, however that returns one of my points.

What of the people in internment camps? What of the people in occupied areas and their horrors? What of the comfort women? They were sex slaves, that would not be freed until the war ended.

If there is one thing Cap's morals dictate it the value of innocent life. And THEIR right to freedom. THEIR right to peace. Even if the price is disturbingly high. Admittedly, whether the price is fair is a matter of

And you are right he wouldn't know. He very likely would have known about Dresden, which was the same idea, just with lower murder-tech.

Honestly, I think the idea that he would sacrifice so much, just to hold onto his world view is selfish.

Now onto my points about Cap.

1. I think that Cap can justify it unfrozen, because he knows the horror it ended and understands it, but would also think if he had been unfrozen he could have found another way. But he wouldn't have, so...

2. If not frozen, and he DID find out about it, he would have accepted the necessity of it. I also believe he would not stay as Captain America.

After WWII the US began using its foreign policy to change society away from a third World War. Much of this was providing foreign aid to other countries (that is why it is currently part of our defense budget), the best examples being The Marshall Plan, dropping supplies to East Berlin as the Soviets tries to starve them in 47, and The Peace Corps.

Ironically, even Korea and Vietnam acted as ways to challenge a larger conflict.

Truman was one of the major proponents of this, having had dealing with Stalin and dropping the bombs as two of his first major choices as president. (He also tried to push civil rights harder, but most of it got stonewalled by Congress, just an interesting fact).

I think this is the route Steve would have chosen. An acceptance of what happened, but having been so shook, he chose more subtle ways to save the world, to PREVENT the next big war.

I know that it has become common place to cast Steve as a Soldier above all else, but I don't see him as such. I see him as most of what that generation's soldiers were, a man who did what he ha d to do, and will keep doing it as long as he has the responsibility, but more over someone who wants an end to the fighting and a nice quite life.

So, thoughts? opinions? Did I prove my larger point that this is a far more complex and twisty idea that those who tried to tackle it in comics gave it credit for? That if tou are going to do it, you REALLY need to let it breathe?

This has been an interesting back and forth. Can I at least get that?